Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cool New Finds

I love discovering tasty new products. When I was in NYC earlier this month I came across this unique, hand crafted kombucha from Beyond Kombucha. Made in a solar powered brewery in Queens, NY they have a very cool array of kombucha flavors as well as fermented ale and wine using organic and wild crafted ingredients. Though it's known that kombucha has a trace amount of alcohol this was the first time I've seen one that had 1.5% alcohol. I only had a chance to try their Yerba Mate and Oolong flavors which where spectacular. Smooth tasting albeit a tad sweet for me, I did get a tiny buzz but in no way did I feel tipsy. I'm really looking forward to trying more but, unfortunately, I don't know where they distribute to aside from the greater NYC area. For those in Brooklyn, I found this at Organic Planet on Bedford Avenue between North 7th and 8th.

With raw kale chips all the rage in the past few years, it was exciting to see new veggie chips popping up. Alive & Radiant by Kaya foods, one of my favorite kale chip companies, has recently introduced 3 new leafy green snacks called Veggie Krunch: Arugula Cabbage, Teriyaki Greens, Sweet Onion and Roots Confetti. Arugula Crunch is seasoned with sesame, dill and garlic but also chia seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and caraway seeds. At first bite I found them to be quite bitter but they grew on me pretty quickly. The seasonings definitely helped make them palatable, plus, I love how nutritious they are. Going to try the other flavors next time I'm at the health food store. I found these at Whole Foods and Mother's Market in southern California.

I am totally in love with the low glycemic, raw chocolate bars from Coracao Confections. This superfood chocolate company has a stunning collection of sweet treats. I've yet to try them all as I'm finding myself constantly grabbing for these chunky bars. It's a three way tie between Rawmond Butter, Caramel and Kefir Lime. The caramel bar is made of Organic Raw Cacao Paste, Organic Coconut Palm sugar, Organic Cashew Butter, Organic Raw Cacao Butter, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Yacon Syrup, Wild-Crafted Vanilla Bean, Himalayan Crystal Salt. I've only seen them at Mother's Market but you can order them online here.

I tried this stimulating chocolate drink mix from Essential Living Foods last week at my friend's house when I was suffering from a mid-afternoon energy slump. I blended 1 cup almond milk with a tablespoon of the mix and I was instantly bright eyed and bushy tailed. I've been avoiding stimulants (besides cacao) for a while now so this affected me much more than someone who usually enjoys a cup of caffeine each day. This mix contains all organic ingredients: coconut sugar, cacao powder, lucuma, mesquite, guarana, vanilla and sea salt. You can find these at Whole Foods and online.

Have you discovered anything new I need to try? Leave a comment if you want to share. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Latest Obsession: Essential Oils for Wellness and Detoxification

This summer I got hooked on essential oils. It started innocently enough with 3, then grew to 10, then 25 with more on the way as I write. I think I might need an intervention soon, but what better thing to be addicted to than something that has amazing health properties? I used to think essential oils were just for giving things a nice aroma. I had a few in my pantry that I used for desserts like lavender, orange and lemon. I was completely unaware of their magical powers and how useful they can be for daily wellness.

So what are essential oils you might be asking? They are chemical compounds distilled or pressed from flowers, leaves, bark, roots, stems, fruits, and resin of plants and trees. They can be used 3 different ways:
Aromatically: you can inhale them straight from the bottle, rub a drop between your hands and inhale or use in a diffuser to fill a room. Essential oil compounds are so small, they are able to enter the blood brain barrier within seconds and go to the cells that need help and repair. Their positive mood altering and calming effects can be felt within seconds.
Topically: some oils can be applied without dilution (neat) while some need to be diluted in a carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba, or almond seed oil. Within 30 seconds of applying essential oils it enters the bloodstream and goes to whatever parts of the body need supporting.
Internally: put a drop or more in your drinking water or place drops in an empty veggie capsule (you can find these at health food stores) and take them like a vitamin.

It's super important that you use very pure therapeutic grade oils as there is little regulation in the oil business. A product only needs to have 1 drop of pure oil in the bottle to be able to label it as 100% pure. The remainder can be synthetic or diluted essential oil. How crazy is that?? Plus most brands can only be used aromatically as they are too toxic or caustic to be ingested or applied topically. What I love about the doTerra oils is that don't go to a broker to get the oils, they actually source each oil from their indigenous area all over the world. Their lemon oil comes from Italy, the lavender from France and the Frankincense is from Jordan. They oversee that each oil is harvested at the right time and steam distilled or pressed at low temperatures to not degrade the oils. Every oil is truly 100% pure and unadulterated, creating a very potent product. They are 50-70% more powerful than herbs and so potent, in fact, that just one drop of their peppermint oil is the equivalent to 26 cups of peppermint tea!

The new modern medicine cabinet.
So what can they do? Almost all essential oils are antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and/or antimicrobial. Some have antidepressant, analgesic, antiseptic, anti-tumor and anti-parasitic properties among other things. Some of my daily go-to oils are:

Lemon: I use a drop or two in my drinking water to use as a daily cleanser. It has the ability to break down petrochemicals and other toxins in the body as well as parasites. It has a considerable amount of limonene (as do all citrus), a very potent anti-cancer and anti-bacterial compound. You can also put a few drops in a spray bottle with water and spray kitchen and bathroom counters, door knobs and other places that harbor germs. Hospitals in Europe sanitize their rooms and kill airborne germs with lemon oil. Lemon oil is also an antihistamine, stimulates white blood cell production and assists the liver to detoxify.

Lavender: I rub this on the bottom of my feet at night. Lavender is very good at calming the mind and inducing a good nights sleep. This is great for babies and kids who are restless at night. Our feet have the largest pores on our body which is why it's a great spot for applying essential oils. Lavender is considered the Swiss army knife of essential oils since it can be used for almost anything. Everything from skin conditions to headaches to immune support to emotional distress and muscle pains.

Peppermint: When my cat allergies flare up I put 2 drops peppermint, 2 drops lemon and 2 drops lavender into a capsule and swallow it. Voila! No more allergies. I also love to put a drop of peppermint into my water with lemon oil for a pick me up or rub a little on the back of my neck to cool and revive me when I'm feeling sluggish. Just smelling it puts me in the best mood. Maybe it reminds me of when I used to eat Junior Mints (swoon...I mean, gross, it's all corn syrup). It's also great to put on the temples when you have a headache or on the bottom of the feet to reduce a fever. It's also great to add a drop to tea to aid indigestion.

Melaleuca: also known as "tea tree" oil, I use this every night over my face to treat and prevent blemishes. It's great as a skin aid for burns, cuts, eczema and shingles and has very powerful antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic, and antifungal properties. Use it on the feet to help eliminate candida or athlete's foot or dab it on a cold sore, wart or an achy tooth. It stimulates the immune system, and can be used to fight colds, flu and other illnesses. It has so many uses, I recommend everyone have this one in their medicine cabinet.

Wild Orange: Honestly, I have been huffing this oil like crazy and still can't get enough. I put a drop into my Yerba mate tea every morning and diffuse it into the living room. I carry it around in my purse and sometimes I even wear it as perfume (mixed with a little coconut oil so it lasts longer). I got a diffuser for my car so I could be a less aggressive LA driver and guess what? it worked! Citrus has mood lifting properties and is amazing as an anti-depressant, and like the lemon oil, it contains many of the same antibacterial and cancer fighting abilities. Wild orange is also great for liver, gland and tissue detoxification.

All of the above oils, except for the melaleuca, can also be used in desserts and other recipes. There are some other doTerra oils I'm planning to add to my culinary arsenal like basil, cilantro, black pepper, cinnamon and thyme. All of which have amazing health properties as well.

I've really only scratched the surface of what these oils can do. I highly recommend trying some out for yourself and see if you don't get hooked on them. What is so great is that these oils are a gift from nature that work so intelligently in our bodies. The pharmaceutical companies have based their formulations on mimicking what nature has already given us but with terrible side effects. There are little to no side effects with these oils. A word of caution, though, when using citrus oils topically. Avoid sunlight for at least 12 hours as they can make the skin photosensitive. If you're pregnant I recommend avoiding most oils for the first trimester (citrus oils are OK) and use them sparingly for the 2nd and 3rd trimester and only topically and aromatically. For everyone else, these are a great addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Have fun huffing!

For more info or to get a free sample from the doTerra line of essential oils click here.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sugar Free Superfood Chocolate Shake

One of my favorite superfood companies, Navitas Naturals, is kicking off their Back To Basics Smoothment today. I call it a festival of smoothies. You get daily videos and recipes on how to make nutrient dense, superfood smoothies plus you can enter to win $300 in Navitas Natural products. Click here to sign up!

So just to get you jazzed up, I came up with a sugar free chocolate smoothie for all you low glycemic peeps out there who, like myself, just don't handle sugar well. This is a great afternoon pick me up or meal replacement. It's thick and rich with hemp seeds to bump up the protein and add some essential fatty acids plus powdered wheatgrass for a shot of chlorophyll. What I love about their wheatgrass powder is that you can't taste it at all, and I'm a person who REALLY dislikes the flavor of wheatgrass. You could easily add more to this smoothie if you wanted without affecting the flavor. This is also really versatile, so play around with other superfoods like Navitas maca powder or medicinal mushrooms like reishi and chaga if you're into those (I am!!). Also, use your favorite sweetener. I used xylitol to make it low glycemic but use whatever floats your boat.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cleanse America Starts June 20th!

Join me and hundreds of people across the country on a 10 day raw cleanse. Get awesome recipes, daily videos and inspiration and be connected in a supportive online community where you can ask questions, make friends and be transformed.

I'm very excited to be one of the featured Wellness Warriors and to be a part of this amazing program!!

Click here to view more details

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Best Stevia Ever

The new kid in town.
I was at the Longevity Now Conference this past weekend where one of my favorite things to do is check out the latest, exciting new products from all the exhibitors. One of my favorite vendors at the conference is Omica Organics. They make a variety of high quality supplements like MSM crystals, magnesium oil, zeolite and fulvic acid. They keep expanding their line of unique products and this weekend they debuted their latest creation. Introducing the BEST STEVIA EVER! Stevia Botanica is unreconstituted liquid stevia. Unlike other brands that take powdered, refined stevia and turn it into a liquid, this has never been in powder form. It has no bitter flavor and is absolutely fantastic. I have been using SweetLeaf for years and did a taste test when I got home. The flavor is night and day. Stevia Botania is smooth and clean with no bitter aftertaste. It is still intensely sweet, though, as stevia is known for being 30 times sweeter than sugar. One drop goes a looooong way which is good, because at $20 a bottle you want this liquid goodness to last you a long time. It's zero glycemic, vegan, organic and gluten free. It's also not for sale on their website yet, but keep an eye out for it. It's a game changer.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Latest News - Dr. Don Show next week

Great news! I am almost done writing my new book, Raw & Simple. Though the recipes are easy, writing a whole new book was not. I've gone to great lengths to bring you the most up to date nutritional information on eating raw and over 100 fresh, new recipes to get you glowing. The book is slated to be released March 2013. Also, Going Raw is back in stock. It seems to be selling faster than they can print it! Thanks so much to everyone for your support and spreading the word.

For anyone interested, I'll be coaching clients again in mid July if anyone needs support with their diet and reaching their health goals. I've also got a couple other projects in the works that I will keep you posted on.

I'm also going to be on the Dr. Don Radio Show next week, Thursday May 17th from 3-4pm PST. Listen in live if you are in Arizona and you can even call in with questions. I think you might be able to listen to it streaming from the station website.

KAAA am1230
KZZZ am1490

You can check out the Dr. Don archives which I found to be super informative and interesting. My episode will be on there as well if you miss it next week.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March Update

OMG, I'm a terrible blogger. I can't believe it's been two and half months since I last posted. And how is it possible that it's almost April 2012?! I've been completely immersed in book writing. My deadline is fast approaching and I am only half way done. It's going very well, though, and I'm completely thrilled with the new recipes and the ease of the directions. Everyone's been waiting for a new, easy raw food book and I believe it'll be much appreciated when it comes out next spring. Very fresh recipes with no dehydration. Who's excited??!!

Aside from book writing, I have also been busy with commercial auditions and print jobs. I've had to go to castings almost every day this month which cuts into my time in the kitchen and can be an exhausting commute some days. I also had some personal things go down which I will write about down the road. Major girl talk that I think will be really beneficial to a lot of the readers. It's gonna be one juicey blog post that is going to take me days to write. Days of which I do not have right now to spare. 

One of my rad readers asked if I was still on the Body Ecology Diet. Because of the recipe writing, I'm not following it. I have to test a lot of sugary foods like desserts and fruit smoothies but I still drink coconut kefir and take probiotics to keep things in check. My skin has had some breakouts but it's not that bad. I am looking forward to finishing up the book and getting back to my regular low sugar routine. FYI I'm addressing the sugar problem in the new book and many recipes are BED friendly.

Before I head back to the kitchen, I wanted to tell you about my Saturday night. I had an opportunity to make a raw dinner with Matthew Kenney for supermodel Gisele Bundchen and her husband, New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady. Gisele is totally down with raw and is very passionate about health. We got to talk for a while about food and health and she really knows her stuff. Both of them loved the food and asked me to become the family chef. I, unfortunately, can't commit to a long term chef position, but am so flattered to have been asked. They are my dream clients and I hope they continue following a mostly plant based diet. There couldn't be two more beautiful people to exemplify the benefits of raw foods.

Alright, back to the kitchen I go. My next post will most likely be June 1st when I deliver my manuscript. There's going to be some major celebrating!!

Till then....xoxo


Related Posts with Thumbnails