Posts tagged raw food

Are cravings keeping you from your ideal weight and happiness?

Do you feel the signs of hunger the minute you are stressed,  upset or feel something getting in your way of feeling good?  When you’re out for a drink, do you find yourself gravitating to fried, oily, crunchy foods that you know aren’t good for you, but you feel like you can’t resist? Are these patterns keeping you from your ideal weight or fitness goals? 

How much of that is because you are physically addicted to the food, and how much of it is because there are other issues? Why do we crave crunchy snacks, or salty food, or sweets? 

Pay attention to what’s causing your hunger pang. What emotions are coming up?

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Emotions and unwanted feelings in times of distress are GOOD. They are here to teach us something. They are our compass; letting us know what frequency we are vibrating on and ultimately which direction we are headed. They are opportunities for us to make real change,  grow and expand our minds, hearts and souls. Once we have the courage to look at the emotion head on, it immediately begins to weaken.

If you (or with the help of a coach) can track the origin of your cravings, you will learn where the seed was first planted,  providing an intellectual understanding of why the emotion is within you and which life circumstances trigger it. Common root emotions that stem far beyond the big bowl of ice-cream you find yourself eating late at night, are feelings of unworthiness or being inadequate or not good enough and the fear of losing something you feel will make you happy in the having of it. These are emotions that sit way beneath the surface of our lives. It is up to us to uncover them.

As we slowly transition to a healthier diet and our bodies detoxify, a few things happen. First, we begin to crave less junk food and more healthy food. This is a natural process for anyone who is making a consistent change for health. We find more nutrient-dense recipes that we really love, and we begin to prefer them as much or more than what we used to eat. REAL, CLEAN, NUTRITIOUS FOOD CAN BE DELISH. 
  Come join me and my dear friend Donnalynn Civello next Sunday, October 27th from 3-6pm for a 5-course chef’s tasting and workshop on Food & Mood at Jivamuktea Cafe in NYC.  HURRY, ONLY A FEW SPOTS LEFT! Sign up here or call Jivamukti directly at 212-353-0214.

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We will explore the key nutrients needed for mental health and happiness including raw foods, superfoods, amino acid therapies and other vitamins, minerals & herbs. The body begins to heal from the inside out when we treat it with natural means. There is no need to live under a dark cloud of pain any longer. Empower yourself and come learn how you can start to find your smile again. Enjoy a tasting of raw food bliss and learn how these beautiful, clean foods are promoting mental clarity and emotional stability.

MENU
Raw Green Smoothie • Raw Cashew Hummus with Seasonal Veggies • Quinoa Tabouli • Raw Chocolate Mousse • Raw Lime Cheesecake
  I highly suggest you reserve your spot today for this incredible event, as a raw food chef and integrative health coach will be there to help you understand the root of your cravings. You will bring home handouts and EASY RECIPES to help you transition to a healthier, happier life.  

For all my friends near and far unable to attend, no fear, I will be taking notes and post some of the recipes featured in the workshop on my blog. 

Ultimately, I believe we can heal emotional eating once we allow ourselves to tap into the reasons why we are craving that junk.  When those issues are addressed, the emotional eating is addressed, as well. The question is: can we make that journey easier on ourselves? Absolutely.  image


  In peace, health, and abundant love,  Fern

Instagram Contest! Win a Scholarship for Bodhi-Mind-Soul in Rincon, Puerto Rico this Labor Day!

Are you so busy struggling to make ends meet that you don’t have time to pamper yourself, prepare creative healthy meals, or come to your mat for a daily yoga or meditation practice? Would you love to treat yourself to a mini-vacation and a dedicated block of time to get away from it all, work with a life coach, or kick-start a regular yoga practice? Do you dream of preparing beautiful plant-based juices, smoothies and meals with raw and vegan chefs who can teach you how to create delicious, nutritious meals to nourish your body from the inside out? If you feel like wellness and yoga retreats are a fantasy that would require cash to rain from the sky, you may be in luck!

Embrace Retreats is holding a scholarship contest to partially fund a talented and lucky winner admission to our Bodi-Mind-Soul Retreat ($400 off the cost of the retreat!) The retreat will be held in the beautiful, tranquil Rincon, Puerto Rico this Labor Day weekend, August 29 - September 1, 2013. 

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The rules:

1. Follow @surfyogarunlive on Twitter and @fernolivia on instagram

2. Tweet: @surfyogarunlive I’d like to #manifest…..

3. Post an instagram picture of you in your favorite yoga pose, or a picture of your favorite place to practice yoga or meditate and tag @fernolivia and #manifest, tell me 1) how your practice has changed your life and 2) what you are looking to manifest in your life

We want to hear what inspires YOU. What makes you smile. What makes you come alive. 

3. Enter as many times as you’d like, up until August 15. You will start thinking more about what inspires you and by sharing it you will, in turn, inspire others.

Whoever sends us the most inspiring tweets with hashtag #manifest between now (August 8) and August 15, 2013 wins a spot at on the retreat and $400 off the price of the retreat. Learn more about the Bodhi-Mind-Soul Retreat presented by Embrace Retreats and feel free to send me an email if you have any questions.

Let the games begin. Can’t wait to see you in Rincon! 

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In order to truly live your purpose and step into the abundant, fully-felt life that is your birthright, you must be willing to let go of fear. Be authentic, and the universe has your back. You are limitless.

Gabby Bernstein, May Cause Miracles

Miracle Manifestation Queen Gabby Bernstein just gave you the key to your happiness and lifelong success. Now, you need to open the door and create your dream life. 
This labor day weekend, join me in breathtaking Rincon for a soul-awakening manifestation retreat. Start your autumn with a body, mind, and soul reset with raw food, juices, ayureveda, daily yoga, meditation, food prep classes, and life coaching workshops. Let yourself be led with your hair in the wind and sun on your back, on the incredible journey of living of your divine purpose on this earth.
Embrace Retreats
Bodhi-Mind-Soul in Rincon, Puerto Rico
Thursday August 29 - Sunday September 1
Book now, spaces are limited! Enter code SAVINGS200 at checkout for $200 off the price of your retreat. 

Imagine this.

Your first weekend of fall is spent embracing your body, mind, and soul, resetting your inner compass and starting the season feeling refreshed and balanced. You’re a plane ticket away from unrolling your yoga mat in paradise, preparing raw juices and meals, and dining under the stars in a beautiful house perched amidst the tropical beauty of Rincón, Puerto Rico.

Drift through sun-filled afternoons as you reinvigorate your soul and revitalize you wellbeing under the guidance of your hosts. Each day, you will purify your body, relax your mind and indulge in the blessings bestowed upon you as you soak up the moment in heaven on earth.

Group workshops will be held daily for nutrition, wellness, life and health coaching, along with yoga and meditation classes. ​  Additionally, you will receive FOUR private sessions to support your holistic mind-bodhi-soul journey on this retreat.

1 private raw food preparation class with Willa Kammerer of WKitche(ny)

1 private restorative or flow yoga class with Fern Langham of Yoga with Fern

1 private Ayurveda session with Kibby Miller of Kibby’s Blended Life

1 private health/life/career coaching session with Jackie Knechtel of Pure Vibrant Living

On this unique retreat, you will feel nurtured as part of a small, intimate group of like-minded holistically healthy women. Your program will be tailored to your desired experience and outcomes. Your hosts will design your program with you prior to your arrival to ensure you receive a truly unique, nurturing and personalized experience.  

SIGN UP TODAY! Spaces are limited!   

WKitche(ny): (Green) Riff on a Mojito

Check out my friend Willa’s blog WKitche(ny) and her delicious green smoothie recipe, (Green) Riff on a Mojito. Mmmm perfect for sipping on roofdecks and great lawns. 

Gluten-free Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Raw Pecan Crust

A pumpkin pie that is gluten-free and dairy-free and aims to please everyone. A bit sweet, smooth, nutmeg and cinnamon spiced, complemented by a pecan crust! And it’s allergen-free —- zero dairy, zero gluten, zero soy. Finally, a highly nutrient-packed Thanksgiving dessert you can feel good about indulging in (and having seconds!) 

Ingredients (9 inch pie)

Crust
  • 1 1/2 cup GF certified rolled oats I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Oats) processed into a fine flour OR 1 cup GF oat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups raw pecans
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup (acts as the binder, honey or agave will work fine)
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance, melted
Filling
  • 2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (optional, if you are a sweet tooth. I added this on my first pie, was much too sweet as per family and friends. I’ve omitted it on this pie - much better.)
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves

Instructions

Crust
  • Grease a 9-inch pie dish very well (I used a small bit of Coconut Oil) and preheat the oven to 350F. In a blender, process your oats into a very fine flour (if you are using rolled oats instead of oat flour that already is finely ground.)
  • In a food processor, add 1 1/2 cups pecans and process until it starts to clump and oils start to release (about 35 secs), but don’t make pecan butter either. You should be able to make a ball with the pecan dough
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir coconut oil (melted) with brown rice syrup and add clumpy pecan mixture. Stir, and add the rest of the ingredients. Using your hands, squeeze the dough over and over to combine very well. You should be able to form a ball with it. If it’s too dry add a bit more oil - but not too much or the crust won’t firm well. 
  • Spoon the pecan dough onto pie dish and smooth out evenly. Press down firmly with fingers to form a crust, bringing it up along the sides. Press as firmly as you can. Prick base with fork 12-13 times. Prebake at 350F for 9-12 minutes, watching closely so it doesn’t burn. Remove and cool for 10 mins.
Filling (easy as pie!)
  • In a large bowl or blender, mix together the brown rice syrup and arrowroot powder (or cornstarch). Now add all ingredients, adjusting spices to taste. Add more sweetener if desired.
Bake
  • Scoop the filling into crust and smooth. Cover crust with crust shield (or tin foil). Bake for 50-55 minutes at 350F. Place on cooling rack for 1 hour. Transfer to fridge to set for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight. (this step is very important!) Do not slice pie until it has set in the fridge for 3 hours minimum.
  • Slice with a very sharp knife, very slowly and carefully for best results. A bit of crumbling may occur, but that’s ok because it’s rustic and made from scratch! The best part is it tastes incredible. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Adapted from Oh She Glows

The Power of Raw Cacao

Unlike processed dark chocolate, antioxidants are preserved in raw cacao.  Read below for the plethora of benefits and if you are still consuming processed chocolate, I encourage you to switch from your regular Dutch processed cocoa powder to raw cacao for a period of time and monitor how you feel.  Chances are you will NEVER want to switch back!

Benefits of Raw Cacao:

  • much higher levels of the famous chocolate antioxidants (oligomeric procynanidins, resveratrol and the polyphenols: catechin and epicatechin) as well as the preservation of vitamin C, phenethylamine (PEA, the feel good neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of love!), 
  • Omega 6 fatty acids (which when heated become rancid and cause inflammation), tryptophan (a commonly deficient amino acid in those who consume a diet of mostly cooked food) and serotonin. 
  • Cacao is the highest whole food source of magnesium, which also happens to be the most deficient mineral in the diet of modern cultures. Magnesium relaxes muscles, improves peristalsis in the bowels and relaxes the heart and cardiovascular system. 
  • The dark chocolate antioxidants have been clinically proven to literally dissolve plaque built up in the arteries which helps in reversing heart disease and causes naturally lower blood pressure. 
  • Also, various other vitamins and minerals in raw cacao benefits the cardiovascular system. 

The nutrient density of raw cacao benefits every function of the body. One of the many cool facts about chocolate is that it is the highest source of magnesium and chromium of any food! Magnesium is the most deficient mineral in the average human. All of the compounds found in raw cacao benefits longevity in humans.

~Vitamin A
~Vitamin B (1, 2, 3, 5 and 6)
~Vitamin C
~Vitamin E
~Magnesium
~Copper
~Calcium
~Manganese
~Zinc
~Sulphur
~Iron
~Chromium
~Phosphorus
~Omega 6 Fatty Acids
~Saturated Fats
~Amino Acids
~Carbohydrates
~Soluble Fiber (which is the type people need more of)
~Enzymes (including catalase, lipase and amylase)
~Other Beneficial Phytonutrients

For the raw brownies (vegan and gluten-free!) pictured above -  Zain’s Raw Brownies click here.

Visit my favorite recipe source - Yum Universe for more decadent, nutrient-packed cacao recipes. 

Perfect meal for a humid summer day - Cucumber Watermelon Gazpacho

After an hour and a half of hot yoga, there wasn’t anything more refreshing I could imagine than what I just blended up for dinner. Here ya go, enjoy :)

Ingredients:

3 cups watermelon, seeded and cubed

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1 organic cucumber, peeled and diced

1 large red pepper, seeded and diced

1 small sweet yellow onion, diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon finely diced jalapeno peppers

1 freshly squeezed lime

¼ cup parsley or cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

Puree watermelon with orange juice and cucumber in a blender. Add remaining ingredients to blender, leaving 1/4 of the onion, cucumber, and red pepper out for garnish. Blend the mix to desired consistency and top with the diced veggies. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Serves one.


Adapted from Martha Stewart Summer Recipes

Easy Breezy Delicious Hummus Recipe
Why buy hummus when you can make a fresh batch in just 5 minutes? Hummus is my favorite snack and today, it’s my dinner served with carrots and cucumbers for dipping. Bon Appetite! 

PREP TIME: 5 Min. COOK TIME: 0 Min. SERVES: 1-2



INGREDIENTS
1 can chick peas, strained
1/8 cup water
3 tablespoons juice from 1 to 2 lemons
6 tablespoons tahini, stirred well (see note)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling (optional)
1 garlic clove , minced or pressed through garlic press
1/2 teaspoon table salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
handful of minced fresh cilantro, parsley, or mint leaves



INSTRUCTIONS
1. Add garlic and chickpeas to food processor. Set aside 2-3 tablespoons chickpeas for garnish. Process garlic and chickpeas until finely chopped.
2. Add lemon juice, water, tahini, spices and 2 tablespoons oil in food processor. 
3. Process in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
4. Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle reserved chickpeas and cilantro (or parsley or mint.) Drizzle with olive oil and spices, and enjoy.
Optional: 
For reserved chickpeas - a tasty topping is fried battered chickpeas. If you have a few extra minutes to spare, saute a clove of minced garlic and 1 tbs EVOO to a saute pan over low heat, add chickpeas. Fry the chickpeas, stirring every 20 seconds or so, over medium heat. After a few minutes, stir in spices, and 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast (optional, gives a cheesy taste and adds a ton of flavor to the battered chickpeas. Plus it’s high in B12 vitamins and is a complete protein!) The chickpeas will have a thin coating on them. Fry for about 5-6 more minutes, stirring frequently and making sure they don’t burn. If they are starting to burn, reduce heat. They should be golden and lightly charred in some parts. 
Be careful not to let the pan smoke up, extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point and releases dangerous toxins if cooked to smoke point. Another option is to use sesame oil or coconut oil, or any oil with a high smoke point. 


Photo Credits: Oh She Glows
Easy Breezy Delicious Hummus Recipe

Why buy hummus when you can make a fresh batch in just 5 minutes? Hummus is my favorite snack and today, it’s my dinner served with carrots and cucumbers for dipping. Bon Appetite! 

PREP TIME: 5 Min. COOK TIME: 0 Min. SERVES: 1-2


1 can chick peas, strained

1/8 cup water

3 tablespoons juice from 1 to 2 lemons

6 tablespoons tahini, stirred well (see note)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling (optional)

1 garlic clove , minced or pressed through garlic press

1/2 teaspoon table salt (or to taste)

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

handful of minced fresh cilantro, parsley, or mint leaves

1. Add garlic and chickpeas to food processor. Set aside 2-3 tablespoons chickpeas for garnish. Process garlic and chickpeas until finely chopped.

2. Add lemon juice, water, tahini, spices and 2 tablespoons oil in food processor. 

3. Process in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

4. Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle reserved chickpeas and cilantro (or parsley or mint.) Drizzle with olive oil and spices, and enjoy.

Optional: 

For reserved chickpeas - a tasty topping is fried battered chickpeas. If you have a few extra minutes to spare, saute a clove of minced garlic and 1 tbs EVOO to a saute pan over low heat, add chickpeas. Fry the chickpeas, stirring every 20 seconds or so, over medium heat. After a few minutes, stir in spices, and 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast (optional, gives a cheesy taste and adds a ton of flavor to the battered chickpeas. Plus it’s high in B12 vitamins and is a complete protein!) The chickpeas will have a thin coating on them. Fry for about 5-6 more minutes, stirring frequently and making sure they don’t burn. If they are starting to burn, reduce heat. They should be golden and lightly charred in some parts. 

Be careful not to let the pan smoke up, extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point and releases dangerous toxins if cooked to smoke point. Another option is to use sesame oil or coconut oil, or any oil with a high smoke point. 

Oh She Glows

Oh She Glows

Photo Credits: Oh She Glows

Please vote for my Shiitake-Hijiki Kale Wraps with Raw Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto in the YumUniverse Great Kale Contest!

Simply scan the facebook page for my Kale Wraps and hit LIKE. I appreciate your support! Blog reader incentive: If you hit LIKE and let me know you’ve done so via my ASK form, I’ll send you my very own e-recipe book “Kickass Vegan Detox Recipes.” 

Post-run recovery dinner & drink: Spiralized Zucchini & Cucumber with Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto topped with fresh mint and basil, Vega Recovery Performance Protein Chilled Chocolate Shake
When I workout or run in the evening, the last thing I want to do is negate all my efforts by eating something that’s loaded in complex carbs and fats that I just don’t need sitting heavy in me right before bed. But I want to get the nutrients I need to revitalize me after a good sweat session. That is why I am head over heels with my new Spiralizer, raw pesto packed with fresh kale, basil, mint, and nutrient & protein packed Spirulina and Nutritional Yeast. With the warmer weather here, I’m craving light, crisp, fresh food. All I need is 1 zucchini and 1 cucumber and my homemade pesto, and I’ve got a delicious dinner at my fingertips, no cooking required. 
I understand that raw pasta may not be for everyone, especially if you expect spiralized zucchini to taste exactly like spaghetti. Thinking of this dish as a light and summery way to satisfy a pasta craving may help the raw pasta love flow. I like topping it off with fresh basil and mint leaves and if I have them on hand, raw pumpkin seeds sprinked on top to compliment the pesto. 
Recipe:
Pesto Pasta with Spiralized Zucchini and CucumberMakes 1 serving
1/2-3/4 cup of vegan pumpkin seed pesto (recipe in my previous post, here)
1 medium zucchini, spiralized into thin noodles
1 medium cucumber, spiralized into thin noodles
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Raw Pumpkin Seeds
1.  Make one batch of vegan pesto. 2.  Spiralize cucumber first - drain the excess water from the cucumber out of the spiralizer. Instead of tossing it, I pour it into a shot glass and sip it. Mmmm refreshing!3.  Spiralize zucchini.4. Toss in the pesto. Top with fresh mint and basil leaves, and sprinkle raw pumpkin seeds on top for an added crunch. 
Enjoy!

Post-run recovery dinner & drink: Spiralized Zucchini & Cucumber with Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto topped with fresh mint and basil, Vega Recovery Performance Protein Chilled Chocolate Shake

When I workout or run in the evening, the last thing I want to do is negate all my efforts by eating something that’s loaded in complex carbs and fats that I just don’t need sitting heavy in me right before bed. But I want to get the nutrients I need to revitalize me after a good sweat session. That is why I am head over heels with my new Spiralizer, raw pesto packed with fresh kale, basil, mint, and nutrient & protein packed Spirulina and Nutritional Yeast. With the warmer weather here, I’m craving light, crisp, fresh food. All I need is 1 zucchini and 1 cucumber and my homemade pesto, and I’ve got a delicious dinner at my fingertips, no cooking required. 

I understand that raw pasta may not be for everyone, especially if you expect spiralized zucchini to taste exactly like spaghetti. Thinking of this dish as a light and summery way to satisfy a pasta craving may help the raw pasta love flow. I like topping it off with fresh basil and mint leaves and if I have them on hand, raw pumpkin seeds sprinked on top to compliment the pesto. 

Recipe:

Pesto Pasta with Spiralized Zucchini and Cucumber
Makes 1 serving

  • 1/2-3/4 cup of vegan pumpkin seed pesto (recipe in my previous post, here)
  • 1 medium zucchini, spiralized into thin noodles
  • 1 medium cucumber, spiralized into thin noodles
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Raw Pumpkin Seeds

1.  Make one batch of vegan pesto. 
2.  Spiralize cucumber first - drain the excess water from the cucumber out of the spiralizer. Instead of tossing it, I pour it into a shot glass and sip it. Mmmm refreshing!
3.  Spiralize zucchini.
4. Toss in the pesto. Top with fresh mint and basil leaves, and sprinkle raw pumpkin seeds on top for an added crunch. 

Enjoy!

Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto

In spirit of all things the color green for St. Patty’s day and the month of March - here is my recipe for raw pumpkin seed pesto. Very easy to make, and a perfect way to top off the weekend - healthy and delicious! 

Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto - Modified from The Edible Perspective

Use this flavorful, lightened-up pesto on pasta, sandwiches, wraps, tofu, veggies, crackers, and more. Tonight, I enjoyed my pesto over spinach linguini noodles. It’s very fresh and creamy! 

Yield: 3/4 cup pesto

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves, chopped or minced

1/4 cup organic unfiltered cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon

1/2 cup packed organic fresh basil, stems removed

1 cup organic spinach or kale

1/2 tsp spirulina

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, adds cheesy taste, rich in B vitamins and protein)

1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste

1/2 tsp cracked peppercorns, or to taste

Directions:

1. Add to food processor or blender: Spinach, fresh basil, pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast, olive oil, juiced lemon, spirulina, garlic, salt and pepper. 

2. Blend/Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.

3. You can add a bit more oil to achieve your desired consistency. Scoop into a jar or air-tight container. Will keep in the fridge for 1 week or so.

Stuff I love

I’ll be posting new “Stuff I Love” weekly, stay tuned. 

Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar - Being rich in natural minerals, vitamins and enzymes makes apple cider vinegar a great addition to any detox. The unique acids in apple cider vinegar can bind to toxins and help the body eliminate them more effectively. It’s important to buy an apple cider vinegar that is organic and unfiltered so that all of its nutritional value is intact. The Bragg’s brand is great. The hazy looking stuff that settles to the bottom is called “the mother” and it is the most nutritious part of the apple cider vinegar for its therapeutic benefits. Apple cider vinegar can also help to stimulate circulation and aid detoxification in the liver by breaking up mucus throughout the body and cleansing the lymph nodes to allow for better lymph circulation. A healthy lymphatic system can remove toxins from the cells in the body while improving immune system response.  I add 1-2 tablespoons of Bragg’s ACV to hot water, adding organic maple syrup or raw honey, fresh squeezed lemon, and a few dashes of cayenne pepper, and drink a big warm mug of it anytime I’m feeling a cold come on, or when I have a full blown rotten bug, I’ll be drinking a few cups a day until symptoms completely subside. I no longer take cold medicines – bye bye Mucinex and Sudafed. This stuff works like a miracle to break up mucus, fight inflammation, clear sinuses and respiratory blocks, I promise you that. I also drink this as a detox tea to help digestion and rid toxins out of my body. ACV possesses antimicrobial and antiseptic properties - it works wonders!

Bragg’s Amino Acid - Bragg Liquid Aminos is a healthy alternative to Soy and Tamari sauce. No table salt or preservatives are added. Amino Acids are the building blocks of all our organs and tissues. They are also the building blocks from which different food proteins are constructed. When we eat a protein food, such as meat or soybeans, the natural hydrochloric acid in the stomach digests the protein, releasing the Amino Acids. They are the link between the food we eat and assimilation for our body tissue. Lack of adequate Amino Acids may make it impossible for the vitamins and minerals to perform their specific duties. Bragg’s Amino Acid tastes just like soy sauce, but it is not made from GMO soy, unlike the stuff you’ll get from your local sushi joint. But just like regular soy sauce, it’s high in sodium so don’t douse your food in it!

Organic Raw Maca Powder - Used to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue, maca root has long been regarded as a highly adaptogenic food. Navitas Naturals Raw Maca Powder is the raw and natural form of this special root – gently dried and ground to preserve it’s vitality and nutritional structure. With an earthy taste that is slightly nutty with a hint of butterscotch, maca is easily blended into superfood smoothies, chocolates, or mixed into flour for dessert recipes. I add maca powder to my smoothies when I need an extra kick. At a cooking demo led by my ayurvedic nutritionist & yoga instructor Donnalynn Civello, we had delicious cacao-chip cookies made with maca powder – absolutely heavenly (and feeling pretty revved up afterwards!)

Raw Honey – Unfortunately, most of the honey eaten today has been heavily processed. Like most foods that have been chemically refined, many of the healthful benefits have been reduced or eliminated. Commercial honey is often treated with an excessive heating process that can destroy some of the critical natural enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. That honey bear from CVS or the grocery store – I will bet your bottom dollar that honey is not real honey and contains zero nutritional benefit – just adds sugary sweet taste to your tea. Raw Honey is a miracle for allergies and respiratory ailments. Raw honey contains bits and pieces of pollen and honey, and as an immune system booster, it is quite powerful - especially if you are using raw honey to treat allergies, get honey that was raised closest to where you live, the closer the better since it will have more of exactly what you’ll need. As mentioned above with Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar – I now steer clear of traditional over-the-counter cold meds. Some tea and raw honey does the trick, naturally. Raw honey is the concentrated nectar of flowers that comes straight from the extractor; it is the only unheated, pure, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey. An alkaline-forming food, this type of honey contains ingredients similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It doesn’t ferment in the stomach and it can be used to counteract acid indigestion. When mixed with ginger andlemon juices, it also relieves nausea and supplies energy.

Spirulina – Sprirulina supports brain and eye health, cardiovascular health, maintain healthy thyroid function, and boosts immunity and energy levels. Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica thrives in ponds fed with 100% fresh potable water from Hawaiian aquifers and pure, deep ocean water drawn from 2000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Read my “Green Smoothie” blog post to see why I drink a detox Green Smoothie with kale and almond milk every morning.

Nutritional Yeast – Nutritional Yeast is called the “vegetarians’ protein” as it is a rich source of protein and contains a number of other nutrients. Read my “Creamy Vegan Mac N’ Cheese” blog post – nutritional yeast gives my dairy-free Mac N’ Cheese a cheesy taste with huge nutritional boost of B vitamins and oh so much more. It helps give you glowing skin. Yes - It’s a lovely thing.

Coconut Oil – I cook and bake mostly everything with Coconut Oil – especially when I lightly sautee veggies. Coconut oil has been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function, and escalate energy levels, all of which help decrease your unwanted fat, while increasing muscle. The good fat in coconut oil also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It also works wonders as a moisturizer for all skin types, especially dry skin – I lather it on my hands before bed and I love the way I smell like I’m in Hawai’i as I drift off to sleep. Also makes an amazing luxurious eye cream. 

This weekend sent my tummy and soul to paradise thanks to last night’s dinner at Pure Food and Wine followed a cooking class this evening led by my ayurvedic nutritionist Donnalynn Civello and Kevin Archer, the Master Chef at the cafe at Jivamukti Yoga School. When I eat like this, I can’t stop smiling. The zucchini lasagna at Pure Food and Wine was simply bliss. No noodles; instead basil pistachio pesto, sun-dried tomato marinara, macadamia pumpkin seed ricotta. Of course, room for dessert. Creamy ice-cream made with zero dairy, only raw cashews and pure goodness. Can’t forget the delicious sake martini. Sigh… 

After a solid Sunday night slumber it’ll be time to conquer the week. I’m fueled and ready to soar. Let’s do this.