Saturday, May 30, 2009

How To Sustain Energy on Long Work Days

When I work the 10 day Vita-Mix shows, the days can be brutally long (up to 14 hour day incl travel, but usually 12) and exhausting. We're projecting our voice into the microphone, sharing with large crowds the benefits of the most powerful kitchen machine available. It can drain even the best, standing up on self-constructed stage for 2-3 hours at a time, talking non-stop - and saying it with conviction, as we want to impress upon these people the endless possibilities of using the VM.

When you work with the public, especially the 'mainstream' public, there is the likelihood of taking on other people's energy, or to let their moods and attitudes negatively affect our own. I've come up with a few tactics to create a buffer to prevent this from happening so I feel good no matter what, and to keep my energy super strong from start to finish. Everything rides on their perception and interpretation of what I'm saying, so I absolutely have to be full-on, 100%, with zero fatigue at all times - or it effects me as well in multiple ways.

I start my day with a droppersful of marine phytoplankton in about 1-2 ounces of water.

Within the first couple hours of waking, I make and enjoy a fresh fruit or vegetable juice. Recently I've been juicing 2 oranges and 1/2 a grapefruit. Crisp, tart and very refreshing on these warm days. I get plenty of leftover oranges from the shows, and find that making juices is the quickest way to use them and not waste them. I'll either have this at home, or on the drive to the show.

Usually before I head out the door, I devour a mango. I'm in love with them.

I drink ReVitaPhi or Vitamineral Green in coconut water and water mixed together throughout the first shift of 2-3 hours, constantly infusing my body with the nutrients I need to continue full force. I also keep a bag of Brazil nuts, goji berries, and Inca berries in the car ready for a quick snack. At some point, I have 1-2 pieces of Superfood Chocolate Fudge. Yummy goodness!

Mid-afternoon, I typically have a salad that either I've made the night before, or that I've bought at the local co-op: kale, chard, spinach, avocado, hemp seeds, fennel, peppers, celery, cucumber, garlic and nutritional yeast (the veggies change depending on what's in the fridge). Mash the creamy goodness together - the avocado is my dressing w/ a dash of olive oil. I'll eat this once I get on my break, and an hour or two later before heading back in I'll have an apple that I've picked up that week at the farmer's market.

As the evening approaches, I await my next shift to be over so I can savor my cacao blendie. I will have already snuck many sips as I've made a few trips to the cooler, and slug it while I'm back there, but for the most part, it's my enjoyment for the ride home. When there's just an inch left or so, I'll add some water to make it last even longer and vigorously shake in the mason jar I've brought it in.

As I write this, it's 1:00am and last night I had just 5-6 hours of sleep. Usually I 'need' 7-8, or so I think, but I find that when I space food out like this throughout the day, and make every single thing that I eat ultra nutrient-dense (as always), it's easy for me to stay up late and actually get work done! How thrilling for someone who used to crash at 10:00pm every night just a few years ago. I've noticed this pattern with raw foods and Superfoods - that the more I do it, the more sustained energy I have, consistently, throughout the day. No morning grogginess, no evening grumpiness.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Don't Know Where to Start (re: nutrition)?

How do you know where to begin on your journey to eating better? What's the best thing to introduce first, and the best choices to eliminate right away? Are you confused by all the information you've heard and have no idea where to go from here?

Start right HERE. In the present moment with your common sense and your bodies innate knowing of what's best for YOU. I believe that we all need to figure things out for ourselves, by experimenting with foods and exploring new ways of living. You may want to sort and sift through a variety of health-oriented books (email me if you'd like some recommendations) and 'expert' opinions, but I'd steer clear from latching on and becoming rigid in your ways. We need to remain flexible and allow ourselves and our eating habits the option to change, evolve and grow (which inevitably happens especially when you 'go raw'). I just read an awesome article on the RFRN! blog about guru hopping and finding a style that works for you. If you continue to follow what someone else says and disregard the underlying ability of your own body, then it's likely you won't stick with the raw food journey for the long haul.

Start with a REASON. Why are you choosing to make different choices in regard to the way you eat? For me, the shift began over 8 years ago after feeling so out of control for someone else's health, that I felt I had absolutely no choice but to do something for my own. It's been a slow, gradual process, although some things did happen overnight and much quicker than I anticipated. I didn't follow any one 'expert' opinion of what I should do, I just heard one of them say, DO WHAT MAKES SENSE TO YOU. I heard this again in the 2008 Rawkathon and typed that note into my phone so that I would read it often. I say this to as many people as humanly possible when they ask me 'Where do I even begin?'

TRIAL and SUCCESS. No one ever told me about how toxic calcium supplements were, I just somehow knew that I shouldn't take them. It didn't make sense to me. What did make sense to me was making a medicinal loose leaf tea several times per week of nettles, alfalfa, horsetail, oatstraw, noni and red clover blossoms (even though I had never done this before & just heard about it). Come to find out through David Wolfe (his philosophy makes absolute sense to me), these herbs are exceptionally high in silica which changes to calcium in the body, and therefore helps to build bone - just for starters. I gravitated toward making medicinal teas and the superfood green powders, innately knowing that plants must be exceptionally high in the calcium, iron, magnesium, and other critical minerals (they are thriving & surviving in our world w/ out any supplements!). No pills are necessary to meet my daily needs. I get it all from Superfoods and Superherbs.

Do the changes you're making resonate so deeply with you that no one else's opinion matters? That's how I know I've made the right choice for me. When I feel so strong and confident in something I'm doing or eating, and it's irrelevant what he/she is doing, then I know I'm on the 'right' path. Personally, I don't believe there is a wrong path - just trials (which are not considered failures) that really are your greatest lessons. I could list off dozens of foods that are superior to others and foods that you should definitely be eating to experience a level of health that is unknown by too many, but it's not necessarily the same for everyone and this is YOUR ride.

My answer to the question of this blog post is to just start somewhere. Think Super Nutrition: Superfoods, Superherbs, Raw and Living Foods, Fresh Vegetable Juice (meaning not bottled), Homemade Smoothies, Enzymes-rich (uncooked) and Nutrient-dense (unrefined and unprocessed) FOOD. Add this all in... and the rest will fall into place. Keep asking yourself, Does this make sense to me?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

10 Ways To Eat Superfood Green Powders

Shown left to right - ReVitaPhi, Greener Grasses, Vitamineral Green, Pure Synergy.

Struggling to find creative ways to eat your Superfood blends, Super Herbs, and the Nutrient-Dense Greens? Try these 10 suggestions and please comment if you've found other delicious ways to incorporate them!

1) Raw Chocolate Blendie - the official recipe shows the Superfoods as optional, but I tend to always add ReVitaPhi, MSM and Maca to this.

2) SuperFruit Smoothie (homemade nut mylk, coconut water, or medicinal tea as the liquid base with banana, fresh or frozen fruit, superfood blends and sweetener of choice (I like dates, local raw honey, or agave)

3) Added to Homemade Hummus (green hummus!) - I spread this on everything!

4) Straight up in coconut water (AKA the Performance recipe in The Sunfood Diet Success System - 7th Edition, by David Wolfe)

5) Mixed together with freshly made vegetable juice (Rainbow Magic)

6) Mint Chocolate Superfood Fudge or the Raw Chocolate Dream Fudge (there's so many versions of this fudge!)

7) The Best Ever Raw Chocolate Mylk - I've had this daily for weeks before, it's that good!

8) Blended into your homemade salad dressing (Creamy Dreamy Green Dressing)

9) Sprinkled over salads and soups (start with small amounts and taste until it's to your liking)

10) Like a hard-core Superfoodist, mixed in just plain water (shaken well together in a mason jar)

If you're just starting out taking Superfoods, I'd start with just 1 tsp per day and use them consistently for several weeks before bumping up the amounts. A good guideline with Superfood Green Powders is to add 1 tsp every 3 weeks, working up to 1-2 T per day. This way your body has the time to adapt to these super nutrient-dense foods. You'll still benefit immensely even with the lower amounts and changes in how you look and feel will become obvious as the weeks pass!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Need a High Protein Raw Superfood Snack?

I got this recipe out of David Wolfe's new book, Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future and just made a double batch of them now (changing the original recipe just a bit - I omitted the vanilla bean because I didn't have any on hand).

To make eating a high-raw diet easy, it means that you need to have raw food nearby (at least I do, I ALWAYS carry food with me), fresh food and scrumptious snacks in the fridge, all ready to just grab and go. Since I am a woman on the go, I like to have some things prepped ahead of time that are packed full of nutrition to get me through long work days. This is a new favorite of mine:

Spirulina and Chocolate Balls

1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
2 T Spirulina, Healthforce, Manna (Original Species)
1 T Tocotrienols/Rice Bran Solubles (Raw Super Vitamin E)
2 T Coconut Oil/Butter, Sunfood Nutrition (raw, certified organic)
3 T raw, local honey (support your farmer's market)
1 small sprinkle of Pink Crystal Salt

Thoroughly mix with lots of love, rolls into little balls, and freeze for a quick and easy grab and go snack.

And now, if you'd like a potent herbal elixir to have on the side...

16 oz coconut water
1 tsp Merlin's Herbal Magic Roots Elixir

Shake well and enjoy this deliciously energizing and caffeine-free tasty beverage made of all organically-grown and wild-crafted herbs.

Merlin's Herbal Magic Roots Elixir Ingredients:
Maca, Marshmallow Rt., Slippery Elm Bark, Triphala, Ginseng, Nettles, Ashwaganda, Astragalus Rt, Burdock Rt, Dong Quai, Fo-Ti Rt, Kelp Powder, Licorice Rt, Milk Thistle Seed, Pau D'Arco, Sarsaparilla, Saw Palmetto Berries, Shizandra Berries, Wild Yam Rt, Anise Seed, Cinnamon, Ginger, Bilberry Leaf, Catsclaw, Cayenne, Dandelion Rt, Gingko Leaf, Gota Kola, Irish Moss, Olive Leaf, Passion Flower Herb Villa Orchid Bean.

Less is more with this Magic Roots Elixir. I love this blend because it has all sorts of herbs I may not otherwise have on a regular basis, and it's all in one! Test it out to see how much YOU thrive on.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Superfoods in Skincare?

Absolutely! It's the Best Ever!

This is what I put on the dry erase board that I display at my booth when I exhibit at festivals. I think it's eye catching - people need to know what sets my skincare line apart right from the start! My reasons for using Superfoods in my product line are plenty, but most important comes right back to absorption (as it does with food, too). I'll go into the other reasons in future posts in greater detail. First off, YOU ABSORB UP TO 75% OF WHAT YOU PUT ONTO YOUR BODY (maybe even more). That should be enough of a reason, am I right? If we absorb the majority of what goes on our skin, why not make the most of it? We take Superfoods internally knowing the potential they have on our health, well-being and longevity, so throwing them into the mix of what is applied to the skin may just yield similar results.

I am not a professional researcher, scientist, or lab worker, but I know that if you put chemically-saturated lotions and creams, body scrubs, face masques, and toners on your youthful skin, you won't have the natural beauty that really is possible. You'll look older quicker and experience the poor signs of aging faster than you can keep up with. My solution is to utilize the healing power of Superfoods to create the radiant glow that is so highly desired. Why not address this both internally AND externally?

To extend the Spring Promotion through May, I'm offering a FREE 4oz Mocha Java Healing Body Scrub for ALL orders placed through May 31. If you love your mocha's in the morning, or the whiff of coffee and chocolate any time of day, this might just become your new favorite body exfoliant. Take advantage of this offer today, as there are going to be some changes to my line in the very near future, and the current products on my website will no longer be available except through special order. This change will take effect beginning July 1, 2009.

I plan to re-launch my raw Superfood skincare line under a new name, packing in even more nutritional punch, once I've joined forces with the right business partner. If that's you, or you know someone who would jump on this opportunity, send them my way. As many of you know, I trust just a few companies for sourcing ingredients: Elements for Life, Sunfood Nutrition, and Mountain Rose Herbs. My future partner needs to have these same standards - I am unwilling to compromise :) I'm not 'closing the doors', just making some necessary changes to create an even more solid foundation and plan for a super future, and in the meantime, scaling back on my product offerings.

Order the current Organic Healing raw Superfood skincare while you can! I will extend a discount to any order over $250. Please email me for details.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Am (Proudly) Obsessed With Superfoods

How can you not be, right? I think about them all day. It's like a love affair and I just can't get enough. You'd think the honeymoon phase for me would be over since I've been slurping up every Superfood I can get my hands on for the past 8 (yes, EIGHT) years, but no, the infatuation just seems to build. And I love it, everything about this feeling, knowing the morsels of goodness it brings to my beaming healthy body.

I recently asked on Twitter and Facebook what I should write my next blog post on, and a brilliant response came from a friend. I had posted a link to the You Tube video called Visions of Paradise, one of the coolest videos yet by David Wolfe, and someone suggested that I blog on MY Visions of Paradise. So as I sit down to write this now, I recognize that I could match all that he says in the video (soooo worth watching) and then you really know how I would have it if I could wave that magic wand over the planet and make it happen. Without the power of the wand, I'll just let us in the know of Law of Attraction make it happen and patiently wait as it all comes to fruition. But, I can add to this vision, and that's my unwavering adoration for any and all Superfoods and the wish for all others on the planet to experience the PHENOMENAL benefits of these gorgeously superior foods. WHY? Well, should I dive into some personal things so you can really understand where my passion comes from? Just a few bits and pieces here.

Let's begin 8-10 years ago...

I was NOT living the lifestyle that I am living now. I come from a nutritionally lacking childhood rooted in the Standard American Diet (born & raised in Chicago on pork chops, ribs, Italian beef, sloppy Joe's, etc). So, eight years ago, when I began to really get into health and wellness, I would order my veggie burger with bacon and cheese (and think it was a fabulous choice because it was a veggie burger). This is what I would eat after drinking alcohol the night before without much discipline. I could put away way too much for a petite person like me to handle, yet I did it anyway (I was majorly coping through the most difficult, life-changing event I'll ever experience - my story will be released just before Christmas 2009). Anyway, I was smoking cigarettes, totally addicted, chain-smoking and not caring (or not enough to QUIT for good), and in a place that is so far from where I'm at now that those who have recently met me would never believe where I have come from.

It was no coincidence that the girl I happen to be living with right when I moved to Seattle in 2001 had just become a raw foodist and introduced me to this whole new approach of eating. I had never even heard the word organic before, and had no idea what natural food was. She had begun a detox program and with one pinky toe 'in', I joined her and we started taking David Wolfe's The Sun is Shining product (a powerful green Superfood blend that would change my life forever), AKA: Vitamineral Green or ReVitaPhi). Apparently, without my knowing, this green food worked feverishly to alkalize my depleted, malnourished, addicted body... and the rest is history!