Banana Pudding with Whipped Cream & Toasted Walnuts

This little treasure of a dessert was created spur of the moment for Father’s Day and turned out great the first time. The only sugar in this recipe is from the bananas. The fats in the cream and walnuts help balance it out and keep your blood sugar from spiking.

Banana Pudding with Whipped Cream & Toasted Walnuts


2 large medium-ripe bananas

2 T. organic butter

2 drops vanilla stevia

1 pint organic whipping cream

2 handfuls chopped walnuts


Put butter in a medium saucepan and add bananas by breaking them into bite size pieces. Add stevia and put lid on. Cook on low heat for 2-5 mins or until bananas are completely softened. Mix thoroughly and spoon into 2 bowls. Use a hand mixer and mix whipping cream and a couple drops of vanilla stevia in a large bowl. In a small pan, lightly toast the walnuts with a little butter. Top banana pudding with whipped cream and walnuts. Serve warm.

Tapioca Pudding with Stevia

Another delicious sugar-free dessert for you Choosing Health’ers! This one is higher in carbs than the panna cotta, but still won’t raise your blood sugar like most desserts.


  • 1/2 cup small pearl tapioca, unsoaked
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 3 cups regular milk or coconut milk (coconut milk is lower in carbs)
  • 20-25 drops vanilla stevia
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2-4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt


Soak tapioca pearls by adding them to cold water and store in fridge for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight). Mix milk, stevia, eggs and salt in a saucepan. Strain tapioca pearls and add them in. Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring constantly. Let boil for 15-20 minutes until mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Chill completely before serving.

Tapioca Pudding with Stevia

*Optional, top with freshly whipped organic cream with 5 drops vanilla stevia blended in. SO tasty!


Cinnamon Ginger Panna Cotta Dessert with Stevia

Cinnamon Ginger Panna Cotta

This tastes like horchata! Very tasty and easy to make…and most importantly, there’s no sugar!!! This dessert uses stevia instead so it won’t spike your blood sugar like other desserts. It tastes sweet and delicious and you can enjoy it guilt-free! Check out the video here.


1 can unsweetened whole coconut milk

2 tsp agar flakes or powder…or gelatin if you aren’t going for vegan

20-25 drops vanilla stevia

1/2-3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 ginger tea bag


In a medium saucepan, steep ginger tea in coconut milk and agar flakes for about 5-10 minutes on medium/low heat. While lightly simmering add cinnamon and stevia. You’ll know it’s done when the agar flakes have dissolved. Pour into cups or small bowls and chill for 2+ hours. Top with sprinkled cinnamon, berry compote, or slivered almonds. Enjoy!

Thanks Sketch-free Vegan Eating!

Soup for breakfast?!

Yes. Try it. You’ll like it.

What you need to know about saturated fats

Saturated fat in grass-fed beef is good for your health.

An article by Jack Challem titled A Big Fat Mistake reveals the growing acceptance that carbs, not saturated fat, contribute to poor health.

He discusses some facts which aren’t new, but that haven’t been acknowledged by the media at large. Mainly, total cholesterol is not a good indicator for heart attack risk since half of heart attack sufferer’s have normal cholesterol. What does appear to be a helpful diagnostic tool is the pattern of LDL (low density lipoprotein) that we have. Pattern A LDL is not associated with heart disease, but Pattern B LDL is.

While “pattern B” LDL consists of small, dense particles that are more likely to infiltrate blood-vessel walls and set the stage for blockages, high blood levels of “pattern A” LDL, which consists of large, fluffy particles, are associated with a lower risk of CVD.

Saturated fats increase Pattern A LDL, which isn’t a problem.

Sugar and carbs high in starches (breads, grains, cereals) drive our insulin levels up, lead to systemic inflammation and increase fat storage especially in our abdominal area.

The agenda to eat like our ancestors is sound advice, but varies depending on geography. Our ancestors came from all over and the idea that one diet is right for everyone is simply incorrect. In his Beyond Paleo article, Chris Kresser explains,

…as recent studies have revealed, we can’t really know what our ancestors ate with 100% certainty, and there is undoubtedly a huge variation amongst different populations. For example, we have the traditional Inuit and the Masai who ate a diet high in fat (60-70% of calories for the Masai and up to 90% of calories for the Inuit), but we also have traditional peoples like the Okinawans and Kitavans that obtained a majority (60-70% or more) of their calories from carbohydrate. So it’s impossible to say that the diet of our ancestors was either “low-carb” or “low-fat”, without specifying which ancestors we’re talking about.

Healthy Action Steps

What we can do is:

  1. Eat less refined foods. If it comes in a package, it is refined. Try to make it from scratch instead or check the ingredients to make sure the components are less processed. Avoid reduced-fat choices and foods with trans-fats.
  2. Eat plenty of fresh foods and don’t overcook them. Buying local foods allows you to obtain fresher, enzyme rich foods.
  3. Integrate organ meats into your menu once in awhile. If you don’t enjoy the flavor, chop them up finely or grind them and add them to soup, meatloaf, stew, casserole, burgers, enchiladas…use your imagination. Organ meats from healthy sources are extremely good for you.
  4. Eat the right diet for you. Every vitamin and mineral in food has an affect on your body. It can either push you further out of balance, push you towards balance or have no significant affect. Knowing your Metabolic Type allows you to make educated food choices so you can eat the foods that optimize your health most of the time.
  5. Eat organic foods whenever possible. Especially important organic choices are dairy and the dirty dozen produce.

Organic dining guide for Santa Cruz, part 2: Lunch & Dinner

I hope all you choosing health’ers love and appreciate this guide! I called restaurants every evening for weeks to compile this list. How great is it to know in a glance which restaurants in our town offer organic food?!

In case you missed Part 1, the reason for this endeavor was to make a tool to help us stick with healthier eating and reduce our toxic load when we dine out.

For lunch or dinner, use this guide to ensure you are getting the most health for your buck. Seasonal availability affects choices, so make sure you ask the waitstaff what is organic whenever you dine out.

Almost all organic:

  1. 515 Kitchen & Cocktails
  2. Aquarius
  3. Asana
  4. Backstage Lounge
  5. Benten Sushi
  6. Cafe Campesino
  7. Cafe Cruz (beef not grass finished)
  8. Cafe Mare (except chicken)
  9. Caffe Lucio
  10. Capitola Grille
  11. Cellar Door
  12. Center Street Grill
  13. Charlie Hong Kong (beef and pork are hormone and antibiotic free, not organic)
  14. Chocolate
  15. Conscious Creations
  16. Dharma’s
  17. Gabriella Cafe
  18. Haute Enchilada (free range chicken, wild fish, veggies usually organic)
  19. Hoffman’s Bakery Cafe
  20. India Joze
  21. La Posta (almost everything is local and organic except beef is grain-fed, not grass-fed)
  22. Las Olitas Cantina & Grill
  23. Lemongrass (chicken isn’t free range)
  24. Lillian’s Italian Kitchen (prawns are farmed, not wild)
  25. Main Street Garden & Cafe
  26. Malabar
  27. Michael’s on Main
  28. New Leaf New Beat Cafe
  29. Oak Tree Ristorante
  30. Oswald Restaurant
  31. Pearl of the Ocean
  32. Point Chop House & Lounge
  33. Quail & Thistle Tearoom
  34. Redwood Pizzeria (all organic)
  35. Ristorante Avanti
  36. River Cafe (all organic)
  37. Rockers Pizza Kitchen (all)
  38. Rosie McCann’s (chicken, beef, salads, veggies)
  39. The Red Restaurant & Lounge
  40. Samba Rock Acai Cafe
  41. Soif
  42. Sweet Peas Cafe & Catering (eggs aren’t)
  43. Vivas
  44. Windmill Cafe

More organic than not:

  1. Au Midi
  2. Bluewater Steakhouse (although, ironically, their beef isn’t grass-fed or organic)
  3. Burger. (grass-fed beef, seasonal organic and local produce)
  4. Chaminade (chicken breast, salmon, and ahi salad, always organic. other organic items are seasonal
  5. Hindquarter (free range chicken, organic produce, beef is not)
  6. Hollins House At Pasatiempo (about half of produce & most meats)
  7. Mint (organic chicken, wild fish, beef is not. Menu changes often, but always try to incorporate a good selection of organic options)
  8. Shadowbrook (free range chicken, mostly local organic produce, seasonal wild seafood)
  9. Star Bene (salmon, salads, pasta, anything organic upon request if you call in advance)

Some organic options:

  1. Alfresco (salad greens)
  2. Betty Burger & Betty’s Eat Inn (grass fed, grain finished beef, no hormones or antibiotics)
  3. Casa Rositas (produce)
  4. Dolphin (seafood wild except salmon)
  5. Engfers (salads)
  6. Fresh Choice (entire salad bar is organic)
  7. Gilda’s (wild sole and snapper)
  8. Golden Budda (about half of the veggies are organic: ask upon arriving)
  9. The Greek (some produce: ask upon arriving)
  10. Coldwater Bar & Grill (wild fish except Atlantic salmon)
  11. Hula Island Grill (tofu, wild seafood)
  12. I Love Sushi (wild tuna)
  13. Laili (some veggies, salads, wild trout)
  14. Malone’s (grass-fed beef)
  15. Mama Lucia (salads)
  16. Mobo (about half of fish is wild)
  17. Olitas Cantina & Grille (wild seafood, seasonal produce)
  18. Owl’s Nest (salads)
  19. Pacific Ave Pizza (some veggies, only a few)
  20. Palomar (mixed green salad, wild fish, free range chicken)
  21. Paradise Beach Grille (not organic, but Creekstone Farms and Honolulu Fish Co. sustainable fish)
  22. Peachwoods (only salad greens)
  23. Pink Godzilla (wild fish)
  24. Planet Fresh (veggies)
  25. Pleasure Point Eastside Eatery (produce, salads, never-ever meats, no hormone cheese, clover milk)
  26. Sandabs (most veggies, not meat)
  27. Saturn (salads, veggie burger patty, hot chocolate, Glaum eggs)
  28. Seabright Brewery (spinach, wild trout)
  29. Shogun (all fish wild caught)
  30. Sitar (all veggies)
  31. Stagnaro Bros (wild fish)
  32. Surfrider Cafe (veggies, salads, stir fry, meat is not)
  33. Sushi Garden (some wild fish)
  34. Sushi Totoro (all fish is wild except salmon)
  35. Tam’s (some veggies)
  36. Taqueria La Cabana (most produce, free range chicken)
  37. Tortilla Flats (lettuce and sometimes tomatoes)
  38. Walnut Cafe (wild ahi)
  39. Woodstock’s Pizza (spinach, almonds, cranberries)
  40. Yan Flower (veggies and tofu)
  41. Zelda’s on the Beach (Glaum cage free eggs, sustainable seafood)

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