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Cassava Flour: A Superior Gluten-Free Alternative

Cassava Flour: A Superior Gluten-Free Alternative
Cassava – a root vegetable, long since a staple in the diet of millions of people across the world who depend on it to provide them with daily energy requirements.  For cassava flour to be produced, the cassava is grated, dried, and ground into a powder – this can be used to substitute for traditional wheat flour in recipes, particularly as it is gluten-free and allergen-free.  In terms of comparison, many people dislike alternatives to wheat flour because they lack the same texture, taste, and appearance for baking.  On the other hand, cassava flour is generally regarded as the most similar flour alternative to wheat flour and can be used not only for baking needs – but also for pasta dough, to thicken gravy and soups, or even as pie filling.  The substitution is a simplistic 1:1 in baking, so it makes it easy to change recipes. Cassava Flour for Those with Gluten-Intolerance, Allergies, or Sensitivities  Cassava flour is considered non-allergic and is extremely well tolerated in people that tend to have reactions, sensitivities, or allergies to gluten-containing grains, corn, nightshades, and soy.  As it’s a tuber, it also provides a suitable substitute for those with nut or drupe allergies that cannot use almond flour or coconut flour but still want a grain-free option. This makes cassava flour a Paleo-friendly option, and popular among those on autoimmune diets like GAPS as it is highly digestible. Are Cassava Flour and Tapioca Flour the Same Thing? Not exactly.  Both tapioca and cassava are derived from the same root, but tapioca is only made from the starchy part of the root (often bleached) and contains less dietary fiber, contains more calories, and has a more neutral taste.  Cassava has a mild, slightly nutty taste.  Compared to tapioca and many grain alternatives, cassava is low in calories, fat content, and has more nutritional value than refined white flours (wheat and rice).  As cassava flour is less starchy than tapioca, many find it more suitable for digestion. Cassava flour contains some fiber and vitamin C compared to alternatives, and raw cassava is high in many minerals, nutrients, and B-vitamins.  The flour contains resistant starch, which can feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut, and promote overall colon health. Not only associated with gut health benefits but resistant starch is also linked to improved insulin sensitivity.  Doesn’t Cassava Contain Cyanide? Yes – as do many plant foods, including almonds and spinach.  This only applies if the cassava is eaten raw, and is not a concern with any cassava flour.  Any and all commercially produced cassava flours (and tapioca flours) do not contain levels of cyanide – the cooking process, heating process, soaking, peeling and drying all eliminate the cyanogenic glycosides naturally present in the tuber.  Cassava Flour – A Safe Alternative to Traditional Flours As a tuber similar to sweet potatoes and yams – and eaten widely around the world, cassava offers us a nutritional alternative to gluten-containing grains for use in recipes. Those with nut allergies or coconut allergies have an option that is well-tolerated and gentle on the stomach.  Its ease of use in recipes makes it a staple for anyone following a gluten-free diet or Paleo diet that still wants to incorporate baking into their daily life.  Quality Cassava Flours Available with Healthy Planet: Bob’s Red Mill Cassava Flour Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour Anthony’s Goods – Premium Cassava Flour

Effective Online Grocery Shopping

The world is moving towards a time when people will not be able to look back and imagine our lives without online shopping. It could be electronic goods, home decor, furniture, books, or simple grocery shopping. It has become highly convenient and streamlined. People are happy to utilize online services as they come with a lot of benefits. In countries like Canada, the trend of online grocery shopping has tremendously increased. When examining 2016 compared to 2020, there is a dramatic increase of 107%. So, what are the tips necessary to follow when you want to have a successful online grocery shopping trip? Read ahead! Have A ‘Wish List’ Any online grocery store is going to be incredibly vast, and it can help to make a note of the things that you need well in advance. This can also help you recall items you need on a regular basis or plan to ‘reorder.’ There should always be an option where you will be able to add the things you’d like to a wish list. It is simple and easy to place an order once you know the things that you need to shop for ahead of time. This can also cut down on online window shopping when in a time crunch. Understand The Workings of the Online Store As people begin to show more interest in online grocery shopping (and online shopping in general), technology is being utilized to add all the features that are necessary for the best user experience. So, you should always know and make yourself aware of the features available online and especially learn about the terms and conditions of the respective company. This can always help in avoiding misunderstandings with policies and return issues that you may need to face when online shopping. Utilize Your Phone You will always be able to better track the order and ensure that you are available when the parcel reaches your destination. Customers are able to make use of their phone to receive notifications or text messages to avoid any missed deliveries or problems with successful delivery. It is also essential to ensure that you specify the right shipping address and contact number on the checkout page. This can prevent a lot of hassle if things are incomplete or filled out incorrectly. Keep An Eye on Ratings and Reviews Making a mental note of the ratings and reviews for the website (and product) is a great way to make your online shopping experience more effective. Most online shopping applications and websites will give you information and access to reviews where you can find out what the previous customers have to say about the specific product or the services themselves. Make Note of the Options on Checkout There will often be some sort of coupon code where you may be able to help reduce the cost of the items in your shopping cart. Make a note of any promotional coupons advertised by the company and not by third-party websites which may not be valid. Also make note of how much of a discount is being applied to the order total. In certain instances, you will have discounts for selected products only. Most importantly, ensure that you are in reputable and secured hands when shopping online. The Bottom Line These are simply a couple particularly useful tips that you can utilize for hassle-free and efficient online grocery shopping. Incorporating these into your shopping routine, and making use of these tips can help lead to the best online shopping experience -- regardless of whether it is by mobile app, or company website.  

Ingredients & Toxins To Avoid When Skin Care Shopping

Our Skin is the largest organ of our body and it literally absorbs everything that we put on it. I am a firm believer of using products that are as natural as possible. I personally like to keep things simple and it is also better for mother earth as well.  My natural skincare Journey started in 2009 and has been on this clean journey ever since. The journey evolved over time with my Eczema prone skin. If you have any questions about transitioning to a natural beauty and skincare regime, please feel free to reach out. I have coached women over the years on understanding their bodies and selecting effective natural skincare. Changing your personal care products might seem very overwhelming and daunting at first. However, I promise it isn’t. How To Transition To Natural Skincare Products?  You may have so many questions running on in your mind.  Where should I start? You ask.  What products should I buy?  Should I throw away every single product that I currently have?  What products should I buy first?  Sorry to break it to you, I just want you to realize that there are toxins in almost every single consumer product we are using on our bodies.  Everything ranging from your toothpaste, shampoo, hand soap and body lotion all have toxins.  When it comes to making small changes on making a shift towards using better for you skincare and beauty products. Here is how I like to tell people to start. First, think of the products that we put on daily and don’t rinse off. These products stay on your body the longest and can easily enter our bloodstream.  So my recommendation is to definitely start there and start looking in your bathroom! For example body lotion, face cream, eye creams since it is closest to your eyes and foundation and sunscreen.  Our facial skin is rather sensitive, so our facial skin needs proper care. Our skin needs optimal hydration and adequate nutrition to remain healthy. However, the products we use may not always prove to be good for our skin, body and planet over time. Certain ingredients may include harmful chemicals so we need to be aware of them and start avoiding key ingredients ASAP.    Top 3 Products To Avoid In Beauty Products: Parabens The first one you should be aware of is parabens. This preservative is used in personal care products to increase their shelf life and essentially is added to prevent bacteria from growing. As your body absorbs these parabens, it attaches itself to your cells and disrupts the natural processes in the body. Medical researchers have found that there is a link to reproductive, neurological and skin irritation problems. You can identify parabens on product labels written in forms such as: ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, benzylparaben and butylparaben and etc. Silicone Another ingredient you should be aware of is “silicone. In a lot of conventional makeup stores, some makeup artists might argue that silicone does nothing to harm the skin. That it doesn’t suffocate or irritate the skin or allow bacteria in the air to penetrate it, while giving the skin nothing but a smooth even texture. That is why this ingredient is widely used in a lot of makeup bases formations and allows for makeup to be evenly applied. There is nothing wrong with that.  However, what the problem is that silicon DOES NOT allow anything to enter or exit the skin either. Silicone just ends up locking everything into the skin. Everything including oil as well as dead skin cells which potentially ends up causing acne and clogged pores. It will worsen the already acne-prone skin. It clogs the pores as it’s not easily washable. It has to be properly removed so that the skin can breathe or it will become dehydrated and you end up with premature wrinkles!  Synthetic Fragrences Yes, that nice scent has a hidden cost, who knew?! The mainstream branded luxury face cream may smell all flowery and natural but in reality not all fragrances are naturally extracted. They are made through various chemical combinations in a lab. Most companies that sell a custom signature scent have what is called a “trade secret” where their exact recipe of this fragrance is only labeled as fragrance. In fact, they can basically mask hundreds of toxic components contained in the mixture. Because mainstream companies are hiding the ingredient list to avoid full disclosure it is really at the risk of our health. Anyone can be allergic to any of the ingredients contained in the fragrance and may have a reaction on your skin.  Strong fragrances might be your favorite but it can cause serious headaches and nausea for others. While you may think harm from a fragrance to your skin might be invisible, the harm over time is real. The International Fragrance Association has listed over 2000 ingredients which have been used since 2011.  Other Ingredients To Avoid When ...

Healthy Planet DIY Herbal Healing Bath Infusion

Take a load off - you deserve to relax and give yourself a treat this weekend. Baths are an amazing opportunity to relax the body and reap in beneficial nutrients for the skin. I like to make my own healing bath infusions and have been for years. They are relatively easy to make and I’m a firm believer of the simpler the better, always. What You’ll Need:- Organic cotton mesh cloth or hemp cloth also works fine as well- @ifyoucare_usa Twine or cotton string - @nowfoodsofficial Essential Oils (For a bath, I like to choose lavender and rosemary) - Dried Lavender, - Rose Petals  (feel free to also add dried lemongrass and dried peppermint - @celticseasalt Epsom Salt - @organictraditions Coconut Oil How To: 1. Cut a 7x7 “ inch square with the fabric.2. Take 1 cup of epsom salt and add it to the center.3. Mix in the dried rose and lavender flowers.4. Drop 10 drops of lavender essential oil onto the salt and dried flowers.5. Drop 5 drops of rosemary essential oil to the sale and dried flowers.6. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil onto the mixture.7. Take the 4 corners of the fabric and wrap the edges.8. Bunch the excess fabric up in your fist with one hand and take the piece of string and wrap the string around the fabric. Benefits:* Rosewater relieves inflammation/ soothes irritated skin, brightens your complexion, tightens pores and smells amazing* Rosemary stimulates circulation, will help relieve muscle aches/soreness, has been shown to boost memory and clear congestion simply by being inhaled* Lavender works as a “anxiolytic” (anxiety reliever) it calms the nerves, reduces anxiety/aggression/depression and does wonders for the skin* Epsom Salts contain magnesium which also help to relax and soothe muscles. Salt water in general is super healing, good for energy cleansing I am against most bath bombs because they contain artificial fragrances, artificial perfume and or scented ingredients that do not offer any health benefits. These artificial compounds are harmful to our health, waterways and wreak havoc once absorbed. Bath bombs look great but majority of them are full of toxins and allergens Dedicating one hour from your weekend to invest in yourself will refuel you! Try this simple bath infusion today!   Follow along with Healthy Planet as we collaborate with Stephanie Wong bringing you everything from Cruelty Free Beauty to All--Natural Living Tips! Written and Created by @5teffy

5 Brilliant, Every Day Uses for Old Coffee Grounds

Did you know that after you’ve made coffee, a range of valuable phytonutrients, including minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids, remain in the filter [1]? So hold off throwing those old coffee grounds immediately into the compost and try reusing them in one of the following 5 ways: 1. Marinade Believe it or not, spent coffee grounds add an excellent dimension to the flavour of marinades. The below recipe is perfect for tofu, eggplant, meat, fish, or poultry. Marinate for 1–3 hours before cooking. ¼ cup spent coffee grounds ¼ cup balsamic vinegar 2 cloves garlic, crushed ¼ cup red onion, chopped ¼ cup of water ¼ tsp sea salt, ground ¼ tsp black pepper 2. Body Scrub The grainy texture of coffee grounds makes them perfect exfoliators for homemade body scrubs. They add a nice aroma too! To make your own exfoliant, simply combine the following ingredients: ½ cup coconut oil, melted 1 drop vanilla essence ½ cup coffee grounds, dry ¼ cup white sugar 3. Baking Use coffee grounds to add a little zip to an energy bar, granola, cookie, or muffin recipe. While you need to use fresh grounds for baking, you don’t need a lot. In fact,  just two teaspoons is often enough for a standard recipe. There are a lot of flavours that pair well with coffee, such as: Vanilla Chocolate Almond butter Banana Maple Molasses Orange zest 4. Hair Mask Take your regular hair conditioner to the next level!  Using a 1:1 ratio, combine conditioner and leftover coffee grounds. Gently massage the mixture into hair and scalp for an all-in-one conditioning and exfoliating experience. 5. Deodorize Naturally Similar to baking soda, coffee grounds also absorb odour. Combat lingering scents in your fridge and freezer by placing a bowl of fresh leftover coffee grounds inside. You can also make your own natural air freshener sachets for your car, closet, or shoes. Simply place dried, spent coffee grounds in a cheesecloth and tie closed with a string. Perhaps you want to experience the nutritional benefits of coffee beans without the hassle of grounds or feeling over-caffeinated. Green Coffee Bean is a stimulant-free extract that complements a healthy lifestyle. Green Coffee Bean incorporates a calorie-reduced diet and regular physicial activity for individuals involved in a weight management program, and contains chlorogenic acids and polyphenols, with only 2% caffeine. References: [1] Campos-Vega, Rocio, Guadalupe Loarca-Pina, Hayde Vergara-Castaneda, and Dave Oomah. “Spent Coffee Grounds: A Review on Current Research and Future Prospects.” Trends in Food Science & Technology, vol 73, no. 2, 2015, pp. 24-36. Web. 19 October 2016   http://naturalfactors.com/articles/5-brilliant-every-day-uses-for-old-coffee-grounds/

9 Unexpected and Useful Ways to Use Lemons

There’s nothing like a fresh slice of lemon to invigorate your senses and decorate your meal. But that’s not all they’re good for! Take your citrus beyond the norm with these nine practical – and somewhat unexpected – ways to use lemons: 1. Preserve Sliced Fruit Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto sliced fruit, such as apples, pears, avocados, and bananas to slow oxidation and keep them from turning brown. 2. Fight Nausea When you’re suffering from motion sickness or morning sickness, inhaling the scent of a sliced lemon may help. Lemon scent has been shown to reduce the feeling of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy [1]. 3. Disinfect Lemon juice is an acid and studies have shown its antibacterial power can help reduce the size of some bacteria populations, including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus [2]. Help disinfect kitchen counters and cutting boards by wiping them with a fresh lemon slice. 4. Freshen the Air The essential oils in lemon peels are an effective addition to homemade air fresheners. Add a safe, fresh scent to your home by boiling a pot of water, lemon peels, and fresh herbs, or spritz the air with a solution of lemon infused vodka and baking soda. 5. Cleanse Your Skin A 2:1 mixture of honey and fresh lemon juice makes a soothing face cleanser. The acids in lemon can help exfoliate, brighten skin, and help fade spots. 6. Brighten Pots Just like your skin, lemons can help punch up dull aluminum cookware. Simply rub a lemon slice along dull sections, then polish with a dry cloth. 7. Deter Silverfish Lemon peels are a deterrent for silverfish. Simply place the peels in areas where silverfish are present and replace weekly. 8. Clean Your Home Lemon juice is a key ingredient in this recipe for multipurpose cleaning spray. Use it to clean door knobs, sinks, microwaves, and much more. 9. Quench Your Thirst Transform plain water or tea into a refreshing thirst quencher by adding fresh lemon slices. While this is not the most unexpected use for lemons, it’s probably the most enjoyable!   References: [1] Yavari K, Parisa, FS, and Hossein N. The Effect of Lemon Inhalation Aromatherapy on Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy: A Double-Blinded, Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2014; 16.3:14360. [2] Okeke M, et al. Antibacterial Activity of Citrus Limonum Fruit Juice Extract. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2015; 28.5:1567-71. http://naturalfactors.com/articles/9-unexpected-and-useful-ways-to-use-lemons/

5 Great Options for Eco-Friendly Food Storage

There’s something about a pantry filled with glass jars, burlap sacks, and cloth-wrapped goods that fuels a desire for wholesome eating. Storing food this way reduces your dependency on plastic, which is good for your health and the environment. Here are five eco-friendly food storage solutions: 1. Mason Jars Mason jars don’t just make food look appealing, they’re also safe, cheap, eco-friendly, and versatile. Use large jars for storing grains and flours, medium jars for taking salads to work, and small jars for single-serving desserts or make-ahead breakfast parfaits. They’re also great for storing soups, on-the-go smoothies, dried herbs, and cut veggies. 2. Reusable Snack and Sandwich Bags These earth-friendly alternatives to plastic baggies are cost effective and fun. When made from organic cotton, cloth baggies are safe for storing and transporting food, as well as washable and biodegradable. 3. Glass and Stainless Steel Food Storage Containers If you like the convenience of stackable containers and snap-on lids, these are for you. Glass and stainless steel food storage containers are eco-friendly alternatives to plastic. Although they’re typically more expensive than plastic varieties, they last longer and are dishwasher safe! The key is to choose tempered glass and food grade stainless steel. 4. Beeswax Wraps Sometimes you need to cover up food without transferring it to a storage container. A green alternative to plastic wrap and aluminium foil is beeswax wraps. Beeswax wraps are malleable enough to mould around the tops of bowls or fold into transportable snack pouches. Most importantly, they can be washed and used over and over again to wrap cheese, sandwiches, bread, and other room temperature or cold foods. 5. Burlap Sacks Forget about storing your potatoes, onions, garlic, and other root veggies in plastic bags. Burlap is a more eco-friendly and functional option. It provides a dark, dry environment to keep root veggies fresh and is made from woven plant fibres – you can even compost them when they wear out. Look for varieties that have removable cotton liners for easy cleaning. Eco-friendly food storage is one more way to help reduce your ecological footprint and support your overall well-being.   Reference: http://naturalfactors.com/articles/5-great-options-for-eco-friendly-food-storage/

Clean My Space: Natural DIY Home Cleaning Recipes

All-Purpose Cleaner Combine all the ingredients in an empty spray bottle and shake well. (Note: If you prefer, you can swap out dish soap for castile soap, but beware that castile soap should never come into contact with vinegar) 1½ cups water ½ cup rubbing alcohol 1 teaspoon gentle dish soap 10 drops Lemon Oil or Orange Oil or Eucalyptus Radiata Oil 1 spray bottle Reprinted from Clean My Space by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Melissa Maker Toilet Bowl Cleaner Combine the ingredients in a clean squeeze bottle with a cap. Squirt the solution around the toilet bowl, and after a few moments scrub with your brush as usual. Flush…and you’re done! ½ cup baking soda ½ cup water ¼ cup castile or dish soap ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide 15 drops Tea Tree Oil Reprinted from Clean My Space by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Melissa Maker Wood Polish Mix the oil and vinegar together in a clean spray bottle. Spray on, then wipe well with a paper towel. It’s like any good salad dressing – give it a good shake before using to mix the oil and vinegar together. 3 parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic 1 part white vinegar   Reference: https://www.nowfoods.com/now/recipes/clean-my-space-natural-diy-home-cleaning-recipes