Monday, February 27, 2012

The Incredible Healing Power of Raw Foods

Today I received Danny Vierra's newsletter which included a very inspiring youtube clip of healing testimonials of patients that have gone through his clinic at Bella Vita.  Danny is a very spiritual man and is passionate about what he does.  I have attended Danny's Health and Healing Crusade in Lodi, California.  He has had some very notable guest speakers including Charlotte Gerson of the Gerson Institute (cancer clinic), Dr. John McDougall, and Dr. Richard Schulze (manufacturer of high quality medicinal herbs and  instructional books  on how to heal from disease) among others.  Danny has done so much to help educate people about natural methods of healing.  He primarily uses juicing and raw foods and methods such as juice fasting, hydrotherapy and cold sheet treatments.  The effects of  this diet on the human body are nothing short of miraculous!  People heal of all sorts of ailments - including cancer (although never 100% guaranteed).  People report feeling rejuvenated and freed from the burden of so many debilitating maladies.

It makes me sad when I hear of people going from doctor to doctor trying to find the perfect drug to achieve healing without making any lifestyle changes.  Maybe I'm just one of the few who subscribes to this way of thinking, but healing can never come from chemicals!  When it comes to chronic disease, all drugs do is mask symptoms.  It is just counter intuitive for me to think that some drug is going to make me feel vibrant and alive.   The human body is very resilient. If we stop forcing our bodies to ingest dead, processed, chemically laden foods and If we instead provide the foods that were designed for our consumption, healing begins.  It's just that simple.  Check out Danny's video here.  Danny has also put out a documentary.  Here is the trailer. 

This weekend I also saw another documentary that is so very inspiring!  You must watch it!  It's called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  Here is the trailer for it. Joe Cross, the producer of this film also has a website with resources and info.

Coconut Palm Sugar

In response to my last post, a friend of mine gave me a tip on coconut palm sugar.  Thanks, Jolene!  This info just confirms to me what an amazing fruit coconut is.  It truly is a superfood.  This sweetener is low on the glycemic  index and it's actually good for you!  Check out information about this sweetener here.  Also, Dr. Oz just recently did a segment on it here.  As with almost anything, you can find this product on Amazon.

Enjoy the Journey!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sprouting 101

There are two things I highly recommend, green smoothies and sprouts.  Including highly nutritious food in your diet shouldn't break the bank.  As I mentioned before, superfoods from all different parts of the world are fantastic, but greens and sprouts are a very inexpensive way to drastically increase your nutritional intake.

Why sprout?

Sprouts are an incredible act of nature.  I marvel at the unbelievable transformation that occurs when a seed, legume or grain meets the right conditions.  Grains, legumes and seeds are basically  dormant packages that are acidic in pH and have there own inherent nutritive value.  When a seed or grain sprouts, it is putting forth an incredible effort to become a viable plant, to become rooted and eventually to bear fruit.  To say that soaking seeds and grains  increases the nutritional value exponentially is an understatement.  It is an outright explosion of nutrition!  Live enzymes begin to die in produce as soon as they are picked.  Sprouts, on the other hand, are teeming with live enzymes and they increase in enzymes and nutritive value as they grow into sprouts or micro greens.  They also change from acidic to alkaline.  Sprouts are biogenic, meaning that they are able to transfer their life force to the human body when consumed.  In other words, high octane nutrition from these little powerhouses translates into high energy output from the human body.

To give you an idea of the increase, here are a few examples.  When wheat is sprouted, vitamin B12 quadruples.  B vitamins increase between 3 and 12 times.  Vitamin E triples and fiber content increases 3 to 4 times.  When mung beans sprout, Vitamin A increases two and a half times.  Some nutritients in certain grains, seeds or legumes increase up to 500% more than before sprouting.  Read the section titled "The marvel of sprouts" under the section "Eat more sprouts" here at

It wasn't until I added sprouts to my diet that I noticed the skin around my eyes plump up with collagen, making my crow's feet wrinkles disappear.  I also find that I haven't gotten sick in a very long time.   Be sure to make your own sprouts.  There's no telling how long store bought sprouts have been sitting around and what kind of spraying they undergo to remain "fresh." Sprouting at home is incredibly cheap and yields the best quantity and quality of nutrition for pennies on the dollar!

How to sprout:

One thing I love about sprouting is how amazingly simple it is.  This is a basic method for sprouting.  Using purified water, soak seeds, grains or legumes overnight and drain all water out in the morning.  Rinse twice a day making sure to drain water out completely.  Be sure you have grains, seeds and legumes that are alive and not dead from years of storage.  Raw nuts will not sprout but will become alkaline after soaking.  There is only one grain that goes bad quickly- quinoa.  Soak this grain for two hours and use it soon after.  Forget storing it for more than 24 hours; it will go bad.  Here is a sprouting chart to know how long it takes to sprout certain seeds, grains or legumes.

Tools of the trade:

These are some items used to sprout.  A simple bowl will work for the job.  Canning jars may also be used with lids like these from 

Sprouting trays are touted as best because of the air circulation that they afford the sprouts.  More air and better drainage prevents mold from growing.  You can either make your own if you are so inclined or buy one from Amazon like these.  You can also use sprouting bags such as the one below from

Try to add about 1 cup of sprouts to your diet  per day.  Don't stop there, increase this by as much as you would like.  Here are some more popular seeds, grains and legumes to sprout:
alfalfa, almonds, lentils, mung beans, sesame, sunflower, and wheat.  In the next post I will share some simple recipes and ideas to add sprouts to your diet.


 You can find seeds, grains and legumes at, or Amazon.  I sprout lentils that I pick up at my local grocery store.  I also find sproutable grains and seeds at Roots.  If you would like to read more about sprouting, I recommend The Sprouting Book by Ann Wigmore.

The sad news about agave nectar:

On another note.  Did you see Kimberly Snyder's post on foods you should never eat?  Agave nectar is one of them.  This makes me so sad, I love agave.  I'm not a fan of stevia.  Raw honey is very good for you but it is higher on the glycemic index.  I have been able to wean myself off sweeteners.  Sunday through Friday I never use them.  But I have used agave when I cook for my family.    Back to the drawing board!

Enjoy the journey!

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Favorite Raw Recipe Books

I have been asked what my favorite raw prep books are.  I never know what to call them.  They aren't cook books.  So what on earth do you call them?  Raw prep books?  Raw recipe books? Anyhow, I have purchased several books and a few stand out to me.  I have chosen these based on ease of preparation.  This is especially important if you are starting out.  The second criteria is taste.  It would be very miserable to eat food that just doesn't taste good.  Your taste buds can and will adjust and you will find that you no longer need so much sweetness, or whatever tastes and flavors you are addicted to.  You must allow at least two weeks to begin to appreciate new flavors.  I have found however, that people who aren't accustomed to raw foods, still like the recipes in the books I will be listing.   

Raw Energy by Stephanie Tourles:
I love this book because it has very simple kid friendly recipes with easy to find ingredients.  The emphasis of this book  is on preparing snack foods.  The first third of this book is dedicated to the whys and wherefores of eating raw foods.  The last two thirds are for the recipes.  She has a section on nut milks, smoothies and frozen fruit creams.  Another sections on energy bars, balls, and trail mix recipes.  She includes breakfast foods, parfaits, chips, dips, and spreads.  Lastly she has sweet indulgences.  My mouth is watering!

Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet:
The thought of going raw or mostly raw is daunting enough for most people.  Throw in a complicated raw preparation book and the task becomes an impossibility.  I love it when all I see are maybe five ingredients and they all look easy to find.  This book has many very good recipes!  My favorite is the chocolate mousse.  I can float ten feet off the ground with that one!

Live Raw by Mimi Kirk:
If you remember, Mimi Kirk was voted the sexiest vegetarian over 50 at age 70!  These recipes are very flavorful and delicious.  Some require harder to find ingredients.  But honestly, it is only as hard as ordering from Amazon.   Don't you just love Amazon?  The Prime membership is fantastic!  Mimi has put together a great collection of recipes.  Some absolutely scrumptious!

Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis:
Sarma Melngailis is the very beautiful chef and owner of Pure Food and Wine in Manhattan, New York.  This book is more involved but why not have a more involved book in your collection?  This would be a perfect book for special occasions and for a more gourmet presentation of raw foods.  It is also better for entertaining larger groups of people.  However, she does have very simple recipes in this book.  I have loved everything that I have tried.  Her desserts look decadently out of this world.  I choose one day out of the week for sweets.  I love indulging in delectable raw desserts and knowing that I'm not harming my body.  Bypass the dairy, bleached flours, butter, sugar and eggs for amazing flavors that rival any dessert you can imagine.  Yes, even non vegetarian people loves these desserts!

Don't forget the raw food blogs!  I have a few listed in my blog list but there are more online.  Be sure to search those as well.

Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In Remembrance

In loving memory of my brother-in-law Howard Kevin Krause

November 15, 1958 - February 13, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Green Smoothie Recipes

I hit the ground running when I came home from Florida.  I arranged flowers for a Valentine's event in honor of a dear friend of mine.  She is probably one of the classiest ladies I know.  You should check out her website.  She is a pro at all things pertaining to etiquette.  Do you mind if I share?  Here are some photos of the work I did.

On to green smoothies!  I want to begin by giving you a basic outline for green smoothies.  It isn't rocket science.  I'm sure you will eventually develop recipes of your own.  I begin with 1- 2 cups of water, add greens, add fruit and top it off with more water or almond milk.  When I first started I would also use orange juice to top it off.  I don't drink orange juice anymore.  Juice, unless freshly made at home, is nothing but empty calories. (Or should I say harmful calories?  Check out the previous link!)  So, to be safe, I avoid it.   I like to supplement my smoothies by adding flax or chia seed.  You also could use whatever superfoods you have on hand (e.g., maca root, goji berries, acai berries).  Although some of the recipes shown in this post have several ingredients, try to choose no more than five or six different ingredients for your smoothie, so that your body may assimilate the nutrients more easily.  You may also sweeten your smoothies with agave nectar (make sure it is raw and organic), stevia, raw honey or dates.

I made a very basic smoothie for the photo below.

2-4 cups of water
2 handfuls of spinach
1 chard leaf
1 large apple
1 large orange
frozen strawberries

If this were for my kids or someone new to green smoothies, I would probably add 1 -2 bananas and a few dates.  Please adjust ingredients to make your smoothies to your liking! 

My carafe before blending

I have added a blog list on my right bar.  One of my favorite blogs is written by celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder.  I highly recommend it.  She posts very frequently and provides an immense amount of very important information.  She recommends a mostly raw, plant based diet.  In fact, there is very little information on her site with which I disagree.  Below is the green smoothie recipe that she puts all her clients on. 

Kimberly Snyder's Glowing Green Smoothie:

Ingredients (64 ounces / 2-4 servings)

  • 1 ½- 2 cups very cold, filtered water
  • 6 cups spinach, chopped
  • 5 cups organic romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 stalks of organic celery
  • 1 organic apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 organic pear, cored and chopped
  • 1 organic banana
  • 1–2 Tbs. fresh organic lemon juice

Optional Ingredients

  • Ice cubes (the extra coldness can help newbies with the taste)
  • 1/2 cup of organic cilantro
  • 1/2 cup of organic parsley


Add water, spinach and chopped romaine to the blender. Starting the blender on a low speed; mix until smooth.
Gradually move to higher speeds and add the herbs, celery, pear, and apple. Add the banana and lemon juice last.
*For 1 serving, cut out one of the fruits and the celery.

I hope you will choose to invest in a Vitamix blender.  Yes, it is an investment in your health.  Along with your purchase of the blender, Vitamix will give you a cookbook with lots of recipes.  Included are green smoothie recipes.  This is one that I found on their website.

Vitamix Smoothie Recipe:

  • 1 cup green grapes
  • 1 (130 g) orange, peeled
  • 1/2 Bartlett pear
  • 1 (120 g) banana, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups ice cubes
Place all ingredients into container and secure the lid. Select VARIABLE speed #10, then to HIGH for 1 ½ minutes. Turn machine off.
Serve immediately.

Another Recipe from the Vitamix Website
Green Smoothie image
  • 2 bananas
  • 3 oranges, peeled, quartered
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 4 cups cold water
Place all ingredients in Vitamix container in order listed. Secure 2-part lid. Select VARIABLE, speed #1. Turn on machine and quickly increase speed to #10; then to HIGH. Run for 1 minute or until smooth.
Serve immediately.

 I found this one on the Tera Werner blog:

Blueberry Bliss

By Christine Hansen
  • blueberry bliss 2 bananas (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup parsley tops, loosely packed
  • 6 cups fresh spinach, loosely packed
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. flaxseed oil (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. agave syrup (or use 2 Medjool dates soaked in 1/4 cup water)
  • 1 cup of water, coconut water, or coconut milk
Blend all ingredients well. 

Here is a basic guideline for making smoothies so that they don't separate or taste green.  The Boutenko Family has a blog dedicated to green smoothies and a book titled The Green Smoothie Revolution.   Here is another site challenging viewers to commit to just 14 days of drinking green smoothies and changing nothing else.   It doesn't take long at all before people notice some sort of difference.

There are tons of recipes online.  I never look them up.  I just use whatever greens and fruit I have on hand.  It's fun for me try to come up with my own inventions.  I'm sure you'll enjoy it as well.  In time, attempt to increase the amount of greens to fruit ratio. Bottoms up!

Enjoy the Journey!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cafe 118

I'm writing from Orlando, Florida, and last evening I had the opportunity to eat at a great cafe in nearby Winter Park.  Cafe 118 is a restaurant which serves organic raw vegan food - or as they call it, "living cuisine."  Food prepared at 118 degrees Fahrenheit or below is considered raw, thereby retaining all the living enzymes.  So what's the big deal about living enzymes, anyway?  Our bodies need live enzymes to digest food properly, as well as for other metabolic processes.  Continually eating food that is depleted of live enzymes by having had the life cooked out of it forces our bodies to draw enzymes from our organs.  Energy stolen from our bodies in this manner slows us down and our organs won't function as well as they should.  Eating copious amounts of live enzymes from vegetables, fruits, sprouted grains, seeds and nuts, frees our bodies to function at optimal performance. Here is an article with more information about the importance of eating live enzymes.

Be sure to stop by Cafe118 if you are ever in this area.  It is a trendy little cafe located in a quaint area of Winter Park with a historic feel to it.  It was so enjoyable to just window shop and stroll on nearby cobblestone streets after a very satisfying meal.  I absolutely love this restaurant!  I loved the food, the artwork and the ambiance.  Cafe 118 has wonderful lunch and dinner options, scrumptious desserts, fresh juices, smoothies, "milk" shakes and raw dairy-free ice cream.  Here are some of their dishes.  I broke all etiquette rules at our table and sampled every dish you see here.  Yum! 

Taco Salad

Basil Wrappers

Chile Rellenos

Pad Thai


Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Berry Parfait
The very talented and efficient crew at Cafe 118
I won't be able to get to the green smoothie recipes post until I get home.  Hang tight, it's coming soon!
Enjoy the Journey!