New South Mama

Let's Make Life Better, Y'all

The Pomegranate…It’s quite a beautiful display, this fruit. Can we call it a fruit? It’s red skin embraces the delicate flesh inside that holds each seed separate in the togetherness of the whole.

But what do you do with it? The Pomegranate?

When I was 12 I remember my best friend and neighbor Elizabeth, originally from England, introduced me to my first pomegranate.

And it was the most laborious venture in eating I’d ever experienced.

She held the halved orb in her hand and suggested I pluck the seeds out one by one. I reach in, try to pinch the first one but squeezed too hard and the juice contained within the seed splattered over the fruit. I chew on the partially emptied aril and spit it out.   I thought it was some weird fruit from England and was happy to not embark on that journey again.

I’m 44 now, and am pretty sure I didn’t eat another pomegranate until I was 42.

But when I was 12, we didn’t have YouTube. Or cell phones. And basic cable only had 20 channels (a huge leap from our original three).

Finally, I discovered pomegranates again. I learned how to deseed it thanks to YouTube, but the original video I watched was over 15 minutes long! So my daughter and I made our video called “The Fastest Way to Deseed a Pomegranate” –2:13. That’s it. And as you practice, you’ll be able to do it much faster.

So embark on the Pomegranate journey, my sweet friend! Dive into it with a voracious thirst for polyphenols and flavonoids, protection against heart disease cancer, and high cholesterol! The highest antioxidant fruit available to us is a gift to ourselves that keeps on giving.

Once you deseed it, what’s the best way to enjoy it? Try a half cup of whole fat, plain Greek yogurt (Wallaby is my fav) filled with the seeds of ½ of a pomegranate… You’ll feel like you’re eating a sinful treat when in reality it’s a protein-packed, nutrient-dense delight!

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Or a Beautiful Lunch… spinach and red cabbage tossed with pumpkin seeds, fresh mozzarella, extra-virgin olive oil and pomegranate seeds. The Pom seeds make a delicious “dressing.”

PomSalad

But hurry, they’re only in season for a short time. Enjoy.

Let’s Make Life Easier, Y’all!

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NewSouthMama on Vitacost.com

A HUGE thank you and shout out to Vitacost.com for featuring the NewSouthMama “Fastest Way to De-Seed a Pomegranate” video in their blog. Help spread the word about the health benefits of pomegranates by sharing!

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Who’s missing pasta!?

Mung Bean Fettuccine with KaleSAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC
Not me. Earlier, I was in the mood for pasta, but being gluten-free and not liking a lot of the junk carb “gluten-free” products out there, I decided on some Explore Asian Organic Mung Bean Fettuccine from the pantry today. I found it at a local co-op, but have seen it at Whole Foods, too.

Green. Mung Bean. Didn’t sound too appetizing…

So into the boiling water it went with a good amount of Real Salt and a pat of butter. I pulled some baby kale out of the fridge and tossed in a handful for the last 2 minutes.

Hum… what next? I drained it and topped with about a tsp of grass-fed butter. Next, a sprinkle of black pepper, a dash of Real Salt and a good amount of organic garlic granules. Finally, I grabbed a half of a fresh, organic lemon and squeezed over it with a final sprinkle of raw pumpkin seeds. Wow, it looked great!

My lunch today was a delectable delight. The flavors were beautiful and the mung bean pasta had a fabulous texture. Not to mention I got over 22.5 grams of protein! I will make this one again.

Mung Bean Pasta with Kale and Lemon Butter Recipe

1 serving

2 quarts boiling water

1 handful of dry mung bean pasta

Real Salt or unrefined Himalayan Salt

grass-fed or organic real butter

1 handful of raw kale

juice of 1/2 fresh lemon

garlic granules

1 tbsp of raw pumpkin seeds (or sunflower, seeds, etc.)

Put a small amount of butter into the boiling water and add pasta. Boil for 7-8 minutes. At the 5 minute mark, toss in the handful of kale. Once cooked then drain. Pour all onto plate and top with about a tbsp of butter, stirring in. Sprinkle with a dash of Real Salt and garlic granules to taste, squeeze lemon juice over and stir. Top with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds. Then enjoy this deliciously healthy lunch! Eat creatively, Y’all!

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I just had to share this one with you. Thanks to our favorite local store “The Grain Loft” (1987 Highway 101 South, Greer, SC 29651) for sharing this yummy recipe… Warm your belly and your soul with this delicious, hearty breakfast– with eggs or egg-free!

Baked Apple Oatmeal5 c. Organic Rolled Regular Oats
1 c. Organic Steel Cut Oats
½ c. Organic Coconut Sugar or Sucanat
½ tsp. REAL or Himalayan Salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
4 tsp. baking powder
2 c. raw milk
3 eggs or flax eggs*
1 c. coconut oil or butter
2 c. chopped apples

  1. Combine all dry ingredients.
  2. Combine all wet ingredients.
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Fold in apples.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 30—40 min.

*1 flax egg = 1 tbsp. ground flax meal + 2 tbsp. water.  Whisk together and let sit 5 minutes until gelled.

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Add this one to “How to Quickly and Easily Impress!

Ingredients:

1 cup Plain Whole Fat Organic Yogurt

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp dried dill

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

Mix well and serve as a salad dressing or a dip with fresh veggies, kettle chips, or rice crackers!

The makings for a delicious, healthy, versatile dip!

The makings for a delicious, healthy, versatile dip!

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Paleo Banana Nut Muffins

Tami Hammond NewSouthMama.com

This is by far one of our favorite breakfasts or snacks to go… Easy, delicious, MOIST, protein-packed and wheat-free. An all around delicious option for Grandma’s recipe. We find that one or two muffins is ideal for a protein-filled breakfast. No spike in blood sugar here…just good, simple nourishment. Serve with a side of fruit and your favorite tea or coffee.

Tami Hammond NewSouthMama.com

Tami Hammond NewSouthMama.com

Paleo Banana Nut Muffin Recipe

5 ripe bananas

6 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted

3 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tbsp honey OR 3-4 dried unsweetened dates

1-2 tsp cinnamon

1 ½ cups almond flour

½ cup coconut flour

2 tbsp ground golden flax seeds

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans to mix in

1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans to top muffins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Put the bananas, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla extract, applesauce and honey into a blender or food processor and puree.

Sift all dry ingredients into large bowl. Slowly mix in the liquid ingredient puree into the dry ingredients, stirring with a large whisk. Mix thoroughly. Unlike recipes with flour, you can’t over mix this recipe.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and top with muffin cups. Pour batter into muffin cups; fill to top. Top each muffin with a small amount of nuts. Bake 35 min., or until toothpick stuck in center comes out clean.

Enjoy while warm or reheat for a fast, on-the-go, high-protein breakfast!

Makes 12-15 muffins depending on banana size.

Tips:

  • Buy organic whenever possible to avoid pesticides, herbicides, artificial ingredients, dyes, preservatives and more.
  • Trader Joes has bags of almond meal reasonably priced or, if you have a very good blender like a Blendtec, you can purchase a pound of whole, raw almonds and grind them into almond meal. The same applies to flax seeds.
  • Reheat your muffins each day in the toaster oven. Serve with a pat of coconut oil or grass-fed butter for a delicious variation.
  • Store in airtight containers refrigerated or unrefrigerated for up to one week.
  • I LOVE Le Creuset Silicone Baking Cups. I found them at Charleston Cooks in Greenville, SC–12 for $11.95. I’ve read reviews of other brands online and most people hate how they stick. The Le Creuset brand performs beautifully.
Tami Hammond    NewSouthMama.com

Tami Hammond NewSouthMama.com

Let’s do brunch, Y’all!

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Cea/Flicker

Cea/Flicker

This is not just another Thanksgiving in our household… It’s our first Thanksgiving…without BREAD! Gravy! Pies! Oh My!

This time last year, the idea of our most thankful holiday without our daily bread and giblet gravy might have caused us to pause… I’m pretty sure we thanked God especially for the crackers that topped the broccoli casserole and the delectable cinnamon rolls we ate that morning.

And the thought of any day without wheat-infused products like cereal, sourdough bread and chocolate cake may be one many of you just don’t want to think of because you still eat wheat.

Wheat Belly T & M

Sept 2012 to Oct 2013

But for our family, it’s a welcome thought this holiday. In my recent post, Thinking of Going Gluten-Free?, I shared our story with you about our decision to hit the delete button on wheat from our food intake. And literally, we have taken back our health. At more that 52 pounds lighter between my husband, 54,  and myself, 43, we are in the best shape of our lives.

But it’s not just about weight, although that is a welcome benefit.

It’s about the overall improvement–the actual disappearance of sore, inflamed joints and arthritic symptoms. It’s about our daughter’s allergy “rash” under her nose going away and her hyperglycemia tendencies stabilizing. It’s about our lowering our cholesterol and regulating blood sugar. It’s about the brain fog lifting, extreme hunger between meals becoming a thing of the past, energy levels boosting, sleep improving and more. It’s about our body shape returning, revealing the true body that was under all the inflammation caused by wheat.

Did you know that over 55 ailments are attributed to wheat? Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution, wrote an excellent article for the Huffington Post giving more detail and great information.

Did You Have a Gluten-Intolerance?

You may wonder if we had symptoms of gluten-intolerance, allergies or Celiac Disease. And the answer is no–sort of. I had symptoms I didn’t know were caused by wheat, until I eliminated it from my diet. I didn’t choose to stop eating wheat because I was tested or diagnosed with Celiac disease. I chose to stop eating wheat after I learned what it does to my body… OUR bodies. The fact is, wheat punctures holes in the gut. And I prefer my gut to remain whole, thank you very much. No one is immune to the effects. I chose to not eat wheat much like choosing not to smoke cigarettes.

Cigarettes and Wheat

What in the world does wheat have in common with cigarettes? Dr. Davis compares the modern food industry to the tobacco industry of years ago… He suggests being told that wheat is healthy by the media, doctors and the government is much like cigarette smoking years ago, when we didn’t know better, when cigarettes were promoted by the media and doctors as safe (even Santa!), healthy and beneficial. Today, we would think it absurd. Perhaps one day, when we “know better,” modern day wheat will be viewed the same.

Cigarettes recommended by doctors

wellmedicated.com

Vintage Cigarette Ad Santa Sells Cigarettes

Where Did We Start?

It all started in January 2013 when I read the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. But here’s the clip that motivated me to buy the book. Watch this interview for a quick summary as well.

Where Do I Start?

Many of you have asked me this question. And I say, just do it.

  1. Start by eating less wheat this Thanksgiving and holiday season. Less bread, dressing, stuffing, casseroles, pasta, gravy, pies and cakes. Add in more veggies, fruits, a little more turkey, cranberry sauce and water. After the holidays, make up your mind to omit wheat completely from your diet. You CAN do it. There are no nutrients in wheat that humans need to function or survive.
  2. Read the Wheat Belly book today. There another book supporting and even going further than just wheat that is worth reading: Grain Brain.
  3. Educate yourself and others about wheat. Look for resources on the web, google “wheat belly” and learn all you can. Knowledge really is power.
  4. Cook and eat more often at home. There are multiple benefits to cooking and eating at home versus eating out.
  5. Get creative with food. When you have to eat out, get creative. Order a burger with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun. Forego the gravy on the buffet and get an extra helping of carrots. Try different foods you may never have tried before. Your tastebuds and cravings will change as a result.
  6. Eat more veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. Adding in other foods will keep you full and satisfied, helping you reduce cravings for bread, pastas and other wheat foods.
  7. Get determined. Decide now to give up wheat FOR GOOD. This cannot be a half-way decision. Even small “doses” of wheat will continue to wreak havoc on your body. Eating small amounts of wheat still damages your gut, increases inflammation and foils your attempt to get healthier.
  8. Steer clear of processed foods and added sugar. These foods will inhibit your progress, too, and will continue to thwart weight loss progress. Eating healthy, whole foods is your best solution. To quote Dr. Hyman, if it has a label, don’t buy it. But if you have to buy food “with a label,” look for those with 5 ingredients or less.

The real you is there. Your job is to find her or him. This isn’t about being skinny… It’s all about being healthy. Thriving instead of surviving. Living a life full of happiness, health and hope. And yes, eliminating wheat can be your biggest first step.

Let’s do this, Y’all.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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