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How To Reduce Bloating Whilst Transitioning To A High Carb Low Fat Raw Vegan Lifestyle. Part I.

How To Reduce Bloating Whilst Transitioning To A High Carb Low Fat Raw Vegan Lifestyle. Part I.

 Most Modalities of eating are diet or diet  fads. I like to think of the High Carb Low Fat Raw Vegan Way of eating, as a  Lifestyle approach, as it incorporates so many aspects of healthy living.

Several persons transitioning to the Raw Vegan Lifestyle experience major benefits from this lifestyle, such as :

  • Increased Energy
  • Improved Skin Conditions
  • Better Digestion
  • More Flexibility


However there are those who at the beginning or overtime experience bloating, digestive distress and gassy discomfort. This can be due to several reasons, such as:

1. Gut bacteria strengthening and die off - As the dietary intake changes, so does the required bacteria. This often results in the gut environment responding to the introduction of new bacteria as well sis the fatality of the proliferated bacteria utilized  in the past (to handle say animal products taken in as food). This transition clearly is only temporary and varies in timeframe from individual to individual. This is part and only part of the ' adjustment period', many raw foodists talk about.

2. Improper food combining. Raw food combining has long been ignored. Here is a good recommendation for what should obtain  The greatest upsetting guidelines I have found over the years are a). Drinking and eating simultaneously, particularly cold beverages with food, causing the ' sludging effect’ - combat this , by avoiding this combination within a 2 hr window of meals including the hour before and after. At worse, sip small amounts of room temperature  or tepid water with meals . b) Factor number 2. In my books is watermelin combining with other foods and not had on an empty stomach. Melons, specifically  Watermelon are the fastest digesting foods. When combined with any other foods, fermentation is likely to occur.  This can cause major digestive distress, gassiness and bloating. To abate this , try to consume melons on an  empty stomach, on their own  and preferably with a clear window of at least 1 hr before other meals. Thirdly, this combination faux pas has far reaching long term implications and should be avoided always - c).  Sweet fruits and overt fats. This combination has a similar effect as the watermelon issue. Here we are dealing with food groups of different digestion rates. Fats tend to slow down the digestion of whatever they're eaten with’ Coupled with this fact, this combination can contribute to insulin resistance. This combination therefore should be avoided.

3. Acclimatizing to digesting larger meals to attain requisite calories and nutrients from fresh, plant based  foods. Foods derived from animal flesh and secretions as well as cooked and/or processed products are more caloric dense, difficult to break down and  can only be managed in smaller quantities compared to their live plant counterparts. An extended period of consuming these more concentrated/non hydrating items does not lend to the body easily handling foods which are more fibrous and in  some cases a bit more robust in intercellular structure. Some examples include cruciferous vegetables - cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts , asparagus and more. One way to ' ease into ' these foods is to lightly blanch them in warm water before consuming, whilst not destroying all  the enzymes in the food source. Taking a digestive enzyme of plant source before meals containing cruciferous vegetables most times seem to help this situation. These tips may be employed until the body transitions fully into ‘raw’ functioning.

Other factors which  can trigger bloating issues include:

A. Eating too swiftly and taking in undue air which may  build up in the abdomen and cause  undue uneasiness.

B. General food combining may be another factor which results in these issues. This suggests taking it simply and at the least having mono fruit meals until the stomach acclimatizes to this new modality of functioning. Please join us next weekend(May 5, 2017) for Part II.

Millennial Self Love

Hey, guys, I know I haven't been posting as much and I'm sorry about that; I'm just tired. I am so tired! Being a grown up is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Oh, how I miss being a kid! My mom did everything for me I wanted for nothing. Now looking back I don't know how she did it.

I am attempting (and failing at) to work a full tim job, pay my bills, take care of my fur babies, give my marriage the attention it deserves, maintain long distant friendships, and being the daughter and sister my family deserves. Somewhere in that list of things I have forgotten the most important part of life is taking care of yourself.

In order to accomplish everything I need to accomplish I have manage to place myself on the back burner. In order to have more time for all my other responsibilities I have cut out my personal time that I had been using to practice my spirituality.

I am one overwhelmed, vaguely human shaped, mess that's just trying to adult semi-effectively.

I partly blame my states school systems for not effectively preparing me for the world outside of academia and standardized testing, another part blames society and social media for promoting consumerism and the keeping up with the Jones' mentality, but the largest part of me blames myself.

Trying to be everything for everyone has left me so incredibly worn down and isolated.

I used to think I was alone in the way I was feeling, but that's just statistically not true. While part of me knew that my feelings were shared by many other's it's easy to get engulfed in those negative feelings.

So, how do we manage these negative feelings?

The first thing you have to do is acknowledge them. Identify the negative feelings you're feeling and bring them and star giving them some conscious thought. Nothing was ever solved by pretending it wasn't there. 

For me this was something I struggled with. I am the queen of bottling up my feelings and placing them on a shelf so that I can accomplish the everyday tasks I need to accomplish. It's a little difficult to brush your teeth and cry at the same time.
Then for the hardest part. TAKE. YOURSELF. OFF. THE. BACK. BURNER. You have to take care of number one first and foremost. Now I know I'm talking a big talk, and 9/10 I can't walk the walk, but it's something I'm working towards.

My first step was reconnecting with my spirituality by doing yoga meditation. I simply took ten minutes right before bed to yoga meditate and it's been the domino that has started positive effects.

You don't always have to do a 180 sometimes a baby step is all you need.


Raw Plantain Porridge

Raw Plantain Porridge

Serving Size : 2 medium sized bowls.

3-4 whole medium sized ripe plantains ( Black skin- soft orange fruit inside).

 1-1.5  cups of Water

Pomegranate seeds. As many  as desired (1/2 - 1 cup.).

Other options: spirulina, chopped bananas.


Blend 4 whole peeled plantains in 1.5 cups of  spring water until smooth. Add more water or reduce to 1 cup for desired consistency.

Sprinkle with nutmeg if desired. Add slices of ripe bananas to taste if desired,  and top and/or immerse with pomegranate seeds . Enjoy a filling breakfast  at any meal time!

Vegan Deodorant Test

Let’s face it deodorants are bad for you. At least the ones in stores are.  Most contain chemicals that can cause a lot of problems like cancer or blocked sweat glands. Most are even made with sneaky animal ingredients! Yuck. So I decided to make the switch to a vegan, animal friendly deodorant. But which one was the best?

There is a trick to switching to a vegan deodorant that most people don’t realize. You have to sweat out the bad stuff. I don’t mean go without deodorant but you can. I mean your body has to get rid of the stuff you’ve been using and get into a normal cycle again. This process takes about two weeks and it is just a detox cycle for your pits. It’s totally normal to produce more sweat or even be a little slinkier than normal. This lasted for about a week and a half for me. I just made sure I had extra in my bag to reapply. Once I detoxed I could tell if the deodorant was working.

Side note: I only tried three brands and I know there are tons out there. If I missed one that you love, let me know!! Maybe I will do a part two.

Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant
Cost: Around $3.99
This was the first one I tried after my detox period. I bought two scents: fresh apricot and unscented. The apricot had a nice, clean smell. It applies almost sticky and I always felt kind of wet. This is a deodorant not an antiperspirant so it will only make you smell good. It will not make you stop sweating. While I did like the scent, it didn’t last long and I felt like I smelled like BO most of the day. I am a sweater and especially in 80 degree 75% humidity weather so I really wanted something a little stronger.

Adagio for Your Skin Natural Deodorant
Cost: $9.00
This brand is local-ish and handmade so I was excited to give it a try. It is a little expensive but it is made from clean ingredients and scented with essential oils. I have two scents – lavender and tea tree – and I like one over the other. I like the formula a lot. It goes on smooth and keeps me from smelling throughout the day. Depending on what I am doing I will sometimes need to reapply. It is in a handy tube so I just keep it in my bag. I like the tea tree scent better because the lavender can be a little overpowering. Otherwise I really liked this one, I just wish it wasn’t $9.00.

DIY Version!!
Cost: less than $2.00 a batch
Not only is this one super easy to make but it is also the best version I have tried. This original recipe came from Trash is for Tossers and wasn’t intended to be a vegan deodorant. It was intended to be a zero waste version. It’s a win-win for me! I love this deodorant. It is soft, silky and really does get the job done. I made mine with tea tree oil because I found that works best for me but you can experiment with essential oils. Lavender and lemongrass would be good too. They all kill bacteria and that’s what makes sweat smell! I did change the recipe a little because arrowroot powder is hard to find and expensive in my area but you can easily replace it with cornstarch.

Now I make my own and apply it every morning. I keep the Adagio tea tree in my bag incase I need to reapply or it gets hot. The Tom’s of Maine sits in my bathroom cabinet and is never used.

Detoxify with Juices – Cleansing Juices

Detoxify with Juices – Cleansing Juices

One of the best ways to embark on a juice detox is, to make your own concoctions. And as previously stated,  5 or less ingredients are the best, keeping it simple at all times is key. We must be cognizant of the fact that, these regimens are as effective as the protocol within which it is incorporated, example- as one engages in a kidney and/or liver flush, it should be administered on the weekend or time off from work when the mind is not rushed and mindful activities, particularly those first thing in the morning ones  are possible. Additionally, these protocols are far more effective when coupled with:

i) . Colonics or enemas. Under supervision.
ii). Lymph moving exercises, such as rebounding 5-6 times per week for at least 15 minutes, the longer, the better.

As stated before, simple combinations are the very best recipes, both on the pocket as well as the organs of the body. In fact, these combinations are often the ones which aid with organ detox. These may include but not be limited to:

Detoxification of The Liver
Cleaning  the colon.
Washing the gall bladder
Scrubbing the lungs.

Detoxification of The Liver

The liver, gall bladder as well as the kidney Flush tend to go hand in hand.  Standard Ingredients for these organs are: dandelion,  freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, beetroot juice . Using these key items in recipes can be significantly effective in protocols designed to flush the named organs.

For example, the liver is aided along a thorough cleansing regimen with a grapefruit juice combination. Alternately, daily liver, kidney and gallbladder supporting combinations include:

Beet + carrot + ginger

Dandelion + watermelon flesh,  skin and  rind.

Apple + kale + lime or orange juice.

Garlic +green tea + cane juice. 

Kidney supporting combinations include:

Spirulina + Watermelon flesh,  skin and  rind.

Celery, blueberries and/or blackberries.

Apple + lime juice + Coconut water

Lemon juice + water

Cranberry +  Watermelon

Scrubbing the lungs.

The health of the lungs is best helped along by turmeric combinations, a strong anti inflammatory food,  which when consumed is a potent mucus removing agent. Scrub your lungs daily with:

Turmeric + pineapple shots.

Grape juice + ginger + turmeric.

Parsley, orange, pineapple, turmeric, ginger

Cilantro, lime, apple.

Cleaning  the colon.

The colon is a very important eliminating organ. The health of your colon is key to the overall health of one’s anatomy. Look to dark leafy greens to  help your colon through each day and include the following. . .

Moringa + pineapple + coconut water + dates.

Collard greens + dates + ginger+ celery.

Parsley + apple+  lime + pineapple.
All juices are to be prepared fresh and ideally consumed within 10 minutes of making. Let’s juice to the health of it! 

Recipe!! Vegan Pretzel Bread

Vegan Pretzel Bread

  • 4 Cups of All purpose white non bleached flour.
  • ⅓ cup melted vegan butter. I use earth balance.
  • 1⅓ cup of warm water.
  • 1 pinch of salt.
  • some coarse salt to decorate.
Yeast proofing:
  • 2¼ tsp of yeast + ½ tsp of sugar + ¼ tsp of warm water.
Alkaline bath:
  • 6 cups of water + 2 Tbsp of baking soda.

  1. Take all your yeast proofing ingredients and mix them together. Set aside until it foams and doubles in size.
  2. Mix your flour and sugar.
  3. Add the proofed yeast and melted butter.
  4. Set your stand mixer to low speed and add your water very slowly.
  5. Once you use all your water is used. Set the speed to high and let it sit for 5-6 minutes.
  6. Take your dough out. It should be very sticky.
  7. Cut into 4-6 pieces and shape it into 4-6 balls.
  8. Oil a baking sheet, place your 4-6 dough balls in there, leaving at least 3-4 inches in between.
  9. Cover with a towel and let rise for 45 minutes or until it doubles in size.
  10. Prepare your alkaline bath by putting the water in a large pot and bringing it to a boil. Add your baking soda.
  11. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  12. Using a very sharp knife, make a couple of cuts in your dough and boil them for 1-2 minutes. Make sure you boil them one at a time
  13. Lightly grease your pan and put your dough balls on the pan, make sure you are leaving about 2 inches between each ball on all sides
  14. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

How Do We Detoxify With Juices Part II

How Do We Detoxify With Juices
Part II

Following up from last week' s topic on juicing, the protocol of juicing is one which is deemed as a healthy fad, but as with all things it is only healthy if approached the right way, includes the right ingredients and employed/incorporated within a healthy lifestyle regimen.
These guidelines are easier to incorporate than one may realise at the onset. It is highly recommended therefore, that persons with eating disorders seek supervision of some kind, before undertaking a juicing protocol.

To jump start this process for persons interested in embarking on a healthier lifestyle, as cleansing can begin with daily juicing whilst incorporating an all whole food( fresh fruits and vegetable - ideally) diet I will suggest some juice recipes one can incorporate in their daily intake. One of the key things to include in any kind of recipe is ' keep it simple', the body essentially processes one ingredient  at different rates at a time most efficiently, it is therefore best to not exceed 5 different ingredients in any given recipe such as a juice combination.

Some key ingredients for these juices along with a few recipes are listed below:

Parsley, one of my favourites,  is a herb which is not only beneficial , but detoxing as well, with its touted heavy metal removing properties. This makes it a key component of juices when on a cleansing protocol. Make yourselves a daily dose of parsley,   apple( American organic Granny Smith, Pink Lady or Golden Delicious, or Purple/fully ripe Jamaican Otaeiti apple ), pineapple, ginger. Substitute cilantro for the parsley if desired

Pineapple not only packs in additional nutrients, it is a natural sweetener, if one wishes to have one. For the ‘untrained' palette, most of the juices recommended will contain 'trainer ‘ ingredients which help beginners to transition to a healthier way of tasting, thinking and creating juices as well as smoothies and of course  meals. One healthy and natural sweetener not embraced often enough is freshly pressed organic cane juice. Cane juice is packed with nutrients such as , iron and magnesium. Most diabetics tolerate this sweetener well, in comparison to artificial, processed sugars.

Parsley being such a well received ingredient of choice, I shall share a few other ingredient combinations, such as:

Parsley( 1 bundle/handful) + turmeric( 1 inch fresh root or 1 teaspoon organic powder) + pineapple( 1 cup)  + ginger( 1 oz shot concentrated or 2 inches fresh root). Turmeric is a high anti inflammatory, anticancer, antibacterial, antifungal spice which should be part of everyone' s daily intake. Paired with a heavy metal remover(parsley) and vitamin C rich ingredient(pineapple), this is a combination worth keeping as a regular 'go to' beverage when thirsty or just in need of a tasty treat. Substitute spirulina for the parsley if desired.

Other combinations which are  beneficial and worthy of daily consumption also include:

Parsley + dates + coconut water. Coconut water adds flavour, a good source of some fats, electrolytes and natural sugars, it enhances the properties of parsley whilst hydrating the dates, which themselves pack in sweetness and nutrient goodness.

Try your hand at  a parsley savoury gem which is a combination of parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, celery and dates for a liquid raw soup concoction. Be bold and incorporate new and invigorating juice concoctions !

Parsley + lime juice + orange+  pineapple+ ginger. This is detoxifying and refreshing. Give this concoction a frequent try !

Love your liver ? I think you do - therefore introduce beet( 1 medium root )and carrot(2-3 med)with some ginger ( 1 oz shot or if you are 'broken in', step it up a notch). If beet is new to your taste buds, reduce the quantity or add dates to your liking. Because carrot and beet are sweet root vegetables, the need for a sweetener is significantly reduced for those with a sweet tooth.

Watercress, cucumbers, apple, ginger.

Next week, we will focus on cleansing juices specifically for the liver, kidney and other organs. Stay tuned!

DIY Laundry Powder and Fabric Softener Crystals

In my efforts to be more zero waste I decided to make my own laundry powder and fabric softener crystals. I tried a couple of versions and finally settled on one that I thought really cleaned my clothes and helped keep them static free and smelling really good.

Making your own laundry powder and fabric softener crystals take almost no time, money or effort to make. You most likely have the ingredients already! All you do is mix and you are good to go. No more running to the store and spending almost $10 on something that is full of chemicals.

Laundry Powder (original recipe from here)
1 C. Borax
1C. Washing Soda
1 Bar of Soap
Essential Oils (optional)

Grate the bar of soap and mix the borax and washing soda and viola! You are done. Use about 1-2 tablespoons per load. If the load needs some extra stain fighting I will use 2 tablespoons. If it is just a simple load of towels or lightly soiled clothing then I just use 1 tablespoon.

I use Fels Neptha soap most of the time. I like the extra stain fighting power from the soap. Sometimes I will use Kirk’s Castille bar soap if I am out of Fels Neptha. Either one is good and makes the cloths super clean. I was really impressed.

You can add essential oils to both the powder and fabric softener crystals for bonus scent. It won’t be super noticeable and I think the scent doesn’t last as long as traditional laundry detergent but it is nice. I usually do a combination of lavender and lemon essential oil but I also love to throw in rosemary oil as well.

Fabric Softener Crystals (original recipe from here)
4 Cups Epsom Salt
40 Drops Essential Oils

This is the easiest thing in the world. Just mix the ingredients and you are good to go! You typically use about ¼ cup per load and you add it to your load when you add your laundry powder. When the clothes, towels, whatever comes out of the dryer they will be static free and super soft. I love it! Dryer sheets are not good for the environment or your dryer so this is a great alternative. Again, use whatever essential oils you want. For this batch I used 30 lavender and 10 rosemary. Rosemary tends to be a little more fragrant than other oils.

This is the easiest change to becoming zero waste in my opinion. You control what goes into what you use, you customize the scent and you reuse the container. It’s so easy to create your own versions of the things you use everyday!

How do we detoxify with juices

How do we detoxify with juices

How do we detoxify with juices? Start with acquiring a good juicer. One that will serve you for a number of years, such as the Omega J8006 or Greenstar (for more info on Juicing, read my previous article: 'What is Juice Feasting and why is it beneficial':

After securing your juicer of choice, make a list of ingredients for your juices: fresh fruits and vegetables with some herbs and spices if you wish.  Separate the ‘dirty dozen’- see
 (as they may be available at set locations depending on where you are) from the conventional et al. decide where you will source your produce: farmers' market or co-op, local supplier. Most supermarkets do not stock fresh produce, and may have items harvested some time before they were shelved. Always be cognizant of this when seeking fresh fruits and vegetables.  Be mindful also, of the fact that imported fruits and vegetables are not your ideal options, however, in a non ideal world, if this is your best option, it is far better to go that route than to opt out of juicing or including more fruits and vegetables in your daily intake of food. Having in season fruits and vegetables in their ripe/readiness to eat state is what you want to be doing at all times. Get your fresh ingredients for 2-3 days and replenish as needed.
Always seek to gauge the length of time for which you plan to juice ~ short term ~ 3-7 +days or medium 8- 15+1 days, or long term : 21- 90+ days. This timeframe is dependent solely on what the person wishes to achieve. Juicing short term is good for the reasons such as  (i) Giving the body ' s system a break from intense digesting energy thus 'freeing' up some for other uses and allowing for rejuvenation ( ii) Allowing for breaking away from addictions to stimulants and food addictions, say spices, salt etc ( drugs and heavy stimulants require a long term stint).  Medium term juicing is most effective for a weight reset, losing weight over a short period and/or to reset the palette for sugars, salts, oils and more. The long term juicing can result in all of the aforementioned with added benefits such as reversal of diabetes (Type II) and other ailments, under supervision ideally. It is always recommended that persons with a medical condition check with their health care provider before embarking on a juicing protocol. Personal Coaching is also offered to persons in need of this service.

In the effort of detoxing, one of the key things to recall is to keep all juices low fat and low protein (at least 10% each of daily caloric intake) so as not to overwork the kidneys and adrenals (defeating the whole purpose of the feast)   - Look out for my upcoming guide to juices on ' Juice Recipes to Cleanse From Inside Out.' The body expends A LOT of energy, in the breaking down of proteins (amino acids) and fat, versus carbohydrates which most fruits are composed of, along with some percentage of fat and protein.  Carbohydrates are the ' clean ' fuel of the body, broken down to simple sugar by the body, there is not that ' burn out' effect that is experienced with less effective sources such as protein and fat. These dietary components are more effective when building rather than healing of the body.

This is also a good way to lose unwanted weight, in a healthy manner, being mindful of the fact that many persons abuse juicing as a means of restricting calories for significant weight loss. Although general juicing for health is designed to aid the body by affording it a time of ' rest ', which means that the  calories are predominantly less than that of a solid meal ( most often than not), it is not designed primarily for weight loss. Weight loss a natural ' side effect' as the body rids itself of toxins.  If approached for this reason, it is likely that the spin off effect could be binge eating for those who suffer from this disorder.  It is therefore critical for individuals to be assessed thoroughly by their coach or family mental health provider, counselor or the like wherever possible. This, of course is in the ideal world. Where not possible, coaches should duly engage in a legal binding contractual agreement which takes in to deep consideration the wellbeing (mental and physical health) of the client. Look out next week for more on this including some juice recipes.