December 5, 2014

DIET IS ONLY HALF THE STORY

Or perhaps it's even only a third.  More and more I'm starting to realize that health is less about what we eat, and more about how we live!

Nutrition is a crucial component to healthy living, of course, but it's even more relevant in the context of lifestyle.  It is equality important what we choose to think, how we feel, and who we surround ourselves with. If you’re eating all the right things (which can vary widely depending on who you ask), but you're holding on to negative or resentful emotion, you may not achieve your desired level of health no matter how "perfect" you believe your diet to be.  Stress, lack of physical movement, emotional pain, spiritual disconnection are just a few factors outside of diet that affect the quality of our health and well-being. 

For this reason, I would love to start shifting the conversation away from just raw foods and recipes, to a broader understanding of what healthy living is all about. You might see me talking more and more about things like joy, and creating a fulfilling spiritual practice.  In fact, if you haven’t visited the Raw Radiance website in a while, you may want to take a look (as it won’t be around for much longer).  I am currently in the midst of rebranding with a new direction and focus.  Stay tuned!  

If you have been following my blog, you may have noticed that I've taken some time off in recent months (more like an entire year).  There are several reasons behind my decision to step away.  Everything from feeling uninspired in my own diet and lifestyle, and wanting to be more fully engaged in my personal life.  But mostly, I think I just simply burned out.  

During my time away from blogging/social media, I have tried to regroup and redefine my vision and direction for my life.  I have spent a lot of time exploring so many other interests like interior design and reading up on parenting.  My hunch is that being a mama is the next big chapter in my life ;)

As far as my lifestyle goes, here's where I am today.  My diet is varied and I'm far more flexible with my eating habits.  I don't care to define myself by any particular lifestyle or diet.  And even though my path began with an interest in raw foods, I no longer feel the need to limit the conversation to just diet and nutrition. There's just so much more to health! 

I still prefer a plant-based approach as the core foundation of my diet, with a strong focus on dark leafy greens and algae (spirulina anyone?).  I have kept the basic principles of the raw food diet (green juices, green smoothies, green salads, etc).  In fact, juicing continues to be a daily foundational practice for me, as it always has been.  But I now enjoy animal products on occasion as well. I find that unpasteurized eggs, raw goat/sheep yogurt, wild-caught sardines, and yes, locally-sourced organic meat have beneficial nutrients harder to come by on a strictly plant-based diet.  

On the other hand, I'm also intrigued with the concept behind Dr Fuhrman's nutritarian diet. His focus is on maximizing the micronutrient concentration in foods per calorie count.  You can read more about that on www.drfuhrman.com.  However, I do feel this approach is a bit too strict for this stage in my life.  Restricted dieting is not exactly something I'm interested in.  My goal is primarily balance and flexibility in all areas of my life, especially diet.  

So here I am, on a quest to redefine my definition and approach to health.  My aim is to deepen my understanding of health and well-being from a broader perspective.  And so the journey continues!     


October 1, 2013

TO BE A 100% RAW, OR NOT TO BE?

One of the most common questions I get is, "Do I need to go 100% raw?"

In my opinion, not necessarily! It depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

For those who are dealing with an illness or disease, it may be necessary to intervene with a strict protocol to detoxify the body on a cellular level... to reverse the condition and heal the body.


For the majority of us, incorporating 50-70% raw fruits and veggies into our diet is optimal for long-term success.


The problem with trying to attain a 100% raw diet as a percentage, is that it’s easy to lose sight of whether or not the diet is balanced. Living on cacao, dehydrated crackers, and raw desserts is technically 100% raw, but is that healthy? For me, it’s less about the percentages and more about keeping my diet balanced.

The foundation of my diet is primarily leafy greens, in the form of green juices, green smoothies and green salads. I try to eat high water-content fruits and veggies in place of dehydrated foods. I also make sure to get in sea vegetables and micro-algae like spirulina and chlorella.


My non-raw staples include steamed/backed root vegetables, gluten-free grains, legumes, eggs and goat/sheep yogurt, etc. (Yes, I'm not vegan!)


The idea of all or nothing, or that all cooked food is poison is simply a thing of the past! It is far more important to focus on getting high quality, organic whole foods.

It is equally important to be at peace with the lifestyle we have chosen. If we're always stressed out about not eating perfectly enough or in a constant state of guilt, we've missed the point! I often see people struggle with raw foods thinking they have to be perfect 100% of the time, trying to live up to some unrealistic ideal. But it's not about perfection, it's about enjoying a healthy and balanced lifestyle... which is absolutely possible on a high-raw diet.


So before you jump in 100%, make sure to first lay down a strong, healthy foundation for your diet. If you do choose to go a 100% raw, I admire your courage. Just keep in mind that the raw food lifestyle is all about creating a healthy and happy life. And definitely remember to keep it balanced!


REPOST (10/1/2009)

March 25, 2013

COCONUT-BANANA & BLACKBERRY PARFAIT

Coconut-Banana & Blackberry Parfait

1 banana
1 young Thai coconut (meat only)
½ cup walnuts (soaked)
Juice of ½ lemon
1 Tbsp raw honey
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt

Soak walnuts 6 - 8 hrs, rinse and drain.  Crack open a coconut and scoop out the meat (reserve the water for drinking).  Blend walnuts and coconut meat along with all remaining ingredients until smooth.  Set aside.

½ cup blackberries
1 tsp raw honey

Blend blackberries with honey in a mini-blender!  Layer a dessert glass and serve.  Enjoy!


March 14, 2013

BRUSSELS SPROUTS APPLE SLAW

1 cup brussels sprouts
1 apple
1 celery stalk
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup black currents (or raisins)

Shred brussels sprouts, apple and celery in a food processor.  Combine with minced onion and currents in a separate bowl and mix together.

Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp raw honey
Pinch Himalayan salt / black pepper

Whisk vinaigrette ingredients and toss with the salad. Enjoy!

February 8, 2013

OFF TO HIPPOCRATES HEALTH INSTITUTE

In just a few short days, one of my long awaited dreams will finally come to fruition.  I will be arriving at the Hippocrates Health Institute for a 3-week Life Transformation Program.

The dream has been a long time in the making, six years to be exact.  From the very first time I heard about the program, back in 2007, I knew this was my destined next BIG step in my exploration of health and nutrition.  (See my brief mention of it in a 2009 post titled Manifesting A Dream.) 

What better time to experience this amazing program than in preparation for a healthy first pregnancy?  I love how destiny seems to align so appropriately - the timing couldn't be more perfect.  

I put HHI smack in the middle of my vision board long ago, but for six LONG years the dream just sat there waiting for me. And when I say waiting, I literally mean it was just sitting there waiting for me to get off my ass and make it happen... ; )

By the way, for any of you who still think manifestation is the process of dreams magically falling in your lap... I've got news for you!  The real process of manifestation is owning your dreams (and the responsibility that comes with making it happen).  Took me a while to catch on too. 

So that's what I did.  I took my destiny, my dream, into my own two hands, set up a savings account, and got to work!  

Luckily, the timing turned out great, as my hubby and I are looking to start a family in the near future.  Perfect opportunity for a complete mind, body and spirit cleanse!  

I should mention, that even though the Hippocrates program focuses on a strict raw vegan protocol, I don't intend to proceed with a vegan pregnancy.  I'll leave the details regarding my views on diet and pregnancy for another post.  But I will say that my intention, as of this point, is to incorporate a few select animal products into my diet (in "therapeutic" doses) following the cleanse.  I'll probably have to explain the "therapeutic" part as well.  

In any case, I thought about blogging during my cleanse at the Hippocrates Health Institute, but I may just take those three weeks to really immerse myself into the program and enjoy my stay there.  I do hope to follow up with a post upon my return however... so stay tuned! 

September 13, 2012

SEAWEED SALT



Looking for an extra dose of minerals to season your favorite foods?  This quick and easy recipe takes only a few minutes to make. 

Simply grind up some dry kelp and dulse (equal parts) using a small coffee grinder, and double the volume with added Himalayan crystal salt.  Grind everything down to a fine powder and use as an alternative to table salt. 

Caution:  Start with a pinch! Seaweed has a distinct flavor that can easily overpower any dish.


April 20, 2012

PAPAYA FACE MASK

The other day I found myself craving a juicy papaya, so naturally, I made a trip to a local heath food store and picked out a nice soft organic papaya.  But when I got home and cut it in half, it turns out it wasn't ripe at all... the flesh was pale yellow and tough!  Sigh.  

I have to say, I was pretty saddened but I wasn't discouraged!  Instead, I got creative and made myself a beautifying papaya face mask using a few organic ingredients I had on hand.  My skin felt so amazing, I thought I'd share the recipe.  Looks like my skin was the one craving the fruit ; )  

Papaya Face Mask

1/2 small unripe papaya (peeled, seeds removed)
1 Tbsp raw honey
1 tsp coconut oil

Using a mini blender, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Apply a thick layer avoiding the eyes, leave on for 20 minutes.  Rinse with warm water.  

Enjoy this beautiful and nourishing treatment before bed! 

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