I use chia seeds every day. Chia contains calcium, protein, iron, omega-3s (ALA), antioxidants, soluble fiber. Studies indicate that taking chia every day can help you utilize food more efficiently, keep you feeling full longer, give you greater energy, stabilize your blood glucose, improve your digestion (as long as you take it with plenty of liquid), decrease inflammation, decrease cholesterol, lower blood pressure. Whew! Is there anything this superfood can’t do?
I love chia because it is easy to keep on hand and use. The dry seeds keep for a long time. The seeds do not need to be ground to get the benefit from unlike flax seeds. Chia is very versatile and can be added to any food. I prefer making gel and keeping it in the refrigerator. To do this take 1/3 cup of seeds and mix with 1-2 cups of water. That’s it! In a few minutes you will see the gel forming already. Then just spoon the gel into smoothies or use as fat replacer in baked goods, or displace calories in foods like peanut butter. Every morning I mix gel into lemon water as a way to start the day. Doctor Oz mentions chia seeds on his website as a way to maintain a healthy weight.
Here is a link to a brand I like for its purity and high quality.
If you’ve been thinking about going raw, or more raw, then this is for you…
Thursday July 11 2013 is International Raw Food Day and this year it’s going to be bigger than ever.
Wherever you may live in the world, because this is a truly international event, you are invited to participate – whether it’s to “go raw for a day” (the free guidebook and delicious recipes will show you how), or to read up more about it and get inspired by any of the 35+ awesome free gifts PLUS a brand new free magazine that are being given away on the day – you don’t want to miss this!
And if you’re new to raw food then you’ll find the free teleseminar that’s happening LIVE on the day super-inspiring and practical as it’s being run by the creator of International Raw Food Day, Karen Knowler.
I can’t wait!
If this sounds like something you could use, visit the special page to reserve your gifts and access your free “Go Raw for a Day!” step-by-step guide and recipes, right away!
Click here and get your freebies! I Want My Gifts!
One of my favorite raw food items is Bubbies sauerkraut. I just love the flavor and texture. I throw big spoonfuls into my salads all the time. And the bonus is when the sauerkraut is gone there is still a half jar of the delicious liquid left!
Bubbies Of San Francisco Sauerkraut
When I want a quick no-oil dressing I take a half avocado (I like to limit consumption of avocado and nuts since they are high in fat, even though they are ‘healthful’ fats), mash it in the bottom of my salad bowl, then mix in sauerkraut juice until I get a nice consistency. I squeeze some lemon juice in too for an extra brightening of the flavor.
Delicious and so easy!
raw summer wraps
I love the idea of make-it-yourself wraps, offering lettuce and rice paper and all the ingredients in this article, along with 9 other innovative recipes:
Great summer eating! Enjoy!
A Beautiful Tomato
I was delighted to find heirloom tomatoes recently at Costco. Quite early for this part of the country! Take a look at this beauty. It is too pretty to eat!
Not really. As you can see below I sliced right into it. Look at those shapes! Really makes for a delightful meal when your food looks this beautiful. What I love to do with fresh summer tomatoes is either just throw them onto my salad, or eat by themselves along with a sliced avocado. Very simple and satisfying. Whether in-season or out, it’s ideal if you can salt the slices and give them 30 minutes or so before eating. The flavor notes are enhanced and even supermarket winter tomatoes take on characteristics more like fresh picked. Try a comparison yourself and prove it out.
Have you ever considered adding wild greens to your diet? With spring around the corner, it will soon be possible to get tons of these for free just by foraging for them yourself. That’s a romantic idea, to gather your own food isn’t it? So much more personal than going to a store, plus you know it could not be any fresher. How long have those greens been sitting on that shelf, getting sprayed with water every few minutes? It could be many days.
The number one rule before foraging is to make sure you can 100% positively identify a plant as safe before you harvest it! In particular you need to be very careful of mushrooms. There are often local classes offered by nature centers or arboretums in identifying wild greens and other edibles, which is the very best way to learn to do this safely. Of course you can always stick with the ones you already know such as dandelion. Tender spring dandelion leaves – before any sprays have been used – are so delicious in salads and smoothies.
Wild greens are extremely nutritious because their roots go very deep into the soil to extract uncommon levels of minerals that many hybrid plants simply can’t match. Plus you can’t beat the price and satisfaction. Be sure to check farmers markets and co-ops for their offerings as well, if you prefer to go the easier route.
Make plans now to learn more about wild edibles before the season is upon us.
I enjoy reading about all kinds of food and all kinds of diet theories; I recently came across a book published last year titled The Starch Solution by John A. McDougall, M.D. With the heavy marketing clout of all the Atkins, Paleo and Primal diet programs I had actually come to believe their hype, that the proper diet for humans is NO carbohydrates at all. I have a friend who always “goes on Atkins” when she wants to lose weight. So kind of in the back of my mind it had started to seem that maybe was the correct way to eat after all, which is basically all the animal protein and fat you wanted along with some fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in order to be healthy and maintain a proper body weight and mass. Which honestly never sat right with me but there you have it. It is always fascinating to me to look at all the utterly conflicting information that is available. Turns out what do you know, the basis of those animal protein-based programs is flawed; from a scientific standpoint we actually need complex carbohydrates to live healthfully long-term. I am not going into what I learned about the misinformation and misunderstanding originating from some big name no-carb folks, it is disturbing and I will leave that to you if you are interested. There is a lot of information on Dr. McDougall’s site. But suffice it to say I can continue to feel good about using sprouted grains in our raw-food dishes, and any whole grain cooked foods I choose outside of the raw food arena. Thank God. This fits better with the vegan raw food lifestyle, is far less expensive, and is far easier on the planet as well. Now instead of just veggies I can go back to making good whole-grain side dishes for my husband’s meat-based meals (it’s not the best combo for digestion but it is what he expects and is used to) and just eat the side dish, and make hearty vegetarian meals for both of us at other times, and sprouted grain raw dishes when it’s just me or to keep on hand for snacking or side dishes. This makes me happy!
I love salads. I almost always have a big green salad daily. It is such an easy way to incorporate raw food in your diet healthfully. Eating a salad takes more time than eating a serving of cooked food; most people eat cooked food too fast. Having a big salad automatically slows you down, requiring thorough chewing. This is beneficial because it ensures more thorough absorption of nutrients since digestion begins in the mouth, especially for carbohydrates.
There is an endless variety of foods that can incorporate a salad. You don’t have to get into a rut. Just take a stroll through the produce aisle or the farmers market in warm weather to spark your imagination. Here is a great recipe for an easy chopped salad that is good enough to serve for a dinner party.
Fennel Apple Salad
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- Table salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 medium fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, cored, and diced finely
- 2 Braeburn, Jonagold, or Red Delicious apples, cored and diced finely
- 1/2 small red onion, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 romaine heart, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- Ground black pepper
- Combine cucumber and ½ teaspoon salt in colander set over bowl and let stand 15 minutes.
- Whisk oil and vinegar together in large bowl. Add drained cucumber, fennel, apples, onion, and tarragon; toss and let stand at room temperature 5 minutes to blend flavors.
- Add romaine and walnuts; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
I happened on a blog for low carb diets today. The author had great success meeting her weight goals with such a diet. Reading comments I noticed one from a man who insisted she was harming her health eating meat, dairy and oils, and he referenced a couple of doctors who espouse a starch-based diet. I can hardly imagine two more opposite ends of the extreme when it comes to diet than starch-based versus low carb. Experts will argue for both types as being the only diet that is healthful for humans. It makes no sense that both can be true.
People tend to think of raw food as an extreme diet, but the fact is that the one thing almost any diet concept has in common is fruits and vegetables. True, not usually just raw, but everyone does seem to grasp that plant foods are healthful. That’s not really controversial.
My advice is to learn some great raw food dishes you can turn to again and again. Be 100% raw or close to it for as long as you want, because you will see great benefits. Then if you find yourself eating other types of diets again you have great tools to incorporate the vital living food along with whatever else you are consuming. You’ll know the extra enzymes are doing great things for your digestion and well-being. And, I just really really like the raw food dishes I make.
There is no judgment here. Don’t let anyone tell you how to eat. Including me. Do what feels right. Everything in moderation just seems like common sense. With the contradictions about various diets out there I can’t help but wonder if our belief about our diet is what controls our results. Eat what you really want but eat slowly and consciously, and maybe you’ll feel better about what you just ate, automatically eat less, and get exactly the results you are looking for if you are consistent.
Whenever I buy a lot of limes and can’t get them used up before they get too hard to cut, I juice them all and either freeze the juice in ice cube trays or keep it in a glass jar in the fridge and make up batches of this yummy lime pudding. You also need a couple ripe avocados, which I always have on hand because they are so versatile.
2 ripe avocados
1/4-1/2 cup coconut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract or seeds scooped from 1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
pinch Celtic sea salt
Process avocados in food processor until very smooth, scraping sides as needed. Add remaining ingredients and process until well mixed and smooth. Adjust sweetening or lime juice to taste. Keeps in covered container in fridge several days.