Tuesday, August 31, 2010

WHAT???? Your Friends Want Cookies???

So...... got the biggest compliment in the world today.  My 8th grader came home from school and told me that tomorrow she needs to bring more cookies because all her friends loved them!!! This just goes to show you that just because it's good for you doesn't mean it has to taste bad.

Below is my recipe for "school lunch" cookies.  This makes about 30 cookies.  I make them fairly small (about 2" diameter).  I also keep them in the freezer so by the time her lunch break rolls around they are just the right temp.

3 cups ground nuts (I used macadamia, almond, cashews, walnuts, pecans and some coconut to make the three cups)
3/4 cup raw honey
2T flaxseed oil
1/2 C almond butter
1T vanilla extract
Just a pinch of salt

Grind the nuts in the food processor and pour into bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until you have a dough.  Pinch off small pieces, roll into a ball and then flaten on your dehydrator tray.  I dehydrate at 115 degrees for 12 hours on one side, then flip, and dehydrate until the cookies are as dry as you want them. 

You can also use the dough without a dehydrator.  Just roll into the dough into balls and then roll the balls in coconut, cacao, or chopped nuts and store in freezer.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Want to Rock and Roll Alnight (and Party Everyday!)

I always say raw food is like rock music - exciting, alive, and electrifying!!!  I went to see KISS last night (yes, I was a card carrying member of the KISS Army in the 5th grade) and was amazed at how they can still get around the stage! 

Sometimes I really love going out with friends because I will eat and drink like everyone else.  It's almost an excuse sometimes to be naughty (even if it means I'll have a stomach ache in the middle of the night).  But last night, I did not feel like "polluting my temple" so I whipped up a little Pad Thai dish over Kelp Noodles to eat before I left home.  Taste as good as it looks - recipe is below:

Julienne carrots, peppers, zucchini, portabello mushroom and anything else you want to thrown in.  Make a marinade of 2T lemon juice, 2T raw honey, 2T oil, 1T Nama Shoyu, couple of cloves of minced garlic, and about a tablespoon of ginger.  Pour this over the veggies and let it sit for a few hours.

In the food processor, grind a cup of almonds until fine then mix in 2T lemon juice, 2T honey, 1T Nama Shoyu, couple of garlic cloves, 1T ginger, salt/pepper to taste and enough water to get the consistency of a sauce.  Soak the kelp noodles in water for about 20 minutes and cut them to desired length. Rinse water off, add veggies and toss with sauce.  When I use kelp noodles I like to let them sit in the sauce for a while (about an hour or so) as they will absorb the flavor.

If you haven't tried kelp noodles before you will be pleasantly surprised!  One serving of Kelp Noodles has only 6 calories plus they are fat-free, wheat and gluten-free, low in carbs, and have a tone of vitamins and minerals.. Because they are a sea vegetable they are also full of iodine which can help with thyroid and metabolism. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Upcoming Raw Food Seminar - Raleigh, NC

DIE-t soda

I admit that I use to be a consumer of diet soft drinks - not a heavy consumer but one or two a day.  This is one habit that I am ecstatic that I gave up.  The evidence against sodas in general is mounting.  Regular soda is being charge with causing obesity among other things. In fact, new studies out of California indicate that 62% of people who consume one soda per day is, indeed, overweight. 

While diet soda may not directly cause immediate obesity at the same rate as its sugar-filled sister, diet drinks are not off the hook.  The San Antonio Heart Study concluded that the more diet soda that a person consumed the greater their risk for future obesity.  In fact, for each diet soda consumed per day the likelihood of becoming overweight within the following 7 years increased 65% (becoming obese in the same time period increased at a rate of 41%).  Hardly a diet soda but certainly a DIE-t soda!

If the potential of becoming "larger than life" is not enough to get you off the juice, how about fatty liver disease?  Studies have indicated that the methane component of aspartame is converted into formaldehyde.  The body doesn't know what to do with formaldehyde so it is stored in the liver. Because the body doesn't know formaldehyde, the fat where it is stored cannot be processed for use as energy.  In essence the body cannot get rid of the fat no matter how badly it is needed to supply energy to the body. This could be one reason many people cannot lose weight even with exercise and healthier diets.  Additionally, in other studies diet soda has been linked to metabolic disorders and type-II diabetes.  Studies participants who consumed diet soda at least daily had a 36% greater risk for metabolic syndrome and a huge 67% greater risk for the development of type-II diabetes.

Still thirsty?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rawk Star - Raw Beauty

Fabulous all natural, organic beauty products readily available in your kitchen! Receipes for hair products, skin cleansers, toners, scrubs, masks, tooth whiteners and more. Nutritional outline on what foods/vitamins to consume to maximize your beauty. Additionally, comprehensive list of common chemicals and ingredients added to commercial products that you should avoid at all costs!  Ebook available for instant download at:


My New Obsession

For all you green tea lovers you must try Green Coconut from TeaGschwendner.  It is incredible!  It's always a bonus when something so good for you tastes great too!  There is at least a decade's worth of research about green tea's health benefits -- particularly its potential to fight cancer and heart disease.  There is also a number of studies about green tea's role in lowering cholesterol, burning fat, preventing diabetes and stroke, and staving off dementia.  So...........brew a cup and drink up!

The creamy richness of coconut milk on a dazzling and brisk Japanese Sencha base. A true customer favorite.

Ingredients: Green tea from Japan, shredded coconut and flavor.

Preparation: One heaping teaspoon per 8oz cup of filtered water, boiled and cooled for approximately 5 minutes to 90°C/194°F. Allow to brew 2 minutes.

Leftovers = Sushi!

I love this time of year when the sweltering heat of summer starts to give a little.  Finally, we are waking up to temps in the high 60's instead starting the day off at 80 degrees!  And, best of all, the AC is off and the windows are open!

Now............on to the good stuff.  I had some left over Almond Sauce from yesterday (see spring rolls) so I took that and spread it on a few sheets of Nori, added some julienned peppers, carrots, zucchini, alfalfa sprouts and avocado, then rolled it up into sushi.  I also threw together a little dipping sauce mixing together a few tablespoons of lemon juice, honey, Nama Shoyu, and some minced ginger. 

This was the perfect snack for my youngest daughter who just finished her first day of 8th grade.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Unbelievable Spicy Pad Thai Spring Rolls

Want a quick and easy dish that is totally delicious!  Make these Spicy Pad Thai Spring Rolls inspired by ones served at Trees Lounge Restaurant.  You can use any variety of veggies that you like.  I like to put some alfalfa sprouts in my rolls too!

If you have left over marinade and veggies you can toss them in with some Kelp Noodles and thin out some of the dipping sauce with water for a second dish of Pad Thai!

For the Marinade:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 ½ tablespoons honey
1 ½ soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (If you don't like Spicy stuff then omit this)
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender and set aside.

Veggie for stuffing:
**You any veggies you want!!!!
1 zucchini finely julienned
1 cup red cabbage shredded
1 carrot finely julienned
1 red pepper finely julienned
1 ½ cups shredded coconut meat
2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
1 avocado, julienned (set aside until assembly)

In large bowl, place all the ingredients and toss with the marinade. Allow to marinate for at least one hour.

Spicy Almond dipping sauce
1 cup almonds
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon hot chili pepper sauce (again, if you don't like spice, skip this!)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Braggs soy sauce
½ cup water
pinch sea salt
pinch pepper
In a food processor, blend the almond into a mill. Add the minced ginger, garlic, hot pepper sauce, lemon juice, honey, braggs, water, salt and pepper, and blend until smooth.

You need a package of Spring Roll Wrappers for assembly
Assembling the spring rolls:
Fill a salad bowl ¼ full with warm water. Soak a rice paper wrap in the warm water until it is very flexible but not rubbery. Make sure not to over-soak the rice paper. If the rice paper is over soaked it will break when wrapping the veggies. It is best to soak one rice paper wrap one at a time.Lay the soaked rice paper wrap on a cutting board surface. Place one slice of avocado in the center of the paper, add some veggie and 2 spoonfuls of dipping sauce.  Fold the wrapper over the mixture, fold sides in, and then roll up!  Enjoy!!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Dancing Granny

Sometimes I just really marvel at what a great world we have the honor of occupying and the cast of characters that share in the experience.  I saw Jack Johnson in concert last night under a beautiful moonlit sky.  We were laying in the grass section and  in front of me was an older lady (mid to late 60's).  She had flowers in her long hair and was wearing a short floral sundress, and strappy sandals.  In a nutshell, she was dressed like she was 18.  Not your typical granny for sure.  She struck up conversations with all the people around her, stood up and danced wildly with her arms swinging in the air, and she knew every word to every song.  Of course people were pointing at her and having a chuckle at her expense. Furthermore, she knew people were doing this but didn't care!  For a moment, I too, thought to myself, "What a strange lady!". But then I had a second thought.  I thought about how beautiful, liberating and great it was that she was really living her life to the fullest.  Just because she's older why should she stop living, dancing, and singing?  What our society should find really odd is when we take our mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, etc. and relegate them to a corner chair in front of a TV when they get old.  We tell them "you're too old to dance", "a person your age should act like that", and other things.  What these sentences really translate to is "your time has passed".  That's really sad when you think about it.  Living life to its fullest shouldn't end until your last waking breath.

I hope for the rest of my life I remember the dancing granny at Jack Johnson.  Her image will remind me to embrace life and dance like there is no tomorrow - no matter what my age.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Stillness of Morning

Eating raw allows me the luxury of needing less sleep.  I always wake very early in the morning and love the quietness when it's still dark out and the rest of the world is still snoozing.  I had a yogi once tell me, "that it is in moments of silence that you can hear the voice of the Divine". - I believe this is true.  These moments of peace, stillness, and harmony are absolutely delicious............................................

Friday, August 20, 2010

Raw Chocolate and Coconut Cake

Holy Moly!!!  Someone deserves great credit for this dessert (but it ain't me!!).  Can't recall where I got the recipe but this is an unbelievable dessert:  It's very rich so just a sliver will do ya.......


1 cup of almonds

2 cups of dried coconut

1 cup of dates

1/2 cup of raw chocolate nibs

Coconut layer:

3 cups of raw cashews

1 cup of coconut meat

1/2 cup of coconut water

1/8 cup of coconut butter

1 cup of agave nectar

Chocolate Layer:

1 cup of raw cashews

1 cup of raw chocolate nibs

1 cup of agave nectar

1/2 cup of coconut water

1/8 cup of coconut butter

Crust: grind almonds, dried coconut, and raw chocolate in food processor until fine.  Add date and process until combined.  Press into a springform pan.
Coconut Layer: In the Vitamix, mix all ingredients until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour over crust.

Chocolate Layer: In the Vitamix, mix all ingredients until smooth. Pour over coconut layer.

Put it in the freezer for several hours until set.  ENJOY!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Raw Food for Dry Hands?

Hemp oil is a beautiful thing.  Hemp itself is a nutritional powerhouse and can be used in salad dressing, smoothies, and ..............................hand exfoliator!!!

Mix 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 teaspoons hemp oil, and 1 ounce of ground almonds until a paste form. Rub into hands to exfloliate and moisturize then rinse.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Let's Talk Poop!

As a results of working in the pharmaceutical industry (a.k.a. the evil empire) I am always on the hunt for well controlled trials to prove or disprove findings.  There are not many prospectively designed, long term studies to prove what we, as raw vegan, find to be true of eating raw living foods.  Anyone who has "been raw" can certainly attest to the increase in energy and general air of well being that we experience.  First hand I have seen friends and family lower their cholesterol and reduce or eliminate the need for medications (including insulin) by adhering to a raw food lifestyle.

I came across this study that examines fecal matter of raw vegans vs. conventional eaters.  It was a small, short study but I think it demonstrates how quickly you can see results with the power of raw food. See abstract below:

J. Nutr. 1992 Apr;122(4):924-30.

Shifting from a conventional diet to an uncooked vegan diet reversibly alters fecal hydrolytic activities in humans.

Ling WH, Hänninen O.
Department of Physiology, University of Kuopio, Finland.


We studied the effect on fecal hydrolytic activities of adopting an uncooked extreme vegan diet and readopting a conventional diet. Eighteen subjects were randomly divided into test and control groups. In the test group subjects adopted the uncooked extreme vegan diet for 1 mo and then resumed a conventional diet for a second month. Controls consumed a conventional diet throughout the study. Phenol and p-cresol concentrations in serum and daily output in urine and fecal enzyme activities were measured. The activity of fecal urease significantly decreased (by 66%) as did cholylglycine hydrolase (55%), beta-glucuronidase (33%) and beta-glucosidase (40%) within 1 wk of beginning the vegan diet. The new level remained throughout the period of consuming this diet. Phenol and p-cresol concentrations in serum and daily outputs in urine significantly declined. The fecal enzyme activities returned to normal values within 2 wk of resuming the conventional diet. Concentrations of phenol and p-cresol in serum and daily output in urine had returned to normal after 1 mo of consuming the conventional diet. No changes were observed in the control group during the study. Results suggest that this uncooked extreme vegan diet causes a decrease in bacterial enzymes and certain toxic products that have been implicated in colon cancer risk.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

International Green Smoothie Day!

In case you missed it, August 15th was International Green Smoothie Day. I think Hallmark is really doing the Raw Food Community a disservice by not creating a card to commorate the grand event.  So, here was my celebratory glass of green............ This is one of my favorite blends:

2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1/2 cucumber
1/4 red cabbage
All of that juiced up and then blended in the Vitamix with
a couple of handfuls of

Coconut Date Cookies

I love how cookies and other goodies are part of the raw food lifestyle.  When my kids get up I'm not too concerned if they grab raw cereal, a smoothie, a piece of raw apple pie or a cookie for breakfast - everything is nutrient dense.  It's really discerning to see other kids marching off to school with Pop Tarts or Toaster Strudel (especially since these are the same kids who will be buying a school lunch! Blech!).  It's no wonder that they have a hard time paying attention and learning.

These cookies are a fantastic blend of nuts, spices, coconut and dates with just a smidgen of honey. For a chocolate treat, you can throw in some raw cacao or carob. Good for a snack or breakfast!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Water - The Liquid of Life

Water is an incredible thing!  It truly is the Liquid of Life. Though I'm a Fire Sign, I seek water everywhere I go.  The first plunge under an ocean wave is a renewing, cleansing experience to me.  Water can soothe us, heal us, renew us, refresh us, revitalize us, reward us, and keep us alive.

Clean water is vital to our good health and it's worth investing in.  Good clean water is needed to help eliminate toxins, keep blood flowing and help with digestion and metabolism.  I have an inexpensive (about $150) reverse osmosis system installed on my kitchen sink so that all water that I am ingesting is clean, pure and has a great pH.  Here are some interesting water facts to think about today:

• You can live 40 days without food, but only 3 without water.
• You can loose 50% of your glucose, body fat or protein and survive, but if you loose 20% water, you'll die of dehydration.
• Babies are 90% water, adults about 70%, elderly about 60%.

Most cooked food doesn't contain much water:

• Bread 30%,
• Butter 16%
• Cheese 40%
• Cereal 5%.

But raw vegetables have a lot:

• Cucumbers, celery and lettuce 95%.
• Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, peaches, strawberries 90%.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Beauty in the Raw

I use to be an absolute product junkie in my "BR" (before raw) life. I loved any potion, cream, serum, tonic, toner, or lotion that I could find. Eating raw has an incredible influence on your entire life. It starts out as just a dietary change but it really make you start to think about everything we subject our bodies too. From cleaning products to beauty products I strive to ensure that I am only using raw natural products.

Two of my favorite are raw, organic, cold pressed coconut oil and Restorative Skin Oil. In the evenings (and sometimes the morning too). I put a thin layer of coconut oil on my face, neck, ends of my hair and anywhere else that can use a little moisture or softness. It is truly incredible and leaves my face feeling clean and dewy.
I recently purchased Restorative Skin Oil from Mountain Rose Herbs and it works lovely as well. It's super moisturizing with out being greasy. I love it!!  If you haven't check out Mountain Rose Herbs definitely do so.  They have great products and great prices to match! http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/

Mmmmmm.......................Raw Corn Chip with Guacamole

It's a super hot day in Raleigh today - almost as hot as my Raw Corn Chips!  I made these in preparation for a party tomorrow night but am not sure if they will make it through the night.

These are so simple to make!

In the food processor I through the kernels from 4 ears of corn, about a cup and a half of chopped red and yellow peppers, half of an onion, one jalapeno, a cup of ground flax, quarter cup each of hemp and sunflower seeds, a couple splashes of lime, half teaspoon of chili powder, 1.5 teaspoon of ground cumin, and a couple of teaspoons of salt.  Process until smooth, spread thinly on Teflex sheets and dehydrate for about 15 hours.

Serve them up with salsa and guacamole for a great snack!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Timing is Everything!

One of the hardest things about living a raw food lifestyle is getting in a timing rhythm for preparing food.  One method I use for my daily diet is to have two prep days during the week - normally Sunday and Wednesday.  On these days I chop and prep all vegetables I will be using for the next several days.  I also whip up several "staple" items such as hummus, pesto, macadamia nut cheese, nut milks, etc.  This makes my food during the week easier to grab and go.

This all changes when planning a dinner party.  Tonight I  had to get started prepping for a dinner I'm planning for Sunday.  I have three trays of corn tortilla chips on the dehydrator that should be ready tomorrow.  The dehydrator will quickly be swapped out with some nut butter cookies that should be ready for Sunday. Tomorrow I will also start chopping and marinating vegetable for Thai Spring Rolls and get my spicy almond sauce prepared.  I sometimes feel like it take three days to prepare for one meal!!!

I'm considering investing in one more dehydrator so that I can have "both ovens" at once.  Pics and recipes of my creations are forthcoming.  Only 12 more hours of dehydration until my chips are done!!

Even a low-dose vitamin D pill cuts breast cancer risk by 24 percent

The evidence is mounting on the importance of Vitamin D to help prevent cancer and other diseases. There aren't any fruits that contain significant amounts of Vit D but mushroom do contain a little. You best bet? Do you self a favor and grab some beautiful sunshine sans sunscreen!!!

Even a low-dose vitamin D pill cuts breast cancer risk by 24 percent