Eating Healthier On a Budget

Many people think eating healthier is complicated, hard-to-do, and expensive when really it is the total opposite.
My approach to eating healthier is to do it simply, easy, and inexpensively and without a lot of fuss.  Leave yourself some breathing room in case you can’t find an ingredient.
1. You do not have to buy everything organic.  I view health as good, better, and best.  So of course eating organic is always best but it is not always feasible because of budget restraints as well as because of accessibility.  Buying local is actually better.  Many local farmers cannot afford the organic certification and they may actually be practicing organic methods.  I am in contact with two local farmers in the Pennsylvania area who are in this very predicament.  There are some vegetables and fruits that you should absolutely buy organic like celery, peppers, apples, potatoes, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, etc, but again depending on where you live and your shopping budget, do the best that you can.
2. Keep some basic staples stocked in your pantry or refrigerator so that you can make just about any raw foods or vegan recipe.  Some basic staples are Braggs liquid aminos, olive oil, nori sheets, nut butters, coconut oil, sea salt, cacao powder, lemons, and dulse flakes.  With these basics you will be able to whip up most recipes.
3. Buy in bulk as much as possible.  You may not see the cost difference in the beginning but in the end it will save you some money.  Buy nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, and lentils in bulk.
4. Buy produce that is in season.  Produce that is in season, not only tastes better but it will be cheaper than if it were out of season.  Right now pomegranates, leeks, squash, and pumpkin are approaching our fall harvest.
5. Patronize your farmer’s markets, local co-ops, ethnic grocery stores.  The produce is slightly more inexpensive and sometimes of greater quality.  Caribbean and Asian produce stores are my favorite.
6. Purchase your kitchen equipment on e-bay.  I’ve gotten great deals on Vitamix blenders and Cuisinart food processors from e-bay.  Make sure you check out the seller’s past selling history before you buy.
7. Learn to substitute where and when you can.  If you do not have agave nectar, use honey or maple syrup.  Use lemons instead of limes.


The Skinny On Fruit

A client of mine recently asked me about consuming only fruits in order to lose weight. I always wonder why people are attracted to mono-diets such as this when trying to lose weight.
I always stress the importance of eating a balanced and diverse plant-based diet.  Your body is not able to get all of the nutrients it needs on fruit alone.
Yes you will lose weight on a 100% fruit diet or what we call a fruitarian diet.  Yes you will have glowing skin, great digestion, better sleep, and most of your ailments will subside.  And you can even do this for a long period of time, however choosing to eat a mono-diet such as this as opposed to a diet rich in all the foods from the plant kingdom is a better choice when losing weight or enhancing your health.
One of the reasons why some people will have trouble losing weight is because they stick to mono-diets that do not provide your body with ample amounts of fuel in order to burn off the calories and fat.
If you are someone who prefers to eat fruits over anything else, you can make your diet at least 50-75% fruit and then the other percentage vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, superfoods, beans, legumes, lentils, etc.  This way you are satisfying your palette’s desires and still keeping your plate diverse.
If you are sticking to fruits especially since our bodies desire more water-based foods like fruits in the summertime so that our bodies can cool down and naturally detoxify itself, at least vary the fruits that you consume.
Fruits are feminine energetically which is why so many of us desire them.  They act as cleansing foods for the body as vegetables act as building foods for the body.  So what does that mean?  That means while your body needs to cleanse and detox itself, it also needs to build the cells, blood, and organs back up as well in order to repair and heal itself which is why we need a balance of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits from a botanical perspective are simply ripened ovaries.  They come from the flowers of plants and trees.  Here are three types of fruits so that you can vary the types of fruits
Types of Fruits
Fleshy Simply Fruits – fruits produced by flowers from one pistil; Pistils are the main female reproductive organ of a flower; grapes, tomatoes, persimmons, bananas, avocados, etc
Fleshy Aggregrate Fruits – fruits produced by flowers from more than one pistil; strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, wineberries
Fleshy Multiple Fruits – fruits are produced by a cluster of flowers
mulberries, pineapples, figs, dates, pomegranates.

Choosing the right Superfood for you

Superfoods are essential on a plant-based diet.
Why?  Because the food we consume today has at least 50%
less nutrients than it did some 30 years ago.  And our bodies
are just not getting all the nutrition it needs simply by the plant-based
food sources in raw form.
Superfoods are foods that contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals,
nutrients, protein, fiber, antioxidants, beta carotene, flavonoids, calcium,
iodine and a host of other nutrients that most foods do not contain all
in one food source.  You usually have to eat a number of different foods
to get all of those nutrients.  Superfoods are these God-sent multi-tasking,
multi-purpose foods that give you lots of nutrient richness in a low-caloric
form.  I tend to look at superfoods as a higher quality form of a multivitamin.
For example, one orange contains the recommended daily amount of
vitamin C that the body needs.  Vitamin C is the main nutrient in an
orange. It does also have small amounts of fiber (when eating the white
matter under the skin peel), vitamin A, iron, calcium, zinc, sodium, etc.
However its not like raw cacao, where chocolate comes from, a favorite
superfood of many that contains high amounts of magnesium, iron,
antioxidants, essential fatty acids, sulphur, and it contains natural hormones
and stimulants that help to combat depression and alleviate stress.
The best way to choose the right superfood is to first determine
what your body mostly needs.
Because I have a thyroid condition, I make sure I consume and have on hand in my pantry plenty of seaweed vegetables and I also take a superfood from E3Live called Renew Me, Total Body Blend which acts as my multivitamin because it contains high amounts of iodine, manganese, zinc, copper, protein from the spirulina, MSM (an organic sulphur), selenium, chromium, etc.
So choose a superfood according to what your body needs first and then
based on what your palette desires.
I also like to munch on goji berries for a snack and add chia seeds for protein to my dehydrated crackers, smoothies, yogurts, puddings, and salads.
This is how you want to eat –  for nutrition first and for taste second by
determining first what your body needs and then for taste to satisfy your palette’s desires.

7 Ways to enjoy An avocado

Avocados grow all year long and they are a great source of good fat.
Babies and children love them as they make a highly nutritious easy to make baby food.  Most of us are introduced to avocados by way of guacamole, another very easy and quick dish to whip up!
However avocados are a very versatile food that can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways.
Here’s 7 food prep tips for using an avocado.
1. Mash an avocado as if you are making mashed potatoes
and use as a spread or as a butter on bread, inside of a leaf wrap,
or atop a flax or buckwheat cracker.  Drizzle some lime or lemon juice
in the mashed texture and add chili flakes.
2. For any fruit ice cream or sorbet, substitute it for an avocado.
3. Dice an avocado and add it to your morning fruit salad with diced mangoes, papaya, apples, and some berries.  Add lemon or lime juice to bring out the flavor and to keep the avocado looking green.
4. Add an avocado to your smoothie. It smoothes out the texture and makes
it very creamy.  You won’t be able to taste it.
5. Mash the avocado and add it to your dark leafy green salad.  When you add some lemon or lime juice and curry powder it functions as a creamy salad dressing and It adds to the texture and the taste of the salad.
6. Scoop out the avocado shell and add your favorite grain whether its raw or cooked like quinoa, kamut, or brown rice and top with olives and diced avocado. Drizzle olive oil or a marinara sauce on it and enjoy your stuffed avocados.
7. Make an avocado salsa by adding diced avocados to diced tomatoes, corn kernels, diced jicama, red onions, and cilantro.

Food Tricks 101

Being a self-learned and self-taught raw foods and vegan chef, I’ve had to learn food tricks on my own in the comfort of my own kitchen.  Over the years, I’ve surprised myself and have come to find among other chefs the common food and kitchen tricks that we share.
1. Nutritional yeast makes everything tastes like cheese so for former cheese lovers, use nutritional yeast on your food.  I make a rawsome vegan macaroni recipe with nutritional yeast using kelp noodles or sliced coconut meat.  Look for the recipe in The Goddess of Raw Foods.  
2. Salt brings out the sweetness in everything.
3. Soaking nuts is not only healthier for you but they absorb flavor better when they are wet.  So soak your nuts and flavor them with a chili lime honey sauce.
4. Never store potatoes and onions together.  The onions give the potatoes eyes.
5. Avocados are very versatile.  You can use them as a butter, in a salad dressing, or in a chocolate pudding.  Check out my mango avocado dressing in The Goddess of Raw Foods.
6. To get the most meat off a pineapple, twist the top spikes off, cut the bottom of the pineapple, and then slice the sides to enter the pineapple from an angle.
7. Peel ginger off with a spoon instead of a knife.  Its easier and safer.
8. Roll your lemons and lime on a counter.  They give you more juice this way.
9. Save your orange, lemon, & lime peels and store them in your freezer.  You can use for a zest, make a  potpourri, or grind them in your dishwasher.  It makes your dishwasher smell like a citrus mist.
10. After juicing, save all the pulp to make soups, or dehydrated pizza crusts, breads, cookies, cakes, or pies.  You can also use them to make broths to sip on during a cleanse or when one is sick.
11. To keep apples from browning soak them in a mixture of cold water and salt or toss them with lemon or lime juice.


Coconut Oil doesA body good

Coconut oil is a multi-purpose miracle food.  You can consume it internally and wear it topically on your skin and hair.  Consuming coconut oil internally keeps your thyroid healthy, supplies your body with good fats and stabilizes your metabolism.  Wearing it topically hydrates your skin and hair and gives it that glow it needs.
Here are my recipe suggestions for using coconut oil.
For morning breakfast protein intake.
Green Chocolate Lover’s smoothie
1 large handful spinach leaves
1 T ground golden flax seed
1 T cacao powder
1 C almond milk or coconut milk
1 T almond butter
1 frozen banana
1 t virgin unrefined coconut oil
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and frothy.


For those who cook, here is a wonderful side dish for your dinner.  

Leeks & onion melody
3 stalks leeks
1/4 white onion
chives for garnish
1 T coconut oil
a few dashes of cumin
Trim the green part of the leeks and slice the white part for sauteeing.
Sautee both the leeks and the sliced onions in a tablespoon of coconut oil for
3 minutes.  Add a few dashes of cumin.  Serve and garnish with chives.

The Wonders Of Chia

I was first introduced to chia when I was a little girl and I watched
the commercial about the chia seed plant.  The song chi-chi-chi-Chia
stayed with me for years and I even bought a Chia Pet and watched
and sat amazed at how my pottery plant grew right in front of my eyes.
Still then I didn’t know about the wonders of chia.
Then I was re-introduced to chia seeds again when I started my restaurant
Taste of the Goddess in Los Angeles and a guest of my restaurant
asked if we made any recipes with chia in it.
At the time, we didn’t, but I started to experiment with chia seeds at home
in my smoothies and my desserts.
Chia seeds are one of those superfoods that just keeps on giving.
Besides its protein, soluble fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids content,
chia seeds also contains age-defying antioxidants and significant
amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, niacin, and
zinc.  It will also balance your sugar, aid in weight loss, and energize you.
Even our famous doctor, Dr. Oz that is endorses the wonders of Chia.
Chia seeds are similar to flax seeds in that they have omega-3 fatty acids, however

Chia seeds

Chia seeds

you do not have to grind chia seeds like you do flax seeds to get its

full nutrients out of the seed.  Chia seeds also do not deteriorate and can be stored for longer periods of time.
It has been reported that one tablespoon of chia seeds can sustain an individual for at least 24 hours.  Go figure.
I eat this chia seed berry porridge for breakfast before I go to my bikram
yoga class or before I go for a hike.
Its filling, high in protein, tastes really good and children love it!
A Chia Berry porridge
8 oz water
1/2 cup soaked goji berries (soak them overnight)
1 T coconut oil
I blend the water, goji berries, and coconut oil in a blender.  Then
I add about 3-4 T chia seeds and let them soak up in the mixture.
I then add strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, oranges and apples
to the mixture and stir thoroughly.
You can also add chia seeds to smoothies, yogurts, and if you bake or
don’t bake, you can add them to cookies, pies, and cakes.
Before I make a smoothie, I soak my chia seeds in coconut water and them
add them to the fruit and blend.  When chia seeds are soaked for at least
30 minutes they produce a gel that I use in my hair as a conditioner.
As you can see chia seeds is a wonderful all-purpose superfood for the body.


My blog posts and articles are always inspired by my clients, friends, and the community I serve when they email me their questions about their health and their diets. I always feel so inspired to help and write and serve and so I wanted to write this blog post about conquering stress since a good friend of mine reached out to me and asked me about what he could to help him with his stress. Stress can be extremely detrimental in our lives. This is one of the reasons why many people can’t and won’t heal from disease as it can block your means to healing.



4-6 zucchini
creamy ricotta (see recipe)
dried Italian herbs
marinara sauce (see recipe)

Slice zucchini in circular shapes. Layer the bottom zucchini with the creamy ricotta cheese, top with another zucchini like a sandwich. Layer it with marinara sauce and some dried Italian herbs. You can eat as is or dehydrate for one hour and serve on a party platter for guests and family.


4 cups macadamia nuts (soaked)
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 tomato
1/8 cup Braggs liquid aminos
4-6 garlic cloves
� cup water
2 bunches spinach

Blend all ingredients in a Vitamix until nuts are well-broken down. Then put mixture in a bowl. Ribbon chop spinach and mix in with a spoon.


4 avocados
1 bunch cilantro
� red onion
� teaspoon red chili flakes
sea salt for taste
� teaspoon apple cider vinegar

In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients. Leave the guacamole a little chunky.



a handful of black or lacinto kale
1 pear
1 mango (or frozen mango chunks)
1 apple
1-2 bananas
2-3 dates (pitted)
use apple juice or water for your base

In a high speed blender blend all the ingredients together to the consistency you prefer. Make sure you pit the dates first meaning take out the seeds.


water from one Thai coconut
1 cup berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or a mix of all three)
1 ripe banana
agave nectar to sweeten the smoothie

Combine all ingredients in a Vitamix blender. Add other fruits to your smoothie or you can add honey or dates for a sweeterner.