Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A yummy new salad

I tried a new salad last night at our "fake" Whole Foods. It is a grocery store trying to be Whole Foods in the more upscale side of town.
It had the following in it:
Romaine lettuce
Napa cabbage
Fresh mint and cilantro
Rice noodle or sticks
Shredded carrots
Red peppers
Mung bean sprouts
Curry cashews
The dressing was called Asian Slaw dressing, it was super hot and orange. I might have to do some research for the recipe.

One of my favorite things to do is to try and recreate a recipe at home. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I will let you know if this one is a keeper.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why I hate the word diet.. warning a rant coming on

There seems to be a lot of diet books surfacing this time of year. I guess it is because people make New Year's resolutions about weight loss. I know when I worked at the YMCA years ago, we were bombarded with new members in Jan and they were thinning out by March. I know I have myself made that resolution only to abandoned it by February. SO I understand the want to be thin.

But I really feel the word diet keeps people fat, unhealthy and where they are at. Usually with an unhealthy weight, fear of the scale and an unhealthy relationship with food.

This unhealthy relationship with food really hit me recently. I thought it was just a few of us with that issue. (I had a breakthrough with this last year). But after watching a evening of the programs on the FN, I am more aware that it may be more than just a few of us. It is probably more like our entire country has some emotional issues with food. OK maybe 5% do not.

The most popular shows are competitions. I mean really, do I want someone sweating into and rushing to finish my dish to eat? There are chefs racing to make dishes with a key ingredient, cupcakes, sweets and time challenges. Then later in the evening 2 shows were hosted by 2 guys of size one looking for the best bar foods ( where he taste it on camera and tells us how wonderful it is and how he can still taste the spices in it as it was double deep fried) and the other outrageous foods like a 110# hamburger. Really dude?

That was followed by people competing to eat the outrageous food fast or within a time frame to receive it free. Large portions, fried foods and hottest foods.
Now don't misunderstand me, I am by no means a health nut. I am trying to limit processed foods and make healthier choices. I still eat things that are not the best for my body. But I might be looking to change things up even more seriously in the new year. But trust me, I won't call it a diet!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Kale Chips -To bake or dehydrate?

I already know the answer to this question but since I am a last minute Lucy I baked the kale chips to take to a Thanksgiving gathering. I used the same recipe I have used in the past but instead of putting them in the Excalibur for 4-6 hours, I baked them for 45 minutes in the oven.

Here's some of the differences between the two:


Done quickly, during the baking the kale did give off an odor that was not too pleasing, very fragile-broke easily and the biggest discovery - they gave me heartburn!


drying time long, firmer chips, pleasant odor while drying, couldn't stop eating them.

So I think you can see where I stand. Next time I will plan ahead and dehydrate!

Here's a batch I have made in the past. They really rarely make it into the jar. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A day of decluttering

I am taking most of the day to clean up my scrapbook area and tackle my clothes hanging in the closet. I am a natural pack rat and come by it honestly as there are many members of my family who like to shop. I do too, I just hit garage sales and thrift stores. But there is just too much stuff in my little house. I have to do this several times a year or I will be on an episode of Hoarders.

This goes for my fridge too. I will be organizing it this week as well. I usually get the most yummy juice mixtures when I do a clean sweep in there. (Or at least things I might not normally try) Today I am planning the juice I love most the Clean Sweep by Penni Shelton. I add the kale to it for extra iron as I am always low.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rawkin Guac

I have to say I do make a mean guacamole if I do say so myself. My friends and family ask for it when I come to gatherings. I recently made a large batch for one of my closest friend's for her birthday. She was so excited. She told me she purposely left it at work overnight so she wouldn't devour the whole bowl. I guess that is a pretty good compliment.
My recipe is very simple avocados, lime juice, salt, red onions and cilantro. That's it. I think the key to great guacamole is the ripeness of the avocados. You have to wait until they are perfect before preparing them. Very dark, soft but not so soft that you can change the shape of the fruit.

I'll take two raw juices to go

How exciting! I recently found out that the restaurant at the end of my street sells raw green juice! It's a little pricey but so nice to have as an option. They sell 4 raw juice combos..


Carrot celery

Honeymooner-carrot, grape, cucumber

Natural energy- celery, spinach, carrot, parsley

On our wedding anniversary my husband brought home the last 2 juices listed and I mixed them together to make a yummy concoction.

It's nice to give the ole Juiceman Jr a break sometimes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The making of raw carrot cake

Although carrot cake is not my favorite cake, I thought it would be an easier cake to transform from SAD to raw. Well, it has turned out to be harder than I thought. This was my first attempt and it's good but I want it to be great to serve to others. I didn't use many nuts and used raw gluten free oats ground into flour. I wished I would have used ground flax seed , some pineapple and more raisins. That is what seemed to be missing. I ate it for breakfast this morning and I enjoyed it. I will post the recipe when I make it again with those extra ingredients. I have to say my mother taught me to cook and we rarely use measuring cups or spoons. I will try to be as accurate as I can.
The frosting is the cashew cream frosting I have seen posted several places. I added a teaspoon of Lecithin Granules to help it set up.

So post any recipes/suggestions of dishes that you have moved from SAD to raw, I would love to hear about it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Juice, juice everywhere

This post is way over due! Just like so many of my library books.
I have been really craving green juice. I usually stick with kale but I have been mixing things up with arugula and spinach. I used to be all about green smoothies and drink one every day. Then all of a sudden my green smoothie mojo disappeared. It took me months to start again. Now I have one once at week or so. But they do not hit the spot like the green juice does.
Today's juice:
1 bunch of kale
5 stalks of celery
2-3 carrots
1/2 c cilantro
1/2 c green grapes
So tasty.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mushroom Leek Tart from Rawmazing

The directions suggest to wrap foil around the pan. Do it!

Next marinade mushrooms in Nama Shoyu and Olive Oil.

The next layer is washed spinach.

Thinly sliced leeks are next.

Cashews, water, white pepper and tarragon.

I topped mine with a few more leeks.

9 hours in the dehydrator and wow, this was good.
Notice the bite I took as soon as it came out. I had to taste it right?

I made this yummy dish the other night. It was a little more work than I want to do on a weeknight but I had all the ingredients handy. My hubby liked it too. We couldn't finish it all so we put it in the freezer. In a couple of weeks, I will tell you how it held up. My only suggestion for this recipe is I would layer the cashew cream in between each layer instead on pouring it on at the end.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Back to blogging and to my green regime

Yummy Green Juice!
Ready to drink

Oops, I think I missed a sticker. At least I hope that is what that small blue thing is that went into the compost pile. I didn't even notice it when I took the picture.
So in the month I have been absent from blogging, I finished my iron treatments . I also found out I am very low in vitamin D. So add another supplement to the pile that I take daily. I had several people tell me about Floradix iron with Herbs. It is suppose to be great from maintaining a normal iron level. So now that mine is normal, I am going to try it. I was tested 2 weeks ago and things look good. I go back to the doctor next month. So I am going to take this month to really eat iron filled foods and more raw foods. I feel good at about 50% although I hate stating percentages. Percentages are just more numbers that seem to define people. SAT, GPA, age, annual income, dress size, weight. I know I left a few others that make people stress.
Right now, I am really thinking about choices I am making and not so much about numbers. Numbers seem to hold me back. Maybe not hold me back as much as keep me stagnate. I would focus too much on them, giving them way more power that they deserve.
WOW this is not what I intended to talk about at all today. I really wanted to say that I want to blog more and stay off of Facebook. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Organic Produce Co-op

My friend organized a organic produce co-op earlier this year and it has been great for our family. I do go a little overboard sometimes, like a kid in a candy store. I placed my order this week and picked up my goodies this morning.

12 Avocados

6lbs Cucumbers

5lbs Zucchini

25 Gala Apples

4.5lbs Red Grapes

3lbs Strawberries

5lbs Bananas

5 bunches of Broccoli

5 Red Rudy Grapefruit

3lbs Green Grapes

10 Pears

1lb Spinach

1lb Spring Mix

The Lab results are in.....

My blood work results came back this week. My hemoglobin went from 7.2 to 9.2 with 2 iron infusions. I have had two more infusions and will be re-checked later this month. This is still low but heading in the right direction!
I believe with more leafy greens and some other iron rich foods this will continue to go up. I have had several people recommend liquid Floradix Iron for maintaining my healthy iron levels. I hope it works for me, because I really want to stop the mega strength iron pills I am on and give my digestive system a break!

Monday, August 23, 2010

How I spend my Wednesday afternoons

Well I have had a nice little break. During my break, my anemia came back with vengeance. My hematologist feels that iron infusions were in my future. I am scheduled for 4 weeks of treatment and I have had 2. My energy is slowly coming back.

In addition to treatments, I am taking high doses of iron in the form of supplements. I am also juicing a little and eating my weight in kale. Any cooked food I cook in the iron skillet and I am eating lots of lentils.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bulk Food Order

So last week I joined a organic bulk food co-op and I received the first load of goodies. I went a little crazy with my order or so I thought. I now realized that I did not order enough berries or grapes and I wished I would have ordered the blueberries after I saw them come off the truck. We have been happily eating up our yummy produce. We have been enjoying so much I didn't even get to take pictures of it all.
12 avocados
3 pineapples
6# cucumbers
8 mangos
Not pictured
8# tomatoes
1.5# portabella mushrooms
10 peaches
3# strawberries
5# red grapes

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

At the end of 30 days...

I have realized I am not a daily blogger. I try but I guess this is not my passion. I am much better at making videos so I am trying to figure out how to post them on here.

I did great the first 10 days. Then my energy level began to drag. Found out out my anemia was returning so I had some cooked foods. Mostly lentils. That worked for a few days then I would have a little bit of pits with my hummus. Then I had some raw cheese, which is OK with me but I really try to not have dairy when my iron levels are down.

I lost 10 pounds and tried many new recipes. I am most comfortable at 50% raw. For me, that is the percentage that is most sustainable.

My family for now are going totally gluten free. I will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 20 Raw lasagna

My anemia is back and I have been eating some high iron cooked foods. Mostly lentils. I am also uping my greens like crazy. But I am also using these 30 days to make raw dishes I have been wanting to make but couldn't find the time. Raw Lasagna. This is a little more work than I like to do since I am still making 2 dinners each night. But my husband liked it so I will be making it again.

Lots of soaking for this recipe. The recipe is from Carol Alt's The Raw 50.

Soaking sunflower seeds, cashews and macadamia nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, marinading mushrooms. This lasagna was so yummy, we warmed it up the next day in the dehydrator.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 19 The importance of sleep

As someone who has had insomnia in the past, I recognize the importance sleep has in all areas of our health. At first, I thought well I really do not need as much sleep as others. My dad has never slept more than 5 hours a night. I assumed that maybe my sleep pattern was genetic. Maybe it is, but I do need more sleep. I know that my lack of sleep has effected my health in the following ways:
hormone imbalance
increased blood pressure
weight loss/gain (plateaus)
When I began researching the effects of sleep deprivation, I had many more of the symptoms. I now know that SD places me at a greater risk for health problems in the future.
So what am I going to do about this... go to bed. 11 pm weeknights for a few weeks. No matter what I am doing, I am getting in bed at 11pm. I may not fall asleep right away but I need to make this a habit.
Oh and by the way, I had lots of yummy green juice today!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 18 A pretty good day

As soon as I got out of bed yesterday, I wanted to try a couple of new recipes. I made some yummy stuffed mushrooms with basil, pine nuts, cilantro and tomatoes. They turned out great. I did put them in the dehydrator but I preferred them cool. So I turned off the heat and let them set. My husband loved them as well and I think he felt a little guilty eating them thinking that they were like restaurant food and full of fat and junk. No guilt here, these were full of deliciousness and good for me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 17 Getting back into the swing of things

Wow, I really am lame at this blogging thing. I really wanted to blog daily during this 30 day raw experience. But that isn't happening. So I will make the most of the time I do spend on here and share what's going on. In the time I missed blogging, I went out of town for 3 days to visit my parents. While there I totally fell back into my old eating habits. Needless to say, I wasn't even high raw there. It was sort of eye opening. Since I have been home, I have been back to the raw drawing board. I have several new recipes I am trying this week. I went way overboard at the farmer's market this weekend. When I came home from the visit, my first delivery of fresh and organic produce from Natures Garden Delivered was here waiting for me. It looked beautiful. Everything we have eaten so far has been delicious.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 11 7# gone

I weighed myself this morning and I am less 7#. Wow! I was surprised. I think I weighed myself a few days before starting my 30 days. So let's say in a 2 week time period, I lost weight 7#. This is so encouraging to me.

I also tried a new salad recipe tonight. It is from the Food Network's Barefoot Contessa for Cape Cod Chopped Salad. I made her recipe minus the cheese and bacon.

This is so good. I am planning to take it to my parents this week.

Day 10

I was away from home for most of the day. It was the first day I didn't prepare my own food. I ordered a salad from a local restaurant. It was OK. I was scrapbooking with a group and there is always chocolate at these gatherings. I refused them all. I have never done that before. There was a huge 3# bag of m/m's on one gals table and I can't believe I was not even tempted.
I came home later that night and had more of my guac. I didn't eat that much that day and I felt good.

Day 9 my new m & m's

Can I just say I look so forward to going to the neighborhood farmer's every week. There is a vendor there who makes and sells raw food to go. I almost always buy a raw breakfast cookie from her which is so yummy. At $4 a cookie, believe me I savor it. Sadly, I had to pass this week due to low funds. I had to use my cash for all my greens for the week. Here's a list of goodies I bought this week. Romaine lettuce, peas, sugar snaps peas, rainbow Swiss chard, beets and broccoli. The peas have not been making it home. I shell the peas in the car and eat them like m & m's. If they do make it home, I have to fight my hubby for them. My teenager tried them raw but decided he liked his cooked. But hey, I am happy he is trying lots of different things.

Day 8 Give me the green juice

Oops. I haven't posted in a few days. Things are going well, I just got busy. I drank lots of green juice today. My favorite right now is still the Clean Sweep. Kale, green grapes, celery, parsley and carrots. It is really yummy. But I went outside my comfort zone and made some Green Lemonade with romaine lettuce, cukes, celery and lemons. It was good as well and made a lot of juice. I ate a salad for dinner and had some of my simple guac on the side. I can't seem to get enough of it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 7 didn't go too well

I had a stumble yesterday. I was looking for something fast to make for the kids and came across a box of organic mac and cheese. Now normally I don't like mac and cheese, unless my mom makes it homemade. I never eat the box stuff. Because once you have had my mom's (who cooks like Paula Deen) you never go back to box. So anyway, I made it for the kids and didn't think too much about it until clean up time. Then I had a bite, then another, then another. I probably ate between 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of it. I didn't feel too well later. Lots of bloating. So was it worth it. No not really. But I am not beating myself over it. When you start to do that, it gives you a window to quit. I am not ready to quit so onward and upward.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 6 Sassy Water

I seem to be eating the same things for the last 2 days. What I am having trouble doing is drinking water. So I found a recipe for Sassy Water. I can jug this no problem. It has to be really cold though. I know room temp is better for you but I love it cold.

Place the following in a pitcher:

med cuke

med lemon

12-15 sprigs of mint

1" of sliced ginger

fill with filtered water over night for everything to infuse

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 5 and onion bread

So I was so hungry for the sandwich I had last night. My hubby went to the co-op to purchase one, but they were out. SO I made one here. My onion bread really wasn't ready but hey a craving is a craving right? So here's what I put on my bread....

Sunflower seed cheese

romaine lettuce


clover sprouts

broccoli sprouts

Bubbie's pickles

balsamic vinegar

It totally fell apart after I took 2 bites, but it was just what I wanted.
A note about my onion bread. I used the recipe from Cafe Graditude. I did omit the Nama Shoyu and just used salt. I wanted more of a wrap than pieces of bread. I used the food processor to slice the onions, they were a little thick. So next time I will use my mandolin for a thinner sliced onion. It taste great.

Day 4

This post is a little late. I snacked throughout the day on fruit, killed off the rest of the simple guac and had a few raw chocolate macaroons. So for dinner, I was hungry. I went to the local co-op and bought this yummy sandwich. It was so good. I am inspired to make my own today. The onion bread should be ready tomorrow so I might have to buy another sandwich today.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 3 craving popcorn

Ok, so last night, I spent the evening in the bathroom. Not really sick, just active. I really think the nuts were getting to me. I did have popcorn. I wonder if it was an actual need or when I am not feeling great a comfort food.
My hubby on the other hand is "cheating" like crazy and craving junk. He is really missing sugar and his soda. He is really trying hard not to give in to his craving for soda.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 2 and too many nuts

We had Mexican tonight. It was yummy. My hubby was still a little hungry so he had some of the marinaded mushrooms.
My tummy is a little upset today. I did have a lot of nuts so I will lay off them tomorrow.
Our menu tonight was
Walnut Tacos
Corn Tortilla Chips
Simple Guac
Fruit Cobbler

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 1 of our 30 day all raw challenge

Well, we have our first day under our belt. My husband loved telling me that it was National Donut Day. I think that is a good a day as any to start new habits.

I have been uncooking all day, prepping meals and making a yummy dessert. I made Ani Phyo's Mango Cobbler but I used peaches, apricots and strawberries. So I guess that makes it more of a fruit cobbler. So yummy.

I made a variation of my Get You Green on Greek Salad.

Now I have Corn Chips in the dehydrator for our chips and guac for tomorrow night. I did have coffee this morning but I not planning on doing that every morning.

Tomorrow it is off to the farmer's market !

Get Your Green on Greek Salad
1 hothouse cucumber
1 red bell pepper,
1 yellow bell pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 medium zucchini
1/2 red onion, sliced in half-rounds
1/2 cup raw walnuts roughly chopped
2 avocados cubed
1/4 cup fresh basil chiffonade
For the vinaigrette:
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon whole grainy mustard
1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon agave
1/3 cup good olive oil

Chop all vegetables in large cubes then place the cucumber, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, Italian seasoning, mustard, vinegar, agave, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Still whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Add the walnuts, avocado, basil and toss lightly. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature. This dish can enjoyed alone or a top of a bed of baby lettuce greens.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Menu planning

I have been pouring over my raw cookbooks and recipes that I have saved over the past year. Now I think I have more recipes than I could make in a month. For me the planning is key. If I do not have ready to eat food on hand, I stray from healthy eating to convenient eating.
Since my DH is going raw with me, I asked him what were his favorite raw dishes I have made over the past year. He had a hard time remembering what things were called but described to me what he liked. We now have a list of about 15 staples that we can make on a seconds notice.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Preparing to go raw for 30 days

I think I love to plan. I love researching, preparing to plan and there is where it sometimes stops. My husband and I have been talking about going raw for an extended period of time for several months. We wanted to wait until produce is in abundance and farmer's market were up and running. This plan has been slowly building. I started my date with green smoothies in the morning almost 18 months ago. Then I found Raw Food Rehab and Penni Shelton last June and participated in an experiment that lasted 11 weeks. Many members did go 100% raw at that time, I was not one them.
I used that time to research recipes, try fruits and veggies that were unfamiliar to me and connect with others that were wanting to restore health. At that time I was sick. I had a blood transfusion and iron treatments. The hemoglobin was dangerously low. Doctors were unable to find the blood loss source. I was desperate to feel better. That is what motivated the green smoothie routine in the first place. At the end of the 11 weeks I was consistently 50% with sometimes close to 75%, my skin looked great, lost about 7 pounds, (which is not a lot but I have since found out that when you are iron-deficient it's hard to lose any weight) lost my fear of the scale and released the power it had over me. I can now accept the number it reads for the day and move on. I used to let that number paralyze me now it really is just a number. A number that I would like to see go down but it no longer defines me. My relationship with food has changed as well. My interest in food is not just for taste and enjoyment, it is for health, refueling and vitality.
This line has become a little fuzzy lately so this is a great time to go raw. I look forward to the next few weeks and will post often about all the changes in our house.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

1st Friday Night Raw Food Fight

Last Friday night, I had several friends over to try some yummy raw food recipes. We had a great time. It has been 16 months since I had started my green smoothie routine, and many of my friends tease me about this new habit. They also have many questions about green smoothies too. Although I am not authority on this subject (I still haven't read Green for Life yet) I know what it has done for me.

Here is the finale menu and photos from our fun night.

Penni Sheltons Clean Sweep Juice with kale

Sun-dried tomato crackers

Raw tortilla chips

Rawkin Guac

Bean-free hummus

Nori veggie rolls

Thai Confetti salad from my friend Jodi Clark

Ani Phyo's Chocolate Gouache Cake with Strawberries