Radishes & Greens Salad

Can you say DELICIOUS!

Yup, that would be this salad AND the dressing, a combo deal for sure.

Original recipe is from the book


Creative Raw Cooking by Mercé Passola & Edgard Viladevall – thank you for the inspiration!!

Adaptations are all my own. ?

Recipe:

  • 1 heaping cup lightly pulsed radishes
  • 1 heaping cup peeled and chopped apple
  • Greens – as much as you want. I used a medium size serving bowl and filled it with a mix of Spinach, Swiss chard and Mizuna. More weighty and dense than light spring greens and with good flavor.

Dressing

  • 6 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Half a juicy lemon
  • Herbs! ? I used 2 Tbl each of Basil and Thyme, chopped fine.

Combine, shake, pour over the salad and ENJOIE!

Today I Woke Up Happy

Day 3 and due to a super late night I was sleeping ? in so was woken up by the dogs wanting a potty break. The daylight wakes them up but they usually give us till 8 or 9 after super late bedtimes.

Kerwin let them out (thank you! ??) and as I lay there I realized I was happy. Tired and sleepy yes, but HAPPY and feeling good. Woohooo!!

I recall just a couple weeks back waking up and wondering when I would ever WANT to get up, or feel great upon waking up. Even waking up before my alarm I’d be almost sleep walking and kinda crabby, at least till I woke up. Kerwin would probably say a lot crabby. LOL. Not today. ?

I expect it’s the off loading of the recent cheese and my body doing a reset but I’m down 2.5 lbs.

What am I eating?

I have been eating practically non-stop these last two days! Nibbling and snacking on whatever Raw was in the fridge, I love leftovers!!, or pantry.

Made a fabulously yummy Nacho Cheeze, ate walnut taco meat with romaine lettuce from the garden, arugula / orange salad is made and ready to go with a very unusual, intensely flavorful tomato based dip type sauce for a “dressing”, fudge balls with coffee and my non-coffee peppermint mocha, oranges and oranges, flax crackers with almond butter and dates alternating with dipping the crackers in the nacho cheeze.

The worst thing you can do when eating Raw, or starting on any eating change I would imagine, is get hungry. So I’m heading that challenge off!

How do I FEEL?

And get this, I feel so LIGHT! Different than how I feel after eating cooked healthy foods. Still way better than the bloat I got from junk foods but not this lightness. I don’t know the right words to express it exactly but I feel beautifully empty inside this morning! Not sluggish or needing a kick start, my stomach woke up ready for whatever fuel I want to give it but I’m okay and not hungry yet.

What’s on the menu today?

I have radishes I’ve been stockpiling LOL, kale, spinach, Swiss chard and a couple other greens in my veggie bag to do something with today. I found a radish recipe I’m going to try out. ??

And that’s all she wrote. I’m off to LIVE the day!

Until next time- Choose You, Choose Joie!

Larkin is such a good snuggler. ??

Nacho Cheezie Dip

Yes you CAN eat Raw and have all the fun flavors you love! And even find new flavors to love.

This recipe is a perfect example of a new flavor. I personally have never liked the neon orange nacho cheese; gas stations have it, it comes in a jar, it’s pourable…always grossed me out. Real cheese doesn’t work that way. If I got nachos at a restaurant I wanted grated cheese that was melted over them.

This recipe is the best I’ve ever made for a “cheese” like flavor and overall awesomeness.

Recipe

  • 2 cups Raw Cashews – soaked for 4-6 hours or overnight.
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 cup Orange Bell Pepper (Red might be even better) – rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion – rough chopped
  • 1 Tbl Chipotle Powder (the key secret ingredient. You ‘could’ use Smoked Paprika but why would you? ?)
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder (or a little less if you don’t want a kick)
  • 2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil (the quality of your oil DOES matter)
  • 2 Tbl Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • Garlic, salt and black pepper to taste. (I love garlic which has a bite so start slow so you don’t overdo it in combo with the chili powder)
  • Water as needed for creaminess. I used about 1/4 cup, adding little by little.

Blend all ingredients in a food processor till as smooth as you can get it. Transfer to a blender and keeping adding water till it’s super smooth and the spreadable / dip-able texture you want.

If you have a Vita-Mix blender you could skip the food processor step. You’ll have to add some water sooner to keep the blender going.

This is a great dip for a crudités of veggies, on flax crackers, or over your Walnut Taco Meat! ? You could even use it as a base and add whatever additional spices or herbs you want to go with the dish you’re making.

I’d love to hear back after you make it! What yummy adjustments did you make, what did you eat it with…comment below and share!

Here She Goes Again!

#Raw4Joie is back!

After several months of sea-sawing between raw and cooked foods I have decided it is time to make another change.

“The Plan” had been to eat all Raw & Living Foods and then that morphed into 80/20 (raw/cooked). I started tracking it and I realized how easy it was to have a whole day go by and not eat ANY Raw foods.

Granted, I was still eating clean, healthy, no meat, no added sugar and no processed white/wheat flours but it was Cooked. And not needing to eat the same quantity of food anymore, I could make one cooked meal for me and my honey and nibble on it all day. Raw Ruh Roh! Feelings of vim and vigor, the spark of LIFE, real Zest and Passion, all start to diminish, incrementally.

I hadn’t gained any weight so the scale was of no help to catch the slide.

I found that an easy way to use the greens in my weekly CSA veggie bag from the local Farm (Quail Hollow Farm) is to saute them up with onions, garlic, seasonings and whatever other veggies I have on hand. It’s more familiar, right? Yet it feels like sacrilege! Such FRESH, better than organic, life sustaining nutrients, that I wiped out by applying heat. Makes me sad.

What to do?

I go to a BBQ with friends and knowing there will be lots of items I don’t want to eat, even the Vegan Garden Burger is not Raw. I take a raw salad, yummy desert AND my most amazing flax crackers so I can eat them with the fresh guacamole that is sure to be there. I’m prepared! Somehow I CHOOSE to eat slice after slice of processed CHEESE. At one point I’m hearing my body tell me to stop, I still eat a couple more slices before I listen. No joke, right then and there I felt myself starting to get sick, the cheese curdling in my stomach. On the drive home I sneeze and feel my nose start to get congested. Hah! Serves me right! How amazing is my body that it so quickly starts cleansing my system and pushing the mucus forming, inflammatory dairy products out of my system. I’m grateful! It sucks though too. ?

I think, what if?

What if everyone’s body spoke to them so clearly and quickly? What if people weren’t already overwhelmed with the load of toxins and environmental pollutants that their liver is unable to handle so their bodies are only able to store them until they build up and disease breaks out?

I answered myself: NO ONE would eat cheese. If you felt immediate effects from eating toxic food, you would stop. (she types as she again sneezes.) Whatever food it was.

Yup, I am stopping. I know I chose to jump off the wagon and eat the cheese due to feeling frustrated with where I was at in not being on target with my “plan” mentioned above. I got the answer I was looking for, time to implement a new plan. LOL

I’ve been learning an incredible amount of applied knowledge on this healing journey and am retraining my brain to think differently, to choose me. I’ve learned a lot more about preparing raw foods, tested recipes to find my favorite go-to’s and “un-cooking” is becoming more normal, full of all the flavors I love and EASY to be doable on an everyday basis. I am ready to be on the path of Raw and Living foods. I know I can do it, I want to do it and I’ve proven that regardless of what any experts, nutritionists, the infamous “they” or trendy diet plans say, I feel most VIBRANT and so full of LIFE when I consistently eat Raw and Living foods; It’s not debatable.

I’ve also proven that trying to be less than 100% while making it a true lifestyle change doesn’t work for me. It’s like a friend shared today regards her own health journey, you need to be all in, no “Cheat Days”. Still eating 20% cooked is cheating and defeating the purpose. If I believe eating RAW food is the best way to live and isn’t a diet but my lifestyle, what am I telling myself when I default to cooking something?

Don’t get me wrong, anything you do to take a step towards health IS a good thing. One raw meal, one grapefruit instead of a bowl of ice cream are wonderful choices and your body will thank you for them. Keep doing them!

My story has been what feels like a lifetime in the making. Many failures over years and years, with some wins mixed it here and there, until finally 2017/2018 was The Year. Doing it My Way and making the choices to change that worked for me, in a way that worked for me. Now there is no going backwards! There is no standing still, you’re either moving ahead or falling back.

Today marks Day 1 and the new beginning of eating All Raw & Living Foods!

Will I do it for life? Most likely. Why give up what makes me feel so good???That being said, I am going to document it for the first 32 days and that’s all I’m committing to at this point. ?

So here is to the journey and the next 32 days of the rest of my life! Ecstatic only scratches the surface of how I’m feeling! Joyful, confident, proud, creative, filled with anticipation, jumping up and down and giddy with glee are a few more applicable descriptives.

Stay tuned for my reflections as I go and of course all the recipes. 🙂 Please feel free to ask questions! I’d love for my story and experiences to help YOU on your journey to greater health and vitality.

You are welcome to join my Facebook group for more on this topic and to be around other healthy-minded people: Joie To Your Health! Eat. Move. Love

Until next time, Choose Joie! 🙂

Reflections on Health

2018 #day58 ~ as good a time as any to share my recent Reflections on my health journey.

Health isn’t promised to us so why do I take it for granted?

Why do I choose what brings Ill-health and disease?

Yes I “can” eat whatever I want. But why do I want to? It’s not like I can say I don’t know better.

Every day I wake up with choices to be made. Every day I move in the direction of greater health and wellness or I decline, no standing still.

Food is fuel and the type of fuel I put in the tank is up to me, no one else.

NOTHING tastes as great as health FEELS, this I have learned personally. It’s not a sacrifice to say no to sugar laden foods, it’s not even about being deprived. So what if you ARE deprived? Would you rather be sick ? ? ? and satisfied with eating all you crave or Healthy and deprived of sugar, dairy, toxins, chemicals?

Its not about the challenges experienced trying to eat out, it’s not about explaining to friends who don’t understand, its not about dealing with cravings, it’s not about having to wait 10 hours for flax crackers to be ready, it’s not about taking snacks with you everywhere you go, it’s not about going cross-eyed reading labels, it’s not about disliking to exercise….

The plain and simple truth is, its saying YES! to health, mental clarity, rejuvenating sleep, vitality, joy, laughter, being ALIVE, full of passion and living a vibrant life. If that matters enough to you, then you’ll do WHATEVER it takes, without question.

I am choosing to celebrate saying yes to my health, with every choice I make, with every bite of food I put in my mouth, with every way I move my body, with how I show myself love and grace. I will focus on what I’m doing right, not the challenges or difficulties; they are only there because I let them be, because I focus on them.

Curry Sweet Potato Pasta

Sharing this most amazing sweet potato pasta recipe, courtesy of Cara Brotman here. This is a go to recipe when you need a change up from fresh green leafy salads and are craving something rich, savory, super filling that is packed full of flavor. It is one of my raw favorites!

Recipe:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, spiralized
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped raw nuts (almonds & hazelnuts are great)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions (spring onions work well too!)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup mint

Curry Almond Sauce

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 6 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce / Liquid Aminos / Tamari
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, or to taste

Start with the Curry Almond Sauce, adding all of ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients, sweet potatoes – mint, stir well and Enjoy!

*due to the coconut oil, if not eaten right away the sauce will harden in the fridge. Just take it out and let it sit on the counter a bit to warm up before eating. I like to make it the same day and leave it out on the counter until dinner to allow the flavors to marinate and so the noodles are able to be twirled on my fork, like spaghetti. lol

Kerwin used the angel hair blade on the spiralizer to make the pasta in the photo and it turned out fabulous! More noodle for the sauce to cling to. ??

I haven’t tried this with the pomegranate seeds yet but I’m sure it’s wonderful!

Raw Unroasted Almonds

Top Secret Reveal!

Here is my tried and perfected recipe for making The Best Unroasted Almonds. It’s all in the details.

~Start with RAW Almonds ?

~Soak them overnight in fresh water. The nuts will absorb a lot of water and expand so put plenty of extra to keep the nuts covered.

~Drain and rinse them in the morning. *If you are pressed for time, just put new fresh water covering the nuts, place them in the fridge and you can get to them later. With daily rinsing and fresh water the nuts will keep in the fridge for 5 days so you can always have a batch soaked and ready to go for various recipes.

~Place rinsed nuts on a dehydrator tray, spread out so they are in a single layer. Dehydrate for 1 hour at 105°.

~Dump dried nuts into a big bowl

~Drizzle Olive Oil (cold pressed) and mix. You only want to “lightly” coat the nuts so the seasonings will stick, too much oil and they’ll never get the ‘pop’ or light crunch you’re looking for. So start slow, mix, and add more oil as needed.

~Add Seasonings. Below is my all time favorite mix but this is customizable to your taste buds of course.

Pink Salt – FINE Ground

Garlic Powder

Chipotle Powder

Cayenne

First 3 are pretty equal amounts, the cayenne I use about 1/4 the amount, just to give a tiny kick. Don’t worry about the quantity of salt, Himalayan Pink Salt is good for you. ?? The nuts honestly won’t taste the same without enough salt, it brings out the flavor of the other spices and once you bite in the flavors all blend with the nuts to create a mouth watering savor burst of flavor.

*One thing to note is Be Generous! Put on way more seasonings than you think you’ll need. Taste the nuts and keep adding until the balance is there and it’s bit too strong. Some will fall off as it’s dehydrating and the flavors will soften. Bland nuts are just no fun, trust me. Also, you want to taste the spices, not the oil. Add more spices if you taste mostly oil. Or add more nuts to thin out the amount of oil.

~Put back on the dehydrator trays and “roast” at 110° until the cows come home. Seriously, just leave it going for 2-3 days, periodically testing them. When you like the pop and crunch pull them out, let them cool and store them in the pantry. They won’t last long enough to get old LOL. Way to yummy.

*I like glass canning jars to store them. Ziplock bags makes the nuts not look as appealing and I swear they don’t hold the crunch the same way. ?‍♀️ They are good though to use for carrying nuts with you for on the go snacking.

I was excited to find them on sale at Sprouts this week in the bulk section. So I made a big batch! Not sure if I’m going to show them to Kerwin or not. Haha ?

After many soggy, chewy, bland batches of nuts I am excited to have found a recipe that WORKS!! I want you to skip past my failures ? so feel free to ask questions! I hope you give these nuts a go and share how they turn out for you!

Mostly Raw Carrot Cake Muffins

Muffin Base

  • 1 cup walnuts (not soaked)
  • 1 cup Medjool dates
  • 2 cups grated carrots, squeezed tightly through a nut milk bag to remove as much excess moisture as possible.
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp pink salt (or more to taste)
  • 3/4 cup raisins

Icing

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked 1+ hours
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (you could use agave instead or probably honey too)
  • Few shakes of pink salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Water (reserve)

Instructions

Base

  • Blend the dates and walnuts in a food processor till they are crumbly, but holding together.
  • Add carrots and spices. (I pulsed the carrorts innmy food processor to save manually grating baby carrots. Lol) Process till the mix has taken the form of a smooth “dough.” It will take a minute or two.
  • Add raisins and pulse or stir in to combine.

Icing

  • Drain and rinse cashews, put in a food processor with maple syrup, salt and lemon. Process until the mixture is well combined. With the motor running, add just enough water as the motor is running to get the consistency you want. Keep checking. Tasting helps too. ?
  • Push the carrot cake dough into six muffin tins or ramekins, gently drop a heaping Tablespoon of icing to each and put in freezer for about two hours so they’ll set enough to be removed from the muffin tin while holding their shape.
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • These can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

Tip – if you stretch the base to make 7 muffins you can set one aside to be sure of having a “leftover” while still having an even number to put out for guests. ?

This is me doing that very thing and having a muffin for breakfast the next day. Lol. It filled me up for hours!

Ice Cold Wet Sock Treatment

Want to say goodbye to a migraine? Or perhaps you have a cold or flu? Does healing without drugs, shots or vaccines that destroy your immune system sound good to you? If so, read on!

And nope, this solution doesn’t require any gross concoctions, juices or hot toddies either. lol. Although those can be supportive too. 😉

This treatment however, does tap into nature’s powerhouse to rally your own body defenses to work FOR you to combat the sickness or eliminate the migraine.

It’s FREE too.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 pair of very thin cotton type socks
  • 1 pair of thick wool socks
  • 1 bowl of ice water

Seriously. This has been tried and tested by yours truly.

How does it work? It stimulates your immune system, helps you to sleep, and makes the migraine go away! As crazy as it sounds what have you got to lose by giving it a go? You don’t have to tell anyone else what you did. LOL

It works because your body now has a new job, to heat you up, so it shifts focus (forgetting about your migraine) and increases blood circulation, which also stimulates the immune system. Viruses stand no chance against an immune system that is ready to go!

By increasing the circulation it also decreases congestion. Congestion, runny nose and sneezing are the top reasons cold sufferers hit the medicine cabinet for those over the counter drugs that numb you up, right? You can’t breathe and that’s a mite important. Challenge with those over the counter drugs is they numb you up and block your body from doing it’s job to heal you. Runny noses and sneezing are beautiful things! They get the junk OUT of your system.

Another bonus is the amazing sedating effect, you’ll find yourself dosing off 20 or 30 minutes after putting the wet socks on. Hallelujah! Perhaps because the pain is going away, you can breathe better, the fever is working itself out, or because your body is busy working and knows you heal better when resources don’t have to be spent keeping you up and about…either way, sleep is a wonderful thing.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Soak the pair of thin socks in the bowl of ice water.
  • Soak your feet in a hot bath for 10 minutes. This is very important for treatment to work, the hotter your feet and the colder the ice water, the better. *If you’ve already been cozy in bed and your feet are very warm, no need to soak.
  • Wring out the soaking socks so they do not drip.
  • Place ice-cold wet socks on feet.
  • Cover with thick wool socks.
  • Go directly to bed, snuggle up and try to relax. Do not pass Go! and do not collect $200.

You’ll fall asleep in 20 minutes or so and wake up headache free. Or be well on your way to relieving your ailment.

*If you have a cold or flu wear the socks overnight. During the night, you may wake up with your whole body wet from sweat. Fever is a great thing! It’s how your body fights off invaders. Simply change into dry PJ’s, leaving the socks on. The wet socks will be dry in the morning.

Repeat daily for colds and flu as needed. Start using at the first symptom to get a jump start and lesson the overall severity of your ailment.

I keep a few pairs of socks always on hand for whenever they might be needed.

Random side note: If you have dogs, I recommend keeping old socks on hand for them too as they are the best for wrapping injured paws and preventing licking. 😊 They have been a lifesaver for me.

I don’t wish a migraine on you by any means, but…I hope you’ll keep socks in mind the next time!

Reishi – The Queen of Mushrooms

Medicinal mushrooms, like Reishi, are adaptogens and celebrated for their anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Reishi has long been revered as a magical elixir in Chinese medicine, reserved for royalty.
The healing benefits of Reishi are so off the charts it’s worth teaching yourself to LOVE it and finding creative ways to use it in delicious meals, teas and infusions. Even if you’re not a fan of the taste or texture or mushrooms (I’ve hated mushrooms my whole life till I learned how beneficial they are and discovered unique ways to prepare them.) Many of the medicinal mushroom are more commonly found in an extracted intense powder form that can be used in numerous ways and taste quite unlike the mushrooms you find on a standard pizza. ?

So what exactly are Adaptogens?

It’s a naturally occurring nontoxic substance that protects the body from stress by stabilizing and optimizing it’s physiological functions. Which means they protect you from disease, boost your immunity and promote overall health and wellness. Other adaoptogens are ginseng root, holy basil, cordyceps. The really brilliantly amazing function of an adaptogen is that it helps in a non-specific way, so it “adapts” to what YOUR body needs. How cool is that??

Here’s a recap of some of the benefits you can experience with consistent usage, again though, depending on what help your body is in need of. If your blood sugar is already stable, or you don’t have allergies….

Summary of Reishi Benefits:
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Seasonal allergy relief
  • Anti-Aging, both Internally AND Externally (it’s also called the “mushroom of immortality” for a reason ?)
  • Helps prevents tumor growth and cancer
  • Improves liver function and detoxification
  • Stabilizes Blood Sugar
  • Supports cardiovascular system for heart health and lowering blood pressure
  • Balances Hormones naturally. Supporting and balancing the endocrine system ensures your body is able to repair itself at night, leading to an increase in quality and duration of sleep and peak functioning during the day.
  • Boosts immune function to protect against pathogens – like bacteria, viruses and parasites.
  • Improves cognitive functioning

Consuming medicinal mushrooms should be a part of your daily health & wellness routine.

Here is my super yummy Hot Chocolate recipe using Reishi

For more information on Reishi, Chaga and a few of the other medicinal healing mushrooms, including recipes, check out this book:

When looking to purchase the most effective and beneficial Reishi powdered extract here are a couple things to note:

  • The label needs to state 1. “fruiting body extract” (NOT mycelium) and 2. “dual-extracted”.
  • Look for brands that have been tested against pesticides, even if they are certified organic.
  • Extracts with at least 20% polysaccharide content to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of the active ingredients.
  • Powdered EXTRACT form is the most effective delivery system, as capsules (while still great) usually have fillers and lubricants added.

Here are the two I recommend:

Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary

 

 

 

 

And: