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.

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.

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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

Recommended

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.
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