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.


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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.





Don’t Go Raw Too Fast!

26 06 2009
Depending on what you read, you’ll get different advice on how quickly you should transition to an all raw food diet.  This is not a haphazard decision.  Several things must be in place to make this change. Not the least of which is the right attitude.

I suggest a gradual shift from a cooked food diet to a raw food diet.  I don’t believe in going completely raw for myself.  You may have a different feeling on this, and that’s ok for YOU.

Going raw too fast leads to several ailments that are usually attributed to detox symptoms.  Remember what is happening to your body at a cellular level as you eat different types of foods.  Raw foods contain the enzymes your body needs to process and digest them.  Cooking foods destroys these enzymes forcing your body to work harder producing the enzymes to digest them.

Another function of raw food is the cleansing of cells.  Your cells readily pass their waste into your bloodstream and lymphatic system once introduced to the enzymes in raw foods. This waste has to go somewhere.  Your bowel movements do a good job of removing waste, but if you go all raw too fast, the waste can build up causing your body to react in strange ways.  Some symptoms of raw food detox include headache, acne, pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and constipation.  To relive these symptoms simply introduce a little cooked food or more liquids when you are not eating.

Switching to a raw food diet offers many benefits, don’t introduce unnecessary problems by going raw too fast.





Eating and Drinking Don’t Mix.

25 06 2009

While eating your meal, for the most part, do not drink with it.

This dilutes the stomach acids and digestive enzymes. It is best to drink 20 minutes before your meal – this helps uptake of nutrients and move bowels.

If you feel your mouth is just so darn dry while eating, that is likely due to being:

  • Stressed while you eat,
  • Eating in a rush,
  • Not being aware that you are eating
  • Secretory glands not functioning well due to drinking during meals [conditioned not to secrete]

If any of those explain you while eating, try to adjust. Your secretory glands will regain proper function once you train yourself not to drink during meals.

If you absolutely cannot avoid drinking during meals then:

  • Avoid cold drinks
  • Drink warm to hot teas
  • Avoid milk during meals

Drinking cold mucousy milk during a meal is like spraying foam on a fire. It totally kills it. The Chinese call your digestive system the triple burner. It burns from below and that fire works its way up properly digesting your foods. Cold milk and beverages douse that fire.





Chewing.

25 06 2009

Digestion starts in the mouth when food is mixed with ptyalin, an enzyme secreted by the salivary glands. Pylatin converts insoluble starches into simple sugars. If the digestion of starchy foods is impaired, the body is less able to extract the energy contained in our foods, while far worse from the point of view of the genesis of diseases, undigested starches pass through the stomach and into the gut where they ferment and thereby create an additional toxic burden for the liver to process. And fermenting starches also create gas.

As we chew our food it gets mixed with saliva; as we continue to chew the starches in the food are converted into sugar. [There is a very simple experiment you can conduct to prove to yourself how this works. Get a plain piece of bread, no jam, no butter, plain, and without swallowing it or allowing much of it to pass down the throat, begin to chew it until it seems to literally dissolve. Pylatin works fast in our mouths so you may be surprised at how sweet the taste gets.]

Horace Fletcher, whose name has become synonymous with the importance of chewing food well (Fletcherizing), ran an experiment on a military population in Canada. He required half his experimental group to chew thoroughly, and the other half to gulp things down as usual,. His study reports significant improvement in the overall health and performance of the group that persistently chewed. Fletcher’s report recommended that every mouthful be chewed 50 times for half a minute before being swallowed. Try it, you might be very surprised at what a beneficial effect such a simple change in your approach to eating can make. Not only will you have less intestinal gas, if overweight you will probably find yourself getting smaller because your blood sugar will elevate quicker as you are eating and thus your sense of hunger will go away sooner. If you are very thin and have difficulty gaining weight you may find that the pounds go on easier because chewing well makes your body more capable of actually assimilating the calories you are consuming.

A logical conclusion from this data is that anything that would prevent or reduce chewing would be unhealthful. For example, food eaten when too hot tends to be gulped down. The same tends to happen when food is seasoned with fresh Jalapeño or habaneo peppers. People with poor teeth should blend or mash starchy foods and then gum them thoroughly to mix them with saliva. Keep in mind that even so-called protein foods such as beans often contain large quantities of starches and the starch portion of protein foods is also digested in the mouth.





B12 Deficiency.

25 06 2009

Symptoms of B12 deficiency

If you don’t get enough b12, you might become anemic. You don’t carry enough oxygen to your blood. You look pale and your immune system might become weak.

But there are be many other signs of B12 deficiency:

  • Tender or sore muscles;
  • Lack of energy, anxiety;
  • Irritability;
  • Poor hair condition;
  • Eczema;
  • Depression;
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet;
  • Impaired memory;
  • Infertility;
  • Impotence.

In babies or toddlers, the child may start to look pale, fail to thrive or have weak muscles.

There can also be many “slow” symptoms. Symptoms that you don’t notice immediately, but show only over time.

Actually, it might be a reason why some people don’t feel well on raw, vegetarian or vegan diets.

Causes of B12 Deficiency

The main causes of b12 deficiency is age. As you get older, it becomes harder for your body to absorb B12.

This may be due to low stomach acid that comes with age or intestinal problems such as ulcers or having part of the intestine removed or taking medications such as antacids and laxatives on a regular basis.

Other causes of B12 deficiency: when you don’t eat meat, fish or dairy. Because these are vitamin b12 foods and you don’t find this vitamin in fruits or plants. That’s why 80% of all vegans – who don’t supplement – are deficient in this vitamin.

What does vitamin B12 do?

Why is vitamin B12 so important? What does this vitamin do? It supports our nerves, energy production and red blood cells. It helps to decrease our homocysteine and thereby the risk of heart disease and weakening of the arteries and nerves.

Best B12 supplements

If you’re on a raw vegan diet causes of b12 deficiency can be prevented by taking supplements. You don’t need much vitamin B12. David Wolfe eats ants occasionally. This provides him with sufficient B12!

If you don’t wish to eat ants like he does, methylcobalamin – 1000 mcg (sublingual) is a great source (i.e. from Natural Factors). Nano B-12 is another good source. This is the best B12 supplement because they are absorbed easily.

Rejuvenac (fermented wheat drink) is also a good source of vitamin B12. However, though this is a natural and vegan drink, you should know that the Hippocrates Health Institute (Raw food institute in Florida) advises not to drink this because of the high amount of fermentation.

If you prefer to get it from (raw) food: the best food sources are:

  • Oysters (15 mcg)
  • Sardines (28 mcg)
  • Tuna (5 mcg)
  • Salmon (6 mcg)
  • Lamb (trace)
  • Eggs (1.5 mcg)
  • Milk (0.3 mcg)
  • Turkey and chicken (2 mcg)
  • Cheese (1.5 mcg)
  • Ants.

Some people believe see vegetables are a good source of B12, but there is not sufficient research that shows sea greens contain b12. Especially if you are breasfeeding or are pregnant, I wouldn’t take the change. Take supplements.





Raw Uncooked Food in Winter.

25 06 2009

It’s one thing to be a raw foodist on Hawaii, but eating raw food in a cold climate in winter time is a completely different story.

Gabriel Cousens did research in Alaska and found that 95% of the raw foodist were successful. He asked them what they did and I’m sure these tips might help you to stay warm in the winter. I’ll write their suggestions down below.

Why do you feel cold?

When starting a raw food diet, many people release toxins. This might give you a uncomfortable cold feeling. But it’s temporary. Further when you’re raw, you’re body temperature drops. It takes some time to get used to the new body temperature. This too, should be temporary and you will feel warmer over time.

When you’re eating raw food, your arteries clear up and your circulation improves. Actually, most people that have been eating raw uncooked food for a while say that they’re never cold! They even swim in ice cold water in the winter. So feeling cold when eating raw seems to be a transitional issue.

But there are things you can do to stay warm in winter. First of all, it’s a misconception that you can only eat COLD foods when you’re on a raw food diet. YOU CAN EAT WARM FOODS, just don’t heat them above 120F (water 160F). Most people cook their food and then let it cool off until about 110F before they eat it anyway. So you may heat your raw uncooked foods. Just not above 110F, the right temperature for eating them anyway… Think of soups or warm apple cider…

Top 8 tips from Alaskan raw foodists

  • More exercise.
  • Cayenne pepper in socks and cloves.
  • Add more heating spices to food (cayenne, ginger, peppercorn, garlic).
  • Raw doesn’t mean your food has to be cold. You can warm food up to 120 for 2 minutes. (just stir and when it becomes to warm to touch.)
  • Warm up plates.
  • Put a cold salad from the fridge in dehydrator/oven for few minutes to make it room temperature.
  • Put warm sauces/salad dressings over your salad.
  • Drink warm apple cider.