Browse Category: Healthy body

Raw Food Recipes: Main Dishes and Sides

Previous post: The benefits of eating raw foods

Live Garden Burgers

1 pound soaked nuts (I prefer raw cashews)
1 pound grated carrots
1 chopped onion
1 tablespoon sweetener (honey, banana, raisins)
1 tablespoon oil
1-2 tablespoons poultry (or other) seasoning
2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
sea salt to taste

Process in food processor until a firm pate like texture is achieved. If mixture is not thick enough, add dried parsley flakes, psyllium husk powder, or ground flaxseeds.

Form into patties, balls, cutlets, or fillets and sprinkle with a little paprika before serving. If “fishburgers” are desired, add dulse, kelp, or nori to the mixture. (Serves 10)

Veggie Chop Suey

Almost any vegetable works in this recipe, the secret lies in making the longest and thinnest slivers that you can manage. They will pick up the taste of the seasonings and are fun to eat and easy to digest. It is worth the effort!

2 carrots, slivered (by hand or use mandoline)
2 stalks celery, peeled and slivered
1 Cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1 red pepper, slivered
2 cups thinly sliced Bok Choy, leaves and stems
1 small zucchini, slivered
1 cup green beans, slivered
1 cup snow peas or snap peas
1-3 cups bean sprouts of your choice

1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1  Tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons sesame oil, or more to taste
2 tablespoons Tamari
4 pieces of Nori, cut in 1/2″ strips

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Raw Food Recipes: Appetizers and Salads

Fotolia_569029_XS[1]Previous post: The benefits of eating raw foods

Stuffed Mushrooms

1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh parsley, packed leaves, chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil, packed leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup tomato, chopped
2 tablespoon Braggs or to taste

Put all ingredients into a food processor, except the tomatoes, and pulse chop several times. Stop to scrape down the sides and repeat. Add the tomatoes and continue to pulse chop until just blended. Keep a texture to a pesto, it should not be a puree. Remove stems from mushrooms and stuff the filling into the cap of the mushroom. Place on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 105 degrees for 2-4 hours.

Tomato cups

6 medium tomatoes cut in half and pulp reserved for filling
½ small cucumber
2 sticks celery
2 spring onions
½ cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh mint
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons kelp
½ cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
sea salt to taste (optional)

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Raw Foods Made Easy

I mention raw foods and the first things you may think of may be carrot sticks, celery sticks and a side of ranch dressing for good measure. A raw food diet actually consists of eating foods that have not been cooked above 130 degrees. You incorporate lots of fresh, raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Some people incorporate a percentage of raw foods into their diet; others choose to become 100% raw vegan.

By now, you should know it’s a healthier option to eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Our government tells us we should have five servings daily. This isn’t new information. What may be new to you is the concept of eating these fresh fruits and vegetables in the raw.

Raw vegetables

Here are five reasons to incorporate at least a greater percentage of raw foods into your diet than you may currently be enjoying.

Vitamins and Micronutrients — Most vitamins and other micronutrients are damaged at temperatures above 130 degrees. These micronutrients are thought to help prevent many diseases including cancer.

Enzymes — Raw fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts contain the necessary enzymes to complete the digestion process. They are proteins, which help release the vitamins and micronutrients for your body to use.

Acid/Alkaline Balance — Processed foods, cooked foods, pollution and stress leave most people too acidic. Fruits and vegetables help keep you alkaline.

Good Fats — Natural fats are heat sensitive. When sensitive fats have been heated, they lose their antioxidant qualities and some can be considered carcinogenic.

Water — Fruits and vegetables are rich in pure water. Increasing your consumption will help keep you hydrated.

Eating refined, processed foods and saturated fats in the quantities that we are currently eating in the standard American diet have shown marked increase in: heart disease, cancers, osteoporosis, obesity, poor digestion, depression, diabetes … the list goes on.

Personally, I have experienced extended periods of eating vegetarian and raw vegan throughout my life. While doing so, I experienced increased energy, loss of weight, improved immune system, improved skin appearance, as well as mental clarity. Currently my diet consists of 70% vegetarian meals, and about half of that is raw.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy meat. I love a good porterhouse steak. I love lamb. I just know my body responds better, and I feel healthier, when I’m eating predominantly vegetarian.

So give it a shot; incorporate more raw foods into your diet.

Raw food recipes: Desserts
Raw food recipes: Appetizers and salads

Raw food recipes: Main dishes and sides

One Way to De-Stress: Toning

They say stress kills.

Studies are actually proving this is true; a recent study of cancer patients shows that stress reduction may prolong lives. We know that prolonged exposure to stress can cause vascular, cardiac, endocrine, and brain function changes. When the body is under stress — whether physical, emotional or perceived — it releases hormones like adrenaline that are responsible for the fight or flight response.

The immediate physical reaction includes:
• Increased Heart Rate
• Accelerated Breathing
• Constriction of Blood Vessels in Some Areas and Dilation of Blood Vessels to Muscles
• Dilation of Pupils
• Hearing Loss
• Tunnel Vision
• Perspiration to Cool the Body

While these responses were once helpful to keep us alive during our evolution and gradual climb to the top of the food chain, they are not helpful in any way shape or form while running late for work, stuck in traffic, or just plain having a bad day. In fact, not only does long-term exposure cause physiological damage, you can become addicted to the chemicals released during periods of stress, thus creating a cycle that’s difficult to break.

Long-term effects of exposure to stress can range from weakened immune system to major cardiac events. It has even been proven to cause visible signs of aging.

Everyone has a different response to stressors in their life. What may put you on edge might be a slight annoyance for me. Knowing what your major stressors are and learning to mitigate your reaction both emotional and physiological will play a major role in your overall well-being and happiness.

Photo courtesy Wiertz Sébastien via Flickr
Photo courtesy Wiertz Sébastien via Flickr

One quick way to immediately reduce your stress response is to place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Almost instantly you become aware of your breathing. Now focus on moving your breathing from your chest down into your belly. Breathe slowly, comfortably and evenly for at least 5 to 10 breaths. Then once you’re sure you are belly-breathing, remove the hand from your belly and with the remaining hand on your chest take another deep breath and exhale while saying “aaah.” You really want to take that sound into your chest and do your best to vibrate your hand.

This is called toning. The majority of my clients report a 50 percent reduction in their SUDS (Subjective Units of Distress Scale) immediately.

Why You Should Be Eating a Balanced Breakfast

A balanced breakfast is most certainly not a muffin in one hand and coffee in the other. People often get hung up on what a balanced breakfast is. Heck, people get hung up on breakfast in and of itself. I’ve heard every excuse from I don’t have time, I’m not sure what
balanced is, I can’t eat in the morning, I grabbed a coffee, and I’m just not hungry. But these are all excuses.

Studies have shown it really is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients needed to have a productive morning; whether you’re learning, working, or just hanging out, you have gone anywhere from 6 to 12 hours without eating, and it’s important to break that fast.

Having breakfast helps keep your metabolism at peak performance. It reduces the urge to snack on foods high in fat and sugar. You are more likely to get your proper daily intake of vitamins and minerals when you eat breakfast in the morning. Eating breakfast is also essential in maintaining healthy body weight.

It’s important when considering a balanced breakfast that you incorporate high-quality proteins (eggs, nuts, lean meats like chicken or fish); they are digested more slowly, so they allow you to feel fuller longer. Secondly, include complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits and vegetables). Most people don’t get adequate fiber to begin with, so adding these to your breakfast will help you get closer to your daily requirements. Healthy fats (dairy, olive oil, and avocados), when included in your morning breakfast, have been proven to lower your overall fat intake throughout the day.

Vegetable omelet

Here are five quick and easy balanced breakfast ideas.

1. Veggie omelet with cheese — Two eggs, minced veggies and 1 ounce of cheese can be easily prepared in less than five minutes. You can also get a nifty little device that allows you to microwave the omelet.

2. Whole-grain waffle with almond or peanut butter — This one actually makes it to the portable category. Toast the waffle, smear a little nut butter on it, and you can eat this on the run.

3. Fruit smoothie — A handful of strawberries, almond milk and a blast in the blender and you have another breakfast on the run.

4. Turkey roll up — Two slices of turkey breast rolled around a piece of string cheese and a handful of whole wheat crackers; easy and portable.

5. Oatmeal with fruit and nuts — This is my personal favorite. I probably eat this five days
out of the week; once a week I make a large pot of steel cut oats. I make the oatmeal
with water so that all I have to do is microwave my serving each morning. I then add a
splash of milk, a small pat of butter, and whatever I feel like having that day (chopped pecans, chopped almonds, canned pumpkin, dried cherries, golden raisins, minced apple, dried apricots, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries/raspberries or strawberries). It’s healthy instant oatmeal made for pennies per serving and exactly the way I want it.

Give breakfast a try. I guarantee you’ll feel much better in the long run.