Friday, April 30, 2010

Get Ready: Get Set: GET RAW!

All right,

So those of you who read my blog or talk to me might know that I am doing a 4 week fitness challenge that I made up myself. Well, that is still in progress and despite a few bad snacks and last night's dinner, I am doing EXTREMELY well. I have been pushing myself running and eating mostly raw.

Well, its time to take it up a notch. Tonight at midnight, the husband and I are throwing ourselves into a 30 day 100% raw challenge! We are joining The Uncooked Kitchen for this challenge. I am super excited. It is going to be so great having Andrew along for the ride, also, as sometimes its difficult for me to cook multiple meals for multiple diets! Plus, he will keep me in line when I have cravings or other things like that! We are almost out of food so tonight I am going to get a grocery list going and head out to the grocery to stock up.

Is anyone else joining this 30 day raw food challenge?! Let us know!

Wish us luck! I will let you know how it goes as it goes. :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Best Green Smoothie EVAR

Ok, so I really did just make the BEST green smoothie ever.

Here is the recipe:

1 cup filtered water
2 handfulls of spinach
1 pear
1 banana
3 strawberries

Mix and WHA-LA.

The taste is incredible and its not too grainy. The color is beautiful. MMM Green smoothies!

Raw Guacamole- YUM

I promised a post on my recent adventure creating guacamole and here it is! I made this:

The first thing I did was cut into a very dark avocado. Let me just say that this avocado was probably the most beautiful vegetable I have EVER seen. It was the most incredible green color (can't you tell by the photo?) and the brown seed thing inside complimented it so well. It almost took my breath away. Is that cheesy or weird? I might be in love with the aesthetics of the avocado! Even the word rolls off my tongue. MM avocado, how I desire you! ...I think I am probably going to decorate my next kitchen based off the colors of the avocado... Ok... sorry. Back to the recipe.

So-After cutting it, I scooped out the stuff I wanted with a big spoon. Mashed it with a fork. Then, I cut up some onion and grape tomatoes (on second thought, would probably try a vine tomato or something similar--and a red onion rather than a sweet onion. I couldn't find organic red onions at the market this week so I had to get yellow. *sad face*). I mixed those all together with a dash of lime juice and some salt and pepper. 

The guac tastes GREAT and is wonderful on raw wraps and salads and chips and anything else you can think of. With salsa, it makes great appetizer! I had this for lunch today. MMM!!!!

Me dipping into the guac with non-raw chips! Look at that color! MMM

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Raw Coleslaw-with a twist

Hello! I wanted to share with you my newest creation--raw coleslaw. Now, I've never been a huge coleslaw fan but this recipe is just destroying me with coleslaw cravings! It is such a great feeling to crave a totally raw dish rather than a cheeseburger! I've noticed raw food cravings more and more as I try to add more raw foods into my diet.

Anyway, I made this first experimentally and on the fly for some friends one night who came over for dinner. I had been so overwhelmed with coming up with a raw dessert that I completely neglected a side dish! So, I sent Andrew to the store and this is what I made:

Raw Coleslaw:

1 head cabbage
1 head bok choy
1 grated carrot
a small piece of grated ginger root
about 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil
about 2 or 3 tablespoons of nama shoyu
sprinkles of salt and pepper

For this, I like to put the cabbage in my processor until it is all cut up into small pieces. Then, I put that in a bowl. I put in the bok choy and allow that to be a bit larger. Grate a carrot and ginger on top, put in the toppings, and mix together. 

Ta Da! There you have it. A raw coleslaw that is SO GOOD. I have seen a variation of this which added Asian Pear and Lemon juice, but this is what I did and I LOVE it. I made it for a pitch-in yesterday and am taking another batch to another dinner tomorrow. It really is just that good! :) :)

NUTRITIONAL ELEMENTS: What is also cool about raw coleslaw is that it is FULL of some really awesome vitamins and minerals. Bok Choy is full of glucosinolates, which can help prevent certain cancers. It is also full of carotenes, vitamin C, and CALCIUM (good recipe for pregnant women who need calcium in their vegan diets). The cabbage also has TONS phytochemicals (glucosinolates) (PHYTO=FIGHT-) for fighting cancer! Actually, cabbage family veggies have more than any other veggies out there! Also, cabbage is good for treating peptic ulcers!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bubbles Spice Smoothie

So, why is this smoothie called the "Bubbles Spice" smoothie!? Well, I have a rabbit named BUBBLES,  of course!

...ok, so why would someone name a smoothie after their pet rabbit!?

Well, its full of carrots (can you tell by the picture??). AND, it is adapted from the "Bunny Spice" drink in Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis's "Raw Food, Real World" cookbook!

Here's what I did:

Grated some ginger root into the bottom of my blender. Filled it with chunks from two carrots (not peeled, just washed with ends cut off), a cup of almond milk and blend. Once that is fairly smooth, I threw in one GIGANTIC organic banana and one half of a GIGANTIC organic banana (so probably two regular sized ones) and dumped in some cinnamon. Blend.

It tastes AWESOME! 4 raws!

My favorite part about this smoothie?? It's ORANGE. Which means (@Justine Dell) that it is the first GREEN SMOOTHIE I have made that is a beautiful color that has nothing to do with green. Hoorah! My quest for a non-green green smoothie is now complete!

Let's hope this smoothie fixes my eyes, though! The beta-carotene (healthy Vit A) in this smoothie is THROUGH THE ROOF! MM MM! Carrots have a great amount of Carotenes (no pun intended...or maybe intended), which promote better heart health and fight against cancer. Some studies show that eating Carrots and other orange squashes can reduce the risk of heart attack by up to 60%! They also, of course, help fight bad eyesight! WOW! (These findings, of course, from Healing Foods my Michael Murray). I can feel myself getting healthier with each sip I drink!

Bubbles and me lovin' each other...staring contest, anyone?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fitness Challenge FAILURE

So, this week started out GREAT in terms of my Fitness Challenge. I ran, I ate about 99% raw, I felt great, I felt inspired and awesome.

Pictures taken from Justine Dell's blog on FAILURE

And then...I failed. That's it. I just .. failed. I'm not REALLY sure how. Tuesday night I ate a giant bowl of ice cream at my Bible study, Wednesday I think we might have had pizza, etc. What happened!? We ran out of good produce, for one. I didn't plan THAT very well. Also, it was my husband's birthday. As such, this weekend, we had about 4 meals out from other people. That means my willpower fails and I get what tastes best rather than what is best for me!!! I did work out a couple times, but overall I failed at that, too!

What is up with all this failure!?

I think the answer is simply planning. I didn't plan.

Point number one: When I hear "restaurant" I get excited to eat something that tastes good (read: is full of fat and horrible chemicals) rather than planning or getting excited thinking about the salad or "light" portion of the menu. Instead of eating before we left, I was STARVING by the time we got to the restaurants, leaving me little willpower to resist the richest, biggest portioned, cooked food.

Point number two: When it rains, I do NOT want to run. When I am spending the day preparing for my husband's birthday by baking him the brownies he picked out, I do not want to run. When my dog is being HORRIBLE on the leash, I take him back inside rather than walking with him that extra mile. When I think "Oh, I will run later!" I am making excuses to not run NOW (and then it never happens).

Another reason I think I failed is simply LAZINESS...and a lack of discipline. It is way easier to NOT eat well or to NOT work out when I have easier options! No excuses!!! I also did not give my health to God this week. I left it up to myself and without God guiding me (not that God cares what size jeans I wear--but generally speaking), I cannot do ANYTHING.

You might be able to tell, but I am pretty bummed about my performance this week! That being said, it is time to also tell you that failure does not mean GIVING UP! Oh no. I am back on the horse today! I made some raw coleslaw and guacamole (blogs coming later this week!), stocked my fridge with some great looking veggies/fruits, picked up another raw cookbook from the library, and am ready to go. There is a break in the rain this afternoon so I am going to make myself a nice breakfast smoothie, do a little work, and then head out to the pavement for a run. I'm hoping to break a personal running mark today, but I need that first umph to do it (from the GREEN SMOOTHIE).

So, as of this morning, I am weighing in at 137, one pound MORE than last Monday! :( However, with all the crap I ate this week, I am surprised it isn't more than that!

I'll update again on Monday and perhaps throughout the week as per my meals/creations/recipes/thoughts. Have a wonderful Monday!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fitness Challenge

All right, that Ladies' Week has come to a conclusion and I have just randomly developed a desire to feel confident in a bikini (so I can go swimming in the beautiful weather), I am embarking upon a daily fitness challenge. Now, this challenge is all my own, so no one really has challenged me nor am I actually competing against anyone. Still, the challenge is a challenge, as it is hard for me to actually get up the energy to do cardio. So, my daily plan is this:

*At LEAST 30 minutes of difficult cardio. This means running or biking (running, more like it).
*At LEAST 1 mile walk more than what I normally do. This should be easy since I have an energetic dog.
*Every other day, I will do the full-body toning workout with hand weights that is featured in this month's Self magazine.
* Upping my raw food intake to 90% raw.

So, I know I will probably build muscle doing this, but I want to make sure that I record my stats. On this Tuesday, April 20th, 2010, I weighed in at 136lbs. I will not weigh myself again until next Tuesday. Each Tuesday for the next four weeks I will update my progress. This means I must be held accountable!  I'm leaving it up to YOU, my readers, to do that! I KNOW I have friends who read my blog, so HELP ME OUT HERE!

Ok, that is all for now. Wish me luck! I'm gonna need it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Husband is AWESOME-and bought me a dehydrator

Hello Again!

This weekend, Andrew and I went to Bed Bath & Beyond to spend the last of our wedding store credit. Last time we went, I got a blender. This time, I got a dehydrator!!! Hooray!!! Andrew couldn't think of anything he wanted more than an iron (which we got) so he was fine with spending even MORE of our wedding money on raw food cooking tools! What a sweety. No beer kegerator for him--he is fine with dehydrators, blenders, food processors, hand mixers, upping the food budget, etc. so that I can do the raw thing. What a sweetie! I love my husband...for more reasons than him letting me buy stuff, but also because he lets me buy stuff! Hooray!

So, the first thing I did was get some flax seeds out and attempted some kind of raw cracker!

I know, it looks like a pizza or something, right? Well, these crackers actually have a pizza taste! I used one cup of flax seeds, about a cup of grape tomatoes, and half a red pepper. I threw in some basil and oregano. Oh, I also did a tiny dab of garlic. They taste awesome! Like pizza, I'm telling you! It took a tad bit longer than I would have liked because I used this clear plastic insert so that the crackers didn't smash through those holes--and the bottom didn't dry! So, I had to flip them over. onto the tray after about 5 hours. 

my first dehydrator experience :*)

On another note, I purchased a biodegradable (you can plant them right in the ground for transplanting!!!) "greenhouse seed starter" from a local co-op here in town. I grabbed some organic habanero seeds and PLANTED. I am SO excited for the salsa and raw hot sauce I will make here in the near future! :) :) :)

More on the organic garden to come!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Raw Women, Raw Strength

So, here I am going to link you to some of my favorite women--Mostly raw women who are healthy, inspiring, awesome, and creative. Some of these women you may know, some you may not...but...what you SHOULD know is that each one of these blogs will inspire you, make you laugh, make you cry, and all that other woman-y stuff.

Candice Davis: Not only do we share a name, but Candice's blog is interesting and inspiring. I love how her blog incorporates her family into it! Candice is a raw, strong, awesome woman! Check out her blog!

Kristen Suzanne: Kirsten is a vegan, raw chef. Her blog is super awesome and full of really great information. Her strength shines!

TheFitnessFreak: I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog!!! This one linked is FitnessFreak's raw recipe blog. She also has one called The Fitness Freak that is really awesome, also. Check out her stuff--its really really great and inspiring. I just discovered this blog and am SO glad I did!

Justine Dell: Justine is not raw, but she is an awesome romance/modern fiction writer who is trying to get published. Her blog is really real, really fun, and just overall really awesome. I'll probably make her eat something raw soon, so she is allowed to be on this post! :)

Earth Mother of InTheRaw: This blog is full of all kinds of really great resources and fun. She also has Friday Food Porn, which is my favorite thing in the world--showcasing the absolute beauty of food!

April at RawFoodPassion: April has just recently gone raw and is documenting her awesome journey. I love April's blog--all her posts are fun and her strength at staying raw during her challenge is so helpful in keeping raw even when pizza coupons come in the mail!

Well, that is all for now. If I think of some other really awesome raw/women, I will update this as I go! Check these ladies out! :)


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cocoa Reduces Inflammation associated with Heart Disease!


Who doesn't need an excuse to eat more (or any) chocolate?!

According to the American Heart Association, "Heart disease isn't just a man's disease. Heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are devastating to women, too. In fact, coronary heart disease, which causes heart attack, is the single leading cause of death for American women. Many women believe that cancer is more of a threat, but they're wrong. Nearly twice as many women in the United States die of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases as from all forms of cancer, including breast cancer."

As it turns out, the cocoa bean is a cute little bean that is full of flavonoids-- "Naturally occuring antioxidants found abundantly in certain fruits and vegetables, tea, and red wine. A new study suggests that flavonoids in chocolate may be good for the heart..." (

The cocoa has been shown in research studies to lower levels of "adhesion molecules--proteins that cause white cells and other substances to stick to the walls of the arteries."

So what does this mean for you, my lovely lady readers? As it turns out, any chocolate that you eat should not be processed (or be as close to pure as possible). Processed chocolate adds all kinds of sugars and destructive chemicals/processes (is not raw!) while lowering the flavonoid count. According to this article on Harvard Women's Health Watch, "Pure chocolate is made of nonfat cocoa solids and cocoa butter. The higher the nonfat cocoa solid content, the higher the flavonoid content will be... White chocolate contains no nonfat cocoa solids."

So basically, on a raw diet, throw in some of that cocoa to your smoothies or make some kind of awesome raw dessert + cocoa. BUT, always remember that these nutritional benefits are only gained if you eat in moderation. Plus, if you are trying to lose weight through raw food, try to limit your chocolate intake!

Here's some more tidbits about cocoa: "Unlike saturated fats found in meat and dairy products, the saturated fats in chocolate do not elevate cholesterol levels. Cocoa butter contains small amounts of plant sterols...which may help inhibit the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Chocolate flavonoids prevent the excessive clumping together of blood platelets that can cause blood clots. Chocolate can provide significant amounts of arginine, an amino acid that is required in the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to dilate, which helps regulate blood flow, inflammation, and blood pressure."

Um, cool, right!? RIGHT.

So, what is YOUR favorite raw chocolate recipe??

EDIT: My friend Ashley Detig sent me this recipe -- not sure where she got it, but I am making it for a dinner date we have tonight! I am super excited about it!

Chocolate Fudge Cake (adapted from Ani Phyo's Desert book)

Fudge Cake:
3 cups dry walnuts
2/3 cup cacao powder or carob powder
1/4 t. sea salt
1c pitted Medjool dates

*Combine in walnuts, cacao powder, salt in food processor and pulse until coarsely mixed (avoid overprocessing), add dates and pulse until mixed well. Shape into two stackable cakes of desired shape.

Frosting: (best frosting I've ever had!)
1/3 semi-soft pitted Medjool dates
1/4 agave syrup
1/2 ripe avocado flesh (about one medium avocado)
1/3 c cacao powder

*Combine dates and agave syrup in food processor and process until smooth. Add avocado and process until smooth. Add cacao powder and process until smooth.

~To serve, frost top of one cake, and top with a fruit of choice (raspberries, cherries, strawberries) or coconut, or just more frosting! Stack toe second cake on top and frost the top and side. Devour! 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

African American Child-Women: Nutrition Theory Revised

All right (hehe @ Justine Dell),

As advertised, I found a research study conducted by Medha Talpade that investigates early sexual maturation in African American females and connects it to nutrition. 

The first thing I will say is that there are, as with any primary research, some drawbacks to this study. There are moments while I was reading the methods section of the research report that I thought, "Ya know, that seems a bit...fishy." As in, there could be a lot of skewed evidence here based on methodology. So, I will present the research findings but ask you to check it out yourself before you decide that what is presented here is absolute fact. Anyway, I would encourage you to do that in general. In fact, I would encourage you to be cautious to EVER label anything Absolute FACT (except God, who is, indeed, a fact). Still, the information provided at least raises questions and provides evidence that the SAD is pretty awful for human bodies. 

So, what is this study all about? Talpade wanted to find out if nutrition in early life affected sexual maturation. Early sexual maturation is "associated with myriad psychological and behavioral problems" (2). "Increasing research evidence indicates that there are psychiatric risks for girls who enter sexual maturation at an early age" (3). Indeed, the NHANES III found that obesity was linked to psychological and emotional dysfunction. Preliminary findings suggested that today, AA girls eat significantly different than a generation ago and this newer study found that there are significant differences in nutrition between AA girls who mature early and those who do not. 

The study found lower calcium and fiber consumption related to early sexual maturation. 

So, basically, African American children (as well as any child/ren) need to make sure they are getting a great deal of calcium and fiber--especially if being raised raw. While most raw foodists will claim that the raw food lifestyle can provide plenty of essential vitamins and minerals/proteins, it is very important to make sure kids are getting the RIGHT amount they need of the right kinds. Perhaps consider blood tests and perhaps a supplement if you are afraid your kids are not getting the right amount of fiber and calcium!

Here also is more information regarding African American health and nutrition:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy

Of course, only women can carry a baby and give birth to a baby. Therefore, pregnancy is an important topic for ladies' week! Even if you plan to never have a[nother] child, you probably know someone who is thinking about having/going to have/about to have a baby. In Ani Difranco's words, "To split yourself in two is just the most radical thing you can do" AND--if you choose to take that step, you must fight for your baby at all costs--even if it costs you that extra slice of pizza. Its the ultimate feminist movement, to have a baby, and it is the ultimate test of female strength! Kudos to all women who have taken this journey!!!

AND, as it turns out, "what you eat before and during your pregnancy," according to Miriam Erick, "could be one of the most important considerations for your health and happiness during those nine months" (xxxii). Erick says that normal pregnancy symptoms can drive a woman absolutely nuts while carrying her baby, such as "Fatigue, morning sickness, constipation, hemorhoids, varicose veins, tooth and gum problems, leg cramps, nosebleeds, skin problems, colds and infections, mild depression, and mood swings..." Even these are only "a few of the NUTRITIONALLY RELATED side effects of pregnancy that might be avoided or at least lessened by proper diet" (xxxii). I hear about these side effects ALL THE TIME from pregnant people. You will probably get one or two, I'm sure, but you can lessen them dramatically (or prevent them) by eating better and making sure you are getting enough vitamins/minerals that your body needs!

First, if you are in your childbearing years, you should consider stocking your body with a few beneficial vitamins: Iron and Folic Acid.

Of iron, you should consume 18mg of iron each day. You should make it even higher if you have heavy periods or use IUD. If you are iron deficient, get MORE IRON! You can get iron in wheat germ, spinach, beet greens, sunflower seeds, mangos, avocados, raisins, almonds, beans.

Of folic acid, get 400mcg daily! This can be the most important vitamin to prevent birth defects! You can get it in spinach, tomato juice, collards, asparagus, wheat germ, beans.

Now, WHILE YOU ARE PREGNANT, you must must must consider your eating habits. Erick's research tells us that despite popular belief, a growing baby gets most of its vitamins from WHAT YOU EAT AS YOU EAT IT! That means every bite you take is a choice for either helping your baby grow and develop, or just stuffing it full of twinky! EEP!

To get the minerals and vitamins you really need, you need to be eating at least eight servings of fresh fruits and vegetables (full of vitamin C such as citrus as well as leafy greens!)! You also need to make sure you are getting plenty of vitamin C.

Calcium Rich Foods:
Bok Choy
Collard Greens
Dandelion Greens
Mustard Greens
Orange juice
Rice Dream
Turnip Greens

Fantastic Veggies (* high in folic acid):
Bean Sprouts
Green Beans
Brussel Sprouts
Dandelion Greens*
Mustard Greens*
Pea pods
Green Peas*
Sweet Potato
Turnip Greens*

Fabulous Fruits:
Casaba Melon
Honeydew Melon
Mandarin Oranges

Erick's Nutrition: 1, 2, 3 table:

1. 2/3 or 3/4 of your plate should be heaped with a variety of whole grains, veggies, and fruits.
2. Include at least one whole grain and two fruits and/or veggies at every meal and one fruit or veggie at each snack.
3. Before you eat, always ask, "Is this good for me and my baby?" If so, eat. If not, find an alternative!

Raw Superfoods (awesome buzzword) for Pregnancy (mostly taken from Erick's book) are:

Spinach: One cup of cooked spinach supplies only 41 calories, yet boosts your zinc intake. It also has calcium, magnesium, iron, and folic acid.

Strawberries: 2 cups of strawberries are only 100 calories and ensure optimal iron intake while providing lots of fiber and Vitamin C!

Wheat Germ: 1/2 cup of wheat germ supplies more than half of your daily magnesium needs, as well as a ton of vitamins (100% of your daily folic acid and 50% vitamin E), Iron, Zinc, and other minerals!

Broccoli: High in folic acid, vitamin C, beta carotene, iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B12, just about everything else!

Papaya: Supplies more than twice your day's need for vitamin C, more than your daily allotment of Vitamin A (as beta carotene), magnesium, calcium, potassium--and low in calories!


So, what about being raw? Does this change how/when/what I eat? Yes, it does. But not much. If you are already high raw, you are pretty much there. Your baby will be getting all kinds of super healthy foods and nutrients and vitamins into its developing little system. BUT, you should try to get a ton of whole grains, calcium rich foods, and protein. Make sure you are eating enough raw veggies/nuts/seeds to make up for these vitamins. You are looking for foods high in Vitamin D, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, and calcium.

I hope this helps/is interesting! I think its awesome. God really has provided us with all the tools we need for happy, healthy, well-developed babies/bodies! Its just what you make of it bite by bite.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Proverbs 31: 10-31

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10 [4] An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.

12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.

14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.

15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

17 She dresses herself [5] with strength
and makes her arms strong.

18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.

19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.

20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet. [6]

22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.

26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”

30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Best Vitamins for Women

So, women. What is it about women? Well, they are awesome. They are beautiful and soft, lovely, sweet, and precious, strong, hardcore, gentle, etc. etc. etc. And, they need VITAMINS! What vitamins, you ask? Well, according to Elizabeth Somer, these ones:

Vitamin A: This boosts immunity, maintains healthy tissue, aids in bone and tooth formation, and protects vision. Find it in dark green leafy veggies and dark orange ones.

Vitamin D: Strengthens bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. Might lower risk of colon cancer, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. May curb PMS symptoms and protect vision. Find it in dark green leafy veggies. You might also get it in supplement form, just to be safe.

Vitamin E: Antioxidant. Counteracts DNA damage that ages cells. Prevents heart disease, cancer, memory loss, and cataracts. Boosts immunity. Look for it in wheat germ, most nuts, and spinach (OH a leafy green).

Vitamin K: Aids blood clotting, boosts bones, may curb heart disease risk. Look for it in leafy greens.

Folic Acid: Supprots normal cell growth, prevents anemia, and birth defects. May reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, preterm delivery, memory loss, Alzheimer's disease, depression, and cancer. Look for it in leafy greens, orange juice, wheat germ.

Vitamin B6: Helps produce hormones and brain chemicals. Strengthens immunity. Might lower risk of memory loss, heart disease, depression, and morning sickness during pregnancy. Look for it in avacados, potatoes, bananas, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

Vitamin B12: Helps prevent heart disease, memory loss, anemia, and depression. Maintains nerve and brain function. Look for it in a multivitamin or supplement.

Vitamin C: Antioxidant. Maintains tissue, promotes healing, boosts immunity. May reduce risk of cancer, sun damage, heart disease, cataracts, and tissue damage from secondhand smoke. Look for it in citrus fruit, brussel sprouts, peppers, and leafy greens.

Calcium: Reduces risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, possibly colon cancer. Aids in blood clotting, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. Might reduce symptoms of PMS and help weight loss. Look for it in leafy greens, peas, beans. May also need a supplement.

Chromium: Regulates blood sugar and may help lower blood sugar levels in those who are insulin resistant. Get it in orange juice, whole grains, wheat germ.

Copper: Aids in nerve transmission, red blood cell formation, maintanence of strong bones and brain, hearth, immune function. Regulates blood sugar and protects against birth defects. Look for it in grains, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens.

Iron: Prevents fatigue, improves exercise performance, strengthens immunity, and maintains alertness and memory. Look for it in peas, apricots, leafy greens, raisins, whole grains.

Magnesium: Aids in muscle contraction, nerve transmission, blood pressure regulation, immune function, and bone formation. Might lower risk of heart disease and diabetes. Helps control hypertension, headaches, and preeclampsia during pregnancy. Look for it in avocados, bananas, wheat germ, whole grains, peas, leafy greens.

Omega-3 Fats: Lowers risk of heart disease, memory loss, bone loss, and osteoporosis. Reduces symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. May boost mood. Look for it in flaxseed and walnuts.

Selenium: Antioxidant. Lowers risk of heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer. Look for it in whole grains, nuts.

Zinc: Speeds healing, boosts immunity, prevents pregnancy complications, helps maintain strong bones and normal taste and smell. Look for it in nuts, beans, peas, wheat germ, whole grains.

NOW, 2/3 of these vitamins are found in LEAFY GREENS! That means, make a big leafy green salad base. Add some whole grains, flax seeds, and some nuts and you're good to go for the day! All of these essential women's vitamins can be found in a salad!!! WOW! Isn't that intense?? MM MM!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Ok, everyone--ITS THAT TIME! LADY'S TIME! This whole week is going to be dedicated to women. Of course my posts will be tailored to raw women, but all the information included in my Ladies' Week posts is good information for ALL women.

Here's a preview of what the week looks like:

Monday: Best Vitamins for Women (And where to find them). This day's post is based off of an article by Elizabeth Somer, entitled "Best Vitamins for Women." I am original, huh?

Tuesday: Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy. You will be BLOWN AWAY by some of the information presented here (especially if you've never considered this topic before).

Wednesday: African American Child-Women: Nutrition Theory Revisited. This post is related to an article I found that revisits past research on Af-Am nutrition. The study discussed in this article was conducted by Medha Talpade and was ppublished in a journal called Adolescence. This should be an interesting post.

Thursday: Cocoa Reduces Inflammation Associated with Heart Disease. (MMM CHOCOLATE)! Who needs another excuse to eat tons of cocoa? I do, and I'm sure other women do, so come check out this post!

Friday: Raw Women, Raw Strength. This post is the one I'm looking forward to most! Do you know of a really strong raw woman? Send her info my way and perhaps she'll show up on this blog post!

Well, if you can't tell, I'm REALLY excited about LADIES' WEEK! YIPPEEEE! Come back every day to check it out! Until then...its green smoothie time!

Honey Coconut Smoothie

I have a favor to ask of you--no, a demand: TRY THIS SMOOTHIE. Oh my gosh I am just blown away daily by the smoothies I make! Not trying to toot my own horn but let me tell you I AM A GENIOUS with a blender and an employed husband (who hates, by the way, finding left over smoothies lying around the house as I mix and mix and fail and fail at making yummy smoothies). 


2 TBS Raw Honey (warmed, liquified)
2 cups coconut water
about 2 tablespoons coconut meat
2 dates
1 apple
Some red leaf romaine
some baby greens

So, what I did, was first I put the coconut water in the blender with the coconut meat to make a light coconut milk. Then, I added the dates until they were smooth. Next, I blended in the apple. Then the greens. Then the honey. It was green, just like my others, so I didn't take a picture of it... but you could imagine what it would look like...

Photo taken from In the Raw

For those of who who have a hard time with coconuts. Let me tell you, today was my first time. I started by attempting to saw off the woody stuff around the outside. I thought I was getting somewhere until I hit the hard crust part. I thought, "WTF!" because I was already a little sweaty from all the cutting. And cutting. And cutting. Then, maybe 20 minutes later, my lovely husband, being that he spent MONTHS in INDONESIA (one of the largest suppliers of coconuts) said "Love," (isn't he sweet?) "Get a knife and stick it in the top. Then, use something heavy and hammer it in." Ok...........

So I grabbed a knife. And a pot.

"Love," (again, so sweet) "You're going to grab, out of everything in the kitchen, one of our nicest pots!?"
"...*blink blink*... well, you said something heavy."
"Yes,, use this.." 

He handed me our incredible cast iron tea pot, a very expensive and one-of-a-kind wedding gift. Well, I used it, despite my better judgement. Somewhere in the back of my mind was my lovely sister, saying, "Candice, this thing is so great it can't break." So, I guess it will double as a coconut opener?

At that, determined, I began hammering. And hammering. And hammering. And FINALLY, coconut water dripped out. More hammering. And hammering. I was sweaty-my face was red, I was pounding, trying to get that darned thing pried open because I had NOTHING else to eat for breakfast besides some oat flour... Eventually, I broke open a chunk (thanks to all the sawing I was doing earlier!).....I put the water in and was able to scoop out a tiny amount of the meat. The thing went in the fridge for a later time. I was NOT going to spend another minute on that dumb coconut. Well, as you may know by now, the smoothie turned out GREAT. MM MM MM MM MM!!!! 

I will let you know what happens with the coconut.....its fate is in my hands....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Raw Yum-Yum Taco Salad

Hola, Amigos!

Oh man....Am I the only person who thinks "taco taco taco" when Spanish is being spoken?...."MM TACO..hola, sí, uh huh...right...TACO!"

mm...probably. Well, anyways...Mexican food is my all time favorite food EVAR. AND, I needed a quick, simple, easy, raw alternative. So, I came up with this:

Just looking at it is making my mouth water! Anyway, this here raw taco salad alternative is based with a lovely red leaf lettuce, chopped. On top, you'll find bell peppers (red, green, yellow), red onion, a medium salsa made out of tomatoes, cilantro, onion. You'll also find that I dropped a few black beans all around the salsa. Finally, I dressed mine with a TON of Local Folks Foods (based out of Sheridan, IN) hot sauce!

Now, I think this would be tastey with some extra cilantro or other assorted Mexican-y spices added to it, but I LOVE it just the way it is. I also have added some rice to this to fluff it up a bit and that was even incredible. YUM YUM YUM! I also think you could probably make this into a type of taco dip with some raw chips. If you got some raw tortillas, you could make soft tacos, too! Also, you could add some guacamole! OH THE POSSIBILITIES!!!

Look at that AWESOME Local Folks Foods habanero hot sauce! MMM

I think I am getting dehydrated drooling all over the place.

That's right folks..OH the possibilities.... *le sigh* ... ok, where's my breakfast!?


Friday, April 9, 2010


Andrew and I ate a ton of fruits and topped it off with almonds for an incredible light fruit, raw fruit breakfast!

If you can't see the fruit, inside this beautiful bowl are:

Apple chunks

The breakfast was great at getting us jumpstarted for the day. For lunch, Andrew's father prepared some great shish-kabobs and asparagus on the grill, served with a plate of raw veggies and bean salad. One of the best (though not very raw) lunches! 

Anyway, raw breakfast has always been our biggest challenge, but a simple fruit bowl like this works really well. So does a green smoothie, but that's not what THIS post is about! Seriously, I know it can sound a little boring to think "fruit!?" when you could be sitting down to a giant pancake or omelette. HOWEVER, this is a great dish if you wanna go raw. Also, throw in some raw yogurt or something and have a blast!

I've also dehydrated mashed bananas mixed with coconut (cinnamon to taste) for a breakfast. Try it!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

MUST SHARE: Green Smoothie

So, I just made a green smoothie for lunch and it is so delicious I thought I had to share! Here's the mixture:

1 handful of whole grape tomatoes.
3 or so leaves of red leaf lettuce
1 cup Organic, fresh Mixed Berry fruit juice
1 very ripe banana.

First, I blended to tomatoes since I knew they hard a harder peel. Once those were liquified, I threw in the lettuce and some juice. Blend. As that was going, I threw in chunks of banana at the top. Let it run for a sec til it was nice and smooth and WHA-LA, GREEN SMOOTHIE OF ALL GREEN SMOOTHIES! The best part about this green smoothie is that I HATE tomatoes, most of the time. Usually, I really have to dress them up to enjoy them but I guess adding them to a smoothie is a great way to mask the flavor and still get all that lycopene they have! Also, I hear they are great for Andrew's prostate.

Try it!

Salads, salads, and MORE SALADS!

Well, at least there's......

Aren't all of God's natural creations simply beautiful!?

THE (totally awesome) SIDE SALAD!!!! 

So, what can I say? Is this salad a beauty or what! I made this salad with a bit of crispy romaine, baby greens, green pepper, red pepper, yellow peppers, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes. All organic, of course! I topped this basic side salad off with a nice raw red wine vinaigrette. It. Was. Awesome!

Clearly, Andrew and I love certain veggies--all of the ones in this salad, more or less. They are our staple veggies (except the grape tomatoes) and we buy them every week.. Yup, every week we stock up on our leafy greens (mostly lettuces right now, rather than kale, spinach, etc. However, there is a lady who was at our farmers market who sold all natural spinach that was extremely tastey). We always make sure to get two of each of our favorite bell peppers, though soon we will be growing some (God willing) in our organic garden plot! We get two cucumbers, and red onion. These I eat ALL THE TIME. AND, they make the great side salad you see above (if you add the grape tomatoes). 

What's awesome, in my opinion, about the side salad is how AWESOME it tastes (5 raws by the way. An excellent side salad, for a side salad)!!! And, it fills us up, so we can make less of our main course and save money (red pepper/coconut soup anyone?! Coconuts are expensive!). Yeah, I'll say that again: we save money eating these things! And not only that, here is some nutritional information for the side salad pictured here:

This salad is FULL of the following:
Vitamin A
Folic Acid
Vitamin C
Vitamin B1 and B2
Vitamin K
Silica (Cucumber)

WOW! I know, right!? Just make sure you are making your side salads with ORGANIC produce, so as not to cancel out the benefits of these vitamins! And what ARE the benefits of a side salad full of so many vitamins?? Well, these vitamins help with these things:

Vitamin A: Proper growth/development, eyesight
Folic Acid: Critical to cell division
Vitamin C: Makes collagen, the main protein of the body. Metabolizes fats. Vital for wound repair, healthy gums, and prevention of bruises. Critical to immune function. Antioxidant. 
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Energy production, carbohydrate metabolism, nerve cell function.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Energy production.
Beta-carotene + Lycopene: Antioxidant, converts to Vit A. 
Vitamin K: Blood clotting, bone health, 
Potassium: Electrolyte. Water balance, kidney and adrenal function, muscle and cell function, heart function.
Magnesium: Activates enzymes. Maintains cell charge in muscles and nerves. Energy production, protein formation, cell reproduction.
Biotin: Utilizes fats and amino acids.

Whoa! Lots of goodness! What would we do without all these vitamins! Next meal, add a beautiful side salad--and feel GREAT about the choice (because the rest of your body will)!

Please tell me, what is your favorite thing to use in your side salads?! Mine is by far red onion. I am a red onion fiend! 

Btw: For the nutritional information, I use The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray and Joseph and Lara Pizzorno. It is a super guide for me! I use it ALL. THE. TIME.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Case for Asparagus

Asparagus officinalis

Picture from

Asparagus: Its perennial. Should be planted in early spring. Sunny, wind protected spot. Water heavily. Watch out for Asparagus rust and fusarium wilt. Asparagus helps with Arthritis and Rheumatism and helps as a diuretic. It is very low in calories: 24 per cup. Excellent source of potassium, vitamin K, folic acid, vitamins C and A, B6, riboflavin, thiamin. Also it is full of dietary fiber, niacin, phosphorus, protein, and iron! WOW!

Andrew and I have some great stalks of Asparagus in our fridge right now, and I am debating on how we are going to eat it. It was given to us by Andrew's father. Now, Andrew says you can't eat it raw, but I know I've seen it on salads and things before. Perhaps I can throw it in a nice green smoothie today? A salad? Well, here's a variation I found online by Chef Jonathan Waxman from EPICURIAN

12 Medium-sized asparagus spears. Snap off the tough ends.
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup raw olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounce wedge parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Carefully shave the asparagus lengthwise into long, graceful strips. Place the strips in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Finally, using a vegetable peeler, shave the cheese over the top. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
Shave 1 large fennel bulb and 1 or 2 Belgian endives on the mandoline (or veggie peeler) and toss with the asparagus shavings. You may want to increase the olive oil and cheese to your taste. 

How do YOU like your Asparagus!?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Hey all!

I've done some awesome experiments into the green smoothie thing...with adding various veggies. Now, honestly, I'm so excited to share a few EASY raw, green smoothie recipes I've "cooked" up -- they are really really tasty green drinks! I have had these the past couple of days for breakfast and I have felt SO good in the morning and for the rest of the day! And, now that the sun is out, Titus (the dog) and I have been enjoying some running/jogging/walking in the sun. Today, my smoothie even gave me the energy to break a running record (this isn't a huge amount, so I'm not going to post that I ran 15 miles or something, because I didn't. Nonetheless, I broke a personal record!) Oh, summer, how I love thee!

Anyway, here are the recipes and while you're at it, Mr./Mrs./Miss Smoothie lover, go check out a previous banana/mango smoothie blog post!

This isn't the BEST quality picture, but this is the Green Berry Slimer Smoothie!

The Blonde, Chartreuse smoothie:

4 leafs romaine lettuce
A handful of baby greens
1 medium Banana
1/2 cup Mango Juice
1/2 cup Orange Juice
Pinch of Ginger

Blend romaine, baby greens, and juices together in the blender. Then, add the banana. Throw in the pinch of ginger and you're ready to go! 

The GREEN BERRY slimer smoothie:

4 leafs romaine lettuce
A handful of salad mix
1 medium Banana
1 cup juice from various berries

Blend romaine, baby greens, and berry juice together in your blender. Throw in the banana and DRINK!

4.5 raws for both! SO good, and so full of vitamins and minerals. These smoothies are FULL of Vitamins A, B6, C, K, Manganese, calcium, fiber, iron, and, of course, potassium! This means good things for your health. Now, start your day off right and try one of these smoothies. What is your favorite green smoothie recipe?

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