Baking bread: Yeast-free and gluten-free alternatives

Yeast-free alternatives:

  • Chapatis
  • Rye bread from sprouted wheat
  • Tortilla bread from corn

Gluten-free flour alternatives:

  • Rice
  • Chickpea
  • Soy
  • Bean
  • Corn




Keeping bread fresh

The best way to keep homemade bread fresh is to bake it, let it cool, then place it in the freezer.

The reason why we need to put it in the freezer is that the moment we take the bread out of the oven it starts to lose its moisture.

Starch retrogradation is the chemical reaction that changes the structure of starch molecules and forces water out of the bread.

Crusty top bread

The Maillard Reaction is the name of the chemical reaction that happens between amino acids and sugars. This chemical reaction also requires moisture and heat in order to happen.

The brown crusty top is the result of the chemical reaction stated above. If you want your bread to have it you can do either of the two:

  • spray the dough with water a few times while it is cooking; or
  • fill a baking tray with ice cubes and place it in the bottom of your preheated oven.
Finger test your dough

Once your dough has doubled its size, press the dough with your finger -- if it bounces back then that means it is ready to be baked. Anything otherwise means that it needs more time to be proved.

Proving cupboards

Proving activates the yeast in the dough. You don't need proving cupboards in order to perfect making bread.

Although cupboards provide constant temperature and humidity, they can be done just by covering your dough with a tea towel. It is also possible to cold prove the dough at room temperature or you can leave your dough in a warm oven.

Forget me not: Salt

When you put salt in the dough that has yeast in it, it absorbs moisture that aids in controlling the fermentation process. 

The reason why salt does that is that salt is hygroscopic so it attracts water.

Know your yeast!

Bakers use one species of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae that means "sugar-eating fungi."

Yeasts are single-celled organisms that help make the bread light and bubbly.

Bread connoisseurs prefer live yeast but dry yeast has a longer shelf life. If you're open to a yeast recommendation, instant yeast is the way to go. It's way dehydrated than dry yeast and it works on the bread quicker and has a longer shelf life than the already dry yeast.

Knead, knead, knead

Kneading your dough lines up the messy strands of gluten and makes your bread stronger.

Use strong flour

If you don't want heavy and dense bread, make sure to use strong flour. Strong flour has high amounts of protein in which contains glutenin and glian that makes gluten when water is added into the mix.

The gluten gives it its elasticity and enables the dough to rise with a good structure.

Archeological artifacts that are discovered many years ago prove to us that bread has and always will be comfort food to most of us. 

Natufian hunter-gatherers were making flatbreads from wild cereals from over 12,000 years ago but it's possible that baking could have started even earlier.

Describing mental chatter

The inner voice can keep us trapped in a hell of our own making. But it can also be one of our greatest strengths - if we can control it.

From time to time, we are all fixated on something that happened. We voice in out heads replay it over and over in our heads. I shouldn't have snapped at Dad when he is always so patient with me. We ruminate, we worry, we catastrophize.

There is a difference between a normal stream of consciousness and going into a chatter spiral.

When you find yourself rehearsing the same thing repeatedly without trying to come up with an objective solution, and the negative thoughts start to prevent you from doing other things, you are experiencing chatter.

  • Do distanced self-talk. We can coach ourselves through our problem like we're talking to another person. Use your name to address yourself. "Jim, you could do this."
  • Take nature walks. Walking in nature subtly draws our attention to interesting things and gives our attention the ability to recharge. It gives you a sense of perspective.
  • Find people who can help you when you're struggling with something.
The History of the Avocado
  • The avocado fruit has been existing since the Cenozoic era. It miraculously survived the dispersion system that happened 13,000 years ago.
  • By the 500 BC, in Mexico and Central America the avocado fruit was being bred to its fullest potential in which was believed to have aphrodasiac properties.
  • It was originally called ahuactl which meant testicles and the name was changed because of it's difficulty in pronunciation and for branding.
  • The Hass avocado was named after Rudolph Hass who tried to graft different varieties of avocado into a seedling he brought home, but due to his futile attempts of making fruit, he left it alone.
  • It were the Hass children who discovered the fruit of the avocado tree that Rudolph had left alone.
  • Millions of avocado trees were all genetically descendants of the single mother tree propagated by Rudolph Hass which he was not able to catch in despite its growing popularity.

There are many different types of avocados but these two are especially important due to the competition that arose between them.

Their differences are:

  • In color and outward appearance.
  • The Hass avocado trees grow faster, produces more fruit, and are easier to propagate.
  • The Hass avocados are great for getting shipped internationally due to its thick skin.

Other variants of avocados tried to enter into the market as well such as the Gwen avocado, but they had entered the market too late.

The ever growing avocado craze is continually causing a detrimental impact to the environment due to deforestation and the displacement of avocado seeds instead of the variant that should've been found in the locality.

Dancing benefits
  • Dancing is a great all-round cardio workout.
  • Dancing is fun in the way a monotonous treadmill run probably never will be.
  • It can be a social activity and working out together can help to up the difficulty level and increase accountability.
  • Anyone can dance. "It's about you moving your body in your way not like the rest of the people in the class."
  • It can keep your brain sharp. According to one study, getting footloose on a regular basis is linked with a 76 % reduction in dementia risk.
  • It's gentle on the body. Dancing is more free, allowing you to adjust the tempo when your body needs a break.
  • A research review found that dancing, as well as carrying objects while walking, can help to improve balance.
  • You don't need a lot of equipment.

The average adult spends 36 % (or about one-third) of his or her life asleep.

Purpose of Sleep:

  • Restoration
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Metabolic Health

The first purpose of sleep is restoration.

Every day, your brain accumulates metabolic waste as it goes about its normal neural activities. Sleeping restores the brains healthy condition by removing these waste products. Accumulation of these waste products has been linked to many brain-related disorders.

Memory Consolidation

The second purpose of sleep is memory consolidation.

Sleep is crucial for memory consolidation, which is responsible for your long term memories. Insufficient or fragmented sleep can hamper your ability to remember facts and feelings/emotions.

Metabolical Health

When we sleep 5.5 hours per night instead of 8.5 hours per night (recommended is 8 hours), we tend to burn more energy using carbs and protein, instead of fat. This can result in fat gain and muscle loss. Also, insufficient sleep or abnormal sleep cycles can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Cumulative Stress

Cumulative stress takes place when the inputs in our body like nutrition, sleep and other forms of recovery are not able to fulfill the drainers, like exercise, stress, and other forms of things that take away our energy.

Keep your Bucket of Energy Full
  1. Refill your bucket on a regular basis. That means making time for sleep and recovery.
  2. Let the draining tasks in your life accumulate and drain your bucket. Once you hit empty, your body will force you to rest through injury and illness.
The Sleep-Wake Cycle

The quality of your sleep is determined by a process called the sleep-wake cycle. This cycle is dictated by your circadian rhythm.

There are two important parts of the sleep-wake cycle:

  1. Slow-wave sleep (also known as deep sleep)
  2. REM sleep (REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement)
How to Sleep Better
  • Develop a “power down” ritual before bed, limiting the use of technology and bright lights.
  • Use Relaxation Techniques like yoga or meditation.
  • Get some sun exposure every day.
  • Avoid Caffeine.
  • Stop smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Use the Bedroom for sleep-related activities only, keeping it uncluttered and inducive to sleep.
  • Get some exercise in the day.
  • Keep room temperature ideal for sleep.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol.
  • Avoid noisy surroundings and conditions.
The Circadian Rhythm

It is impacted by three main factors: 

  • Light: probably the most significant pace setter of the circadian rhythm. Staring into a bright light for 30 minutes or so can often reset your circadian rhythm regardless of what time of day it is.
  • The time of day, your daily schedule, and the order in which you perform tasks can all impact your sleep-wake cycle.
  • Melatonin: this is the hormone that causes drowsiness and controls body temperature. It increases after dark and decreases before dawn.
How to Fall Asleep Fast
  • Develop a “power down” ritual before bed: shut off all electronics an hour or two before sleep and resume all work early in the day, t calm your mind.
  • Use relaxation techniques: proven methods include daily journaling, deep breathing exercises, meditation, exercise, and keeping a gratitude journal.
  • Get outside. Aim for at least 30 minutes of sun exposure each day.
  • Turn out the lights. When it gets dark outside, dim the lights in your house and reduce blue or full-spectrum light in your environment.
  • Avoid caffeine and stop smoking or chewing tobacco. 
  • Use the bedroom for sleep and sex only. 

Also, consider these sleep aids: exercise (it will make it easier for your brain and body to power down at night), temperature (the ideal range is usually between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit/18 to 21 degrees Celsius) and sound (a quiet space is key for good sleep).

When choosing your bedtime, try not to fight your physiology. The best bedtime will differ a little bit for everyone, but it's crucial that you pay close attention to your internal clock and what your body is telling you. As long as you're getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep, just focus on finding the time that works best for you.

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