Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review of Coconut, Almond and Soy Milk

As a CaveGirl who lives in a busy city, coffee is a big part of my life. I would consider it one of my passions. It's the reason that I go to bed at night, the reason that I wake up in the morning, and the reason I was successful in University.

As I began my Paleo journey, my main concern was "Will I be able to drink coffee"?

The answer is yes.

Not only can you drink coffee, but you can explore new coffee creations that you might not have thought of otherwise!

I will review three milk-substitutes and score them on based on taste, availability, and affordability. I will also post a recipe for a luxurious Cinnamon-clove Coconut Latte.

Coconut Milk
Taste: 4/5
Affordability: 3/5
Availability: 4/5

Coconut milk is really big in Paleo recipes. I used to drink coconut water as a hangover cure and then I realized you can also buy coconut milk in most grocery stores. The brand that I buy is Coconut Dream. I usually just buy the small tetra pack containers because I only use it for coffee. But if you use it in recipes like curry, then it might be worth it to buy the bigger size. That's what I have displayed here. To be honest it's a better value. 

Price: $4.49 - Sale $2.25
Available Stores: Supervalu, Whole foods, IGA Marketplace, Safeway, London Drugs, Saveon Foods

Coconut milk has the lowest carbohydrate content of the three. It appears to have the highest fat content, 5g/240mL, but if you have not already discovered, fat is a good thing. It's protein is quite low and calories are low as well. Overall my favourite alternative. 

Tip: I recommend that you heat up your coconut milk before putting it in coffee. Just put it in the microwave for 40 seconds (or heat it up on the stove). This makes it more smooth and creamy. 

Almond Milk 
Taste: 3/5
Affordability: 4/5
Availability: 5/5

I started drinking almond milk last summer when I did the Wild Rose Cleanse. It was hard to get used to the Original Silk flavour and I didn't like the Vanilla Silk flavour because it was too sweet. The hardest thing for me was the lack of availability in coffee shops. 

You are lucky if you can find soy milk in coffee shops, now just try almond milk. I only found two places that offer almond milk:  Bean Around the World and Melriches

The good think about almond milk is that you can pretty much buy it anywhere, and it is usually on sale. Same as coconut milk, I would recommend that you heat up the almond milk before adding it to coffee. 

Price: $4.99 - Sale $3.49
Available stores: London drugs, Supervalu, Safeway, Savon Foods, Thrifty's, Superstore, Costco, Shoppers, Whole Foods, IGA, Cappers

Soy Milk
Taste: 5/5
Affordability: 4/5
Availability: 5/5

Just an FYI, soy milk is not actually Paleo. 

I first began drinking soy milk when I began my lactose free life in July of 2003. At this time soy milk was not readily available in all stores. And you could forget getting soy milk in a coffee shop. 

But now in 2012 you can get so many different brands of soy milk. Some of them are even these Asian brands that are more raw/unprocessed versions. 

I have completely cut soy from my diet. When I look back I was eating too much soy: tofu, edamame beans, soy milk, soy cheese, soy nuts. You would be surprised at how many products actually contain soy but wouldn't seem like it. Also, soy is a very common genetically modified food (GMO), better to avoid these when you can. 

Price: $4.99 - Sale $3.50
Available stores: Everywhere!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Addicted to Yoga

I'm pretty sure everyone has tried yoga at some point in their lives. Whether you practice Bikram's Yoga, Power Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, or your own practice, you have to be careful. Recently I have been experiencing really bad pain in my wrist and forearm. This is a cautionary tale...

I practice Yoga at the YMCA in Downtown Vancouver about 5-6 times/week. They offer a wide variety of yoga and I can usually make their evening classes. I like to think that I have pretty good form and I focus my attention on breathing and balance.

For the past week I started noticing a dull achy pain in my wrist. I usually just shake out my hand and the pain goes away. But it got progressively worse. I have pain all day long, from my wrist, outer forearm, and sometimes in my thumb. I take 600mg of Ibuprofen which helps but in no way is it a cure. I thought maybe it was my poor ergonomics when I type on my laptop. So I have been keeping my wrist elevated instead of laying it against the keyboard.

Still no change. Pain is getting worse.

Last night at Yoga there was a substitute instructor and she mentioned something that caught my attention.  During downward dog she said "make sure you don't put pressure on your outer hand...this can lead to tendinitis in your wrist and it will cause you a lot of pain." Throughout the class I couldn't get what she said out of my I have tendinitis because of yoga?

So after class I went up and talked to her. Yes. It's true. I had been placing my hands wrong during downward dog/side plank etc and it created too much pressure on this one little bone on the outside of my hand. Since I do so much yoga it didn't take long do develop this. The good thing is that it's not permanent but I definitely have to be careful from now on.

In this photo you can tell that there is a lot of pressure on the outer edge of her hands. She needs to rotate her arms inward. 

You know I always hear "you have to have good form". I guess unless you do an activity on a regular basis, you won't develop an injury so quickly. I'm happy that this happened to me now because I can attribute it to yoga. If it had developed later on in life I would just probably think, "oh it's just normal aches and pains."

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ham and Zucchini Omelette

This omelette is all about the spices. It's really filling, has no prep time, and will keep you full for hours. If you don't have zucchini you can substitute any veggie like peppers, mushrooms, or tomato. Enjoy and leave comments :)

Side note: my new obsession is roasted garlic. Here is how you make it.

Step 1. Take a garlic.

Step 2. Put it in the oven.

Step 3. Set your oven to broil.

Step 4. Leave it in there for 12-15 minutes.

Step 5. Eat these with all of your meals! It's like garlic candy, and they don't taste bad, and they are so high in natural anti-bacterial properties. nomnom....

Ham and Zucchini Omelette

1/2 sliced zucchini
Sliced ham
5-6 cloves roasted garlic
1 egg
1/4 cup egg whites
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2tsp coconut oil
Cracked black pepper
Cayenne powder

Take 1/2 tsp of coconut oil and add it to a non-stick pan. Heat at medium. Add your sliced zucchini and season with cracked black pepper. Cook it over medium for 3 minutes.

Add about a handful of sliced ham. Cut them up into little bite-sized pieces. Cover the pan with a lid and heat over low-medium for about 5 minutes, or until the ham is just a bit brown. 

In a small bowl combine the following ingredients: 1egg, egg whites, coconut milk, cracked black pepper,  cinnamon, cayenne powder, dried oregano, and chia seeds. 

Whisk with a fork and pour into frying pan. 

Cook over low heat with the lid on for about 5-8 minutes. Don't remove the lid during this time. The steam will help to cook your omelette and make it light and fluffy. 

Prepare your plate with roasted garlic and a bunch of spinach. Add your omelette overtop of the spinach. 

And of course always eat breakfast with 1-2 cups of coffee. Try coconut milk and cinnamon in your coffee for a delightful surprise.