Monday, November 24, 2008

Emotional detox ... hitting rawck bottom

We all come to a point in our lives where we can either take a gigantic leap forward, blindly and requiring faith in the unknown, or we stand still, doing hardly anything to move toward a brighter, more enlightened future. Worse yet, there are those of us that whether consciously or not, take steps backward, moving away from their ultimate purpose and giving in to an 'easier' life without accountability or responsibility. This blog entry is an impromptu subject yet based upon someone else's real, very recent experience and I am just the messenger of this message that must be shared. I know there are many out there who've gone through a similar roller coaster ride.

The raw foods lifestyle, as you may have read elsewhere, is not just about eating raw and living foods. Yes, it is about treating your body like the temple it is and your choices then reflect that, but it goes much deeper than that. If any of you are Get Fresh! magazine subscribers (my favorite reading raw for pleasure source), there is a fabulous article in the new Fall issue with Karen Knowler coaching a client through her delayed decision to be successfully raw. This particular article is quite relevant to my discussion here, and it's definitely worth reading if you have ever struggled with eating raw, were ever your own roadblock to success, or you made excuses that slowed the manifestation of your life's goals. ... Is anyone still reading THIS, or have you already zipped over to the article?! If we are honest with ourselves, I think we can ALL relate to this.

When you begin to eat clean, fresh, raw, ripe with life, living foods, the natural thing that happens can sometimes be unexpected. We shed layers of our previous 'self' because it no longer serves us. We still have the same values, interests, hobbies, etc., but everything else starts to shift (or does EVERYTHING shift?). Are we really happy with the work we are doing? Do we really know WHO we are .. and where are we going? And what exactly does that mean to someone who has felt mis-guided, unknowing, and uncertain most of their life? An emotional detox happens to the best of us, no matter our intention in wanting to avoid dealing with baggage that comes up. This breakthrough way of eating is what has kick started a dramatic shift in a good friend's perspective and attitude. He got on quite innocently and unknowing of the outcome, yet it's proven to be the craziest, yet most beautiful ride ... (and is still riding) ..

Sometimes we need to let go of where we've been (possibly a childhood incident or the failures in between then and adulthood) in order to move forward and embrace wholeheartedly where we are going, even if we have no idea where that will lead us. In unknowing, there is knowing; it's moving away from the past and into a life that we had no idea existed for us in the first place ... but it was there all along, and we did need the past to happen in order to bring us to where we stand today. For me, allowing only the best foods ever to enter my mouth has raised the standards for all that surrounds me. This is all about creating the life you dream of and want for yourself. I have found that eating this way has given me a solid foundation to which all else rests upon.

So, what does one do in the meantime? You tie yourself to the mast and let your ship guide itself through tumultuous waters, instead of being crazy in the mind and reckless at the wheel. In other words, wrap your arms around the living foods approach and let it be your guiding force. Have faith in the food you are putting into your body, and the mind will ultimately become more clear. A deep peace from within will find you.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

HealthForce Healing Cleanse

Ah yes, I've embarked on another nutritional cleanse - yet this one is Jameth Sheridan's style: hard-core and truly powerful. Mike and I are doing the intestinal and parasite cleanse, a program we've decided to do for 5 days. We take some capsules and binding powders throughout the day, drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices, superfood loaded smoothies (I have decided cacao in minimal amounts is okay on this cleanse), and have a normal green infused living dinner.

I have to share this recipe that I got from the Chocolate! Superfoods! Raw! Cosmic Cacao! group I joined through facebook; you must try it, it tastes like a mint chocolate chip ice cream mylkshake. Totally amazing and you'll wonder how you lived without.

2-3 T cacao nibs
1 T cacao butter (melted) or cacao powder
1 oz soaked gojis (I didn't have any, so I went without)
1 T raw almond butter or soaked almonds (I used almond butter)
1 T coconut oil or 1/2 cup coconut water (I used coconut oil)
1.5 T ground flax or hemp seeds (I used hemp seeds)
2 tsp maca force (I used 1 tsp vanilla spice and 1 tsp carob peppermint)
2 tsp wildharvested bee pollen (I use Mountain Rose Herbs)
1 vanilla bean (split open and scrap the insides into smoothie)
1 T dark agave
2 frozen bananas (the recipe said use just a 1/2 frozen banana, but I felt it needed more)
1-2 cups homemade Brazil nut mylk (the recipe called for water, but how can you not use freshly homemade nut mylk when you have it?)

Blend Well.

I am so happy on this cleanse already. The first day has been a breeze - and I will keep you posted.

A superfood smoothie cleanse that nutritionally supports nourishing, soothing, and lubrication (of the colon), plus drawing action, absorption and elimination of poisons and toxins from the entire intestinal tract (Intestinal Drawing Formula - powder). Then you have the Intestinal Movement Formula (capsules) - the supportive herbal components in this formula support digestion, the immune system, blood sugar balance and reduction of harmful microbes (maximum colon cleansing = better health). And lastly, but certainly not least, you've got the Internal Parasite Formula (capsules) - this formulation uses therapeutically effective quantities of cloves, black walnut, and wormwood to kill parasites. Milk thistle extract and wasabi extract are added to support the liver and help control die-off reactions from parasites and harmful microbes. It's all about getting the bad guys out. This formula is highly anti-candida too!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Raw Chocolate Dream Fudge

I used to make an incredible vegan fudge made with tofutti's soy cream cheese (which now I cringe at) and powdered sugar - there were only 4 ingredients and it was so easy to make. But, I've found the perfect raw replacement and I know you will absolutely love it. It takes minutes to make from start to finish and there's no heat or anything complicated about it. You can make it in a food processor (as I did tonight) or a high-speed blender (like the Vitamix).

Confession: I made a batch just two days ago, filled up an entire ice cube tray (which makes perfect BIG bite size pieces), and needed (yes, NEEDED), to make another batch tonight because we (I do share these indulgences however difficult it may be) plowed through the first within 48 hours.

I am currently living on fresh green juices, collard wraps w/ the best hummus ever (recipe coming soon), super plump goji berries, macadamia nuts, and a different raw cacao dessert every other day. I'm finding this to be quite balanced. Actually, when have you ever had fudge that is super packed with super-nutrition? As a nutrition educator, I can tell you this is likely the healthiest fudge you'll ever eat, and you'll feel fabulous and guilt-free afterward, as you should. And now...

Raw Chocolate Dream Fudge
1/3 cup raw organic almond butter (Maranatha)
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
2 T raw cacao powder
small handful raw cacao nibs
1/4 cup agave (I prefer Sunfood Nutrition)
1 T maca force (HealthForce Nutritionals)
1 tsp raw lucuma powder (makes everything sweeter & smoother)
1 tsp - 1 T of E3Live (how good do you really want to feel?)
1 tsp vit E tocotrienols
drizzle of angstrom calcium (for mineral balance - see note below)

Whip this up into a creamy dessert in your food processor or blender, pour into ice cube trays, and freeze or refrigerate to store.

If you don't have every single ingredient, make it anyway! You can still make this even if you only have the almond butter, coconut oil, cacao powder, and agave - the remaining ingredients boost the nutrition, but I certainly don't want you to postpone making this just because your cupboards aren't filled with every superfood out there. I just started using lucuma powder this week and am experimenting with it in these desserts. Coincidence? I've eaten more chocolate desserts this past week than... - could it be that I'm still celebrating my birthday (yes, 4 days later), or, my body is craving sweets after the 3.5 day green smoothie challenge of deprivation (just kidding), or, is there something addicting about lucuma?

Angstom calcium is the most bioavailable form of calcium. Raw chocolate is exceptionally high in magnesium and the body needs calcium to balance this out, hence the addition of angstrom calcium. I get it mine from Sunfood Nutrition or Raw Vegan Source).

I'm throwing a Spa Party this coming Sunday, at the Beauty Bar Spa and Boutique in West Seattle and will be making this raw fudge as a decadent addition to the other sweet indulgences during this very special evening. Contact me if you'd like to join us - all are welcome!
Details: Sunday, November 16 from 5 - 9pm.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day 3: Green Smoothie Challenge

Is it possible to feel worse on a post-raw detox than on a pre-raw detox? This is what's happened to me these last few days and I'm trying to understand the 'how' and 'why' of it all. I LOVE cleansing and do so relatively regularly, specifically in warmer weather. This time however, I was freezing cold the entire time, spacey, disconnected, with a lack of focus and concentration and coordination - and at times felt like I was about to lift off like a balloon. I'm not usually one to experience these severe cleansing crisis', and it proved challenging to continue the program, which I did for 3.5 days. It was so odd and I'm working on getting back into my groove now. I also experienced more pain, stiffness, and aches than ever before. Could it be due to eating cold smoothies in weather that requires winter gear? Maybe so, but it's been frustrating to see how my body reacted this time. I know it's not the Green Smoothie Challenge itself - this I think is an amazing idea and absolutely recommend it to my friends and clients, but maybe I had bad timing this time around. I will certainly do this challenge again, but will wait until the Spring to try again.

For those that have been raw for longer than me (more than 1 year): Is it possible that I've loosened up deep rooted old toxins? This was my first cleanse since being mostly raw, and feel I have been experiencing a more difficult detox, flooding the system with the old b/c of the power of eating cleansing living foods for the past several months. Even when I was eating cooked vegan/some raw fare, my cleanses were never this intense. Has anyone had an experience similar to this? Please share!

Anyway, today (Nov 6) is my 31st birthday and I started the day with my favorite chocolate ever - Sacred Chocolate, the milk chocolate variety - so scrumptious! I know, chocolate for breakfast is clearly the best way to celebrate! An impromptu visit to the bookstore later in the day resulted in finding Matt Amsden's book, Raw Revolution, and a killer recipe in there that was pulled together for dinner. Raw ice cream will follow :)


2-3 zucchinis - use spiralizer to make spaghetti

For Sauce:
3/4 cup coconut water (used packaged for convenience)
1.5 cups raw cashews (I plan to try pine nuts or macadamia nuts)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp Pink Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 T nutritional yeast (not raw)
1 avocado
Bundle of fresh arugula
Handful of Sunfood Nutrition kalamata olives

Monday, November 3, 2008

Day 2: Green Smoothie Challenge

Ok, so Day 2 wasn't as wonderful as Day 1: I felt light-headed, spacey, unmotivated, fatigued, and uncoordinated. My mistake may have been making smaller portions of the smoothies & eating them every few hours, because I seemed to have a killer appetite from the moment I awoke. I should have made fewer smoothies, in larger amounts, because after splitting each smoothie w/ Mike, the amount that was left wasn't satisfying my hunger. I don't do well w/ low blood sugar & was trying something different from Day 1 - it's an experiment & I'm still learning the recipes (and best approach) I like with so many greens!

This is a picture of the #1 Smoothie~

#1 Smoothie (pretty good):
2 cups red grapes
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 apple
1 banana
1 bundle romaine lettuce

#2 Smoothie (this was fabulous):
3 bananas
1 mango
1/2 pineapple
1 bundle kale
1/2 cup coconut water

#3 Smoothie (LOVED this):
2 bananas
1.5 cups frozen blueberries
1 heaping handful spinach
1 T Azteca Spirulina
spoonful raw, local honey

#4 Smoothie (YUM):
Fresh squeezed apple juice
few bananas
bundle of kale

#5 Smoothie (I didn't measure a thing & was putting whatever was within reach into this concoction ... low blood sugar frenzy):
2 handfuls frozen blueberries
2 handfuls frozen strawberries
3 bananas
2 handfuls spinach
1 bundle kale
1 T Fruits of the Earth
spoonful raw, local honey

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Day 1: Green Smoothie Challenge

Smoothie on the left is Smoother than a Brazilian and on the right is Cotton Candy. YUMMY!

My dessert last night was raw macadamia nuts (I'm hooked) and raw cacao maca ice cream - it was divine! These foods will be the hardest for me to part from at this time, as I've slowly become dependent upon knowing they'll be eaten by me every day in some form. The culprits are: raw nuts (specifically Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and cashews), cacao in any form (nibs or powder for me), and dates. I've grown an addiction.

We (my brave green lover and I) started the morning in a dash to the farmer's market to pack as many greens as possible into our reusable bags. To keep things relatively simple here, I'll just list off the green leafy vegetable that I included in the recipe, as we grabbed many different kinds of kale, chard, and lettuces (plus bags full of perfectly gorgeous spinach) - and I don't remember all their individual names. I'm using pears, apples, plums, and other greens and veggies from our weekly CSA delivery. The market was a great start to rev the green glory engine!

Green Wreck (Morning Smoothie):

1/2 cup purified water
4 bananas
1 large ripe mango
1 pear
1 apple
1/2 bundle dandelion greens
1/3 bundle parsley
1 big handful spinach
1 T Vitamineral Greens
1 T Azteca Spirulina

At first, my green smoothie let me down. This was likely because there were not any dates anywhere near as far as I could see. But, I realized why I am doing this (I KNOW I need it) and that the stringy green things that hang over your mouth as you gobble it up are what it's all about. So get over it, right? And I did. Green magic started to happen.

I've snacked on an apple, half a pear, and a few nibs of (No, not cacao!) kale today, and have drank my green superfood powder (Vitamineral Greens) in purified water throughout the day - but not much because I feel so hydrated w/ out this!

Smoother than a Brazilian (Afternoon Smoothie): taken from one of the recipes given in this challenge by the raw divas - although I did change it somewhat by using Brazil nut mylk instead of water as the base (nut mylk is part of this program, at least for Day 1 & 2). Oh, and a small spoonful of local, raw honey :) Believe me, if you saw this morning's smoothie you would treat yourself to some healing honey too!

2 cups homemade Brazil nut mylk
2 cups red grapes
1 cup frozen blueberries
4 bananas
One handful of kale
One handful of spinach
spoonful of local, raw honey

Cotton Candy (Evening Smoothie):
1.5 cups homemade Brazil nut mylk
3 bananas
2 cups frozen strawberries
1/2 pineapple
2 handfuls of spinach
spoonful of local, raw honey

And so, we have ourselves a delightful dinner and dessert, all in one! I'm looking forward to tomorrow - whereas last night all I could think about was how I was going to miss my 'favorites' and rationalizing my way out of this 5 day commitment. This challenge is typically 3 days, but I like to be extreme and add my own spin to it. Life has gone on temporarily without them ... and I've survived ... and thrived!