Posts tagged coffee
The Perfect Present

Welcome to the holiday season!  It’s the Cook family’s favorite time of year and while we don’t necessarily love the idea of the commercialism surrounding the holidays, we absolutely adore everything else about it – from the tree trimming and smell of pine that fills the air to the gathering of family and friends for shared meals.  Part of what makes the holiday so special is, ironically, the very thing that renders the season so commercial in the first place - the gift giving.  I personally don’t think it HAS to be commercial.  It can instead be a communication of heart felt love and appreciation.  With some thought, a gift filled with the heartful intention of health and longevity has the potential to change the course of someone’s life.  Forget the socks and ugly holiday sweaters (although, I love both).  I am delighted to offer you a look at 10 alternative perfect present ideas.  I  tried to include a variety of price ranges, so I hope you are able to check everyone off your list!

Nine River Road, Callicoon, NY

Nine River Road, Callicoon, NY

1.     For the ultimate gift of instant recovery from holiday madness, welcome in the new year and treat a loved one (and yourself) to a Deep Health Evolution weekend in the Catskills.  Once all the indulgence and frenetic energy usually surrounding the holiday season has passed, the time for renewal is in order.  This retreat is a commitment to making this the best year yet.  All joining will learn improved mobility and physical conditioning, mental stamina through breath work and indispensable morning practices, will experiment with hydrogen inhalation, eat nourishing and delicious foods, drink clean, low-sugar, keto-friendly wines.  And last but not least have the opportunity to sleep ensconced in the peace, quiet and natural beauty of the Catskills n the comfortable and cozy beds at Nine River Road in Calicoon, NY Here’s a thought.  Buy a beautiful luggage tag, and insert your retreat weekend gift message inside!


2.    Help a loved one break habits no longer serving them, break through plateaus and design their own path to deeper health through our Health Coaching services or Complete Wellness Package.   We offer several packages from a la cart consultations and trainings to full six month packages customized towards your personal goals - improved body composition, better energy, diet help, sports specific training, overall wellness overhaul.  Scroll down to see all our offerings. Buyer beware, fat loss is a common result - you may find those brand new jeans falling right off you once you begin working with us!

This season we are excited to offer something very special. Would you like a personal chef to come into your home with all provisions in hand and cook you an absolutely creative, delicious, nutritious meal? For a limited time, Gregg and I are personally up for the challenge. We will personalize the meal to your tastes and dietary restrictions, provide low-sugar wines and take care of clean up as well! If you are interested in a “Deep Health Evolution” meal, please contact us for details.

Sleep Master Sleep Mask

Sleep Master Sleep Mask

3.    For those who have trouble with sleep and stress, how about putting together a Sleep Intervention Package.  For pitch black darkness, this eye mask will do the trick.  For white noise, this is our favorite little device.  We even travel with it!  For some help falling asleep, relax with some Sleep Remedy – a Navy Seal doctor concoction of Vitamin D, magnesium, L-tryptophan, phGABA, 5-HTP and the tiniest dose of Melatonin.  Take a serving 30 minutes before bedtime and slowly drift away into dreamland. (Use code Cookbooks for a 10% discount).

 For stress management, give the gift of neuro-balancing Hemp Oil.  Safe for children and pets alike, this is the most effective hemp oil in the market (as far as we’ve tested).  It is cleanly sourced and extremely bioavailable.   For more info on the numerous benefits see HERE.

4.    For those troubled by aging (aren’t we all to some degree), our nutritious aging weapon of choice is hydrogen inhalation therapy (or HIT).  This would knock the socks off - as well as a few wrinkles - off of any one using it. The Japanese have long known the benefits of this delicate yet powerful molecule.  With absolutely no negative side effects, the hydrogen molecule is a selective anti-oxidant that will address oxidative damage detrimental to health, while leaving behind those created by stressors that strengthen the body, such as those created during exercise.  HIT puts you on the fast track to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress - the root cause of all disease and aging concerns. Read more about it here. The most efficacious delivery method of hydrogen molecules is through inhalation. The HIT device is not easy on the wallet, but certainly worth it and for a limited time Health & Beauty Wellness, our source, is conducting case studies on the benefits of Hydrogen Inhalation Therapy. It is a 3 month study and upon completion you will receive $250 cash back for your participation. Financing is also possible. To purchase a system and to learn more here. And of course, contact us with any questions.

Want to spend a little less?  How about a clay mask and derma roller from Alitura? This mask is made from a long list of 100% natural, hard-to-find powerful ingredients such as grass-fed colostrum and Rhassoul Clay.  For a one-two punch and skin softer then a baby’s bottom, use it with the Alitura derma roller.  

Another favorite tool for those puffy-faced mornings (you all know what I am talking about) is a jade roller. Basically this tool combats inflammation and puffiness by helping to circulate the lymphatic system. It’s pretty as well!

Miyabi Birchwood Knife Block

Miyabi Birchwood Knife Block

5.     Know someone who loves to cook?  Enhance their pantry with the most delicious and nutrient dense food powders available in the market – and in fact, exclusively through this website.  These powders by Dr. Cowen’s Garden are made from organically and biodynamically grown rare vegetable varieties and gently dried and stored in Miron jars for maximum preservation of nutrients.  And they are delicious.  Our favorites are the Leek Salt, Kale Power and Savory Threefold Blend.  Use code DR.COWENSGARDEN for a 15% discount. How about a package of vegetable powers and a beautiful organic California olive oil?

Anyone who cooks knows the importance of having good knives.  We invested in these Japanese knives a few years ago, and have never looked back. They are indeed spendy, but not only do they elevate the cooking experience to new levels they are also beautiful to look at.  I also covet these handmade beauties.

This is my favorite cast iron dutch oven. It is perfect for large roasts, soups and even baking bread.

This Greek copper pepper mill is divine. I saw it first at a friend’s house in Portland and immediately looked or one for myself. It is would make an exquisite gift. Some other gadgets we find indispensable in the kitchen are the Vitamix Blender (which we’ve had for close to 20 years), Instant Pot, mini food processor, zester and this meat thermometer for perfectly cooked meat every time! (The zester and meat thermometer are perfect stocking stuffers). 

Fellow Stagg Electric Pour Over Kettle

Fellow Stagg Electric Pour Over Kettle

6.    And now for our vices.  Today we talk about our morning vice.  Coffee. We have written extensively about it in the past.  Delicious and full of healthful benefits, a toxin-free, mold-free, organic, high antioxidant very-exclusive coffee is a gift from the gods.  Purity coffee has been tested for molds and mycotoxins as well as for its antioxidant properties and checks off all the right marks.  The coffee beans alone would fit nicely in a stocking and a coffee subscription, a set of beautiful coffee cups, a gorgeous electric kettle or Japanese coffee dripper would make any coffee lover happy (and may even convert those who are not)!  Bonus:  Attach a handwritten note written on parchment with the benefits of coffee listed to your package.

7.    Vice number two. Wine.  We at Deep Health Evolution are all about living a balanced life. This includes enjoying a glass of wine or two a few times a week, especially with friends and family. Unfortunately, the way most wines are made – the way the grapes are grown and harvested and the non-desirable additives put into them, this practice can quickly get in the way of leading a healthy life.  For more information, see here. Fortunately, there are some good people out there making it easier for us to have the best of both worlds.  Dry Farm Wines curates natural, organic and biodynamically grown wines from small producers around the globe.  Every batch of wine is tested for its sugar and alcohol content, insuring that every single bottle is not only low in sugar and even keto-friendly, but also never surpassing an alcohol content of 12%.  This way, the detriments of drinking are minimized and hang-overs are completely avoided (assuming you’re imbibing within reason, of course). Their wines are little known and exclusive, which is a must in terms of gift giving, and best part of all is that they taste fantastic.  A Dry Farm Wine subscription is a great gift idea.  If you are wary of giving someone a subscription, gift yourself the subscription, and give away couple of bottles along with this gorgeous corkscrew and unique wine glasses

Bellicon Mini Trampoline

Bellicon Mini Trampoline

8.     If you have kids of your own or are close to kids in your life, you know that the holidays are really all about THEM.  It is a magical time of year and for kids this is true in magnitudes.  While I am sure toy catalogues have made their ways into your mailboxes already, how about instilling the gift of movement to a child – and the whole family really.  Bouncing is great for a host of reasons ranging from bone density, joint health, balance, cardiovascular conditioning, recovery and immune system strengthening and is loads of fun.  It was be an effective tool for improving fitness and performance as well as a toy!  This is the one we have.  You can customize the colors and tension on it and the legs fold up for easy storage.  For an additional cost you can opt for screw -on legs and other balancing accessories.  Amazon sells many less extravagant ones which are less expensive and also fine, although we can’t personally attest to that! 

9.    Want more than a weekend away and are willing to wait until June?  How about a fully immersive week in Deep Health practices in Mallorca.  With this, I guarantee a life-changing experience that will last forever.  Our first trip to Mallorca was so successful, we decided to repeat it – only this time we’ve learned from our experience and perfected it.  This is a true and deep dive into learning how to upgrade your life.  The retreat will happen while in the midst of the intoxicating natural beauty of Mallorca and pampered in the most luxurious accommodations imaginable - the beautiful bones of an ancient farmhouse meticulously maintained and modernized with all the comforts you could ask for, only a few minutes from the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean.  You will experience movement as never before, breathwork that will transform the way you perform, eat, sleep, recover and even age.  You will eat nutritious and mouth-watering foods prepared by local chefs, visit local beaches, tour a biodynamic wine farm, cycle, hike, coaster and much more.  Every detail has been taken into account.  This is a family friendly event with a special itinerary for kids 8 and older, timed specifically around the summer school break.  This is THE gift for you and your family.   


10.  Finally, some home made beauties. In only a few minutes you could create some memorable homemade gifts that work as stocking stuffers or equally well as hostess gifts.  Here is my favorite:

Homemade Marshmallows & Grain-Free Graham Crackers S’mores Kit (adapted from The Real Food Dietitians)

For the crackers:

  • 1 1/4 cup finely-ground almond flour (I like the Honeyville brand)

  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch

  • 3/4 tsp Vital Proteins Gelatin 

  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 3 Tbsp honey or maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 2 tsp organic whole milk (or nut milk of choice)

  • 10-12 marshmallows (home made recipe below)

  • 10-12 squares of chocolate, milk or dark

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF.

  2. Place dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade and pulse to combine.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey or maple syrup, vanilla and milk.

  4. Add to dry ingredients and process until the mixture forms a ball.

  5. Turn dough out onto a large sheet of parchment paper. It should fit on your baking sheet without overhang.

  6. Dust dough with arrowroot starch then begin to shape it into a log. Then with an additional dusting of arrowroot starch, roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick.

  7. Score dough into 2×2-inch squares using a knife or pizza cutter and poke holes in each cracker using a skewer or fork. (For a more rustic look, skip the scoring and break the cookies apart by hand once cooked and completely cooled).

  8. Transfer the parchment with dough to the baking sheet. With the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven, bake for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be slightly puffy with edges lightly brown.

  9. Turn off oven and let the crackers to cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes with the oven door slightly ajar. Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

  10. Break crackers along score lines when completely cooled. Store in a covered airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

  11. To package your s’mores gift, place chocolate bar, graham crackers and marshmallows in a wide mouth mason jar. Wrap a pretty holiday ribbon around the mouth of the jar with a handwritten ingredient and instruction label. Alternatively, you can place a few crackers, chocolate and marshmallows in a box with tissue paper.

For the marshmallows:

*You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe.

  • 2 cups water, divided

  • 5 Tbsp. Vital Proteins Gelatin 

  • 1 cup honey or real maple syrup

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

  •  Arrowroot starch for dusting (tapioca flour works as well)

  • Coconut oil for greasing pan

  • Parchment paper

  1. Lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish with coconut oil then line with parchment lengthwise and grease the parchment. Line again with another piece of parchment in the opposite direction, and grease. Leave some overhang in both pieces of parchment to help turning the marshmallows out of the pan.

  2. Dust the pan lightly with arrowroot starch.

  3. Pour 1 cup of water into the bowl of a stand mixer with whip attachment (or in a bowl if you are using a hand mixer)

  4. Sprinkle gelatin over the water and allow it to “bloom” for 5-10 minutes.

  5. In the meanwhile, make the syrup. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, whisk together the remaining 1 cup water, the honey or maple syrup. Set up your candy thermometer in the pan.

  6. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat slightly to prevent the mixture from boiling over.

  7. Allow the mixture to simmer rapidly until it reaches 240℉ on the candy thermometer (soft-ball stage).

  8. With the mixer on medium speed very slowly pour the hot syrup into the bowl over the gelatin. Be careful not to pour directly onto the beater or it will splatter.

  9. Once the syrup has been mixed in, add vanilla and sea salt and beat on high speed for 5-10 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy, white and almost tripled in volume.

  10. Pour the fluffy marshmallow cream into the prepared pan and with a rubber spatula gently smooth.

  11. Allow marshmallows to cool, uncovered for 6 hours or overnight. Transfer marshmallow to a cutting board dusted with starch. Peel away the parchment and dust with starch.

  12. Using a sharp knife, cut into 36 squares. Dust cut sides with additional starch to prevent them from sticking together.

  13. Store in a covered container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

And from the internet:

We will be sending you some other ideas in the next coming weeks as we find them ourselves. Happy gifting!

(This post contains lots of affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission if you make a purchase using them).

Coffee Fix

We've written about coffee in the past, but in light of daylight savings time and the need for a little extra pep in the step, we thought it might be a good time to revisit the topic.  Did you know that well over 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day worldwide and New Yorkers are estimated to drink 7x more coffee than any other city in the US.  No wonder we also walk and talk at least twice as quickly as anyone else in the country!  Coffee love is not a new one form or another, it has been a part of human culture since before 1000 AD.
Is this a habit we should indulge or tease out?  As with most things, the answer is both yes and no! 
Here are 8 reasons why you should absolutely drink more coffee.

  1. Antioxidants.  No food on the planet surpasses the number of antioxidants in coffee according to the latest research.  It surpasses our darling blueberries and our beloved dark chocolate by a landslide. 
  2. Coffee is a healthy brain superfood, improving memory, mood, vigilance, and energy.  Coffee drinkers have a massively reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (up to 65%).
  3. The risk of developing Parkinson’s disease is reduced by up to 30% by drinking coffee.
  4. Great news for all of us who love a cocktail or two - coffee is great for liver health. Coffee drinking has proven to help lower the risk of developing cirrhosis by up to 65%, regardless of the caffeine content.
  5. Skin health.  The more coffee, the lower the chances of developing skin cancer.
  6. Coffee can help boost athletic performance.
  7. Coffee can assist in weight loss by bumping up the metabolism.
  8. Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

BONUS: That cup of joe may help in the bedroom.  It’s been shown to improve women’s sex drive!

Convinced?  We urge you to pause and grab yourself a coffee before reading on.
And now for the bad news.  If not properly cultivated and processed, coffee can also be damaging and all its wonderful health boosting effects nullified .  
So here’s the opposing argument.

  1. Toxins.  Improper growing and processing of the coffee bean, whether organic or not, can cause the development of mold toxins.  This is a huge problem in the US, as it has no standards or regulations for coffee.  The situation is even worse for decaf coffee because caffeine acts as a natural antifungal in the beans, defending itself against mold and other organisms found in nature.  If the decaffeinated beans are processed improperly, the beans are rendered completely defenseless. 
  2. Pesticides.  Coffee beans are heavily sprayed.  Worldwide, 97% of the coffees are treated with some type of pesticide and other chemicals.  It seems unbelievable, given the number of “artisanal” coffee shops out there, but only 3% of the coffees available today are organic.  Even organic coffees often succumb to mold while the beans sit in dirty water.
  3. The Jitters.  Caffeine can release cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone and as a result, increase heart rate and blood pressure.  It can make certain people feel more nervous and anxious.
  4. A Belly Ache.  The acidity in coffee can irritate the lining of the stomach and cause heartburn.  This is especially true if the person is dealing another underlying digestive condition such as IBS, Crohn’s Disease and ulcers.

What is the solution to this conundrum?  
We say go for it.  With all those amazing health benefits, it’s hard to say no to coffee, especially since we love the taste.  Caveat - choose wisely.  Know your beans!  To maximize the benefits coffee can have, while minimizing any negative effects, choose coffee you can trust.  In other words, coffee from the corner deli will likely be made from cheap, low quality beans you are better off staying away from.  Here are some tips:
Chooser organic, single-origin coffee.  Meaning, all the beans come from one place.  This limits the chances of moldy beans.
Get high.  Beans grown at higher elevations need to work harder to survive and as a result, become stronger with a greater ability to fight off mold.


What do we use?  Our favorite coffee for home brewing is Purity Coffee.  The beans are organic, from high elevations, roasted and packed with laser precision and always super fresh.  Each batch is tested for antioxidant and mold content.  Independent lab tests compared the antioxidant levels of Purity with 49 other top coffee brands and Purity was the highest with approximately twice the amount on average!  You can really taste the difference.  Purity has joined the monthly subscription bandwagon where you can receive as many bags are you want, delivered to your doorstep, every 2 weeks.  Here is a link.  Use code greggcook for 10% off your subscription.  There is a ton of information on the Purity site if you are interested in learning more.  (While are affiliated with Purity and get a small kickback if you end up signing up for a subscription, it is our favorite coffee for all the reasons listed above...hands-down).

We like the pour-over method and use the Hario carafe and glass dripper pictured at the top of this post with a walnut and brass stand.  Here is the link to a similar one.

Keep in mind is that the effects of caffeine, just as everything else, varies from person to person.  One person can drink coffee all day long, never experiencing nervousness and stomach woes while the next may not be able to drink even the most watered down sip.  This is a personal thing largely determined by your own genetic constitution.  If you’ve experienced negative side effects in the past, try Purity or another trusted high quality organic brand of coffee and test how you feel. 

Another thing to try is blending your coffee with some fat source.  It can help lessen the caffeine spike and actually extend its effects.  The fat feeds your brain, will keep you fuller for longer and will help if your first "meal" is going to be much later in the day.  It also tastes amazing.  We love grass-fed, raw heavy cream.  Some people opt for good old-fashioned grass-fed butter and/or MCT oils.  For a non-dairy option, try coconut milk or coconut cream.

Crucial to note is that coffee and caffeine, while amazing  in so many ways, will invariably disrupt sleep if consumed in excess and too late into the day.  The general rule of thumb is no coffee after 2pm.  I (Fatima), personally, am hyper-caffeine sensitive.  My cut off is 10am and I discovered this through n=1 experimentation, and a few unfortunate sleepless nights!
Oh, and I would be remiss to leave out one more little coffee trick.  Aside from timing your caffeine intake according to your personal constitution, a quick and simple hack is to take the amino acid L-Theanine along with your coffee.  L-Theanine is normally found in green tea, among other sources.  It is a relaxant associated with promoting alpha brainwaves, and helps balance brain waves and avoid jitters.

Why you need a morning routine to kick off the day and what mine looks like.

A common habit shared by some of the most successful people in the universe is following a morning routine.  This is true for world leaders, business executives, athletes, actors, musicians, writers, and artists alike.  Why?  Morning routines set the tone of the day, help foster the feeling of connection and organization, and harness the strength of will power at its peak.  It builds momentum for all that unfolds throughout the remainder of the day.  Routines and rituals also happen to be a commonality between centenarians and super centenarians... aka people who live very long lives. Studies have shown that strong morning rituals help reduce stress and mental fatigue.  Perhaps this is part of the reason why.

My morning routine help me get going without having to ask myself the question, "Hmmm, what shall I do first", which can become extremely overwhelming and absolutely stressful.  I definitely don't get to do all the things on the list all the time, but it's never all or nothing.  I do what I can, and for the most part, here is what it looks like, weekdays and ends.  (Gregg's routine is very similar.  If you want to know exactly what it looks like, write a note in the comments).

  1. Wake up naturally between 5 and 5:30am.
  2. Rub some essential oils on my temples and third eye (usually lavender or frankincense).
  3. Do a couple of rounds of breathing exercises (to be perfectly honest, I often tend to skip this).  
  4. Meditate for about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Perform a few mobility exercises, which are like meditation for my body (some combination of joint mobility or CARS, push-ups, The Founder move, spinal twists).
  6. Make the bed.  This is 100% is closure to all the morning habits that happen in the sanctity of my bedroom and I feel unsettled without it!
  7. Drink a LARGE glass of water with lemon and a bit of sea salt.
  8. While I'm drinking water, the coffee is brewing.
  9. With coffee in hand, I try to write in my journal.  If my daughter is up and we need to get our act together quickly to get to school on time, I don't get to this.  When I do, I write at least 3 things I am grateful for, sometimes sketch and/or write random notes and plan out the day.

What does your morning routine look like?  Need some help putting one together?  Let us know!