Thursday, March 13, 2014

High Vitality Eating, Recipes

High Vitality Eating!

I'd like to introduce a friend, Olivia McKenzie. She's young, gorgeous and savvy, a mistress of raw foods. Foods rich in enzymes, minerals and TASTE.

Note to good eater readers. See 26 March, 2014 Update of "High Blood Pressure & Dementia, the Heavy Metals Link"

So, why bother with food prep? Can't you see I'm busy? Shredded lettuce and the color, at least, of a tomato... What's not to like?  Excuse me... elbowing past the delay.

I'm late, I'm late
for a very important date.
Not time to say hello; goodbye.
I'm late, I'm late, I'm late...
While doing Mad Hatter impersonations, we nuke the frozen entrée... 

Grab a feedlot beef patty fattened on barn sweepings, Monsanto grain, hormones and antibiotics, and slapped on a GMO bun. Flavor-enhanced with high fructose corn syrup/MSG mayonnaise. 

We've stumbled into the "convenience" of tasteless, DOA (dead on arrival) food. And we wonder why BigPhama sports a Cheshire cat grin, and bulging fat pockets! 

Our bodies say, no way, Jose', and come back at us with pain, indigestion, allergies and fatigue. (With relief, just a prescription away.)

We're stressed, rushed and may not feel particularly nourished by job, meals on the go, or equally stressed-out relationships.

Why talk about this now? Well, this may be a poor crop year. Translation: inflation at the checkout counter. A good year to grow a garden, maybe even explore the wild world of growing sprouts at home to throw on a sandwich.

I live out West in ranch country, and the news is dire: Drought, with ranchers culling herds because they have too little pasture and hay. Meats, dairy products and eggs are about to get way expensive.

Not a bad year to make kefir at home and save a bundle. The backyard chicken lot may be a stretch! But farmers markets are coming into their own, even in big cities.

We can eat more creatively with the goal of health and more energy. We can choose and make high vitality foods. We think of veggie and fruit salads and treats, and that's part of it, but some protein-rich, raw food surprises are made at low heat in a food dehydrator. 

An  example of yummy, non-DOA food follows, and then, drum roll, please, my clever and can-do friend:



Hi everyone! First off, thanks so much to Yeoman Gardener for allowing me to collaborate with her on an article for her blog about one of my favorite topics ever – FOOD! 

As the incredible Ann Wigmore, founder of the Hippocrates Health Institute, once put it, “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine... or the slowest form of poison.” 

And it really is just that simple. 

Congesting our bodies with genetically altered, nutrient-deprived, pesticide-laden “food” is turning our bodies, and the world, into a very toxic environment. 

Obesity, skin issues, digestive issues, emotional issues, fatal illnesses and severe pains can all be found on the list of effects caused by eating a “Standard American diet,” or “SAD,” which, ironically is a very apt abbreviation. 

Those who have put their bodies through years and years of torture caused by an unhealthy diet are finally being faced with the effects, and their bodies are now telling them that enough is enough… mostly communicated through the form of a cancer or various thyroid disorders.
However, not all hope is lost. People have been able to reverse the damage caused by their diet by, of course, changing their diet! The “quick fix” to our internal/external illnesses is presented to society in some form of drug prescribed by our trusting doctors. 

Rather than suppressing the symptoms by dumping synthetic pills on top of the established toxic waste land within, would it not make more sense to remove the toxicity from your body, rather than adding more?  

Removing the illness-inducing toxicity versus adding more in the form of “medication” would essentially rid your body of said toxins, thus curing you of its related illness. This is where natural foods come in! 

I whole-heartedly believe a natural approach to the way in which we conduct our lives is the way to go when aiming to be your healthiest and feel your best. 

From the foods we eat to what we wash our hair in, anything comprised of ingredients as close to Earth as you can get can never steer you wrong. Natural, whole, nutrient-dense, alkalizing living plant foods that are in their utmost, natural state free of pesticides, herbicides, GMO’s, carcinogens and toxins are the most detoxifying to our bodies. 

Our bodies sing and dance and thank us over and over again when we nourish them from the inside out with the fruit of Mother Nature’s looms.. pun intended!
So, what are raw foods and what role do they play in the natural lifestyle? Well, raw foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds that basically have not have their life seared out of them! When foods are cooked above 115-120 degrees, the living enzymes found in the natural state of raw foods are killed and key nutrients are lost. 

These enzymes and nutrients are what make us feel tip-top. The food that is full of life will make you feel full of life. Food in its living, uncooked-raw state is extremely nutrient-dense, water-rich, and full of fiber, hydrating your body with every bite and detoxifying it from free-radicals and toxins built up over time.
The earth was set up the way it was for a reason. Nature is truly amazing and the foods found in nature support this claim! They are healing on all levels in regards to our emotions, spirituality and physical well-being. I have personally found that a diet rich in vibrant, living, raw fruits and vegetables has made me feel, well, vibrant and alive! 

The benefits seem pretty much endless… loss of excess weight, glowing skin, unlimited energy, luscious hair, strong nails, healthy teeth and mental clarity are some of the most prominent experiences from eating a diet comprised of nature’s vibrant foods!
In addition to my beliefs in the healing properties of raw foods, I also believe in balance; to every yin there’s a yang, to every push there is a pull and to every black there is a white. However else you want to put it, you can help keep yourself in balance by balancing out the foods you eat. 
I am not advocating an entirely raw diet, however, if you are coming off a SAD diet, are sick, or looking to lose weight I STRONGLY RECOMMEND hitching a ride on the raw-food-wagon! 

I really and truly believe it is a wonderful detoxifying/cleansing diet that helps reset your body back to its intended settings. It is similar to doing a juice cleanse with the exception that you can chew your food instead of just drinking it, making it much easier to sustain yourself for lengths of time. 

Cooked foods have their place too, and there’s nothing wrong with lightly steamed/baked/slow-cooked vegetables. 

It’s when you fry your veggies in oils heated above smoke point temperatures that produce carcinogenic properties that then makes eating cooked food an issue. 

Overcooking your food can completely diminish its revitalizing properties and leave it functioning as if it has become a “dead” food… which will not be as healing compared to its prior, more nutrient dense form.
On a personal note, I basically eat whatever I want, but what I always want to eat is healthy! I have not once craved fast food or junk food since switching over to a natural lifestyle. 

My working theory on those cravings is that all the chemicals in synthetic foods get you hooked and leave you craving more, similar to an addiction.  
Many people exclaim that our cravings indicate what our bodies need, and this is true, however, our taste buds get re-trained and unfortunately learn to crave the wrong foods for our bodies and send mixed signals through the constant consumption of junk food. 

In conclusion, no, you’re not really craving that Snickers bar, and no, your body is not really telling you that you need it to satiate whatever it is you feel is missing. Those cravings literally vanish, most of the time without you even realizing, once you eliminate factory-produced foods from your diet.
Eating healthy is pretty easy; base most of your diet by shopping in the produce section and eliminate as much boxed/canned/packaged food that you can manage. Eat as close to the earth as possible, and whether for you that’s non-GMO 100% grass/pasture raised beef or non-homogenized/un-pasteurized grass-fed goat milk, fresh, wholesome foods foster health. 

One of the best ways to stay healthy is to stay informed. Do your research and learn as much as you can about ways you can improve your health because knowledge is power! 

Learn about proper food combining, temperature sensitive oils, which produce items are the most-heavily sprayed, irradiated nuts, seeds and spices, what grows locally in your area and how to alkalize your body’s pH levels.
Raw foods can be delicious too! One of my favorite sweet treat recipes that I made recently are macaroons! These enzyme-rich, nutrient dense, super food packed cookies seriously leave you feeling awesome, satisfied and guilt free. 

 Olivia's Macaroons

Makes 12 macaroons.

1 cup of raw shredded coconut

1/2 cup of raw almond flour/buckwheat flour

1/2 cup of grade B maple syrup (not technically raw, but more mineral rich than agave) coconut sugar would be a great alternative but to prevent the dough from becoming too dry you might need to add more butter/oil or some water.

1 teaspoon of cold pressed coconut butter or coconut oil. Use coconut butter if you want a more “coconutty” flavor and the oil if you want the vanilla to be the more dominant flavor in your cookie or if you choose to flavor your macaroons with other spices, superfoods and flavorings.  

1/2 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract

Pinch of Himalayan crystal salt.

You can also make endless flavors!

For chocolate just add raw cacao to the mix! The dough will be a lot less wet with the added cacao.

If you like green tea add some matcha powder.

For strawberry blend raw dehydrated strawberries to the mix and add a touch more of sweetener.

For ginger spice add a pinch of non-irradiated cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg.

For mint and chocolate chip mint simply add mint extract and a dash of spirulina for green coloring. For chocolate chip mint refer to the previous and add cacao nibs as chocolate chips!

You can also do coconut lime with lime juice and zest and coconut lemon with lemon juice and zest.

There really are a hundred variations to this recipe. It’s a pretty basic recipe that you just need a large mixing bowl to mash everything together in and your two hands to roll them into tiny macaroon shaped balls. 

If you have a dehydrator, stick them in the dehydrator overnight to harden them up. You can also put your oven on its lowest temperature and bake them for a few hours. These macaroons are also delicious toasted with a slight crisp in the oven as well but bring about a much different flavor than if they were raw. Both are seriously so good!

For a decadent touch, chill your macaroons in the freezer and melt some coconut oil and whisk in some vanilla bean, Himalayan salt, cacao and sweetener to the melted oil. Dip the chilled cookies in this chocolate “ganache” and place in the freezer again on a plate. 

The oil is temperature sensitive so it will act like a hard shell around the cookies! Take them out once the oil has hardened and then proceed with the final step.....DEVOUR!! :D

I hope you enjoyed my share on raw foods! Once again quoting form the Hippocrates Health Institute, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Thanks again to Yeoman Gardener for letting me be a part of this awesome creative mischief!

Love and light and macaroon cookies,

~Olivia Mackenzie 

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