Posts Tagged ‘health’

Peachy Day

Happy Summer!!  Ok so I’m a little late to the game.  Lol.  I absolutely love summer.  Warmth, a reason to get in water, a reason to go outside, letting your skin soak up the rays, and if that doesn’t make you happy, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and peaches are in season!!!!  And kids are out of school running rampant like the little savages they are.  How could you not love it!  For breakfast I had this deliciousiness and because I’m nice I’m going to share:

Blueberry-Peach Oat Groat Breakfast:

Blueberry-Peach Jam:

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 a peach, chopped

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tsp stevia, or a squirt of agave nectar or honey

Directions:  Blend together the blueberries, peaches, and sweetener- just a little bit, you don’t want them to be pure liquid.  Stir in the chia seeds and let them soak up the delicious blueberry and peach juice for about 5 minutes.

Throw it on top of 1/4 cup soaked/sprouted oat groats, 1/4 cup blueberries, and the rest of the peach-chopped.  : )

You could enjoy the jam with some raw crackers, mixing it with almond butter.  Yum.  I’m going to play captain obvious and say you can make it with any berry!  Even cherries.  Oooo.

You know what else is delicious and refreshing during summer?  A cool and crunchy lettuce wrap:

Just take your favorite nut pate recipe, some sprouts, and roll it up in some Romain lettuce or collards.  Crunch…crunch…cruuuunch.

My trip to Jacksonville was wonderful.  I got to go to a raw food potluck.  My sister and I made Avocado-Chocolate pudding which was a BIG hit and Zucchini pasta with Cashew “cheese”.

Avocado-Chocolate pudding:

1 avocado

4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1/2 cup agave nectar

2 tablespoons coconut oil

Blend everything together until it’s delicious.  We played with the recipe a lot so the measures aren’t exact.  It all depends on if you like a dark chocolate, a coconutty taste, sweeter…etc.  To spice it up you could add organic extracts like vanille, hazelnut, or amaretto.  Yum.

The people at the potluck were wonderful.  You can join their group here http://www.meetup.com/JaxRaw/

I also enjoyed a birthday lunch at the best raw food resturant IM(ever so humble but absolutely right)O. http://www.thepresentmomentcafe.com/

I’ve been keeping things pretty simple.  Not using the dehydrator very often.  I did make some raw samoas for my sister and cousin when they came to visit.

The recipes here: https://reneegoesraw.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/raw-food-potluck/

I also made cabbage chips, like kale chips…but with cabbage.  They turned out pretty good actually.  I just threw a little sea salt and kelp powder on them and dehydrated until slightly crispy.

Let’s talk about GMO’s next time.  What are GMOs??  Exactly why we need to talk about them.  : )

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Basic Raw Food Questions

So my sister has decided to “go raw” for at least 30 days.  As she’s started out she’s had plenty of questions for me.  Some things we talked about today:

Milk: Well by the time the milk comes from the lovely fat cow that has been given antibiotics, hormones to increase milk productions, and fed food with pesticides, the milk  itself has been processed to remove any bad bacteria.  Unfortunately this process also removes the enzymes and good bacteria present in the milk.  Even if you buy organic milk from the grocery store you would not be getting the same milk the calf lives from.  If you’re going to drink milk, I would definitely drink the raw version, just make sure to know the source you’re getting it from.  The reason laws were passed to pasteurize milk in the first place was because of “beat-you-down” bad bacteria like e. coli and salmonella.  BUT HOW WILL I GET CALCIUM???  Some high raw vegan sources of calcium include: Sesame seeds or tahini (sesame seed butter), flax seeds, almonds or almond butter, raw soybeans, dandelion greens, brazil nuts, and chia seeds.  With these foods you’ll be getting lots of other nutrients as well.  Plus, most of them are alkalizing so your body want have to rob from your bones in order to balance your pH levels.  : P

“I need the creamy texture of milk…I will die without it!  Literally.”  Ok, seesh.  Here’s your milk replacement:

1 cup nuts of choice (cashews are super creamy….sunflower seeds are cheap)

2 cups water

Blend it all together for…a while.

Run through a small mesh strainer OR a nut milk bag.  The liquid is the milk- you can sweeten it if you like, add it to smoothies, and raw cacao powder to it.  The “pulp” that’s left over can be used for “pates” or cookies, or dehydrated and ground into a meal or flour.

Sprouts? What are they?  Why sprout?  What can you sprout?

Basically sprouts are a seed, nut or grain in a certain stage of its growth period.  And you decide to interrupt that stage….by chomping into it.  Meanie.  We sprout because it releases enzymes, nutrients, and vitamins.  The little guys are high in protein too.  Some of my favorite things to sprout are mung beans and lentils.  These also happen to be two of the easiest.  Go here for directions on how to sprout lentils. http://www.sproutpeople.com/seed/print/lentils.html super easy and the site has plenty of info on sprouting.  It’s not really necessary to buy a bunch of gadgets for sprouting, a mason jar should do the trick.  What to do with your sprouts?  Well, depending on what you sprouted you might want to throw them on top of a salad, in a lettuce “wrap”, in a raw sandwich,  in some raw soup, or whatever else you feel like!

Another point to make while talking about sprouting is soaking.  If you’re not sprouting your nuts and seeds, it’s best to at least soak them for 2 or more hours.  This allows enzyme inhibitors  (things keeping you from digesting that nut or seed easily) to be released from the nut.  Just remember: “Soaking the nut is better for the gut.”  <—- Ok that’s a ridiculous line.

My sister also brought up the question: How do you eat sushi?  It has rice on it so it’s not raw.  Weeeell, as ridiculous as it may seem, if my only option is a sushi roll (maki)….I pick off the rice.  Of course I could always just order sashimi.  Bottom line is, I really don’t eat sushi that often, and when I do I order it with raw cucumber and avocado and remove all the rice.  I actually removed the rice BEFORE eating a high raw food diet simply because it’s so starchy.

What’s xylitol?  Is it raw?  Xylitol is the alien captain come from Zeebus to bring peace to all earthly beings.  K not really.  It  is a sweetener sourced from fruit.  It’s not raw, it has to go through a long and treacherous process to get to us at the health food store, in the sugar-free gum, and the “healthy” ice cream at the grocery store.  It’s sweeter than sugar and contains sugar alcohols, so it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels as quickly.  Other than that, it has no real nutritive value.  It does have calories, but less than table sugar.

What’s stevia?  Stevia is a green plant that looks like this guy:

It’s waaaaaaaaaaay sweeter than sugar.  You can literally take a pieces of the leaf and start chewing it.  It’s very sweet….I know because I recently acquired a stevia plant and this is the first thing I did.  Just to make sure it was true.  : P   So in it’s purest form you would take the stevia leaves and grind them up.  I think once mine starts growing I will dehyrdate the leaves at a low temp and then grind them up into a powder.  Yes this will mean there is a green tint to anything I make that’s sweet and uses stevia.  Shrug.  At the moment I’ve been using white stevia in small quantities.  It’s not raw, but it only takes a very small amount to sweeten something.  The best part is it’ s zero calories and zero impact on blood sugar.  High five mister stevia, high five.

And last but not least my sister asked about olive oil.  Is it raw?  Yes you CAN buy it raw, but it’s not easily available.  Fats and oils are touchy subjects for some raw foodies.  The point of a raw food diet, to me, is to incorporate as many healthy living foods into my diet as possible.  Do I shutter from using a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil in a recipe?  No.  Should someone else avoid it?  If they feel that’s best for them then of course!  We each have to learn what works for us to be the healthiest and happiest.

Check out my sister’s blog as she “goes raw” for 30 days.  : )

http://myrawfood30.blogspot.com/

Peace,

Renee

Omega 3’s

I’m so excited today, I got flyers printed out for the first raw food potluck I’m holding! It’s going to be great to get to share my passion with other people in the area. I was reminded of the passion people have for raw food while working at the health food store the other day. A woman came in from out of state. She had already been in town for several days. She explained to me she didn’t know our store existed and so she had been living on lifeless food for the last week. When I pointed out her favorite raw snack her eyes lit up and she thanked me. Then, when she spotted the Raw Kombucha in our fridge she began to jump up and down and dance about with more enthusiasm than a kid at their birthday party. It was great to experience someone else’s joy over healthful foods.
So about one of my favorite subjects: Chia Seeds! Yes, the same seeds from chia pets (Chi-Chi-Chiaaaa!). These little seeds contain an important essential fatty acid- omega-3. EFA’s are important for heart health, skin health, immune health…basically they’re a big deal for your body. It seems the most popular form of getting omega-3 is from fish oils. However, chia seeds provide a raw source of the important omega-3 ALA. They are also high in fiber, protein, and low in fat. They provide iron and magnesium. They are virtually tasteless and are great to add to smoothies, raw cookies, or over salad. Unlike flax seeds chia seed’s good fat is on the outside, so they become gelly if soaked in liquid. Doing this forms a sort of chia pudding. Try this Chocolate Chia Shake:
Ingredients:
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 tablespoon raw cacao powder (or 1 tablespoon depending on the chocolate power you want to unleash)
1 cup ice
Raw sweetener to taste (agave, date syrup, honey, etc. I used a 1/2 tsp stevia.)

Preparation:
Let the chia seeds and water get to know each other by letting them sit in your blender for a few minutes while you get everything else together. This will make a gelly consistency. Throw everything in the blender and blend for a minute or so. You might want to add more water to get everything going. If you want it really chocolaty add more cacao powder. Enjoy!
*You could always use raw nut milk in place of the water, that would be double yum!!!

You can make a tapioca like pudding by covering two tablespoons of chia seeds in raw nut milk. Allow them to sit for a while. Add in a raw sweetener such as agave syrup. You can top with fruits such as berries, nuts, or whatever you like!
Enjoy today!
Renee

A great documentary

Many people have now seen Super Size Me.  It’s a documentary that exposes how crappy fast food is for us and what horrible things it’s doing to our bodies.  Super Size Me is great for telling us what NOT to do.  I just watched Food Matters-.  It features many leading Doctors, nutritionists, and experts advising us on what we SHOULD be doing.  It goes into depth about why many doctors don’t focus on nutrition and the profits to be made from NOT curing cancer.  If these two films don’t make you want to change at least some of your diet, I don’t know what will.  You can purchase Food Matters athttp://www.foodmatters.tv/_webapp/Movie_Store Both films are availalbe for rent at http://www.netflix.com/

I’ve been eating “mostly” raw for about five months now.  My diet consists of uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, the occasional raw food bar, and sometimes raw sushi.  So, because of the sushi, I am NOT 100% vegan.  While some people go mostly vegetarian to “save the planet” I easily admit my motives are much more selfish.  I want to live the best, longest, and healthiest life possible.  I decided to give the raw food diet a try after experiencing the passion of a friend who has been mostly raw for several years.  She brought me delicious gourmet raw food and always had some new recipe to share.  After seeing her enthusiasm I began researching the raw food diet.  Since I’m in school to be a nutritionist my main concerns were avoiding any deficiencies.  I had questions like:  How is raw food better than cooked food?  How will I get enough protein?  How will I get B-12?  How will I get iron?  How will I get omega-3 fatty acids?  And the BIGGEST question of all (drum roll please)- Won’t I feel deprived and bored with only raw food?????

I’ll posts the answers to these basic questions daily.  For right now the answer to the last question is NO.  The easy solution is to keep a lot of variety available to yourself.  Try different fruits and rotate different vegetables every week.  Make raw gourmet recipes if you like to cook.  They’re are so many raw food snacks and food bars now available- even chocolate!  A great website is  http://rawfoodnaturals.com/ They have all sorts of delicious goodies to help you make the transition to eating raw.

First tip:  Try just making breakfast raw.  If you don’t already eat breakfast…great!  You’ll having nothing to miss and only something to gain.  Have an apple or other piece of fruit on your way to work.  Or graduate to a DELICIOUS green smoothie.  I enjoy one almost every day.  Don’t be afraid of the greens-I was.  After adding the fruit you can’t taste it.  Don’t be afraid of the color either.  You can be brave. ; )  Be a warrior of chance and give it a try.  Here’s the recipe- all you need is a basic blender.

1 cup of water

1 cup of spinach or kale (or other green, you just don’t want it to be too strong)

1 piece of fruit such as apple, pear, peach, or banana

1 other piece of fruit

1 handful of frozen fruit- I like strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries

2 tablespoons chia seeds

Raw sweetener- optional

Directions:

Chop up the raw fruit.  Throw everything in the blender.  Puree on high speed for about 40-60 seconds.  ENJOY!!!

You don’t have to use chia seeds if you don’t have them available.  Just try the basic recipe first.

I’m off to write two essays!  Yippee!  Enjoy your day!

~Renee~