When you are looking to experiment with new kinds of food, especially raw foods, it can get a little overwhelming. To help you get started, I interviewed the creators of RawVolution.com
and the writers of their new book – RawVolution Continues.
If you live in LA (and if that’s the case, I am very envious!) you can drive down to their restaurant in Santa Monica and experience some of their foods before trying to make them. But if you don’t have such opportunity, don’t despair – Matt Amsden shared his tips on what’s most popular, what’s easy to make and what is sooooo worth the time to make it. To purchase the book, click here
– look at the numbers under each recipe and you will find how easy or complex they are as each one is rated on a scale from 1 to 3. Thank you, Matt and Janabai for this great reference!
Those who love raw food, love it for two reasons – you get the most nutrition and it is easy to prepare. Case in point – smoothies! Turn to page 54, 63 or 62 to find some delicious recipes for super easy concoctions.
Wakame salad, one of my personal favorites is also very easy to create. I am happy to share the recipe below from page 151.
Another easy one is the Dragon Rolls from page 176. They are filled with nutrition, flavor and take little time to prepare.
If you have already experimented with raw foods, then try the super-tasty Sea Cakes with Cilantro Chutney from page 132. Make a lot at a time, so you’ll get more than just one meal.
For those who can’t imagine life without bread, don’t despair! Instead make the fabulous Focaccia Bread from page 125. Dip it in Olive oil or have it with a salad and you will feel satisfied. It is also great to be refrigerated for a couple of weeks.
When I talked to Matt, I also wanted to know what his personal favorite superfoods are. We all got our staple outfits in the closet and the same applies to pantry as our personal tastes reflect our choices. Try one or all of them, accessorize your meals with them and see how they fit you:
- Gogi Berries – high in anti-oxidants that help you fight free radicals
- Maca – a Peruvian root that has show to balance hormones, increase energy and boost libido
- Green Powder – Any green powder you prefer that has a variety of vegetables dehydrated into this easy-to-drink form
- Spirulina – One of Matt’s favorite algaes that is high protein, vitamins and minerals.
CREAMY WAKAME SEAWEED SALAD
FOR THE DRESSING
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
- ¼ cup raw walnuts
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3-inch piece peeled fresh ginger
FOR THE SALAD
- 1 1/3 cup ribbed wakame, soaked for 1 hour and drained
- 2/3 cup dulse
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1 cup chopped stemmed cilantro
- 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
To make the dressing, in a high speed blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
To make the salad, combine the wakame, cilantro, green onions, and sesame seeds in a large salad bowl. Toss the salad with the dressing. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
July is now here and many Floridians are stocking up on watermelons for their 4th of July parties. If you are looking to do something more exciting than serving plain old watermelon slices, I am here to share some new ideas for this annual celebration. Some fun facts and tips on watermelons:
Z-Tip on eating watermelons:
- High in bloat-reducing potassium
- Low in calories – 1 cup is only 46 calories
- Good source of lycopene – helps with heart health and cancer prevention
- Fastest moving food – great for internal body cleansing
- Eat melons alone or leave them alone.
- 1 Watermelon
- 1 Honeydew
- 2 Cucumbers
- 1 Lime
Juice watermelon, honeydew and cucumbers through a juicer. Squeeze lime by hand. Serve on the rocks for a refreshing beverage.
For more watermelon recipes, click here
Valentine’s Day is around the corner and that often means going out to eat and having drinks. With a plethora of beverages to choose from, many people feel lost in the choice and we are here to help you solve the dilemma.
Of course the number one beverage of choice would be a non-alcoholic, 100% organic, cold-pressed juice like OnJuice
, for example. But let’s face it, those are not usually available at most parties. On average I have one alcoholic drink a week and if I attend lots of parties, then I stick to my invented concoction of sparkling water or soda water with 1 teaspoons of lime juice. Usually the bartender will either have a lime juice mix which does have sugar, but I figure that 1 teaspoon of it won’t be a big deal.
The reason why I limit myself to 1 glass of alcohol a week is because it is very stressful for the liver to process. Since liver is the largest organ in the body and is also responsible for detoxification of your system, it is crucial to keep it happy and healthy. This point is especially important to remember when it comes to hard liquor. Yes, vodka may not have any calories, but its high alcohol content can undermine your liver function. When liver gets overwhelmed, the metabolism can get sluggish, pounds can start pilling on and the mood and quality of life can start to go down.
However, I do indulge about once a week and my alcoholic beverage of choice is a glass of bubbly or red wine, both of which add up to about 120 calories a serving. Research has shown that in moderation, red wine has positive benefits for the heart, so it can give you a better bang for your nutritional buck. One tip of the trade: if you drink one glass of wine, it will relax your system, but if you over-indulge, then it can actually cause the opposite effect and result in insomnia.Champagne Fooler:
Pink Drink On The Rocks
- 1-1/3 cups apple juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 12 ounces club soda
Shake Pink Drink with ice in a martini shaker, pour into a martini glass. Decorate with a lemon slice and enjoy! Simple, easy and delicious.Healthier alcoholic options:
- OnJuice 100% organic, freshly squeezed or pressed juice for your cocktails
- Synergy Kombucha
- Light Beer
- Red Wine
- White Wine
- Sparkling Wine
- For blended drinks, use whole fruit, so you can get extra fiber, which will slow down the release of sugars and can also give your liver a boost
I know how busy you are and this is why I encourage you to go for the ultimate fast food - Fruit! It is easy to grab-and-go, it is on the budget and unlike processed foods, fruit actually has amazing side effects like longevity, optimum weight, abundant energy and balance.
Fruits are filled with fiber and liver stimulants, which act as natural, gentle laxatives. Whenever possible, buy fresh, locally grown fruit as opposed to imported fruits shipped from far-off places. This keeps you eating in season, and more in harmony with your environment and climate.
Eating raw fruit in summer months is highly cooling. Frozen, whole, puréed or juiced fruit can make great summertime cool-down treats. Try frozen grapes, banana-coconut smoothie popsicles or lime juice ice-cubes in iced tea!
Here are a few summer fruits and their health benefits:
- Apricots: Great for lung conditions and asthma; used to help treat anemia due to their high copper and cobalt content.
- Bananas: Help to lubricate the intestines, treat ulcers, detoxify the body and manage sugar cravings; are rich in potassium (which helps hypertension).
- Cherries: Slightly warming in nature; increase overall body energy, remedy arthritis and rheumatism and are rich in iron, which improves the blood.
- Grapefruits: Treat poor digestion, increase appetite during pregnancy, alleviate intestinal gas and reduce mucus conditions of the lungs.
- Papayas: Tone the stomach, act as digestive aid, moisten the lungs and alleviate coughing; contain carpaine, an anti-tumor compound.
BANANA ICE CREAM
- Raspberries: Benefit the liver and kidneys, cleanse blood of toxins, regulate menstrual cycles, treat anemia and can promote labor at childbirth.
3-4 Frozen Bananas (peel them before you freeze them)
Blend bananas in a Vitamix blender (other blenders may not be able handle frozen bananas), using the plunger to move them around.
You will see the color change to white and the texture become just like soft-serve ice cream Put in your favorite glass and enjoy!
PS. I am happy to offer FREE shipping on Vitamix Blenders. To take advantage of this offer, use this link: Vitamix.com
As America is getting ready for the super bowl, many of my clients are concerned about the damage party foods may do to their bodies. I think life is about enjoyment, not deprivation and kicking back with your friends and having a great time is a part of life. However, there are small things you can do to minimize the nutritional damage SuperBowl snacks may do. Here are a few simple tricks and recipes that can help you do just that.
1. To boost your metabolism, do interval cardio (20 seconds very fast, 10 seconds slow) on Friday and Sunday and do weight training on Saturday.
2. Practice dry skin brushing in the morning to stimulate your lymphatic system and decrease bloating.
3. Have a half of a grapefruit before the party.
4. Take a vegetarian Digestive Enzyme to help you digest cooked food. Non-vegetarian enzymes have strange ingredients you may not want to have in your body.
5. If you are going to a party, bring your own food to contribute to the pot luck. That way you will know exactly what you are eating.
Below are two recipes that are full of fiber that will help your digestive system.
Pizza Party Buffet
1 Jar of Organic Pizza Sauce
1 Jar of roasted peppers
1 Jar of marinated artichokes
1 Package of Crimini Mushrooms
1 Package of Daiya Cheese (www.daiyafoods.com) or Low Fat Organic Cheese
Organic (Vegan preferably) Pepperoni
High Fiber English Muffins
Toast the English Muffins for a few minutes first. Then top them with your favorite toppings and heat up in the toaster oven to melt the cheese. Enjoy!
Easiest Chili Ever!
16 oz Can of Marinated Bean Salad (I love Trader Joe's Brand)
12 oz Jar of Salsa
1 packet of vegetarian meat crumbles (Will be healthy and delicious)
Vegan or Low Fat Organic Cheese optional
Put them all together in a pan and sautee for about 15 minutes. Drizzle with cheese if you'd like. Enjoy! Your guests won't tell a difference.
When it comes to Halloween, I believe adults deserve some fun snacks that are not limited to sugar-loaded candy bars. Here are 3 of my guilt-free treats that will make your inner child smile.1. Spooky Salmon Tea Sandwiches Recipe
- Pumpernickel or China Black Rice Bread
- Wild Caught Smoked Salmon
- Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges
- Black Olives (to make spiders)
Spread Laughing Cow cheese on slices of bread and layer the smoked salmon. Use Halloween shaped cookie cutters to make small tea-like sandwiches.
To make a spider, cut black olives in halves. Take one half, slice length-wise and then cut 4-5 times across to make the legs. Assemble as shown on the picture below.edit.
2. Chocolate Apricots Recipe
- Chocolate Apricots
- Dark Chocolate Chips
- Dried Apricots
- Pistachios (crushed)
Melt chocolate chips in 30 second increments until smooth. Take dried apricots and dip half-way in melted chocolate, then roll in chopped pistachios. Dry on parchment paper and enjoy.
3. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Parfait Recipe
- 1 Cup of Organic Vanilla Yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons of Canned Pumpkin (Not Pumpkin Mix)
- 1 Crumbled Pecan Pie LARABAR
- 2 Teaspoons of Maple Syrup for Garnish
- 1 Tablespoon of Chopped Pecans
Mix yogurt with canned pumpkin. Layer a glass with the yogurt mixture, crumbled pecan bar in alternating layers. Garnish with chopped pecans and maple syrup. HALLOWEEN CANDY ALTERNATIVES
- Mini LARA bars
- Clif Organic Kid's Bars in Brownie or Chocolate Chip Flavors
- Mini Raw Revolution Chocolate Bars
- Mini Dove Chocolate Bars
- Chocolate-covered pretzels and nuts
- Fruit Chews
- Organic Lollipops
Today is the first day of the Jewish New Year and one of my favorite traditions is eating apples with honey as symbol for a sweet new year. Here is my take on how to eat your apples while enjoying a delicious (and healthy) dessert.
AUTUMN APPLE COBBLER
1 Teaspoon Pink salt
2 Teaspoons of Ground Flaxseeds
2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
4 Medjool Dates
1 Teaspoon vanilla powder
½ Cup raisins
1 Cup of Crumbled Nuts (I like walnuts and almonds)
Mix 3 apples with the rest of the filling ingredients in the food processor. Chop or slice 3 apples and mix with the mixture. (I like to use the slicing blade of my food processor to save time.)Scoop the filling into your favorite dessert dish, sprinkle with nuts and enjoy.
With the cold, rainy autumn days upon us, many of my clients are looking for warm comfort foods. If you are looking for an easy, healthy meal that is on the budget to warm up your day, then here is one of my favorite recipes. You can get all the ingredients in any grocery store.
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 Round Box of Laughing Cow Cheese (for vegans, use Nutritional Yeast)
1 Jar of Tomato Basil Marinara or Spaghetti Sauce (I prefer Amy's Organic, Low Sodium)
1 Package of Baby Bella Mushrooms (Optional)
Below are the directions for either using the oven or the microwave.
Use a microwave if you don't have more than 10 minutes to spend on making dinner. I am not a fan of microwaving, but it is better and faster than getting drive-thru takeout. If you do have more time, then use conventional oven at 350 degrees. I prefer to use the oven and while the food is cooking, I use that time to workout.
Step #1: Make a slit with knife in the squash and put the whole thing in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Carefully remove it and then cut length-wise in two halves. Scoop out the seeds and then place a wet paper towel on each half, facing up. Put back in the microwave for 6-7 minutes.
For Oven Users: Cook the whole squash for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, carefully remove (it will be very hot) then cut in two halves. Scoop out the seeds and then place a wet paper towel on each half, facing up. Bake for 45 minutes.
Step #2: While the squash is cooking, sauté mushrooms in the pan and then add tomato sauce and Laughing Cow cheese or Nutritional Yeast. Per 1 cup of squash, you will need about 1/2 cup of the sauce and 1 wedge (or 1 table spoon of Nutritional yeast).
Step #3: When the squash is cooked, scoop it out with a large metal spoon and add to the ingredients in the pan. Mix well and serve. Garnish with fresh parsley.
I know several people who love grilled cheese sandwiches. They love the gooweyness of cheese, the crunch of the fried bread, the warmth of the melted butter. However, they don't indulge in this treat because they believe it is not good for them. Being a Taurus and loving to give into my indulgences, I created the following treat that enjoy with all the satisfaction and without any guilt! And yes, I promise it is greasy, yummy and GREAT for you!
2 Slices of Ezekiel Bread (The grains here are sprouted, so they are easier to digest. Also, sprouting destroys the gluten lectins)
1/4 cup Daiya Cheese in Mozzarella or Cheddar Flavor (This is a great non-dairy and non-soy cheese. Because it has no casein, which is found in milk, this cheese won't become addictive)
1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Flax Seed Oil (You will get 6,000 mg of Omega 3's that are great for reducing inflammation and boosting your metabolism)
Dust the bread with Olive Oil and fry it with the cheese in between slices. Once the desired texture is reached, put on a plate and cut.
Right before you are about to eat the sandwich, pour the flax seed oil on it. You will get the greasy look and feel of the sandwich while getting all the nutrients you need!
Even though Kale is one more of the most nutritious products in the grocery store, it often has a pretty boring rep. As a Nutrition Designer, I know the benefits this dark leafy vegetable offers, and as a Parsons School of Design graduate, I show my clients how to make greens glamorous. So, to spice up this great-for-me leaf into baby-you-are-fabulous, here are a few simple tricks.
First, let's take a look at why Kale is so fabulous:
1. It has the highest ANDI score, meaning that it gives you the most nutrition for the least amount of calories. Compare it to spinach for example - Kale gets 1000 and Spinach gets 739
2. It is high in chlorophyll that helps purify your blood
3. It is anti-inflammatory and can help fight again auto-immune disorders as well as aiments that end on "itis" such as arthritis.
4. It is high in vitamin K that helps prevent blood clotting
5. It is high in calcium, helping you build stronger bones
6. It is high in antioxidants that fight free radicals and help you prevent cancer and slow down the aging process
7. It's high fiber content helps you clean our your digestive system and aids in detox.
How do we use Kale? I prefer to eat raw Kale because when you heat up your veggies vital digestive enzymes and vitamins can be destroyed. So, use your kale raw or put it into dehydrator for the maximum of 105 degrees. That way you will get 100% benefits from this superfood. Why settle for less?
Protect Your Manicure. Forget about cutting knifes, use your food processor to shred your kale! Roll up the leaves and push them down the processor to be cut with the Julienne Disk. It will take about 1 minute to get your kale shredded to perfection. I am all about easy and quick recipes.
Dress up your Kale. Think of Kale as a simple cotton t-shirt. It looks and feels great, but it is pretty boring. Use fancy accessories, a silk skirt and a fabulous pair of heels, and voila, you are ready for a party. Same with food. Dress up your kale with fun ingredients and then serve them in unexpected ways, such as Margarita glasses, Ice-cream glasses or a fine china.
And finally, here are some of my favorite recipes and a video. You can Sip Kale, Slurp or Savor it. The choice is yours!
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3 Kale Leafs
2 Celery Stalks
1/2 lemon, squeezed by hand
2-3 leafs of dandelion greens
Juice all of the ingredients, shake with ice in a martini shaker, pour in an ice-cold martini glass and enjoy
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Slurp Your Kale-Smoothie (Great for kids)
2 Kale Leafs
1/2 Cup Frozen Strawberries (organic is best)
2 Teaspoons Ground Golden Flax Seeds (to keep smoothie from separating)
1/2 Teaspoon of Maca Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Chlorella
Water to taste
Blend all the ingredients in the Vitamix, put in your favorite glass and enjoy.
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Savor Your Decadent Kale Salad
4 Cups of Kale, Shredded in a food processor
8 Halves of Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1 Clove of Garlic (Pressed in a garlic press)
1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
Olive Oil to Taste
Toss all of the ingredients, put in an ice-cream dish and enjoy