How to Make Fresh Almond Milk

February 21st, 2011

AlmondsThe Paleo Diet discourages the use of dairy including milk, butter, cream, yogurt, ice cream and cheese. Many people really get sidelined when trying to eliminate dairy and often fail to kick it out of their daily regimen even though all facts point to why dairy isn’t good for you.

Fresh raw almond milk is a delicious and healthy alternative to cow’s milk.  Its super easy to make and you get the benefit of fresh almond milk plus a nutty almond meal you can later use in smoothies, salads and vegetable toppings.

What You Will Need

1 pound (1/2 kilo) fresh raw almonds, preferably organic
A blender or food processor
A large bowl to strain into
A mesh bag or cheesecloth for first straining
A reusable fine wire mesh coffee cone or fine muslin bag for second straining
A half gallon or 2 liter refrigerator jug to keep it in
A few pinches of salt (optional)
Sweetener of your choice like honey, to taste (optional)

Steps to Make Fresh Almond Milk

Step 1: Place 1 cup of almonds in a jar or container large enough to comfortably hold the almonds and 4 cups of filtered water

Step 2: Add 4 cups of water to the container. Place it in the refrigerator and let it soak overnight.

Step 3: Put the water and almonds mixture in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Step 4: Strain the blended almonds through cheesecloth.

Step 5: Drink the almond milk as is or you could put over cereal or use it in a Paleo Diet Smoothie. Use the beverage as you would regular milk.

Tips and Suggestions

  • You can add a little vanilla extract and honey to the mixture while it blends.
  • Blend frozen fruit with the almonds and you can make fruit-flavored almond milk.
  • The almond milk will last in the refrigerator 3 to 5 days.
  • Save the blended almonds for other uses, like dressings or topping for steamed vegetables

Give this recipe a try and leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your other ideas and suggestions.

Why is the Paleo Diet Beneficial to Your Health?

February 19th, 2011

There are so many reasons why the Paleo Diet is beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing. The Paleo Diet is the oldest human diet on record and limits foods to only those that Paleolithic man ate. Or, more simply, if you can kill it with a spear or pick it off a tree, plant or bush, you can eat it. These foods are what our ancestors lived and thrived on and essentially what our bodies evolved to eat over millions of years. The Paleo Diet is also referred to as the “Caveman Diet”, the “Hunter Gatherer Diet”, the “Stone Age Diet” and more romantically by some as “the Garden of Eden Diet”.

Here are just a few great reasons to start incorporating the Paleo Diet into your life:

  • Increases intake of branched chain amino acids (BCAA). This benefits muscle development and overall anabolic function of your body.
  • Decreases the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio. It has been estimated that the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet of early humans was 1:1, but the ratio in the typical western diet is now almost 10:1 due to increased use of vegetable oils rich in linoleic acid as well as reduced fish consumption. Increasing the relative abundance of Omega 3 fatty acids may have positive health benefits.
  • Reduces tissue inflammation while promoting healing. This may include asthmatic conditions common in athletes.
  • Lowers body acidity. Reduces the catabolic effect of acidosis on bone and muscle while stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Acidosis is one of the main causes of low bone density. This is increasingly important with aging.
  • Is high in trace nutrients. Vitamins and minerals are necessary for optimal health and long term recovery from exercise. The most nutrient dense foods are vegetables and seafood. On average, vegetables have nearly twice the nutrient density of grains.

Here are additional positive effects on your body:

  • Leads to weight loss/control
  • Lessens the risk of diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, anti-immune diseases, and colorectal cancer
  • Prevents myopia, acne, and depression
  • Stops diseases relative to vitamin and mineral deficiency

Why Drink a Protein Shake Before Bed?

February 17th, 2011

Egg WhitesEating right before bed has always been a no-no when it comes to losing weight. Downing a few hundred high-glycemic calories right before hitting the sack is a recipe for a sure insulin response nightmare. All those carbohydrates ingested are quickly converted to sugar and your body’s response is to flood your bloodstream with insulin in an attempt to lower your blood sugar levels. Where do the sugars go? Yes, you guessed it, right to your thighs in the form of fat.

But, not all foods right before bed are necessarily bad for you. In fact, eating protein right before bed has been a practice of elite level bodybuilders for decades. If you don’t put protein into your body before you go to bed, your body will run out of protein about 2 am. Once your body digests all of its available protein, your body thinks it is starving itself. To protect you, your body shuts down and starts storing fat cells. The sugar in your blood still needs protein to keep you going, so it starts consuming the only protein source available, your own muscle mass. Basically, you are storing fat and eating muscle.

By drinking a high protein smoothie with liquid egg whites just before you go to bed, the added protein will support muscle growth for up to 4 to 5 hours. Now the process is reversed for most of your sleep time. Rather than storing fat and eating muscle, the time-release protein from the egg whites, allows your body to burn the fat at its normal rate while building muscle. One 8-ounce cup of liquid egg whites supplies 26 grams of pure 100% bio-available protein, with only 2 carbohydrates, zero fat, zero cholesterol and only 120 calories.

By eating protein right before bed, you will get a better night sleep and wake up more alert and less hungry in the morning.

Coconut Almond Protein Smoothie Recipe

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup (8 oz) raw pasteurized egg whites

2 tablespoons almond butter

5 ice cubes

Blend for 1 min and serve just before bed