Join me as a try to feed my family lots of Raw and Superfood. I like to write about the edible garden, exercise, and learning to love my natural expression. I am a Family Practice Physician and believe there are alternatives approaches to feeling your best.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I gave up making granola years ago. It burnt in the oven at a low temperature before I could get it dry. The kids didn't eat it either. I assumed since I did not add sugar to the granola, I was not going to get anything satisfactory. At the time it wasn't worth pursuing anymore. Sometimes (ok- often) I would settle for some store bought, but higher quality sweetened granola. The task of making my own raw granola seemed daunting to get all the ingredients and soak and dehydrate.

Recently, I mastered making my own mylks and thought how nice to have a cereal to go with it.

Then more recently, I picked up Rawnola at the Farmer's Market in Fernandina beach by Blue Planet in St. Augustine. It tasted better than any store bought. Now that I have been soaking and dehydrating nuts and seeds for over 2 years the task didn't seem to overwhelming. I am pretty much stocked up on what I would need. I thought if they could make this, I could!

Their ingredients:

spouted almonds ( I already had soaked and dehydrated)
walnuts ( I already had soaked and dehydrated)
sunflower seeds ( I already had soaked and dehydrated)
pumkin - could get from Publix and soak, but I never did
oats- not sure if these are truly raw, I used Red Bob's this time. I have pressed the grain through the mill with Danette, but didn 't have immediate access to the grain mill this time.
coconut flakes- I have the organic flakes from GSG annual group buy
apricots- did  not have
golden raisins - have dark raisins
agave-  I have raw vanilla agave
safflower oil- I don't know where to get this oil. I used coconut oil. I placed my jar in warm water and liquified.
Cinnamon -have

I took a look at the Granola Recipe I have from GSG to get more ideas

oat grouts
wheat germ-- didn't use
shredded coconut
ground flax seed
sesame seed
1 1/2 cup combination nuts- walnuts, pecans, cashews, and/or almonds

For liquid GSG used warmed honey, molasses, water, coconut oil, and optional vanilla or maple flavoring

So I finally used

8 cups oat groats
1 1/2, plus cup combination nuts- walnuts, and almonds
1cup flax
1 cup sesame
1 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds

In my BlendTec, I pureed 1 cup coconut oil and vanilla agave
I mixed it with dry ingredients until coated and put it all in my dehydrator for days and days :) at a low setting. I added raisins to the final mixture before storing in my refrigerator in ziplock bags. I like adding fresh blue berries or bananas when I am serving.

I could have used sprouted buckwheat and I am sure there are other nuts and dried fruit you can incorporate. Gogi berries would be an excellent choice. I may be hardcore to  many of my readers in transition, but some of the real long term hard core raw foodist may have issues with this not being technically all raw  getting caught up in the oats, raisins, sesame seeds, but pleeeeze, chill.

I do think this type of recipe is one you grow into as you become accustomed to storing nuts. It would be very labor intensive just to decide to do it as your first raw project. But I finally reached a place where this is what I do.

I usually do start my day with a green smoothie, so keep in mind if this is your breakfast, don't forget to get your greens in. A handful of nuts, even if they are activated, does not replace your greens!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Back on track after holidays...

The indulgent holidays are almost done. Whew. There is a lot to be said for other holidays that are about sacrifice and giving up luxuries... like food... materialism.... I stuck to my guns through the first part of the month, but I knew the good cooks were coming to my house and it would be near impossible to resist temptation. I had a plan.

All in all, I had my two handfuls of greens every day (even on the days I planned to indulge),  usually one in smoothie form, one in salad form. Sometimes my smoothies include spinach greens, but I am going through a phase enjoying the various super green powdered mixes available for smoothies. Most days I had some chocolate bliss. I never had soda, ham/pork(gag), red meat, store bought cookies/chocolate or alcohol. I did pretty good. Most indulgent foods I ate were still from ingredients I picked out. I started every day this month with 4 cups of citrus-y green smoothie. It certainly controls my appetite. I had big salads with each meal. With company gone, which I really did enjoy, and having my kitchen stocked up with so much superfood  and citrus (it is citrus season), I set myself up to get right back on track. I had placed a big healthforce order and I am eager to try recipes and smoothies including their products. I had made plenty of seasons nuts and I successfully made my own rawnola. My mom actually liked it and took some home!  By the way, this was a good chance to share green smoothies, banana/hemp/maca smoothies, nuts, rawnola, with lots of people.

One day, I didn't feel too great after eating.  It quickly reminds me to go back to my healthful ways. I am quick to put on weight. I think I held my own this time. I may have gained some weight, but John says I am building muscle and will gain weight, I posted on my facebook that I finally benched 135 pounds on the day that I did. One would conclude you do build muscle to move that much weight.???.  Since I am wearing "winter" clothes, it's hard to say... maybe I need to slip on my shorts (that I wore last month) and get honest with myself. This week, I can plan some extra days in my schedule to do cardio. I like being around people this upcoming season who are especially centered on fitness and nutrition because it (being self-centered), really helps me out a lot.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Travel Prepared

It's been a while since John and I gone out of town and not just to visit relatives. This time it was a required conference and some things have changed as far as our food requirements. John had always researched the restaurants in an area to find out who was known regionally for their food. We made sure we went there and you made made sure you went to as many as possible. Good food= Good time. Infact he didn't really care if he did anything else but eat. That won't work for us anymore unless we want to weigh 500 pounds combined.

First, I had packed a good bit of fruit, salad, sprouted nuts and seeds. I mixed chocolate bliss ahead of time. It stays well. I brought along 1/2 gallon of local orange juice to mix with my super greens and/or protein powder in my shaker container (David calls it my no-electric blender).

I downloaded files from to listen to superfood lectures on the way.

We planned ahead to get a mini-suite with fridge to store our food.

We stopped at Harris Teeter and picked up Earthbound Organic herb salad mix. It was a delicious mix. We wanted to bring some home.

We looked for the Farmer's Market on Saturday and left our meeting to catch the end of the market. I looked for things that would be new to me. I found sprouted sunflower seeds. The kind done on soil. The sprouts made a wonderful addition to our herb salad. I had brought my own salad dressing. I have never had these kind of sunflower sprouts and they are sooooo good, I must learn how to do it myself. Any ideas? Also John liked it. I thought they looked like purslane and perhaps now I can sneak some on to our salads at home.  I got some rawnola for my mylk when I get home from Organic Planet in St. Augustine who e set up at the market.

The downtown area of Fernandina Beach has flowering kale all over as ornamental. I  got to get a few mature purple plants at the market which will probably be eaten soon after I get home.

All this and all I had to do was to agree to go out once to eat a good restaurant. AND I plan to thoroughly enjoy it. But get this. John asked for a big salad in our room before we went to the restaurant.  He KNEW there was no way he would get a salad as big as the ones we make!

Fortunately our conference provided lots of fresh fruit and the hotel had some continental (yuck) breakfast choices for John.

We made it a point to walk each day and go to the gym once.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

That Pie Recipe

The crust is easy 1 part Nuts:1 part Dates. Easy! Press it in a pie dish. Freezing helps set it!  This time I use activated almonds and, dates.

The pie has a million variations. I made chocolate bliss. Per gallon of bliss I used 1 1/2 cups Chocolate bliss and I cup of Sunfire foods Vanilla Agave. I probably added tocos. Doesn't matter. I did not add any super green powder to this mixture like I usually add to my bliss drink.

I separated out 2 cups of chocolate bliss from the gallon and added 2/3 cup chia. This particular batch of pie filling I added organic coconut flakes to the mix, but I think I prefer it without the coconut. The chia absorbs the liquid and turns it into pudding consistency. I never have a reason to buy instant pudding ever again.  This is the best. Also on another page someone asked me where to get chia flour and a lucky taster commented on the seedy consistency of the pudding. I suppose if I ground the chia seed in my BlendTec, and added it as flour I would have a smooth pudding/filling. Probably worth this step if I am serving it to newbies, but for my boys and me I wouldn't bother. The rest of the bliss we enjoyed as a filling healthy beverage. The pie and pudding is as healthy as can be with hemp, raw cacao, carob, and a bunch of other superfoods in the bliss mix.

After the liquid has firmed to pudding. Poor it into your crust. I topped my pie with with coconut flakes and raspberries, but you can top it with anything.

In a "nut"shell:

Crust- 1 part nuts/ 1 part dates
Filling- chocolate bliss pudding
Toppings- anything you want

The beautiful pie never got served on the holiday dessert table. As you probably know by now after Thanksgiving dinner we packed and went to the hospital. The pie went with me to Orlando and became a mess. But it made a quick healthy treat during breaks from hospital visits while I was out of town.

Don't tell them it's Raw.

Some things I have enjoyed over the past few days with Irma and our Tia(from Peru).

Aloe water. I have cut small spears off my tiny aloe plant and thrown it in my smoothie. This week I've tried something new. Irma, John's mother, took much bigger spears of aloe, cut the skin off, like a fillet, blend it in filtered water, and local honey. After watching a few youtube videos on preparing aloe, this morning I decided to do more. I took freshly squeezed local orange (from one of my employees) and grapefruit (from Irma's house), one banana, 1 T of vitamineral greens, 1 T of Sunwarrior Protein Powder. Very refreshing.

Around here Aloe grows easily year round. It's easy for me to grow or obtain from the boy's grannies:) if I kill mine.

Irma makes awesome chimichurri sauce: parsley, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, and salt & pepper. I wanted to pour it on everything. It's a lot like pesto, but without the cheese.

Irma and Tia also keep us stocked in marinated onions: Mixture of onions, Red wine vinegar, olive oil (or any good oil), pepper, lemon.

Purple Ribbon Salad : Shredded purple cabbage, vinegar, apples, walnuts, seasoning(?).

John tops his meat with the sauces. I added it to my salads and veggies.

Yum. Don't tell them its Raw!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fitting Raw Food on My Families Thanksgiving Table

The Raw Menu

"Turkey" Salad, Holiday Grapes, with Lentil Sprouts on a bed of Greens
Avocado Dressing
It's not Stuffing (but tasted like it)

Fiesta Mole Walnuts
Chocolate Bliss Chia Hemp Pie with Sprouted Almond Crust

I pulled this off. I made all this stuff and it was a success. To me at least.  My mother made turkey, steamed greens,  and the requested casseroles for the boys,  but I had so much to eat from my own planning, I was set. I never got around to making the string bean salad, but  I have that to look forward to making soon. John had store bought pies. I made this healthy pie in the photo.
Unfortunately the meal wasn't fully enjoyed because my grandmothers health had declined overnight. She was fine Wednesday then her nurses called on Thursday morning and asked if us if she could go to the hospital. When the ER doctor called us three times, we decided it must be serious and we'd clean up after our meal and go to Orlando. I can't say I fully enjoyed my food knowing I was headed out.

We packed coolers with our left overs making split second decisions on how I would stay high raw for an unknown length of time being out of town. Thankfully, I had made so much, I could pack good choices. Despite being totally stressed out and out of sorts, I fed myself exceptionally well. I packed chocolate bliss also which stays good for several days.

I have been doing this raw-thing for so long now and it seems to be getting easier each time I leave town. I took the left over salad and sprouts, the pie, my green beans, my shaker bottle to mix green powder and protein powder smoothies. I managed quite well. The rest of the weekend there was no need to focus on food and prep, but I had plenty of left overs and access to the farm stand. My food was good. As far as other people enjoying my food, I think it would pass on an ordinary day, but for those who expect a turkey, it was a bit of a change.  The photo shows my salad and "It's not stuffing."

When I looked at the original mix of the "stuffing." I thought it was a flop, but after putting it in the dehydrator a few hours the flavors blended. I basically use my mothers recipe for traditional stuffing, but I replaced bread crumbs for soaked walnuts, almonds and flax. I didn't use butter and it went in to the dehydrator until I was satisfied.

I owe you some recipes or at least some guidelines on how I did this.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Favorite GREEN Smoothie

I use the base recipe mostly from GSG with this variation
-1 cup water
-Up to 2 cups spinach, if I have chard, kale, purslane, bok choy, I will replace 1 cup of Spinach with the other green or a combination
-1 frozen banana ( I peel and freeze ripe bananas.)
-1 apple or mango (these are my two favorites, but I will put almost any seasonal fruit in it . I use frozen berries too.)
-Additional protein- GSG shows flax in her video because it is relatively practical for most people to get. I have added flax, hemp seeds, hemp powder, Sunwarrior sprouted brown rice powder, or *Sunfire Superfoods Tocotrienols. (NOT all of these, one or the other).

I mix it in my BlendTec. It makes 4 cups. I drink all 4 cups.


Now, with oranges and grapefruit in season instead of the GS,  I may juice a combination of oranges and grapejuice. I like the mix flavors. Not to sweet. Not to sour. Add one of the protein powders listed above and a green powder like vitamineral greens, greener grasses, *rainforest rush, etc... 2 cups of this is more than plenty. It surprisingly is very refreshing.

I like to drink a Green Smoothie in the morning. It "sets" me right. A good start helps get rid of cravings before they start. It's an easy breakfast. If I don't finish it at home, I often carry it to the office with me. I don't ever add dairy (cow's milk or yogurt) to my smoothie. With these to basic smoothies, I don't add any sweeteners. I've been drinking Green Smoothies for over 3 years!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Playing with my Nuts

My bulk order of nuts from the group buy on Green Smoothie Girl came this week. I am more than loaded up with almonds, walnuts, and cashews. All raw. I also got organic coconut flakes  I gave up on climbing the local coconut trees.) and oat covered figs (A great alternative to candy.).

First experiment was making the almond milk. Yum. Yum.  I added *Vanilla Agave to my activated nut liquid after blending and straining. Out of this world. I had some store bought Silk Almond milk. Home made is sooooooooooo much better.  I probably prefer it to the coconut milk we made the day before,. I am looking forward to using my fresh batch of coconut flakes and having choices in milks between coconut, vanilla, and chocolate bliss (with hemp base). I could probably get fat off of all this delicious beverages.

I used the almond pulp to make pulp cookies as featured in GSG 12 steps program. They take a long time to dehydrate and are still in the dehydrator.

I made a batch of Fiesta Mole cover Walnuts, and Teriakyi Almonds. These also are still in my dehydrator, BUT someone has been coming by  and nibbling. I don't know if these will ever fully dry because they may be eaten sooner by the nibblers. There are a few of them at my house.

I am planning on making chocolate covered almonds next week and also using my cashews in a similar type recipe. I like having the cashews on hand for sauces like for kale chips. I tended to avoid walnut recipes because raw walnuts are so hard to find. I am set now.

To be honest, my personal favorite "flavor" for coated nuts may turn out to be soaked and dehydrated without any added flavor (it's simpler too). I've tried this with sunflower seeds, too. I like keeping them plain. We'll see how I feel about it after I try the chocolate next week.

These flavors would be great treats to share with guests IF they make it out of the dehydrator alive.

Scott and I tried making "cheeze" out of the almonds. I think I am on the right track and I will try again.

I did all this, this week.

There was once upon a time, I thought there was no way to avoid frequent visits to the grocery store. Amazing amount of my food now comes from co-ops, group buys, a little from the garden, and the raw community.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I've added two new pages to my blog. See above. These pages are going to be for products I want to stick with in my Raw vegan nutrition plan (and for my family) and also have an excellent reputation long before me in the Raw community.

As you can tell I didn't really spend a whole lot of time making designer pages. :) But I do want to lead you to better health whether or not I am in the mood to spend a whole lot of time on blog-creativity. I've spent a lot of time trying to find these products and research them. The pages may be a work-in-progress as I add the hyperlinks and more detail.  Please check back. And if you have questions about the new pages, you can leave comments here.

Also, I love when you add  yourself as a follower. It's nice to know who is getting some entertaiment out of my obsession with Raw food and weightlifting. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nut Milks

I've never been to ambitious about making nut milks. I was intimidated by straining and what to do with the left over pulp. After watching Robyn's new video on making almond and coconut milk, I was really intrigued to use up some coconut flakes. I sweetened it with Sunfire Vanilla Agave*.

My boys loved this, especially Scott. I couldn't keep making it fast enough. I feel a renewed surge of interest coming on to make almond, sesame, and hemp milk. It was tasty and different. I have never really found a good source of coconut milk and I have not tried to many recipes calling for coconut milk. This opens up a lot of possibilities.

Coconuts grow around here (but I don't have a tree), but there must be some varieties better suited than others or I crack them open wrong when I do get them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Raw Day

I am glad grapefruits are in season. How do you know when they are ready to be picked? Yes, I have a tree.

In the meantime, I got some local grapefruit and oranges which I love juicing together with a citrus juicer. They blend together well. This morning I added my green powder (I used Field of Greens this am, but I also have Vitamineral Greens and a few others.) to it and blended. I expected it to be gross, but wanted the benefits.  It really wasn't too bad. I actually found myself wanting more and made another batch for me and John this evening.

I also made my first mock tuna fish out of almonds. The recipe called for typical things that one would add to chicken or tuna salad: celery, onions, garlic, cayenne (or paprika), sea salt, (and nori) and mock mayo. I will be doing this again! I soaked 3 cups of almonds and it became four cups as the recipe called for.

John thought I shouldn't call it tuna because it changes the expectations. He liked it, but just calling it organic salad or something like that would be better. I agree. It did look like a super healthy salad on a spinach bed. I think it would do well as a stuffing for a chard or Romaine wrap.

I strayed away from making mock tuna  a while back because at one point it looked hard. I am so used to soaking and chopping, now I just found it to be a part of my routine. The ingrediants are staples at my house now (or readily available). I have a good amount of left over tuna and plan to make more mayo for tomorrow.

So I have had a very healthy eating day (and gym day). I picked up other ripe fruit from Nelson's this am. As soon as I got home divided the papaya, grapes, persimmons amongst me and the boys. I snacked on fruit through the day. I've also had a cup or two of chocolate bliss.

Tomorrow, we get more produce from co-op (and the boys want more from Nelson's!). I got some recipes ready for my arugula, cilantro, avocado. I am looking forward to getting stocked up. I've always had a hard time planning and prepping ahead, but I've got it ounder control this time. Yay.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

So How Did I Gain Weight?

So how did I gain weight?
I'd say it got out of control sometime between Scott and David (2nd and 3rd pregnancy). My weight varied up and down during all my school years. Never obese, but mostly chunky. John recalls that I looked good when we met. I do recall being ok then. The comfort of a relationship and eating out with less days at the gym, put me back up. Finishing residency, no after hour call responsibilities, I got down to my best all-time adult weight, 155 pounds, a size 9/10. If I find a photo of that time, I will post it. I was happy. I looked good and I got myself pregnant with William. I lost all but 5 pounds after his birth. Started the next pregnancy at 160 pounds. After birth, with an active metabolism producing milk for a toddler and newborn nursing I lost weight. BUT, then I managed to gain weight over the next five years of tandem nursing and being a sedentary busy working as a mother of two young ones. I don't recall the details of what I ate. Probably anything in sight except meat, mushrooms, and peppers. Probably anything people prepared for me that made it easy for me.

I was disgusted with my weight when I got pregnant with David, approx 200. Fortunately during that pregnancy, I didn't gain, much.With so much reserve and "eating healthy," I do feel like my fat turned to baby. I felt my arms and thighs got thinner. I was looking forward to my high postpartum and tandem nursing metabolism to help me burn off more fat. Then I twisted my ankle. I couldn't walk and I didn't bear weight on it for a few weeks. This sedentary time took away an opportunity to get rid of postpartum weight. It also demolished my efforts to prepare healthy food. Weight issues became more difficult.

Opening up my practice wasn't helpful. I didn't focus on food, as my mind was on establishing a successful practice. More or less, I let John bring home food: a lot of take out and deli food AND ICE CREAM.  Besides some recreational walking, I didn't find the time to exercise. (The childcare usually called me out of spinning class, to take care of a crying William or Scott.)

I really wasn't enjoying food, not even the ice cream. I actually craved food that tasted good and wanted home made food. I wanted to look healthy for my own professional credibility. I didn't know where to start. Even my out of shape muscles seemed to crave resistance, especially my flabby arms. Although, I knew I had to change my lifestyle, it was when I found out about my sugar sensitivity that scared and pushed me to effective change.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sweet Tooth

Yes, I have a sweet tooth and I like to eat. I usually satisfy my sweet tooth without sugar or artificial sweeteners. It can be done! If there is any salt in these its pristine sea salt and very minmum. This time of year, it is really hard to avoid sweets. Over the past three years I've accumulated recipes off the net that I've really enjoyed that have no sugar or artificial sweeteners in them, I thought I'd compile my favorites. I've made most of these numerous times. Variations and substitutions are endless. So if you don't have a particular ingredient, but have a reasonable substitute go for it or omit it. Like carob and cacao are interchangable, local honey or raw agave, more of one fruit or protein powder or less, ratio of the various nuts in a recipe can be modified. Seasonings can be easily adjusted to taste.

I make sure my 'fridge is stocked with one or two of these so when someone in my house is pulling out processed desserts I have something even better to satisfy me or have a tasty treat to offer.

Raw Apple Crisp --great substitute for apple pie
No Bake Oatmeal Cookies
Chocolate Bliss * Also scroll down to see recipe for chia pudding (much better than instant pudding, taste and nutritionally) and see the recipe for walnuts with fiesta mole.
Hemp Banana Chocolate Smoothie    -- John's favorite from this list. Sliced frozen bananas blended make a great base for dairy-free icecream.
Cherry Bomb or Here -- a cherry smoothie is a real treat
Mint Squares --it's cool to use my own mint that I grow at home for this
Kale Chips -- savory, not sweet, my kids love these and sneak them before they are done

Popcorn with fiesta mole seasoning and nutritional yeast sprinkled on top. (Popcorn, I make it on the stove top with a little oil, is not raw, it's a big, huge improvement over microwave popcorn or movie theatre popcorn. Nutitional Yeast isn't raw either, but vegan and used frequently by raw vegans.)

Sometimes I might hear concerns about the fat content of nuts, coconut or oils. While it is possible to go overboard with everything the nutritional quality of plant based raw ingrediants much superior to processed foods and animal fats.

*My office will be placing an order on Chocolate Bliss ingredients and Sunfirefood products the first week of December. If anyone local, who can pick up at the office, would like to get in on the order (or learn more) without paying for shipping, let me know.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Produce Share

I love this share with 3 leafy greens, kale, spinach, and lettuce and a nice variety of fruit. I also ordered sundrechers salad dressing from which was perfect timing with this share. I used the Asian dressing on a cabbage (not from this share) salad recipe off the website. I've been paying special attention this week to washing my salad greens and chilling it again to have a nice cold salad. A lot of detail, but John seems to be appreciating the chilled salad. Here is what I've done so far with my most recent produce! Keeping these lists really do help to remind me of what I have to eat and helps me plan.

Carrots  and Cauliflower- dip into sundrechers salad dressing
Lacinato Kale --Kale chips, my kids love this!
Red Butter Lettuce -- raw Waldorf salad
Cremini Mushrooms --
Russet Potatoes --
Spinach Bunches -- salads and smoothies
Delicata Squash --  Squash with Herbs not raw, but my kids loved it. They thought it tasted like
                                        apple pie. Not bad! I used coconut oil instead of butter.
Roma Tomatoes --
Garlic --
Granny Smith Apples --
Bananas -- kids eating with PB
Green Kiwi --
Anjou Pears --
Pomegranates -- my kids love this
Black Plums – Freebie from Organic Produce Buying Club with Love!
Fruit Share:
Golden Pineapple
Persimmons -- This is a wonderful fall treat.
Starfruit -- this is not my favorite fruit, and may just wash it and toss it in my smoothie.

My Max Bench on Oct 29th--130 pounds. I couldn't get it on my first or 2nd try today, but the third try I drove it on through (persistence!). It was a nice quiet gym this afternoon to do my own thing with John.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Simple dinner, max bench

I wanted something simple to eat tonight. I put 2 cups of packed spinach and ice cubes in to my BlendTec. I poured my usual recipe of chocolate bliss to cover spinach and ice.  Easy and still tastes chocolately.

I benched my max,  125 lbs tonight. I always use a spotter- John - who IS always there for me. I don't have a real life personal trainer for several reasons. I have done this before and I don't lack motivation. My sister is a trainer and answers A LOT of questions for me long distance. I search around you tube for work out vids and I pick the brains of the owner. My goal of 135 is getting  VERY close. John's max is 200. If you've never done this I highly recommend getting a personal trainer.

I also wanted just a simple post, so that's all. Go exercise now and eat your raw greens!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How did you lose weight?

Someone asked how I lost weight. In a nutshell:

I went sugar-free (cane sugar) cold turkey after food sensitivity testing three years ago. I received my lab results which served as a wake up call and started reading EVERY label. If it said sugar, I didn't eat it.  I felt very deprived, since I only knew processed food, but began to lose weight. I also got rid of some bothersome symptoms, coughing and ankle swelling. My acne also improved.  Painful acne on my back that totally cleared. I was once bothered with tics (and took medication for a short time) that I barely think about now.

Several months my elimination, I found and incorporated green smoothies and the 12 steps into my lifestyle. Finally I didn't feel deprived. My 40 pound weight loss plateaued at 180 lbs. Early in January of this year, desiring to lose some holiday weight gain and get below the plateau, I did raw vegan for about 3 weeks and l lost a noticeable chunk of weight in that time down to about 167.

I continue to do a high raw diet. I am am not always vegan or vegetarian although I eat very little animal products. I never eat meat, even before all this. Poultry once a month or less, fish much less than once a month. I haven't had shellfish in years, but don't recall when I ended that. I eat occasional eggs. I don't add dairy to my food, but I know it's usually in there when I eat bread or veggies someone else prepared.  I don't use artificial sweeteners. My body has always rejected alcohol so I don't miss those calories. I eat little refined soy products. I don't eat fakin' bacon or other imitation meats. I don't like the real thing, so except for satisfying my curiosity,  I don't find much pleasure in the fake kind and don't miss it.

I am exercising nearly daily now. Even though I often walked, I got serious in January with cardio. I added weight lifting at the end of April. I actually haven't lost anymore weight since I got to 167.  I know...muscle weighs more...  Adding the weights made a big impact on how I feel. I lifted weights in college and didn't fully appreciate the benefit then, but I do now. Maybe because I am older now, the impact of my effort is much greater.

A typical day now includes 4 cups of green smoothie with raw vegan protein powder and vitamin supplements. I have chocolate bliss and/or raw desserts. I eat raw salad and veggies everyday. Sprouts often include one or a combination of  almonds, sunflower seeds, lentils. The vegan protein powder is also sprouted.

I do love food. I usually have a daily meal that resembles something most people would recognize. It's not always all raw. I like cooking quinoa and brown rice, and beans for variety and satiation. I like eating food I prepare. If I eat a few meals in a row of foods that regular people recognize, I can feel it. I am not spontaneously eating these kind of meals. It's usually planned out ahead if I can't bring enough of my own along and preceded with special attention to raw food. I am usually more accountable on working weekdays and a bit more relaxed on the weekends.

I don't count calories, fats grams, or carbs. I feel like what I am doing is maintainable. More and more people over the past 3 years are interested in what I do and sharing smoothies and that makes it way easier for me. Overall its gotten easier over time. I am in a routine that may seem like a lot of effort, but it is worth it. I have a full life and need all the energy available in a healthy lifestyle.

That's what it has taken to lose weight over three years and definitely worth it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fresh Basil Pesto

I like making fresh pesto. I just don't like adding cheese to it. I also found a cilantro pesto recipe without cheese (brazil nuts, pumkin seeds and cashews), but it seems I never have access to the nuts they suggest. It's worth making because it's delicious.

With my basil growing like weeds in my containers, I decided to take a chance. I soaked raw sunflower seeds and raw almonds. Soaking activated them and helped soften them for the creaminess. I loved it and want to do it again.

2 cups fresh basil with stems ( I am too lazy to pull leaves off.)
3 garlic cloves
1 lime
Olive oil. Mine happend to be Organic. About 1/2-3/4 cup.
Soaked sunflower seeds
Soaked almonds
pine nuts -Should have measured or paid closer attention to the amount of nuts I used. Probably about 3/4    
     cup total of all nuts
3/4 teaspoon Sunfire Sea Salt

Put it all in blender and adjust to taste. It's tasty and you would never miss the cheese.

This was a great dip for carrots and celery. I brought it out on the boat with me and stayed raw while out all day. Some other things I brought with me were greem smoothie (1/2 greens were spinach, other 1/2 was fresh- meaning, I picked it myself- chard, fresh purslane, fresh stalk of aloe, vitamineral greens, banana and mango), clemintines, grapes, activated almonds, water (of course), and chocolate bliss which I never go to.

I stayed raw when I got home with salads and fruits and veggies and the bliss. Snce  I had a VERY relaxed previous week, I really  needed a good day to make sure I stay on track.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our First Dragon Fruit Treat

Dragon Fruit is from a cactus. It is quick to grow. The flower opens at night, only once,  and depends on night pollinators like bats. In our case when we saw the bloom in the early morning we attempted self-pollinating. From about 6 blooms this was so far the only one to become fruit. It was small and I divided it into 4ths for me and each boy (not very filling). I suspected it was ripe because it had turned red on the outer leaves. We all like the fruit. I see more blooms coming. Hopefully they pollinate sucessfully and we get to eat them. Our production may be slow at first, but I am pretty sure once we really know what we are doing, we'll keep getting more and more.
I thought I took some photos of the insde after I cut it. I guess we gobbled up too fast. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kids coming around

My kids ask me if I ever kept a diary. Who needs a diary wen you have a blog to pour your heart into? ( But I did once keep a paper diary).

I was reading a facebook thread. A friend of mine made raw (?) corn chowder. The older girls who appreciate nutritious eating appreciated the treat and the young ones not so much.

My kids weaned from breastmilk to McDonalds, hotdogs, Kraft singles, mac and cheese, before I woke up to realize how bad this kind of eating was. I score big points in the breastfeeding section, and lost all my points for the junk they ate. I thought my kids would never come around. I vented many times to my friend Tam about how stubborn my kids are.

They still eat lots of junk, but I must share with you two things they said today.

William at Sam's Club: "Don't buy Taquitos. They are greasy. I gain three pounds every time you buy them because I eat too many." YES! William said that. He is the most stubborn. Does it mean he eats healthy all the time. Nope. But that is amazing progress.

Tonight when we came home, David, just about 7 years old, went to the refridge and took out spinach. He said, "We are having salad tonight, " and brought it to the table with feta for him. He asked for the oil and balsamic. David as you know likes kale salad and kale chips. He thinks its no big deal to eat salad as long as it has tasty dressing. 

Who knew three plus years ago when I started making changes I'd ever get to this point.   It takes a long time and I have had to try many different things and often try them many times over.
All my kids like chocolate bliss. Scott has been on board for a while.  So no new insights from him today. They all eat fruit with almost every meal.

I remember when I made the first nutritious move in my house. I asked John for one simple compromise. "Let's not get any more Kraft Singles." He agreed. We bought other cheese, but at least we got that kind of processed cheese out of our diet.

Another early trick I pulled, John made ribs, which I don't eat and never have. The boys were drooling. In order to get the ribs, they had to eat the salads. They did.

Although the boys get plenty of junk food. It's worth mentioning that I am not aware of them having McDonald's or Burger King in a long time. No more Steak and Shake or Dominoes. Who could eat those things when you get use to being away from it?

It's best to breastfeed as long as you can (breastmilk is raw and has what a kids still need as they begin (and continues) to eat solid food) and go straight to healthy nutritious eating, but if you didn't feed them well, kids can come around. It may take a lot of time.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bench Press Update and Medical Weight Loss Supervision

So my mom came for the weekend and updated my bench press photo. Probably doesn't look much different than the photo below. I pressed 115 pounds which is an additional 20 pounds on each side of the bar from the last photo. I am well on my way to my goal of 45 x 45. ( The 35 pound plate is on the bar and the 45 pound plate is leaning on the equipment, bottom left) If for some reason I can't do it on my birthday, I know I am not to far off. Thanks to John who is at the gym every time with me to spot me and make sure I am safe. I do not do heavy weights without a spotter.

It is a very small part of my medical practice to prescribe weight loss medication. Many of my fit and conditioned patients juice and or make smoothies. But many people aren't there yet. I have supervised weight loss programs using adipex and sub lingual and indictable hcg (from a trusted source). When I say supervise I often get base line labs and provide some motivation and direction, but most of my patients are fairly independent once started.

One FAQ is if I used these products. No I have not. You can imagine I think about incorporating them into my regimen. Especially to get past the 167 plateau. When I first started my sugar-free regimen, the weight loss per say wasn't the issue. It was just the sugar issue I was having. I never really believed I could lose weight. It didn't matter either, at the time, I barely was aware that anything out there was available to assist weight loss. And as I lost weight, I got more inquiries for weight loss assistance and finally "gave in " with the adipex prescription. Then my established patients learned about HCG and asked if I would provide a script for that and I had to learn about it. FAQ (or a different twist to the same Q)- Would I ever take one of these weight loss products? For me, the reason I don't take either is because I am in an established and very comfortable pattern with my nutrition and exercise and feel like I can continue doing what I am doing successfully. I am not suffering with hunger or sugar cravings. I am not in a rush to lose the weight for a big event. Nor do I have any medical problems.

But not everyone is me and many people don't know where to start. People have different needs and different support systems and I will look at each persons situation individually. Medication alone without good nutrition or exercise won't be helpful, but if it does get one past the cravings, it can be very useful. For many Weight Watchers is good support system. I have had many patients with gastric by-pass or banding. When I do provide medical assistance for weight loss, the biggest long term impact I can make is with education by teaching people how to incorporate healthy delicious raw nutrition into their diet for long term success. Even if incorporating lifestyle changes is slow (as it should be), it gives time to develop sound healthy habits. Finally, I don't ever tell anyone they have to eat all raw. I barely can myself. You wouldn't believe how many people have told me they haven't had a fresh fruit or vegetable in weeks. Weeks!!!!! Finding out where someone is at and and adding fresh fruit salads, smoothie or juice and any whole plant-based food  is my approach. Many people can't exercise. Bad knees, Too overweight. No matter how you jump start your weight loss and nutrition program, the end goals will be the same. I like when people come to me for Medical Weight Loss Supervision because it gives me the opportunity to get them to a healthy place. I know no other supervised weight loss will do the same service.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

In the garden, gym, kitchen...

Some other things going on in the garden: We have an established avocado tree that gave us 2 large Florida Avocados (whoowhoo-2!!). They are sitting on my counter to ripen. They will probably be ready tomorrow night .  I sure am so curious to taste them. John and I planted two younger avocado tress, but they did not make it. My bananas did not produce much at all either. It was a cold, dry winter. I harvested the small bunch today. Our irrigation and water was off while we remodeled.  The plants weren't nurtured  like they should. Hopefully we'll have more next year. Basil, Cuban oregano, chives, sage, rosemary, and chocolate mint are doing well. And mostly by accident.  I don't have huge amounts of any, but enough to season with. I am glad they like to grow without much attention. Minimal care is my favorite way. I also have a big bunch of lemon grass doing well and we brew tea often. BTW- people ask me all the time what I drink and this tea is one of the things I drink that I probably haven't mentioned before. Much better than sweetened drinks from the store.

Some of the things we are eating: Scott and David are troopers. I've been putting mangoes in my green smoothies. For them I made frozen banana, mango smoothie with sprouted almond mylk (which I made with dates). Their frosty comes out icy and a pretty soft-orange color.  I put the left overs in a Popsicle mold for later which they told me was good. These frozen treats will probably never be two alike as I vary the amounts of fruit and mylk or just water depending on what's available. Ever read the labels on store purchased ice pops. It is scarier. Personally, I think much worse than ice cream in most cases.

At the gym: I am working on 45 x45. I benched 135 twice last night. I am way ahead of my goal. That's with the 35 pound plate on each side of a 45 pound bar. I need an updated gym photo. I am glad mom is coming to visit this weekend. She's a great photographer in the gym.

In my kitchen: If I don't cook, why is my kitchen always a mess. Today was pick up day for our organic produce. This is what we got. And it's been a long time since I've told you what I did or plan on tell you what I did with my bounty.

Baby Bok Choy
Broccoli Chinese style food I found this basic recipe works well for many vegetables including carrots onions added to the mix. I have varied the seasoning in the sauce.
Rainbow Chard - perfect for wraps
Red Lettuce
Cremini Mushrooms -hide them in blender recipes, might put a few in with the broccoli
Yellow Onions
Yukon Potatoes
Roma Tomatoes
Red Seedless Grapes - boys and John ate these up.
Golden Kiwi - only 4. I will be selfish. They are all mine.
Black Plums

Fruit Share: Honeydew, Bartlett Pears, Yellow peaches.

I use to be really good at posting each share and how I used it up on my permissiontomother blog. I see lots of salads and fruits for snacking.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Purslane and Mango

My older boys begged for fried chicken from Publix (not Scott, he wouldn't touch it). I decided to get them a junk food meal. I told them it would be a teaching lesson. I expected they would be sick and complaining through Karate. I didn't touch the junk food, but I felt pretty sick and they didn't (yet). Go figure. Can just smelling grease make you sick?

I am glad I have this blog. I am definitely not an expert on Raw food and I am not all Raw, but it serves the purpose of keeping my mind focused (just like the exercises chart, I wrote about in my previous post) on nutrition. I continue to re-evaluate what I eat, my goals, and my progress. I like looking back at my posts to keep previous good ideas and resources in the front line.

Last weekend, I pulled many more mangoes off my special organically fertilized tree. Scott eats one or two a day. David is little and eats a little. And John talked William into never eating eating them. Mangoes was one fruit, I could get William to eat if we purchased them. I have been slicing and freezing. I think I have enough frozen mango to last until the fruit ripens next year. I will not have to buy any frozen fruit for a long time. I have been making smoothies with frozen mango and banana  and spinach (less fruit, more spinach) and adding various vegan protein and vitamin powders.  I am pretty satisfied with the taste. I'm sure I will be drinking this recipe for a long time. We have fresh fruit from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Robyn posted on about an edible weed. I immediately identified the purslane from the photo. I have it growing all over.  I was intrigued by the weed(?) when I first noticed it at my house months ago. It had a pretty flower and it was in an overgrown pot from previous owner. I couldn't tell if it was intended or not intended and moved some of it to another container and continued to be interested at what a beautiful weed(?) it is. After Robyn's post I decided to taste it. Actually it does taste good. When I googled it, there are many recipes for salads using its leaves. I am going to dedicate a bigger container for it and let it grow where I know its safe to eat. I'll probably pick leaves off to snack as I walk around my yard each day. I am sure John will love it in his smoothies and salads, too.

We have a dragon fruit cactus growing and blossoming in the yard. I like the idea of no maintainence edibles like my mango and purslane. We are hand fertilizing the blossoms. Hope we see some results.

If John reads this post, he would probably leave a comment that my organic mangoes and wild weeds are making me sick (not the smell of fried chicken). I know he's wrong. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

45 x 45

I added weight training into my work out at the end of April.

I did free weights in college and got strong and found that even after all this time, it came easy to me. Don't misunderstand. I am not saying I am or was a body builder or competitive. Simply building strength and setting personal goals in the gym is what came easy. Back in college, I was able to bench the 45 pound bar with 45 pound plates on both sides (Total 135 pounds). I am not sure why I stopped. (Probably met John and got side tracked.)  I often felt some regret for quitting. Through obesity, I never thought I would be able to lift significant weights again. My mom went to the gym with John and I early July and took this photo. I was pressing the 45 pound bar with a 10 and 5 pound bar on each side. Seventy Pounds. Maxed out.

Quickly I noticed each time I came back to the gym, I was able to do more weight on the press. I began wondering if I could ever bench the 45 pound plates again. I went home and made a chart. I noticed my pattern. I extended my chart out for 2 months. If I continue to go to the gym three times a week and add weights and and reps. I should be able to bench the 45 pound plates by my 45th birthday, hence 45 x 45.

It looked far fetched on paper, however, I am sticking with my chart and meet my goals each time I go to the gym. I missed one gym day  last week, yet today, I benched my goal for this upcoming Friday. 110 pounds, 2 reps, 2 sets. Actually just doing it twice was my goal.  I felt strong and went for the extra short set. That was 25 pound, 5  and 2.5 plates on each side of the bar. I am totally amazed how quickly my strength is coming back.

Perhaps as I get to higher weights, my strength won't increase so fast. Who knows what life interference may come my way, but I think I am going to be able to make my goal. Ihave about 6 weeks.  I was telling a Weight Watchers leader my gym routine today and she had a name for plotting out work-out goals as an important motivator for sticking to a weight loss/fitness/ lifestyle plan. I see how it is helping me stay committed and motivated to going to the gym. I also want to consume healthy food and beverages before the gym so I optimize my potential. Lots of people make goals like training for a race or triathlon which is a similar motivator. ( I know lots of people in WW. I did it high school, but I don't do WW, now.) this leader happens to tell me I am doing it the best way with exercise and raw whole food. She says too many in her class want microwavable packaged meals.

My sister directed me to exercise blogs with videos, that have helped me with my form and give me  exercise ideas.

Trainer Mom

Live the Fit Life  ( I could not do this circuit when she shared it with me, but I am much better at it now!)

I also like watching the videos from the local

Sampson's Gym   ( I am not much for classes, but one day I want to do the ladies get-fit boot camp).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Super Simple Sprouting

There are many seeds and nuts that can be sprouted and eaten. Sprouting activates the seed or nut and awakens the the dormant enzymes which gives the seed the full potential to become a plant. For us, this means the seed has full nutrient potential. Sprouting is simply soaking the seed in water a couple of hours to activate it. Most of us eating cooked, dead food are deficient in the enzymes obtained from sprouting. I've tried sprouting several varieties of seeds. For now, I prefer, seeds that activate in a short time.

The few seeds and nuts I've had great success with is:

Raw sunflower seeds-- I soak raw sunflower seeds 6-8 hours in filtered water. At this point you get the nutritional benefit and can eat them or use them in recipes. Often, I do rinse them well and put the seeds in my dehydrator  (<115 degrees)and make them nice and crispy. The dry very quickly.  I store them in a glass jar. My favorite way to use them is on salads.

Raw almonds-- soaked 8-12 hours in filtered water and they are activate. Sometimes I use them as is. Sometimes I put them in my dehydrator to make them crispy and they go on to other recipes. Crispy, sprouted almonds makes a nice trail mix with spouted sunflower seeds and raisins.

Lentils are also activated after 8-12 hours. There are several varieties of lentils you can use to make colorful batches. My favorite use is to add them to a salad with sunflower seeds. If I soak mung and adzuki beans, the mixture is even more colorful and makes a beautiful salad topping. The latter two seeds, need a little more soaking time to get soft.

With soaking times under 12 hours, nothing gets moldy or nasty. I do like to rinse often. Actually I cover the above seeds with water for a few hours before rinsing and draining. You will not see a "sprout" or "tail" with such short soaking times. But the seed is still activated.

I've sprouted alfalfa and clover, but prefer the short soaker fore ease. I've never done any sprouting with soil trays. I haven't had much luck with quinoa sprouts, but I keep trying.

Addendum Sun Warrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder is sprouted brown rice. I don't have to do any soaking! I have been adding it to some of my smoothies. PLUS, there is no soy or whey based proteins in it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Random Thoughts

It's cool that two of my followers with googleconnect are using photos I took of them! Can you guess which two? The pregnant one and the breastfeeding one. The later photo should look very familiar. :) Thank you all for letting me know you are following.

I changed the header. No more BBQ grill. Now you get another view of the river with the bird feeder. Some days I feel like all I eat is bird seed. :). My mother took this great photo. All the times I've been out there with my camera, I never thought to go to the other side and look back.

I also uploaded the chili photo in the post below.  I served the left over chili over barely steamed green beans and cooked spaghetti squash. I made a leek marinade per Kristen's Raw. Topped the rest with leeks. John enjoyed it all and said I can make this again. Don't be fooled. He ate almost everything else  processed  in sight, too.  

I keep lots of fruits on the counter. Right now I am having a fruit fly problem. I really don't know how to get rid of them. Any suggestions?. Will burning a candle help? I did light one and it seems to help today. Not sure if the success will last.

I have not wanted to contract with a bug control service. I don't want spray on the inside or outside of house. What do other people do?  Ants, spiders, cockroaches, and mosquitoes are problems around here.

One of the reasons I moved this topic to a new blog, is because I found it very hard to take care of small babies, work, exercise and concentrate on nutrition and finding good food.I really don't want to create unrealistic expectations for anyone with small babes. One BIG difference now since William was a baby was how fast we can obtain information via Internet especially good sources of nutrition.

One of thing, I have been thinking about. Just about all friends coming to my house have enjoyed the smoothies and raw concoctions I make. I only have one or two guests at a time. I want to figure out how to handle larger crowds and at least keep raw options open. The occasion I have in mind is when the boys have their double Bar Mitzvah in February. I have plenty of time to think about it. Catering and putting someone else in charge would be ideal. I wouldn't think pot luck would work for this kind of event. I'll have people in my house for celebration for the weekend. Thoughts?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sprouted Raw Chili

I came up with an interesting lunch today. I got this idea from Eating without Heating by Sergei and Vayla Boutenko and followed their basic recipe with my subtle and improved substitutions.

I happen to sprout way too many lentils, adzuki, and mung for my salads. I like them with under 3 days old and knew on my own I couldn't finish them. Disguising them in this recipe for my family was a perfect solution.

In the Blendtech (since I got my 96 ounce container I use it--and fill it--nearly every time)...

1 cup water
Fresh tomatoes ( I did not have/use 1/2 sun-dried tomato as in recipe )
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup grapeola oil
handful mushrooms (they suggested dehydrated mushrooms)
center of a celery and leaves that may have otherwise been wasted
Sunfire salt (instead of Bragg's)
2 plus TBSP of fiesta mole (instead of spaghetti seasoning)
squeezed lemon
Rita's Hot Pepper (can't think of what kind Rita gave me from her garden, it's been sitting drying for a while now)
3 cloves garlic
Basil from my containers

Blended and poured over a bowl of spouts. Served with dry parsley that recipe suggested and I had available. If I had cilantro, I would have liked that even better.

The amazing thing about this recipe, is that I've been wanting to come up with a Raw tomato based sauce. Now I have this and the tomato soup, I posted about before. I have a pretty good feel for how this versatile soup/sauce comes out and a pretty good idea how to improvise depending on what I have on hand. This could have easily been soup on its own had I not had spouts. In fact I tried to keep some liquid hidden for me to slurp on later, but John asked for more liquid.

John said it was better than expected (he liked the pepper in it). He licked his bowl literally. Still,  I know he was dreaming about a hunk of pepperoni to it.
Scott and David did ok with it. Scott said he'd of liked more liquid, too.
William wouldn't touch it.
4/5 ain't bad.

I am going to serve the little bit that's left over some more veggies tomorrow.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Vital Stats

I feel super silly posting photos of progress over at the sidebar because I knew I hadn't lost any weight. In any case I am glad I did. I wouldn't have believed I made any progress if I didn't look at the photos side-by-side. I KNOW to put the scale away and look at other  measurements. But I seemed to have put the tape measure way, also. Nor did I get around to cutting a piece of string to mark my waist, hip, etc.... size. I am still hovering 167. I must admit, I do notice the difference in myself in the photo from May 2 compared to today's photo. With John being more eager to have smoothies first thing of the day and last thing, it's going to help me a lot.

Besides photos other measurements and vital signs to note.

One big difference between May 2 and now is the weight lifting. From Jan to May, I was doing heavy cardio. After my (end of April) Age Management conference, I came back eager to do more intense intervals and weight lifting. Some weeks I only did two days of weights. Now I am doing 3 days. I consider bench pressing a vital sign. Yesterday I was able to lift the 45 pound with 25 pound plates on each side 5 times. Total 95 pounds pressed. It really didn't take me that long to build up to that weight. In college I could do more. :) I expect to see my strength increase fast.  John and I enjoy working out together. William is going to come with us to the gym when he is not in karate.

I noticed at my highest weight, I had trouble fitting into flattering shoes. I have a big and wide foot, but now it hasn't been as difficult. I notice it in my wedding ring also. I did have it sized up at one point. I am almost ready to get it fitted again.

Another measurement I will  have soon -- John wants to renew my insurance (life/health) policies. With a new physical and labs I can get the current rate extended. I am certain, my chol, blood pressure, sugar, etc.... will all be normal. I am certain my weight is less than when they came by last time.

Since last photo, I started taking the extra vitamins. I have also added some variety to my nutrition with sunfire foods (chocolate bliss, fiesta mole, pristine sea salt) which all happen to be quick and easy to prepare! Rawkin' Trish is having a give-away on the sea salt.

Let me end with a funny story (not nutrition related) about the shorts I am wearing in both photos.  I like the style of shorts ALOT. I am not often comfortable in pants and shorts. I like the length on these-covering my thighs. I originally bought them in two colors: Grey and Black. I kept going back to the store in May looking for another color.  One day, I didn't see them, next time, in a rush...  Last week I am looking through my closet and I see the khaki pants (in the photo). I thought, "I don't remember buying those. I guess I did and put them away."

Remember, I've been going through test preparation brain-fry or is it Alzheimer's?

I get dressed with my new pants and go about my day. My friend Mary who helps with the boys and a million other things calls me and asks me if I noticed anything different in the closet. I am thinking, she sorted belts or organized with the boys. I go to the closet and am looking all around while she is on the phone. I seem to not be noticing anything new. I am not getting "hotter." She tells me to look where my pants hang. I see nothing new. She finally gives and asks me if I see the khaki shorts. I AM WEARING THEM. duh...She liked my original shorts. She said she bought herself shorts and decided she didn't like them on her as much as on me and she hung them up in my closet when she had the boys. Well, Mary, I love my new shorts. Blush.....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Back to Basics

It's amazing how mentally relieved, I feel after an exam compared to before. These past few weeks have been so busy, for the first time in a long time, I feel like my plate is relatively clean (no pun intended). Typically in the past, exam time would be a time of snacking and binging. Food would be the source of entertainment to keep me in the books.

Today a patient commented that I am disappearing. Fortunately (for the patient) the last 10 pounds takes as long to lose as everything before it, so I am not vanishing that quickly. I certainly stuck to a sensible eating program most of the time before exam  and did not gain weight. I continued to work out in the gym while my boys attended karate class and see my strength improving.  But I want to get back to the basics.

From the Green Smoothie Girl 12 step manual:

At the conclusion of 12 months, you should find this daily diet easy:
1. 2 lbs of vegetables, 60-80% raw, half of them above the ground green
2. 3- 5 raw fruits
3. 1 cup whole grains (cooked and/or sprouted)
4. 1 cup legumes (cooked and or sprouted)
5. 3-6 T of fats found in vegetables, seeds, and the highest quality oils that are antioxidant- and lignan- rich with Omega fats (3, 6, 9) and essential fatty acids
6. Organic, free range animal products minimized to 5 % or less of the daily diet, with processed refined foods and concentrated sweeteners minimized or eliminated.

This past week, I've been taking mental notes,noting  if I eat this way. This is what I've come up.

1. I eat a lot of vegetables, but I am not sure I eat a whole pound of green leafy's everyday. This week, I've made sure I've had a big salad and packed with green's smoothie. I've been using Vitamineral Green to get more greens.

2. I probably have waaaay more fruit than 5 servings a day. Do I really need to cut back?

3 & 4. I may have been slacking in this department. Of course this week, I've made sure I kept fresh batches of fresh lentils, mung, adzuki, sunflower, and almonds. I've got sprouted brown rice protein powder to add to smoothies. Being sure I get my 2 cups worth may help with my B vitamins. I eat a lot of chick peas, both cooked and sprouted. Occasionally we have cooked brown rice or barley. These, I have listed are the easiest for me and I'd like to increase my variety. The toco's in my chocolate bliss contain a grain (right Trish?). While I am thinking of the bliss, where does bliss fall into this, fruit, grain, any veggies?

5. Fats and oils. I probably go way overboard here, too. Do spouted sunflower seeds and almonds count as 3 & 4 or 5.    5--that's what I thought. Leaves no room for coconut oil, EVO, nut oils, avacodo which I enjoy all to frequently. Hemp goes in this group too? No wonder I don't lose weight faster!!!

6. No problem for me.   I love the flexibility of the goals of GSG program, but I also love that she teaches you to do more Raw if inclined. I am inclined, but there are certain situations (<5%) I'd rather not challenge. Perhaps with more experience at this Raw thing, these times will be less and less.

My! How times change. Most people who come to visit me at my house, love trying smoothies and chocolate bliss. MY HUSBAND IS EVEN ASKING FOR THEM NOW!!! I also had a wonderful chance to make green smoothies (spinach, frozen banana, strawberry, hemp powder, and toco's from Rawkin'  Trish.) for a group at my office. I wanted 2 proteins. I chose the toco's for my demo because they are a bit sweet and wanted to make sure it would be palatable and I chose the hemp for the novelty of "Dr. Punger gave us hemp."

One other chock bliss question for Trish. Do you know how it and the ingredients would count on a weight watchers program? I am not doing ww, but I would like to properly counsel others who are successfully making their transitions through ww.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July Raw Update

I am asked if I am feeling better with the supplements. In all fairness it's not fair to ask me if I feel better about anything before an exam (which is on on Monday). I was hoping I wouldn't go into pre-test panic mode, but I am anyway. My days have been solid. I've been hauling my kids to camp involving 6 days of the week for the past month. Scott (and David) continue their evening participation in karate after camp. Scott is maintaining his other studies. I keep a hectic schedule. Perhaps that's an indication that keeping honest with my nutrition and exercise is allowing me to manage the craziness in my life.

I have been faithfully taking the vitamins and supplements I told myself (B's and glutathione) I would. I am maintaining a simple high raw diet. I don't have time for lots of prepping and new ideas right now. I mostly make salads and blend things. David, this past week, decided he liked Raw Kale Toss; cucumber, onion, dill in O & V; beans &  rice (not raw) mixed with bok choy, cilantro, raisins, apple (raw). Pretty impressive for a 6 year old! Gives you an idea what I've been eating, too. Scott is totally on board with eating health food. He eats other things, too, becoming more selective on his own,  but I don't have to fight with him to eat the good stuff.

We've been eating lots of mangoes from our tree. I got golden kiwi from co-op and enjoy them throughout the day. I cut the kiwi in half and scoop the halves with a spoon. I've got corn chips in my dehydrator now (Trish, I shucked the corn right off the cob).

I've made a variety of tomato soups (below) depending on what herbs and seasonings I have. I've been drinking chocolate bliss. Last time I took a test, I brought along green smoothies. I don't like how they travel overnight, so this test time, I will make and travel with the bliss to keep me hydrated, along with nuts and fruit.

John has lost about 30 pounds since January.  He has been a good sport about drinking the chocolate bliss and other hemp drinks I serve him.

William ask me to make pasta alfredo. Just to make something quick and easy last night, I made up the butter, heavy whipping cream, parmesan, cream cheese an served it to them over pasta. They said it tasted  good. I reminded them just because *I* made it, didn't mean it was healthy. ((How they wish I could make healthy, tasty alfredo sauce.)) Scott didn't finish his. The rest were all sick. Score. Next time they may think twice about asking for this kind of sauce. While I am not perfect in eating, I didn't take one bite of this, not even to taste it while cooking it.

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers often ask me about green smoothies and high raw diets. Totally compatible. Of course the more anyone can incorporate fresh fruits, veggies, and sprouts, into their diet the better. Just don't deprive if you don't know where to start. Two woman on my blog roll are bf and high (if not totally) raw and document frequently on their blogs. I suppose technically I am still nurturing at the breast too.

I am looking forward to posting more after the exam, providing hyper links,  and responding to some of the questions I've been asked in the comments.
Than you for following and patiently waiting for an update.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Yummy Tomato Soup

I dare you to get your Campbell's soup out now.

I've tried several times to make a raw tomato base soup. Finally I found one that I love. Tomato soup is not something that I particularly cared for "before." Not Campbell"s anyway. Sure I would love some homemade creamy Tomato soup, but I would know it's not particularly good for me (ei... heavy whipping cream and table salt). The idea of being able to make tomato soup quickly in a blender with all healthy ingredients appealed to me.

Wanting to add some variety to my meal planning, I was eyeing Fiesta Mole over at Rawkin with Trish, and finally got some from her store when I placed an order for Live B viamins (and ordered other things you'll hear about, soon). I just had a feeling I would love the soup made with this special seasoning (an understatement). I had my tomatoes ready-to-go the day I expected my package to arrive.

I filled my Blendtec with about 4-5 big tomatoes, a clove a garlic, a small piece of pepper, somewhere between 1/4-1/3 cup raw cashews, and a handful of tomatoes, lots of fresh basil and cuban oregano (both home grown).  Of course, 2 heaping Tablespoons of Fiesta Mole and 2 teaspoons of Sunfire Salt. After it was blended I added an additional tomato to the blender and put it on pulse to have a little texture. This was delicious!

John was so impressed how fast I made dinner! I didn't call it raw. I told him it was one of the soups you can do in a blender. It takes the focus off of preparation and puts it back on the flavor.

Some of you know I don't care for pepper that much. I've been trying to "grow up" and eat more raw vegetables and just a hint of a little pepper went well with this.

Did I say I could scoop up and lick Fiesta Mole right off the spoon. It's kind of like what I always wanted my "taco seasoning" to taste like, but could never seem to achieve the right blend.  What's also great is there are many variations to the way this soup can be made. I am looking forward to putting this seasoning with flavor, antioxidents, adaptogens, and more on many more foods.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Our ORGANIC Homegrown Mangoes

It's Mango season. The mangoes are big and juicy, finally, and they are the sweetest most juiciest mangoes ever. Right on my own tree. In my own yard. Everyone's dream to have an over productive fruit bearing tree right in their own back yard. In my area many of the neighbors have thriving mango trees.

But, John won't touch ours. Ironically he always loved mangoes and I'd let him eat all the ones we get from co-op. I never cared as much for mangoes. Some of you who read PTM and know John knows he has his superstitions. Maybe you'll agree with him on this one.

Our tree is well nourished in part because we feel like the roots found there way to the under ground septic system. Yep, they are fertilized by nature. Animal wastes nourish the plant kingdom. Plants and their waste products nourish us. We keep each other healthy.

After we bought the house, I did my research to see if John had any valid concerns. My conclusion was that what I grow in my own yard is better than any fresh fruit I can import. Who knows what is sprayed directly on the fields elsewhere? Who knows how any fruit has been handled?  Also, I've discussed on my PTM blog how mangoes are heat treated when they are imported and not really raw.

John acts like  I go out and literally rub soiled diapers right onto the fruit. He thinks the rest of the world is sterile. Maybe you will think I am the most disgusting thing on earth because I eat this fruit. Or maybe you'll want to run over and have some with me. I never know if I should share them because John has poisoned the minds of everyone he can think of that I might share them with more then the fruit ever could.  Oh, and if John hasn't scared you, he  has trained one of the boys to fill in in his absence. Just before you take a bite of my delicious mango slices at my raw bar, a little peep will chime up.

In comes John's mother to the Raw bar (AKA-our buffet line). John has not caught up yet. She takes a bite. He comes around the corner. "Mami, you know where that's from????" She laughed. "Yes, Johnny, I know, It's organic!"

I'm like the wicked old lady but with a basket of mangoes. They are most definitely ORGANIC.

Sadly, John won't eat any mangoes anymore. Not even the ones from co-op. The mangoes are distinctly different but he thinks I am tricking him somehow.


I have discovered I like them room temperature best when they are soft. They ripen on the counter. I check for the falling ones first. But when I pick them of the tree, I take them with part of the branch because the sap at the break point will rot the skin and fruit. Taking part of the branch will avoid that problem. I have cut some up and froze them in baggies for smoothies

Yes, I have a flourishing tree, but has to be with a story.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kristen's Raw Frozen Banana Smoothie

I've been promising most of you I'd share this link with you for Banana Hemp Smoothie.

This is the one smoothie my husband asks for. In fact he almost wants it daily.

I love the taste, texture, and temperature. Frozen bananas make good Raw desserts especially when combined with chocolate/carob.

I love that it does not need any added sweeteners to be delicious. The frozen bananas are plenty sweet. I cut up six bananas ahead of time and freeze so we'll have enough for my family. Scott and David will have some. William is finicky with this one, too.

I've been big on green smoothies, but this has been a great way for me to get protein and totally satisfy my need for frozen dessert.

I make it with choc nibs, or choc or carob powder. I've also added mint (making it a green smoothie). I haven't made it with chocolate bliss yet, but, I will be.

If I there is any left over I can pour it into a (Tupperware-type) Popsicle maker and have a pop later. :)

It's easy! Bananas are available year round and store well. The rest of the ingredients are out of the pantry. I like it with cinammon as well.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Random Thoughts Since Repleting my Vitamins

I must admit, I do feel better a few weeks since taking getting my results. I have had B12 shots twice a week. I started on the glutathione as soon as it came. Before I received the orders for my my raw and living vitamins, I used up some of the Vitamins around the house.

Some other reasons I've been hesitant to take vitamins is because if I juice and eat wholefood to avoid preservatives and additives, I don't want them in my daily vitamins. I've found out a lot of other people who don't take vitamins and supplements feel the same way. Despite ingredients, I felt it better to just get started on nourishing my body.

I am slowly starting to incorporate some of the newer supplements as they arrive. Just want to be sure I understand proper use of the supplements to get the most benefit and not take everything all at once. My body is probably going through quite an adjustment as I am replenishing all the B's and glutathione I've been needing. I have full intentions of sharing what supplements are successful for me.

I've had no mystery conjunctivitis or sinus problems, etc... in the past few weeks. I am usually not sick. It was really unusual for me to have these things just prior to getting my test results. I've had no significant acne. Acne is something I've dealt with monthly. I am feeling like that is under control. With such a busy schedule busy, I accepted that feeling panicky with so many things to do and unfinished tasks list was a way of life. I have felt much more relaxed. I may have just as much to do, but dealing with it more calmly. A few have asked if I feel any negative detox from replenishing my vitamins. No adverse reactions so far. :) I feel cleansed. :) My thoughts are racing a little, but one thing I attribute that to is not getting them "down on blog." I really want to blog more frequently and share and ask questions. I just don't have time to sit. My family life (at home) is absolutely full. My time allotted to see patients in the office has been unseasonably busy and packed for this time of year (Actually, I have been super busy since February, but I expected it in February.). On many days, I just get seconds to peak at my reader and updates and barely time to compose thoughts and download photos. )

I've been noticing how there is various styles of raw. Some make gourmet raw meals, some juice and some live off smoothies. Some avoid dried and dehydrated food and some do eat packaged raw food. Some eat superfoods that grow near the equator in South America (I married a South American from the equator!) and some want only local. Some won't touch honey and others are exclusively vegan. Some are high raw and some claim to have not had heated food for years. I find the variety intriguing. I am glad that so many are willing to share their experiences via the Internet. I like trying a bit of everything. I have even eating a few mushrooms and peppers lately.

I can't help but wonder who else has checked their intracellular micronutrient levels or who gets serum vitamin levels checked. I'd love to know how vegan and raw foodist do. Well, actually I find it interesting that most of my patients who get checked have deficiencies no matter what their diet. Most being Standard American diet to "low fat" animal products diet. I've paid more attention this week to what vitamins people who's food blogs I read are using.

"We" are taught in school that excess vitamins get peed out. I am really thinking that our society is chronically multivitamin deficient.

Thoughts, please?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Vitamin Test Profile Results

After I atttended the Age Management Conference last month, I was all fired up to check some of my own blood work. I don't do blood work often because it's always good and since I am doing EVERYTHING I would do anyway, it didn't seem to make much sense. Being in an environment with healthy physicians who monitor themselves for wellness parameters spurred on my curiosity, big-time. I checked my micronutrient levels (Vitamin Test Profile) a few years ago, which became the impetus for me to eat healthier. Being that processed food is out of my diet and I am eating HUGE amounts of greens, sprouts, fruits and banans, beans and nuts daily, nutritonal yeast, I didn't think it was that important to check my vitamin levels again (it involves a simple blood draw). Although this is a Raw blog, I find it impossible to eat Raw everyday, so I eat some cooked grains and beans, popcorn, and rare cheese, often when someone else prepped the food.

Well... I am glad I did check my levels.

My B's are inadequate, many are much lower than they should, and my Glutathione level is low.

Glutathione is from animal sources. Not surprising it would be low, but it knocked down my overall anti-oxidant scores.

I take monthly B12 shots and have for years, so why is that low?

I am glad I checked, but not totally sure where to go from here.

I've taken a few extra B12 shots this week. Obviously I am going to need more than monthly. I really didn't think I needed vitamins because of how I eat, but I probably need vitmins for the rest of my life no matter how good I eat. It bothers me thinking I can't acheive good vitamin levels from food alone. I lot of my readers talk about how pharma companies biases physicians and all the marketing and money in pharma, but that's what bothers me in vitamins in supplement industry-- the hype, the sales force, the direct pyramid marketing. If I ate more food to get the vitamins, it would be way too much caloric intake. People think of vitamin deficiencies like Vit C--->scurvy, Vit D--> Rickets, but it just got me wondering if we as a society are chronically suffering multiple lifelong vitamin deficiency. I am not that impressed that my good eating helped my vitamin levels as I compare my results to two years ago. Yes, I am hard on myself, and yes, eating healthy has helped me achieve weight loss, better fitness, better cholesterol and blood pressure, but not help my vitamin deficiencies. I think my Reliv Vitamins from 2 years ago might have done me good. I stopped them when my eating improved. Well, since I have plenty of powdered Reliv and whole food based Rainbow lite in my closet, I've been making sure I get B's every time I have Green's this week. Spirul-tein which a I have but don't use much has B's and I have been using that in my smoothies this week. I do use Nutritional yeast a lot which is high in B's. In fact I thought I used it way too much. I guess I won't back off.

Am I absorbing it if I ingest it? Don't know.

I've ordered two sources of glutathione, one from a Raw source and one from a local friend who just happened to start promoting it before I retested. I've got a Raw B complex on its way, too, to add or replace to the vitamins I have handy.

I am going to review the basic green smoothie diet and make sure I haven't unknowingly deviated or leaving something out.

I am going to review the nuts, beans, sprouts, and other veggies I eat to make sure they do represent the vitamins I think they represent.

In hind site, since I drew my blood three weeks ago (And I was fine), but since the blood draw it was weird, I got a pink eye, I stomach bug, and a sinusitis all in a row. That kind of let me know everything was probably not ok. The days before the blood draw included the long days at conference and jury duty. The test reflects 6 months, not just the current day. My mentor to interpret the test results tells me my results are a stress profile. No kidding!!

A lot of people associate B's with hair and nails. I have no nails. I had noticed my hair looked frail a year ago, not falling out, just frail and it was one reason I stopped coloring it, but I hadn't noticed improvement. Maybe now I will notice improvement?

One other thing, I am going to do, is check for repletion in 6 months. I'm not going to wait 2 years this time!


I don't have lots of readers here, but I have a question for you... What is Spirulina and What is Spiru-tein? Is the later a brand of the former?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Work Out Progress

I am not good at logging individual work-outs to monitor progress, but I thought tonight's work-out was worth noting because I could feel my progress. John and I went to the gym tonight. Going to the gym is turning out to be good together time, even though we often do things separate, he is there to spot me if needed.

Tonight I started with abdominal. 1) Leg lifts- I can't fully extend my legs, but I could do 2 strong sets of 10 with knees bent. 2) decline board sit up, 2 sets of 10. 3) pron incline board 4) crunch machines 5) Using dumbbells and twisting my torso

Upper body-- warm up set of bench press, 1 set with 5 pound weights on each side, 10 reps. 1 set with 10 pound weights on each side. The goal is that by the last rep I should be at failure. I think I can handle more weight next time. :) I did a set on the decline bench press and incline bench press. Bar only. Side note: In college when I bench pressed I got strong fast. I expect now, I will continue to add weight quickly to the bar now that I've established a routine.
For back, I did the pull down machine and used a bent bar. 2 sets, 10 reps each.

Bicep curls with bent bar and (10 pound) dumbbells 2 sets each 10 reps.

Triceps curls with dumbbells and pull down rope. ( I know my settings, don't remember weight).

Cardio was strong tonight. I feel my improvement and in no way would I have been able to do this when we joined the gym in January.

25 minutes total with a 3 1/3 minute warm up and cool down walking. I did 6 intervals, approx. 1 1/2 minutes each at 6 mph. Three intervals in the middle were on a .5 incline. Recovery walking intervals in between. The goal was to get where I am huffing and puffing so anaerobic metabolism kicks in. I got there, no doubt. The treadmill records heart rate but not at 6 mph. When I quickly brought the speed to 3.8 mph all 6 times I was at 165 beats per minute which is way above 85% of my target heart rate (a great thing). I hope to continue building my way up.
The recent conference I attended really emphasized how important interval training 2-3 x week is to improve cardiovascular fitness and fat burning. However if you are not exercising much, to start you just need to establish a routine of walking daily (or whatever) before you start intervals. Wherever you are at feel great that you are establishing a pattern.
John's looking good these days! I told him I was going to post his photo. He said, ok... I hope he meant it!!!
There was an error in this gadget