Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Got sick! Boooo....

Well, I went and got sick! I am on day three of this thing and things are already looking up..... I believe   : )   I got this cold from someone living in my household and they are going on week two of this thing! I am REALLY hoping mine doesn't last that long! I have been doing my best at only consuming homemade soups and juices.

Having both the soups and juices is allowing my body to get the nutrition it needs to speed healing while at the same time making it easy on my digestion, leaving its energy on healing. I am really hoping this method works well because I recently started a new job and I already had to call out sick for tomorrow. That is NO GOOD. I am hoping to possibly transfer stores in the future and just really don't want them getting the wrong idea, thinking I cannot be counted upon!

So here is my recipe for a killer Corn Chowder I made yesterday. I felt immediately soothed. It was great. What would have made it that much more soothing was a raw corn bread or something. It's all about those soothing comfort foods when you are sick! The soup alone however, did the trick!

I have seen a couple recipes for Corn Chowder and I have dabbled a bit in all of them. I found a blend that works well for me. Lower in fat than some others I have seen and a nice little kick to get my sinus's going. I have a thing for spicy food so a majority of my food has a bit of a kick!

  • 3 to 4 Ears of corn (cut off the cob)
  • 1 whole Avocado
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons on Himalayan Salt
  • A couple slices of Jalepeno (Optional)
  • 1/4 or handful of Cilantro

Blend together all ingredients with the exception of  1/2 of the avocado, 1 cup of fresh corn kernels and a bit of the Cilantro. Dice or cube the Avocado and place remaining ingredients in the soup base. Top with a bit of cracked pepper and voila! This is soooo tasty! I hope you find it as tasty as I do!

Total prep time: 1o minutes

If you would like to make a slightly larger batch so you have some for  couple days, try adding a bit of lemon juice to use as a preservative!


Friday, September 25, 2009

My Raw Beginning (The story of My Raw (mis)Adventure)

Since I have begun this blog I have YET to actually write about my beginnings and introductions into the Raw foods lifestyle. I believe the beginning is so important to know because, how can you listen or follow my advice if we come from two entirely different places. I can count numerous times I felt frustrated with my path because I didn't understand why I couldn't achieve what seemed so easy for other people to achieve. In fact, I still feel that way at times. I just have to remember that we are not all the same and it may take some people longer to achieve the results they are looking for.

I have been a vegetarian for 15 years, a vegan for 7 years and Raw on and off for 3. Regardless of any trips or setbacks, I was of course, Vegan. I had never even heard of Raw Foods until 3 years ago and I accidentally came across it when I was looking online for a detox program.  I NEVER spent regular time online until last year. So when I came across it I thought,  "Wow... people take it one step further than myself". I thought it was incredible and I fell in love with it at that very moment. It just made so much sense and I wanted so much to be able to succeed. I also thought, "How in the hell am I going to do this? I have ZERO self control when it comes to food". I was excited and scared at the same time.

My life as a vegan was filled with phenomenal food. It was during a time that GREAT products were becoming available to people such as myself and I ate like a champ for years! Thats also means I ate nothing but processed and refined garbage ALL DAY LONG! But god it was good. It didnt help that the person I was dating at the time REALLY knew his way around the kitchen. Between him and I, we had a plethora of specialty dishes at our disposal. We liked to eat!

I was really feeling like I needed a change so when I found this Raw Lifestyle stuff I REALLY went crazy about it. I immediately started with a week long orange juice fast. I took my little juicer with me everywhere so I could juice at any given moment :)   I normally would  not have had this kind of will power but my relationship was coming to an end and I was BEYOND devastated. It made it easy to really not want to eat because I felt so sick to my stomach anyway. So right off the bat, I started it off in a challenging time for me. It was challenging but I really never had experienced more motivation in my life. I really felt that with the relationship coming to an end, it was the PERFECT time to focus on me!

At this time, I have discovered a Raw restaurant and felt like I was on my way to a healthier me. Well, shortly thereafter, I quit my job and  I moved 30 miles away to live with my parents. The breakup had left me emotionally paralyzed. I knew I had to take some time off to focus on me and build myself back up. I continued with the Raw lifestyle at home by taking the take out menu of the restaurant I went to and recreating the dishes at home. The menu had all the ingredients in each dish under the description so I just had to figure out the quantities and such. I did alright. I focused on making me food and running. My parents had a treadmill so I quickly started running. Running for me, became my way of forgetting about my past relationship. It was my escape.

I became ADDICTED to how amazing I felt. I dropped 15 lbs in a month (I was height/ weight/ proportionate previously ) and looked better than I ever had! I was smoking hot!  It soon became the lifestyle that was healing me. Physically and emotionally. Sounds excellent right?

In theory I guess it was great. I moved back to the city and resumed my life. I had relied on the Raw restaurant to make ALL my meals and I spent a small fortune there for that luxury. Since I was working again I just didnt have time to prepare anything, and I didnt have a solid foundation of 'uncooking' at home. I spent roughly $45 a day there. Sometimes more. I kept this 100% Raw lifestyle up for another 6 months ( making it out to be a stretch of a year). It finally became too much for me to afford and due to some  pretty major life stresses I started back up on cooked foods. As soon as my lips touched the cooked food I became addicted once more.

This downward spiral happened where the stresses in my life took over. I started eating cooked foods and that led to a feeling of being a failure. Feeling like a failure led me to eat more cooked foods. Eating more cooked foods led me to gaining some weight back. Gaining the weight back made me feel like a failure thus causing me to eat even more. Well, you get the picture. I gained the 15 back PLUS a cool extra 15 making it a total of 30 pounds. This was the heaviest I had ever been with the exception of being preggers!

I was miserable beyond words and turned to alcohol for comfort. I went out 7 days a week having just one big party. I kept this up for a solid 6 months or so and then had a 'A-ha!' moment one day at a beach BBQ. It was that day I told my best friend that I wanted to get my life back on track. Not worry about dating anyone (I went through a period where I felt like I dated nearly the entire city due to me just feeling lonely) and to stop drinking so much. This was also the day that I met the guy I am currently with today. So much for the dating thing huh! I honestly believe that he had been sent into to my life to 'Save' me. I know how lame that can sound and at that moment in my life I didn't need 'saving'.  I am thinking on a more grander scale than that, he saves me everyday. He became this person that gave me an incredible amount of drive from the get go for no reason at all. I don't know what it was  but I knew the night I met him I would fall in love with him. Very, very unlike me.

So enough about the falling in love part. The next 8 months of the relationship consisted of me taking on a 70hr a week job and barely making it day to day. I had no choice but to end what I thought was my dream career at the time. It was not helping me lead a better, healthier life like I declared just 8 months previous. We moved on down to California and I have FINALLY dedicated myself to getting back to the old me and reclaiming my life.

So here we are at the present time(ish) and I am BACK to living a 100% raw lifestyle. I have been Raw again for the past two months with a prior 2 month transition period of 90% raw. So I am only 2 months in but am not a newcomer to the raw lifestyle. I have spent almost all my waking time in the kitchen preparing dishes and developing new methods that work for me. My amazing boyfriend has allowed me to stay at home during that time while he flips the bill for my pricey creations! That goes with the whole 'saving' thing. He has supported my lifestyle 100% and I honestly would not have been able to have done it without him. He was my support and allowed me time to make my very own foundation.  

I have since then dropped 15 pounds and am now looking to getting back to where I was the first time. I am on my way but at times get a little frustrated with my progress. I can no longer run due to hip bursitis so I am not melting the pounds away. Running made me drop pounds like crazy!

Overall and the point of my story is
A) you really have to be in the RIGHT frame of mind if you plan on sticking it through. It has to be for the right reasons, not something you're trying to escape.


B)You have to build a foundation and EDUCATE yourself in becoming your own chef. That way you carry the tools and knowledge anywhere you go to ensure success.

I am now back on track, better than even before because I now have an education to take with me on my day to day adventures. I am back to stay and to help anyone I possibly can along the way. I want to help people build that foundation and give them as many resources I can without making them feel overwhelmed! I still have a ton of education to go through as I feel I will learn about this for the rest of life! Hearing peoples problems and concerns will only help educate me further so I look forwrd to hearing form people either here or on the misc forums.

Cheers and good health!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Transition to a 'Low Fat Raw Vegan Lifestyle' (and looking good for Fall)

I would just like to start off by saying that I am feeling damn good. My body feels good and I am overall in a happy, positive mood. I enjoy life and am enjoying my new home here in Rocklin, California. I am enjoying the constant sun and blue skies. If I were still back in Seattle, I would have enjoyed my 2 months of partially overcast and already been well into fully cloudy skies and jackets. We will be moving into fall here shortly and I can say that with having had a full summer, I am actually looking forward to fall! With Fall however, comes my absolute favorite fashions. Great skirts with thick tights/knee highs and boots, great jackets and accessories!

Long story short, I need to lose 10 lbs stat to fit in to all my wonderful old clothes and shop for further ones! I have yet to tell my story here about how I came in to Raw foods and when this all happened to me. I will post here shortly my full story as I feel it is important to learn someone's story and background when considering following their advice. You may wonder why something works for me and not you when really it has to do with maybe the length of the lifestyle or other pertinent background info!

Super short story: I first went Raw a couple years ago and was 100% for almost exactly a year. Prior to that, I had been vegan for 6 years and vegetarian 15 (I am currently 30). With that said, I dropped 15lbs and was in the best shape of my life. I looked 20! Then some things happened in my life I wasnt ready for and on top of that, got what I thought at the time was 'my dream job' which worked me 70 hours a week. Not only was I now not Raw but I was a depressed and a junk food Vegan. I gained 30 (yes 30) pounds! Thats when I realized my 'dream job' was killing me and my new relationship and I had to get out. Enter me NOW! I chose to actually leave Seattle and get a fresh start back in my hometown of Sacramento. I packed my bags and my boyfriend and started over. So now, I am recently BACK to a 100% Raw foods lifestyle but not new to Raw Foods! I have dropped 15 pounds (Go ME!!!)  in 3 months and have regained my life back. I am not going back.... ever. I have seen my utopia and I have seen my hell. There are soo many more details to my story which I look forward to sharing with you but they will come a bit later.

My dilemma as of late is that I have been incorporating entirely way to many fats in my diet. I believe that just goes to show that you can still eat good healthy fats while losing weight! I however, am eating to many and while it may all be Raw, I am still looking for a healthier way of doing it. Just because you lead a Raw, Vegan or Vegetarian lifestyle doesn't mean you put the best things in your body! It's very easy to make wrong decisions at times.

With this being said I am making a pledge to move towards a lower fat Raw lifestyle. You may hear my mention either here or in my various forums I belong to that I dont (tend to) agree with people who move to this lifestyle for vanity reasons such as losing weight and losing weight only. It's this same reason you will hear me refer to Raw foods as a lifestyle, not a diet! I want people to move in this direction for the well being of themselves, the planet and the people around them.

I am here to say that I indeed do want to drop some pounds to get down to what I know is my healthiest weight(but you all know from previous posts my intentions of this lifestyle) and hope to do so by being healthier in my Raw decision making. Eating the amount of fat I am is simply not good for my body and I intend to change that!

You will notice me posting more information specifically geared to the low fact aspect of this lifestyle. I am not saying I wont make my desserts, main dishes and such, but I hope to include more information, articles, success stories and recipes on low fat choices!

My goal here is 10 lbs so lets see how fast I can do this simply by making a bit healthier choices. It's crazy to hear a Raw foodist say they have to make healthier choices. Like being Raw isn't good enough. Don't let it be discouraging. Do what you need to do and I say eat whatever the hell you want to eat in the Raw world at first. Whatever makes it easier for you to get to that raw point. It's when you are there comfortably that you can further make changes and tweek the food to better fit YOUR needs! Thats what I am doing!

Til Next time (soon I hope). Some things I want to cover include:

  • MSM and what I feel is insomnia brought on by it!
  • Wanting to start running again, even with Bursitis
  • My Story and where Raw food fits in and began in my life!
  • Great recipes I just have to get off my camera :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mmmm.. 10 Min Raw Cookies (and soo easy)

I have been meaning to post these bad boys on here for a while. You wouldn't believe the amount of photos and recipes I have yet to post. I tell you... when your not that computer savvy it takes a while! Note to self...improve upon these skills!

One thing that made it so difficult for me to adapt to the raw lifestyle was my intense sweet tooth. My whole family has been hit by the sweet tooth pretty hard. I blame my parents for ALWAYS making yummy baked goods when I was a child. If it wasn't cookies, it was brownies or pineapple upside down cake or even strawberry Shortcake! Being Raw NOW and having so many naturally sweet things in my diet had decreased my sweet tooth a bit but it is still very much there. I certainly cant handle overly sweet things anymore. Just tastes to sugary!

So here is a recipe for the easiest cookies on earth to make. The great thing about this recipe is that it is so easy to play with. You can add or subtract anything and mold it to your particular tastes. Thats what I love!

Basic Dough Instructions:

  • 1 Cup Almond Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Agave Nectar or Raw Honey
  • 1 Tbs. High Quality Culinary Vanilla Extract (without additives, preservatives and glycerin)
  • Himalayan Sea Salt to Taste.
  • Almond Meal for rolling! (In food processor or coffee grinder, grind Raw almonds until they are fine/semi fine... voila) 


Throw it all together (except almond meal)and mix well! See how easy it is. From there you want to take spoonfuls of dough and roll them into the almond meal and cover all surface! Put on a plate lined with wax paper and put in freezer for approx 20 minutes until they hardened a bit. Enjoy!!!

Here is where you can get creative! You can go anywhere from here.


  • Add 1/2 Cup Raw Cocoa to make a bit chocolaty 
  • Substitute Almond meal with Raw coconut shreds
  • Substitute the almond meal with Raw Cocoa 
  • Add a bit of lemon oil (cut back on Vanilla) to make lemon cookies.
Add Anything that strikes your fancy!

Almond Joy Drop Cookie Batter!

Feel free to add comments if you have any questions or would recommendations on further alternatives!

Cheers and good health!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Holy Mole Guacamole! (that means it was good!)

I am lying in bed after a very full belly of guacamole wraps. I had kind of been craving avocados now for a couple of days. I would pass some guacamole in the store and drool so figured it was time I made some. It is one of the easiest things to make but for some weird reason I overlook it all the time! I might be inclined to make it more if it were a little less fattening... not that I lead a low fat raw diet (which I am hoping to change). I do eat an ungodly amount of fat via nuts and seeds and I am in the process of shifting my diet towards a lower fat raw diet. Obviously.... it hasn't started yet so lets talk about these wraps!

I don't know if it was the fact that I had been craving guacamole or what but these were the best things I have put in my mouth (Thats what she said) in a while. I made Pico de gallo, Guacamole and zucchini pepper wraps (loosely based off The Raw Revolution Diet recipe). It was a mexican-ish style wrap I guess! Here are the following recipes!


  • 2 Avocados
  • 2 Cloves of garlic
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 Large Jalepeno pepper
  • 1 Large Roma tomato
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Himalayan Sea Salt to taste

Dice garlic, shallot, jalepeno pepper (leave seeds) and tomato finely and add to a large bowl. Proceed with two medium soft avocados and the lime juice and mash/mix together until it forms a consistency to your liking. Then add Sea salt and season to your tastes!
Prep time: 10 Min

Pico De Gallo:

  • 2 1/2 cups tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup yellow sweet onions
  • 1 large Serrano Chili Pepper
  • 1 Ear of Corn cut from the cob
  • 2 tbl.Cilantro
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Himalayan Sea salt to taste 

Finely dice tomatoes, onions, Pepper, and Cilantro and toss in large bowl. Add the corn kernels and the juice of  the lemon and toss again! Add the Sea salt to your liking!
Prep time:10 Min.

Zucchini Pepper Wraps: Requires Dehydrator. Make the day prior to Guacamole!
This recipe will make around 10 disk sized wraps and they keep for months. I like to keep them around at all time! They make a great low fat snack food. Shove almost anything in them and they are great! They do require a day to make though. They are worth it... I promise!

  • 6 chopped medium sized yellow peppers (orange works fine too, they are both nice and sweet)
  • 6 chopped and peeled medium sized zucchini 
  • 1/2 to 1 ripe avocado (helps bind it.... important)
  • 1 1/2  tabl. nutritional yeast (supplies a boost of B vitamins including the hard to get B12)
  • Dash of Sea Salt.

Combine peppers and zucchini and blend until smooth. It will all blend nicely so be patient. DO NOT add water! Add the avocado and nutritional yeast and blend til smooth.
Pour 1/2 cup of batter on non stick teflex dehydrator sheets and spread evenly with a spatula.
Dehydrate for about 5 hours, or until they can be removed safely from the sheets and then placed on the regular dehydrator sheets. Proceed to dehydrate for another 4-5 hours.

I know recipes that need a dehydrator can be a pain but this will yield alot of wraps and can be stored for a long time! They are a great finger food! They have saved me more than a couple times! If you stock pile these things to and have a marathon 'wrap' session you can say good bye to the dehydrator for a while which is always nice. I am too much of a simpleton to deal with that stuff.

Cheers and good health!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

MSM (Methy Sulfonyl Methane)

Approximately 1 month ago I started taking this supplement MSM for a variety of reasons. Many Raw enthusiasts recommend it due to its help in detoxifying the body, while others seem to be a bit more excited about its 'supposed' beauty benefits. Either way, my curiosity was peaked and decided to do a bit more research on this much talked about supplement.

I found some great information on MSM here as well as on this site. There are MANY more informational sites available but you will notice a lot of them go over the same concepts.

I myself am damn glad I found MSM and believe it is responsible for quit a few things! On the beauty front, my hair and nails are growing faster than usual. I feel like thats really saying something because even on a Raw diet alone, hair and nails seem to grow a bit quicker. I don't know if the MSM play a part of this but even the whites of my eyes are brighter. I  have worn contacts now for 15 years and my optometrist noticed some broken blood vessels roughly 2 months ago, during my last visit. I had wondered why my eyes always seemed a bit red! Now, they are gradually turning more white. I cant even notice the red anymore on the sides!

My skin is also reaping some pretty damn amazing benefits. I have always been blessed with freakishly great skin. If there were problems, it was only that it was on the slightly dry side. I never went through an acne faze and the only time I ever 'broke out' was three years ago when I went 100% raw. Overall, there was nothing a moisturizing lotion couldn't take care of. Over the past month I have used a moisturizing lotion maybe once a week and thats only because it is out of habit. David Wolfe describes MSM as  "producing a flame like tint in the skin and creating a subtle lustre as delicate as the halo around the full moon on a clear desert evening." I have never thought that my skin could use improving but seeing these results has changed my mind. 

After some research that I have done I saw that it is also great for repairing scar tissue. I am hoping this is the case but have yet to notice any results. I am using MSM as well as the Dry Brushing method to produce the results I am hoping for. I was not expecting immediate results in the scar tissue arena so I will keep you posted on the MSM and Dry Brushing combo!

The number one reason this supplement seemed so desirable to me were the claims that is helps with muscular pain and sever arthritis. Roughly 8 months ago I developed Hip bursitis in BOTH hips due to my previous job as a Coffee Roaster. I was limping for 4 months and in just plain pain for the other 4. My Doctor told me it was something that CAN go away but in many cases it can be something I may have to cope with for the rest of my life. I had to stop running which was the biggest let down. I was an avid runner (prior to my job, working 60-70 hrs a week) and ran 5-7 miles everyday. Running was the best part of my life for a very long time! I have since had to hang up my running shoes. 

Since I have taken MSM, I have noticed a significant drop in my hip and back pain. I refuse to be inactive so I still workout on a regular basis. Instead of running, it is now elliptical training and cycling. It's not nearly as fun or effective for me but I'll take what I can get. My boyfriend also rocks and does the elliptical with me! The fact that I am able to continue to work out 5 days a week and my pain is is at a mild to medium intensity is AMAZING! It has only been a month of taking this product so I am looking forward to the results I see further down the road.

I would highly recommend taking this supplement if your looking for a natural way to help relieve pain, looking for some beauty benefits or am looking for something to help with detox. If you are brand new to the Raw lifestyle it could be a greta supplement to help with the transition!

I'll keep you posted on the results I find down the road! 
Cheers and good health!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm offering a Kombucha Home brewing course!

How excited am I? I am in the process of making plans on teaching a home brewing course for Kombucha lovers. It is in the works for sometime in late November possibly early December.  I am just waiting to produce a couple more Scoby's (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) so I can then make them part of the cost of the class. I have seen time and time again people and companies offering to just sell Scoby's and I would like to not only offer them the Scoby but a basic understanding and foundation for future successful brewing.

I am thinking the cost of the class will be around $30-$40 and it will include

  • Scoby in the starter fluid
  • Small class size of no more than 10 persons
  • 1 hour lecture,conversation and Q and A
  • Detailed literature on successful brewing and trouble shooting
Being how their personal batches will not be brewed during the class, as part of the deal, I am offering to travel to their homes and get them started if they are not feeling comfortable on their own with the brewing process. The only equipment that will not be supplied to them is their glass containers and the handkerchiefs to cover the brew. I have not decided but I may or may not offer those for an additional cost at the class. I know it can be a pain to find the perfect glass container!

I will include more details as they are known. 

I am so excited about this on so many levels. I am eager to get my start as an educator on Raw Foods and this will be a step in the right direction. I, more than anything, just want to get the word out on this amazing lifestyle and give people the resources to move forward or continue their journey to a better way of living. I know it may seem a bit far fetched but I believe that if more people lived a lifestyle of pure and whole foods then this world be more like a Utopia, free from so many of the things that plague us as humans... including violence and ignorance. We could be a world filled with compassion, understanding and love... for all beings. 

Cheers and Good health,


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dry Brushing update:

It's been a couple weeks of following the dry brushing method and thought I should post an update. Sadly... there is not much to update but I still felt obligated to at least write SOMETHING.

The research I have done on this method states that there are not any major visible changes for a good 5 months. I am only rounding up on month one BUT... I have noticed little things. My skin in general is smoother due to me exfoliating everyday and thats always nice. The first couple times I did it was strange for I actually felt my skin tingle from the brushing sensation. I have always had poor circulation so I believe my skin was long waiting for a good daily massage.

The process as a whole takes me nearly 45 minutes which can get on my nerves a bit but I have managed to make it a rather extravagant evening for myself. I now light a couple candles, light up my oil incense burner for a bit of aromatherapy and put on my favorite 'Chill' playlist that includes music by Thievery Corporation, Massive Attack, Tricky and others of the liking. It is now incredibly soothing. It's as if I have a day spa in my house! So while it is somewhat of a process.. I have made the best of it.

Some people believe it is best to do it first thing in the morning but I do mine in the evening time after I have gone to the gym and gone about my business. Makes me feel cleaner. I don't believe it would make much of a difference either way and feel if people are going to take the time out of their busy days to include a 45 minute regimen then they should do it at the time they feel best so they enjoy it!

I wish I had better results to report but it is early on still. I will however keep updating of course but most likely on a monthly basis. My results so far are more calming and 'taking time for myself' which may or may not be worth it for some people to try.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Feeling great!

I wanted to document how amazing I feel at this very moment. I think its important to write down in some kind of journaling fashion when you feel good. Some kind of resource you can go back to for proof that whatever it is your doing (eating good, exercising) is working! I am sitting in bed drinking my Carrot/Apple/Celery/Ginger juice I just squeezed  and I just felt compelled to document this very moment.

My body feels amazing. I feel light and powerful with this incredible amount of pure energy. My moods are fantastic and I am in a constant state of just bliss. You can imagine what this does for not only myself but the people around me as well. My relationship is great and thriving due to the incredibly positive attitudes we both have. While he is not Raw, I do like to make sure he eats healthier than he did in his previous days (while he was vegetarian,he ate the equivalent of the S.A.D, nothing but processed soy garbage). If it hasn't been made apparent, I DO NOT like soy products in the least. They are just another processed food that is, in my opinion, horrible for your body. I believe such products should be limited as much as possible, say, for holidays and such!  We do ALOT of fresh cooking and I am opening him up to new possibilities! We also work out regularly together which is just yet another form of us taking care of ourselves. It is remarkable how what we put in our bodies effects every aspect in our lives. Even when stresses come along, we can handle them better.

When we are feeling blue or upset at outside conditions we can have something to read back on. A moment when we felt so great its as if nothing can bring us down. We can then remind ourselves that things will be good again and that we are just at a fork in the road. I want to come back to this post sometime and say "I want to be 'There' again. Then I'll take the steps necessary to do so. Life will forever give us obstacles but if we create resources along the way we are setting ourselves up for future success!

Cheers and good health!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kombucha Instructions

I am a BIG fan of Kombucha tea and have been for roughly 4 years. I believed it helped my transition into raw foods significantly easier. Personally speaking, it sped up my metabolism pretty significantly as well helped control my appetite. Being the 'Do It Yourself-er' that I am, it is really no wonder why I started brewing it myself. I have been brewing on my own now for about 4 months and am having a blast doing it!

Kombucha is one of those products that I believe takes a good while to master. I am still in those stages! I am really just trying to find the perfect tea for my personal palate as well as the perfect brew strength. I have a couple different batches going on right now testing those exact areas. I am excited for the results.

This upcoming batch I plan on experimenting more with flavorings like Ginger, Mango and Strawberry. My favorites to juice (which you'll see me mention in almost all my favorite Juices) are Pineapples and Oranges but I will leave those out due to their naturally acidic properties. The three flavorings above are also popular flavorings of commercially purchased teas. I also enjoy making Kombucha smoothies in which I blend a half bottle of Kombucha in with some fresh fruit. This may be a great way for anyone new to Kombucha to drink their tea since the fresh fruits tend to take the bite out of the drink.

Top 10 Noticeable Benefits of Drinking Kombucha Tea Daily

+ Prevents Acid Reflux

+ Assists With Weight Loss

+ Aids in Digestion of Heavy Meals

+ Strengthens Hair, Restores Hair

+ More Energy in the Morning

+ Helps With Sleep

+ Relives Constipation

+ Post Work Out Recovery Drink (Cardiovascular and Resistance Training)

+ Reduces Severity of Hangovers

+ Better Skin Complexion, Tighter Skin Tone

I have listed the instructions that I recommend below as well as all materials needed immediately following my personal pictures from my last batch brewed on September 2nd.

*I would like to mention the importance of cleanliness. Please wipe all surfaces down thoroughly prior to brewing and wash hands with an antibacterial soap or wear powder free surgical gloves!You will be dealing with a LIVE culture and it is vulnerable to outside bacteria... and not the good kind we want!*
The Basics
1 kombucha culture (or scoby)
2 litres of water
3 or 4 tea bags or 3 or 4 teaspoons of tea (green, white, or black tea)
1/2 cup to 1 cup Agave nectar
200 ml of kombucha from a previous batch as a starter or 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar if you don't have any kombucha.
The Equipment
A large glass jar (roughly a gallon)
A bandanna or a thin enough cloth to allow the brew to breath.
A rubber band or piece of elastic to secure the cloth
A teapot or saucepan to brew the tea in
A strainer (if you go with loose leaf tea, which I would recommend)
Some bottles for storing the finished drink
The Method
Make a pot of tea with the tea bags and leave it to brew for 5 to 10 minutes. I find that over brewing the tea, especially black, leave a bitter taste to the final product. Alternatively, add your tea to a saucepan and simmer it gently for 5 minutes (I use a loose leaf tea so a saucepan is my method)

Strain the tea into your large glass jar, add the nectar and stir it until it dissolves. Now add cold filtered water to bring the tea up to 2 litres. Hot tea can kill the culture! It should be no more than blood heat before you add your culture, so if it’s still too warm then let it cool down before you add it to the jar.

Making the brew
Into the large glass jar, put the starter liquid from the previous batch of kombucha. If this is your first batch then use 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar as your starter, (It adds the acid environment the culture likes) or some commercial kombucha if you have some. Once you’ve made your first batch you’ll have your own kombucha to use as a starter on the next batch.

At this point you should have your brewed tea, nectar and starter liquid in the large glass jar!

Add the kombucha scoby.
Pick up your scoby and slide it into the bowl. I find that the younger the scoby, the more likely it is to sink and the older they are, the more they will float at the top. I have no idea if this is true for everyone but for me it has been common. If the scoby has a 'dirty' side where it's darker in colour and has beard like brown bits sticking to it then put that side facing down into the tea. The brown bits are yeasts.

Cover it and leave it to ferment
Put your cloth over the bowl and secure it with a rubber band or a piece of elastic. This keeps contamination out of your culture so it’s important to cover it properly!

Put the bowl in a warm dark place (23°-30°C or 70°-86°F) like a corner on the kitchen counter. I must stress that it is crucial to not disrupt the process so place it in an area where it can go undisturbed for its full process! I have had to move brews in the middle of their run (I was moving) and BOTH scoby's were ruined!

I hope this helps anyone with their Kombucha journey! There are also some good videos on YouTube although you may have to sort through a bit!

Cheers and good health!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Raw UN-Cooking machine today!

Today has been an incredibly productive day. I love those days where I make some new things that I fall in love with. Things that make me think to myself 'Holy Sh*!, this is now a new staple in my kitchen'. I think almost any raw foodist explodes with joy when they discover a new food that they get to enjoy.
I have been making some amazing foods over the last couple days I have to say and it fills me with an amazing feeling of accomplishment. While living in Seattle, I had many resources that allowed me to be raw for nearly a solid year. I am now in a situation where I am being forced to be my own resource. I'm learning to fish if you will. I think its important to the success of any raw foodist to gain a broad spectrum and understanding of raw foods.
Gaining that broad understanding takes dedication, time and PATIENCE. We are re-learning an entirely new way to function within a society that is so incredibly focused on 'Fast and Easy' (Thats what she said). It's no wonder why we have such a hard time with this lifestyle and why so many of us feel like we are failing. Our modern society is simply not designed for people like us who require actual cooking tools to prepare each of our meals. Luckily for us, however, I see things moving in a more positive direction. I can go to Whole Foods and have an isle dedicated to my lifestyle. How amazing is that? I know 3 years ago when I was raw that that was not the case. I cant speak for everywhere however, but in Seattle I know it wasn't something prominent in grocery stores.
With that said, I would like to state that I have been feeling amazing lately. I had a brief period with major bloating and discomfort due to a new supplement added to my diet, but with that aside, I feel excellent. My mind is clearer, my skin is glowing, and my body is getting down to what should be my natural slender size. Granted the weight loss process could be happening sooner but I do have a love of highly fatty foods such as nuts,oils and avocados! My hair and nails are also reaping the benefits from the raw food and are starting to grow and look amazing! Overall, I feel like I am doing wonderful. My body feels as if it's getting back to what is right for MY body! For the first time in a very long time, I am able to truly read my body and understand what it needs and when it needs it. It's an amazing feeling. I'm glad to be back.
Today I have conjured up some tasty 'Cashew Hummus' that I used a bit as a vegetable dip as well as a Mediterranean lettuce wraps with fresh onion, tomato and cucumber. Remarkable! All the mediterranean flavors were present minus the carb loaded, refined flour and processed flat bread. I will include a recipe shortly. For now though, I have included a picture to show just how creamy this hummus really is. This picture honestly does it no justice.

Here is some super addictive cheesy Kale chips that I made and are due out of the dehydrator in the morning, ready for me to eat as my afternoon snack! This is hands down the most addictive snack food I have ever had. I will make sure I post this recipe as well!

Tomorrow I will be posting pictures and describing in detail the process in which I brew my Kombucha Tea! Yet another process I had my head buried in!

Cheers and good health!