Saturday, December 29, 2007

Let's Make A Mango Tango

This is a delightful tropical taste treat loaded with vitamins, minerals, and trace elements providing synergistic wellness.

Sure beats popping pills!

Mango Tango
8 oz freshly squeezed orange juice

one frozen banana

one banana (very ripe)at room temperature

one cup frozen mango cubes

torn leaves from 3- 4 kale stems (or more)

Blend fruit and juice

then add washed, torn kale leaves and pureé until smooth.

Drink up and Enjoy!

The Mango Tango

Friday, December 28, 2007

Raspberry Romaine Royale

When is green not green?

Here's a green smoothie that's like a leopard hiding its spots. The vibrant red of the raspberries overpowered the pale green of the Romaine leaves.

Every now and then I run out of dark green leafy produce. This was one of those days. With a trip to the produce market planned for later in the day, the best I could come up with this morning for breakfast was a crisp heart of Romaine, not quite as light as iceberg lettuce, but definitely on the pale side when compared to my favorites, kale and spinach.

But what a taste treat this combo produced, thick, rich and creamy. Sweet with just a tingle of tartness from the raspberries. This could easily pass for a frozen dessert.

Raspberry/Romaine Royale

1 cup apple juice

1 fresh banana

1 frozen banana

1 cup frozen raspberries

1 heart of Romaine

Blend well and enjoy - a spoon may be required!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Green Smoothie Queen Challenge

Here it is, the first day of the three day green smoothie challenge. The Raw Divas have put together some great, encouraging information, along with a grocery shopping list, some suggestions for wholesome, tasty combinations of fresh fruits and vegetables to help us all along as we pursue our own particular goal.

Some of us have chosen the raw food path as a means to weight loss. Others are looking for a better way to stay healthy, to prevent debilitating diseases and to build a strong immune system. Those of us who are ill, are looking for a more natural, holistic approach of treatment. And still others are eager to have baby-soft skin again with a glowing complexion free of blemishes. Isn't it amazing that what we eat or don't eat can play such a major role in all the scenarios above?

I first met up with The Raw Divas and their Seven Day Raw Food Detox in July. Since then, I've had a green smoothie EVERY morning. And my other two meals are usually raw. Big salads or for dinner, a light, cooked veggie assortment.

I have gone from a size 14 to a size 10.

I have superb energy, look good for my age (68), have soft skin and feel super. I will add that I'm a breast cancer survivor, twice. Once in 1983 and most recently, just this past month, November 2007. Eating well and carefully is very high on my priority list. I attribute eating well to the long 24 year span between episodes. But I could have done better. I ate no processed foods, avoided deadly whites, ate primarily vegetarian, but I certainly did fall prey to a sugar addiction as well as many rich, gourmet foods that while whole not processed, still were not the healthiest nutrient choices I could have made.

Here's the beginning of this morning's smoothie. I had half the finished rich, green smoothie for breakfast and the other half for lunch. This was a great tasting combo that consisted of the juice from two oranges, a frozen banana, a large chunk of fresh pineapple (about the equivalent of 4-5 rings), a handful of frozen mixed berries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries and 1/2 a 10oz bag of spinach.

I had a big glass full (12 ounces) for breakfast and the remaining big glass full for lunch. I just had a crisp, juicy organic Braeburn apple for my mid-afternoon snack. I plan on preparing another big green smoothie for dinner — soon. This one will have more veggies and less fruit. After all, it's dinner not breakfast now!

For those who are just embarking on the raw food lifestyle adventure, this may seem strange and contrary to the long established habit of eating cooked foods. But if you give it a shot with an eager open mind, it won't take long to see the results, feel the difference and have it become second nature to reach for the blender instead of the sauté pan when meal time rolls around.

Monday, December 10, 2007


The Kitchen Aid 5 Speed Blender

I recently treated myself to a new blender. Making a vibrant, green smoothie at least once a day, if not twice, increased my wish for a more powerful machine than the old Krups blender that has served me well for at least 15 years. The challenge with the Krups involved constantly stopping the machine and rearranging the frozen fruit, or pushing down the greens to get everything smooth and creamy.

I've been researching blenders. The Vita-Mix and/or the Breville are great machines if price isn't an issue. But if finding a reasonable, heavy-duty blender is your goal, This Kitchen Aid machine is great for a machine in the $100 range. Check out the details.

The first time I used it, it blew my mind, how quickly and thoroughly everything was pureed without any effort on my part except for pushing the button! Way to go.

If you're planning on joining The Raw Divas for the 3-day Green Smoothie Queen Challenge, having a blender is about the only piece of equipment you'll need along with a supply of fresh greens.
Diva Keely, has posted information, along with a great image of green smoothies charmingly held in a special green smoothie container imprinted with words that offer uplifting encouragement , as we consume these great drinks filled with live foods providing vibrant health and super energy.

It's not too late to sign up to join us for what promises to be a fun-filled experience starting December 17th.

Go Green!

Monday, December 03, 2007

What's Dreamy, Creamy and Green?

This may look like any other green smoothie, but let me tell you, it's not!

My neighbor brought me half of a beautifully ripe papaya from a local tree - no pesticides or fertilizers used. I blended it with a little water to move things along, added a frozen banana and two big hands full of spinach. This is absolutely scrum-delicious.

Check out the nutritional facts of the humble papaya. This is a delicious fruit that rates up in the top three of top nutritional fruits. Great as a digestion aid and particularly helpful to folks trying to lose weight.

The Raw Divas are hosting a 3-day green smoothie challenge beginning December 17th. Consider joining us. This would certainly qualify for a very green smoothie. Mildly sweet, rich and creamy, packed with unadulterated whole foods nutrition — without a taste hint of its healthy properties — just a mouth-pleasing, tummy soothing treat.

If you can find a fresh papaya, try this, it's fabulous. I'm going to check the freezer cases for fresh, frozen papaya chunks to use when local papayas aren't available. And I'm going to boldly ask my neighbor if there are any more where this papaya came from!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Easier Way to Cleanse and Get Your Dream Body - Kevin Gianni

Check out this informative article by Kevin in the latest issue of News Target. Kevin is the author of The Busy Person's Fitness Solution, check out his site for some great guidance and while there, sign-up for his newsletter.

I really enjoyed Kevin's analogy, comparing our fastidiousness with daily showers while completely ignoring the sludge/gunk /filthy build-up inside our bodies. It's our insides that allow us to function. What's up with that? Most of us completely ignore the important parts, the ones that don't show, while lavishing time and products on the parts that do. As if eye shadow and mascara will allow us to live longer and better.

Loved, too, the quote of the title of Jane Pentz's book, If You Don't Take Care of Your Body Where Will You Live?" Great food for thought, isn't it?

Check out Kevin's article. After reading it this morning, I donned the walking shoes and headed out with a new spring in my step. This was the first cleansing, BEFORE the shower and shampoo!

* * * * * * *
Book Nook
I managed to find quite a few 'good reads' over the past two months. Besides those listed, I started quite a few others, but gave them the Nancy Pearl treatment. To paraphrase:
Give a book 50 pages, if you can't get interested at that point, move on to another book. BUT if you're over 50 years of age, deduct your age from 100. The remainder is the number of pages you can afford to give a book that doesn't grab you from the first paragraph or at least the first page.
October 2007
Sweet Revenge Diane Mott Davidson
Flesh and Blood Michael Cunningham
Pontoon Garrison Keillor
Resurrection Row Anne Perry
The Bone Garden Tess Gerristen
Shoot Him If He Runs Stuart Woods
The Food Revolution John Robbins
Almost Moon Alice Seybold
World Without End Ken Follett
November 2007
Book of the Dead Patricia Cornwell
The Lottery Patricia Wood
Paris Trout Pete Dexter
The Way Life Should Be Christina Baker Kline
Montana Sky Nora Roberts
Bridge of Sighs Richard Russo
The Golden Notebook Doris Lessing
Now and Then Robert Parker
New England White Stephen L. Carter
Read - it's a great exercise for the mind, a relaxing escape, and it provides a wealth of enrichment.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's a Dicey Business
Israeli Salad
Kristen Makuch's latest newsletter has some great, easy-to-make, raw salad dressings, as well as instructions for making chopped salad to have on hand in the fridge. Reading it prodded me to make up a batch of Israeli salad — an old favorite, long neglected.

Check out Kristen's website and while there, sign up for her newsletter. It's a wonderful resource, filled with great ideas to give us some nice diversity on our raw food journey.

I first made an Israeli salad following Mollie Katzen's instructions in her fabulous cookbook, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. It was my first vegetarian cookbook, a Christmas gift in 1985 from my son, Bill. Many more of Ms Katzen's volumes have found there way into my collection over the years, but the first one is perhaps the most memorable . It was certainly the most used.

Mollie's version includes minced dill pickle, sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives as well as sliced radishes. Most versions you find on the Internet are pretty straight forward with a simple dice of tomato, cucumber, scallions, parsley (or an assortment of fresh herbs such as dill and/or mint). The salad is dressed with a little olive oil and the juice from a large lemon. For the sake of 'raw', I made mine without the added olives and pickles and no radishes, but only because I had no radishes in the house.

Basic Israeli Salad

3 Kirby cukes, unpeeled, diced

3 plum tomatoes, diced

3 sliced green onions - white and green part

1 medium red pepper, diced

1/2 - 1 cup finely-minced fresh parsley

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1 large lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper

Toss all ingredients together gently and chill. It keeps well in the refrigerator for several days and is great served on its own, but I like to incorporate it with fresh, crisp lettuce.

This big bowl of juicy, crunchy greens with the vibrant, flavorful diced vegetables makes a super lunch or quick supper. With the Israeli salad ready in the fridge, washing and spinning some hearts of Romaine makes for an instant meal.

For those of you who are pursuing a whole foods diet, but not necessarily 100% raw, here's a nice little finishing touch:

Ciabatta with fresh ricotta and organic fig spread.

The bread, organic white whole wheat, is sliced super thin, then lightly smeared with a teaspoon of fresh ricotta cheese and a half teaspoon of fig spread. Low on calories, big on flavor — a wonderful way to finish off a light veggie meal and the perfect mate for a mellow Merlot.

Whole fresh foods — fabulous flavors, nifty nutrition — give it a try.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Champagne Omelette

Enough of the holiday leftovers, I said. Yet, when I opened the fridge to get out the eggs, I found another leftover — a forlorn, opened, bottle of bubbly with a decent amount left, sans bubbles, to be sure, but with a lovely, dry, fruity, lasting reminder that there's still some life left after the mimosas have been consumed.

I planned on sautéing some minced sweet onion, and red pepper with a small diced Yukon Gold spud. After the mix began to sauté in a little olive oil, I gave the vegetable medley a pinch of kosher salt, a few grinds of spicy peppercorns, and then a generous splash of the flat sparkling wine. I popped on a lid, for a few moments, to let the flavors marry, and give the veggies a little steambath in the fruity haze. Then with the lid removed, I turned up the heat a bit to let the liquid evaporate and to finish up the peppers, potatoes and onions as they turned a lovely golden brown, before adding two well beaten eggs whisked with a little half and half, a touch of salt, a few grinds of fresh pepper and a scattering of basil chiffonade.

Following my grandmother's frequent admonishment to "waste not; want not", I poured the remainder of the flat bubbly into a flute to enjoy with the plated omelette, a sliced tomato and a bit of sweet roll.

Among the many gifts and surprises my sons bestowed on me over the holiday weekend was a little individual panettone which turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to my hastily improvised champagne omelette.

Another simple, quick kitchen adventure.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dressing with a Twist

Shortly before Turkey Day, I ran across Mark Bittman's take on a simple, crunchy dressing. One that's cooked outside of the bird, without eggs or stock. A light bready side accompaniment that turned out to be the prize winner of the assortment of food platters presented.

We've decided this is a must for the repertoire as it could easily be used with other animal offerings, how about as a side with pork chops?

But it will be a big hit with vegetarians as a great alternative filling for stuffed peppers, stuffed zucchini, perhaps wrapped in grape or cabbage leaves? Or as an interesting crunchy side with steamed veggies.

The easy instructions lend themselves nicely to alternative renditions. Changing the nuts, using different herbs, including other additions. I added sliced chestnuts to our Thanksgiving version. Dried cherries or even bits of dried apricots would be a lovely alternative with perhaps toasted hazelnuts in place of the walnuts.

I've noticed that the simple, yet very flavorful preparations that Mark Bittman offers, lend themselves very nicely to experimenting with variations or to using what's on hand.

Here's the New York Times video presentation of Mark making this tasty dressing:

I used multi-grain, many seeded baguettes from Whole Foods Bakery along with sliced chestnuts, walnuts and the recommended tarragon. We've been eating the leftovers with a little gravy for breakfast, lunch and snacks. Two baguettes makes a lot of dressing!

Add this one to your files. It's a keeper!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tropical Delight
Pineapples are flooding the market at reasonable prices. Take advantage. The combination of freshly squeezed orange juice, banana and fresh pineapple is a lovely light combo that makes a fine base for adding any dark leafy green. Romaine, kale, spinach are good choices.

This smoothie incorporates young spinach leaves, producing a very mild mix with no hint of bitter greens.

I used juice from 2 oranges, 1 cup of filtered water, 1 frozen banana, 1 fresh banana, approximately 1/4 of a fresh pineapple and once that was completely blended, added two big handfuls of spinach leaves.

Blend away and start your day! Delicious.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fried Pie? Oh, Yeah!

This week one of my favorite cooks, food writers and New York Times columnist, featured a fried pizza. Leave it to Mark Bittman to tweak my curiosity yet again with a new twist on an old favorite. But it seems it's not truly a new twist.

My friend, Helen, tells me her aunt in Italy, fries dough all the time, and often it's served with just a coating of herbs and garlic. Nice accompaniment to soup or salad and a fine light bite to nosh with wine.

In addition to being intrigued with this novel method of cooking a pizza, I was pleased with the added benefit of not running the oven at 500° for an hour to get it as hot as possible, then another 25 - 30 minutes to bake the pizza. Not only because it narrows the gap between cooking and eating, but it also doesn't waste kilowatts. Going green is a good goal!

Here's Mark Bittman's pie professionally
photographed by Evan Sung of the NY Times.

Notice it has meat, tomatoes, cheese and fresh basil. The basic premise is simple: fried dough with a few fresh toppings. The fewer toppings the faster it cooks. With more toppings, adding a lid or running it under the broiler is suggested.

While I'd like to eat 100% raw, I'm not there yet. But I do curb the servings of cooked foods I eat. Additionally, I limit them to non-processed, whole, vegetarian foods. This quick stove top version of pizza filled the bill and provided a very satisfying Saturday night quick supper.

I had a jump start on the prep work as I had whole wheat pizza dough snuggled in the freezer. Early in the day, I took out a ball to defrost in the fridge and then let it rest at room temperature for a half hour before I started cooking.

A batch of pizza dough makes four 8 -10" pizzas. I use a very basic recipe and have had great success using King Arthur Organic White Whole Wheat flour.

Dough: 1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 tsp); 1 cup warm water (105° - 115°); 3 1/2 - 4 cups whole wheat flour; 4 TBS olive oil; 1 tsp salt.Mix dough ingredients, knead until smooth, let rise in oiled bowl. Once fully risen, punch down and form into four balls. Proceed with recipe or wrap well and freeze.

I used a very simple topping of one sliced vine-ripened tomato; 6 pitted and chopped Calamata olives, a handful of grated mozzarella cheese and a little dried herb mix of basil, oregano, dried red chili and sea salt.

Process: Prepare topping ingredients of your choice. Roll out dough to a 10" round. Heat 10" or 12" skillet over medium heat, add a thin layer of olive oil and when it shimmers, arrange dough in pan and continue cooking until bottom browns. Turn dough over in pan, arrange toppings on browned crust and continue cooking until bottom side is browned, toppings are warm, and cheese is melted. Add a lid to help warm toppings or alternatively, place under broiler to finish. With light toppings, as pictured above, adding a lid for a few minutes melted the cheese quickly and the whole process from start to finish didn't take but 5 - 6 minutes.

I'm eager to experiment with other toppings to produce some interesting flat bread snacks.

• Arugula, fig and goat cheese with tarragon • Spinach, roasted garlic and feta with oregano • Caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes and smoked mozzarella with basil.

Combinations are limitless and will be fun to play around with. Drizzles of flavored oil when serving can add another interesting dimension. Bring on the wine and let the party begin!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Now, This Is Really Green

Drinking up a true green drink seemed a bit formidable to me a few months ago, but I made the gradual transition from standard breakfast fare to fruit smoothies, then added greens to the fruit smoothies and now I've gone to another level with mostly greens, juiced with just a bit of sweet veggies and/or a bit of fruit.
Once I'm drinking dynamite juice made with all fresh, organic green veggies, I'll have arrived at a good plateau toward my goal of achieving optimum health.
Meanwhile, I'm having a grand time, filled with energy and a sense of adventure as I experiment with combinations that are easy to swallow, yet still offer a wide variety of nutrients.

The glass of green juice above is simply:
2 Kirby cucumbers
1/2 bag of baby spinach (6 oz)
half a cantaloupe.
I chose to juice this combo rather than blend it, though it would work equally well in the blender, but wouldn't have the clear, deep green color. The added benefit to using a blender is keeping all the fiber from the pulp rather than extruding it in a juicer. I was aiming for a pre-dinner juice, not a meal replacement. But it turned out to be dinner, as it filled me sufficiently.

Someone asked me how to eliminate the foam that is created with juicing — I tried two methods.
First, I tried straining the juice into the drinking glass and only had a very small 'head' as you can see in the image below.
Then, I tried carefully pouring the juice into the serving glass, allowing the clear juice to slip out from underneath the layer of foam. Straining was a time consuming step that I'd just as soon eliminate. Pouring slowly at a good angle worked for me. I suppose you could skim off the top foamy layer much as you would if you were de-greasing gravy. If anyone still does that.

The foam is fine to drink. "Waste not; want not."

Experiment with a green drink — it's much tastier than you think!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Green Goddess

Green drinks have become a staple in my smoothie repertoire, whether a fruit combo for breakfast or a straight veggie drink for lunch. An image of either doesn't look much different as the green color dominates. With a fresh pineapple on hand, yesterday I blended with kale and this morning I used spinach.

Here are a few ideas to add lots of green goodness to your daily diet.

Green Goddess
1 cup water
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 big handful frozen peach slices
3 - 4 pieces of kale with stems removed
2 big hands full of spinach

Luncheon Green Drink

2 Kirby cukes, peeled and chopped

1 stalk of celery, minced finely

4-5 big dark Romaine leaves

2-3 kale leaves only

1/2 bunch of cilantro

1 minced apple (for sweetness)

If I were making this in a juicer instead of a blender, I would have included a couple of carrots for sweetness instead of the apple. My blender can handle apple but it chokes up on carrot!

And for those who'd like a little cooked food, how about some curried vegetables?
This mix includes: sweet onion, sweet red bell pepper, jalepeño, green beans & cauliflower.

Quick and Easy Curry Stir-Fry (serves two)

1 TBS olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

2 TBS hot curry powder (Madras)

1 sweet onion, cut in wedges or thickly sliced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into florets

1/2 lb of green beans, in 1/4 inch slices

1 plum tomato, sliced

This is not an authentic rendition of Indian curry, but it's a fast, tasty supper. Quantities are approximate, increase based on number of servings desired.

Over medium heat start the garlic and curry powder in the olive oil, as the garlic becomes fragrant (not browned) add onions and red pepper, sauté for a few minutes then add cauliflower and green beans. Toss to coat well with curried oil and continue to cook over medium heat until veggies are crisp tender, toss in sliced tomatoes and combine for another minute or two.

Another option is to add a can of coconut milk toward the end and cook down for a few minutes to make a luscious sauce.

Till next time. . . Eat Well!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Not All Salads Are Created Equal

Often, when someone says 'salad', we think of the standard, boring, tossed salad: lettuce, cuke, tomato, pehaps some onion and a few croutons, all drenched in calorie laden dressing.

Big green salads, loaded with bits of other raw vegetables are a mainstay for the raw foodist and also compromise a good portion of the diet of most vegans. The big energy boost, along with the wealth of nutrients a well combined salad provides, makes it the ideal meal for most of us.

Combinations of fruit and vegetables, leafy greens and crunchy sprouts make interesting salad ingredients. The possibilities are only limited by our imaginations and what's available at the market.

The salad above contains slivered spinach, thinly sliced green cabbage, a little sliced red onion, chopped fresh cilantro, a generous sprinkling of snack sprouts, a bit of fresh pineapple and a sliced banana. This combination seems to have a bit of an Asian theme.

Alternating different dressings can give the same salad a distinctly different flavor and helps to avoid any sense of boredom from eating the same old thing day in and day out.

I highly recommend Nomi Shannon's wonderful book, The Raw Gourmet, for ideas on salad combinations and easy to make raw dressings.

I made up a small amount of Asian Dressing, from Nomi's book, using a fraction of the amounts called for as this was a salad for one, not a family.

With a base of raw tahini, a bit of tamari, some good oil, grated ginger, garlic and a sprinkling of Chinese 5-spice powder, a pinch of cayenne and cumin, it took no time to shake up a little tasty dressing. Dressing leftovers will store well tightly covered in the fridge.

This book is one of my favorite resources providing great ideas for interesting, healthy meals.
The salad pictured below isn't actually in the book, but browsing through the various offerings, all beautifully photographed by Edmond Fong, gave me the basic idea for combining spinach and cabbage as a great green, crunchy base.

Use your imagination and fill the salad bowl with fresh, juicy, crunchy greens and lots of other fabulous fruits and vegetables to round out the meal.

Till next time . . . To eat well; eat raw.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Disguise the Green

Would you like the benefits of a green smoothie without it being green?

The deep color of blackberries rules in this smoothie.

This morning, quite by chance, I blended up a neat combination that included a couple of bright green stalks of kale, apple juice, banana and blackberries. The resulting smoothie is royal purple in color without a trace of bitter kale flavor.

1 cup apple juice

1 frozen banana

1 cup blackberries

2 stalks of kale, curly leaves only - no stems

1/2 cup of water (if needed to thin it out)

I suspect the sweetness of the apple juice contributes a good deal to the smooth, sweet flavor.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fresh Roll-Ups

Saturday lunch time rolled around and I faced decision time again. With a fridge and counter top filled with a new supply of fresh produce, the options were plentiful. What to have for lunch?

I'd brought home two ears of yellow corn, small but well filled out. Young ears, picked before the kernels had reached full maturity, and definitely before they'd lost a lot of flavor and tenderness. With veggies, smaller is most often better. It's late in the season to find ears of corn still in the husk, with the corn silk not all dried out. I knew I'd best use them up quickly to get the most nutrition and best flavor.

The veggie bin held some odds and ends and while I'd brought home a nice array of organic, vine-ripened tomatoes, they still needed a few days on the window sill to reach their best flavor. But I had a couple dozen grape tomatoes, red and juicy sitting on the counter begging to be used up quickly.

Armed with half a large red bell pepper, a few slices of red onion, a medium sized green jalepeño pepper and some bright green outer leaves of Romaine—I set about preparing lunch.

Aside from the many nutritional benefits derived from eating fresh raw fruits and vegetables, is the added advantage of the ease and speed with which a meal can be prepared. I quickly sliced the kernels from the cobs, minced up the couple of slices of red onion, minced the piece of red pepper and the jalepeño and just for the novelty, instead of simply slicing the grape tomatoes in half, I sliced them up, too.

Once all tossed together, I added the zest from a lemon and the juice from half the lemon. Some fresh herbs would be an interesting optional addition. The large romaine leaves made juicy, fun wraps for scoopfuls of the veggie medley. Have an abundance of napkins handy.
OR . . .

For those who prefer their salad eaten with a fork rather than out of hand, and for those who are not looking for a 100% raw rendition, here's the same salad tossed with the Romaine leaves torn into bite sized pieces, tossed with a little olive oil and a dash of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of crumbled goat cheese. Still a great way to include lots of fresh veggies to a meal or as a meal.

Eating out of hand, with no processed additions, is juicy good and lots of fun!

Till next time . . . to eat well; eat raw.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Last October I posted a note about the need for more emphasis on education and prevention and less on detection as a means for women to conquer breast cancer. Here's that post:

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Before you fork out dough for more walks for the cure and pink ribboned paraphernalia . . . think about the industry you're supporting. Cancer is big business. Why is all the money and emphasis being spent on detection and cure? What ever happened to seeking PREVENTION? Why are women not being educated as to how they can prevent this deadly disease instead of waiting to be diagnosed with it and then looking for a cure?

A pharmaceutical pot o' gold, and we all buy into it year after year. Shame on us.
Researchers at the Nordic Cochrane Center in Denmark studied 500,000 women to determine the results of breast cancer screening programs. They found that for every one woman helped by breast cancer screening, ten were harmed through false diagnosis or unnecessary treatments that devastated their health.

October is here again, and the big business of breast cancer is alive and well and extremely profitable. Take a gander at all the companies that have jumped on the bandwagon with their Think Pink messages. Many of these companies are selling products that contribute to cancer. They are asking us to buy more of their products so we can get more cancer, and generous souls that they are, they will donate a few cents from each purchase to the many lucrative, non-profit cancer outfits.

Have you ever thought about why The American Cancer Society isn't called The American Anti-Cancer Society? Must be they are cancer advocates, huh? Think about it, if you're not for it, you must be against it, then conversely, if you aren't against it, you must be for it, right?

Mike Adams, at NewsTarget, has covered this topic with more erudition and depth than I can begin to muster. Read his informative, eye-opening article on Breast Cancer Deception.

As a breast cancer victim, survivor, woman, and concerned citizen, I firmly believe it is a mandate for every woman to become more familiar with the literature on how one can avoid known carcinogens — factors that have been proven to contribute to breast cancer and also, to be knowledgeable about the known steps we can take to prevent this aggressive disease that will strike one in every— how many women?
Currently, it's one in seven. Notice that ratio increases with each passing year as we ingest more synthetic chemicals and toxins from our food, water, air, clothing, cleaning products, etc.

For an eye opening exposé of the correlation between synthetic chemicals to the common, near epidemic, diseases we now face read: The One Hundred Year Lie by Randall Fitzgerald.

Check out an organization that is actively AGAINST breast cancer and all the contributing factors that have proven to be precursors of the dreaded disease. Breast Cancer Action (BCA).

• Help support a worthwhile cause by joining the Think Before You Pink campaign. Contribute financially and use the leverage of your influential purchasing power by NOT purchasing pink items that contribute to breast cancer and / or other debilitating diseases.

• Make it your business to know what's in the products you buy: the food you serve your family, the cleaning agents you use in your home, the cosmetics and beauty products you use on your skin and hair, the synthetic fabrics in your clothing.

• Don't expect the guy who is making his living by selling you these items to inform you they are harmful — find out for yourself if they are harmful or not.

• Don't wait for cancer to strike and then look for a treatment. Make it your first priority to find out how you can contribute to your own well being by taking essential steps to prevent it.

As women we need to unite and speak up for our healthful rights.
• Don't let big business, whether it's the medical community, the pharmaceutical companies, the chemical companies, or factory farm food giants dictate our future. Take Action Now.

Cartoon courtesy of Mike Adams, the Health Ranger at NewsTarget .com.

Till next time . . . Be Well

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Luncheon Smoothie

I spend a lot of time wandering around the 150+ raw food blogs out there. At one point, I jotted down an interesting green smoothie combo and today I happened to have all the necessary ingredients to give it a whirl. I wish I had made a note of where I found this suggestion to give it proper attribution.

My fellow bloggers, Heidi and Justin, at Raw Food Right Now never post someone else's recipes, even with attribution - now I see why. But on the other hand, I'm not copying someone's whole oeuvre, just one little list of ingredients to make a pleasantly mild, palatable green smoothie.

This had no name but I like thinking of it as :

Pale Kale Ale
1 cup green grapes (I used red - see specks)

1 orange, peeled and sectioned

1 ripe pear

1 banana (frozen or fresh)

1 cup kale

1/2 cup water

I added a couple of ice cubes to the glass as I drank it. The taste improves with a bit of chilling.

If you don't have a heavy duty VitaMix, blend the ingredients in a regular blender adding a few at a time, rather than tossing everything in at once and expecting the poor machine to be something it isn't. As you can see, my smoothie isn't perfectly smooth (no VitaMix), there are a few flecks from the grape skin, this doesn't affect the taste and adds a nice little flourish of color.

I started with the grapes and orange and when they were liquified, added the pear and water, then the kale and then finally a frozen banana, broken into pieces. I also found it just a tad bitter, so I blended in a couple of tablespoons of raisins. Two or three dates would work well, too. Just a little bit of natural sweetness to round out the flavors.

I'm getting far more adventurous with savory smoothies — adding a lot of greens to the blender is an adventure! For a host of valuable information on the raw food lifestyle along with a plentiful supply of easy to make smoothies and other recipes, check out this Living and Raw Foods site.

Till next time . . . to eat well; eat raw.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Everything But The Kitchen Sink
My morning smoothie is built of what's in the house. Some days it's a two item deal, cantaloupe and spinach, for instance, and other days it takes on a whole new persona with a myriad of ingredients that is only limited by my imagination.

Take today, I started with a store bought 12 oz container of coconut water (shhhh). Then my standard daily potassium dose — a frozen banana. The freezer provided a handful of mango chunks and a generous handful of sweet black cherries. Blend away.
I turned to get the container of aloe vera flakes and the package of cacao nibs caught my eye. Chocolate and cherry sure sounded like a winner to me. If you've used raw cacao nibs, you know they need a little sweetener to boost the flavor, so I added about a tablespoon of raw agave nectar and gave the concoction a final vigorous blend.

Now I sip and chew. The nibs are adding a whole new experience to my morning meal. I drink my smoothies through a straw - fortunately the straw is large enough to accommodate the nibs and I'm getting a small serving with each slurp. This is a combo that would do well to be tossed in the ice cream maker to be frozen and served as dessert. Guess I'll work on that one.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Purple Passion

It would appear if you've seen one, you've seen them all. These morning fruit smoothies that I've taken to consuming have also sparked great interest, at least on my part, in developing some unique taste treats, pleasant perspectives, assuring nifty nutrients with convenient concocting. I was almost hoist on my own petar with all that alliteration.

The addition of a generous portion of blueberries assures a purple product regardless of the other ingredients. So you can easily make your own purple passion to suit your taste and what's available in the pantry, fridge or freezer.

With summer pretty much behind us, in Florida the thermometer belies the calendar, having a plentiful supply of fresh fruit is limited now to bananas, apples and pears with other selections brought in from far afield. While I try to 'eat local', it's not always feasible. But I do draw the line and try to 'eat regionally' and insist on eating only produce that is grown in the USA. I really don't require berries from Israel, oranges from Central America, asparagus from Peru, etc.

I have now resorted to stocking the freezer with an assortment of frozen fruit along with my own stash of frozen bananas and Georgia peaches. There are marvelous options in the freezer case. Just be sure to read the labels. You want ONLY fruit in that package and preferably organic fruit.

Today's Purple Passion is a sprightly combination:

1 cup of pineapple juice
1 banana
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 handful of dried goji berries (from Good Cause Wellness)
1 spoonful of aloe with raspberry (from Good Cause Wellness)

Enjoy a fruit smoothie anytime of day, but they're especially good for breakfast.

Till next time. . . To eat well; eat raw.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Get Your Goji Berries

This morning's smoothie was an unusual combination of pineapple, banana and blackberries with a handful of dried goji berries tossed in near the end of the blending along with a half teaspoon of aloe with raspberry flakes. The fruit was frozen and I used coconut water to blend it all.

I recently read John Cole's excellent article on the benefits of goji berries featured in NewsTarget and was spurred on to use goji berries more liberally in my daily food preparations. John does talk of a reasonable supplier for the berrries, as opposed to the small packages available on the shelves of our local markets, but he doesn't provide the source. I've purchased certified organic, vegan goji berries from Good Cause Wellness, a reliable supplier of excellent supplements at reasonable prices.
Check out the remarkable aloe products available at Good Cause Wellness, too, and the unique way the aloe is processed to assure the highest quality while providing ultimate benefits.
Adding whole food supplements to our daily diet will boost the nourishment our bodies need, even if we are 100% raw, and are all the more important if we haven't made it to 100% yet!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Berry Good, Indeed!
Starting the morning off with a blend of fresh and frozen fruits is a berry good choice.

The Raw Divas recently posted a smoothie combination, sent in by Keely Bush, that consisted of apple juice, dark cherries, blueberries and frozen banana. Keely calls it a BBC. (Blueberries, Bananas and Cherries). Without having to change the name, I simply substituted blackberries for the blueberries. The smoothie pictured above is equally delicious. But do try Keely's combo, too.

This glass is filled with vibrant color, piquant flavor and super nutrition and like most fruit smoothies, lends itself easily to many variations. For instance, Keely used apple juice in her rendition, I used coconut water yesterday and today, I used a cup of pomegranate juice. Varying the choice of berries provides the body with a wider array of nutrients, too.

One cup of liquid (choice of juices or even filtered water)
one banana (I used unfrozen - but frozen would be great, too)
1/2 cup of frozen sweet black cherries
1/2 cup of frozen blackberries
1/4 cup dried Goji berries (optional)

This makes one generous serving. Increase the amounts accordingly to accommodate more servings.
Getting a jump start on the day with a quick and easy to prepare fruit smoothie is one of the best ways to start on the path to a healthier lifestyle. Adding a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to each subsequent meal during the day will not only improve our overall energy level but will effortlessly allow us to cut back on processed treats, empty calories and junk food, helping the body do what it was intended to do: provide vibrant health while healing itself.

Till next time . . . To eat well; eat raw!