Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Turn On The Path

I thought I would write a new post directing all the new visitors to my new blog which is
I am wrapping this blog up because I have left the “raw diet world” and settled into a cooked-raw vegan diet that is working much better for me. Raw was good for me for a year but I did have a strange effect of a peculiar inward “nervousness” that was just too unsettling after a time. I am now an ex-diabetic and contribute that to my high veggie vegan diet. I do think that the lack of any saturated fat contributed to that greatly. I am glad I went on the journey because I think the cleansing was what I needed but now it is time to settle into a sustainable lifetime diet for health. I don’t think anyone has to go on a raw diet to beat diabetes though. “”Dr Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes has proved to be very successful and so has Dr. Fuhrman’s “Eat to Live program”. I would recommend both. The proof is in the results and results are what are needed for those facing serious health threats. Not hype and philosophies. I welcome you to hang out with me on my new blog and enjoy the sticky topics that will be covered in the future,

Monday, August 18, 2008

Finally a post and a video.

MMMm... I don't know what is going on here but it used to be that you could embed a video on your blog but I guess that is not happening now so I am going to give you this link to my youtube blog for this post. It is,
I have not posted for awhile because I guess I have just been too busy. The last few days I have been drying tomatoes because the paste type tomatoes are just now hitting farmers market in quantity. I have been enjoying the summers bounty with lots of salads made with heirloom tomatoes, Chinese cucumbers, red bell peppers, onions and greens. I plan on greatly enjoying the summer produce until hopefully this late fall I will be ready for more of the root type veggies. I wish I could have this variety all year but that is just not how nature works now sense the fall so I am determined to make the best of it.
The time has finally come and I ordered my high speed blender. The thoughts of green smoothies everyday, raw nut butters and seed cheeses are just dancing around in my head. I had made up my mind to get a Waring Xtream but that morning I was going to order I got an email from Nomi Shannon saying that she had some Blend-tek blenders for 100 dollars off so I ordered one of those. I think that I will be very happy with it. I am also looking forward to saving money by making my own raw nut butters and tahini. I hope the next post will not be as long coming as this one and may all of you be blessed.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Cost of Raw Organic Food

I get many questions asked to me about the cost of a raw diet so I thought that I would just address that issue today. The cost of organic food can seem high in contrast to non-organic produce and in reality it can be about 30% more than conventionally gown produce. Also a really raw olive oil is more expensive than off the shelf cold-pressed olive oils that are in fact heated up to filter them. In this lifestyle you do have to learn about how your food is produced. Another issue is that eating real un-processed raw food is more expensive, or so it looks, because you are not buying cheap flour, corn, bad veggie oils and high fructose corn syrup or sugar.
OK, here is my big “but”. I have medical insurance that of course I pay for but my co-pays are 15.00 a visit so you can tack one of those on a month because of medication checks and also 10.00 worth of gas to get there from where I live. Add on to that prescription drugs at 15.00 for each so that was at least 60.00 a month. Also, SAD eaters tend to buy a lot of junk food and restaurant food and that can add up to even more than the medical costs. I also do not use any supplements because I believe they are actually unnatural and counter productive to health so I don’t spend the huge amount of money for these that some people do. For some reason when people estimate their food costs they seem to leave out these huge costs. I guess that they just do not see that what you eat today builds your health for tomorrow either positively or negatively and that is going to impact their bank balance.
Now let’s talk about the cost of food preparation. Both SAD eaters and raw foodists need a very sharp knife so we will not count that. I have bought a 210.00 food dehydrator because I wanted something crispy for a change once in awhile and you do need to make your own dried fruit (even raisins) because the ones in the store are not really raw. On the property I live on I have a number of fruit trees so I went for the larger model so I would have the room when harvest came in and when certain things are in season locally. I also plan on springing for a 350.00 high speed blender. Raw foodists use them because they are not really just a better blender but a whole different kitchen tool. It is like comparing a Honda to a John Deer tractor. They both have four wheels and are called a vehicle but they are used for different things. With a high speed blender you can make raw nut and seed butters (to buy them is just too pricey for many) and do a variety of raw soups and green smoothies which many raw foodists use to pleasantly take in lots of raw greens. If you look at it though in reality a range is much more expensive than this but it can be an issue for people because usually people already own a range. If you do buy the dehydrator and high speed blender and don’t stick with this lifestyle you will find that they have a good resale value unlike some things.
To sum it up, with the saving I enjoy not spending my money on medical issues, junk snack foods and restaurants; I think I am way ahead on the food purchases for my lifestyle. As far as the kitchen equipment, you can do the math, it is much less expensive and I won’t even add the power issue.

Here is a few sites that could be helpful to you raw food newbies.
Here is a place to get some rawsome organic really raw olive oil (cold pressed is heated for filtering).

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Don't Hurt Yourselves!

I have been observing something lately that is just bugging me so I though that I would get it off my chest. While watching Youtube videos I see everyday people using the dullest knives I have every seen. For example, when you place your knife on whatever you are cutting and if that knife does not grab it and just sail through with little pressure, that knife is way too dull. This is a dangerous thing to do. If I did that I know I could seriously cause a bad cut and I have seen many people have this happen. They push down hard and the knife slips and cuts them. No wonder people don’t enjoy preparing food, with cutting being such a chore and all. A sharp knife will leave your food much more attractive also. My recommendation is, pay the money and get a handy-dandy electric sharpener or go to the sportsman’s section of a large store and get a $5 hand held knife sharpener and use it often. A good chef’s knife can be up to $100 but I have seen decent one’s on sale for $10. I would rather pay $10 and get a cheap chef’s knife and sharpen often, than have an expensive knife that is never sharpened. Oh, and never fall for the serrated “never needs sharpening” knives that I have seen on TV. Serrated edged knives are for meat, never veggies or fruit and they do not stay sharpened. I actually saw someone trying to use a steak knife to cut a carrot (it was painful to watch). I was appalled and had to speak up! With a sharp knife and a meditative spirit, all that cutting can actually be therapeutic.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Food Drying Bliss and Gratitude

Tuesday was an exciting day, my dehydrator came! I ordered it on Friday night and by Tues it had already gotten here.It turns out the factory is in Sacramento and it must have been dropped shipped from there. I got the nine tray Excalibur and because I ordered it from it came with 9 teflex sheets which I knew I would need. I cannot praise them more highly because when I had a question they got right back to me and they were very helpful.
Tuesday afternoon I got some raw buckwheat groats out and started them sprouting in my $1.25 nylon paint straining bags (it sure beats the $9.00 ones that are sold as nut milk bag). It takes about two days to fully sprout buckwheat so while I waited for that to happen I soaked some different seeds and on Wed I made some seed crackers. It takes about 24 hours for the crackers to dry thoroughly and I was so happy when they were finished. I used fennel seed, celtic sea salt, and onion to flavor them and they were really yummy. Yesterday I used 4 cups of fresh corn and the sprouted buckwheat to make some chili-lime corn chips. That turned out well too. I also made some chili-lime, and wasabi flavored almonds that turned out nice. I figured out how to process the sprouted buckwheat to make the flavoring stay on the nuts and I think I am on to something. I plan to post the recipe on when I get a hold of a digital camera. You can see I am getting a little crazy with the dehydrator but what can I say but that it is my new toy. I am sure that I will not be snacking so much on this stuff after awhile so right now I am just having a good time with it. You will find that after your body gets detoxed some that you tend to be able to eat much more intuitively. All the raw foodists I talk to say the same thing. Once in a while I really want avocados but then it seems like I get it out of my system and start wanting something else. I used to eat fruit every morning but now I eat what I am hungry for, and at night sometimes after I have had richer food during the day, I just want some fruit for dinner so I just sort of go with it. One thing I do hold myself to though is that I never eat melon with any other food because it just kills me. Others experience that too. I do appreciate my hubby for sacrificing to get my dehydrator. For a carnivore, he is very supportive because he knows that it makes me well.
I have been researching buckwheat and I have come to the conclusion that in it’s sprouted form it is the perfect grain for me ( although it is a fruit in the rubarb family). It has 18 % protein and it is a complete protein form so it helps out other proteins you have eaten in the last day be 100% usable also. It is fast to sprout but must be rinsed very well at least 3 times a day. Whirled up in the food processor it makes a smooth textured batter like thing that can be used to make the base for cookies and crackers. You can also dry the sprouted buckwheat to make “buckwheaties”. They can be eaten for breakfast with nut milk and fruit for a very filling breakfast type thing. And, like I mentioned above, I can use them to do a coating on nuts. I bet in the future I am going to figure out many more uses for it. After sprouting it does not have a “raw flour” taste either. I think that many people when they first hear about raw food that you are just forcing yourself to eat all sorts of unpalatable raw stuff. I heard a story about a girl that was invited to a raw potluck and she brought a bowl of raw cake batter mixed up. She was embarrassed but I am sure they understood.
My hubby brought home yesterday some fresh local figs, about 3 pounds worth. I had advertised on craigslist my need for organic produce and listed some of my talents in trade. I am going to give her 8 year old some sewing lessons in exchange for more in the future. That will be fun as I really like to teach the next generation life skills. I have to get the figs in the dehydrator and I can’t wait till they are done. You can use figs instead of raisons if you cut them up small so they are going to work out great for me.
Thinking back yesterday, sort of doing an inventory of where I am at, I came to the conclusion that I am very happy to be doing this and plan to do it for life. I am never hungry at all, I no longer have a love-hate relationship with food, I actually feel much better about eating in general, I don’t struggle with weight anymore, and as I observe people around me I believe that I enjoy the taste and experience of food so much more than they do. I am so grateful to the Lord for leading me here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Organic or not organic, that is a question.

This is a post about why I don’t eat totally local and organic. I am committed to eating local as much as possible but my farmers market has many sellers that are conventional growers too and it seems like the organic produce is pretty scarce there. I don’t like to buy from these local conventional growers because even though it is fresher they have no one to be accountable to as far as their pesticide use. At least large veggie farmers are tested and hopefully a little more cautious in this area because there own bottom line is at stake. I know many home gardeners that never found a pesticide and herbicide they did not like and dumped them on at whim. What it boils down to is that I am just afraid to buy from these growers. I will buy from those who say they grow organically locally, if I can at all afford it (even though they are not certified because of hassle and cost). I do try to ask some questions though about their methods and if I don’t like the answer I move on. I have also stopped buying strawberries and other berries because I know these are heavily sprayed crops. Once in a while I will get organic ones but this is very rare.
I would love to be able to go to the store and buy all organic produce but because of the cost, if I did that I would not eat much and end up going back to SAD (Standard American Diet). I know that it is not the best but I believe it is much better than eating the SAD. Sometimes people have to make measured choices about what is best, sorta best, and really not good. I am not writing these posts to complain but to maybe help people navigate these issues better.
Unfortunately I will have no apples, cherries or plums on my trees this year. I planned on drying some with the dehydrator that hopefully I am getting in a week or so but looks like that is not going to happen because they all froze. Oh well, I can hope for next year as hopefully we will not have a weird late hard freeze like we did this year. I do have a large patch of blackberries that are blooming so if I get to them before the local foragers do, I will eat some fresh and dry some. YUM!
I am so looking forward to getting that dehydrator though. Thoughts of sprouted seed crackers made with all kind of flavor combinations keep dancing around in my mind. I really can’t wait. I want something dry and crunchy now!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Doctor's Visit About Raw Food

Last Friday I went to the “Oh so dreaded” doctor’s appointment. I broke the news to him gently that I was not on any med now other than my hormone (because I have had an hysterectomy) and waited for his reaction. He was a little skeptical I think, about the whole diet thing but he took my blood pressure, blood sugar and then weighted me and we talked a little more about how I got there. My blood pressure is in the normal range, just a little higher in the normal range, and my blood sugar was normal. My weight was down 45 pounds from my visit about 6 months ago. My doctor is a Seventh Day Adventist so I think that he is a little more aware of lifestyles impact on health. He was also interested in the fact that I needed no psyche meds or pain meds. I was surprised too that he had never heard of the raw food approach. He generally just gave me the thumbs up so that was a big relief.
I went to the hardware store today and picked up my “monster tool”. It is a pick thing that has a flat head on the other side. I have not been able to do any gardening because the place I am going to plant has been just grass and weeds for a very long time. I knew that it was going to take a big tool to get through it. The price was ridicules but I plan on keeping this tool the rest of my life. I figure if I just dig on hole a day, in a week I would have gotten in seven plants. I am going to mulch on top of newspaper around them later when I can get some mulch. I thought that I could get free mulch but after checking around I found out that was not going to happen. The local green-waste place is now sending it to a worm farm so I have to buy it from them at $20.00 for a cubic yard. It will be chopped so I don’t think I will have to lay it down really thick. I am thankful though that I have a pickup so that I can pick it up as I go along. I am a little late getting my plants in but I think that is going to be fine. I am planning on getting a dehydrator so that I can dry some of these tomatoes. Some of the ones I planted are the San Marzano kind which is supposed to be a yummy paste tomato for drying. It is the one they dry in Italy. When I get my mulch on I also plan to plant some greens including some kale for winter use. Some of the pepper seed that are also an Italian variety came up so I plan on getting them in as well as a few plants from a nursery. Thinking about the dehydrator, I tasted some raw crackers from the natural food store that were so delicious. They were made from sprouted seeds that were left in their whole form. They had sesame, flax and sunflower seeds plus a little onion and spice. I better get a dehydrator because at five bucks for two servings I just cannot buy them. So anyway, can’t wait to start churning those things out but I am going to add pumpkin seeds to mine, as for some reason, I am really into pumpkin seeds.
I do encourage all of my readers to go to the site for some great recipes and support for raw-fooders. I am on that site almost every day in anticipation for new recipes being posted and also for the forum activity.