Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Homemade Facial Mask for Acne Sufferers

Homemade Tomato Mask

*Placing the 1/4 a cup of freshly squeezed tomato juice with pulp
*1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice
*1 cup of mashed avocado into a small bowl and combining them together to form a thick creamy green mask

You may also add 1 teaspoon each of dried parsley and basil to the mask to help thicken it up and to help draw even more toxins and impurities out of your skin. If you find the tomato mask is to runny for you add a teaspoon of arrowroot (did say cornstarch here but I changed it) to the mask and that should help thicken it right up.

Wash your face and apply a nice layer of the creamy green tomato mask to your skin and face. The mask will feel cool and may sting a little bit at first, but this is because it is stripping the dead layers of skin from your face and removing impurities. Once the mask is on leave it on for 45 minutes to an hour to help really brighten, nourish, and purify your skin right up.

After you are done with the mask rinse it off with warm water and splash your face with cold water after to help shrink your pores back up. Can be done 3-4 times a week.


I haven't tried this yet, and can't take credit for it, but I really believe it will work. I love that I could eat my facial mask. It makes me feel safer. I'll be trying this mask this weekend, and implementing into my regime. I'll be the guinea pig :) The mask didn't specify it was for acne sufferers, but I labeled it as such because tomatoes are naturally acidic. Our skin is also naturally acidic. To regain our skin' s natural pH balance we have to put the acidity back in. A major component to acne sufferers is that the skin's pH balance has been disturbed causing the skin to get agitated because the skin has become too alkaline. Many times correcting the skin's pH balance will cure or alleviate the acne issue.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vaccinations: Are They More Harm than Help?

*Warning, very strong views below*

Vaccinations are always, always a hot topic. So close friends of mine and I were having a discussion about these interesting little viles of poison recently at their home, and I figured why not pop the ideas on here. So for the longest time in the land of the oblivious where one simply does what they are told without checking facts as long as the person wearing the white coat wasn't one with straps was giving me the information is where I lived.

This was before I ever equivocated that the way I eat, drink, and put things into mouth or blood stream ever had anything to do with my well being. Well, um, scratch that for a while I knew it made a difference, and thought I was healthy, but not to the degree that I do now. I simply believed what I was told by doctors, dentists, and the media. This too went for vaccinations.

I find myself now having to thank my sweet King Jesus for allowing me to walk through years of anorexia, 9 years of being on anti-depressants, 18 years of chronic migraines, nausea, a bout of vertigo, tension headaches, and a breast cancer scare to bring me to where I am today. Jesus you are truly healer! My prayer now is that the Lord would allow me to have the privilege of helping others in the body of Christ and their families to become good stewards of their health while here on Earth.

Back to vaccinations, so of course as a child, like most mainstream Americans I was taken to the pediatrician, my Mom handed over the little shot card, the nurse asked for an arm and boom it was over. My dose of mercury for the day taken care of...super! We're not even supposed to use thermometers with mercury, why are we pumping it into our veins?

I find it earth shatteringly scary that without questions asked simply because doctor so and so said it's the healthy thing to do that we willingly put huge doses of these toxic elements into our bodies and our children's without a second thought. Yet, yet, when my pastor stands at the pulpit and speaks truth from the Word of God, we question, we doubt, and we think oh no, it must not be true.

Truth be told for the longest time I was kind of on the fence about vaccinations. I didn't care either way. Now yes, both of my children, much to my regret have been fully vaccinated due to the insistence of their Dad. I just didn't know, and didn't take the time to educate myself. I never considered the radical hand shaking and manipulative money exchanging that goes on behind closed doors with doctors and pharmacists, dentists and toothpaste manufacturers, etc. I was just brought up to think if that if a person has letters after their name they must be correct.

In 2009 a close girlfriend began to talk to me at her house one night. She began to share about her son and how he had a reaction to the vaccinations as a newborn. He wound up with the flu then turned into pneumonia right after the vaccinations. When she called the nurse to say she was bringing him in, the nurse actually argued with her, told her it was impossible for a newborn baby to have the flu much less to have pneumonia with all of the mothers antibodies still in him. Well, guess what? She brought him in and sure enough her sweet little angel had pneumonia.

That really made me contemplate getting off of the fence. My wheels started turning here too because then I thought what if a mom's antibodies had been compromised due to her vaccinations as well? So she then maybe didn't have the healthiest things going on in her body. So even breastfeeding mothers defenses could be down, and they may not be passing the healthiest properties in the breast milk as mothers in the past. It only makes sense right, what goes in has to come out. I can't imagine that even breast milk is best if it is contaminated.

I then remembered my cousin who was perfectly fine when he was born. He was a little over a year old, and it was only after vaccinations he showed signs of mental retardation. So after a lot of thought, consideration, and prayer I'm off the fence. I've been on pro-vaccination websites, and websites against them as well. I'm currently reading Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective? by Neil Miller. The numbers are astounding of the people harmed though vaccines. What is more inconceivable are the lies told.

So I started thinking about food allergies. They are on an all time high. Specifically I want to talk about egg allergies. Did you know that pediatricians say for babies not consume any eggs until at least 8 months of age to prevent food allergies, yet there is egg in our vaccines. Does that make sense? Aren't we setting them up for failure? Newborns get pumped with more vaccines than ever. First in the womb they get vaccinated through their moms. Then after they are born we load 'em up with some more shots. Their new little bodies have enough to adjust to just being born outside into this polluted world.

So we give them animal blood from monkeys, pigs, cows, guinea pigs, and rabbits in these vaccines. What I ask you could be the ramifications for this? In the book of Genesis 9:4-5 it says, "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood." We are commanded not to consume the blood of animals, yet it's in our vaccines. As if that wasn't enough there are human cells, including aborted fetal cells in at least 6-7 of the vaccines. Are you not disturbed yet?

Today our children are getting 49 doses of 14 different vaccines before they are age 6. I have never seen more incidences of ADD, ADHD, Autism, and Aspergers. We have more disease and cancers now than ever before. However, we have more foundations and societies trying to "find a cure" than ever as well. Surely you'd think someone somewhere with all of this technology would have found a cure by now. At least all of the walking is good exercise. We have that going for us. Hmmm, could that be more money being exchanged...okay, okay, we'll stick to vaccines.

I'm confident that we are not starting off on the right foot. There are just too many toxins going around between vaccines, genetically modified foods, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones, and other chemicals in our foods, water, soil, and air. Sin has taken its toll for sure. In Psalm 139:14 the Psalmist, David states that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. I believe that to be true. I also believe we reap what we sow.

People put more hope in modern medicine than they do in God. Funny, we're more apt to trust what is ever-changing and making mistakes, rather than the one who is the omnipresent alpha and omega...stunning. In Health According to the Scriptures, author Paul Nison says, "If we talk to Yahweh on a consistent basis and stay focused on His Word and our promise, along with having faith in Him always, we will overcome all evil, sickness, and disease! We should no longer continue to adapt to the world and instead put all of our focus into adapting to the Word!"

Christian keep in mind the enemy's ploy to pillage and destroy God's people, us. He hates us. He will use anything and anyone to get us in his clutches and plant seeds of fear. That includes the FDA, ADA, and every other governmental agency. Sound like a flu epidemic maybe? Talk about planting fear.

Our days are numbered, this I know. I also know that we can die before our time. I know the Lord has intentions for all of us, and if we go outside His will, then we have consequences. If we begin to lack faith and not trust, we start that walk outside of His will. He made us from the beginning to be intelligent beings. After all we were made in His image.

I don't do this research or try to stay healthy to lengthen my days. I do this because my Savior died at too great a price for me to not take care of what he allows me to possess. Certainly Jesus can use anyone, even from a hospital bed to proclaim the Great Commission. Yet how much greater if you can use your hands and feet to go out and share His love with others. People are hurting and they need to know Him.

Please know that I am only touching the surface with this information. I encourage you to be a Berean with the scriptures and to be an industrious investigator when it comes to your health. The Bible is the greatest health book around. If you are not a Christian, do search the Bible. If you think it's ludicrous, and this whole 6 days of Creation, and Jesus thing is a hoax, then be sure and do your research. I suggest opening up a bible, and the following websites may be helpful: www.blueletterbible.org and www.answersingenesis.org.

Health is a gift from God, preserve it, not worship it or your temple, but preserve it. In the book of Hosea 4:6 the Lord says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children." Let us not be destroyed for lack of knowledge.

Here are a few websites to get you started, don't skip the starred ones:

* http://mercola.fileburst.com/PDF/Mini-Guide-to-Flu-&-Flu-Vaccines.pdf

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/06/why-you-should-not-vaccinate-your-children-against-the-flu-this-season.aspx

http://educate-yourself.org/vcd/

http://www.wanttoknow.info/060215vaccinesmercurydangers

* http://www.wariscrime.com/2009/08/31/news/historical-facts-about-the-dangers-of-vaccines/

http://www.rense.com/general86/dngers.htm

http://www.relfe.com/vaccine.html

* http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/vaccinations-the-hour-of-the-time.html

* http://www.vaccine-tlc.org/

http://www.vaccines.net/newpage114.htm

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Recipes, and More


Wow, so the excitement of fall is certainly buzzing around here. The leaves are starting to turn colors, and the wonderful fall veggies are at the farmers market. Today I picked up butternut squash to make some vegetarian tacos, turnips to make mashed turnips and parsnips (will let you know how they turn out this week), one white and one dark purple eggplant for something wonderful, oh and my favorite 3 pie pumpkins. I enjoy making my own pumpkin puree for pies, cookies, muffins, breads, and pancakes.

Tonight was a night for new recipes. I featured my not completely new, but new enough kale salad (new because of the dressing), Eggs Pomodoro (really delish and featured in the picture), and gluten free donuts (still working on these, tasted good, but needs work). I will definitely feature the Eggs Pomodoro in one of my cooking classes. Stay tuned for those details, classes start soon.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Washing Your Produce

So as I was coasting through my online forum for school I noticed someone's question about washing their fruits and veggies. She asked how to wash them, and if she needed to wash the organic ones. I thought I'd put below what I do for anyone reading this blog that has the same questions.

I wash both my conventional and organic fruits/veggies. Animals still pee and poop on the organics, and people still touch them. I make my own fruit/veggie wash. I do it two ways. I have a spray bottle that I purchased from Walmart. When I find a BPA free spray bottle I'll switch to that as well. I do one part filtered water, one part white vinegar, a tsp of baking soda, and a tsp of fresh lemon juice.

Mix this in a large bowl in the sink so that it doesn't spill over and make a mess. Then using a funnel pour into the spray bottle. That's great for individual pieces of fruit. For several pieces I use the solution in a larger amount in one of those dish buckets for the sink. Really I just eyeball it. Then I place all of the fruit in there, let it soak for 10-15 minutes, and then dry them off to put them in my fridge or fruit bowl.

Fruit and veggies don't last long around here, so I do wash it right away. Some people say not to wash until you're ready to use it, but we're always ready ;) I have two hungry boys.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Healthy Cooking Classes


Mmmmmmmm, Fall is almost here and I was in the mood for some tomato soup. A girlfriend gave me the recipe for the soup, but I changed it up a bit. I had seen a tasty looking salad recipe from the IIN webpage, so decided to try that as well. For protein I made some delicious rice patties. That is a Dreena Burton recipe. I change it a little bit too.

So hopefully sooner than later I will be introducing some raw food and healthy cooking classes to the community, performed by well, ME :) I'll will keep you updated with when these are starting, details about pricing, and what is required. Let me know if you are interested!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Calcium-Where Do You get Yours? (accompanied by a tirade)

*Warning disclaimer-very passionate and sensitive subject for me.

A hot topic these days, especially with bone and breast cancers on the rise is calcium. I'm sure you've seen the commercials on television that say, Milk Does a Body Good. For years now in the television, magazine, and billboard ads we've been bombarded with the "positive attributes" to cow's milk.

Now before you go oh, no here she goes again, wait and hear me out. I am sure like most of you reading this that were probably raised on good old straight from the store cow's milk in a plastic gallon sized bottle. I can remember learning in school about how wonderful Louis Pasteur was with the invention of the process of pasteurization.

So this is what is going to happen I am going to provide some information. You can take it with a grain of salt, or you can investigate further. Please take on the latter challenge. Your health is worth it.

Milk that is in its all natural state, being raw, is full of wonderful health properties. Unlike pasteurized and homogenized milk that has been heated to extraordinary temperatures, changing its chemical composition, which then causes the milk to act like puss in our systems that causes an over active state of mucous in our bodies, as well killing the necessary nutrients God placed in the milk.

When cows and goats are treated properly, supervised,and fed exactly what they should be eating, cows specifically grass, and goats grass as well as hay and millet, they produce healthy milk. When these animals are fed things they shouldn't eat like unhealthy grains and sometimes foods mixed in with feces, this is where there is a problem.

Then these poor animals are given antibiotics because they sick from not being treated properly. On top if that they are given hormones to make them produce more milk.Well, then those hormones go into the milk, and then the milk goes into us and our children. These big, commercial dairy farms make so much money by doing all of these things. See by homogenizing the pasteurizing the milk, its not done for our health. It's done to extend the shelf life of the milk. I have a big problem with all of this.

I live in the state of NC where tobacco fields run rampant for miles, yet it is illegal for my farmers to sell me raw milk. Raw milk that I WANT to drink, that I WANT to give them money for, and support the local farms. I don't understand why the government gets to tell me what I can and cannot drink. When my children turn 21 they can have a margarita, but not raw milk. Still really have a problem with all of this.

Raw milk has minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium as well as awesome healthy bacteria to support our digestive systems, enzymes which aid in digestion that we so need, and vitamins. The vitamins in raw milk are:

B1 - thiamine
B2 - riboflavin
B6 - pyridoxine
B12 - cyanocobalamin
Niacin
Pantothenic acid
A
D
E
K
Biotin
Folic Acid

Someone might say that oh my milk jug says it has Vit D. Yes, processed milk does have synthetic vitamin D with that it's been fortified. Anytime you see fortified vitamins those are synthetic vitamins, which are man made not made in nature by God. I think its rather funny actually. They process the milk, kill all that is good and healthy in it, stick some hormones and antibiotics in it, and then they stick some fake vitamin D back in there to boot. Oh to top it off they market it in a plastic jug...wow, it just gets better.

If well enough was left alone they wouldn't have to do any of this stuff. Our bodies more often than not reject fortified vitamins, so they are not absorbed. Certain synthetic vitamins can cause severe health issues as well, especially vitamin C. Also the vitamin D put back into the milk isn't even the vitamin D we need. Our bodies need Vitamin D3. That's the kind that comes from the sun. We need vitamin D3 to absorb the calcium.

For years we've been told by the FDA that calcium is needed for bone health. I believe this to be true currently, although some other information has been brought to my attention, and I am currently investigating the facts to find what is true. Health food raw guru David Wolfe is saying that calcium is actually dangerous to the body.He is saying that calcium is not synonymous with bone and skeletal health.

At this point since calcium is present in so many foods, I'm convinced it is good for us in some amount. I will continue to check things out. I know that too much calcium is not good. Calcium deposits can cause gall stones, and damage to the heart and arteries. What I don't believe is that we should be eating foods fortified with calcium, or taking calcium supplements. By the way if you are concerned about calcium intake, a far better way for our bodies to take in calcium is actually through plant foods. We absorb the calcium much better along with plant food. An excellent source of calcium are leafy greens like spinach and kale, quinoa, and chia seeds. So eat a salad and then go out in the sun WITHOUT sunscreen.

Bottom line seek the Lord your God in all things, including what you ingest and put in the mouths of your children. Do the research. Make an educated decision. Be a good steward of your temple while you are here. Do what works for your family.

*FYI* Goats milk is almost never homogenized. Homogenization is even worse than pasteurization. So if you must have some milk, or milk products like cheese and yogurt, you can opt for goat's milk products instead if your choices are limited. We like cheese and yogurt here. For milk we drink almond milk, but for cheeses and yogurt though we do purchase goat's milk ones. My sons and I can't handle processed cow's milk products at all. I look forward to the day when I can own a goat of my own, and make our own cheeses and yogurts.

For more information check out these webites:

http://www.draxe.com/raw-milk-myths-are-we-prisoners-of-pasteurization-part-1-of-3/?utm_source=DrAxe.com+Newsletter&utm_campaign=32cf517c18-9.19++Poisonous+Apple+Juice&utm_medium=email

http://www.raw-milk-facts.com/index.html

http://www.realmilk.com/healthbenefits.html

http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/fresh-milk.shtml

http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/organic-parenting/raw-milk-55061801

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Awesomeness of Coconut

So I am nutty for coconuts. They have such a bad reputation, so I figured I'd clear the air. I'm thrilled that so much more accurate and help information about them is being reported. The main reason mainstream doctors and media will tell you that coconuts are bad is because of the fat content.

So first let me toot them a bit. Did you know that coconuts have a wonderful already built in due to our wonderful creator, Jesus, natural antibacterial agent? So stick a tbsp of coconut oil in your smoothies. In fact you'd be better to wash your hands with regular soap, and then follow up with a little coconut oil as a skin moisturizer, than washing with antibacterial soap. Those antibacterial agents in soaps sold in stores strip our bodies of much needed healthy bacteria. They are too strong. Yes, some bacteria is good. That's another post.

Did you catch that up there? You actually get a two for one, natural antibacterial and a great moisturizer in one! Coconuts are a great source of healthy saturated fat. Oooops, did I break the health code and call saturated fat healthy? Yeah, I think I did. Gosh, I'm saucy today. Anyway, we need fat for brain development, heart health, much to the contrary of the American Heart Association, and healthy mobility for our joints.

Not all saturated fat is bad, and while I wouldn't recommend eating a whole jar of coconut butter in one sitting or a whole coconut since that would be glutinous, the stuff is good for you. This is not saying that I couldn't gobble down some plain, raw, coconut butter. Love the stuff! Many island living cultures use the coconut as a staple in their diets and they are not overweight. We in our country aren't overweight because we eat a coconut. We're overweight because we eat happy meals, and then sit on the couch watching Law and Order reruns...ouch!

The more and more I learn about all that the Lord has created the more grateful I am for being His. He gave us all the world to basically be ours and care for, and then He died on the cross for us...really humbling.

The water in the coconut is nature's own electrolyte drink. Skip the artificially colored and flavored Gatorade, and just drink coconut water. When my sons are sick I always go out and get them a young coconut. Forget the Pedialyte. You can use this in smoothies instead of water or nut milks for a healthy punch as well.

Coconut oil has a high heat tolerance, so basically its the best oil to cook with over any other. Unlike many other oils, such as one of my favorites extra virgin olive oil. Very fond of it, but I rarely cook with it because of its low heat tolerance. When we cook with an oil that has a low heat resistance the heat changes the chemical composition of the oil, and then it becomes toxic to our bodies. Fortunately for us like Psalm 139 says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our bodies can withstand a lot. At the same time, lets be good stewards.

For more information on coconuts here is an informative website:
http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/

Here is what I had for breakfast this morning:

Tropical Smoothie

5 leaves of raw kale
one banana
2 tbsp coconut butter
3/4 cup of fresh diced pineapple
3 tbsp hemp seed
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
ice

Blend it up and enjoy it!

Coconut Butter Crazy!

So I just wanted to share how much I have a love affair with coconut butter. It is smooth, creamy, yummy, and can be eaten alone, on gluten free toast, on fruit, and in smoothies...oh it will transform your smoothie. I'm going to post a write up on coconuts later.

My personal favorite is Artisana's Raw Coconut Butter. I have to give props to Whole Foods. Yesterday early before church I did a quick grocery run over there. I saw my favorite brand Artisana, along with another brand. I brought them both up to customer service because I was wondering if the other brand was raw as well. It didn't say so on the jar, so none of us were really sure.

Here's the super cool thing, so anyone who bashes Whole Foods for their prices has to consider the customer service going on there as well as the quality in their products. You get what you pay for most definitely. Since neither one of the ladies at customer service knew for sure whether it was raw, and the other brand didn't have a raw option on the shelf, they gave me the Artisana for free! See I brought up both jars up there wanting to know because there was a dollar difference. Every dollar counts, right. Truly was a blessing for me!

So Artisana actually has several wonderful raw products in their line. Here is a link to their website:http://www.artisanafoods.com/products.

Something I'd most like to try is their raw tahini for hummus when I make it. It would be great for raw salad dressings too. I hope to be able to try all of the products. Currently I am entering a contest via another fellow blogger. She is offering a free jar of Artisana coconut butter and 1 each flavor of their on-the-go squeeze packs. Those on the go packs are cool!

Here is her link for the blog: http://sugarpopribbons.blogspot.com/2011/09/artisana-organic-nut-seed-butters.html?showComment=1315833413694#c5657760082417255312.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Overdosing on Eggplant (Part 2)

So since I mentioned we are eggplant lovers in this house, my 11 year old son requested ratatouille for dinner last night. Much to his delight, and my own I said yes because I had everything necessary for the dish. Really you can play with this one, and experiment. There are specific ingredients that I personally prefer to use with it though.

I was quite proud of my son too because he helped me with dinner. It's not a rare occurrence in my house, in fact almost every morning he makes breakfast for everyone, eggs, french toast, pancakes...yep, sure does. He sliced the onion, sauteed the veggies, and took complete control of the chicken. He seasoned it, and sauteed it on his own. He will not starve when he is on his own. Okay so I'm bragging, yeah I know, oh well, ya know what it's my blog :)

In case you have not seen the Disney flick, or are not familiar with the dish, ratatouille is a traditional French meal. It was typically served among peasants, and the lesser affluent. Let me let you guys in on something, the peasants had a sweet dish in their hands, and were definitely not going with out anything when they ate this wonderful meal.

Here was my Ratatouille last night:

1 Average sized eggplant (cubed)
1 large tomatoes (diced)
2 Green bell peppers (sliced)
1 Medium red onion (sliced or diced)
1 Medium zucchini (diced)
1 Medium yellow squash (sliced and then cut in half once)
3 garlic cloves (minced or sliced)
Sea Salt to taste
Ground pepper to taste
Garlic Powder to taste
Coconut oil
1 large tomato roughly cut up (reserve this for food processor)
1/2 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, the soaked in oil kind not dry (reserve this for food processor)

In my large cast iron skillet I heated some coconut oil along with the garlic and onions.
After the onions softened I placed everything else in the skillet to cook down a bit (about 8 minutes or so)
While all is cooking in the skillet, take the other tomato and sun dried tomatoes and put them in the food processor to make a sauce
Next add the sauce to the skillet, let every marinate in the skillet on low for about 10 minutes


Serve in its own in a bowl, on top of quinoa like we did (was great BTW), or on anything else. I also had garlic chicken tenders on the table, and kale salad.




Overdosing on Eggplant (Part 1)

Let me tell you a secret...shhhhh....I love eggplant. Yes, it's true, I admit it, I'm head over heals for the aubergine as it is known or the official plant name Solanum Melongena. It is a cousin of the tomato and potato. I'm not sure how its related to the potato, tomato I get, but anyway, I'm no botanist.

So its a native food to India, and many times they use it as a replacement for meat. It's a great source of folic acid and potassium. I've just gone through the vitamin and mineral modules for my courses at school on my I-Touch and I am super charged about their importance. I always have been, but I understand more now than I did about what is good or important for what, and what is necessary. Sorry for the side note ;)

Back to eggplant, we really enjoy it in my house. I like it grilled, baked, fried, and sauteed. The next time I purchase it I want to make eggplant parmesan with it using almond meal for the breading. I haven't used almond meal as a breading yet, but I am looking forward to the experience. If it works as suggested by other gluten free cooks it will be a great option for my family.

So over the weekend I prepared what I call eggplant pizzas. I suppose its not accurate since there is not crust involved, and the eggplant is the base for everything. This time I used white and light purple eggplants. In the past I've prepared a tomato sauce for them, but I turned the tables this time and just used some sun dried tomatoes. Oh my goodness, it was success! You could add anything to them you really want that would fit on top. Meat eaters could add some chicken sausage on them. I bet you could makes these and place them on top of a bison or lamb burger and they would be a delicious addition.

Here is what I did for the eggplant pizzas:

2 Regular size eggplant or more if they are smaller
Sundried tomatoes that have soaked in olive oil (I've used ones that I have soaked myself and ones bought from the store already in the olive oil, if you go that route Trader Joes brand are good)
Coconut oil
Soft crumbled goat cheese (the log is fine too, just crumble it yourself)
Garlic powder
Sea Salt
Ground Pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F
Put coconut oil on a round or square flat piece of stoneware ( you can use a regular aluminum cookie tray, I just avoid cooking with aluminum when I can)
Slice the eggplant so you have medium, not too thick, round slices
Put a little coconut oil on the side of the eggplant that is up
Dust with garlic powder, a little sea salt, and ground pepper
Bake for 15 minutes
Take out and flip when the time goes off
Dust the other side of the eggplant with garlic powder, a little sea salt, and ground pepper
Place a few pieces of sun dried tomatoes on top
Be generous with the goat cheese
Bake for another 5-8 minutes
Enjoy! Serve with a raw kale salad or a side of chicken breast.

I hope that you enjoy these. Tell me if you make them, and how you like them. I literally ate these Saturday, Sunday, and on Monday.







Saturday, August 13, 2011

Experimenting with Quinoa and Pesto

So anybody who knows me fairly well knows I am bonkers over the grain quinoa. Quinoa pronounced KEEN-WAH, is a South American grain, used a lot in Chile. It's a nutritional powerhouse. It is gluten free, low glycemic, which means it won't send your blood sugar level through the roof, an excellent source of protein and calcium, while also being very versatile. You can use it like a porridge for breakfast or use it like rice for dinner.

Last night I attended my home fellowship group. It's a bit of a potluck, so everyone brings a little something. I try to change things up when I go as not to get boring and bring the same old thing every time. Coming up with new recipes last minute can be challenging sometimes, and other times it can come right to you. Initially I was leaning towards bringing polenta, but last minute I decided I wanted something else.

It occurred to me that I have all of this fabulous basil in my garden. So a light bulb went off to make some pesto. I didn't have a bunch of brown rice noodles left though so I was thinking what else can I put the pesto on that would be yum. I looked down and thought, oh what about quinoa? I keep it in a large mason jar on the floor of my pantry. I'm always trying to think of new ways that I can serve this wonderful grain.

So I whipped up some pesto in the food processor while cooking some quinoa on the stove. Can not express how my food processor has changed my life enough, oh how I am so thankful for it! I diced some tomatoes to put in there for extra flavor and pretty red color. I just mixed it all up in a bowl. To top it off I made some goat cheese available in case anyone wanted some with it. I was very pleased to get shining reviews, and I will serve it again. A girlfriend there said it would go great with some chicken, so meat eaters, there ya go!

When you cook quinoa you want to rinse it first. Quinoa, like some other grains, has a component called saponins. Saponins are chemical compounds found in many plant species that can cause digestion and intestinal issues, like an upset stomach or diarrhea (I know this a food post, and that's gross, but thought you might want to know). I have to confess, as Miss Health Nut herself, I don't always rinse my quinoa, but I am going to get better about it. I've never had issues, but I'd rather not start. I personally buy my quinoa from the bulk bins at Whole Foods, and I hear there distributor pre-rinses the quinoa, so that could be why I'm okay. Thought I'd inform you anyway.

Here is my pesto recipe:

1 Cup of fresh basil
1 Cup of fresh baby spinach
3-4 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (more if needed)
1/2 Cup soaked and rinsed raw walnuts (pesto is traditionally made with pine nuts, but they cost too much)
3 Large cloves of garlic
Sea salt to taste

Above you probably noticed that I said soaked and rinsed walnuts. Yes, ideally you want to soak any nut that you use for a couple of reasons. First of all is the health factor. Now you get to learn some more things that you didn't want to know, yay! Many plants, including walnuts, contain something called tannins. Tannins are organic chemical compounds that cause a lot of the plant foods we eat to have a slightly bitter taste.

A large intake of tannins may cause bowel irritation, kidney irritation, liver damage, irritation of the stomach and gastrointestinal pain. In extreme cases cancer can occur. So I say cut down on the tannins if you can. Don't be scared about it, or get weird. If that was the case you'd never eat again because so many of our foods have tannins. Soaking and rinsing releases many of the tannins. Just take precautions, soak and rinse your food well when you can.

Almost forgot, the second reason to soak them is it softens them up, and makes for smoother consistencies. A third reason is it increases nutritional value by bringing out more enzymes in the food, which aides in digestion. It's ideal to soak nuts in the fridge, in a glass container, with a lid. Soaking times vary depending on the nut type. Walnuts, since we're using them in this recipe, can be soaked in as short of an amount of time as 10-20 minutes. Harder nuts like almonds do better being soaked over night.

Just adjust the recipe to your taste, and to how much you need. What I am finding is you can use almost any nut and green to make pesto. These are just my preferred choices. I saw a recipe for asparagus pesto, and will try that one next. I like pesto because it is healthy, delicious, easy, and fast.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Smoothies to Get You Going

I firmly intend to try all of these this week. Wish I could take credit for the recipes. They are all similar with a few changes. That is what food is all about, tweaking, and making things your own to suit your nutritional needs and tastes. Recipes courtesy of Nicki Rubin from Garden of Life.

Creamsicle Smoothie
Serves 2

Ingredients:
6 ounces of organic, probiotic-rich yogurt or kefir
4 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tablespoon of flaxseed oil or hemp seed oil
1–2 Tablespoons unheated raw honey
1 Tablespoon of RAW Protein powder
1–2 fresh or frozen bananas
vanilla extract (optional)

Directions:
Combine all of the ingredients in a high–speed blender. Serve.

Banana Peach Smoothie
Serves 2

Ingredients:
10 ounces of organic, whole, probiotic-rich yogurt, kefir or coconut milk/cream
1 Tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil
1 Tablespoon of flaxseed oil or hemp seed oil
1-2 Tablespoons unheated raw honey
1 Tablespoon of RAW Protein powder
½-1 cup fresh or frozen peaches
1 fresh or frozen banana
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Directions:
Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Serve.

Mocha Swiss Almond Smoothie
Serves 2

Ingredients:
10 ounces of organic, whole, probiotic-rich yogurt, kefir or coconut milk/cream
1 Tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil
1 Tablespoon of flaxseed oil or hemp seed oil
1-2 Tablespoons unheated honey
1 Tablespoon of RAW Protein powder
2 Tablespoons cocoa or carob powder and 2 Tablespoons raw almond butter or 4 Tablespoons chocolate almond spread
1-2 fresh or frozen bananas
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Serve.


*Hey everyone if you don't have hemp oil or protein powder on hand, and happen to have some hemp seeds on hand like me throw 3 tbsp of those in there instead and that's a great source of protein for you.

*Try vanilla powder instead of vanilla extract if you can get some. You'll avoid the alcohol by doing so. Not that you're taking in that much alcohol with the extract, but if its something you want to totally avoid, then by using the powder you can still have that great vanilla flavor.

*I also don't have any flaxseed oil, but I do have flaxseeds. So what you can do if have some of these is to grind them up, and put the ground flaxseed meal into your smoothie as well. I use a small coffee grinder to grind my flaxseeds. It is reserved just for this purpose.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ask and You Shall Receive...Yumminess 2

Since I went ahead yesterday and posted how I make hummus I thought I'd also throw up here what I do for guacamole considering I mentioned it yesterday. Truly it is one of the easiest things to make under the sun. What continues to mystify me are those little dry mix packets for guacamole. Let me tell you a little secret, you are damaging one the healthiest, most delicious foods on the planet by adding one of those packets. It's not necessary, and it's not yummy.

The key to guacamole is keeping it simple. I've had numerous people say how good my guacamole is, well, I can't take all of the credit really, I was taught by my sons' grandma. In fact I didn't like guacamole until she showed me how to do this. The sad part is I am not alone in that regard. So many people are deceived into thinking that what most restaurants turn out, being just some mushy avocado, is in fact guacamole. Oh that couldn't be farther from the truth. You can eat it on almost anything, I say almost, not everything, but close.

While guacamole is simple, it's more than just the avocado. That isn't to say that I don't enjoy just eating avocado. I consider it to be a perfect food. I eat it on salads, sandwiches, eggs, and even in desserts. I may post a pudding I use it in later in the week. Women should by the way eat one everyday for female health, I'll leave it at that for those of my readers that are men ;)It is a fruit, not a vegetable. It has healthy saturated fat, yes I said healthy and saturated fat in the same sentence. Most of the fat is mono-unsaturated though. It provides potassium, 60% more than a banana, as well as being rich in vitamins B, E, and K.

So here's how I make guacamole:

3-4 Hass Avocados (Has to be ripe, so when you you pick it up it should be semi-firm to the touch, but should give a little if you push on it. If your fingers or thumbs go through it, forget it. Color isn't always a true ripeness indicator, but usually if it's black it's ready, or is about to be with in a day or two.)

1-2 diced tomatoes (depends on how large your maters are)

1/2 medium red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves

Fresh lime or lemon juice (from what I gather the consensus prefers lime juice, but both are great, use what you have, and just keep squeezing it in there until it tastes right)

Sea salt to taste


Fresh cilantro (optional, I don't personally like it very much)

Instructions:

You can increase or decrease the ingredients as necessary. Your best bet to opening an avocado is using a butter knife. The Pampered Chef company actually has an avocado knife, which is great, I have one that I acquired for free, but don't add the expense if you don't have one. Like I said, a butter knife works fine.

Start at the top where the little nub is where the stem used to be, and just take the knife all the way around until it meets back where you started. Twist it gently, and it should open fairly easily. To get out the pit you can use your fingers like me, a spoon to scoop it out, or some people like to use a sharp knife, and stab right into the pit, and pull it out. Don't hurt yourself, and just take it out however.

If your avocados are a little firmer than preferred, a trick is to scoop them into a food processor. It will help make them creamier and smoother. I considered doing this on Saturday, but I had already used the food processor for the hummus at my friend's house, didn't feel like taking it out of the dishwasher and hand washing it. Also the party had commenced, so I didn't want to turn the loud thing on with everyone there. Probably more than you wanted to know, oh well, it's my blog and I'll bunnytrail if I want to, right ;)

If the avocados are ok, scoop out the flesh into the serving bowl before anything else. Mash them up really well. Add a little lime or lemon juice now, this will help smooth it out. Generally guacamole is not chunky. Mine was a bit on Saturday, but didn't have any complaints.

Next put in the rest of the ingredients in the bowl, and mix with a spoon. Just keep adding and tasting until it's perfect. You really can't go wrong with that method unless of course you eat it all in the process. Maybe buy a few extra of everything just in case ;)

My recommendation is to serve the guacamole with Trader Joes Organic Blue Corn Chips. They are my favorite! For you raw foodies flaxseed chips from the dehydrator would be tasty too. I also love dipping raw veggies like carrots, broccoli, snap peas, and bell peppers in it. If you are a meat eater, add some on top of grilled or baked chicken. Throwing some in your turkey sandwich or on a burger is lovely too. I adore it on top of my scrambled eggs. Just can't say enough good things about guacamole!





Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ask and You Shall Receive...Yumminess

So over the weekend the kids and I celebrated with best friends their one year old's birthday. They had a wonderful party for him at their home. Requested by another close friend for the party were a few of my typical munch on type foods, guacamole, hummus, and quinoa salad.

It never ceases to amaze me how yummy the foods are that the Lord has given us, and why other than the almighty dollar we are so driven to concoct and eat scary things in boxes with 18-25 ingredients with things I cannot pronounce or that I use to clean my toilet...just saying.

Anyhoo thought I'd post here what I typically do for hummus.

Hummus

2 cups of dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans-same thing)
3 large garlic cloves roughly chopped
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (not the stuff in the bottle)
2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp of evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
paprika
Fresh parsley sprigs

Soak the chickpeas in filtered water over night. Strain them in a colander. Next cook them for about 2 hours. Place everything into the food processor. Taste and add more of any of the ingredients above to make it how ya like it. Place into glass bowl, dig small well in the middle, and add some extra evoo to the well. Dust the hummus with paprika. Stick a few parsley sprigs in it for a garnish. Dip fresh raw veggies in it like carrots, celery, bell peppers and cucumbers, yum!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Raw Tomato Sauce

So a girlfriend of mine and I were talking just the other day about how to make tomato sauce. My recommendation to her was to make raw tomato sauce because you'll keep those nutrients in tact. Also as long as you use it while it's room temperature, and you pour it on something that is warm/hot like noodles, veggies, quinoa, potatoes or anything else your heart desires you really don't need to heat the sauce too. The other food should provide plenty of heat.

So here is what I put in mine, and what I do:

Any tomatoes will do really, we'll say 6-8 romas (preferably local and organic)
Slice open, remove the seeds, cut into quarters
5-6 fresh basil leaves
1-2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 cup diced red onion
3 garlic cloves
2-3 sundried tomatoes that have been soaked
As much salt and pepper as you like

Place it all in the food processor or high speed blender. Taste it and make it your own. Pour it on whatever you like. If you want it thicker or must heat it, go ahead, but as you can see, sauce is not complicated.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Snapshot of a Yummy Dinner

So I absolutely had to share my dinner with you. On Saturday morning I went with a close friend and her husband to the local farmers market. I cannot express to you my excitement over going there in the summer. It is a cook's or raw foodie's playground!

That day I perused and found some yummy bell peppers. I bought a purple and a white one. Never did I try this before, and I quite like both. I also picked up a spaghetti squash, which is what I am sharing here. Along with it I had a spinach salad.If you've never had one, it's called a spaghetti squash because it actually looks like spaghetti noodles inside.

Preheat your over to 400 degrees. To cook your spaghetti squash you slice it in half. You'll need a good knife. Then scoop out the inside. Then put a little coconut oil on each side. Cook it open face up on a baking sheet for 45 minutes. I put it on my pizza stone.

When you take it out take a fork and fluff up the middle. To dress it up you can put some raw or cooked tomato sauce on it, and even add some goat cheese like I did in the picture.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Awesome New Recipe

I cannot wait to try this one. It's from Kristen Suzanne.

Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Prep time: Less than 10 minutes

1/3 cup water
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (approximately 1 cup)
1 cup hemp seeds
2 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tbsp chili powder*
2sps tamari, wheat-free or again Coconut Aminos by Coconut Secret
1/2 tsp Himalayan crystal salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp turmeric powder

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.

*My favorite brand for this is Simply Organic.
Serving suggestions:

Use this for dipping fresh veggies, big heart of romaine lettuce leaves, or corn chips (raw or not – it’s up to you!)
For those eating cooked vegan foods, this is an awesome sauce on top of veggie burgers.
This also makes a delicious raw vegan dressing on a hearty salad with romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and cucumbers. You could even sprinkle on some raw vegan taco meat.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wow-Welcome to August

Can't believe August is here. Summer is almost over. That is so sad to me. I love this season with the sun shining so bright. It makes me want to be outdoors all of the time. I enjoy the heat!

So I found this yummy sounding recipe on the sunfood.com website this morning. Had to share it. I'll be purchasing my raw nori sheets from Renegade Health. Be sure to go through my link on the right.

Avo Olive Nori Rolls

Ingredients:

1 large ripe avocado
1 small tomato
3/4 cup pitted olives
1 tsp Nama Shoyu or Coconut Aminos by Coconut Secret
Wedge of lemon
Sunflower sprouts (grow your own to save!)
4 nori sheets

Preparation:

Chop the tomato and olives. Combine avocado, tomato and olives in a bowl. Add Nama Shoyu and squeeze on a bit of lemon. Stir ingredients for about 10 seconds, just to mix up. Add a large scoop (about a half cup) of the mix to the center of a nori roll. Spread the scoop across the nori so that you will have an even amount throughout the length of your roll. Add a handful of sprouts and roll up your nori sheet. Slice and enjoy!


If you have sushi mats it can make the rolling up portion more simplified. I purchased mine at the local Asian market. Health food store carry them, but they cost too much.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Smoothies, salads, and yummy stuff with cucumbers

So summer is all about the veggies. You can put them in a salad, a smoothie, a saute, or grill them...anyway you slice them, dice them, or blend them it's happiness! I love cucumbers for their cooling off factors ;) They are very good for staying hydrated. Sorry this post is excessively short, although some of you might be cheering, I have so much going on this month. I apologize for not getting more up here in the month of July.

So here's my smoothie for the day to help you cool off:

1 Cup of peeled cubed cucumber
2 Tbsp fresh mint leaves
2 Cups cantaloupe
1 Cup goat milk yogurt (or almond or coconut yogurt if you have some)
1 Cup ice
1 tbsp raw honey if needed for extra sweetness, taste first before throwing this in, you may not need it

Blend it all up and enjoy!

My salad will be:

3-4 cucumbers peeled and cut into sticks (like you would for carrots)
2-3 ripe,cubed/cut (not too small) tomatoes
1/2-1 red onion, slice it and then cut slices in half so they are like strips
Fresh parsley (um, as much as you want)
Put them into a bowl
Pour on balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil (I don't measure this, I just do it until it looks right...sorry)
Sprinkle on sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

If you decide to make either of these let me know :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cleansing Salad Recipe by Frank Giglio

Wow, I am super excited about summer and all it has to offer with some wonderful salad possibilities. Cleansing the body is super popular these days, and with good reason. We have so many toxins entering our systems through the things we ingest in various ways that after a while if you aren't caring for your body on a regular basis your filters (your liver and colon) can get clogged.

Even if you do make consistent efforts to exercise and eat healthy, cleansing is always welcomed by our bodies. Keeping the canvas as fresh and clean as possible allows the real beauty to shine through so to speak. There are a ton of cleansing products out there on the market. Some are much better than others. I think a great way to keep the body flushing out toxins on a regular basis is to make drinking filtered or spring water your regular beverage, eating organic raw foods (especially leafy greens), and including a high quality pro-biotic.

Down below I've shared a recipe from Frank Giglio. Frank Giglio is a classically trained chef from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT and a graduate of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC. The recipe is courtesy of Annmarie and Kevin Gianni at Renegade Health .

Yummy Cleansing Salad

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced on the bias
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced (roughly 1 cup)
1 navel orange, segmented (save excess juice)
1/2 to 1 ripe avocado, cut into wedges
8 mint leaves, torn
2-3 dandelion leaves, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lemon (just a few drops of lemon juice)
1/4 tsp freshly ground coriander seed
Fresh black pepper

Optional:
Tiny pinch of sea salt
Crushed red pepper

Once all your vegetables and fruits are prepared, combine them all in a large mixing bowl. Add in the torn mint leaves and seasonings and toss gently. Take the fibers left from the segmented orange and squeeze out the juices onto the salad. Just to brighten up the flavors, add a few drops of lemon juice. The celery has plenty of natural sodium, but if you wish, sprinkle in just a tiny little pinch of sea salt. Stir in the coriander seed and fresh black pepper and allow the avocado to gently mash into the other ingredients. Let the salad stand for a few minutes before serving to allow the dandelion leaves soften and flavors to meld into one another.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Individual Obedience

"Don't you know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?"
1 Corinthians 3:18


Isn't it awesome that we have a Savior that wants to know each and everyone of us on an individual, close, and intimate level? Isn't it amazing that He chose you, on this very day, to go out and be a light for Him? If you are a believer, and you are reading this, do you understand the privilege it is to have His world view?

The closer each one us walks with and toward Christ poses the opportunity for us to hone in on our Shepard's lovely voice. Do you know what he is calling you to today? Don't ignore, investigate the call.

Here are my thoughts, take them or leave them...whatever. The deeper our walk gets with Christ the more He will call us to do. It might be a calling to be more quiet, and follow James 1: 19 "Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry."

The last time I checked God was the same yesterday, today, and forever. Since Jesus is the Word according to John 1:1, and Jesus is God, then that would say to me that everything that God has ever said never changes. If I am not making sense or speaking truth please let me know. The last time I checked God didn't change His mind.

Therefore, doesn't this go for the Old Testament or Old Covenant? I ask because there are so many of us that like to choose verses in the Bible to adhere to, ones that seems better than others to us, or ones that may be easier for us. We are also so quick to judge others by what we deem worthy in our own eyes to be obedient to in the Word.

I bring this up because so often I'll get into discussions with dear brothers and sisters of mine, and they don't seem to understand why I do what I do, or more specifically why I eat how I eat. Not that I really need them to understand because quite frankly, I know why, Jesus knows why, and that's really all that matters.

I have decided to blog about this simply because I feel led, and maybe I'll help somebody else. Christians love to ditch the Old Testament. It saddens me because Christ is all woven through it, it is about Him. The commands in the Old are just are viable as the ones in the New.

Allow me to share what God has called me to and that is the diet spoken about in Leviticus. I love it when people say oh, you're just being legalistic...you're holding yourself under the law. It makes me want to giggle. I certainly do not eat this way to earn grace or attain my salvation. Wow, wouldn't I be in trouble?!!! That my friend is being legalistic, trying to be good enough to get to heaven and earn that crown.

Paul discusses this and he basically tells the disciples not to worry the Gentiles and new believers with any rituals or rules other than not eating food sacrificed to idols, or anything with the blood left in it. He has them focus on the greatest commandment. I wholeheartedly agree. Why should a new believer worry about what he or she puts in his or her mouth? There are too many other changes taking place, and what we consume in our mouths doesn't have bearing on our spirituality.

In the same token Paul never broke the law, He just like Christ himself, followed the law. Jesus said that He came to fulfill the law, not to change it or break it. Jesus was always obedient to the Father in every way. That included what He ate.

This is how I figure it, if God said do this, then we should try to do it if we can and are willing. If it is not "doctrinal" then really it's all personal, and what your Jesus calls you to individually. For instance it may not be a sin for Joe to take a drink at dinner. Joe has never exploited alcohol, he just likes a cold one every now and again. No harm, no foul. On the other hand if Jim, who has shown himself to have a problem, takes a drink at dinner, and God has shown him that this is a stumbling block for him, then for Jim it is a sin.

Our Father always gives us what is best. He knows how we operate, He built us from scratch. Science supports this with digestion, and the way other cultures eat. That makes sense since God made Science :) The Jews for so long were one of the healthiest cultures around due to their diets and hygienic practices.

I realize that modernized people have since caught on that yes, washing your hands is an awesome practice. In fact, our country in particular has actually taken it way too far on the side of the spectrum with cleanliness to our detriment, but that's another post.

The Lord has most definitely taken me on a journey, and continues to do so with food, health, and nutrition. If you want to read my "story" you can look it up here on the blog. It's June 2010 series of 8 posts entitled, "Why I Care So Much About What I Eat." The underlying message though is obedience. The Lord said if you love me, obey my commands. That should be the only reason why we obey, our love for Him. All this to say, eat what works for you, don't mock those that don't eat what you do, love one another as you love yourself, and if you're eating something yummy, tell me about it here :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Raw Foods

"Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live" (Isaiah 55:2-3)

I cannot say enough good things about raw foods. They saved my life, amongst proper supplementation. I'm still a work in progress with finding out what effects me and what not, but I can 100% say that when my diet is a high percentage of raw foods that I do so much better. Summer is the time to start as well. Visit your local farmers market!

Eating raw foods, in the state that God gave them to us, is a huge benefit to your body. Not altering them by heat allows their nutritional value to stay in tact. My digestion is always better with raw vegetables and raw milk. I will not get on the raw milk bandwagon now, I gave that rant in another post a while back...I'm sure I will another day, but not today.

There are most definitely some foods that you want to eat cooked, like healthy grains such as quinoa, brown rice, steel cut oats, and amaranth. There are also some root vegetables like sweet potatoes, red potatoes, winter squash, and pumpkin that easier to consume cooked. I do know of some raw food recipes with sweet potatoes and pumpkins, though I haven't attempted them yet...but will.

When we eat a diet composed of many raw foods we encourage healthy digestion, cleanse our blood, and take in the most vitamins and minerals. as stated earlier summer time is an excellent opportunity to try out a raw food diet. Now you don't have to go 100% raw, and I don't recommend that for most people. It's a stricter format, and takes discipline to make sure that you do it right. If you are ill, especially with a serious malady like cancer, then I highly recommend it until recovery.

Most veggies and fruits grow in the warmer months, which is why I state summer is a great time to try, or at least implement more raw foods into your diet, and be daring, experiment. You might just find a new love on your dinner plate. I know that I did, kale. Earlier this week I posted a kale salad recipe, check it out.

Smoothies and salads are awesome ways to get those raw foods into your system. Kids, except for my CRAZY children, love smoothies. Maybe I'm just not giving them the right combos, I don't know. I absolutely love green smoothies! Yes, I said green smoothies. They are rather popular now. Baby spinach is at the top of my list for green smoothies. Dark leafy greens have 60-70% more calcium than milk by the way. I'll also use kale, or swiss chard. I think I used mustard greens once. That is better for strictly vegetable smoothies...more V8 tasting. I recommend spinach because the flavor is so mild, and once you stick some fruit in there you can't tell.

Here is my typical smoothie recipe for my breakfast,I've shared this before:

3-4 handfuls of raw baby spinach
1 banana
1/4 cup of fresh, raw almond milk (you have to make this, ask me how if you don't know)
Cup of ice
3 tbsp of hemp seed

I threw in some coconut oil, frozen strawberries, and blueberries the other day...wow, it was yum!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How Do Vegetarians Get Protein?

A friend recently asked how do I get my protein. It is a question that I receive often. It's a great question, and deserves a great answer. Protein first of all is essential to the body composition running and operating in a healthy way.

Protein is made up of a group of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. There are over 20 of them, and each is important. Think of it like amino acids are the bricks that make up a building. We need protein because it supports our muscular structure. The better sources of proteins we consume, the stronger and healthier our muscles will be.

I've been a vegetarian for about two years now. I went from just no dairy to vegan to raw vegan back to vegan to lacto-ovo vegetarian, which I am am now. I've gone through some trial and error to take in the proper amount of protein. I did keep count for a while, but now I just make sure I take some in each day.

For those uninformed about the jargon that I just used, vegetarian is kind of a blanket term. A vegan is someone who doesn't eat any animal products whatsoever, a raw vegan steps it up a notch and doesn't eat anything cooked about 115 degrees(best diet if you are ill with something like cancer, or even consider this while you have a cold or something), a lacto vegetarian does consume milk products, and ovo vegetarian does consume eggs, and maybe you can guess a lacto-ovo vegetarian consumes both milk products and eggs.

When you are just starting out it can be a challenge getting the hang of everything, but really it's not that difficult. Now that I include goat's milk products and eggs into my diet it makes attaining that daily intake of protein much easier.

That isn't to say that you can't be vegan and get the adequate amount of protein. Yes, you can be vegan or raw vegan and consume your daily protein requirements. Much to the myths that are circulated. It just takes a little leg work :) You just have to be a bit more creative. I do not depend completely on the goats milk products and eggs though. I also use plant products. This is what vegans do.

The key here is knowing your food combos. No, I do not mean Number 1 on the drive through board at Chick-Fil-A either. You can actually combine certain plants foods to make a complete protein. One common dish is rice and beans. This is a staple in my house, brown basmati rice and either pintos or black beans. I add fresh diced tomatoes, diced red onion, fresh parsley, and some diced avocado...yum!

There are also some plants foods that are actually complete proteins all on their own. One of these is quinoa. I can't say enough good things about quinoa. Quinoa is a grain from South America, specifically it is popular in Chilean cooking. Quinoa is gluten free, low glycemic, and a great source of calcium as well as protein. You can use it just like rice or couscous.You can even make a dairy free milk with it much like nut or rice milks. It can even be an oatmeal replacement if you so choose for another warm morning grain. For recipe examples just ask :)

Another way that I like to implement plant protein into my diet, which is another complete protein, are hemp seeds. Yes, people, I said, hemp. Yes, it is the marijuana plant. In Canada you can buy the whole seed and grow the plant. In the USA it is illegal. We can however purchase shelled hemp seeds, which are raw. You can also buy hemp oil or powder. Hemp powder is great for protein shakes, it is MUCH healthier than a soy protein powder, stay away from that stuff. I like to add 3 tbsp of the hemp seeds to my green smoothies.

Here is a video from Paul Nison about hemp seeds:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1la9_AQFMo&feature=player_embedded#at=314

For some more information on protein and food combining here is a neat website:

How To Get Enough Protein In Your Vegetarian or Vegan Diet

If you have any great vegetarian recipes for protein consumption add them below in a post:)

Exercise

I am all about exercise. I believe it honors the Lord to use our bodies, keep them moving, and be used for His glory! In Mark 3:13-15 it says, "And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons."

When Christ calls us to "go out" wouldn't be wonderful to be as physically healthy as possible so that we are not limited to go where He needs us to go and to do what he needs us to do. Of course our almighty God is not limited by our limitation, but if we are good stewards how much more does that honor Him?

I love exercise because of how it makes me feel afterward and overall. My sleep is improved, my clothes fit better, and I have more energy go through my day. It's amazing how burning a little energy with exercise can actually rev you up to keep going. There's so much truth to that because I find that the more sedentary that I am the more tired I feel by the time the afternoon rolls around.

So I've been trying to learn more about exercise, what is effective, what isn't, what is harmful, what are some myths, that type of thing then I can share it all with you. I will post later this week somethings that I have learned.

Win a Copy of The Maker's Diet and More....

So I am gearing up to start school. I am plugging into some of the pre-classes,and getting used to the format. The cool thing about my classes is that the course work is loaded onto an IPOD Touch! I can literally take school wherever I go. I actually get my own health coach to lead and guide me, which I think is awesome! I'm looking forward to the business aspect as well because that will assist me in building a client base.

So here it is your chance to win your very own copy of The Maker's Diet by Jordin Rubin. I highly recommend reading this book, if you aren't one of the winners check it out at the library, or go buy one at the bookstore. The Christian stores carry it, and I'm sure Barnes and Noble does as well. It may be cheaper to order it from amazon though. At any rate, get a copy!

It's amazing as I read through the book a lot of my "feelings" or thoughts about different subjects are mentioned, and supported...makes me feel kind of good, ya know. The Maker's Diet is all about being a good steward with what the Lord Yeshua has given us. What it is not about is legalism, or being under the law.

Jordin discusses food, the mainstream medical community, and what we can do to preserve what the Lord has given us so to be able to go out and do a good work for Him. (Just in case you're wondering, no I don't get any kind of a kick back for promoting this book. It's been out for years, I just really love what he says in it, and I think it's worth reading. Take what you want from it, implement what you can, and keep serving the Lord!)

So for anyone interested in winning their very own copy, I have three extras here just dying to be read, so what you need to do is make a post under this entry on the blog, and tell me two things: how the Lord blessed you today and what your comfort food is...mine currently is apples and peanut butter. The first three people to do this will win. Oh feel free please to share my blog on Facebook ;)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Are You Beyond Organic?

Hi! I wanted to tell everyone about the awesome new company, Beyond Organic, that has been pioneered by Jordin Rubin one of my health and nutrition gurus.

Here is their mission statement: Beyond Organic is a food and beverage company with products of unequaled quality and efficacy. Our mission is to transform the health of this nation and world one life at a time. We are vertically integrated farming 9,000 acres, thousands of cattle and produce millions of gallons of water per day from our pristine springs.

Beyond Organic is now allowing people to join and become what is called an Insider. The company is officially due to launch in October of this year. It is a marketing company that allows you to share organically grown, safe, natural, hormone free products with others.

To find out more about Beyond Organic and to become an insider for free go here:

www.beyondorganicinsider.com/becomeaninsider.aspx?enroller=4738


For more info here's a word from Paul Nison, raw food chef and nutrition expert:

http://youtu.be/96xvrHH6Ejw

Simple Kale Salad, but Sooooo Yummy!

So my boys and I enjoyed wonderful fellowship last night with some great church family. In the midst of conversation one friend asked about the kale salad that I had made awhile back for a potluck. This is a pretty standard recipe in the raw food world, but it's one of my favorite things to eat. I eat this several times per week. I figured I'd pop it up here for the world to see as well as my friend who made the request :)

For the salad you just take a bunch of raw kale, it can be red/purple, green, or dino kale (which is green and looks like the skin on a dinosaur) it doesn't matter. Kale is an excellent source of calcium, so way better than homogenized and pasteurized milk from the store. No, milk does not always do a body good. It is a cruciferous vegetable, like broccoli, which means it cleanses the blood well.

Slice the leaves down each side as not to include the stem. Then tear the leaves into pieces. You can leave the stems if you like, but I prefer just the leaves. You can always compost those stems. Place into large bowl. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the kale. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the kale as well. Massage the kale with the lemon juice and olive oil in the bowl with the hands. Trust me this makes a big difference in texture and flavor.

Dice some red onion, ripe but a bit firm avocado,and tomato. Place these in the bowl with the kale. Drizzle a touch more olive oil, and lemon juice. Toss altogether with sea salt to taste.

I dare you to tell me that you don't like this...I just dare you!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Attending Nutrition School, a Contest, and more...

Wow there has been so much going on around here lately that I can hardly keep up with everything. I am very excited to announce that I am now enrolled at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I will be attaining a certification to be a Health and Nutrition Coach.

I have been praying about attending this school for several months. I really wanted to seek the Lord on that decision. I had attended school before, and come to find out, that just because you have a good idea, if it isn't the Lord's good idea, then it isn't really a good idea. I believe that the Lord has given me this passion for health and nutrition, and not becoming further educated in the field seemed like hiding light under a basket.

I pray that this decision glorifies the Lord,and that I will remain available to be used by Him in this capacity, and any other he sees fit. Please pray for me if you are reading this blog entry! I start online classes in July.

I stopped my reading for a while, but I am back to it for now. I am in the middle of The Makers Diet by Jordin Rubin. I was actually able to ascertain a few extra copies. So soon I'll be holding a contest. Anyone who makes a post on my blog during that week could win their very own copy! I'll give more details to follow. A post will go up on Facebook as well.

My health goal for this summer is to come up with some new yummy recipes, or at least find some new recipes to share. Anything that I can do to encourage a healthier way of life for my brothers and sisters is worthwhile to me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Respecting without Worshiping these Houses (Remembering His Love)

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body"

Each morning I awake, and I realize that I had nothing to do with waking myself. It was not by my own ability but by the Will of the Lord Yeshua, Jesus the Christ, that He has chosen this day for me to once again be a good steward of all that he has placed before me.

I have so much to be thankful for each and every day, it is incomprehensible. The breath of life to which God fills my lungs I have nothing what so ever to do with yet He lets me breathe. My legs somehow manage to operate just as they should...well, at least most of the time, and wallah I can walk. Without any effort I flutter my eye lashes, and then I can see.

Then with all of these amazing things that I am not responsible for like breathing, and blood pumping through my veins why am I surprised, or I should say why are other people surprised that the Lord has provided us with amazing health keeping properties all around us?

Why do we put so much faith in man, medicine, and technology? Why do we put faith in things that fail, are not trustworthy, and disappoint? Why are we quicker to consume dangerous chemicals rather than to lay hands on someone and pray? Oh we have so little faith.

Our bodies were a gift from the creator Himself, the Lord Yeshua. He is not the absent minded professor who forgot to give us a health manual and tools to keep everything running correctly. In fact quite the contrary He gave us His Word, the how-to do it right manual.

Then He gave us fruits, vegetables, herbs, oils, nuts, seeds, and healthy animals (before we get our hands on them and drug them up and feed them horrific things they should never ingest).

I just want to take this time to thank you Lord Yeshua for being the maker of all, for counting us worthy enough to even be a thought to be made. May those of us who truly love you make the effort to be set apart for you Holy One above all. In your name I pray.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Great Article About Mental Health by Dr. Mercola

My Foreward:

The Lord Jesus healed me of depression, and so many other issues years ago. This one is dear to my heart because I am driven absolutely mad by all of medication given out daily like candy to adults and children. I support the ideas and research done by Dr. Mercola on this particular issue. He discusses depression, what it is, the fact that it is actually a natural occurrence, and that there much better helpful measures than drugs that we have no idea what they are doing to our bodies. Above all giving your life to Jesus Christ, and reading and following His Holy Word will change and renew your mind.


Interesting documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1nbZCNDgbY


This is an excellent documentary detailing how the psychiatric drug industry was born and its powerful and profitable partnership with the drug industry, which has turned psychiatry into an $80 billion drug profit center.

* But is any of it based on real medical science?
* How valid are the psychiatric diagnoses being handed out?
* And are the drugs safe?

Unfortunately, the evidence is overwhelmingly stacked against psychiatric drugs. It's becoming ever clearer that most of today's psychiatric diagnoses and subsequent drug treatment is a sham, successfully promoted to make you believe it's based on some scientific truth.

But it's not...

What Causes Psychological Distress?

Answering this question is the holy grail of psychiatry. Even before there were psychiatrists, such troubles were blamed on things like evil spirits, or an imbalance of "humors."

The latter was treated by bloodletting, which is perhaps the longest running tradition in medicine, originating in the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Greece, persisting for some 2,500 years through the Industrial Revolution. It was the "aspirin" of the day, used for just about every conceivable condition from pneumonia to depression. Yet, there was never any evidence that it did any good, and many times the patients died. Of course, it was always assumed it was the disease that killed them, rather than the treatment.

Interestingly, we now know that there was good reason why this may have helped men or postmenopausal women. If they had high iron levels this would have been able to reduce their load and thus improve their overall health.

Finally, 19th century scientists began to question its value and medical statisticians who tracked case histories discovered that it wasn't helping much of anything.

The blanket prescription of drugs for every conceivable psychological hiccup has become the bloodletting theory of the 21st century… Of course, in the case of psychiatric drugs, there's tremendous profits to be made by maintaining the status quo and not admitting the error of their ways.

The fact is, psychiatry STILL doesn't understand what causes psychological distress, and the primary theory proposed; the idea that unwanted behavior and depression are due to an imbalance of serotonin and dopamine in your brain, has NEVER been proven.

On the contrary, research has proven the theory is WRONG, yet this evidence has been swept under the proverbial rug.

Despite what the slick advertisements say, psychotropic drugs have no measurable biological imbalances to correct—unlike other drugs that can measurably alter levels of blood sugar, cholesterol and so on.

"How can you medicate something that is not physically there?" they ask in this documentary.

The answer is, of course, you can't!

Doing so anyway is a dangerous game.

The Physical Dangers of Medicalizing a Non-Physical Condition

One significant danger of psychotropic drugs is that they can upset the delicate processes within your brain needed to maintain your biological functions. This risk simply cannot be overstated… The documentary cites some staggering statistics attributed to psychiatric drugs:

* 700,000 adverse reactions per year
* 42,000 deaths per year

How in the world can drugs that cause over 40,000 deaths a year be permitted, let alone handed out like candy?

Even if you DO have a serious psychiatric issue, such as PTSD for example, drugging it away is risky—especially if you're taking multiple drugs. Since the average American takes 13 drugs per year, this is a serious issue.. A number of military personnel have died in their sleep, for example, after taking a prescribed combination of Paxil, Seroquel, and Klonopin. These deaths were NOT due to overdosing, but rather "each case involved a sudden cardiac incident and resulting death," Jed Shlackman wrote in an article for the Examiner last year, adding:

"This adds to growing concern about serious adverse effects of psychiatric medications commonly prescribed to emotionally disturbed or traumatized soldiers."

Several studies have demonstrated the potential for lethal cardiac side effects. For example:

* A literature review of studies from 2000-2007, published in Expert Opinion on Drug Safety in 2008, found that "Antipsychotics can increase cardiac risk even at low doses, whereas antidepressants do it generally at high doses or in the setting of drug combinations."
* A study published in January 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that antipsychotic drugs doubled the risk of sudden cardiac death. Mortality was also found to be dose-dependent, so those taking higher doses were at increased risk of a lethal cardiac event.
* Another study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that same year also found that antidepressants increase the rate of sudden cardiac death.

Are Emotional Symptoms Really Signs of Mental Illness?

Clearly, there are "real" mental illnesses that can destroy any semblance of normalcy in a person's life. But are you mentally ill when you're sad for more than a couple of weeks?

Is losing zest for life a sign of mental illness?

Where does the normal grieving process fit into our modern lives—is it something that should be drugged, or is it a normal phase of life that everyone on the planet has to move through? And when does an emotional phase go from being a natural part of the changing emotional landscape that is life to a problem that needs to be "fixed"?

Many are quick to defend their choice to take drugs. No one wants to "feel bad." But are these drugs destroying lives rather than saving them?

I believe the answer is a resounding YES at this point.

Rather than helping people address the root cause of their suffering, psychiatry has now simply resorted to a chemical form of lobotomy to "make the problem go away."

Drug therapy has been the conventional therapy of choice in the psychiatric field since its beginnings. Insane asylums during the early 19th century employed drugs like morphine and opium to quiet patients' outbursts. By the turn of the 20th century, heroin was peddled as a cure for psychiatric problems, and Sigmund Freud wrote articles promoting the use of cocaine for spiritual distress and behavioral difficulties.

Today, these drugs have become "illicit" and anyone resorting to cocaine to ease their troubled mind is called a junkie… But in essence, all the industry has done is replacing a few dangerous drugs with other dangerous drugs.

The Truth about the "Chemical Imbalance" Theory

As a family physician I have treated many thousands of depressed patients. Depression was actually one of my primary concerns in the mid 80s when I first started practicing, however at that time my primary tool was using antidepressants. I put thousands of people on these drugs and acquired a fair level of experience in this area.

Thankfully I learned more and was able to stop using all these drugs. It was my experience that the chemical imbalance was merely a massive marketing gimmick to support the use of expensive and toxic antidepressants.

Most of you have probably heard that depression is due to a "chemical imbalance in your brain," which these drugs are designed to correct. Unfortunately for anyone who has ever swallowed this marketing ploy, this is NOT a scientific statement.

So where did it come from?

The low serotonin theory arose because they understood how the drugs acted on the brain; it was a hypothesis that tried to explain how the drug might be fixing something. However, that hypothesis didn't hold up to further investigation. Investigations were done to see whether or not depressed people actually had lower serotonin levels, and in 1983 the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) concluded that

"There is no evidence that there is anything wrong in the serotonergic system of depressed patients."

The serotonin theory is simply not a scientific statement. It's a botched theory—a hypothesis that was proven incorrect.

The fact that this fallacy continues to thrive is destroying the health of millions, because if you take an SSRI drug that blocks the normal reuptake of serotonin, you end up with the very physiological problem the drug is designed to treat–low serotonin levels. Which, ironically, is the state hypothesized to bring on depression in the first place.

In 1996, neuroscientist Steven Hyman, who was head of the NIMH at the time, and is today Provost of Harvard University, published the paper Initiation and Adaptation: A Paradigm for Understanding Psychotropic Drugs, in which he explains this chain of events. According to Dr. Hyman, once your brain has undergone a series of compensatory adaptations to the drug, your brain operates in a manner that is "both qualitatively and quantitatively different than normal."

So, it's important to understand that these drugs are NOT normalizing agents. They're abnormalizing agents, and once you understand that, you can understand how they might provoke a manic episode, or why they might be associated with sexual dysfunction or violence and suicide, for example.

How Did it Ever Get this Bad?

Part of the puzzle explaining why we now have a pill for every emotion and psychological trait is that psychiatrists were originally not considered "real" doctors—they couldn't actually "do" much to help their patients, and they certainly couldn't cure them. They realized that to increase their status, they had to make the field more scientific, and it was this decision that gave birth to the medicalizing and drugging of every conceivable behavioral tendency.

Medical journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker explains the history of the treatment of those with severe mental illness in his first book, Mad in America. His latest book, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America focuses on the disturbing fact that as psychiatry has gained ground, mental illness has skyrocketed.

Part of the problem is that the criteria for diagnosis has expanded exponentially—you can now be diagnosed as being "ill" if you have trouble controlling your shopping habits, and a child who often argues with adults can be labeled according to the diagnostic code 313.81 -- Oppositional Defiant Disorder. A staggering array of normal human experiences now masquerade as "disorders," for which there is a drug treatment available.

Another factor is the fact that psychiatric drugs CREATE more serious forms of mental illness...
What Does the Science Really Say about the Effectiveness of Psychiatric Drugs?

First of all, when looking at the research literature, short-term trials show that antidepressants do NOT provide any clinically significant benefits for mild to moderate depression, compared to a placebo. As you know, all drugs have benefit-to-risk ratios, so if a drug is as effective as a placebo in relieving symptoms, it really doesn't make sense to use them as a first line of defense.

And yet doctors all over America prescribe them as if they were indeed sugar pills!

However, it gets worse. Research into the long-term effects of antidepressants shows that patients are no longer really recuperating from their depressive episodes as was the general norm prior to the advent of modern antidepressants. The depression appears to be lifting faster, but patients tend to relapse more frequently, turning what ought to have been a passing phase into an increasingly chronic state of depression.

Long-term studies now indicate that of people with major depression, only about 15 percent that are treated with an antidepressant go into remission and stay well for a long period of time. The remaining 85 percent start having continuing relapses and become chronically depressed.

According to Whitaker's research, this tendency to sensitize your brain to long-term depression appears to be the same both for the earlier tricyclic antidepressants and the newer SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).

In addition, SSRI's have been shown to increase your risk of developing bipolar depression, according to Whitaker. Anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of children who take an antidepressant for five years convert to bipolar illness. In adults, about 25 percent of long term users convert from a diagnosis of unipolar depression to bipolar.

This is a serious concern because once you're categorized as bipolar, you're often treated with a potent cocktail of medications including an antipsychotic medication, and long-term bipolar outcomes are grim in the United States. For starters, only about 35 percent of bipolar patients are employed, so the risk of permanent disability is great.

Another risk inherent with long-term use is that of cognitive decline.

It's Time to Stop the Insanity...

Every year, 230 million prescriptions for antidepressants are filled, making them one of the most-prescribed drugs in the United States. Despite all of these prescription drugs being taken, more than one in 20 Americans are depressed, according to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The statistics alone should be a strong indication that what we're doing is simply not working, and that instead, these drugs are contributing to other serious health problems.

Fortunately, there are other, safer, more effective ways, and some countries are starting to pay heed to the fact that research is actually showing it to be beneficial, rather than bowing to the will of pharmaceutical companies.

Key Factors to Overcoming Depression

Exercise – If you have depression, or even if you just feel down from time to time, exercise is a MUST. The research is overwhelmingly positive in this area, with studies confirming that physical exercise is at least as good as antidepressants for helping people who are depressed. One of the primary ways it does this is by increasing the level of endorphins, the "feel good" hormones, in your brain.

Address your stress -- Depression is a very serious condition, however it is not a "disease." Rather, it's a sign that your body and your life are out of balance.

This is so important to remember, because as soon as you start to view depression as an "illness," you think you need to take a drug to fix it. In reality, all you need to do is return balance to your life, and one of the key ways to doing this is addressing stress.

*Meditation or yoga can help. Sometimes all you need to do is get outside for a walk. But in addition to that, I also recommend using a system that can help you address emotional issues that you may not even be consciously aware of. For this, my favorite is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). However, if you have depression or serious stress, I believe it would be best to consult with a mental health professional who is also an EFT practitioner to guide you.

Eat a healthy diet -- Another factor that cannot be overlooked is your diet. Foods have an immense impact on your mood and ability to cope and be happy, and eating whole foods as described in my nutrition plan will best support your mental health. Avoiding sugar and grains will help normalize your insulin and leptin levels, which is another powerful tool in addressing depression.

Support optimal brain functioning with essential fats -- I also strongly recommend supplementing your diet with a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat, like krill oil. This may be the single most important nutrient to battle depression.

Get plenty of sunshine – Making sure you're getting enough sunlight exposure to have healthy vitamin D levels is also a crucial factor in treating depression or keeping it at bay. One previous study found that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who had normal levels. Vitamin D deficiency is actually more the norm than the exception, and has previously been implicated in both psychiatric and neurological disorders.


*As a disclaimer I personally choose not to practice yoga. That is up to the individual.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Veggie Soup

My Mom just asked me for a vegetable soup recipe that I make. She really loves it, so she went out and bought everything. Since I typed it up for her I thought I'd throw it on here. The original recipe is from Rachel Ray's Veggie Meals cookbook, but I changed it quite a bit.


Veggie Soup

2-3 tbsp coconut oil
1 med red onion
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 cups tomatoes, diced
3-4 med red potatoes, diced
4 zucchini or 2 zucchini & 2 squash
2 cups white great northern beans (cooked)
2 cups garbanzo beans (cooked; also known as chick peas)
6 cups of vegetable broth
Handful fresh parsley
Black pepper and sea salt to taste

*soak dry beans, and cook them first (chick peas need to be soaked over night; the white beans only need to be soaked for about 2 hours before you cook them)
*then put veggies in pot with oil to sautee/soften
*next add everything else
*cook for about 20 min or as needed

My Favorite Gluten Free Pancakes

Okay I have to say that these are by far the best gluten free pancakes I've ever tasted, and you can't tell that there isn't a lick of flour in them. We've tried several recipes, and this one has won us over. Had a friend over on Wednesday morning, and she totally agreed. It was cute watching her make the pancakes with my almost eight year old son.

I wish that I could take credit for this recipe, but I am happy really just to be able to share it. Oh, and be wise, at least double the recipe. My boys and I can finish a double batch without any problems. It is from the Introducing Whole Foods Cookbook by Rich and Sue Gregg. They by the way are believers, and they advocate a biblical diet.

All you need is a decent blender, a highspeed one is best like a Vitamix or Blend Tec, a pan (cast iron is great), and your stove.

Ingrediant List

*1 Cup of cultured milk, goat's milk yogurt, or kefir(or any yogurt ya have, we use goat since we have cow dairy issues, I buy this at Trader Joes or Whole Foods)

*1/2 cup of raw buckwheat (you can use almost any raw grain that you want like brown rice or corn, but I highly recommend the buckwheat- EarthFare Markets carry this in their bulk bins or you can do what I did and order it in bulk from Whole Foods, I got a 25lb bag)

*1/2 cup of rolled oats

*1 egg (or if you are allergic 1 tbsp of flaxseed + 3 tbsp of filtered water)

*1 tbsp coconut oil (raw organic butter is fine too)

*1 tsp of baking soda

*1/2 tsp sea salt

*1 tbsp cinnamon

You may want to add some extra milk or yogurt for the consistency (sometimes I add almond milk to thin it out.)

Put some coconut oil or butter on your pan, and start making the cakes! Serve with real maple syrup. Yum!!!