Storing & Preparing Beans to Support Digestion

Lisa StoryConscious Eating

Beans are an excellent way to add high-quality, plant-based protein to your diet. They are high in iron, B vitamins and fiber, and quite versatile. Some folks have difficulty digesting beans. They may develop gas, bloating, or even experience irritability or unclear thinking.  Most often these issues arise when the beans have not been stored and prepared properly. Dry beans stay fresh longer when kept in a cool, dark place (rather than on the countertop).  It’s important to avoid using beans that are more than a year old, as their nutrient content and digestibility tend to be much lower. Old beans won’t soften, even with thorough cooking. Dried beans purchased in the bulk section are a budget-friendly addition to your … KEEP READING…

Good for You Grains

Lisa StoryConscious Eating

Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, millet, amaranth, barley, wild rice, wheat berries and buckwheat have been a central element to the human diet since early civilization and are an excellent source of nutrition. When grains are unrefined they contain essential enzymes, protein, complex carbohydrates, iron, dietary fiber, and vitamins. They provide sustained, high-quality energy and strengthen the body. Grains contain phytic acid which can interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients. To remove, soak grains for 1-12 hours. The longer they’re soaked the more nutritious and digestible they become. They’ll also cook more quickly.  After soaking grains, drain and rinse. The phytic acid will be washed away. Be sure to cook them in fresh water. To infuse … KEEP READING…

One of the Heathiest Fats: Coconut Oil!

Lisa StoryConscious Eating

Back in the 1950’s the coconut and its oil was incorrectly identified as an artery-clogging fat by a researcher in Minnesota.  Rats fed fully hydrogenated coconut oil experienced a dramatic rise in cholesterol levels. The notion that coconut oil is bad for our health began. Years later, Harvard scientists proved that it wasn’t the coconut oil that caused the rise in cholesterol, but the fact that the oil itself had been hydrogenated. Any hydrogenated oil is less than ideal for our health and causes a rise in LDL (bad) cholesterol.    Coconut oil is one of the oldest food plants on earth that’s known for nourishing the body, increasing strength, and promoting beautiful hair and skin.  Most interestingly, it decreases the … KEEP READING…

Probiotics & Fermented Foods: Are They Essential to Your Health?

Lisa StoryConscious Eating

You may be hearing a lot about fermented foods and gut bacteria these days.  It’s a hot topic and one that’s worthy of exploring. Consider that increasing the amount of good bacteria in your digestive tract is an important component to creating vitality and radiant health. There are two ways to accomplish this and both are effective. First, include at least one serving of fermented food each day.  This will help to create a healthy balance between good and bad gut flora. Secondly, take a high-quality probiotic daily.  However, it can be confusing to know which one to try out of the many that are available so I’ll come back to that in a moment. The many benefits of consuming healthy, probiotic … KEEP READING…