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Why go RAW?

A Raw diet is not for everyone but incorporating raw foods in your diet each day is very beneficial.  I did a 30 day RAW diet cleanse and it was amazing but very challenging. Within 30 days I noticed my skin texture had changed. My hair was shiny and my nails grew like crazy. I little muffin cup had shrunk to nothing and the little cellulite I had on my back side was gone, no seriously it was gone!!!!  The cellulite disappearing was one of the best benefits.  I had tons of energy and I was consuming fewer calories.  Clarity,Clarity, Clarity was amazing and a little scary.  My head was so clear, my mind was super sharp. So why did I not stay on this diet for life. Balance, for me this is not an ideal diet. My body’s make up needs warm foods, cooked foods. I digest gently cooked foods much better. I noticed that I was feeling very flighty after 14 days. I felt very dried out even though my skin looked amazing. My concentration after 21 days left me in an airy state. What I mean is I had too much clarity I was connected to every thing around me. I did not feel grounded. I had too much energy. 

I knew what I needed cooked foods, so within my 21 days of RAW  I made some quinoa with curry and a little clarified butter(ghee). I felt grounded and centered. I continue the rest of my RAW adventure but learned to add warmed spiced cooked veggies when I needed  to stay grounded.  I learned so much about myself and the bounty of this earth and how foods truly are our healers, if we use it properly.

Check out some of the pics below of RAW food I made over my 30 days of going RAW . I will do this again but will make sure I honor who I am within inside of a way of eating.

DAY 1 Eating RAW and vegetarian

So, a week ago I got this nasty virus and decided to heal myself naturally. So I went on a RAW diet cleanse. In 2 days I was back to normal. Here is a little history.  I have been chronically ill for 20 years with kidney disease. In 2007 my kidneys failed and I was on dialysis. In 2008 my husband gave me his kidney. Amazing story!! Indeed. So, why did I share that because for some people  a virus can last 2 – 7 days for me a virus can last for a month or put me in the hospital. So, I opt to naturally remedies when I get such things.  Eating raw for my health was not a biggie. So , I start doing the normal stuff juicin for veggies and fruit and eating salad.

Until eureka! I looked inside the bucket that held all my pulp and decide to do something with it. I thought maybe I can make burgers, but it did not look like a burger. I juiced carrots, a lemon, apples and some kale. All the pulp was pretty orange. Huh? What looks orange? Salmon. I remember growing up and my mom would make the best salmon croquettes. I was like I can make veggie croquettes. At the end of this blog will be the recipes.

So I took the pulp added some veggies, some spices and formed it into a patty. But it stilled looked orange, but salmon looks orange so why is there still a problem.  Where is that crispy outside my mom had on her croquettes and how could I make this. Eureka again!! I took the same spices some almonds and flax seeds and put them on blast in my Bella Cucuina Artful Food Rocket Blender. I pulse for a few time and there was my crispy topping. I tooked that patties and rolled them this yummy crust!! I put them on a bed of lettuce . Made a salsa to go on top. I thought now what can I have for dessert. I took some tropical fruit mixed it with lemon juice, basil and honey. I put the fruit in a  cup and topped it with some extra grounded almonds and flax seed but this time I seasoned the grounds with raw sugar and cinnamon. And so was created a tropical little cobbler pie.

That evening I was like what will I have for dinner. Now my family is not eating this diet with me, so I am making RAW food and cooked food for them. The kitchen becomes a big mess,  but it so much fun creating new dishes. Okay back to dinner that night. I made a RAW lasagne.I took my mandoline and sliced carrots, zuchini and squashed seasoned them real good and made a RAW tomatoe sauces with just crushed up tomatoes, basil and spices. I layered it just like a regular lasagne and top it with parmesan reggiano and flax seed grounds. I know the cheese, but hey it is  my first day.

In two days I felt better from my virus. I had amazing energy and in 4 days or so I lost 5 lbs. I went into this thinking I am going to starve to death, but it has been the opposite. Well that is all for now. Come back and I will have DAY 2 Eating RAW and vegetarian.

Recipes

Veggie Croquette’s

5 carrots juiced and use the pulp

3 apples juiced and use the pulp

half of lemon use the zest

handful of kale

You can drink the juice with your meal

Take the pulp put it in a bowl

season with sea salt, black pepper, cumin, tumeric, chili powder, cayenne pepper

parsley and cilantro all to taste.

Form a patty

Next make your coating:

1/2 cup of almonds

1/2 cup of flax seed

half your coating before adding spices so you can use the other half later for dessert

Add all the spices you used for the patty  to your nuts and blend until you get

a rough cornmeal like consistency.

Roll patties into ground , place on a bed of herb lettuce. You can make a RAW dressing with this, just

take balsamic vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and mix. You can add it to your greens before yo place your patties on top.

Tropical Little cobbler

Cut bananas, mangos, pineapples, julienne basil and add, add lemon juice, honey

Take remain nut grounds and add raw sugar, cinnamon

Add fruit to a nice little bowl and top with nut grounds.

Raw Veggie Lasagne

YOu will need  Mandoline for this one

Use it to slice zuchini, squash and carrots use big veggies to get nice lasagne like shapes

Season the veggies to taste

Crushed 3 medium tomatoes or you can use organic can crushed tomatoes add spices( salt pepper garlic) and parsley, basil.

Grated parmesan reggiano( optional)

Layer in a deep glass dish. sauce , cheese, veggies, sauce, cheese , veggies until you are at the top with cheese and I also added some grounded flax seed.

That is all it took. Enjoy

Banana Nut Bread for Champions- kids will love it

High Octane Banana Nut Bread

So, just got back from the ER, but feeling pretty good. My kidney transplant keeps my doctors on their toes. I am grateful to have doctors who look at for my wellbeing.  So, today was devoted to resting and taking care of myself.  Well I rested for awhile until I was craving this amazing bagel from Einstein Brothers. They call it the Power Bagel. It is packed out with whole grains, seeds, nuts and dried fruit. I call it one of my favorites when I need some tasty protein.  But since I am resting and doe not want to give Einstein 3.29 that is including the honey almond cream cheese, I will make my own. So, I got out of my pantry some seeds, nuts, dried fruit and went to town.  What did I come up with this little recipe. My High Octane Banana Nut Bread. Okay this bread is packed out with EFAs, essential fatty acids, protein, high in fiber, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C just to name a few.  I also made a pecan honey cream cheese to go over top it, now this is not healthy, but boy was it good. Hope you will enjoy this Goodness on a plate.

High Octane Banana Nut Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature( you will need some for your pan to grease it)
  • 1 1/2 cups  organic all-purpose flour ( you will need a little of flour for your baking pan)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 large organic  eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup of  flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
  • Pecan Honey cream cheese spread, recipe follows
  • If you like your bread to have more seeds and nuts you can add a little more, but this recipe will fill your bread up with enough of each ingredient.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and put a rack on the middle shelf. Butter and flour a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a separate small bowl, mash the bananas with a wooden spoon, you want to nice texture not real mushy.

In another large bowl, use a hand electric mixer or stand mixer to cream the 1/2 cup of butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Stir in the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add the dry ingredients and gently stir in pecans, almonds, seeds, cranberries. Pour the batter into the pan and put on a sheet tray.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Slice and spread pecan honey cream cheese  on top (optional).

Pecan Honey Cream Cheese

  • 4 oz. of cream cheese
  • 3 tbs of  honey to taste, you may use more or less
  • 1/2 cup of  chopped pecans

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and serve over top your bread.

Goodness on a plate

  • Okay I post my dinner on Facebook often and my friends are like you have to give me that recipe. So, I decide to dedicate my blog to some of my favorite recipes. Since I am writing a cookbook, might as well give you guys a preview. I hope you enjoy these recipes.  I love to eat and  I love food. My father was a chef and my mom was his assistant but I believe she was the better cook.  No offense dad, but mom could throw down.  I love infusing cultures. Like my andouille spring rolls, Asia and Cajun flare, yes these are awesome dipped in a remoulade sauce I make. So today recipe is from last night dinner. Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart with a herb salad drizzled with my homemade organic Strawberry Balsamic Glaze. Enjoy!! The recipe is for 1 or for 2 to share

    Love to hear your thoughts. How did it turn out? And did you do something different to make it your own? Spill the beans.

    Ingredients

    • 1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
    • Good olive oil
    • 1 medium onion cut roughly
    • 2 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
    • 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
    • 2 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese 
    • 2 1 inch tomatoe slices/ one whole slices and cut the other slice in 4 halfs
    • 2 tablespoons  fresh organic parsley

    Directions

    Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 1 circle from the sheet of puff pastry. Put the scrapes in a freezer bag and use later. Place the pastry circle on 1 sheet pan lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 10  minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and thyme and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

    Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around  pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.

    Place the onion mixture on the circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart and the halfs around the whole slice. Brush the tomatoes lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on the tart.

    Bake for 15  minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.  Serve hot or warm.

    This recipe was inspired by Ina Garten from Barefoot Contessa.

    Herb Salad and Strawberry Balsamic Glaze Dressing

    Easy get a bag of organic Herb Salad from your grocery store

    Now the glaze.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of balsamic vinegar (organic)
    • 2 tbs of organic cane sugar
    • 6 medium organic strawberries cut in half
    • Parmesan shavings for garnish

    Put all ingredients in a sauce pot and let simmer on medium low for about 20 minutes or until it starts to have a syrup consistency.

    Once you have made the glaze let it cool. Pour cooled glaze in a blender and puree the glaze until the strawberries are completely pureed. Pour in a dressing container. Drizzle over the salad and cut parmesan shavings over top ( optional)

  • Simple rule of thumb for good health

    Eat clean, Drink Clean, Breath Clean .
    Make your plate colorful. Do 70% veggies and fruits at least twice a day.

    From the Detox Diva – Eat to heal

    So many times Americans eat for pleasure and not for healing.  Food in it’s very essence was created for pleasure and healing.  The planet is full of healing foods, that are rich in antioxidant, vitamins and minerals. The smells, textures, look and taste of food in itself brings satisfaction to all our senses.  But when you  are thinking about eating healthy or for healing does those words come to mind.

    Here are a few things you can consider when choosing a more healthy lifestyle that also includes enjoying the foods you are consuming each day. 

    1. Make your plate colorful.  Try to choose foods that you like that will include the colors of the rainbow. Think juicy oranges,  sweet and crunchy orange carrots. Purple egg plants, super green and watery cucumbers. These foods are filled in vitamin C, antioxidants and many other healing vitamins.  Eat red, yellow and dark greens. These foods protect  the body against cancer, heart disease, and low immune response.
    2. Search the Internet for new and creative recipes.  Buy a new cook book. Choose cookbooks that will give you ideas to prepare  whole food  meals.
    3. Eat more whole grains.  Try quinoa, millet and spelt.  These grains are high in fiber and protein and are not usual in American cuisine, however they are very tasty.

    Eating for health is essential.  The foods we consume  affects every cell in the body and in turn every organ in the body.  Food gives us the energy our bodies need to run at it’s optimum.  Food also affects our mood and emotions. Eating foods high in B vitamins,  can help with increase energy, relieves depression, and poor concentration. Research has shown B-12 vitamins to help manage cancer, especially in tumor growth.  Food sources of B-12 vitamins are cheese, chicken( skinless), sea greens, yogurt and fish. Healing foods should be consumed in every meal. So, the next time your have a common aliment think to look in the refrigerator for healing before the medicine cabinet. Here are few things you can eat when those common ailments come knocking on your door.

    When you have a  cold eat fresh and steamed veggies, fresh fruits and fruit juices. Brown rice, mushrooms(shiitake) To boost your immunity, oranges, peaches, avocado, brussels sprout and asparagus.

    If a headache comes on suddenly try eating apples and apple juices, cranberry juice, cherry juice( helps with inflammation).  If you feel nausea eat potatoes,  use spices like, turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon and basil in your dishes.

    Food was created for enjoyment, but also for our healing and longevity.

    Detox Diva – 10 day Detox program

    Wow!! The New Year is here and we are in it fully.  Most people have made New Year’s resolutions to get fit and eat healthier.  Well I have made such a decision.  But I believe that you must deal with the source of  things before you can have any type of real victory.  So I challenge myself for 10 days to do a detox I have done with many clients to get them to jump start whatever their goals are for weight loss. Here is the deal if you do not take care of  the source and the science you will not meet your weight loss goals. The heart of the body is the liver. The liver breaks down everything, from what we consume to what we breathe each day. It is very easy for this organ to get toxic with the the processed food we eat, the polluted water we drink and the air we breath.  To give the body a jump start to do  what it does best we must give the body a rest, with a fast or other words a detox.  Here is a brief plan  I have used for years and seen some great results.  Remember to consult your physican before going on any food or exercise regimen.  This plan is very general and will benefit a healthy individual.  If you have question shoot me an email.

    Soup is great for breakfast, it is a great way to break your fast from the night before. Here is what you will do, eat soup  and juice(get a juicer and make your own juice) everyday for 10 days, pure water, teas and broths. No bread, No sugar, lots of veggies, salads, whole grains. Exercise( walking daily) and meditation, meditation is so important because the deep breathing helps with burning fat.  Make your own soup, no meat, no diary, no sugar for 10 days. Drink your water, half of your body weight in ounces. Drink green tea daily it burns fat fast. Season your soups with cumin, tumeric, cayenne pepper, ginger powder- these spices burns fat and helps with inflammation in the body. Which contributes to what we see as fat, especially in the tummy area. If it get too intense after 5th day, eat lean protein, like fish. Let me know if you have any questions. This is not a diet, but a cleanse to jump start those organs especially your liver to do what it does best, break down your food properly.

    Here is some suggestion:
    1. Make a big pot of soup and eat it all day, drinking green tea and pure water.
    2. Keep raw veggies and almonds in your purse to snack on.
    3. Keep water with you at all times.
    4. Meditate and stay focus.
    5. Be kind to yourself. If you do not do this detox for 10 days just be happy with what you are doing for you body.

    Happy Cleansing.

    Brown Rice and Lentil soup

    1 cup of brown rice

    1 cup of lentils

    chop up 2 large carrots

    half of an onion

    3 cloves of garlic(chopped)

    cup of spinach

    4 cups of vegetable broth ( low sodium)

    3 tbs of olive oil

    Sautee the rice and lentils for a few minutes

    add veggies

    add spices, I teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon, ginger powder, sea salt(to taste), black pepper(to taste), cayenne pepper( to taste), tumeric(pinch)

    add 4 cups of broth

    turn of the heat until comes to a boil

    turn down the heat and let cook until brown rice is soft/add spinach 3 mintues before the soup is done.

    Takes about 50 – 60 minutes to cook.

    if you want more of a soup instead of stew consistency add another cup of water.

    Remember to Live Well. Live Beautifully.