This was so much fun! A friend of mine got about 20 Miracle Fruit berries from this site as well as some tablets just in case we ran out.

Probably the healthiest party I’ve been to in a while, we had quite an array of fruits and food to try out after eating the miracle fruit: strawberries, lemons, grapefruit, green apples, grapes, kiwis, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, even Guinness! (yep, the beer)

Here’s me after discovering a new love for lemons! I wish there was such a fruit as a “lemonade fruit.”

My advice would be to throw a small party and order and split the cost of the berries! They cost about $2 each but the real cost is the overnight shipping required. That adds on another $20-30.   It’s so worth the fun and novelty though.  Let me know if you do it :)

Have any of you tired the miracle fruit before?


This is a clip of my good friend Emily Shaules, from Chicago, in Vancouver, BC on her raw food speaking tour in 2009.  She has really become an amazing and touching speaker.  She is currently working on opening up a new raw food restaurant with a group of people in Ashville, NC!  Her site is RawBreakthrough.com :)


 

Karyn's on Green - the new sexy place to eat raw in Chicago

“Contemporary. Stylish. Vegan. With delicious food and a vibrant bar scene, Karyn’s on Green is making vegan sexy in the midst of Chicago’s traditional Greektown neighborhood. Serving lunch, dinner and drinks seven days a week in an atmosphere so chic you’ll forget it’s good for you… and the planet.”

Even if you’re not in Chicago, I think you’ll love this:  Karyn Calabrese, the woman behind the longest standing raw food restaurant in the country (and one of my biggest inspirations behind going raw) just opened up a new vegan restaurant in the city called Karyn’s on Green that not only has plenty of raw-friendly options but is very posh and oh-so-glamorous!   I think I just found my new favorite restaurant in the city – even though it’s not “raw” per se.

My boyfriend took us there Saturday for our Valentine’s dinner and we both absolutely loved it.  The food, the drinks, the design, the ambiance, everything.  I was actually a bit worried that there wouldn’t be much for me to eat because although I make some exceptions for non-raw foods here and there, I don’t eat anything fried, processed, or soy and gluten -containing.  Many times, I find I can’t eat at vegan restaurants because they are so soy or pasta based and not very veggie focused at all.  But Karyn’s on Green is more of a gourmet vegan food restaurant as opposed to a comfort food or ethnic food vegan restaurant and there were actually plenty of veggie-based dishes to choose from -  there was at least one raw food option from every area of the menu.

 

 

View from the outside looking in. Dine compassionately in style :)

As you can see from the pictures, this place is huge and gorgeous too.  I loved the ceiling with those branch like wire chandeliers and designs the most.  They serve alcoholic drinks here too unlike all of her other restaurants – she really wants to draw the entire mainstream dining crowd in!

I think this place, or any vegan place that has dishes you’d enjoy eating on the menu, would be such a wonderful place to bring your non-vegan or non-raw friends to for a great meal and perhaps to introduce them to the vegan lifestyle.  It might be a lot easier on them than you taking them to a raw food restaurant for the first time!  There’s no weird hippy vibe in here either (like some raw food restaurants can have).

One of the things I love most about Karyn is her philosophy of “there is no right or wrong.”  She actually put this message up for everyone to see on one of the walls of Karyn’s on Green:

Keep reading…


This is awesome – my good friend John McCabe has a new book out that is perfect for anyone who eats raw/vegan/local OR who likes to travel and who takes an interest in any (or all) “beegan,” sustainable, environmental topics:  Sunfood Traveler: Guide to Raw Food Culture, Restaurants, Recipes, Nutrition, Sustainable Living, and the Restoration of Nature.  If this is you, this book might be right up your alley.

I got the book last week and have been enjoying reading a couple chapters everyday.  I have a lot of travel in my future and it gets me so excited to see all the raw food restaurants, coops, etc in all the cities — I don’t think I’d ever travel without this information.  I’ll definitely be using it to help research my travel plans wherever I go from now on.  I’ve honestly never seen such a comprehensive list of raw vegan friendly places to eat of all states in the US as well as dozens of countries around the world.  I just discovered places in Chicago I hadn’t even heard about (and I live here -lol).

It’s truly meant to be used as a travel guide too: it’s simple but jam-packed with useful information of interest to raw fooders such as deep-cell nutrition, organic gardening, slow food, composting, sustainable living, and hemp.  There are even a ton of raw food recipes in the back :)  The author really wants you to get some wear-and-tear out of this book.

I think the chapters I’ll wear out the most in my travels are:

  • Farmer’s Market Locations
  • Natural Foods Store Locations
  • Fruit and Veggie Sharing Organizations
  • And the section on Raw Restaurants, Delis, Markets, Chefs, Retreats, Publications, and Sites (and www.gorawhavefun.com is listed under Chicago because I have a page on raw friendly places to eat and shop here — yippee!)

I also love how friendly this book is to people who want to skip chapters and get right down to what interests them at the moment.  There are over 60 short chapters on topics very relevant to the raw and living food culture. For me right now that’s yoga, hemp, and a handful of other topics. Next week or next month, a new healthy and sustainable-living subject matter could pop up in my view and I’m sure I’d find a chapter on it in this book too.  I’ll be using this as a reference book too in that case.

I have a feeling I’ll have quite a few new goals on how to live more sustainably after reading more this book.  A lot of us can definitely make small changes here and there for the benefit of the planet.  There’s a lot in here I’m not very familiar with so it’s nice to have a chapter introducing the topic and providing resources.  I love the John’s philosophy too.  He writes: “I, like everyone, know that the biggest room is the room for improvement.”

An interesting side note: John actually worked as a content and research editor on David Wolfe’s best selling raw vegan book “The Sunfood Diet Success System.” (If you haven’t read this one yet, I really encourage you to get this one too). David was actually the first person John met who told him about “Sunfoodists.”  You may have also heard of his other books as well (it’s a small world afterall): Sunfood Living: Resource Guide for Global Health, Hemp: What the World Needs Now, and Surgery Electives: What to know before the doctor operates.

If this kind of book or guide peaks your interest, I definitely encourage you to check it out or tell a friend.

Here’s to happy travels and all things fun, healthy, and sustainable!


As most of you who read this site regularly already know, I love listening to and learning from the teachings of Abraham (also known as Abraham-Hicks).

Who is Abraham you ask?  They have described themselves as “a group consciousness from the non-physical dimension” (which helps a lot, right?)  They have also said, “We are that which you are. You are the leading edge of that which we are. We are that which is at the heart of all religions.” Learn more about them here.

Last week I found two segments they did on health that I wanted to share with you as soon as possible.  By that I mean before you ever start feeling low about not being 100% raw, perfect, or in total adherence to those New Year’s Resolutions.

The first video is Abraham giving us three tips on the healthiest things we can do for our bodies.  They talk about water, movement, and sleep (how much sleep you really need is surprising!).  It’s elates to me to hear them talk about this because I’ve never really heard them talk about such specifics. They talk about “getting happy”, “moving up the emotional scale,” and “letting go of resistance” in order to be healthy (and those things will always be true) but I was really excited to hear them talk about what a perfect human being needs to function best.  Check it out and see what takeaways you get from it.

The Healthiest Things You Can Do for Your Body

This definitely makes me want to drink more water.  I start off in the mornings with 4-6 cups before eating but then in the afternoon and evening I drink less water and more tea, kombucha, and maybe 2-3 cups later in the day.  It sounds like a lot but I know I could drink so much more.  And it doesn’t really matter to me if I have to use the bathroom frequently because I work from home anyway.

Keep reading…


It seems detoxing is almost always on the mind of a raw fooder, especially during the New Year.  I’m no an exception either. Although I haven’t done a 2010/New Year’s detox yet, I’m certainly contemplating what I’m going to do this first half of 2010 for an extra deep cleanse.  That’s why it was such a pleasure to go back and read these three posts down below from last year. There are so many options it’s silly!

If you’d like to make up you’re own detox program or cleanse for this year and need ideas, I promise you’ll find some on these posts.

A few ideas I’d like to add for 2010:

  • No sugar for 2 weeks. No fruit, alcohol (that means even wine), dried fruit, honey, agave, etc.  Stevia is okay. Veggies are fine.  Avoid sprouted carbs like lentils and and grains too for the best results.  You will feel a detox here!
  • Try doing an enema everyday for 2 weeks.  There’s a great enema bag here. Make sure to replenish with probiotics every morning before a meal.
  • Give your brain a negative thinking detox for 2 weeks!  The purpose here is to relax and let go of resistance you may be holding about your body, diet, and food.  No looking in the mirror, fashion magazines, fashion or diet websites, reading diet articles, complaining to your friends or mate about your looks or diet choices, etc. (Hmm..I think this one might be calling out my name? LOL)
  • Try not eating after 8pm or at least three hours before you go to bed.
  • Clean out out fridge and kitchen cabinets. Throw out all those Frankenstein foods you know you shouldn’t be eating anymore or keep vowing to abstain from. Treat yourself to some healthy food s at the store or online – you’re so worth it!
  • Take ANY step in the right direction.  Any improvement will by the catalyst for more good change :)
  • Relax and take it easy.  Life is too good to stress!

How to Create Your Own Detox Program – Part One

How to Create Your Own Detox Program – Part Two

How to Create Your Own Detox Program – Part Three

I really hope you enjoy reading these (or re-reading if you remember them from last year) and let me know what you think – I always love your feedback. Thanks! ;-)

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Oh boy…what am I talking about?  This is a raw vegan site isn’t it?

Yes it is, but in all honesty, and because raw animal product consumption seems to be such a hot topic right now, I really wanted to write about this.  I’ve been doing some experimenting lately for the sake of health.  Curiosity usually gets the best of me when I hear about a new food,  superfood, or study and I just have to try it out for myself.

Just a quick background:  I haven’t had milk in about 5 years because I discovered I was lactose intolerant (it made me gassy to be quite honest).  My milk journey has gone from: 2% milk to non-fat to organic non-fat to Lactaid, to soy milk, to almond milk, to fresh homemade almond milk, to adding in some store bought organic kefir, and now just yesterday, to fresh raw grass fed cow milk!

I had already aligned with the idea in my head and felt good about it before I ordered it from a local co-op that has raw dairy products.  (I do not recommend anyone do anything they don’t feel happy and/or excited about.)  I received it from my friend just two days ago and tried it out.  It was awesome!  Full fat, whole milk definitely would have scared me into a corner four or five years ago.  But this milk had no label on it and it came in glass, not a carton.  This was a food of a completely different vibration than the pasteurized, homogenized stuff found in stores.  I actually feel as though something really electric is in my fridge right now.  And I had NO reaction. Zilch.  I even had it after a small meal, probably miscombining it, and still no negative side effects.  I’m still really amazed and appreciative of this.  It goes to show that raw milk is of a completely different nature than cooked milk.

I’m not quite sure if it will be a regular food in my diet but I’m excited to make some new foods with it.  I have enjoyed kefir (not raw) in the past on various occasions and have already make coconut kefir several times.  Milk becomes much more medicinal when you make kefir from it because of all the friendly bacteria you’re now taking in.  So I just ordered some more kefir starter to make my own raw kefir.  I bought Donna Gates Kefir Starter from Amazon. I can’t wait to make it!

If you’re interested in obtaining some raw milk near you, I’d check out these two sites, the second one if you’re in Chicago.  It’s nice to have options :)

http://eatwild.com

http://moograssfarms.com

Confused about milk now? Check out this funny video and laugh at it all! (Not suitable for kids)

 


Here’s a handy tip I just learned and wanted to pass along to you:  Did you know you can tell if food is organic or genetically modified by looking at the PLU (the number on the sticker)?

If the number on the sticker starts with a 9, it means it’s organic and all good :) If the number on the sticker starts with an 8, it means it’s genetically modified (do your best to live without it)

Check out the full article here and for more tips on shopping for healthy produce, check out the page on How to Buy Produce.

Also, I just found a great new raw food blog today!   This girl demonstrates in her daily blog how anyone can eat raw vegan under $10 a day!  Now I’m not sure she’s getting all organic food but the recipes and pictures she gives look awesome.  I really encourage you to check it out and copy and paste your favorite recipes onto a word document or something for your 2010 raw food uncook book :)

http://rawon10.blogspot.com

 

 


Have you been experiencing super dry and cracked skin this winter?  Have some extra time to pamper yourself?  Why not take a look in your raw food kitchen pantry to see what kind of “spa treatments” you can give yourself?  The beautiful thing about these treatments is that you can use raw/organic foods that you probably already invested in!

Here are a few of my favorites treatments I’ve been doing lately to pamper my skin and hair in this Chicago winter:

If you’re a woman, you can really appreciate how much $$ this will save you on a chemical peel treatment, deep moisturizing facial cream, another shampoo, a deep conditioning treatment, and some sort of anti-aging mask!

“No-chemical” Peel For Hands and Face

Take 6-10 strong/high quality digestive enzymes and mix them in a tiny bit of water to make a paste.  Smooth over your face and/or hands and leave on for about ten minutes (this should feel kind of tingly within minutes).  Gently scrub and wash off to reveal a new layer of skin.  The enzymes I take are called “Digest Gold” and can be found all over the net.  I get mine from this site.

Moisturizing Mask for your face

Here’s a SUPER easy one: after you finish making your lunch or dinner using an avocado, save the skins (hopefully you’ve only cut the avo in half and scooped out the flesh), pop them inside out, and rub the avocado on your just washed face.  Leave on for 10-15 minutes (while you eat your meal maybe?), rinse off, and you might not even have to re-moisturize… This is heaven for your skin in the winter.

Hair Rinse

This gets rid of product buildup from and leaves your hair squeaky clean :)

Pour 1/4 a cup of raw apple cider vinegar into a pitcher and bring it with you into the shower.  After you shampoo, fill up the pitcher with ACV in it with about four cups of water and slowly pour it all over your hair.  Rinse and condition as usual.  For over a hundred other things you can do with Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar, you might want to check out this book.  I love referencing it whenever something’s amiss with me.

Deep Conditioning Treatment for Hair

Place your jar (or just 1/4 a cup in another container) of raw coconut oil in the dehydrator or in a hot bowl of water for 10 minutes or until melted.  Pour and massage the oil into your dry and clean hear and clip it all up so it’s not touching your shoulders.  Wrap some saran wrap around your head so your body heat can assist and even better – put a shower cap on and take a shower :)  When you wash your hair 30-60 minutes later, you are going to LOVE your new locks!  I love doing this in the winter.

Face Tightener and Smoother

Have you played with fresh Aloe Vera yet?  If you want to, visit Whole Foods and get a big leaf (it will probably be $2-$3).  Fillet it open and rub it on your just washed face.  (You can store the unused portion in the fridge for a few days or just throw the meat into your next smoothie!) You can leave the fresh, raw gel on for hours if you’d like, re-moistening every 20 minutes or so.  If you’re short on time, you can leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse off.  Aloe does wonders for our skin and the real stuff is so much more potent than the bottled stuff.

Here are some more raw-kitchen-beauty ideas for you, found on this site.

  1. Coconut Milk: for smooth skin.
  2. Cucumber: for dark circles under eyes and wrinkles, under-eye puffiness.
  3. Egg: skin conditioner, egg white for normal and oily skin, yolks for dry skin
  4. Fenugreek seeds (dana methi): for skin scrub, if taken internally purifies blood.
  5. Honey: for wrinkles, skin pores and lose skin, a natural astringent, natural moisturizer.
  6. (Raw) Milk: for skin nourishment.
  7. Nuts: used in scrubs for wrinkles, skin pores and blackheads.
  8. Oatmeal: for smooth skin, improves complexion
  9. Olive oil: good for dry skin.
  10. Oranges, Lemons, Pineapple: natural astringents, improves complexion, soften the skin, skin bleach.
  11. Tomato: opening the skin pores.
  12. Vinegar: for blemishes, itchy skin, and sunburn, softens skin
  13. Yogurt: softens and hydrates the skin, skin cleanser, skin bleach.
  14. Witch Hazel: body deodorant, for eye puffiness.

I just wanted to give an idea of what else we can do with all this healthy and abundant nutrition we’ve been investing in with the raw food lifestyle.  It’s so much more affordable and fun when you can treat yourself with this diy home spa treatments – and probably a lot healthier for you too!

Question for you: What beauty treatments do you like to give yourself using food/superfoods from your kitchen?

 

kelpnoodles


superfoods

Last night I went through my entire receipt file in order to make room for 2010′s receipts.  I threw out everything I wouldn’t need to keep anymore but had to actually look over all the papers again in order to do this.   (I have a pretty good habit of keeping receipts just in case I ever need to return anything.)  Boy did I have A LOT for online superfood and supplement orders!    And this was all actually pretty fun by the way – instead of saying to myself the whole time: “wow I spend a lot of money on food” I said: “wow I am so grateful to be able to treat myself to all this amazing food so often!”)

What I noticed was that there were some items I bought just once and never bought again.  This is because I like to try things out at least once if they seem like a good idea.  Other items I saw come up month after month in the receipts (or perhaps every other month).  So there was definitely a pattern of mainstay superfood staples :-)   Today, I thought it would be fun to list out all of my personal favorite raw products of 2009 and going into 2010.  Maybe you’ll agree or find a new favorite yourself!

1) Cacao: Especially cacao nibs and powder.  I rarely spend money on raw chocolate bars but when I do it’s always Sacred Heart.  Those are my absolute favorite!  I use cacao in smoothies, desserts, quick snacks, hot chocolate in the winter, you name it!  Dates mushed with nibs are the simplest of treats!  (I also like to make my own chocolate.)

2) Sun Warrior Protein. I know I’ve blogged on my fitness challenges a lot so far but this raw protein powder has been amazing for me.  I feel like it really sustains me and helps me put on the muscle I’m working on right now.  I’m not going to lie to you – it makes your smoothies taste a bit “altered” to say the least, but you can mask up the slightly chalky taste with fruit, goji berries, vanilla stevia, cacao, etc.

3) Nori Sheets.  I have been eating  A LOT of nori lately!  I love it as a snack with some raw cashew cheeze rolled up in it, I love it as an entree with some sprouts, avocado, bell pepper, cucumber, and Braggs in it, and I love it as a late night snack with some Braggs sprayed on it.  I get 100 sheets at a time and go through that in a month – no problem.

4) Spirulina.  Maybe because I’m half Mexican and heritage is thus Aztec or Mayan, I LOVE spirulina.  I love it poured (yes poured) over my salads with some salt, over diced cucumber and/or bell pepper with some salt, or mixed with some hemp seeds and bee pollen as a protein and enzyme rich snack. I can’t be without my spirulina!  (It’s also really good in smoothies!)

5) Chia Seeds. I’ve been eating Chia seeds more than hemp seeds lately.  I get a little bowl and mix in some powders like maca or cacao or lucuma, with a little agave, mix it up and eat it just like that!  I also will add some of the gel to my smoothies and even my water for the extra hydration.  When you add two cups of warm water to just 1/3 a cup of chia seeds, you have a weeks supply of chia pudding snacks pretty much – about 3 cups – a little goes a LONG way with Chia :)

6) Vitamineral Green. This will be my super green food powder forever I think.  I was “raw food born and raised” on it so I just love the taste!  I add heaping tablespoons to my post workout superfood smoothies and anywhere else I think I can sneak it in for the added nutrition and mineralization.

7) Greener Grasses. This is another product by Healthforce Nutritionals.  I’ve linked it up at least a dozen times on this blog before because I honestly love it and use it all the time as a green juice legal-cheat.  I just add two tablespoons to a 16 oz jar of cold water, shake it up, and drink it down (almost) everyday and I don’t feel so bad if I didn’t make it out to the juice bar that day :)

8) Marine Phytoplankton. I’ve blogged about this one before.  It’s still my go-to supplement in the morning when I need a pick me up or any other time during the day for that matter when I’m feeling an energetically low.  Learn about it here. Try it out for yourself here or here if you join Earthshiftproducts.com (a wholesale superfood club that totally rocks!)

9) Omica’s Ionic Minerals and Fulvic Acid. Maybe you saw the post I did on this super supplement a week or two ago, if not here it is again.  I love how good this makes my water taste and go down.  The ionic minerals and fulvic acid are almost a bonus to me. I just reordered some two days ago :)

10) Colostrum.   Raw Vegan controversy alert!  j/k  But seriously, this is a non-vegan, totally raw, product I’ve added into my diet relatively recently and I LOVE it.  Too bad it’s pretty pricey but this is a superfood unlike any I’ve tried before.  I could live on this stuff (and I did for a day or two a week ago because it’s all I wanted to eat.) Before you nay it, download the audio on this site and hear for yourself why so many are trying and getting hooked on colostrum.

superfoods 2

Now every time I make an online superfood order, I’m pretty much always tempted by all those other fun raw foods, crackers, cookies, spreads, bars, etc.   What to do?  My advice is to treat yourself to one or two extra goodies each time you make an online order if you really want to (because it won’t cost much more or anything for the shipping).  But invest in good food processor, blender, and/or dehydrator so you can make them yourself after that.  That will save you a lot of money (and heavy caloric raw food in your belly).   I also ask myself: “If I tried to make this spread/cookie/bread myself tonight, would I even eat it?”  Usually my answer is no.  I like to keep it relatively simple with smoothies, salads, and a few handful of superfoods and super supplements.  Spreads and weird nut butters usually don’t fit into my daily meals.  I think it’s just the packaging that attracts me a lot of the time…  Can anyone relate to this?

Question for you:  What have been your favorite superfoods in 2009?  And have you tried colostrum yet?

superstoresmall