September 30, 2010


For the longest time I wanted to throw my very own raw chocolate party.  So for my 30th Birthday, I brainstormed some recipes, called up a few friends... and the result, a fabulous Raw Chocolate & Wine party!  I even had my dear friend Solnce perform live for us.  

I was in the kitchen for two straight days handcrafting the most amazing raw chocolates and infused cacao treats.  I got such great feedback from all my guests, I thought hey, everyone should throw themselves a fabulous raw chocolate party!  It's such a fun way to introduce your friends and family to raw foods.  Plus, you'll get show off your raw culinary skills!  Who wouldn't want to impress their guests as a chocolatier for a night?  

The Raw Chocolate & Wine recipe ebook provides a complete menu ready to go for the ultimate raw chocolate cocktail party!  I've perfected those recipes that everyone liked best, to make sure they're definite crowd pleasers!  Best part, they're all super easy and delicious!  So no, you don't have to be a professional chocolatier to throw an amazing raw chocolate party of your own!  

Plus, the lovely Carmen Marie-Denise Shelton, a French wine connoisseur, shares her expertise and recommendations on raw chocolate wine pairing.

Born and raised in France, Carmen grew up exploring wineries in the beautiful countryside of France.  Her love and appreciation for quality wine lead her to explore the long tradition of biodynamic practices. Carmen shares her secrets for selecting organic and biodynamic wines to complement the rich flavor and luscious feel of raw chocolate.

Raw Chocolate & Wine ebook ($14.95)

(IMPORTANT: You will receive your ebook
within 24 hrs of purchase, in most cases sooner)

September 25, 2010


If there's one thing, aside from leafy greens, that I would recommend people start incorporating into their diet, it would definitely be sea vegetables!

They're loaded with vitamins and minerals, including trace minerals!  I can't say enough about how wonderful they are.  Here's a great resource on all their nutritional  and health benefits

And here's one of my favorite sea veggie recipes...

Start by soaking 1 cup of your favorite sea veggies in 1 cup of water to soften them.  Make sure to use clean water (not tap).  Discard excess water.  You can even buy an assorted mix of different sea vegetables.

For the Asian dressing...

Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp raw honey
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil (enhances flavor)
1/2 tsp Tamari soy sauce
1/8 tsp grated ginger 
Pinch cayenne

Whisk together dressing ingredients and toss over the sea veggies. Garnish with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

September 18, 2010


I've noticed in recent months a dialogue has opened up about whether or not a strict 100% raw vegan diet is healthy long-term.  I'm happy to see more people sharing their experience and keeping an honest, open-minded approach to healthy living.  If something isn't working, we have to be willing to let go of any attachment we may hold to a particular philosophy, and focus on what's optimal for our health.

For myself, I never felt a strong desire or calling to jump in 100% into the raw food lifestyle. I suppose I never really felt the need for it (although you may already know this, and know I'm not a vegan from previous posts). But I did go 100% raw for 31 days in January of 2008, right after I completed my certification on raw food nutrition with Drs. Rick and Karin Dina, D.C.  I was so happy to finally immerse myself into a vegan lifestyle, I even bought and read Becoming Vegan to get a better understanding of how to effectively transition.  But I have to say, my experience was somewhat disappointing.

About a week in I started to experience intense cravings for meat, which was completely unusual for having already been vegetarian for over two years with no cravings whatsoever.  And by the end of my 31 days on a strict vegan diet, I intuitively felt my body was lacking something.  But what concerned me the most, was that I started to experience hair-loss (literally clumps of hair falling out in the shower), not to mention my iron and vitamin D levels dropped. Just to be clear, I maintained a clean diet with nothing gourmet or dehydrated.  I focused on alkaline foods including a ton of dark leafy greens.  

Was it just detox?  About six months prior I had experienced symptoms of so-called detox (dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea, body aches and cramps, etc).  But hair-loss and a drop in nutrient levels? Clearly there was more going on! The term "detox" is often thrown around loosely without much of an understanding of what that really means. At what point is something no longer just a symptom of detox, but a sign of deficiency? It seems there is no clear definition, so a little common sense goes a long way!

I honestly think that my hair-loss was largely due to a lack of sufficient protein.  Once I incorporated some cooked foods and animal products back into my diet (lentils, quinoa, an occasional soft-boiled egg, raw goat and sheep yogurt, wild-caught salmon), my hair-loss improved and the cravings all but vanished. 

I know we often say that Americans eat way too much protein, and yes we eat way too much of the wrong protein.  But good quality protein (amino acids) are essential.  They are the building blocks of life after all. Getting adequate amounts of high quality protein is something that I feel many raw foodists overlook.  Some of them swear by the all-or-nothing approach, but I often wonder how many routinely check their B-12, iron and vitamin D levels.

To be fair, I do think it is possible to succeed on a 100% raw vegan diet, when following a careful regiment that includes plenty of sprouts, wheatgrass, sea vegetables, algae, dark leafy greens, omega-rich nuts and seeds, a vitamin B-12 supplement, adequate amounts of calories, fats and protein... along with a routine blood test to monitor nutrient levels.  But you can't just wing it!

Of course we should all be incorporating these foods anyway, but it's not to say that we can't achieve optimal health on a high-raw diet with some cooked foods or animal products.  Quality is what's going to make or break it.  Organic, whole natural foods (preferably local) is a must.

As for me, I'm not attached to the label "raw foodist".  These days I'm far more flexible than when I was first introduced to this lifestyle.  I often enjoy cooking in the evenings using lots of fresh veggies from a local, organic farm (CSA).  And I always make sure to include a big RAW green salad with a cooked meal.  If you're curious about what I typical eat during a given week,  you can see My Way!

I am very sincere when I say this the more we can open up and speak honestly about what's working and what's not, rather than keeping secrets and judging one another, the more we can help each other and help others on this journey of health and well-being ♥

With love, 

September 6, 2010


When Hugh and I first started dating just over two years ago, he was crazy in love with green tea ice cream.  But as he gradually transitioned to a healthier lifestyle, he slowly gave up most dairy products.

Recently, while out at a sushi restaurant, green tea ice cream somehow came up in conversation... something tells me he missed his beloved ice cream!

So a few days ago I surprised him with a huge batch of RAW green tea ice cream!  Wow, neither of us could believe how good it turned out... hands down better than the real thing!  I was so inspired, I ended up going a bit crazy in my kitchen making all sorts of raw ice cream. 

I spotted some beautiful organic, local peaches (currently in season), how could I resist picking a few up for some raw Peaches 'n Cream ice cream?  I also made a batch of raw Coconut-Banana ice cream, by far my favorite of all three!

I had a few requests on Facebook to share my recipes, so here they are, each using a slightly different technique for the best dairy and soy-free ice cream...

Raw Green Tea Ice Cream

1/2 cup water
1 packet green tea (preferably matcha)

Cut open a small packet of green tea, and stir in with the water.  Set aside to "brew" for 20 min.  Transfer into a blender and add the following ingredients...
1 cup cashews (soak 2 hr)
1 cup almond mylk
1/2 cup spinach
1/2 cup raw honey
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

Rinse and drain soaked cashews.  Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Pour into an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer's instructions.  That's it!

*If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can freeze it in a glass container overnight... comes out just as good!


Organic, local peaches are in season in Colorado! To make raw Peaches 'n Cream ice cream, you'll first need to prepare sweetened macadamia nut mylk.

Raw Peaches 'n Cream Ice Cream

2 cups water 
3/4 cup macadamia nuts (dry)
3 dates, pitted

Blend water, nuts and dates, and stain through a mesh bag (mylk should be thick). Transfer the mylk into a blender and add the following ingredients...

3 ripe peaches, pitted
1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
2 Tbsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Pour into an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer's instructions.  That's it!

*If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can freeze it in a glass container overnight... comes out just as good!


This next recipe turned out so good, it's definitely my favorite raw ice cream!  It's got just the right hint of coconut and banana flavors... absolutely heavenly!

Raw Coconut-Banana Ice Cream

2 large, ripe bananas
1 young Thai coconut (water only)
1/2 cup cashews (soak 2 hr)
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

Crack open a young Thai coconut, pour the coconut water into a blender.  Rinse and drain soaked cashews. Add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.  Transfer into an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer's instructions.  That's it! 

*If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can freeze it in a glass container overnight... comes out just as good!
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