I had a late lunch today, and wasn’t really hungry for dinner, but I was craving something lemony. I had some avocados at home, so I decided to try a lemon avocado mousse. OMG it was exquisite! I would say it is even better than my chocolate avocado pudding. (I’m saying that today, might change my mind tomorrow, I am chocoholic after all.)
So if you want to reproduce my extremely simple and delicious creation here it is:
- 3 avocados
- Juice of one lemon
- approx. 4 tablespoons of raw honey (adjust to taste)
- Combine all ingredients using a hand held blender.
OK, now don’t hide with that bowl. Share!
Christmas is fast approaching and for many it is a time to indulge in excessive eating which more often than not results in weight gain. Then comes the dieting and detoxing in the new year. Maybe it is time to revisit our relationship with food. In Greek mythology Ceres the Goddess of Agriculture is also considered the Mother archetype, whose unconditional love is connected to nurturing her children by providing food for them. For early Christians the term agape or love feast was a meal partaken of in connection with the Holy Communion. God established food as an expression of love giving life. I’d like to think that we still appreciate food as nourishment not only for our bodies but also for our souls, but the reality is that we live in a fast food nation, eat adulterer food that comes form a box instead of the earth, we are misguided and mislead. GMO foods find their way into packaged products without our consent, and we are totally disconnected form the source. The source of our food, as well as the source of our spirituality. When farmers have to face the realities of harsh weather, of losing crops one year and perhaps having bumper crops the next all we look at is where we can get a better deal on our groceries. Ever stopped to think what price we are paying for cheap food? Growing number of health concerns, digestive problems, obesity, chronic diseases, diabetes… the list goes on. We also see the destruction of small family farms…. The price we are paying is way too high! But we can make different choices. We can start by expressing gratitude for our food. To get you started here are two simple but meaningful verses my children know: “Thank you for the food we eat, thank you for the world so sweet, thank you for the birds that sing, thank you God for everything.” and “Earth who gave us all this food, sun who made it ripe and good, dear earth, dear sun by you we live, to you our grateful thanks we give.” Then look at what you put on your table. Is it fresh, is it local, is it organic, is it really nourishing? Or does it come form a package, and if so what does the label say? Natural, low fat, no trans fat, or low sugar does not mean it is good for you. These words have become marketing gimmicks. And food sold in a health food store is not necessarily healthy either. Try eating fresh, live foods for a few days and feel the difference. Observe your energy level, your vitality. Start your morning with a green juice or smoothie, and see the changes this brings about. Add salads to every meal.
On that note here is a delicious jicama salad I just learnt from Wilhelmina Wilson at the House of Verona where I spend two days on an energy exchange. Jica what? – you say. Jicama is a root vegetable and is also called yambean.
This is what Dr. Michael T Murray has to say about it:
“A cup of raw, sliced jicama provides 27 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of fiber, plus 35 percent of the RDI for vitamin C, all for a mere 49 calories. In addition to being an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, jicama is a very good source of the trace mineral molybdenum and a good source of potassium.”
- 4 tbsp Tahini
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp water
- 4 tbsp fresh parsley
- 2 dates (soaked)
- pinch of sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
- pinch of chili powder or cayenne
- ½ mashed avocado (optional)
- 2 c diced jicama
- 1 diced red bell pepper
- 1 ½ celery stalks – diced
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- Mix all dressing ingredients in a blender. If you are using avocado add it when rest of ingredients are already mixed and briefly mix to blend it in.
- Toss all ingredients with dressing.
Use this salad instead of potato salad. It is really really good!
If you want to learn more about including raw food in your diet, click here to find out more about my uncooking classes.
Bence helped me make zucchini spaghetti today. In fact his whole class helped. They are learning about professions and parents were asked to come in and talk to them about their jobs. I think there are about twenty 5 to 6 year olds out there who want to be raw food chefs after today’s encounter.
For dinner we enjoyed the zucchini spaghetti with sunflower sauce and creamy tomato sauce. It is amazing how much kids love zucchini when they help make it and it looks like spaghetti!
This is one of the recipes that we prepare in my Raw Desserts class, but I decided to share it with you here, because I just saw an organic carrot cake recipe, which has organic all purpose flour, and organic unrefined sugar, and dairy in it. All purpose flour is still refined whether it is organic or not, and sugar is sugar is sugar…. OK, this carrot muffin has sweeteners too, but they are just dried fruits and raw honey. (And I know some vegan raw-foodists out there will object, but if it is sustainably produce, without hurting the bees I have no problem using it.) Raw honey is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. It has been proven to reduce night-time coughing in children, and contains cancer preventive compounds (caffeic acid methyl caffeate, phenylethyl caffeate, and phenylethyl dimethylcaffeate if you want to get technical) These substances inhibit the function of certain enzymes that cause colon cancer. Honey also contains minerals and some B vitamins. So it’s up to you! These carrot muffins are gluten-free and dairy free – and I guaranty that you’ll get hooked if you try them.
For the muffins
2 cups carrots (shredded)
½ cup walnuts
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup dried apricots (unsulphured)
½ cup goji berries (or raisins, or dried currants)
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp cinnamon
For the frosting
¾ cup raw cashews
1 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
approximately 3 tbsp water
(Starting with the frosting will save you from having to wash your blender between the two tasks)
Blend cashews, lemon juice, and some water until a thick paste is formed (occasionally scraping down the sides of the blender)
Add honey and blend until incorporated
Grate carrots (can use your blender for this task as well)
Blend dates, apricots, walnuts until combined, but not a paste
Add carrots and spices and continue blending until the mixture comes together and holds its shape
Fold in coconut and goji berries (raisins/currants)
Using an adjustable measuring cup create 1/8 cup thick muffins. The mixture is rather stick, so you might need a knife to help.
Top with frosting and refrigerate before serving
Just in case you are wondering what an adjustable measuring cup looks like, and where you can get one:
For making muffins get the 1 cup size, otherwise you will end up with huge muffins. For raw burgers you can use the 2 cup size, which has a bigger diameter.
You can get them at Golda’s Kitchen in Mississauga (2885 Argentia Road Unit 6 – East of Winston Churchill Blvd at Hwy 401)
If you are not in Mississauga visit their on-line store at Golda’s Kitchen
Inspiration form Jan Buhrman of the Kitchen Porch
Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. Green shoots emerge from the ground, animals feed on them and shed the fat they’ve accumulated during the winter from eating nuts and seeds. If we follow nature’s cycles and cleanse our bodies we will feel lighter, amazingly vibrant, energized, and rejuvenated. Regular cleansing helps prevent many degenerative diseases, which come from congestion and stagnation in the body. By avoiding harmful foods, eating a lighter, nutrient dense diet, consuming more liquids and fibre, and making sure that our elimination is up to par we allow our bodies to get rid of accumulated toxins. This is especially important in our day and age when we are bombarded with more toxins than ever. Our bodies have an elaborate detoxification system in place (including the liver, the gallbladder, the colon, the kidneys, the bladder, the lungs, the lymphatic system and the skin) which is constantly working on removing toxins, but the rate at which this is happening is often not enough to keep up with our toxic load.
Detoxification does not need to be complicated. If you eliminate all processed and fried foods, sugar, animal products, coffee, black tea, chocolate, most fats, gluten containing grains, and most legumes from your diet for two weeks you are going to feel the benefits of detoxification, which include increased energy, weight loss, increased immune function, better skin – just to name a few. You can consume all varieties of fresh produce, gluten-free grains, some seeds, some legumes, and a very limited amount of olive oil and flax oil. There are wonderful recipes suitable for such a food-based cleanse, and you do not have to go hungry. Just eat slowly and in moderation.
In general most vegetables cleanse the body of toxins and purify and renew the blood, but leafy greens are especially good at this job. They help restore the acid-alkaline balance, which is crucial for detoxification. If the body is too acidic it is mucousy, congested, inflamed, and toxins tend to accumulate faster. In some cases a formula to balance your pH levels might be useful. Some other supplements can also be helpful. Ask a nutritionist which are the right ones for you. Here are some examples: Taking probiotics will ensure gut health and contribute to healthy bowel function. A B-complex might be something to consider if you have been under a lot of stress. B vitamins, especially B3 and B6 support liver function, and they are depleted by prolonged stress. Milk thistle not only helps the liver with detoxification but it can also help liver cell repair. Other excellent herbal formulae are also available. Ask for the ones that are gentle on your body, such as slippery elm, burdock, blessed thistle, sheep sorrel.
When you are detoxifying make sure you get enough rest, and if you exercise, keep it light. Some other suggestions to help your body get rid of toxins include enjoying an infrared sauna a couple of times a week and skin brushing which is a great way of increasing lymph flow, thereby removing toxins faster.
There are other cleansing routines, such as the water and juice fasts. I would not recommend these to first time cleansers. Even those who are more experienced with cleansing should be careful with these. Liver detoxification is dependent on adequate levels of supporting nutrients, and requires a lot of energy. For a truly sensible and effective detox follow a food-based cleanse and make sure you have someone to guide you. Having the proper support in place can make or break your success.
Join me for a vegan spring cleanse and feel the difference!
Merry Christmas! Boldog Karácsonyt! Joyeux Noël! Felice Navidad!
and why (some) doctors do
If you are looking for an answer to the second question you do not need to read further, I’ll tell you right now I do not have the answer. I will, however, tell you why I would not recommend Boost to cancer patients, or to anyone for that matter.
Let’s look at the ingredients of Boost as it appears on a website called www.allegromedical.com (which site incidentally lists among the uses of Boost “the dietary management of oncology” – as far as I know oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with cancer – so what exactly are we managing here?) The highlights are mine. Those are the ingredients I want to focus on. (We could also get into the source of all the vitamins – are they synthetic or natural, are they in the most easily absorbable form, but I don’t even want to go there right now.)
(Vanilla) Water, sugar, corn syrup solids, milk protein concentrate, vegetable oil (canola, high oleic sunflower, corn oils) and less than 0.5% of soy lecithin, carrageenan, salt, natural and artificial flavor, vitamin A palmitate, beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, vitamin D3, vitamin E acetate, thiamine hydrochloride, riboflavin, niacinamide, vitamin B6 hydrochloride, folic acid, choline bitartrate, vitamin B12, biotin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin K1, calcium carbonate, ferrous sulfate, potassium iodide, magnesium phosphate, zinc sulfate, cupric sulfate, potassium citrate, potassium chloride, sodium selenite, chromic chloride, sodium molybdate, manganese sulfate. Contains milk protein and soy.
In addition to the above: Chocolate and Chocolate Mocha flavored Boost contain cocoa processed with alkali. Butter Pecan flavored Boost also contains natural and artificial flavor, which contains pecan extract, sulfites and hydrolyzed soy protein. Strawberry flavored Boost contains Red 3 (color). Chocolate flavored Boost contains ferric pyrophosphate (instead of ferrous sulfate) Product information and values are subject to change. Ingredient and nutrition information current as of April 2008.
So what does all that mean form the viewpoint of a nutritionist?
Sugar – number one enemy of cancer, sugar makes the body acidic, allowing for the development of all kind of diseases, including tumor growth. Note that this is the second on the list of ingredients after water – that means this is the ingredient present in the largest quantity.
Corn syrup solids – another name for sugar.
Vegetable oil (canola, high oleic sunflower, corn oil) – most of the canola used in processed foods is refined and deodorized. It is treated with sodium hydroxide, phosphoric acid, bleach, and high temperature. Not to mention the likelihood of it coming from GE (genetically engineered) crops. Corn oil is also likely to come from GE crops.
Artificial flavour – hundreds of chemicals can be used to provide flavour – and food manufacturers are not required to list them. Flavourings may include substances to which some people are sensitive, such as MSG or HVP (hydrolyzed vegetable protein). If you don’t know what’s in it why take a chance?
Sulfites – prevent discolouration and bacterial growth. They also destroy vitamin B1 and may cause severe reactions (diarrhea, nausea, headaches) especially in asthmatics. There is some indication that sulfites can enhance the cancer-causing potential of other substances, even though they do not seem to be cancer-causing by themselves.
Hydrolyzed soy protein – contains MSG and may cause adverse reactions in sensitive individuals.
Red 3 (colour) – derived from coal-tar, is supposedly safe, but research has suggested that it may cause gene mutations, cancers, or changes in brain chemistry.
If you found this article useful, you might also want to read my articles on Cancer Prevention with Diet and on Cancer, Chemotherapy, and Natural Remedies
Staying Healthy with Nutrition, rev: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine by Elson M Haas, MD with Buck Levin, PhD, RD
Center for Science in the Public Interest website
DISCLAIMER: The information in this post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For your specific needs seek the advise of a qualified health care provider.
With the memories of summer still fresh in our minds Halloween is creeping up on us. Kristof and Bence are getting ready. How about you, are you ready for Halloween? What is your strategy for handling the candy and chocolate overload that is to be expected? If you are like me you do not want your kids to miss out on “trick or treating” but you feel like dumping the goodies they bring home straight into the garbage. You are concerned about kids acting hyper on sugar highs, obesity, cavities, and your kids’ health in general, so what should you do? Halloween Fairy to the rescue! Simple, effective. This is a tradition to start! And the earlier you start the better. This is what we do. When we get back from our round of “trick or treating” we empty our bags onto the table. We go through it together and pick out the ones that are half decent, like granola bars, sesame snaps, and some chocolate. (Yes, they still get their sugar, but we get rid of most of the food colouring and additives, and no lollipops or candies will enter the mouth of my munchkins if I can help it!) The kids get to keep about 10% of the stuff and leave the rest for the Halloween Fairy. She comes at night, just like the Tooth Fairy, and takes all the candy, leaving a gift in exchange. And then what does she do with the candy? Well, she Freecycles it with a slighlty bad conscience…