Recipes from CHI! Part 1 of 2

“Going off sugar” has always been hard for me, because the way I eat really healthy even in the face of temptation, is to tell myself, “I could have that if I wanted to. I choose not to.” (I list reasons in my head, if I’m tempted.) Or, occasionally, I say yes rather than no, and I eat chocolate! I “went off” junk food years ago, but I have never stayed completely away from sugar for more than a few months at a time.

So to tell myself, “You can’t have that” does a weird number on me psychologically, brings out my demonic inner rebel. However, I’m up for the challenge. And having things to eat, that you love, that contain no sugar or chemical sweeteners, is key! Here are some ideas I came back from CHI with.

Joyce Oliveto’s Favorite Dessert

Joyce puts a 1 quart fresh blueberries in the blender, with 3 Tbsp. date paste (you can make this with dates and a little water), and a pinch of cinnamon and vanilla powder. Layer it with soaked, chopped raw almonds. (I made this for Matthew, on my YouTube video posted yesterday!)

Chef Madeline

As I told you, Madeline is 67. Here she is in a photo with director Bobby Morgan and raw-food book author Hiawatha Cromer. When I found out how old Madeline was, I shrieked, “SHUT! UP!” (It’s a really dumb thing to say, but I live with three teenagers and stuff like that comes out of my mouth.) I finally have the picture of what I want to be when I am a full generation ahead of where I am now! She golfs competitively. She’s organized and ego-free and constantly learning and an articulate teacher. She’s just a positive-energy dynamo, and she’s sexy as heck, too. Her husband is almost 80 and is the same way!

For her recipes, there are some superfoods you might not recognize. Research them if you want—but they’re cool foods with a David Wolfe-like twist: that in the modern age, the privileged and the educated can leverage all the powerful nutrition secrets from all over the globe. (I stick to the basics because I consider my audience the Average “Jo” who needs to get more simple and cheap spinach, apples, and flax in the diet FIRST.

But maca is the best libido-enhancer I know, lucuma is a low-glycemic sweetener from a Peruvian fruit that makes caramelly-tasting raw desserts, and mesquite is from a pod in North American trees, high in protein and minerals, that regulates blood sugar and sweetens with a molasses-like caramel note.)

Madeline loves to buy stuff on—so much so that she had a laminated page she’d hold up at CHI every time there was an ingredient…in response to the question “Where do I buy that?” I just ordered some lucuma and toffee-flavored stevia there, myself, and am making this shake today. I’ve added my own twist of freezing some of it so it’s a frozen shake rather than a thinner drink like Madeline makes it.

Choca-Laca-Maca Shake

2 cups sweetened almond milk (see tomorrow’s blog)

1 frozen banana

1 Tbsp lacuma

1 Tbsp raw cacao nibs (optional)

8-10 drops toffee-flavored stevia (

2 tsp maca

1 Tbsp. mesquite

½ tsp vanilla

Freeze half the almond milk in ice cube trays. Blend frozen cubes with all remaining ingredients till smooth in BlendTec and drink immediately!

This is a delicious way to use your RAW almonds from our annual group buy, which we will kick off on approx. Oct. 1. (Almonds you buy in the store have been pasteurized, killing enzymes and making soaking them overnight mostly pointless because life, or germination, cannot occur.)