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If you need a nice way to bulk up meals and are transitioning to veggie livin’, you may be trying everything from tofu to soy meat products to fill the void. Eggplant is a wonderful, whole food option that is low in calories and high in fiber and makes a great meat substitute without the added chemicals and preservatives in faux meat.
Eggplants belong to the nightshade vegetable family which also includes tomatoes and potatoes, and grow on vines. They are most comprised of carbs which are essential for optimal body functioning and energy, but one cup will only run you somewhere around thirty calories and two grams of fat.
If you are looking to lose weight, obviously consuming eggplant will assist you in cutting back on the wrong kinds of calories and getting a filling nutrient dense food with little to no fat. They contain very little protein so you would want to ensure to include them into a diet that includes other protein rich foods to find balance. Besides a good amount of fiber, eggplant contains manganese, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and smaller amount of B3 and B6, niacin, and folate. The added bonuses are omega-3 and omega-6, also known as the essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients and antioxidants which support proper brain functioning, prevent free radical damage, and have anti-cancer properties. If that all sounds groovy to you, thankfully there are many ways to skin an eggplant.
If you want to try them raw, eggplant bacon is a fun and easy to make with the use of a dehydrator. If you are more of a cooked foodie try adding eggplant into veggie stir fry dishes, or baking them. The only word of caution that comes with this veggie is that it has high levels of oxalates, which can crystallize and cause health problems. For the general health individual, this isn’t a problem, but if you have pre-existing kidney or gallbladder problems you should avoid eating them. -XoXo Raw Girl
Not too long ago I posted about District Tea Lounge because of their incredible tea and one of my favorite things in the universe: kombucha on tap. Since then I’ve been back often because I love the vibes and wanted to try a few things on their menu. In addition to the local kombucha, they tend to have a few raw dessert options, a super cheap “Buddha bowl” which will only run you nine bucks for a large bowl of organic veggies and quinoa, at least one raw meal option.
On the most recent trips back I tried the raw zucchini pasta with peanut sauce, the raw brownie, and the raw carrot cake bar. All were pretty good. I really enjoyed the zucchini pasta which was a really light and good alternative to a basic salad. A friend who I visited with me ordered a pu-erh tea, which is a special fermented black tea that originates from China and has almost as much caffeine as coffee. In the past it used to take up to fifteen years to properly age pu-erh teas, but with new technology the process can be accelerated. What struck me about this tea was that it also has strong medicinal properties. In traditional Chinese herbalism it has been used to open the meridians and facilitate ‘blood cleansing’ and optimal digestion. Some studies also have shown that pu-erh may lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and increase metabolism.
If you haven’t visited District, I definitely recommend you check it out. It will be one of the places I will miss frequenting when I leave DC. -XoXo Raw Girl
To learn more about District you can visit their Website.
Cue the bells, whistles, and trumpets…spring is finally here! For those of you who follow the Facebook page, you know I mentioned wanting to host a virtual wellness challenge. I only moved forward because a nice amount of you were interested, so I hope some of you will come on board for the journey with me.
It is time for a spring cleaning. In this new season, I myself have been focusing relentlessly on wellness mind, body, and spirit. When you embrace making daily progress in each of those areas daily, amazing things begin to happen. The goal of the challenge is to give you an opportunity to see major changes in your mindset, body, vitality, or just simply inner peace by combining living foods, regular exercise, and mindfulness practice. Focusing on all of these areas really gives you an opportunity to “transform;” and by that I mean not just losing weight or boosting your energy temporarily, but seeing lasting changes and adjustments to unhealthy habits and reprogramming new healthier ones to replace them. There is no way you can lose if you are committed to seeing your end result! I will be your guide through the 21 Days, and the package includes one-on-one coaching sessions with me, a detox plan, and additional raw recipes to help jumpstart your raw journey. All of this for about the same price of a one hour consultation.
Very excited to have the challenge sponsored by GAIAM, who will be giving the winner a 3 month subscription to GAIAM TV and a yoga mat up to 60$ in value. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to jumpstart your wellness. The challenge begins on April 25th. I recommend participants register no later than April 21st to have time to get prepared. The first five participants to register will receive an additional hour of one-on-one coaching. This challenge is something new and a way for me to get to know more of you lovely readers personally. I am ready to be of great service to all involved. If you have any feedback on the program, questions, concerns, or suggestions, please email me at email@example.com! -XoXo Raw Girl
Visit this page on the blog for more info or to register: http://rawgirltoxicworld.com/21-day-wellness-transformation-challenge/
As we mature the majority of us begin to value how essential having good health is for quality of life. Nowadays you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who is not plagued by a terminal illness or does not know someone in their family, friends, or acquaintances who is dealing with the consequences of bad lifestyle choices or perhaps even what seems to be a bad stroke of luck. Our bodies’ are a complex culmination of the emotional, mental, spiritual, and food choices we have made over our lifespans. It is very easy to get focused on heathy eating and forget that there is so much more that feeds disease including the mind, emotions, and spirit. Even beyond consideration of holistic wellness, optimal health should also include considerations of each of the essential body parts functioning at their best. So not only are you in great physical shape, your teeth are strong, your gums, hair, nails, feet, arms, organs etc function at their best. When anything in our bodies goes awry in just one part it’s amazing what a profound affect it can have on our general well being, livelihood, and ability to perform at our best. That is because each part of our bodies’ inform the whole and vice versa. So as you consider optimal nutrition and what is the best fuel for you, I challenge you to also pay close attention to any other signs that your body is giving you that you may require some TLC.
When you take preemptive measures it will require that you spend extra time and money to maintain a lifestyle that promotes optimal health, but remember that it’s a worthy investment. Wouldn’t you rather add extra time in for flossing that pay for expensive dental work when you have gum disease? Or modify your diet now and avoid diabetes that plagues your family rather than have a limb removed altogether later? The costs of taking your wellness for granted are steep and come with a much higher price tag when things get urgent. In addition to looking at your own habits, knowing your family history is invaluable and essential to ensuring that you stay on the path of optimal health. If you know what diseases an ailments your parents or grandparents dealt with you can take measures now to adjust your lifestyle so that you never have to worry about carrying on that disease legacy. Below are ten simple things you can do to ensure that you are living optimally. These are just suggestions, but these guidelines should help you get an adequate idea of habits you can improve or add to your daily routine. Prevent now, prosper later! -XoXo Raw Girl
- Adequate Supplementation. Eating a well rounded diet that provides your body with adequate nutrition is essential but given our hectic lifestyles we still may fall short of what our bodies’ need. One way to ensure you have all of the right fuel is to supplement using super foods or high quality supplements. If you are a veggie lover, B12 should be on your list, and you may also include a multivitamin, green algae or grass powders, probiotics, flax or algae based omega-3 supplements and others depending on your body. It’s important to get tested regularly by your doctor and rectify any imbalances you may have so that you prevent long term illness.
- Regular Exercise. This is a no brainer, but it’s amazing how quickly this habit for optimal health goes out the window. I know you feel like you don’t have time, but carving out a mere 30 minutes daily to exercise will do wonders for your health, boost your energy, and keep you younger and happier thanks to the serotonin boost. Find a way you love to move and stick to a routine that works for you. If your bored with your workout, change it up and bit and venture out to try fun alternative forms of exercise. Pole dancing, anyone? Whatever floats your boat, is great as long as you commit to #MoveThatBody.
- Practice Mindfulness A.K.A. Manage Your Emotions By Any Means Necessary. We often greatly underestimate the power our emotions have to keep us healthy. Emotional wellness is key in long term health and learning healthy ways of managing our stress keeps us from adopting unhealthy disease inducing habits like overeating, smoking, alcoholism etc. There are many ways to keep your emotions under control but they all involve a daily commitment to a practice of mindfulness. Breathing helps, as does meditation, prayer, or yoga. Find something that makes your spirit sing and commit to it as the daily food for your spirit. Your soul needs food too, and the more you feed it the more peace, health, and happiness you will find no matter what life throws your way.
- Take Care of Your Teeth. Just in case you didn’t know, the health of your teeth and gums is a huge indicator of your overall well being. If bacteria in your mouth is not kept under control in can enter your bloodstream and cause infections or even heart disease. In addition gum issues and infections may be an indicator of problems with your blood sugar levels. Loosing teeth later in life is sometimes an indicator of osteoporosis, and loosing teeth before the age of 35 may increase your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Moral of the story? Mind your mouth now, and avoid health complications later. Flossing daily, brushing your teeth, regular cleanings, and using a mouthwash are ways you can care for your teeth now and prevent health drama later.
- Eat Whole Foods and Read Your Labels. You should know this by now, but diet does play a huge factor in changing your destiny and moving your compass towards optimal health. I’ve interviewed a bunch of healthy men and women over seventy about longevity and all of them were able to completely outlive their genetic history and avoid diseases that plagued there parents and grandparents by changing their diets. We have yet to see the full implications of eating genetically modified foods, but the signs are already there that it’s taking a negative toll on lifespan and the quality of health of many people. No matter what your diet, these days you have to go out of your way to avoid anything that is not really food. Read your labels and avoid non organic meats, fruits and veg, processed and packaged foods, refined sugars and salt, and unhealthy oils whenever possible. Although the cost of your groceries may increase, there are always ways to get savvy and find a bargain. Remember that eating to live now, is a definite investment in your personal healthcare plan, and the good news is you get to reap benefits immediately.
- Schedule Regular Checkups. When you get centered on a more holistic lifestyle or GO VEG, you may find that you are sick less and less if not at all, and are able to manage health crises with your own intuition and natural cures. We get caught up sometimes in calling our primary doctors the big bad wolves, because of the prescription drugs they peddle for any ailment without dealing with the root cause. And they “the big bad wolves” think that a lot of us veggie lovers have gone completely mad with our juice making, medicine avoiding, organic loving ways. The thing is, medicine has it’s place and is still incredibly useful for all of us to assess deficiencies and catch illnesses if we commit to regular exams and checkups. You should be checking in on yourself regularly, but it is nice to get a blood test that can let you know where you may be deficient and cue some adjustments in your diet or daily health regimen. Every doctor has his or her place, so make sure even if you are like me and love the woo-woo back to nature medicine route, you still engage in regular checkups with your doctor.
- Know Your Status. Sexual health is a huge issue and continues to grow in importance as the number of people infected with sexually transmitted disease is on the rise, and a large majority of people are completely unaware of their status. It is incredibly important for you to take precautions necessary to guard your sexual health, and also ensure that you engage in regular testing. Do you know your status? If you have not been tested and are sexually active, know that by avoiding testing your are playing a very dangerous game. Also ensure that once you do know your status you take the precautions necessary to avoid STD’s. Bad news is there are tons of STD’s nowadays that can be transmitted even with use of condoms etc. so just take care, use your intuition, know the status of your partner, and engage wisely.
- Maintain Colon Health. Colon health is most likely the number one wellness issue in America today, period. The majority of diseases begin with the accumulation of waste in our colon or our “bodies’ sewage system.” When I interviewed Bernando LaPallo who is a 110 year old raw foodist and asked him what he does to maintain a healthy colon he gave a great answer which was if you eat fruits and vegetables and avoid unnatural foods, your colon health will take care of itself. It’s true that the majority of problem begin when our colons get clogged with unnatural or toxic foods that get stuck in your colons as impacted waste and slowly but surely start to cause health problems. Beyond just eating good whole foods there are other things you can do to regularly to ensure your colon is not becoming a cesspool for disease. For some ideas check out this past post: “#1 Health Issue in America: Maintaining a Healthy Colon“.
- Monitor & Value Adequate Sleep. Sleep is another precious commodity we undervalue in our culture. We are obsessed with “grinding,” getting ahead, meeting deadlines, and sacrificing vacations for promotions. It’s important to make sleep a priority so that you can be the best you everyday. Not only does sleep affect our performance, learning retention, and brain functioning, sleep plays a major role in boosting our immunity, weight loss, preventing the onset of many diseases. The best way to get adequate sleep is to attempt as much as possible to stick to a sleep schedule and go to bed and wake up around the same time daily. To learn more about sleep check out this episode of my radio show “The Power of Adequate Sleep,” in which I interviewed Dr. James Maas, an internationally renowned sleep expert.
- Engage in Regular Detoxification. Conducting regular fasts, or embarking on a detox every now and then can do wonders for your health. Your digestive system gets some time to rest, and as you detoxify your body you are taking time to rid yourself of toxins that could have later built up and caused illness and disease. Regular fasting or detox does not have to be crazy and intense, it can be yearly, monthly, or as needed, it’s just one additional way for you to pay it forward and prevent problems before they arise.
Green smoothies are a great way to get in a good serving or fruit and green leafy vegetables, especially in the morning. Typically they consist of something like l/3 of leafy greens, 1/3 fruit, and 1/3 or less of water. Or some people do more fruit than greens. You can always add more or less fruit or greens to your liking. There is some debate about whether or not green smoothies are healthy, just like with ever other health trend out there. Some say it’s not good for you because the amount of sugar (from the fruit) can make your blood sugar spike. To that I say ba-humbug. After healing myself of candida in a record five days on a high fruit diet (which most sources say NOT to eat), and hearing other people with blood sugar level issues and hypoglycemia also healing themselves by eating fruits, I am pretty sure at this point that the world is either upside down, or that most of the doctors in America are misinformed and need a serious re-education Lauryn Hill style.
Fruit does not metabolize in the body like refined sugars, and when combined with greens as well like in the green smoothie, it should further relieve any fears about your blood sugar spiking out of control. Then there are folks who may say that green smoothies are not enough to live on you must have other sources of nutrition. Well, duh! Of course, our body needs a well-rounded platter of nutrition, but the truth of the matter is that most Americans barely get in the amount of fresh greens and fruits that are in one green smoothie. Sometimes when I randomly pop through a conventional grocery store, I am shell-shocked by the amount of microwaveable, packaged, pre-cooked, pasteurized, high fructose corn syrup and canola oil laden food is in people’s shopping carts. On a good day, it’ll be lucky for me to spot one small bag of fruit in the sea of processed meals piled high in their carts. Green smoothies and even green juices are just simple ways you can get some fresh natural food into your body in the midst of your busy, I have no time for preparing food lifestyle. Blending is also simpler than juicing, for those of us who dread “the post-juice cleanup” or get a strong feeling of laziness just by looking at your juicer which may be growing dust on your kitchen counter.
If you feel sort of gassy or have indigestion immediately after having a green smoothie, by all means, please do not indulge in them or modify them with simpler fruit and veggie combinations until they do not bother you. I find that blending kale into things is just plain bad for me, personally. I prefer using lighter greens like spinach and romaine. You may be too sensitive to fruit and veg combinations and need to save your precious greens for that sexy salad you are whipping up later. If that’s the case do not feel bad about it. If you still love to have something green in your cup blend up a bunch of fruit, add a little water, and a teaspoon or two of Spirulina, or green grass powders you like. Or also try whipping up mostly green veg based smoothies and use veggies like cucumber and celery that have a high water content.
Below’s a simple green smoothie recipe that can be modified sans greens. At the end of the day the point of a healthy lifestyle is to be in tune with what your body needs along with your personal quirky cravings. So by all means necessary spend less time arguing or debating your specific dietary choices with people and just march to the beat of your own drum, or if your me you can shake a tail feather and do the electric slide, whatever works. I find that by following my bliss and my intuition, I honor myself and can never go wrong. Here’s to whatever kind of smoothie you choose to drink today, green or not, and even more importantly, here’s to all of us choosing each and every day to EAT TO LIVE. -XoXo Raw Girl
Equal parts frozen strawberry and mango
Large handful of spinach AND/OR 1-2 teaspoons Spirulina or green powder
Blend all ingredients. Serve & enjoy the bliss!
Would you like to add a little va-va-voom to a basic green juice? If you are a regular and avid juicer you know how lovely it feels after having a fresh juice. I call it a juice high, and thankful it’s not an addiction that I need recovery from. Simply stated, if loving my greens is wrong, I don’t want to be right. If you need an extra energy boost, and plan to make a basic juice, to up the ante blend in or mix in some Spirulina for some additional protein and immune boosting properties. If you don’t know anything about Spirulina, check out this past post. If you are new to raw foods or just juicing and living healthy in general please be gentle with yourself. Try starting each day with a juice or a smoothie. Everyday try to incorporate more and more living foods into your diet, and you will eventually stop craving unhealthy foods and instead yearn for how groovy you feel the more you eat from Mother Nature. I can testify that it works; that’s how I got my vegan swag back. -XoXo Raw Girl
GREEN MORNING PICK -ME-UP
1 head of celery
5-7 Leaves of Lacinato Kale
Ginger (to taste)
1 teaspoon of Spirulina
Juice all ingredients. Pour juice in blender and add in Spirulina or mix in thoroughly. Serve, drink, enjoy the bliss!
For more awesome never seen before juice recipes, a detox calendar, shopping list, and detox guide check out my 7 Day Detox for Beauty, Weightloss, and Rejuvenation!!
Didn’t get around to having dinner until late last night, so I opted for a blended meal and came up with this wonderful concoction which I’ll be including in the parasite detox coming soon to a blog near you. Has a few key ingredients that help to give parasites a run for their money and some power ingredients that pack it with nutrients for optimal health. It’s also a nice addition to a cleanse because it’ll give some variation to all the greens you have to eat to kill those buggers. I had kombucha on hand so I decided to add that to my recipe as a bonus. It was pretty amazing, and after devouring the large glass, I realized that adding kombucha adds in live cultures, which is perfect for making your own “live yogurt!” If you are craving something creamy like yogurt…just FYI, any smoothie can be made into a “yogurt” recipe by adding in an extra avocado or banana to keep the mixture thicker. However, If you are doing a parasite cleanse you should avoid sweet fruits like banana. Eat with a spoon and have fun with garnishes. Try topping your live yogurt with raw granola, shredded coconut, or dried or fresh berries. -XoXo Raw Girl
To read a little more about the benefits of Kombucha, check out this past post: http://rawgirltoxicworld.com/2012/12/15/ten-immune-boosting-power-foods-for-winter-wellness/
How was your Valentines Day? I had a glorious time, and my Valentine took me to eat a meal at a spot called SENBEB, (meaning good health in Kemetic language), which has raw and vegan options! Luckily I remembered to take a photo this time before I devoured my food.
I had the walnut hempseed burger, creamy collards, and garlic kale. Seriously the BOMB.COM. My Valentine tried their vegan soul food and had jerk “chicken” with rice, potato salad, and sweet yams. So exciting to finally find several incredible raw/vegan places in DC that really know how to season some greens. Did I mention it was super affordable? Only fifteen bucks for a raw plate, and it was so filling we had leftovers to enjoy for lunch today. If you venture over there to try some of their deliciousness, tell them Raw Girl sent you. Next time I’ll save room for dessert. -XoXo
For more info about SENBEB, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/senbebcafe
Today my radio show Healthy Living in a Toxic World will premiere on WKCW 1420 AM and on Blog Talk Radio simultaneously at 11 AM EST. This morning’s show focuses on Bernando LaPallo who I wrote about in the past. Bernando was 109 years old when I first interviewed him for this pilot episode, and now he is 111 years old! You can listen in via the blog talk radio link below at 11 AM, and if you miss it, the show should be archived for a few more weeks. Would love your feedback. Please post comments on the blog or Facebook or send me direct mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Twelve more incredible episodes coming soon. Below is the show schedule so you know what to look out for, on Blog Talk Radio, the show will air every Saturday at 11 AM for the next 13 weeks. -XoXo Raw Girl
TO LISTEN IN at 11AM CLICK BELOW:
SHOW TOPICS – SEASON ONE
Longevity Series, How to Quit Smoking Naturally, Natural Solutions for ADHD, The Power of a Plant Based Diet, Colon Health: What is a Colonic, Simple Ways to Reduce Stress, The Benefits of a Vegan Diet, Internal Parasites, Effective Exercise, The Benefits of Juicing.
SHOW SCHEDULE – SEASON ONE
- Show 101 Longevity Series. Featuring Bernando La Pallo, 109 year old raw foodist
- Show 102 The Benefits of Juicing. Cherie Calbom – The Juice Lady
- Show 103 How to Quit Smoking Naturally. Yuma Bellomee, Naturopath
- Show 104 Internal Parasites. Timothy Sehoon, Parasite Specialist
- Show 105 Effective Exercise. Mocha Lee, Celebrity& Group Fitness Trainer
- Show 106 Natural Solutions to ADHD. Alice Maher, Holistic Practitioner
- Show 107 Longevity Series. Featuring Mimi Kirk, PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian over 50
- Show 108 The Power of a Plant Based Diet. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Researcher/Author
- Show 109 The Power of Adequate Sleep. Dr. James Maas, International Authority on Sleep
- Show 110 Colon Health: What is a Colonic? Scott W. Web, Colon Hydrotherapist
- Show 111 The Benefits of a Vegan Diet. Victoria Moran, Author/ Lifestyle Coach
- Show 112 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress. Alice Maher, Holistic Health Counselor
- Show 113 Longevity Series. Featuring Annette Larkins, “The Ageless Woman”
Very recently I posted on the benefits of sprouting. I’ve been big on it every since I had a lovely conversation which you will hear soon with Annette Larkins, who is deemed “The Ageless Woman” about the benefits of sprouts. Some of you shouted out mung bean sprouts as your all time favorite, and I was particularly intrigued by these (not to playa hate on any of the other wonderful sprouts), because of their high vitamin C content that was used in ancient times to ward off disease.
The Chinese have been hip to harnessing the benefits of mung bean sprouts for over 3,000 years. So the rest of us are a little late to starting preaching the goodness of mung. This low calorie food is high in protein and fiber, and has very little to no fat. This makes them a great addition to soups, salads, and stir fries, that adds some more bulk to the meal without adding in excess fat or calories. Mung bean sprouts have pure forms of vitamin A, B, C, and E, along with K, calcium, iron, magnesium, pottassium, phosphorous, and zinc. One cup contains 1/4 the daily recommended value for vitamin C and 15% the recommended value of folic acid which is great for pregnant women because it prevents birth defects in children.
Ninety percent of what mung bean sprouts consists of is water, so eating them will boost your hydration a bit, and the fiber in them can help lower your bad cholesterol levels and decrease your risk for heart disease. Not bad for a little Chinese bean named Mung! If you decide to give these wonderful sprouts a try you can sprout them yourself or make sure you purchase sprouts that are not stringy or discolored. As fresh as you can find is always the best. If you missed the last post on The Benefits of Sprouting check it out here: http://wp.me/pHXQG-1bZ. -XoXo Raw Girl