Thursday, March 31, 2011

Simple Herb Garden Pesto

Oil Free Pesto Sauce
Today I was in the mood for pesto. I had a perfect little organic zucchini waiting to be spiralized into some raw noodles and I have pots full of herbs right out the back door, on our upper deck. I put the two together and came up with the most delicious oil free pesto sauce. It is loaded with nutrition and enzymes. I love how each and every herb shined through in the finished product. With each bite I would taste a hint of the lemon balm, sunflower greens, oregano, parsley and basil. It was like an herb party in my mouth. I added the grape tomatoes for color and sprinkled on some black sesame seeds for contrast. After I took the final picture I threw on some of my homegrown fenugreek sprouts and a handful of raw sunflower seeds for a little crunch. Here is my recipe, hope you enjoy making it!

Oil Free Pesto Sauce (one serving)
by Elizabeth @ RAW Living and Learning

handful of organic sunflower greens
8 parsley leaves, flat leaf
4 lemon balm leaves
2 small bunches of basil
10 oregano leaves
1 small clove garlic
2 T Nutiva Hemp Seeds
1/2 of an organic mini sweet pepper
splash of water for blending
pinch of Himalayan salt
pinch of fresh ground black pepper (optional)
In a small personal size blender, blend all of the ingredients until relatively smooth. Pour over top of a spiralized organic zucchini. Garnish with grape tomatoes and black sesame seeds. Enjoy the simplicity!
*NOTE: I also topped mine with fenugreek sprouts and raw sunflower seeds at the last minute. Very delicious!!

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for my new herb garden. It brings me much joy. I eat my lunch out on the upper deck and pick herbs and dress my salads and other recipes with them right as I'm eating my meal. Occasionally a few of the younger kiddos come out and beg for a bite. Very cute! But a tad bit annoying. I never get to eat a meal in peace. It seems like someone is always hovering over my plate/bowl/glass. I'm not complaining, really.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Simple and Clean Raw Meals


Berry Tropical Smoothie


I posted a few days ago that I am keeping my meals simple during the 40 days of our Lenten season. I am focusing my attention on the Lord and trying to increase my prayer time and also working on fasting, abstinence and almsgiving. This week, the third week of Lent, our family is working on "Good Thoughts". Filling our minds with The Truth, filling us with light; keeping any dark and ugly thoughts out. Powerful to say the least; difficult as well, considering our world is filled with so much darkness. We have to make an effort to be the light for others. Not always easy, but paramount.
 And we continue to add to our Jesus Tree the symbols representing scripture readings we are focusing on. Look how our tree has blossomed!

Here are some simple, clean raw foods that I have been eating lately. Let's start with some power packed green smoothies. My Berry Tropical Smoothie was a hit with the children!! And of course I loved it too. You can't see the strawberries in it due to all of the greens, but the taste of them shined through. We have been getting some awesome, local organic strawberries lately. Makes me very happy!! I've been buying extras and freezing them for the months that they aren't available here.


Berry Tropical Smoothie
8 organic strawberries, fresh with green tops in tact
handful of frozen pineapple
1 ripe banana
3 large collard leaves, organic
2 C baby spinach, organic
3 tsp chia seeds
water to blend

Another amazing green smoothie, today's breakfast in fact, was a combination of fresh orange juice, banana, loads of greens and some complete amino acids, in the form of hemp seeds. I threw in some chia seeds for additional nutritional benefits!! I am putting chia in all of our smoothies and am loving it. I don't have a photo of this smoothie, it was blurry and I drank it before I had a chance to take another pic--oops!

Get Your Aminos Smoothie
juice of 2 oranges
2 small bananas
1 large kale leaf
2 C baby spinach
2 heaping teaspoons of hemp seeds
2 heaping teaspoons of chia seeds

Heirloom tomatoes have been appearing at all of the markets around town and I am always eager to buy some. I made the most amazing meal out of one yellow Heirloom tomato. So simple, so fresh and so clean. I feel the best when I have simple meals like this at dinner. It seems like I have been having my larger meal at lunch time lately. When evening rolls around I find that I am not very hungry so I am trying to pay attention to the signs my body is giving and eating lighter at the evening meal. So far, so good. I prefer this way of eating and feel so much better the next day.


 Yellow Heirloom Tomato Salad

1 Heirloom tomato, sliced into rounds
drizzle of Grapeseed oil
splash of balsamic
sprinkle of black sesame seeds
pinch of Himalayan salt
garnish with fresh cilantro and parsley

+JMJ+Today I am grateful for a loving husband. I love you honey!! XOXOXO


Saturday, March 26, 2011

So You Say You Want to Go Raw?

I saw these videos some time ago, thanks to 'Going Raw- A University Student's Experience' Thanks for posting the links!! I've had this post in "drafts" for a while now and just wanted to finally get it posted.
 I really enjoyed watching these two young men try living the raw living foods lifestyle for 30 days. It is a shame that they concentrated on so many salads and didn't have the chance to experience truly gourmet raw recipes also. I think they would have been blown away by the possibilities had they been exposed to more raw desserts, green juices, sprouts, and fun, gourmet raw food dishes. (Maybe they did have all of these things, I don't really know). But I know for me, when I began creating dishes like these below I was in love with this lifestyle and knew that I didn't ever want to look back.

RAW BURGER

SUNFLOWER GREENS
COBBLER WITH RAW ICE KREAM
CHOCOLATE TART


SWEET POTATO CHIPS

COLLARD WRAPS
NORI CHIPS

SNOW BALL COOKIES


 It looked like they went to a few raw potlucks but it would have been great if they could have had time to prepare dishes, experiment with the dehydrator and really explore all that raw has to offer. People think that raw foodies are limited, but in actuality it is just the opposite. I think people on the SAD diet are limited. But that's just me.
Check out the blog at rawveganunistudent.blogspot.com.
They are really good and if you have ever considered trying raw this is a great way to get you motivated, if these two guys can do it, anyone can!! The first step is to give it a try by simply increasing the amount of fresh, ripe fruits and vegetables in your diet and the rest will fall into place if you are truly commited to this idea. I still am taking baby steps in some regards and that is what works for me. Knowing my limits and making each and everyday a new learning experience. I love learning and am grateful to all of the people who so generously share their ideas, thoughts, recipes and encouragement to all of us out in "raw blog land". Here are the videos.

Part One:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOP7Cd14C_k

Part Two:
When I mention out in public that I eat "raw" several people respond by, "I thought about trying to go raw, how did you learn about it?" Or they'll say, "I really need to do something different with my diet, how did you start?" Others ask with eyes wide open, "Do you eat raw meat??" No, I don't eat raw meat.  One person at Whole Foods even said, "If you ever write a book, I'll buy one." Boy that got the wheels turning in my little head--in my spare time perhaps I can start working on that! Yeah right!!
Many people have asked me how I learned about the raw diet. I like to call it the raw, living foods lifestyle, like so many others do. I tell them the truth, I learned by spending hours reading on the Internet and also by reading through raw recipe books. I started googling "raw recipes" and up popped a library of web sites to explore. You can easily weed through them, there are a lot of people out there who are not really knowledgeable when it comes to this topic. It is pretty easy to spot the sites that you'll want to skip. When I began reading I liked to follow Paul Nison, John at Growing your greens channel and I learned all about juicers here, Ani Phyo, Hippocrates Health Institute, Jennifer Cornbleet, just to name a few. I steered away from those pushing products, super foods and the like. I had to keep things very simple in the beginning as I was learning and discovering what would work in my life and in my household.  Then I started going to raw living foods meetings and learned from people who have lived this lifestyle for several years. Each and every day I learn something new. But ultimately I had to learn what works for me by trial and error. We have to listen to our bodies and follow our instincts. Right away I felt the benefits of living foods and once I did, I was hooked. 
I started out slowly and gradually increased the percentage of raw and living foods in my diet. Once I felt the benefits I stuck to the highest percentage as possible. That is what makes me feel the best. Each and every person has different experiences when transitioning to this lifestyle and we need to be compassionate and understanding, and supportive. If you listen to your body, it will lead you down the right path. But this mental clarity doesn't come right away, it comes after several weeks or perhaps months of detox, depending on how slow or how fast one proceeds. Once you clean up the body and mind you are on a smooth path to healing and wellness. 
The journey can be quite rough or it can be smooth sailing. Just give it time and don't give up. You will be so happy that you had the perseverance to listen and wait. The best is yet to come. The longer you are on this living foods diet, the better you feel. Enjoy the fresh goodness that nature has given you. Study from the best and do your research. We only have one life to live on this earth, why not make it the best it possibly can be?! I look forward to my first juice feast--planning on starting it on Holy Thursday and breaking it on Easter Sunday. Baby steps--a 3 day juice fast/feast is about all I think I can do at this point, and I am not concerned if I can only make it through one or two days, I just want to try it and think positive. Hopefully I can do the full three days, that is my goal.
Peace and Raw Health!
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for mental clarity. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

ATV's Smokey Marinade

My garden is growing (more on that later plus a killer recipe!!), my herbs are growing and even our ladybug larvae and butterflies are growing. Yes we are raising ladybugs and butterflies, again. Years ago we had quite the butterfly habitat set up in our front and back yards. We also had ordered ladybugs and released them in the yard, hoping they would stay around--but they didn't. We were raising Monarchs. I really enjoyed that and miss it greatly. It is time to replant and get back to raising butterflies in a serious way. What a wonderful science lesson for the kids and so symbolic of what is to come on Easter Sunday; when we celebrate the Risen Christ. New life symbolized in a simple act of raising insects, respecting life in all forms, growing your own living foods, all become learning experiences and make me appreciate just how fragile and special living things and creatures truly are. (Right as I'm typing this our oldest child says, "Mom, look we have two adult ladybugs!!)  
Here are some of the kids helping me get the habitat set up.

The Day the Larvae Arrived

Ladybug Larvae Tube

Baby Caterpillars


Look how happy EJ junior is!! Too cute. He was so excited to get everything all set up. Just think how much they are going to freak out when they see the butterflies emerge from their chrysalis and see the ladybug larvae turn into identifiable, spotted ladybugs! I can hardly wait.
Well on to some food talk. A few weeks ago I made the most amazing marinade recipe from Addicted to Veggies blog. You can see ATV's complete post and recipe here.


This is one of those recipes that tempt me to lick my plate!! Seriously good, raw food!
Here is my version:

Vegetables
Organic broccoli, peeled stems and all
Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

Marinade:
Scallions, sliced into rounds
1/4 C Coconut Aminos
1/4 C Grapeseed oil
1/3 C water
squirt of raw agave
fresh lemon juice
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
pinch of Himalayan salt
pinch of Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning
5 drops of liquid smoke
Put all of the marinade ingredients into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well. Pour over the broccoli and mushrooms. Allow to marinate overnight.


Warm the marinated vegetables in the dehydrator for 4-6 hours.
Top with fresh sunflower greens and raw sesame seeds. Enjoy!





I actually started eating this right off the Teflex dehydrator sheet but decided to plate it and sit down at the table and eat it properly--tempted to lick my plate clean, but I refrained.
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for my simple meals this week and my growing garden!!



Friday, March 18, 2011

Body Language, Fasting and Recipes

We are still working on our "Good Words" this week as we tend to our individual weaknesses. Speaking of tending, I have been tending to my new little square foot garden and my potted herb garden all week, and everything is growing beautifully. It looks like things are growing overnight! I think my homemade compost is super charged or something. I have never seen plants grow so quickly.
 I am afraid to admit though, that I have faltered on my "Good Words". It seems like everytime I set out to work on something openly, the evil one latches on and drags me down. No sooner did I get it set in my mind that I was going to work on good words, and low and behold, over critical comments came spewing out of my mouth! Yikes. This is going to be harder than I imagined--working on my short comings requires focus and mental clarity or else I become so easily distracted from the task at hand. This leads perfectly into my focus for today. Friday for me is a day for fasting and abstinence. The perfect chance to regain control.
Read these beautiful words of John Paul II:
"Fasting means putting a limit on so many desires, sometimes good ones, in order to have full control of oneself, to learn to control one's own feelings, to train the will in good.
Fasting is being able to say "no", bluntly and firmly, to what is suggested or asked by pride, selfishness,and vice; listening to one's own conscience, respecting the good of others, remaining faithful to God's holy Law.
Fasting, finally means depriving oneself of something in order to meet the need of one's brother, becoming, in this way, an exercise of goodness, of charity.
Fasting, understood, put into practice, lived in this way, becomes repentance, that is, conversion to God."
Next week our Lenten focus will be "Good Signs". You know what I'm talking about--body language. Do you show negative or positive body language as you interact with others?? Facial expressions are a big one. The old saying, "If looks could kill". Boy I sure don't want to be giving away looks like that. It is really difficult trying to concentrate on your facial expressions for a given period of time. Try it--focus on what facial expressions you use out in public. Do you smile at everyone that you pass in the grocery store or do you stare staight ahead with a blank face?
I tried it yesterday when I went food shopping. I smiled at every person I passed and I am happy to report that they ALL smiled back. Two older men even said hello! It seems that we need to get back to the days of waving to our neighbor as we drive down the street and smiling at others as we walk pass, offering to open a door or help reach something up high for an elderly person who's a bit unsteady. Or better yet, saying hello, good morning or good afternooon regularly! Make it a habit to greet those you pass. People these days are afraid of one another, afraid of confrontation. It is really crazy in my mind. I am ready for a better sense of community. We all need each other and it is time that we start to make a change, one person at a time.
I am hoping to show a good example to our children so they can become pleasant citizens using friendly and polite body language, "Good Signs", to those they come in contact with and "Good Signs" here at home to my family members.We are constantly sending out signals to others by the way we dress, talk, act, and use our body posture.
What about food choices?? That is a huge sign showing how you feel about yourself. Good food choices can show others that you care about your health and well being. Food choices you make for your children can show how you care about them. People tend to watch more than listen. I have become more aware of the eyes on me over the years (my five children) and am trying to work hard on my "Good Signs". Let's hope I am more successful next week than I was this week!
Back to fasting. Fridays are a day for me to focus on Our Lord's Passion. One way I am able to focus is by limiting my food intake. Gentle fasting, with healthful green smoothies, fresh green jucies and fresh fruit juices.



 Lots of lemon water and detox tea also help me to feel cleansed and refreshed. When I don't have to worry about my personal meal prep I am freed to focus on what is most important to me, and that is Christ. So here are some great smoothie recipes to nourish the body and help clear the mind of unnecessary worldly clutter. Enjoy!

Dandy Bluegreen Smoothie
by elizabeth @ raw living and learning

handful of fresh organic blueberries + 1/3 C frozen organic blueberries
2 small bananas
large bunch of organic dandelion greens
1 pear
1/2 scoop of "Vega"
2 C spring water



Dandy Bluegreen Smoothie
Apple Chia Green Smoothie
by elizabeth @ raw living and learning

2 organic apples
2 C spring water
1 T chia seeds
1 Bosc pear
large bunch of organic dandelion greens
handful organic baby spinach
2 small bananas
splash of almond extract

Apple Chia Green Smoothie
Fruity Green Smoothie
by elizabeth @ raw living and learning

2 large organic kale leaves
2 organic pears
1/2 an avocado
1/2 C frozen mango
1 small banana
2 C spring water
Fruity Green Smoothie

My Creamy Dreamy
by elizabeth @ raw living and learning

2 C spring water
1/2 scoop of Vega
1 and 1/2 frozen bananas
8 oz frozen organic blueberries
2 large collard leaves
1 small avocado

Starfruit Green Smoothie
by elizabeth @ raw living and learning

Blend 1 large starfruit with enough water to blend. Strain the juice through a strainer and return the  juice to the blender. Now add:
2 collard leaves
handful of parsley
2 frozen bananas
1 C frozen peaches

Kiwi Pear Green Smoothie
by elizabeth @ raw living and learning

1 pear
1 kiwi
2 bananas
2 collard leaves
2 C ice
1/2 scoop Vega

Now here are some great recipes from the magazine "Whole Living".

"Green Smoothie" from Whole Living Magazine
1 C kale or collard greens, firmly packed, coarsley chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and coarse chop
1 large banana, coarse chop
2 and 1/4 C water

"Antioxidant Smoothie" from Whole Living Magazine
2 C mixed berries (9oz)
1 C unsweetened pomegranate juice
1 C water

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for suffering. P.S. My spell check was not working so please forgive any typos. Peace!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Growing Good Fruit and My Blog AWARD

Today we woke up to a cold morning, for us that is. It was in the low 50's. I am still cold to the bone and trying to warm up with a cup of my herbal detox tea. Three warm little bodies crawled into bed with me this morning--that was nice. But reality hit and we had to get up and start our homeschool day. For theology today the focus is on "Growing Good Fruit for God", Five Ways to Become More Like Jesus. This is a wonderful Lenten activity written by Sandra Garant. The focus for the first week of Lent is Good Words; helping us to be   aware of the fact that our words are powerful. Our words can make wonderful things happen not only for ourselves but for others as well. Our personal focus will be on using manners, compliments that are sincere, being good listeners and praying more so we can hear what Our Lord is telling us through the scriptures.  I wanted to introduce the topic to our son today so come Monday we are ready to begin cultivating some good fruit!!
I can't help but think of my new little garden. As I tend to my delicate young plants it reminds me to be mindful of my words--sometimes I use words that produce bad fruit. This is one major area that I personally will be working on as I continue on my Lenten journey. My raw journey comes into play as well here. How can I make my body healthy and capable of producing good fruit? By filling it with the God given living and raw foods that I adore so much. And how does my raw blog fit into this life lesson? Well, I am delighted to say that I was nominated for an award. My thanks go out to the lovely and always kind Kelli who gives wonderful compliments and encouragement to her fellow bloggers = "Good Words". Big THANK YOU Kelli for thinking of my blog :) :)


Here are the guidelines given on Kelli's blog, where she posts about her receiving this award:
  1. Thank and link the blogger who has given you the award.
  2. Copy and paste the Logo in your blog.
  3. Share 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other Great Bloggers.
  5. Comment and let them know of the award.

Seven Things About Myself:
1. I began dancing at the age of four. I took ballet, jazz and tap until the age of 16.
2. I love camping.
3. I still haven't completed our five children's photo or baby albums...lame I know!
4. I was a cheerleader in grades 7th-12th.
5. I am afraid of escalators and flying.
6. I wish I had the strength, and intelligence to be an organic farmer and also raise a few chickens. 
7. I secretly wish the rest of my family would choose to be vegan and even more raw. With the exception of honey--we love raw honey so they technically would not be true vegans, by some people's definition.

The Fifteen AMAZING Blogs I Nominate Are (I am inspired by each of them in one way or another; they do a great job blogging)
1. Addicted to Veggies
2. Family at the Foot of the Cross
3. Follow Your Bliss
4. Gluten Hates Me be But I'm Surviving
5. HiHoRosie's Place
6. Goodnes Me Goddess
7. it's a High Raw Life
8. One Woman's Creations
9. Our Raw Life
10. Queen of Kale
11. Raw Loulou
12. Backyard Organic Garden
13. Subsistence Pattern
14. The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
15. Catherine et les fées
**I am adding one more, because I LOVE her blog and how dedicated she is to sharing healthy recipes!! Way to go Jane.
16. Blend It and Mend It
*******************************************************************
This morning I started out with a Mega Green Mango Smoothie. This baby was packed with 3 cups of organic spinach and also dandelion greens. The fruit portion consisted of frozen mango and fresh, ripe bananas.
Mega Green Mango Smoothie
4 cups organic baby spinach
8 dandelion green leaves
3 small ripe bananas
2 C water
1/2 C ice
handful of frozen mango
I tend to reverse the proportions of fruits to greens in our smoothies, making the green percentage higher than the fruit. This didn't happen overnight, yet very slowly so I could get the kids transitioned smoothly. They  prefer the higher green ratio to fruit--the greener the better for them. Gotta love it!! Moving slowly in this direction really paid off. I recommend this to anyone trying to incorporate green smoothies into their lifestyle. I literally began by only putting a few spinach leaves or other greens into a blender filled with fruit. Each week I would add in a few more leaves. I took my time and did not work up to high greens for several months. I also began adding raw green powders in increments of a 1/2 a teaspoon at a time. This also paid off as I can now add in an entire scoop when I have the powders on hand.
The remaining half of my breakfast was more like a snack than a meal. I made the most amazing Rawnut Caramel Dip last night and was looking forward to enjoying it today.
Rawnut Caramel Dip
by Elizabeth @ Raw Living and Learning
1/2 C soaked raw macs
1/2 C soaked raw walnuts
1/3 C soaked raw pecans
pinch of Himalayan salt
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/4 C raw agave
1/2 C date paste (dates soaked overnight in coconut water)
Blend until creamer in the blender. Add splashes of spring water as needed for proper blending.
Serve as a dip for apples and carrot sticks. Enjoy!

Well, I am off to notify the bloggers that I nominated for the "One Lovely Blog Award". I wish I could have listed more than 15, I enjoy so many great blogs!! Peace and Raw Health!
+JMJ+ Today I am gratful for the recovery of two sick kiddos--really had me in a tizzy. So glad it is over.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

PEACE in P-E-N-A-N-C-E and My Raw Lenten Journey

There is PEACE in P-E-N-A-N-C-E . (Can you find it?)

It is so easy for me personally, to find true peace in penance because I trust that God's mercy abounds. It is during this time that we prepare to renew our baptismal vows through penance and reconciliation. This is a time to enter into the healing spirit of this season and restore relationships with our household, neighbors and most importantly, God. It can also be a time to heal the body with raw living, life giving foods.
When I think of this time of year not only do I think of fasting, abstinence and penance but I think of reconciliation and NEW LIFE. The word "lent" comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for springtime, lencten. The importance of the integrity of life and the preciousness of life. Life represented in new growth and life being protected from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. And life as seen in the planting, sprouting and growing of life giving plants, nuts and seeds.
In celebration of life I finally got to accomplish one of my goals--the planting of my small garden. Plants need sunlight, water, and rich soil to help them grow. A garden needs to be nurtured to produce good fruit. Our Lenten growth is nurtured by the three disciplines of Lent: 
Fasting
Alms giving
Prayer
By tending to my garden and watching it grow I too anticipate God's grace to help me to grow in virtue. I hope to gain good fruit too from my wonderful little garden! All you wild bunnies and slugs stay away, please.
Half of my garden is in the yard, in a square foot box inspired by the book, The New Square Foot Garden. I have several varieties of tomatoes, Swiss chard, collards, strawberries, and red bell pepper. The other half of my garden is up on the second story deck in the form of potted herbs and sprouts on the sprouting rack and in jars on the kitchen counter tops.
Parsley (two pots)
Lemon Balm

Basil

Greek Oregano

Yesterday was the beginning of our family's Lenten Journey--Ash Wednesday. It was a day focused on Christ. We took the day off from school and began to plan how we each wanted our journey to unfold over the next 47 days. As a devout Roman Catholic, I love this Liturgical season. It is a very special and personal time for me. I will be sharing a bit more personal posts over the next 46 days showing how my raw journey melds so beautifully with my Lenten Journey! They just naturally go together. The cleanliness of my diet enhances  clear thoughts thus allowing me to focus and center on Our Lord's Passion in an intense way. Cleaner eating for myself will involve totally raw and living foods and the rest of the family will eat higher percentages of raw along with their cooked foods. But no meat or poultry will be consumed on Wednesdays and Fridays.  
Ash Wednesday--Abstinence and Fasting
What our day consisted of:
  • Discussed and thought about each of our journey's.
  • Two simple, meatless meals.
  • Went to evening Mass, prayed and received our ashes.
  • Scripture reading/reflection and the beginning of our "Scripture Tree" Lenten activity.

We made all of the felt symbols and banner.
Our tree starts out barren and dead looking as we think and pray about our sinfulness and the death of our Lord. New life is added each day as one more scripture passage is read and one more felt symbol is attached to our banner. As the Lenten season climaxes with Easter, we can see the life giving gift of His death and Resurrection. The beauty of Christ's life is shown clearly in the way our dead, brown branches will slowly be filled with blossoms; our symbols representing Christ's life on earth and his love for us all.
Our "Jesus Tree" is the best way I could think of to help the younger children learn and understand this pivotal time in our Liturgical year. This tree activity took about 6 six or more years to construct. That is because every time I decided to start working on it again a new baby was coming. So once the last three of the five babies arrived I made it a point to FINALLY get to use our "Jesus Tree" with the whole family. Hands on and very visual, making a powerful imprint on their imaginative and  sometimes wandering minds.
I hope you will enjoy some of my simple, clean, raw living recipes and may you too, in your own way, find true RAW living PEACE.



I began the day yesterday with a simple and hydrating blended green juice.
Dandy Cherry Blend
2 C water
7 dandelion greens
10 oz bag of frozen organic sweet black cherries
1 C ice
Blend into raw living goodness!

Lunch yesterday was light, simple and truly delicious. I was trying to restrict the amount of food at each of the small meals, so I could focus more on what I need to cleanse from my life so God can renew my spirit. I am trying to think of ways that I can draw closer to Christ, allowing Him to show me the areas I need to work on the most. My goal is to eat as clean and pure as possible. I have been incorporating herbal detoxifying teas as well. Boy do they work; really gets the system moving, if you know what I mean. It also settles an upset stomach almost instantly.
Hoping to take my cleansing to the next level, I am considering a juice feast, perhaps the last three days of my Lenten journey; Holy Thursday, Good Friday of the Lord's Passion, Holy Saturday, and then breaking the fast, gently, on Easter Sunday. I wish I could go to CHI to do a juice fast but I am just going to do my own here at home, hopefully.  A great book for juicing is, Juicing for Life. I will have enough recipes right there to keep me satisfied.
Here is a pic of yesterday's yummy lunch.

Pineapple with a Crunch!
1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
raw honey- just a drizzle
raw black sesame seeds
sprouted buckwheat crunchies
sunflower sprout garnish :)

So on to today's food. Breakfast consisted of a Berry Green Smoothie.

 Berry Green Smoothie
 Dole frozen mixed berry blend
2 C water
2 very small bananas
3 C organic baby spinach

Lunch involved a delicious oil free dressing on top of a sprouted fruit salad. I have been enjoying the lightness of oil free dressings lately. I really like how I feel after having a large salad topped only with more living foods in the form of an oil free vinaigrette.

Sprouted Fruit Salad
broccoli sprouts
sunflower greens
diced pineapple
diced organic strawberries
raw sunflower seeds
fresh Greek Oregano, cut onto strips
fresh Lemon Balm, cut into strips

Oil Free Fruit Vinaigrette
1/3 C diced pineapple
1/3 C diced organic strawberries
1 T balsamic
1 tsp raw honey
2 leaves of fresh Lemon Balm
Blend well in a personal size blender.


Dinner tonight will consist of zucchini pasta made with my spiralizer, tossed with some Arame, diced tomatoes, organic red bell pepper from the Farmer's Market, some of my herbs and a drizzle of scallion and garlic dressing. Simple and delicious. I adore seaweed!!

 Peace and RAW Health!
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for the chance at a fresh start and the peace I feel in Christ's love.