Live Raw

Raw food… Probably one of the harder transitions I’ve been trying to make, but it’s been fun! I’ve been checking out several cookbooks available and Live Raw by Mimi Kirk is one of my favorites. She gives tons of cool tips for healthy living along with awesome recipes. Many of the raw cookbooks out there have too many ingredients that most of us don’t really have on hand, at first. Mimi has quite a few recipes that are easier raw meals to make with less mysterious ingredients. I mean unless you’re raw or vegan you don’t normally see nutritional yeast in someone’s kitchen.
Why go raw?
Think about food as energy. The more your food is cooked the less energy it has, and you are what you eat. Raw food is uncooked, unprocessed, and organic. Heating your food above 118 degrees kills or “cooks” out many of the essential vitamins, minerals and most importantly enzymes, which helps our bodies absorb important nutrients, and protect and cleanse us of toxins. Eating raw improves health in extraordinary ways. I’ve known people who fight cancer with a raw food diet! It controls weight, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and many more health benefits. All in all, we want to nourish our bodies with the most nutrient rich food and what better than it being fresh, raw, and uncooked! Learn more about eating raw here

Check out Mimi’s cookbook on amazon (or borrow it from the library!)

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Pomegranate season!!!

Pomegranate season is here! I love to eat them but how the heck do you deseed these little stinkers? During my first experience deseeding a pomegranate, I wore a white shirt. Needless to say, that shirt was covered in red juice and is long gone now. I didn’t buy another whole pomegranate for 3 years because of the mess I made! Well, I’ve learned a great and clean way to deseed this yummy treat.

Fill a bowl with water and place pomegranate inside cut in half. Underwater, start to loosen seeds with your finger. The seeds will fall to the bottom and the membrane will float up. Discard the membrane. Strain water and enjoy!

Benefits of Pomegranates: High in antioxidants, lowers risk of heart disease and cancer (particularly breast and prostate cancer), lessens symptoms of diarrhea, reduces bad cholesterol, controls weight, increases oxygen levels to the heart, fights cell damage, and is being tested for treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s.

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VITAMIX CAME IN!!

Guess who’s making smoothies! For a while now I’ve blended all my smoothies in a magic bullet (which was amazing for the price and easy clean up), but have now moved on to the master of blenders! VITAMIX!!!! Smoothies, soups, dips, dressings and more 🙂

If you aren’t someone who enjoys salads or doesn’t get enough greens in the day, I would look into starting a green drink regime. It’s super easy and very effective in keeping up your immune health especially as we get into flu season. Green smoothies keep me energized and full through the morning.

Green smoothie recipe:
1 Handful Spinach
1 Handful Parsley
2 Stalks Kale
1/2 Apple
1/4 Cucumber
1 Celery Stalk
1/2-1 Pineapple Juice (almond milk, water or other juice if preferred)
4 Cubes of ice to chill

Optional:
1/2 Banana
1 Scoop Protein Powder
Fresh Ginger (preferred amount)
Lemon juice (preferred amount)

Blend all in your Vitamix (or other blender.) Serve immediately, makes 1-2 servings.

This smoothie is packed with antioxidants, protects us against pollution (for us city dwellers), contains B vitamins to boost energy, anti-inflammatory, promotes good vision, skin, hair, and nail health.  It prevents and treats many types of cancers, and promotes heart health; lowering blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol raising HDL (good) cholesterol.

Start your day with a green smoothie every morning and experiment with other fruits and veggies in your smoothie!

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Best raw kale salad EVER!

20121116-192318.jpgI have to share one of my favorite salads that Kyle and I eat at least once a week! I’m kind of addicted! 😝

Ingredients: (I don’t really measure normally so these ingredients are subject to whatever you think is best!)
1/2 Cup Cashews
1 Bushel Kale
1/8-1/4 Cup Almond Milk
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp Soy Sauce (tamari or Bragg’s amino acids. Add more if needed)
1 Medium Carrot- Shredded
2/3 Cup Purple Cabbage- shredded (optional)

Wash kale under warm/hot water and massage out and dirt for about a minute, the heat from the water will soften the kale. Strain water from kale and set kale aside in a large bowl with shredded carrot and cabbage.

Soak cashews in water for 5-10
minutes to soften.

In a food processor, (or blender if you don’t have a one) process cashews, almond milk, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and soy sauce. I like the cashew mixture a bit crunchy so less processing time, but some may like it smoother processing longer.

Mix cashew dressing in with kale salad. Add a little at a time and I like to mix it in with my hands since this is a thick dressing and spreads better massaged in.

 

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Chia seed goodness!

This weekend was my dad’s birthday 😀 and instead of our normal fruit custard pie we decided to switch it up to something a little less heavy. Chia seed pudding, one of my favorites! It’s quick, easy, and everyone will love it!

*Ingredients:

-2/3 Cup Chia seeds (quick tip: if you can’t find organic chia seeds don’t freak out! Chia seeds aren’t bothered by bugs so they aren’t sprayed with pesticides!)

-2 Cups coconut milk (or any nut milk)

-2 tsp. honey or agave nectar (more or less depending on how sweet you’d like it and use a couple drops of stevia for less sugar)

-2 tsp. vanilla extract

*OPTIONAL- flavoring

-1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice if you have it!)

-2 tsp. raw cacao powder for chocolate chia pudding

*TOP- with any, all or none of the following-

Berries, banana, nuts, shredded coconut, dried fruit, granola, chocolate chips, the sky is the limit!

*Directions:

In a glass bowl mix in all ingredients with a wire whisk. Once all clumps are mixed out place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours and let the pudding set (overnight preferably if you have time to let it set longer.) Add toppings, Serve and ENJOY!!!

Any leftovers? Eat it for breakfast tomorrow morning!

Coconut Oil- Make the Switch!!!

I’m so excited I just found such interesting information on coconut oil!

In these sites they talk extensively about how, although coconut oil contains high amounts of saturated fat, it’s research shows it boosts metabolism, suppresses hunger, and therefore results in weight-loss! Wow, who would’ve known, saturated fats good for you!!! It lowers the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Well the truth comes out, and now it’s time to make the change!

Play around with this site and learn about the wonders of coconut oil!

http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/savethechildren.htm

And here’s a link to some research for you skeptics ;-).

http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/Coconut%20Research-Coconut%20Research%20Center.pdf

Below I have posted an article from http://www.enerhealthbotanicals.com which gives a great explanation about how coconut oil is metabolized in our bodies on a scientific level. Take a minute to browse their site for awesome organic superfood energy drinks, cocoa mojo and much more yumminess!

ENJOY!

THE BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL
Coconut oil is different from any other oil used in America. All common American oils are made from seeds like soybeans, canola (rapeseeds), almonds, sesame seeds, safflower seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. These seed oils are predominately made of triglycerides containing long chain fatty acids. Once eaten, these long chain fatty acids need to be emulsified by bile salts. (Bile salts are produced by the liver, stored in the gall bladder and dumped into the small intestine as needed for digestion. They are the emulsifying agents that draw the fats into the aqueous food solutions of the intestinal tract where lipase, a digestive enzyme, can work on them. The long chain fatty acids are now broken down into triglycerides made of 14 carbon atoms. This is the standard “energy storage unit” for the body. We call it body fat. All carbohydrates eaten in excess of energy requirements are also converted into these 14 carbon chain triglycerides. They are bound to HDL and LDL in the bloodstream and then transported into storage.
Since coconut oil contains mostly 8,10,and 12 carbon chain triglycerides (medium chain triglycerides), instead of being digested and traveling in the blood stream it is directly absorbed into the portal vein and goes into the liver without requiring lipase or bile salts for digestion. In the liver, these medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) support the immune system and help to cleanse the body of pathogens, toxins, etc. These supportive actions continue on as the MCTs travel through the lymphatic system to the cells of the body.

Since the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil do not travel in the blood stream they have never been shown to contribute to heart disease, provided the oil has not been hydrogenated. People without gall bladders or who cannot digest food well, especially people who cannot digest fats (such as people with cystic fibrosis) can and will thrive on coconut oil. Doctors doing research have known for a long time that the elderly, the invalids and the very young thrive on formulas given them that contain coconut oil. Products like baby formula and Ensure use to be made with coconut oil. Sadly, even these items have fallen victim to the propaganda we have received over the last 50 years.

As the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil travel throughout the body they are actually anti microbial compounds. For example, Lauric acid, which makes up about 50% of the coconut oil, becomes 2 mono-lauren. 2-mono-lauren dissolves the lipid envelope that protects most pathogenic bacteria and viruses. It also attacks pathogenic yeast and parasites. Lauric acid contained in a human mother’s breast milk is the major reason nursing infants have a high resistance to getting sick. Lauric acid in the diet will have the same effect, regardless of age. Its anti microbial properties have been helping people for thousands of years.

Coconut oil, because it is smaller than the standard storage unit, is burned for energy rather than stored. This tends to increase the body’s metabolism. People with under-active thyroid glands often discover their basal temperature becomes normal from coconut oil use. Elderly Americans and many others with low energy notice they have energy again and a sense of well-being they did not realize they had lost. And, unlike other energy the cell receives, the medium chain fatty acids do not require insulin. Most people in the U.S. have some degree of insulin resistance. Most people as they age, even though they are eating, do not feel they are getting energy from their food. The reason for many people is insulin resistance. The good news is that if a person has coconut oil or coconut products in their diet, the fats will be used as energy and that energy is not dependent on the insulin system working. Therefore, diabetics can get good energy into their cells without insulin and people who take naps, or think they need naps in the middle of the afternoon, have energy again. Low carb dieters, as well, can eat their low carbohydrate meals, but have the energy they would otherwise have received from carbohydrates.

Go cocoNUTS!

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YES on Prop 37!

Hey!

It’s getting close to election day and I want to talk a little bit about Prop 37; food labeling and why it’s so crucial.  First of all, I just want to point out that this is not going to raise food prices.  This is just a scare tactic to get us to believe it is one more thing we can’t afford in our economic state.  Genetically modified organisms (GMO) have been linked to allergies, organ toxins, ADHD, asthma, and many other serious ailments.  Environmental problems have also been documented.

Why is America great?  Freedom.  Freedom to choose.  Why don’t we have the freedom to choose between GMO’s or non-GMO’s?  I would like transparency in our market place.  61 other countries have banned the use of GMO’s entirely.  I would at least like the option to avoid GMO’s without having to cross-check references on products in the markets to know if certain products contain GMO’s.

Fight for your health, the environment, and right to know.

I have linked here a movie which I highly recommend watching on GMO’s (free online until November 7th.)  http:/www.geneticroulettemovie.com

Also check out the facts about Prop 37 here: http://www.carighttoknow.org/facts