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Super yummy healthy raw fudge!

Posted by clstevens | Posted in Nutrition & Tips, Recipes | Posted on 10-09-2013

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This is an incredible recipe!  As I am getting more acquainted with raw desserts, I am branching out and experimenting a bit more.  This is one of the easier recipes that I have made.  It is quick and really tasty.

  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil melted
  • 1/4 cup tahini – other nut butter like cashew would be nice too.
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey (or raw agave or maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts

Put all ingredients except the walnuts into a food processor, use a regular mixer or vitamix and blend well.  Pour into a bowl and add the walnuts and stir.  Pour into a pan and put in the freezer for at least an hour.  Keep it chilled until you serve.  I used a bread pan and it yielded thick fudge – that served 8 generous pieces.  Dip a knife in hot water to easily slice. What is really nice about this fudge is that even though it is sweet and tasty, it is smooth, something that I have found to be hit and miss with traditional fudge.  It also is not over sweet, again, sometimes I find traditional fudge to be sickly sweet.  Enjoy!

Soy is dangerous, even organic soy.

Posted by clstevens | Posted in Nutrition & Tips, Uncategorized | Posted on 07-05-2013

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Avoid soy. Even Organic Soy.

I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years and for many of those years my main staple was soy.  When soy products went mainstream and soy milk, veggie ground round and veggie dogs were readily available, my consumption of soy increased.  Three years ago a holistic nutritionist friend of mine was over for a BBQ and she noticed that I was going to have an organic veggie dog.  We got talking and she informed me of some of the great dangers inherent in soy.  At that time I was eating only organic soy products, so I thought I was safe.  If you didn’t know, soy is one of the largest GMO crops and you definitely want to stay away from GMO foods.  She told me that if I were to be eating soy I should be eating organic fermented soy such as tempeh, natto, miso etc… I am always open to improving my health and I started to further educate myself on the dangers of soy, what I found was astounding.  Sadly, it seems that the general public is under the same impression that I was, that if it is organic it is okay.  Personal trainers are selling their clients soy based shakes and encouraging them to drink one or two a day. They even have full blown health competitions based on the consumption of these shakes.  People are opting out of eating meat and opting into eating more plant based foods and soy falls into that category. Just because it is organic it doesn’t mean it is healthy.  If you are skeptical, review the evidence. Here are a few things about soy that may make you think twice.

Goitrogenic

Soy will destroy your thyroid. Many foods are goitrogenic (thyroid suppressing), but soy is king of them all. Goitrogens work by preventing your thyroid from getting the necessary amount of iodine. If your thyroid fails, what happens? You gain weight. You have a harder time regulating your moods. You get cold more easily. You’re more easily fatigued. You demonstrate an inability to concentrate and remember details. The list goes on.

Phytates

Phytates are enzyme-inhibitors that block mineral absorption in the human digestive tract. Soy is so high in phytates that it’s almost impossible to get rid of them. Soy must be fermented in order to be digestible to humans. That means that if you eat soy at all, you should stick to fermented soy products like miso, tempeh, natto, or a naturally fermented soy sauce (tamari).

Trypsin inhibitors

Finally soy is rich in trypsin inhibitors. Trypsin is a digestive enzyme we need to properly digest protein. Without enough trypsin, you’ll experience many digestive problems including stomach cramps, diarrhea, and bleeding. You’ll also be leaving yourself open to future problems with your pancreas.

Dr. Mercola has a really good video on the dangers of soy.  Take 11 minutes to watch it. You can find the link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uIn2L90wA8

For information on a healthy non-dairy, non-soy based shake, visit www.cleanseenergy.com  or call Cari-Lee at 480 684 2544 US or 604 800 8300 Canada – for wholesale prices, shipped to your door anywhere in North America, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwain & New Zealand within 3-5 business days.

Excellent and easy chickpea soup

Posted by clstevens | Posted in Nutrition & Tips, Recipes | Posted on 22-08-2012

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I am doing a wellness challenge right now.  The goal for me is to create more consciousness around the way I eat and to get me exercising more.  I probably exercise more than the average person right now but that really isn’t saying much as most people are not getting 20 minutes a day, so having a routine and an accountability buddy really helps.  I think I normally do quite well with my eating too but I am pretty sure that I enjoy too much wine and I like to make delicious, somewhat time consuming to prepare dinners.  That that means that if I didn’t get a good work out in during the earlier part of the day, there is no way I am going to do it after a dinner that I serve usually around 8pm.  So, I have switched my schedule around so that instead of having my dinner, I have it for lunch and it is not nearly as elaborate.  The good news is that I have a light shake for dinner which takes me about 5 mins in total to make, drink and clean up and I have the time and energy to still do a workout.  Today the cupboards were pretty bare but I managed to make this really simple and tasty soup for lunch, it barely took any time at all.  Here is the recipe:

Soak chickpeas over night.
Rinse and drain
Boil until cooked and tender.
In food processor or vitamix, blend 6-8 cloves of garlic and 1.5 inches of ginger
Add beans, water and a cube of vegetable boullion. Blend until it is the right consistency, add more water if you need.
Add sea salt, cayenne and pepper to taste.
Reheat if necessary on stove and add in 1/4 cup of chopped green onions and serve.

This was a tasty, quick, low calorie, healthy lunch.  You can always add things to a soup like this such as perhaps blending in some carrots or maybe a potato.   I made mine in a vitamix and it made at least 3 servings.  If you want to join me in my wellness challenge, please let me know.  There are hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes and it doesn’t cost anything to join. www.isabodychallenge.com

 

Do you have a Spirooli?

Posted by clstevens | Posted in Nutrition & Tips, Recipes | Posted on 18-08-2012

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I love my Spirooli!  I can easily make a raw food meal with it in just minutes.  Years ago I decided that it would be a good idea to start eating more raw foods.  I really didn’t know how to go about that, as my idea of raw food was celery stick and carrots.  After a bit of research, I discovered the Spirooli.  This video will show you how easy this is to use.    How to use a Spirooli  You can purchase it online or by googling spirooli and the name of your city.  Last night I made a fantastic dinner with zucchini noodles.  I added in lightly steamed broccoli and green and yellow beans.  Raw red and yellow pepper julienned, cilantro, red onion minced, green onion, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.  I added organic tempeh marinated in braggs liquid aminos and topped it with a home made peanut sauce.  It was filling, nutritious and really delicious!

Healthy, low calorie, one bowl meal. Peanut stir fry.

Posted by clstevens | Posted in Nutrition & Tips, Recipes | Posted on 30-07-2012

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When making dishes such as pasta and stir frys, load up on the vegetables and reduce the pasta and rice – for e.g. 1/2 cup of pasta or rice per person.  This is a tasty dish that is filled with protein and lots of vegetables.  Of course, always try for organic and if you can’t get it, soak your vegetables in water and vinegar or a commercially made product to take off some of the surface pesticides.

Block of tempeh cut in bite size pieces.
Lots of veggies cut up in bite sized pieces – for 2 people I used a full onion, half a red pepper, half a green pepper, a few sliced mushrooms.  You could also add broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower or any other vegetable that you like.
1/4 cup cilantro
2 sliced green onions
1/2 cup cooked quinoa, brown, black or red rice
2 TBSP crushed nuts – walnuts or other
Lettuce or beet tops sliced in ribbons.

Stir fry the tempeh in a small amount of sesame oil (or just have it at room temp) – this is high in calories so use a sprayer or use a brush to spread it in the pan and once browned put in a bowl for later. Sautee the onions in the same pan, then add the peppers and after a few minutes the mushrooms, use a small amount of water to create steam.  I pace the adding of the vegetables to the pan because I don’t want them to become over cooked, I want them to stay tender and crunchy.  Harder vegetables should be added first, or if you are not sure how to time it, do them one at a time.

Make a peanut sauce – I just wing it but the rough amount would be the following:
1-2 TBSP peanut or almond butter
1/2-1 TBSP Braggs Liquid Aminos (kind of like Soya sauce)
Quarter size of fresh organic ginger – keep the skin on
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/8 tsp of crushed chilis or fresh jalapeno to taste
2 tsp fresh lemon or lime juice
Water – start with a few tablespoons
A little agave to sweeten it.

You can also add coconut milk though this will bump up the calories.  Depending on your taste, this could be enough sauce for 4 servings.

In a vitamix or other blender chop the garlic and ginger, add the Braggs, lemon juice, nut butter, peppers and water.   If needed add some sweetener like agave syrup.  Mix the vegetables and tofu together with the peanut sauce and heat.

Wash and cut a half a head of lettuce, beet tops or whatever you have into ribbons.  In a individual large bowls (this is a one dish meal) add the lettuce, 1/4-1/2 cup rice and top with tofu and vegetables.  Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and or chopped green onions and top with crushed walnuts or other nuts.

Because this has so many vegetables and I don’t want the high fat of a lot of peanut sauce I also made a cilantro dressing made of a handful of cilantro, garlic, ginger, 2 tsp sesame oil, a dime size of agave syrup, 1/4 cup water and 2 tsp of Braggs, blended in the Vitamix.  I layered this on the lettuce and then the rice and then topped it with the veggie and tempeh peanut mixture. Unbelievably good!

Of course, if you are a meat eater, chicken would go well in this dish.

Please leave a comment to let me know how you liked this.

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