I made my first green smoothie without using my Vitamix this week. I used a hand blender, because that’s all I had to use. Now, because it was much smaller and less powerful, I made four batches. Smaller quantities and smaller pieces. I blended my greens with water first, and then I started to add fruit slowly. An apple and a pear, diced very fine. A banana, broken into small pieces. More water. Technically, in order to have a full liter of smoothie, I made four small ones. They all tasted slightly different; one had a pear in it, one had three bananas, one had more cabbage. They were all wonderful and very healthful. I loved my Green Smoothie, and I loved that I could make it no matter where I went, no matter what equipment I had at hand...
There was one big difference, though. It wasn’t chunky, but it wasn’t smooth. Now this isn’t just a texture preference. Green leafy vegetables have remarkably strong cell walls. The life giving chlorophyll lives within these cell walls, unable to be crushed by our feeble jaws. That is where my Vitamix comes in. It runs at 240 mph and completely ruptures those cell walls, releasing the chlorophyll that is so life-changing and disease-fighting. As I was slightly chewing my hand blended smoothie, I realized that I was only getting part of the nutrition that was available to me.
Now, mind you, that smoothie was more nutrition than I had EVER gotten ten years ago. Just by drinking a daily Green Smoothie, you are filling your life with more DISEASE PREVENTION than almost any other addition into your lifestyle. So, I tip my smoothie to yours...whether it be a hand blended, high speed blended, commercially blended, or that inexpensive blender on your counter…let us fill our lives with more health! It’s delicious and just what your body has been craving…
I’m a bit of a people person, if you cannot tell. All my life I have adopted families left and right, and I doubt that will ever change. My current adopted family has come down with several illnesses. A few have the flu, one has bronchitis...so there is coughing, sneezing, blowing, and all sorts of stuff floating around. I can FEEL my body fighting back, not to catch what is going around. I have a slight sore throat and I have less energy than usual, but so far no further symptoms. Now I am NOT a physician. I do not give you medical advice, only share what I do and what works for me. If you do not feel well and want to seek medical advice, please do so! (Although my recommendation is a D.O. or a naturopath…I have yet to find an M.D. that does anything but overmedicate.)
There are two things that I do myself, and I recommend to others when you think you are getting sick. First – STOP EATING!!! Your body has been perfectly designed to heal itself and protect itself from foreign invaders. The more things we ask of our bodies, however, the less it’s focus is on staying healthy. We have been conditioned as a culture to reach for chicken noodle soup when we are sick…or crackers. As soon as we engage our digestive system, we cut our defenses in half. Then, if we engage in eating foods that our bodies have difficult times digesting (i.e. meat, milk products, complex grains, high sugar foods)…then we take more energy away when we crucially need it. Our bodies very often tell us that we aren’t hungry when sick – and sometimes even induce vomiting. Listen to them – don’t put food in! We have also been conditioned to believe that we derive energy from food, and need to keep our energy up. False. Quite the opposite! If you can water fast while sick – do so…your body will thank you for it, and you will recover much faster. If you cannot (I have always found it difficult to water fast and have not succeeded yet), then eat foods that are easily and quickly digested. I prefer blended foods or fresh juices – Green Smoothies or freshly squeezed Orange juice. They are blended or juiced – less for your digestive system to do. They are quickly assimilated and eliminated. They provide wonderful nutrition that your body craves while sick – vitamin C and other immune boosting vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. They also fill you up so you aren’t craving items that you have programmed your brain to desire when you are sick (i.e. soup).
My second recommendation is to drink a concoction I call “Cold-Buster Water.” It’s quite simple. We know of MANY medicinal herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables that have been around far longer than the synthetic compounds we have created within the past hundred years. The water I drink has crushed garlic, lemon juice, raw honey, and cayenne powder. Sounds weird? Perhaps, but it does the trick!!! Lemon is ridiculously high in vitamin C – an immune system booster which protects against illness and aids in healing. Garlic, Raw Honey, and Lemon are all anti-bacterial – which prevents, protects against and helps cure bacterial infections. Garlic, Cayenne, and Honey are all anti-fungal as well. Garlic and lemon are also anti-viral which helps against these viruses (flu, etc.). Raw honey is also antiseptic – which means you can apply it to an open wound and it will guard against infection, as well as keep it sterile! Cayenne is wonderful as well, and researching it was eye-opening! This incredible spice helps to flush your system out (without any mess), and aids in heart health. It regulates blood flow from your head to your feet! Here is what I usually do.
A pitcher of “Cold Buster Water”
(A.K.A. Spicy Lemonade)
I have had several conversations with women in the past six months about poor eating habits. One that I hear about most often is the ability to stop eating when full. If the food is exceptionally incredible it is hard to put the fork down even when your belly lets me know it has had enough. Usually the taste and enjoyment of the food overrules self discipline. If this sounds like you, you are not alone. Before I went raw, this was always something in the forefront of my mind when eating, snacking, or dining with others.
This is not why I eat raw food, but for the first time I don’t worry about overeating, getting too full, feeling poor afterward. I can eat my full, even eat more than is necessary but feel no negative effects. This is part of the hope that the Lord has given me and that I am excited to share with others, especially with women. We can enjoy food again, without paranoia or feelings of guilt.
When eating “normal” food, it’s not wise to eat half a cake, a batch of cookie dough, or four burgers in one setting. The amount of sugar usually found in desserts will actually slow your immune system – which is why flu and cold season begin right after the holidays.
However, considering one of my raw cakes consists mostly of fruits and vegetable with no added sugar, no gluten, no dairy, and is low glycemic, and helps to PREVENT illness and disease…eating half the cake in one sitting is not only not dangerous or ill advised, but healthy and encouraged!
So if I’m feeling down and would like some chocolate to help pick me up, I can make some brownies using nuts and dried fruit – enjoying the simplicity of what God has created, without all the garbage man has developed. High Fructose Corn Syrup, Maltodextrose, Aspartame, Monosodium Glutamate, Artificial colors, and a host of lesser known carcinogens (cancer causing “foods”) are found in so many products, and often disguised by aliases, that it is difficult to protect ourselves. Especially from ourselves.
This is why raw food can be so exciting. Easy, fast, simple foods that we know are good for us because we make them ourselves. Inexpensive and fast…isn’t that we all seek these days? We don’t have to eat ONLY raw foods, but turn to them when we know we are vulnerable. Rediscover your comfort foods, learn to prepare them in a different way, and prepare things ahead of time so you can turn to them if need be.
I hope I get to see you at the next class, where you can add a few more recipes to your arsenal of health.
I LOVE answering emails and questions are so much fun!!! You see, I’m not a raw chef…I’m a teacher! The more you ask questions and get involved, the more I KNOW you are applying what I have given you. The Lord designed me to teach and I get such fulfillment when I see those who have been in my classes…outgrow me. The first four or five have gone on to create their own foods, make foods out of my book on their own, and don’t need to come to classes and longer. My protégés I like to call them. ;) I love seeing their progress and creativity. Ahhh, the fruit of good teaching/inspiration. I KNOW why the Lord has called me to do this.
I have recently gotten a beautiful question that I don’t often cover but is very relevant!
Q: I know it may be "elementary" but for someone who lived out of boxes and canned goods....food storage is a mystery. Like nuts: frozen, fridge, pantry and how long? Which fruits are good on the counter vs. fridge? How long do entrees stay fresh for?
A: It is NOT “elementary” because I had the same issue when I first went raw. I’ve learned what works well for me and I rarely throw any food away. Entrees/dips stay delicious for at least a week (sometimes longer depending on the dish), if they stay in the fridge as much as possible. In the freezer – 4-6 months depending if they are airtight.
Fruits that I refrigerate: berries, grapes, anything soft to the touch and ripe, or anything I don’t plan on eating within two weeks.
Fruits I keep on my counter: everything else.
Fruits I freeze: berries and peeled, halved bananas (for ice cream or smoothies)
(special note for bananas: Buy bananas green, and let them ripen to use when you want them. Banana skins turn black in the refrigerator, but the fruit will still taste the same. When bananas are overly ripe, peel them, put them in small food or fruit storage bags and freeze.
Vegetables that I refrigerate: almost everything!!! You shouldn’t refrigerate your tomatoes since it changes their nutritional value…but I find they go bad far too quickly when I do that.
Vegetables that I have on my counter: Avocados
I always keep my vegetables in their original bags, but pierce the bags to let air in. Tied (but not airtight) bags tend to grow mold faster.
Nuts that I freeze: ALL OF THEM!!! Freezing them, they last very long – six months or more (but I’ve never kept them much longer, I tend to eat them)
Nuts that I refrigerate: The ones I plan on eating that week
Nuts that I store in my pantry: None…the only thing I store in my pantry is dried items: beans, coconut, peppers, garlic, dates, dried tomatoes, seaweed, raisins, cacao, etc.
Hope this helps!!! Let me know of your experiences!!!
Pennsylvania Raw PIE Class
I come from Pennsylvania, but have relocated to Arizona. Thanks to Facebook, I am still in contact with high school and college friends. Many of whom are interested in healthy living and have bought one of my UnCookBooks and/or asked me many many questions. I had the privilege of teaching a class when I went for a visit last year, but there were quite a few people who were unable to make it. The ones who did attend wanted me to come back and teach more. However…that’s not a possibility at the moment. So I’ve been tossing around the idea of videotaping an entire class. This is pretty hard when I have no cameraman and after a few attempts at taping a few Raw Recipe Nights I was hosting, I wasn’t sure how to do it. So now I have reassessed the matter and bought myself a little pocket camera with a tripod. I tried it out on a few free smoothie videos. Last week I decided to videotape an entire class on Flatbreads. Now my usual Raw Recipe Nights run from an hour and a half to two hours. I cannot imagine anyone watching a video that long. So, I scaled back a little, edited out a lot of processing and chopping and such.
I am proud to announce that the first Raw Recipe Online Class is now available!!! The Raw FLATBREADS Online Class comes in at just over a half hour long, and I am pleased to demonstrated how to make a Raw Apple Raisin Bread, Raw Onion Bread, and Veggie Tortillas. At only $10 to view, it costs less than an actual Raw Recipe Night (usually a $15 value). So, even if you live in the Valley of the Sun and cannot make it to one of my RRN’s, you will eventually be able to view it online!
Tomorrow morning I am planning on my second Raw Recipe Online Class: KIDS! I’ll be demonstrating how easy it is to make raw food that kids will eat!!! On the menu: Chocolate Almond Ice Cream, Applesauce, Strawberry Banana Pudding. YUM! I should have this video edited by the end of the week. Stay tuned and I’ll announce its completion.
If you order the video and like it, please recommend it to your friends so I can continue to make them! :)
Today’s Green Smoothie
After my class last night I went to my friend’s house. In order to withstand the incredible food they make, I made a Green Smoothie. Green Smoothies help me to conquer cravings and fill me up pleasantly. I’m eating a full meal when I have my Green Smoothie and when I am finished I am not hungry for anything else. Green Leafy Vegetables are powerful foods that fulfill nearly all your nutritional needs. Spinach, Kale, Turnip Greens, Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, and all the rest of the greens have 2-3 times the amount of protein found in nuts and seeds (which are usually known for their high protein). Well, read all this and learn more about your Greens!!!
Check the bottom for my EASY Green Smoothie that I'm still sipping on...
Arugula - or also known as "rocket lettuce". You will understand the term once you taste the spicy nut-like flavor of this crucerferous green known for it's anti-cancer compounds. Great source of folic acid, Vit A, C, magnesium, calcium and manganese, potassium, riboflavin, copper, iron and zinc. I love the spicy flavor accented in salads.
Collard greens - amazing source of vitamins like: B6, C (one cup provides 70% RDA), carotenes, manganese, Vit. B1, B2 and E. Minerals: copper, calcium and copper. Awesome in Green Smoothies, Collard greens are also great to rolling raw burritos and their flavor is nicely balanced with savory seed cheeses, and nut pates.
Kale - their are many varieties of kale out there. My favorite by far is "dino kale", for it's super dark green color and rich taste. Kale is especially beneficial because of it's high calcium/lower phosphorus ratio, it helps conditions such as osteoporosis that tend to have an excess of phosphorus which leaches calcium from the body.
Mustard greens - this is a great leafy to add to Green Smoothies, but beware, it is on the spicy side. Use less than you usually would. Mustard is especially beneficial for woman in cases of menopause, breast and heart health. It provides quality bone support with it's high levels of calcium, magnesium and folic acid.
Bok Choy - VERY high in calcium and iron. The entire "brassica rapa" family including: tatsoi, mizuna, rapini, komatsuna, well known in European and Asian cuisine, are recently becoming popular around the world for their unique flavors and gourmet textures.
Spinach - known for it's high iron content, coming in at twice the amount of other greens, is also an incredibly alkaline food. It is one of the highest sources of lutein which help promote clear eye sight.
Lettuce - this green leafy vegetable is probably the most common in diets worldwide. There are many varieties to discover and choose from. Lettuce is a great mineralizer with high water content that is said to relax the body. I love Green Leaf Lettuce...it's a sweet, nutritious variety and still fabulous in Green Smoothies.
Parsley - high in folic acid, which is important in cell regeneration and repair. Help to cleanse the kidneys and assist in diabetes. It has a wonderful fresh taste which helps to cut spicier greens, like Mustard or Dandelion Greens.
Cilantro - has been well studied for it's effects at being able to detox mercury from the body. It's unique flavor is favored by many in salsa, pesto, and I just plain love it in a nice salad.
Easy Green Smoothie
The Marvelous Chia Seed
Chia, is familiar to most of us as a seed used for the novelty of the Chia Pet, clay animals with sprouted Chia seeds covering their bodies. Little is known, however, of the seeds tremendous nutritional value and medicinal properties.
For centuries this tiny little seed was used as a staple food by the Indians of the south west and Mexico. Known as the running food, its use as a high energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. It was said the Aztec warriors subsisted on the Chia seed during the conquests. The Indians of the south west would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a 24hr. forced march. Indians running from the Colorado River to the California coast to trade turquoise for seashells would only bring the Chia seed for their nourishment.
If you try mixing a spoonful of Chia in a glass of water and leaving it for approximately 30 minutes or so, when you return the glass will appear to contain not seeds or water, but an almost solid gelatin. This gel-forming reaction is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia. Research believe this same gel-forming phenomenon takes place in the stomach when food containing these gummy fibers, known as mucilages, are eaten. The gel that is formed in the stomach creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.
In addition to the obvious benefits for diabetics, this slowing in the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar offers the ability for creating endurance. Carbohydrates are the fuel for energy in our bodies. Prolonging their conversion into sugar stabilizes metabolic changes, diminishing the surges of highs and lows creating a longer duration in their fueling effects.
As a source of protein, the Chia, after ingestion, is digested and absorbed very easily. This results in rapid transport to the tissue and utilization by the cells. This efficient assimilation makes the Chia very effective when rapid development of tissue takes place, primarily during growth periods if children and adolescents. Also for the growth and regeneration of tissue during pregnancy and lactation, and this would also include regeneration of muscle tissue for conditioning, athletes, weight lifters, etc.
Another unique quality of the Chia seed is its high oil content and the richest vegetables source for the essential omega-3 fatty acid. It has approximately three to ten times the oil concentrations of most grains and one and a half to two times the protein concentrations of other grains. These oils, unsaturated fatty acids, are the essential oils your body needs to help emulsify and absorb the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, & K. Chia seeds are rich in the unsaturated fatty acid, linoleic, which the body cannot manufacture. When there are rich amounts of linoleic acid sufficiently supplied to the body trough diet, linoleic and arachidonic acids can be synthesized from linoleic acid.
The Chia seed is also a rich source of calcium as it contains the important mineral boron, which acts as catalyst for the absorption and utilization of the calcium by the body.
There are additional benefits from the Chia seed aside from the nutritive enhancements when used as an ingredient. It was also used by the Indians and missionaries as a poultice for gunshot wounds and other serious injuries. They would pack the wounds with Chia seeds to avoid infections and promote healing. If you place a seed or two in your eyes it will clean your eyes and will also help to clear up any infections. There is a wealth of benefits beyond the information outlined in this article and treasure-trove of benefits yet to be discovered. Chia seed, having a qualitatively unique situational richness along with a profound nutritive profile is one of man’s most useful and beneficial foods and is destined to be the Ancient Food of the Future.
I am excited to share that Living Raw By has instituted two NEW specials for 2011. The first is an exciting Frequent Raw Foodie program. If you attend four Living Raw By Grace Raw Recipe Nights (Not Parties), you attend a fifth class for FREE! I will be handing out the Frequent Raw Foodie cards at each class and at the Momma’s Organic Market. I want to honor those who attend my classes regularly and provide everyone else with encouragement to attend more.
The second special new for 2011 is a discount for those who bring friends to classes. If you Bring a Friend with you to a Raw Recipe Night, you will receive $5 off your admission! To qualify for this discount, you and your friend need to attend the same class. At the bottom of this blog is a coupon that you can print out and bring to class. If you have problems with printing, simply email me and I will send it to you to print out easier.
I have challenged myself to blog 31 days in February. It is already the fourth and I am 3 posts short…so today will be a little full. ;) I’ll do three blog posts today. The first one, this one, will be an entry out of my own daily food journal. For those of you who are curious as to what I eat…here you go!
Yesterday’s Day of Raw
When I first wake up I always try to drink as much water as I can. This morning it was 3 cups of water. Then I was in the mood for something sweet, but wasn’t that hungry, so I enjoyed a nice ripe pear, and a firm, juicy apple. A few hours later my daughter decided to make herself some chocolate pudding and my Pineapple Rightside Up Cake was looking delicious. So we both sat down with our creations. I polished off a third of my cake (one of the benefits of living alone), and she had two bowls of pudding. After my workout I sucked down two quarts of water. About two in the afternoon I was in the mood for something chewy, so I grabbed three of my Raw Pancakes and nibbled on them while I worked on my computer. After I finished most of my work, I made a huge Green Smoothie, filled three bottles full and ran out the door. I needed to go grocery shopping and since my little girl was with her father I decided to shop a little slower and longer and enjoy myself. I polished off all three bottles without even realizing it…sooooo yummy! When I got home I decided to make a few dishes of food for the next week. The first: “Where’s the Beef” & Broccoli…YUM! I love this dish and it gets even better the next few days in the fridge while the marinade breaks everything down. The second: a new recipe I’ve been working on: Ranch Veggie Baguette. Now, whenever I work in the kitchen making food…I sample…a lot. So testing and working on my foods filled my tummy. Then in the evening, I try as hard as I can not to eat late at night (I don’t quite succeed at this quite often). So at around 8pm I got three bananas, and a jar of raw almond butter. I enjoyed all three smothered in almond butter, and since the almond butter is very dense…it keeps me full longer. All in all…a fabulous day.
Now I HATE counting calories. NOT ALL CALORIES ARE CREATED EQUAL!!! Those 100 calorie “snack packs” are not the same as a 100 calorie apple. Therefore I refuse to label the caloric intake of my recipes. I will let you know if it is high in calories if you are on some sort of diet. However, the calories from my raw almond butter do NOT compare to the calories in a high fructose syrup – loaded peanut butter. So…sharing my daily caloric intake is deceiving. I have a very high calorie diet…yet most of it is water based, easily assimilated, nutritious foods that my body uses immediately. No storing, no extra time spent on digestion…since they all are loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber. But for those of you who are curious, here is this day’s calorie intake:
Apple – 72 cal.
Pear – 81 cal.
1/3 Pineapple Rightside Up Cake – 94 cal.
Green Smoothie: 481 cal.
Sampling dishes: 215 cal.
Bananas & Almond Butter: 1315 cal.
Total Calories for the day: 2258
This was a very light day. I usually eat 2-3 times this amount of fruit…but my stores are low in my kitchen. I will share what I am eating today as well. That will be another blog entry. ;) I hope this was fun to read. Any questions or comments…please email me!
I love that people are contacting me every day regarding something they have seen on TV, Facebook, or a friend about healthy living. Lately Vegan has been the buzz word.
Oprah and 378 of her staffers went Vegan for a One-Week Challenge, which touched more people than I can even imagine. I am not an Oprah fan, but she had caught my attention. I don't have TV, but I sure took a look at her website and read up on how the Challenge went. I loved that they highlighted that one staffer went from fast food to vegan and had serious addictive withdrawal symptoms. When she overcame them after a week, she decided to go vegan even longer because she felt so amazing. Another incredible story was another staffer, their video editor Rich, who lost eleven pounds during the week long vegan diet. One of the main reasons his story is so impressive is that he stuck mainly to fruits and vegetables and not grains or starches (a.k.a. High RAW!). He was off migraine medication and antacids after three days! By the end of the week, 300 out of the 378 Harpo staffers who signed up successfully completed the challenge. It raised awareness of how much animal products are in every day foods, and improved conscious eating. The company is now starting "Meatless Mondays," a phenomenon that is beginning to sweep around the nation.
Then there was Ryan Seacrest on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Ryan brought his Green Smoothie that his Brazilian trainer had gotten him into. He kept remarking that it gave him the energy that he needed all day long and he has grown to love them. He never goes anywhere without them (I know how you feel, Ryan!). I loved that he poured a glass for Jimmy and they toasted on mainstream TV. Someone, however, needs to tell Ryan about adding fruit to his drink to make it taste less like "drinking a lawn." The fun thing about the Green Smoothies that I encourage people to begin adding to their lifestyle, is that they don't taste like health food. You cannot taste the greens, only the fruit. It appeals to everyone.
And there is always Dr. Oz, who eats a Raw Vegan diet but cannot go live with that information. He has helped many people with a vegan diet, but being raw is too extreme for his producers. But his show is littered with information regarding the food you put into your mouth. Every so often my mother tells me of an episode she watched and I usually smile and nod because I can agree with most of what he says. :)
I love the fact that people are beginning to associate animal products with disease. Now don't get me wrong...I don't believe ALL meat is bad for you...but I do believe there is far too much unhealthily prepared meat. First you begin with meat that has been pumped full of antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, and may be loaded with viruses and such. Then you deep fry it, grill it, smother it in spices full of MSG or High Fructose Corn Syrup. If you buy it precooked you have preservatives and chemicals that dye it and keep it looking like new for weeks or months. Anyway...you get the picture. I don't want you to stop eating meat...I just want you to be more conscious of what you are eating and what it is doing to your body!!
Conscious eating. Eating...then paying attention to what your body tells you. Indigestion? Bloating? Uncomfortable fullness? Lethargy? Sleepiness? Hyper then a crash? Most people simply eat and when they find a symptom related to what went into their mouth they don't associate it with the food and find a way to deal with that symptom. Feeling sleepy...they drink some form of caffeine. Indigestion...they such on antacids. Unfortunately any relief we find comes with its own problems and you weaken your immune system even further...leading to the catching of colds, the flu, acne, headaches, and even worse maladies.
My challenge to you is to become a CONSCIOUS EATER. I challenge you to keep a food long and listen to your body for THREE DAYS. Don't change anything. Just eat normally. But within TEN minutes after each time you eat/snack/nibble/gorge you write down how you feel, and really pay attention to your body. If twenty minutes later you feel different, write it down. It's only three days. Let's see if we can begin listening to our bodies.
I will do it also. I know..I'm kinda cheating, since I'm already raw....but I can get carried away with raw "junk food" as well (lots of dehydrated snacks and then I don't drink much water to compensate), and I usually eat WAAAAY too late at night. Let's see what it is really doing to my body. In fact, I'll do it online! I'll keep a log of WHAT I eat, WHEN I eat it, and HOW I feel afterwards. I dare you to do the same! ;)
About the Blogger
Haley is passionate about Raw Food and how God has used it to heal her. She loves to share what she knows with anyone who is curious, and finds herself talking to everyone around her about her lifestyle.