Nori Wraps

29 Jul

A meal that takes less than 5 minutes!

Simply mix a huge bowl of salad. Use whatever ingredients you want! Easy minute salad is all I had time for last night.

Place some on a nori sheet.

Wrap.

Eat.

Happy Healthy  Tummy!

Is Veganism Safe For Babies?

9 Jul

HuffPost Live

First of all, thank you Nancy Redd and HuffPost Live for having me for a much needed discussion. Watch the video here!

My thoughts to:

  • @chubbyveganmom – wish we were closer! I totally see our kids having fun in the kitchen together!
  • @FatGirlPosing – enjoy looking at your photos!  I thought you’d be interested in the new study out by National Health and Nutrition Examination
    Survey (NHANES) that states it is the lack of exercise, not food intake, that causes obesity.

Vegan Mamas out there: Are your Vegan Babies Healthy? Would love to hear from you!!!

NOTE: My Twitter is @MamaInDKtchn! Also, our family members are ranked rowers (NOT national rowers… wish we were though)! :)

 

Raw Raspberry Pudding

29 Jun

Raw Raspberry Pudding

Easy Minute Salad

29 Jun

Easy Minute Salad

Raw Chocolate Pudding

29 Jun

Raw Chocolate Pudding

bananas, avocados, dates and cacao powder

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Successfully Treat Plantar Warts?

26 Jun

Problem

My dear friend’s daughter suffered for over a year with big plantar warts on her feet. She couldn’t walk for months!

Freezing DID NOT help. The warts only grew bigger.

Oregano oil DID NOT help either.

What helped? Soaking with Apple Cider Vinegar!

 Results

 

These are the photos after soaking the foot, from Day 1 onwards.
Photo Jun 25, 18 36 14Photo Jun 25, 18 36 08Photo Jun 25, 18 36 26

After 2 weeks, the warts fell off!Photo Jun 25, 18 36 11Photo Jun 25, 18 36 30Photo Jun 25, 18 36 21

The warts are gone. The pain is gone. The foot is BETTER!

It’s hard to believe ALL the hype about apple cider vinegar, but when a friend shows you photographed proof like this… I went right to Vitacost to order some bottles of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar!

 

What Now?

Now, my friend’s question is:  what can we do internally for our daughter so that the warts don’t come back?

Here’s some preliminary research:

- BOOST the IMMUNE SYSTEM

Boost Your Immune System to Fight HPV Naturally

How to Avoid Recurring Warts

Ayurvedic Nutrition suggests boosting immunity through a Vata diet, with nuts (especially almonds and cashews), seeds (flax and sesame) and whole grains, as well as Wheat Grass, spirulina, collards, garlic, jerusalem artichokes, and mushrooms.

- VISIT a NATURAPATH. My Naturapath, Dr. Jenkins of Nature Works, suggests many methods, including:

- treating HPV (the wart virus) through NAET (and NOT vaccinate with Gardasil)

- blue light therapy which helps kill the virus

- tapping the thymus gland boosts the immune system

PLEASE COMMENT below and let us all know what worked for you!

An Omni Hubby Goes RAW Vegan for One Week

17 Jun

My Vegan Homeschool buddy, Bonnie, finally succeeded in getting her Omnivore Hubby, Crosby, to go on a Raw Vegan Diet for a week. Together, they lost almost 10 pounds. Bonnie discovered more energy and Crosby discovered he could actually enjoy Raw Vegan foods.

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Day 1

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Day 2

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Day 3

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Day 4

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Day 5

photo 2 (1)

Day 6

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Day 7

Q: Why did you and hubby decide to go raw? How did you convince your hubby to do it with you?  

B – I am Vegan. I want to drop a few pounds and thought I would with a raw diet. I also think it is the most healthy way to eat.

C- Just to see if it would make me feel better. I have ulcerative colitis and wondered if a raw diet would improve my condition.

 

Q: For how long did you eat just raw foods?

B- 100% for 7 days. Now probably 90%

C- 100% for 6 days. Now 10%

 

Q: How did you feel?  

B – I feel better after having lost a few pounds. I always have more energy when I am on a raw diet. I don’t get that afternoon slump and sleep better at night.

C – I was tired the first 4 days, then I felt the way I normally feel.

 

Q: What was the best day?

B – I didn’t really have a best day.

C – The best day was when I no longer felt hungry. Probably day 3.

 

Q: What was the worst day?

B – I didn’t have a worst day.

C – Day 2. I was hungry and tired.

 

Q: What did you crave that was raw during the whole process?

B – I really enjoyed bananas and dates.

C – Avocados and nuts.

 

Q: What did you crave that was not raw during the whole process?

B – I didn’t have any cravings.

C – Meat.

 

Q: What was the best meal? Worst?

B – Collard rolls with sunflower seed pate were great. A beet salad that I made with cumin was not so good.

C – Avocado, tomato and basil plate with Italian dressing. I liked them all.

 

Q: Any side effects of this raw week?

B – I lost 4 lbs and had more energy.

C – I lost 5 lbs.

 

Q: Would you do it again?

B – I would like to eat that way all the time. Its is just hard to find time to prepare both kinds of food (cooked and raw) every day.

C – Probably not 100% raw, but maybe more raw dishes during the week.

 

Q: What was the first thing you ate after the whole week?

B – Some stir fried vegies and rice.

C – A Chick-Fil-A sandwich. A real hot-dog the next day.

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Q: What was the hardest part of the process?

B – Making a lot of different dished to keep Crosby from getting tired of the food.

C – I did not feel satiated. I never felt satisfied even if I wasn’t hungry.

 

Q: What was the most surprising part of the process?

B – I was surprised that I had so much energy and that I was not hungry.

C – I wasn’t hungry.

 

Q: How are you changed?

B – I think it will be easier to add more raw meals into our weeknow that Crosby has tried to eat this way.

C – I am more open to eating raw.

 

Q: What was the nastiest thing someone had said about your week?

B – Not really nasty, but it annoys me when people try to tell me I’m not getting enough protein.

C – No one was nasty, but I did get some razzing about not eating meat.

 

Q: How has this experience changed your relationship with food, your family, or everyday diet?

B – It made me realize that I enjoy eating simple salads and fruit more than more complicated dishes.

C – There are some really tasty raw dishes that are fun to eat. My brother encouraged me to change my diet if I thought there were benefits to my health. I appreciated his concern for my health.

 

Both Bonnie and Crosby’s efforts are inspiring: Bonnie, for preparing amazing Raw Vegan dishes for a whole week, and Crosby, who was open to eating RAW for a week. Kudos to both of them!

 

Vegan Son’s High Cholesterol After Switching to Omnivore Diet

30 May

The Art of Proper Eating

A few months ago after an allergy test cleared him for some animal proteins, my Vegan 7 year old son wanted to eat beef jerky, cheese and eggs, and drink goat’s milk. Although as a Vegan, I would naturally like my son to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet, I allowed him to decide for himself. Besides, he would still be eating a whole lot of vegetables and fruits in my kitchen.

My son relished the flavors of foods he had not tasted in years. He drank raw goat’s milk everyday, ate eggs once or twice a week, and ate a few strips of beef jerky on the weekend. Still pretty healthy. Not bad, right?

Fruits on the Counter

Well… recently his Pediatric Well Visit showed that his cholesterol was just too high. The blood tests were re-done after a few days on a Vegetarian diet and results were a bit better. The overall cholesterol decreased from 290’s to 250’s, but his LDL cholesterol levels were at 188mg/dL. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics,  “A total cholesterol level greater than 200 mg/dL and LDL-C greater than 130 mg/dL represent values above the 95th percentile for children and are designated as high.” Drug therapy is recommended when LDL cholesterol levels are at 190 mg/dL or higher.

How could this be? My son’s slim, we eat more fruit and vegetables than most, and he is an athlete. Unless, of course, his cholesterol problem is hereditary.

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The doctor suggested our son return to a Vegan Diet for 6 months. We can then figure out his base cholesterol levels, and go from there.

Here’s hoping that Vegan Food does its magic. I don’t want my young son on medication!

Thai Sweet Sticky Chia with Mango

2 Apr Coconut Chia with Mango

Ataulfo Mangoes are now in season and Whole Foods is giving one of my readers a $75 Gift Card!*

Coconut Chia with Mango. I prefer it a lot more mangoes.

Do you ever crave for Thai Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango?  Well… I do!  This is so easy and simple to prepare, I wish I had done it sooner.  I love this as a dessert and even as a breakfast pudding.

Mix together in a bowl and set aside overnight:

pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup raw local honey

1 cup chia seeds

3 cups fresh coconut milk (about 2 Thai coconuts: open and place white meat and coconut water in the high speed blender and puree)

The next day, top the pudding with mangoes and sprinkle on some sesame seeds.  If you want, you can drizzle some sauce on top (freshly made coconut milk mixed with more raw local honey).

*To join the Whole Foods Giveaway, just comment below with your fave mango recipe and we will choose the winner noon, 15th April 2014. Whole Foods will email you the $75 Gift Card! Good luck! And enjoy other ways to eat mangoes!

Easy Roasted Asian Sweet Potatoes

2 Mar

As a side dish or as a snack, this is comfort food for the whole family.

Easy Roasted Asian Sweet Potato

Ingredients

2 large Asian Sweet Potatoes, chopped into bite size chunks (we love to keep the skin on for extra crunch and nutrients)*

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

unrefined olive oil or coconut oil, as needed

1 tablespoon Sucanat, or your choice of sweetener

Method

Easy Roasted Asian Sweet Potato

  1. Heat the oven to 400F.
  2. Mix the sweet potato chunks, cinnamon, sea salt and oil in a pan.
  3. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with Sucanat.
  5. Mix well and serve.

*Note: Make sure to choose the Asian Sweet Potato that is reddish purple on the outside and beige on the inside. When roasted, the edges of the Asian Sweet Potato become deliciously crunchy whereas the regular American Sweet Potato tends to soften dramatically in this recipe.

Mama’s Now Cooking!

18 Feb

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Yup, this Mama is cooking again! After a few years on a highly Raw Vegan diet, our family’s wants and needs have now changed.  

No More Tree Nuts

Our son has become highly allergic to cashews and pistachios, and we want to make sure there is no cross-reactivity, cross-contamination, nor cross-contact reactions to any other tree nuts. This change rules out many Raw Vegan recipes. We also discovered that his allergies to dairy and eggs have cleared. The test also showed a mild allergy to soy. I see no good reason to make my son feel we are controlling and restricting his diet further. We are now allowing him to make more food choices for himself. He is still trying new things and figuring out what he likes and what his body prefers. So far, he is enjoying his rediscovery of raw goat’s milk and cooked eggs. He’s also since tried store-bought beef and bison jerky, which he says he absolutely loves.

Raw vs Cooked, Vegan vs Vegetarian Foods

As for my husband, he is pretty tired of raw Vegan food, although he still enjoys our faves. It’s nice when he does request for them. He prefers cooked Vegan and Vegetarian foods.

Where do I fit in?  I’m the Vegan Mama who buys and prepares/cooks the Vegan and Vegetarian food for a son who loves goat’s milk, a hubby who prefers soy milk, and for myself who can live on raw foods. Cooking for three people with different food preferences is not admittedly such an easy task when our homeschool days are full.

Keeping Mama in the Kitchen and she ain’t cookin’

I have decided to keep this blog, along with the research and the recipes on Raw Vegan foods, in hopes that the information can continue to help more people out there. My future posts, however, will reflect the new changes in our family’s dietary choices.

Hoping you stick around to watch us on our journey!

The Beans That Blew My Cares Away

27 Mar

My family’s consumption of raw vegan foods has decreased tremendously. We had raw fruit pudding for breakfast today though and the boys licked the Vitamix clean. Hubby enjoyed his raw Chia Lime drink too. I also made an Asian salad, which unfortunately is still sitting in the fridge deteriorating as I write. My family started consuming soy products too, including non-organic processed fake meat once a week. Woo-hoo Bill Gates for supporting fake meat!  For you ‘unprocessed’ die-hards out there, it sounds bad. I know! I’m one of you and just writing it makes me cringe.

Yes, I feel like a Raw Vegan Mama failure sometimes, especially after reading an article that more and more families in England are now going raw and seem successful at it… and even Gwyneth Paltrow‘s kids are dairy, sugar, gluten and soy free (she has a second cookbook to prove it)!  Ok, where can I buy kids like Apple and Moses who don’t complain about being hungry without their fave foods?

In an effort to discover healthier and bulkier cooked vegan foods, I found this Bean Confit recipe on-line the other day and adapted it for my slow-cooker. (Look, if it ain’t raw, I gotta have someone else in charge of cookin’ it if it takes hours.  Is there a devoted Homeschool Mama out there with enough time to spend hours in the kitchen cookin’? Besides The Pioneer Woman…)

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Anyway, the cranberry beans mixed with the rosemary, oregano and garlic made my house smell damn good.  I ate a few bowls of the bean confit for dinner and the crazy amount of extra virgin olive oil gave it a richness and creaminess that comforted me. I dreamed about these barlotti beans that night and the next day while I drove my son to his violin lesson. I think I’ll make another batch tomorrow, with lots of raw veggies for me on the side. It’s  that satisfying especially on a cold Spring day.

Recipe:

27 oz dried cranberry beans (barlotti, as they are known in Italian)

Soak overnight with enough water to cover it by a few inches. Drain and rinse the next day. Place in a slow cooker, add fresh water to cover well and cook on high for 5-6 hours till slightly tender. Drain some of the water, so that the beans peak out of the water. Add the beans back into the slow cooker, top with:

a few sprigs of rosemary

a few sprigs of oregano

a few cloves of garlic

a couple teaspoons of sea salt, try 4 teaspoons (I had no problem adding the salt at this stage)

enough extra virgin olive oil to just cover all the beans.

Cook on low for 2-3 hours. Season to taste. Serve!

The bean confit brought me back down to earth from my Raw Vegan high horse. I got rid of all my hot air and what a relief. I can finally say it is OK to let go of the Raw Vegan Mama Power I had held on to for so long and let my family eat what they want to eat. I now understand that their happiness is truly more important to their well-being than having to eat ‘the right foods’ everyday at every meal.

I also learned:

  1. No more scare tactics. “That’s not healthy for you! Do you know what junk food will do to you? That’s disgusting!”
  2. Satisfy their cravings so they don’t feel so deprived. My son has been asking me for months what Jell-O tastes like. I finally made him some homemade ‘Jell-O’ today from fresh coconut milk and agar-agar. He loved it. He keeps giving me hugs for the foods I’m letting him eat.
  3. I’m a softy. I need to feel… ummm… loved and not resented at the dinner table. “That was yummy! You’re the best Mama in the Kitchen!” instead of “What? Eeewww! This again! This is horrible! Do I have to eat that? Your food isn’t as good as (name of fave restaurant here). I want to eat out…”

Sweet Rice Cakes: Quick, Healthy and Gluten-Free

26 Jan

When I asked my son what he wanted for breakfast, he smiled at me and hugged me tightly, “Cupcakes!”

Really?  Hmmmmpf!  Let’s just say I made an extra effort to be sure he enjoyed his healthy meals today.

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For breakfast, we had our favorite Green Sundae.  It is always a big hit!  Instead of oranges, bananas and avocado, today I substituted pears for oranges.  Delicious. My hubby actually prefers it with pears.

Sweet Rice Cakes

For a snack, I made Palitaw, which I grew up eating for ‘merienda’ (snack time).  It’s quick and easy to make.

1. Boil water.

2. Make a thick batter of Sweet Rice Flour and water. Make sure the batter is thick enough so you are able to form small balls and then flatten them in your hands to resemble pancakes. The batter is not as sticky when your hands are a little damp with cold water.

3. Carefully drop the cakes in boiling water.

4. When the cakes resurface and float, they are done.

5. Carefully lift the cakes out of the water and place on a plate.  Sprinkle with equal parts Sucanat (dehydrated cane sugar) and coconut (I used raw dehydrated coconut, but freshly grated mature coconut is traditionally used). You can also add a little mixture of sesame seeds and salt.

6. Serve.

My son ate two pieces and exclaimed, “Mama! This is the best!”

I guess he didn’t miss his cupcake.

Mama’s Massaman Curry

15 Jan

Massaman Curry

A real curry made from scratch, my Vegan Massaman Curry is family friendly: just enough spice to satisfy parents and just sweet enough to get kids hooked on this creamy dish.

  • Saute in 1/2 cup of water:

1 chopped onion
2 carrots, diced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder

  • When onion is soft, add in:

all the fresh mature coconut milk squeezed from 2 mature coconuts and 3 cups of water (recipe here)

  • Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer.  Cook until slightly thickened.  Then add in your choice of vegetables. Make sure there is enough so that the vegetables just peek out of the sauce.  This way, you have a good ratio of veggies to sauce (not too much sauce leftover when the veggies are all gone and just enough sauce to eat with the veggies):

6 medium red potatoes, chopped

1 pint mushrooms, chopped

4 c broccoli florets, chopped

  • Simmer until vegetables are tender around 10 – 15 minutes, then add:

6 tbspns Tamari or Nama Shoyu
5 – 6 tbspns Sucanat, to taste
2 tbspns fresh lime juice

  • Mix well until well blended and sweetener is dissolved.
  • Serve with Rice (we love a mix of short grain brown rice and sweet rice: cook both together with twice the amount of water for 50 minutes) and top with Salted Peanuts (we use Raw Wild Jungle Peanuts, which is available at our health food shop).

Fresh Mature Coconut Milk

15 Jan


Mature Coconut Milk  from Scratch

If you want to cook with coconut milk, you have to use the milk from mature coconuts.  While we love my raw Curry in a Hurry made from young coconuts, the boys have been craving cooked Massaman Curry with potatoes.  So my hubby bought some mature coconuts the other day and opening it became a family affair.

Mature Coconuts

Since I didn’t have an ice pick, hubby used a drill to make 3 holes on top of the coconut to drain the coconut water out.

The Three Holes in a Mature Coconut

We wrapped the coconut in a towel and my son hammered it open.  It helps so that pieces of coconut don’t fly out everywhere.

Hammering Mature Coconut

Make sure you hammer it more at this stage so you have smaller pieces to work with.  Prying out the meat from a big piece of coconut, like below, is tough.

Opened Mature Coconuts

With a knife, separate the coconut meat from the coconut shell.

Meat from Mature Coconut

Peel the brown skin off the meat, as this part is hard and difficult to chew.

Peel Coconut Meat

Place the peeled coconut meat in your high speed blender with water.  We blended meat from 2 mature coconuts with 3 cups of water.

Clean Coconut Meat

It will seem very thick.  Place in a nut bag and squeeze out all the liquid.

Mature coconut blended with water

You will have about 3 1/2 cups of pure mature coconut milk.  Compared to other nut milks, mature coconut milk is as white and creamy as cow’s milk.  I had to stop myself from drinking more than a sip or else we wouldn’t have enough for our curry.

Mature Coconut Milk

 

Click here for more information about different coconuts and their nutritional effects on our health from an Ayurvedic perspective.

Click here for a nutritional comparison between Young and Mature Coconut Water and Meat.

Yummiest Raw Coconut Milk Ever

13 Jan

My son calls this the Yummiest Raw Coconut Milk Ever!  Not only is it yummy, it is also very easy to make. You only need three ingredients: young Thai Coconut, Vanilla Extract and Raw Honey.

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  1. Open up a Thai Coconut.  Pour the coconut water in a Vitamix.  Take all the white meat out and place in the Vitamix along with the coconut water.
  2. Add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of the Singing Dog Vanilla Extract (the one with the vanilla bean in it!).
  3. Add raw honey to taste (usually a tablespoon).  Or alternatively, choose another sweetener.
  4. Blend all together.  Serve.

Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts

12 Jan

Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts

So I told you I started cooking vegetables to death, right? And, I discovered that my family is consuming a wider variety and a higher quantity of vegetables than before. While my boys learned slowly to shun all raw veggies, cooked ones have a different effect at our dinner table.  The other night, after drinking a huge amount of fresh coconut milk, my son asked for seconds and thirds of both Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts.  I had to touch his forehead just to make sure he was feeling all right.

Some of my readers wanted me to share these kid-popular recipes… well here they are: quick, easy and addictive.

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

2 cauliflower heads, florets chopped into bite size pieces

1 tbspn fresh ginger, minced

1 tbspn ground coriander

sea salt, to taste (I usually use 1 tsp or less per 1 pound of veggies)

extra virgin olive oil, just enough to coat all the vegetables

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix well to evenly distribute spices and oil.
  3. Roast at 400F until brown at the edges but not burned black.  The brown crispy bits actually create a chips-like quality to this vegetable that make them addictive.

 

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Brussels Sprouts

1 pound Brussels Sprouts, cleaned and halved

1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced

sea salt, to taste

extra virgin olive oil, just enough to coat all the vegetables

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix well to evenly distribute spices and oil.
  3. Roast at 400F until browned at edges, but not burned black.  Like the cauliflower, the browned crispy bits here make these addictive.

A Vegan Athlete Rows a Marathon and Finishes 4th in the World!

6 Jan

Proud of my husband who has accomplished so much for someone who has only been rowing for 2 years.

Proud of my husband who has trained for months – even during the few weeks when a bug visited our house and we all just wanted to be in bed.

Proud of my husband who decided to stick to his Vegan diet.  Having turned Vegan 2 years ago, he persevered the rigorous athletic training on a plant-based diet.

Here are some thoughts from my husband post his indoor rowing marathon today.

We are an indoor rowing family.  My son is dressed as Wolverine with a serious look on his face.  He wants to beat his record too!

My son, on the rowing machine, is dressed as Wolverine with a serious look on his face.  When he found out his dad came in 4th, he exclaimed: “What? Is that it? I wanted you to finish 1st!”

What is 42,195 meters?

It’s the same distance people run for a marathon – 26 miles and 385 yards.  To cover this distance on an indoor rower, it took me 2 hours 51 minutes and 36 seconds, which currently ranks me 4th in my age group and 7th overall in the world for lightweight male rowers of any age.  It took me close to four months of training to prepare.

What does it feels like?

” Marathon runners talk about hitting ‘the wall’ at the twenty-third mile of the race. What rowers confront isn’t a wall; it’s a hole – an abyss of pain, which opens up in the second minute of the race. Large needles are being driven into your thigh muscles, while your forearms seem to be splitting. Then the pain becomes confused and disorganized, not like the winded-ness of the runner or the leg burn of the biker but an all-over, savage unpleasantness. ” — Ashleigh Teitel, rower

What energy is expended during this row?

About 2,800 calories which are more calories than the average American eats in 24 hours.

My weight dropped by 5.6 pounds (mostly water loss).

What effort did it take?

Heart rate averaged 80% of maximum.

Wattage output average was 193.

12 new blisters, one was big enough to pop with 1 hour of rowing remaining.

Leg muscles still twitching 3 hours after completing the row.

Why do it?

To overcome a fear of failure.

Finding Balance

29 Dec

I haven’t been posting on this blog for a few months because I end this year a little more tentative than I began. In the beginning of Autumn this year, my dear son and hubby decided on “no more nuts”. This was followed by “no more raw smoothies”. Then “no more raw salads”. In other words, NO MORE RAW ANYTHING.

Gah, had I pushed them too far?

So, I started cooking more and more veggies: in soups, with dressing, steamed, boiled, baked, etc. And, I discovered that my family actually have increased their intake of veggies this way. Dead broccoli is the new fave around here and mushroom miso soup. Surprise, surprise – I even lost a few pounds without all the added fats from nuts.

Cooked to death Broccoli.  Boil till the broccoli breaks apart.  Dress with orange juice or balsamic vinegar, sea salt and olive oil.

Cooked to death Broccoli: boil till the broccoli breaks apart, dress with a mixture of orange juice or balsamic vinegar, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. My son loves it!

But I’m still a firm believer in RAW, so I slowly but surely added back some old faves after a month or two. Without complaints, we are all enjoying raw fruit puddings for breakfast again, Japanese and Kale salads for pre-meals and lots of coconut smoothies. We are not quite as raw as I would like, but dare I say I have found a new kind of “balance”?

I don’t know how RAW families do it. How do they function in society? How do they enjoy being with family and friends who don’t eat the way they do? How do their kids relate to other kids in the community? My big guess is that they don’t… not really in the same capacity we do. My second guess is that husband and wife have to agree on diet and nutrition principles to make it work for the family. My third guess is that the parents have to impose and work hard to ingrain these beliefs at home (unless the children have allergies and sickness that inhibit their diets). I cannot imagine regular kids not wanting what other mainstream kids can have – unless they don’t have much of a relationship with other kids, and therefore have no knowledge base of what goes on “on the other side”.

My husband recently bought some Maine root beer, a package of cereal and a carton of soy milk. My son’s hoarding some Vegan candy canes and has a new obsession with gum (it was hard finding one he isn’t allergic to).

Our Xmas Experiment: will Santa prefer the processed candy the restaurant gave you or will he prefer the homemade Vegan cookies we baked?

Our Xmas Experiment: will Santa prefer the processed candy the restaurant gave you or will he prefer the homemade Vegan cookies we baked from scratch? We discovered that Santa prefers homemade cookies to processed candy… and even left a small bit behind.

As a Mama, it is hard to let go of control – especially in the kitchen. But this year, I found more peace and happiness at the dining table by relinquishing more control over my family’s diet. I still buy the groceries, prepare and cook our food. I still educate my family on food matters. But at the end of the day, I let go and allow them the freedom to choose what they want to eat.

A little discouraged one day, I asked my husband and son separately if they wanted to branch out from our Vegan diet, they both said “NO”. Are you sure? “YES!” Both look forward to their fave homemade organic and Vegan cooked foods: Mulligatawny Soup, Shepherd’s Pie, Japanese Buckwheat Noodles, Popcorn and Chocolate Chip Cookies. But I notice they too have their fave raw foods. My son was sick recently and only wanted to eat fruit. He prefers to start each day with bananas and he asks for fresh raw coconut milk almost everyday. He will eat a huge bowl of romaine lettuce. My hubby can drink a quart of green smoothie during a meal and he will keep going back for more salad.

I offer my family healthy food, I empower them with current food knowledge, and I model good eating habits. Then, I let go in peace.

DIY Raw Anti-Aging Face Mask and Moisturizer

6 Sep DIY Face Mask

DIY Face Mask

This Face Mask is so delicious… I was eating it before, during and after applying it on my face! I adapted PeggyKotsopoulos’ Anti-Aging Homemade Natural Skin Face Mask recipe into a Raw Vegan one.

Simple Face Mask Ingredients

Raw Vegan Face Mask

Puree all together:

  • 1 banana (potassium revitalizes the skin)
  • 1 avocado (for vitamins A and E to soften the skin)
  • 1/2 orange, juiced (vitamin C)
  • 1 big spoonful raw almond butter (more vitamin E and protects skin from pollutants)
  • 1 big spoonful raw honey (for blemishes and zits, and anti-aging properties) (if you don’t use honey, try olive oil or a few drops of sea buckthorn oil instead)

Step 1: Apply generously to your face. Leave it on for 10 – 20 minutes. It will begin feeling firm and tight.

Step 2: Wipe off. My face felt kind of ‘matte’. Then rinse.

Step 3: Apply just enough DIY Anti-Aging Moisturizer and feel your face loving it. Notice my cheeks are a little rosy and glowing.

Anti-Aging Moisturizer

In a small tub, mix together:

Peggy’s book Must Have Been Something I Ate also contains other very easy and simple homemade beauty products, suck as natural skin exfoliators, toners, lip balm, lip gloss, body moisturizer, cellulite treatment, acne zapper, age-spot remover, teeth whitener and breath freshener.

Step 4: Allow your face to soak it all in.

I was surprised that extra-virgin olive oil is not at all greasy. The skin soaks it all in and my skin feels wonderful!

A Young Child’s Thoughts about Transitioning from Omni to Vegan

17 Jun

My son and I came up with this today.

Interviewer: A lot of parents out there don’t want to change their family’s diet because they think their children will have the hardest time. How long have you been eating a whole food plant based diet?

5 year old boy: Since I was 2. I had a lot of allergies when I was a baby and I was sick a lot.

Interviewer: Did you have a hard time changing your diet?

5 year old boy: I miss meat, but I don’t get sick like I used to. And when I do, not for so long. My Mama and Daddy also explain to me that we eat this way, so that I’m healthy when I’m older. Did you know my grandpa’s dad is 98 years old today? He eats a lot of veggies and he still has muscles!

Interviewer: Cool! What’s your fave fruit?

5 year old boy: Bananas with peanut butter and honey.

Interviewer: What’s your fave veggie?

5 year old boy: Raw kale salad with sunflower seeds.

Interviewer: What’s your fave plant dish?

5 year old boy: Avocado sushi.

Interviewer: What do you think a whole food plant based diet does for your health?

5 year old boy: When I have processed foods, I don’t feel well. Once, I ate candy on Valentine’s Day and I was sick for 4 weeks. I know it’s not good for me. When my Mama makes me food like Vegan Soup I feel well again. I also can sleep better at night. Did you know I’m already a world ranked indoor rower? I’ve got muscles to prove it!

Interviewer: What do you like most about eating a whole food plant based diet?

5 year old boy: I don’t get sick! (He really ought to have said “not so often” too… I think he got carried away!)

Dispelling the Cow’s Milk Myth: Rethinking our Kids’ Fave ‘Health’ Drink

17 Jun Raw nut milks instead?

Unprocessed vegan milks instead?!

According to the American Diabetes Association, 1 in every 400 children and adolescents have diabetes in the United States.  A majority of these children have type 1 diabetes, an insulin-dependent autoimmune disorder.  Diabetes Care, the American Diabetes Society peer reviewed scientific journal, has published studies that show the significant relationship between type 1 diabetes and cow’s milk consumption, and yet, cow’s milk is still seen as our children’s  favorite health drink both at home and at school.

In 1991, Dahl-Jorgensen K., Joner G. and Hanssen K.F. showed the “Relationship between cow’s milk consumption and incidence of IDDM in childhood.” Many countries were included in the study.  Japan showed the lowest consumption of cow’s milk and the lowest incidence of type 1 diabetes, while Finland had the highest of both.  France, Israel, Canada, U.S.A., Netherlands, New Zealand, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Sweden’s consumption of cow’s milk and incidence of type 1 diabetes were somewhere in between Japan and Finland.  In 1997, Hammond-McKibben D. and Dosch H. M. s calculated the risk of the consumption of cow’s milk on the development of type 1 diabetes in their study “Cow’s milk, bovine serum albumin, and IDDM: can we settle the controversies.”  What they found was that the relationship between cow’s milk and type 1 diabetes is 200% greater than the relationship between smoking and lung cancer and 900% more than high blood pressure and cholesterol and heart disease.  Both of these studies were published in Diabetes Care.

Many other studies have shown that dairy consumption is also related to the increase in other autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis.  Just last week at the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting, it was reported that children’s type 1 diabetes has increased by 23% from 2001 to 2009.  As guardians of future generations, we need dispel the myth that cow’s milk is our children’s healthiest drink.

How to Open a Green Coconut

15 Jun An amateur opens a green coconut

A pure amateur opens a green coconut… I’m smiling my butt off because I’m so proud of all my hard work.

We had coconut trees around our house growing up.  We also had a helper who loved climbing the trees.  Eugenia would climb trees without making grooves on the trunk.  She would simply use her hands and feet to reach scary heights.  She also climbed the trees in a dress without exposing herself – how she did that, I do not know.  She also opened the coconuts.  Needless to say, our family has always loved coconuts.  I’m a little sad now that I never learned how to open green coconuts (or climb for them) though.

Yesterday, at my health food store, they were selling Florida grown organic coconuts from Glaser Farms.  I took a chance and bought one.  My husband’s jaw dropped because I paid around $6.50 for just one green coconut (but it’s organic, I exclaimed!)… not to mention, it required a lot of ‘work’ just to open it.  I’m pretty adept at opening those Thai Coconuts that come all white, ready and packaged in plastic… and that ‘only’ cost around $3.50… but, as Tristan the produce buyer reminded me, are sprayed to keep them ‘white’.  But I really wanted to try a local and organic coconut and I also wanted a kitchen adventure.  

Green coconut in hand, I imagined I was stuck on an island by myself with only a cleaver, my thirst and hunger.  Well… I think I would’ve almost died of thirst… it took me a LOOOOONG 15 minutes.  I should’ve researched on youtube first for inspiration, but there isn’t any youtube on deserted islands.  

Anyway, I awoke from my dream and now am prepared with more information.  Next time I buy a green coconut:

1. I’m going to bounce the green coconut on a rock outdoors first.  Not only does it look fun, but what a time saver… and oh yeah, you can compost at the same time.

2. I need to sharpen my machete and hire someone from Trinadad to teach me how they do it over there (watch end of the clip):

 

3. Please let me know how you compost your coconut shells because my 2 year old coconut shells in the compost still look kind of new… but here’s why I want to compost coconuts anyway.

Review: Ursa Major Natural Skin Care for Men

8 Jun Ursa Major: Natural Products for Men

This is a Father’s Day idea for a guy that is more man than beautician. I asked my “I-don’t-even-own-a-hairbrush” husband to try some natural skin care products for men for my blog.  I didn’t think he would agree, but since his friend works at Ursa Major, I think it made any persuasion much easier.

Oliver Sweatman and his partner, Emily Doyle, started Ursa Major in Vermont in 2009 because he said, “I tried a LOT of so-called ‘natural’ products and couldn’t find anything that met all of my personal criteria for a great skincare solution:

 – no toxins/premium natural ingredients/as close to 100% natural as possible (and ideally, with as much organic content as possible too, although realizing that can affect price)

- great performance – the product does what it says it’s going to do on the label

- delightful experience – sublime natural aromas, delightful textures, smart packaging, copy, etc.

 In other words a spirited, sincere, natural alternative to all the bland, synthetic, mass-produced stuff out there…”   Their first product, the Stellar Shave Cream, was launched in December 2010.

Ursa Major: Natural Products for Men

The Products

My husband used the shaving creamwashtoner and balm for about a month.  We took before and after pictures and we don’t see any differences in the wrinkles department (a department he was not aware he had), but my husband’s very sensitive skin did not break out at all and his skin also seemed to be smoother to me.

Shaving cream usually gives hubby rashes or leaves his skin dry.  He has had a hard time finding product that doesn’t make his skin break out. In fact, he won’t shave unless an event dictates the need for a clean look. Nevertheless, the Ursa Major Men Shaving Cream worked wonderfully.

The Facial Wash also worked well.  For the first week, my husband’s skin was dry if he did not follow the wash by the moisturizer.  This was not the case after the first week in that his face felt hydrated all the time.

My husband also noticed that the toner and wash made his hands softer but not less durable – just simply through exposure after applying cleaner/toner/balm to his face.  My husband rows 5 to 6 times a week (an internationally ranked rower) and found that he was not getting any additional blisters.  In fact, his palms are more flexible and softer.

For my husband, these are significant improvements due to the use of products.

Overall, my husband says these products work as well as or more than processed products for sensitive skin.  They are easy enough to use for someone (a man who is) not really interested in a daily prep work for the face.  If you are interested, you can find Ursa Major in various retailers around the world.

Did it pass my cosmetics criteria?

1. smell – Not much.  Very mild.

2. sensitivities –  None.

3. taste – I usually taste synthetic products when I put it on my face and drink water right after, but my husband’s response to this was: “How would I know, I didn’t eat the stuff!”

4. moisturize – Worked well with little dab.

5. everyday comfort – I asked my hubby if a real man would use these products everyday, his response: “Quick and Easy to use.”

6. lasting effect – yes, it lasts the whole day.

7. eco-friendly – these products do not contain any foaming agents, slip agents, surfactants, fragrances, coloring agents, preservatives, penetration enhancers, or other unnatural ingredients.

Animal Protein versus Plant Protein

29 May Avocado Corn Salad over Cooked Beans: 1 cup of cooked white beans contains 16g of protein, 1 cup of raw corn contains 5g of protein, 1 cup of avocado contains 5 g of protein and 1 cup of tomatoes has 1g of protein.

Raw Avocado Corn Salad over Cooked Beans: 1 cup of cooked white beans contains 16g of protein, 1 cup of raw corn has 5g, 1 cup of avocado 5g and 1 cup of tomatoes 1g.  I only need 33g of protein a day, so just this meal alone would be 6g shy of my goal.

In my community of Holistic Mamas, there are, nutritionally speaking, basically 2 groups of families:

1. Those that believe in and eat organic animal based foods and

2. Those that eat organic plant based foods.

The former tend to follow the WAP Diet (Weston Price Diet:http://www.westonaprice.org/). The latter are those who are eating, or lean towards, an all organic vegetarian or vegan diet – especially after watching Forks Over Knives. Now within this latter group, there two further subsets:

a. those who eat a lot of processed and refined foods and

b. those who make most (if not all) their food from scratch.

Among Mamas, there are many discussions as to why their own diets are best. In my view, as you all know, an unprocessed, whole organic plant based diet is best.  Why?

FIRSTLY, BECAUSE ANIMAL BASED DIETS CAUSE DISEASE:

There have been so many studies done to raise awareness as to why (even organic) animal based foods are not health foods. Although animal products have the most similar nutrient composition to our bodies, consuming them promotes disease. I am currently taking Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s Plant-Based Nutrition Course and have learned (or rather relearned from his work in the China Study) that cancer can be turned on and off (from 20% to 5% of total calories) just be increasing and decreasing animal protein in the diet of rats. The same amounts of plant based protein (such as wheat and soy protein) had no such effect. Animal –based foods also contain saturated fats, which cause cholesterol and heart disease. Moreover, animal products cause an acid environment in our bodies, which causes calcium to leak from our bones in an effort for our bodies to neutralize the acids, causing osteoporosis.

SECONDLY, ONLY PLANT BASED FOODS CONTAIN ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS THAT PREVENT DISEASE:

Plant based foods, on the other hand, contain essential nutrients not present in animal foods that we need in order to live healthily. Two of these are antioxidants and dietary fiber: antioxidants, like vitamin C, E and carotenoids, bind free radicals that promote cancer and speed up our body’s aging process, and dietary fiber binds to chemical carcinogens and helps the body excrete these potentially harmful products. They help maintain our health and prevent disease.

THIRDLY, NOT ALL PLANT BASED DIETS ARE EQUAL. ORGANIC WHOLE FOODS ARE DIFFERENT FROM PROCESSED VEGAN FOODS:

As I have said before, I understand why people are attracted to refined and processed vegan foods: they do not require much work or energy. We want to be healthy but we don’t want to put that much effort into actually preparing our meals directly from whole foods. We want things EASY. Consider this though: When a fruit or vegetable is 5 days old, it will contain only 40% of it’s original nutrients. How about refined plant foods?

Refined plant foods have been so drastically altered from their natural state and are not consumed, in Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s words, “in their totality” and therefore in decreased natural plant material quanitites. Other refined foods are processed foods. They include simple carbohydrates (like, white flours and sugars), hydrogenated oils, genetically modified organisms, anything with fillers, artificial food grade chemicals and additives. Most are ready to eat (like junk food or white bread) or require little cooking (like frozen dinners). They are also anything canned, boxed, bottled and packaged. There is a whole niche market dedicated to serving ready made foods to vegans and vegetarians.

THEREFORE, A PLANT-BASED WHOLE FOODS DIET IS BEST.

The thing is though, like most things, it requires work on our part to get something really worth anything. Nutrition is no exception. Plant-based whole-foods are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. They are in their natural state and are not overly processed or altered. Most of the time, you can eat them fresh or they may require some time and attention (like, cleaning, prepping, dressing/marinating, cooking). Dr. T. Colin Campbell states that when we consume foods that have decreased natural plant material, this poses problems for our bodies.

BUT, HOW MUCH PROTEIN IS ENOUGH?

For the average person, 8 – 10% of your total calorie intake is enough.  Surprisingly, professional athletes only need slightly more protein than that.  You can calculate what you need here.

HOW TO MEASURE HOW MUCH PROTEIN WE CONSUME?

According to my instructor at eCornell University, “As long as we’re eating whole, plant foods – no oils and minimal nuts/seeds.  On average, plant foods are 5-10% fat and about 10% protein.  And, if we’re eating whole foods, rather than processed, we’re getting plenty of complex carbohydrates [and enough protein].”

School Lunches versus Packing a Lunch: How to Keep Both Healthy

23 May Proper Nutrition is integral to our health.

We homeschool, but we are out and about a lot.  Here’s an example of our packed lunch.

How do we keep our children’s lunches healthy?  According to the World Health Organization“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”   So, we can rephrase our question as: how can we ensure our children’s lunches contribute to their physical, mental and social well-being and, by consuming them, they will not be afflicted by disease or sickness?

I recently watched a short documentary called Lunch, a film based on interviews about ‘Green School’ lunch programs, instilling healthy habits in kids and organic gardening in a school setting.  It seems to me that most people talk about kid’s lunches from a single viewpoint: the food. They say: let’s improve food quality, organic is better, no more GMOs, add more fruits and vegetables, no more fried foods, add healthier options, grow a school garden, add nutrition to the curriculum…  While I think these are all wonderful and much needed, the most important thing we can do is to empower children themselves to make the right food choices.  

At the end of the day, the children are the only ones who can control what they eat, therefore it is not enough to simply create a healthy nutrition environment for them. Children need to be taught that any kind of food can keep us alive, but it is the nutritious food that helps maintain our body, mind and social capacities well. We need to teach children about a whole lifestyle that emphasizes not only nutritional choices, but also how the choices they make affect their own physical, mental and social well-being.   When children are educated, when they understand, when they are given proper role models and when they are given tools to help them choose health, then the responsibility for parents and guardians to create a healthy nutrition environment for them becomes easier – simply because children will WANT it for themselves.  

Proper Nutrition is integral to maintaining our physical, mental and social health and well-being.

We can teach children the value of eating to live, not living to eat. We can teach them the value of maintaining physical, mental and social well-being (these are a few examples):

    • show them what happens to their bodies when they consume junk versus nutritious foods, for example:
      • what happens to teeth when they eat processed sugar (place a tooth in Coca Cola and see what happens)
      • what happens to bones when people eat too much animal protein and cow’s milk (show rates of osteoporosis in different communities)
      • teach them to look at their own poop and explain what healthy poop should look like
      • teach them how different foods create different energy levels (discuss athletes and their diet)
      • watch Wall-E and discuss why the humans are obese (foods they eat, exercise)
      • show videos like Supersize Me and Forks over Knives to older children
    • show them what happens to their minds depending on the food consumed, for example:
      • discuss how mental performance suffers/improves due to diet (i.e. Food For the Brain study)
      • show them that learning challenges and problem behaviors may decrease/increase according to diet
      • discuss how exercising the brain is just as important as sports is for the body
      • discuss how quality foods help the nerves in the brain function properly (memory, problem solving, etc)
    • show them that their nutritional choices have social implications, for example
      • discuss what “social well-being” means vis-à-vis proper nutrition within the community, the nation and the world (according to the United States Institute of Peace: “Social well-being is an end state in which basic human needs are met and people are able to coexist peacefully in communities with opportunities for advancement. This end state is characterized by equal access to and delivery of basic needs services (water, food, shelter, and health services), the provision of primary and secondary education, the return or resettlement of those displaced by violent conflict, and the restoration of social fabric and community life.)
      • discuss composting, recycling, reusing and reducing in the community and at home
      • discuss pollution and toxicity
      • discuss what stress does to us
      • discuss how the quality of food we eat affects our emotions and therefore our social well-being.
As we teach them to grow their own food and to prepare their own meals from scratch… we can sit back and see what happens.

Other ideas here too: Top 10 Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Part of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop! Click on the image for more links to Gifted/2E Health and Wellness Issues!

Review: Good Life Cafe

18 May Vegetable Cashew Quiche

My first taste of Raw Vegan Cheesecake was during a private ‘un-cooking’ lesson with Sharon Wright. I was surprised at how the cashew, lemon and honey together tasted like pure cream and how it just melted in my mouth. It was her Cheesecake that got me HOOKED on RAW desserts!  I would order meals and juices from her once in a while too. Fast forward a few years later, Sharon now runs her own Raw Vegan Restaurant called Good Life Cafe in West Columbia, South Carolina.

For Mother’s Day, my dear husband and son treated me to Brunch at Good Life Cafe. I knew they were both making a big effort to go because

1. my husband is a cheapskate and I could hear his head figuring out how much that Raw Vegan meal would cost him even before we stepped into the restaurant, and
2. my son tends to get some kind of nut allergy at most raw vegan restaurants.  Sharon’s food has never given him problems before because she was always careful preparing his food… but one never knows how careful other chefs/cooks are in a bigger operation.

The minute we walked into the restaurant, we were amazed at how many people were dining there.  At around 1pm, the 3 of us were able to sit at the last free table.  Moments later, 2 groups of people came in and they had to wait at least 10 minutes to sit down.  The waitstaff were very busy, but after ordering, the food came out very quickly. Looking for fast food?  This is it!

Here’s what we ordered:

Banana Crepes filled with strawberries. Sharon made these without cashew cream for my son.  My husband found them a little too chewy, but my son enjoyed them immensely.

Eggplant Bacon Sandwich. My husband loved the eggplant bacon. He didn’t care for the bread, but he said the eggplant bacon alone or as a topping in salad would have been delicious.

Vegetable Cashew Quiche.  I really should have eaten half of the huge Southern sized portion and brought the rest home for later, but I indulged and finished the whole thing instead. It was wonderfully creamy!

Biscuits with Gravy: my husband ordered this, but I could’ve finished it and would’ve been happy to exchange. I thought this was the BEST of all the dishes we ordered. Delicious, wonderful texture, just the right amount of gravy.  Now I want to make some for myself!

Chocolate Coconut Balls: my son loved this, but we both really loved the Cinnamon Rolls. Very sweet but delicious, the Cinnamon Rolls were topped with a Macadamia Cream and filled with Sweet Pecans… No wonder I don’t have a photo… It was gone before I knew it.

Raw Drinks served at the Cafe

I had a great time at my own Mother’s Day brunch.  Besides my hubby cringing at the $93 bill for 3, we were satisfied overall with our meal and the service: I didn’t have to slave away to make our meal myself, the dishes were tasty, my boys were full, plus my son didn’t vomit everywhere (always a good sign that the chefs are clean and conscious about cross contamination).

What’s more, Sharon dreams of expanding nationwide! Watch out! You may see her Raw Vegan products at your own local health food store within a year!  Local peeps – she’ll be selling at Earth Fare soon and opening up another shop in downtown Columbia soon!

Good Life Cafe Granola

Pineapple Ginger Lemonade

8 May Pineapple Ginger Lemonade

 

If you loved the Strawberry Ginger Lemonade I posted a few days ago and you love pineapples, then this will be a hit at your house too! Puree in a high speed blender till smooth:

1 – 1 1/2 tspns grated ginger (we prefer more ginger for this compared to the strawberry version)

zest from 2 lemons

juice from 2 lemons

1/2 cup raw local honey or your choice of sweetener (we found that this drink usually requires a little more sugar than the 1/3 cup in the strawberry version)

2 cups fresh pineapple

3 cup water (or a mix of ice and water)

Slice some pineapples to garnish. Yummy! By the way, if you have some leftovers, these are great for popsicles too!

Strawberry Ginger Lemonade

6 May Strawberry Ginger Lemonade

Strawberry Ginger Lemonade

We ate at a Vegan restaurant called Lamb’s Bread the other day and my boys went crazy over their Pineapple Ginger Lemonade. “Can you make it at home?!? You don’t have to juice it, you can make a fresh raw smoothie instead, but make it taste just like this!” Well, I noticed that the restaurant also had a Strawberry Ginger Lemonade. As we drove home, I remembered that the Blissful Chef had a similar recipe in her book but with mint instead of ginger. It should be easy. Well, the Blissful Chef has this exact recipe on her website! If you haven’t tried her other recipes yet, do! They are very family friendly and delicious!

For this recipe, I just substituted the limes with lemons, ginger juice with grated ginger and maple syrup with raw local honey. Adapted from the Blissful Chef, puree in a high speed blender til smooth:

1 – 1 1/2 tspns grated ginger

zest from 2 lemons

juice from 2 lemons

1/3 cup raw local honey (or your choice of sweetener)

1 pound fresh organic strawberries, tops removed and sliced in half (I have also tried it with mixed frozen berries)

3 cup water

Slice some strawberries to garnish. Yummy! By the way, we also used some leftover to make popsicles. Now to try it with pineapple next!

Review: Your Right To Be Beautiful

5 May Your Right To Be Beautiful Volumizing Shampoo and Anti-Aging Facial Cream

Your Right To Be Beautiful Volumizing Shampoo & Anti-Aging Facial Cream

Well, I tried the Anti-Aging Cream a few years ago and didn’t like it.  It just didn’t work for me then.  But my friend Cayce recently reminded me of Raw Food Advocate, Tonya Zavasta’s, Beautiful on Raw Products after she tried the Multi-Herbal Green Clay Mask.  Cayce said she absolutely loved it.

So, I decided to give it another try recently and was really surprised because it works!  Apparently, just this year, Tonya tripled the amount of sea buckthorn fruit extract in her cream… and it has made a big difference!  My skin feels wonderfully hydrated during the day and night.  In fact, in my vain search for Vegan cosmetics, I think among the moisturizers, Your Right to Be Beautiful Facial Cream has given me the best results so far in hydrating my skin and for lessening my wrinkles.  Yes, in my opinion, even better than Acure’s moisturizers!

Less wrinkles and more hydrated on Your Right To Be Beautiful Anti-Aging Cream… and no make-up in this photo too!!

I also decided to try the Volumizing Shampoo and was surprised again by Tonya’s products.  The shampoo lathers very well.  Although every time I use it I feel like the suds are stripping my hair of its natural oils as I rinse, but my hair is always easy to comb afterwards and as it dries, I find my hair just ‘falls’ well.  I’m wearing my hair down again without doing anything to it.  My son, who has had a fetish for his Mama’s hair since he was born, exclaimed as soon as he touched my dry hair after I used this shampoo, “Mama!  You’ve never had softer hair!  It’s like baby hair!”  And this is true, I haven’t had softer hair since using ‘healthier’ shampoos.

My son wanted to take this photo of me today while we were playing in the garden. It is rare for me to leave my hair down because it is so fine and thin.  I don’t have the time to fix it nor do I want to put product on my hair.  I only have time to wash, comb and let it air-dry.  My hair falls well naturally with Tonya Zavasta’s Volumizing Shampoo!

I am truly surprised by the quality of Tonya’s cream and shampoo!   To me, her website seems a little dull and old compared to the more updated websites of AcureSuki or even 100% Pure.  The packaging of the Your Right To Be Beautiful products also looks cheaper.  The woman I was e-mailing at her company didn’t know how to entertain the idea of sending me samples to review.  She didn’t.  And in fact, she stopped responding to me, so I had to buy the cream and the shampoo for this review from my health food store.  Judging from the website and my communication with its representative, this company does not seem like it would have quality products… but they do!  The cream and shampoo are definitely worth a try!

Now I want to get her facial brush and start dry brushing my face!

 

Did it pass my cosmetics criteria?  Absolutely!

1. smell – I love the smell of the cream. It smells luxurious.  I’m not crazy about the Lotus Flower smell of the shampoo, but it smells… ‘clean’.

2. sensitivities – none.  It says it is safe for very sensitive skin.

3. taste – no adverse taste when I drink water right after the application of the cream.

4. moisturize – Yes it does (cream and shampoo)!

5. everyday comfort – Yes.  An all-in-one cream that works is a wonderful product for a busy Mama who just wants results with minimal work.  As for the shampoo, it softens and at the same time adds volume to my thin and fine hair!

6. lasting effect – According to the website: “Your Right to Be Beautiful Facial Cream contains sea buckthorn oil, known for its amazing nourishing, regenerative and restorative actions. Coconut oil, aloe vera leaf extract and avocado oil add soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Mango seed butter helps to protect your skin from dryness.  The cream is suitable for every skin type, including sensitive skin and can be used as a daily moisturizer or as an enriching night cream. You can apply the cream under makeup foundation or as a soothing aftershave.”  As for the Volumizing Shampoo, “You’ll notice my shampoo and conditioner contain more ingredients than the average similar products. Why? Because I wanted these products to include everything known to deliver shine, volume, softness and manageability to hair while still being as pure and natural as humanly possible.”

7. eco-friendly – The ingredients are Vegan and a handful are Certified Organic.  Not exactly completely RAW like Bee Yummy’s products, but, as a Raw Foodie, Tonya says she keeps the quality of her beauty products as high as she can too. She sources the best ingredients that she can for the products that she personally uses and sells.

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