There’s no doubt that I’m all about real food. Most of the modern healthcare situation we’re facing can be pretty directly traced back to the introduction of packaged, processed, chemical-laden, high sugar food-like substances. I like to say, Real food doesn’t have ingredients; real food IS ingredients. I believe everyone should be eating a diet based on nourishing, whole foods–the types of things your great-grandmother would recognize.
Now, having said all of that, I’m also a realist. Some real foods are off-limits to people due to food sensitivities. Most of us aren’t going to make our own yogurt (although I have, and it’s really easy!). And there are some things that frankly, we tend to miss when we move away from the Standard American Diet (aka SAD). So when I discover some healthy, tasty alternatives, I’m always pretty stoked. I thought I’d share some of my favorites here with you.
Mud WTR: Tasty coffee substitutes are something I’m often asked about. While I adore coffee, it does a number on my digestion, so I rarely indulge. For many people dealing with cortisol and adrenal issues, the caffeine in coffee is also no bueno. Mud WTR is a fantastic substitute. Imagine if chai tea and hot cocoa had a baby! All organic, it contains cacao, Masala chai, turmeric, adaptogenic mushrooms, and cinnamon. A cup has 1/7th the caffeine of a cup of coffee, due to the black tea powder. While it can be a bit hard to blend in (they send you a USB-powered frother when you order!), a spoonful of this mixed with Forager’s cashew coconut milk is one of my favorite morning treats. Mud WTR is only available by direct order from the company.
Nutpods: When I do have my tiny cup of occasional coffee, you can be sure there’s some Nutpods in it. These entirely sweetener-free creamers are made from coconut cream and almonds, plus a gum or two, and that always-mysterious “natural flavors.” Nope, we don’t know what that means, but the company says that they come from plants. These creamers have the richness of half and half, without the dairy. The cinnamon swirl is my absolute favorite. And when the special limited edition “eggnog” comes out each Fall, I buy cases of it.
Seven Sundays: My favorite food used to be cereal. Nothing made me happier than a big bowl of cereal, skim milk, and a banana. Particularly right before bed. Now that I know better, I do better! So, after many years without cereal (reminder: giant bowl of refined grain that spikes your blood sugar, causes inflammation, and leads to sugar crashes and hormonal effects), I was over the moon to discover Seven Sundays cereal. This Certified B Corp is supporting organic family farms and efforts to end hunger, while figuring out how to make cereal by upcycling sunflower protein leftover from other food products. (Read their fascinating story here.) Their cereals are free of sugars, flavors, gluten, and grains. Best of all, they’re crunchy and delicious and totally scratch that cereal itch. I like to toss a handful into the next product on my list….
Coconut Cult: Oh, Coconut Cult. You evil, evil geniuses. A couple of years ago, my dear friend Lara starting raving to me about this coconut yogurt that tasted exactly like chocolate mousse. She said it was unlike anything she’d ever had, and although expensive, worth every penny. At that time, it wasn’t widely sold in stores. So I spent like EIGHTY DOLLARS to get a few 16 oz jars shipped to me on ice from southern California. (Crazy, but hey, tax deduction, business research.) Let me just publicly say, Lara, I’m sorry I ever doubted you. This stuff is unbelievable. All organic, made of coconut cream meat and water, cacao, and coconut nectar (which does add a small amount of sugar). I seriously have no idea how they do it. The best part is, it has SO MANY probiotic bacteria in it, that you really can’t eat more than a couple of tablespoons without suffering some major GI distress. So, a little goes a long way. And the best BEST part is, it’s now sold at Whole Foods! So yeah, it’s $9 for an 8 oz jar. Don’t even hesitate, chocolate lovers. Go buy this immediately.
Siete cookies: Anybody who’s shopped the grain-free world in the last couple of years is familiar with Siete foods. Their tortillas and chips are pretty much staples for many of us. So when they recently introduced cookies, I was excited. I’ve tried the Mexican shortbread and Mexican chocolate, and they’re both fantastic. Made of a grain-free flour blend, avocado oil, spices, and a bit of coconut sugar, they are a great clean option for a little treat, with each cookie having about 1 g of sugar.
Except for the Mud WTR, these products are all available at Whole Foods in northern California. Let me know which ones you try!