Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 31!!! I MADE IT!! WOOOHOOOO!!

Today is the last day of my 31-day Raw Challenge. Although I completed 31 days of 99.5% raw, it's not going to change much going forward. I plan to remain raw because of the benefits. I feel so much better than I did a month ago. I've lost my tummy and my muffin top is almost gone! lol. I have more energy and my skin is noticeably better. I will try to take some updated photos tomorrow as we have plans this afternoon.

This morning I woke up and had a bowl of rolled oat cereal with walnuts, banana slices, grapes, sunflower seeds and almond milk.

I had a tangerine mid morning.

I'm drinking a green smoothie now that my hubby says is probably one of the best ones I've made so far.

TropiGreen Smoothie
1.5 cups of coconut water
1/3 pineapple
1 cup grapes
2 handful of spinach

Blend and enjoy! Oh my gosh, it is absolutely delectable!

Speaking of green smoothies, Victoria Boutenko posted the following on her blog located at www.greensmoothiesblog.com.

Guidelines to Drinking Green Smoothies

This article is a must read for all green smoothie drinkers. Through everyday blending, research, experience, and letters from readers, the Raw family has created the best recipes and came up with the basic principles of green smoothie making and consuming. To help people receive the most benefits from drinking green smoothies and to avoid some typical mistakes, Victoria created the following guidelines:
  • Prepare your green smoothie first thing in the morning in the amount that you usually consume in one day, one or two quarts (liters). Pour enough smoothie in a glass for your morning enjoyment and keep the rest in a refrigerator or another cold place.
  • Sip your green smoothie slowly, mixing it with saliva. Sometimes I put my smoothie in a coffee mug with a lid and carry it with me to the car or to my office. That way I minimize a chance of spilling it and keep it private without distracting others.
  • Don’t add anything to your smoothie except greens, fruit and water. I don’t recommend adding nuts, seeds, oils, supplements or other ingredients to your green smoothie. Most of these items slow down the assimilation of green smoothies in your digestive tract and may cause irritation and gas. Even though I provide recipes with more than basic ingredients in my books I encourage you to stick to the basic green smoothie recipe (fruit and greens) in your daily routine.
  • Drink your smoothie by itself, and not as a part of a meal. Don’t consume anything, even as little as a cracker or candy with it. You may eat anything you want approximately 40 minutes before or 40 minutes after you finished your smoothie. Your goal is to get the most nutritional benefit out of your green smoothie.
  • Do not add starchy vegetables such as carrots, beets, broccoli stems, zucchini, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, egg plant, pumpkin, squash, okra, peas, corn, green beans, and others to your green smoothies. Starchy vegetables combine poorly with fruit and may produce what my children call “gas 4 less.”
  • Don’t add too many ingredients into one smoothie, such as nine different fruits and a dozen different greens. Try to keep most of your recipes simple to maximize nutritional benefits and to keep it easy on your digestive system.
  • Learn to prepare a really delicious green smoothie so that you are always looking forward to the next one. If your drink is not tasty, you will eventually discontinue consuming it. Keep your taste buds happy.
  • Always rotate the green leaves that you add to your smoothies. Almost all greens in the world contain minute amounts of alkaloids. Tiny quantities of alkaloids cannot hurt you, and even strengthen the immune system. However, if you keep consuming kale, or spinach, or any other single green for many weeks without rotation, eventually the same type of alkaloids can accumulate in your body and cause unwanted symptoms of poisoning. Please note that you don’t have to rotate the fruit in your green smoothies. Most commonly used fruit have very little or none of the alkaloids and cannot cause the same toxic reactions as greens. At the same time, rotating fruits will enhance the variety of flavor and nutrition in your smoothies.

Choose organic produce whenever possible. The absence of pesticides and other toxic chemicals is only one of many benefits of organic food. The most important reason to consume organic food is the superior nutritional of organic fruits and vegetables in comparison to conventionally grown produce. We have been discussing earlier, how deficient most people are. The best way to nourish your body is to consume organic produce and whenever possible, locally grown. I consider it very important to get the fruit that was allowed to ripen on the vine because it is the best for nourishment. Tree-ripened fruit is several times more nutritious and when consumed shortly after picking retains significantly more nutrients.

Day 30 - Still hanging in there!!

Had a great day today. Went to the gym this morning with my hubster.

I drank a quart of Kale, Banana,and Water smoothie. That filled me up for most of the day.

I did grab a bite of my raw brownie before dinner and it tastes even better today than it did yesterday! Oh, and I also had a tangerine.

My inlaws came over for dinner so I made beans, ham and cornbread for them and a huge salad for me. Well, the salad was so huge that just about everyone had some! I did have a wee little bowl of beans & cornbread but it was barely three tablespoons. So it was a baby cheat. =) The salad consisted of romaine, carrots, red cabbage, cucumber, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, spring onions, and sunflower seeds. After dinner, I had another tangerine. Yummm.

I just had a nice glass of freshly-made almond milk and now I'm going to bed!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 28 - Scrumptious Fudgy Brownies

Last night I had a craving for brownies, so I made some!

Fudgy Brownies

1-1/4 cup pitted medjool dates
1 cup raw walnut pieces
1/2 cup cacao powder
pinch sea salt

Combine dates, walnuts, cacao powder and salt in a food processor and pulse until a dough has formed.

Chop 1/2 cup of walnuts just slightly and mix into dough.

Press into a pan and cut into squares.

Top with Love Street Original Chocolate Spread* when ready to eat. (Picture does not show topping. I discovered the topping after the photo was taken and dang, was it good!)

Simply rawesome!!!

*Love Street's Original Cholocate spread can be purchased through the link at the top right hand corner of this page.

~~~~~~~~

I added caco nibs into the dough and it was like chewing on glass, so I recommend using slightly chopped walnuts instead.


Today's raw consumption:

"Green Pineapple Orange Smoothie" for breakfast consisting of:

1 cup water
1 Banana
1/2 Pineapple (cored and skinned)
2 Oranges (peeled)
2 handfuls of spinach
2 TBSP. Ground Flaxseeds
1/2 tsp. Lucuma
1/2 tsp. Maca
Ice

My "After Work-Out Superfood Protein Smoothie" consisted of:

1 cup Almond Milk
1/2 Banana (all I had left!)
1 TBSP. of Peanut Butter
2 TBSP. Ground Flaxseeds
2 TBSP. Cacao Powder
1/2 tsp. Lucuma, Maca, Mesquite
1 TBSP. Hemp Protein Powder
1 TBSP. Agave Nectar
Dash Cinnamon
Ice

For dinner I had a huge salad, some Fudgy Brownies and some water.

And now I'm off to bed!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 27 - Cranberry Salad Smoothie

I decided to try something different with my cranberry smoothie. First of all, rather than using almond milk, I decided to juice an apple and use apple juice instead. Next, I increased the amount of cranberries and celery, using 1 cup of cranberries and two full stalks of celery. I was going to use two oranges, but ended up only using one. It came out quite tasty and actually did remind me of the Cranberry Jello salad that I make at Thanksgiving.

Cranberry Salad smoothie - Version 2
Juice of 1 Fuji apple
1 cup cranberries
1 orange, peeled and quartered
2 stalks of celery
1 cup red grapes

Blend and enjoy.

The Cranberry Salad Smoothie was my brunch drink. Then, late in the afternoon I had Carrot/Celery/Apple juice with a scoop of Wheat Grass.

For dinner I'll probably have a salad as well as munch on some Energy Flat Bread with Rich (and Raw) Cheddar Sauce and some of the Fresh Tomato Salsa I made this morning.

Somewhere in all this, I plan to drink a couple of bottles of water.

Wow, I just realized there are only four days left of this 31-day challenge. It's hard to believe that the month of October is almost over ... and the holidays are just around the corner ... and then a new year and another year older. As we get older, the value of time and quality of life seem a lot more crucial than they used to be. Since turning fifty, things that used to be important no longer are, and things that I never thought twice about, I now reflect upon and ponder. Don't waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them, to share the love of Christ because God IS love. You wouldn't know it the way some people react when this topic is brought up, but God truly does love each and everyone of us. Have a blessed day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 25 & 26 - Time flies!!

Wow, I can't believe how fast time flies when you get old! LOL!!

On Sunday, day 25 of my 31 day challenge, I didn't have a chance to try the Cranberry Sauce, so instead, I created a smoothie based on a recipe I make for Thanksgiving called Cranberry Jello Salad. It's has cherry jello, cranberries, chunks of orange, diced celery, apple chunks and sugar.

Cranberry Salad Smoothie
Almond Milk (next time I'll try it with water)
1/2 cup cranberries (next time I'll use 2/3 cup)
1 Fuji apple, peeled and quartered
1 orange, peeled and quartered (next time I'll use 2)
1 1/2 stalks of celery (next time - 2 stalks)
1/2 cup red grapes

It came out pretty good, but with the almond milk, was too creamy. I think it would have been even better with water.

By the time I left for work, all I had was this smoothie, so when I got home, I was starving. I made a salad but my step-daughter made a pumpkin bread and, well, I ate a slice. Shame on me! But it was good!

I munched on grapes, a banana and then we polished off a veggie platter of celery, broccoli and carrots. Had a bottle of water.


Day 26
Went to the gym this morning and had a bottle of water.

Came home and had a protein smoothie: Almond Milk, Banana, Vanilla Bean, Peanut Butter, Scoop of Hemp Protein Powder.

Worked in the yard for four hours - had another bottle of water.

After a nice soothing bath in the jacuzzi, I made a salad, then had a slice of banana bread , some Energy Flat Bread with Mock Salmon Pate. The banana bread was sent home with my step-daughter's boyfriend so that's out of my system! Tomorrow will be a better day. It's supposed to rain, so I'll have plenty of time to try some new recipes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 24 - Recipe Surfing

With the holidays just around the corner, I did some raw recipe surfing this evening and have saved approximately 30 recipes. I can't wait to start testing them out, but it will have to wait until Monday as tomorrow is a full day. The recipe I want to start with is:

Carmella's Cranberry Sauce
1 cup cranberries
1 1/2 small oranges
2 medjhool dates
A small piece of fresh ginger, peeled
Dash cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
Dash clove or allspice
Agave until desired sweetness is reached

Whirl in blender til smooth.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I love cranberries and now that watermelons and peaches are gone and grapes are fading fast, time to shift to the fruits of this season. This recipes sounds sooo good! I might be able to squeeze this one in tomorrow between church and work.

As for my consumption today:

Breakfast: Smoothie of Almond milk, Banana, Pineapple, Wheat Grass.

Lunch: Water with Lemon; the most amazing Salad at a local restaurant that included Red and Yellow Peppers, Snow Peas, Squash, Artichoke hearts, Green Onions served over hearts of palm, fresh mushrooms, tomatoes and mixed greens. Mmmmmm...mmmmm...mmmmm. I ate half at the restaurant and half for dinner at home.

Snack Late Afternoon: Some Buckwheat bars and a Banana

Dinner: Other half of my salad from lunch.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 23 - Top 10 Foods for Women's Health

Breakfast - Juice of Carrots, Celery, Apples, Wheat Grass. Sunflower seeds and Goji Berries.

Lunch - Smoothie of Almond Milk, Banana, Spinach, Grapes, Orange, Camu Camu, Lucuma, Mesquite and Maca powder, a splash of Agave.

Dinner - Salad plus some Carrots, Celery, Broccoli off a veggie tray, bottle of water.

Great workout today.

~~~~~~~~

Got an email today from Sunfood.com listing the top ten foods for women's health but I'm sure men would benefit too. Dr. Ariel Policano is a leading naturopathic physician with over 15 years of experience using raw foods and superfoods to treat a wide variety of conditions. She recommends the following top ten foods for optimal health.

1) Raw Chocolate
• Improves mood by increasing serotonin and other positive brain chemicals.
• Contains magnesium -- good for heart health, insomnia, bone density, hormonal balance.
• High in Vitamin C and electrolytes.
• High in antioxidants -- slower aging, disease prevention.

2) Maca
• Incredible hormone regulation from the top down -- works from pituitary gland.
• Adrenal support for strong, steady energy.
• Thyroid support for healthy metabolism.
• Reproductive support -- Balances hormones and reduces hot flashes.
• Libido support.
• Rich in B Vitamins.

3) Flax Seed
• Excellent raw materials for creation of health reproductive hormones.
• Anti-inflammatory.
• Good for healthy colon.
• Lignans improve hormonal balance.
• High "electron" food -- gives you energy and optimal cellular health.
• Possible anti-cancer properties written about by Johanna Budwig.

4) Sprouts
• Very nutrient dense.
• High protein.
• Good source of trace minerals.
• Broccoli sprouts have anti-cancer properties.
• Alkalinizing -- improves metabolism.
• Satisfies nutritional needs -- reduces appetite.

5) Kombucha
• Supports excellent digestive health.
• Improves healthy gut bacteria that helps with production of serotonin, good mood hormone.
• Rich in enzymes -- helps energize the entire body, all organs, hormones and neurotransmitters.
• Rich in vitamin B-Complex.
• Alkalinizing -- improves metabolism.
• Has been used by some women as a part of a breast cancer treatment plan.

6) Goji Berries
• Very high in antioxidants.
• High in Vitamin C.
• Complete protein containing all essential amino acids.
• Contains factors for human growth hormone.
• Rich in polysaccharide sugars for healthy immune system.

7) Coconut
• Anti-bacterial.
• Anti-fungal.
• Anti-viral.
• Healthy source of saturated fats.
• Rich in electrolytes.
• Alkalinizing -- improves metabolism.
• Increases energy.

8) Marine Phytoplankton
• Rich in chlorophyll.
• Alkalinizing -- improves metabolism.
• Cleansing.
• Vegan source of EPA and DHA.
• Many different carotenoids means strong antioxidant support.
• Virtually all trace minerals in marine phytoplankton.
• Great for balancing blood sugar.
• Good for weight loss -- satisfied nutritionally, not as hungry.
• Energy improvement.

9) Hemp Seed
• Complete protein.
• Omega 3 and Omega 6 present in healthy ratio.
• Anti-inflammatory.
• Raw materials for healthy hormones!
• Contain chlorophyll for nourishment and cleansing.

10) Sea Vegetables
• Thyroid health.
• Breast health.
• Weight loss.
• Cancer protection.
• High mineral content good for blood sugar, focus and creativity.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Ariel Policano is a leading naturopathic physician with a special focus on women's health, promoted through her Women Go Raw Health Tours. With over 15 years of experience using raw foods and superfoods to treat conditions that range from fatigue and menopause to cardiovascular disease and breast cancer.

Contact Dr. Policano: ariel@womengoraw.com

Source: www. sunfood.com

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 22 - Benefits of Reishi Mushroom

I just got an email that touts the benefits of Reshi mushroom and it said:

Reishi is an exceptional Chinese mushroom that has long been highly rated in traditional Chinese medicine and used in the treatment of a variety of disorders.

It is believed to promote health and longevity and to be one of the best boosters of the body's immunity against diseases. Reishi contains Germanium and is considered to have a powerful effect against tumours and cancers. Recent research has found Reishi to be beneficial in relieving fatigue and stress, treating joint inflammations, lowering high cholesterol and triglycerides, reducing heart disease symptoms, regenerating the liver, alleviating allergies, calming the nervous system and helping with the treatment of diabetes.


I was already aware of these benefits as I love to drink my Gano Coffee. If you would like to read about my experience with Reishi coffee and see a more detailed list of the benfits, scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on the link. Better yet, check out Gano's healthy coffee. If you must drink coffee, at least make it healthy coffee!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Today's food consmption.

20 oz. Juice of Carrots, Celery, Apples, Wheat Grass.

Buckwheat bars.

Zaxby Zensation Salad minus the chicken, Sweet Tea.

I was called in to work today for the first time in MONTHS, so I was not prepared and consequently, did not consume much.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 21 - Three weeks into 31-Day Raw Challenge

Okay, so I spoke too soon yesterday when I said I was doing so well. I did cheat a bit today, but it was a small cheat. =)

I made some fresh Tomato Salsa the other day, and earlier today, my stepson told me that it tasted so much better the second day, now that the flavors had a chance to meld. Then, hubby was snacking on some salsa and chips and he commented on how good it was. Without thinking, I walked over, grabbed a chip and scooped up some salsa. I guess I didn't realize the impact of two little Serrano chili peppers because almost instantaneously I was hootin' n hollerin' n doing a jig around the kitchen. I was choking and gasping like I'd swallowed fire. I grabbed a bunch of chips to diminsh the burning in my mouth and throat. It was a site to behold, I'm sure. Unfortunately, I ate some chips that were most definitely NOT raw!

I didn't eat before heading out to the gym this morning but when I got home, I made up a protein smoothie of banana, vanilla beans, raw almond butter (didn't make almond milk), cacao nibs (out of cacao powder), peanut butter, agave, coconut oil, maca, mesquite powder, hemp protein powder and water with ice. This was quite filling because it kept me going for several hours.

Then I went out and did yard work which took up about four hours. I realized I hadn't eaten anything, so I came in and made up some juice of Carrots, Celery, Beet, Ginger, Lemon and Wheat Grass. =|

Then went to the natural market where I ended up buying a Greens Plus Protein bar because I was just plain starving. Another "not raw" item. =(

For dinner, I had a salad and now I'm munching on some Buckwheat Bars and drinking a bottle of water.

It was a very busy and productive day today that flew by like greased lightning!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 20 - Stevia - a Healthy Sweetner

Stevia is a natural sweetener and I just so happen to have a Stevia plant, so I decided to save a few branches to make some Stevia powder. This is what's left of my plant. It grew beautifully this summer and was quite full.





I cut a few branches and hung them to dry. Once they were thoroughly dried out, I put them into my coffee grinder and blended the leaves to powder. I forgot to take a photo of the dried out branches, so I stopped grinding long enough to take a picture with a leave still intact. lol.

I wish I would have thought of this at the beginning of the summer as I would have a lot more, but this is what two branches of a Stevia plant produced. But this is sufficient to get me through the winter and spring because you don't need much at all. A dash will do ya! lol.

Also, I've read that Stevia is apparently safe for diabetics, unlike its chemical sweetener counterparts (Splenda, Aspartame) and other synthetic sweeteners.


Okay, on to my raw food consumption for the day. I can't believe it's Day 20 already! Wow, that sure has gone by fast and I'm tickled that I'm doing so well.

Breakfast: Smoothie of Almond Milk, Banana, Kale, Agave

Mid morning: Large glass of fresh squeezed Grapefruit Juice

Lunch: Smoothie of Kale, Banana, Strawberries, Oranges, Water and scoop of Wheat Grass

Afternoon: Buchwheat bars, Goji Berries, Bottle water

Dinner: Salad

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 19 - Thoughts to Ponder

I came across this quote and wanted to share it with anyone who would listen!

“The evidence is very strong that those who eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables daily are at a lower risk of cancer... one-third of cancers are related to diet.” - David S. Rosenthal, M.D., Past President of The American Cancer Society, Director of Harvard University Health Services and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Now that is something to chew on! But better yet, check out the next one.

The Studies of Weston Price
"In his studies, he found that plagues of modern civilization (headaches, general muscle fatigue, dental cavities, impacted molars, tooth crowding, allergies, heart disease, asthma, and degenerative diseases such as tuberculosis and cancer) were not present in those cultures sustained by indigenous diets. However, within a single generation these same cultures experienced all the above listed ailments with the inclusion of Western foods in their diet such as: refined sugars, refined flours, canned goods, foods from depleted soil, processed vegetable oils, animals in confinement, dairy products, refined grains, extruded grains, soy, MSG, artificial flavorings, refined sweeteners, processed pickles, soft drinks, refined salt, synthetic vitamins, microwaving foods, irradiating foods, hybrid seeds, and GMO seeds."
- Weston A. Price, D.D.S. (1870-1948) was a dentist and nutritionist. He was the chairman of the Research Section of the American Dental Association from 1914-1923.

Would love to know his reaction to the health of our "progressive" society now ... a century later. We've come a long way baby! =\

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Before working out, I had a smoothie of Kale, Banana, Almond Milk and Peanut Butter. Different. Interesting.

Midday, I had juice of 3 Carrots, 2 stalks Celery, 1/4 Cucumber, 1/2 Fuji Apple, 1 scoop of Hemp Protein Powder and 1 scoop of Barley Green.

Snacked on Red Grapes and Sunflower Seeds.

I went to the farmer's market and bought a bunch of tomatoes and made some salsa.

For dinner I had a salad topped with chopped tomatoes!

Fresh Tomato Salsa
3 chopped tomatoes
1 chopped red onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 Serrano Chili Peppers, minced
5 leaves of Cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
salt to taste

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 18 - NO MORE Peaches!! =(

I went to the grocery store after church to get some peaches ... but there weren't any, so I had to make a smoothie without them. It wasn't as good as yesterday's smoothie.

Brunch: I didn't get a chance to eat before church this morning, so when I got home at noon, I made a smoothie of almond milk, kale, banana, strawberries, pineapple and cacao nibs.

Lunch: I snacked on red grapes.

Since it was a chilly day today, hubby decided to make some chili - and not the raw version. It smelled SOOOOO good and it was very tempting. I knew I had to come up with a plan to buffer the temptation.

I decided to make some raw soup so I threw together the following ingredients and named it:

Sweet Kale Soup
2 handfuls of kale
1/2 avocado
1 apple
2 small cilantro leaves
2 tsp. lime juice
Herbamere seasoning to taste

It was yummmy!!!

Dinner: Energy flat bread and pate, and Sweet Kale soup.

Evening: Snacked on more red grapes.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 17 - Raw Munchies by the Fire

It was quite the chilly day today so I spent the entire day in front of the fireplace with the dog. However, I did venture into the kitchen a few times to whip up some snacks.

I made a pate of raw walnuts, celery, red bell pepper, green onion and a bit of celtic sea salt to have with my Flat Energy Bread.

I also made a smoothie that was incredible!! Typically when I make a smoothie, I throw random raw ingredients into the blender, and every once in a while, I come up with an exceptional one. Today's smoothie was absolutely delish!!

Pineapple Peach Delight
2 cups raw almond milk
2 handfuls of spinach
1 peach
2 handfuls of red grapes
1 slice above 1/2 inch thick of pineapple

The pineapple was thrown in by accident. I was trying to pour the juice of the pineapple into the container when the top slice of pineapple fell in, so I left it. Boy am I glad I did! YUMMMMM!!! If I had another peach, I'd make another one right now. Note to self: pick up peaches at the grocery store tomorrow! lol.

Blend and enjoy!!!

Okay, so what did I consume today?

Breakfast: Raw almond milk in steelcut oats and grawnola with red grapes.

Lunch: Quart of Pineapple Peach Delight smoothie & Energy Flat Bread with pate.

Afternoon: Couple slices of watermelon

Dinner: Salad of romaine, red cabbage, carrots, green onions, yellow bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers, sun flower seeds. Dressing of Flaxseed oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, himalayan salt and pepper.

In the photo, you will see a green container. Well, I just thought it funny that my sweet hubby bought that for me because he hated me carrying my green smoothies around in a clear glass bottle - or as he calls it my "barf bottle".

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 16 - Are "Natural Flavors" Really Natural?

When you are raw for a time, your body becomes cleansed and your senses are heightened. Today I drank a glass of raspberry lemonade that is supposedly "natural" but my taste buds screamed otherwise.

The drink left an aftertaste of artificial sweetener. Maybe it was the 26 grams of "natural" sugar or the "natural flavors" but whatever it was, it didn't taste "natural" to me. The drink actually tasted pretty good, it was the after taste that killed it for me. Too bad because I really liked the name.

I read recently that if the label contains any of the following ingredients, they ALWAYS contain MSG:

Autolyzed yeast
Calcium caseinate
Gelatin
Glutamate
Glutamic acid
Hydrolyzed corn gluten
Hydrolyzed protein (any protein that is hydrolyzed)
Monopotassium glutamate
Monosodium glutamate
Sodium caseinate
Textured protein
Yeast extract
Yeast food
Yeast nutrient

The following OFTEN contain MSG or create MSG during processing:

Anything enzyme modified
Anything fermented
Anything protein fortified
Bouillon and Broth
Carrageenan
Citric acid
Enzymes anything
Flavors(s) & Flavoring(s)
Malt extract
Malt flavoring
Maltodextrin
Natural beef flavoring
Natural chicken flavoring
Natural flavor & flavoring
Natural pork flavoring
Pectin
Protease
Protease enzymes
Seasonings (the word “seasonings”)
Soy protein
Soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
Soy sauce extract
Stock Barley malt
Ultra-pasteurized Soy sauce
Whey protein
Whey protein concentrate
Whey protein isolate

Ahhh! Well lookie there.

It's amazing to me how you can detect something that is not natural when your diet is high raw; however, for those who eat SAD (Standard American Diet) which includes processed foods that contain Aspartame and MSG, it wouldn't even be noticeable because of the desensitization factor.

Okay, so here's what I ate today:

Breakfast: Organic Reishi Mushroom Coffee (Not raw, but organic. It's an occasional indulgence.) Veggie Omelet ... Veggie WHAAAT? Yes, that's right, it says "omelet". The veggies were raw, only the egg wasn't. Okay, so it's another occasional indulgence.

Lunch: Green Smoothie: Kale, Peach, Strawberries, Coconut oil, water.

Mid-Afternoon: Red grapes.

Dinner: Garden Salad, Buchwheat Bars, Raspberry Lemonade, more Smoothie to was the after taste away, Water to wash the after taste away!

I guess I'll just have to come up with my own version of a Simply RAWesome Lemonade.

[10.17.2009 Edited to add: Last night I could not get to sleep until 4:30am! After only four hours of restless sleep, I woke up feeling like I had overdosed on ephedra. Now what *natural* ingredients would cause a reaction like that?!! Very curious.]

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 15 - Chillin'

It's a chilly day today, so I'm just chillin.

For all that raw food prep I was doing the first two weeks of my challenge. I'm taking it easy this week and just consuming juice and smoothies and a salad. Fortunately, I took before and after pictures of my smoothie, so I can remember the ingredients! lol.

BEFORE
I've been getting bored with my usual same-ole smoothie, so this morning I made a smoothie of Romaine, Parsley, Banana, Grapes, Vanilla Bean, Strawberries, Blueberries, juice of 1 1/2 Fuji Apples, 1 TBSP. of Coconut Oil, 1 tsp. Maca, 1 tsp. Mesquite Powder.

I just love the looks of fresh fruit and greens in my blender. Such pretty colors.



AFTER
Look at that color! And it was SOOO smooth and yummy.

Then I had a smoothie of kale, coconut water, banana, strawberries, blueberries.

I munched on my favorite snack throughout the day - red grapes. Just love those things.

For dinner we are going to Ruby Tuesday's and I plan to have a lovely salad.

I did want to make some Seasoned Kale Chips today, but after getting home from grocery shopping, I realized I was missing one of the ingredients needed. Ahhh, tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 14 - Wild Violet Leaves

Another leafy green that can be added to the salad is wild violet leaves. When I lived at my farm, I would go out and pick a bunch along with the pretty violet flowers and throw them into my salad. Suprisingly, we have a ton growing in our yard here! So, when you get bored with the usual spring greens or romaine in your salads, wander out to your yard to see what wild greens you can throw into your salad for a change of pace.

Not only do violets make impressive looking salads, according to "The Green Pharmacy" by James A. Duke, violet flowers contain generous amounts of rutin that helps maintain the strength and integrity of capillary walls. Taking 20 to 100 mg of rutin daily can significantly strengthen capillaries. It is estimated that one half cup of fresh violet flowers contains anywhere from 200 - 2,300 mg of rutin.

Violets aren't the only flowers that contain rutin. Pansies are another edible flower also high in rutin. So this spring, be sure to add some pansies and violets to your salad!




This is all I can remember of what my consumption was:

Banana

20 oz. of juice (3 Carrots, Fuji Apple, 1 Stalk Celery, 1 TBSP. of Wheat Grass)

Sunflower seeds

A huge smoothie of Kale, Coconut Water, Banana, Strawberries, Blueberries. I made enough for tomorrow too.

Grapes

Huge Garden Salad

Day 13 - Melon Flush

After riding over 330 miles on a motorcycle this weekend, I figured an adjustement was in order ... so I drove to Alabama to see my amazing chiropractor ... a mere 310-mile roundtrip. What's wrong with this picture, you may ask?! lol. Well, he's just THAT good! When you find a good chiropractor, you drive across county lines, but when you find a PHENOMENAL chiropractor, you drive across state lines!

Since I spent six hours driving, I had to keep my fluid intake down while driving otherwise, I'd be stopping at every gas station to empty my bladder, thus making the trip even longer.

So, my consumption today was:

Juice of 3 carrots, 1/4 cucumber, 1 Fuji apple and 1 TBSP of Wheat Grass.
a bunch of Buchwheat bars
Salad of spring greens, tomatos, carrots
Handful of red grapes as I walked around the grocery store.
1/2 liter of alkaline water
Energy Flat Bread with raw Rich Cheddar Cheese
1/2 small round watermelon - after I got home! If you want to flush your bladder, eat 1/2 a watermelon!! It does the job right quick! lol.

Also, I came across the following video that shows an easier way to open coconuts, but you have to be a bit more aggressive that I am. Check it out! It's 3/4 of the way through the video, so learn while you watch! And in case you want to hear everything Anand has to say, I've included the second video as well.



Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 12 - Lazy Day

When I woke up this morning, it was raining. I didn't want to get out of bed. I think part of that was just being in the wind for 330-some-odd miles this weekend. It has a tendency to drain you.

I didn't eat much at all today:

A bowl of Whole Oats with Tropical Rawgurt.
Juice of 3 Carrots, 1 Celery Stalk, 2 Fuji Apples and 1 TBSP. of Wheat Grass.
1 Almond stuffed Date
Garden Salad

I realized I keep forgetting to include the water I've been drinking. Well, sadly I had none today. Not good, I know. I need to fix that.

It's just been a lazy day and I haven't felt like eating... or doing much of anything for that matter. Tomorrow will be a better day!

Day 11 - Hung Over

I paid the price for my BBQ chips as I woke up with puffy eyes and a sour stomach. I felt drugged ... all from a couple of handfuls of chips. But I'm not the only one who didn't feel well. Most of the folks who ate that nasty Mexican food complained about feeling sick afterwards. Imagine that?!

So, today is another day. What do I do? We go to breakfast and I decide to order a veggie omelet with uncooked veggies. Unfortunately, the omelet came with .... HOME FRIES!!! OHHHHH NOOOOOOOO!!! I LOVE potatoes! Yes, I ate the litte suckers, but there really wasn't that many; only about two tablespoons worth. And for most of the day, I had heartburn.

For lunch, we stopped at a Rib and BBQ place and I ordered a Chicken Tender Salad. I removed the chicken and brought it home for the dogs. There was a sprinkling of finely grated cheddar cheese that would be too tedious to try to remove. Besides, I'd still be sitting there picking cheddar off my salad.

We got home and I had an orange to settle my stomach. Then I had an apple and a banana. Overall, I don't think I did that bad. I wish I wouldn't have eaten the chips or potatos, but it's done and overwith and I'm continuing on my challenge.

Day 10 - OH NOOOOO!!!!

The day started out early. We got up at 6am... UGH. We loaded up the bike and headed to our meeting point. I packed up a cooler full of raw food to get me through the weekend. I drank a green smoothie throughout the ride until we got to NC.

While unloading the food into the fridge in our room, I munched on watermelon. Then the group decided to go for lunch ... at a Mexican restaurant. YUCK! They had a spinach salad on the menu that looked promising, so I asked if I could get that without the dead stuff on it [I didn't say it exactly like that. lol.] and they said yes. So far so good. But, then I asked what type of dressings they had. Ranch was it. OHHHH NOOOO!!! I decided not to eat and instead watched everyone stuff their faces with all that nasty gross food oozing with chese.

When we got back to the Inn, I pulled out the salad mix that I brought with me and added some cucumber and chopped tomatoes, and ate my lunch in our room. I also had a couple of pieces of Energy Flat Bread and raw Rich Cheddar Cheese.

For dinner, the group had burgers and hot dogs with baked beans that had ground beef in it, as well as pasta salad, and tons of decadent sweets. I sat in the picnic area while they got the fire going and when everyone started to eat, I meandered back to our room and made myself a bowl of whole oats and Tropical Rawgurt that I didn't eat for breakfast. I also had a few pieces of Buckwheat bars and an apple. I was supposed to bring a bag of BBQ chips back to my hubby, but before I did ... I ate a handful! I can't believe, after being 100% raw for 10 days, that I actually caved in. To BBQ chips, no less!

When we got back to the room for the night, I tried to make up for it by munching on celery and carrots.

Day 9 - Opening a Young Coconut

I didn't have time to do this post on Friday (Day 9 of the 31-Day Challenge) because I spent the day preparing for our trip to the NC mountains. To the best of my recollection, I consumed the following:

1.5 quarts of Green Smoothie (Romaine, Cucumber, Oranges, Grapes, and I can't remember what else!)
A few slices of Watermelon
A few Glazed Sweet Potato Chips
A couple of pieces of Energy Flat Bread with raw Rich Cheddar Cheese
A Banana

That's all I can remember, but I do know that everything I ate was raw.


How to Open a Young Coconut

I had a young coconut in the fridge that I wanted to use up before we left, so I decided, since I had nothing else to do today [lol], I would take photos of how to open one of these puppies.

You'll need a butcher knife and a cutting board, preferably flexible so you can pour the juice that overflows when you first open it into a bowl.


Step 1 - Slice the bark off the top of the coconut in the direction of the knife in the photo. Slice all around the top. Sometimes I find it easier to lay the coconut on its side and slice from the side to the point. Removing the bark off the top makes it easier to pop open the top.


Step 2 - Take the back corner edge of the knife and whack the coconut, working your way around the top center a couple of inches from the point, as indicated in the photos below.



You will be able to tell when the knife penetrates the coconut. Sometimes it will hiss from the pressure being released. Also, if the coconut is really full, the water will leak out. This is why it's good to have a flexible cutting board. It's easier to pour the water into a bowl. You may also want to tilt the coconut over a bowl and let some of the water pour off so it's not so messy when you pop the top.

I usually go around a couple more times to loosen the top of the coconut.

Step 3 - Once you've broken through the coconut, take the tip of the knife and insert it into the coconut and twist the knife in order to pry the top up. If it doesn't pop up easily, whack around the circle a few more times to break it open a bit more. Then pour the rest of the coconut water into the bowl.



Step 4 - To remove the meat inside of the coconut, place a spoon between the shell of the coconut and the meat with the inside of the spoon facing the outside of the coconut. Check out the photo below to understand what I'm trying to say! Then press the spoon down to lift the meat away from the shell. Keep working the meat away from the shell, then scoop out. Don't forget to remove the meat from the top that was removed.



Step 5 - And there you have it! A knife, a spoon, coconut water in a bowl, a pile of coconut meat, an empty coconut and a flexible cutting board. It's really easy once you've opened a few coconuts.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day 8 - Eating to Live... Roaches anyone?

I've made the transition from "Living to Eat" to "Eating to Live." I have no desire for cooked food. Yay! I've decided not to worry about how much I consume each day, but instead just listen to what my body wants and enjoy what I eat.

Today's consumption:

Smoothie of Spinach, Pineapple, Coconut Water and Wheat Grass Powder
Watermelon
Cheesy Kale Chips
Salad of Romaine, Radishes, Cucumber, Tomato, Red Cabbage, Green Onions, Mushrooms, Carrots, and Sunflower Seeds.
Energy Flat Bread with Raw Rich Cheddar Cheese
Liter of Alkaline Water
My favorite snack: Almond Buttered Roaches on Bananas

I love dates, but I especially enjoy people's reaction to them. My kids refused to eat them because they said they looked like roaches. I always responded that they were the best tasting roaches I could imagine eating.

While I was making this snack today, my sweet hubby came over, looked and said, "WHAT is that?!" I laughed and said, "Almond-covered Bananas with Roaches. Wanna try one?" He turned, shivered and walked away shaking his head."

I must say that they definitely look more appetizing when I chop up the dates rather than slice them lenghtwise.

In preparation for our trip this weekend, I made some Glazed Sweet Potato Chips. If the weather holds out, we'll be taking the bike so I need to come up with some "travel meals" that will fit in a saddle bag. We'll be out in the boondocks where there are no restaurants within a reasonable distance, so running out to Mickey D's for a salad won't be an option. This is going to be interesting!

The Glazed Sweet Potato Chips are so easy to make, just use a mandolin to slice up your peeled sweet potatoes. Then mix equal parts of Raw Almond Butter and Honey and spread on the chips. Dehydrate at 105° till the chips are curled up on the edges. They won't be crisp due to the glaze on them. They'll be soft and chewy. Then enjoy!