Sunday, April 26, 2009

How The World Eats

Time Magazine ran this article a couple years ago about the way people eat around the world. These photographs were taken by Peter Menzel for the book "Hungry Planet." In each picture you get to see the weekly food intake for an average family of the country they represent.

Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily
Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11

Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07

United States: The Revis family of North Carolina
Food expenditure for one week $341.98

Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09

Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27

Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55

Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23

I think it would have been interesting to throw in a raw foodist family like the Boutenkos. The American family's diet makes me sad as does the family from Chad. Heartbreaking. My favorite is the family from Ecuador. They don't have much but I love the smiles on their faces. Thoughts?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Costa Rica April 15-23rd

I'll be in Mal Pais, Costa Rica for the next week soaking in the tropical sun, riding waves (little ones), cruising around on my quad, and guest chefing at Mary's restaurant. I won't be bringing my laptop so please check back the weekend of the 26th when I should, hopefully, have lots of photos and stories to tell.

My Upcoming Raw Food 101 Class in Long Beach

SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2009 Raw Food 101 - Easy and delicious raw vegan cuisine for beginners. See how easy it is to incorporate raw foods into you and your family's meals. Learn to make Vanilla Brazil Nut Milk, Green Smoothies, Not-Tuna Salad, Spaghetti with Pesto, Mediterranean Kale Salad and decadent Fudge Brownies.

-Learn how to transition into raw foods
-Raw foods for weight loss and healing
-Raw food nutrition (where we get our protein)
-How to shop for and stock your pantry
-Staying raw while you travel

$55.00 1-4:30pm Ten Students Max. Email me to reserve your spot.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Cult of Done Manifesto

By Bre Pettis and Kio Stark.

1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
3. There is no editing stage.
4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
6.The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
11. Destruction is a variant of done.
12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
13. Done is the engine of more.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Magical Kale Chips

If you haven't experienced the magic of kale chips you don't know what you're missing. Simple to make and better than any bag of crisps from the supermarket, this is an easy way to satisfy your salty cravings with the added powerhouse of nutrients. I got this recipe from fellow chef Kirsten Gum. Beware, it's addicting!

1 bunch kale, destemmed and cut into large pieces

Place kale in a big bowl and add:

2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS Nama Shoyu or Tamari
sprinkle a generous amount of Red Star nutritional yeast, garlic powder and onion powder
sprinkle in cayenne for some kick

Mix well and place on a dehydrator sheet. Now sprinkle on some nutritional yeast and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 4-5 hours until crispy.

I suggest making a double batch because if you're anything like me, you'll probably eat the first tray before it's done.



You don't yield a whole lot of chips once they're dehydrated but to be fair I did nibble a bit before they were done. :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Matt's Favorite Smoothie

During my omnivore days my husband used to always have a pint of mint cookies and cream ice cream in the freezer and now with southern California starting to warm up we've been having the ice cream bug lately. I whipped this simple concoction up to satiate his craving for mint chocolate and have gotten a request for it every day ever since.

1 cup frozen bananas
1 cup nut milk
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
1 heaping tablespoon of raw cacao nibs

Throw it all in a high speed blender and drink up! Makes 2 small or 1 big serving.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Blessed Herbs Colon Cleanse - Day 6

Mission accomplished! Actually I had intended on continuing the cleanse a couple more days. I woke up feeling so good that I thought why not go a little longer and get a deeper detox. Well, all my good intentions went out the window by 5pm. Earlier that afternoon I had gone to Au Lac (my fave raw vegan restaurant) for a seminar hosted by Kevin Gianni. He held a wonderful discussion on marketing for holistic health practitioners. It was great info but my eyes kept wandering to the course after course of culinary delights dancing in front of me. I held my ground and sipped orange juice and kombucha. I promptly had all my food wrapped to go and sent a text to my husband that he had an amazing dinner waiting for him tonight.

oh, the plans we make...

Soon as I got home I felt drained. I took a nap and woke up with the strongest food cravings I've had all week. I HAD to have the raw pistachio bread. AND the raw donut hole (NOT a Dunkin Donut, Au Lac's donut holes are about the size of a truffle and made with love and magic).

...and ouch, my stomach was not ready for it. Kind of forgot that breaking juice fasts take a little time. I was completely stuffed by those two morsels but I instantly got a burst of energy, so I decided to jump on my bike and take a 45 minutes ride around Eldorado Park. It was fantastic. Later that evening I ate the greens from the meal and left the rest for the hubster. My fast was over and despite the fact I rushed into eating solid foods my body wasn't that angry with me. Tomorrow I'll ease in with some light fruit in the morning and then some greens later. I don't want to ruin my hard work by eating anything bad. Reward your fasting with a massage or facial (to help rid some of the toxins) or new jeans but please, please, please not with junk food (especially the junk food that prompted you to go on a cleanse in the first place). I want to try to stay in a cleansing mode this week by keeping it simple with green smoothies and salads and avoiding sugar and nuts.

By the way, there are a ton of different juice fasts out there. A good book to get you started if you just want to try a basic detox fast is "Juice Fasting & Detoxification" by Steve Meyerowitz. If you have health issues it's best to tell your doctor before trying anything drastic. Also, my favorite juicer is the Omega 8005. I bought it at Mother's Market for $250 a couple years ago and I love it. It does everything from wheatgrass, leafy greens, citrus, root vegetables, as well as nut butters and banana soft serve. I've also heard great things about the Green Star and Champion but I think the Champion doesn't do greens as well. Avoid centrifugal juicers since they oxidize the vitamins before they reach your glass.

I hope these posts encourage you to explore the benefits of juice fasting. Even if you only try it for a day it will be the best gift you could give your body. Don't be afraid of hunger. It goes away, but it's a lot easier if you fast during a week where there are no celebrations or dinners to attend. Just sayin.

Blessed Herbs Colon Cleanse - Day 4 & 5

The last two days of the cleanse were a little bit of a challenge. I didn't have the euphoria that I often get from juicing but I felt pretty good. On day 4 I had a print job in Hollywood so I was up at an ungodly hour. Surprisingly, I had loads of energy until about 1pm when I started to run out of steam as well as fresh juice. I brought apple juice and toxin absorbers to set but only one bottle of vegetable juice. I think I felt sluggish because I was just low on calories. Once I got home the rest of the day wasn't that tough except when I went out again for my husband's birthday and had to endure two hours of staring at incredible vegetarian Vietnamese food. Nevertheless, I stayed focused and enjoyed a giant pot of lotus tea and made the choice to have a good time anyway. On day 5 I was in the home stretch. Midday I did feel crabby, maybe because we went out to breakfast (again for hubby's birthday) and had to face a plate of huevos rancheros while I sipped on green juice. Eggs and cheese have no power over me on any given day, but at the time it looked pretty appetizing. After breakfast we went to visit my friend's vegetable garden. She had the most beautiful chard I'd ever seen and I was salivating. I wanted to grab a leaf and start chewing. Now that is a sign my body is ready for food! Despite that, I was strong and made it through the rest of the day by just keeping my belly full of fresh water and juice.

I didn't do much exercising during this time though a lot of people say they feel energized enough to work out. With low calorie juice fasting, I don't recommend pushing your body that much. Walking, light bicycling and yoga is plenty. This is really a time of rest, so working out isn't necessary especially if you're only doing a short fast. Exercise depletes minerals and increases free radicals so if you really feel the need for a workout have a low sugar juice beforehand like celery/pear or kale/cucumber/apple and end your workout with coconut water to replenish electrolytes and then have a green juice to replace the minerals.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Blessed Herbs Colon Cleanse - Day 3

Today was the easiest so far. I didn't feel very hungry and only ended up drinking three packets of the toxin absorber. I forgot to take them because I was busy and not really that hungry. My friend who is currently on a liver cleanse is drinking "Potassium Broth" to supplement her during her fast. The broth provides a lot of minerals and is very satisfying (FYI though vitamins are lost during heating, minerals are less sensitive to heat, so simmer your soup don't boil it to death). Here's the recipe she's following.

This is a GREAT tasting addition to your Cleansing Program. It will FLUSH your Body of TOXINS, Poisons and UNWANTED Salts and Acids, while giving you a CONCENTRATED amount of Vitamins and Minerals.
1. Fill a LARGE pot with 25% Potato peelings, 25% Carrot peelings and WHOLE chopped Beets, 25% chopped Onions, including 50 cloves of Garlic, 25% Celery and DARK Greens.
2. Add HOT Peppers to taste.
3. Add enough Distilled Water to cover the Vegetables and simmer on very LOW temperature for 1-2 hours.
4. Strain, or just dip your mug in, and drink ONLY the Broth.
5. Make enough for 2 days, refrigerating the leftover Broth.
NOTE: Put the Vegetables in your Compost. It is IMPORTANT, that you use ORGANIC Vegetables, because you do NOT want to consume ANY Toxic Insecticides, Pesticides or Inorganic Chemical Fertilizers, while you're doing a Cleansing and Detoxification Program!

I made a pot of this but only used 3 cloves of garlic instead of 50. It was all I had on hand. I drank the broth while my husband ate the vegetables. It was really tasty! I'd probably make this on a regular basis especially during the winter. In the past the only warm soup I've made is miso soup which I drink pretty regularly and have had a bowl every evening on this cleanse. I use Miso Master Organic Chickpea Miso instead of a soy miso. It's unpasturized and full of minerals and probiotics that help replenish the intestinal flora. I use 1 tablespoon of miso paste and dissolve it in a little bit of water in my soup bowl. I add warm (not hot) water and then add dulse and green onions (though I skip the additions when I'm fasting).

So far the cleanse has been great but I'm noticing my skin is getting really oily and I have little red bumps on my legs. That means my body is detoxing through my skin as well as my bowels. The skin is the third most detoxifying organ (next to the liver and lungs) so that makes sense though I'm not looking forward to the impending breakout on my face. My energy wasn't as high as the day before but feeling very clear headed. I'm already thinking about extending my cleanse to seven days but we'll see how my body feels on Saturday and take it from there.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Blessed Herbs Colon Cleanse - Day 2

Just got an email from Blessed Herbs that their Colon Cleansing Kit is on sale for $67.13 until April 14. You have to use the online coupon code spring09 for the discount. Maybe this is a sign that it's time for you to do some spring cleaning!

My second day of the cleanse was actually a lot easier. I wasn't that hungry except when I went to LA for an audition and got caught in terrible traffic with nothing but warm water that had been sitting in my car. One tip I can tell you when you're fasting or 100% raw is to be prepared! I should have had a big juice on deck in case of an emergency like this. And never underestimate LA traffic. Ugh! Times like these I wish I lived in Costa Rica. Anyway, yesterday was almost smooth sailing for me. I notice for myself that when I start to detox I can get pretty emotional. Not just grumpy from hunger but major mood swings. I got really sad for a little while and didn't know why until I realized that this happens every time. Detoxing can unload emotional baggage as well as other toxins. It didn't last long, especially when I realized it had nothing to do with my circumstances just my body going through changes. One very positive thing that I felt yesterday was such an increase in energy and clarity. I didn't feel sluggish or need a nap like the first day. I got up early and went to bed late and felt very alert all day. I also must give myself kudos for not snapping at the dinner table last night when we went to my inlaw's for Matt's birthday dinner. There was Mexican food (my sister in law make's the best vegan black beans) and two cakes. I sat there and drank Kombucha as my celebratory beverage and was still able to have a good time. That takes some mental focus and discipline but every time I overcome a challenge like that I realize how strong I am. Anyone can do the same including you reading this. I'm not superwoman. I've just made a decision of what I want to accomplish and sticking with it because I know this uncomfortable feeling is only temporary and reaching my goal is the best possible thing I can do for my health and my life.

Well on to day 3. Just had half a lemon in water and and a heaping tablespoon of Vitamineral Greens. Off to be productive!!


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