Seaweed.

26 06 2009

The Japanese have been using seaweed or sea vegetables in their diet and food preparation for centuries. In Japan, the consummation of seaweed is as normal as the usage of apples or carrots in the west. Commonly, what we find strange to eat simply seems that way because we have not eaten that food since childhood. This is fine, as long as you keep your diet varied. You need not try everything that other nations try, but perhaps we should all make an exception for seaweed.

Seaweed is so easily found in the wild and if you don’t live by the sea, you can just as easily purchase it, often in Asian supermarkets. It is rarely expensive and with so many varieties of seaweed, we could just as easily think of it like fruit; if you are not consuming it, you are missing out on a huge variety of tastes and textures.

Onto the health part. Seaweed is so different in every way from vegetables or fruit. For a start, it grows in the sea. So, we can logically assume that it also has many nutrients which one can’t get a hold of so easily in fruit or vegetables. This is a safe assumption to make.

Seaweeds are low fat, incredibly rich in minerals, they contain a similar concentration and variation of minerals to which humans have in their blood and have the ability to bind with toxins and heavy metals, eliminating these nasties from the body.

Seaweeds are all very energizing because they contain an abundance of various minerals. These minerals are used by the body for it’s various functions but also these minerals alkalize the body. An alkaline body is a healthy body but most people have an acidic body. So everybody can stand to add seaweed to their diets.

Go to your nearest Asian food store and pick two or three different varieties of seaweed. They will come dried, and sometimes roasted. If you can’t get a particular seaweed which you would like to try raw, buy it roasted. You will still reap tremendous benefit from it. Store it in an airtight container because you don’t want the seaweed absorbing moisture from the air, which will make the seaweed soft and will reduce it’s shelf life.

Here’s a run down of some of the various seaweeds you can buy:

Nori

  • A very useful seaweed to have. It will often come in flat sheets and so, many people use nori to make vegetable wraps. It has a mild flavor and so it may be a good way to begin to include seaweed in your life.
  • Nori contains approximately 48% protein (a handy figure to know for when you get that “where do you get your protein” question) and an abundance of carotene, vitamins C, D, B1. B2 and B3.
  • In nori there are also high amounts of calcium, iron, iodine and phosphorous, and little fat.

Dulse

  • Found in the North Atlantic. It also has a mild flavor, which can be described as spicy and nutty.
  • Dulce, similar to Nori, contains an abundance of protein, as well as iron. Many women, due to menstruation, are lacking in iron. Therefore, including Dulse in your diet is highly recommended.
  • Aside from it’s iron and protein, Dulse is rich in dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, as well as vitamins A, B2, B6 and E.
  • It has been concluded by a nutritional researcher, Paul Pitchford, that Dulse can lower cholesterol, remove toxins and ease the herpes virus.

Kelp

  • A large algae which contains over 70 minerals and trace elements.
  • It has been shown to increase energy levels, boost metabolism, fight against heart disease and cancer, improve a poor digestive system and suppress appetite.
  • It is often used ground up and used as a seasoning. It’s taste is rather strong and so this method would be my recommendation.

Agar agar

  • A tasteless, odorless and clear seaweed which is often used when one would use gelatin as a vegan alternative.
  • Agar agar acts as a mild laxative, and can add bulk to those on a low calorie diet.
  • It contains iodine, calcium, iron, phosphorous and many vitamins.

seaweed-salad-inbowl

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Powers of Herbs and Spices: Cinnamon.

26 06 2009

Cinnamon is, for many raw foodists, a very reliable friend. You want something sweet and comforting? Apple sauce, cinnamon and honey equals happy days.

Fortunately, cinnamon has many health benefits. In fact, the more you eat, the better.

Cinnamon is the inner bark of  a small tree, the Cinnamon Tree. There are two types of cinnamon, Chinese and Ceylon, of which Ceylon is generally more difficult to come by.

Studies have been made, which concluded in the suggestion that cinnamon oil and cinnamon extract have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic properties. The dreaded and common yeast infection, caused by Candida Albicans, has been shown to be severely inhibited by cinnamon. Cinnamon also helps ease the discomfort of excess gas.

Cinnamon has a warming effect on the body and so can be used to solve cold related discomforts. This includes colds and flu, and circulatory problems.

For those ladies that are prone to urinary tract infections, cinnamon has been shown to suppress completely the bacteria which causes this discomfort.

Buying

When buying cinnamon, be sure to smell it. Cinnamon should have a sweet smell, an indication that it is fresh.

Storing

Cinnamon should be kept in a sealed container in a cool, dark place. Ground cinnamon, like other powdered spices loses its flavor quickly. Ground cinnamon should keep for 6 months. Cinnamon sticks are able to retain their flavor for longer periods of time and should last for a year or more.

Preparing

If you are going to grind your own cinnamon, be sure to use Ceylon. Grinding the cinnamon quills in a coffee or spice grinder will result in a ground cinnamon with a pungent taste.





Sprouting I

26 06 2009

if you are not including sprouts in your diet at least a couple of times a week, you are truly missing out on a hugely nutritious and alkalizing source of energy.

Sprouts are low in calories, high in fiber, varied in flavor, very alkalizing and nutritious. All that, AND they are cheap and easy to grow.

Sprout in small amounts. You may have realized this; sprouts grow. They will often quadruple in quantity and so don’t put yourself in a position in which you are overrun with sprouts. You may start thinking, “Oh no, must consume my sprouts!”

This is not the attitude we are going for.

Start small.

Go to your local health food store and pick two packets of either seed/grain/legume, or a combination.

Why not the local supermarket or wholesale grain store?

These may prove to be excellent sources of produce, in your near future.

First though, start in the health food store.

It has been my experience that certain grains/seeds/legumes from the supermarket simply don’t sprout. They are no longer alive. Poor things.

Another benefit of buying in the health food store is that the goods will probably be organic. Imagine, at a lower price than two starbucks coffees, you can incorporate 25% or more organic produce into your diet.

What will you need to begin sprouting?

You can buy sprouting trays, and maybe further on into your sprouting career you will choose to take this route. For now though, all you need is fresh water, your chosen sprout, a little bit of free space in a warm (not hot) place and a few large glass jars. You will need to soak your sprout, generally overnight. You will then drain the sprouts in a colander and put them in the glass jar. You will need to cover the jar in a way that air can still enter. Wire mesh, cheese-cloth or a tea towel will do. You must make sure to keep the sprouts moist whilst assuring they are not surrounded by excess water. This is done by rinsing the sprouts in a colander, once or twice daily, and then returning them to their home in the jar. Once the sprouts are the size you enjoy, put them into the refrigerator.

What kind of sprouts should you start with?

These sprouts are practically fool proof so they are excellent to begin with:

Chickpeas /  Garbanzos

  • An excellent little creature, the chickpea (so called in my part of the world, garbanzos to those in the U.S.) virtually requires no work to sprout.
  • They are an excellent source of protein and to my palate they taste like monkey-nuts. You should soak them in two or three times as much water as chickpea, as they soak up a lot of water. They are edible as soon as you notice the tail protruding. I like to eat them when the tail is still short, before the taste gets too strong.

Quinoa [Keen-wah}

  • This Peruvian seed (commonly mistaken for a grain) is incredibly nutritious even in it’s cooked form. Quinoa strengthens the kidneys and has very high levels of iron.

  • Soak them for 4 to 6 hours. In two days you will have your own little batch of baby quinoa.
  • Quinoa does have a distinctive ‘sprouted’ taste, though quite mild.

Lentils

  • There are many different kinds of lentils; red, Chinese, green and brown.
  • They have a peppery taste. I like to combine them with other strong tasting foods, such as garlic and cayenne pepper. They are also excellent just with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Sprout them as you would garbanzos.


Buckwheat

  • One of personal favorites; buckwheat. Buckwheat is an excellent source of rutin which is a bioflavonoid. Rutin strengthens the capillaries and the overall circulation of the body. Therefore, those with varicose veins should include buckwheat in their diet. It sprouts very easily. Soak for a mere 2 hours.
  • The dark side of buckwheat is the weird slime it creates when soaked. Putting the buckwheat into a colander and running water through it whilst mixing the buckwheat around with your hands will solve this problem. Once soaked the sprout is edible though if you leave it for a day longer it will be more nutritious.
  • For breakfast, I like to blend buckwheat with a small amount of water and a pinch of salt. I then add raisins and nuts or seeds and a spoonful of honey. Not dissimilar to porridge.
  • Another option is mashing the buckwheat roughly with a fork or potato masher and eating as you would rice, i.e. with a sauce, in sushi, just with olive oil, etc…

ALFALFAThe traditional sprout we have all grown to love. It has a sweet, clean, and refreshing taste with exceptional nutritional benefits. Great on sandwiches and in salads.

BROCCOLIThis Italian variety was especially grown for us. This high quality seed grows quickly and produces a sprout with a mildly spicy flavor and a fresh crisp texture.

RED CLOVER Subtle differences distinguish clover from alfalfa. Red Clover is not as sweet and grows in a lighter shade of green. Red Clover is known for helping to purify the blood and create balance and restoration.

Wheat

  • Wheat is also very easy to sprout. Soak overnight and then leave to sprout for approximately two days.
  • Many people who have trouble eating cooked wheat find that they can eat sprouted wheat without problems.
  • Sprouted wheat is very satisfying and filling.
  • Another favorite breakfast of mine is to blend up a cup or two of wheat berries with a half cup of water. Blending for 20 seconds or so leaves the wheat still quite intact. I then add raisins, dates and nuts and blend for a further 10 seconds. Into a bowl it goes with a chopped banana, and voila, you have a great version of granola.

Sprouts are inexpensive, easy and fun to grow. For just minutes a day, anyone, anytime, anywhere, can sprout, grains, legumes, and nuts and have high quality food all year long!

Sprouts are naturally high in quality protein, vitamins, minerals, trace elements. enzymes, anti-oxidants, few calories and no cholesterol.






Quote [15]

26 06 2009

“I have a great diet.  You’re allowed to eat anything you want, but you must eat it with naked fat people. ”

(Ed Bluestone)





Alkaline Food vs. Acid Food II

26 06 2009

Here is a Chart of food and what we should be eating compared to what we should not be eating.

Food and Beverage Chart: ALKALINE (green) – ACID (grey)
* Excellent for preventing and combating cancer.
*SUPER FOODS – Excellent for nutrition and health.

VEGETABLES Alfalfa
Asparagus
Barley Grass
Green Beans
Beets*
Broccoli**
Brussel sprouts*
Cabbage
Carrot**
Cauliflower*
Celery
Chlorella
Cucumber
Dandelions
Edible Flowers
Eggplant
Fermented Veggies
Garlic**
Greens* – Beet, Chard, Collard, Mustard, Wild
Kale
Kohlrabi
Lettuce
Mushrooms*
Nightshade Veggies
Onions
Parsnips (high glycemic)
Peas
Peppers
Potatoes
Pumpkin
Radishes
Rutabaga
Spinach*
Spirulina
Living Sprouts*
Squashes
Sweet Potatoes
Watercress


ORIENTAL VEGETABLES Daikon Radish
Dandelion Root
Maitake, Reishi  and Shitake Mushrooms
Sea Veggies – Kelp*, Kombu, Nori and Wakame Seaweed
Umeboshi (pickled plums)


FRUITS Apple
Apricot*
Avocado
Banana (high glycemic)
Berries inc. – Blackberries, Raspberries**, Strawberries*, Goji*
Cherries, sour
Coconut, fresh
Currants and Raisins
Dates and Figs, both dried
Grapes *Purple, Red
Grapefruit
Lemon and Lime
Melon – Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Musk, Water
Nectarine
Orange and Tangerine
Peach
Pear
Pineapple*
Umeboshi Plums
Rhubarb
Tomato*
Tropical Fruits


PROTEIN Cottage Cheese
Chicken Breast
Nuts – Especially Almonds* and Chestnuts
Seeds – Pumpkin, Sprouted, Sunflower – Millet
Tempeh (fermented)
Tofu (fermented)
Whey – POISON!
Yogurt, Plain*


SWEETENERS

Stevia


SPICES & SEASONINGS All Herbs
Cayenne** and Chili Pepper
Curry – Tumeric**
Cinnamon – Ginger
Miso – Tamari
Sea Salt


OTHER Apple Cider Vinegar
Bee Pollen*
Lecithin Granules
Molasses, blackstrap
Butter, unsalted
Soured Dairy Products
Probiotic Cultures
Marine Phytoplankton**Alkaline Antioxidant Water – Mineral Water
Tea – Dandelion, Essiac*, Green*, Herbal, Ginseng, Kombucha
Fresh Fruit Juice – Green Juices and Wheat Grass Juice**– Veggie Juices
Organic Milk (unpasteurized) MILK IS FOR COWS NOT HUMANS!


ALKALIZING MINERALS Cesium: pH 14
Potassium: pH 14
Sodium: pH 14
Calcium: pH 12
Magnesium: pH 9
VEGETABLES Corn
Olives
Winter Squash


FRUITS Blueberries*
Canned or Glazed Fruits
Cranberries*
Currants
Plums
Prune*


GRAIN PRODUCTS Amaranth
Barley
Bran, wheat
Bran, oat
Bread
Corn
Cornstarch
Crackers, soda
Flour, white
Flour, wheat
Hemp Seed Flour
Kamut
Macaroni
Noodles
Oats (rolled)
Oatmeal
Pasta
Quinoa*
Rice (all)
Rice Cakes
Rye
Spaghetti
Spelt
Wheat
Wheat Germ*


BEANS & LEGUMES Beans – Black, Kidney, Lima, Pinto, Red,
Soy, White, Lentils
Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Soy Milk (may cause allergies)
Peas – Chick and Green


DAIRY Butter, Salted
Cheese – Cow, Sheep and Goat (most desirable)
Cheese – Parmesan and Processed
Ice Cream
Ice Milk


NUTS & BUTTERS Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Peanuts, Pecans, Pistachio.
Walnuts*
Peanut Butter
Tahini


ANIMAL PROTEIN Beef (US beef filled with antibiotics, banned from exportation to Europe)
Corned Beef
Lamb (best choice) and Veal (INHUMANE)
Pork and Bacon
Sausage
Turkey
Venison
Rabbit
Organ Meats
Fish – Carp, Cod, Haddock, Pike, Salmon*, Sardines*,Tuna*
Shellfish – Clams, Lobster, Mussels, Oysters*, Scallops, Shrimp
Eggs – Less acidic if natural feed, no hormones, no antibiotics.


FATS & OILS Oil – Avocado, Canola, corn, Flax, Hemp Seed, Virgin Olive (best choice), Safflower, Sesame, Sunflower
Butter
Lard


SWEETENERS Carob
Corn Syrup
Sugar (poisonous, aging, feeds cancer and obesity)


ALCOHOL Beer
Hard Liquor
Spirits
Wine (Red wine is healthy – skip the white)


OTHER FOOD – BEVERAGE Catsup
Cocoa
Coffee
Mustard
Pepper
Soft Drinks
Sodas (fizzy water, sugar and chemicals)
Soy Sauce
Distilled Vinegar


DRUGS & CHEMICALS Aspirin
Drugs – Prescribed Medication and Street
Food Additives
Herbicides and Pesticides
Tobacco




Where To Find Raw Food Products.

26 06 2009

Starting and succeeding on an uncooked diet means that you will need to invest in raw food products to help you in your journey. Here are a few tips on how to find the best resources for your raw food products to make sure your diet is a success.

The first thing you want to look at when analyzing a raw food product is its ingredients. You want to make sure it is free from synthetic additives. You want all the ingredients to be as natural as possible. This usually means that the supermarket is not the best place to find what you need.

If you have a local farmers market that is the best place to find your raw food products. They carry the freshest variety of fruits and vegetables possible because you are buying directly from the grower’s themselves.

If you have a small time neighborhood grocer you may find higher quality produce that what the big chain stores carry. Check with them to see what organic produce they carry.

Also check online. There are a plenty of places to find organic raw produce and food online. One such place is Raw Food on Amazon. They carry plenty of yummy raw and organic foods.

High quality raw foods are not to difficult to find as long as you know where to look.





Raw Food Bars vs. Energy Bars

26 06 2009

Not only are raw food bars highly nutritious, they actually taste good! They are made from uncooked food sources.

You can pick up these organic raw food bars in a variety of different flavors from chocolate to blueberries. They are a viable alternative to candy bars, even for people who are not following a 100% raw diet. Instead of feeling worn out and tired after eating one, they can help you to feel energized and satisfied. This is because they are easy on your body and your digestive system.

You got to realize that most of the energy bars on the market today that are advertised as ‘Healthy’ are really anything but. They are full of processed ingredients and refined sugar. You may feel full for a little while, but you end up hungrier than you were before once the sugar high crashes.

On the other hand the raw food bars have no strange ingredients, no preservatives and nothing in there that shouldn’t go in your body.

These bars have never been heated like other energy bars have. They go through a preparation method known as ‘cold processing.’ This means it is not heated above 104 degrees in order to keep the enzymes in tact. They also use natural sweeteners such as honey or fruit nectar.

Many of these bars use hemp as the base. It is rich in the essential amino acids a person requires, along with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. These raw food bars are a healthy tasty treat that is definitely better than the sugary ones so many people use to energize themselves.