Tag Archives: vegetarian

Why Mindless Eating Begins in the Checkout Line


jakub-kapusnak-296131In Mindless Eating Dr. Brian Wansink, discusses a research study published in the Journal of Market Research he conducted in which he evaluated the affect of using numbers in in-store promotions at grocery stores on buying by the average consumer. At first he thought that certain kinds of promotions might encourage more spending. He discovered after testing several options, that ANY sign at a grocery store with a number promotion regardless of the combination ie: 10 for $2 or 5 for $15, leads consumers to buy 30-100% more than they normally would. Funnily enough after publishing the study he shared that he himself was at a grocery store and was caught up in the same kind of advertising, even though he had knowledge and just published a research study on this topic. Why is this useful information for you to know? Well, you can become more aware of your choices while in the grocery store and avoid potential advertising triggers that cause you to forget all about your budget and add in extra snacks on the way out of the check out line. The other hard truth is that we all know it becomes much harder to not eat certain foods once we’ve purchased them and gotten ourselves home. So it’s always better to not purchase foods we consider junk or unhealthy so they aren’t around to tempt us. I’ve participated in mindless shopping at times, but it is usually when I do not go to the grocery store equipped with a list. So having a list and a general meal plan can help, keeping an eye out for signs or advertising that can affect your shopping habits, and shopping with an accountability partner who helps to stop the random purchases triggered by advertising.

Dr. Wansink also discusses his work with French research Pierre Chandon, on the average person’s ability to assess the amount of food they are eating. Apparently people eat more when they eat from large containers. They found that the smaller the meal, the more accurately people were able to guess the number of calories. However with larger meals people were off by 20-40%. When taking this study into the real world at fast food restaurants they determined that the more people eat, the less accurate they become at guessing the number of calories in their meals. If you are someone who chronically overeats, having a food journal and keeping an accurate assessment of the number of calories in your meals could help you be more mindful and may shock you! Plate size and portion size awareness is key as well; since we usually eat according the size of our plate it’s best to use smaller plates or take a smaller portion and seeing if that satisfies your hunger enough to stop eating. Moral of this long story is mindful eating doesn’t just start when we get home. It begins in the checkout line. So the next time you take a trip to the grocery store, take moment to prepare a list or get specific on your dietary needs before you go in so you stay focused on the healthy track. –Xo Raw Girl


Recipe! Vegan Pecan Cookies

IMG_5900Pecan Cookies

Adapted from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig

Ingredients (Makes 18 cookies)

• 1 ½ cups crispy pecans

• 6 tablespoon softened butter or 6 tablespoons coconut oil

• ½ cup succanat or maple sugar

• 1 cup arrowroot power

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• ½ teaspoon sea salt

• Egg Replacer: equivalent of 1 egg white

• 18 crispy pecan halves


Preheat the oven to 300˚F.

Place the pecans in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the remaining ingredients (except pecan halves) and process several minutes until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the egg replacer. Use two spoons to drop the cookies onto a parchment-covered cookie sheet. Press a pecan half onto each cookie. Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the bottoms are golden. Let cool completely before removing to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.

For crispy almond cookies, make them the same way, substituting 1 ½ cups almonds for the pecans and ½ cup coconut oil or softened butter for the fat measurement. Add 1 teaspoon almond extract to the ingredients as well. Press an almond into each cookie.



How Your Diet Affects Your Sleep

via Huff Post UK

via Huff Post UK

In Thomas Cogan’s book The Haven of Health, he discusses the connection between foods ingested and quality of sleep in his 1584 book, and makes claims that digestive “vapors” from meat, milk, and wine create good sleep. I read about this and was literally like WTF? Meat vapors will make people sleep better? Only because this was written in 1584 AD I’ll give Mr. Cogan a pass. However, the amazing nonsense that is out there sometimes is baffling. Anyone who has tried a raw vegan diet knows that actually, the cleaner your diet gets, the more your energy skyrockets and you may finding yourself needing less sleep to feel refreshed. When I go on fully raw binders for a few days I find myself jolting up at 5:30 or 6 am and running on full throttle throughout the day. So the meat vapor thing sounds cray cray to me and luckily there’s some science to back it up. Although the term “good” sleep needs further interpretation, current research does support that diet does indeed have a direct effect on sleep patterns.

In a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, findings published in 2013, researchers identified different associations between sleep time and the types of nutrients the participants ate. The study found that very short sleepers consumed less tap water, total carbohydrates, and a compound found in red and orange foods, compared with the others. Long sleepers consumed less of a compound found in tea and chocolate, in addition to choline, which is found in eggs and some meat. Long sleepers also consumed more alcohol. In Russell Fosters TED Talk entitled “Why do we sleep?” he sums up why alcohol shouldn’t be relied upon long term to fall asleep: “alcohol doesn’t provide a biological mimic for sleep it sedates you; so it actually harms some of the neurological processing going on during memory consolidation and memory recall.” The American Academy of Sleep Medicine conducted a study in 2016, and found that eating LESS fiber, more saturated fat and more sugar is associated with lighter, less restorative, and more disrupted sleep. Typically a good whole food plant-based diet is full of fiber, low in saturated fats, and low in refined sugar, which will make for good sleep.

It’s not uncommon for people who have improved their diets to report that they feel energized during the day and sleep better at night. According to the study at Perelman the very short and long sleepers consumed a less varietal diet than those who were considered normal sleepers. Although there is more research needed to ascertain how changing one’s diet can change sleep patterns, according to the research study entitled, “Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity,” it is clear that not getting enough sleep can decrease the proportion of weight loss as fat by at least 55%, and can promote unhealthy dietary cravings. Thomas Cogan’s original claims that meat, milk, and alcohol contribute to “good” sleep could be reinterpreted behind the lens of current research to say that in some people those substances cause longer sleep, which doesn’t necessarily equate to the highest quality of restoration. Instead it points to the fact that their bodies’  most likely need a longer period of time to restore, process, and cleanse given the kind of food they are consuming.  -Xo Raw Girl 


American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2016, January 14). What you eat can influence how you sleep: Daily intake of fiber, saturated fat and sugar may impact sleep quality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 16, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160114213443.htm

Grandner, M., Jackson, N., Gerstner, J., & Knutson, K. (2013). Dietary nutrients associated with short and long sleep duration. Data from a nationally representative sample.Appetite, 71-80.

Foster, R. (Director) (2013, June 1). Why do we sleep?. TED Talk . Lecture conducted from TED Global.

Nedeitcheva, A.V., Kilkus, J.M., Imperial, J., Schoeller, D.A., & Penev, P.D. (2010). Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity. Anals Of Internal Medicine. 153(7), 435-W.163.

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Have you checked out my new online classes yet? In my new course, Staying Ageless 30+  you will learn about Diet Basics, Lifestyle Factors, and elements of Longevity that promote an ageless way of life.  Over the course of three modules you learn what to eliminate from your diet to stay ageless, how to ensure your body is receiving adequate nutrition, powerful detox rituals you can incorporate to increase your longevity, beauty remedies that will leave you glowing, and how to exercise effectively and get results.  In addition you will learn health lessons directly from renowned longevity and health experts that will equip you to transform your lifestyle. You can still enroll! Check out the class HERE to preview the curriculum our save your seat! -Xo



Too Many Reasons to Love Fennel


 So I have to admit…I was completely sleeping on the awesomeness of fennel. Fennel, scientifically known as Foeniculum Vulgare Miller, is one of those root vegetables that you will likely pass in the veggie aisle and not even give a second look. Fennel, thought to have originated in Southern Europe and Mediterranean regions. is a root vegetable related to carrots, parsley, dill, and celery. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C (17% of the daily value), fiber, iron, B vitamins, potassium, folate, and more. Fennel can provide relief from anema (thanks to it’s iron content), and is also useful for boosting immunity, curing constipation or flatulence, respiratory disorder, menstrual disorders, and improving eyesight. Dope part is every part of the vegetable can be used including the root bulb, seeds, and the wispy leaves. For centuries, Ancient Chinese medicine incorporated fennel to treat congestions, sitmulate apetite, and even increase the flow of breast milk. Essential oil extracted from fennel can offer relief from an upset stomach, and fennel tea can soothe a sore throat. Not to mention it’s sweet licorice like flavor has made it great to freshen the breath, so it’s often found in natural toothpastes. Need I say more? I fell in love with fennel again when I added it to my Ultimate Beauty Salad. Hope that now you know more about fennel’s awesome nutritional profile and uses for ailments, you might need to consider doing a double take the next time you spot fennel in the veggie aisle. -Xo Raw Girl

Recipe! Dangerously Yummy Vegan Blueberry Oat Bars

Blueberry oat barsBLUEBERRY OAT BARS : : : : : : : : : : : : :


1 ½ cups oat flour

 2/3 cup coconut palm sugar 

1 ¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats

¾ teaspoon fine grain sea salt  

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) Earth Balance or 1/2 cup melted coconut oil 

Blueberry Filling:

1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 Tablespoons oat flour  

1 pound fresh or frozen blueberries or mixed berries of your choice

2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Tablespoons Earth Balance or Coconut Oil

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use earth balance or melted coconut oil to butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Line the bottom with parchment paper if you have it (to help remove the bars.)

2. Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add earth balance or coconut oil and pulse until loose crumbs form. Reserve 1 ½ cups of the mixture, place in a medium bowl. Keep this at room temperature.

3. Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands or the back of a metal spatula to press the crust into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. This is a very dry mixture. Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. This will ensure a firm crust. 4. In a medium bowl, whisk lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together. Add the blueberries, lemon juice and coconut oil or earth balance and use your hands to toss gently until the blueberries are evenly coated. 5. Spread filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crumble mixture on top of the filling. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges a little. 6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into bars. you can eat before it cools but it will be more of a crumble, and once it cools all the way down will be firm bars.  Keep refrigerated for up to two days in an airtight container. Eat up and enjoy! -Xo Raw Girl 

Healthy Action of the Week: Get Yo Greens In!

GREENSEvery day this week try to incorporate fresh organic green vegetables in at least one meal. Your body will thank you. -Xo Raw Girl 

Some benefits of chlorophyll found in green vegetables include:

  • Increases the functioning of the heart
  • Improves the health and wellness of the intestines
  • Cleanses the liver
  • Improves the overall health of the vascular system
  • Maintains healthy bones and strong muscles
  • Protein. Yes! Greens have protein
  • Lowers or maintain healthy blood pressure
  • Helps body to detox and cleanse of impurities naturally
  • Improves the quality of your skin
  • Can increase the quality and quantity of your red blood cells because the compound has a chemical composition very similar to hemoglobin
  • Can lower your risk for developing certain types of cancer

***Warning: eating a larger amount of green vegetables may accelerate healing or cause an increase in joie de vivre, sexiness, youthfulness, and overall magnetism. Heed this advice at your own risk.****

The Skinny on B Vitamins

b-vitamin-fruits-vegetables-dietWe’ve all heard about RDA or recommended daily allowance for vitamins and minerals that are set by the Food and Drug Nutrition Board and give us the estimated minimal amount that people need to consume in order to avoid deficiencies. However, the optimal level of consumption of any micronutrient should actually fall well above the RDA for maintaining adequate nutrition and optimal health. B vitamins in particular can be consumed several times more than the RDA. When it comes to the optimal level, it’s an amount that can be consumed in order to allow for the nutrient to provide proper functioning while now allowing symptoms of toxicity to develop or any adverse symptoms. B-vitamins are essential for the metabolism of glucose, act as co-enzymes in mitochondrial aerobic respiration, and are instrumental in cellular energy production and the production of ATP (basically the process of turning our food into energy).

How B vitamins get to the brain?

The B vitamins for brain function are actively transported across the blood barrier by dedicated transport mechanisms. Cellular uptake mechanisms dictate the distribution of where all the B vitamins are allocate once in the brain. Following that B vitamin levels are controlled by several homeostatic mechanisms which guarantee that brain concentrations remain comparatively high. Much of the evidence related to the impact of B vitamins on the brain has not been consistent. Some studies suggest that B vitamins do have significant benefits to brain function.

The pentose phosphate pathway is a necessary step in the synthesis of fatty acids, steroids, nucleic acids and the aromatic amino acid precursors to a range of neurotransmitters and other bioactive compounds essential for brain function. In essence B vitamins will help keep our thinking sharp and keep us from going cray cray. Thiamine is a coenzyme in that pathway and acts as a cofactor during metabolic processes and contributes to the structure and function of cellular membranes.

Why you care? Although B vitamins are totally essential, prevalence of B vitamin deficiencies has increased in developed societies. Figures calculated for RDA and other nutritional requirements have barely changed over the past four decades despite glaring facts that point to the decreasing ability to absorb nutrients from our food and soil. Studies have found that populations in developed countries such as the U.S. do not consume the RDA of B vitamins. As obesity continues to climb there is a clear relationship between obesity and malnutrition because the SAD (Standard American Diet) consists of too much high fat, sugary, processed or fast foods which have little to no nutrition in the form of vitamins and mineral. Large portions of developed populations have been shown by studies to have biochemical levels of B vitamins that could cause deficiency related diseases, or reaching levels considered “marginal deficiency” which isn’t completed deprived but still not optimal either. All of these factors are a part of why deficiencies in developed societies occur.


Studies have shown that supplements higher in B vitamins and lower in other micronutrients have stronger effects than supplements with lower levels of B vitamins and higher concentrations of other micronutrients. So it may be wise if supplementing to purchase a B-complex or B vitamins as separate from your daily multivitamin. Some foods rich in essential B vitamins like B1, B2, B3, and B5 include: spirulina, goji berries, beans, broccoli, turnip greens, asparagus,  spinach, tomatoes, carrots, oranges, dandelion greens. –Xo Raw Girl


Kennedy, D.O. (2016). B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy – A Review. Nutrients. 27(8), 2. doi: 10.3390/nu8020068.


Recipe! Deliciously Dope Coconut Turmeric Milk Smoothie

osha-key-81006Have you ever tried turmeric milk or “golden milk”? There are many variations and more people seem to be catching on to this awesome drink due to the amazing benefits of turmeric. Not only is turmeric high in antioxidants and useful for reducing inflammation, it can kill cancerous cells. You can make a lovely turmeric milk with similar ingredients sans the banana and hemp seeds and heat it on the stove for a warm, cozy before bedtime drink. Because I heart turmeric, I wanted to come up with a smoothie that incorporates it and this is what I came up with. Below also check out a video on the benefits of turmeric. -Xo Raw Girl 

turmeric smoothie

Coconut Turmeric Milk Smoothie


2 bananas

1/4 -1/2 cup coconut chunks

coconut water

1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar

1-2 Tablespoons Hemp Seeds

Turmeric to taste and for color, add as much as you prefer (1/2 teaspoon minimum)

Dash of Cardamom

Dash of Nutmeg

2-3 Dashes of Cinnamon

1 dash of black pepper (optional, brings out the flavor of the turmeric more)

What if Your Healthy Food Was Unhealthy?

pexels-photo-247685Today’s exercise in “what the heck? Why not?” was to identify a food that I perceive to be a “good” food and look for primary literature that contradicts my view of that food. Why would I do this? I find it so interested how much health information is out there and depending on what a company or organization stands to gain, you may hear biased evidence about particular kinds of food. Obviously this happens the most in the meat, dairy, and processed food industry; since vegetables have NEVER been proven to cause cancer, hypertension, or osteoporosis. But anywhoo, the gist is, it is healthy to reconsider your viewpoint from time to time and in the healthy living world, it doesn’t happen enough, with various sides clinging to their opinion like it’s the religious truth.

I chose to focus on Nori, a type of seaweed I love to consume especially in dried unsalted form, and consider healthy because of its nutrient content. My personal bias with this food is that I began to consume it, along with other seaweeds when changing my diet to transform my acne problem skin. Seaweeds played a major part in my healing so I have firsthand positive experience with it. Nori is fat-free and provides the body with Vitamin A,C, folate, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and protein.  Although it is highly debated, studies also support that dried Nori is the most excellent source of B12 for vegetarians, and contains less dietary iodine than other seaweeds, (Watanabe et al, 1999).

It was actually difficult to find to many studies or journals that asserted Nori is a “bad” food, but what I did find are studies that confirm the heavy metal contamination of commercially available seaweed (Nori being the most popular). “On April 13, 2021 Enviroreporter.com tested Nori seaweed from Japan bought from a Los Angeles store….the [seaweed] was 94.7% above normal. These tests were performed with an Inspector Alert nuclear radiation monitor, the same detector used in over 1,500 tests for Fukushima radiation beginning four days after the March 11, 2011 triple meltdowns at the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi six-reactor complex in Japan.” Another study found levels of total and inorganic arsenic in seaweed. “Using 31 samples (all purchased as a dried product) covering five varieties of seaweed were collected from various retail outlets across London and the internet. Arsenic was detected in all samples with total arsenic at concentrations ranging from 18 to 124 mg/kg. Inorganic arsenic, which can cause liver cancer, was only found in the nine samples of hijiki seaweed that were analysed, at concentrations in the range 67–96 mg/kg. Other types of seaweed were all found to contain less than 0.3 mg/kg inorganic arsenic, which was the limit of detection for the method used,” (Rose, M. et al, 2007). In this study, Nori was not found inherently toxic, but low levels of arsenic were present.

After conducting this research, my views on this food have not changed. I do believe it is a healthy food. However, obtaining this information has caused me to be concerned and more intent on gathering information about where the Nori I consume is harvested and whether or not it has been tested, especially for radiation. Considering another contradictory opinion wasn’t bad at all, worst case I would have had to give up my delicious Nori rolls, and best case scenario, I learned something new to share with you. –Xo Raw Girl


Netten, C. (2000). Elemental and radioactive analysis of commercially available seaweed.The Science of the Total Environment, 169-175.

Watanabe, F., Takenaka, S., Katsura, H., S. A. M. Zakir Hussain Masumder, Abe, K., Tamura, Y., & Nakano, Y. (1999). Dried Green and Purple Lavers (Nori) Contain Substantial Amounts of Biologically Active Vitamin B12 but Less of Dietary Iodine Relative to Other Edible Seaweeds.Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2341-2343.

Rose, M., Lewis, J., Langford, N., Baxter, M., Origgi, S., Barber, M., … Thomas, K. (n.d.). (2007) Arsenic in seaweed—Forms, concentration and dietary exposure. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 1263-1267.

Collins, M. (2012, April 20). Japanese Seaweed Radiation Doubles. Enviroreporter.

Recipe! Banana Chips


Bananas anyone? Eating high raw requires you step yo snack game up to a new level. It’s always great to have something to take with you on-the-go. But time is money, and sometimes we get lazy about preparation. These banana chips take no time at all to prepare. Just stick them in the dehydrator, go about your business, and by the end of the day you’ll have a yummy snack ready. -Xo Raw Girl 



Lemon Juice

Spice Mix: 1- 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon, Dash of Cardamom, Dash of Nutmeg


Peel and slice to about a ¼ – inch thickness.

Dip banana slices into a bowl of lemon juice. This lessens the browning of the banana chip. (optional)

Shake off extra lemon juice. Put spices onto a small plate or bowl and dip banana chip into spices.

Can dip half or all of the chip. Then lay the banana slices on the dehydrator tray.

Dehydrate at 140 degrees F for 1 hour

Turn the temperature down to 115 degrees F, dehydrate 8 hours.

Half way through, stop the dehydrator and flip over all the banana slices. The slices are easy to peel off the dehydrator tray when they are warm, and turning ensures dryness.

If the banana chips are leathery to crisp, they are done.

Cool the banana chips for a few hours in the dehydrator before removing them. Pack the dried chips into a Ziploc bag when they are cool. Store at room temperature.

Other Variations:

Make Plain

Dip banana slices into chopped nuts or dried coconut flakes prior to drying.

Sprinkle with cinnamon only.

Sprinkle with Celtic sea salt