Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blessed Herbs Colon Cleanse - Day 1

I feel a little apprehensive talking about my colon but I know so many of you out there are curious about cleanses and detoxes. I've done this particular cleanse four times in the past two years (once every 6 months). It's a five day liquid fast kit that you can purchase online at www.blessedherbs.com for $89.50. The kit includes 30 packets of the Toxin Absorber which is a psyllium husk/bentonite clay/apple pectin/herbal formula you mix with apple juice and drink five times a day. The psyllium husks act as a broom to sweep debris from your intestines while the bentonite clay draws out toxins (sort of like a facial clay mask but for your GI system). You can enjoy fruit and vegetable juices in between the apple juice concoction and best to obstain from all solid foods. I've done different juice fasts in the past including the Master Cleanse for 14 days and enjoy this one the most. The fiber drink helps take the edge off my hunger and the 'results' you see in the bathroom are, well, satisfying. It's a very thorough spring cleaning to say the least. The kit also comes with a jar of Digestive Stimulator pills that help gently move things along. Today is the first day and, honestly, I'm pretty hungry. The first two days are always the hardest on liquid fasts but it's so worth the effort. The key is to drink plenty of liquids so your stomach feels full. Also, I'm careful about not overdoing it on fruit juice since it can spike your blood sugar levels and leave you drained. I drink a lot of green juice to balance out the apple juice that I'm taking every three hours and it gives me loads of minerals so I'm nourished. Also, I'm using organic, bottled apple juice since the juice isn't for nourishment but just as a way to get the fiber/clay down. I've used fresh apple juice in the past which is much tastier but I get tired cleaning the juicer ten times a day.

Some might ask if colonics are just as effective. In my personal, semi-professional opinion I would have to say no. Unless you do a series of at least three colonics and eat a very simple 100% raw diet. I've had mixed results with colonics in the past and would occasionally do one if I'm feeling off. Because it is a juice fast you are addressing more than just your colon. Fasting gives your body a rest from digesting food so it can start repairing tissue and removing toxins from the other organs. Though Blessed Herbs doesn't promote it as a weight loss cleanse you do let go of a couple pounds which is a great bonus. Most toxins are stored in our fat tissues (like pesticides from non organic foods and hormones from birth control pills and animal products) so this is a major benefit of juice fasting that you won't get from hydro therapy. Plus the cost of the kit is about the price of one colonic so it's economical as well. I'll post my progress daily and feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.

Raw In The City

Had another wonderful trip to NYC this past week. I went mostly to catch up with friends but also in search of culinary delights, adventures and inspiration. Definitely found that at Pure Juice & Takeaway. There were rumors of a raw, vegan Cadbury cream egg so I had to find out for myself. No go, guess it's still early. But I did see they had a lovely tray of Moon Pies, Mallomars, Almond Joys, and other chocolate delights. Paid $34 for four treats. Yeah, that's right, but it's research, folks, research. Here's a shot of the Moon Pie and a chunky bar I forget the name of but we'll just call "a lil taste o'heaven." The other two I ate too fast to photograph...Don't judge me.

Was sad to hear that three raw, vegan restaurants have had to close their doors since I was in town last. Jill's in Brooklyn, Sal Anthony's raw juice bar and Jubb's Longevity. It's a bummer that raw food isn't more popular especially in a major city like New York. I did pay a visit to my former place of employment, Bonobo's as well as Quintessence and Caravan of Dreams all of which were packed. Yay! Also went to a super fun raw food potluck in Queens hosted by the We Like It Raw crew and Vanessa "Chocolate Girl" Barg. I brought truffles from Bonobo's since I didn't have a proper kitchen to use. Here are a few pics of the potluck.

Had a slice of this amazing pie. Chocolate ganache with almond butter frosting. I die, I die.

This isn't a very good photo of the chocolate but it really was incredible. Check out the website for Gnosis chocolate and pick up a bar or two or three if you find them at your local health food store.

Anthony, Dhrumil and I getting sassy.

Raw foodies have the glow!

Other highlights from my trip were seeing Morrissey twice (Bowery Ballroom & Carnegie Hall), went to a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, ate at Blossom (not a lot of raw options but very good), stayed in my old Williamsburg apartment, so fun, like seeing an old friend you never thought you'd see again.
I'll be back in NYC beginning of June to teach my Raw Food 101 class in the East Village. If anyone wants to reserve a spot email me at rawjudita@yahoo.com. The class will be held Sunday, June 7th from noon till 4pm - $55.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Raw Food 101 Class Review

I got a great review from one of my students who attended my Raw Food 101 class last week. After you read the review check out the edibles she's growing in her home garden. She's amazing. I'm excited to have her help me start a container garden and start growing my own salad. It's going to look like the garden of Eden in my backyard soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Au Lac Is Blowing My Mind

This secret, vegan restaurant tucked away inside a weird strip mall in Fountain Valley, CA has got to be my favorite place to get culinary inspiration. I can't go there without ordering the Chimichurri dip with garlic bread. Though the sauce is beyond, the garlic bread is the best raw bread I've had and I can't figure out how Chef Ito makes it. He said it's made with flax, not sprouted grains, but the texture is so spongy and perfect I don't know what sort of voodoo is happening in that kitchen. Though I'm bummed they changed the menu a few months ago, I'm impressed with everything they're doing right now. They, unfortunately, changed the soft tacos by adding a big dollop of mustard to it but as for everything else they are doing a stellar job. I have yet to try one of their cooked, vegan dishes but everyone I've talked to really likes it. If you're in the LA or Orange county area it's definitely worth your while to check it out. I recommend the curried guacamole, risotto, humanese soup, norito wrap, doughnut holes and of course the garlic bread.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Strummer Calling

I've been wanting to get a chihuahua from the animal shelter for some time. After coming across this blog all about Strummer, the apple head chihuahua, I want one more than ever. What a cutie!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What's Cooking Lately

I've been super into garden burgers lately. I've been taking the pulp from my juicer and mixing it with ground flax seeds, ground sunflower seeds, salt and water and dehydrating them into little patties of veggie goodness. I've been using the pulp of carrots, celery and red bell peppers mostly. Season it with salt, finely chopped onions or onion powder and place in your dehydrator at 105 degrees for about 4-5 hours. I wrap it in romaine lettuce and smother it with chipotle mayo and top it with avocado, tomato and homegrown sprouts. Easy and so satisfying.

I'm excited about strawberries coming into season. Today I taught my raw food class how to make Strawberry Fields green smoothie from Victoria Boutenko's book "Green For Life." I like to use Brazil nut milk instead of water to make it more rich and creamy. Make sure you only buy organic strawberries since they are one of the most heavily sprayed foods in your produce department.

I asked my class what their favorite recipe from today's class was and almost everyone said the spaghetti with pesto. I absolutely love this dish because of how easy and elegant it is. Who doesn't love pesto? My favorite pesto recipe is:
1 cup basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix well (actually I like it a little chunky) in a food processor and toss with zucchini noodles or use the pesto on crackers or sandwiches. Maybe I'll try it on my garden burger this week! Pesto burgers! mmmm!!


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