Summer time is probably the best time to experiment with raw food. I know a lot of people may be appalled at that idea and think of raw food as bird food, boring and bland. May you stand corrected! Raw food is full of flavor and bursting with excitement for the palate, mind and body. You can incorporate raw food into any diet, and it does not have to be strenuous. With the heat of the summer, raw food provides light and refreshing opportunities.
Let me explain some of the benefits of raw food plant-based foods. What is Raw Food? Raw food is just that! Food that has not been heated over 115-117 degrees Fahrenheit. Foods in their natural state, so nothing is cooked or heat-treated. The food remains in tact with all that it’s intended to be, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, hormones, oxygen and much more. Raw food has no hidden ingredients, what you see is what you get! No added chemicals, hidden sugars, food additives or chemicals.
Keeping food intact provides so many health benefits; experimenting with a raw food diet you will notice some of the following:
- Weight loss
- Weight management
- Glowing skin
- Increases energy
- Improves mind
- Overall well-being
- Slows down the aging process
- Decreases food cravings
- Improves digestion
- Restful sleep
- Mental clarity and focus
- Reduced bloating and gas
- Reduced risk of disease
- Clear skin
- No trans fats
- Increase essential fats
For myself when I eat raw, I notice such an improvement in my quality of life. Inflammation disappears, clear mind, energy, well rested, bloating disappears, among many other wonderful side effects! As a vegan this has been a wonderful way for me to treat my body and it gives back to me tenfold!
Try this recipe:
Zucchini noodle salad
- Spiralize 1-2 zucchinis
- Quarter of a red onion
- 2-3 celery stocks
- 10 halved cherry tomatoes
- Throw in some cashews, almonds, sunflower seed or pumpkin seeds
Dress it with a freshly squeezed lemon or lime, a drizzle of olive oil, a dollop of honey and some tamari! I like to add spice to cayenne pepper for some kick, you can use whatever hot spices or hot sauce you like.
I dare you to try one day of raw food! Check out my yummie section for tons of raw recipes!
Check out my article about the FLU…
Hey guys, I have been nominated in the Nutritionist category with the Best of Canada 2012 Natural Health Awards. I would love your vote!!!
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As promised, I will discuss the Ascenta Health product line. I recently became an Ascenta Health ambassador and with good reason. First off lets get one thing straight, I’m not working on any sort of commission and I’m writing this article all in good will, with zero bias. I am confident in their brand and only recommend the highest quality of supplements to my clients. I have seen first hand the power of Ascenta in promoting, healing and maintaining good health. As a vegan, NutraVege is one of very few vegan EFA supplements and has been a part of my diet for the last two years. After a short time I was able to notice improved cognitive function and skin and a decrease of inflammation.
The reasons I choose the Ascenta line is simple, I can trust them. Why?
1. Their products are ultra-pure, and the highest quality guaranteed. Ascenta uses a third party program called Pure Check. Pure check http://www.ascentahealth.com/reports/sample, ensuring that all their products our pure and match their label claims, based on science not marketing!
2. With a full range of products, there is something for everyone, including, kids, vegans and pets. The majority of their products come in a liquid or capsule options and all products are flavoured and taste great!
The Line Up:
NutraVege – High potency DHA, GLA & SDA vegetarian supplement: NutraVege is a vegetarian source of omega-3 beneficial for the maintenance of good health Check out Ascentas compariason of Nutra Veg to Flax Oil http://www.ascentahealth.com/products/human/nutravege/
NutraSea – balanced EPA & DHA omega-3 supplement: This supplement is well balanced EPA & DHA and recommended for maintance: Beneficial for the maintenance of good health, and in support of cardiovascular health and brain function.
NutraSea+D – EPA & DHA omega-3 supplement with vitamin D: is beneficial for cardiovascular health, brain function and healthy bones and teeth. Also beneficial in the development of the brain, eyes and nerves in children and adolescents.
NutraSea hp – Concentrated high EPA omega-3 supplement: This product has a higher EPA ratio, which will be extremely beneficial for those who want to improve cognitive function and help lower blood pressure. This is one product that I find myself recommending to my clients.
NutraSea DHA – High DHA omega-3 supplementt: NutraSea DHA is beneficial for cardiovascular health and brain function. It is also beneficial in the development of the brain, eyes and nerves in children and adolescents
NutraSea Kids – omega-3 supplement with EPA, DHA, GLA and vitamin D: Specially formulated for kids!! This is an essential supplement that I belive every child should be taking daily!
*Refer back to yesterdays article to see the difference in EPA and DHA
3. Ascenta Health is a genuine company and they pride themselves on their product, and good science. “In everything we do, we are guided by our belief in honesty, transparency, integrity and respect.”
First off EFA stands for Essential Fatty Acid, no surprise an ESSENTIAL element to our diets, one that too many of us our lacking in. Our bodies’ can’t produced EFA’s so we must rely on food and supplementation to ensure we are getting enough.
Why are EFA’s Essential?
They are the good fats that we want in our diets, the fats that promote health. More than 50 years of medical research has proven without a doubt that EFAs can influence the human body in a number of ways, including cardiovascular health, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, brain function, infant development, immune function and cancer prevention.
- Improved mood and memory
- Healthy metabolism
- Bone strength
- Healthy skin
- Decreased inflammation
- Better management of pain associated with arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and back pain
- Reduced triglycerides
- Reduced blood pressure
- Decrease inflammation in the heart and blood vessels
- Decreased risk of angina, heart attack and stroke
DHA is important for development of the brain and nervous system in infants, and in the repair and protection of the nervous system from age-related damage. DHA plays an important role in:
- Development of fetal nervous system in utero
- Improved cognitive function in infants, toddlers and children
- Preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s in the elderly
- Improving cognitive performance in the elderly
EPA (combined with DHA) has the greatest benefit for conditions of altered mood and behaviour including:
- Bipolar disorder
Pregnancy, Infancy and Breast Feeding
DHA is necessary for the proper development and functioning of the nervous system, brain, and eyes. The fetus is dependent on the mother for DHA intake – which must be high enough to meet both the requirements of the fetus and the mother. Improved DHA levels in mothers and their breast milk is associated with:
- Improved fertility
- Decreased risk of premature birth
- Decreased risk of post-partum depression
- Improved attention, focus, learning, intelligence and behaviour in children
- Decreased risk of allergies in children
- Improved immune development
- Improved visual acuity
- Decreased dryness
- Decreased redness
- Improved tear production
- Decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration
- Decreased risk of cataracts
- Protection against age-related damage to the eye
Unfortunately I don’t believe that anyone truly gets enough EFA’s directly from diet, for one the quality of food and the nutritional profile of food is nowhere near accurate. Today’s soil and waters do not contain the right nutrients necessary for an optimal nutrient profile in our foods. An apple 40 years ago had more nutrients then an apple does today. It is so important to use supplementation when talking about EFA’s. The market is saturated with tons of companies claiming their product is the best… not the case…. Check back tomorrow when I talk about Ascenta Health, truly the leaders in EFA’s products.
PART 2 Tomorrow!
So the school bell has rung and the kids are back at school in full force. The change from summer to school can be a daunting task for both parents and students, so let me share some brain boosting / concentration nutrients to ensure optimal learning!
OOOOOOOOOOOOO OMEGA 3
Omega 3 is crucial for healthy brain development and brain function. Most kids are demanding and craving fish, so it’s important to supplement your kids with fish oil. The market has many fish oils that our flavored and kid approved. You can hid it in a morning smoothie and your child won’t even know.
Protein is essential in your child’s diet! Protein triggers the production of brain chemicals necessary for positive behavior and concentration. Children should have at least 20 g of protein in the morning. 2 eggs will provide that, or you can make protein infused pancakes, or add a non whey protein powered to a super breakfast smoothie.
The Sunshine Vitamin D
Our brains have a wide distribution of vitamin D receptors and several studies show that vitamin D may improve cognitive function, as well as improve memory, learning and motor control. Both children and adults alike are likely lackingt in the Sunshine Vitamin. It is important to supplement with vitamin D in a liquid form for best absorption. Minimum of 2,000 IU
Don’t Forget about the B’s
The entire B family of vitamins including B9 folic acid is so important for the function and health of the brain cells. The B vitamins improve memory, control mood swings, fatigue, and insomnia. Our food is loaded with B vitamins, Whole grains ( Steel Cut Oats) , dark leafy green veggie and meat.
Phosphatidyl serine or (PS):
A major component of the outer membrane of brain cells, PS has been shown to improve learning, short-term memory and concentration. Pilot studies suggest that it might offer some benefit to children with ADHD. PS is available from foods and supplements. PS helps to improve mood, symptoms of depression, stress management, and energy levels.
Children rely on you to pack them their lunches. Be sure to stay away from processed foods in their lunches. Pack with nutrition in mind.
- Make tuna sandwiches on whole grain bread . Instead of mayo mash up an avocado with some mustard. Cut up pickles and celery and mix everything together.
- Stay away from deli meats they are loaded with chemicals, even the organic ones.
- Home made pizza on gluten free crust. Top with loads of veggies
- Quinoa Salads ( options are endless)
- Chicken fingers breaded with oat bran instead of breadcrumbs.
- Send fresh made hummus and veggies as a day time snack
- Make fresh trail mix using different seeds and throw in some dark chocolate chips and dried cranberries
- Celery with sunflower seed butter and rasins
- Fresh cut fruit
- Make sweet potato chips
Make sure you make time to prepare lunch, you don’t need more then 20 minutes. The befits of fueling your child will come back with endless rewards
So the hype of the summer/year are these pop up frozen yogurt shops, appearing literally everywhere. The concept is they give you one massive cup and you fill it and top it up. Flavours and toppings galore, celebrity faces endorsing the shops and claims of a healthy treat. Sugar free, low-fat, no fat, no sugar, no gluten, low carb, kosher, dairy free, all the key marketing words to sucker you all in. My dear friends what you are all shoveling your faces with is the biggest chemical shit storm I have ever seen in my life!!!!! Not only that but your “FRO YO” starts in a bag as powder!!! If you walk in and ask to see an ingredient list, you will see SOME of the following:
- Liquid sugar
- Liquid stabilizer
- Corn Syrup
- High Fructose Corn Syrup,
- FD&C Yellow #5
- FD&C Blue #1
- Citric Acid
- Mono & Diglycerides
- Acesulfame Potassium
- Dioxide (Anticaking Agent)
- Propylene Glycol
The chemical list is endless!!! Check out your fro yo spots web sites for additional shit storm additives! If you’re going to have ice cream you may as well indulge in the real cream and milk (not that I encourage this).
I have said this before and I will say it again, if a company must market how amazing and healthy their product is, you are just being fooled. Find me a bag of chia seeds with a long list of its benefits!!! Be aware people be aware!!!!
Stop filling up that cup!!! The problem is our taste buds have been ruined by garbage food. If you only ate wholesome foods, and then went back to something such as DYS “FRO YO” you would be able to taste the chemicals.
Alternatively try making your own ice creams at home, all you need is a food processor or blender, some fruit and a non-dairy milk. Use honey and maple syrup for sweeteners. Coconut milk also helps to make these home made ice creams creamy. Squeeze fruit and freeze their juices in popsicle trays and shove them in the freezer and suck on that!!! Look under my “Yummie” section for all kind of frozen treat recipes.
Thinking of chowing down on china tonight? Think again! Many dishes in Chinese restaurants have more calories, fat, or sodium than one person should consume in a day. First of all the cycle involved in eating western society china food goes something like this….. Craving/starving… so full you could puke…….. starving again. The culprit of this awful cycle used to be MSG, however, most places have stopped using MSG. So what’s causing this cycle? Carbohydrates! The white rice and the noodles used in the cuisine have a high glycemic index (GI), which means the body needs to produce extra insulin to digest them. Certain diet doctors believe consuming these carbohydrates can cause overeating, since excess insulin causes the blood sugar to plummet, creating a hungry feeling. The carbs aren’t the only bad guys here, a lot of the sauces are loaded with sugar and other harmful additives. Diabetics especially should pay close attention!!! Besides lacking in nutrients, Chinese food is loaded with sodium…. Hellllllllo high blood pressure! Some Chinese food items contain more than two days’ worth of sodium. Szechuan string beans, contain 2,700 mg of sodium. Other Chinese dishes with high sodium counts include: chicken with black bean sauce, 3,800 mg; orange crispy beef, 3,100 mg; beef with broccoli, 3,200 mg and shrimp with garlic sauce, 3,000 mg.: http://www.livestrong.com/article/402455-is-chinese-food-bad-for-high-blood-pressure/#ixzz20vibBbQe
Last year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest analyzed a few dozen popular dishes from a typical Chinese restaurant menu. The top offenders, at 1,500 calories each, were Orange Crispy Beef and Fried Rice. While Chow Mein drops to 1,200 calories and Combination Lo Mein 1,000 Calories. Chicken Chow Foon, made with wide rice noodles, weighs in at 1,200; General Tso’s Chicken, usually made with fattier chicken thigh meat, comes in at 1,300. Lemon Chicken gets its 1,400 calories from the usual suspect — battered and deep-fried meat, while Kung Pao Chicken, also at 1,400 calories.
Although the Chinese culture is loaded with nutrient packed foods and super foods, which I obviously encourage, these aren’t the ones the delivery boy is showing up to your front door with. Think twice before chowing down!!! My fortune cookie reads… Be smart, make good choices!
That’s a Wrap!
Day 7: All good things must come to an end! The cleanse is officially over, I just put back my last green juice. Overall what an amazing experience, but more so a challenge, mentally and physically, it takes a lot of will power and determination not to eat a single ounce of food. However, the results and feeling is spectacular. Looking back on my originally hypothesis of what was to be expected: All were %100 valid
- Increased energy My energy is better then it has ever been my whole life.
- Light I feel extremely light
- Elimination of bloating and gas- No gas or bloating, flat tummy
- Glowing skin My skin is impeccable
- Boosted immune system I assume my immune system loves me
- Amazing transit time and well-formed stools- lack of bowel movements were my fault, I did not drink enough water, however this morning I took back about 1 liter and my bowels started running!! So if you cleanse ensure you start each morning with water and drink tons of it through out the cleanse. My first movement was perfect at the start of the cleanse.
- Weight Loss- I dropped about 12 pounds (remember a cleanse is not for weight loss) Most people will gain that weight back if they don’t really tailor their diet post cleanse.
I have learnt a lot about myself during this week, which felt like a month! As I mentioned before, I will transition out of this cleanse tomorrow morning slowly. I intend to eat very light, I will not be adding grains back into my diet as this experienced showed me that my body does not react well to the. I will be limiting my nuts and seeds but not eliminating, I will be loading up with veggies, salads, cold soups, good quality protein like temphe, and sprouted mung and adzuki beans and Vega one protein powder. I am excited to return to my raw life, I know I feel my best when I follow this lifestyle. I also plan to include at least two fresh juices daily and have 1 or 2 complete juice days every week.
I thank total cleanse for providing me with my juices. I encourage you to check them out!!! For a special discount use nosugarcoating and receive a 10% discount!
Thanks’ for following my journey. Check back next week for a post cleanse update!!!