My mum underwent her second stent surgery last week, and in God’s perfect hands, everything turned out fine.
Thanks to the surgery, all her arteries are cleared and no longer clogged, and her heart no longer has to work overtime just to pump blood around her body.
Yet while the surgery was a success, it is also a stark reminder of the importance of treating our bodies right – the way our bodies deserve to be treated.
In the aftermath of my mum’s unexpected heart attack last Christmas, her doctors did a thorough medical revision which revealed that my mum was also suffering from Type 2 diabetes (also known as “adult diabetes”) – due to accumulated insulin resistance and her pancreas’ inability to deal with years’ of high blood glucose.
(For tips on how to prevent or reverse Type 2 diabetes, read Dr. William Davis’ helpful and informative post.)
I can safely point out the culprits of both diabetes and the heart attack – her previous diet that was high in processed carbohydrates, and just too rich in sugar; as well as an extremely sedentary lifestyle.
I believe that this is a wake-up call for all of us in our family to pay attention to the food we feed our bodies as well as to make the effort to have sufficient exercise.
A very wise Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food,” a phrase that I now have taped onto my refrigerator door.
I know that the food we eat has an important role in ensuring good health. I have never been more convinced that if we move away from a diet of unhealthy, processed foods, and purposefully choose to eat real foods that are nutrient-dense and low in processed carbohydrates, our bodies can be healed of many illnesses and many modern-day symptoms can be reversed.
I’ve also been trying to eliminate gluten, and to a lesser extent, grains, from my diet, because I strongly believe in the arguments made by Wheat Belly and Grain Brain (two amazing books that I highly recommend everyone to read).
However, let’s be honest.
As must as I’m motivated to change my diet, reducing carbohydrates, gluten, grains and processed foods is not often easy at all, and breakfast is usually the toughest – no more French toast, toasted bread, corn flakes, oats, etc, so what am I going to eat?
Thankfully, I’ve found a healthy alternative to these breakfast options that keeps me full enough till lunchtime, and is also low in carbs – I’ve been eating plain unsweetened yogurt and a small portion of fruits, nuts and seeds. Definitely a great way to start the day.
When my friend Maria from my gym told me her recipe for homemade yogurt, I jumped at it.
You see, I easily eat up to 1 litre of yogurt per week, and making it at home (without the preservatives and additional sugar that comes with the store-bought kind) seemed like the most logical thing to do. Plus, Maria also won me over when she told me that it would save me more than half the cost of buying yogurt from the store.
I didn’t know much about yogurt before this, and reading up on Wikipedia, I learnt that yogurt is produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk – the bacteria used to make yogurt is known as “yogurt cultures” – and fermentation of lactose (milk) by these bacteria produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yogurt its texture and natural sourness.
If you’re a fan of yogurt, I strongly suggest you try making it at home.
And if you’re not already a fan of yogurt, here are a couple of reasons for you to change your mind.
Wikipedia tells us that yogurt is nutritionally rich in protein, calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Apparently, yogurt has nutritional benefits that go beyond those of milk, and many lactose-intolerant people actually tolerate yogurt better than other dairy products due to the conversion of lactose to glucose and galactose, as well as the fermentation of lactic acid carried out by the bacteria present in the yogurt.
According to the Guardian, the health benefits of the lactic bacteria in yogurt include: immune system support, less constipation, stomach acidity and diarrhoea; lower body fat, protection against food poisoning; stronger bones and fresher breath.
Now let’s get to the recipe.
Maria’s homemade yogurt recipe is so easy, and ridiculously fool-proof and it is just so incredibly cheap to produce (literally half or less of the cost of store-bought yogurt!).
You begin by bringing 1 liter of milk to a boil (you can add a bit of sugar – I mix in just 1 tablespoon of sugar with 1 liter of milk), and when the milk starts foaming and bubbling, turn off the heat. Let the milk sit uncovered for 20 minutes, then remove the top layer of milk that has started to coagulate. Add in half a cup of natural, unsweetened yogurt (this is necessary for the live cultures needed to ferment the milk) to the boiled milk, making sure to mix it well.
Transfer the milk-yogurt to a plastic or foam container, cover it with cloth towels, and store it for the next twelve hours in a warm place with minimal air flows. After 12 hours, transfer the yogurt into individual jars, cover the jars and let the yogurt chill in the refrigerator. (I usually prepare the milk-yogurt mixture at night before sleeping, and when I wake up the next day, the yogurt is already ready! All that’s left is to chill it).
The result? Light, creamy and natural homemade yogurt – that’s just so easy to make, and yet tastes so good with a small serving of fruits, nuts and seeds.
If you’re willing to try this recipe, I assure you that you’ll be making it more than just once! I’m already on my third batch of yogurt by the time you’re reading this!
And if you do make it, please let me know how it goes!!
Light, creamy and natural homemade yogurt – that’s just so easy to make, and yet tastes so good with a small serving of fruits, nuts and seeds.
- 1 liter of cow’s milk (full-fat or skim milk, your choice)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar (for diabetics, best to leave out the sugar)
- 1/2 cup of non-flavored, unsweetened yogurt
- Bring the milk to a boil (If adding sugar, mix in sugar with milk before boiling).
- When milk has started to boil, switch off the fire, and let milk cool on the stove for 20 minutes.
- After milk has cooled, remove the layer that has coagulated on the surface, and throw it away.
- Add in the yogurt to the milk and mix well.
- Transfer the mixture to a plastic container, seal the container, and wrap it with a couple of kitchen towels.
- Place the towel-wrapped container in a plastic bag, and leave it in a warm place where there is no air flow for the next 12 hours (I placed it in my oven, but you can place it in the kitchen cupboard or somewhere else)
- After 12 hours, remove the plastic bag and towels and place the container in the refridgerator for another 12 hours. You can also transfer the yogurt into separate individual pots before chilling it.
- Serve yogurt chilled with a small serving of fresh fruits a handful of nuts and seeds of your choice.
1. If you prefer a thinner yogurt texture (i.e. the texture of thick milk), use only 1/4 cup of yogurt in the recipe. For a thicker yogurt texture, use 1/2 cup.
2. For a thicker texture, use full-fat milk instead of skim milk. Yogurt made from full-fat milk wins in terms of flavor and texture compared to yogurt made from low-fat milk.
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Category: Breakfast
- Cuisine: Western