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When I returned to South Africa this year, I have to admit I fell into a panic about food. Since last year I have been traveling non-stop, without my usual arsenal of veggie-friendly appliances: blender, food processor, chef knives, and last but never least, my glorious dehydrator. At the grocery stores here in Cape Town like Spar, Woolwooths etc. I started to realize after asking questions that it was more than likely that none of the produce was organic. While grocery shopping, I would ask about it and get a puzzled look or shrug in response. For the first week I had no desire to eat at all until I was saved by grace at a cute veg-friendly restaurant called Sexy Food. One of the lovely waitresses told me about Oranjezicht City Farm. After googling I was overjoyed to find out the farm held a weekly farmers market rain or shine just a block away from my pad. So every weekend since March I’ve been skipping with glee over to the market to grab some fresh produce and delicious veg food. There’s something really special that we lose when we confine ourselves to shopping at a grocery store. We miss out on the connection with people who sweat and toil to yield the harvest, and the direct connect with nature. We miss out on the reality that there are seasons, and sometimes we must eat only what will grow. If you are in Cape Town check out the farmers market on Saturdays (you may spot me there). Wherever you live, do a little research to see if you can buy your veggies locally, or try starting your own garden. If you make the effort I’m sure you will reap a harvest of not only good health, but joy in supporting the cycle of life as mother nature intended it. -XO Raw Girl
#GOTVEG GIVEAWAY !!! Starting September 7th until September 28th, 2015 enter to win a FREE EBOOK copy!!!
I’m excited to give away some free books packed with information and inspiration sure to jumpstart your healthy lifestyle. To enter the contest:
- Sign up for the Raw Girl email list here: http://bit.ly/1JBgAwK
- SHARE this post with 5 friends on Facebook or Instagram (Tag me on Instagram @therawgirl or on Facebook www.facebook.com/therawgirl)
- Email a picture and 400 words or less about your personal health journey
Winners will be announced every Sunday and will receive their ebooks the same day! XO
#TestimonialTuesday: Akosua Peprah (on Instagram as @eloquent_feminist) was kind enough to let me know yesterday that she has lost 60 lbs in 6 months using the principles she learned in Raw Girl’s 7 Day Detox for Beauty, Weightloss, & Rejuvenation!!!! She says: “First of all let me thank you. Your page, your blog, and your book has made a very huge change on my life. I started my journey early November last year, and have lost 60 pounds in all. I was 255 and I am now 195 lbs. The 7 day detox book was the best thing I used my money for.”
First of all Akosua I am so proud of you!!!! For doing the work. For not just reading but taking action on what was written. You are gorgeous at every size and I am so humbled and grateful that my writing could have such an impact. Yesterday when I received your message I literally wept, as I thought about my journey and how just five years ago I didn’t have a dime to my name. I had lost my job and was pretty much unemployed and without steady work for almost two years straight. It was a very tough period but I decided to use my time doing everything I always said I wanted to do. During that time I wrote The Acne-Free Diet, Raw Girl’s 7 Day Detox, and Parasites Be Gone! I prayed for God to use me, because I had a vision but at that time it seemed so far off. So to receive your photos and hear your testimony was HUGE. The message you sent drove home for me that no matter how rocky the journey has been, it was all worth it.
Your testimonial allowed me to reflect and bask in gratitude for the fact that I am now self-employed, about to release my third book, and working with an incredible team. I continue to pray the little I can do in the world continues to have an impact. The testimonies and positive comments from YOU readers all over the world have always kept me going, so THANK YOU. If you have a story please reach out and let me know! I LOVE YOU ALL so much for your continued support. -XoXo Raw Girl
Mellow Yellow Refresher
3-4 yellow carrots, 1 lemon, 1 head celery, 3 apples, ginger root (to taste)
Wash & prep all fruits and veggies. Run through juicer, strain, & enjoy! -XoXo Raw Girl
P.S. Want more recipes? Over fifty awesome raw and cooked vegan recipes in my forthcoming book Got VEG? Preorder Now!
As we approach the end of year holiday season many of us are thinking about our health. What goals did you set this year? How much have you accomplished for yourself in the realms of mental, spiritual, and physical wellness? If you have fallen short, don’t worry, now is the time to start dreaming about your new vision for a healthier you in 2015. Below are some simple rituals that may help you close out this current year and start next year off with a bang.
- End the year with a juice cleanse or fast
- Create a vision board for 2015 that includes goals in all areas of your life work, family, spirit, health, and finances
- Clean House and remove clutter in your home or work environment
- Write a letter to yourself that you will read at the end of 2015 seal it and do not open it until next year
- Write a gratitude journal for as many things you can think of that you are grateful for in 2014
- Make a list of healthy milestones or progress made physically or spiritually in 2014, then write goals in those areas for 2015
- Dance it out! You made it to year’s end so you deserve to shake your groove thang on whatever kind of dance floor suits your fancy
- Commit now to your #MoveThatBody regimen for 2015. Whether it be hot yoga, pilates, or the gym, start your fitness routine now so you don’t have to jumpstart in the first week of January.
No matter what rituals you choose, make sure to take a moment to celebrate all you accomplished in 2014. Celebrate the experiences that brought you to where you are now, and the baby steps you have taken to ensure that you are living into your vision of optimal health. Hope you have an incredible holiday full of love, laughter, and healthy eats!
~Xo Raw Girl
Give the Gift of Health!
20% off All E-Books and Detox Plans until January 1st!
To help you ring in the new year right, all E-Books & Detox Plans in the Raw Girl Store are 20% off until January 1st!!! Discount will be applied at checkout. Visit The Raw Girl Store for details.
I regret that the release date for my next book Thrive on VEG! is going to be pushed back one additional month, a new release date is coming soon. Extra time is needed to hone all of the recipes that will be included. For all who have pre-ordered thank you; you will be receiving a bonus for your patience and will receive an email shortly. Very excited about sharing this book with you, which will include some recipes that will be great to use for the upcoming holiday season. Below are a few images of dishes I have been working on to include in the book which will feature raw and cooked vegan recipes. As always, appreciate your patience and support!
-XoXo Raw Girl
Ever since I was introduced to Ayurveda, I’ve been hooked. Learning more about doshas and energy imbalances while at Wanderlust (the yoga festival) helped me to realize that I needed to move from the East Coast and that the stagnant energy of where I was living was affecting my health. As soon as I took steps to relocate everything shifted back to optimal. The wonderful thing about Ayurveda is that it emphasizes the bio-individuality or uniqueness of every being and takes into consideration the whole person, mind, body, and spirit.
Ayurveda is the traditional system of medicine that originates from India and has the goal of maintaining health and preventing the onset of disease. This is system is personalized and considered a macro-explanatory model for disease because it takes into consideration the whole person being treated along with environmental factors. Ayurveda is based on three entities called doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. The doshas help to explain the makeup of the body along with the temperaments of individuals for the purpose of understanding balance and imbalance. Ayurveda is based on energies of the elements including: fire, air, ether, water and earth; and each dosha corresponds to one or more of the element energies. Every single person at birth comes into the world with a specific makeup of these doshas that is fixed, and referred to as Prakriti. One’s Prakriti is the most important factor in ayurvedic medicine because it determines the treatment plan for each individual. Optimal health is achieved when there is optimal functioning of the doshas and the interactions between them to maintain balance in the body. Proper elimination, clear thinking, proper functioning of sensory organs, and a peaceful mind are also considered signs of good health.
Diagnosis of disease in the ayurvedic system is holistic involves examination of the manifestations of disease, subtypes of disease, and severity of condition. Development and progression of disease within Ayurveda, is explained by deviations or imbalances in the doshas. Imbalances of the doshas can be caused by a range of external or internal stressors including: environmental conditions, nutritional deficiencies, physical stress, or emotional turbulence. Treatment of any condition is highly personalized and includes parameters for overall health, diet, digestion, immunity, and response to environmental factors. Ayurveda also takes into consideration six tastes: bitter, sweet, sour, pungent, astringent, and bitter. These can be used to determine dietary changes or herbal treatments that also help to counteract imbalances. Herbs may be used in tandem with manual treatments, massage, dietary and lifestyle advice, nutritional supplements, and yoga to restore balance. If you are experiencing a health challenge that seems to be a impossible to diagnose, or if you just want to try a different perspective, Ayurveda may offer you interesting new insights. -XoXo Raw Girl
Sumantran, V., & Tillu, G. (2013). Insights on Personalized Medicine from Ayurveda. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 19(4), 370-375.
Iyer, J. (2013, July 1). The Goal of Ayurvedic Treatment. Tampa Bay Wellness, 7-7.
Did you know that the average American eats an average of 142 pounds of sugar per year? Keeping this in mind makes it easy to understand why diabetes has become such an epidemic. Living with pre-diabetes and diabetes is a delicate issue and much care has to be taken to change lifestyle choices and consume sugars that have little to no effect on the blood sugar level to avoid aggravating the condition. The great news is there are a decent variety of natural sweeteners that do not aggravate blood sugar, and in some cases actually prevent tooth decay or repair tooth enamel. Within the natural sweetener world some substitutes have a lower glycemic index than refined sugar, such as agave nectar or birch syrup, but still may not be suitable for pre-diabetics or diabetics. The best course of action is to use sweeteners that have no effect on the blood sugar. Here’s a list of four sweeteners you can try that fit that criteria:
- Stevia. Not so long ago this leafy herb was completely unheard of. Now you can find it in most grocery stores in powdered or liquid form. Stevia has no calories, will not spike blood sugar levels, and its’ extract is considered 100-300 times sweeter than white sugar.
- Birch Sugar or Xylitol. This sugar substitute is a naturally occurring alcohol made from tree fibers and occurs naturally in fruits and mushrooms. Xylitol is sweet to the taste like sugar but it does not cause tooth decay. In fact, it actually reduces levels of decay-causing bacteria in saliva.
- Chicory Root. This natural sweetener is the root of a perennial herb, and has no calories. Not only will consuming chicory not spike your blood sugar levels; it decreases levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, contains vitamin C a powerful antioxidant, supports detoxification of the body via the liver and kidneys, and serves as a prebiotic which feeds and promotes growth of good bacteria in the gut.
- Erythritol. This sugar alcohol is made by fermenting the natural sugar found in corn. It has no calories, will not raise blood sugar, and no carcinogenic properties. In addition erythritol is very easy to digest and is considered an antioxidant, which helps the body to fight freed radicals and reduce the signs of aging.
Sugar alcohols should not be confused with artificial sweeteners. Part of their structure resembles sugar and the other looks like an alcohol. They are used are sugar substitutes because they do not cause tooth decay, feed candida or fungal infections, and convert to glucose more slowly in the body and do not require much insulin to metabolize. When consuming sugar alcohols some people may experience uncomfortable symptoms like gas, bloating or diarrhea, so it’s important to not consume in excess. Hopefully these options give you a few places to begin finding the best sugar substitute for you. If you do not have diabetes or any related conditions, there are many other natural sweeteners you can try including indulging on good, plain old fruit. If you or anyone you know is dealing with diabetes I also highly recommend you watch “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days,” for inspiration. It’s a documentary that chronicles the treatment and reversal of diabetes over the span of 30 days using a 100% organic raw vegan diet. –XoXo Raw Girl
For more on diabetes check out this past post: Natural Cures: Bitter Melon for Diabetes
It’s wonderful how something you didn’t even know you needed can show up in your experience and feed your soul. This past weekend I got an impromptu invite to attend Goddess On The Go in downtown LA and I am so glad I answered the call. The gathering happens several times a year here in Los Angeles, New York, and Detroit, and was created by Leora Edut to forge healing and community among strong, passionate, powerful women. The mission and vision driving Goddess On The Go is that every woman on the planet lives her best life. Designed as a day long retreat, the event gives any “goddess” the time and space to connect with other women, check in with herself, release any blocks that need healing, and reaffirm intentions for the future. Through classes, talks, and communion with other women a sacred space is created that can lead to empowerment, self-transformation, and AHA moments. The day included a Kundalini yoga class, a talk and mini-workshop on sensuality, an astrology recap, dancing, and really awesome raw vegan fare including lunch and dessert.
Beyond meeting a bunch of incredible and inspiring women, some of my favorite moments were the kundalini yoga class, and meeting one half of the dynamic AstroTwins duo, as I read their horoscopes via Elle, religiously. If you’ve never checked out their scopes, you’re missing out because they are well written, witty, and always have a positive angle while remaining spot on with the current planetary energy. The food was certified delicious and provided courtesy of The Springs LA, a wellness hub and restaurant coming soon to downtown LA that will serve 100% raw vegan cuisine, offer yoga, and holistic treatments. Overall the the event was cathartic and left me feeling full to the brim spiritually; I highly recommend it for any woman who is going through a transition, needs a break from their daily grind, or is just looking for something different that may spark some inspiration. To get more information about the next Goddess On The Go or find out about dates in other cities visit: http://goddess-onthego.com/.