Thursday, September 17, 2009

Noni Juice

So after I have had my shot of Gold Rush I go back upstairs and do any number of things except eat or drink. It is advised that you not ingest and food or liquid within one half hour of consuming the colloidal gold.

When 30 minutes have passed I go on to super foods #2: Noni. I love my noni. Again I fall back on my trustworthy Elements For Life and their noni product "Island Fire." This is a drink that when I first tried it I nearly gagged. The taste was so powerful I was sure hair was not only growing on my chest but in a number of other areas I don't normally grow hair (nor wish to). This drink, I thought, surely had to be making a difference. Nothing that tastes like this could possibly be mild in its effect on the body.

Noni is a fruit from Polynesia four or more inches in length which, when ripe, has a strong, pungent odor. According to the book Super Foods by David Wolfe, healers traditionally used "noni fruits, leaves, stems and roots in foods and beverages for the last two thousand years."

The noni fruit is full of antioxidants and health supporting compounds such as selenium, xeronine, glycosides, scopoletin, terpine and limonene. In plain English noni helps with skin health, cell structure health and regeneration, defense against free radicals (the root of chronic degenerative diseases), anti-inflammatory properties, detoxification compounds and more.

The juice provides anti-microbial and anti-fungal enzymes as well as boosts serotonin (the feel-good hormone - bottom line, who doesn't want to feel good?).

Elements for Life Island Fire has over 140 bio-active enzymes that support
  • rejuvenation
  • detoxification
  • superior energy
  • good mood
  • astonishing health
and the best part, I have come to LOVE the drink. I take a shot of Island Fire every morning and I look forward to it every day.

There are many other sources of Noni and I do not intend to sell you on one company. However, I am, at this point, only familiar with Elements For Life noni. If you are interested in products that I recommend but do not wish to purchase them from Elements for Life just let me know and I am happy to look into other sources for you.

And when am I truly happy? Drinking my morning noni. Ah, now that is a strong way to start the day.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Colloidal Gold

I promised you my list of super foods. Let's begin.

The first thing I do every morning, after I take a few quiet moments to acknowledge the day and what I am grateful for, is to head downstairs and have a shot of colloidal gold.

Colloidal gold, according to Wikipedia, is "a suspension of sub-micrometre-sized particles of gold in a fluid - usually water."

Claims touting the benefits of colloidal gold are many. According to Elements for Life, my source of colloidal gold, or "Gold Rush," it provides (and I quote):
  • an increased sense of optimism
  • increased overall sense of well-being
  • sense of increased focus, concentration and memory
  • deeper more rejuvenating sleep with greater dream recall
  • and the list goes on (to see the complete list go to: Elements For Life)

I began taking Gold Rush when I learned about Elements for Life. I ordered the basic package and Gold Rush was part of it. Initially I didn't think it did much mostly because it tastes just like water and has no lingering side effects (as far as I could tell). Then I stopped taking it.

I saw that when I took it I maintained a much more consistent positive outlook and was waking up in the morning feeling rested and happy. Typically I have to take a few minutes to get into a happy state as my natural inclination veers towards anxiety. I found, when taking Gold Rush, that the anxiety was replaced by a sense of joy and well-being. Now, I also do many other things to foster happiness in my life. It is always a little challenging to tease one thing out from the many but at this point I will stick with the gold and trust that what I feel is only helped by this intriguing, near flavorless, slightly pink liquid.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I had a hamburger. I admit it. Miss Raw Food gal (ok, I gave myself that name) had a hamburger. Why do I share this? Because of my revelation. As Super Nutrient Gal I advocate super foods, super thoughts and super actions. While I have shared quite a bit about raw foods I have spent little time detailing all of the super foods that I ingest on a daily basis...when I am home.

I am still traveling and, as a result, have eaten primarily raw foods but few of my daily super foods. Today I woke up exhausted - all right, the garbage trucks woke me about an hour an half too early - but I couldn't shake it. I lay on the couch for awhile (sleeping on the couch at my sister's), ate something, drank water but still felt exhausted. Hours later I felt chilled, had a headache and was still tired.

By evening I knew something was up. On our drive back to my sister's I spotted a picture of a hamburger on a billboard and began salivating. That was when I knew something was really up. My body was out of balance and I needed to help it out. So I had a hamburger. And it was delicious. And I felt better almost immediately.

Now I know I didn't need to have a hamburger. What I needed was iron. But like a druggie with her fix, this was the quickest way I knew to get me what my body wanted. And it worked. The point - all of those extra herbs, supplements and other foods I add to my diet at home make a difference so I think it is high time I shared them with you.

I will be in transit all day tomorrow but upon my return be prepared for an education in super duper foods.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jet lag

It's Saturday morning, it's my mom's 70th birthday and I am in San Francisco on vacation so I am going to keep this really, really short.

I just wanted to let you know that eating raw, drinking so much water I almost burst my bladder (possibly more information than you needed to know) and traveling sans children, dramatically decreased my jet lag.

The food I prepared was great and I highly recommend it for plane travel. I actually had more than I needed. I wasn't exhausted from overeating or eating foods so heavy that my body had to expel a great deal of energy digesting. I fed myself plenty of live, life-giving energy with enzymes. I drank my smoothies and goji berry water before boarding the plane (hence the reason for the near bursting bladder). And for the first time in a long time I arrived in California after a whole day of traveling not only with energy but to the positive acclaim of all of my relatives, "wow, you look great."

Can't ask for more than that.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Plane Travel and Raw Food

I am about to take off for a week to visit my family in California and celebrate my mom's 70th birthday. In anticipation of a long flight I have been running around like a banshee this morning chopping, pureeing and blending. I've created quite a cornucopia of snacks that I wanted to share with you. What will go in my airplane food bag:

some grapes
2 raw food bars
some dried fruit and nuts

And now the food that I made. All of the recipes come from The Complete Book of Raw Food: Second Edition.

The first is a Kale Mixed Green salad. Quite good and because it is primarily kale it won't get soggy sitting in dressing for hours on a plane (before I eat it of course).


1 to 2 bunches kale
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 to 1 lb. mixed greens (I only put in a little of the greens since I'll be taking it on the plane and it will just wilt)

For the dressing:

namu shoya to taste
lemon juice to taste
olive oil to taste
honey to taste


First tear the kale into bite-size pieces. Massage the kale gently to begin to break down the fibers.

Gradually work in each of the dressing ingredients starting with namu shoya and moving down the list. As you add each ingredient continue to massage the kale. After adding the honey massage kale until it is limp. (don't worry, it can handle it).

At this point there should be some extra dressing on the bottom of the bowl. (I didn't have any and it tasted great - I like to err on the side of less dressing. Dress according to your tastes).

Then add the remaining ingredients. Gently toss the salad and test for flavor. Add more dressing if necessary. Serve.

Next I made the Best Ever Almond Nut Pate. I disagree somewhat with the name. It is a good pate but best ever...well, it's a strong statement.


2 cups almonds, soaked overnight
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 4-6 hours
3 carrots
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt


In a food processor blend nuts, seeds and carrots.

Transfer to a bowl and add remaining ingredients.

A little on the dry side but tasty and portable. Just what I am looking for.

And lastly, Pepper-Corn Boats. I just so happen to have an abundance of red pepper at the moment (I should always be so lucky) so I looked for pepper recipes.


2 avocados, peeled and pitted
2 or more fresh ears of corn kernels, cut from cob
2 large red bell peppers, seed and stems removed, cut in half lengthwise


Mash the avocados with the corn in a bowl. Spoon into red pepper.

On this one I made a few adjustments. Victoria Boutenko recommends that every dish have include an ingredient from all five flavors - spicy, sweet, bitter, salty and sour. This salad tasted a little bland so I added salt for saltiness, didn't need sweet (with corn and pepper), sage for bitter, dill for spicy. and lemon juice for sour. In the book 12 Steps to Raw Foods, Victoria gives a list of possible ingredients for each category. Very helpful. And the salad was definitely the better for it.

For the plane I will chop up the red pepper and throw it in with the corn, avocado mix. A bit easier to transport and certainly easier to eat when sitting right next to a total stranger in a very small space.

So now I am off to gather the rest of my things before I head out. A six hour flight may not seem like a vacation to you but as a mom with two small kids, six hours on a plane by myself sounds like heaven. And that's just the beginning.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Happy For No Reason

I have so many recipes I want to share with you but I'm just bursting at the seams from my interview last night with happiness expert, Marci Shimoff. The recipes will have to wait. Or you can check out two of my favorite blogs: Kirsten's Raw for a recipe on green juice pulp crackers (o.k. not the most appetizing name but you never know) or Making Love In The Kitchen for a cooked buckwheat sweet potato recipe (if you are tired of the raw thing).

Now, let's get down to business - happiness. I love talking about happiness because apart from love (which of course is intimately connected to happiness) what could be more important? Now you may say health, money, family or any number of things. But if you aren't happy, who cares how strong your body is or how much money you have in the bank. I mean really. Marci's book Happy For No Reason explores what happiness is, what prevents us from experiencing true joy and how we can bring happiness into our life moment to moment to moment.

I really enjoyed her book but in all honesty I enjoyed her even more. Marci has great energy and so much wisdom to share. If you would like to hear the hour-long interview you can do so by clicking here. I thought I would offer a little of it here and then if you are so inspired, you can get the rest on your own.

Having just read Think and Grow Rich I was inspired by Napolean Hill's stories of wealth. Last night however, Marci reminded me that in all of her years of study and her interviews of 100 unconditionally happy people, not one of them was happy because of money. They came from different backgrounds, classes, lifestyles, etc. What made them happy was the ability to cultivate happiness from the inside out. How do we do this? Well, that is her book and her new Happy For No Reason personal learning course.

But one thing we can all start with right now is choice. I keep reminding myself that I get to choose. In every moment I choose if I want to empower or disempower myself with the thoughts I think. Nobody, even though my mind would have me think otherwise, gets to decide that but me. And I swear, every time I choose a happier thought my body, my heart and my spirit say "thank you." Every time.

Not only that but all that yummy food I keep eating is better absorbed, digested, assimilated and eliminated. Our bodies actually process our food better, take in more nutrients and eliminate more waste products when our mind is at ease and our central nervous system in rest. So happiness doesn't just make us feel good it keeps us healthy, vibrant and alive so that we can enjoy our family, go after the riches (if that is what we desire) and do all we desire. It's all good when it's good.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Deprivation Doesn't Work

I have known for a long time that deprivation does not work. Every time I say, "never again," it never lasts. So I gave up on deprivation and discourage others, when they ask, from taking up the practice. And yet, in my innocence, deprivation snuck up behind me and put me under.

I was reading Victoria Boutenko's book 12 Steps to Raw Foods when it happened. A disclaimer, I think this is a great book. A warning, take it with a raw grain of salt. Victoria was discussing the benefits of being 100% raw versus even 99% raw. Now, up until this point I have held the belief that we all transition at our own pace and 10% raw is better than 5%. This belief has allowed me to feel a certain amount of freedom as I explore the raw food world. It has also allowed me to be nearly 100% raw because I didn't feel penned in. When we don't see the fence we don't feel a need to jump over it. But when Victoria wrote that even being 99% raw opens up the door to temptation and the potential return to a cooked food diet, I thought, "my gosh, I have to be 100% or nothing. If I'm not 100% then there is a good likelihood I will return to old ways with wild abandon." In that moment, I saw the fence. Within a few hours I was jumping.

We had a fundraiser dinner here where I live, for a neighbor's nephew who is very ill. He is Nepali and so a big Nepali feast was held this weekend. When it came time for the meal I went to gather servings for my children. Why did the food look so appealing? Why was my desire for this meal so strong? I hadn't felt this way in quite awhile. Little did I know, it was the fence. And within a half hour I had eaten a rather delicious cooked meal.

Now, eating a cooked meal is not a sin in my book. I enjoyed it (albeit I didn't feel so great the next morning) and it tasted good. The troubling aspect in all of this for me was that I found myself back at the beginning. Trying to remember why raw? When only hours earlier I was in ecstasy at the yumminess of my raw smoothie and how great I felt drinking it. And I saw once again, that deprivation never works.

This journey is not about 100% or nothing. This journey is just that - a journey. And although I realize Victoria had the best of intentions we know what is paved with good intentions. I am still reading the book and heartily recommend it. But buyer beware - listen to your needs, your desires, your body. There is no wiser teacher.

p.s. the picture at the top of the post is how I like to deal with deprivation - a few tastes of raw "ice cream." By allowing ourselves to indulge, life stays in balance.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Raw Food Transistion

According to Victoria Boutenko, I am right on track.

If I have an addiction it is buying books. I love books. I believe I am part of a dying breed. Fortunately, in my humble opinion, I have passed this passion onto my daughter. My daughter, Emma, consumes books the way most children consume french fries and ice cream sundaes - with pure delight and total absorption. But that is another topic. I was talking about my love of books and Victoria Boutenko.

Yesterday I bought the book, 12 Steps to Raw Foods by Victoria Boutenko.

This book is a very basic, step by step guide for "How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Foods." Now, I am not encouraging you to go all raw and stop eating cooked foods entirely. My husband eats cooked foods, my children do and from time to time so do I. I just want to see how good I can feel and then share that with you.

In 12 Steps to Raw Foods, Victoria talks about the transition period from cooked to raw. My husband calls it the "I'm in denial that I love cooked foods" stage. During this period it is very common that people create a lot of "gourmet" type dishes, crackers, breads, nut and seed spreads. These are foods that help replace the heavy, satisfied feeling that cooked meals often provide.

And I have been doing just that. In fact, before deciding to go raw I ate a lot more salads. Once the mind realized what was happening, my desire for salads diminished and I began uncooking all sorts of meal type foods. Like the one below, which I LOVE (and so does my husband).

I took a nori roll (in place of a tortilla) and on it I put some beet greens and lettuce (you can use whatever greens you have around), avocado, homemade salsa and herbed cream cheese. Then I just rolled it up and ate it. Sooo good. And so simple. Especially if the cream cheese is already made.

This, apparently, is exactly what Victoria is talking about. The next stage for many raw foodists is to transition to more simple meals, a lot of salads and smoothies. Eventually this leads to the final stage of whole foods in their most basic form - a cucumber, carrots, leaves of kale. Now, of course, each person will walk their unique path but there does appear to be a common trajectory and it looks as if I am on it.

Just a word about the cream cheese. This cream cheese is made with Brazil nuts. While not an inexpensive nut (unless you have amazing neighbors like I do who just so happen to have three pounds of Brazil nuts they aren't using and are looking to pass on), it is a wonderful choice as far as nuts go.

Brazil nuts are a great source of monounsaturated oil and selenium. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, a favorite doctor of mine, selenium helps with thyroid problems and monounsaturated fat "is considered to be among the healthiest types of fat." Brazil nuts are the fourth best source of monounsaturated fat, after extra virgin olive oil, hazelnuts, and almonds. (Ultra-Metabolism)

So if you find yourself craving nuts, breads, and heavier type meals, know that you too, are right on track.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Curing the Common Cold

The first time I got a sinus infection after a common cold I was in college. And I was miserable. Imagine not being able to taste anything for two weeks. Imagine eating for no other reason but your body is hungry and needs food. Imagine everything tasting the same - the only excitement...texture. I was miserable.

After a few more of these sinus infections I knew something had to change. Antibiotics have never been my first response to illness (or second, or third for that matter). So I began researching and I discovered that if I eliminated sugar, root vegetables, gluten and dairy, the sinus infection would go away on its own. However, it still took some time and the infections continued to return following certain colds.

Since eating raw most of these foods are no longer a part of my diet. And for the first time in a long time, I came out of this cold feeling great. No stuffed nose. No headaches. I could taste every bite.

If you find that you feel clogged, have diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, skin problems and/or headaches it may be a sign of gluten sensitivity or lactose intolerance.

It is now estimated that 1% of the population is gluten intolerant and 1 in 7 have some form of gluten sensitivity. Gluten, if you don't know, is found in all forms of wheat, rye, barley, triticale and oats. Most Americans consume large quantities of wheat in some form. The more gluten-type foods we eat, the fewer vegetables and fruits a person tends to eat.

As we age we produce less lactase (the enzyme responsible for breaking down lactose found in dairy) and our body is therefore, less able to process dairy foods.

And sugar,'s just not the best thing for us.

The more raw foods a person eats, the less gluten, dairy and sugar a person will consume. Processed foods contain large quantities of sugar and almost always gluten and/or dairy. So if your body needs a break, even if you don't normally eat a lot of raw foods, try cutting out the common culprits at least for a little while.

I cannot tell you what a difference it has made for me. Ah...the joy of taste!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

chewy chocolate freezer fudge

If you don't know already, I have a bit of a sweet tooth. For years I struggled with what I later termed a sugar addiction. I would swear off the dreaded drug only to lose myself in wild abandon a mere four or five days later. I have tried so many things most of them not worth mentioning and then I became raw.

And I swear it completely changed. Well...almost completely. I have lost my desire to indulge. I no longer stand by the open fridge at night searching desperately from something, anything, sweet. Gone are the raids on the pantry. But I still like sweets. It appears, with this new diet, I have found the perfect compromise.

I make sure to always have something sweet in the house. Then when I really want to satisfy that sugar desire I reach for my raw ice cream or a piece of "chewy chocolate freezer fudge." I made the fudge last night when both my husband and I felt like a little something sweet. The absolutely amazing thing about eating raw is that I have one piece and I'm done. I idolized people who could "eat just one." I never thought I would be one of them.

Here is the recipe for the fudge. I got it from Raw Food Real World. I chose this one because I had almost all of the ingredients on hand (made one substitution) and I could eat it within an hour.

The ingredients are:
2 cups almond butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder, or raw carob powder, sifted to remove lumps
1/2 cup plus 2 T. maple syrup
1 heaping teaspoon coconut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Basically, you put everything into a bowl and mix. I find it easiest to use a wooden spoon or my hands but you can stir with a standing mixer if it has a paddle attachment.

Then line a square baking pan with parchment or plastic wrap. Place the fudge in the pan. Flatten. Place parchment on top. Freeze for an hour. Turn over and cut into 1 inch squares. Store in the freezer, covered, until ready to eat.

We, of course, were ready to eat them after an hour.

A few notes - I used raw honey instead of maple syrup because I thought I didn't have any maple syrup. It turns out I did - so much can disappear in a pantry. I recommend sticking with syrup. I made these once before with syrup and I much prefer the taste.

Second I used wildcrafted raw carob powder. I am not a big fan of carob but we recently ordered this wildcrafted carob powder from Blue Mountain Organics and oh is amazing. We also got our raw almond butter from there. For awhile I skimped on almond butter and went with toasted. No more. Raw almond butter is a whole different species. And if you buy it in bulk it can actually be quite reasonable (depending on what is reasonable to you).

The best thing for me about eating raw (besides how I feel) is that for the first time ever I truly enjoy sweet foods. No binging. No indulging. Just pure pleasure. How great is that?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Super Thoughts

It took about two days for my body to start feeling functional. During that time I continued to fret and to read. Every time I get sick I have been able to trace it to an emotionally exhausting period. Last Wednesday I gave a teleseminar on "the Pursuit of Pleasure." In many ways this call was a big deal for me so the relief I felt upon finishing was palpable. I danced in joy around the living room with my son in my arms until he begged to be let down.

I have noticed over the years that relief is often followed by doubt and anxiety. My mind doesn't want a vacation and so seeks out the next "thing" upon which to turn its attention. The following morning my mind took a turn for the worse and no matter what I did, I couldn't shake it. Fear was creeping in and like a long-lost troubled yet familiar relationship, I showed it in and gave it space to stay. Then I got sick.

It was in taking time these last few days to just stop and read that my mind finally began to clear. I was scared. I have spent years studying nutrition and now I have chosen to walk a path no one taught me in school and no books advised me to follow. My vision was getting clearer and with it the voices of doubt and uncertainty grew louder. What did I really know about raw and super foods? Where I am taking myself? Who are my mentors? I have to fall back on my own knowing, the truth of my body, while resuming studying with a new focus and energy. And I am sharing it all with you.

Once again I find myself choosing uncertain ground. Oddly enough, despite the fear, I seem to be drawn to the shakiness of uncertainty. So Think and Grow Rich was undoubtedly the perfect book for me. Every book I pick up lately is telling me the same thing - our life is what we think. Humans have the incredible ability of controlling what we think and by choosing our thoughts wisely we create the life we want. I believe this now. I really do. So I feel ready for the discipline required to keep my thoughts empowering, to stay clear of my vision and allow doubt and worry to be replaced with new, life-giving friends.

I eat well. Really well. But I know it isn't everything. As Dr. Bruce Lipton says, our thoughts are the most powerful energy of any medicine we offer to our body.

So with my mind on board - off I go.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

detoxing - the common cold

Two nights ago I could feel a cold coming on. By the time I woke up it had come. So I spent the day in bed, something I rarely do, and read. Normally I would have taken the opportunity to spend hours on the Internet but since my computer has been shall we say, unreliable, I abandoned the hunk of machinery for old fashioned print.

And it was a good thing too because I finally got a chance to read a book that just about every successful person has recommended to me over the last several years, Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill. You may ask, "what does this have to do with nutrition?" Everything. Nutrition is not just what food we put into our mouth but the thoughts we pour into our mind and the actions we take with our body and mind. I pay a lot of attention to what I eat, as if you haven't noticed, but I realize that as well as I eat it will not stave off sickness if stress or lack of love overtake me. And this is exactly what happened this last week.

For some reason, not quite sure why, I fell into a bit of a funk. And I knew, that no matter how well I ate, if I didn't pull myself out of it, I could likely get sick. Well, you know how the story ends. So, sick in bed I decided to read about success.

Think and Grow Rich is a powerful book about turning our desires into reality by changing our thoughts. What could be a more perfect read after being in a funk for a week? Now, I can't say I just turned everything around but it felt like a beginning. I feel like becoming raw, followed by the funk, followed by getting sick is all part of some divine detox. Like it is time for me to shed unwanted stuff and emerge into a new possibility of myself. Doesn't feel so comfortable in the moment but I'm hoping, as with any successful detox, that when it is over I will reap the rewards.