Posts filed under ‘Uncategorized’

Oranges + Spinach = Happy


I LOVE putting oranges in my green smoothies. They just don’t taste right to me without them! And you should put some in yours too. BECAUSE…the oranges help you to absorb the iron in the spinach or other greens. Get all the iron you can and add an orange!! Yum yum.

Photo credit: Christine (Flickr)

August 2, 2008 at 4:39 am 23 comments

Struggle vs. Challenge

I really liked this article on struggle vs. challenge by Dhrumil…lots of great stuff to think about.

Here is one paragraph in particular that really resonated with me::

“Yeah.” Nature continued, “And there have been times that I’ve wanted steamed vegetables since I’ve been raw and I have no problem having them. It’s not that I crave them, I just enjoy them. It may be once a week, but even if I wanted them more often I would have no problem with that either. And if I wanted anything else that’d be fine too.”

“You don’t feel bad that you’re not eating 100% raw?”, I asked.

“But that’s never been the goal for me. The goal is to have a beautiful relationship with food and feel joy. And I feel because I do, that’s why I been able to come this far without a struggle. I’m healthy and happy. Food isn’t my focus, it’s my nourishment.”

August 2, 2008 at 4:17 am 5 comments

Euphoria Loves Rawvolution

Matt Amsden’s book, Rawvolution, was an inspiration to me when I went raw in January…the photos, the information, it was all exactly what I needed at the time. He even has a burger called “The Big Matt”. πŸ™‚ I knew that when we finally got to L.A…we just HAD to go there. Many times πŸ™‚

I was positively giddy when I saw Rawvolution’s green exterior paint in the distance…I practically bolted away from Matt and Bella to get in the door faster πŸ™‚ The inside of the restaurant is very…purple. With lots of really bright colored pictures gracing the walls. Books, superfoods, and t-shirts line the wall as you walk in. The tapestry covered couch in the corner calls out to you…so inviting! There is a juice and elixir bar in the front left, and you place your order on the right. This isn’t a full service restaurant, but rather a “order and go” or “order and stay” kind of casual dining place (or don’t come in at all and order “The Box” raw food delivery service from anywhere in the country!). The whole set up is a bit confusing for newbies…especially when it’s super busy, but we figured it out and were soon diving into our raw feast.

I would have to say that I wasn’t overly impressed with the food. It was TASTY… but it was hit or miss…some was great, some was…”eh…”. With all the hype surrounding this place, I half expected the food break into a song and dance for me on my plate before I ate it. If it was my first raw restaurant experience, I would probably feel differently…but I really wanted to be blown away. I will give the thumbs up for their elixirs, however. I loved the Springtime Protein Shake. So much, in fact, that I came back 3 different times to get the same thing. Yes, it was that good. The great thing is, you can buy the mix online! I found it in their cooler…and wrote down the website. You can find it here. In the winter, they serve it warm…cold for the summer. It was really unique tasting…and you just blend it with a nut milk. Ooooh, I’m getting cravings for one right now!

The thing that I LOVED about Rawvolution? It was like raw “Cheers”. You wanna be where everybody knows YOUR name…right? Well, the vibe in here was pretty amazing. Everyone was so open…talking…sharing…laughing. Each time we went in, we made new friends and had wonderful, lengthy conversations with them. Bella always makes friends especially fast. But here, she was on overdrive… joining some girls on the couch for hugs one time, and then talking Heather, another new friend, into letting her write on her very fancy Mother’s Day cards πŸ™‚ Another day, we all sat with a delightful couple who were into the raw scene in Santa Monica. They were thoughtful enough to grab Matt Amsden as he was breezing through the restaurant and introduced us to him. Very fun.

Not everyone eating here was raw…or even vegan. They just enjoy the creativity and textures of raw food. They enjoy the people and the atmosphere. It was truly addicting. I wanted to be there everyday…to people watch, to make new friends, to enjoy the food, and especially for that Springtime Protein Shake! There is just something about people who are eating primarily raw foods…they are more focused, more intense, more alive. And when they have a place to come together and share ideas over good food…it’s magical.

Rawvolution is definitely worth a stop (or two…or three) when you’re in Santa Monica!

Photo album here.

July 31, 2008 at 5:55 am 6 comments

Berries and a Blog


When I first went raw back in January, I was gravitating towards a low fat raw vegan diet…sometimes referred to as the 80/10/10 Diet, or 811 for short (this term comes from Dr. Doug Graham’s book). I finally got around to reading the book (a great read…tons of info on raw diet in general), and have been inspired to go that route again. It’s basically a fruit-based diet with lots and lots of greens…and a few nuts, seeds, and fats.

For the last week or so, I’ve been back on a lower fat raw diet and I can tell a huge difference in how I feel. I have more energy, I wake up much more rested, and my cravings for cooked foods, sweets, and fatty raw foods are noticeably less. Basically, I try to consume only ONE or maybe 2 of the following:

  • 1/2 – 1 T olive oil or hempseed oil for my salad
  • 1/4 – 1/2 avocado
  • Small handful of nuts
  • 1/8 cup of hemp seeds

The “official” 811 way of doing things calls for NO salad dressings with oils…but I just can’t do that right now. A mixture of tomatoes and pineapple poured over lettuce makes me one unhappy girl πŸ™‚ I love just a little oil on my salad! I do try to use as LITTLE as possible, however.

I have also been trying to eat my heaviest meal of the day at lunch instead of supper…so that my body has time to digest and process the foods/fats while I am active and not while I am sleeping. If your body is constantly trying to digest the heavy foods that you eat at night (especially after 7:00pm)…it is unable to do the more important work of HEALING and refreshing your body. Supper lately has been a light meal, such as a mono-meal of watermelon or bananas…sometimes a very light salad or smoothie.

If you are currently eating a high fat raw diet, I would encourage you to cut out some of that fat and focus on eating more fruits and greens for your calories. You should also pay attention to the amount of dried fruit and dehydrated ‘gourmet’ raw food you are eating. Cut most of it out and add back only fresh, juicy fruits. You’ll find that your cravings will dramatically decrease and your energy level will go up!

Eating a lower fat raw diet is my IDEAL…I can’t say that I follow it 100% of the time, but I am learning my body and how it reacts to different foods and I love that. I still “splurge” on my favorite things…like spring rolls with almond butter sauce (yummy!)…but for the most part, I am much lower fat than I was before.

To end, I wanted to highlight one of my very favorite raw bloggers…Sarah at Going Bananas. I can’t even tell you how much I ADORE this blog. She’s a great writer, she’s knowledgeable and funny πŸ™‚ , and she blogs A LOT! And the bonus is that she eats a low fat raw diet…but of course anyone can benefit from reading her blog. I know you’ll love it too!

July 28, 2008 at 6:30 am 8 comments

Raw Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

Raw Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

Raw Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

1.5 cups water (or enough to make the consistency that you like)
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
3-4 stalks celery
3 apples
2 tablespoons tahini
2 green onions
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
A squirt of agave is a sweeter taste is desired.

A high-powered blender, such as a Vita-Mix is going to work the best with this recipe. Add the squash slowly to the water, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. I like to blend it to the point where it’s a little warm, but not “cooked”.

Top with your favorite things! Texture is KEY when you are making super smooth raw soups. In order to avoid “baby food syndrome”, I love to add some CRUNCH to it!

Here are a few ideas:

  • Shredded carrots
  • Sprouts
  • Avocado
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatoes
  • Red cabbage

July 9, 2008 at 12:39 am 11 comments

Cilantro Live!

Raw Cheeseburger at CilantroWhile we were in beautiful San Diego in May, we enjoyed some delicious raw food at “Cilantro Live!”. They have three locations in the San Diego area…and the closest one to us was the Hillcrest location. Situated within a cute little neighborhood in the heart of the city, Clilantro has a very open and relaxed feel. The entire front of the restaurant is open to the sidewalk, and the wall of green plants make it feel so fresh and fun.

My parents were in San Diego with us as well, and luckily they are very adventurous with food and have already been to the Ecopolitan with me in Minneapolis. They were excited to check it out. My mom’s very favorite food is cilantro, so that was a good sign.

We tried a good variety of things from their menu:

  • Cilantro Live Soup: “warm avocado and cilantro broth topped with diced tomatoes”
  • Cheeseburger: “our home made burger patty made of sun-dried tomatoes, flax seeds, bell peppers, garlic, & mushrooms served on an almond pulp & buckwheat bun. with freshly-made cashew cheese, ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, & onions.”
  • Entree Sampler: “two nori rolls (“daikon, bell peppers, cucumbers, avocado, wild rice, & a pine nut pate. served with a japanese dipping sauce”), one spring roll (“broccoli sprouts, red & yellow peppers, cilantro, mint, cabbage, avocado, & jicama wrapped in find sun-dried rice paper. served with a hoisen dipping sauce”), one buenos vida wrap (“cilantro pate, wild rice, & house nut cheese, topped with salsa fresca”), two rawviolis (“thinly sliced roma tomatoes stuffed with pine nut-basil cheese & pesto sauce”) & two mini pizzas (“sun-dried tomato sauce on a crisp multi-seed crust, topped with onions, olives, & house nut cheese”) … served with a house salad.
  • Walnut Fig Wrap: “walnut & fig pate topped with tri-colored onions, tomato, & olives”
  • Pizazza Wrap: “sun-dried tomato pate, tri-colored onions, red bell peppers, olives, & house nut cheese”
  • Rawberry Shortcake: “with a scoop of vanilla cashew ice cream & coconut flakes”
  • Carrot Cake
  • Banana Split
  • Cacao Mousse
  • Several scoops of vanilla cashew ice cream with strawberries on top for Bella

Raw Cacao DessertYes, we enjoyed it ALL. My favorite was definitely the “rawviolis”…so rich and delicious. And of course, the desserts were amazing πŸ™‚ In fact, we went back the next day just for more desserts! Yum! yum. I also really enjoyed the little pots of wheatgrass on each table. It made me feel ALIVE just looking at them! πŸ™‚ The next time you get to San Diego…make it a point to dine at Cilantro!

Click here to view the photo album from our visit.

June 28, 2008 at 7:22 am 15 comments

Summer Goodies

We’ve been busy, busy, busy around here…but here are some of the things we are really enjoying this summer:

  • Watermelon! I could eat this all day…every day. I get giddy at the thought of cutting one up and sitting in the sun with a book in hand. Ahhhhhh….bliss.
  • Kale avocado salad…same thing. Total addiction. I’ve been eating this nearly every day for a long time. I’ve tweaked it a bit from my original posting…you can find the updated version here. I am loving the addition of raisins and pine nuts. Oooooh! And the nori! Snipping up some sheets of untoasted nori into your salads give it a delicious sushi flavor.
  • Tropical green smoothies. We’ve been stuck on one concoction around here: 1 frozen banana, 1 whole orange, frozen mango/papaya, FRESH pineapple, spinach, a tad bit of stevia, and enough water to blend smooth. Delicious!

June 16, 2008 at 6:01 am 12 comments

Sweet ‘n Sour Cole Slaw


We made this for the fist time with our friends in Cambria, CA…and we all LOVED it! This would be a great dish to take to a potluck…it doesn’t scream “RAW” πŸ™‚ But it is amazingly tasty and addictive. I kept going back for more. There is just something about the mixture of sweet and sour that I love.

Sweet ‘n Sour Cole Slaw
Living on Live Foods by Alissa Cohen

Serves 2-3

1 medium cabbage, shredded (I used green and red to make it pretty)
2 large carrots, shredded
1/3 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil (I always try to cut the oil by half if your tastes will allow)
1 T honey
3 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 t sea salt
Pinch of allspice
1/2 cup raisins

Place the cabbage, carrots, and apricots in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients except the raisins and pour over the cabbage mixture. Cover and let sit for 1 hour. This is an important step…as it will help soften the cabbage a bit. Mix in raisins just before serving.

May 28, 2008 at 2:17 am 16 comments

Avocado Bliss

Avocados make me really, really happy. Some of my best memories are of eating avocado with my friends and family. Good times. But I had never experienced an avocado in all it’s glory…straight from the tree…until we arrived in L.A. While we were there, my friend Carrie-Anne brought me a bag full of these amazingly creamy gems. They are perfect. I have been in avocado bliss ever since :). I am so totally jealous that she has an avocado tree in her yard. And if you have one too…don’t rub it in. Maybe I could plant one on top of the RV. Hmmmm….

I once read that in Hawaii avocados can grow up to 5 lbs. each. OH. MY. It’s worth the plane ticket just for that. πŸ™‚ Anyone else want to move to Hawaii so we can all live in a fruit-filled utopia?

May 28, 2008 at 2:00 am 20 comments

Quick Tip: Fruit Stickers

Besides being useful for craft projects, those little stickers that come on your fruit actually tell you something. Did you know that you can tell if a piece of fruit is organically grown by the numbers on the sticker? If it starts with a “9”…it’s organic. If it starts with a “4”, it’s not. If it starts with an “8”, it’s genetically modified. Now you know.Β  πŸ™‚

Photo credit: kiwehowen (Creative Commons release)

May 27, 2008 at 8:04 am 15 comments

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Words to Eat By

"It is easier to change a man's religion than to change his diet." -Margaret Mead

"I don't understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on cholesterol lowering drugs for the rest of their lives." - Dean Ornish, MD

β€œFinish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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