Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Throw it in a Bowl

This is one of those "recipes" that I just adore. Two ingredients thrown in a bowl.

Throw it in a Bowl

2 (6 oz) cartons of organic blueberries
2 cucumbers, diced
That's it!! Enjoy!

 The flavor was amazing. Who would have thought that cucumbers and blueberries would taste so good together. It is recipes like these that can keep one raw while traveling or running out the door for a busy day. So easy to prepare and pack.
We were blessed to be able to travel up to North Carolina this past November over Thanksgiving and I prepared easy dishes like this for myself and to share with the rest of the family. Of course I packed the travel blender so we could have our morning green smoothie--we cannot begin the day without one!

 It really makes traveling and eating healthy effortless. That is the point I am trying to make. I have spoken with so many people that have the misconception that living a raw, vegan lifestyle is difficult. I could not disagree more. For me cooking is a pain in the neck!
  Here are two great pictures of the children with hubby and I as we were hiking to the waterfall we went to.

We snapped the Christmas card photo of the kids there--it was absolutely beautiful and so peaceful.

Hiking down was just as much fun as the hike up.

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for an even higher level of healing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day of Prayer for the Unborn and Lives Already Lost

Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer For The Unborn
Lord Jesus,
You who faithfully visit and fulfill with your Presence the Church and the history of men; You who in the miraculous Sacrament of your Body and Blood render us participants in divine Life and allow us a foretaste of the joy of eternal Life; We adore and bless you.
Prostrated before You, source and lover of Life, truly present and alive among us, we beg you.
Reawaken in us respect for every unborn life, make us capable of seeing in the fruit of the maternal womb the miraculous work of the Creator, open our hearts to generously welcoming every child that comes into life.
Bless all families, sanctify the union of spouses, render fruitful their love.
Accompany the choices of legislative assemblies with the light of your Spirit,so that peoples and nations may recognize and respect the sacred nature of life, of every human life.
Guide the work of scientists and doctors, so that all progress contributes to the integral well-being of the person, and no one endures suppression or injustice.
Give creative charity to administrators and economists, so they may realize and promote sufficient conditions so that young families can serenely embrace the birth of new children.
Console the married couples who suffer because they are unable to have children and in Your goodness provide for them.
Teach us all to care for orphaned or abandoned children, so they may experience the warmth of your Charity, the consolation of your divine Heart.
Together with Mary, Your Mother, the great believer, in whose womb you took on our human nature, we wait to receive from You, our Only True Good and Savior, the strength to love and serve life, in anticipation of living forever in You, in communion with the Blessed Trinity.

Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/b16_unborn.htm#ixzz2IkXkFiCw

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Raw for Life

I was impressed with this two disc DVD set, "Raw for Life: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of the Raw Food Lifestyle" and have attached this link so you can check it out for yourself. I think this is a great starting point for those wanting basic as well as some advanced information regarding the raw living foods lifestyle. If you need some motivation to make some major health improvements this year, I feel this is a great starting point.
 Here are some of the chapters:

Starting Out on the Raw Food Diet
Weight Reduction Detox and Cleansing
Rejuvenation and Longevity
Recipes from Leading, World-Class Chefs
Health and Wellness
Wisdom of Eating Raw
Optimal Athletic Performance
Spiritual Aspects
Beating Diabetes

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for the time I have been able to spend reading books.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Eliminate Animal Protein from Your Diet

Think you need nasty animal protein to be an athlete?? Guess again. This is just one of hundreds of stories showing how athletes have improved their performance once they kicked animal protein to the curb. And check out the before and after photos of Patrick. So many lives have been changed by "Forks Over Knives". So inspiring!! At the very bottom of the post is a link to a Youtube video you must watch if you are the least bit curious about a plant based diet.
Unfortunately we have been brainwashed by the meat and dairy industries and so many people need to be hit over the head with a life threatening disease before they will admit that diet just might matter when it comes to health. Our family gave up dairy and  processed wheat years ago and have never looked back. Some members of the family still choose to consume a limited amount of organic free range chicken and wild caught fish and that is their choice. I on the other hand prefer none. And that is ok. All of us move at a different pace when it comes to making changes and we all have to respect each others differences.
I am just so inspired when I read story after story of athletes improving their strength and endurance once they go vegan! For numerous stories, information and resources check out this vegan site http://veganathlete.com/
Here are a few of those stories:

How a Plant-Based Diet Helped Make Me an Ultra-Runner

Kathleen655x344 How a Plant Based Diet Helped Make Me an Ultra Runner
Kathleen570x299 How a Plant Based Diet Helped Make Me an Ultra Runner
I sat in my college nutrition class listening to my professor talk about nutrition. He mentioned that you could be a vegan or vegetarian and meet all your requirements to be healthy. I thought to myself, “Oh this guy is crazy! You need to eat meat, I mean, where would you get your protein from?”

I have been athletic all my life and was good at all the sports I played growing up. I maintained great fitness throughout adulthood. In 2004 I decided I wanted to run a marathon. I started running in high school and have always maintained a steady base of 3-6 miles. I figured I would read up on training for a marathon and do it right, nutrition and all.
My diet at the time consisted mainly of meat, dairy, potatoes, bread, with a little bit of fruit and vegetables. I had no problems at all with my marathon training program until I reached my higher mileage of 12+ miles. At one point I had run a few 18 milers and my body said no way. My joints were achy and it took me a week to recover just from one long run. On top of that, my immune system was crashing. I was getting sick frequently and my digestive problems seemed to get worse. I was 33 at the time and thought this should not be happening. So I backed off the running but kept my goal of running a marathon for a later date.
In the meantime, I had three young children I was raising. The colds and flus were never-ending and the diagnosis of my oldest daughter with juvenile arthritis was all I could take. I knew diet and disease were related so I decided to do some research. I learned that dairy can have horrible health effects on children. So I immediately eliminated all milk products from their diets. Once we eliminated it, my children’s health turned around. For myself, I put dairy aside too. I was stronger, less achy and soon able to run my first marathon.
Given the good results we were having sans dairy, I decided to do some research on eliminating meat. After a year, I decided that going on a plant-based diet would be a great thing to do. Shortly after all the animal-based food was gone, my health and athletic performance improved again. And in 2009 I finished my first Ironman race. I loved it so much I did it again in 2010 and finished an hour faster. On top of that I have finished numerous marathons and ultra-marathons. My recovery is faster than ever, and frequent colds are a thing of the past.
All the vitamins and minerals I get from plants aid in my recovery and keep me going strong. I have not supplemented with any protein powders of any sort and I have never felt stronger and healthier in my life. I am hoping this year will be the year I finish my first 100-mile ultra-marathon. I wish I could let my college professor know he was right.

My Experience Going Vegetarian, Then Vegan

Patrick655x344Web My Experience Going Vegetarian, Then Vegan
Patrick570x299Web My Experience Going Vegetarian, Then Vegan
I love food.
I love to talk about it, shop for it, make it, and I really love to eat it. This did not always make for a very healthy lifestyle, but I’ve made significant changes over the years. I became active, lost weight, and moved to a vegan diet.

Since becoming a vegetarian in 2009, I’ve had many discussions about the love of food, nutrition, and diet. Some endurance athletes I know say they could never be vegetarians because they “need the protein.” Others say they are mostly vegetarian but could never give up their beloved dairy.
In 2011, I went on a vegan diet. In just a few months after eliminating dairy from my diet, I could already see and feel the positive impact. I sleep great, have more energy, and no longer feel sluggish or bloated. I have never felt better in my life.
After taking this additional step, I noticed my discussions about my diet shifted in tone. Most people I talked to “get” vegetarianism. We could all benefit from giving up meat, they say, but why would anyone give up all animal products? No eggs? No milk? No cheese? No way!
Although I personally felt much better eliminating all animal products from my diet, watching Forks Over Knives in November 2011 provided me with the means to better articulate the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.
I see now with clarity why eating a plant-based diet is the best option for my overall health and wellness. I understand now how eliminating meat and dairy doesn’t just make me feel better, it can prevent and even reverse afflictions like heart disease and diabetes. I don’t know about you, but my idea of good health does not involve pills, stents, or bypasses.
I am a marathon runner and a triathlete. I work out 6-8 times per week and get all the nutrients I need (including protein) from a plant-based diet. Some world-class vegan athletes like ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek, Ironman Brendan Brazier, and Ultraman Rich Roll agree. These guys are at the top of their games and they’re doing it without eating animal-based foods.
My passion for food remains firmly intact, but now I get to create nutritious, great-tasting meals every day without worrying about the unhealthy consequences.

You can find all of these delicious raw, vegan recipes here on my blog. Enjoy!
Here is an Ophthalmologist who teaches his patients about the importance of the proper diet. Hear his story, book suggestions and recommendations here:

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful to have learned years ago, just how important the proper foods are to my health.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tip for Making Creamy Smoothies Dairy Free

So hubby and I went to go see the movie Lincoln last night. Was it great, no. Was it good, yes. We just thought it was a little bit slow, but it was good and I am glad we saw it.  I think the best part was just getting out together and having some quiet time.

Today I wanted to share my tip on how to make a smoothie taste creamy w/o using any dairy products. The trick is to use a slice of raw, green cabbage. Don't use the very outer, tough, green leaves. You can peel those off and save them for juicing. You want to use the light green, more tender leaves. The amount I use for a larger blender full is roughly 1 cup. The kids go nuts over this smoothie!! Here is my recipe you can try:

Dairy Free Creamy Dreamy Smoothie

by Elizabeth @rawlivingandlearning.blogspot.com

6-8 Ounces of frozen mango

5 ripe bananas

2 cups of raw spinach

1 cup of raw green cabbage (about 3 leaves)

1/2-1 cup of filtered water

Blend until creamy smooth. Enjoy!


+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for self control.

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