Posts

How to Make Almond Milk or Seed Milk at Home

Benefits of Making Your own Nut or Seed Milk

Natural nut and seed milks offer an excellent source of body-building protein and packed with life-giving nutrients: vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Especially when soaked overnight and the enzyme inhibitors are released from the nut or seed, the milk is made from live food, even better and more enzyme-packed than a raw food! Nut milks are easy to digest and absorb. There is no added sugar, preservatives, colorings or chemical additives (as in commercial soy and almond milk). There are also no added hormones or antibiotics (as in commercial dairy milk). Nut and seed milks are gluten-free, lactose-free and non-mucous forming: a great vegan, plant-based healthy alternative to dairy milk. And they taste great!

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

Make your own Fresh Almond Milk at Home!

You can easily make your own nut or seed milks at home, and this is something you can do more in the winter when there is less availability of fresh raw foods. Use the nut milk as the base for a delicious smoothie (keep reading for some yummy recipes to try yourself!)

How to Make Homemade Almond Nut or Seed Milk

1. Think Healthy

Start in a positive, loving and healthy vibration.

Think of all the good you are doing for your body!

2. Soak Overnight

Soak 1 cup nuts or seeds overnight (8-10 hours)
in a glass jar or container.

Use 1/3 nuts/seeds to 2/3 water.

3. Rinse and Blend

Rinse the soaked nuts or seeds with fresh water.

Blend 1 cup soaked nuts or seeds in the blender with 3-5 cups fresh water.

4. Strain Using Cotton Bag

Strain the blended mixture using the cotton bag. You may use the pulp to make raw crackers.

The liquid is your ‘milk!’

5. Add fruit, honey or dates

Refrigerate and use for 3-5 days.

Can blend again with dates, honey or fresh fruits for a delicious alternative to dairy.

Drinking Your Milk

Enjoy your nut milk as a healthy vegan source of protein full of enzyme power! You may drink it plain, add it to smoothies, raw soups or raw granola or add to a raw recipe.

Storing Your Milk

Store your Fresh Almond Milk in a glass jar in the fridge

It is best to store your nut or seed milk in a glass jar or glass container in the refrigerator. Shake well before using. If it is too thick, simply add more fresh water.

The fresh milk will keep for 3-5 days when refrigerated. Use the milk as a base to create other smoothies and fruit blends.
To make a fruit blend, take 1 cup of nut or seed milk and blend again with dates, fresh fruit or honey.

Good Nuts and Seeds for Milk

Good Nuts for Beginners

Try almond, macadamia, brazil nuts, pecans or cashews for your nut milks.

Good Seeds for Beginners

For seed milk, you can use pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds. If you use sunflower seeds, it is best to not strain them with the bags because the seed tend to get quite ‘sticky.’ For sunflower milk, simply keep the seed pulp in the milk.

More about Nuts and Seeds

Do NOT use roasted or salted nuts or seeds for your milk. Be sure to use raw unsalted nuts or seeds. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds should be shelled, raw and unsalted. Always discard the soaked water from the overnight soaking process. Use fresh water when blending the milk.

Almond Milk Smoothie Recipe

1 Cup Fresh Almond Milk
2 Medjool dates (pitted)
1 Banana
2 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seed
1 Tablespoon Raw Maca Powder
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

Blend all ingredients in the blender until smooth. Enjoy!

Brazil Nut Milk Smoothie

1 Cup Fresh Brazil Nut Milk
2 Tbsp. Raw Cacao (or Carob) Powder
2 Tablespoons Raw Honey
Dash of Cinnamon Powder (to taste)

Blend all ingredients in the blender until smooth. Enjoy!

2 Sprout Nut Seed Milk Cotton Bags + eBook with Recipes – Raw Food Cooking
$15.99

More on Nut Milk and Healthy Recipes:

How to Make Almond Milk or Seed Milk at Home

Benefits of Making Your own Nut or Seed Milk

Natural nut and seed milks offer an excellent source of body-building protein and packed with life-giving nutrients: vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Especially when soaked overnight and the enzyme inhibitors are released from the nut or seed, the milk is made from live food, even better and more enzyme-packed than a raw food! Nut milks are easy to digest and absorb. There is no added sugar, preservatives, colorings or chemical additives (as in commercial soy and almond milk). There are also no added hormones or antibiotics (as in commercial dairy milk). Nut and seed milks are gluten-free, lactose-free and non-mucous forming: a great vegan, plant-based healthy alternative to dairy milk. And they taste great!

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

Make your own Fresh Almond Milk at Home!

You can easily make your own nut or seed milks at home, and this is something you can do more in the winter when there is less availability of fresh raw foods. Use the nut milk as the base for a delicious smoothie (keep reading for some yummy recipes to try yourself!)

How to Make Homemade Almond Nut or Seed Milk

1. Think Healthy

Start in a positive, loving and healthy vibration.

Think of all the good you are doing for your body!

2. Soak Overnight

Soak 1 cup nuts or seeds overnight (8-10 hours)
in a glass jar or container.

Use 1/3 nuts/seeds to 2/3 water.

3. Rinse and Blend

Rinse the soaked nuts or seeds with fresh water.

Blend 1 cup soaked nuts or seeds in the blender with 3-5 cups fresh water.

4. Strain Using Cotton Bag

Strain the blended mixture using the cotton bag. You may use the pulp to make raw crackers.

The liquid is your ‘milk!’

5. Add fruit, honey or dates

Refrigerate and use for 3-5 days.

Can blend again with dates, honey or fresh fruits for a delicious alternative to dairy.

Drinking Your Milk

Enjoy your nut milk as a healthy vegan source of protein full of enzyme power! You may drink it plain, add it to smoothies, raw soups or raw granola or add to a raw recipe.

Storing Your Milk

Store your Fresh Almond Milk in a glass jar in the fridge

It is best to store your nut or seed milk in a glass jar or glass container in the refrigerator. Shake well before using. If it is too thick, simply add more fresh water.

The fresh milk will keep for 3-5 days when refrigerated. Use the milk as a base to create other smoothies and fruit blends.
To make a fruit blend, take 1 cup of nut or seed milk and blend again with dates, fresh fruit or honey.

Good Nuts and Seeds for Milk

Good Nuts for Beginners

Try almond, macadamia, brazil nuts, pecans or cashews for your nut milks.

Good Seeds for Beginners

For seed milk, you can use pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds. If you use sunflower seeds, it is best to not strain them with the bags because the seed tend to get quite ‘sticky.’ For sunflower milk, simply keep the seed pulp in the milk.

More about Nuts and Seeds

Do NOT use roasted or salted nuts or seeds for your milk. Be sure to use raw unsalted nuts or seeds. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds should be shelled, raw and unsalted. Always discard the soaked water from the overnight soaking process. Use fresh water when blending the milk.

Almond Milk Smoothie Recipe

1 Cup Fresh Almond Milk
2 Medjool dates (pitted)
1 Banana
2 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seed
1 Tablespoon Raw Maca Powder
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

Blend all ingredients in the blender until smooth. Enjoy!

Brazil Nut Milk Smoothie

1 Cup Fresh Brazil Nut Milk
2 Tbsp. Raw Cacao (or Carob) Powder
2 Tablespoons Raw Honey
Dash of Cinnamon Powder (to taste)

Blend all ingredients in the blender until smooth. Enjoy!

2 Sprout Nut Seed Milk Cotton Bags + eBook with Recipes – Raw Food Cooking
$15.99

More on Nut Milk and Healthy Recipes:

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

1. No Gossip!

Gossip feeds negative energy and that’s not a healthy frequency for healing! Speaking positively of others brings more alkalinity, joy and peace to you.

2. Clean out the pantry.

Get rid of any old food that will not serve the New Healthy You for 2013. Organize your kitchen.

3. Make Time for Your Health.

No one is going to do it for you! Find 30 minutes per day to read an inspirational book or go for a brisk walk. Do it every day!!

4. Seek out Support.

Find a local raw food potluck to make new local, healthy friends. If there isn’t one in your area, then start one yourself! A great place to find raw food and vegan groups is on meetup.com.

5. Forgive Yourself!

Let go of mistakes in the past. You ARE worthy of being loved for everything you are now in this very moment! You are who you are and that is ok!

6. Daily Green Smoothie!

Make a goal to have 1 Green Smoothie per day as a replacement meal for 2013. A Green Smoothie for breakfast sets you up for a healthy day every day!

7. Weekly Green Smoothie day.

If you do a one-day per week detox, after 7 years you will have done an entire year of 100% raw food detox! Just one day a week, have a 100% Green Smoothie Day as a mini-cleanse and reboot.

8. Floss Your Teeth!

Bleaching does not give you good teeth, Eating more raw foods and flossing every day does. Daily flossing reduces inflammation and bacteria in the mouth.

9. Be Kind Online.

Being tired, stressed and toxic can lead people to have a different persona online. Treat everyone in every tweet, comment and email with the same courtesy and kindness as you would to their face.

10. Stay Alkaline!

An alkaline-pH is the basis to good health. The most alkaline-forming foods: Fresh fruits and vegetables. The most acid-forming food: Aspartame. Replace chewing gum with a sprig of fresh parsley or mint.

Happy New Year!! Here’s to a New Healthy You!

More on Motivation:

More on Raw Food:

International Directory of Detox, Juice Fast, Healing Centers and Retreats

From Food Matters

Detox, Juice Fasting Retreat and Healing Center Directory

World Destinations for Detox, Juice Fasting, Healing Clinics

USA and Canada

Gerson Institute – San Diego, California
Gerson Therapy is tailored to treat cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis using natural treatment methods such as organic foods, juicing and detoxification.
www.gerson.org

Hippocrates Health Institute – Florida
The Hippocrates Health Institute provides a tranquil haven for peace and health restoration. Guests are treated with enzyme-rich vegan food, educational classes and exercise facilities.
www.hippocratesinst.org

An Oasis of Healing – Arizona
An Oasis of Healing offers natural options for treating cancer, whilst promoting immune strengthening and health restoration.
www.anoasisofhealing.com

The Kushi Institute – Massachusetts
The Kushi Institute is an international expert authority on the macrobiotic lifestyle for health and well-being, offering residential educational programs.
www.kushiinstitute.org

Creative Health Institute – Michigan
The Creative Health Institute is a learning facility designed to help people reclaim health through raw food nutrition and detoxification.
www.creativehealthinstitute.com

Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas – North Carolina
This holistic medical facility uses combined conventional and natural therapies to provide integrated mind-body-spirit healing for a wide variety of diseases.
www.holisticmedclinic.com

Optimum Health Institute – San Diego; Austin
The Optimum Health Institute aims to rejuvenate physical, emotional and spiritual health through vegetarian raw food, juicing, lymphatic exercise, colon hydrotherapy and prayer.
www.optimumhealth.org

The Issels Foundation – Arizona
The Issels Foundation offers alternative therapies for cancer and chronic illnesses, with the dual aim of treating disease and preventing its recurrence.
www.issels.com

Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center – Arizona
Under the guidance of world-renowned health and spiritual practitioners, The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center is a healing haven for a wide range of diseases. Expert teaching on raw food nutrition, spiritual growth and natural living is also available.
www.treeoflife.nu

Rudolf Steiner Health Center
- Ann Arbor, Michigan
This program is designed for ambulatory individuals with chronic illnesses, or anyone seeking a restorative regimen. The Health Center follows the Anthroposophic medical guidelines of Austrian scientist-philosopher Rudolf Steiner.
www.steinerhealth.org

Weimar Institute – Weimar, California
The Weimer Institute offers nutrition and lifestyle guidance, imbued with a strong spiritual focus, to remedy disease.
www.weimar.org

Oxygen Life Spa – Texas
The Oxygen Life Spa offers a spiritual space for healing through the use of Ozone saunas, Chi Tables and Tesla Coil Photon Generators.
www.oxygenlifespa.com

Rest Of Your Life Health Retreat – Texas
Under doctor guidance, guests may fast and detoxify in a remote country environment. Education about natural hygiene and raw-food healthy living is also provided.
www.roylretreat.com

Yoga Oasis – Hawaii
The Yoga Oasis offers intensive yoga and detoxification programs, with food preparation classes and nature excursions also available.
www.yogaoasis.org

Ann Wigmore Foundation – San Fidel, New Mexico
An educational and healing retreat, the Ann Wigmore foundation prescribes live, organic vegan foods and natural detoxification methods for health and recovery.
www.wigmore.org

Dr Gonzalez – New York
This clinic is headed by medical doctors who offer treatments for cancer, autoimmune diseases, allergies and chronic fatigue.
www.dr-gonzalez.com

The Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning – Kansas
This clinic founded by Dr Hugh Riordan uses the approach of finding the cause of illness and to correct it rather than just treating the symptoms.
www.brightspot.org

Canada

New Life Retreat – Ontario, Canada
Situated on a lush organic farm, New Life Retreat has an interactive, practical approach to teaching eco-friendly and healthy living. In addition to a fresh, organic vegetarian diet, guests will benefit from meditation, relaxation, juicing, fasting and exercise in nature.
www.newliferetreat.com

Nonpareil Natural Health Retreat – Stirling, Ontario
This natural haven provides a range of services for detoxification and health rejuvenation. Raw-juice cleansing, nutrition counselling, colon therapy, mud baths, yoga, relaxation in nature, reflexology, reiki and meditation are available in their programs.
www3.sympatico.ca/nonpareil/

Europe and the UK

Paracelsus Klinik – Switzerland
Paracelsus Klinik is an integrative conventional/complementary medicine clinic, treating a wide array of diseases.
www.paracelsus.ch

Vortex Vital – Spain
Vortox Vital is a resort-style health retreat providing fasting and numerous other detoxification programs.
www.vortexvital.com

Detox International – Spain, Portugal
Detox International provides 7 day holistic detox retreats supported by a team of nutritionists and therapists.
www.detox-international.com

Australia and New Zealand

The Vita Centre – Edgecliff, New South Wales
The Vita Centre offers a holistic, integrative blend of conventional and complementary therapies for a wide range of diseases.
www.vitacentre.com

Yarra Vallley Living Centre (home of The Gawler Cancer Foundation), Victoria
This clinic has a combined orthodox and mind/body medicine approach to treating disease, utilising treatment advice from medical doctors and natural health practitioners. Set in 40 acres of natural bushland at the foot of rolling hills, they host Wellbeing retreats in a nurturing and peaceful environment.
www.gawler.org

Fountainhead Organic Health Retreat – Maleny, Queensland
100% organic health retreat focusing on stress, detox and fitness programs.
www.fountainhead.com.au

Asia

The Farm – Phillipines
The Farm is a lush eco-friendly resort, with medical doctors that tailor individual detoxification and healing programs. Guests are luxuriously pampered during their program.
www.thefarm.com.ph

The Spa Resorts – Thailand
This Spa Resorts provide detoxification programs, fasting, massage and reflexology in the lush comfort of resort accommodation.
www.thesparesorts.net

Kamalaya – Thailand
Kamalaya is a luxury resort that offers detox and yoga retreats in Thailand. Their Wellness Sanctuary offers colonic irrigation and speciality detoxes including weight loss, sleep enhancement, optimal fitness and stress & burnout.
www.kamalaya.com

Atsumi Detox – Thailand
Atsumi Retreat Healing Center is a natural detox & therapy education facility in Phuket, Thailand where people come to fast and cleanse their systems of toxins.
www.atsumihealing.com

Atmanjai Detox – Thailand
Atmanjai Resort is a natural detox retreat center, based on the Dr. Bernard Jensen healing concepts. Each guest has their own colema room during their cleanse.
www.atmanjai.com

Julia Jus’ Innergetic Health Rejuvenation Retreat – Bali, Indonesia
This 7-day retreat provides a comprehensive detoxification program involving raw-food cuisine, pilates, meditation, colonic irrigation, detox baths, massage, ozone therapy, nutrition/lifestyle counselling and infra-red saunas.
www.juliajus.com

Central and South America

Gerson Plus Therapy – Tijuana, Mexico
Dr Dan Rogers is a trained Medical Doctor and Naturopath. He has been treating patients using integrative medicine since the late 1970’s. Dr Rogers believes in the use of the Gerson Plus therapy which is a nutrition based form of detoxification and healing from within.
www.gersonplus.com

An Oasis of Hope – Playas de Tijuana, Mexico
This is an integrative medical facility specializing in conventional and complementary cancer treatments.
www.oasisofhope.com

Sanoviv Medical Institute – Baja California, Mexico
This is a holistic medical facility offering integrative treatments for numerous chronic or general diseases.
www.sanoviv.com

Health For Humanity – Ecuador
Provides information and services for QHM technology and cancer treatment.
www.cancercuredresearch.com

Farm of Life (Finca de Vida) – Costa Rica
This remote eco-lodge is a natural sanctuary for the exploration of health-fulfilling activities such as yoga, raw food/vegetarian eating, eco-adventures and self-improvement. Farm of Life is a smoke-meat-alcohol-free environment.
www.fincadevida.com Read my article on Finca de Vida!

Pacha Mama – Costa Rica
This retreat offers numerous healing services such as yoga, detoxification, colonic irrigation, reflexology, acupuncture, nutritional consultation, meditation, spiritual teachings, juice fasting, massage and reiki.
www.pachamama.com Read my article on Pachamama!

Ann Wigmore Institute – Puerto Rico
This is an educational health retreat that practices Ann Wigmore’s methods of detoxification and raw-food health restoration.
www.annwigmore.org

Africa

Detox International – South Africa
Detox International provides 7 day holistic detox retreats supported by a team of nutritionists and therapists.
www.detox-international.co.za

Cancure.org
A valuable resource for investigating natural therapy clinics worldwide and considering treatment options.
www.cancure.org

More on Traveling Raw:

Recipe: Banana Softie with Cinnamon Sauce, A Raw Food Vegan ‘Ice-Cream’

100% Raw Food and Healthy Bliss!

This raw food vegan dessert is a favorite, even amongst cooked-food eaters! The banana makes this dish look and taste creamy, just like real ice cream, but there is no dairy or added sugar as you will soon see. I hope, with this recipe, you can see how much more there is to make with a blender than just smoothies! Personally, I found that my Ninja blender motor wasn’t strong enough to blend frozen bananas. Luckily, I borrowed a KitchenAid blender and used the Puree Button and it worked just fine. When you consider spending more money on an expensive blender like the Vitamix, it’s the high-power motor that makes the difference.

The main ingredient of the Banana Softie is frozen bananas. Organic is best if possible of course!

Buy bananas ripe before freezing

I like to buy organic bananas on sale, just before they are too ripe, and use them for this dish. You can keep a small stockpile of frozen bananas in the freezer ready to make a batch of softie for family and friends. The key to freezing the bananas is 1) peel each banana first and 2) chop into pieces before freezing.

Store frozen bananas peeled and chopped

If you’ve ever tried to freeze a banana whole with the skin on, you would have quickly learned how difficult it is to peel a frozen banana and how much harder it is to put whole frozen bananas in the blender! So, peel, chop and place your frozen banana pieces in a plastic bag or glass container in the freezer. Let freeze solid before making this recipes (at least 24 hours is best).

Banana Softie (100% Raw Vegan Ice Cream) Ingredients:

  • 6 organic bananas (peeled, chopped and frozen)

Banana Softie Sauce/Topping Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp organic cinnamon powder
  • 4 Tbsp. Raw Honey or 2 Organic Medjool Dates (pitted)
  • 2 Tbsp. filtered water
  • 1-2 Organic Medjool Dates, chopped for added topping (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. Raw Cacao Nibs for added topping (optional)

Banana Softie Directions:

The lucky winner of the Vitamix Blender can use their new blender to make this recipe. You can also use a normal blender, but make sure it has a decent motor. For example, a Cuisinart brand should be ok but a Nutri-Bullet may not be able to blend the frozen banana.

Blend, and serve…so easy!

All you need to do is place the frozen chopped banana pieces in the blender and add about 1/4 cup filtered water. (The water just helps to puree the bananas into a creamy blend). If your blender doesn’t blend the bananas, let then sit out for about 10 minutes to thaw a bit and try again. (Of course, with a Vitamix…this will not be a problem!)

Once the bananas are blended in a yummy creamy softie form, you will be ready to serve! Be prepared to serve immediately because the softie will start to melt rather quickly. For that reason, it’s best to make fresh and serve fresh. If necessary, you can make the softie and store in the freezer prior to serving.

In that case, keep the sauce and topping separate and garnish later.

Optional: Cinnamon Sauce and Raw Toppings
The Cinnamon Sauce tastes amazing with Banana Softie! To make the sauce, stir raw honey (or pureed organic Medjool dates), cinnamon and water into a sauce. If your raw honey is quite thick, you can blend the sauce in a mini food processor.  Note: raw honey is not a vegan food; if you’re vegan, use organic Medjool dates in your Cinnamon sauce.

Banana Softie with Cinnamon Sauce

Drizzle the cinnamon sauce on top of each bowl of banana softie and suddenly your raw food dessert is looking very yummy! Additionally, you may add some raw cacao nibs and/or chopped dates on top.

Banana Softie with Chopped Dates

When I worked at the Spa Samui Detox Resort in Koh Samui, Thailand, this dish was very popular and all of the fasters wanted to know how soon after their fast could they eat the Banana Softie! At Spa Samui, they also offered Mango Softie (which is the same dish but uses fresh frozen mango instead). Personally, I never liked the Mango Softie because it was never creamy like the Banana Softie but you can certainly give it a try and decide for yourself. If you want to try Mango Softie, simply peel, chop and freeze about 4-5 mangoes and follow the instructions as per above. You can also experiment by preparing ‘2 scoops’ of ‘ice-cream,’ one banana and one mango.

A ‘normal’ ice-cream will contain added sugar, artificial colors and flavors, sometimes gluten and of course dairy. No wonder people get acne, bad skin, puffiness, port digestion and even acid-reflux after eating it. Choose the raw food vegan gluten-free version and you have no added chemicals. Instead, you get extra the healing power of real food! Cinnamon is known to help regulate blood sugars, bananas are a great source of potassium and mangoes are high in Vitamin C, and several trial studies suggest that polyphenolic anti-oxidant compounds in mango are known to offer protection against breast and colon cancers. See how much fun eating raw food can be! And it’s good for you too!

More Raw Food Desserts:

Recipe: Raw Tahini, Garlic and Lemon Salad Dressing or Veggie Dip…and it’s Amazing!

Raw Tahini Salad Dressing is one of my absolute favorites!

This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make and gives you a great healthy homemade veggie dip or salad dressing to use all week long! I’ve decided to feature an easy-to-blend-and-create recipe this week to show you how many different things you can make in a blender…and not just smoothies!

Ingredients for Tahini Dressing

Raw tahini, or sesame paste (think peanut butter made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts), can be found in most supermarkets and health food stores. I bought the tahini for this blog post at a Greek supermarket and deli, but you can also find it in any type of Mediterreanean or Middle Eastern Supermarket as well.

In the US and North America, people tend to call sesame paste ‘tahini‘ but it the Middle East you will see it called ‘tahina.’ In Israel, there are countless brands of tahina for sale. They even have a sprouted raw tahini sesame paste from Ethiopia which is outstandingly delicious!!

What’s interesting to know is that in Israel, people rarely eat tahini straight from the jar. For them, it’s too thick and it’s not tasty without any spices or fresh lemon juice. It seems to me that in the USA, tahini is under-appreciated and under-utilized because people don’t know the traditional way to prepare it. In the recipe below, I will show you how!

Easy to make and tastes amazing!!

Typically I will use one whole jar of tahina or sesame seed paste to blend up my tahina dressing for the week. Here, I used one 16-oz. (or 454 gram) container of tahina to make a container of 32 oz. (or 950 ml) of dip or salad dressing. Making salads that taste good is a key to raw food success, and there is no faster way to kill a good salad than by adding a store-bought salad dressing full of sugar, preservatives, flavor enhancers (MSG), thickeners and emulsifiers.

I always make my own salad dressing and I am a happier, healthier person for it!

Sesame seeds are a great vegan source of calcium and they’re also naturally high in zinc. Fresh lemon is extremely alkalizing, good for pH health. Cumin is known to aid in digestion. Cayenne pepper is very good for the heart and blood (circulation). Garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory food and a great immune system booster.

*Can’t find tahini or sesame seed paste where you live? You can make it from scratch with organic sesame seeds! Check out the recipe for it here: How to Make Raw Tahini

Tahini Salad Dressing/Dip Ingredients:

 

  • 2 – 3 large garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1 16 oz. container tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • Juice of 2 lemons (freshly squeezed is best)
  • 1 cup water (filtered is best)
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika (optional)
  • dash sea salt or Himalayan salt (to taste)

 

Tahini Salad Dressing Directions:

The lucky winner of the Vitamix Blender can use their new blender to make this recipe. For the commoners (like me!), you can use a normal blender. Peel the garlic and put garlic and water in the blender. Blend. Add the entire jar of tahini paste (with the oil which is usually separated on top), spices, fresh lemon juice and salt and blend again. Adjust spices to taste (you may need to add more cumin, salt or cayenne pepper) and blend again. If the result is too thick, add more water…slowly! Start with adding 1/4 cup water, blend and assess. If too thick, add another 1/4 cup water and blend again. The final result should be creamy, but not runny. (Each brand of tahina will give a slightly different thickness so you always have to experiment a little.)

Optional: You can also add 1/2 cup of fresh parsley and blend. Fresh parsley is highly recommended over dried parsley for this recipe (in the Middle East, no one uses dried parsley in tahina!). If you use dried parsley (which I do not recommend simply because fresh parsley tastes 1,000x better), add only 1 Tbsp. of dried parsley. The garlic and paprika are also optional, depending on your taste.

Tip: For garlic, try to find organic garlic which, not only is a normal size like you see in the photo and not GMO-ed gargantuan size, but organic garlic has a nice, mild fresh taste. The gigantic non-organic garlic from China (sold in most supermarkets) has an unnaturally strong taste (perhaps in relation to it’s unnaturally large size!). Choose organic garlic to really enjoy the subtle flavor of this healing food.

Note: The dressing should keep in the fridge for up to 7 days.

How to Eat

In Israel, this salad dressing is on the table with nearly every meal and most often eaten with a classic ‘Israeli Salad’ or ‘Arab Salad,’ consisting of finely chopped cucumber, fresh parsley and tomato. However, you can use it on any raw food salad as a tasty dressing. Try this combo: Peel 3 organic carrots and then grate with a normal size grater into a bowl. Add 1 celery stalk chopped, fresh romaine lettuce chopped, and 1 cucumber peeled and chopped. Mix all ingredients well and drizzle 4 Tbsp. of the Tahini Salad Dressing on top.

Share good health with family & friends!

Another option is to serve this as a dip with freshly sliced cucumber and carrot sticks for a delicious 100% raw food gluten-free vegan snack. I recently brought that to a gathering with many cooked foods eaters, and they loved it!

This is certainly a healthier option than the ‘old-style’ spinach dip made with dairy (mucous-forming) and dried soup mix (containing MSG!) served in a bread bowl. Isn’t it time to start spreading the love and showing your family and friends how delicious raw food can be?!

Another popular Middle Eastern dish made with sesame seeds is called Halva, and it’s traditionally made as a dessert with ground sesame seeds and sugar. You can make a delicious raw food version of Halva using raw sesame seeds and raw honey (or agave). Click here to check out my Recipe for Raw Halva or Sesame Balls.

More Raw Food Dressings & Dips:

Enter my FREE Vitamix Blender Giveaway here!

This Beauty of a Blender could be Yours for FREE!

Imagine starting the New Year with a Vitamix Blender…for FREE! Thanks to the generous folks at Vitamix, I have one FREE Vitamix Blender to giveaway this holiday season! This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about the FREE Vitamix giveaway, so keep reading and be sure to add your comment below! In addition, I’m also offering a FREE online Iridology Analysis and a FREE Green Smoothie DVD and eKit to the lucky winner. This is our way of saying ‘Thank you’ to all of my loyal Twitter followers, clients and Facebook friends. If we are willing to offer you the chance of a clean, fresh start to your health and well-being for 2013, you better believe that we believe in what we do and we believe in you too!

Just in case you don’t know what a Vitamix is, it’s a blender. That means it blends the fiber and the liquid of whatever you put inside. It is not a juicer (a juicer separates the fiber from the liquid, leaving only the liquid for you to drink). A blender is very practical for busy people because it takes a just a few minutes to prepare your creation, is very easy to clean, and with a blender, you get all the nutrients from your food plus you get the fiber too. Most people are simply not eating enough fiber in their daily diet; the result can lead to poor digestion, acid reflux, arthritis, bad skin, weak liver, sluggishness, foul breath and even restless sleep. Getting fiber in your diet is so easy when you simply have 1 healthy smoothie a day. Add superfoods to your smoothie and you can really maximize the power of your foods to get the most fiber, nutrients, minerals and chlorophyll – all valuable tools for healing and all elements needed to make you feel that Healthy Bliss!

The ‘BMW’ of blender motors!

Now you know that the Vitamix is a blender. But I didn’t mention that it is the BMW of blenders. Well, it better be…for a price of $449.00 USD!! It’s the dream blender of every raw foodist and health enthusiast I know, including me! The reason why the Vitamix Blender is considered the best blender on the market is because it has an excellent motor, it’s extremely well made and it’s guaranteed for 7 years. You can blend anything in this blender thanks to that motor, even an avocado seed, it’s true! This is a blender that lasts for life; that’s why people pay a lot for it, because it’s really a long-term investment in your health. I am really excited to have the chance to give this away because I’ve seen the change that my clients have made, and I know that good food is the key.

The Vitamix Blender ($449.00 value): What it can do for you

Enter in the Comments below to Win!

Create every course of your home-cooked meal—from frozen drinks to creamy desserts—in minutes. The Vitamix 5200 is the universal tool for family meals and entertaining. A Vitamix blender is designed and built for outstanding performance and unsurpassed durability. You’ll enjoy:

  • Easy-to-use equipment paired with extreme versatility
  • The ability to chop, cream, blend, heat, grind, churn, and more, with a single machine
  • Quick and easy self-cleaning with a drop of dish soap and warm water; just run on High for 30 seconds
  • 7-year full warranty – Industry’s best
  • Ongoing recipe ideas and community support

An Online Iridology Analysis ($99.95 value): What it can do for you

Iridology is the science of the iris, or colored portion, of the eye. The iris is connected to every organ and tissue of the body by way of the brain and central nervous system through the optic nerve. The optic nerve connects to the central nervous system (CNS) which is the main communication link to everything that goes on in the body.

Jennifer Offers Iridology via Skype, Phone or Email

Jennifer Thompson is a Certified Comprehensive Iridologist (CCI) and offers a complete Iridology Analysis via Skype, email or phone. After taking your iris photos with a digital camera or iPhone, you will email the photos to Jennifer and arrange a time and day to discuss the results. During the reading, Jennifer gives you a good, clear understanding of where your body is at in terms of strengths, weakness, imbalance and any areas of toxicity or inflammation. She makes recommendations for improvement that may involve doing some form of a detox (colon cleanse, heavy metal detox, kidney cleanse, skin cleanse, etc) and a change in diet that may include adding certain foods to your diet and reducing/minimizing others.

  • The skype call is 1-hour in length and is recorded. The video file is sent to you by email after the call.
  • Any skype chat is also sent by email after the call so you have all records of any scientific terms discussed.
  • Follow-up Q&A by email is available for up to 2 months your consultation to ensure you have all knowledge and information needed to achieve your goals.

Green Smoothie DVD and eKit ($69.95 value): What it can do for you

The Green Smoothie DVD and eKit Course

Jennifer’s Instructional DVD will make you a Green Smoothie Expert! Find out for yourself why thousands of people are turning to Green Smoothies for more energy, better health, detox & weight loss! Are you not experiencing the level of energy and good health you desire? Green Smoothies could be your answer to start getting results. Jennifer’s NEW Green Smoothie Power DVD teaches you how!

With the DVD, you also receive 3 eBooks. Use the Quick Reference Guide eBook to get started immediately. Read the How to Make Green Smoothies eBook for inspiration and motivation. Experiment with 200 amazing recipes in the Green Smoothie Recipe eBook. You can be making your first Green Smoothie within minutes!

  • Green Smoothie DVD by Jennifer Thompson
  • How to Make Green Smoothies eBook by Jennifer Thompson
  • Green Smoothie Quick Start Guide eBook by Jennifer Thompson
  • 200 Green Smoothie Recipes for Your Health & Well-Being eBook by Jennifer Thompson
  • How to Sprout and How to Make Nut/Seed Milk book by Jennifer Thompson
  • Set of 2 Sprout and Nut/Seed Milk Bags (9.5×11″, 100% Cotton)

Sample Smoothie Recipe for the Lucky Vitamix Winner

Here’s a fun recipe to make in a your new Vitamix Blender: Hearty Selenium Boosting High Anti-Oxidant Smoothie! This Smoothie is so fast, easy and yummy! It’s perfect for a cold winter morning or after a workout when you’re really hungry and want something filling!

Now that’s some Healthy Bliss!

INGREDIENTS
– 1 red apple, cut into slices and core
– 1 banana
– 1 large handful of fresh blackberries
– 1/3 cup raw walnuts
– 1 Tbsp. organic tahini (sesame paste)
– 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
– 1 Tbsp. Fresh organic aloe vera juice
– 1/2 cup filtered water

DIRECTIONS
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Blackberries are very high in anti-oxidants (for immune system); Tahini is high in calcium (for the bones); Walnuts are high in selenium (for the brain); Aloe vera is great for the skin and digestion. Let your food be your medicine!

How to Sign-Up for the FREE Vitamix Giveaway

All you need to do is this:

1. Follow me (@rawfoodbliss) on twitter
2. Follow Vitamix (@vitamix) on twitter
3. Leave a Comment on this post, answering the following question:



What is one positive change that you’ve made in your diet and how has your health improved as a result?


Thanks for entering, and Good Luck!

That’s it, you will be entered in the giveaway.

All entries must be received by 25 December 2012 at 12 midnight USA EST.
The winner will be announced on 26 December, 2012 at 12 noon USA EST.

The winner will receive a FREE Vitamix Blender, a FREE online Iridology Analysis and a FREE Green Smoothie DVD eKit course.

This contest is open up to all entries worldwide. Please note: The winner will receive a blender with whatever voltage is required for their country (either 220v or 110v). Any import duties imposed at delivery (for an international winner outside of USA or EU) are the sole responsibilty of the recipient.

Answer this in the comments below:
What is one positive change that you’ve made in your diet and how has your health improved as a result?

Your comment will not appear immediately as all comments are moderated for spam before approval. The winner will be contacted by email, and will also be announced on my Twitter feed and Facebook page on December 26, 2012 at 12 noon USA EST. Thank you!

And the winner is…….
Lois and Earl Stokes of Volcano, Hawaii!!

Congratulations to Lois and here is her entry:

“My husband had a stroke and found out that he was a diabetic one year ago. We have turned his diabetes around (no more insulin shots) and have improved his blood work by limiting processed foods and drinking two green smoothies a day. I as a side benefit have lost 30 pounds and no longer suffer from bowel spasms. Mahalo (Thank You) for this generous offer and for the opportunity to become a winner. Actually I am already a winner because of our lifestyle change.”

Thank you to everyone who entered this amazing contest…I wish I had a free Vitamix to give to all of you…..your stories of healing touched my heart!!

More on Vitamix:

Benefits of Flax Seed, How to Grind/Store and How Much to Take Daily

Flaxseed (or linseed) is a very small shiny seed with a lot of great health benefits, from reducing cholesterol to improving blood sugar levels for diabetics. The reason why it’s a Superfood is because flax is very high in dietary fiber, it’s a plant-based source of omega 3 fatty acids, and a high source of lignans (phyto-nutrients possessing powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties).

Adequate fiber in the daily diet is key for good digestive health.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

Benefits of Flax Seed, How to Grind/Store and How Much to Take Daily

You can buy flax in a few different ways – in whole seed form, already ground into powder form (ground whole seeds) or as flax seed oil. While flax oil does have many health benefits, it is lacking the valuable fiber of the seeds themselves (because the seeds are pressed, separating the fiber from the oil).

Whole flax seeds contain both the fiber and oil, giving you all of the nutritional value in one. However, flax seeds need to be ground before eating so the body can absorb their nutrients. If not, they will simply pass through the digestive track in whole form and that means their nutrients will pass through too!

Mini-food processor to grind flax seed at home

The freshest way to consume your flax seed is to buy the seeds whole and grind them yourself at home. It’s the most inexpensive way to add them to your diet too. Look for organic whole flax seeds in the bulk food section of your local health food store or in your supermarket near the cereal or baking section. You can use either a mini-food processor or coffee bean grinder to grind your flax seed into powder form. Simply add the seeds to the grinder, and grind. You should add the seeds dry and end up with a dry powder. Do not add water to the grinder. Also, be sure that your grinder is clean before you start (clean out any coffee bean residue if using a coffee grinder). For an inexpensive mini-food processor, check on ebay or at local yard sales (many people sell them as ‘baby food makers’). I usually keep about a 2-4 weeks’ supply of ground flax seed in the refrigerator at any given time; that equates to 2 cups or almost 500ml.

Adding whole, unrefined high fiber foods to the diet can help strengthen the digestive system, decrease toxicity in the body, stabilize blood sugar levels, clear the skin and even improve kidney and liver function. It’s a small amount of time and money invested that offers a high return: your health!

Organic ground flax seed

Whole flax seeds can be stored at room temperature in a container or jar. When the flax seed is open (into a powder or pressed an oil), it becomes temperature-sensitive and will turn rancid if left at room temperature. Once ground, it is important to store your flax seed powder in the refrigerator (and preferably in a glass container).

If you are reading this article and have your freshly ground flax seed stored in the cupboard, please do not just move it to the fridge and think that it’s ok. It’s best to throw it away, grind a new batch and store the newly ground flax seed in the fridge. Store-bought ground flax seed should be stored in the fridge after opening.

Flax Seed FAQ:

How much ground flax seed should I eat every day?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommended daily fiber intake is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. I was admittedly impressed to read the following statement in the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010): “Most Americans greatly underconsume dietary fiber, and usual intake averages only 15 g per day. Breads, rolls, buns, and pizza crust made with refined flour are not among the best sources of dietary fiber, but currently contribute substantially to dietary fiber consumption because they are ubiquitous in typical American diets. To meet the recommendation for fiber, Americans should increase their consumption of beans and peas, other vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other foods with naturally occurring fiber.”

Ground flax should be stored in a glass container in the fridge

2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed has almost 4 grams of total dietary fiber. I recommend that you start with adding 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed to your daily diet, and slowly increase to 3-4 Tbsp. per day. Some people consume 6 Tbsp. daily and are very comfortable with their digestion, often finding relief from constipation and other digestive problems just from the simple increase of fiber in their diet.

Imagine someone consuming 15 grams of fiber per day who adds 4 Tbsp. of ground flax or 8 grams of fiber to their daily diet: without changing anything else; they are now consuming 23 grams of dietary fiber daily! It’s so easy!

What if I buy a package of already ground flax seed? Do I store that in the fridge?

You can buy flax seed already ground. Be sure to store it in the fridge immediately upon opening the package.

Is it better to buy the light brown or the dark brown flax seeds?

The best type of flax seed to buy is 100% certified organic, of course! I’ve tried both the light (or golden) and dark brown flax seeds, and I do make a conscious effort to add variety into my diet so sometimes I buy the golden brown and sometimes I buy the dark brown. When I’m feeling a bit wild and crazy, I even blend them both together and store the mixture in the fridge!

Is it possible to eat too much flax seed?

I do think that any one food eaten in too much excess is probably not a good thing. The key to good health is variety and balance in the diet. In this case, if you were eating 10x-20x the normal recommended amount of daily dietary fiber, you may be in store for some serious buffalo-sized poo! As I said before, start with 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed daily and slowly build up to 3-4 Tbsp. with a maximum of 6 Tbsp. per day. Think nice human-size poo and you should be fine!

What about the fat content in flax seed?

This question always amazes me. It’s most often asked by my female clients who have been struck with the ‘no-fat’ or ‘low-fat’ mindset. These same women will turn down such a high nutrient-dense food like flax for fear of excess fat, but continue to indulge in a daily latte or afternoon chocolate bar. I am often left very perplexed by this logic!!

According to the USDA, 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed weighs 14 grams, has 75 calories, 5.9 grams of total fat and 3.8 grams of total dietary fiber. While true that ground flax seed does contain fat (5.9 x 9 calories per gram = 53.1 calories of fat per 2 Tbsp./75 calorie serving), it’s important to keep things in perspective. If you’re eating 53 calories of fat in a 1500 calories per day diet, that equates to 3.5% of total calories in fat. Move up to 4 Tbsp. per day and you’re at 7%. Now do the math on your latte and chocolate bar and factor in their nutritional value then re-evaluate who is your friend and who is your foe. The answer: 2-4 Tbsp. of ground flax seed is not a high-fat contribution to your overall dietary intake of food.

What about the photo-estrogen in flax seed – is it dangerous?

This is another important factor to consider and a question I get asked occasionally. Remember, we are talking about adding 2-4 Tbsp. with a maximum of 6 Tbsp. daily of ground flax seed. Keep in mind too that I am recommending the whole ground flax seed, and not the oil (which would be more concentrated in phyto-estrogens). It is true that flax seed does contain photo-estrogens but there are mixed reports on whether the estrogen from flax seed alone is affecting people’s glandular and hormonal systems. I do believe if you were eating a bucket of flax seed at every meal, this would be an important issue, but we are talking about a few spoonfuls, and the other health benefits of this natural, whole and pure food are major reasons to keep it in the diet.

Keeping variety in your diet is the best way to give your body all the important micro-nutrients it needs without over-whelming it with any excess amount of anything. Of course, if you have an estrogen-related health condition or specific medical concerns, it’s best to consult with your medical doctor.

  • Add 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed to your Green Smoothie daily.
  • Sprinkle 1-2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed onto a fresh fruit salad.
  • Mix 1-2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed into a homemade salad dressing or raw food veggie salad.

More on Superfoods:

MSG hidden in Packaged Foods: Why I don’t buy 90% of the ‘food’ at WholeFoods

What’s Wrong with WholeFoods?

It’s not easy to be the messenger of bad news when so many people love and revere WholeFoods. Well, I love them too…and there are things that I do buy there which I will mention later. But as the title to this article states, I do not buy 90% of their food. And today I’m going to tell you why.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

Now of course WholeFoods does sell meat and various processed foods…so right away, I wouldn’t buy those. But I know a lot of you do, and you mistakenly believe that if you buy food at WholeFoods, that it’s organic, non-GMO and chemical-free. That is simply NOT true. While some foods at WholeFoods are certified organic, most are not. And even the organic foods contain suspicious additives.

I’m going to show you what to look for and what to avoid.

If I only I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, ‘I don’t eat MSG because I buy everything from WholeFoods’ or ‘I only buy organic because I shop at WholeFoods,’ well, I would already be retired by now! It amazes me how strongly people are influenced by a good logo, ‘clean and green’ marketing and nice lighting and music in a store. Did I mention how many clients I’ve helped recover from migraines, insomnia, itchy rashes, anxiety, digestive disorders, hot flashes (in men and women), dizzy spells, vertigo, adult acne, puffiness and chronic inflammation by going through a detailed list of what they eat from WholeFoods and getting the offending foods out of their diet? Often times people are resistant to believe me. They can’t imagine that their organic Annie crackers are causing their troubles. Or their Earth Balance or Smart Balance ‘Butter’. They sometimes yell at me and call me a liar. Well, I am taking the crack away from the junkie…so I know I will meet resistance (yes, these chemical additives are chemically addictive). Over time, if they do change, they come to accept what I have told them and when they take the suspicious food out, their skin clears, they sleep for the first time in years, they no longer feel depressed, their migraines are gone forever…and then the Thank You emails roll in. I’ve been teaching this stuff for 6 years, and I know what I am talking about. If you partner or child is exceptionally irritable and suffers from any of the symptoms above, your salad from the salad bar at WholeFoods could be causing the problem.

If you want to have good health, you have to check all food labels and you have to be responsible for what you put in your mouth.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Ribonucleotide, Disodium Inosinate, and Disodium Guanylate are flavor enhancers which add a salty, savory taste to foods. They overstimulate the taste in food, making a bland food taste exceptionally good. They also overstimulate the brain, and are known as “excito-toxins”. They can be listed either by the food additive name or by the food additive number (sometimes called ‘E numbers’): 621, 635, 631 and 627.

Legally, these food additives can also be ‘hidden’ in terms such as ‘spices,’ ‘yeast extract,’ ‘hydrolyzed vegetable protein,’ ‘natural flavors’ and ‘flavoring.’

As an interesting side note, I checked the WholeFoods website before writing this post and I found a very funny article titled, “Myths and Misconceptions: MSG.” In the article, a WholeFoods representative discusses the ‘Myth: There’s Hidden MSG lurking in our aisles.’ He states, “We draw a clear line between natural glutamate-containing foods, which we allow, and highly concentrated MSG, which we don’t..” I actually laughed out loud when I read that, because I see Monosodium Glutamate in various forms in the salad bar ingredients in WholeFoods ALL THE TIME! Right there for the world to see! Well, I am usually the annoying one who is reading every label and holding up the salad bar line, and maybe even sneaking out my camera for a photo! (By the way, an example of a ‘natural glutamate containing food’ is pure tomato paste or parmesan cheese, NOT spicy barbeque flavored Kettle Chips!!)

The other part of the article tries to state that other forms on MSG are not really MSG, but for people who are sensitive, it is clearly written on the labels so they will know what they are buying. Well, how many people really know that legally the word ‘spices’ or ‘natural flavors’ can contain MSG already, and the label can still read ”No MSG’ or No Added MSG?’ And how many people know that even if a product is labeled certified organic, it can still contain these other ingredients that have MSG in them already, like ‘malt extract,’ ‘annatto,’ ‘natural flavor,’ ‘yeast extract’ or the new one I am seeing lately, ‘rosemary extract’? The real problem is when a product uses several of these ingredients, thereby increasing the glutamate concentration to real MSG-size proportions. can So your ‘organic’ product with ‘No Added MSG’ can still be causing your migraines? YES!!

What is a “hidden form of MSG”?

Ok, here’s the deal. Food companies know that Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is the best flavor enhancer there is; it is a food additive that adds A LOT of flavor to a product for little to no cost. BUT, savy consumers have caught on to MSG and most people know that it’s not a healthy additive because it can trigger migraine headaches, irritability, insomnia, rashes, hot flashes, dizziness, mood swings and even promote weight gain. A smart consumer like you will not buy a product containing MSG and the food companies know that. But they are already light years ahead of you! The food industry now uses new ingredients that contain what’s called factory created free glutamates. While one ingredient containing factory created free glutamates alone in a product may have a low concentrations of glutamate, using a combination of several ingredients together can add up to a considerable and dangerous amount of glutamate in one product, and in many cases you will actually find more glutamate than if the product had only contained MSG by itself! And that is why I called these ingredients MSG in disguise.

This is food label trickery at its finest folks!

The food industry has billions of dollars to research and develop new chemical food additives, and the government simply does not have the money to keep up with their technology (assuming the government was really interested in people’s health and not funded back-handedly by the food and pharmaceutical industry of course!) In short, there is TONS of hidden MSG at WholeFoods, and this is the main reason that I would not buy 90% of their food.

Please note that most of these photos were taken at WholeFoods, with the exception of 2 that were taken at Fresh Market in Florida, a very similar-type chain to WholeFoods (those photos are marked as Fresh Market). I have many more photos that I took which will be complied into an eBook for educational purposes. Knowing what to look for can greatly help you improve the quality of food you buy, and consume.

Let’s start looking at a few labels.

Rule #1: Never believe what you read on the front of a package

Oh, the beloved Kettle Chip. The only good thing I can say about Kettle is that there are very savy with their packaging. So many organic non-GMO bells and whistles! But it doesn’t stop me from seeing the offenders: Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, and Jalapeno Powder. Why not use real garlic and jalapeno? Because the powders can legally hide MSG and they do not have to disclose that on the labeling. Maybe they are ‘safe’ because they are organic, but the Yeast Extract is a big NO-NO. That is always MSG in disguise.

Learn to know what ingredients to avoid

Another example of a tainted organic food. This is the WholeFoods brand, and from what I’ve gathered, they seem to hide their MSG under the term ‘Natural Flavor.’ Yes, legally that can have MSG in it. It is an easy way to hide MSG in food. And since WholeFoods claims that their brand is MSG-free, they don’t seem to want to use the classic Yeast Extract ingredient. Any time I see ‘Natural Flavors,’ I do NOT buy. This product also has ‘Malt Extract’ and ‘Annatto,’ two other forms of MSG in disguise.

There is no such thing as a healthy BBQ chicken wing.

I really have no idea who would go to WholeFoods to buy BBQ Chicken Wings, but who are we kidding here? This is NOT a healthy version! Note the ‘Spice Extractives,’ ‘Natural Grill and Smoke Flavor,’ ‘Spices,’ ‘Yeast Extract,’ ‘Natural Flavor,’ ‘Yeast Protein.’ I think I’m going to be sick.

Be wary of all soups in restaurants and salad bars, 99% of them have MSG in the soup stock.

Seems like a good idea…a nice warm filling soup. but read that label! ‘Soybean and Corn Protein,’ Yeast Extract,’ ‘Carrot Powder,’ ‘Pumpkin Stock.’ All MSG in disguise.

This salad just looks plain scary to me.

Nothing is sacred anymore. They even managed to ruin this dish by adding ‘Natural Flavor,’ ‘Soy and Wheat Protein,’ ‘Yeast Extract.’ You must start reading labels and if you see these ingredients, do not eat!

Organic food can still be tainted with flavor enhancers. Learn to discriminate!

Oh, the food industry is so good at food label trickery! Made with Goodness! Doesn’t fool me. Read ‘Yeast Extract,’ ‘Natural Cheese Flavor,’ ‘Paprika Extract’ and suddenly this so-called healthy organic food is no longer an edible item in my book. Yes, they can legally use this ingredients with hidden additives, and since they did not add anything themselves, they can label their product with ‘No Artificial Flavors.’ Never believe the marketing schtick on the front or side of a box. Always check the ingredients.

Again, ‘organic’ does not guarantee no added flavor enhancers

Think you’re doing your children a favor by buying organic Mac and Cheese? Does it still take 2 hours for them to calm down and sleep at night and are they cranky, irritable and fighting all evening? It’s probably from the MSG in disguise: ‘Yeast Extract.’ Kids go bonkers when they eat MSG. Their bodies are much smaller than an adult. Take out MSG and you will have a happy, well behaved child that sleeps through the night. For breast-feeding moms, the MSG is passed through your breastmilk, so if your baby is colicky and doesn’t sleep, try eliminating all MSG foods. You’ll be amazed.

Still not sure about ‘Rosemary Extract’

All I can really say about this one is: Watch this space. I saw A LOT of ‘Rosemary Extract’ in foods at Wholefoods and Fresh Market, and I have not seen it used so much before. It wouldn’t surprise me if the food industry is reinventing MSG once again now that we are onto the whole Yeast Extract, Spices and Natural Flavors thing. Anytime you see a vegetable with the word ‘extract’ after it, be very suspicious (unless it is Vanilla Extract, which is ok because it is not a salty deritive). I will personally avoid all foods with ‘Rosemary Extract’ until someone starts doing some explaining.

Beware of ‘clean and green’ looking products

Looks so healthy, proclaiming to ‘eat your vegetables.’ You should be an expert by now: ‘Natural Flavor,’ ‘Onion Powder,’ ‘Garlic Powder.’ Other flavors of this brand also have ‘Yeast Extract.’ Note this is Sea Salt flavor!

Don’t think bulk foods are food additive safe – still read the ingredients!

Bulk does not make a healthier option. You have to read all labels, always and forever. Here we have ‘Corn and Soy Protein,’ ‘Natural Smoke Flavor,’ ‘Yeast Extract,’ ‘Natural Flavor.’ Ever wonder why these ingredients are always in salty, savory foods and not in sweets and cakes? Because MSG is a salty, savory flavor enhancer. It makes salty foods taste even more savory and it is chemically addictive. This bulk snack mix is from Fresh Market.

Always check the ingredients, even if you think the food ‘should’ be ok!

An obvious offender: Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG. This photo was taken at Fresh Market (a correction to my November 2012 newsletter).

So what do I buy at WholeFoods?

I love fresh juice and smoothie bars, and fruit, aka REAL FOOD!

If the WholeFoods has a juice and smoothie bar, I’m so there! I also buy fresh fruits and veggies, preferably organic and on sale.

Choose 100% Certified Organic Superfoods to avoid any added fillers

I like to check out the 100% raw and organic Superfood section.

There are some healthy raw food options at WholeFoods

I look for organic flax and hemp seeds, bulk organic raw pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, raw apple cider vinegar and a raw granola, as a treat.

Stick to fresh raw vegetables with no added dressings or sauces

At the Salad Bar, I choose RAW FRESH VEGGIES only. I do NOT trust the pre-made salads or the pre-made salad dressings. I use olive oil, apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice as a dressing.

A quick lesson on Monosodium Glutamate:

Monosodium Glutamate is a flavor enhancer and an excito-toxin, also known as MSG. It can be listed on a food ingredient label as 621 or E621 (these are universal numbers used everywhere in the world). MSG is known to overstimulate the flavor in food, making it taste better. The problem is that it also overstimulates the brain (making it an excito-toxin). For some, the reaction can be headaches, sensitivity to light and sound (especially in children), insomnia or restless sleep, anxiety, irritability, vertigo, dizziness and even depression.

Because a lot of consumers are aware of the dangers of MSG, the food industry has invented new ways to hide MSG in food, the main way being to ‘hide’ it in another ingredient. This keeps the cost of production low (using cheap flavor enhancers to create a tasty food), and still makes the food very marketable, appearing food additive-free by promoting non GMO, organic or ‘all natural’.

The result: more consumers buy and that means more profit.

The other additives which are similar to MSG are Ribonucleotide (635), Disodium Inosinate (631) and Disodium Guanylate (627). These 3 flavor enhancers are what I call the ‘New MSG’ because they are being used more and more to give that same ‘salty savory tasty excito-toxin additive yumminess’ to a food, but the food can be labeled as ‘MSG Free’ or ‘No Added MSG.’ These flavor enhancers tend to react with people in a slightly different way: in men, they can raise uric acid levels resulting in early symptoms of gout, and in women: an itchy intolerable rash. Men can also experience the ‘ribo rash’ too but in my experience, the rash is more common in women.

So what’s the bad news?

The bad news is that ALL 4 of these flavor enhancers can be legally hidden under 50 other names. The most common ones I see, especially in ‘so-called’ healthy food are: Yeast Extract, Pea Protein, Spices, Natural Flavors, Smoke Flavor, Malt Extract, Annatto, Soy Protein, Wheat Protein, Corn Protein, and Yeast Protein. I have reacted to Onion Powder, Vinegar Powder and Garlic Powder enough times to add them to my personal list of ‘DO NOT EAT’ as well. For a complete list of hidden names for MSG or high factory created glutamate ingredients, go to msgmyth.com.

If you think you have reacted to a food which is either not labeled correctly or is label suspiciously, you have every right to contact the company by email and ask what’s in their food.

You can do this in every country in the world, even as an ex-pat living in a foreign country. I suggest that you word your email in this way:

“I recently ate your xyz product and x hours later I experienced the following reaction: (describe symptoms here). I have discussed this with my doctor and he/she has informed me that I need to know for medical reasons all of the ingredients that was in the food. Specifically, I need to know if you use MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), Ribonucleotide, Disodium Inosinate or Disodium Guanylate in any of the ingredients that you use to make your product. Also, I need to know how much factory created free glutamate is in the following ingredients (list suspicious ingredients like pea protein, yeast extract, malodextrin, soy protein, natural flavorings, etc here). Thank you and I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my inquiry.”

I do NOT suggest that you write any emails like this: “Jennifer said blah blah blah blah and Jennifer’s blog post says blah blah blah so what do you have to say about that?!” Please, be professional and courteous if you are writing an inquiry to a company. You have to ask the right questions to get the right answers. These companies have legal teams that know how to respond and get through hoops if you do not ask the right questions. My goal is that every product be required to label their total factory created glutamate concentration and any hidden ingredients or flavor enhancers so ultimately, you can make the best choice of food for you!

I’ll be writing more blog posts about this in the future, so be sure to sign up to my RSS feed!

For more on how to start an additive-free diet diet, how to manage food allergies or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

More on Food Additives:

How to Eat Out and Order Raw Food in Normal Restaurants

It’s not easy to find 100% raw food when you are out and about, in restaurants, at a friend’s house or traveling. You may be in situations where you do not have easy access to raw foods or any healthy food at all. Without a plan, you may be tempted to eat the wrong foods that you know aren’t good for you. Don’t worry! The longer you lead a healthy, vegan and/or raw food diet, the easier these things become. When you go out, simply be prepared to either bring your own raw foods and/or order off the menu.

Rule Number 1: Don’t be Afraid to Order Off the Menu

Eating out on a raw food diet

But the real key to this rule is: don’t make it a big deal either. As for ordering off the menu, remember that you are paying for the food and it is ok to ask for what you want. But, at the same time, you don’t need to announce your ‘perfect rawness’ to the waiter and everyone in your party in such a way that other people will feel bad for ordering cooked food (or even worse, meat and dairy!). After I scan the menu, I will usually excuse myself to go to the toilet and I will discuss my requests with the waiter or manager privately. That way, my requests don’t disturb the rest of the group (especially if I’m with people I don’t know very well, for example friends of friends, etc.).

In my experience, the worst thing to do is to say something like, ‘well I eat only raw vegan food and there is nothing for me here.’ Comments like that will only isolate you from your non-raw food friends and family and does not make for a pleasant start of a happy, peaceful meal.

If, for any reason, I cannot order anything in a restaurant (which is very rare unless it is Indian food where everything is already cooked and in that case, I would prefer to choose another type of restaurant), I simply order herbal tea and explain that I had a late lunch and I’m not hungry. For me, this is a normal way of life and I would much rather skip a meal than eat something I don’t want. I am more than happy to wait until I’m back at home to make a salad or smoothie that I really enjoy!

Rule Number 2: Bring Spices, Fresh Herbs, Nuts or Seeds to make any Salad taste Great

Cherry tomatoes, cayenne, nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds, dried herbs and walnuts

When I go out, I always bring a small container of cayenne pepper, some nutritional yeast and a good quality sea salt. Sometimes I will also bring a small bottle of Bragg’s Lquid Amino Acids or Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. Occasionally I will bring fresh herbs (dill, parsley, or basil), raw nuts (like walnuts), and cherry tomatoes. That way, I always have something easy to transport and healthy and tasty to add to any salad.

When I look at a menu, I try to find all the veggies. Then I ask the waiter if they can make me a special salad made from whatever veggies I find – say broccoli, tomato, carrot, spinach, beetroot, and sun dried tomato as an example. I explain that I am happy to pay more for an entree-sized portion. I specify ‘nothing cooked, just raw and chopped’ and I may ask for some fresh chopped garlic and olive oil on the side. I tell them ‘no salad dressing, no soy sauce.’ When the salad arrives, I add my own extra spices and voila! Most of the time I get something very nice. And, many times, people with me wish they had ordered it too!

If a restaurant has vegetables on their menu, they can surely make you a salad, so it is always worth asking for what you really want!

Rule Number 3: Bring Your Own Salad

If I am invited to someone’s house for a party or dinner, I always offer to bring the salad. Usually I will bring 2 or 3 salads to really give people a nice intro to raw foods (what better way to get people excited about raw food!). And the good thing about that is there is always plenty of food for me to eat too!

Over the years or being raw, I have discovered that it can be too difficult and stressful for other people to try and accommodate my eating habits, so I don’t say anything about my food requirements when invited to a party. I’ve seen people, in their best efforts, make me a salad with commercial salad dressing already added, or swearing that something has no MSG when it does, and every other mishap in between so I have long learned that it is simply easier for everyone if I bring my own. People who know me personally of course know that I will bring yummy salads and they usually look forward to seeing what new creations I have to share!

Healthy Recipes:

Top 5 Tips on How to Recover from Jet Lag & Travel

So you’ve booked the ticket, researched hotels, checked out internet options and chosen a few local sites to see, but have you made a conscious plan to stay healthy while on the road? It is possible to stay healthy while traveling. The first obstacle to overcome is jet lag.

Be gentle with the body during travel and you can minimize the effects of Jet Lag naturally.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

Use your raw food/detox knowledge to travel healthier!

Frequent flyers know how hard it can be to adjust to local times after a long flight. The body is sensitive to the earth’s magnetic pull.

As Dr. Gabriel Cousins says, ‘Moving through time zones and magnetic lines causes a cellular confusion that manifests as the body’s homeostasis begins to shift into the new time frame and rhythm.’

That ‘cellular confusion’ is what makes you feel Jet Lag.

Top 5 Tips on How to Recover from Jet Lag

1. Avoid all alcohol the day before and during flights.

Reducing the amount of toxins and free radicals in the body will automatically help. If you have the tendency to feel stressed or fearful while on airplanes, opt for option #4 instead of having an alcoholic drink. Alcohol is a also diarrhetic, which means you will become even more dehydrated after traveling at high altitude on a dry plane. Your skin and kidneys don’t need that!

2. Fast on herbal teas or eat only fresh fruit on your journey.

Bring your own dried herbal teas and ask for hot water during the flight. Carry a few oranges or other fresh fruits to enjoy. Opening an orange mid-flight is a great natural way to freshen up the stale plane air as well! (You are permitted to take fresh fruit on a plane as long as you eat it before your destination. I’ve taken fruit on every flight from nearly every airline to many countries, and I’ve never been refused!) Fasting is the perfect way to recharge and renew on a cellular level, so can you see how it would help with Jet Lag? Makes sense!

3. Avoid all airplane food!

Airplane food is processed food, full of salt, chemical additives and colorings and preserved to still look fresh by the time it gets to your seat. Even if it is a lacto-ovo vegan meal, it is not a healthy meal. Airplane food can make you feel bloated, tired, constipated and sick on it’s own – not a good thing to add to time zone stress! If you have felt puffy or bloated after long flights in the past, it could have been the food. Food additives, salt and hidden sugars in food can create inflammation. These are especially important to avoid while traveling on airplanes through several time zones.

4. Try Kava Kava capsules for sleeping or relaxing on long flights.

Kava is native to the Pacific Islands and has natural relaxing qualities as well as mood-elevating and pain-relieving effects. Take 3-4 capsules when you get on board and sit back for a healthy, relaxing flight! My suggestion to use Kava is for a long-flight to help relieve tension and promote natural relaxation while traveling. Taking 3-4 capsules is perfectly safe and is a natural, non-dedyhrating, non-free-radical forming solution for the body. (With regards to some people’s worry that Kava is harmful to the liver; please note that Kava is not meant to be taken for more than 30 days continually because it can be habit-forming. That said, so can alcohol….but no one seems to worry about that!!)

5. Eat only fresh raw fruits for the first day upon arrival.

Fresh fruit: hydrating and full of vitamins & anti-oxidants

Eat fruits such as apple, pineapple, mango, pear or papaya. Add berries for more anti-oxidants to help reduce free-radical damage from low-oxygen airplane air. Eating raw food for one day is a gentle, easy cleanse and a great way to get your colon re-adjusted to the new time zone as well! (Dried fruits are dehydrated and the body will already be dehydrated after a long flight, so especially for the first day, fresh is best.)

Your travels can actually become a new avenue to discover more about raw food, natural healing and healthy living!

More on Healthy Travel:

Is it safe to detox while pregnant or breastfeeding?

To detox or not when pregnant?

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

This is a question I get asked over and over by new and expecting mothers who are concerned with high-boosting their mineral reserve, detoxifying for a healthy baby and losing weight and getting in shape after giving birth. They think that if they do a detox while pregnant, they may start to feel better and gain energy during their pregnancy and maybe even increase the chance of having a healthier baby. While breastfeeding, many new mothers feel tired and toxic after having gained weight and given birth and hope that a detox will give them a reboot. This an important issue to discuss especially with all the over-the-counter at-home detox programs that people have access to do on their own with no guidance or support. My answer to this question is unequivocally without exception: NO.

It is not safe to detox while pregnant or breastfeeding under any circumstances in any country at any age for any woman.

When a woman is pregnant, her body needs to focus on doing one thing: making a new life. It does not need the distraction of splitting energy between detox (internal housekeeping) and creating new life. Pregnancy is a time for abundance in healthy, clean, vibrant foods and plenty of relaxation and rest. Most detoxes require cleansing supplements, something that should never be done during pregnancy because #1) some supplements are not safe to take while pregnant and #2) detox supplements split the body’s energy between detox and making baby. Additionally, during the process of detox, toxins are temporarily stirred up into the blood before they are broken down and carried out through the kidneys, colon, lungs and skin. Having toxins in the blood is the last thing a pregnant mother would want or need. Some detoxes include taking high amounts of Vitamin C. Vitamin C, when consumed in high doses, can stop the body from making progesterone, a vital hormone in pregnancy. (This is why doctors advise against eating too much pineapple while pregnant. Pineapple is particularly high in Vitamin C.) Please do not consider doing any type of detox while pregnant.

The same goes for breastfeeding for all the reasons listed above. Furthermore, if a woman does a detox while breastfeeding, she can actually still up toxins (including heavy metals) into her breast milk, and unknowingly feed those toxins directly to her newborn. While breastfeeding, the focus should not be on losing weight.

Eat foods rich in nutrients and high in vegan plant-based protein so your body has the power to make the healthiest milk ever for your baby.

When you are finished breastfeeding, you may consider doing a detox. Actually, the best time to do a detox is one year before you get pregnant. Yes – one year! That way, you have plenty of time to do multiple cleanses including kidney, colon, gallstone/liver and heavy metal detoxification and then have ample time to rebuild with a nutrient dense diet to best prepare your body for a safe, clean and healthy pregnancy. If you are thinking of having another baby, the time to start your detox is after you are finished breastfeeding and before you start trying to get pregnant again. Even if you only have 1-3 months, it’s worth it.

If you’re suffering from constipation during your pregnancy, please do not consider doing an enema. The main reasons why I do not recommend enemas during pregnancy are because #1) you can temporarily stir up toxins into the blood while disrupting the fecal matter before it is released, and #2) the inflow of water into the colon can put pressure on the uterus and fetus.

Rather, I suggest you increase high-fiber foods and reduce wheat and white breads as much as possible to relieve constipation due to pregnancy. Think of wheat as concrete in the colon and avoid it especially if you are feeling backed up. Try adding 2 Tbsp of ground flax seed to every meal (either a smoothie, fruit salad, veggie salad or even mix in with cooked veggies). This will significantly increase your fiber intake and should get things moving. If it is ‘too much’ movement, reduce to 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed at 2 meals daily or even 2 Tbsp. at 1 meal per day (Note that the flax seed must be ground and not whole).

I’ve advised many female clients on preparing their body for pregnancy and also eating the right foods while pregnant and breastfeeding, all with great success. I’ve even seen cases of infertility and IVF with no success until they followed my specialized preparing for pregnancy detox plan. After 3 months, I had one client get pregnant after being on IVF for 8 years. I’ve also helped women to start menstruation again, even after years of not having any cycle. All of these things are possible with the right detox and follow-up diet, but timing is key to make sure it’s safe for baby, mother or mother-to-be.

More on Pregnancy:

After Your Detox: How to Eat, What to Do

Keep Your Results After Your Detox

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

How are the stress levels lately? Pretty bad, huh? Have the post-fast fruit platters been replaced with too many fast food fixes and late night binging? Are you secretly dreaming of going back for another detox, fast & cleanse, a chance to rest, recharge, reset and renew? Well you are not alone! If you’ve been to one of my Healthy Habits Detox talks in Koh Samui, you’ll remember my story and know that I have been down that path before myself. Long-term, the real challenge lies in making long-term positive change to your daily habits outside of the fasting times. You don’t have to wait until you can make it back to Thailand, or after the friend’s party, work project, holiday weekend, or after New Year’s to start. Remember, your health is your biggest asset! If you don’t spend money on your food, you will spend it on a doctor! You deserve only the very best in life, so start giving your body the very best too! You can start to make positive change today. Imagine starting your next detox, cleanse or fast being more healthy than when you left last time – you can do it! I believe in me, and I believe in you too!

Remember, the real work starts after your detox. Knowing what to eat and how to continue detoxing will ensure you keep the weight off and stay healthy. Going back to what you did before will only get you back to how you felt before: tired, bloated and toxic. You will have to implement some long-term changes to make sure your post cleanse results stay around for the long-term.

Here are 4 Healthy Habits you can Start Today:

Fresh fruit day, More raw foods

 

1. One day a week fruit day

Remember my recommendation to make Mondays your ‘Fruitday’? Just by eating one day a week of only fresh fruits, you can give all of your organs a rest and a cleanse, clean out the bowel, have a mini-detox, high-boost on vitamins and re-calibrate your mind for healthy food choices for the week.

If you do one day a week of fruit only for 7 years, you will have eaten a 100% fruit only diet for one full year of your life! Don’t underestimate the power of a one-day cleanse! If you are more advanced, you can consider doing a one day a week juice feast. I recommend green juices, such as cucumber, lemon, ginger, apple, parsley and celery.

2. Eat more raw foods

You don’t have to go 100% raw food vegan in order to reap the benefits of fresh, live, high-enzyme, nutritious raw foods. Try to eat one raw food meal a day, whether it be a yummy fruit salad for breakfast, a delicious salad for lunch or a Green Smoothie for dinner. Watch as your energy levels naturally increase. See how your skin clears, your eyes brighten and you begin to emit a nice, healthy glow. Feel your clothes loosen and enjoy receiving compliments from others who notice the positive difference in you!

3. Forgive, Love & Let Go

Yes, we have to go there too! The spirit needs healing just as much as the physical body. You can eat a perfect 100% raw food, organic diet and still manifest dis-ease if you do not start forgiving, loving and letting go in life! Always remember, nothing can hurt you unless you give it your consent! Happiness has to start within. We cannot depend on others for our happiness. The search for a happy man’s shirt found a happy man who did not own a shirt! Do you get it?? Start loving today! Smile!

4. Live More Natural, Whole & Pure!

This one is easy. What kind of deodorant are you using? Get an aluminum-free version that works. Replace your cleaning products with vinegar and sodium bicarbonate. Buy local and organic when possible. Save money and make your own fresh delicious sprouts and nut milks at home with reusable cotton sprout and nut milk bags! Replace your chemical makeup with healthy, natural, organic alternatives! A good website for chemical-free makeup is earthsbeauty.com.

Replace any old toxic body products with fluoride-free toothpaste, all natural soap and virgin organic coconut oil (a great moisturizer for the skin). I buy all that stuff online. Making better choices for your body products gives you better overall health. When you reduce the amount of ‘retox,’ you can keep the benefits of your detox!

More on Motivation: