The benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is an incredibly versatile plant for your health. Its benefits can help you externally and internally. The plant is high in vitamins such as A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese. Aloe is also high in those essential amino and fatty acids. Here are just five active ways this powerhouse plant can improve your health:

  • Aloe aids digestion—the soothing juice found within the leaf is an adaptogen, which means it can help with either constipation or diarrhea, regulating your elimination cycles. It is also beneficial for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and acid reflux, and decreases the amount of bad bacteria in your gut thus balancing your flora.

 

  • Aloe alkalizes the system—making sure the body is alkalized if one of the best things you can do for your body to avoid acidic digestion and prevent disease. Disease is more prone in acidic conditions.

 

  • Aloe is an external disinfectant—its active ingredients are sulfur, salicylic acid, lupeol, cinnamic acid, phenol, and urea nitrogen. They all protect against bacteria, and are antimicrobial thus fighting off infections externally and internally. Great for healing scrapes, cuts, and soothing burns. It is also really hydrating for your skin as it is made of 90% water.

 

  • Aloe helps boost the immune system—with its rich antioxidant content and polysaccharides, aloe vera juice can help stimulate macrophages (white blood cells that fight off viruses) and thus prevent illness and promote wellbeing.

 

  • Aloe is anti-inflammatory—aloe contains B-sisterole which can slow down or prevent inflammation, helping with joint stiffness and pain, and can promote joint flexibility.

 

You can buy aloe vera juice at the store, or buy a plant and make your own! It’s an added boost to your cooking, smoothies, or on its own. And don’t forget about its amazing skin benefits. Having a plant in the kitchen is great for any emergencies (cuts, scrapes etc.), especially with children around.

 

LiveWell!

 

Foods to Lower High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, in this country is a growing epidemic. It occurs when the force of blood against the artery walls is too high so that it can lead to heart disease. And if it is ignored it can also lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness.  An effective way to avoid high blood pressure or to lower you blood pressure without relying on medication is to include these five foods in your diet.

  • Avocado—This nutrient-dense food contains heart-healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. It’s so versatile too, making it easy to incorporate into your diet! You can add it to salads and smoothies, or make it into dips and salad dressings. From my cookbook, The Goddess of Raw Foods, try the cucumber avocado salad dressing—a refreshing and healthy addition to your salads.
  • Dark Chocolate—Hurray! Dark chocolate is antioxidant-rich, and packed with bioactive phytochemicals called polyphenols that are proven to protect against vascular and heart disease. This is great news for those with a sweet tooth.
  • Blueberries, Raspberries, and Strawberries—These berries contain compounds called anthocyanins that protect against hypertension, and can lower your blood pressure. The Oh So Berry Smoothie from my book is perfect for a vitamin and antioxidant-rich breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
  • Unsalted Sunflower Seeds—These little seeds are jam-packed with magnesium, and make a perfect snack or an addition to salads for heart-health. Make sure you go for unsalted though; salted can be really high in sodium which will have a negative impact on your blood pressure if over-consumed.
  • Oats—A diet rich in fiber and whole grains such as oats has been proven to help keep blood pressure low, and can decrease both systolic and diastolic pressure. For a delicious and healthy start to your day, try my Rawsome Oatmeal and add berries and bananas for an extra boost to your vascular health!

Stay Healthy & Happy!

Kale: One of the healthiest foods on the planet

The kale vegetable is an amazing dark leafy green superfood food with an bitter to sweet earthy flavor that has an abundant amount of nutritional benefits for the mind, body, and spirit. I used to wonder why I loved this green leafy vegetable so much as a child. Kale gave me the warm fuzzy feelings of comfort, cleanliness, and a sense of lightness that made my digestive system smile a little more that day. The intricate dance of the beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, and other vital nutrients that kale produces in the cellular structure of your body fights against cataracts, ovarian cancer, heart disease and other age-related diseases while promoting lung and vision health.  And don’t forget the ample amount of vitamin K.  Vitamin K is necessary for normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health.  One cup of kale equals to 1020% of your vitamin K supply.

Although it is available in stores all year round, kale is much sweeter in taste when it is eaten in season which is in the middle of winter up through the beginning of spring. Black kale or Lacinto kale is the sweetest of them all, although purple kale gives salad a beautiful texture and look to its presentation.

Here are some variations of a kale salad!

Cheddar Kale Salad

1 bunch of kale greens preferable black kale or lacinto kale
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 tablespoon chopped white onion
2 tablespoons liquid aminos from Braggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped apple (optional)
1 tablespoon pine nuts (optional)

Wash the greens. Put them in a bowl that has a top. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast on top of the kale. Add the garlic cloves, aminos, lemon juice, and olive oil. Put the top on your bowl and shake vigorously so that the nutritional yeast is evenly distributed onto the kale.

Avocado Kale Sprout Salad

1 bunch of kale greens
1 avocado
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon flax seed oil
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 tablespoon dulse seeds
handful of alfalfa sprouts
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts.

Chop kale into fine pieces. Dice avocados. Add kale and avocado to a mixing bowl. Add the sesame seeds, hemp seeds, dulse flakes, sprouts, and walnuts. Douse the salad with the flax seed oil. This salad is best enjoyed when everything is thoroughly mixed together. Add more dulse flakes as needed for flavor.

Enjoy your kale today!

For more salad recipes, purchase my book, The Goddess of Raw Foods available at www.amazon.com.

Juicing 101

Juicing is a wonderful component to add to your healthy lifestyle.

Its’ benefits are numerous, but many of us are stuck as to how to start and why?

Here are 7 Juicing Facts to Get You Started

1. Start with a base juice.  Your base juice is the fruit or the vegetable that has the most juice in it.

2. Fresh juice is best drank right after juicing.

3. Save pulp to make dips, sauces, or for compost material.

4. A Breville juicer is best for those who are new to juicing.  Its quiet and easy to use.

5. Juicing allows you to take in more nutrients than eating solid foods.

6. Juicing is better on the digestion system because it has little to no fiber in it.

7. Juicing should complement your diet.  It should not be the basis of your diet because it lacks ample amounts of protein and good fats.

4 Foods to Prevent Colon Cancer

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and its also the best time to review those New Year’s resolutions that we made on January 1st.  This is the first quarter of the year and its a great time to check in and do an audit on your health.   We all know the basics to health like eating a diet that is low in fat and sticking to good plant-based fats and making sure that you are consuming lots of fresh raw fruits and vegetables (at least 51%).  We also know that a diet high in plant-based protein and fiber will prevent most degenerative diseases like colon cancer.  Colon cancer mostly strikes elderly men, but it is a cancer that is quickly striking younger people more every year.

While you do not have to pack your diet with lots of fiber in order to prevent colon cancer, a  healthier lifestyle coupled with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will also keep the colon clean as well as a good raw foods cleanse such as The 7 Day Raw Foods Cleanse 

Cleansing the colon at least once a year is a must.

Here are 4 colon cancer-fighting foods

1. Broccoli is the number one food to prevent most cancers.  It has two of the most powerful anti-cancerous agents that actively suppresses tumors. Broccoli contains vitamin A, C, E, & K which are all critical for the function of the digestive system.

2. Sweet potatoes are considered a superfood because it contains complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta carotene, and antioxidants.  Sweet potatoes also speed up bowel function and reduces your colon’s exposure to toxins.

3. Edamame in Japanese means “beans” and this bean contains ample amounts of soy protein and fiber that helps to prevent colon cancer.

4. Eating non-dairy yogurt everyday that is full of probiotic cultures is the best choice of food that you can make for your intestinal health.  Yogurts can be made from coconut kefirs or any one of your favorite nuts.  It balances your flora and contains easily asorbable vitamin D.

So share this anti-cancer salad with your family and friends and eat to keep your colon healthy.  And join us this month for The 7 Day Raw Foods Cleanse.  Its starts Sunday, April 14th – Saturday, April 20th

And we are offering a 25% discount in honor of colon cancer awareness month!

 

Anti-Cancer Salad

1/2 C broccoli

1/2 C cauliflower

1/2 C raisins

4 carrots shredded

2 nori sheets

dulse flakes

1-2 lemons

olive oil

Process the carrots, broccoli, and the cauliflower in a food processor all separately until the vegetables have a couscous texture. Shred the carrots. Tear the nori sheets into bits and pieces.  Add everything including the raisins in a mixing bowl and toss in olive oil, lemon juice, and dulse flakes and enjoy!

7 Ways to Lose Weight On a Raw Foods Diet

I get this question about losing weight a lot from women who eat mostly raw or who are vegan and vegetarian. I have actually heard of women gaining weight on a raw foods diet and the reasons could be anywhere from consuming too many calories as when most people start eating raw, they tend to overeat or we tend to gravitate more towards the nuts, oils, and raw desserts.

Overall losing weight is so much more than about eating the right diet but here are some helpful tips and suggestions for losing weight on a raw foods diet.

  • Eat in tiny portions, but more meals throughout the day.

Its a wonderful feeling to eat as many times a day without having to worry about weight gain, however sometimes even though we are eating raw and extremely healthy, we still tend to overeat as overeating is an addiction to food whether it is healthy or not. Practicing the art of moderation and balance is key to eating healthy and especially when eating raw. Eating more throughout the day also does not feed into the eating less fad diets as they body does not miss food when you are eating all day, but just eating in tiny portions. For example, my dessert last night was eating a handful of wine grapes and I was extremely satisfied.

  • Cut back on nuts and oils.

Even though all foods that are left in their natural state meaning unprocessed, unfired, and uncooked are always healthy and sustainable for the body, anything in excess can add weight and not be helpful to one’s weight goals. Therefore if you find yourself not losing weight, try eliminating some of the oils and nuts from your diet as most raw food recipes calls for nuts and oils in spreads and salad dressings. You can make oil free salad dressings by blending tomatoes and peppers with herbs to make salad dressings and you can use seeds instead of nuts.

  • Increase your water intake.

Increasing your water intake will assist the body in helping your foods to assimiliate and it can also increase your bowel movements. Remember excess unnecessary weight is nothing but built-up waste in the body and removing it is the key to losing weight and shedding pounds. One client of mine who recently lost 20 pounds now says that she is losing weight without even thinking about it as her body is doing the work now as opposed to her doing the work.

 

  • Do a juice fast.

 

Fasting on natural vegetable juices will not only help you to shed the pounds as you detox your body, increase your bowel movements and thus shed more and more waste and pounds by the day, but it will also help you to get mentally and emotionally clear about your health and weight goals. It can also help with any cravings that you may be having that may be adding weight to your body. Fasting is an ancient practice designed to heal old wounds that may be associated with your weight. It also declutters the mind and returns the body and the palette back to the simple, easy, and light foods that our bodies naturally enjoy and can digest easily.

  • Increase your daily intake of greens particularly dark leafy greens.

Greens, greens, and more greens will fully nourish your body and assist in the elimination process.

  • Cut down on the raw desserts.

We all know that raw food desserts are the best and even though they are made with the loving natural sweeteners from Mother Earth herself, they still can add weight to our bodies if eaten more than often. Just because your eating mostly raw doesn’t mean you have to have a raw dessert everyday. Substitute a mango or slices of kiwi instead of having a slice of a macadamia nut cheesecake.

  • Drink wheatgrass.

I recently spoke with a non-raw foods chef who lost over 170 pounds while taking classes at the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico. He’s not even vegetarian but he swore that drinking two shots of wheatgrass everyday helped his body to detox naturally and thus drop the pounds easily.

Nature will assist you greatly when you align your body back into vibrant and optimal health, so therefore if you stick to your diet and you still notice that you haven’t lost a pound or you may even be gaining weight, you might want to take other measures such as increasing your physical activity, monitoring your portions, or really getting to the root of the weight problem. Weight is nothing but waste and waste collects mostly in the colon area. Getting regular colonics could help in losing the weight, but also investigating your issues around food, health, and your self-esteem will help as well.

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.