Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Daily Routine (and Tangents)

Routine is so's especially important to have raw prep done before mealtime. Once I'm hungry-it's too late! And since I'm doing **great, failure is not an option!

Last night before bed I looked in the fridge and determined what needed used soonest...buying lots of produce in bulk means lots of waste if something isn't used before it's less than fresh. So I determined which veggies would become my big lunch salad. (I try to eat the bulk of my calories mid-day but a later meal would be fine if I switch mid-plan and end up doing a piece of fruit and another smoothie for lunch. The key is keeping with my mental list of what needs used up.)

This morning, while my herb tea was brewing and prunes were stewing, I made a strawberry-blueberry-orange smoothie, soaked some chickpeas for sprouting (these will become hummus), and prepared a mango salad for later...

Lunch: Big Veggie Salad

Dinner: Big Veggie Salad (same name different ingredients)
Seriously, I wish you could see the size of this salad. Because I took a close-up so you could see the individual veggies there is no way to see the size bowl. I'd say it's about three cups ... I eat slow to chew every bite about 40 times, so it takes awhile ... but it all fits in my stomach:)

See how pretty all the veggies are? Mushrooms and zucchini sprinkled with a little namu shoyu, sweet onion, cucumber, tomato,
sweet yellow pepper, jalepeno, and if you look closely there are four cloves of garlic diced in there...and cilantro and lime juice. Post photo I added a tablespoon of hummus on top because I knew I was going to be able to afford the calories today and also the sweet red hummus in the fridge was so yummy and so tempting... it was crying eat me!!! Plus this hummus recipe has zero chickpeas so while it was not fat free it was low-fat, only 1g per tablespoon:)

After eating every meal, I log into because keeping track of fat grams is unfortunately a big part of my life now. I started out with 10 grams fat as my max hoping that wold keep me below the 10% fat total for my day...after three weeks, it obviously wasn' now my goal is less than 8 grams of fat per day. As long as I stay raw and vegan this isn't a problem, the problem is when I add yummy organic corn chips and hummus as a midday snack. Then I'm really down to measuring tablespoons and counting chips. The bother makes it a rare but greatly appreciated treat...though I am working on creating a low to no fat recipe for both the chips and hummus to make at home from scratch, because I could honestly live on hummus:/ Hence the chickpeas sprouting in the back of the photo...

The minute I have an amazing tasting recipe... you'll be the first to know.

Back to fat gram counting for a second...

Tangent: I'm obviously still losing weight, even though I'm not trying and in my opinion eat like a pig (honestly I've never eaten so much at meals)... I'm observing something that seems to be a raw foodie phenomenon concurred by the many raw foodists I've discussed it with...
Here's the observance: I never lost weight like I'm losing it now being vegetarian or vegan and I attribute it namely to the fact that when I was vegetarian I was consuming huge amounts of dairy to replace the meat. Just looking at a recent Vegetarian Times Magazine proves the point when comparing the nutritional info at the bottom of the recipes to what I am eating now...huge calorie and fat intake. Even as a vegan, I didn't lose weight like I am losing now. The explanation I've come up with: Grains. *Starches. I don't know if it clogs the guts or whether the body just hangs onto those calories instead of spending them for energy, but something is going on there...obviously I am no scientist. On raw there is no dairy, there is no grains, and few starches.

...because by counting fat I am also conscious of my calorie intake...and it was low...too low (500-600 calories a day) before I started really looking at what I was eating, which meant I would get tired and run out of steam. I wasn't necessarily hungry because like I said I was eating a load of food. The problem was by focusing solely on greens and veggies I couldn't hold enough in my stomach to add up to 1000 calories a day. I am now making sure that I add some dried fruits (prunes, cranberries, raisins) and some nuts/seeds (always careful of their huge fat impact), or higher calorie fruits (bananas, pineapple, oranges) every morning.

Breakfast: 32oz smoothie, herb tea (no sweetener), and softened, warmed prunes.
325Cal   1.3gFat    4.6gProtein

Snack: 16oz Coconut Juice
152Cal    0.0Fat    0.0gProtein

Lunch: Veggie/Citrus Salad with Honey Lime Dressing, and some seeds
203Cal    0.5gFat    5.6gProtein

Dinner: Veggie Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing
81Cal      1.7gFat     3.6g Protein

Mango/Pineapple Salad
121Cal    0.4gFat    0.8gProtein

Days Total:
882Cal  3.9gfat    14.6gProtein

I obviously didn't make it to a 1000Cal but I did keep below 8gFat, so I'm happy with today...super stuffed...and not eating anything else. I've heard of raw foodists who consume between 2-3KCal/day to keep their weight on...I'm not there yet...if I lose another 20-30pounds I'm okay with that...I just don't want to lose too much and I can't imagine eating the bulk of food they must eat to hit those kinds of numbers (unless its with several handfuls of nuts/seeds every day.)

Tangent: Looking at just nuts and seeds, its easy to see how someone could potentially stay overweight by going raw...
Observance: It's really about finding balance and everyone has to find what's right and what works for their body type. I believe it is very important to not over-rely on nuts and seeds for recipes whether counting fat grams or not and I'm not a fan of co-called gourmet raw though I'll never be judgmental about another raw foodies diet (because believe me, hanging out in the raw-foodie online community for recipes, advice and such, I've learned the politics are bigger than in any corporation or church I've ever been in.)

*The major sources of starch intake worldwide are the cereals ricewheat, and maize, and the root vegetables potatoes and cassava.[13] Many other starchy foods are grown, some only in specific climates, including acornsarrowrootarracachabananasbarleybreadfruitbuckwheatcannacolacasiakatakurikudzumalangamilletoatsocapolynesian arrowrootsagosorghumsweet potatoesryetarochestnutswater chestnuts and yams, and many kinds of beans, such as favaslentilsmung beanspeas, and chickpeas.

**I am hanging in there at 98%raw vegan, no meat, no dairy, no preservatives, mostly organic, localvore when possible (I wish someone could grow bananas and mangos in Ohio)... I have also been medication free, no steroids, pain pills, biologics, or antibiotics for 60 days. This is huge since I am also PAIN-FREE and SYMPTOM-FREE from both RA and Crohn's. I have lost fifty pounds.

May I Be Frank Movie - Teaser

Raw food diets are changing lives one person at a time...
Are you ready to go raw yet?

This is Frank Ferrante before...

And after...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Tis the season to be thankful...and I've been thinking about gratitude...a lot.
Which has made me reminisce about my simpler life when I lived and taught yoga out of The Yellow House. Yes, it really was school bus yellow. I loved that house, loved my business, loved my students and they loved me...and because of all that LOVE I was so full of gratitude. I used to walk a circle around my house every morning and every evening in meditation and prayer, but it wasn't just was daily thanksgiving.

I once taught my students to live in a place of love and gratitude.
I was once a light in this world...and illness sucked that light out of me.

I realized yesterday when I saw a trailer for an upcoming documentary May I Be Frank that gratitude has been lacking here of late. It's not because I'm less grateful. It's because in my illness I've become apathetic. So when I really looked at my situation I realized the only way I am going to turn my life completely around is to find my GRATITUDE again and embrace it.

I have a lot of inner work to do now that body is feeling better...
I see a lot of positive affirmations, prayer, and meditation in my future to find the woman stolen from me by disease.

Anyway, all this thinking made me wish for a trip to California so I could visit Cafe Gratitude in person...barring winning the lottery anytime soon, that isn't happening. So I went off in search of a recipe book by the founders of the restaurant.

And I found it! Woot!!
I can't wait for it to arrive in the mail:)
In the meantime, I'm lighting incense and more candles...and walking a circle around my new house twice a day to speak my gratitude out loud to the divine...

Here's the book:

I also found a Cafe Gratitude youtube video by my favorite raw foodie couple, Matthew and Angela Stokes:

And a recipe for DEVOTED that decadent coconut cream pie  ... since coconut cream pie is my absolute fav pie in the world I may have to give my fat gram counting the day off next Wednesday, because I am having a very special friend over, one of my former yoga and reiki students (who is now a reiki master in her own right) and it will be the first time we share a raw meal together so I want it to be super amazing! This pie looks like it might make that happen...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Raw Cures Disease

I run into so many people who say "Oh, I have ..." fill in the blank with Crohn's Disease, IBF, Colitis, Celiac Disease when they hear my recovery story and I just want to scream because these diseases are caused by our eating habits.

I used to live on TUMS, GAS-X, name it...I tried it...and most of it didn't work or worked for an hour. I'd be doubled over in so much pain after meals I'd swear again and again, "I'll never eat again."

Now I never take anything.
My guts are happy for the first time in three decades.
I have been off of all my RA/Crohn's Medications for 60 days, including the biologics and steroids, and stayed symptom free...

I can't attribute one thing to the miracle but I do know adapting to a 95% raw foods, 95% gluten-free foods, and 100% MSG-free diet has been my miracle.

Not only are my guts happy, my joints are pain-free, I have no more migraines, I sleep at night (hallelujah after three decades of insomnia), and my psoriasis is cleared up.

No drug ever did half that much for me...

This hasn't been an easy road...and every time I fall off the healthy food wagon I pay for it in spades by getting sick again...and even though it was hard I won't go back.

If you are some fruit and start eating...then read as much as you can about a raw food diet and start changing your lifestyle. Doctor's know nothing about nutrition. Your health and well-being is in your hands.

If you have Crohn's, here is a few book that might help you on your road to recovery:
Self Healing Colitis & Crohn's, 2nd Edition
Pricey new, but used is still around $15.

If you key word search my blog for books there are many raw food related book posts...

List of articles supporting how raw food/vegan diets heal rheumatoid arthritis and other disease.

Apple Fig Salad

This is the salad I served with lunch yesterday. I used a mix of salads from Earthbound Organic...namely Mixed Greens, Mixed Herbs, and Frisee. Mixed with the Apple Honey Dressing and topped with: Apple slices, Dried Fig slices, Raw sunflower seeds, and Raw Pepitos.

Apple Honey Dressing

1 1/2 apples
1 T honey
2 ounces Orange Juice
4 cloves garlic
1 T tarragon

blended all using my "rocket" blender

Nutritional Breakdown:
167 Cal   4gFat   33.6Carb   3.5gProtein    20%VitA   13%B6   16%B5   28%Cu 18%Mg  26%Mn 10%K
no fat in the dressing! Zip. Zero. None! so good!! (adding the 1/2 t sunflower seeds does add 4g Fat)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cauliflower? Really??

I hate offense to the cauli but really, it's strong, it's bitter...

But I keep seeing recipes that look absolutely amazing...yummy looking...and cauliflower is the base...and since I have a ton of cauliflower in my fridge left over from the holidays...meant for Crudités and not used at the last second because it didn't seem necessary...which basically means I just really don't like cauliflower...

I decided to make one of the recipes I saw online that looked super yummy, amazing, delicious, even though I was apprehensive it would be any of those things...

Of course, I didn't have all of the asparagus and miso...and lets face it, some ingredients are hard to find if you live in more rural parts of America as I discovered on my recent trip to my daughter's house in rural I decided to make due with what I had.
So, I changed the recipe immensely...but kept the general creamy feel...creamy being the key word because rich and creamy means comfort food to me...Since I'm not afraid to alter recipes. This wasn't really a challenge. The trick was, using what I had AND keeping it low fat.

Tangent: Here's a key gripe about a lot of raw food recipes I find, everything is marinated in oil and I cannot have oil...basically a drizzle of oil in my salad means I've ruined my 10gram goal for the day in one sitting, let alone the amounts (tablespoons and multiple ounces a lot of the recipes I see call for) ... So I have to adapt everything.

Example: Mushrooms do not need to be marinated in oil to get a "meaty texture"...and really, I don't necessarily want a "meaty texture" anyway...but sometimes I do marinate, using nama shoyu only. If you cannot find nama shoyu, my next choice would be a high end organic tamari (I spend a little more money on organic ingredients because the whole point of changing my diet was to get rid of all the toxins in my body and keep them out as much as possible)

So here is what I did for this lovely Cauliflower Salad, which the original recipe called a "Risotto"...she served a heated version (I think dehydrating and freezing alters the nutritional value of the food so I've been avoiding both whenever I can) and I'm keeping mine room temperature...

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Spicy Mushrooms

Need for Spicy Mushrooms:
Nama Shoyu
Hot Sauce

Need for Salad:
Red Pepper
Thyme (fresh is best, dried if fresh unavailable)

1. Marinated chopped mushrooms, onions, some raw olives in nama shoyu and hot sauce overnight but several hours would be sufficient. I made about 2 cups total.
2. 1 head finely chopped Cauliflower (about 2 cups)
3. finely chopped 1/3 of a Red Pepper
4. shredded a 5" piece of Carrot
5. Mixed cauliflower, red pepper, and carrot in a bowl with 1 T thyme
6. Added 6 T Super Garlicky Hummus

Allowed all flavors to combine in fridge for 2 hours...served with spicy marinated mushrooms on the side...and a huge mixed green salad with dried figs, sliced apples, sunflower seeds and a honey/apple dressing...

The most exciting part was the calorie/fat/nuitrition breakdown:
51 Cal    1.4 gFat   2.2gProtein  23%VitA  60%VitC  19%B6  10%B5

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, maybe...I am the writer, so I prefer words...but here's a picture too...

OMG...this meal was so delicious! And that from the girl who hates cauliflower. So this is definitely a keeper recipe

I am learning to not be afraid to keep trying veggies I previously didn't like, sometimes again and again, because I am finding that the longer I am on my raw journey, the more my tastebuds are changing. I didn't like kale before this summer. Now, I can't get enough of it. I didn't like coconut juice or I drink about twenty ounces a day! (very alkaline and awesome for the body) And now CAULIFLOWER!

I see much more of this veggie in my future:)

**I always keep several flavors of hummus in my fridge...right now I have Super Garlicky which I made using this recipe because it didn't call for oil. I used Raw Tahini which I found at the health food store. And tripled the garlic called for. The blogger offers two recipe versions one that calls for tahini and one that solely calls for sesame seeds also a bonus for those days I don't have tahini in the house and always have an abundance of nuts and seeds...btw in a pinch pine-nuts or sunflower seeds can be substituted for the sesame seeds...I know because I've done both. If you absoltely have to have the oily, fat to help your hummus feel more (commercial) top with a drizzle of sesame oil to the final product...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Mind Body Connection

Powerful, powerful message from Dr. Craig Sommers...

I knew from my yoga training and reiki training that my every thought either healed my body or participated in its destruction, this really explains so much more...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Long but Awesome Video

If you've been to this blog a few times, you know how much I enjoy Dan McDonald aka Dan the Man...and this video chat was his Thanksgiving Gift to us...he shares so much knowledge...


Being Prepared...

I was talking to my middle daughter on the phone tonight (she lives a state away) and she and her husband are trying to convert to vegan with an eye toward mostly raw. And our conversation made me realize just how much I've learned on my raw-journey.

Eating a living foods/ raw diet every day is hard...until you get the hang of things...
Not because of the temptations of cooked food (yes, that's hard too)

But because in my experience...I get hungry every few hours...and if there isn't something raw and healthy ready made or quick to make to eat NOW or within minutes...I will eat anything... or at least I used to...

Now I'm prepared...

1. I keep fruit available at all times...if I am leaving the house at least one if not two pieces of fruit goes with me...because I am guaranteed to be hungry before I get home...even if and especially if it is "just a trip to the market..." (this used to be nuts, seeds, or granola, but now that I am limiting my fat to <10g/day, those days are over)

2. I always have a bottle of water in my hand...most hunger pains are just thirst in disguise...

3. Every couple of days I prepare a couple of long keeping salads (cole slaw, carrot salad, or wow waldorf) and divide into individual serving containers, so that when I'm hungry I can grab one, or if leaving for an impromptu picnic grab and go...

4. I eat more than I used to at one sitting...
Gone are the days of portion control. I used to limit my calorie intake when it was the SAD diet, but now I eat bowls of salad (big bowls not cereal bowlfuls)
How can I do this? I've eliminated almost all fats and oils, including nuts and seeds, the fat intake I do get is from the veggies themselves. I've eliminated all meat, dairy, pastas... Those are on huge calories...whereas my bowl of veggies may only add up to 150-200 calories... it takes a lot of veggies to add up to 1000 calories a day...I do have an occasion bowl of grains (no more than 2 cps per week)...Irish oats, or heirloom red, brown, or black rice, or red quinoa...all are great sources of protein but also pack a caloric never more than a cupful...the nice thing is that they are filling and take longer to digest so on days I know I am not going to be able to eat every two hours, I eat oats for breakfast, or mix rice or quinoa into my veggie entree... not raw...but definitely helps me stay mostly raw...

5. If I am faced with a restaurant situation (driving by fast food joints, or actually going into a restaurant to meet friends) I push away the temptation of cheating several ways... if it is because of the msg craving (I actually drool driving by KFC and McD because my body remembers my "fix" can be found at those places) I visualize myself as I was, hobbling around with a cane or unable to get off the couch, and as I am now feeling great and healthy...healthy always wins that battle. If it is because I am at a table in a restaurant and my companion is eating a cooked meal and I am eating salad...I focus on how vibrant and bright colored my meal is compared to theirs...and if all else fails (maybe because they are eating prime rib and prime rib always knocks me off the vegan bus) I visualize a healthy happy cow grazing in a field then try to visualize myself actually cutting through its jugular, hearing its screams as I'm being soaked by its blood... I can't do it, so I keep eating my salad with a happy cow grazing in my thoughts...

If you are new to raw, and having a hard time not cheating...I hope this helps

Thursday, November 24, 2011

One Holiday Down...

This is the first year ever that I can say that I got through an entire holiday gathering with friends and family and did not succumb to cooked food! I STAYED RAW!

I feel like I have crossed a major milestone in my journey.

I took my own dinner...three different salads...warning the cook (my mother-in-law) in advance so that she wouldn't be offended. Aside from everyone wanting to know "what'cha eating?" and "why?" and and explaining the reasons and benefits several times, the meal was uneventful.

I think everyone felt sorry for me because I wasn't pigging out on all the dead flesh and trimmings...and about an hour after we finished I felt sorry for them because they were rummaging in their bags and medicine cabinet for antacids and anti gas medications...

I call this holiday a SUCCESS in a big way!

Best yet, today marked one month RA medication and pain reliever free on the calendar and I feel great! Today I hiked over three miles in the woods. And to think, this time last ear I was lucky to manage a trip from the couch to the bathroom without my cane or assistance...

So happy I found the Raw Food Diet!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Dangers of MSG ...

This is a Five Part Series on the Dangers of MSG...very informative.
It's long, maybe a little dry but this is information you need to know!!

The Dangers of MSG - Part 1 (Flavor Enhancers, E621) -

The Dangers of MSG - Part 2a 'Your Brain's Biggest Enemy' (Flavor Enhancers, E621) -

The Dangers of MSG - Part 2b 'Your Brain's Biggest Enemy' (Flavor Enhancers, E621) -

The Dangers of MSG - Part 3 'MSG, Cancer & Your Heart' (Flavor Enhancers, E621) -

The Dangers of MSG - Part 4 'Avoiding the MSG Threat' (Flavor Enhancers, E621) -

I ripped all the MSG out of my diet because I have a severe sensitivity that was leaving me stuck in bed with a migraine, confusion, dizziness, debilitating gut pain, and joint pain (on top of my then chronic RA misery) and getting rid of it seemed impossible some days and it has been a long, trying experience... and unbelievably, even though I read labels like a maniac, some days I still get an accidental dose...

...By the way...some of my accidental MSG poisonings were following the consumption of prepackaged bagged salad product (the kind without dressing inside) by a name brand manufacturer...research helped me to discover some companies are spraying their fresh produce with MSG to make their product more competitive in the marketplace...

Through it all I have wished I could be "normal" again, wished I could eat whatever I wanted, but now I see how lucky I was to have been knocked down by this food additive that has forced me to eat healthy and truly embrace my raw food diet...

The unlucky ones is everyone else...the ticking time bombs out there who will eventually get sick and not know where to point the blame...

Change your life. Face the danger. And take the steps to get rid of MSG in your life!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

EEK! The Holidays Are Coming!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday...scratch that...thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday...and the reason for both is the same. It's all about the food!

Forget the centerpiece, I've been mostly vegan most of my adult life so I will not miss having bird flesh on my plate. But all those yummy nummy veggie side dishes... read super fatty butter laden... so even vegan will not save me from those temptations...

Thankfully, my mother-in-law (she's cooking) knows that I am on a mostly raw food, no msg, no processed foods, extremely low-fat diet and so hopefully wont be offended when I show up with my own food to try to save myself from temptation! I am taking Mango-Blue Salad, Wowed-up Waldorf Salad (traditional Waldorf wo the fat heavy mayo solved by replacing with a simple agave/apple cider vinegar dressing and a super-protein in the form of an ancient red rice from the Himalayas), and a Mixed Veggie Italian Salad (think pasta salad with no pasta and no meat just the yummy veggie goodness x10)...

I'm also working on remaking the original veggie know the one: crescent rolls, cream cheese, msg loaded ranch dressing powder, mozzarella, and veggies... mine is going to have a flax-seed-nut base, a garlic hummus spread, and all the wonderful veggies...not completely low-fat but knocks a chunk off the original!

The killer is going to be the pies...
I love pie...I'm debating scooping a few spoonfuls of gooey goodness out of the no-no crust just to say I had some...and paying for it in pain and suffering for days following...

Or...Plan B...trying to come up with an equally crazy good desert.

Thanksgiving used to be amazing.
And I think future Thanksgivings will get easier as time goes by and I get used to my lifestyle change...and everyone around me adjusts to the fact that all of the traditional recipes are out and a whole bunch of new favorites are in...

Yule is coming, I'm making dinner, and I'm already prepared with a Fantastically Healthy Mostly-Raw Menu!! Now that's something to get excited about:)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Journey Continues...

I haven't posted for a few days, because I've had a few bad days--not because I fell off the raw bus, but still because of what I was eating--I needed time to internalize and process what I am doing and why I am doing it... here's what I came up with:

Why: I am sick. Period. My body got sick because of what I was putting into it=junk.
Why: If eating crap made my body ill, eating alive, nutritionally dense foods should make me well.

Frustration: Getting sick did not happen over night, Getting well will not happen over night.
Frustration: Raw food recipes are complicated and make me feel worse than the junk SAD diet I was on previously.
Frustration: Too many raw food gurus with opposing philosophies and POV's that are super damn confusing.

The answer is obviously RAW FOOD/ALIVE FOODS... I'm convinced of that.

The answer is not raw food gourmet foods which are insanely over-stuffed with fat, over-processed through dehydration, and horrid *food no more recipe books! Seriously.
Here's one example why:
Take my favorite *SAD food: Pizza and at it's base it is dough, sauce, fatty toppings.
That same food raw-ized is basically a nut base with huge amount of fat 90%...with a sauce that may or may not be high fat...with a cashew cheese topping=more fat... this is not good for anyone.

So the answer for me is getting back to simplicity...
Juicing...Mono foods...Salads
And doing all of my food combining correctly...

*Food-Combining- here is a basic food combining chart to maximize the ease of digestion so that you can maximize the nutrient uptake in your intestine:
And as far as a mono-diet...this is a single fruit/vegetable "meal" (think 3 bananas) or a salad with a mono-type: Basically if it is a sweet fruit you can eat other sweet fruits with it. If it is citrus, keep it with other citrus fruits...etc

*SAD diet-Standard American Diet, this doesn't need too much explanation. You were probably raised on this diet...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

10 Days of Juicing...

So, I survived 10 Days of juicing with a few bananas and bowls of watermelon thrown in to ward off temptation ... and one "blew it day" with steamed veggies...

I feel great. Period. Energy-higher than ever, mood elevated to the moon...
I know I can't sustain for the full 100 drays I originally planned on just because the holidays are coming on fast and so are holiday gatherings...I'll be happy to stay raw.

But come January 1... watch out... cause I have a half dozen writing commitments already on the schedule and I have to be on top of my game, so I see another juice feast on the calendar as well...

Funny thing is...I'm already excited about it! That's how good I feel right this minute.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Raw Granola... yum!

Yes, it's Juice Feast Day #6 and I've been 99% awesome and committed ...though making the Best Raw Granola in the Universe (Kevin and AnneMarie Gianni's recipe) for hubby was a challenge and I did only taste a bite... couldn't serve him anything not perfectly yummy right? And omg the house now smells wonderful!!!

Now the recipe calls for sprouted buckwheat, oats and sunflower seeds and I did soak, but not long enough to sprout... if you are unsure about how to soak or sprout there is directions at their link (below) ...
Also.. if you do not have a dehydrator you can do this recipe in your oven on its lowest setting with the door ajar...

**copied directly from Kevin and AnneMarie's page
***there is also a full video of this recipe at their site

Raw Granola or “G-rawwww-nola” Recipe (“The Best Raw Granola in the Universe Ever Plus One”)
2/3 Cups Sprouted Buckwheat
1/2 Cup Sprouted Sunflower Seeds
1/2 Cup Sprouted Oats
1 Cup Chopped Soak Almonds
(the dry ingredients you can play around with… add more nuts that you like add more oats if you you like less buckwheat… what ever you like :-) )
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil*
1/4 cup Raw Local Honey or Maple Syrup*
*to liquefy place decided amount in small jar then place small jar in warm water or out in sun
1 Tbsp Vanilla
Cinnamon to liking
Sea Salt to liking
If you have a Kevin at home plan on doubling the recipe! :-)
Mix together all together with hands. Spread on Dehydrator Sheet and dehydrate at 115 for 8-12 hours.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cantaloupe Pepper Juice? And Chips!

Day Five of Juicing...going well... except I feel like all I do is hold a glass of juice in my hand.
And since hubby is eating healthier and craving a raw snack...I went looking for the Best Raw Granola Recipe Ever on Kevin and AnneMarie Gianni's youtube page and instead found Cantaloup Pepper Juice as the headliner... and since I'm juicing...
And as an extra ...Chips!... from the pulp!!

Maybe tomorrow I'll get around to that Raw Granola...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Juice Feast Day #4
I'm stuck in a few bad habits, although my bad habits are probably fairly tame as far as habits go...
One of them is my breakfast banana... if I do not have my glass of orange juice and a banana within minutes of waking up (seriously) I'm cranky the rest of the morning... you would think juicing would be a distraction... but no. So I am resigned to mostly juicing and eating my banana.
It makes me happy:)
And a happy juicer is a successful juicer. At least that's my philosophy...

I've been doing some research into anti-inflammatory diets and specifically anti-inflammatory juices and one of the best articles I've seen was posted on a running blog:
Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods For Runners
I guess very competitive runners worry about such things as well...

Al I know is that I want happy guts and non-achy joints for the rest of my life (knowing there is no jazzy seat in my near future would also be a boon)... so here is what I've gathered from my massive research...

An apple a day really does keep the doctor away: anti-inflammatory, high in anti-oxidants, lowers cholesterol, and high in polyphenols, which makes it a pretty perfect "healer" in my book...

Did you know that foods actually now have a IF (inflammatory Factor) Rating? Me either...
Seems a nutritionist, Monica Reinagel, invented it and it is catching on like gangbusters. Edible Evolution did a fairly comprehensive blog about it here.

What I targeted on was the Spices, Fruits and Veggies... mainly because I am avoiding Meat, Fish, Nuts, and Seeds like the plague due to their high fat content and I am determined to keep my fat intake at or below 10g per day.

So, with their IF Rating attached here's the list I zero'd in on:

Acerola, raw IF Rating: 696
Olives IF Rating: 87
Guavas, common, raw IF Rating: 77
Lemon peel, raw IF Rating: 36
Currants, black, raw IF Rating: 26
Papayas, raw IF Rating: 21

Pumpkin, IF Rating 334

   Woohoo! I now have an excuse t eat garlic, onions, and hot peppers with EVERYTHING!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Juice...Feast...Day 3

Back on track, no looking back, just forgiving, learning, and moving forward...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Over It...

I can officially say, "I am over it."
It being...
Fast food:
yes, I can drive by all those bright and shining buildings now with their empty promises, and piles o'msg and not drool on myself...
cheese? ick. milk? double ick. eggs? hmmm...maybe have to keep working on that one...
Cooked anything:
over it!! don't ask me about yesterday...
ok, I'll tell you anyway.
I went to Kroger for Strawberries and a few other Veggie Essentials... and omg...the smell coming from the chinese restaurant next door was divine... so I bought all the veggies for stir -fry.. and didn't stir-fry..but steamed them... and they were big win... what was a big win was the sauce!!!

Oriental Sauce Divine
1 lg piece pineapple 2"x4" chunk
1/4c orange juice
1" piece ginger
3 cloves garlic
1-2 hot peppers
1 T tamari
1/4c maple syrup
five spice to taste...
blend well in blender or vitamix

In the future this will be liberally drizzled over my fav uncooked veggies whenever I am craving chinese...

And AVOID the gut pain I am in today after only two meals of steamed veggies...
Did I say I'm over it? You betcha!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Juice Feast Day #2

The easy part has been deciding to juice. Fresh juice made with raw fruits and vegetables provide the body with an instant nutrient and enzyme boost abundant in vitamins and minerals.

The hardest part for me has been figuring out... how much juice????? I'm guessing a half gallon, since I've seen that many men aim for a full gallon and I figure I'd need about half that but that didn't seem very scientific, so in an effort to figure it out I researched the number of calories in average juice preparations when using a juicer:

from Livestrong:
Raw grapefruit juice has around 96 calories per 8-oz. serving. Lemon juice and lime juice contain around 60 calories per 8-oz. glass, and 8 oz. of freshly squeezed orange juice has around 110 calories per 8-oz. serving.

Other Fruits

An 8-oz. glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice prepared with a variety of fruits including apple, pineapple, strawberry and grapes would provide around 125 calories.


Drinking fresh vegetable juice allows you to consume an optimal quantity of vegetables in a simple and time-efficient manner. Adding a sweet vegetable such as a carrot can help to make vegetable juice more palatable, especially if you have included vegetables with a bitter taste. An 8-oz. glass of vegetable juice prepared with carrot, celery and parsley contains 90 calories.
I'm going to aim for about 1000 calories per day... maybe 80 ounces?
I'll adjust as I go and let you know...

Want to know more about the benefits of juicing? And what many common fruits and veggies do for your body? This Art of Juicing article is a good place to start.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Juice Feast Day #1- Looking Back

As I look back over the last year and to renew my assurance that I am on the right path by being mostly raw, this morning, I weighed, measured, and photo'd... and compared to last year's photos... I did not measure a year ago but they say a photo is worth a thousand words (and despite my embarrassment I am posting the before and afters)... this is a total exposure for me and one I'm not too happy about, but I see so many people suffering needlessly when a change of diet would literally change their lives... I am putting myself out there so that maybe someone else will be brave enough to do the same.
Nov. 2010 - 188 pounds

April 2011
In Nov, 2010, I weighed 188 pounds, my eyes and face were swollen looking.  I was using a cane...  There were days I barely managed walking from the couch to the bathroom and needed help to manage the stairs. Every day I took a nap from 1pm-4pm... and still I stayed exhausted all day. I looked years older than my 47 years...

Nov 2011- 144 pounds
I feel like my health is better... I am thinner, I weigh 144 pounds... my eyes and face are no longer puffy... I am walking every day at least one mile a day. No cane! And days of laying on the sofa absolutely miserable are a past memory. The biggest improvement is how I feel... I am full of energy and the days of afternoon naps are gone.

Some will argue that the biologic drugs are solely to thank, I disagree...because I know how my body actually feels...but the proof will be revealed over the next 100 days after I do not take any more Simponi injections...
Just so there is no doubt that I no longer have the puffy eyes, here is a face shot...up close... no make-up. Do you think I look closer to my real age now? I do...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NO JINX! Juice Feast Begins!

Two weeks ago, I posted: "The JUICE Station is set up and I am Very excited to be starting my juice feast today..." and then I had a horrid Simponi reaction...

So, now, it seems even more important than ever to figure out if I can reverse my RA with a raw food diet. I love the way my joints feel on Simponi...I do not like the "everything else" that hangs around my neck like a two-ton yoke. First: The bad-reaction. Second: knowing my immunity is dropping and waiting for the 'what next' and hoping it isn't pneumonia or worse...

Of course I've been worried since the first shotabout the Lowered Immunity that results from Simponi (or any biologic drug) ... Now I use hand sanitizer like a fiend and avoid crowds:(
I don't even think about the other health problems biologics can cause...

Not to jinx this effort, but to put my intentions into motion:

I found some pretty amazing evidence that supports this possibility. So for the next 10 days I'm focusing on that.

Loved this article by Dr Fuhrman and especially his Dietary Equation: "The key to treating autoimmune illnesses is to obey the H = N/C formula. Only then can the immune system begin to normalize its haywire circuitry. H = N/C means Health is proportional to the Nutrient per Calorie density of your diet."

I think a raw vegan diet is the most nutrient rich diet there is and juicing is the quickest way to get those nuitrients. Found specific Juices just for Rheumatoid Arthritis which I am going to work in between the Colon Cleanse Juice Detox and the Liver Cleanse Juice Detox. And really looking forward to the Blackberry Kiwi Juice:)

*Side note- this same time last year I was determined to be raw, but planned on a vacation from raw for the holidays...big mistake... This juice feast will run through January 24th. And seems very necessary for me to succeed.