Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Good News From the Doctor’s Office…and a Cheesecake of Sorts!

My dad is at that age where it is suggested you get a colonoscopy every five years or so. He just recently had his second colonoscopy, nearly six years after his first. When the doctor came in to give him the results, the doctor was, as my dad describes him, giddy and joyful in proclaiming that my dad’s colon looks better now than it did years ago. Literally the tissue of the colon is in better shape than it was nearly six years ago. (I will spare you the pictures, but trust me, it is a fine looking colon!) The doctor said that he hardly ever gets to tell someone that they are in better shape than they were previously. He asked what my dad was doing different and told him to keep up the good work and that he could wait another seven to ten years before coming back. That is amazing!

In the last six years my family has made significant changes in the way we eat. My dad still eats out more than I do and still has a few old loves that he eats in moderation, but for the most part, he has made the same changes that my mom and I have made. We buy fresh, whole, organic fruits and vegetables, organic grass-fed beef, free roaming chicken, wild-caught Alaskan fish, and Beyond Organic dairy. This recent visit to the doctor is proof positive that choosing these foods over the processed, man-made foods so prevalent in our society really does make a difference from the inside out.

In discussing the changes we’ve made as a family, we remembered that we had Garden of Life Raw Fiber in the pantry.

We bought this for my dad, but he hasn’t really needed it since we’ve been eating so healthy. Not that we need the extra fiber, but we had it in there so we decided to use it by stirring a scoop into Raspberry Amasai with breakfast one morning. At the first taste I immediately thought: cheesecake with graham cracker crust. Yes! You read that correctly…cheesecake with graham cracker crust. Raw Fiber is made of ground flax, chia, sunflower seed sprout, amaranth sprout, quinoa sprout, sesame sprout, millet sprout, buckwheat sprout, lentil sprout, garbanzo bean sprout, adzuki bean sprout, and sesame seed sprout. There is nothing artificial about this product and all of these things ground together and stirred into amasai tastes like cheesecake with graham cracker crust. Very satisfying!

Why is Beyond Organic Amasai a better choice than yogurt, kefir or in this case cream cheese?

The Cattle – In researching the genetic traits of specific breeds of cattle, Jordan Rubin found a breed that carried a genetic trait that made their milk protein more digestible. Following that finding, he meticulously tested every cow he intended to purchase and only bought ones that carried this genetic trait.

I am a living testament to the digestibility of Beyond Organic Amasai. I’ve never been able to consume dairy without experiencing tummy aches and digestive distress, but with Beyond Organic Amasai, I have experienced no issues and I enjoy it and look forward to incorporating it into my meals and snacks.

What the Cattle Eat – Great milk comes from great pastures. Beyond Organic has spent years getting the pastures ready, from planting to irrigation to growing. Because the cows are only allowed to feed on the grasses, herbs, legumes and forbs growing out of the ground, there has been a great emphasis placed on soil regeneration—naturally. This means NEVER using pesticides, herbicides or fungicides on the certified organic land and NEVER using chemical medicines such as antibiotics or hormones on the animals.

The Fat – Early feedback from Amasai fans says that people are surprised by two things: how much they crave Amasai and how much it satiates their appetite. This is due to the fact that Amasai is a “true whole milk” cultured dairy beverage. The fat from GreenFed cattle is not good fat—it’s GREAT fat. Beyond Organic never skims the fat from the milk that Beyond Organic cows produce.

The Culturing Process – Unlike every other cultured dairy product available for sale, Amasai uses over 30 probiotic organisms to culture the milk. This leads to a more diverse set of beneficial bacteria that help provide you the abundant health you crave.

Bottom line—you can’t put a price on your health. That is why I’m living Beyond Organic, and hope you will too.

After our breakfast treat we decided to try this new “cheesecake” with Beyond Organic Chocolate chopped up on top for dessert one night. This is so delicious you have to try it! What are you waiting for? Order some amasai and chocolate and start living Beyond Organic!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Diary of a Half Marathon Day

3:54 a.m. Eyes pop open, wide awake and excited about the run.

4:30 a.m. Bible reading and scripture review so that my mind was armed with the Word during the run.

5:45 a.m. Granny Smith apple and almond butter sandwich.

6:35 a.m. Driving to the beach with the temperature gauge reading 30 degrees!

7:20 a.m. Jogging in place while trying to stay warm at the start line.

7:30 a.m. The National Anthem is sung, the horn blows and we are off…

Starting out I had 2 goals in view: keep running and beat my last half marathon time. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the temperature warmed up a little and the run was along the coast…I was amazed and thrilled at the beautiful day the Lord had prepared for the run. Plus, I saw so many friends – old and new, former classmates who I’d not seen since high school, and family members. It was a great way to start the day!

8:30 a.m. Half-way through the run, having a great conversational jog with my cousin who I ran into (no pun intended), looking out at the sun glistening on the water and praising God for the glorious day, the sweet community of runners and the strength to do this thing!

9:32 a.m. Crossing the finish line at 2 hours 2 minutes 27 seconds…3 minutes and 17 seconds faster than my last half.

9:35 a.m. Feeling refreshed after drinking an entire bottle of Raspberry Lemonade SueroViv

10:30 a.m. In the car after a time of chatting with all of those friends and family members I mentioned above.

10:45 a.m. Stopping off at the health food store for a few items before heading home.

12:00 p.m. Showered and ready for lunch!

1:00 p.m. Spinach, watercress, raspberry, blueberry, and pear salad; sautéed brussel sprouts, mushrooms and onions; broiled grass-fed filet mignon.

2:30 p.m. A movie and chocolate pudding made with avocados and dates – great sources of potassium.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon resting and stretching. Shakira said it best: Hips Don’t Lie…and mine were telling me that I had RUN!

I skipped a post-run afternoon nap, but turned in early at 9:30 p.m. for the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a very long time!

Looking back over the day and the run, I’m so thankful to God for community and people and opportunities to connect with others and encourage one another. I would have been so very excited to finish the race in less than 2 hours, but God had other plans for me. He gave me an opportunity to slow down just a little and spend time with friends and family and just enjoy the beauty of His creation.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Half Marathon #2 and The “Suero Effect”

I’m less than 24 hours away from running my second half marathon and I am thrilled about this one! It is going to be cold, cold, COLD in Florida…30-something degrees at race start time. My last half marathon was challenging because of the hills, this one will be challenging because of the COLD weather…did I mention it is going to be COLD?! Thanks to my mom and dad, who gave me some really cute and warm running gear from Lulu Lemon for Christmas, I am fully prepared for the cold and hoping to improve my running time just a little.

In preparation for the run, I’ve been loading up on fresh organic fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and proteins all week, drinking plenty of water and my new favorite hydrator: Raspberry Lemonade SueroViv.

Whenever I feel like I need a little burst of energy, whether I’ve been cleaning the house, working out or am just feeling the afternoon “sleepies” coming on (which is happening a lot this week thanks to my new nanny job, but that is a post for another time!), SueroViv has become my number one choice for a little boost. Even just a few sips in a juice-size glass will really perk me up.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who is LOVING SueroViv and experiencing the many benefits from drinking it regularly…I couldn’t have said it better myself, so here is the latest news from the Beyond Organic Ranch on The “Suero Effect”:

The benefits of SueroViv are no accident. Most of the testimonials about SueroViv start “I don’t know why SueroViv works…but I love it.” Here are the three biggest reasons we believe SueroViv should be your go to performance beverage:

1. Cultured Whey – This truly “super” beverage is loaded with nutrition in the form of electrolytes and B vitamins. People have commented on the completely “replenished” feeling SueroViv provides after a long day or exhausting workout.

2. Probiotics – SueroViv is cultured using beneficial microorganisms that create enzymes and organic acids.

3. Essential Oils – The life essence of plants, essential oils contain concentrated antioxidants and beneficial compounds and have been considered to be more valuable than precious metals and gem stones as a means of currency in biblical times. Essential oils are celebrated the world over as a topical and oral health boost. SueroViv is the only beverage we know of containing powerful organic essential oils in every sip.

SueroViv, meaning “whey of life”, is an excellent “sports drink” because it begins with whey from GreenFed organically produced milk, that has naturally occurring sodium, potassium, B vitamins, calcium and other key nutrients. The whey is combined with Reign Supreme Mountain Spring Water, honey (a proven sports performance enhancer), and organic juices and essential oils.

Because I’m not a fan of overly sweet things, I find SueroViv to be a perfect balance of sweet and tart. SueroViv comes in five flavors – Citrus, Orange Cinnamon, Raspberry Lemonade, Green and Gold.

I’ll be sure to have a bottle of Raspberry Lemonade waiting at the finish line on Saturday morning!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Power Breakfast

This breakfast was so very delicious and nutritious that I had to have it two mornings in a row! The raspberries and pears pack in great fiber and are wonderful for hydrating the body first thing in the morning.

The organic eggs from pastured chickens are considered a perfect protein because they each contain 6 grams of protein; the 8 essential amino acids for building and maintaining muscles, bones, and vital organs; vitamin B12; vitamin E; calcium; zinc; iron and many other essential nutrients. And surprisingly, most of these nutrients are found in the yolk.

The real piece de resistance of this meal is the cheesy cauliflower made with Beyond Organic Really Raw Havarti Cheese. I made my usual cauliflower puree by lightly cooking the cauliflower then tossing it in a Vitamix/blender with ½ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a little Celtic Sea Salt. Then, I added a new ingredient…the Really Raw Havarti Cheese from Beyond Organic…

and pureed it until smooth. It was the perfect addition to eggs for breakfast. Cauliflower is one of the top foods when it comes to nutrition and then adding the really raw cheese increased my intake of healthy fats and proteins.

Really Raw Cheese is never heated above the body temperature of the cow. This low temperature processing protects the natural enzymes and probiotics from being destroyed. I have never been a big fan of cheese until now. In the past I had very little tolerance for dairy products (just the thought of it would make my stomach ache), especially cheese, but the breed of cattle, pasture feeding of the cattle, and Olde World production of Really Raw Cheese creates a very nutritious and highly tolerable product. I even enjoy eating the Havarti or Cheddar with raw veggies as a snack.

Seriously, this is SO GOOD and with 7 grams of protein in 1 ounce of cheese, you really must give it a try!

Beyond Organic Really Raw Cheese

Friday, January 6, 2012

Amasai and Sweetly Delicious Cinnamon Rolls

Amasai: A cultured dairy product, from green-fed and green-finished humanely raised cattle, created with low-temperature pasteurization that allows the natural probiotics, enzymes, fats and proteins to remain intact. Amasai is loaded with probiotics, a healthy balance of fats and proteins, and vitamins A, D, K and E.

In contrast, traditional yogurt and dairy products found at the local grocery store are produced with milk from cows that are not green-fed and green-finished and are produced with high-temperature pasteurization that kills off the beneficial probiotics and digestive enzymes necessary for proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

Similar to yogurt, but in a drinkable form, Beyond Organic Amasai is available in three flavors: Plain, Milk and Honey, and Raspberry. I’ve tried them all and am incredibly pleased with the taste and many uses for each flavor.

Amasai can be used in smoothies, just add frozen fruit and a little honey if you need a sweeter flavor. I love to blend a cup of Raspberry Amasai with ½ cup of frozen strawberries for a thick, icy treat! Another favorite way to have Raspberry Amasai is to put it in the freezer for a bit to let it thicken up and then eat it with a spoon. It becomes similar to a soft-serve ice cream. I don’t like anything too sweet, but if it is too tart, you can always stir in a little honey.

The Plain Amasai has been a big hit with my nephew as a replacement for buttermilk in his favorite cornbread. Plain or Milk and Honey Amasai is also a great substitute for typical dairy in pancakes.

I have several other interesting ideas to try in the coming days, weeks and months for how to incorporate Amasai into other recipes and meals. Of course sticking to the smoothie and frozen amasai ideas pack the most nutritional punch, but here is a great cinnamon roll recipe that incorporates a little amasai. This has been a tremendous success in terms of taste and texture around my house and I hope you will give it a try and enjoy it too!

Cinnamon Rolls

Dough Ingredients
3 cups almond flour
4 Tablespoons flax meal
½ cup sucanat sugar
1 ¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup flax meal combined with ¼ cup slightly warmed Plain or Milk and Honey Amasai
3 large eggs

Filling Ingredients
1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
½ cup sucanat sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare bottom of an 8 x8 glass or stainless steel baking pan by melting 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil and stirring in 1 Tablespoon of sucanat sugar.

In a bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients for dough. Add flax/Amasai mixture and eggs. Mix well.

Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter and turn dough out onto parchment paper. Press dough into a rectangle about ½” to 1” thick. Spread filling ingredients over the dough. Begin with melted coconut oil (save just a little oil to brush over the tops of cinnamon rolls once in the pan), then sucanat sugar, then cinnamon.

Start at one end and roll the dough. Using a sharp knife, cut the rolls about 1” to 2” thick. Place the rolls side by side in the prepared pan.

Brush tops with reserved coconut oil. Bake for about 25 minutes. Check for browning. If the rolls are getting too brown, cover with tinfoil and bake 5-10 minutes more.

Remove from the oven and let stand for 30 minutes before serving. These are so sweet and moist that I didn’t need any extra “frosting”, but you could add one if you must. They keep in a sealed container at room temperature, although they are so delicious that I’m not sure how they would last more than a day! They are great to make the night before and have for breakfast the next day or to freeze for a later date.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Why I’m Living Beyond Organic in 2012

If you’ve read my previous blog, Learning to Breathe, you may be aware of some of the health issues I faced and my struggles to reclaim good health. In my mid-twenties I became anemic, began to have more severe digestive issues and my once clear skin became so covered with acne that the dermatologist gave me no hope of coming out of it without deep scarring. Month after month and year after year, I searched and read every book, article, blog, etc. that might offer some hope and information on how to heal my body. I cried out to God in the midst of the trial and He upheld me and led me through a process of gaining knowledge, wisdom, insight and ultimately great health.

One major turning point for me was learning of Jordan Rubin’s health crisis and how he overcame medically incurable diseases by following a Biblically-based health plan. As I read through The Maker’s Diet and The Great Physician’s Rx, I began to improve upon my diet in ANY way that I saw was lacking. Although I already ate organic produce, I upped the ante by striving for more than 10 different fruits and veggies a day, loading up on wild-caught fish like salmon and halibut, eating organic pastured chicken, searching for and eating more grass-fed beef (even if it meant stocking up while taking trips to the nearest Whole Foods more than 200 miles away). In addition to seeking out the most nutrient dense foods, I began to take probiotic supplements before every meal and added sauerkraut as a side to most meals.

As I added in probiotics I saw a tremendous leap in my overall health. In his books, Jordan talks of overcoming his health crisis by consuming large quantities of raw or cultured dairy products (loaded with probiotics). This was the one thing I found the most difficult to do. I have never tolerated dairy very well and after being as sick as I was, and knowing what I know about the hormones, antibiotics and general mistreatment of animals raised for dairy and beef, I was staying away from conventional and skeptical at best to try the organic products available in my area. I knew that organic dairy may not also be grass-fed and I wanted the best products for optimal health, I couldn’t afford any more setbacks. I was ready to be healed, healthy and moving on.

Last spring, I heard about Beyond Organic, a new company founded by Jordan Rubin that would be offering probiotic-rich dairy, grass-fed and finished beef, spring water and dark chocolate. Beyond Organic is committed to going beyond organic standards in humanely and Biblically raising cattle and caring for our natural resources. When I learned of this company, I knew I had to be involved and became an Independent Mission Marketer for Beyond Organic. I had already been on a journey of changing my diet and changing my life and God had literally stopped my work, focused my attention on His plans and purposes for my life and I was ready to see His glory revealed in my healing by telling others and sharing with them how they too can overcome health issues or better yet, do their best to avoid ever going through a trial similar to mine.

Stay tuned for more information in upcoming posts about why I’m living Beyond Organic in 2012 and how you can too! I will be sharing much more information about each product and recipes as I incorporate them into my life. But, if you just can’t wait to learn more about it, click My Beyond Organic to check out my website or leave a comment/contact me with any questions.


• GreenFed and GreenFinished Cattle

• Pesticide/Herbicide/Fungicide/Chemical Fertilizer-Free Grazing Lands

• No Antibiotics – No Hormones – No Vaccines

• Proper Stewardship of God’s Creation: Kindness and Respect toward Animals and Sustainable Land and Soil Management

• No GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)

• Olde World Production Methods to Enhance Health Benefits

• “Fair Made” Ethical Business Practices

• Biblically Based Processing Methods (Deuteronomy 12)

• Pursuit of Quality and Safety in Finished Products

Join me on my journey and Live Beyond Organic! Next up: Amasai

Monday, January 2, 2012

Reading for the New Year

I’m so grateful to be beginning a new year and looking forward to all of the wonderful blessings to come in 2012. In preparation for this year, I cannot help but to reflect on the books I read in 2011 that stand out as having made a major impact in my life over the last twelve months. Here are some of my favorites…

The Great Physicians Rx
by Jordan Rubin

This book contains a wealth of information for personal health including areas of diet, fitness, hygiene, emotional, and spiritual well-being. In it Jordan describes how he overcame a personal health crisis and ways we can improve or maintain our own personal health.

I’m currently reading Jordan’s new book: Live Beyond Organic .

It is a highly motivating and inspiring book filled with the most up-to-date information for maintaining a truly healthy lifestyle. In my reading thus far, Jordan seems to cut to the chase and give you the meat of the information in a clear and positive way that is encouraging and instructive on how to truly change your diet and life. Click the highlighted link above to purchase and search the website for other great nutritional products…and expect a post very soon about the wonderful Beyond Organic foods I’ve been enjoying over the last several weeks!

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
by Ann Voskamp

I have quoted Ann several times on my blog and cannot even begin to express just how much reading her book has touched my life. I was so encouraged to trust God, believe that all things DO work together for the good of those who love God and who are called according to His purpose, and look closely to see God’s abundant blessings in the most simple things…to change my perspective, to open my hands and receive what He gives, it is ok to lament in a Biblical way, and it is essential to praise God in and through and for all things. After reading Ann’s book I began to keep a gratitude journal that has awakened me to the abundant blessings day in and day out that God so graciously lavishes upon me.

God’s Threshing Floor: Moving from Fruitful to Useful!
by Nelson Hannah

When I first heard about this book, I knew immediately that it was a MUST READ! It scared me a little at first because the threshing floor is where the grain is separated from the chaff and I wasn’t sure just how much more “threshing” I wanted to endure. It turned out to be a time of mostly reflecting on difficult, stress-filled, uncertain times where I can look back and say, “oh, that is what God was doing there” or “I see how I was ignorant or disobedient or in need of refinement and God was working through that to bring me to a more abundant place”. I think it has also prepared me for future times of threshing that will most surely come. In this book, Nelson Hannah goes through the threshing floors of the Bible and explains how God uses circumstances to separate, refine and make us ready to be useful in His kingdom, just as grain must go through a separating, refining and baking process to become bread that is nourishing.

Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive
by John Eldridge

This book captivated me from the very first page. I literally could not put it down and read it in a couple of days. I devoured it. It became so very personal to me. John Eldridge has a way of taking familiar fairy tales and stories and making correlations to our lives, our hopes, our fears and our relationships with others and with God. This book is a very real wakeup call to the fierce spiritual battle we are in, the importance of staying connected to others who share our faith, and the power of prayer.

Living Beyond Yourself
by Beth Moore

Ok, so technically this is a Bible study workbook, but y’all it is SO GOOD! I loved every week of this study on the fruit of the spirit:

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galations 5:22-23

I did this study with a group of girl friends and SO enjoyed every second of my at home study and our time of discussion each week. Beth Moore Bible studies are amazing, so if you’ve never done one, I highly recommend one!

Gripped by the Greatness of God
by James McDonald

This is another Bible study workbook, but again, so very good! The study focuses on the book of Isaiah and how awesome our God truly is. James McDonald points to several times in his own life where he was gripped by God’s provision, care, healing and direction and encourages the reader to seek a relationship with God above all, believe in the power of prayer, and to trust God’s sovereignty in and for all things.

If you are looking for a good read, I hope you will check out any of the books I’ve mentioned here.

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!