An alphabetical list of ingredients I love, and a few words about them

Chia Seeds
These poppy seed lookalikes are similar in nutritional content to flax, but you don’t have to grind them to unleash all their goodness.  High in Omega 3′s, they have a subtle and delicate texture, perfect for muffins, bars, oatmeal … just about anything.

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, yes.  And there is a huge movement of health practitioners and researchers that are overthrowing the misconception that “saturated fat” equals “bad.”  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition cited the following results from a meta-analysis evaluating the connection between saturated fats and cardiovascular disease: “Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD.”    

In addition to saturated/unsaturated, fats are categorized by the length of the fatty acids they contain. Coconut oil is made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).  This is rare and exciting.  MCTs are easily processed by the liver since they do not require bile salts to break down.  Since they are metabolized quickly and easily, coconut oil can help people to maintain a healthy weight.  LCTs (such as those found in olive oil) require bile salts to process and are more taxing on the system. Not striking olive oil off the list for it does have its merits, just pointing out that coconut oil also has an edge.

Coconut oil boosts immunity.  Around 50% of its fatty acid content is the rare and fantastic lauric acid.  The only other major source of this is breast milk!  The body converts Lauric acid to monolaurin which is antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, antiprotozoal.

Grassfed Beef
Grassfed beef is more nutritious than grain-fed (higher in omega 3′s, beta carotene & antioxidants) and I prefer the taste.  Eating grass as they were intended,cows have a cleaner digestive system (corn, soy, etc. does not move through the gut so easily in grain-fed cows).  This means E. coli does not stick around in their digestive tracts with the risk of being passed to the meat via the butcher’s knife.  Just a healthier, more sustainable choice.

Medjool dates
These are a divine treat that melt in your mouth, almost like a warm caramel.  Just one or two dried dates offers an instant “whole food” fix for a sweet tooth.  This nutrient-rich fruit has been around since ancient times – often reserved for royalty – and is now widely available if you’re willing to splurge a little.  Great for naturally sweetening desserts and smoothies!

Millet
Millet is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the only alkalizing grains, along with buckwheat and quinoa, which makes it easily digested.  It’s got a mild, slightly sweet & nutty taste (though sometimes slightly bitter) and it assimilates well with other grains in baked goods.  Those with thyroid issues should not consume it in large amounts since it contains substances that block the uptake of iodine to the thyroid.

Spelt
Spelt is an ancient species of wheat that has been around long before many other wheat hybrids.  It acts and tastes similar to wheat, but is a bit lower in gluten and higher in protein so it’s a nice, no-brainer alternative.

Umeboshi Vinegar
This is an exquisite seasoning for soups, stews & salad dressings.  It is bright and salty and made from a super healthy food – the salted umeboshi plum, which has been deemed the “King of Alkaline Foods.”