You ferment for me

canned-veggies

You know how your mum always told you to drink water because you’re body is made up of 70% water? Well, using that logic you should be eating ten times more probiotic-rich food too.

Healthy bacteria, found is fermented food, is vital to our micro biome – the ecosystem of bacteria that lives inside our bodies. It turns out these bacteria outnumber our other cells by a factor of 10 to 1!

Basically, we are more bacteria than we are human.

Korean.Folk.Village-Minsokchon-02

Scientific research is now finding that a balanced microbiome regulates the immune system, metabolism, sustains the gastrointestinal tract, supports mood and brain function, produces crucial vitamins and nutrients, and helps us maintain a healthy weight.

Fermented foods are also found amongst the traditional diets of cultures worldwide, due to their health benefits. Unfortunately we our over-pasteurised processing of foods, many of us are not getting these vital bacteria in our diet.

I have been a fan of fermented food and beverages for a while now.

What I really love about them is after a period of over-indulging – take Christmas time for example – when my tummy is growling like an angry bear, after a week or so of eating fermented foods with my meals and drinking coconut kefir, and I’m right back on track.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They also don’t go off in the fridge. If you are anything like me, you go out and buy healthy food with all the best intentions, and then the next week you are clearing out the remains of wilted organic kale from your crisper.

Fermented food doesn’t really go off, because it’s already done its fermenting. So it is naturally preserved and lasts for ages, but you must keep it in the fridge.

Probiotic bacteria will balance your tummy from the inside, which makes for a flatter tummy on the outside.

Fermented foods help you lose weight by maintaining the right proportion of friendly bacteria for  digestion, and an efficient digestive system equals optimal nutrient absorption and weight loss.

Korean_cuisine-Gimjang-Preparation_for_making_kimchi-01

“I highly recommend these foods, both for weight loss and for overall improvement of numerous symptoms, including depression, anxiety, brain fog, skin problems, hormonal issues, immune weaknesses, digestive problems, and fatigue.” Raphael Kellman, M.D. is the author of The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss (July 1, 2014)

How to make Kimchi:

Enjoy!

 

Images:

Kimchi

Canned veggies

Chosun Bimbo. Chillis drying in the sun 

Traditional”Kimchi jar”. Olkhicha Appa

Korean cuisine-Gimjang-Preparation for making kimchi. Caroline Knox 

Brrrrr! It’s getting cold, and so is my food!

Child Eating Snow

Last winter I went 100% raw for two months. People said I was crazy – although I prefer zany and eccentric – they were right.

The cooler months are, for many people, a time your body needs warmth and your digestive system needs a helping hand with lightly cooked foods.

While may raw foodies are happy to continue eating 80-100% raw in winter, many recommend a more balanced 50/50 ratio. That is, a diet of 50% raw food, and 50% cooked food.

So I have dusted off my slow cooker, and I am investigating ways to keep the raw ethos, while eating some cooked foods.

So what is the raw ethos? Well, truth be told, I don’t know what THE raw ethos is, but MY raw ethos is pretty simple.

  1. Eat things that grow in the ground or on trees – plant-based, whole foods
  2. Eat things in their most natural, unprocessed form
  3. Cooking – if at all – should be done slowly and gently and without oil
  4. Eat mostly veggies, nuts, seeds, but small amounts of cooked legumes and rice provide extra sustenance – ideally an 80/20 ratio of veggies to these other foods in every meal
  5. Plenty of raw cultured foods like kimchi and sauerkraut
  6. Using plant-based products without artificial chemicals for cosmetics, toiletries, and cleaners.
  7. Organically and locally grown wherever possible.

One of my favourite winter raw ideas is to add a big, steaming spoonful of vegetable stew or brown rice risotto to a pile of raw veggies. The hot food lightly warms the raw food and you still get the crunch and flavour – and goodness – of the raw veggies.

It is possible to be 100% raw in Winter, like these folk in Alaska – brrrr! However an entirely raw diet is not suitable for everyone. If, like me, you have a weak digestive system, too much raw food can be an added burden. So a combination of raw and lightly cooked food is best.

Michelle Firrisi from Raw Vegan Power Suggests the following tips for raw winter eating:

  • Add a little cooked food to a raw meal.
  • Choose seasonal fruits & vegetables – eating seasonally is what our bodies are designed for, so don’t eat imported mangoes, enjoy the winter cabbage and fruits likes apples.
  • Spice up the heat – Warming spices like ginger, cayenne, cumin and curry, and if that’s too strong a flavour for you, cinnamon, cloves and allspice, really heat you up from the inside, they are also fabulous for digestion. You can also add them to juices and smoothies.
  • Greens, Greens, Greens – greens are grounding, so be sure to incorporate lots into your winter diet.
  • Rich smoothie and raw snacks – for those times when you need something sweet, I keep dates and nuts and bananas on hand. I swear after you have been off processed sweets for a while, dates taste like pure caramel!
  • Warm up your plate – Even a soak in hot water will take the chill off your plate and assure your food is not stone cold.

Ali Washington from Young and Raw says eating raw food does not have to be all or nothing, including a larger percentage of raw food into your diet, whatever that percentage may be, has great health benefits. She also reminded me that in Ayurvedic or Chinese Medicine, warm food is part of the healthy diet, particularly if you have a body like mine that runs cold in winter.

Use you intuition says Sabine from Some Like It Raw. If you are hankering for something warm, don’t force yourself to eat a bowl of raw veggies. A large part of being healthy – in my humble opinion, all of it –  is learning to listen to what your body wants. Your body knows what it needs, so if you crave brown rice – eat it – don’t let eating raw become a fascist regime!

Polly from PollyNoble.com has these rather helpful suggestions:

  • Eat your raw food first as your body takes the most amount of nutrition from the food you eat first, so it’s always a good idea to have a mouthful or two of raw food before eating some cooked food.
  • Keep having a green smoothie or green juice every day.
  • Make your soups in a blender, keeping all the enzymes and nutrients intact, and then warm gently on the stove until warm to the touch. (Raw food is based on not heating over 115 degrees F (46 degrees C) as that’s when food starts to lose it’s nutritional benefits.

Esme Stevens from The Best of Raw Food got her tips from raw foodies in Alaska – brrrr!

  • Raw doesn’t mean your food has to be cold. Make sure your raw food is room temperature, or heat it gently to 42 degrees.
  • Put warm sauces/salad dressings over your raw veggies
  • Drink warm beverages

Adria LeCorte from Healthy Vegas Vegan says consider seasonal eating. Her diet is based on Macrobiotics and the principles of yin (cooling) and yang (warming) foods. In winter, the diet centres on root vegetables and grounding, warming food. Sweet potatoes, winter squash, beets, as well as steamed veggies and greens. She says as these foods are grounding in winter, it’s no coincidence that they also happen to be in season. Nature has her intuition too!

Here’s a hearty vegetable soup I make in the slow cooker, and then eat on a bed of shredded raw kale with some kimchi on top. Yum!

chunky-winter-vegetable-soup

Chunky Winter Vegetable Soup

3 spanish onions

3 cloves garlic

4 carrots

1/2 butternut pumpkin

2 zucchinis

2 potatoes

1 large sweet potato

4 yellow squash

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp turmeric

2 sprigs rosemary/thyme/bay leaves

4 tomatoes

Salt/pepper to taste

4 cups vegetable stock (see home-made recipe here)

Chop veggies into large chunks, add with stock to slow cooker and leave it to cook, as slowly as possible, until veggies are soft, usually a couple of hours.

If you – or you kids – like smooth soup, just blend it before serving. I like mine chunky!

So I hope that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Enjoy!

 

Title image here

Soup image here

Don’t believe the hype

milk

A friend of mine recently wrote about the hype surrounding coconut oil. Now I am a fan of coconut oil, predominantly for smearing all over my body as a fantastic moisturiser and mild sunscreen – just for my ten minutes UV a day. See here for her wonderful post and here for the article on coconut oil.

I have always regarded coconut oil in cooking as akin to butter. I use it sparingly, or in recipes like my raw caramel sauce (see below), where you would use butter or cream in the real version. I mean it’s solid fat, while I personally prefer it as a raw, unrefined fat, it’s obviously not meant to be consumed in copious amounts.

My unscientific view is that moderation and common sense are key. If you are worried about your cholesterol levels, maybe avoid it, and everyone should rotate their oils, and go with avocado or macadamia oil. However I think it’s important to mention the importance of food combining when discussing any perceived health benefit of food. Scientific studies on fatty chains are done in a lab, they are not done on individuals eating a balanced diet.

If you read the comments section of the article, there are some valid counter claims made, for example the question mark over whether high cholesterol on it’s own causes heart disease, the behaviour of different kinds of fats in the body, for example animal fats, processed fats, versus unrefined plant fats. And the possible presence of antiviral and antibacterial properties in coconut oil, which may promote gut health – a major factor in immunity from all forms of disease, in my humble opinion.

See this article for the link between gut health and mental/neurological disorders.

However, I’m not here to talk coconut oil, this got me to thinking about food hype and false claims about food and it’s nutritional value. This resurfaced a pet peeve of mine, the dairy industry. An industry that goes to great pains to maintain it’s myths about milk.

The dairy industry has thrown a lot of money around for years convincing people how healthy milk and milk products are. Nearly 10 years ago when I discovered dairy was a no-no for my autistic son, and then it turned out for most of my family members, I began reading up on the health issues associated with dairy milk.

I also discovered that most yogurt – touted as super-healthy – was over-processed and over-sugared, and that the acid in fruit renders the heathy bacteria ineffective. It’s okay to add plain yogurt to fruit and eat it straight away, but the fruit acids will neutralise the bacteria over any length of time, e.g the time it sits on a supermarket shelf.

I read a book called The Devil in the Milk, written by agricultural business professor and farm-management consultant, Keith Woodford. In this book, Woodford investigates the protein in dairy milk, and using epidemiological studies – that is, studies of the patterns of health and disease conditions in defined populations, in this case different countries – to compare the two types of protein found in different breeds of cows and their comparative effects on the levels of disease.

Basically there are two types of milk protein A1 and A2. In Australia we breed “the wrong kind of cows”.

It seems the black and white cows — Holsteins and Friesians — generally give milk that contains a small but significant amount of beta-casein type A1, which behaves like an opiate.

Says Dr. Thomas Cowan, co-founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation, in this fascinating introduction to the subject in his email newsletter, see this blog for the full post, he explains the science of Woodford’s book far better than I could.

Apparently all milk was once A2, until a genetic mutation occurred thousands of years ago in some European cattle. A2 milk remains high in herds in much of Asia, Africa, and parts of Southern Europe. A1 milk is common in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe, hence the relevance of epidemiological studies to look at the effects on the milk diet and health.

The point is, there is a powerful correlation between A1 milk consumption and higher rates of heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, autism and schizophrenia. I would add digestive and hormonal issues to that, from my experience with giving up dairy.

Now I have serious issues with the way cows are treated in dairy farms, but potentially if we raised the A2 cows and humanely produced their milk without pasteurisation, the milk and products would actually be healthy.

Cowan claims “raw and cultured dairy products from healthy grass-fed cows are one of the healthiest foods people have ever eaten”. However he discovered that only the A2 variety of milk, when unpasteurised, provides these health benefits.

Interestingly, French cheese – which is highly regarded as pretty damn good cheese – is made from A2 milk, possibly because the French never accepted A1 breeds of cow – because they have “lousy” milk (You need to read that with a French accent.)

It’s an informational minefield out there people. I could find as many pro-milk medical opinions as anti-milk. So you will have to make your own informed decision.

I think it’s safe to say, you need to ensure dairy is tolerated by your digestion – an estimated 75% people can’t stomach milk, although if it’s the milk protein casein that’s the problem, A2 milk may help –  you need to avoid unnecessary hormones and pesticides by buying organic milk, and if possible as unprocessed as possible.

 

snickers saramel

Raw Caramel

1 1/2 cups pre-soaked dates
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 vanilla pod
1/3 cup almond milk

Blend until smooth, I recommend blending the dates and oil first and then adding the milk gradually for super-smoothness.

If you want to be healthy – don’t eat the whole bowl on your own, this should provide 10 serves to put on raw ice-cream, or to use in caramel slices or raw snickers – see recipe here.

Enjoy!

 

Further Reading:

http://thebovine.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/the-devil-in-the-milk-dr-thomas-cowan-on-how-a2-milk-is-the-answer-to-the-mystery-of-why-even-raw-milk-sometimes-does-not-seem-to-be-enough-of-an-improvement-over-store-bought/

http://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/dairy-free-dairy-6-reason_b_558876.html

http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/dairy-truths

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-neuroscience-of-gut/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2419418/Low-levels-healthy-gut-bacteria-cause-mental-health-issues-anxiety-schizophrenia-say-scientists.html

Seven intentions for putting it out there

wishing fairy star

It’s been a while, I know.

After my last post where I literally hit a wall of physical and emotional exhaustion, I have been living a very soothing existence of rest and rejuvenation.

I have been following doctors orders of vitamin and probiotic supplementation and following the body ecology diet, as well as lots and lots of rest.

I’m glad to say it’s working! My energy levels are slowly but surely returning and my mojo has reappeared in the form of a burning desire to blog my next adventure. Manifesting my dream life.

My experience of writing this blog led me to find healing and health, now I want to see what else I can create!

Thank you for coming along on my raw food journey, and I invite you to come along on my new journey at sevenintentions.wordpress.com.

Bless.

Day 112. There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Eliza, dear Eliza…

bucket

That’s exactly what it feels like – there’s a hole in my bucket.

No matter how much I fill up on all this good stuff, food, exercise, loving service, and meditation, somehow it’s leaking out of me.

I had a couple of super-busy weeks, working extra days, volunteering at the women’s prison, night shifts and weekends at work, a writing course, my son’s sports games and training.

Increasingly over the past few months (since my last iron injections) I was feeling really foggy in the head, my mind lacked clarity, I was lethargic and dizzy.

The crunch came on Monday when I got up out of bed to go to work and sat straight down on the floor and cried. I was so dizzy I wondered if I had been spinning in my sleep. I realised for weeks I had been “managing” severe dizzy spells, brain fog, depression, and lethargy.

When I say “managing” I mean just doggedly pushing though. Not listening to my body. I remember one particularly bad day at work, every time I stood up to go and help someone, I nearly passed out. Did I say anything? Nup. I just talked myself through it. Breathe, move slowly. Do try not to pass out on the library floor, dear.

After seeing the integrative doctor, what serendipitous timing that the appointment coincided with this rapid decline in my health – I was all ears and no argument for once! – I was confronted quite starkly with the fact that my body is not healthy.

It was a huge blow. I realised I really thought I could heal myself with a raw food diet and here I was just getting sicker.

The doctor was very kind as I weepily explained, that in my attempt to heal myself, my diet and become more and more restricted.  She told me the raw food diet was not going to work for me because of my gut problems, that raw food takes extra digestion and really what I need is lots of slow cooked, easily digestible food.

When it became apparent that I would no longer be writing a blog about eating 100% raw food – after my doctor made her case abundantly clear that a raw food diet was perhaps only moderately more suitable for treating my condition than say, a fast food diet – so began a quandary.

Do I write one last blog? Do I leave my readers hanging wondering occasionally and absently, “What ever happened to that raw girl?” Do I just start another blog about my new adventures in eating for healing? Which may or may not include going from being a raw vegan to eating bone broth – I kid you not. Apparently it’s the gold star treatment for my condition, I’m not convinced though, yet.

The answer came to me after talking to a dear friend, who said she was a little worried about me after seeing my day-100 post. She said 21 days or even 30 days was admirable, a good cleansing fast for my system, but 100 days was nudging lunacy, especially in the cold Melbourne weather. It was, she said, rather EXTREME.

When I told her the doctor had advised slow-cooked stews for my condition,  my friend expressed relief. They’re so nurturing, she said.

Nurture. Ah yes! That IS important, I thought. Could it be I had become somewhat of a raw food fascist? Denying myself the comfort of some steamed veggies and rice? Had a become so rigid that I was doing myself more harm than good?

Now, I am a big fan of the plant-based diet. I have expounded on the benefits that had come into my life as a direct result of my foray into eating raw. However I think somewhere along the line my ego had become very attached to the whole thing.

Well, the doctor’s diagnosis smashed my ego to smithereens.

Eating raw has taught me great self-discipline and healthy habits when it comes to eating and preparing food. Many of which will be helpful on my new healing regime. (Oh dear, REGIME, I’d better watch that fascist streak of mine!)

The difference is this time I have health professionals creating the regime. Not me, after reading a few articles and thinking I’m some kind of expert.

At this stage, I’m somewhat in limbo until I see the naturopath this week and get an clear idea of the diet I need to follow. In the meantime. I’m eating lots of steamed veggies with tahini dressing and loving the soothing, nurturing warmth!

The reason raw food is not ideal for me is that my digestive system has been weakened by a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Say what? Well, think of it this way, the lining of your digestive tract is like a filter with very small holes in it that only allow certain substances to pass through – like nutrients. This lining acts as a barrier to larger particles moving through your digestive system that if allowed though could cause damage.

When you have leaky gut, or as it’s also called, increased intestinal permeability,  the lining of your digestive tract gets damaged, which causes even bigger holes to develop, so things pass through the protective lining that shouldn’t – things like proteins (such as gluten), bad bacteria, undigested foods particles, excess hormones, and toxic waste. These particles are recognised in your blood as being unwelcome intruders and cause an immune reaction. Hence the increase in intolerance to certain foods like gluten and dairy.

So eventually you get to the point I was, despairing “what can I actually eat?”

See the picture below for an idea of how leaky gut progresses. Bottom line, it’s not good! (BTW IgG antibodies are the body’s immune reaction to foreign particles in the blood.)

LGS_Diagram

Read more here for information on leaky gut and treatment.

One other area for improvement the doctor suggested is sleep. I read this article during the week, a powerful testament to why we need good sleep. Sleep acts like a dishwashing process for our brains, removing toxic build up. That’s probably why if you don’t sleep you die. And it would explain the link between dementia and sleep issues. My dad is a case in point, chronic sleep apnoea, now dementia. Read the article here.

The doctor told me to go to bed at 9pm every night. As someone who spends those “precious” hours after my son has gone to bed, writing, reading, doing my nails, I was horrified. There were two factors to this suggestion. First that the body has its healing cycle before midnight, so if you’re not sleeping you miss that. Second if my body gets too tired it has no energy left to heal anyway.

In addition to leaky gut I have oestrogen overload, adrenal fatigue, and, of course, chronic anaemia. That was the bad news. The good news is that healing my gut and ensuring proper digestion and elimination of toxins from my body should remedy all these issues.

I would hate to leave the impression that raw food diets are not healthy. I don’t think that’s true. I think the importance of finding out what is causing the symptoms in your health and then applying the appropriate diet is key.

My goal is to heal my gut so I can return to a mostly raw diet, but that will take time, and probably a dedication to eating more fermented and sprouted foods – which are much easier to digest – rather than all green smoothies and salads.

Hey, you live and learn right? I said it was a journey and this is where it’s taken me. Towards health. It’s ALL good.

So, in the words of Bugs Bunny, that’s all folks! Once again thank you for following my raw food journey.

Above all, be well.

See ya xox

Title image here

day 100. we’ve got the whole world in our hands

world in hands

Last night I was watching a show on iView called redesigning your brain. It’s based on this guy, Todd Sampson, who undertakes brain training for three months while neurologists monitor the changes in his brain. It’s all about brain plasticity. And it’s fascinating.

As I watched, it occurred to me that the brain training was focused on engaging in new behaviours, new habits, which cause the brain to create new pathways or synapses, and then strengthening these pathways through repetition.

I realised that by setting myself this raw challenge, I had embarked on a kind of redesigning my brain. I had made myself more likely to stick to new behaviour because I implicitly accepted that, as a challenge, it would be, well, challenging, duh, right? To challenge myself means being out of my comfort zone, accepting things will be unusual, uncomfortable, new.

I couldn’t do it lazy and eat the same thing every day because I needed to post new recipes. Writing this blog strengthened my resolve by making me accountable to the commitment I’d made.

I knew people were curious about my discoveries – friends, families, colleagues, and people I hadn’t even met, began to share their food and health journeys with me. This gave me faith and courage that this wasn’t some self indulgent exercise, but an undertaking of meaning and purpose.

According to Redesign Your Brain, something as simple as eating a new food each day creates new connections in your brain. (Mine should be huge by now!) The research on brain plasticity shows there is much to be gained by challenging ourselves with new behaviours.

The old thinking about brain cells, that once programmed they were set in stone, has been overturned. Now the research shows that the brain is incredibly resilient, resourceful and adaptable.

But you have to use it. Like all of nature, the human brain is super-efficient and energy saving, so if you only make the same old demands on it, eat the same food, drive the same way to work, do the same activities all the time, your brain doesn’t need to create new connections, so it doesn’t.

It’s fascinating watching the show as Todd’s brain increases in capability, functionality, and effectiveness through simple brain training exercises. And it’s inspiring to know that by changing our diet, or taking a different route to work we can begin to expand our own brain power. How simple is that?

I also read this article about the brain-gut connection and it’s effect on psychiatric disorders, see here. I have a particular interest in the brain-gut connection since my son was diagnosed with autism 8 years ago.

After his diagnosis, in addition to various accepted modalities for treating autism, such as speech therapy, psychology, and social skills training, I also investigated all kinds of alternative treatments.

As a result, he was treated at age 4 for leaky gut. Leaky gut is a syndrome where the intestinal lining has become compromised and both fails to absorb essential nutrients and allows particles to pass into the blood stream that essentially toxify the body.

The treatment for this syndrome was a special diet and supplements. I’m not saying it cured him, but you wouldn’t know he had autism these days. And I always know when he hasn’t been following his diet because the decline in his communication skills is quite dramatic.

All this research supports my gut feeling (excuse the pun) that diet really is vital to all aspects of our health.

I also read a really saddening article today about the state of the ocean. It’s here if you want to read it The Ocean Is Broken by Greg Ray.

I found it especially sad because it doesn’t offer any solutions. In fact the most obvious solution, like, well, go clean up the ocean, could potentially do more harm than good.

There’s a number of factors at play, but the main one was the fishing industry, the massive trawlers that plunder the ocean day and night, keeping only a small portion of what they catch then tossing dead fish back into an almost lifeless ocean.

It’s almost like reading about genocide. Because essentially we are murdering this planet.

It’s easy to get disillusioned, to reach a state of despair over the environmental catastrophe we find ourselves in. It’s easy to feel powerless when politics and activism don’t seem to be changing things, and certainly not fast enough. The logical mind would rightly call the situation hopeless.

Yet there is another perception which I am very open to, because really the alternative is too depressing.

The other alternative, espoused by many people from Albert Einstein, to the postmodern quantum physicists, to Marianne Williamson and Louise Hay, not to mention pretty much all spiritual doctrine, is that we create the world through our perception of it. So that all that is needed for change – even for the scale of change that seems truly miraculous – is for enough people to believe it’s possible. And that’s it.

What? I know. It just sounds too simplistic. It couldn’t be that easy, right? Then I thought about a book I read about quantum physicists when they first encountered wave-particle duality, they discovered that it was totally dependent on the observer (and their expectations) as to whether they saw one “reality” or another.

So if there’s no absolute reality, if the act of observing, interacting, and perceiving the world actually changes its form, then, hell yeah, it’s totally reasonable to assume that what can happen at the microscopic scale can also happen on a massive scale  – a change in human consciousness could change the physical environment. See more here on wave-particle duality.

Phew! I know a tangent when I see one! My point is…

So 100 days. Who would have thought that I’d still be eating raw? Not me, that’s for sure!

I said at the outset I would try eating raw and see what happens. So what has happened? Probably not what I thought would happen – I did have some lurking notion that I’d end up looking like Miranda Kerr. That hasn’t happened. However plenty of positive (and mostly unexpected) things have.

I love green smoothies, I feel like a clean, green machine. I never thought I’d honestly say that. It’s hard to explain, like a sensation that my body is running efficiently, that it’s not clogged up with processed and “filler” foods. I have developed a real respect for real food, as made by mother nature and just how perfectly nourishing it is.

I feel connected to the earth, I’m making ethical choices by eating fresh, locally grown, organic, plant-based food. Ethical because it leaves a smaller carbon footprint than buying processed and imported food; it financially supports local farmers; and it ensures there will be the option of organic food for future generations by making organic land use sustainable.

The top 13 things I most love about going raw (so far)…

1. Feeling clean on the inside

2. Eating the way nature intended

3. Reading about nutrition

4. Discovering like-minded friends

5. Trying new foods

6. Switching to organically grown food

7. Respect for my body and the earth

8. Eliminating toxins in cleaning products, make-up, toiletries

9. Giving up pharmaceutical pain killers

10. Being a positive role model for my son

11. Growing my own food

12. Not using the microwave

13. Reawakening my intuition

That last one sounds very woo-woo I know. But there’s something about feeding your body with raw, natural foods and eliminating toxins that opens up the mind/body/spirit connection. It is also a by-product of choosing an eating regime that is outside of the norm, so you have to learn to trust yourself.

In short making a commitment to eat raw, to change one thing in my life, has changed my whole life. And so it can be with the world. From little things big things grow.

Although it’s hard to believe something as simple as what we eat can change the world, the reality is our food choices have an impact on our carbon footprint. Eating a plant-based, locally, organically grown diet ensures we are not contributing to the destruction of our environment through over-fishing and unsustainable agricultural practices.

One person can’t change the world. But maybe someone will read my blog and make a small change, and they’ll influence someone else to change a little and so on. And maybe Marianne Williamson will get elected to the US Congress and even politics could change. If we believe in it, anything is possible!

Now for some food. After all that pontificating, how about the recipe for this super-simple, but insanely delicious salad dressing?

satay salad

The best salad dressing ever!

1 tbsp tahini paste

1 tbsp Braggs Amino Acid Sauce

1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Whish with a fork in a cup or jar. Pour on salad. Be amazed!

Thanks for following my raw journey!

day 94. I’m berry, berry happy

gubinge berry

I’m in a writing frenzy!

I started this writing course and I’m supposed to keep a journal, a dream diary and an ideas book. I’ve been writing blurbs for events at work, I have this blog, and up until now, I was also writing on 750words.com. I could probably let that one go.

I’m also doing an email Course In Miracles.

But apart from that, I’m like totally zen and in the moment and not overachieving at all… Bah!

My friend tried to tell me recently that most people consider working and being a mum more than enough. But there’s just so much I want to do.

I’m feeling happy today, so it’s all okay. Why so happy? Treats!!!

I just found some yummy new treats at the organic store. Raw buckwheat cereal, air-dried coconut, and a fabulous superfood powder for my green smoothies with maqui berry, acai berry, camu camu, gubinge and Blue Green Algae (and you thought it was bad!).

How exotic! I was using a green blend, but apparently it’s good to rotate your superfood powders too, so I was very excited to find a new one.

And I was flirted with by the guy at the store who gave me a discount. So win! win! win! Ker-ching! Thank you universe!

I like that there’s an indigenous Australian berry hitting the superfood market.  And that it’s in my new Rainbow powder.

Gubinge (that’s what it’s called) is the highest verified natural source of Vitamin C on the planet. The species is called Terminalia Ferdinandiana (I seriously did not make that up), more popularly known as the Kakadu plum, and it grows in the Kakadu and the Kimberleys. The Kimberley-grown version is higher in vitamin C and is known as Gubinge.

The Kimberley version is left to grow wild, not irrigated or anything. It’s fascinating because they have discovered the uncultivated plants have higher levels of those precious antioxidants. The nutrients, that are so good for us when we eat it, are really there to make the plant itself stronger. And if you pamper the plant, they don’t need to make so many nutrients. A little environmental stress is actually good for them (and us).

Thanks to Loving Earth for that info.

I am so not watering my garden today after reading that. Stress it out, babies!

Yesterday I was at work, and one of my lovely colleagues who is a divine baker had made lemon slice. Oh holy temptation! Lemon desserts are my Achilles heel. I would do a lot for a good lemon tart.

Anyway it got me to thinking about replicating the lemon slice as a raw dessert. So I did. With a few embellishments. Here it is.

I discovered it tasted even better today, so, if you can, leave it to sit in the fridge overnight. If you can – it’s pretty hard to resist!

lemon slice

Lemon-Choc slice

Lemon layer:

Juice and pulp of 1 lemon

Rind of 1 lemon

1/2 cup macadamias

1 tbsp honey

1/2 cup coconut

Blend ingredients and press into a lined brownie tin.

Chocolate layer:

3 tbsps cacao

1 tbsp honey

1/2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup nuts

Press a layer on top of lemon layer and refrigerate overnight. Slice and serve.

You may want to double this recipe, I only made a small amount so I couldn’t do too much damage if I ate it all myself!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 188 other followers