Spicy Probiotic Sunflower Seed Hummus Recipe

Fermented or probiotic foods are all the rage right now because we are finally recognizing their power to help heal and re-establish balance in our gut bacteria.

Digestive health is the basis for all health, as 80% of our immune system lives within the microorganisms in our gut. Our digestion is ruled by these tiny micro-organisms, called micro biome that literally outnumber our own cells 10:1. That’s right, our bodies are made up of about 10 times more bacteria than cells.

The human body alone doesn’t have the enzyme production to break down all of the food we eat, so we depend of the power of our inner probiotics or “eco system,” as one of my mentors, Donna Gates would call it — to digest our food for us, and deliver nutrients to our other organs.

These beneficial bacteria also create vitamins for us, protect us from illness, detoxify poison and continue to accommodate MOST of our health needs.

Probiotic foods were the very first step in my son’s autism recovery. They weren’t the first food or remedy that we tried. No way — you moms know how it is when your child is sick. You will go to the ends of the planet, researching and re-researching, asking for help, and making the connections to get them well. For our family, probiotic foods were the first natural remedy that showed us significant healing results for his autism symptoms.

Coconut kefir was the first probiotic beverage we tried, and it has remained a staple in our diets.  It helped my son heal quickly from many infections including pneumonia, and gain eye-contact in less than a month. That’s why I add at least a little bit of  coconut kefir to many of my recipes. If you have children with allergies like asthma, they can often tolerate small doses of coconut kefir because it is known to be more hypoallergenic. Not creating a histamine response.  Whereas, something like kombucha tea, which is a wild ferment — may be too much for their sensitive systems to handle. Coconut kefir has even been known to reduce overall allergic response for my clients.  Thankfully, science has caught up to this ancient wisdom that we conscious mamas have been using for years to heal our babies.

The Human MicroBiome Project, which launched in 2008 spent five years studying the micro biome in depth, which led to a surge of independent and university studies — and more people healing naturally.

My book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs” debuted this year as well. After working on it since 2011, I suppose now is simply THE TIME :).

This hummus recipe here is a delicious way you can add these healthy bugs to your plate. It’s a very forgiving recipe in that you can add extra spices or take out ones that you don’t like. It calls for soaking your sunflower seeds, which is necessary to remove the phytic acid. Phytic acid is sort of like the seed’s way of protecting itself from being eaten. (Incidentally, most natural foods we consume have some protection factor like that… all nuts, seeds and grains contain physic acid and must be soaked, sprouted or fermented  for us to fully absorb their nutrition).

Sunflower Seeds are packed with their own nutritional power too. They contain Vitamin E, which helps cardiovascular health and have even been known to reduce the risk of heart-attack. High in selenium and magnesium and low in allergens, these amazing seeds happen to be something that’s well tolerated by many of my sensitive clients too. Then add in the healthy fats, minerals and protein, and you get a near-super food. My son Dougie and I were extremely low in selenium and magnesium when we were tested years ago. Part of that was our inability to absorb due to low stomach acid. So, I created this recipe to help us absorb these minerals. My body craves this and I feel awesome after eating it. Hope you do too.

If you take just a little more time with this recipe you can sprout your seeds — which not only makes them even more nutritious, but also increases your yield. Score!

Spicy Probiotic Sunflower Seed Hummus Recipe

Feeds: 5 hungry husbands or the equivalent.

Prep time: 1-2 days

Uncook time: 5 minutes

Equipment:

  • High speed blender
  • Large 32 oz mason jar
  • Knife
  • Lemon juicer or hand

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic  raw sunflower seeds (no shell)
  • 1  organic green chili pepper, chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Splash or 2 oz of fermented coconut water kefir (or other probiotic beverage)

(Optional — Pick one or a few of these to spice it up a notch: cumin, turmeric, curry powder, black pepper, paprika)

Prep:

  • Make your kefir
  • Simultaneously, soak your sunflower seeds in the large mason jar — filling the water to the top, and adding a splash of coconut kefir to the water. Swish the jar around or lightly stir with wooden spoon.
  • Soak for 8-24 hours.
  • Choose whether to sprout or move to blending.
  • Sprouting Option: Rinse sunflower seeds and return to jar, rinsing 3-5x for (up to) 24 hours. Little tails will grow. (cover with screen or cheesecloth)
  • Blend your sunflower seeds with lemon juice and olive oil.
  • Add spices and sea salt and blend more, and taste.
  • Scoop into a beautiful serving bowl, and stir in a splash or more of coconut kefir.
  • Dress the top with chopped fresh herbs if you like.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Use as a dip for cucumbers and other cut-up vegetables.
  • Spread it on sandwiches and wraps
  • Use as a sauce- base for vegan pizzas
  • Lick it off your fingers because it’s so yummy
  • Take it to parties and feel fancy for sharing something so wickedly healthy that your friends will love (and not even notice it’s healthy).

Ok, I’ll tell you a very short story. I threw a big birthday party for my daughter this year. All of the food had something fermented in it. Many of our friends hadn’t had “our food” before, but everyone ate heartily. The next day, I received several phone calls about the deliciousness of the food, the good feelings people had in their tummies as well as some T.M.I. about the poop happenings of my guests. This stuff  not only helps nourish you, but will also help cleanse you. No one seemed to mind the poop part. They just felt they needed to share. 

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Love Love Love

Gina


Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.

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I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!


 

Forget GMOs — Eat Your Bugs

Blissed Life

I got pretty fueled about prop 37. This “opportunity” we had to label GMO food meant (to me) that my friends and family who are not already in the loop about the dangers of these genetically modified foods– would be given a clearer choice.

But, last I checked… the proposition didn’t pass.

So, I want to share with you some simple things you can do to take back your health. Because you are always in control of what goes into your body, and you always have the opportunity to make clear, informed choices.

What Are GMOs, Really?

Pretty much every fruit, vegetable, meat and grain that we put into our mouths has somehow been manipulated by humans to taste and grow a specific way. This is called “farming.” Simply put — wild, natural foods are different than farmed foods. Farming, over time, has changed the way that we humans eat…

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The Dirty Reality Of The GMO Industry And How To Rise Above Their Disingenuous Game

I got pretty fueled about proposition 37. This “opportunity” we had to label GMO food meant (to me) that my friends and family who are not already in the loop about the dangers of these genetically modified foods– would be given a clearer choice.

But, last I checked…the proposition didn’t pass.

So, I want to share with you some simple things you can do to take back your health. Because you are always in control of what goes into your body, and you always have the opportunity to make clear, informed choices.

What Are GMOs, Really?

Pretty much every fruit, vegetable, meat and grain that we put into our mouths has somehow been manipulated by humans to taste and grow a specific way. This is called “farming.” Simply put — wild, natural foods are different than farmed foods. Farming, over time, has changed the way that we humans eat and has changed the quality of our health and soil. All is as it should be. But, this did happen. As part of our free-will, we gave up our wild-natural side, learned how to control things and made our mark on planet Earth. And, I feel we have done amazing things. I am grateful for technology and science.

Genetically Modified Foods or “GMOs” as considered in Proposition 37 refers to the deliberate manipulation of food cells, splicing fruit cells with those of animals, for example, to get a specific effect. Currently, the public statements are that GMO foods help food last longer and require less human work to maintain. They are resistant to bugs and spoilage. And, that they are essentially freaking awesome and you don’t need to know much more about them. But, the independent media has done an outstanding job spreading the truth. The Obamas have an “organic garden” but wouldn’t publicly endorse our right to eat clean and organic. It’s not sad. It’s empowering. It means it’s time to wake up and learn for ourselves about what is good and healthy to eat. It means educating those around us and UNDERSTANDING that during this time of huge change, we may all be in different places. We may have different opinions. The illusion here would be that there is some kind of enemy. We are all one. Remember that as you dig in to discover what is right for you.

GM food enthusiasts boast about things like ending world hunger and reducing diseased plants. And, they’ve recently spent millions of dollars pre-election day, bombarding the US with commercials and ads (thank goodness I don’t watch TV…but my Facebook page was inundated) about why their wonder foods don’t need to be labeled and why you don’t need to know when you’re eating them.

In order for these foods to be pest-resistant, their seeds are infiltrated with toxins. Neuro-toxins and others. We now have a genetically modified corn that can make people sterile as well. What kills off plant invaders also enters our bodies as part of the food. What do you think it does to us?

Funny thing is that these pest-resistant plants don’t require less pesticides. They haven’t ended world hunger. And, the planting of monoculture commodity crops are not going to feed people in need. So much of them are being used to feed factory-farmed animals. Since when do cows need to eat soy or corn? Monocultures (1 crop farms) create imbalance in the soils, reduce the Earth’s natural ability to heal herself, and therefore require more work to get rid of pests and the like. We are left with soil that is very mineral deficient.

It’s difficult for the public to get a handle on the safety of such foods when the research on them is……well, where the heck is it?

Fortunately, recently Dr. Joe Mercola shared some very valid detrimental facts regarding the consumption of GMOs in rats. We find them causing tumors and cancer quite quickly. I’ve tested these foods on myself both knowingly and unknowingly. I get almost immediate heart pain when I consume genetically modified corn. My son gets red hot skin and a rapid heart beat. He is someone who has recovered from autism and he’s very sensitive to the unnatural. And, it is my belief that autism is perpetuated by the continued “effing” of Nature that we do through our food and water system (and all of the “systems”).

If you read about codex alimentarius, you will understand that the idea of population control and mind control through our food system is a real concept that has been used by Hitler and perpetuated by the same people who promoted concentration camps. Our bodies respond accordingly to what we consume. Things like fluoride in your water and UN-nutrition in your GM food literally block your joy response, make you complacent, and attack your natural intuitive power at your pineal gland. This is a physical brain reaction to franken-foods.

But, like I said, all as it should be. You now have the power to turn things around and create a ripple.

One way to side step GMOs is to know the “code” on produce stickers, and understand which companies supported Proposition 37 (wanted mandatory labeling of GMOs for consumer benefit), and those that did not (did not want GMOs to be labeled, to keep consumers in the dark). You can get that information in the handy visuals, below.

Knowing what foods are conventional, GMO, and organic, and where companies place their alliance, goes a long way to you making better choices, and shaping the future food culture. In addition to that, learning how to make your organic, whole foods even more nutritious will allow you to win back your health. An excellent way to do that is by eating more fermented (cultured) foods.

How To Make Fermented (Cultured) Foods, And The Amazing Health Benefits They Provide

Recipes

Garlic Mania

Garlic is such a wonderful antibiotic/anti fungal and so much cheaper than most other supplements out there.

You can decide to use this as medicine… or as a probiotic addition to salad dressings, dips and sandwiches or both.

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • 5-10 heads of garlic peeled (whole cloves separated)
  • ½ cup each of olive oil, coconut oil, raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1 packet each of kefir and culture starter or 1/4 cup coconut kefir
  • Glass jar with lid
  • Blender
  • Optional add-ins hot pepper, dried olive leaf, dried oregano

Process

  • Blend oils with vinegar and honey
  • Stir in cloves of garlic
  • Add starters
  • Ferment for up to 30 days+

The garlic gets softer and easier on the palate. You can eat whole cloves, and use the oil in dressings or to ferment more garlic.

Cultured Cacao-Wows

As much as I love chocolate, it never really sat right with me until I started to ferment it. It’s acid-forming in the body and can feed candida. I found this to be a really satisfying and non- addictive way to enjoy chocolate, as well as a great way to hide supplements if you have to.

Ingredients and Equipment

  • 2 ½ cup raw organic cacao
  • 2 ½ cup cacao butter
  • ½ cup – 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vitamineral Green powder or your favorite whole-food multi-mineral food powder
  • 1 packet Body Ecology kefir starter or 1 packet Body Ecology culture starter or 1 tblsp of Coocnut kefir
  • Glass jar or bowl with lid
  • Candy molds of choice
  • Blender
  • Add ins: sea salt, cacao nibs, and mesquite; cherries, cayenne and sea salt; maca, mesquite and lucuma, cinnamon, maca, mesquite and lucuma, spirulina and mint.

Process

  • Melt cacao butter at 80 degrees in food dehydrator or in double boiler
  • Stir in cacao powder
  • Blend with coconut sugar in blender
  • Pour into glass jar
  • Add culture starters or a few teaspoons of coconut kefir
  • Let ferment for 24 hours
  • Add your add-ins
  • Pour into molds
  • Refrigerate and eat

For Fudgy Wows – replace cacao butter with coconut butter. Or do a half and half mix =YUM!

Hope you enjoy these and feel empowered to add them to your arsenal of natural healing tools.

I’m the kind of person who wants to know the truth, no matter what it is and who can THRIVE regardless of what crazy information might come up. Know yourself and what makes you tick because you create your reality, and if the GMO thing brings you down –you definitely don’t want to stay living in that vibration. Focus your attention what what you want to do, what you want to eat, how you want to be. Focus on high frequency emotions like gratitude, which allow you to transmute that which doesn’t serve you. You will best serve the rest of the world by being TRUE to you.

Have a gorgeous day!

Gina


Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.

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I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!


 

How Spirulina Helped Heal My Family Of Autism And Seizures (And My Chocolate Spirulina Recipe!)

Green Food Is Good

Allow me to introduce you to spirulina,  one of our most favorite super foods! With all of the hype about GMO- Monsanto-Franken-Neuro-Toxic-Mutant food, I wanted you to know that you can still get pure amazing nutritious HEALTHY food. Food that can even negate and detoxify you from the ill-effects of eating the packaged poop stuff.

And prevent further damage.

Spirulina, a form of blue-green algae,  boasts 10 times more beta carotene than carrots, is about 65% protein and provides us with essential fatty acids, phytonutrients, probiotics, and antioxidants.

Millions of years ago, before we were even a tear-drop in Mother Nature’s eye – Spirulina flourished. The nutrients contained in the spirulina plant helped our planet evolve. It’s perhaps our earliest ancestor.

To me, it offers one of the simplest ways to end world hunger!  You actually need less food when you eat it because it takes care of so many nutritional needs. It grows easily and well in lakes and oceans, and I’m just discovering that it can even be grown in soil.  Think of what savvy organic growers could do with this stuff!

At times when Dougie and I were in deep healing from his autism and my candida — we THRIVED on spirulina. Just adding it to our diets made us happier, gave us energy, and REALLY curbed sugar cravings. Plus it helps tremendously with brain-fog.

The plant has undergone intense studies for the past 30 years, and proves safe for the little ones as well. So, don’t worry so much if they won’t eat their lima beans – push the algae, and get super healthy kids.

Dougie had his first serving at age 3 years and 1 day. And, at 3 years and 1.5 days– he was potty trained. That’s without practice. And, experts told us he had autism, and that meant we could expect delays and complete lack in development.

The first time he ever had the kicked-up spirulina blend from Bio-Age (Bioage.com), he buttoned his shirt for the first time. He lost a tic that he had for a few months, and over a small period of time — he began to speak more clearly. We saw so much developmental BLISS with the BIOAGE Algaes, that we removed most of our other supplements. It’s still a staple.

It reduces brain swelling. It sends nutrients where they need to go without making your body work so hard to digest. This is majorly important in autism and many cases of common illness like allergies and auto-immune dysfunction because digestion is so compromised.

My hubby used it as the main healing tool in helping him recover from a seizure disorder and a 12 year reliance on some pretty harsh prescription seizure meds.

Why wouldn’t we want to use spirulina to feed the hungry? It would open their minds and lift their spirits while nourishing them!

Consuming spirulina (algae) has been linked to recovery from diseases like cancer, ADD, and autism. Research also shows significant progress in its effect against the AIDS virus. In my time working with private clients, I’ve been able to see clarity of mind come back to people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s through the use of  spirulina.

Spirulina is a super food  — which means it is a complete food. Think — something they’d eat on the Matrix. People use spirulina to enhance energy, detoxify poisons (sugar, alcohol, mercury), control weight and balance mood.

Check out this great e-book on Spirulina and Chlorella by the Health Ranger, Mike Adams of Natural News!

Spirulina For Dinner?

So, the question is how does it taste? I’m sure you don’t want to be making yourself an algae salad three times a day just so that you can tout gorgeous skin and enough energy to keep you awake through the night, right? I gotta be honest — some of it is pretty gross! And, while it can be taken in pill-form, you’ve got to watch that you get the purest kind that is without mercury…because if it comes from a toxic lake its got nothing but chemicals, metals, and junk to share with you.

It must be pure. And, I have my favorites. I’m quite fond of Healthforce Nutritionals TRUGANIC Spirulina Manna. I LOVE Real Food Real Life’s Pro-Daily Otic, which is a fermented blend of algaes (green, grains, seeds and sprouts). Both of these taste so good that  I even get my non-health-food-lovin’ friends to crave them. They can easily blend in a smoothie and even be hidden under some raw chocolate as you transition to adding it to your diet. But, once you’re like me and crave this stuff — you’ll find it tastes great in salad dressings and dips too.  Courtney Pool wrote a whole book on spirulina recipes!

How Much Spirulina Should You Eat?

Always go slowly and learn about a food’s energy when adding something new to your diet. Spirulina has an expansive energy which means that it pulls your energy up. For some, this can mean headaches. If you’re feeling hyper or light in the head, that can mean you have some stuck energy, and spirulina can exaggerate that. Not to fear.  All greens have expansive energy. Balancing this out with the “grounding” nature of good quality sea salt is enough for some people to really benefit from this amazing algae minus the headaches.

My recommendation to my clients is usually to begin new healing foods even more slowly than suggested on the label, and take close note of how you feel. When you reach a point where you feel good, you may have hit your ideal dosage. But, it has to be built-up-to.  Traditional Chinese Medicine says it takes 100 days of an herb to start feeling the true benefits.

Most people don’t need to consume lots of spirulina to get great results. It’s potent stuff. The more you consume, the more detoxifying it becomes. Smaller amounts can address nutrient deficiencies from the core up. The way I see it is if you are deficient, like we were, it makes sense to go slowly and really allow the algae to work.  Our family shares a spirulina smoothie almost every morning, and we only use about 1 tablespoon of manna or 1-2 capsules of BioSuperfood brand (much less than recommended) in total. In the colder months, we may have a little less, or at least combine it with more warming and heavier foods in our smoothies like avocado, coconut and cinnamon.

I find the fermented algae from Real Food Real Life to be more grounding.

The fun of natural health is that you build it. Your nutritional needs and tolerances are unique. It’s cool because the experimentation makes you so much smarter about your body and what you put in it. GMO food just causes tumors and sterility.  No fun!

A Heart Of Green

Green foods open your heart chakra. It’s becoming even more popular knowledge that our emotions matter. In fact, they create vibrations that actually heal us.  The vibrations that come from your heart chakra are 500+ times stronger than those that come from your brain. So, yes, your thoughts matter. But real brain connections that create change in your life only happen when there is a corresponding emotional experience with your thought.  When you open your heart to emotions like love, gratitude and forgiveness — your body heals. Spirulina opens your heart chakra in the same way! Seriously…have a few servings and tell me if you don’t feel grateful and in LOVE with life. Food can be a healer for our physical and emotional health.

Here Is My Fave Way To Eat Spirulina…In Chocolate Of Course!

I wasn’t going to let you leave without this.  This is a recipe for my fermented chocolates. Raw chocolate or cacao is another heart chakra opener!  Some of my clients have a hard time tolerating plain raw chocolate.  But the fermentation and addition of these healing herbs and SPIRULINA seems to take care of that.

I like to add spirulina to it to balance out the acidity in the cacao, and add nourishment. Who knew it would taste so good? Most of my friends are pleasantly surprised.

Cultured Cacao-Wows

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups raw organic cacao powder
  • 1½ cups cacao butter
  • ½ cup – 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vitamineral Green powder
  • 1 packet Body Ecology kefir starter
  • 1 packet Body Ecology culture starter
  • Glass jar or bowl with lid
  • Candy molds of choice
  • Blender

Add-ins: spirulina, vanilla sea salt and mint;  sea salt, cacao nibs, and mesquite; cherries, cayenne and sea salt; maca, mesquite and lucuma; cinnamon, maca, mesquite and lucuma; Gojii berries, bee pollen and anything else you like with your chocolate!

Process:

  • Melt cacao butter at 80 degrees in food dehydrator or in double boiler
  • Stir in cacao powder
  • Blend with coconut sugar in blender
  • Pour into glass jar
  • Add green powder and culture starters
  • Let ferment for 36 hours (keep in dehydrator to keep in liquid form)
  • Add your add-ins
  • Pour into molds
  • Refrigerate and Bliss Out!

    xoxo!

    Gina


Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.

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I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!


 

Fermented Fig Fantasy Dressing Recipe

Do you love figs? I do! And, besides eating them in the wildly delicious gluten-free newtons from the Santa Monica Co-op, I had to figure out what else to do with the things so that my obsession didn’t get boring. Naturally, I went to fermentation. I’ve tried to ferment almost everything you can think of from green beans to chocolate to spice mixes and teas. It’s not always a success. But, this my dears…this figgy frenzy was a fermentation feat for my record book. In fact, I often serve this in my classes and bring it to parties.

Figs are full of sugar, so naturally they have what it takes to feed the healthy probiotics in the fermentation process. Leaving them to ferment for 24 hours doesn’t produce alcohol for me. So, it’s all good. The fermentation simply breaks down the sugar and makes the whole shabang easier to digest, and also offers you some healing pro-bugs for your beautious digestive tract.

Fermentation also makes the minerals and fiber more bioavailable to you. That means that your body will actually accept more nourishment from these delicious fruits in their fermented state.

Figs are very alkalizing and have the energy to help your stomach, spleen and pancreas do their jobs, and get food and fluids moving through and balanced. No wonder why I love them so. I found myself having spleen/stomach problems a while back. Sweet foods have a necessary role in health besides providing us with caloric energy and enjoyment. They can be very supportive and tonifying. Of course, the more figgy love you have, the closer to the bathroom I recommend you stay. The little guys can also be quite a laxative.

If you’re on a candida cleanse or doing Body Ecology, you may feel the need to stray from all sugars. We did that for a while and it worked for us. However, when I started adding in more fermented foods and fermenting salad dressings and stuff like that– our whole family came to be able to process sugar much better. In fact, we also became able to process fats, proteins, and carbs much better too. We no longer think sugar is evil. We like it. And our adventures into fermentation have taken away all of those wicked cravings for the sugar beast.

“Figgy Juice” Recipe

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • 2 cups fresh figs (dried)
  • Coconut kefir to cover figs
  • Sterile Jar

Process:

  • Pack figs in jar and cover with kefir.
  • Ferment for 24 hours.
  • Use “juice” in salad dressings.
  • Figs can be used in desserts or dressings.

Fermented Fig Fantasy Dressing Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Handful fermented figs
  • Splash fermented “figgy juice”
  • Splash ume boshi vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Handful of chives, cilantro, basil, parsley, sunflower seeds
  • Olive oil

Process:

  • Begin to blend some figs and fig juice and keep adding ingredients until you have a “salad dressing” consistency that floats your boat.

Note: you may also dig adding some fig bits to your chocolates. I do.

Have a gorgeous day,

Gina

Image Credit


Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.

2

I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!


 

Get Your Picky Eaters to Crave Healthy Food– Re-Build their Guts

I  get a lot of comments and questions about how to get picky eaters to eat the way my son does. These are great questions because tons of children out there.. sick or not… autism or not — are picky eaters.

Being a picky eater is not a “bad” thing to be. Children have naturally sensitive taste buds to help protect them from poisonous foods. They naturally crave bland and push away the bitter foods like kale and cabbage. So, how is a mom of a sensitive child on the autism spectrum supposed to use diet to help heal her child when he/she refuses to eat? I’ve got about ten zillion tricks up my sleeve, and I’m going to share some of the most important ones here.

Understanding Digestive Bacteria and Gut Health

The bacteria and yeasts in our guts create  the foundation of our health. They help make vitamins for us, detoxify poison and waste, balance moods, and so much more. When the digestive bacteria is out of balance, which is the case with autism, allergies, and all auto-immune illnesses, you will crave foods that  feed the pathogenic bacteria and yeasts (like candida).

So, if your child is craving things like processed foods, that is because pathogenic bacteria thrive on acidic foods.  In other words, they cannot help but want what their bodies are telling them that they want. When I was really sick with systemic candida, spinach tasted like metal to me.  (On a side note: this was also because I was detoxing metal).

Understanding  Stress and Eating

Our gut bacteria communicates vibrationally (through measurable electric currents) with our brains through what is known as our enteric nervous systems. Our guts send more info to our brains than our brains send to our guts. It is well documented that stress and the way we deal with stress affects our gut bacteria — and consequently our thinking, moods, energy and more.

My feeling is that if we create stress around eating, we open the door for candida and more pathogenic organisms to grow in our childrens’ guts — even if we do finally get them to chug down the fish oil or green smoothie. Whatever you do, attempt to do it with a sense of calm… or do not do it at all. Sure, we may have to introduce healing foods that our kids may have a hard time with at first. But, that’s why we go slowly and calmly.

Create a Strong Trust Bond with your Child

Knowing that there are reasons for our kids to be picky eaters, and that children with sick guts may be even more picky — helps us to begin diet changes from a place of ultimate understanding. Add that to unconditional love and you will be set.

My friend Shannon from BEDROK introduced me to the Son-Rise program several years ago. And, although I could never afford to do the program myself, I believe  in the concepts and have adopted my own version of Son-Rise at home.  I think that it offers a great starting point for creating that trust bond with our kids.

You can do this at home by  first listening to your child. If your child is saying “no” to a certain food… listen to them. Say “okay, not today then,” or something of the like. But, then you eat the food yourself, enjoy the food and try again  with them the next day. Allow your child to know that you are trusting their opinions.

When  you want something from your child, first create a scenario where you are interacting with your child on their level, at their activity – -and introduce the new food in a comfortable setting.

Emotion does not enter your trust bond building phase. Yes, you love and kiss and smother your child with affection as much as you like always (I do with mine), but do not show emotional pain for their eating choices. Make it really up to them with major suggestion (so to speak).

I like to intro 1 new food at a time to help the children get acclimated at their own pace. I will offer the new food every day for 2 weeks in a very relaxed, delicious, and un-demanding way.  I do not award or punish with any kind of food. So, my child always eats. We do not tell him”no dessert” or anything like that. The new food is a part of the meal.

If your child does not like the new food after trying it, then you can move on to another new food and try that one again in a while. I like to tell Dougie something like ,”okay , we’ll try that when you are six. Can we do that?” Remember that our kids are people. We all have our own tastes. Yes, this is affected by our gut bacteria, But there is more to it. If someone is completely repelled by a food, they may even have an allergy to  it.

Forget the Broccoli and Spinach. Go for Fermenteds!

When you really want to change your diet to improve your health, I always recommend skipping right past the veggies and on to the fermented foods (if you have a picky eater). Fermented foods contain the healthy, living bacteria that will re-populate in your gut, and literally change your taste buds. Fermented foods are pre-digested.  So all of that nutrition is so easily absorbed by your body.

Many children with autism are given laundry lists of supplements that they need to take. Parents have the hardest time feeding them food and getting their supplements in because the children have taste and texture issues. We recovered Dougie by first addressing his gut problems with fermented foods. We didn’t go for all of those single extracted vitamin or nutrient supplements. I believe in healing with whole foods and adding in supplements as a last resort.. but after the fermented foods are started and the trust bond is created.

Because fermented foods are so nutrient dense, you do not need to give your child lots of them. In fact, gradually increasing small doses really helps set the tone for lasting results.

There are also many ways to make fermented foods taste good. I began with coconut kefir which can easily be mixed in an organic juice (raw, preferably). and sweetened with  green stevia.

This small first step will begin to change your child’s gut bacteria. When the gut bacteria becomes more balanced, they begin to crave more healthy foods.

Check out these crackers and ice creams for more ideas on making fermented foods taste good for your children.  Food should taste good. It should make us happy. You can focus on including something your child really likes (in it’s healthiest form) with their new fermented foods.

I think it’s pretty smart to start children off with the fermented liquids. They are much easier to take than vegetable or powders.

You can make home-made kefir, buy fermented beverages from Body Ecology, or another new favorite company of mine, REAL FOOD. REAL LIFE. These are all excellent top quality ways to get the necessary probiotic foods into your child’s gut.

Super Foods Rock

Super foods, like algaes, contain much more nutrition per bite than a salad. I love E3 Live brand algaes. I have used both their regular and their “Brain On.” So, again, these are options for nourishing your picky eater that do not include hours pleading  at the table.  Algaes taste really good in avocado or coconut based ice cream. They mix almost un-noticeably in chocolate. You can replace cacao for carob in my chocolate recipe too.

Like I said, my favorite healing foods are fermented foods. But second to that, I love algaes. I also love Reishi Mushroom, Cordryceps, Bee Pollen, Cod Liver Oil, Goji Berries. These are foods that work for us. And, guess what? You can actaully buy fermented (which means it’s probiotic and more easily absorbed) algaes from REAL FOOD. REAL LIFE.

These particular herbs and superfoods work for us. You can take any herbs and superfoods that work for your family and add them to a delicious ice cream or cracker recipe to make them tastier for your babies.

Note to the Mamas and Papas:

Eat with your kiddies. Enjoy and give thanks for what you are eating. Make the kids a part of the meal from shopping to prep to clean up (at their level). Go easy on you, and have fun with this. If you are taking on a journey to heal parts of your life,  know that you are getting there with each bite.

Contact me for help finding the best foods for your family

 

Did You Dig this article? If so, you may wanna… Check out our 3 Days to Bliss Toolkit…Free!

And, if you’re ready to go even deeper we’d love to have you join us for Psychic Skool – a totally rockin way to Own Your Magical Intuitive Power!

Tons of Love to you!

Gina

 

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No More “Guilty” Pleasures, I’ll Take Plain and Simple Regular Pleasure

The other night a friend and I laughed at how I knew all the words to some obscure Air Supply song. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for those tunes my younger bro and I sang  in front of the TV while watching “Solid Gold.” Up until 2 days ago, anything 1980’s or chocolate, or crocheted,  or anything resembling a cupcake were all guilty pleasures. Not anymore. The guilt is gone and I’m jammin with my Trader Joe’s gluten-free vegan ginger snaps– that I am eating sans guilt despite the sugar.

A lot of guilt goes into and comes out of changing to the “healthier” side of things, you know what I mean? But, the worst I’ve created for myself comes from what I decide I want to eat. Once  you dive into learning what goes into our food — from the ingredients to the energy, processing, and scams behind who is making money by poisoning us with chemicals, gmos, and godknowswhat, your higher self doesn’t want to go back. Healthy food makes you feel food. It tastes good. And us smart and savvy peeps have found ways to even make it cost less, prevent and heal illness and give us enough energy to stay feeling young for long.

Coming to Chicago to visit family and  make our first Bliss Tour stop has taught me that I’ve had to let go of a little bit of my  “healthy” eating. That is because ultimately, I have to eat. I have these ideas of what I am supposed to eat, what I want, what I need, what I crave and all of that. But, my experiences here have taught me just how hard it can be for the average person to make these healthy choices. Whole Foods Market is more full of processed and sugary foods, than it is of “whole foods.”  The Farmer’s Markets cost 3x as much as the one in Santa Monica, and the discount organic market has older produce that is ready for the trash.  Believe me, you can find good, organic and healthy options here. I know it. I used to live here. But, living in California spoiled with variety, convenience and price. I never had to shop at Whole Foods in California. We bought everything at the farmer’s markets.

I initially felt guilty for making choices to buy fruit and veggies that I knew were sprayed with chemicals. Our family has gotten  sick for the first time in years. We were exposed to mold. And, I originally blamed that on my poor meal planning and poor shopping decisions.

But, I think the guilt hurts more than the pesticides.  It’s proven  that not only are emotions connected to our physical health, but that our heart vibration is the strongest vibration  we emit. If our hearts are heavy with guilt, that has the potential to harm us even more than what we eat. 

Pleasure, on the other hand… pleasure has the power to raise your heart vibration and actually bring physical healing into your body. So, what if I eat my chemical-laden grapes with the utmost gratitude and pleasure? What if I just enjoy them today because they are what I have? What if I give gratitude for the experience that helped me better understand how  most people have to struggle to get healthy food? It’s gotta work.

So, that’s what I am doing now. It’s important to me  to eat the best I can because it does make me feel my best. But, if I live rigid-style how am I going to help anyone? Diets stink.  I’m glad I discovered my guilt because I realized I was living in a diet mentality. When  you are on a diet you have “forbidden’ foods. This is never going to work in reality.

Guilt is one of those complimentary emotions granted to the good-hearted, bleeding hearts. Believe it or not, it’s one of the hardest emotions to get a handle on. It took me forever to realize how selfish it is to be guilty. How that emotion strips us away from ourselves because it often involves pleasing others. The only real remedy for this is joy — doing whatever truly makes the real you happy.

 

The next time you feel a tinge of guilt coming from your mama, your spouse or your inner critic, try smacking that experience in the face with some pure happiness. Stop what you are doing. Stop right in the middle of doing it and focus your attention on the happy part of it.  Be thankful that you have that experience.

It may be natural to feel guilty. But, that doesn’t mean it always has to be so. You can change your story. You can find the Bliss in any moment. I’m erasing guilty feelings all day long with a simple thought, and sometimes a bite of cookie.

Rock on!

 

Gina

If You Like Green-ya-Coladas

And Getting Caught in the Rain

Today’s one of those cheese-ball Chicago days where I’m finally giving in to the weather,  and allowing it to inspire me.  I let go of my glamorous sunshiny California life.  I’m livin’  on the road. I have to deal with weather. And, in this case that means rain, shine, humidity, HEAT, COLD, wind, and more rain.  Oh, and HAIL twice in June. I’ve been sad that the “shine” part has been hard to catch. But, we’ll be packed up again any day now, so it’s high time we dive into this experience.

There’s nothin’ like the lovin’ ZING you get from a boost of green juice BLENDED with some fermented coconut kefir.  Yeah, you heard me — I’m over here blending up fermented  green bevvys that will boost your  mood, energize you, and keep you light enough on your feet to dance in the Chi-town rain all morning.

Here’s how I make my Green-ya Coladas

Ingredients

Process

  • Blend pineapple and water in blender until smooth
  • Add in e3 and blend for a few seconds
  • Add in coconut milk and blend a bit more
  • Pour into cold glasses and stir in coconut kefir or Innergy Biotic.

Other options: You can add any green juice of your choice or green powder of your choice. You can also ferment home-made pineapple juice by adding it to equal parts coconut water and using a Body Ecology Culture starter or some coconut kefir to start the fermentation process. Recipes like this are in my new book, “Are you Eating your Bugs?”

Now,  I’m gonna go sip on this loveliness and dance on off to the farmer’s market with my girls.

xo

G


Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.

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I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!