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Why is it so Hard to Stay Healthy These Days?

There is no short answer to this but it does boil down to one thing mostly and that is our food supply. I won’t go on and on here about it but will give you some links to things I have written in the past that will help you to see some of my points in more detail.

Remember the old adage, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’? Well, 100 years or so ago there was some truth to that. Now however, it’s unfortunately not the case. For example, in 1914 an apple contained almost half the minimum daily requirement of iron, but today you would have to eat 26 apples to get the same amount. Iron is not the only nutrient depleted. In 80 years apples have declined in the following minerals: the amount of calcium in apples has dropped 48%; phosphorous 84%; iron 96%; and magnesium, the famous heart nutrient, has dropped 82%. Below is an excerpt from the article Shocking Statistics About Our Food Supply transcript.

Look at these statistics focusing on the mineral calcium in a few common foods. In the last 80 years the amount of calcium has declined 81% in cabbage, 92% in lettuce, 56% in spinach, and 48% in apples. These are absolutely massive drops in the mineral levels in our foods.

During the same time period magnesium levels have dropped by 77% in cabbage, 91% in lettuce, 35% in spinach, and as we said earlier, 82% in apples. Iron levels dropped from 60% to 99% in the same vegetables.

These huge drops in mineral levels are occurring in all our fresh foods. It’s not just fruits and vegetables; the same types of things are happening with chicken, beef, rice etc. We see not only mineral depletions but vitamin reductions as well.

So what’s been going on in the last 100 years for this to happen? Mass farming. Yep…sad but true. So the farms are trying to produce large amounts of food for the least amount of money. I guess you could say it boils down to greed. They don’t replace the minerals in the soil from one year to the next and our soil is getting poorer and poorer and on top of that they are in most cases using pesticides and GMO seeds. So the slippery slope is getting even slipperier. I could go on more about all this but I think you are catching my drift by now.

Notice that we are talking about minerals here and not vitamins. There’s a problem there too but I’m focusing more on minerals here for a reason. I wrote about Thyroid/Pituitary issues the other day on my husband, Dr. Van Dueck’s blog (He’s known as Dr. DiffRant) and there you will see how pandemic endocrine issues are. Minerals are desperately needed by the endocrine system. But there is another factor to our declining health…bad fats and the reduction of good fats in our diet. I think that a lot of issues like MS, Parkinsons, and ALS that involve inflammation (MS) and motor neuron problems could be drastically reduced by people using the right fats. By the way, the right fats are used in our holistic health world to reduce inflammation. Biotics use a lot of Bio Mega 3 Liquid for this purpose.

I found Dr. Mercola’s video A Bowl of Rice a Day very interesting as he talks about fats and carbs and the role they play. There’s a couple of things that have happened over the years and one is that we’ve had the you know what scared out of us by the medical profession about fats. They are BAD!! NOT! They are not bad. We need them but we need the right kind. So listen to the video but know this…coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil and organic (preferably raw) butter are all good. Avocados are good! Fats from animal sources are good too. Eggs are good!

So what’s the perfect diet? There is no one perfect diet for everyone but here’s the general skinny on it.

Lots of organic produce but not too much of the high glycemic stuff like potatoes and the like. Some fruit but don’t go overboard as it is sweet and that is an issue. Berries are lower on the glycemic index so they are easier on you. Be careful to get organic though because berries can really soak up the pesticides.

We don’t really need grains but if you are having some they are best sprouted. Nuts and seeds are excellent but raw and organic.

So my breakfast is either eggs and watch out for frying because you heat the oil too much and that isn’t good so go with poached or boiled eggs more frequently. I make some raw flat bread with my dehydrator and that is great with them. Another thing I have is raw granola and I put almond milk (I make my own when I can) or hemp milk. I don’t use soy or rice milk. I may put on some yogurt (fermented is good) and berries. I get the milks unsweetened. They aren’t truly raw when purchased but there is only so much time in a day so we have to pick our battles:) Another option is a smoothie and there are all kinds of combos you can make. I use coconut water, kefir (fermented), berries, NutriClear (Biotics Research) which is a protein powder extraordinaire and NitroGreens also from Biotics. Sometimes I will use Spirulina instead. I will also stuff in some greens like kale, spinach or whatever I have and that gives me an extra boost of veggies for the day. Do I ever have eggs benny or other breakies that are outside of the really heathy range?…sure once in a while…we gotta be flexible or we’ll go nuts. Oh yes, that reminds me raw nuts can go in your smoothy too. There’s already lots in the granola I make. Raw nut butters can be made at home too but I have noticed one on the market now so there’s an option slathered on some flat bread or on celery sticks. All of this is really quick too. You can make your granola on the weekend and it keeps in the fridge for a long time. So I really don’t think there is any excuse for not eating a good breakfast.

Lunches can be hard if you are out and about but a salad with some protein is usually available at most restaurants and ‘God forbid’ fast food joints. So you have to do your best here or take a lunch. I make a nut pate (Mock Salmon Pate) which can go on celery sticks, Raw Buckwheat Flat Bread or it can be wrapped up in lettuce leaves. One of my fave lunches is raw flat bread with 1/2 avocado spread on it, nut pate, thinly sliced red onions, and sprouts. Egg Salad Sandwiches (use decent mayo-watch out though because even the supposed healthy stuff can be made with canola oil or soy oil which I won’t use) are great or maybe salmon. Use the Raw Buckwheat Flat Bread or again wrap in lettuce. Also, if hard pressed you can buy sprouted bread which is at least better that most. I’m sure you can find some other healthy ways to incorporate some veggies and protein into your lunch.

Now for dinner. I try to keep it simple so a protein cooked in a method that doesn’t involve high heat is best. So perhaps a pesto marinated chicken breast (organic free range) then baked. Serve with some gently steamed veggies and a salad and that’s that. Sure sometimes we have spaghetti or something like that but I try to use a quinoa/rice based pasta (GoGo brand is one) and I make my own sauce from scratch. You could always use spaghetti squash in place of the pasta too. Use the 80/20 rule. Do the right thing 80 percent of the time and all will be well.

I do try to eat more raw food and that’s why I use the Flat Bread and Raw Granola as that takes care of my breakfast and lunch and dinner tends to be part raw and part cooked. Especially in winter…one likes some hot food. So this is what I have made work for me and with some tweaking, I’m sure you can come up with your own plan.

Mock Salmon Pate & some variations

2 cups walnuts

2 stalks celery

1 large red bell pepper

1 large scallion

1/2 to 1 tsp salt or to taste (Himalayan Pink or Fleur de Sel)

A few grinds or black pepper.

Roughly chop the veggies and throw everything into the food processor. Blend until smooth.

You can switch this up with other nuts. Add garlic or red onion. Add cilantro, parsely, cress etc. Add spices like cumin or Italian spices. Use whatever flavours you like to switch it up!

 

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Raw Buckwheat Flat Bread

Here's a pic of my fave raw sandwich!

Here’s a pic of my fave raw sandwich!

I give thanks to Russell James for this recipe. I hope he doesn’t mind me posting it. Please check out his raw food course and for just a few dollars a month you can join and get recipes via email throughout the month. It’s worth it. This is a great way to get away from high carb breads and get more raw into your diet. My fave sandwich has sprouts, avocado, red onion, lettuce, tomato and whatever else seems yummy that particular day. Makes 18 ‘slices’

Print

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups sun dried tomatoes

3 cups sprouted buckwheat

1 cup flax meal

3 1/2 cups peeled zucchini roughly chopped

2 cups apple cored and roughly chopped

3 tabblespoons lemon juice

2 avocados

1 large onion

1/2 cup minced parsley

– Process the olive oil, sun dried toms, sprouted buckwheat, courgette, apple, lemon juice, avocados, onion and herbs until thoroughly mixed.

– Transfer to a large bowl and mix with the flax meal by hand. The reason you do this separately (not in the processor) is that you are likely to have too much mixture for the size if the processor at this point, and when you add the flax meal it will become quite heavy and sticky and overwork your machine.

– When mixed, process the whole batter in the machine again, but in small batches to achieve a light fluffy texture.

– Divide the mixture in half and place on Paraflexx sheets on dehydrator trays.

– Use a spatula to spread the mixture evenly to all 4 sides and corners of the Paraflexx sheet. If mixture is too sticky you can wet the spatula to make things easier. With a knife score the whole thing into 9 squares.

– Dehydrate for 2 hours and then remove the Paraflexx sheets by placing another dehydrator tray and mesh on top and invert so that your original sheet of bread is upside down. That will allow you to peel the Paralexx sheet off and continue to dehydrate the underside of the bread.

– Dehydrate for approx 8 hours more (do this overnight so you’re not tempted to eat it before it’s ready) or until bread feels light in your hand. If the pieces don’t fully come apart where you scored, use a knife to cut them.

 

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Raw Granola & Granola Bars

Well, I finally have gotten back to the blog. So many interruptions sometimes…sigh… Anyway, here is the raw granola recipe I promised. Check it out. You do need a dehydrator to make this. I greatly encourage you to get one. I have a 9 tray Excalibur Dehydrator and absolutely love it. I had no idea I could do so much with it. It was worth every penny (about $300 including tax Canadian).

 
 

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Stuff More Greens Down You Kids Without an All Out Rebellion.

I wish I’d seen this idea sooner. It’s so simple and easy. On many mornings my raw food breakfast is a smoothie. Most kids love smoothies so here’s what you do.

My smoothie of choice but you can do whatever you like…

2 cups water (purified) (you can put some juice of your choice in here if you need a bit more camouflage)

1/2 banana

Some berries of choice…could be frozen to get a colder drink

1 tsp spirulina or NitroGreens (Biotics)

1 or 2 scoops NutriClear (berry or vanilla- Biotics)

Handful of greens..kale, lettuce, spinach, chard

You can tell them it’s in honour of the Irish or something…because it will be very green but that’s mostly from the spirulina or NitroGreens. You might have to up the banana content for some real picky types. NutriClear has all kinds of vitamins etc and the NitroGreens have the same and minerals.

You can make this without the powders and just throw in more greens but the NutriClear and NitroGreens really get everyone off to a great start. You wouldn’t need to take a Multi Vit if you are using NutriClear and NitroGreens. There’s lots in there. It’s a great fast breaky.

Optional…add some yogurt for acidophilus and to thicken more. After a while you might even be able to hide some ground flax seeds or other nutritious stuff that you have a hard time getting the kids to eat. This works on big kids too, like husbands:)

Another tip…freeze the smoothie mixture for a green treat.

 

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What I Didn’t Know About Dehydrators!

Since embarking on my raw food journey, I’ve discovered some things. Raw food is very satisfying! It’s hard to explain but I’ll try. It’s like my body is saying…’Why didn’t you do this a long time ago?’. All I can say is I just didn’t totally understand or wasn’t ready…I don’t know but I’m glad that I finally got the message. It’s strange too because at first I was saying things like…’I’m not doing all raw.’, but now I have no problem with the concept of all raw food. I just think that it can be tough to be so strict when eating at other people’s houses and eating out. I know how hard I find it when I have guests that can’t or won’t eat this or that and you try to please everybody. I don’t want to put anyone in that position. However, when I’m home, I can do mostly raw with ease. I’ve also heard people say things like..’OMG, I had something in a restaurant and it had maple syrup in it. I had such a reaction because it’s not raw’. The idea of not being able to eat something that’s cooked at all because you will have a reaction is going a bit beyond manageable to me. So…I will do the best I can but not sweat the small stuff. Life’s too short.

Some of the books I’ve picked up on raw food are REALLY strict and some are a bit more relaxed. I’m happier with the latter. After all…it’s not a religion. I just would like you to know that despite the fact that my energy level has been pretty good all along, I’m happy to report that I’m running circles around myself now:) So sometimes you don’t realize that things could be even better. I am thankful to Biotics Research for sending the raw breakfast info that got me going on this path. I just started with breakfast and now I’m eating about 80 to 90 % raw and it feels GOOD! So give it a try. Even one raw meal a day can make a difference.

I joined Russell James (The Raw Chef) online raw info center and really like his recipes. He makes it easy and is a good teacher. You can sign up for his online non-cooking course too and order his ebooks. Once you get the hang of the basics, you can make up your own recipes and concoctions. It’s kind of like being a mad scientist!

So let’s get to the dehydrator and why I recommend you get one asap if you are going to add raw food to your diet. You can definitely get by without one for a while but I realized pretty quickly that I would be able to make all kinds of stuff with it and it has now become my oven. I can make raw pizza crusts, wraps, flat bread, crackers, granola, fruit leather, dehydrate my own fruits and vegetables, kale chips (a great way to get some more greens in to your diet), and the list goes on. You can also marinate veggies and warm them in the dehydrator so that your meals aren’t all cold. You can do this with soups too. It is really economical to run too. So for $300 including tax, I got one of the most useful kitchen items that I’ve bought in years. I also suggest that you purchase some paraflexx sheets for your trays. My Excalibur dehydrator has 9 trays and I got 2 paraflexx sheets. I will get 2 more asap as they are the best surface for doing a lot of stuff especially things like wraps that start out quite soupy and could stick to wax paper or parchment. The magic temperature for raw food is that it is not heated to over 115 degrees F.

Anyway, I’m thrilled with my Excalibur. It’s easy to use and has expanded my raw food repertoire in a BIG way! I highly recommend it!

 
 

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Pet Peeves and More Raw Food Ideas

Sorry I’ve been a miss for a while. I had trouble getting into my blogs but its been sorted out now.

Just wondering if you have any pet peeves…TV commercial and other advertising. I recently had this thought…

C’mon kiddies! Come eat some crappy food that will put you in the hospital.:)

Isn’t it great that McDonald’s supports Ronald McDonald House! Since they’re part of the machine that puts the sick kids in there, I guess they should help out. So they aren’t doing anyone a favour really! They make millions off kids eating their crappy food so the money they give the RMH is paltry. Next time I see another one of my pet peeves, I’ll post it so go ahead and add yours to the comments.

Ok, enough of that for now…

Back to my raw food journey…I’m doing pretty good but really want a dehydrator since it’s kind of like the raw food oven. We found an awesome new raw food restaurant in Nanaimo call Power House. Really good and the kale chips are addictive. Can you imagine when I finished the first bag, I had to beg someone to pick some up for me in Nanaimo. They were sitting at my door yesterday when I got home from the village:) So how can kale chips be addictive? Good question…

They aren’t fried just dehydrated and then sprinkled with what I think is a nut based parmesan (it’s not cheese just a combo of ground nuts, garlic and salt). I like it made with Brazil nuts. I think they put a bit of engevita yeast on them too but the recipes I have (that I can’t make until I get a dehyrator) have many variations…some even spicy. So I think I will have fun making those soon. Let’s see what else I can dehydrate into a yummy snack:)

Here’s an idea for sandwiches…I have to use sprouted bread right now because once again I need a dehydrator to make flat bread and wraps etc. but this is a really great filling and I top it with some avocado, sprouts, tomato and red onion. Very satisfying!

Non-Tuna Salad

This would make a nice canape too.

1 cup raw sunflower seeds (organic)

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard or mustard powder

1/4 c chopped celery

1/4 chopped carrot

2 TBSP chopped red onion

1 clove garlic, minced

2 TBPS lemon juice

1 TBSP capers (they aren’t raw but are a real flavour booster)

1 TBSP chopped dill pickles (ferment your own if possible)

1 TBSP dulse flakes or a bit or nori like you would use to make sushi

In a food processor with an S blade, process until still a bit chunky. Add a bit of water if need be.

Put on raw crackers or sprouted bread.

Enjoy…I think the kids would like this too.

 

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