I want to make clear – I have not lost the seven pounds or actually any discernible weight on this diet. I’ve lost a little weight only recently due to getting back on a regular walking schedule of about 2 /1/2 to 3 miles a day. However, just by staying on this diet I didn’t lose weight. I don't have any idea why not.
I don’t care though. I’m a 56 year old Nana and feel fantastic. I'm a size eight and I can live with that. More walking ought to trim me down to a size six if I keep at it.
Healthwise I'm in heaven. Stomach problems only occur if I eat any of the foods (even in tiny quantities) that Virgin lists (and that I have listed above). Aches and pains, gone. I have energy, my headaches and migraines are down to a rare occurrence. Allergy symptoms that used to plague me, to include rash-like acne on my face and shoulders and back – gone. I am listing only some of the fantastic results of my staying on this diet. It’s no longer a diet for me, it’s my life and I don’t miss a thing.
To recap the forbidden foods in stage one of this entire life-style change for me: due to food sensitivities that many people suffer from that cause various terrible side affects, J.J. Virgin suggests elimination of these seven foods for a minimum of 21 days:
Sugar and ALL Artificial Sweeteners
Today I’d like to share an amazing homemade yogurt I made for myself that is by far, the best yogurt I have ever tasted. Bar none. That includes Greek yogurt I used to eat every day, but since dairy truly is pretty much poison to me, that is no longer an option.
Amande yogurt was the only yogurt with all ingredients not forbidden on stage one, but because of a move of their facilities, they had stopped shipments to stores but plan to be stocking shelves again any day now.
You will need at least one Amande yogurt though for the yogurt starter as every yogurt starter I researched or even ended up buying by mistake had at least one forbidden ingredient in it. Get the vanilla or plain version. In a pinch - get any of the yogurts in your local health food store that is non-dairy. There are a few choices. The problem with most of these is, they usually contain sugar not just fruit juice. So if you are still in stage one you must get only Amande yogurt as your starter. Or any other powdered yogurt starter you can find that does not contain the seven foods/ingredients we are not allowed to have. If you find any powdered yogurt starter that is "safe" please write and share it with us.
First you’ll need a yogurt maker and the one I found is effortless and so easy to use especially if you follow the recipe I’m about to share. Yogourmet is the one I bought and it can’t get much easier than this. The box contains a sack and thermometer, but you won’t need either one. Just the yogurt maker itself.
What you will also need is a strainer like this one pictured here.
Yogurt starter** (use the suggested Amande yogurt if you can't find the proper powdered yogurt starter)
Unsweetened coconut milk
Unsweetened almond milk
Coconut powdered milk (Bought in Amazon's Gourmet Grocery - follow the link)
Stevia and or Xylitol
Canned coconut milk (optional)
I’ve included photos of the exact brands I use because they do not have the seven ingredients we’re not allowed on this diet. If you find other brands of coconut milk or almond milk that meet the criteria, go right ahead. These are just my preference.
I found this recipe on the Internet but tweaked it a bit:
Warm ¾ quart coconut milk
and ¾ quart almond milk
Warm in your microwave for approximately 3 minutes (3 minutes 30 seconds if your microwave is lower wattage).
Pour into the Yogourmet’s inner plastic container.
Add your yogurt starter.
Add 2 or three cups of the powdered coconut milk one cup at a time.
(I have used only 2 cups and the consistency was just fine for me. But three cups makes it a bit thicker.)
After you put in each cup, stir before putting in the other cup or it will all sit on the top.
Put the lid on and place the inner container into your yogurt maker and plug it in. You will need a timer as the kit does not come with one. Leave it plugged in on your counter without disturbing it for 8 full hours. No peeking, no checking on it.
When the eight hours is up, take the inner container out, pop off the lid and you’ll have your yogurt floating on the top. Before you do anything, make sure to set aside at least two heaping tablespoons of the yogurt, place in a (preferably glass) small container and save it in your refrigerator as your starter for your next batch. I use a cleaned out small mushroom jar.
At this point, it’s so nice and thick, I just take a regular large spoon to scoop off the yogurt on top and place it into a container I’m going to use for the refrigerator. I only use the strainer if it’s hard to get the last spoonful’s off the top of the liquid.
Dump the liquid down the sink, and now that you have your yogurt in your new container, add your Stevia or Xylitol to taste, almond and vanilla extract stir, and then chill in the refrigerator. The result is amazing! It’s so thick and rich and creamy, it’s like the consistency of sour cream.
Once chilled for a few hours you have to taste it. Use the canned creamy coconut milk – about a tablespoon -- as a topper, berries, sprinkle some salted cashew pieces on top and enjoy!
That’s my piece for today.