Monday, March 27, 2017

Recipe!! Flax Seed Crackers

Hey guys! Since transitioning to Vegan I have really struggled with finding things to snack on.
Unfortunately, most of the repackaged snacks I used to buy have milk or eggs in them.

One of the ways I have gotten around this issue is by making my own. Not only am I cutting down on the amount of trash my household creates.

Flax seeds are also SUPER good for you so it is a good idea to sneak them where ever you can in your diet. The are full of fiber and a bunch of other vitamins and minerals.

This recipe is super easy and fun! These crackers can last up to five days, but they never last that long in my home.

Happy cooking!
~Stella~





Flax Seed Cracker Recipe
Makes 36 Crackers

- 1/2 cup flax seed
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 11/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 cup nut milk (I prefer almond milk)
- 4 tablespoons of melted coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 374 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Mix all of the dry ingredients
3. In a separate bowl mix all the wet ingredients
4. Slowly add the wet to the dry while mixing by hand
5. Once all ingredients are mixed roll out on wax paper and cut into bite sized crackers
6. Bake for 10 minutes one each side
7. Let cool before eating
8. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Foaming Hand Soap



In the last year or so I have been on a huge kick to reduce the number of chemicals I am using in my daily life. One of the ways I have been doing this has been to make my own cleaning supplies. I have started to make my own laundry soap, face wash and moisturizer. But when I decided to also work on being zero waste I needed to find a good hand soap.



We use a lot of hand soap at my house. My sister, who lives with me currently, is OBSESSIVE about washing her hands. I buy a few bottles of hand soap every month or so just for the bathroom. I hate how drying the soap is, especially in the winter when my hands are already dry, so I wanted to make a soap that would be better for our skin.


That’s when I acquired a foam soap dispenser. My aunt had a few that she bought a while back but didn’t need them so she gave them to me. I have been using it for a month now and I won’t ever buy again.


What I love about this soap is that you can easily customize it for whatever room you plan on putting it in. For the bathroom, we have a mixture of lavender and rosemary (sounds weird but I love the combo) and in the kitchen I used tea tree oil and lemon. The ingredients are easy to obtain and I always have them on hand anyway!






Foaming Hand Soap
1/3 Cup Castile Soap
½ - 2/3 Cup Distilled Water
1-2 tsp. Vitamin E Oil
20-30 Drops Essential Oil


I mix all the ingredients together in a glass jar or measuring cup then I just pour it into the bottle and voila- hand soap! You can sub out the Vitamin E oils with another carrier oil but I had this on hand and it is really good for your skin. The most important piece is the distilled water. This will keep the soap pure and it will last longer. You can buy a jug of distilled water for cheap at the store (I keep a jug on hand just for anything like this) but you can also boil water for about 5-10 minutes and use it as soon as it cools.


I like to use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap for this because I can mix and match the scents from the soap with what essential oils I plan on using. I love their tea tree, peppermint and eucalyptus scents the most. I always have this soap on hand because I use it for everything!

If you don’t want to use a plastic bottle to keep your soap in - hello zero wasters - you can use a mason jar! It is really easy but it might take some time. What you need to do is trace the bottom of the foamer onto the metal lid of the jar and cut it out. You can either super glue or hot glue it onto the lid and there you go! A glass soap foamer that won’t break down due to the essential oils! And it looks nicer in my opinion. 


Until next time!
~Tori~



Saturday, March 25, 2017

What is Raw Food Combining and why is it important? Part II


What is Raw Food Combining and why is it important?
Part II(Continuation from March 17, 2017).


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As a follow up to last week’s topic of Food Combining CLICK HERE to read it :

In light of an ever present push to restrict one's calories to lose weight, I am strongly emphasizing the necessity to approach and maintain a healthy weight without deprivation. If one is consuming the most optimal of all diet, restriction is NOT a factor. Eat to one's heart’s content rings through. We are talking about eating until sufficiently satiated here. It is near impossible to meet the body’s requisite caloric and nutritional needs and gain unnecessary weight whilst on a whole food raw vegan diet. If the body’s basal metabolic rate (resting metabolic rate - energy required to keep the body alive) is compromised, this may not augur well. As with everything else, the deficits need to be corrected before one may benefit effectively from such a diet, amongst other things of course.

Let us consider raw plant foods, such as potatoes, yam, pumpkin or the squash family as well as say eggplant. These are foods generally higher in complex carbohydrates/starches which are harsher on the digestive system. These are not our ideal foods, they do not hydrate the body as well as fruits and should be had in smaller quantities, if consumed at all.  My suggestion on these is to simply treat them as any vegetable and see how they work for you. If not the best of   combination for you, be assured, they  fare well with leafy greens and most vegetables and non sweet fruits such as tomatoes cucumbers and zucchini.   Additionally, they can be prepared and consumed in their raw, natural state with a little innovation( marinating in raw apple cider vinegar et al and/or the use of a paralyzer ). The fact that they require some 'processing' before they can be deemed 'palatable', is indicative of how much a non ideal food they are. This is my personal perspective as a raw vegan.

In as much as I have mentioned the various food  combination recommendations, it is most beneficial to have what are called 'mono meals' - these are meals which comprise solely of one type of fruit ( or other plant food of your choice ~ ideally a HCLF), one such example would be a meal of strawberries only, say 500-700+g in total. This allows the body to more effectively digest and assimilate the nutrients from one type of food. Because digestion begins in the mouth, or as soon as the olfactory nerves sense the aroma of the food type,  upon initial mastication, the brain receives signals to digest ' x food', enzymes are then released to digest the identified food. One can ascertain here why food combining therefore is so crucial. After mastication, the stomach is already ' prepped' to continue the digestion process with the requisite released enzymes and stomach.

The methodology of consumption coupled with digestion expels much energy, energy which  can best be optimized by :
  1. Eating the right foods in abundance - as many fresh fruits and vegetables raw as will keep you satiated.
  2. Combining (or not combining at all - mono medaling) these fresh fruits and vegetables for/at each meal.

As a staunch advocate of the 100% raw vegan Lifestyle, it is no wonder why the above principles are key components to successfully achieving a healthy diet. Why have I not addressed the topic of cooked vegan foods ? Simple, I wish only to stress what will allow us to thrive, one major part of the equation is LIVE foods! So let’s keep it RAW.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Rice Water Review & Recipe





I love my natural hair and dedicate quite a bit of time to keeping it healthy, so I spend copious amounts of time searching on the internet for natural hacks to add to my hair regime. Several months ago I was looking for a replacement for shampoo (I try to shampoo as infrequently as possible due to having extremely dry, curly hair) and I came across a Youtube video with the perfect solution.


Now when I tell you what I have been using in my hair and on my skin I don’t want any judgement. I was skeptical in the beginning too, but when something works it works!



Okay, are you ready?


I have been using….. fermented rice water. I know that it sounds disgusting and smelly, but let me tell you it is UH-MAZING for you!


The longer the rice water has a chance to ferment the more potent it becomes and the more noticeable the effects of it are. Rice water is rich in antioxidants, vitamins B & E, and minerals making it extremely nourishing for your hair and skin. With fermented rice water being slightly acidic it’s closer to the natural PH of your scalp and helps seal your follicles. If you have high porosity hair ferment rice water is for you.


Since using rice water my hair has been shinier, less prone to tangles which aids in it’s growth, less shedding, and it stays moisturized longer. Also due to the inositol that’s in rice water I have noticed less split ends. I have also noticed softer, more moisturized skin, and fewer blemishes as well as some of my old acne scars beginning to fade.


There are several ways to make rice water. Some choose not to ferment their rice waters, while others do. I choose to ferment my water due to my natural hair being so dry the more potent rice water better moisturizes my hair. If you have oily hair I recommend the non-fermented rice water and diluting the rice water until it’s only slightly cloudy.


My rice water recipe:


Ingredients
  1. ½  uncooked brown rice (or long grain white rice)
  2. 3 cups of water
  3. 2 bags of green tea
  4. Fresh rosemary or rosemary essential oil ( or any essential oil you would like to add. Tea tree oil would be an excellent choice for those with dandruff)
Directions
  • Rinse rice to remove any dirt
  • Combine water and uncooked brown in a medium sauce pan
  • Boil water 10-15 minutes
  • Remove the water from the heat and add green tea bags and essential oils
  • Let the tea steep until water is room temperature.
  • Cover the saucepan with a lid and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 days.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to a week


Side note: Instead of throwing out the rice I used to make the rice water I will either finish cooking it and eat it or I will make a face mask.


I like to keep the masks I apply to my face simple by using only a couple of ingredients. I also try to only use ingredients I can ingest.


Rice face mask/scrub:
Ingredients
  1. Rice (from rice water)
  2. Honey
  3. Olive oil
  4. Lemon juice
  5. Essential oils (I use lavender and chamomile)
Directions

  • Grind rice using a mortar and pestel
  • Combine 4 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 10 drops of essential oils.
  • You want the face mask to have a paste like consistency.

I hope you guys choose to give rice water a chance because there is no doubt in my mind that you'll love it. Let me know in the comments below how your experience with rice water goes.

*Dahlia*

Monday, March 20, 2017

Top 10 Tips For New Vegetarians

When I first started my journey towards a plant based diet, I remember spending hours watching videos of tips, recipes and support. I thought it would awesome if I could help others with the things I have learned along the way!

In this video, I cover my top 10 tips for new vegetarians. This information could be extremely useful to anyone who is looking to transition to being a vegetarian, transition to a plant-based diet or even those of you who have been vegetarians for a long time! I have gone ahead and listed my tips for you, the video is at the bottom of this post!



  1. Remember the reason you decided to make the change to begin with
  2. Not everyone will agree with you, and that's okay
  3. Find your local farmers markets and fruit stands
  4. Eat in season
  5. Try new foods
  6. Eat the rainbow
  7. Find a support system
  8. Be proactive
  9. Take it slow
  10. Be kind to yourself



To read the Eat Seasonal post CLICK HERE!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

What is Raw Food Combining and why is it important ? (Part I)

What is Raw Food Combining and why is it important ? (Part I)



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Most persons in the Western Medical field (doctors, nurses or even dieticians) will most likely not be the ones to broach this topic regardless of the significance it does actually play in health.


This, sadly in my view is for no other reason than their program omits the relevance and overwhelming significance of nutrition in health, or nutrition is based on the old patterns of thinking promoted by the Meat and Dairy Industry. Here, my points do strongly go against the grain in almost all respects. Food combining plays a great role in gut health, the helm of true and healthful abundance. Two things which dictate our overall state of anatomical health are:


1. Hydration levels of the body and
2.  Gut health.


Without these, disease has grounds to manifest. That said, it is prudent therefore to look at what affects gut health. Food combining is one such protocol.  Due to the fact that it is not necessarily an area spoken much about, I feel the need to bring to the fore what I have learned through experience and research of which,  a number of guidelines hold true in this regard. Some basic guidelines governing foods in the raw vegan diet, are as follows:
1. Sweet fruit, vegetables, overt fats,
2. Sub-acid fruits, other fruit categories, vegetables, overt fats.
3. Acid fruits, other fruit categories, vegetables. Overt fats.
4. Watermelon and the melon family of fruits.
5. Water and other beverages.



Failure to comply with these guidelines have been found to overtime cause digestive distress resulting in poor digestive function and by extrapolation Adrenal Fatigue. Repeated failure to observe #3, can spiral into insulin resistance or hyperglycemia ( the onset of Type II Diabetes) and long-term weight gain. Specific food combinations which are most effective on a Raw Vegan Diet:


1. Sweet fruit combines well with greens and vegetables, some sub-acid fruits, but NOT  with overt fats and acid fruits.
2. Sub-acid fruits combine well with greens, sweet fruit and to a lesser extent overt fats.
3. Acid fruits combine well with overt fats, greens and most vegetables, but NOT with sweet fruit.
4. Melons should be had alone, ideally on an empty stomach. Watermelon, specifically, watermelon, which happens to be the fastest digesting food.
5. Water and other beverages( fresh juice etc. ), must be had outside an hour window of eating( one hour before a meal, one hour after). Assimilating liquids whilst the body is seeking to digest food can lead to digestion compromising( improper digestion).


It is crucial therefore to separate drinking from eating. So, the question of questions remain, why is the focus solely on fruits and vegetables? Simple, as a raw vegan by choice, I do know this to be the most effective and healthy way to receive one' s nutrients. This lifestyle promotes consuming live foods in their original, natural state from nature when harvested in season and had at full ripeness/readiness for consumption.


Overt fats foods are foods which micro nutrient component,  fat is  provided in the % of more than 70 of their total makeup or   foods whose calorie content is dominated by fat
  • Avocados 
  • Nuts
  • Oils
  • Seeds


Sub-acid Fruit: This category covers fruits which are slightly or moderately acid or sour


  • Peach
  • Berries
  • Pear
  • Apple
  • Mango
  • Apricot
  • Papaya
  • Plum
  • Lychee
The Melon Family This covers fruits which are the large round fruit of a plant of the gourd family, with sweet pulpy flesh and many seeds.


  • Watermelon
  • Crenshaw
  • Muskmelon
  • Antelope
  • Charente’s
  • Persian
  • Casaba
  • Honeydew


Acid Fruit: This category is of fruits whose ascorbic percentage is within the range: 50-70% of the total Citrus family


  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Lime
  • Pineapple
  • Tangelo
  • Pomegranate
  • Tangerine
  • Strawberry
  • Cranberry


Sweet Fruit: These fruits are those whose composition of fructose/sucrose composition exceed 70% of their total nutrient makeup. Sweeter in taste than average


  • Banana
  • Persimmon
  • Grape
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Cherry
  • Fig
  • Sapodilla
  • Dried Fruits


To be continued: March 25,2017.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Recipe!! Nappa Wrap

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Raw Vegan ~ Nappa Wrap
Serving Size : 3-4.


Ingredients


1 head fresh Nappa Cabbage~ Use 4 leaves 1 per serving.
4 cups chopped/cubed pineapple
5 cups diced Roma Tomatoes or Heirloom Brandy Wines.
1-2 cups finely diced red onions( small,  1 medium)
1large Avocado.
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed Lime juice.
4 leaves of shredded Nappa Cabbage, or Romaine Hearts.
1 Tbsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV).
2 cups chopped  Button ( or other of preference~ Shitake, Portabella)mushrooms.
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste.
3 garlic cloves ~ crushed( optional).


Directions
1 Combine ACV, lime juice, cayenne pepper and crushed garlic cloves( if desired).
2. Marinate mushrooms, onions, pineapples in lime, ACV  and cayenne pepper mixture for 1-2 hours, less if you wish the mushrooms to be more firm in texture. Add shredded leaves in at the last 30 minutes or add in at end fresh.
3. Slice the avocado just before assembling, squeeze lime juice on slices.
4. Place  marinated combination in whole Nappa Cabbage  leaves, top with avocado slices, roll and tie with food ties. Enjoy, Disfruta! 

~Jan~