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Pre-Flight Checklist and Last Minute Snacks

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How does a raw foodie travel? Good question! I have a lot of experience traveling as a vegan macrobiotic but this will be the first time I’m leaving the country as a raw vegan! For over a decade my suitcase has been half full of my specialty foods…I always thought, better to be safe than sorry! But the truth is, the last couple of times I didn’t even have to reach for my food stash. Have you noticed how health conscious the world’s becoming? Wherever I go there are more and more vegetarian and vegan restaurants and it doesn’t stop there. I’ve already researched the availability of raw restaurants in some of the places I’m about to visit and there’s not a single town that doesn’t have an organic market and/or an organic raw restaurant! Does this mean I’m skipping the food pack this time? Absolutely not! Here’s what I’ve put together for “Just in case” and we’ll see what happens. : )

I’m taking along:
Raw granola
Brazil nut protein
Hemp seeds
Chia seeds
Himalayan salt
Coconut oil
Coconut butter
Cacao butter
Pecan butter

I would really love to hear what you’re taking along when you travel so please let me know!

I still had lots of fruit sand veggies to use up before leaving and the easiest way was to come up with blended combinations. Raw foodies are pretty famous for blending so much of their food but I hardly ever do more than a blended breakfast. The other day I meant to make a smoothie but ended up with a pudding. It was so delicious that I made it again and named it tropical superfood…

Tropical Superfood Pudding
(Serves 1 for a meal or 4 for a snack. Makes 4 cups)
Blend the following ingredients till smooth and creamy:
1 large mango
1 kiwi
2 large bananas
2-3 brazil nuts
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tbsp hemp protein
1 tbsp hemp seeds
½ tsp maca
¼ tsp spirulina
½-1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
¾ -1 cup water*

* if you put too much you’ll end up with a drink, which is fine too, it makes a delicious smoothie

Next up I have one of my old favorites.

Carrot-Apple-Ginger Juice
I just love this combo! As a matter of fact, it used to be my favorite juice but today I found it too sweet probably because I’ve been living on fruit and juices…kind of tired of it, to be honest. Anyway, if you have a sweet tooth and enjoy spicy stuff you’ll love this!
Juice some carrots, apple and a piece of ginger. The exact amounts I used for just this small glass were:
6 medium carrots
1 medium apple
smaller than an inch piece of ginger

Aahhh so sweet and satisfying!

Health Note on Carrots
My mom had a friend who was born nearly blind. I met this person when he was in his 40’s and he hated carrot juice and carrots in general. The reason? He was fed so much of the orange roots while growing up (in hopes of improving his eyesight) that he couldn’t even look at them anymore. Guess what though! While he was never allowed to get a driver’s license, he was a fully functioning man who didn’t rely on anyone and he had the thickest glasses I’ve ever seen in my life but he could SEE!!!
So eat/drink your carrots!

I’m leaving you with some pix I took the other day at the Santa Monica beach….I love seagulls : )

Ready for takeoff…
My next post will be from Barcelona! I’m so excited to see my sister!

Cucumber Cooler

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I’ve been preparing to go to Europe and running last minute errands also means going even simpler in the kitchen. There are quite a few things in my fridge I need to use up tomorrow still and today I reached for cucumbers and gravenstein apples, hmmmm, I love those! I’m not even a big juicer but juicing definitely has its place. They’re great for quick nourishment, for staying hydrated, or for using up leftover produce like I just did, hehe : )

It only took three ingredients and one minute to throw together and I ended up with a very refreshing drink. The cucumber will keep you hydrated, the apple is a very good cleanser and adds sweetness, the ginger is there for a kick….what can I say, I love spice added to everything! Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it’s effective in reducing discomfort due to arthritis. It’s also known as a digestive aid and it stimulates circulation. Being a warming herb, ginger root is commonly brewed for tea and used to beat colds. As if I needed all these reasons to use some…. I just love ginger!

Cucumber Cooler
Juice the following ingredients:
1 medium cucumber
1 medium apple
1 inch piece of ginger (might be too much so start with less!)

Drink up!

Simple, hydrating, spicy, cool as a cucumber...

Have a Mono Meal!

Friday, August 19, 2011

You may wonder, “What the heck is a mono meal!?” As the name suggests, it is simply a meal consisting of one ingredient. It can be a bunch of carrots, or a bowl of cherries, a slice of watermelon, etc., as long as you’re eating food that is a pile of just one thing you’re eating a mono meal.


Why would I want to eat just one thing?
It’s the easiest on your digestion. Most people, regardless of what type of lifestyle they’re following and what kind of diet they’re on, suffer from indigestion every now and then.


Even if you started eating raw you might feel once in a while that you overate, because starting to munch on a handful of nuts sometimes results in gobbling down a whole pound of them. Sounds familiar? It sure happened to me in the beginning!


Another reason for eating single ingredient meals can be that some foods cause you discomfort and you’re suspecting allergies or food sensitivities. The only way to find out for sure where the problem lies is trying to eliminate certain things for a while or consuming only one type of food for several hours, or even for a few days at a time.


You may also think that eating a mono meal is boring. If that’s the case, I have to assure you it’s quite the opposite, it really is an experience, and I recommend you start with your favorites.


By the way, if you think about it, it’s the most natural way of eating. Have you ever seen a tree with all kinds of foods hanging on it for you to frolic and have a dinner party around?


So what should I eat?
The most commonly eaten mono meal consists of fruit. What’s your favorite food? Does your stomach need a break? Have a bowl of your favorite food or have an apple, or a banana, or an orange. It’s as simple as that!


It's nature's way to eat
It's the easiest on your digestion
It can help you pinpoint allergic reactions
Have a mono meal once in a while!

Questions? Leave a comment below or send me an e-mail: rawfoodfortruth@gmail.com

Yay, No More Plastic Bags!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I get most of my grocery shopping done in Santa Monica at the farmers market and the Co-op. Both of these places have signs up to warn about the new law (Santa Monica Plastic Bag Ban) going into effect on September 1, 2011. Yaaaay, I couldn’t be happier about this! My eyes even welled up when I saw it. To me, it’s a dream come true! I have a friend who will also really appreciate this; you know who you are! : ) What this means is, starting next month, plastic bags are prohibited, paper ones will cost you 10¢ and all retailers (at least so I heard) will stop bagging your new shirt or book or whatever you’re buying…


 “Single-use bags, both paper and plastic, represent a huge threat to the environment. This threat is not only related to the sheer volume of them ending up in landfill, but also to the resources needed to produce, transport and (occasionally) recycle them, and the emissions resulting from these processes. Single-use plastic bags are also well known for their interference in ecosystems and the part they play in flood events, where they clog pipes and drains.”

Plastic (and Paper) Bag Facts
- Approx. 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States every year. That’s more than 1,200 bags per US resident, per year.
- Approx. 100 billion of the 380 billion are plastic shopping bags.
- An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many plastic bags.
- Only 1 to 2% of plastic bags in the USA end up getting recycled.
- Thousands of marine animals and more than 1 million birds die each year as a result of plastic pollution.
- The United Nations Environment Program estimates that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every square mile of ocean.
bagbanfarmersmarketsantamonica- Plastic bags are often mistakenly ingested by animals, clogging their intestines, which results in death by starvation. Other animals or birds become entangled in plastic bags and drown or can’t fly as a result.
- Even when they photo-degrade in landfill, the plastic from single-use bags never goes away, and toxic particles can enter the food chain when they are ingested by unsuspecting animals.
- Greenpeace says that at least 267 marine species are known to have suffered from getting entangled in or ingesting marine debris. Nearly 90% of that debris is plastic.
- Americans consume more than 10 billion paper bags per year. Approximately 14 million trees are cut down every year for paper bag production.
- Most of the pulp used for paper shopping bags is virgin pulp, as it is considered stronger.
- Paper production requires hundreds of thousands of gallons of water as well as toxic chemicals like sulphurous acid, which can lead to acid rain and water pollution.

What Can I Do to Make a Difference?
I grew up in Europe and whenever we went shopping we took woven baskets and other bags to fill up at the store or market. Whoever didn’t have a bag had to pay a good chunk of change for one! Genius, isn’t it? : )
Well, here are some simple things you can do:
- If you drive, always have a bunch of bags in your trunk. That way even if you didn’t plan on stopping by the grocery store on your way home you will have bags handy.
- Go shopping with your existing bags
- Buy a reusable bag to take with you at all times. You can buy ones that pack into a ball the size of a small apple
- If where you live bags will still be given out and you feel you must take advantage of it then use them for your trash (or reuse them for anything else) instead of buying plastic trash liners.
- For buying produce, either do not use bags, or again, bring your own, or reuse the ones you got before. You may also buy little produce baggies made of natural fibers, such as hemp! What else could you ask for!
On rare occasions, when I already have my bags full or forgot one, I stuff as much of the groceries I buy into my purse as I can and carry the rest in my hands. It really is possible to make a difference! Bag single use bags!

Reference: http://www.envirosax.com/plastic_bag_facts


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

…So my best friend visited me for a few days all the way from New Mexico! : ) On her “things to do list” were: learn how to surf, learn how to prepare raw dishes, and visit a raw restaurant! Besides teaching her some of my simple recipes and quick plates like smoothies, cauliflower salad, salad dressings, one day we headed to the raw restaurant that was my first, back in the day! Needless to say, the Los Angeles area is a raw foodist’s mecca and it’s easy to find something raw vegan on the menu even in the endless number of vegan restaurants around. And the raw ones… Oh, heaven!


Euphoria Loves RAWvolution, Santa Monica, CA
I first ate at Rawvolution in February of this year, on Valentine’s Day, and I screamed “This is my new favorite place!” When I was asked a few days later, on my birthday, where I would like to go, I said THERE! So I ate there twice that week. That day, the second time I ate there, I decided to go raw (maybe 80% first), and five days later I started my journey. So while this restaurant was not where I ate my first raw meal, it was the first 100% raw place I ate at, and the experience marks a milestone in my life. My friend’s not even a vegetarian and, like most of us, at first she couldn’t even imagine what can possibly be prepared raw. All that changed the moment we got our food; she’s in love too! So what did we eat???


RAWvolution Review
For starters we got the Cheese Stuffed JalapeƱos, which came with mayo. They were pretty tasty but too dry for me. I wouldn’t order them again (but I loooved the mayo!!).


My friend got a Tiger Roll for her meal, which was a special that day so it’s not on the menu. It was a coconut wrap filled with marinated vegetables, with cucumber salad and some cashew cheese sauce on the side. It was divine! It reminded me of Indian food, hmmm.


I couldn’t resist but order what I always get, the Nachos! Yes, it looks like a pile of everything and it kind of is but it’s incredibly delicious! Walnut meat is on the bottom, topped with layers of guacamole, salsa, cilantro, seed cheese, cashew mayo, tomatoes, and served with blue corn chips. So yummy!!!


And of course we couldn’t leave without dessert!
We didn’t have too many to choose from (maybe because it was Sunday afternoon?) and while I was looking forward to getting a piece of chocolate cake, we ended up with a slice of each, Vanilla Chocolate cake and Keylime Pie. All I know is they both had a lot of coconut meat in them and the Keylime Pie had avocado as well. They were very rich and creamy and really yumm but not as fabulous as the cakes I had there before, which were all to die for!


I can’t wait till next time! I hope there will be an occasion soon because I don’t eat out on a regular basis. Anybody wants to come visit so I can take you to RAWvolution???

            Raw * Vegan * Organic