Friday, October 30, 2015

Benefits of Raw/Living Foods







It's been almost eight years since I transitioned to living a raw, vegan, living foods lifestyle. I'm so grateful for the numerous health benefits I have experienced and all of the crucial, life saving information I have learned along the way. But what amazes me the most is that each and every day I learn something new! It's a never ending exciting process of learning and growing daily on my health journey. 
Of course I believe in a consistently  high raw diet if not completely raw, but I know not everyone is ready to make such drastic lifestyle changes. So to help you become motivated to at least try and incorporate more and more raw, living foods into your diet, I'd like to share this fantastic article by Tom Fisher. 



The Benefits of Raw/Living Food Nutrition

By Tom Fisher RN, BA

Raw and Living Foods help to provide: More Energy

When we eat raw and living foods that are easier for our bodies to digest, assimilate, and eliminate, we have more energy left over. This enables our body to cleanse, heal, and repair itself so we feel healthy, vital, and energized.

Fiber

• Fiber is the indigestible portion of plant foods. Fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, and seeds contain an abundance of dietary fiber.
• Fiber acts as a pre-biotic agent. This helps to populate beneficial bacteria in the gut for supporting immune and gastro-intestinal function.
• Fiber helps to regulate blood sugar by allowing the carbohydrates in food to be released into the bloodstream more gradually.
• Fiber helps to lower cholesterol.
• Fiber also keeps everything moving through the intestines, which prevents constipation.

Two main categories of fiber

• Soluble
-This type of fiber actually binds to cholesterol in the intestines and flushes it out of the body
• Insoluble
– Is good for regularity
– Insoluble fiber helps “bulk up” the stool and prevent constipation

Vitamins and Minerals

Raw and living foods are very high in various vitamins and minerals. Sprouted foods have a very high nutrient-per-calorie ratio, which help us feel satisfied on fewer calories. This is in addition to having a high water and fiber content.

We all know many of the other benefits of vitamins and minerals.
• Vitamins and minerals found in raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are in a whole food complex with cofactors.
– They are abundant and absorbable
– They are synergistic in their effects

Alkaline Minerals

• Fruits and vegetables contain beneficial alkaline minerals such as:
– Magnesium
– Calcium
• Most of the byproducts of metabolism in our bodies are acidic.
• Consuming alkaline foods helps counteract this acidity.
• Without minerals, vitamins have no function.
• Research indicates that calcium from our bones is often used to counteract this acidity, so eating foods that have an alkalizing effect may contribute to the maintenance of bone health.

Phytonutrients

• Raw and living foods are very high in phytonutrients. Phytonutrients contain protective, disease-preventing compounds that interact with other plant nutrients to produce a synergy that can help fight many diseases. Some phytonutrients are lycopene, beta-carotene, and chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll is the green coloring in plants
– Helps to build blood
– Has antioxidant properties
– Has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory benefits.

• Carotenoids
– A group of phytonutrients that have yellow, orange, and red pigments
– Act as antioxidants in the body
– Yellow pigments – lutein and zeaxanthin
* They help to support optimal vision.
* The body utilizes these pigments to protect the back of the eyeball from the damaging rays of the sun (the macula).
* These two pigments work together synergistically to confer this protection.
* Are best obtained from yellow and green vegetables like summer squash and leafy greens.

Antioxidants

Raw and living foods contain antioxidants which reduce free radical damage and help us age gracefully. Many phytonutrients also act as antioxidants. Antioxidants counteract the damaging effects of “free radicals.”

Alkalinity

Raw and living foods help to maintain the proper alkaline pH in the bloodstream, which is very beneficial to the body in a number of ways, such as supporting energy.

Calorie Density

• Calorie density is defined as the amount of calories in a given weight or volume of food.
• Filling our stomach helps activate stretch receptors which is one of the primary mechanisms that helps us feel satisfied.
• Three primary factors that determine calorie density
– Water content
– Fat content
– Fiber content
• Water is by far the most significant determinant of calorie density, and raw and living foods have excellent water content.
• It is interesting to note that despite the high fat content, rich and creamy avocadoes still have less than half of the calorie density of brown rice cakes, indicating how water content plays a bigger role in calorie density than fat content does.
• The fiber content of a food contributes to the calorie density as well, but not as much as fat and not nearly as much as water.
– Including lots of water and fiber rich raw and living foods in one’s diet makes it easy to feel full and satisfied without eating excess calories.

Plant Fats

• Higher fat raw plant foods, such as avocadoes and nuts and seeds, contain relatively healthy, unsaturated fats.
• These high fat plant foods contain plenty of their own fiber, which binds to excess cholesterol.
• Essential fatty acids:
– Two types of fats that the body cannot make, so they need to be obtained from diet. These are called essential fatty acids (EFAs).
Alpha linolenic acid – Omega 3. Omega 3 fats reduce inflammation.
Linoleic acid – Omega 6.  Omega 6 fats generally promote inflammation.
– Ideal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats is between 1 to 1 and 4 to 1.
– When we consume in excess of four times the amount of omega 6 fats compared to omega 3 fats, we tend to create excess inflammation.
– Omega 6 fats
* The average American consumes 20 times more omega 6 fats than omega 3 fats.
* Omega 6 fats are largely found in animal products and processed foods.
– Omega 3 fats
* Omega 3 fats are abundant in leafy green vegetables, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and certain types of algae.
* Smaller amounts of omega 3 fats can be found in fruits and non-green vegetables.
• The standard American diet (SAD) diet contains an over-abundance of omega 6 fats from:
– Processed foods.
– Commercially produced animal products.
– Not enough fruits, vegetables.
* They contain the omega 3 fats that reduce inflammation.
• A diet based on raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and especially a diet that has an abundance of greens and includes some flax or chia seeds, supplies adequate amounts of omega 3 fats. This is without the excess of omega 6 fats, which is seen in typical modern human diets.
• Healthy fats and blood sugar regulation:
– Glucose – blood sugar
– Insulin escorts glucose out of blood and into cells
– Insulin resistance – insulin is unable to do its job properly and blood sugar remains too high
– Insulin resistance – is the hallmark of type II diabetes, also known as adult onset diabetes.

An excess of saturated fats, trans fats, and omega 6 fats, along with decreased amounts of omega 3 fats, make major contributions to insulin resistance.
Numerous studies have shown that diets that include more whole natural plant foods, instead of processed foods, can have a significant impact on insulin resistance and blood sugar levels.

Cholesterol comes from two places: animal foods and your body.
– Low fat and high fiber whole natural plant foods, such as raw and living foods, cause the liver to produce less cholesterol to make bile that emulsifies fat in the foods.
• Fresh raw and living foods also contain an abundance of fiber to bind to any excess cholesterol, thus keeping cholesterol at an appropriate level.

Enzymes

Raw and living foods are high in food-based enzymes.
• Enzymes are protein molecules that initiate biochemical reactions in all living things, plants and animals alike.
• Research indicates that plant enzymes are found within plant cells and are released when plant cell walls are broken down either by chewing, juicing, or blending.
• If plants are heated above 115°F the enzymes may denature or break down.
• Chewing raw plant foods well is important for releasing enzymes from plant cells.
• This gives the body a “head start” in digestion, creating less work and taking less energy, so you may feel lighter and more energetic than you would if you ate heated foods without active enzymes.

Increasing raw and living foods in your diet helps to provide:

• More energy
• Feeling lighter
• Greater overall well-being
• An abundance of nutrients
• Weight normalization over time
• Avoidance of hunger and deprivation
– It’s not just another diet, but a healthful, delicious, and – most importantly – sustainable way of changing your eating habits that you can happily maintain for a lifetime!


+JMJ+Today I am grateful for finding this lifestyle!!!! Grateful each and every day!!!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sweet n Sour Dipping Sauce

Decided, spur of the moment, to make a Sweet n Sour Dipping Sauce with the one remaining organic nectarine in the house. I thought the children and I could have Raw Vegan Nori Rolls for lunch today. Here is my very basic recipe for this very delicious sauce. This also could be thinned a bit more with water and used as a yummy salad dressing. 

Sweet n Sour Dipping Sauce

By Elizabeth @ rawlivingandlearning

1 organic nectarine, remove pit

3 Medjool dates, remove pits

1 cup of diced organic celery

4 teaspoons of raw apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup water

In my Blendtec blender I added all of the ingredients and pushed "dips, dressings, and batters" mode. It blended it to creamy perfection!!!! Chill for 30 minutes. Enjoy!


I'll be posting our Nori rolls later on Instagram so be sure and check those out @ lowfatrawvegan

+JMJ+Today I am grateful for my living foods lifestyle and the fact that my children like all of my recipes--now that's something to be very grateful for!!! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Seed Yogurt

The other day I came across an article, by Thomas Stearns Lee, NMD, which contained recipes for seed cheese and seed yogurt. His recipes call for Rejuvelac and sunflower seeds, but as usual I improvised and used things I had on hand and created the same end result! 
I decided to make the savory Seed Yogurt to be used as a base in my salad dressings or sauces. It was incredibly easy and delicious. 


▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️


Pumpkin Seed Yogurt

By Elizabeth @rawlivingandlearning.blogspot.com

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (or raw sunflower seeds)

1/3 cup raw sesame seeds

8 ounces of filtered water

2 vegan probiotic capsules

Pinch of Real Salt

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Soak the seeds for 6 hours. Rinse seeds after the soaking time and allow to sprout for 6-8 hours. Fill a high speed blender with 8 ounces of filtered water. Add the sprouted seeds and blend until creamy smooth. Stir in the salt and lemon juice. Finally, add the powder from 2 vegan probiotic capsules and gently stir until fully incorporated. Pour the yogurt mixture into a sterilized glass jar, cover with a clean cotton wash cloth and allow to sit at room temperature for 4-6 hours. Remove the washcloth, cover glass jar with a lid and refrigerate. Should last up to 5 days refrigerated. This recipe yields approximately 2 cups of yogurt. Use in any of your raw savory salad dressing or sauces. 

Nota Bene: This is a very strong/savory tasting yogurt. For a milder flavor substitute raw sunflower seeds for the pumpkin seeds. 


Those are pumpkin seeds even though my jar is labeled sunflower....Teeheehee 

Invert jar at a 45 degree angle and sprout for 6-8 hours.




Finished product👍🏻

I think my next project will be trying my hand at making the Seed Cheese. I hope you try making this super simple raw, vegan, savory yogurt to incorporate into your raw recipes. Enjoy!

▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️

Here are the original recipes:
(By Thomas Stearns Lee)

Rejuvelac

  • 1/2 cup 24-hour sprouted soft pastry wheatberries (available at natural food stores).

  • Use only spring or filtered water.

Grind wheatberries and put 1/4 cup each in 2 large jars.  Fill jars almost to the top with water, and cover with cheesecloth and an elastic band.  Allow the mixture to sit for 3 days.  On the fourth day, pour off the Rejuvelac, straining out the berries and sediment.  Store unused Rejuvelac in the refrigerator.  It will keep several days.  Start a new batch twice a week.

Seed Cheese

  • 1 cup Rejuvelac or spring or filtered water

  • 1-1/2 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds

  • 1/2 cup hulled raw sesame seeds

Soak seeds 8 hours and sprout for 8 hours.  After this time, pour Rejuvelac into a blender.  Blend at a high speed, slowly adding seeds until all are blended to a smooth paste (approximately 4 minutes).  Pour the mixture into a glass jar, cover with a cloth or towel, and set aside for 4 - 8 hours.  If Rejuvelac is not available, use water and let mixture sit an extra two hours.  Or, save 1/4 cup from a previous cheese elapsed, pour off the whey by inserting a wooden spoon down one side of the jar to form a tunnel and spilling the liquid into the sink.  This recipe yields approximately 2-1/2 cups of cheese.  Store it tightly covered in the refrigerator.  Refrigerated, the cheese will last 5 days.

Seed Yogurt

  • 2 cups Rejuvelac or spring or filtered water

  • 1-1/2 cups hulled raw sunflower seeds

  • 1/2 cups sesame seeds

Follow the same procedure as for Seed Cheese above, only set the mixture aside for no more than 6 hours.  Stir and refrigerate.  This recipe yields about 4 cups.


+JMJ+Today I am grateful for my loving husband of 25 years!!! We celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary on July 7th. I am truly blessed. 







Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Raw Applesauce

I had some organic Golden Delicious Apples that we're getting a little soft, so I decided to toss them in the Blendtec blender and make some raw applesauce for my breakfast today. It turned out to be spectacular! That's what I adore about raw foods--the taste explosion I experience each and every time I eat this luscious food. 

Here is my basic recipe:

Raw Applesauce 

By Elizabeth  at rawlivingandlearning.blogspot.com

5 Organic Golden Delicious apples, rough chop

Juice of 1 organic lemon

1/4 or less cup of water 

Garnish with cinnamon and ginger

In my Blendtec blender I poured the lemon juice and water. Next I added the apples. I processed  it a few seconds on "sauces" mode. Garnished it with ground cinnamon & ginger. 



The children tast d it and gave it a big thumbs up!!!!! That makes me happy.

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for my baby lemon, lychee, papaya, and mango trees that I am growing. I sprouted the seeds from fruit that we ate and it proved to be successful! That will be an upcoming post....so stay tuned for that! 😉

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sunset RAW Stuffed Peppers

I was given an incredible gift from Sunset Grown this past Saturday. On my doorstep was a large box filled with these gems!!!!!


 
 
They sent me this beautiful package just because I tell the truth about them on Instagram and share with my viewers how much I love and enjoy their phenomenal produce.
If you are not familiar with this company and the procedures they use to grow their amazing produce, visit their web site to read all about them.
 
When I was unpacking the box and saw the gorgeous sweet peppers I just knew I had to make some Raw Stuffed Peppers. I used my Pumpkin Seed Pate recipe as my filling and served them on a bed of my homegrown sunflower greens. They were nothing short of spectacular.
 
 
 
 
For the pate recipe you will need to do a little bit of advanced prep work. The raw pumpkin seeds and sundried tomatoes need to be soaked for two hours. Cover them with water and allow to soak for two hours, then drain off the soak water. You also will need some fresh carrot pulp leftover from juicing carrots. I juice carrots every day but if you are not a juicer than you can simply use 2-3 whole carrots that have been shredded in a food processor instead. Now you are ready to make the pate:
 
 
 

 Pumpkin Seed Pate

by Elizabeth @rawlivingandlearning.BlogSpot.com
 
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked 2 hours
 
6-8 sundried tomatoes (oil free, sulfite free), soaked for 2 hours
 
1/2 bunch of parsley, fine chop
 
1/2 cup carrot pulp leftover from fresh carrot juice
 
1 clove fresh garlic (optional)
 
1 T Organic gluten free Tamari sauce ( or use Himalayan salt for fully raw)
 
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
 
4-5 Medium sized Sunset One Sweet Peppers, cut in half & remove seeds
 
In a mini food processor, pulse chop the pumpkin seeds, garlic, and sundried tomatoes. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and add the parsley, lemon juice, Tamari, and carrot pulp. Mix thoroughly and fill the raw peppers with the pate.
 
 
 
+JMJ+Today I am grateful for the generosity of Sunset Grown produce. Thank you!!!!!
 
 
 
 
 


Friday, March 6, 2015

Broccoli Appletini (alcohol free)

I've been in juice mode lately; consuming a large quantity of fresh juices everyday. It feels totally amazing!!! Satisfies my nutritional needs so adequately that I am not feeling hungry until evening time. So I've been intermittent fasting for even longer stretches of time each day. Has been coming out to be about 20-23 hours between my last meal of the previous day and my first meal of the following day. And it feels really great!
Today I have had my usual morning lemon water followed by my 2 ounce shot of fresh wheatgrass juice about an hour later. And in place of my morning carrot juice today I was feeling the need for a large green juice cocktail. I made a Mocktail that I'd like to call my Broccoli Appletini.



Broccoli Appletini

by Elizabeth @rawlivingandlearning.blogspot.com


3 leaves of "Broccoleaf" (visit www.foxy.com to see this)


8 stems from Broccoleaf leaves (www.foxy.com)


3 broccoli stalks from fresh broccoli (see photo below)


2 "Sunset" cucumbers


2 lemons, peeled (mine were not organic)


1/2 of a large Golden Beet Root, peeled


4 Grannysmith apples, organic


Run everything through your juicer and enjoy!









+JMJ+ Today I am grateful that I am able to drink fresh juices every dang day!!!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Vegan Sour Cream (oil free, salt free)

The other night I experimented with making a Vegan Sour Cream using just 3 ingredients and I am very happy to say that it was delicious! It does take a small amount of pre-planning as you will need to soak the "raw" cashews for a minimum of 2 hours; to ensure easy blending and an ultra creamy result, and it will need to chill for a minimum of 4 hours.
This makes a great base to many other recipes. For instance, I used just 2 Tablespoons of this in a recipe that I created for a low fat vegan Ranch Salad Dressing (let me know if you'd like that recipe). You also could sweeten it slightly with some organic coconut sugar and use it as a fruit dip. I'm sure it would work well as a "raw" frosting on a raw cake if you blended it with some fluffy date paste. For my date paste recipe click HERE. The possibilities are many, I'm sure.



3 Ingredient Vegan Sour Cream (oil free, salt free)


1 cup of "raw" cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours, then drain


1/2 of a medium lemon, juiced


1 tsp of unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar


1/2 cup of water 


In a high speed blender, I used my small Tribest blender, Blend all of the ingredients until creamy and smooth. Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Use as you would in any recipe calling for sour cream. Also makes a great addition to any creamy, raw salad dressing.


+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for yet another answer to prayer. If we just take the time to be silent and listen, our answers to questions can be "heard". 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Apple Pie Smoothie

One of my little guys requested an Apple Pie Smoothie the other day so that is exactly what I made him! We all have been enjoying my Pumpkin Pie Smoothie recipe and he thought, since I could make up a recipe for that, surely I could make up one for Apple Pie. It was a success!! He was very happy and satisfied.

You can use any apple you like for this recipe; he chose Golden Delicious, so that is what I used.



Apple Pie Smoothie

by Elizabeth @rawlivingandlearning.blogspot.com

4 frozen ripe bananas

1 ripe banana

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 Golden Delicious, organic apples

4 Medjool dates, remove pits

2 Tbsp raw Hemp Hearts

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp pumpkin spice

1/4 tsp Allspice

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender. Garnish smoothies with dried mulberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!


+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for the kindness shown to me yesterday. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie/Pumpkin Pie In a Bowl

As I mentioned the other day, I have been juicing a ton of carrots lately. To be exact, I have been juicing 5 pounds of carrots each morning! 


I drink it throughout the morning and I also add some to recipes.



 A few days ago I used a little bit of my carrot juice in the smoothie and smoothie bowl recipe that I made for the children and me; It was what I call "Pumpkin Pie Smoothie and Pumpkin Pie In a Bowl."



Pumpkin Pie Smoothie/Pumpkin Pie In a Bowl

by Elizabeth @rawlivingandlearning.blogspot.com

12 oz of fresh pumkin or canned

7 frozen, ripe bananas

5 Medjool dates, remove pits

2 T raw, hemp hearts

1/2 cup fresh carrot juice or water

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

1 Tablespoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Blend all of the ingredients until creamy smooth. I blended mine on "smoothie mode" in my Blendtec Blender.
Garnish the smoothies with a sprinkle of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy!



For the Pumpkin Pie in a Bowl simply pour the smoothie mixture into a bowl and garnish with dried mulberries and enjoy with a spoon! This is how I eat my smoothies every morning.

******************************************

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for the beauty I shared with my daughter the other day, as we admired a beautiful iridescence in a cloud after a day of rain; the sun came out and we got to admire what we call, a "Rainbow Cloud". 



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Power of Microgreens

Are Microgreens Healthier?

May 2, 2013 by Michael Greger M.D. in News 


USDA researchers recently published a study assessing the nutrition content of 25 commercially available microgreens, seedlings of vegetables and herbs that have gained popularity in upscale markets and restaurants. Just a few inches tall, they boast intense flavors and vivid colors, but what about their nutritional content? No one knew until now.
We’ve known that baby spinach leaves, for example, have higher levels of phytonutrients than mature spinach leaves, but what about really baby spinach–just a week or two old?
Microgreens won hands down (leaves down?), possessing significantly higher nutrient densities than mature leaves. For example, red cabbage microgreens have a 6-fold higher vitamin C concentration than mature red cabbage and 69 times the vitamin K.
Microgreens are definitively more nutrient dense, but are often eaten in small quantities. Even the healthiest garnish isn’t going to make much of a difference to one’s health, and microgreens may go for $30 a pound! But BYOM—birth your own! You can have rotating trays of salad that you can snip off with scissors. It’s like gardening for the impatient—fully-grown in just 7 to 14 days! If that’s too long, what about sprouting? See my 1-min. video Antioxidants Sprouting Up to see what happens to the antioxidant content of seeds, grains, and beans when you sprout them.
Homemade sprouts are probably the most nutrition-per-unit-cost we can get for our money. See Biggest Nutrition Bang for Your Buck, where they beat out the previous champ, purple cabbage (Superfood Bargains). Broccoli sprouts are probably the best—see for example The Best Detox and Sulforaphane From Broccoli to Breast. I would recommend against alfalfa sprouts (even when home sprouted) as fecal bacteria from manure can hide in the seed’s nooks and crannies and cause illness: Don’t Eat Raw Alfalfa Sprouts.
-Michael Greger, M.D.
PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my 2012 year-in-review presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.
Image credit: cogdogblog / Flickr

************************************************

I have been sprouting and growing my own sunflower greens for many years now and get great satisfaction from this easy and economical way of "gardening". Click on this link to see my Step-By-Step post on Growing Sunflower Greens .

I also posted a simplified version on Instagram. So either way you have easy access to this simple technique of sprouting. 





The article also mentions the high nutrient values in sprouts. For a complete guide to sprouting just about anything click here to see my post.
MUNG BEAN SPROUTS


I am in the process of ordering seeds and growing mats so that I can resume growing many varieties of Microgreens. I am very excited to incorporate these power house greens into our daily diet! 

******************************************

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for my VERY understanding hubby; I love you so much!!!!! This year in July we will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. It just doesn't seem possible; five children later, a lifetime of adventures, and unconditional love beyond my imagination. 

Banana Cream Pie Smoothie Lately I've been blessed with fresh, green, Florida coconuts from my neighbor's trees. We enjoy drinking...