The Truth About Overnight Oats

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What's wrong with overnight oats, and how to prepare them in the most nutritious way. Recipe included! By Marisa Moon of My Longevity Kitchen

Somebody got this trend all wrong. 

Well, not ALL wrong…but they messed up the only step in the recipe!  We shouldn’t be soaking our overnight oats in the refrigerator, we should be soaking them with warm water, at room temperature—or even warmer.  And would you believe that cooking the oats afterwards actually makes them even MORE nutritious.  This is not a food you want to eat raw.  Let me break down the basics for you…

Our ancestors ate whole grains after soaking them or fermenting them.  Over time they figured out that this was how grains needed to be prepared—in order to avoid illness.  It was probably thanks to serendipity that they figured this out back then because there weren’t any refrigerators…food was just left out.  But as generations passed, and food culture diminished, we have been hastily preparing our grains…and we’ve even gone as far as thinking they are best uncooked!  This is flat out wrong.  

Did you know that the oatmeal box, back in the day, used to say “soak overnight” in the directions?  What happened to that?

You see, all grains contain something called “phytic acid”—or phytates—in the outer layer or bran, and oats contain more phytates than almost any other grain.  So, if this phytic acid is untreated, it will combine with important minerals in our body and block their absorption.  I’m talking about calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper.  We need these minerals, and our food supply is providing less and less of them because of modern farming methods.  We should take every precaution to protect the minerals that are still available to us.  Regular consumption of improperly prepared grains (also legumes, and nuts) can lead to mineral deficiencies, leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, bone loss, food allergies, and even mental illness.  

Go Raw brand chart why to soak/sprout seeds
Illustration by Go Raw and EatDrinkShrink.com

So what’s the proper way to prepare these grains? 

The process is simple really.  All we need to do is soak the whole grains overnight at room temperature, or even warmer!  It helps tremendously if you add an acid starter like liquid whey, kefir, yogurt, or even lemon juice.  Allow the natural enzymes and other helpful organisms to begin fermenting the grains, for 7-24 hours, and this will neutralize a large portion of the phytic acid.  Soaking in warm, acidic or cultured water not only gets rid of this mineral-blocking substance, but it also releases all of the vitamins in grains, and encourages more healthy digestion by partially breaking down some of the proteins (like gluten).  Win Win, all around!  Finish your oatmeal by cooking for a quick 5-10 minutes (more on that in the recipe at the end of this post). 

The Truth About Overnight Oats
Pouring liquid whey into my soaking oats

Spread the word to those we care about.  

Oatmeal is one of those things that people eat habitually…every single morning.  That’s why it’s important to spread the word.  Although I do not usually consume oatmeal, or most grains, I felt the need to focus on this recipe because many of my closest friends and family are enjoying oatmeal on a regular basis.  My goal with My Longevity Kitchen is to help explain how we can maximize the nutrients in our food, and minimize toxins.  And my passion lies in the ways of our ancestors, and their time-honored traditional cooking methods.  Oatmeal can be nutritious, or quite the opposite.  I hope you’ve learned a thing or two on how to make it truly nourishing.   Here are some more tips for you, and the recipe!

A nourishing recipe for properly prepared overnight oats with cinnamon, banana, and pecans. By Marisa Moon of My Longevity Kitchen

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How Trees Help Us Live Longer

Shaggy bark Closeup

Trees help us live longer. They actualize our lives.

Articles are everywhere now citing research that actually proves trees, and plants, make us substantially healthier. 

“It is becoming increasingly clear that trees help people live longer, healthier, happier lives—to the tune of $6.8 billion in averted health costs annually in the U.S., according to research published this week. And we’re only beginning to understand the nature and magnitude of their tree-benevolence… New research says the closer you can live to trees, the better off you are. ”

James Hamblin, The Atlantic (2014, July 29).  The Health Benefits of Trees

In Japan they even do something called…

‘”Shinrin-yoku“, which can be defined as “taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing”, has been receiving increasing attention in Japan in recent years for its capacity to provide relaxation and reduce stress.’

Environ Health Prev Med. 2010 Jan;15(1):27-37

“The results of [forest] walking experiments provided similar results…demonstrated that immune function was enhanced by forest therapy in middle-aged employees who volunteered to participate in these experiments. Natural killer cell activity, an indicator of immune function, was enhanced by 56% on the second day and returned to normal levels. A significant increase of 23% was maintained for 1 month even after returning to urban life, clearly illustrating the preventive benefits of forest therapy. 

Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2014;69(2):122-35

shirin-yoku hawaii

Now, research is showing that visiting a forest has real, quantifiable health benefits, both mental and physical. Even five minutes around trees or in green spaces may improve health. Think of it as a prescription with no negative side effects that’s also free…While we breathe in the fresh air, we breathe in phytoncides, airborne chemicals that plants give off to protect themselves from insects. Phytoncides have antibacterial and antifungal qualities which help plants fight disease. When people breathe in these chemicals, our bodies respond by increasing the number and activity of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells or NK. These cells kill tumor- and virus-infected cells in our bodies. In one study, increased NK activity from a 3-day, 2-night forest bathing trip lasted for more than 30 days. Japanese researchers are currently exploring whether exposure to forests can help prevent certain kinds of cancer.”

Immerse Yourself in a Forest for Better Health.  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

phytoncides

If you haven’t heard the story about how my family ended up in the Country, then it’s time I tell you…

My husband Eric and I loved the city (notice the past tense…okay, we still have a place for the city in our hearts, but it’s not the same kinda love). We loved living in all the action and right where the newest restaurants and bars were popping up on every corner. Living in a beautiful high-rise condo, on the 21st floor, we still had this feeling that something was missing. We thought maybe it was because we needed a dog.  So, of course, we adopted a 10-week old puppy named Koa. 

We spent much of our time training Koa to be a loving, well-behaved dog (still working on that; she’s sweet, but a little nuts).  I loved taking her for 1 or 2 hour walks in Chicago, in hopes of giving her the life she deserved.  I noticed quickly that there wasn’t a single place I could walk Koa on the grass.  She loved the grass!  But, get this: dogs aren’t allowed on the grass in the city!  Honestly, there’s not much grass at all, and there aren’t many trees either.  


This experience with our dog is what really planted the “country seed”.  It started to hit me and Eric at the same time!  Now, imagine being Eric; he grew up around lush plants and natural elements, in Hawaii, well into his 20’s.  As for myself, I can think back to the times I would relieve daily stress by rollerblading in the forest preserve where I grew up.

There’s something about nature that you can’t quite explain, but we NEED it.

Seeing my dog roll around in the grass, like a pig in the mud, was a HUGE wake-up call for me.

All across the generations passed, and the millions of years we’ve existed as a species, we have lived our lives as one with nature!  Amongst nature.  Surrounded by nature.  Guided by nature.  

Most of us are so far removed from nature now that we think it’s disgusting to step foot outside without our shoes on (Hi.  I’m raising my hand here too because this was me up until just about a year ago).

Koa In Grass

Welllll, fast-forward a couple of years, and we decided to make the leap.  We left the city.  We found an amazing home, tucked away in the woods, inside 10 acres of wild oak-wood forests; and we’re only 45 minutes from Chicago.  

Life is good.  

We have a new sense of purpose.  A new satisfaction in life.  An all-around good feeling.

It’s like we’ve been reborn…we have so much to learn, so much to be grateful for, and we’re surrounded by wonder.

This is what life is about.

 

Is the Paleo Diet Nonsense?

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According to most of the media, the Paleo diet is nonsense.  

See the latest example by clicking right here.  

They make statements like “the low-carb interpretation of the paleolithic menu is probably all wrong. The researchers posit that our cavemen and cavewoman ancestors loved—and needed—carbs as much as we do, even if they gathered them instead of cultivated them.”

 

My Mom sent me that above article and wanted to know what I think….

WHAT DO I THINK?

I agree with most of the points they are making, and so will most Paleo dieters.  If you google “Paleo Diet” you’ll see long lists of foods you CAN’T eat, and all these strict guidelines.  You’ll also see plates full of t-bones and bacon.  Then, when you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that the most notable leaders in this ancestral health movement (such as Chris Kresser, Mark Sisson, and Robb Wolf) will say there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to the Paleo diet, and white potatoes, for instance, are more than okay for anyone with healthy blood sugar regulation.  Most Paleo advocates focus on eating as many vegetables as we can; veggies first, meat second.  Oh, and note to all: veggies are carbs.  

I follow the Perfect Health Diet which is a variation of the Paleo Diet, also based on history and science.  This diet focuses on maximizing nutrients, and minimizing toxins;  preventing disease.  Most of our ancestors thrived on a paleolithic diet which included tubers and white rice.  

So, I am not “low-carb”, and I think many Paleo dieters are the same way.  Depending what your goals are – weight loss, fighting disease, healing from autoimmunity, or overall good health – you will not eat the same Paleo diet as another.  In fact, one’s version of the Paleo diet may change several times in their own life, in order to suit their current needs (like when I HAVE switched to low carb, for a brief period, to stimulate weight loss).  

The Media should look through a wider lense, and they will see there is so much more to Paleo than at first glance. The diet they are referring to is NOT the Paleo Diet that most of us believe in, and practice.  Besides, Paleo is much more than a diet.  

-Marisa Moon

Paleo Thousand Island Dressing

Paleo Thousand Island Recipe

I’m going to go ahead and proclaim “Thousand Island is the best American salad dressing!”  Yes, even versus ranch dressing.  Try this recipe and you’ll soon agree. 

McDonald’s can keep their poisonous special sauce, because I have a homemade version that will make you forget any other existed.  You can eat my dressing like a dip for your veggies, slather it on wraps and burgers, serve with my salmon sardine cakes, enjoy it with potatoes, use like a salad dressing of course, and more!  Don’t forget about a tasty rueben.  This is so easy to make, and you’re family will thank you for it! 

thousand island burger
Now that’s what I call a Big Longevity Mac!

 

Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients.  It’s so easy to throw together, especially if you already have the mayo.  I keep Primal Kitchen Foods Mayo, or Sir Kensington’s Mayo, in my pantry as a backup, but I always make my mayo homemade if I have the oil on hand (Primal Kitchen Foods Mayo is the healthiest mayo on the market, but only available online and very few select Whole Foods; Sir Kensington’s still uses sunflower oil which is generally unhealthy because it is high in omega-6 fatty acids, but this will still be better than any other mayo in the store).  Making homemade mayo is quick and easy if you have an immersion blender.  Follow this recipe by “The Healthy Foodie”, but the only thing I would change is use the yolk only.  Not the whole egg. 

There’s hardly a single bottle of salad dressing sold in stores that I would buy or eat these days.  Go ahead and check your fridge, and read the bottles of dressing in there.  Even the organic brands like Annie’s have soybean or canola oil as the base.  The only brand I do know of that actually uses olive oil is Tessamae’s All Natural olive oil based salad dressingsIf you want to live a long and healthy life, it’s time you learn about your healthy fats, and ditch the “industrial seed and vegetable oils”.  Marketing and Media did a fantastic job making us believe industrial seed and vegetable oils like soybean oil and canola oil are healthy for us…but they are dead wrong. 


Want to know the whole story about why and how we’ve been deceived?  Check out Mercola’s article called “The Great Con-ola”Watch this video if you’d like to see what the rapeseed has to go through to become Canola Oil on the shelf.  You’ll be disgusted to see the chemical washes and bleaching that must be done before the canola oil is ready for sale (ignore the health claims, and skip to after 1 minute to see the factory processing). 


In a nutshell, American’s excessive consumption of these oils (such as soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, and sunflower oil) is now believed to be largely responsible for the rise in liver disease, heart disease, obesity, allergies, asthma, mental illness, bowel disorders, and cancer (more references and information can be found in my favorite, most trusted diet book called the Perfect Health Diet, in Chapter 11: The Dangerous Fats: PUFA). 

Toxic Oils

“But Marisa, what are we supposed to use if we can’t use these oils?” 

Healthy Fats

It’s time to take back control, and fill our kitchens with wholesome ingredients that have been keeping our ancestors healthy for centuries. 

Post your questions in the comments below.  I know what it feels like to learn about toxic oils for the first time.  You’ll have many questions about how and why and what to do!  Start small and work your way up.  The most important thing is to be aware, and continue to educate yourself because repetition will help you remember and find a deeper understanding.  Bookmark this page, pin these images, and spread the word.  Let’s help keep our loved ones free from cancer and disease, starting with this delicious homemade dressing! 


Read this article by “The Healthy Skeptic” Chris Kresser to learn more about toxins in our food.  If you don’t have time now, bookmark it and read it later.  This is important information to understand and apply if you want to live a healthy life and fight chronic disease. 

Paleo Thousand Island
Make your own thousand island dressing from scratch, and you'll get high fives all around. This dressing is made with wholesome ingredients, and it lasts in the fridge for at least a week. Use it as a dip for veggies, salad dressing, burger topping, or just like any other condiment!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups homemade Mayo (Primal Kitchen Foods Mayo, or Sir Kensington's in a pinch)
  2. 1 cup organic Ketchhup
  3. 1 Tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar (or 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar + 1 Tbsp Coconut Sugar)
  4. 1 Tbsp Vietnamese Fish Sauce (or organic worchestershire)
  5. 3/4 C finely chopped Pickles (or natural relish)
  6. 3 Boiled Eggs, finely chopped
  7. 3 Scallions, finely chopped
  8. 2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, minced
  9. Fine Sea Salt, 1 tsp
  10. Cracked Black Pepper, 1 tsp
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together with a fork (too chunky for a whisk).
  2. Try not to eat all of it at once.
  3. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for a week.
Notes
  1. Buy a bottle of Fish Sauce if you haven't already. It lends a salty tangy dimension, like soy sauce and worchestershire combined, and is a healthy source of omega-3's. The best brand is Red Boat Vietnamese Fish Sauce.
  2. Quality eggs should be high on your longevity list when grocery shopping. Factory/conventional eggs are very high in omega-6 and contribute to many of the same issues caused by toxic oils, as I explained in this blog post (not to mention the higher likelihood of pathogenic bacteria). Never buy conventional eggs. Buy Organic Pasture Raised eggs whenever possible, or at the very least, buy eggs from hens fed extra Omega-3's or raised by Amish standards.
My Longevity Kitchen http://mylongevitykitchen.com/

 

Chris Kresser – My favorite myth-busting longevity expert

Chris Kresser – Let’s take back your health – Starting Now..

Click on the link above, or the title, to see the most well-researched and honest resource for health and wellness articles.  Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac is a globally recognized leader in the fields of ancestral health, Paleo nutrition, and functional and integrative medicine.  I LOVE THIS GUY!  I’ll tell you exactly why:  He gets to the bottom of things in this crazy-to-distinguish world of facts and fiction in nutrition.  He is on the cutting edge of research, trending topics, and general concerns regarding wellness.  I truly wish there were more experts like him.  When does he sleep?   I have no idea.  This man works reallllly hard.Chris Kresser Quote