real raw kitchen: 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

All N A T U R A L organic skin care

While I love my DHC products and I'm a little sad to part with them (for now) I want to give this product line a go. I've heard wonderful things about this line and it is organic, all natural, and made up of ingredients I can actually identify. 
I love love LOVE this product and I have never been so excited to wash my face. I have exceptionally dry skin (read: stingy skin that holds onto everything) so this has a way with my pores. The essential oils are combined in such a way that my skin can relax and let go of its dirty baggage but at the same time the oils are able to keep my skin clean. 

See for yourself what essential oils are present:
Here is a breakdown of the Key Ingredients:

Cucumber Juice: cucumber juice opens pores, which is essential for cleanliness; it also clears your complexion by cleaning the skin
Corn Germ Oil: this vegetable oil helps neutralize free radicals and reduce redness of the skin; it is also high in vitamin E and Zinc.
Willow Bark Extract: this is nature's Salicylic Acid, used traditionally for its astringency and anti-inflammatory characteristics
Yogurt: yogurt is chock full of enzymes and contains natural oils and fats, and zinc to nourish the skin; this can all help diminish pore size and improve the overall texture of the skin (and also help remove acne scars!)
Shea Butter: shea butter is a solid fatty oil made from nuts; it helps promote cell regeneration and circulation
Calendula Oil: this oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties proving to be a wonderful aid in healing
Tea Tree Oil: tea tree oil has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties ... an overall antiseptic
Vitamin B5: B5 is a common approach to fighting acne as it is known to lower oil production gently, without overdrying the skin (some also take B5 orally to help fight acne from the inside out, if that's what you're aiming for ... )
Vitamins C, E, and A: these vitamins, together, help reduce damage caused by free radicals; together these ingredients help promote natural cell turnover without harming you or your skin (Vitamin A is often mimicked by prescription strength medication: think Retin-A and Accutane ... YUCK)
Coenzyme Q10: this is an incredible anti-aging agent as it helps neutralize free radicals, essentially preventing the damage done by the sun, aging, pollution, and acne
Alpha Lipoic Acid: ALA is a "universal" antioxidant, helping dissolve toxic substances; it helps preserve the healthy parts of the skin while also cleaning up damaged tissue (i.e. acne scars); many people take ALA orally to help break up deep, cystic acne (though they also warn that it dries out the skin when taken orally)

Check for it online or at Whole Foods !

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

RECIPE: fettucini alfredo

This dish appeared at a rawfood potluck and I just HAD to recreate it, immediately. So here it is, in all its fabulousness ...

The Noodles
1 very large zucchini (per person)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Using a spiralizer on the smallest setting, attach the zucchini and spiralize into noodles. Put the noodles in a colander and sprinkle the sea salt, to mix. Let the water drain and soften the noodles. Place over a bowl to catch the water while you work on the creamy sauce. (Alternatively, you could use a vegetable peeler to create ribbons from the zucchini, which actually create more fettucini-like noodles)

Creamy Alfredo, all raw
1 handful of cashews
juice from half a lemon
coconut water to cover the blades of blender
1 shake of sea salt
1 clove of garlic (optional)
1-2 teaspoons agave

Combine everything in a high speed blender and blend to combine until a smooth sauce is created. 

I made this without the garlic and it was absolutely delicious. It resembled raw cheesecake as they are essentially the same ingredients. However, combined with the remaining ingredients (below) it really provides the delicious, creamy alfredo experience.

To Combine:
Alfredo Sauce
5-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
handful of fresh basil leaves
1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped (optional)
handful fresh oregano
handful of pine nuts

Combine in a dish and serve. Delicious. So simple.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

RECIPE: cashew cream breakfast parfait

Sometimes I just want to treat myself to something special, a lick-it-off-your-spoon kind of breakfast. Sometimes, though, I want the treat WITHOUT all the preparation. So on this particular morning I had just that. It was fabulous and oh-so good ...

For this quick fix I layered together juicy blueberries, cashew cream, chocolate granola, and fresh papaya.

Sweet Cashew Cream
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup coconut water
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or agave; non raw)
juice from 1/2 lemon
dash of vanilla
shake of sea salt

Combine everything in a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth. If you do not have a Vitamix you may want to soak your cashews and double your recipe to ensure a smooth cream. Once it's blended it's ready to eat!!

Layer everything (any fresh fruit, granola/seed mix) and eat! That's it, about 30 seconds to a delicious breakfast.

I like Go Raw Chocolate Granola and Superfoods Cereal Cacao Crunch  ... both can be found at Whole Foods. If you're up for it you can also make my granola, though it is a prepare-in-advance kind of breakfast. xo

Thursday, July 26, 2012

RECIPE: chocolate macaroons

Sometimes I feel so incredibly lucky to have taste buds. This was one of those times.

Inspired by Raw Food Real World I made a mini version of Sarma's macaroons. Afraid of what damage I could do with the full recipe, I opted for a modest third-size version.

Choco-Coco Macaroons
1 cup shredded, dried coconut (unsweetened)
1/3 cup maple syrup (non raw)
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons coconut butter (I used oil)
a few shakes of sea salt

In a bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix, completely. It took awhile for everything to become wet, but trust that it will (resist the temptation to add more oil!!). Using a small ice cream scooper, scoop out mounds and place on dehydrator sheet. If you are using your hands, place in the fridge for a little bit, first. Otherwise it will stick to your hands and does not form! Dehydrate overnight (6-8 hours) at 104. Less time for a more chewy texture.

Simply delicious. I've been known to eat the entire bowl of batter before ever getting it to the dehydrator ...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

RECIPE: skin-sweeping JUICE

This morning I woke up with some serious flare up. My skin was desperate for some attention. Luckily the farmer's market down the street has ENORMOUS sized vegetables, so I was able to make this simple skin-sweep to suck down while I cleaned the apartment.

These beauties were full of Vitamin A, which is a great healer for skin. Vitamin A helps promote skin turnover, aka new, fresh, beautiful skin. In fact, carrots are so full of this beauty vitamin that it is helpful, topically, as well in the form of carrot seed oil. 

Vitamin C is also ever present in this yummy juice. Vitamin C is widely known to help fight off the common cold but it's also an incredible elasticity promoter. What does that mean? Healthy, beautiful, smooth, young skin. Both the oranges and the cucumber (and the carrots too!) contain lots of Vitamin C.

The silica in the cucumber helps repair the skin, helping aid damaged skin get it together. Cucumbers have an incredibly cooling and calming effect in the body and skin. Sucking down one of these makes the skin let out a big "ahhhh". 

3 VERY large carrots
1 VERY large cucumber
2 oranges
1/4" piece of ginger

Run everything through a juicer and enjoy!! (you can really use any combination of these three ingredients and adjust to your liking.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

RECIPE: corn tamales

Growing up in the Central Valley of California meant we often had tamales around Christmas time. Though I am not Mexican I feel like the Mexican culture has had a huge impact on my upbringing, whether I acknowledge it or not. It is such a large culture, a warm culture, one that embraces anyone and everyone and leaves no one hungry. Though as a child I despised Mexican food (I don't even know how that was possible) and I resented the fact that almost every other day and holiday had some kind of Mexican food involved I am now embracing my roots as a Californian and jumping at any chance to enjoy Mexican cuisine every chance I get.

So when I saw a recipe by Raw Food Real World that was clean and easy, I was practically salivating on my computer screen. Behold: all Raw Vegan Corn Tamales ...

Corn Filling
Dry corn husks (buy a pack and use as many as you need)
4-5 ears of corn, kernels cut off
1 cup pine nuts
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, minced
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
juice from 1 lime 
S/P to your taste

Place 3 cups of the corn, the tomatoes and the red bell pepper in a bowl; set aside. In a food processor, blend the remaining ingredients until very smooth. Pour into bowl with other ingredients and mix well with hands.

Serrano-Jalepeno Spiced Portobello
Prepare in advance
4 portobello mushroom caps, thinly sliced
1 serrano chili, seeded and minced
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 teaspoons olive oil
S/P to your taste

Slice the mushrooms very thin. I got about 20 slices from one mushroom cap. Toss mushrooms with olive oil, serrano, jalepeno and salt in a small baking dish then dehydrate for 12 hours. They will shrink and become incredibly soft, perfect for folding into the corn filling.

Add the portobello to the corn filling.

Spicy Raw Cacao Mole
6 dried chipotle chillies, soaked 2-3 hours and drained
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup water (or more, until you reach desired consistency)
2 teaspoons agave
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2  teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (more or less depending on your preference)
2 tablespoons cacao powder
S/P to your taste

Blend all ingredients in vita-mix until smooth.

3 ripe avocados, roughly chopped
1 large handful fresh cilantro, chopped
juice from 1 lime
1 scallion, chopped
1 jalepeno, seeded and minced

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mash well with a fork.

Soak corn husks in warm water for 1 to 2 hours. Dry carefully. To assemble, lay the corn husks flat and place about 1/2 cup of the corn mixture onto the center of each. Fold the bottom up over the filling and then fold the sides over. Using the husk strips to tie the tops of each tamale. Place the tamales in the dehydrator for 2 hours.

Spoon a generous amount of mole sauce on each plate, and set two tamales on sauce. Add guac, salsa, or even raw sour cream as you like. So delicious, exceeding my expectations. Even the non-vegan S.O. approved!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

RECIPE: simple mustard dressing

One of my favorite salads is the garden salad from Euphoria Loves Rawvolution in Santa Monica. In an effort to recreate the salad I played with some basic tastes and finally came up with a dressing I love. This is a very basic dressing that you will likely see everywhere, so make it your own and add or omit what you want!

I knew this was a hit when every time I made it for guests they asked for the recipe, and especially when I received a special request for this salad from my Sig.O. !!

The Salad
4-5 fresh figs, sliced
1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
handful of pine nuts
1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 huge bowl of spring mix

Simple Mustard Dressing
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or agave)
s/p to your liking

Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar and whisk. Pour over the salad and eat immediately.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

DETOX ... on all levels

Detox is not just a diet. It is a lifestyle, a frame of thought, and can happen on all levels including physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. When you are serious about detox it encompasses a total  upheaval of your lifestyle: mind, body and soul.

My favorite way to incorporate a total-body detox is to include Bikram Yoga. I miss California so much sometimes it hurts. One of my favorite places in California is Hermosa Beach and one of my favorite rituals in Hermosa Beach was Bikram Yoga on Pier Ave.

Bikram Yoga consists of 26 poses, each completed twice. The temperatures reach upwards toward 105F and you essentially sweat everything out. The amount of healing that occurs during those 90 minutes is incredible. Every session I have experienced I feel incredibly spent and incredibly rejuvenated at the same time. 

I have never felt so at home as I do when I am in a Bikram certified studio. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

RECIPE: tropical green smoothie

Nothing starts the day (or ends it, too!) like greens. Really. Try it once and you will find yourself vibrant with energy and free of bloating, gas, sleepiness, and anything else a Grand Slam breakfast will plague you with. 

Tropical Green Smoothie
1 cup fresh coconut water
1 medium papaya (1/2 if it's from Florida...they're huge here!)
1/2 mango
1 banana
3-4 large leaves of kale
3-4 cups of fresh spinach
1 tablespoon bee pollen (immunity, protein)
1 tablespoon hemp protein powder (protein, omega-3)
1 tablespoon spirulina (protein, chlorophyll)
1 tablespoon maca powder (balances hormones)
1 tablespoon MSM powder (good for skin, hair, joints)

Put everything in the blender and blend until smooth. This bad boy should last you for a major part of the day!

The papaya gives it this certain creaminess that is so good. Papaya naturally has AHA, a component of the important Omega-3, so it naturally has fat built in. This fat, minimal in a dietary sense, brings a healthy creaminess to the smoothie. Omega-3s are important for a balanced diet, but AHA is also important for the skin. Rub the inside of the papaya peel on your face for an all N A T U R A L  AHA face peel!!

Not to mention all the goodies added in. Add what you like, omit what you don't. Listen to your body!

Monday, July 9, 2012

RECIPE: raw lasagna dish

One of my favorite meals growing up was lasagna. The cheesy and saucy goodness had me going for seconds and thirds. I still feel the same about lasagna, but this time around I have a guilt-free version that leaves me so energized that I can continue with my very busy day (instead of going into a food coma).

I also took the opportunity to sub in walnuts instead of the usual cashews or almonds in this cheeze to up my Omega-3 intake. It's important to balance our omegas as most people in the U.S. are largely out of balance. It is important to our health and is fairly easy to correct when we become cognizant of our intakes..

Raw Lasagna Dish


For the pasta
  • 1 very large zucchini

For the ricotta cheeze
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup water (reserve from soaking water)
  • 2 tablespoons light miso paste
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 handful of fresh basil
  • 1 handful of fresh oregano
  • 2 cloves of garlic (depending on your love of garlic)
For the marinara
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for an hour (the real kind, not the kind reserved in oil)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of water (reserved soaking water)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped or 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh basil
  • 1 handful of fresh oregano
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/8 of red onion, chopped
For the spinach-basil layer
  • 1 food-processor full of fresh spinach
  • 1 handful of fresh basil


For the pasta
  • Using a mandolin, or a thick vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini lengthwise to get your pasta for the layers in the lasagna. 
  • Sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and gently coat each slice. 
  • Set in a colander to drain the excess water. It is best if it rests for a few hours at room temperature.
  • When it is drained you can gently squeeze out the excess water and pat dry with paper towels. 
  • Set aside until you're ready for this masterpiece.
For the ricotta cheeze
  • Soak the walnuts overnight, in the fridge (the omega-3 oils go rancid if not kept refrigerated). 
  • Chop the basil, oregano and garlic and place in a high speed blender with the walnuts, water, miso and lemon juice. 
  • Blend until creamy and/or fluffy. 
  • I blended mine with a bit more water so it was creamy, like a spread. I saved some to use in sandwiches instead of mayo ...
For the marinara
  • Soak the sun dried tomatoes in a bowl with water for about an hour. 
  • Place everything in a high speed blender and blend until chunky, or to the texture you like. Use the soaking water for the tomatoes to adjust the consistency.
  • Pour the sauce into a strainer, or colander, to drain excess liquid. You should be left with a chunky sauce.
For the spinach-basil layer
  • Place the spinach and the basil in a food processor and pulse until it is chopped, but not too mushy. 
  • Take everything out and strain either in a nut-mylk bag (cheese cloth) or a strainer to remove excess water. 
Final assembly
  • Once everything is ready use a baking dish to assemble. 
  • Cover the bottom of the baking dish with zucchini slices.
  •  Dollop on the ricotta in a thin layer and spread until even.
  •  Do the same with the marinara. 
  • Sprinkle some of the spinach-basil mixture over the top. 
  • Continue with this layering pattern until you cap it off with your last pieces of zucchini. 
  • Then put a layer of the ricotta and a layer of the marinara sauce and swirl it together so it gets the nice "just-baked" look. 
  • Place in a dehydrator for an hour or two at 140 degrees to get the top nice and crust-like and to warm it through.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

RECIPE: basic NON-cheesecake

In honor of celebrating my freshly 21-year-old brother I made a very simple cheesecake. I wanted to do something special for the guy and I'm glad I did ...

3 cups walnuts
1 cup dates
1/4 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
1 pinch sea salt


3 cups cashews
2 lemons, juiced
3/4 cup maple syrup (non raw)
3/4 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
Up to a 1/4 cup of water, if necessary to facilitate blending

Mix the crust ingredients in a food processor until crumbly. Press into the bottom of a spring form pan. Blend the filling ingredients in a blender and pour over the crust. Set in the freezer for 1-2 hours, then transfer to the fridge. Serve with berries or plain.

SOOOO good!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

RECIPE: basic raw brownies

You guys. Seriously. I killed it today with this batch of brownies. You MUST try this as soon as possible.

Most Americans have an imbalance in their Omegas with their 6s largely outweighing their 3s. A quick fix to this is to add more Omega-3 rich foods to your diet (versus trying to cut back on Omega-6). One can do this with flax, flax oil, (a popular oil, Udos oil), walnuts, or hemp. I use pure hemp protein in a lot of my smoothies but today I used walnuts in what has been the best Friday discovery ever ...

Recipe from AngelIsRaw

Raw Brownies (with Frosting)
1 cup pecans or walnuts (soak for 1 hour)
1 cup dates (soak for 1 hour)
5 tablespoons raw cacao powder
4 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Place walnuts alone in your food processor and process until the walnuts become small and crumbly. Add the dates and process again until the mixture sticks together and the dates are well processed. Add the remaining ingredients and process again until the mixture is incorporated.

Dump the mixture into a brownie dish or small cake pan lined with wax paper. Using another sheet of wax paper press the mixture into the dish until evenly disbursed. Refrigerate this raw brownie recipe for a couple of hours.

 By the way, this is actually a raw brownie recipe that keeps its shape! So it can be good for serving to non-raw fooders because the presentation of this raw brownie recipe is good when chilled.

 Store this raw brownie recipe in the refrigerator ... if it lasts that long!

Raw Chocolate Frosting
1 cup dates (soak for 1 hour)
1/4 cup raw cacao (cocoa) powder
1/4 cup cold-pressed coconut oil / butter
3/4 cup water (or a tiny bit more if needed - try to keep at 3/4 cup or so though)

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend. Blend, scraping down the sides if necessary, to get a velvety consistency. This is one of those recipes that really makes use of the power of a high-speed blender.

You’ll know it’s ready if there are no bits of dates and all you can taste is velvety chocolate goodness. Pour over the top and return to the refrigerator to set. Brownies should be ready within an hour or two.

It. Is. Divine.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

RECIPE: raw chimichurri sauce with noodles

I killed it tonight with my raw chimichurri. I was craving something crazy spicy but wanted something that didn't weigh me down. I got the serious satisfaction of eating something hefty WITHOUT the post carbo-loading guilt trip.  

Raw Spicy Chimichurri Sauce
3/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 green onions, chopped
1 jalapeƱo, chopped (with seeds, depending on your love of heat)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Once everything is finely chopped combine everything in a glass jar and pour the olive oil in. Let the sauce marinate for at least an hour, up to a few days in the frig.

Pour this over any noodle concoction or use it to marinate some veggies (or both!) and you have a HUGE win for dinner.

Here I had the sauce with zucchini noodles, tomatoes, and sliced mushrooms. I served it with a fresh green juice to cool my mouth (cucumber, romaine head, celery, kale).

I used a ceramic vegetable peeler to peel a whole zucchini into ribbons. Put the strips into a colander and mix with a teaspoon of sea salt to let the water drain out (place colander over a bowl to catch the water).  Mix the chimichurri with sliced mushrooms and halved cherry tomatoes, then dehydrate at 105 degrees for at least one hour, even overnight. Once the zucchini is ready (you can tell because quite a bit of water has drained) dry it off with paper towels. Mix everything in a bowl and enjoy!!

So good. So easy. So clean. YUM

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

RECIPE: Red White Blue Tart

In honor of our heroes this Memorial Day I made a very patriotic pie. The berries make this dessert crisp and light and delicious and we finished it within a day. Ideally it's enough for a small party ... or two people depending on their love for raw pie!

For the crust:
3 cups almonds
5-7 pitted dates, soaked
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Put the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbly and sticking together a bit. Dump the contents into a tart pan and press down until the entire bottom is evenly covered. Work the crust up the sides of your tart dish so it can hold the filling in place. Place in frig until you are ready to pour the filling on top.

For the filling:
2 cups cashews (soaked for about 30 minutes)
juice from 2 lemons
3/4 cup maple syrup (non raw)
1/4 cup of coconut oil/butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I use seeds from vanilla bean)
1 vanilla bean pod, scraped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg

Place everything save the coconut, vanilla, and salt into a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until everything is incorporated, but do not over blend. Pour the filling atop the crust. 

1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup maple syrup / agave
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Wash the berries and place in separate bowls. Divide the remaining ingredients equally into each bowl. Stir to coat the berries in the juice and syrup or agave. Decorate the top of your tart until it's completely covered. Let the tart sit in the frig for at least an hour to set.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

RECIPE: wakame cucumber salad

As a woman in my child-bearing years it is extremely important for me to prep my body for a potential child. Even though I'm not a mama and not likely to be one soon, the cleaner and more stocked I am in essential vitamins and minerals the more I will be able to provide for my child. 

Dried Wakame

Vitamins are fairly easy to obtain naturally through fruits and vegetables. Minerals are as well, though they are a little trickier to store up. Sea vegetables are a great way to get a large dose of hard-to-obtain minerals like iron and iodine. Sea vegetables also have a healthy dose of folate and vitamin K. Each of these are very important in women's health, and especially important for pregnant or breast-feeding women, and even women thinking about becoming pregnant. 

As such, sea vegetables are also an anti-inflammatory food and help lower the risk in estrogen related cancers.

Attention Earth Mamas! This salad is delicious and is for YOU! It's perfect for prepping your super woman self for one of the best things in life.

Wakame Pesto Salad
1/4 cup dried wakame, soaked in water
1 cucumber
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 large handful each of basil, flat leaf parsley, cilantro
juice of one lemon
sea salt and pepper to taste

Take 1/4 cup of dried wakame and soak in a bowl with water while you prepare the rest. Once it's ready simply drain it and rinse it to get the straight-out-of-the-sea taste off. Slice and quarter your cucumber. Slice your cherry tomatoes in halves. Put the rehydrated wakame, cucumber, and tomatoes in a bowl and set aside. Combine everything else (oil, ACV, garlic, basil, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, S/P) in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour over the salad ingredients and store in the frig until you're ready to eat. It's best to let the ingredients soak together so the pesto sinks into everything.

Simply divine.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

but where do you get your calcium??

This morning I made a batch of hazelnut mylk and when I put it in the frig I noticed a stark juxtaposition: his-and-her milks. 

Who do you think has allergies and the morning sniffles in this pair of milk/mylk drinkers? 

(Find the answer at: Israel Journal of Medical Sciences 1983;19(9):806-809 Pediatrics 1989;84(4):595-603 )

First, I'd like to point out that we are the only animals that consume milk into adulthood--by choice--and not even our own species' milk. We consume cow's milk into adulthood. No other animal does that and if it weren't for more recent technologies in the farming industry we wouldn't be doing it either. 

Milk also actually leaches the calcium from our bones (Remer T, Am J Clin Nutr 1994;59:1356-61). Milk is so acidic and causes so much mucus (Klotter, 1995) in the body that our body tries to neutralize it before it's completely absorbed through the digestive system. So instead of using the calcium within the milk to aid our bones, it uses the calcium to neutralize the acid. It also calls for backup stores of calcium to neutralize via the calcium safely stored in our bones.

But where do you get your calcium?

There are A LOT of natural sources (and safe!) to make sure you get your calcium. Dark leafy greens seem to provide the bulk, if you're looking for plant-based calcium. Worried about eating a whole cup of broccoli? Don't. It may seem like a lot to someone that eats the Standard American Diet (SAD) because a cup of ANY green hardly makes an appearance. But it's easy to consume a cup of leafy greens in any meal because it's usually the base of EVERY meal.

It is recommended we consume at least 1000 mg of calcium a day (more, depending on your needs) and ALWAYS consumed with food...which makes eating your calcium seem like a logical idea.

If we take a Green Super Rad Supersmoothie for one meal you more than meet your needs for calcium within a day:
Green Super Rad Supersmoothie
-1 cup Kale (270 mg calcium)
-1 cup Spinach (260 mg calcium)
-2 tablespoons Spirulina (32 mg calcium)
-1 cup Almond Mylk (300 mg calcium)
-1 medium Papaya (70 mg calcium)
-2 bananas (10 mg calcium) and (helps improve absorption of calcium)
-1 tablespoon Maca (30 mg calcium)
-1 tablespoon Bee Pollen (30 mg calcium)
-1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds (85 mg calcium)
Total: 1,057 mg calcium

Don't like something listed? Leave it out. You will more than meet your needs by continuing a plant-based diet throughout the day. Still concerned? Swallow a tablespoon of Blackstrap Molasses for good measure and you get 137 mg of calcium.

B-T-Dubs ... Almond Mylk has the same amount of calcium as a cup of regular milk. One cup of Kale has almost the same amount as a cup of cow's milk. Unless you're drinking 3 1/2 to 4 cups of cow's milk a day you're probably not getting enough calcium, anyway. Be informed. Omitting cow's milk isn't the enemy in the calcium battle. Ignorance is ...

Here is a list of other great calcium sources (and easy, rad recipes) that don't come from a cow:

-Sesame Seeds (Easy Peasy Tahini Dressing)

A quarter cup of sesame seeds has 351 mg calcium.

-Spinach (Delish Farm Salad)

A cup of spinach has 260 mg.

-Collard Greens

A cup of collard greens has 266 mg.

-Blackstrap Molasses (stir into your overnight oats for a yummy flavor and extra calcium)

One tablespoon has about 137 mg.

-Kelp (Creamy Avocado Pesto over Kelp Noodles)

One cup of raw kelp has 136 mg.


(Easy Peasy Tahini Dressing or Macro Bowl)

Two tablespoons of raw tahini (sesame seed butter) have 126 mg.

-Broccoli (Cream of Broccoli Soup)

Two cups of broccoli have 124 mg.

-Swiss Chard

One cup of chard has 102 mg.

-Kale (Kale and Miso Salad or Kale and Nut Mylk Smoothie)

One cup of (packed) kale has 270 mg.

-Brazil Nuts (Brazil Nut Pancakes ... YUM)

Two ounces of Brazil nuts (12 nuts) have 90 mg.

-Celery (Wake Up Juice)
Two cups of raw celery have 81 mg.

-Almonds (Cheesecake)

One ounce of almonds (23 nuts) has 75 mg.

-Papaya (Skin Beautifying Dinner or Acai Bowl Parfait)

One medium papaya has 73 mg.

-Flax Seeds (BLTA for lunch or Pancakes for breakfast)

Two tablespoons of flax seeds have 52 mg.

-Oranges (Butternut Squash Mango Soup or Easy Peasy Tahini Dressing)

One medium orange has 52 mg.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

RECIPE: Cayenne Cacao Goodies

Cacao and cayenne go together so deliciously that I thought I'd experiment a bit with it. It is SO good and I am SO glad I did.
Cayenne Cacao Goodies

  • 7 medjool dates, pitted and soaked 
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil 
  • 4 (heaping) tablespoons raw cacao powder 
  • 3/4 cup goji berries, ground up in blender (or goji powder
  • 1/3 cup cacao nibs 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 
  • 1/4 teaspoon maca powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon spirulina 
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (seeds scraped from a bean) 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup


  • Soak the dates in water for 20 minutes. 
  • While soaking, blend goji berries into a powder in the blender and then place in bowl. 
  • Add all remaining ingredients except the dates.
  •  Run the pitted and soaked dates in a food processor with about 2 tablespoons of water until a paste forms. 
  • Remove the paste and combine it with the remaining ingredients in a bowl. 
  • Mix everything thoroughly. 
  • Once everything is mixed scoop out balls and place on wax paper. 
  • Place in freezer to set. If the mixture is too wet you can continue to add cacao powder by the teaspoon until it is scoop-able.

I like to store them in the freezer and eat whenever I'm craving something rich and delicious. They don't get hard because of the coconut oil and dates so it is a perfect indulgent snack. 


Monday, April 30, 2012

Migraine Relief : all N A T U R A L

Huffington Post Living just published a great article highlighting the latest research on natural alternatives to migraine treatment and prevention. As a former migraine sufferer (2-3 migraines a WEEK) I am so very excited to see this approach making mainstream news.

Butterbur, a noted natural treatment for migraines

I am a bit disappointed in the study and this article, however, because it highlights natural medicinal approaches versus the simplest most cost effective approach: healthy living. When I changed my lifestyle it was for no particular reason except curiosity. I had so many ailments but I never made the connection to my lifestyle.

My entire body used to break out in hives, I got migraines several times a week, I was SO tired all the time (so much so I asked the doctor to check my thyroids), I had stomach issues and sensitivities, and I slept so so much. Once I started exploring raw foods my ailments started falling by the wayside. Now I am 80% - 100% raw most days and the only ailment I get is a headache once a month (also when I get mild cramps, bloating, and intolerable cravings ... yup, you guessed it). Even so all of it is completely manageable without ANY medicine.

I am not saying one must be a raw foodie to be pain-free, but what I am saying is that cleaning up your diet and using your blood system as a natural drain-o for your veins is probably the most effective at treating migraines. If you take care of your body it will take care of you. The cleaner you are, and the more you treat your body the way it's intended to be treated, the more likely your body will function at the capacity it is meant to function at.

For more information on the emotional-spiritual connection to such ailments, check out Dr. Sha's work or Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. Both are incredible reads with such valuable information ...

The article does not highlight this, but it's making steps in the right direction!

RECIPE: superfood eggnog

As a kid I loved sipping on eggnog during the holidays but I usually ended up with a stomach ache. Now I mix a few all N A T U R A L ingredients together and I have a guilt-free, pain-free, better-than-eggnog eggnog to enjoy.

It doesn't look like eggnog and it's milder than eggnog, but it reminds me so much of the creamy drink that I can't help but think of Santa Claus (the holidays...).

Raw Vegan Superfood Eggnog
1 cup coconut water (fresh from the coconut, if you can) (healthy fats, electrolytes)
1 frozen banana
1 ripe banana
1 heaping tablespoon raw almond butter (protein)
1 heaping tablespoon raw cacao powder (antioxidants, magnesium, serotonin...too many benefits to name!)
1/2 tablespoon raw honey (immunity)
1 teaspoon maca powder (hormone balancing)
1 teaspoon spirulina-optional (protein)
1 teaspoon bee pollen (immunity, protein)

Pour the coconut water into a high speed blender and place the bananas in at the bottom. Add everything else, making sure it all sits in the middle (so it doesn't get stuck to the sides of the blender). Blend until smooth and THAT'S IT.

So delicious. Incredible.

Friday, April 27, 2012

"Doesn't Taste Green" Green Smoothie

One Green Planet has a great bit on how to create the perfect green smoothie. It really is a no-fail meal in that you are the master and there are no rules. However, if you're fairly new at this then undoubtedly drinking your veggies sounds awful. In this article One Green Planet highlights some great tips that make the task less daunting. With me, I started out with vanilla hemp milk, frozen bananas, agave, and a handful of spinach... there was hardly any green in my "green" smoothie!! Now I'm able to include a whole head of lettuce, several cups of spinach, wheat grass, and broccoli along with a banana and coconut water.

So work your way up to the Green-ness and go at your own pace. The way I see it is this: regardless of your green to color ratio, you're replacing a potentially fattening, oily, animal-based meal with pure fruits and veggies ... that cannot be a bad thing. Ever.

Slurp up! Check out my green smoothies (Awesomeness: cantaloup edition  and Hazelnut Kale) or Skin Beautifying Smoothie for more inspiration!!

The article from One Green Planet:

Guide: Amazing Green Smoothie Combos

Posted on March 29, 2012 by Jennifer Valentine: Editorial Manager, OneGreenPlanet.Org

A few notes:

-Ripe, frozen bananas make a great smoothie base, adding a sweet flavor and creamy texture. Try using one banana and half a cup of other fruit. If you don’t like bananas, use a cup of one or more of the other types of fruit listed.
-If you’re shy about greens, try starting with 1 cup instead of 2, but be sure to use a whole cup of liquid.
-If you don’t have a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec), try blending the liquid and greens together before adding the frozen fruit. This will ensure a smooth consistency and make the mixture easier to blend.
-Feel free to use as many add-in’s as you like! They’re a great way to add flavor and extra nutritional punch to your smoothie.
-This matrix is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all possible smoothie ingredients. Once you’ve mastered the basic smoothie, don’t be afraid to experiment with other ingredients like avocados, carrots, tofu, soy yogurt, kiwis, apples, and other greens!

½ to 1 cup liquid2 cups greens1 cup frozen fruitadd-in’s
soy milkspinachbanananut butter
almond milkkalecherriescocoa or mesquite powder
coconut milkswiss chardblueberriesvanilla extract
coconut waterromaine or leaf lettucestrawberries, raspberries, blackberriesprotein powder
flax milkturnip, beet, collard, dandelion greensmango, pineapple, papayaginger, cinnamon, other spices
hemp milkparsleypeach, plum, peardates

And finally, here’s my favorite combination!

The “Doesn’t Taste Green” Smoothie:
½ cup plain or unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 cups organic baby spinach
1 frozen banana
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 T raw cacao powder
1 T mesquite powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 scoop vegan protein powder