It’s the season of harvests and autumn and the holidays are just around the corner so get ready to get baking! Baked goods can be heathy and nutritious if whole and heathy foods are used in recipes. Blue Mountain Organics has the goods-- pure, simple, real food, with optimal nutrition.
Baking with whole food sprouted grain, seed, bean and nut flours
Grains, seeds, nuts and beans
One thing that grains, nuts, seeds and beans have in common is a seed coating. Plants like all living things have special qualities that help them survive long enough to reproduce. Seed coats evolved to sprout and grow even after going through the gut of a hungry, munching creature. Natural compounds in the seed coat like gluten, lectins, enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid guard the outside, while locking in important nutrients for future plant growth. So it’s no surprise that these compounds, handy as they are for plant survival, also prevent us from digesting the stored nutrients within, and may even be harmful if ingested in large amounts.
Tout’ n the Sprout ‘n
Sprouting initiates a chemical change that unlocks nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese and proteins to name a few. For thousands of years, humans have counted on grains and seeds for a large part of their diet, using processes like soaking, sprouting and fermenting to reduce harmful elements and gain better nutrition. But today, modern conveniences and commercial processing have almost eliminated these practices from our food production. Meanwhile, modern science confirms the wisdom of older methods, suggesting that the disappearance of soaking and other practices might be a cause of modern micronutrient deficiencies.
Blue Mountain Organics carefully follows recommended soaking and sprouting processes to maximize the bioavailability of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in grains, beans, nuts, and seeds yielding super-flavorful, and easy-to-digest foods. Our dehydrating technique locks freshness and nutrition into those grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, bringing intense flavor and desirable texture. Plus, we stone-grind our flours producing flours bursting with fantastic taste and vitality.
Blue Mountain Organics offers a wide variety of flours for baking.
For naturally gluten free baking:
- Spouted Buckwheat Flour
- Sprouted Amaranth Flour
- Sprouted Millet Flour
- Sprouted Brown Rice Flour
- Sprouted Quinoa Flour
- Sprouted Black Bean Flour
- Sprouted Garbanzo Bean Flour
- Sprouted Red Lentil Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Almond Meal
Plus many nuts, seeds and dried fruits, perfect for baking
- Sprouted Spelt Flour
- Sprouted Kumut Flour
- Sprouted Oat Flour
- Sprouted Rye Flour
Pros and Cons of The Ketogenic Diet
What is Keto?
The ketogenic diet aims to cut carbs and cause a state called ketosis. During ketosis, the body burns fat, not sugars, for energy. Advocates of the diet say this promotes weight loss and better overall health. The standard keto diet is made up of 75% fat, 20% protein, and measly 5% carbs. This teeny carb allowance means excluding grains, beans, legumes, fruit (except berries), alcohol, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and refined oils. What’s left? Meat, eggs, full-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, unrefined oils (like coconut oil), non-starchy vegetables, herbs and spices, and (just ask Instagram) a lot of avocados.
A 2004 study compared the effects of low-fat and low-carb (ketogenic) diets on 150 obese adults. Not only were the folks on the keto diet 20% more likely to stick to the diet, they lost nearly twice as much weight as the people on the low-fat diet-- on average, almost a pound a week over a 24-week period. The keto folks also ended up with more HDL (good) cholesterol and fewer triglycerides in their blood, factors that reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
No Counting Calories
Another study compared weight loss on a high-protein/low-carb diet (keto) and moderate-carb/high-protein diet (closer to the Standard American Diet), along with the number of calories people on each diet ate each day. Neither diet locked the participants into a certain calorie count. The keto group not only lost more weight, they consumed fewer calories on average. And they felt less hungry. Fats can really fill you up!
Not Much Research
Sure, lots of studies have been done on the ketogenic diet. But it was created to help fight childhood epilepsy, so most of these studies are about the diet’s success at preventing seizures in children. Keto for weight loss isn’t nearly as well-tested.
Not Sure About Long-Term Effects
Long-term, the keto diet has only been proven to help with… you guessed it… epilepsy. Effectively giving up entire food groups long-term is not only tough to stick with, it can cause nutrient deficiencies. Doctors who prescribe the keto diet to epileptic kids worry in particular about deficits in fiber, vitamin K, vitamin D, and all essential minerals except chromium. Even if the diet helps you lose weight, don’t take for granted that you’re getting all the nutrients you need! Micronutrient deficiencies increase your risk of a range of health problems, including cancer and heart failure.
What About The Environment?
It’s not impossible to be vegetarian or even vegan on the keto diet, but since fat and protein are key, the list of keto foods certainly skews toward meat. Resource-wise, a meat-based diet is more demanding, requiring more land and water than a plant-based one. By weight, meat’s carbon footprint is also larger by far than that of fruits, veggies, grains, and sweets.
Keto-Friendly Products from Blue Mountain Organics
If you decide to try keto, you can’t go wrong with these!
My Nutty Mylk
Nuts and seeds
Nut and seed butters
Coconut flour, butter, and oil
Cacao nibs, powder, and butter
Extra-virgin olive oil
Egg white protein
Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
It’s hard to say. The term doesn’t refer to one specific diet, but to a range of ways to restrict the window of time in which you eat. Some say this is in order to give your body time to repair cells without bombarding those cells with new protein. Others say it lets your body start burning fat instead of freshly supplied glucose from food. And there’s no set window of restriction, either. Some people alternate days of complete fasting and eating normally. Others do all their daily eating in a span of just a few hours. Still others eat normally on weekdays and fast on weekends. When you do eat, what do you eat? All this is up to you!
A 2003 study showed that intermittent fasting helped neurons resist excitotoxic stress, which is a type of neuron death associated with Alzheimer’s and epilepsy. One little caveat: the study was done on mice, not people!
Positive Effect on Blood Sugar
Some studies suggest that intermittent fasting decreases blood sugar and insulin in obese people. For average-weight and thin people, the results weren’t quite as promising.
Positive Effect on Cholesterol
Again, though, the results were split by weight. A study done on obese people showed a decrease in overall blood cholesterol, but another study on average-weight people showed an increase. A study of Ramadan fasters not controlled for weight showed an increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol and also a decrease in homocysteine, a risk factor for heart disease. So
Weight Loss For Some
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting-- most often the type tested alternates moderate calorie restriction days with severe calorie restriction days-- promotes weight loss in obese people at least as well as does moderate daily calorie restriction. Studies of overweight (not obese) people who ate only before sunrise and after sunset during Ramadan and restricted themselves to 2000 calories a day also saw a decrease in body weight and BMI. For non-overweight folks, data on weight loss with intermittent fasting is sparse. This is probably because they shouldn’t be trying to lose weight anyway!
What About Calorie Restriction?
This isn’t really a drawback, just something to consider: not all intermittent fasting plans are created equal! Of course, you have to decide the length of your fasts. But there’s another important part of the plan to think about: are you going to restrict calories? During “fasting” times, will you restrict yourself to 500 calories a day, or 15% of your usual caloric intake, or maybe no food at all? During “non-fasting times,” will you still limit the number of calories that you eat so you don’t overcompensate for your fasts, or will you eat as much as you want? Findings so far make sense: without a net decrease in calories consumed, weight loss is less likely.
If you’re compressing the time frame during which you eat-- even if you eat as many calories overall as usual-- you’re less likely to feel full. So, which type of person are you: does hunger make you feel more alert, do you get confused and hangry, or do you fall somewhere in between?
Maybe Not a Good Idea If You’re Skinny
There’s not much research about the effects of intermittent fasting on normal-weight or thin people. One study compared a standard diet with alternate-day fasting for thin men and found no change in body weight, blood sugar, or metabolism. Another observed normal-weight adults who ate all their daily calories in one meal. They lost fat mass and had lower levels of cortisol, a hormone linked to stress, but their blood pressure and overall cholesterol increased, and so did their hunger.
What You Eat Is Important
If you eat a bunch of junk food anytime you’re not fasting, why make an effort toward better health in the first place? Maybe you decide to try intermittent fasting and see how you feel. Good! But first, make sure you’re eating a healthy foods, which most nutritionists agree means reaching for fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds more often than processed foods.
Paleo Diet Pros and Cons
The Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet tries to exclude foods that humans wouldn’t have eaten during the Paleolithic, or hunter-gatherer, era. That was before people farmed most of their food, so the diet bans foods that our ancestors would not have hunted or gathered: grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods, refined oils, and alcohol. What’s left? Meat (preferably grass-fed), seafood, fresh vegetables (limiting starchy ones like potatoes), fresh fruits, eggs, nuts and seeds, unrefined oils, and moderate amounts of unrefined sweeteners (like lucuma powder or raw honey). Advocates of the diet say that these are the foods our stomachs are best equipped to digest-- and that like our hunter-gatherer ancestors, we’re meant to be eating only these foods for optimal health.
Weight Loss, At Least Short-Term
The Paleo diet wasn’t created as a weight-loss program-- it’s more about overall health than quickly shedding pounds. Some studies have shown promise for liver fat loss and short-term weight loss, but less for long-term.
Better Insulin Sensitivity
Studies have put both type 2 diabetics and healthy people on the Paleo diet for a short time (3 months for the diabetics and 20 days for the healthy people). The diabetics saw better blood sugar control than they had on a “diabetic diet,” and the healthy people had increased insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.
Better Lipid Profile
In two studies involving healthy sedentary adults and adults with high cholesterol, overall blood lipid profiles-- which measure cholesterol and triglycerides, among other things-- improved on the Paleo diet.
Watch Your Vitamin D And Calcium
Vitamin D and calcium are essential for bone strength, and they work together: vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Unfortunately, a lot of Americans don’t get enough of either nutrient, which increases risk of osteoporosis. And several common sources of vitamin D and calcium aren’t allowed on the Paleo diet. In the United States, cow’s milk, some soy milk, and many cereals and oatmeal are fortified with vitamin D. But the Paleo diet excludes dairy, beans, and grains, so Paleo eaters can’t count on those fortified foods for their daily value. Paleo-friendly sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, mushrooms, beef liver, and several types of seafood. The most well-known sources of calcium are also dairy products. If you’re giving up dairy for the Paleo diet, make sure to find other sources, like greens and certain fish.
Tough On a Budget
Since the Paleo diet excludes some of the cheapest nutritious foods, like beans and grains, it can be hard to get the nutrients you need from Paleo foods on a tight budget. One study manipulated the Thrifty Food Plan, created by the USDA to give low-income consumers ideas for nutritionally complete meals. The researchers changed it to fit the Paleo diet, then calculated the cost. To get your recommended daily value of all essential nutrients (except calcium), you have to pay about 9% more than for the standard Thrifty Food Plan. And if you’re buying only grass-fed meat, since Stone Age animals wouldn’t have eaten human-farmed grain, the price goes up.
Paleo-Friendly Products from Blue Mountain Organics
If you decide to incorporate more Paleo-friendly foods into your diet, here are some good ideas!
My Nutty Mylk
Nuts and seeds
Nut and seed butters (except peanut butter)
Superfoods: lucuma, spirulina, and camu camu powders
Havit Raw Almond Herb Sandwich Squares
Coconut flour, butter, and oil
Cacao nibs, powder, and butter
Extra-virgin olive oil
Egg white protein