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Special Announcement: Free Coaching For One Lucky Person!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Have you noticed the new header? There will be more changes made around here to honor my two year anniversary of choosing the raw path. February also happens to be my birthday month and I'd like to celebrate all this by extending a helping hand to one lucky person!
I know of the hardships of transitioning to and adopting a new lifestyle. I was raised on all kinds of food that included everything (many things I didn't even want to touch) and only after leaving my nest I turned to vegetarian, then vegan, then macrobiotic, then came raw foods. I know the hardships of transitioning alone and having no support whatsoever. While I had nobody holding my hands throughout these times, I had times when I wished I had someone around for support, or to answer my questions, or help me avoid mistakes. We are very emotional creatures and a lot of times the foods we eat are tied, in one way or another, to the types of foods we crave and can't seem to be able to let go of. This is true no matter what kind of a lifestyle/diet we adopt. We try to create dishes that are similar to ones we love but have ingredients we no longer eat. We long for steaming plates of freshly prepared favorites made from scratch by grandma, etc. We've all been there.
In my 16+ years experience, research, and talking to people going through challenging times and struggling to make these changes I am yet to meet an individual who had a smooth ride. Lifestyle changes take a serious decision, commitment, willpower, and usually a good reason that will keep you going. Sometimes you find a person or a book inspiring but that's not always enough to start you or  keep you on the path.
It is you who will have to do the work.....and I will help. Whether you are just playing with the idea of eliminating dairy from your diet, or need help with grocery shopping and how to read labels, maybe you've been on a 50% raw path and would like to take it to the next level...it doesn't matter where you are... This is for anyone who wants to feel better and is ready to take another step forward.

Why am I doing this?
Besides the fact that I'm so aware of the challenges of such transition, I'm also aware that not everyone has a friend, acquaintance, or any source helping him/her. Also, at the going rates of $50+/hr for health coaching most people can not afford to get help from an experienced person.
This has been the most amazing experience of my life and it is time for me to give back.

Who may enter?
Anyone who is interested in changing his/her lifestyle and improving his/her diet by incorporating more raw foods. This offer is not restricted to those wanting to go 100% raw at all. Whether you're just ready to give up coffee or hamburgers or coke...it doesn't matter as long as you're willing to change something that hasn't been working. All I ask for is desire and commitment on your part.
I do NOT ask that you subscribe to or "like" my page or anything of that sort.
This is open to all, however, if you're under the age of 18, I need a written consent from your parents.

How to enter?
There are three ways to enter.
1. E-mail me at rawfoodfortruth@gmail.com. Tell me about why you've decided to make this transition, why you think you're the one who should get the free coaching, why you need the support, etc. Provide an e-mail address and/or phone number (if you live in the U.S), and/or Skype contact info (especially if you live outside the U.S. and prefer chatting over e-mail).
2. Comment below and tell your story the same way I just described above.
3. Comment on this post and/or send me a message through the facebook page  http://www.facebook.com/rawfoodfortruth?ref=hl and tell your short story there.
Note: I will absolutely not share ANY of your information with anyone.
Submit your paragraph by March 11.

How is the winner selected and when is the winner announced?
I will select one lucky person based on the stories submitted so be sure to explain why it is you who needs the support more than anyone else and what the reason is for your wanting to transition and/or what it is you're struggling with.
I will announce who the lucky person is on March 15. Good luck!!! : )


A Salad Dressing You'll Want Every Day

Friday, February 22, 2013

Ok, another favorite of mine, lemongrass, is the pick of the day.
I love salads so much that I really don't like going without one for a day. Remember the party I wrote about yesterday? A woman asked which dish I liked the most (there were dozens of dishes, many of which were more like the raw gourmet kind of foods that took a long time to prepare). And what was my answer? The salad! : ) She was so surprised; she was shocked!...haha. Yes, I do love salads. Naturally, I get to play a lot with creating salad dressings to vary the flavor and nutrition poured over the greens and veggies. My latest favorite is this almond-butter-based, aroma-filled concoction. It's very much like a Thai dressing and it will be wonderful in the summer to toss fresh cucumbers and chilis in it.

Lemongrass Dressing
1 lemongrass
1/4 cup (or more) almond butter
~3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic
2-3 tsp coconut sugar or your preferred sweetener
1/2 cup (or less, to taste) water
optional: piece of jalapeno / other hot pepper / dash of ground cayenne 

To prepare:
1. Lemongrass is a very fibrous herb and the outer leaves, most of the top, and the bottom stem are all removed. Only a relatively small piece of the fresh herb you'll end up using.
2. Once you end up with just the core that is much easier to slice, chop it to small pieces to help the blender.
3. Place all ingredients in a blender with only some of the water to begin with so that you can add more as you adjust the flavors when taste-testing.
4. Blend the ingredients on a high speed until you get a smooth, uniform consistency. Taste-test and adjust ingredients.
5. Pour it over your favorite salad ingredients...so yummy.

Note: the dressing will keep in the fridge for days. It will thicken and separate but can be simply stirred and you can add a little vinegar or water if you find it too thick.

The incredible flavor is paired with many health benefits
Lemongrass is a cleanser, in other words, it helps the elimination of toxins. It's a digestive aid and it has warming energy, which means it helps improve blood circulation and this makes it a great cold weather raw food ingredient. It can come to your rescue when fighting a fever (it's even referred to as fever grass at times), coughs and colds, can help lower high blood pressure and balance cholesterol levels.
This grass of wonderful aroma also has antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal qualities, is very high in fiber, and rich in minerals especially manganese (a hard-to-get mineral!!!), iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. This adds up to a "nutrition facts" label that says eat this to support strong bones, great brain function, and heart health. I still eat it just because it's so delicious : )
Enjoy and have a lovely weekend!

The Rawking Bay Area ~ Two Events In A Week!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

...Yep, there's no shortage of them and lately, I'm trying to make it to as many as I possibly can.
I started with a party titled "Chocolate Love Affair" that took place in Berkeley. This was an all raw event that's put on annually around Valentine's Day and it consists of recipe demos by chocolatiers, samples of all kinds of products made of cacao, treats and samples by local vendors, etc. and is attended by many chocolate lovers, local raw chefs and other well known, public figures in the raw food community.

Upon entering, you were greeted by chocolate samples at the door, then you found yourself in a room full of different kinds of chocolates by a variety of companies. You could taste all you wanted and they were also available at a special price to take home with you. There was even a chocolate fountain set up with strawberries underneath. How often do you see something like that, let alone get to dip into it?

The middle room had an elexir bar with superfood chocolate samples and incredibly nourishing smoothies made to order. Needless to say, the space was filled with people asking questions, tasting, buying products. I wonder how many (if any) of them were following a fully raw diet / lifestyle? These kinds of events are invaluable when it comes to introducing the health conscious crowds to something they might not be familiar with. And all the information, even most of the food, is available at no cost, so anyone can learn and taste. You even get to meet people you might have only seen on your computer screen before or maybe read their books, but it's rare that you see them in person.
David Wolfe, Blessings, and others were there and some of them I only met for the first time too. What a night! I feel so lucky to have been part of it. : ) Can't wait till next year's party!

It's an event you'll walk away from with loads of information, unparalleled experiences and conversations with very interesting people, and a chocolate high (no kidding!). Were you there? If not, you better make it next time!

Few days later the San Francisco Vegetarian Society put on a Valentine's Day party. Again, it was my first time meeting people in that group but this time I even got to prepare some of the food because most of the food served was raw vegan...yay!
We made numerous dishes such as "pasta" marinara, patÄ—, pesto, guacamole, fruit salads, strawberry cake, and many more... Look at all the gorgeous food:

Some of the items on the menu are shown above, from the top left corner to the bottom right:

Greek Salad
Sunflower Seed PatÄ— 
Lettuce & tomatos for Tacos
Hummus-Filled Bell Pepper Boats
Pomegranate Seeds
Walnut "Parmesan Cheese"
Apple-Pecan Cobbler
Strawberry "Love" Cake
Zucchini Pasta
Papaya Salad
my plate with some of the many yummy dishes
"just" Oranges 

Again, if you have a chance to go to one of these parties you'll meet a lot of health-conscious people and many of them are interested, or at least heard about, raw foods too. I'm so glad I've made it and I'm thrilled that I had the opportunity to prepare some of the food to feed the exciting crowd!
The society has been around for decades and it looks like it will be around for many more. They put on parties and different kinds of events so come join us if you can..I sure will, as often as I can make it :)

Pretty In Pink AND Purple

Friday, February 15, 2013

Colorful concoctions on a whim..
Not just pretty colors but also such delicious flavors....hmmm, they're divine. New favorites of mine I'll be sharing with you in a moment. I cut up a mango the other day to freeze so I could make ice cream but then I changed my mind. I made an amazing raspberry concoction with it instead. It's similar to ice cream but without too much of the creaminess (no mylk used at all). The flavors combine incredibly well. Was it an accident? I don't think so; don't believe in them : ) Five ingredients, two minutes, and you'll be in heaven, I promise!
I made this with raspberries first and devoured it all and so the next day I had to make more, almost the same blended up yumminess where I replaced the raspberries with blueberries, since I had no more raspberries :) Make it either way, depending on what you have available or which sounds more delicious to you. They're both so flavorful and satisfying.
I could call it a "Mango-Berry Frozen Dessert" but that would be too usual, wouldn't it?

Pretty In Pink (or purple) 
(Serves 1, maybe 2)
1 mango (that has been cut into chunks and frozen)
1 box of raspberries or blueberries (the typical 6 oz box sold at grocery stores, I know, shame on me....but the market was sold out so what's a girl to do? )
1 pink orange*
2 tbsp coconut butter
sweetener of your choice: dates / honey / whatever you prefer

*You can use any kind of orange of course but these Cara Cara Oranges are so incredibly tasty and go so well with this recipe. They're not quite red on the inside like blood oranges but pinkish color. Beautiful and so delicious. Get them if you can find them. I got them at a local market.

How to make it:
Put the berries on the bottom of the blender (unless they're frozen too, then leave them for the top), then the peeled orange cut into chunks, then the butter and your sweetener, then top it all with the frozen mango chunks (and the berries, if you're using frozen ones). Blend it all up.
Wait, save a berry or two to place on top of your cup of yumminess, I didn't remember to do this the first time around, with the raspberries so I had to use something else.
You're in for a TREAT! 

...And the nutrition they will provide you:
In general, mangoes and berries are known for being very rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. They're also mentioned in lots of literature for their anti-cancer qualities and are notably high in certain minerals. Here's the breakdown:
Mangoes: high in vitamins C, E and B 6, fiber, and copper. They provide lots of skin nutrition and support digestive health.
Raspberries: rich in vitamins C and K (!), fiber, and exceptionally high in manganese (!!!), which is rarely found in fruits. Manganese is an important mineral for maintaining strong bones and helping prevent premature graying of your hair.
Blueberries: rich in vitamins K, and C, fiber, and is also quite high in manganese....providing similar health benefits to those of raspberries. Blueberries also stand out for their 6:10 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids and are a good brain-food, so make friends with them, if you haven't yet.

Enjoy these quick desserts and have a lovely weekend!

Quick Home Remedies to Your Rescue

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The weather has taken a turn and the temperature's been dropping, on the Northern hemisphere, at least. The changing of seasons always challenges the body more and even if you're not affected by it we all see more people fight a cold, catch the flu, or just develop a small cough or sneeze. In fact, so many people are sick where I work that the medical team started giving out face masks (yes, I'm serious!!!) so that people who come in with a cough can contain their germs.

Chances are, you can find all the medicine you need right in your kitchen. What do you reach for when you're "under the weather" or "got the chills", or have a sore throat or, not to mention, the "flu hit you like a truck"? Running to the doctor and/or the pharmacy for drugs is the common thing to do but is that the solution??? That depends on what we try to accomplish. Your produce basket, pantry, cabinets, etc. are guaranteed to have one or many of these ancient remedies that will help you prevent getting sick. And if it is too late for avoiding getting a cold because you have a runny nose, achy body, and maybe even a sore throat already, then these will come to your rescue and help relieve your symptoms.*

Ready for the list of the "True & Tried"?...

The healing properties of allicin and diallyl sulphides and the warm energy that is present in these little cloves are to be treasured. Eating lots of garlic helps prevent colds but if it already hit you and it's too late for prevention, try crushing and eating a whole clove or two mixed into something, adding it to salad dressing, for example. It's hard on an empty stomach but if you're ready for it you may "down" an entire crushed clove by itself. I've done it and it works wonders very fast. As an alternative, you can add some to your regular veggie juice ingredients. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and cheap medicine to keep around the house.

Garlic Expectorant - For a Stuffy Nose and Congested Chest
You'll need:
3-4 cloves of garlic
little bit of crushed chili pepper / pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup honey
optional: 1 tsp of lemon juice

Use a garlic press or crush and chop the garlic very finely, chop the pepper very finely, and mix all of the ingredients into a thick paste.
Take a spoonful at a time, as often as desired throughout the day. Hold it at the back of your tongue to coat your throat, for a few seconds if your comfortable enough.

This medicinal root is full of warming energy, can increase circulation, promote healthy sweating, helps detoxify the body and has anti-imflammatory properties. A true treasure to keep at home at all times.
Add a piece to your juice ingredients or if you're ready for it, juice ginger by itself and take a ginger shot whenever you start feeling the onset of a cold. You may also grade it and squeeze the juice out of your gratings using a cheesecloth. It's especially helpful to take a hot shower or bath, drink a cup of hot water with ginger juice in it, and wrap up in blankets in bed. If done quickly enough you can heal yourself overnight. The cold will run its course so fast.

A citrus of wonderful aroma, this sour fruit has healing powers that will come to your rescue. Its high levels of vitamin C will help boost your immune system and its antiviral and antibacterial qualities will help you in the healing process.

Drink freshly squeezed lemon juice (note: if your throat is very torn up already, this will not be pleasant) or add some to tea or your salt water gargle.

Before I get to its benefits...
*NOTE: Before you purchase any kind of honey make sure of its source. You need to know the true story behind the product. Ask the farmer questions, ask the salesperson at the grocery store, etc. There's a huge difference between abusing bees and stealing all of the fruit of their hard work, transporting them to pollinate other crop over the winter vs. providing them with a home permanently, caring for them, and taking only a portion of their honey. Should you even consume honey? It's a tough call and only you can decide for yourself. You can use just a little bit if you choose to and always do your research of the source. That's my two cents...  
While not vegan, many raw food enthusiasts, including me, use honey occasionally as a sweetener, applied to the skin, etc.
Besides its inviting flavor and natural sweetness, this amazing food is rich in enzymes and has antibacterial and healing properties, which are difficult to compete with. It shouldn't be a surprise that it's made it to the "home remedies list"!

The "Warm-You-Up" Tea
~1 in (2-3 cm) piece of ginger
juice of 1 lemon
1 large cup of hot water
optional: pinch of cayenne

Grate the ginger and squeeze out the juice. Mix all the ingredients for a warming cup of tea.

Activated Charcoal Powder
This is a substance that is so versatile that an entire book could be filled with its uses and what it can do for your health as well as the fun stuff you can do with it in DIY projects, cleaning, etc.
While some people use it as a daily detox, simply taken mixed in water or as "Black Lemonade" - pictured below - you can take it if you have an upset stomach, digestive issues, diarrhea or even sore throat. One way of using it to relieve a sore throat is by mixing some of the powder with honey and putting the mixture under the tongue to let it slowly release (and be swallowed). This helps remove all the "stuff", germs, etc. that are clinging to the throat and the digestive lining and causing the discomfort. Make sure to use only FOOD GRADE activated charcoal with NO ADDITIVES!
Schizandu Organics has the purest version at a very reasonable price and it also comes with an eBook  guide with recipes and explanations of many uses.

You can get it on there website:

And on Amazon:

Make the Black Lemonade by mixing:
glass of pure water
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp - 1TBSP activated charcoal powder
1 tsp - 1 TBSP maple syrup (or other favorite sweetener)

Drink it to relieve digestive discomfort, hangovers, for daily detox, or during a cleanse, etc.

Oregano oil
Due to its very intense aroma and strong flavor, a drop goes a long way! A natural antibiotic with antibacterial and antiviral qualities, it's the perfect ingredient to add to your salad dressing or even add a drop to your tea. As I mentioned, it's very strong, and might even be too hard on your stomach when consumed so experiment with it mixed with other food or putting some in a capsule, if you wish, and avoid taking it on an empty stomach!!!

MY favorite is Oreganol....the wild stuff, that's also non-GMO! It can be pricy but it's worth it and  you can get it here:

And on Amazon:

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Gargle with diluted ACV or make a tea by mixing a cup of hot water with a spoonful of vinegar and a spoonful of honey to soothe a sore throat.

I use Bragg's...my favorite. They are RAW, unfiltered and with the mother!!....which is what you want to get so that you have as much of the probiotics as possible!

You can get it on their website here:

And on Amazon:

Carrot-Apple "Throat-Soother"
1 medium carrot
1 medium apple
juice of 1 lemon
generous amount of honey

Grate the carrot and the apple and, in a bowl, mix them with the lemon juice and the honey. This is a very delicious recipe for a snack too and is full of throat-soothing qualities. I highly recommend giving it to kids who will take this much easier than anything else due to the sweet, "yummy" factor! My grandma and mom both made this for me when I was a little kid and I loved it. The good news is, you don't even have to wait to get sick, you can just try it for dessert one day when there's no chocolate cake around ; )

Cayenne Pepper
I love spicy foods. One of my favorites to heat up a meal is cayenne. I add some to my dressing, to soups, etc. Yes, it's hot and that heat provides a lot of warming energy by speeding up your circulation. It's also a decongestant, an expectorant, and a food very high in immune-system-boosting vitamin C.
The capsaicin in hot peppers also acts as a pain reliever and it helps increase  your metabolic rate (great for weight loss support). As cayenne is a also a vasodilator, it increases blood flow (lower blood pressure) and stimulates absorption (deliver nutrients to your cells).
You can always keep some of the ground version at home for times when the peppers are not in season.

Sea Salt
Much better for your health than ordinary table salt, sea salt is wonderful to gargle with for soothing a sore throat.
Gargle with warm water with a little bit of sea salt dissolved in it. You'll be immediately relieved of the pain at the back of your throat. Repeat as necessary.

Medicinal Mushrooms
Especially for prevention, mushrooms of all sorts made into tea, extracts, tinctures, etc. are great to take periodically for boosting your immune system. To be accurate, they're immune system modulators, and since they are tonic herbs you can take them on a regular basis. Try the Reishi tea described here, for example. As always, start with small amounts with new-to-you herbs and medicinal mushrooms.

...And don't stop at your pantry / fridge. Taking hot baths or showers or sitting in a sauna can make a whole world of difference. You'll warm up, the steam will help you decongest, and if you bundle up and wrap up in a blanket immediately you might just sweat out all of your discomfort in one session. Worth a try, doesn't it?

Stay healthy!

*Keep in mind that these remedies, while they're beneficial to your body and overall health, are just for helping with your symptoms. All disease, whether it's a mild cold or a degenerative disease you're suffering from, is a sign of obstruction in the body that needs to be addressed for true healing.