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January 30, 2012

Fabulous Fiber!

Fiber is one of the leading causes of weight gain AND disease. The large amount of meat that is consumed around the world sits and, because it lacks in fiber, rots in the stomach and greatly burdens and toxifies the body. Also, because the majority of foods consumed around the world are either cooked or processed they are lacking in enzymes, which our bodies are unable to digest properly, slowing digestion, and thus leading to weight gain, toxicity and disease. Compared to 100 years ago, the diet is severely lacking in fiber. This is one reason we see digestive problems on the rise with diet aids, such as Metamucil and/or laxatives, increasing used to provide a short time solution to an underlying problem. But, I have good news! Today you can make a change in your diet that will greatly increase your chances for a healthy long lifespan and help you to stay lean- EAT FLAXSEEDS!  One of the highest sources of fiber is found in flax seeds, which are also high in B Vitamins & Omega 3 fatty acids, which is an essential fatty acid that the body does not make and requires from the diet. Adding 2 Tablespoons of flax seeds to your diet is a great way to jump start a healthy diet and will give you a beautiful glow that comes from within.

Plus, for every gram of fiber you consume you burn 7 calories effortlessly! 

January 28, 2012

Protein- It is not what you think!

The highest sources of protein are those that absorb the most sun, which are green leafy vegetables and sea vegetables. There is a misconception that protein only comes from animals, however understand that protein is a combination of amino acids, which are found in various types of fruits, nuts, seeds AND GREENS! Remember also that when you cook meat you loose 50% of the protein, therefore, it is essential that you increase your intake of fresh greens in addition to the animal protein you consume. Also, your chances of getting cancer are cut in half if you eat a diet rich in greens and less in animal protein. 

Spirulina is one of the highest sources of protein in the world, with a 65% protein content- four times higher than fish or beef and contains four times as much B12 as animal liver.  Quinoa (a grain similar to couscous), buckwheat, hemp and chia seeds, and Brazil nuts are all complete proteins, gluten-free, and full of all the amino acids. I replace all my rice dishes with quinoa and my bread or crackers with buckwheat, coconut and almond flour. Also, hemp and chia seeds are loaded with protein and will add a good dose of raw protein to any meal, especially your smoothies, cereals, or salads. These seeds are comparable to fish proteins but in vegetarian form. Many vegan bodybuilders live off of these two seeds.  I highly suggest you add spirulina, quinoa, hemp and chia seeds to your shopping list.

January 26, 2012

Stay Lean with Healthy Fats

Eating more fat actually helps us to loose weight- it is just that we must eat the right fats! Avoid anything that has hydrogenated oils or trans fats on the label. The best fats to eat come from nuts, seeds (especially flax, hemp and chia seeds), avocados, olives, olive oil, salmon, and coconut oil. Coconut oil is one of the BEST weight loss secrets. Coconut oil increases your metabolism, lowers blood sugar and increases your thyroid function, which regulates your weight. Lastly, for those with high cholesterol levels, coconut oil is a great addition to your diet as it increases good cholesterol (HDL) which lowers your overall risk of heart disease. Coconut oil is composed of medium chain fatty acids, which the body does not hold on to easily. Lastly, coconut oil has lauric acid, which is also found in mother’s milk and very healing. I highly suggest adding coconut oil, milk, and water to your shopping list.

January 24, 2012

Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium is the most deficient major mineral in the standard diet, with the majority of the population being severely deficient in this mineral. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain the nervous system, strengthens the immune system, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and promotes normal blood pressure. Magnesium also supports the heart, increases alkalinity and strengthens brainpower. Studies prove that magnesium deficiency leads to heart problems as well as causing a disruption to the flow of oxygen, blood and nutrients throughout the body. An early sign of magnesium deficiency is weakness or fatigue. The best-known source of magnesium is found in raw chocolate, a superfood containing the highest amount of both antioxidants and magnesium.  Buckwheat, oats, nuts, seeds, and beans are also great sources of magnesium. (Quick note: the body needs magnesium to absorb calcium, however most foods that contain one, are likely to contain the other.)

January 22, 2012


Aside from Vitamin D and magnesium, Iodine is one of the most neglected minerals in the standard diet. Iodine, which is naturally found in sea vegetables, ocean fish, yogurt, strawberries and eggs, is needed for the normal metabolism of cells (the process of converting food into energy.) Iodine deficiency is also the world's leading cause of mental defects. One of the worst things a lack of iodine does is to slow the development of a baby's brain even before the baby is born. A lack of iodine also leads to weight gain, depression and thyroid dysfunction. One of the best ways to maintain a slim healthy figure and a happy disposition is to make sure you get your recommended intake of iodine. I take a kelp supplement everyday, which gives my body the iodine it needs to function properly.  I have also found a salt alternative made with kelp or dulse that is great on eggs, salads and boiled vegetables. One of the reasons we crave salt is because of a lack of iodine. Other reasons of craving salt include the use of medicine, adrenal exhaustion (stress, not enough sleep), magnesium deficiency, dehydration or pregnancy in women. Sea salt should always be used in place of table salt!

January 16, 2012

Raw Pomegranate Granola

I have had so much fun the past two weeks getting to know my new Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator. It has been very exciting and quite delicious. I realize that not everyone has a dehydrator so the recipes that follow can be modified and prepared in a warm oven, turned all the way down, with the door cracked and light/fan on. This morning for breakfast I had pomegranate granola!

Raw Pomegranate Granola

One cup almond meal, sweetened with Stevia (almond pulp from almond milk, dehydrated for 24 hours)
Large dash of cinnamon
1 TBSP raw cacao nibs
1-2 TBSP Goji berries
1 TBSP flax seeds
Small handful of pistachios (very high in Vitamin A!!)
Fresh pomegranate
Almond milk or cream

Add all the ingredients in a bowl and top with fresh almond milk. I made my milk very thick (kept portion of almond to water (1:2) and had a very thick and creamy milk. This tasted like dessert! Delicious!

Note: You can also use soaked almonds (8-24 hours) in place of the dehydrated almond meal, or raw almonds, ground in a processor.

January 03, 2012

Raw Chocolate Goji Cookies

Raw Chocolate Goji Cookies
1/8 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup ground oat flour
1/8 cup flax seeds, ground
3/4 cup ground cashews
1/3 to 1/2 cup raw honey or agave
1/3 cup cranberry juice
1/3 cup goji berries as a garnish

1) Blend all ingredients together in a bowl by hand.
2) Place on wax cooking sheet and top with goji berries.
3) Place in dehydrator for 3-4 hours, or in an oven turned all the way down, cracked open, and with the fan and light on for 4-6 hours.