Blackbelt Gazette: Water Is The Giver Of Life And A Dietary Staple


As the heat intensifies, drinking water is viable to maintain your overall health. We can live many days without food but only a few without water.  This does not include drinking something that contains water. Such drinks do not fulfill your daily water requirements of adequate water intake. Water is the only beverage that truly quenches thirst and rehydrates the body.
Herbal teas are much better choices than caffeinated beverages, but water alone is best overall. Caffeinated beverages cause water loss because caffeine acts as a diuretic in the body. It also aggravates the symptoms of dehydration, and robs the bones of calcium. Caffeinated beverages also contain sodium and sugar, which spike blood sugar and high blood pressure.
The body is approximately 70% water and blood made up of 90% water.
Replenishing the body with adequate amounts of water increases endurance and energy, aids in digestion needed for elimination, regulates temperature, lubricates joints needed for muscle movement. Not to mention hydrates skin and clears your complexion, prevents kidney stones, reduces fatigue, and flushes toxins.
Water carries nutrients, oxygen, and antibodies to cells and removes waste products as well. When blood is hydrated it flows smoothly to help carry the nutrients to the cells components, promoting good circulation. When oxygen is available in blood it can maintain its pH balance. When wastes are eliminated regularly toxins are not stored in fatty deposits or joints.
Health professions suggest drinking half your body weight within 24 hrs. Water is lost throughout the day so replenishing it throughout the day is the key to staying hydrated. So, it is not suggested to drink water in large quantities at one time.
Dehydration is a signal that you’re not getting enough water. Thirst is your body’s way of telling you that you’re dehydrated. So like mentioned above it is best to drink no more than 4 oz at a time several times a day. Other than thirst some symptoms of dehydration are: pain in joint/muscles, lower back pain, headaches, constipation, urine with strong odor and dark colored. If taking B vitamin supplements such as B Complex Vitamins, do not be alarmed if your urine is a bright yellow because the vitamin B known as riboflavin is known to change the color of urine.
Tip: Tap water  can be contaminated with pharmaceutical drugs/chemicals like: arsenic, asbestoses, fluorine, and phosphates.
Tip: Keeping a reusable water bottle with you can help to meet your personal daily requirements of water intake.
Tip: Drinking more water during warm weather can lessen the amount of perspiration. 

Blackbelt Gazette: Recipes For Healthful Shakes And Smoothies To Beat The Heat


My husband, a former collegiate football player, stands a little over six feet and 240 lbs. Let’s just say, to cook a big meal wasn’t an option, but a must in order to keep him happy. Yet, he would probably agree that eating a healthy, mainly plant based diet has allowed him to keep his playing weight of 300 lbs off permanently. 

As his appetite has slightly decreased, his tastes and food choices have changed tremendously- so much in fact that he requests simple juices, smoothies, or salads for dinner. Properly selected and balanced foods offer more benefits than genetically engineered, weight loss, and appetite suppressant supplements on the market.

Selecting local and/or organic foods give high quality nutrients and flavor that stave off hunger with protein and good fats.

Blueberry Smoothie
1 banana
1 cup blueberries
¼ cup silken tofu
¼ cup water
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground flax seed or 1 tsp flax oil
½ cup ice or less

Add water and fruit first then the remainder of ingredients. Don’t skip the cinnamon it enhances the sweetness of the fruit and is very faint.

Ginger Mango Smoothie
1 mango chopped
1 banana
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup water
1 tsp minced/grated ginger
2 tsp local honey
¼ cup ice

Peanut butter Power Smoothie
2 bananas
2 Tbsp non-hydrogenated peanut butter
1 cup strawberries, chopped or ¼ cup Welch’s grape juice
¼ cup tofu (opt)
¼ cup water
Ice

Add water and fruit then the remainder of ingredients



Chocolate Almond Shake
2 frozen ripe bananas (right before the banana begins to spot, peel and chop into pieces then freeze)
1 cup soy milk or more if needed
1/4-1/2 cup almonds
1 Tbsp cocoa powder

Add milk then all other ingredients and blend till smooth

Orange Mango Smoothie
1 orange
1/8 cup water
3-4 dates chopped
1/2 cup mango
1/4 cup Brazil nuts
1/2 tsp vanilla

Blend orange, water, and dates for 30 sec. or until dates are almost invisible. Add mango, vanilla, and Brazil nuts and blend until smooth with no lumps.

Yellow Bomb Smoothie
1 cup pineapple frozen or fresh
1 cup water
½ of yellow bell pepper diced
1 tsp ground flax seeds or chia seeds
¼ cup silken tofu
½ Tbsp agave (opt)

Blend fruit and water then add all other ingredients

Carrot Kale Juice
4 carrots
2 celery ribs
1 apple
2 stalks of kale

Strawberry Kiwi
2 cups strawberries, chopped
2 kiwis peeled
½ Tbsp unrefined sugar
Juice of ½ orange (opt)
Ice

Blend until smooth

Blackbelt Gazette: Try Gluten-Free Recipes For More Healthy Baked Goods


Gluten-free baked goods are as tasty as traditional. A few recipes to try:
Banana Bread
2 cups white rice flour (or replace ½ cup with buckwheat flour)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 cup grown flax seeds, soaked in double the amount warm water for 30 minutes
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup unrefined sugar
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup applesauce
½ cup water or non dairy milk
2-4 large bananas
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Coat bread pan with margarine and set aside. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Fold in bananas and mix well using your hands for a more even distribution. Pour batter into greased bread pan. Bake for an hour, until a toothpick comes out clean in center. Allow to cool, slice, and enjoy. This batter can also be used to make muffins.

Pancakes
1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp demerara sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp oil
1 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Enough oil to coat skillet
Opt: 1/8 cup chocolate chips
Directions:
Mix the dry ingredients together. Then mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl then add to the dry. Mix well. Heat skillet on medium-low Coat skillet with oil, pour desired amount for each cake size, and add a few chocolate chips to each cake. Cook for about 90 seconds then flip cakes over and cook on other side until done.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup oil
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 - 1 cup semi sweet or vegan chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat oven 350 degrees and lightly oil cookie sheet. Combine and whisk all the dry ingredients except the sugar very well. Then add sugar and mix thoroughly. In a small bowl, whisk wet ingredients. Add wet mixture to the dry and stir for about 1 minute until batter is the consistency of fluffy cookie dough. Add chocolate chips and mix well. Use a scooper to or small rounded spoon to scoop out dough.  Place ½ inch apart on cookie sheet. Add chocolate chips to cookies if needed. Bake for 15-17 minutes.

Hormonal Balance: The Root Cause Of My Adult Acne (Update 5/8/10 PM Week))


UPDATE!!! 5/8/10
I wanted to show the improvements in my skin. Slowly but surely the blemishes from using Maca ( unsuccessful in clearing my hormonal acne and gave me the worst acne I've ever experienced) are fading away but the scars are still evident. I have had no pimples, but a few blackheads did appear on the days that  I skipped supplements.

My PM week began on the second (so the cycle is more than like to start between the now and the 12th). I almost forgot until I felt light cramping, and the itching it get when my face begins to produce too much oil. Here are the photos. Now remember this would be the week that my skin becomes horrific. Notice the changes according to the past scarring from Maca-never experienced an outbreak like that in my life. Be weary of using Maca. 

Note: Hormonal acne is typically present around the jawline :( and poor digestion/intolerance is show around and under the chin :(      (I'm gluten intolerant and it's in almost everything)


Best Wishes!!! 
Will Update Next Month Or If Any Sudden Changes

5/26/10 Update Mid-Cycle (not pre-menstrual)

This comes as bitter sweet news. I am currently healing from 3 pimples after eating out :( Even when I avoid high glutinous foods and dairy while dining out I still get a few pimples). They sneak in there some kind of way.

Although I don't plan to use it long, I've cheated by using Ultra Glow to lighten up dark spots left from blemishes. I know I know, but I'm impatient :(

I have noticed that the more raw, non-fried, and low carbohydrates foods I eat the clearer my skin is as well as other benefits like no bloating. 

My skin is actually healing from dining out and I expect the same great results from last month during my PM cycle.

Oh yeah and I can't say this enough, WATER and green tea also helped eliminate toxins and nourish my skin.

Coconut!



All these years I thought I was allergic to coconut.  No matter how little coconut was present I would immediately feel sick. However, I had never eaten fresh coconuts nor drank fresh coconut water/milk.

On a whim, I purchased my first coconut and LOVED it. I believe the fresh coconut, rich in enzymes aided the digestion process.

I feel like a fat kid with a Twinkie :) , happy to find a new and highly versatile snack.

1. Coconut Water

I only sipped the floral flavored water rich in electrolytes, but concluded that it would be very refreshing to drink a glass (yes a glass approximately 7oz from one coconut) on a hot summer day.



2.Coconut Milk/ Cream

Coconut milk is made by simply blending coconut water with coconut meat then straining . The liquid will separate becoming part cream (white, semi-solid) and part milk (opaque liquid). You can drink immediately (adding sweetener if desired). These also serve as great frozen treats :)


3.Meat (Shredded, Dehydrated Chips, Powder)


I could have roughly chopped the meat and added it to the food processor to create shredded coconut. These can be either dried or eaten fresh. However, I used a mandolin slicer to create Coconut Chips by dehydrating them until crisp. The pulp left over from making coconut cream/milk was also dehydrated, and the results were a fine flour.


Papaya/ Mango Smoothie



Ingredients:
1/4 cup water
1 mango, diced
1 small papaya
1/4 cup ice (opt)

Directions:
Scoop out the flesh of the papaya. Add papaya, mango, and water and blend. Pour into glass and garnish with desired fruit.

Blackbelt Gazette: Snacks That Are Kid & Diabetic Friendly



(Genesis enjoying homemade, sugar-free Strawberry Popsicle)


Helping your children make healthy food choices can be difficult. We cannot deny that fried and fatty foods taste great. However, it should have proper place in our diet. Healthy food doesn’t have to taste HEALTHY, and it can provide the same comfort as tradition dishes and snacks.
Including children in food preparation and cooking will not only increase their knowledge of food and nutrition but build their self-esteem and assurance as they develop and master simple skills and goals such as measuring, cutting, mixing, and timing.
Ripened fruit is naturally and perfectly sweet on its own. So, it is not necessary to add refined sugar. Alternative sweeteners like agave nectar and maple syrup yield wonderful results. When combined with fiber rich foods, these will reduce the sugar rush, preventing the crash that follows.

Butter Bombs
Ingredients:
¼ cup dates
2- 3 Tbsp peanut butter/almond butter
1 tsp cocoa powder (opt)
Directions:
Begin to cut the date in half, but not completely. Mix peanut butter and cocoa powder with a fork. Spread butter inside date and close shut. Mmmmm Delicious!

Aromatic Peach Cobbler
1. Crust:
1 cup almonds processed to a flour/meal
1 cup dates

Add almond meal and dates to processor. Process 25-40 seconds until it's the consistency of a binding pie crust. Press 1/2 the crust into a pan and save the remainder for topping

2. Syrup
1/2 cup agave nectar (or Blended mixture of 4-6 chopped dates, 1/4 cup water, & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cardamom powder (opt)

Blend all

3. 1 lb peaches sliced

Finally: Add peaches to date syrup marinate for 1 minute. Then place peaches on top of pie crust. Add the remainder of crust on top. Chill for 1 hr or more if desire or eat immediately.

Chocolate mousse & Strawberries
Ingredients:
¼- 1/3 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 package extra firm silken tofu (like Mori-Nu)
Strawberries for dipping

Directions:
Blend agave/maple, vanilla, and cocoa until well incorporated. Crumble the tofu and add to blender and blend until smooth. Pour mousse into bowl and serve with strawberries as a fondu.

Strawberry Popsicles
These sugar free popsicles are free from additives and refined sugar.

Ingredients:
1 lb strawberries, chopped and tops removed
½ cup agave nectar
popsicle molder (or ice tray and toothpicks)

Directions:
Add agave then strawberries to blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into popsicle molder or ice tray and place toothpicks in the center. Freeze for 4 or more hours. 

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