Monday, August 30, 2010

Buckwheat Porridge Recipe by Cecilia Kinzie

Hi All! I am always excited for new ideas about raw breakfast options. One of the blogs that I peruse is Raw Glow with Cecilia Kinzie. Cecilia is a raw food teacher and consultant in Sonoma, CA.

I recently read through one of her email newsletters and she mentioned a raw porridge made with raw buckwheat. I emailed her to ask for the recipe, I also requested to share it here on the blog, and she was kind enough to allow me the permission to do so :)

About a week ago I had purchased some raw buckwheat at Earthfare. I don't go there often, and Whole Foods doesn't carry it raw in the bulk bins, only toasted, so I was delighted to find it there.

I wasn't sure what I was going to use it for, but I knew something yummy :) I found my something yummy. In fact I am soaking my buckwheat right now to eat it in the morning. So no, I haven't actually tasted this yet, but I will let you know asap. I don't have any green stevia here, so I will probably use raw honey or maple syrup to sweeten it. I'm wishing that I had some vanilla powder right about now.

Here is the recipe:

1 cup soaked and rinsed buckwheat (soaked in the fridge for about 6-8 hours in water to cover)
1 medium fuji apple chopped (or other sweet variety of apple)
2 teaspoons extra virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 pinches of stevia powder or to taste
3-5 chopped medjool dates depending on desired sweetness level

Blend all ingredients in the food processor until smooth. Top with fresh seasonal fruit and if you really want to get fancy you can serve it with some freshly made almond milk poured on top. Serves 2.

The rational for adding stevia is to limit the sugar content of the porridge. If you don't have stevia powder you can just add more dates. You can also experiment with adding different fruits to the porridge such as bananas and nectarines.

Buckwheat is a good source of manganese, magnesium, and dietary fiber. It also contains rutin and quercitin two important health promoting flavonoids. Buckwheat also contains all eight essential amino acids. As you can see, buckwheat porridge can be a great way to mix up your raw food breakfast routine. Just be aware that buckwheat is a calorie dense food: 1 cup buckwheat contains 583 calories.

Click here for Ceclila's blog. She has great recipes, nutritional advice, and more.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Natural Skin Care

As a woman and mother this topic is of importance to me. I have always tried to take good care of my skin. I've tried numerous products. I would get occassional breakouts throughout my life, but usually it would heal fairly quickly. Around November I had started to experience a terrible amount of acne.

I simply couldn't figure out what the problem was with all of the raw foods that I was eating, and the water that I was drinking. I was still fairly sure that it was something on the inside casuing the irritation on the outside. Determined to find out what it was I did some eliminating. At first I couldn't imagine what I would eliminate.

One ingredient that I was consuming quite a bit of was grapeseed oil. I was using the oil for mild sauteeing, and I was at the time purchasing the grapeseed Veganaise (a vegan mayo). I decided to remove it from my diet, and the acne seemed to die down for a short time. Eventually the acne came back full force though.

I had started doing research as to why I would be having these breakouts at 30 years of age. I was very frustrated. I had learned that acne can be a result of a candida infection. Candida is a yeast. We all have yeast in our intestines. The problem specifically is with Candida albicans, which are a species of yeast in the body if infected that can cause illness in the body. I will talk more in depth about yeast, Candida, a healthy gut,and so on in another post.

I didn't completely determine if I have a candida issue. I'm leaning towards the side that I do. I have a few of the symptoms. I still believed though I was doing things wrong on the outside as far as skin care. I had been experimenting with different things inside my home to cleanse and hydrate my skin. Apparently I had not become successful yet.

Around this time a well-respected raw foodist, Annmarie Gianni had just come out with her own skin care line. I was super excited to say the least. Only the highest quality ingredients are used. Almost everything is organic, and it is so safe that you could eat them. The only glitch for me was the price. Let me just say that I broke down and decided to atleast purchase the facial/body moisturizer. It's a coconut oil base, and I highly recommend it. You can purchase that through the Renegade Health Store banner on my blog.

Something interesting that I had learned from Annmarie was that the skin on our faces has an acid mantle. So the pH is naturally very acidic. When we use things to cleanse our faces that are not pH balanced, we disrupt the acid mantle, or skin layers, and that causes all sorts of issues, dry patches, over oily skin, excema, and acne.

Prior to this I had been using a homemade scrub of vitamin E oil and baking soda. I was also cleansing with Dr. Bonners Magic Soap. Compared to the very popular, and expensive chemically laden product that I had been using for only $2.99 a bar that lasted a really long time, I was thrilled. I had come to find out that using soap on your face is a no no. I had always heard this, but never knew why.

I had never used soap to wash my face before. Soap apparently is very alkaline. That alkalinity totally throws off the acidic levels. So I had upset the pH balance in my skin, hence the terrible acne.

I still really was convinced that there had to be an effective, and fairly inexpensive way to cleanse my skin. After a lot of searching, I found a site by Natasha St. Michael. Natasha is the owner of the website Raw Radiant Health. Natasha is a raw food and health coach. She specifically has section on her website about acne.

You can imagine how intrigued I was so I had to check it out. She shows what she uses to keep her skin healthy and clean. It was so simple that I could've done cart wheels. She of course advocates a raw diet. The more raw veggies and fruits, the healthy our bodies are from the inside out, and that comes through the largest organ on our bodies, the skin.

After that she says to of course drink lots of water. Most people do not drink the right amount of water for their bodies. Just so you know here's an easy way to know how much to drink. Take your weight, cut the number in half, drink that amount in ounces. for instance, if you weight 120lbs, then you'll drink a minimum of 60oz per day. that changes along with what else you eat, caffiene intake, sugar intake, and exercise.

Next what she recommends, which I do is washing my face with honey. I do this twice a day. I used Trader Joes raw creamed honey. It's $3.99 per container. You only need a little bit. I spread it all over my face. I let it sit on there while I brush my teeth in the morning and at night. Honey has great natural antibacterial properties in it. Isn't our creator awesome?!!! My skin is so soft, and my pores have gotten smaller.

During the day I moisturize with Annmarie's coconut moisturizer. Now at night Natasha recommends using aloe for moisture and healing. She recommends using the larger aloe leaves. You can purchase these at Whole Foods or at most larger Mexican grocery stores. Just snip a small piece off, squeeze some aloe gel out, and massage it onto your face, after it dries, you can go to sleep :)

I can attest to the fact that using all of these things have done wonderful things for my complexion. I will post Natasha's instructional videos at the bottom of the page in case you'd actually like to see what she does. If you're interested in all of Annmarie's skin care products just click on the Renegade Health banner on the side of my blog.

Click on the links for the videos :)

Aloe Moisturizer

Honey Face Wash

Thursday, August 19, 2010

MMMMMM....Asian Kale Salad by Renegade Health

Asian Kale Salad

Almond Chili Kale Dressing:

4 tbsp raw almond butter
2 chopped jalepenos or sm red pepper (I used red)
2 cloves of garlic, finley minced (more or less to taste)
1-2″ of fresh ginger, finely minced
2 tsp tamari (can use soy sauce, but tamari is wheat free and soy sauce is not, I also like to use low sodium)I'll be using coconut aminos because I don't want any soy
2 tbsp maple syrup

Put all ingredients into a bowl and whisk together with a fork. Add water to adjust to desired consistency (ie more for a dressing and less for a dip).


Raw Green or Purple Kale

Plus optional toppings:

red and green cabbage
sliced tomatoes
black and tan sesame seeds
crunchy sea vegetables

Take kale and if it’s limp cut off ends and place in water. Leave for 20 min. or so. When you return the kale should be sitting upright and vibrant. Wash and tear into pieces removing the tough stems.

To wilt the kale simply massage it in your hands (no salt or oil required). The kale will take on a look of being steamed and is ready to be dressed or put into containers in the fridge where it will be good for 2-3 days.

Add shredded red and green cabbage, chopped tomatoes, avocado, apple and crunchy sea vegetables and dressing.*

*as a basic salad just kale will work, you can create a salad out of any greens you have at the time, the one above is our personal favorite combination, experiment and find out yours!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Vita-Mix!

I just wanted to share my excitement over how the Lord has blessed me! For over one year now I have really wanted a Vita-Mix blender. I took this picture at my parents' house in their kitchen.  This is a Vita-mix 3600. This model is from 1981.  Since I couldn't afford to buy one brand new, andeven used they are still expensive, even though well worth it, I decided to ask on Freecycle. Can you believe that someone actually had one that she didn't want?  John 15:7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you."

Food Coloring-Ideas?

So my little boy who is not so little anymore is turning 10 on Monday. Over the weekend we'll be making him a homemade cake, either out of spelt or gluten free flour.  Here is the difficult part, he wants a lightsaber cake. Now the color of the light saber won't be too difficult, he wants Mace Windoo's light saber, which is purple. I was considering blueberry juice for that. The difficult part will be making the handle for the lightsaber. For those of you Mommies that have to endure Star Wars as well you know that the handle of all of the lightsabers are gray.

I don't know if anyone has ever priced all natural food coloring, but it is extremely expensive. I suppose a good place to start would be making black, and then mixing it with white icing. I'm not sure how to go about making black though. One person online said to mix all of the primaries until you get a dark enough shade. I made wind up doing that if need be. I really wanted to avoid buying the natural food coloring though. I will not use regular food coloring.

 Artificial Colorings May Be Harmful (

Scientists have determined a link between artificial food coloring and cancer. Other studies have linked artificial food coloring with brain tumors, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and other disruptive behavior, especially in children. It’s believed that the tar and hydrocarbon derivatives as well as petrochemicals used to manufacture artificial food coloring are the culprits to these diseases and disorders.
None of these additives have any beneficial or nutritional value to the human body. The concern is so great that the FDA (Food and Drug Association) has ordered warning labels be placed on foods containing artificial dyes and coloring. There’s pressure from advocacy groups to ban the sale and use of some of the most common dyes and colorings:

Blue #1 and #2
Green #3
Orange B
Red #40 and #3
Yellow #5 and #6

So, if anyone has any ideas please post comments below :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Truth About Soy

As you can tell I can get very riled up when I am passionate about something, especially health related. When our Heavenly Father looks down from heaven on the atrocities that His creation has created, I know that He weeps. Last summer when I went to a vegetarian way of eating like most people I switched to foods to replace the ones I was eating. The most popular meal and protein replacement for vegetarians on the market are soy products. Soy (edamame) has been tooted the wonder food.

I have to share a honest conviction with you that I had from the start. I believe it was knowledge from the Lord that I never felt good about the use of soy.  In the beginning though I didn't know what else to do. I can remember going out to buy soy milk, soy yogurt, soy corn dogs, and just about everything else. The more health videos that I watched online and the more articles I read the more I found that the health benefits of soy that have been told to the public have been lies.

The first problem with soy is that most soy in our foods are GMOs, that is an acronym for Genetically Modified Organisms. GMO refers to an organism that has had its genetic material altered through genetic engineering. In relation to food and agriculture, this would include, plants, seeds, and livestock that have been genetically engineered in a lab to increase yields, pest resistance, or enhance desired traits.

So basically in layman's terms any foods that are GMOs have had their genes messed with by some engineers who didn't believe that God did a good enough job with His creation. I have one word ladies and gentlemen, greed, it is all about greed. Many conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are GMOs.  At this time any food labeled USDA Organic cannot contain GMOs.

Soy also contains a plant estrogen called genistein (also known as phytoestrogens).  It is not a twin to the estrogen found in our bodies, but it is close enough to trick our bodies into thinking that it is the same thing. When we consume too much estrogen that adds to our own estrogen count then causing many problems.

In women too much estrogen can cause things like tumors to grow, especially in the breasts. In men too much estrogen ingestion can cause men to have lower sperm counts, infertility, and other problems. In children the problems are even worse. Babies who consume soy formula alone are basically eating the equivalent of 5 birth control pills. 

Down the road in girls this soy consumption leads to early menstrual symptoms, and body developments like breasts and hair growth. In boys this can lead to a total hormonal imbalance. This estrogen increase decreases the testosterone, which  can cause his brain to actually operate like that of a baby girl. His organs may not work properly, and can be undersized. This hormonal imbalance can lead to gender confusion.

Soy is hidden in so many foods on our shelves today, organic and non-organic. Soy is in things for no real reason as far as I can tell. As most people know the first 5 ingredients of a product are the most predominant in it.  If you want to know the truth anything with much more than 5 ingredients probably shouldn't be consumed anyway. At any rate you might notice that many time the soy added in some shape or form is usually at the end of the list.

Someone people might argue that if it isn't that much then is it really that bad for you?  There is a scripture that comes to my mind  in Galations 5:9 that says "A little leaven leavens the whole lump."  Ok, so let play with that thought for a minute, is a little bit really harmful?  Soy is in 60% or more of conventional foods on our shelves. Soy is also in many organic foods as well.

Lets look at the average United States citizen's diet for the day, let's see if this sounds at all like you: 

Breakfast: a bowl of cereal, cup of orange juice, and a cup of coffee
Lunch: a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread with mayo, an apple, and a bag of chips
Snack: a chocolate peanut butter cup
Dinner: spaghetti and meatballs, salad with ranch dressing

What would you say if I told you that there is soy lecithin in the cereal, soy proteins in the turkey lunch meat, soy lecithin in the bread, soybean oil in the mayonaise, soy lecithin in the chips, soybean oil in the peanut butter cup, soy protein in the frozen meatballs, soybean oil in the tomato sauce, and soybean oil & soy lecithin in the ranch dressing?Does it seem like a little bit then?

Soy is hidden under different names as well. Soy can also be recognized as hydrolyzed plant protein, isolated vegetable protein, vegetable gum, vegetable broth, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, isolates, methylcellulose, mono- and diglycerides, vegetable broth, vegetable oil, vegetable protein, vegetable starch, and vegetable fat.

The constant consumption of soy can cause an assortment of allergies. The processing of soy in products can also create a byproduct of monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is a neurotoxin that can and has caused brain damage in individuals.  Soy also prohibits the absorption of necessary nutrients like iron and calcium.

Some naturopaths will say that organic fermented soy like in food products such as tempeh and miso can be healthy and beneficial. However, the problem lies with the fact that most people will not limit themselves to the consumption of only fermented soy. I would advise to stay away from soy if at all possible. The risks are too great.

Mac and Nut Cheese

Mac and Nut Cheese (originally called Mac Oh Geeze by Dreena Burton)

3 cups of rice noodles (Trader Joes penne is $1.99 for a bag)

I recommend soaking the nuts for about 1 hour first if you have time, its not part of the instructions, but I think it will help them blend easier

1/2 + 1/3 cup of raw cashews
1/2 cup raw brazil nuts
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large garlic clove (add an extra one and some basil for more of an alfredo sauce)
2 tsp arrowroot powder (Whole Foods spice section)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard (Whole Foods has Simply Organic brand for $1.99, Target carries this brand, but I'm not sure about the dry mustard)
1 cup filtered water
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (homemade is better, but Whole Foods has their own organic unsweetened now for $1.99)
3 tbsp organic expeller pressed coconut oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Put water on for noodles, and cook them
Put cooked noodles in casserole dish
Blend all of the sauce ingredients until creamy in VitaMix Blender
Pour sauce over noodles
Bake for 16-18 minutes (oven times may vary)

My sons, parents, mother-in-law, and myself all really liked this a lot. We've made it twice.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What Cooked Foods Do We Eat : The Renegade Health Newsletter | The Renegade Health Show – Raw Food and Vegan Diet Friendly TV for Health Nuts

Hi All,

This is an article from The Renegade Health Blog by Kevin and Annmarie Gianni. As you can see it is about cooked foods. I was happy to see that the list of cooked foods they eat is identical to mine. I actually haven't tried teff, but would like to do so. I do eat pinto beans as well. I have some amaranth sitting in my pantry, but havn't prepared it yet. Anyway, I just thought that this was a good article, and it shows not to throw the baby out with the bath water concerning cooked foods. I highly advise that a majority of ones diet be raw, but some cooked can also be beneficial. God Bless you!

What Cooked Foods Do We Eat : The Renegade Health Newsletter The Renegade Health Show – Raw Food and Vegan Diet Friendly TV for Health Nuts

Monday, August 2, 2010

Another Quinoa Recipe

A friend of mine recently asked for some salad recipes, and I offered this one. I had gotten the original recipe from Body Ecoloy, but added somethings, which I think make it a ton better.  I could eat the stuff everyday. You may want to double the recipe, it's delicious.

Quinoa Salad

1 Cup of Quinoa

1 Cup of filtered water

1/4 Cup of diced red/purple onion

1 Large clove of freshly diced garlic

1 Large ripe avocado diced into small-med cubes

1 Med size freshly diced tomato

1/2 Cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 Cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/4 Cup of freshly chopped parsley

Course sea salt to taste

Put the quinoa in a pot with the water with a cover.

(Quinoa doesn't take long to cook.)

It may take a about 6-8 minutes.

Stir it around midway through to keep from sticking and fluff it up.

When done you will see the grains enlarge, and a little ring looking type of thing will start to separate from the grain.

All of the water should be gone.

Then you just mix all of the ingrediants in with the quinoa. You can mix it in a bowl rather than the pot if you like.

This is a great main meal for lunch, dinner if you're a vegetarian, or side dish with chicken.