Life Alive Cafe's Food Glossary

(Since you're not at our counter right now, where we relish talking with you in person, we thought we'd share the healing power of our menu with you online!)


Hippocrates, the founder of modern Western medicine, said, "Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food." We totally agree, especially when it can taste sooo good!


First and Formost, before we get into specifics: 

What is organic and why is it important anyway?
Organic is a term used to describe food products - including produce, grains, beans, dairy and meats - that have been grown and/or produced without artificial herbacides, pesticides, fungicides, growth hormones, antibiotics or other unnatural chemicals. Eating Organic food means that these chemicals and additives don't end up in our bodies - or in our soil, water supplies and environment. Here at Life AliveSM cafe we make all of our purchases to support our bodies, the local economy, and our environment.

Agave Nectar is a natural sweetener, raw and filled with enzymes extracted from the blue agave cactus plant.

Almonds are eaten at Life AliveSM cafe in a variety of ways. In each, they are filled with calcium and healthy fats important for every aspect of our body, including: endocrine, digestive, mental functioning. We sprout almonds to make almond mylkfor our delicious smoothies and we chop tamari roasted almonds to add delicious crunch to our meals.

Aloe Vera Juice is slightly bitter and has been used as a healing agent worldwide, both internally and externally for more than 3500 years. It is made up of a large variety of amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. It is cooling, moisturizing and immune boosting.

Apple Cider Vinegar is a delicious, zesty, refreshing and immune enhancing vinegar filled with enzymes and potassium. Hippocrates, in 400 BC used apple cider vinegar to treat his patients. It has been famous ever since for it's cleansing and healing properties.

Beans and Legumes are high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, iron and folic acid and have more protein than any other vegetable food. We have raw sprouted beans filled with vitality as well cooked beans in our soups. Tofu is made from soybeans.

Bee Pollen is called natures perfect food because it is rich in vitamins and contains almost all known minerals, trace elements, enzymes and amino acids. Bee pollen captures the essence of every plant from which it collects pollen. It is believed to rejuvenate the body, eliminate toxins, and build immunity.

Braggs Liquid Aminos contains lots of essential amino acids, and is a very delicious low sodium substitute for soy sauce on just about anything!

Brown Rice Vinegar is a natural vinegar, made from fermenting whole brown rice.

Burdock Root is a wild, thick root valued in cooking for its earthy flavor and strengthening qualities. It can stimulate the liver and cleanse our blood.

Coconut Oil is a very healthy saturated fat when it is cold pressed and unprocessed. It provides an immediate source of energy, improves digestion and nutrient absorption, strengthens immunity and prevents microbial infections. It also promotes balanced weight by supporting metabolic function. It is highly resistant to spoilage and is safe to cook at high heats.

Flax is high in much needed Omega 3 essential fatty acids; important for every single aspect of body functioning. Most Americans are deficient in Omega 3s and our bodies cannot manufacture them. At Life AliveSM cafe we put ground flax seeds into our smoothies and on our granola for added fiber and we use fresh, cold-pressed, highest lignan flax oil from Barleans in our meals and on our delicious Kabocha Squash!

Ginger Although well known as a delicious spice, it is not so widely known that ginger has been used for thousands of years, worldwide, for its numerous potent healing benefits. Ginger is an especially wonderful ally because its healing benefits are particular to so many of our daily health concerns. Probably best known as a superb digestive aid and nausea reliever, ginger also helps heal ulcers, supports cardiovascular health, reduces pain and inflammation, and speeds recovery from colds and flu while reducing fevers. Additionally, the National Cancer Institute has recently identified ginger as one of the top ten foods offering the highest levels of anti-cancer activity. Most importantly, ginger accomplishes all these without the side effects associated with drugs.

Gomasio is a table condiment made of one part sea salt to ten parts dry roasted sesame seeds. YUMM. It adds a slightly salty flavor and provides calcium, minerals and essential fatty acid to your meal.

Green Tea is an ancient, potent tonic that is nourishing, stimulating, safe and beneficial for everyday use. It improves alertness, metabolism and digestion, detoxifies blood, lowers blood cholesterol and pressure, boosts the immune system and is very high in antioxidants.

Green Formulas (a mix of spirulina, duniella, chlorella, kelp, alfalfa, wheat, barley grasses in our boosts) harness the energy of the sun and are used throughout the world to counteract disease and malnourishment. Green foods give us an easy way to live longer, more vibrant, healthy lives. Easily ABSORBED & METABOLIZED, green foods give you the widest array of balanced nutrients known. They are energy producing, alkalizing, oxygen-rich, tumor fighting, cleansing, anti-aging miracles!

Kabocha is a round, dark green squash with orange flesh that is very sweet. We use this squash because it is the most rich and delicious. Full of vitamins and very satisfying, it can help diminish cravings for sugar.

Kombucha culture is the result of a symbiotic association of yeast & bacteria similar to a sourdough starter. When combined with sweetened, brewed tea and allowed to ferment, it produces a beverage that for centuries has been thought to be a healthful, detoxifying tonic.

Maple Syrup is a sweetener that is an ideal replacement for cane sugar or honey.

Mirin is a cooking wine made from whole grain sweet rice. It is simply a masterful ingredient making all things much yummier.

Miso rich fermented paste made from ingredients such as soybeans, barley and brown rice. When eaten on a regular basis miso aids circulation and digestion.

Nama Shoyu is "The Champagne of Soy Sauces." No other soy sauce in America comes close to this 100% organic, non-GMO Nama Shoyu in flavor or quality. It's the only soy sauce that's aged for four years in cedar kegs by a unique double-brew process, so it can be made with less salt naturally, while still retaining its full-bodied flavor and delicate bouquet. Nama Shoyu is also unpasteurized (read: the only raw soy sauce available in North America); it's full of health-giving live enzymes and beneficial organisms like lactobacillus. We use only Nama Shoyu in our recipes.

Nutritional yeast is a combination of inactive dry yeast and vitamins that produces a nutty, cheese like flavor. It is full of B-vitamins, including B12 and an important addition to any vegan diet.

Olive Oil is one of the most healthful culinary oils available to provide the body with the proper “fat balance.” The nutritional power of olive oil lies in its fatty acids and the complex chemical adjuncts which are attached to these fatty acid chains. Oleic acid (omega 9) is the predominant fatty acid in olive oil; it is the substance which gives olive oil its “heart-healthy” reputation. Omega 9 fatty acids are resistant to oxidation and hold their stability and freshness for a long time compared to many other less stable polyunsaturated oils like corn, soybean and flaxseed oils. Olive oil has a very high level of monounsaturated fat – up to 80% - and scientists now believe that monounsaturated fats actually reduce cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Rice Milk & Rice Dream are dairy and soy free alternatives to soy and cow’s milk and ice cream. It is sweet and low in fat.

Rice Syrup is a natural sweetener made from malted brown rice.

Sea Salt comes from the ocean as opposed to land salt and is either sun baked or baked in a kiln. High in trace minerals and contains no chemicals, sugar or other additives.

Sea Vegetables come from the oceans and contain twenty times the amount of minerals land vegetables have. Rich in iron, calcium and nutrients. They also detoxify our blood. We mainly use Hijiki a wiry, noodle-shaped, blue/black sea vegetable from Japan that has a strong, nutty aroma that does not overpower other ingredients.

Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man dating back to as early as 1600 BC. They are highly valued for their oil, which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity. Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage. Tahini is made from sesame, and so is sesame oil and toasted sesame oil (a delicious and fragrant addition to many of our dishes).

Shiitake Mushrooms are dried or fresh to flavor soup stocks or vegetable dishes. Dried shiitake mushrooms are often used in medicinal preparations.

Soymilk non-dairy, lactose-free alternative to cow’s milk made by boiling and pressing soybeans and straining the resulting liquid.

Tamari is a wheat free traditional naturally made soy sauce as distinguished from chemically processed varieties. Original or real tamari is the liquid that rises to the top during the process of making miso.

Tofu made from the liquid extracted from soybeans, is pressed into blocks and stored in fresh water. It is high in calcium, iron and B-vitamins.

Tahini is a seed butter made from ground sesame seeds. It is rich in fiber, minerals and a high source of Vitamin B12.

Udon is a Japanese style noodle made from whole wheat and unbleached white flour. Udon is typically lighter than soba but may be used in the same ways.

Umeboshi is a salted plum pickled in sea salt and shiso leaves. May be eaten whole or used as a paste or vinegar for cooking. Umeboshi helps to normalize digestion and is especially helpful in reducing stomach acidity.

Dark green leafy vegetables kale, collards, watercress, leeks, boy choy, to name a few are good sources of fiber and many vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. The darker the leaves, the more nutrients the vegetable usually has. 
Ground vegetables broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, celery, green beans and more are high in vitamins and minerals including the antioxidant beta-cartone. 
Root vegetables grown underground and are hardy tasting foods that add strength to many dishes. Most are good sources of vitamins, minerals and complex carbohydrates.

Wheatgrass juice made from sprouted wheat berries is the nectar of rejuvenation, the plasma of youth, the blood of all life. The elements that are missing in your body's cells - especially enzymes, oxygen, vitamins, hormones, and nucleic acids can be obtained through this daily green sunlight transfusion. Wheatgrass juice is intensely concentrated and, because of this, benefits are seen with as little as one ounce a day. One ounce of wheatgrass juice has the vitamin and mineral equivalent of 2.2 pounds of fresh vegetables. Wheatgrass juice is one of the richest sources of vitamins A & C, contains the full spectrum of B vitamins (including the elusive B12), calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, 92 trace minerals, and has been credited with selectively destroying cancer cells. Many of the benefits of wheatgrass juice stem from the fact that it is a living food, which is a complete protein with about 30 enzymes and is approximately 70% crude chlorophyll.

Whole Grains since ancient times, nutrient rich whole grains have been important foods for most cultures. Whole grains have not been refined and therefore the bran, which contains fiber, B vitamins and trace minerals, is intact. Brown Rice is the most balanced of all the whole grains and is also gluten free. Unpolished whole natural brown rice is higher in minerals, protein and flavor than white rice. We use only whole short grain organic brown rice. Quinoa, very high in protein, originated in the Andean region of South America over 6,000 years. The Incas who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as "mother of all grains" though it is actually a small seed. Has a mild nutty flavor and is gluten free.