Archive for February 2010

Our First Raw Dinner With Friends

February 28, 2010

We had our first raw meal with friends. It turned out to be scrumptious, thanks to Steve’s extraordinary culinary abilities. Raw Carob Nut RollsI made the dessert – Raw Carob Nut Rolls – but even in that, he assisted. Our friends came quite a distance for the meal, and even participated in composing one portion. Actually, that word really does lend itself to preparation of raw food. It is a composition – and as I begin to see the beauty of the food itself, I want to buy plates that will show them off in their best light. That’s my next task – finding beautiful plates that showcase each creation.

Raw Appetizer Platter

Raw Appetizer Platter

We had a symphony of colors and textures, as our pictures will showcase. The menu consisted of an appetizer plate of kale chips, raw hummus, sauerkraut, sprouts, two types of dehydrated corn cracker chips. For the main course, we served turnip raviolis with a nut cheese filling and a superb raw tomato sauce, as well as spaghetti veggies with a tangy tahini lemon dressing.  Finally, the Raw Carob Nut Rolls.

I cannot emphasize enough the incredible joy in preparing and eating food consciously. I used to be a very fast eater. I wanted my hot food hot and my cold food cold. In fact, I was usually the first one done. Now, I luxuriate in each bite. The flavors not only please my palate, but I can feel the enzymatic action throughout my body. It tingles in a very positive way, letting me know how appreciative it is of having “real” nourishment.Raw Kale Chips

My skin is clearing and enlarged spleen is no longer noticeable to me. In other words, slowly things are beginning to return to their original intent. I remember reading about prisoners of war who were fed only very minimally. Sometimes they were thrown the raw root veggies or remnants of what guards ate, including a little rice. Previous chronic diseases they had were disappearing as a result of those diets, and  other than those who suffered malnutrition, the result of chronic ailments being healed by diet left an imprint in my mind. When I think of the work people like Gabriel Cousins, M.D. are doing to show that diabetes IS curable and that heart disease and high blood pressure CAN be reversed, it makes me wonder about the lack of knowledge that our current crop of physicians have about the connection between diet and disease. It seems that their only answer to any medical question is drug or cut, and that is a sorrowful commentary on what used to be considered the healing arts.Raw Hummus

My grandfather and step-father were physicians. When I was little and got colds, my grandfather’s prescription was onion syrup. It worked every time. The old fashioned doctors who came before the ramp up of drug usage as the be all, end all, knew the natural remedies that would help heal the body, and I feel now that each of us has to become knowledgeable about our own health needs to counteract the pervasive PR that hooks us into the drug or cut mentality. We need to explore folk medicine and see what is real beyond partial truths put out by those who have a vested interest in keeping us dependent on drugs as a prescription to “manage” disease.Raw Turnip Slices

Whether we choose to be 100% raw or slightly raw, trying new ways of eating that helps our bodies to be what they were intended to be is a grand adventure. We were happy to include two younger friends in our first attempt at entertaining raw who are now also embarking on this journey, watching as each new discovery in health and wellbeing emerges. It’s a really eye opening and exciting trip! KJ

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The Flavor of Food

February 27, 2010

Yesterday I had some of our wonderful dehydrated corn crackers with Steve’s home-made hummus. They were so flavorful and vibrant. Then I ate some of the coleslaw he’d made a couple days before. Oh, my. I thought to myself that I had never eaten better tasting food in my life – and that made me remember when years ago I had been on a candida diet. I had to give up all the things I really liked, but in the process, lost 30 lbs in six weeks. The weight wasn’t me, it was the candida. And in the process, I could taste the sweetness in foods like red bell peppers that I hadn’t ever noticed before. I never felt better in my life. My eyesight improved, my brain was clear, and my body slimmed down immediately. Unfortunately, over time, I gradually inched my way back to “regular” eating, and the euphoria of a meal was once again lost. The senses became deadened. I ate things to bring about a momentary sense of satisfaction, but there was no interaction between me and the food. It was just eating for the sake of eating.

I cannot emphasize enough how making the shift to the green smoothies and a diet that incorporates a good amount of the raw food can make a major difference in our lives. We still eat hot food in the evenings when we feel like it, and I still drink a cup or two of tea a day. As I said previously, we are not going to be fanatics, but what is happening is that our taste buds are changing, and the things I used to crave hold absolutely no appeal to me now.

Steve is going to put up a page of recipes we really like, and I think we’ll do some videos as we go along on food prep. It’s an exciting and fun journey, and we’ve met so many wonderful people along the way.

Well, I think I’ll go get another of those great corn crackers and have a little hummus.

YUM! (KJ)

Caveat

February 26, 2010

We have found out that eating raw and drinking smoothies is not going to heal us of anything if we don’t change our old habits. One of the things that smoothies do is to help break cravings for foods that are not optimum for the body. But we’ve both found out that if we DO eat things that are not good for us, the old symptoms re-emerge. For instance, when I ate pancakes with a very small amount of syrup, I got dizzy and felt crummy. Steve has a major snoring problem, and when he gave up all the foods that were not good for him and was true to the raw and smoothie diet, the snoring stopped.   HOWEVER, when he thought he could have popcorn, back it came. When he decided that some chocolate covered peanuts would be okay, snoring returned with a vengeance. Last night I made some raw date, oatmeal, raisin, carob, coconut dessert, and he had some. Snoring again. SO…the key is to recognize what you are allergic to, play around with the different foods to see how you feel, and then get back to doing what helps your body heal.

While we are exploring our food intake, let’s not forget our spiritual intake, as well as physical exercise, because we are body, mind, spirit after all. What a journey! KJ

How to Make a Green Smoothie

February 25, 2010

By Steve Freier

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie Blended Drink

I made a video on How to Make a Green Smoothie and posted it on You Tube. Making Green Smoothies is the easiest thing in the world to do!  There is a simple formula. Use 60% fruit and 40% green leafy plant matter such as spinach, kale, carrot greens, beet greens, swiss chard, etc.  The fruit can be apples, pears, mango, papaya, banana, blue berries, raspberries, strawberries, etc. You can even use tomatoes and cucumber as the fruit, celery too.  It is best if all are organic, but if not then regular produce is better than nothing.

Start with a cup of water. Then put your greens and then the fruit, chopped up a bit so it fits in the blender. Most chefs use and recommend a VitaMix or a Blendtec because they will absolutely chop everything so fine that the end product will be fabulously smooth and delicious!

Once you have blended your smoothie a bit, I always stop and taste and then make corrections. I will add more water if it’s too thick and I always add some ice – maybe a cup to give it a nice cool refreshing feel.

I then pour a glass to drink for breakfast and take along another cup to drink during the morning at work. I may drink yet another cup at lunch time.  It’s easy to get through the day this way without having to bother cooking or going out to fast food restaurants and wasting time and money on bad food.

Here’s a few links to a number of sites that provide many suggestions on how to make a variety of green smoothies. Enjoy!

Here’s the Boutenko Family Sites, the originators of the green smoothie:
http://rawfamily.com/recipes.htm

http://www.greenforlife.com/15-smoothies-in-3-mins.htm

Green Diva Mom
12 Great Tasting Green Smoothie Recipes!

Vitamix Green Smoothies with Video

http://greensmoothierecipes.org/

http://www.smoothie-handbook.com/green-smoothie.html

Another good green smoothie site:
http://www.live-green-smoothie-diet.com/how-to-make-a-green-smoothie/

Let me know about your favorite recipe for green smoothies!

– Steve


A Very Busy Weekend

February 25, 2010

This past weekend was interesting – my granddaughter came to spend time with us for two days of her winter break, and I always enjoy giving her a relaxing time away from her otherwise hectic schedule. At 13, she is going through the angst and questioning that so many teenagers face. Now that we are eating raw food and drinking green smoothies, I didn’t want to force them upon her because when she comes to visit, she gets to be a little princess, and it is not the time to enforce dietary strictures. Her parents can do that. She loves pancakes, eggs and fried potatoes, french toast, Grandma’s sandwiches, and Annie’s Mac and Cheese when she’s here. (just to set the record straight – she eats much healthier food at home, which is why this is a treat for her). The pancake mix was Pamela’s gluten free, and I thought I’d just have one or two of them with her to see how I’d feel. The result was almost immediate. I felt dizzy and heaviness. I was actually surprised at how fast my body reacted. I also noted that my taste buds are becoming much more aware of flavors, and the maple syrup was way too sweet for me even though I’d used only a small dab on each pancake. Later, I felt tired, and when Steve came home Friday, he made a green drink, which immediately perked me up.

Saturday we had a wonderful gathering of friends from out of town, and everyone was interested in the green smoothies. In fact, as people were leaving, the mailman arrived, and I was aware that he had a heart attack a couple of years ago at the age of 35. We chatted, and I told him how much better Steve and I were feeling, mentioning the green smoothies. He was interested and asked about them, so I invited him in and we gave him a glass. He really liked the smoothie and asked if we would e-mail recipe for it – which I did.

Saturday night, we went out to dinner. I felt a need for a hot meal, but did not want any rice noodles. We have a favorite organic Thai restaurant that has wonderful food. If you are on the Peninsula, it is in San Carlos on El Camino Real, and is called Sirayvah http://www.sirayvahorganicthaicuisine.com Steve wanted noodles and had the Pad Thai with tofu. I had a wonderful bowl of Thai soup with coconut milk and lemongrass, and some chicken. I felt very good after. My body really wanted the hot meal. Steve, however, did not feel that good. The pad thai was too heavy for him.

Sunday morning we went to the wonderful farmer’s market on California Avenue in Palo Alto. There are two booths I’m especially fond of in addition to the great organic produce sellers. One is Raw Daddy, where we are able to get great raw food cones – like an ice cream cone – with super veggies and yummy sauces. The creator of this is looking for venture capital or angel investors to start a fast food raw restaurant, and I hope he’s able to pull it off. If you are curious, take a look at his site: http://www.rawdaddyfoods.com

We also like the booth next to his that sells SUPER sauerkraut…some of the best I’ve ever had. It is a great aid to digestion, and if you are interested, their website is: http://www.farmhouseculture.com

Sunday afternoon we attended a raw food group gathering. It was our first, and was very enjoyable. The host and hostess were warm and knowledgeable. The group consisted of 32 people from all walks of life, but I was impressed with the number of physicians and aryuvedic doctors, acupuncturists, and nurtitionists who attended. We had a potluck dinner and then a super talk about metabolism by a very knowledgeable biochemist, Steven Fowkes, who is the founder of The Cognitive Enhancement Research Institute: http://www.ceri.com

Steve and I left the event feeling buoyed and enthusiastic. Also, he won third prize for his slaw and incredible corn crackers. This after only two weeks with raw recipes! It was good to see that the people involved were not fanatics. Some were new to it as we were, investigating raw food and wanting to determine how much they chose incorporate into their diet. Many were vegetarians, but others of us were not, so I was relieved to see that this was not a fanatic group.

All in all, the weekend was a confirmation of our focus, and we felt good throughout. For me, I’m normally needing much more quiet time with space between events. However, even though we had constant activity and guests from Friday on, I got through it all with energy to spare. Hurray!

The Green Smoothie Revolution – Healing in a Glass

February 21, 2010

by Steve Freier

Green Smoothie Blended Drink

Green Smoothie - Healing in a Glass

Today marks the end of the first week on my Raw Journey.  It started last Saturday when we went to the local Farmer’s Market to buy some Greens.  And what a remarkable week it has been!  Most notably I have experienced the following changes; some expected some not.

Major Weight Loss, Increased Clarity
In one week I have lost ten pounds! It’s hard to know exactly but I had weighed in at around 230 – 235 average. Today I weigh 220.  Secondly, I feel much clearer in that a constant brain fog has lifted substantially.

Skin Problem Reversed
A related symptom has also disappeared. For at least ten years I had been experiencing annoying problems with the skin on my head. I had skin sores that would ooze and the severity would range from barely noticeable to an all-out rash that would typically culminate in one or both ears serving as exit points. My guess is that it is or was a candida condition or an infection. My theory is that this condition, never diagnosed by a doctor, was caused by an addiction to sugar.  About two to three weeks ago this condition had manifested in a moderate pain in the scalp on the right side. I had only had that sort of experience once or twice before.  As they say, “only my hairdresser knew for sure,” as it was usually not that evident to the average person. The good news is that in one week this terrible condition has almost completely reversed itself!  THAT is a major miracle for me!

Kicking the Sugar Habit
I realize that as I write this post that it might be starting to sound like an AA Meeting confession, and in some respects that may be true. However, in just a few days I have nearly completely lost me addiction to sugar. I used to love Sees Candy. Sees is like Crack Cocaine someone once said and I have to agree! But I loved all sorts of Crack Candy; Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Peanut Butter inside, Chocolate of any kind really!  I WAS addicted, but the other day I actually tossed out the remainder of a box of chocolates!  Another miracle! That took place in less than a week! But how did I get here?  All it took was making a decision to try something different. And the real result is that my cravings for the Junk Food of Death has been brought under control.

Sleep Apnea Cured
Another thing that comes to mind is the fact that I have almost completely stopped snoring!  My partner had been complaining for years about my snoring and would at times get up and go sleep in another room. And before this past week she had removed herself every night. I myself had removed myself to the other room a few nights too. I had been considering going to one of those sleep clinics to get diagnosed with was obviously Sleep apnea. My Father had it and my grandfather had it. Maybe it ran in my family?  But I already knew what the outcome of that would be. They would prescribe this horrendous facemask that forces oxygen into your lungs and I would have to wear that all night every night. A friend who has sleep apnea suggested a special sleep clinic that was running trials on a new device. I could get paid for using the device so wouldn’t have to worry about the cost of buying one. I was considering doing that when the Green Smoothies rescued me from that terrible fate!  My sweetheart and I are now sleeping more soundly through the night and are back together again in the same bed!

Coffee & Tea Addiction
I am not done yet! Within days of drinking the Green Smoothies I have gained my energy and vitality! Simply amazing!  I had been very tired all the time. I would wake up very stiff and sore and drag myself out of bed. I would then concoct a doubly strong brew of black tea and load it up with three shots of sugar and a hit of honey and top it off with half & half! I loved that drink! On some days I would brew up some equally strong coffee.  Or perhaps I would drink the tea and then also have another round of strong coffee as well at the office.  The results?  Even more sluggishness and brain fog too!

Arthritis & Gout Healed
Another Big Result!  Over the past year or three I had developed a gout condition. I had it mostly under control using natural means such as taking celery seed capsules.  My doctor wanted me to take something stronger but I refused. So as I was feeling so proud that I had not had any major gout attacks in the past year, I was starting to become more arthritic. I felt it mainly in my ankles and feet and left arm socket and my little fingers had become bent over and hurt like hell most of the time. And once again I can say that Green Smoothies have to get the credit for starting to reverse these conditions. Today there is no pain in my ankles and feet and the other areas have quieted down immensely!

Healing in a Glass
I must emphasize that all this has taken place in One Week! If I sound a little excited and this all seems too good to be true, well I have to give credit to a decision to stop doing insane activities over and over and expecting a better result. In order to heal you have to do something different. If you give your body the right ingredients it can and will heal. I owe it all to the Green Smoothie – It’s a Health Revolution in a Glass! Every soldier needs a weapon and for food addictions my weapon is the Green Smoothie!

Green Smoothies

February 19, 2010

Yesterday, we drank smoothies and had our crackers throughout the day. By the evening, I really wanted some warm food, and we heated up the leftovers of our stir fry from a few night’s ago. Whereas the first night it did not taste good to me, last night it did. I was cold, and the hot food was just what I needed. (See, we’re not fanatics!) My granddaughter came to spend a couple days with us and I made her some gluten free pancakes this morning after our green smoothie. The pancakes are actually quite delicious…Pamela’s brand products for those who are gluten intolerant are ALL really superb. I decided to eat a couple myself, and after doing so, I felt light headed and shaky. I’ve been off sugar for a while, and actually have no craving for it, so just having the sweetness of the pancakes and the small amount of syrup on top was not the best choice. I’m appreciating how immediately my body responds to the things I’m putting in to it now. It’s as though it is much more alert to what I’m giving it and lets me know its likes and dislikes. It probably always has done that, but I didn’t pay attention.

Steve has been playing around with different ingredients in the smoothies – and by the way – he has lost 6 lbs in the last week from drinking the smoothies. He took a little jar of the smoothies to work the other day, and didn’t say much, but suddenly his office mates all want to have a taste. One of the employees saw his jar of smoothie the first day, and when he offered some to her, she made a face. (it’s deep green…doesn’t look very appealing). So he kidded her and said, “just take a little sip”. Reluctantly, she pulled out a small dixie cup and took some. “Mmmm, that’s GOOD!” She was surprised. Next day he came with a container and was going to pour some into his cup, and she snatched the container from him. She is hooked. That brought others up to him. They can see a difference in his energy level, and today he made enough for 5 people. He’s not saying much…they are asking about it on their own.

One of our readers wrote and asked me for the recipe. She wants to start drinking smoothies. I asked Steve, and here is the link he gave me that has videos and recipes for you to try. Don’t be put off if you only have a normal blender. The fruit and greens might not fully liquify, but they will still bring you the good content you need. If you get hooked on the smoothies, you can get yourself a blender that really does the job like the Vita Mix, but start wherever you are. Steve says that adding more fruit at first is good so that your taste buds adjust. For me, I like the taste of the greens, but for those who are hooked on sweetness, more fruit at first is probably a good idea.

Here is the link: http://www.live-green-smoothie-diet.com/how-to-make-a-green-smoothie/