Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Most Powerful Kitchen Machine: The Vita-Mix

If there's 1 kitchen appliance you just can't live without when trying to eat healthy, it's the blender. Raw foods and Superfoods are easy to incorporate into your diet when you can just toss them into a blender, whip up a great shake, and have it as your meal. Blended food is much easier to digest, breaking down the cell walls of a food allowing it to be readily absorbed and utilized by the body. Just a regular ole blender can do all that..

But, the Vita-Mix (VM) can do all this and so much more! It's really 10 machines in 1 - therefore replacing many other appliances (saving you money, time, and effort). On the slowest speeds - 1 through 6, is where you do your food processing (chopping, mincing, dicing). Turn it up to 7 through 10 and you can make cake batters, pancakes, brownies & cupcakes. Crank it to HIGH (which overrides the dial) and you'll get a fresh whole food juice in 60 seconds. Different than a juice extractor, you get to keep and consume the pulp and fiber of the whole food. I am a major fan of juicing, but I believe juicing both ways, with the VM (whole food juicer) and my awesome Breville Juicer (juice extractor), is ideal. With the VM you can even use the seeds, stem, core, and skin of fruits and vegetables, and it will liquefy leaving no trace behind. A good rule is: thin skin is 'in' (edible), and thick will make you sick (banana peels, melon rinds - watermelon is okay but may have a strong taste), orange peel - but eat as much of the white pith as possible for extra Vit C, calcium, and bioflavonoids).

Now, if you let that juice run for a couple minutes without adding ice first, you'll eventually make a delicious fruit syrup, because the longer you let it run, the warmer the contents get. There is no heating element, it just heats by friction, so you can prepare HOT soup made with fresh, raw vegetables in less than 2 minutes. You can put cold water in the insulated container (only blender container with NO BPA in it!) it will come to a rolling boil (if run on HIGH) in just 7-8 minutes - it doubles in temperature every 2 minutes while it's running. If you had lots of ice (2 parts ice to 1 part liquid), you can make healthy, raw, homemade ice cream, margaritas (if you're indulging) or snow cones in a cold breeze. Cleaning is super easy because you don't need to take it apart, there are no filters or screens - just add soapy warm water, blend for 5-30 seconds, and rinse. No more fighting over who gets stuck doing the dishes from now on!

The Vita-Mix is a 2.1 horsepower, similar to a small lawnmower (wow), whereas a regular blender is just a quarter horsepower.. so 8 times more power! The VM is 1400 watts and 37,000 rpms (compared to 400-500 watts of a regular kitchen blender maxing out at 12,000 rpms). You never have to worry about burning the motor out as there's a thermal detector, so it will turn off if it overheats (highly unlikely with the new 5200 version) and you can re-start it once cool. The blades are already dull so you don't even need to worry about ever sharpening the blades (ever), you just rely on the power and strength of the motor to do all the work. Consumer Reports named it the #1 blender and Maxim Magazine ranked Vita-Mix the 'Best Buy' compared to others such as Blendtec, Breville and Oster! The VM is the most used commercial blender in the country and the #1 bar blender (used in hundreds of well-known juice cafes, smoothie shops, restaurants, and even fast food joints) It has on average a 20-40 year lifespan, but if you continue to eat living foods there's no need to worry about it out-living you.

I'm extremely grateful to be working with this company now because from the testimonials I hear and my own personal experience (I've owned one for years), the Vita-Mix is the 1 machine that the health conscious crowd can't live without. I'm all about sharing what I do to make eating this way practical and exciting, and this is yet another way I can educate others on the benefits of raw, living, organic, green, juicy plants. They've just started to offer a travel bag, so you can even take it with you when you travel. I'll be doing demos throughout the NW (and some national shows) - if you're in this area and would like to get the very best deal on a Vita-Mix, email me and I'll let you know the upcoming show schedule.

Some favorite links on the Vita-Mix site:
Green Smoothies and Raw Foods

My apologies for not posting a blog over the past couple weeks while I was in the 10 day VM training.. between the long trainings and preparing for this weekend's Seattle Green Festival, I've been less attached to the laptop than normal (somewhat of a good break though) and unable to sit down for more than 5 minutes to write!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

You Choose: Is it Breakfast or Dessert?

I used to ask the question, 'What's for dessert?' every single night as a child. Fortunately, now, I make my own desserts and they don't come out of a carton or box. Some of them (like this one below) also happen to double as a decadent breakfast - and are still such a healthier option than the cinnamon rolls we all grew up with. Some might look at what I'm eating for dessert (don't limit this recipe to dessert only though!) and wonder just how long it took to prepare, thinking that anything that can't be scooped right out of the package is too much work. I have to admit, I used to feel this way and was somewhat intimidated with the idea of whipping up a raw sweet treat until that was put to rest with Naked Chocolate. This book changed my perception of what a real indulgence is and actually proved that even I (Miss Disaster in the Kitchen When the Oven is On) could make mouth-watering recipes.

This is really for those of you who do not have the Naked Chocolate book yet (what are you waiting for?), as I'm copying the recipes directly since they always turn out perfect. If I had to pick my absolute favorite.. it would be.. the Chocolate Entangled Cinnamon Roll (that's my name for it):

Dark Chocolate Sauce (for the Cinnamon Rolls)
4 heaping tbsp raw chocolate powder
3 tbsp raw agave necter
1/2 tsp coconut oil

Mix all ingredients together to form a paste (I love watching it go from all powdery to the consistency of frosting). Add more agave if you need it runnier; add more coconut oil if you need it creamier. Store remainder of what you don't use on the rolls in fridge and spread it on to everything!

Cinnamon Rolls
1 Serving of Dark Chocolate Sauce (couple spoonfuls)
Ground Cinnamon
1 cup of pecans, not soaked
1 cup of medjool dates, stoned

Blend the pecans and dates together in a food processor to make a dough. Dust some cinnamon onto a clean work surface (bamboo cutting board is good), and place the dough on it (dough is a bit oily). Sprinkle some more cinnamon on top of the dough and flatten it out, adding more cinnamon if it ever get sticky.

Once the dough is about 1/4 inch thick, cut or round out the edges so they are neat (make a square). Spread the chocolate sauce evenly on top. Pick up one side of dough and start to roll to the other side, so you end up with a spiraled log. Chill the log in the fridge (it will be relatively soft and is best when cool) and then cut into slices of heaven.

To see a picture of the Cinnamon Rolls, just click on any of the links in this post and scroll down. Naked Chocolate provides several mineral-rich shakes, yummy morsels of goodness, and versions of chocolate desserts you've probably never heard of (like the chocolate pizza!). Isn't it time we stop feeling guilty for indulging in the best food ever?

If you chose to make this in place of the traditional gooey, saturated, and heavy cinnamon rolls (with heavy cream, butter, eggs, and white flour) that bring back those memories we can all relate to, the results would show on the outside. You know that at some point you'll treat yourself to something 'sinful', so you may as well devour what will make you look good too!

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Best Ever Raw Chocolate Mylk

This one is a favorite staple of mine simply because every little sip is absolutely mouth-watering. I love thinking about how much nutrition is in just even half a cup of this - it's off the charts! If you've ever thought about living on cacao smoothies for a few days or even weeks at a time, you certainly could it with this one as part of the program.

Raw Chocolate Mylk

2 T raw cacao powder*
1 cup raw cashews*
6 dates*
1 tsp virgin coconut oil*
1/2-1 cup frozen blueberries or blackberries*
1/4 agave (or to taste)*
3-4 cups purified water, coconut water, or homemade nut mylk (I love Brazil nut mylk)*
1 T Vitamineral Green or ReVitaPhi*
2 tsp MacaForce - Vanilla Spice or Carob Peppermint (or plain raw maca powder)*
1 spoonful Truly Vitamin C (Acerola cherry powder)*
1 T Synergy Superfood Blend (or just 2 T of VMG or ReVitaPhi)
2 tsp MSM powder
2 T cacao nibs
1 T pine nuts
2 tsp chia seeds
2 tsp hemp seeds
1 tsp bee pollen
1/4 tsp (pink) Himalayan Crystal salt

To Prepare: Blend WELL. I add the liquid in first, then powders, Superfoods, and cashews and start blending on high speed (the Vita-Mix rocks). Once the nuts are blended well, I add in the frozen berries and continue until it is a thin, drinkable consistency with the chunky bits all broken up.

Although I typically cut the recipe in half, the above makes about 2 quart full-size mason jars. You can store it in the fridge if for some crazy reason you can't find someone to share it with. If you do not have every single ingredient, don't stress.. make it anyway and just leave out what you don't have. Every once in a while I add a banana to it, just because it adds to the creaminess factor. I put a '*' next to the ingredients that are crucial in making it turn into Raw Mylk Madness. But, with that said, know that the full experience comes when you include the full dozen Superfoods. You WILL feel the extra bliss! Besides Elements for Life, I get the highest-quality Superfoods through Sunfood Nutrition (David Wolfe's company), Raw Vegan Source (just outside of Seattle), and HealthForce Nutritionals (the work of Jameth Sheridan). You can link to them directly from the links to your right.

I've given this drink to people who have never even heard the word Superfood before, as well as conventional MDs, Pharmacists & their techs, and closed-minded people who are resistant to anything 'raw'.. and this BLOWS THEIR MIND! I am regularly asked to make them a batch, bring it to them (soon!) in a convenient mason jar, and they'll pay me good money for it! Just try it at home.. you'll see what everyone is raving about!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cultivate Raw Beauty with Healing Superfoods

Are you wanting to take the guesswork out of eating raw and Superfoods and have everything you need handed right to you to make this the easiest change you've ever created for yourself?

If you'd like the instruction on how to make the best Superfood Smoothies EVER, all the information you could ever want to know about Superfoods, an in-person demonstration, a FREE goodie bag to get you started at home, and TONS of nutritious food to boot.. you're in luck! All this with the intention of clearing skin conditions and revealing gorgeous, silky skin that radiates a natural, youthful glow.

In this upcoming class in Seattle, I will serve, and demonstrate how to make~

* Homemade Brazil Nut Mylk (easy, quick, and versatile)
* Green Smoothies (simple, sweet, and delicious!)
* Cacao smoothies (a tasty powerhouse of nutrition)
* Strawberry Apple Island Fire

Even more raw goodness will be served, but not demonstrated~

* Medicinal Stunning Skin Herbal Tea (alfalfa, burdock root, comfrey leaf, horsetail, nettle leaf, noni, oatstraw, and red clover blossoms) - you will be shown how to do this at home
* Island Fire Noni Elixir (a live enzyme tonic elixir with Tahitian Noni, Ginger, Lemon, Turmeric, Cayenne, Raw Vinegar, Agave, Colloidal, Plant, and Ocean Minerals) - served as a chilled cocktail, the NoniTini
* Individual samples of several Superfood powder blends, including Vitamineral Green, Earth, and Fruits of the Earth.

What You'll Go Home With (included in class cost)~

* FREE trial size of your Superfood of Choice
* FREE sachet of loose leaf herbs for you to create your own Medicinal Stunning Skin Herbal Tea at home
* FREE Healing Body Scrub sample of Bethanne's own handcrafted, raw skincare line, Organic Healing
* FREE guide to Sulfur-Rich Super Foods for Stunning Skin
* Handouts with recipes of everything you enjoyed during class

What experience/qualifications do I bring to the class
* Certified Nutrition Educator - specializing in raw and living foods (since Spring 2007)
* Creator and Manufacturer of the Organic Healing Skincare line (since Winter 2006)
* Superfood Extraordinaire and Advocate (since 2001), and Writer (Healing Raw Beauty Blog and soon to be for eZine Articles) (since 2008)
* Superfood Educator and Demo Rep for HealthForce Nutritionals (since early 2008)
* Elements for Life Superhero (company that offers a broad spectrum of high vibration, transformational products and services that naturally supports the unfolding of our highest potentials of well-being and personal empowerment) - this is the one David Wolfe stands behind and is involved in

This class is for those who are serious about achieving everything you've always wanted for yourself - superior internal health and flawless external beauty! The benefits of every single one of the Superfoods you experience will be discussed in great detail.

Class Day and Time: Sunday March 15 from 1-3pm, at Bethanne's House in North Seattle .. small class setting in the comfort of a cozy home.

Class Cost: $25. You can pay directly online at: or via phone at: 206-362-0520 or email me at: