Sunday, February 15, 2009

Recent raw recipes to rave about

I've been a bit behind on posting recipes, so here's some catching up. I also tried to include some info on the nutritional qualities of a few of the ingredients.

Thai noodles with marinated mushrooms

Thai noodles with marinated mushrooms

Ingredients for 1 serving:

  • 1/2 package of kelp noodles
    (substitution ideas: spiralized zucchini or daikon)
  • 1 cored and chopped apple
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 T minced ginger
  • 1 t red curry powder (or to taste as some are spicier than others)
  • 1 T coconut butter (or oil)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 t kelp with cayenne seasoning
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c sliced leek
  • 1/2 c carrots
    (diced, sliced, shredded or however you prefer)
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  1. Marinate mushrooms in kelp seasoning, 1 T lemon juice, 1 T olive oil, and cayenne (feel free to add any other flavors) for about 15 minutes
  2. Rinse kelp noodles and place on plate
  3. Combine ingredients from apple to sea salt in blender and blend until creamy
  4. Place carrots and leeks over noodles
  5. Drizzle with sauce
  6. Add mushrooms
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds

I love thai food so when I made this recipe it totally hit the spot for my massaman curry craving. My friend at work tried the sauce and has been anxiously waiting for this post, it's that good! It's also a super-fast meal if you skip the mushrooms. Add any other veggies you want or keep it simple.

Kelp is a seaweed (brown algae) loaded with minerals and high in iodine, calcium, protein, vitamin C and B12 (not typically found in plant foods). Kelp noodles are very low in calories and flavorless--a great substitute for pasta.

Ginger is said to benefit digestion, neutralize poisons in food, ventilate the lungs, and increase circulation. It has been shown helpful in counteracting nausea and is used for the treatment of cough (it acts as an expectorant) and the common cold.

Rawsome tacos with Brent's salsa

Rawsome taco with Brent's salsa

Makes 6 tacos in cabbage leaf shells, collard greens also work great for burritos.

Taco meat:

  • pulp from 6 large carrots
    (or you can use shredded carrots)
  • 1/2 c walnuts or almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Spices to your liking:
    sea salt
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • splash of nama shoyu or Bragg's aminos
  • enough water or salsa juice to process

"Refried Beans"

  • 1 c sprouted sunflower seeds or sprouted adzuki beans
  • Spices to your liking:
    sea salt
  • splash of nama shoyu or Bragg's aminos
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • enough water or salsa juice to process

Brent's Salsa: watch video

Not sure on the exact amounts, but here are the ingredients:

  • tomatoes
  • red onion
  • garlic
  • jalapeno
  • lime juice
  • cayenne
  • sea salt
  • olive oil (optional)
  1. Prepare salsa according to video or make your own version
  2. Combine taco "meat" ingredients in food processor and combine until well mixed
    Tip: if you want more texture mix in finely chopped nuts at the end (not in processor)
  3. Place "meat" in cabbage shells
  4. Combine "refried beans" ingredients in food processor or blender and puree
  5. Top off tacos with "beans" and salsa

This is one of Brent's favorite meals. I like to top mine with some guacamole. Another version (not raw) is to use sprouted grain wraps and make a burrito or make nachos with raw crackers (another recipe to come). I've been experimenting with this recipe and another neat flavor to add to the "meat" is a little bit of cinnamon. I know it sounds weird, but you've got to try it to believe it.

Sunflower seeds are another source of protein, healthy fats, iron and vitamin E. Sprouting magnifies these qualities and makes it easier to digest. I like to sprout them and then dehydrate them so they will keep longer in the fridge. Find out about the powerful benefits of cayenne here.

And for dessert, skip the dairy give this a try:

Banana-mango "ice cream"


Ingredients for 2:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 c frozen mangos
  • 1/2 c cashews
  • splash of coconut water (or filtered water)

Puree all ingredients into thick, creamy mixture. Spoon into cup and decorate with strawberry and cacao nibs for a little crunch.

Bananas are a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and manganese. I eat a banana on a daily basis and Brent loves them as a pre- and post-run snack.

One of my favorite fruits, mango, is super good for you. Mango is a good source of minerals such as copper and potassium. It contains traces of magnesium, manganese, selenium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus. The nutritional value of mango makes it good for weight gain, eye disorders, hair loss, heat stroke, diabetes, bacterial infections, sinusitis, indigestion, constipation, morning sickness, diarrhea, liver disorders, menstrual disorders, and vaginitis.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Best Valentine's dinner ever!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope you showed your love today and that you'll carry it with you always. May we all be grateful for the love in our lives and around us. Thank you Brent for the card you made for me, it was so special :) and thank you readers for your support, encouragement, and inspiration. It means so much to know you're interested in my thoughts. As I continue to work on expanding this blog into a website, I will reward my first followers for your kindness. Until then, send me a message on twitter or leave me a comment with any question you would like answered and I'll answer them ASAP. Now on to our fabulous meal...

Oh, I'm so full of yumminess tonight! We went to Almond Blossom Cafe for "Raw in Love" and it was so delicious! We started off with some salsa and crackers, followed by a Tex-Mex platter (that would have filled us up alone), and finished off with a dessert platter. We couldn't finish the sweet treats there, so we came home and watched the movie Juno while I munched away at the remains.

Tex-Mex is my husband's favorite raw cuisine, so if you have a friend that's curious about living foods, a raw "taco" is sure to please their taste buds. Full of flavor and good for you! You can't say that about Taco Bell!

Desserts are another sure way to convince skeptics that raw foods are delicious! Don't these just make you drool?! Truffles, cake, cobbler, and pudding, oh my!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Want to change the world? Change your diet!

I'm professing my commitment to be 100% vegan for life right now. I may not be able to stick to 100% raw (although I'm not far off), but I am done polluting my body and the world and I'm doing my part by giving up animal products.

I just got back from Smoothie & Movie night at Almond Blossom Cafe, where we watched Eating. You can preview it here. Made me so sad about not sticking to my vegetarian diet back in college. After doing a research paper on the topic, I was vegetarian for 3 years and just quit one day because of my cravings and influences around me that I just couldn't overcome.

This month has been my first vegan raw month and I'm happy to say that I'm never turning back, especially after watching that video! I highly recommend it to EVERYONE and it's very affordable so get yourself a copy and share it with all the people you know who are suffering from cancer and diseases. I hope to get my friends and family to watch it too. Anyone up for a movie night soon? This is going to be required viewing for my stepkids. I can't wait to see how they react to the information.

The studies, statistics, and interviews were very inspiring and depressing at the same time. It's so sad to see how quickly our species is killing itself. Not only by what we put in our mouths, but the entire process to get it there and then treat the symptoms we suffer from because of these choices. I learned so much from this movie but I can not express to you how important the information is.

We have a cure for diseases! It's called our immune system people! When you feed your body in a way that keeps your immunity high, cancer can not live in you. When you eat a plant-based diet, you are literally saving the world.

Benefits of not consuming animal products:

  • Reduces global warming
  • Keeps your heart healthy
  • Builds stronger bones
  • Improves digestion
  • Reverses and cures cancers and diseases
  • Decreases toxicity
  • Prolongs life expectancy
  • Promotes political change
  • Stops animal cruelty

I know what some of you may be thinking... What about protein? Let's take a look at history and the world today. For most of our existence, we have mainly consumed plant-based foods. Even the cavemen, only rarely ate meat, they feasted on a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. There is enough protein in plant-based foods to sustain life, our species has proven this over thousands of years. If you just ate potatoes all day, you would get enough protein. No scientist or doctor has been able to prove that you need meat to get enough protein. Most people are actually eating too much of it! The only way to be protein deficient is to starve yourself. It wasn't until later on that the rich were able to afford animal products. They were the first to suffer from food-related illnesses (which most are) while the poor didn't experience heart disease because they couldn't afford to buy meat. Now that meat has been made cheaper (and filled with hormones, antibiotics, and bacteria) more and more people can afford it. The correlation can be seen across the globe. Take the Chinese for instance, the more they've adapted our SAD (standard American diet) the more of our diseases they're inheriting as well.

The same goes with calcium. Countries eating plant-based diets have stronger bones and consume far less calcium than Americans. Eating raw foods provides all the nutrients, minerals, and protein your body needs. Some overweight and diseased people are quick to criticize and judge our choice of diet and wonder where we get our protein and calcium. They are a product of advertising. The media is fed by lobbyists, not working for your best interest. You may not believe what I'm writing about, but are you going to just take their word for it or do a little research and find out the truth for yourself?

There is so much to be said about this common sense information, yet people would rather take a pill than change their diets. I don't know about you, but I want to live long and well. I'm committing to doing everything I can to keep my body as healthy as possible, and not eating meat and dairy is a crucial step in doing so. After over a month without these, I no longer even crave them—I'm actually repulsed by it now. You can do it to, do it for you and generations to come. They shouldn't have to inherit our bad lifestyle and dying earth.

Leading doctors in the video professed that following the US dietary guidelines will kill you! Politics have a cruel way of keeping their wallets full by lobbying for drugs, meat, and dairy companies. They don't want people to know they can cure themselves by changing to a vegan diet. Watch the interviews and hear from patients who ignored their doctors recommendations and took their health into their own hands. If there is one thing that Al Gore and Obama have failed to stress, it's the importance of our diets, and how making a transition from a high-fat, animal-based diet will save our world.

Some of the greatest thinkers of our time had it figured out hundreds of years ago (Plato, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, and many more) so what are we waiting for?! Let's change now before it's too late.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dr. Craig Sommers's Lecture Video Part 1: Enzymes

A few posts back I mentioned the lecture I attended at Almond Blossom Cafe where Dr. Craig Sommers spoke about the content from his book: Raw Foods Bible. I learned so much that I wanted to share, but it was a lot of info so I will break it down into each topic he discussed.

Raw food is alive with enzymes. Here is why this is so important to every living being. Excuse my sloppy video-taking, I was trying to eat with one had and record with the other.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Living raw with nature

Let's go off the raw-food path and take a hike with nature. That's what I did today with my husband. After his 7 mile run on the bike path, he joined me for a nice leisurely hike at Graham Swamp (that is, except for all the stops I made to take photos, hehe).

The sights were so calming, the sounds so soothing, the air breezing on by, and the sun shining through the foliage. What an instant energizer after a trip to the farmers' market! Give me some vitamin D on a gorgeous day and I'm all smiles!

This was also a great way to get back into fitness after being sick. Even in Florida, you can find these treasures hidden where you can escape the world and find some solitude. I'm really looking forward to going back with my manual camera and some black & white film—a hike with just myself looking through my viewfinder and getting in touch with my inner-being. These moments are like boosts to my battery, while keeping me calm like a placid ocean.

Even though this blog is about raw foods, I don't want to skimp out on the other important aspects of life, because this is a lifeSTYLE. We are all so busy with the things that must get done, we often forget to take the time to connect with mother nature and enjoy the beauty she gives us. It sounds so simple, yet it can be so difficult to commit to doing. Well, today's experience has made me realize this needs to be a ritual. It won't have to be a hike each time, but every day we should open our eyes to this beauty under our feet—surrounding us, protecting us, feeding us and nurturing us with life. It's a precious thing to waste when all it takes is seeing what is already there.

So next time you go outside, take a deep breath before you get in the car and look to something green and be grateful for all you have. Our time is so limited, but our potential is limitless. Let us meditate upon this.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Raw foods for beginners, part 2

Now that you’ve got an abundance of resources (of which I continue to add to) to learn from, the next step is to start reading, watching, and trying. Give the detox a shot if you feel compelled to do so. If you’re not that adventurous yet, commit to having one raw meal or snack a day and work up from there. The more determined you are, the more will power you will have, and the faster you will be able to say goodbye to processed/cooked foods and say hello to the energetic, full-of-life you!

You don’t have to be 100% raw, even 50% will give you benefits that will make you feel so wonderful that you’ll aim for more naturally. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that you will be most successful if you set goals for yourself and don’t get disappointed if you make mistakes. It’s only natural in this transitional state. Not every plan works for every body. No one knows you more than yourself, so be realistic and use the strategies that work best for you. It will take some trial and error, but the journey is worth it. Joining online communities can help give you the support you need to stick with it. And don’t forget, I’m here for you too, so don’t be shy ;)

A raw foods lifestyle is like an addiction—the better you feel, the more empowered you become in life. It clears your head, not just your body. Now that I’m over my cold, I am ecstatic to get started on some of my goals to help me move into this field as a career. When you find your passion, doing so really is a pleasure and sparks so much positive energy around you that you can’t help but attract your desires into reality. In fact, my video is already featured on another blog and I will be doing a guest blog post as well. Thanks The Green Smoothie Blog team!

Here are some key points to help you succeed:

  • Use affirmations—your thoughts are powerful, so tell yourself you feel alive from raw foods, post notes or images to remind you
  • Make time—time to learn, to try recipes, to journal, to become part of an online community
  • Relax—don’t be hard on yourself, this is a journey, enjoy all the twists and turns
  • Be adventurous—try new foods and experiment with recipes, it’s ok if it doesn’t turn out quite right
  • Track progress—find a system that motivates you like a food journal or start a blog
  • Exercise—your results will only amplify while your longevity and vitality will keep you young longer, and don't forget to drink plenty of water
  • K.I.S.S. (keep it simple silly)—it’s easy to get overwhelmed and think you need this or that, so step back if you need to, meditation and yoga can help with this
  • Be frugal—you can do this without the expensive blender and dehydrator, it can even bring out more creative ideas
  • Reward yourself—treat yourself to that expensive blender when you reach a goal, or take a trip to a nearby raw restaurant
    Tip: Try not to reward yourself with S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) food as this can lead to binging, cravings, and slow recovery, not to mention how awful your body will feel along with how guilty your mind will be.

I’ll get further into these points in future posts, as they are keys to my success and I want to share and help you as much as possible. So off you go… What is/was your first goal when you took this endevour? I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes (not sure who wrote it): You don't have to get it right, just get it going!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How could this happen?

I got sick. I'm still a little sick. Last time I got sick it was after I had fallen off the raw wagon, so it made sense. But to get sick after getting back on the wagon has me baffled. I prevented many colds last year by eating mainly raw so I was certain I wouldn’t have to deal with this again. I've been so anxious to post on my blog, but I decided it was more important to take care of myself and get extra rest, just doing what I needed, not alll the things I wanted to do. I've stayed about 90% raw, with lots of tea and some soup. Here are a few of the things I've prepared since my last post.

Red cabbage salad with avocado-cilantro dressing

Mexican nori roll and pablano pepper

Asian chow salad

So my question remains: how could this happen to me? I will confess that I had alcohol and cooked food (vegan) in celebration of my friend's birthday. Maybe I put my body in shock... But then again, I have been around quite a few sick people at work and out-and-about. Here's the raw cake I made for her birthday, I call it strawberry heaven:

What I'm thinking is that stress lowered my natural ability to ward this off and keep my immunity strong enough to defend myself. Whatever the cause, I was able to treat most of my symptoms with natural remedies consisting of tea, honey, lemon, sleep and lots of nutritious foods. One thing I have not been able to heal naturally is a stuffy head and runny nose. Any suggestions?

Stay tuned, as I'm super excited to post about some of your questions. I also want to thank all of my new followers and those of you who've led them to my site. Since my video seems to be a big hit, I think I'll be posting more of those in the future. Check out twitter, it's alive and fresh with so many interesting people I've connected with. And from those connections, I found some other great sites, so be sure to look at the new links and blogs I'm following. I’ll be back when I kick this cold in the butt for good!