Saturday, May 29, 2010

Let's Get The Party Started-Step 3

Okay. Now that you have gotten rid of the things we talked about back in step 1 and filled up your fridge and pantry with things from step 2, we are ready for the fun part! Let's get to eatin'.......

This step is really quite simple. The first thing you should do is learn how to make a mean salad. Not a wimpy salad. A MEAN salad. Start with fresh organic greens. Then add whatever you want to it. Fresh veggies, raw nuts and seeds, sundried tomatoes, spices (if you like), herbs (the more the better), and whatever other fresh raw food that tickles your fancy. :) You then finish it off with a fresh homemade dressing. Dressing can easily be made by mixing olive oil and lemon juice, and a bit of raw honey. You can get creative here too. Only a small amount is needed. Let it enhance the flavors of the food not cover it up.
Play with your food. Have fun! Make you own recipes. Eat a big salad everyday. Pretty soon your day won't be complete without one.;)

The next part of this step is making a green juice or green smoothie everyday. This is a great way to get a powerful shot of vitamins and minerals. I call it nutritional medicine. Once you try it, you'll see why. After the first drink you can literally feel your cells soaking up this green medicine. You will feel so nourshished and alive! This step is a MUST. Please don't leave it out. I consider it one of the best things you can do for your body, mind, and spirit.

To make a green juice, you will need a juicer.( If you don't have one, I will tell you how to make a juice with a blender next.) Just gather a bunch of veggies and thoroughly wash them. I use celery, cucumber, parsley, cilantro, lemon, and ginger. I love this combo because it is so hydrating and the parsley and cilantro are natural blood cleansers. If this is too sour you can add carrots, apples or beets. I encourage you to play with this too. You'll find a combination you love. Also, try to mix it up so you are getting different nutrients in your body. Drink this on an empty stomach and allow fifteen minutes to digest before eating anything.

To make green smoothies, you will need a blender ( preferably a high-powered blender such as vitamix or blend-tec. if not, just work with what you have). First I add 1 -2 cups of filtered water to my blender. Then I add a larger handful of greens (spinach, kale, parsley, or cilantro) for these I prefer spinach or kale. Blend. Blend. Blend. Next add fruit. I prefer pineapple and banana. But you can add what YOU like. Once again, play with it. My kids like these because they are fruity. You really can't taste the green so it's a great way to get greens into the little ones.:)

If you only have a blender, you can still make juice. Purchase a nut milk bag online or go to a hardware store and get a paint bag (same thing). Blend your veggies in the blender (see juicing paragraph above). Then pour into the nut milk bag and collect the juice. You can throw away the pulp or use it in other raw recipes (I'll show you how soon!). Easy peasy!

So you are now well on your way down the raw path. Incorporate daily a large, loaded salad, a green juice or green smoothie (or both :) ). Snack on whole fruits and veggies, raw nuts and seeds. Dinnertime could be another raw meal or a cooked meal of whole foods ( this is what I do because I prefer to eat with my family and they are not totally raw).

 From here on out, I will be posting recipes for raw gourmet foods, raw desserts, green juices and green smoothies ( along with little tidbits about my other interests!). I would love to hear how you are doing!

Light and Love,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Let's Go Shopping! - Step 2

 So now you have your refrigerator and pantry cleaned out. We need to get all the foods necessary to ensure success. Having these items on hand will make it easy for you to whip up a healthy meal quickly. Being prepared is key! So shall we get to shopping? Come on!

(**If you are just now following you may want to go to step 1 here.)

*It goes without saying that FRUITS and VEGGIES should be at the top of your list. And lots of them! Purchase as much as you can eat without it going bad ( we don't want them to go to waste!).

*Next on the list is raw nuts and seeds. You may need to go to your local health food store for these. Keep stored in the fridge to keep them from going rancid. Try these: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts, pecans, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, hemp seed, flax seed, pumpkin seed, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds.

*Seaweeds-Dulse, Nori (black), Wakame

*Condiments-Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, Nama Shoyu, Cold-pressed Olive Oil, Sea Salt, stone-ground mustard

*Nut & Seed Butters-Almond butter, cashew butter, cacao butter, coconut oil (unrefined), tahini

*Spices- have a large variety. Indian spices are great!

*Dried Fruits- pineapple, mango, raisins, cherries,coconut, goji berries, carob powder

*Raw Honey makes a great sweetener.Stevia works good too.

* Misc. Items-great to have but not 100% necessary: raw cacao, vanilla bean (expensive), superfood powders such as spirulina, hemp powder, lucuma, maca, mesquite, green powder

*raw olives and sundried tomatoes are great too!

For me, the best foods to have lots of daily are my greens. Spinach, kale, cilantro, parsley, etc.... These will alkalize and balance your body. You can juice these, make green smoothies, and eat big salads. There are many ways to take these in. It's like getting a  big dose of  sunshine!

All the items above are the main items needed to go 100% raw. If your goal is to go high raw (at least 60-80%) then these item  are needed but also the cooked foods you  eat should be healthy and whole. Have lots of ancient grains on hand such as amaranth, millet, and quinoa. Whole grain brown rice. Raw milk, raw cheese, and raw butter are great if you can get them (see for farms close to you). Organic, free-range eggs. Just make sure you eliminate the foods we had listed in step 1. If you eat meat, then make sure it is organic, or hormone and antibiotic free, and limit your intake.

Step three, we will discuss equipment needed or that is helpful but not necessary. Plus, we will start on our green juices and green smoothies. Yummy!

Get stocked up and begin to incorporate as much fruits and veggies into your diet that you can. The more the better!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Dandelions-Good For You??

Head over to the Green Smoothie Queen blog and read my article on Dandelions!

 Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Going Raw and Getting Healthy- Step 1

Want to start on the raw food diet but don't know where to start? I know how confusing it can be to embark on the "raw" journey. You hear of people going 100% raw overnight, never to look back. This is not how it is for most of us though. For me it was more like one step forward, two steps back. I already ate pretty healthy but I just wanted to step up my game, do some detoxing, and have more energy. It's actually easier than you think, you just need to take it a step at a time. I am going to do a little series on my blog to break down the process step by step. Through trial and error, I have found this to be the easiest way to incorporate healthier foods into my life. ( full disclosure: I am not 100% raw although I hover around 75%. I feel it is better to have healthy whole foods (cooked or not) when feeding a family of 7. This is what works for me and I encourage you to find what works for you. It is not all or nothing!Make it fun!)

Step 1 is food (so-called) you should completely eliminate from your diet. You will increase your health immensely just by eliminating these substances!

1. sugar, (this one is tough! ) replace your white stuff with stevia or raw honey if you have to have a sweetner.
2. flour products
3. fast foods
4. processed foods (any packaged food)
5. artificial sweetners/chemicals
6. alcohol
7. caffeine
8. gluten (if you feel you have an allergy)
9. dairy and eggs if you feel you have an allergy ( we drink raw milk in our home)
10.meat (especially if you can't get organic, hormone, antibiotic free. if you don't want to give it up completely then at least keep it to a minimum)
11. refined oils and hydrogenated fats (cold-pressed olive oil is best)

*If you are unsure about the allergies to dairy, eggs and gluten, then eliminate them for two weeks then slowly add them back in individually and see how your body reacts.

Use the rest of this week to get your fridge  and pantry cleaned out of all these items because the next step is to go shopping for the right foods.

My hope is that this will help you get healthy or at least thinking about it. Eventually action is necessary and I want to show you how easy this lifestyle can be. 100% raw is not necessary to be healthy but the more raw fruits and veggies you can eat, the better. You will love the way you look and feel! Commit to your health, you deserve it!