Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Juicing is a Unique Cleansing and Rejuvenation Technology

If I could recommend adding only one thing to your diet this year, it would be fresh fruit and vegetable juice.  Juicing provides benefits that are totally unique unto itself... above a blended drink and beyond whole, raw fruits/veggies.  It is a unique cleansing and rejuvenation technology!

Why do juices live up to their hype on TV?
  • Juicing separates the iquid from the indigestible fiber of plant material, allowing their nutrients to bypass the need for digestion;  Unlike any other food, they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, right away.  That is why you feel the energy of juices immediately after drinking them.
  • When you take in nutrients without triggering digestion, your body can focus its energy on cellular cleansing, repair and renewal, and detoxification (all of which have a youthening effect).
  • Essentially, juicing gives us the benefits of fasting without depleting the body! 
The action vegetable and fruit juices have on loosening up toxins n the tissues is extremely powerful, so much so that it is used as a cornerstone of the highly successful treatment for cancer and other life-threatening diseases at the Gerson Institute in Mexico as well as the Hippocrates Institute in Florida.  Whatever your current health state is, juicing can take you to a new level of wellness in a relatively short amount of time.  There are tons of GREAT juicing books on the market.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Microwave Ovens: Modern Convenience or Modern Health Hazard?

Research shows that microwaved foods are more than "nutritionally depleted," they are literally a modern health hazard.

The following is a summary of Russian researchers' conclusions about microwaved foods, published by the Atlantis Rising Educational Center in Portland, Oregon:  Carcinogens were formed in virtually all foods tested. (No test food was subjected to more microwaving than necessary.) 

* Microwaving prepared meats sufficiently to ensure sanitary ingestion caused formation of d-Nitrosodiethanolamines, a well-known carcinogen.

* Microwaving milk and cereal grains converted some of their amino acids into carcinogens.

* Thawing frozen fruits converted their glucoside and galactoside containing fractions into carcinogenic substances.

* Extremely short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables converted their plant alkaloids into carcinogens.

* Carcinogenic free radicals were formed in microwaved plants, especially root vegetables.

In Comparative Study of Food Prepared Conventionally and in the Microwave Oven, published by Raum & Zelt in 1992, the authors write:

"Production of unnatural molecules is inevitable. Naturally occurring amino acids have been observed to undergo isomeric changes (changes in shape morphing) as well as transformation into toxic forms, under the impact of microwaves produced in ovens. One short-term study found significant and disturbing changes in the blood of individuals consuming microwaved milk and vegetables..."

Source:  "Microwave Ovens:  The Curse of Convenience," Christopher Gussa,

 Additional Tip:

Replace your microwave with a toaster oven and enjoy better health and flavor:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hearty Gluten-Free Garden Vegetable Wrap with Wild Rice

The Ingredients:
One Food for Life Gluten-Free Tortilla
Cooked Brown Rice/Wild Rice Medley (or just wild rice if you prefer!)
Shitake Mushrooms
Herbs de Provence, sea salt, black pepper
Raw Milk Cheddar Cheese

The Instructions:
1.  Warm the tortilla gently in a toaster oven or on a skillet. 

2.  Sautee in ghee the kale, Shitake mushrooms, and zucchini until soft and lightly browned.  Add the herbs, sea salt, and black pepper to taste. 

3.  Place some wild rice in the tortilla and top with your freshly sautee'd veggies!  Add some raw milk cheddar cheese slices to complete the creation or some avocado slices if you prefer.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Morning Sickness and Selective Appetite in Early Pregnancy May be Nature's Way of Preventing Miscarriages

As a raw foodists and natural health enthusiast, I was startled (to say the least) when I became sick during my first trimester of pregnancy and when the range of foods I found appetizing dwindled significantly.  I was worried that the nausea was a sign that my body was either not ready for pregnancy or not adjusting to it optimally.  My normal diet was very high in vegetables, greens, and superfoods:  I really put a lot of thought into balancing what I ate.  So, when I found myself averse to... you guessed it... vegetables, greens, and superfoods, I was concerned that I was not taking in enough nutrients to nourish myself or my baby.  Not only could I not tolerate raw food (except for carrot/apple juices), I could barely look at most vegetables!  LUCKILY, I did some research.  I found out that morning sickness is not only normal, it can also be interpreted as a good sign.  And likewise, early pregnancy calls for a very specific diet, which my body had guided me to perfectly.  Read on to find out more...

Morning Sickness and Selective Appetite in Early Pregnancy May be Nature's Way of Preventing Miscarriages

Morning sickness typically begins in the fifth week of gestation, peaks by the eleventh, and subsides for most women by the fifteenth or sixteenth week of pregnancy.  Though uncomfortable, studies show that morning sickness is not only normal, but may also be nature's way of preventing miscarriages.  In fact, women who experience morning sickness have a substantially lower risk of miscarriage than those who do not.

Morning sickness has been carefully studied, but it is still not known exactly what causes it.  Several scientists have suggested that morning sickness provides a protective mechanism for the early embryo.  The "selective" or diminished appetite women often experience alongside morning sickness may also be protective.  The most common foods pregnant women are averse to during the first trimester are all foods that are either potentially parasite-contaminated or phytochemically potent:  These common foods include:  meat, poultry, fish, caffeine containing beverages, and vegetables.

What purpose do the foods typically preferred by women early in their pregnancy serve?  These foods, which tend to be on the sweeter side- fruits and fruit juices, grains, starches, sweets, and dairy, "may result from a selection process that increased the likelihood that nutritional, safe, calorically rich foods became the nourishment of choice," write Deepak Chopra and David Simon in their book on Holistic pregnancy, Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives.

Thanks for clearing that up for me, Deepak and David... And, thanks to Kalavati who helped me relieve some of my morning sickness/low energy symptoms with her amazing shiatsu skills:

For more information on Prenatal Nutrition, I highly recommend this book!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vegetarian or Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

I made this for the first time last night.  I absolutely loved it, and it was a hit with my husband too!   I have been craving Italian flavors since becoming pregnant a few months ago.  And, as a result, I've been on a mission to recreate Italian dishes, making them both lighter and vegetarian/vegan friendly.  Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite things to order at an Italian restaurant.  HOWEVER, I do not enjoy the heavy feeling that the fried oil, heavy refined flour breading, and pasteurized cheeses leave in my system!  I believe that you will, as I did, find this version both delicious and nourishing in all ways...


One Package of Organic Brown Rice Spaghetti, cooked
1 Jar of Mur Glen Organic Cabernet Marinara Sauce
1 Large or 2 Small Eggplants, sliced thinly
Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar mixed together and sprinkled with a small amount of sea salt
Breadcrumbs, either store bought gluten free or homemade by toasting a few slices of millet bread and placing it in a food processor until 'crumby'
(Excellent millet bread is available from Sami's Bakery.)
Basil for Garnish


1.  Soak the sliced eggplants in salted water for about an hour.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.   Dip eggplant slices into the olive oil mixture 

3. Coat the eggplant with the breadcrumbs and place on an enamel or stainless steel cookie sheet.  (Aluminum and Teflon bake ware are harmful to your health, so best to avoid at all times.)

4. Bake until brown and crispy turning at least once (up to 10 minutes for each side, but this varies with each oven, so watch them carefully the first time you make this dish).

To serve:  Place the spaghetti on the plate.  Add the baked eggplant slices and coat with the Cabernet marinara sauce.

For a Vegetarian Dish:  Grate a healthy cheese on top, such as raw milk goat, sheep, or Jersey cow cheese.  Pasteurization damages the proteins and enzymes in cow's milk, making them difficult to digest and prone to clogging/depositing within the connective tissue and lymphatic system of the body.  (Goat milk proteins are not as affected.)  Probably for this reason, research has linked pasteurized cow dairy product consumption with osteoporosis, increased colds, asthma, and certain types of cancer.  The moral of the story:  Seek out raw dairy products for best results! 
For a Vegan Dish:  Use Rawmesan, a Vegan version of Parmesan cheese that is just as delish!  Available from the Raw Food World.
 And Finally... place a few basil leaves on top for some extra flavor and color.  You can also drizzle a little extra infused olive oil around the edge of the plate for olive oil lovers!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Is Bread Healthy? It May Depend on how you Make it... Why Sourdough Bread is 100% better for you

My homemade Kamut Sourdough Bread Experiment

 Want to make your own sourdough bread?  Learn the why's and how's of sourdough bread making from Sally Fallon:

There is A LOT of debate among nutritionists, dietary counselors, and other health professionals about which foods are beneficial for human beings and which are not.  In recent years, it has become a trend to go "against the grain," and declare bread as an unnatural food that causes disease, obesity, insulin resistance, etc., etc.  Of course, there are equal numbers of equally qualified professionals that feel that grains are disease-preventative, anti-oxidant rich super foods. What is the truth about bread, grains, and your health?  It may come down to traditional wisdom:  Researchers have found that breads prepared the way our ancestors prepared them lead to health benefits while grains prepared in the modern fashion lead to health detriments...


According to European researchers, naturally leavened (or sourdough) bread is superior to cultured yeasted breads sold in most markets today. 

Yeasted breads are linked to stomach bloat, indigestion, thin blood, and weak intestines.  They also seem to exacerbate conditions that occur with unfriendly yeast overgrowth in the intestines, including many degenerative diseases.  'Whole grain' varieties of commercial breads have additional shortcomings:

  1. They often contain flour bleach, which forms alloxan, a compound known to cause diabetes in animal by destroying the beta cells of the pancreas. 
  2. They are full of phytic acid.  Phytic acid reduces mineral metabolism- especially in those whose diet includes a good percentage of grains and legumes- and can contribute to anemia, nervous disorders, and rickets. 
Naturally leavened breads, on the other hand, involve a process that allows fermenting agents to break down the cellulose structure of grains and release nutrients into the dough, greatly improving the bread's nutritional value.  They also contain lactobacillus, a friendly bacteria which helps generate the intestinal flora essential for proper digestion and elimination.  Sourdough bread's advantages go beyond that:
  • They contain almost no phytic acid because the bacterial action in the sourdough baking process neutralize nearly all of it.
  • They stay edible for weeks and are more delicious and nutritious in five to ten days, if stored in a cool dry place. 
Where can you find Sourdough breads for you and your family? 

They're available in most healthfood stores.  Note that some breads say "sourdough" but may not actually be naturally leavened.  These breads usually also contain yeast.  Read labels before buying so that you know what you're getting.

On-line: or


Healing with Whole Foods:  Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchford

Question of the Day: Do you have a favorite brand of healthy bread? Share it below!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Vegetarian One Pot Dinner SuperStar: Meatless Shepherd's Pie!

This meal is a new cold-weather favorite of mine.  In fact, I made it for Thanksgiving dinner, accompanied with biscuits.  You won't believe how wonderfully rich this dish is even though it is totally cheese, meat, and wheat free... I count it among a handful of recipes that I can serve to people accustomed to meat and potatoes fare, knowing that they will be satisfied with the flavors and textures it contains.

This is one of a number of fantastic recipes created by Vimala Rodgers.  This is the first book I ever owned about Vegetarianism and Vegetarian cooking, actually, and being from a small town in Wisconsin, I was shocked to learn about the health information it contained related to the subject!  :

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Get more from your vitamins/supplements using the Organ Clock

According to Chinese medicine theory, the organs of the body have a natural flow of energy that is continuous around the clock. When taking supplements to benefit a particular organ, you can use the following list to determine what time of day that organ is most receptive to nourishment:

Organ: Time
Stomach: 7-9 a.m.
Spleen/Pancreas: 9-11 a.m.
Heart: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Small Intestine: 1-3 p.m.
Bladder: 3-5 p.m.
Kidney: 5-7 p.m.
Circulation/Reproductive Organs: 7-9 p.m.
Digestive System: 9-11 p.m.
Gall Bladder: 11 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Liver: 1-3 a.m.
Lung: 3-5 a.m.
Colon: 5-7 a.m.

*Supplements that target the liver/gallbladder are best taken them before bed, so that they work overnight, rather than taken during their exact time of highest activity.

Friday, December 3, 2010

To Remedy Dry Winter Skin, Use Coconut Oil and Avoid Commercial Lotions

The small molecular structure of coconut oil allows for easy absorption through the skin, giving it a soft, smooth texture. It makes an ideal ointment for the relief of dry, rough and wrinkled skin.

According to Bruce Fife, natural health researcher and N.D., coconut oil the only type of oil you should use on your skin. Why? The answer is free-radicals!

"Most commercial creams and lotions are predominantly water. Their moisture is quickly absorbed into dry, wrinkled skin. As the water enters the skin, it expands the tissues, like filling a balloon with water, so that wrinkles fade away and the skin feels smoother. But this is only temporary. As soon as the water evaporates or is carried away by the blood stream, the dry, wrinkled skin returns. No matter how hard you try people will never be able to permanently cure dry, wrinkled skin with any commercial body lotion or body care products. Besides the water, most lotions have an oil of some type. This oil is almost always a highly refined vegetable oil devoid of all natural protective antioxidants. One product in our food supply and in body care products that leads to a great deal of free radicals is oxidized vegetable oils. Conventional body care products that are made with refined vegetable oils which have all the antioxidants stripped from them are highly prone to free-radical generation both in and outside the body. That is why eating processed vegetable oils can cause a deficiency in vitamin E and other antioxidants. The antioxidants are used up fighting off free radicals causing permanent damage to connective tissues. This is also the reason why you should be careful about the type of oils you use on your skin, and in your lotions, creams and lip balms. If you use a lotion, or cream with a refined oil in it you are in fact causing your skin to age faster.

The ideal lotion is one that is made from an oil that not only softens the skin, but protects it against damage, promotes healing and gives it a more youthful, healthy appearance. Coconut oil fits that description. Pure virgin coconut oil is the best natural ingredient for skin lotion available. It prevents destructive free-radical formation and provides protection against them. It can help to keep the skin from developing liver spots, and other blemishes caused by aging and over exposure to sunlight. It helps to keep connective tissues strong and supple so that the skin doesn't sag and wrinkle. In some cases it might even restore damaged or diseased skin. The oil is absorbed into the skin and into the cell structure of the connective tissues, limiting the damage excessive sun exposure can cause.
*Coconut oil will not only bring temporary relief to the skin, but it will aid in healing and repairing. It will have lasting benefits, unlike most lotions. It can help bring back a youthful appearance. The coconut oil will aid in removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, making the skin smoother. The skin will become more evenly textured with a healthy "shine". While doing this the coconut oil will penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and strengthen the underlying tissues."

Source: The Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil by Bruce Fife, N.D.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lucuma Raw Chocolate Melt-Aways

The benefits of eating raw chocolate have been discussed on this blog before and I do not think I need to extol the benefits to your taste BUDS of eating raw chocolate, so I'll just get on with the recipe...

I made these melt-aways for a friend's art opening and they went quickly!

1/2 c. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, gently melted
1/2 c. Raw Honey
1/2 c. Raw Chocolate Powder
1/2 c. Raw Carob Powder
1/4 c. Tocotrienols
1/2 c. Lucuma
2 tsp. Raw Vanilla Powder
1/4 tsp. Himalayan Salt
a pinch of Reishi mushroom powder if you want to add some magic to them...

Instructions: Combine all ingredients. Roll into balls. Chill to firm.

Lucuma is an orange fruit with a flavor reminiscent of butterscotch ideal for sweetening natural candies, cookies, and ice creams. It is native to the highlands of Peru, Chile, and Ecuador, where it enjoys tremendous popularity and is favored over classics like chocolate and vanilla as an ice cream flavor.

Despite its sweetness, Lucuma is actually low both low in sugar and low on the glycemic index.  It is rich in both beta-carotene and iron.