Saturday, February 25, 2012

Change is a matter of educating yourself

Over the past year my diet has changed dramatically.  Some would call the way I eat "extreme." However, I did not get here by any "extreme" decision- that is, for the most part not in my nature. My diet has morphed by a series of simple choices and a lot of education.

A couple years ago I was a typical "dieter" who ate as healthy as I knew how and always tried to watch calories. I was the queen of lean cuisine and frozen diet dinners. They were simple and what I thought to be healthy. My diet was comprised of about 5-10% whole, raw food. Today my diet is nearly 100% whole, un processed food and high raw. The journey to get here was comprised of one simple, small step at a time.

Some foods I previously ate included, cheese, deli lunch meat, Reese's peanut better cups (this was my favorite guilty pleasure), other processed sugars, cows milk, and lots of processed snacks. Today, these foods are rarely if ever a part of my diet. The process of eliminating foods from my diet was not one of deciding I would never eat it again. Instead, I began educating myself of the things I was ingesting. The more education I received, the more aware I was of the negative effect many things I ate were having on my body and well being. I was also more aware of the things my body needed and benefited from. That's it. A year later my diet is completely different.

I never mustered up a large dose of self will to cut out "bad" foods. I simply educated myself and from there I slowly began migrating toward the foods that were good for me and eating less of the food that was bad for me. If you truly want to change, and you educate yourself, change is nearly inevitable.

I believe this is a healthy and sustainable way to make lifestyle and diet changes. I encourage you to educate yourself well from many sources regarding your diet. Ultimately, the way you eat is your decision, and a decision based on good education is far better than the alternative.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A book worth reading

Need a good book to read on health? High Raw by Kevin Gianni is a must read. 

Gianni is extremely down to earth and brings a wealth of simple, easy to digest, food for thought. His book, as the title suggests is about eating a high raw diet. However, you do not have to be a "raw foodest" to obtain great benefit from reading this book. Gianni's simple health principles are a must read for anyone interested in living a healthier life. Go to and download this valuable book for FREE- that's right, Gianni is so interested in getting you great information, he offers the ebook for free. Print it, put it in a binder and READ IT! (Or of course just read it on your e-reader...but for those of us who don't have one, I recommend printing it so you can take it with you wherever you most enjoy reading). It's an easy and enjoyable read well worth your time.  I've read half the book over the weekend and will enjoy the rest as the week progresses- hope you will being enjoying it as well! Feel free to leave comments with your favorite points from the book.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Yummy Salads

Avocado black bean salad - inspired by Penni Shelton's "Fiesta Salad"

Black beans 
Ground pepper

Cilantro Lime Dressing (This fabulous recipe is from Penni Shelton's book Raw Food Cleanse. There are many more delicious recipes in her book. Buy it- it's only about $10 and chalk full of info and recipes.) To make the dressing:
  • 1 Cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of minced garlic
Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Mix spinach with dressing (to taste- I use a lot because I can't get enough of this dressing), add black beans, tomato and top with avocado. Grind some pepper on the top and add extra dressing if desired. 


 Kale Salad - this one is bursting with flavor and very simple!

For the base massage some kale with olive oil and a pinch of salt. (If you are short on time, simply plate the kale. Massaging is optional, it causes the Kale to wilt but I love Kale the way it is. The picture below has the kale without oil.)

Top with nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, goji berries and hemp seed. 

You can adapt this and use other dried fruit. It's great without hemp seeds, but for those who want to add some more protein it's a great option. 

Dressing: mix equal parts olive oil, lemon juice and raw honey. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Raw Thoughts: An inviting home

Lately I've been viewing my body as a home and taking inventory of what would be comfortable in my home.  Am I cultivating an atmosphere in my body for health? Are the things I am eating, thinking and feeling decorating a home in the way health would feel comfortable? What about my lifestyle? Or, instead of a home for health, is my body an invitation to sickness and disease?

My goal is to constantly maintain, clean, upgrade and even do a complete remodel when necessary to make my body a home that is inviting to health.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Massage and marinate

Like many people, I am not a fan of certain raw plain veggies. However- I have found a technique, if you want to call it that, to make these veggies taste so good and have a semi "cooked" texture with out adding any heat.

Massage your veggies with some oil and your other favorite flavors. Then let them marinate for 10-20 minutes. So simple but so good.

At the top of my hit list of raw veggies I want to like, but don't was broccoli. Tonight I poured about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a couple heads of chopped broccoli, added about a tsp of Tamari (soy sauce) and massaged it in to the broccoli. After about 10 minutes the broccoli was a bit softer and had a similar texture to lightly steamed broccoli.

I have also done this with kale. If you don't like how strong it taste or the texture just massage in some olive oil. The kale wilts as if it were sauteed. I really enjoy raw kale but like to do this to change it up a bit.

Sauteed mushrooms were once one of my favorite foods. Now, instead of cooking them, I simply marinate them in a bit of olive oil and either tamari or balsamic vinegar.

So...if you want to add some flavor and texture to your veggies massage and marinate :)