Birthday ideas…

Email from a reader:

 

My son is turning two in just a couple weeks. We have moved to the whole foods lifestyle as a family now. I have no problem breaking the rules on occassion, the problem is that my son cannot handle white flour. It consitpates him beyond words, he got that honest from Momma!

So, I am looking for an alternative to the normal birthday cakes. We tried one some time back that was a store box mix, but from Whole Foods and made with whole wheat flour. It was aweful! It was likely rancid, which would account for the really strange taste. We are used to whole grains, but I am sure the less than fluffy cake was a shock to our taste buds.

I was thinking maybe I could even make a whole grain banana bread and figure out some type of frosting to put on it. Would anyone have a recipe that would fit the part? Or any other ideas???

Thanks,

Kari

Gluten Free Live Granola & Breakfast

Jason, a 12 Steps to Whole Foods reader, shared the following recipes with us. They’re mostly raw, gluten free, and full of sprouted nutrition. He writes:

When I first got the recipes for the 12 steps, I was a little disappointed that the Live Granola contained oatmeal (my wife is gluten sensitive). I know many on this forum avoid gluten, so I thought I’d post the granola recipe we developed, as well as our favorite breakfast. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do! ~Jason (jayroo)

Sprouted Buckwheat Granola (gluten free)

This was inspired by a granola we found at the Ecopolitan, a raw restaurant in Minneapolis, MN. We go through a batch every week.

  • 4 c buckwheat groats, rinsed, soaked overnight, rinsed well (or soaked 15 minutes and sprouted 24 hours)
  • 2 c raw seeds (e.g. sunflower & pumpkin), soaked overnight, rinsed
  • 2-3 c raw nuts (e.g. almonds & pecans), soaked overnight, rinsed
  • 3 T cinnamon
  • 1/3 c raw honey, softened over medium-low heat
  • Optional: 1 T virgin coconut oil
  • 2 c dried fruit (e.g. raisins and goji berries)
  1. Optional: briefly pulse the larger nuts in a food processor (I leave them whole)
  2. In a large bowl, mix buckwheat, seeds, nuts, cinnamon, honey and coconut oil.
  3. Spread on dehydrator trays with mesh, teflex, or fruit leather sheets. Dehydrate at your preferred temp for 6-8 hours, mix, continue dehydrating until crunchy. The amount listed fills 4 trays in my Nesco dehydrator.
  4. Mix in dry fruit and store in a sealed container at room temp or in the fridge.
  5. Yields 10-12 cups

Sprouted Buckwheat Cereal (gluten free)

This was the first gourmet raw meal that my wife actually enjoyed and asked for again. She once told me I could make it for her every day.

  • 1 cup buckwheat groats, rinsed, soaked overnight, rinsed well (or soaked 15 minutes and sprouted 24 hours)
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • dash of maple syrup
  • optional: raw pecans or almonds, soaked overnight, rinsed, chopped

Process buckwheat, banana, cinnamon, and maple syrup in a food processor until creamy. Top with nuts. Serves 2.

 

raw food diet versus alkaline diet

I was having this conversation on Facebook today with a reader, and since I’m sure not all of you are my facebook friends or check in there regularly, I thought I’d share here part of the discussion:

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl (condensed question): I was feeding my kids almond milk but read that overconsumption of nuts leads to mold in the blood. What else should I use?

Answer: The most restrictive diet I know of is the alkaline diet (Robert O. Young, etc.). Well, except for the candida diet, which is even tougher. Dr. Young writes extensively in his various books of mycotoxins (mold, fungus, bacteria, and their byproducts) in the blood from eating acidic foods.

I am highly supportive of this diet but based on observation of human behavior, I don’t feel that most people will undertake it, EVEN IF THEY ARE ILL. If you want to eliminate nuts and eat totally alkaline for a period of time to overcome health challenges, good for you. Your health will benefit. (The alkaline diet will also require that you get rid of grains and many fruits!)

I am very intentionally sitting in the middle of that big divide between folks eating the Standard American Diet and the all-alkaline or all-raw folks. Raw foodists will call what I am teaching “transitional.” I actually believe that a LONG-TERM commitment to eating what I teach, “high raw” or 60-80% raw and the remainder of the diet being whole foods (legumes, grains, cooked vegs), will prevent disease very well for a LIFETIME. I believe that it doesn’t have to be a “transition” to some kind of more pure or “ideal” diet. What I am teaching, I believe, is a common-sense approach that returns you to the basics, the way we were meant to eat, using foods God put on the Earth, but without tons of cooking. Like the vast majority of indigenous and ancient cultures have always done.

Raw goat milk is another good alternative to pasteurized, store-bought dairy milk. You can search this blog for more info.

By the way, I haven’t tested it yet, but at the suggestion of readers, we’ve added a search feature to the site.

Also, almonds are actually pretty alkaline (other nuts are more acidic, like cashews). And yes, eat nuts–but overconsumption will lead to weight gain, too. A quarter cup a day is enough, unless you’re an athlete, in which case you might eat half a cup. I have 1/4 cup cashews in Hot Pink Smoothie in the morning, and usually eat 1/4 cup of almonds, too, as a snack later. (Factor in that I play sports an average of 90 min. to 2 hours a day.)

Spreading the word!

Email from a reader:

 

I just got off the phone with my mom and had some great news! Several weeks ago, I went to my step-sisters pool with my kids and mom. Of course, I toted along my big jars full of green smoothie. I got the usually, “What the heck is that?” comment. I told my step-sister all about them, gave her some simple suggestions and let her taste mine. She loved it. What I didn’t know is that now she is hooked!!! She and her oldest son have become green smoothie drinkers! She started telling my step-dad all about it and how much better they feel even after just a few days. Now, he wants to know more. The best thing is, my once unbelieving mom, is now extrememly interested as well. I would love to see her on start drinking green smoothies. She is a coffee/soda drinker, her diet is poor, she gets constant migraines, has fibromyalgia, and multitudes of other problems.

People think I am crazy when I start singing the praises of this super simple drink, but their minds are quickly changed when they feel it for themselves.

I have an older neighbor that lives next door. We talk occassionally and she tells me what’s going on in her life and health, she has not been well lately. She told me she was trying to lose about 15 lbs since her doctor told her she had to. She has been drinking the sugar free Slim Fast drinks. I asked her if I could come over and share with her a way that was much more healthy and more likely to help her regain her health and ideal weight. She agreed. I went over today and she is just so excited. Her son is to have his tonsels burned out!!???!!! because of bad allergies. Plus, he is about 50 lbs over weight. Her grandson and daughter-in-law are both very over weight as well. She wants to get all the information she can so she can share it with them too!

I love that I can freely share this love with some many people and see so many changed by such a simple drink and natural substance that we all take for granted!

One question I have…my neighbor is diabetic. How will the fruit smoothies affect her blood sugar? It’s hard for someone to drink a veggie based green smoothie when they are first introduced to the green smoothie concept. It’s easier to give them the sweeter drinks and let them work up to the stronger greens and no fruit green smoothies. Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated!

By the way, I have been religiously drinking my green smoothies everyday for 6 weeks. I drink from one to three quarts everyday. I eat a mostly a vegan diet and very high raw. I have lost 17.5 lbs. I have gained incredible energy. I can now run a mile and sometimes more, which I do every other day. My skin has cleared. My PMS is virtually gone, to the point that my cycle snuck up on me last month. My moods have leveled out and I don’t have severe mood swings anymore. I am so much more calm and things just don’t bother me like they used to. I haven’t gotten sick even though I have been around a lot of sickness. I am just amazed at the difference a whole foods diet is making in my life! :-)

Thanks yall,
Kari

raw food in India? an interesting email from a reader

We get some really interesting email, and I’ve pasted one below that we got this week that I think you’ll enjoy. It corroborates what I have noticed being in 16 countries in the past 18 months. That is, the influence of American culture on the rest of the world has not been wholly positive, and has in fact been devastating in the area of nutrition. My country has helped many cultures previously eating close to the land adopt both a processed diet and all the diseases that come with it. Read what Anu has to say:

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I am ecstatic reading your myths. I want to wave it in people’s faces saying “Ha! I told you so!”

I come from India, where the food habits is slightly better than USA, but just. Here are too people have become enamoured by soft drinks, burgers and pizzas. KFC and McDonalds in every city! Add to that, spicy and oily fried snacks that have become indispensable for every meal. Fried potatoes in any forms sells fast. I hate eating out because I am sure MSG is added in almost everything to make it tastier. There is a high increase in diabetes in the country and you don’t see any advertisement asking people to cut down on white sugar but a number of clinics have come up instead–diabetes is a huge health market here! It’s crazy.

My father-in-law who was a top athlete in his younger days is now confined to his chair all thanks to sugar, diabetes, and the diabetes doctor who just pushed pills on him. I have been telling my husband not to eat those vitamin pills, soy products, and processed products — all pushed aggressively by the industry — all waiting to form cancer in the body.

I’ve had fresh “cooked” food (rather than frozen) all my life, but not raw food.

This is the land of the thulasi and many other medicinal herbs and plants. Much before modern science and medicine and counting calories, entire systems of sensible eating has evolved here. The importance of eating the right food and its effects on your mental makeup have been given out in detail.

I don’t know where we lost this! I think, somewhere people got so poor, that they took the easiest thing to cook and they forgot about fruits which couldn’t be preserved with fridges.

I am vegan by choice (with the exception of organic honey for medicinal purpose) and avoid the five whites in my food. I have always felt I must have fresh food, raw food.

This site is testimony to what all I heard about good sensible eating.

Reading about the benefits it has done to you physically, I’m hoping it’s the same for me, as I hope to run a marathon strong one day.

Thank you. I purchased the green smoothies ebook. We don’t get so many berries over here but otherwise, I will adapt this to what is available over here. And hey, this is coconut country, we get them easily here. I am exploring new options that I would not have otherwise. Oh my, I don’t think I am going to look at any vegetable the same way ever!

You may be interested in reading up about siddha and ayurveda. These systems are the pride of this country. They are more about prevention than cure.

Thanks for sharing Robyn. If you ever come to India, do contact me. Its a crowded, noisy and fascinating country and I love it.

regards,
Anu