Amazing RAW recipe: Avocado Pistachio Pesto…..From: Ani’s Raw Food Essentials
goes great with rice crackers and fresh veggies for holiday parties My book club agrees!
1/2 tablespoon crushed garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shelled pistachios (find at whole foods or sprouts)
2 cups fresh basil, lightly packed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped ripe avocado
1 tablespoon olive oil
Throw all in the food processor and process until well mixed….
How you approach the holidays is a personal choice. For some of us, this is one of those “treat” occasions where we eat what we want, without guilt, knowing we’ll be back on our mindful eating path the following day. For others, particularly if you are trying to lose weight or live healthier, you certainly don’t want to start a “season of overeating and indulging” that you will regret come January 1.
Here are a few of the tips that I have to escape the guilty feeling of overindulging:
▪ Try Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner “grazing”. Load your plate with mainly vegetables and whole grains and just a smaller side of lean turkey. When the rest of the dishes and desserts are passed, choose one or two that you really want, but put just a spoonful of each on your plate – not an entire serving. Do the same with the desserts. That way you will get a taste of the holiday foods you love most, without overeating or feeling deprived. (Two foods I often choose to skip are white potatoes and bread.) What foods are you willing to skip this year?
▪ Try alternatives, not abstinence. You can roast sweet potatoes with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg instead of marshmallows, for a lighter, healthier dish that still shouts “Thanksgiving!” Try making wild rice pilaf as an alternative to carb-ladened stuffing (see the recipe below). And yes, you can still have the traditional stuffing available, but this way people can choose. And who knows? They may prefer the pilaf!
▪ Don’t drink your calories. You don’t have to imbibe spirits to get into the spirit! You can enjoy a glass of red wine or beer with dinner, then switch to sparkling water with lemon. For a dash of holiday whimsy, you can drop in a handful of fresh raspberries and lime pieces into a water glass, stir, and sip! Remember that fruit juices, sodas and cocktails are so highly concentrated with sugar they can equal the same carbs that you would find in a dessert. Which will you enjoy more, and have that.
▪ Pace yourself. Remember, Thanksgiving kicks off a “season of eating” – if you let it. And this year, we’ve got a two-for-one – the first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving. Don’t give in to the domino-effect that can happen from consuming large amounts of sugar, alcohol and dairy (and potato latkes!). Also, remember that food temptation is only one stress of the holidays; houseguests, family dynamics, kids home from school—all can send you running to the refrigerator. Try to be aware of your relationship with food and keep forefront in your mind how you feel after indulging. Headache? Bloated? Exhausted? Moody? Why ruin your holiday by not feeling your best? Reducing or eliminating sugar, meat, alcohol and processed foods will help you avoid these symptoms, feel better and have more energy.
▪ Don’t throw it all away. Even if you do over-indulge on Thanksgiving day, remember: it’s just one day. Don’t throw away all of your hard work by turning one day into a long-weekend marathon of eating. Stock up on disposable containers and send guests home with all of the leftovers. Find out if a shelter will let you bring uneaten pies, cakes and casseroles. You can’t eat it if it’s not in your house. If you have to, you can always toss out the temptations; after all, which is worse: throwing away food or throwing away your hard-earned health and wellness?
▪ Find other ways to enjoy the holidays. Bundle up and take a walk after the big Thanksgiving meal. Organize a game of touch football. Pull out the board games and close down the kitchen. Build a fire and tell stories, or watch old family videos (remember those?). In our family, we go around the table and each of us shares what we are most thankful for this year. Everyone slows down for a minute and it reminds us what the holiday is truly all about: Giving Thanks.
Link to Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe
If you would like supportive, expert one-on-one support to help reach your health or weight goals,I offer a free 50 min phone or in person consultation breakthrough session to help you get started on your path to wellness! Start filling out a health history today!
A good friend of mine heard that I was frustrated with my running this year due to adding time to all of my races. She immediately said “You HAVE to try taking Juice Plus!”. I chuckled to myself, as I thought “What can veggie and fruit powder in little capsules really accomplish that my clean eating plant based-diet comprised of organic green smoothies and salad habits isn’t already?” She pointed me to the clinical research study that looked at athletes and their recovery from oxidative stress due to intense exercise. The group using Juice Plus had little to no oxidative stress in their lab results as compared to the Placebo group that was not given Juice Plus. (check out all the clinical research results at:http://lcavner.juiceplus.com/content/JuicePlus/en/clinical-research/juice-plus-clinical-research.html#.UlIM-eCtwfk)
After reading that study and others, and then hearing that the 2012 German Olympic Team used and supports Juice Plus, I decided…”Well, I will give it a shot and see what happens”. I decided I would stop using my other supplements other than Juice Plus and my Carlson’s EFA/DHA fish oil supplement for three months. One month – no changes – thinking, “I am not so sure about the effectiveness of Juice Plus”…two months- I started noticing less joint inflammation in my knuckles upon waking, and my skin felt more clear and “plump” was the only word I could come up with to describe it. Three months in- brighter teeth, less sugar cravings late at night, better bowel movements, and my skin was even more clear and brighter. I actually have been amazed. Everything I am noticing is discussed on the Juice Plus Video, but I hadn’t watched the video before noticing these impacts. I was just expecting better running times! I am just finishing up my first 3 months on Juice Plus and I am sold on the product. So sold that I have just signed up as a distributor. I am going to add the Vineyard Blend to help with recovery and oxidation even more. I will keep you posted on my running improvements. I am still battling slower race times, but have started working with a naturopath to address cortisol levels throughout the day as well, which I think is my “stuck” point right now. So, despite already eating a healthy mainly plant based diet with diminished GMO’s, gluten, no dairy, limited meat and mostly organic produce, I saw fairly quick results on Juice Plus. And when I started to consider the cost of my fresh store bought produce that goes bad in my fridge before I can take in all of its benefits, the daily cost of Juice Plus started to not seem so bad. Even though I eat well, I am still not getting the recommended 7-9 servings of fruits and veggies a day, and definitely not getting the 15 servings of fruits and veggies that doctors recommend for athletes. So, Juice Plus is now bridging the gap for the Cavner family. Avery gets hers free because of the Children’s Health Study, which basically cuts the cost in half for us. Each adult that buys Juice Plus can have one child sign up for free under the Children’s Health Study. Avery even loves the smoothie mix and her blood sugar doesn’t spike from it like ti does other protein powders! If you ever want to join a webinar conference call on the product or have questions about it, contact me! I am so excited to share the benefits of Juice Plus to change the health of our community. I hope you will consider a 3 month trial yourself!
You can order at http://lcavner.juiceplus.com/ All the best!
How many of you are finding that it is difficult to get the recommended 17 fruits and veggies in your daily diet? I know I struggle with this and I even LOVE eating my vegetables….I was reminded when my friend Cindy posted a healthy veggie recipe on facebook, that we can eat our vegetables in a fun and tasty way. Chock full of nutrient rich power house foods: antioxidants in the tomatoes and onions, cleansing power of alkaline lemons, as well as the antibacterial power of garlic….Here is the recipe for a Greek Style Eggplant Dip with Tomatoes:
*For those of you trying to stay away from gluten and extra carbs, I recommend eating this dip with alternatives like flax or kale chips, fresh vegetable sticks (celery, carrots, cucumbers) or lower carb rye crackers – try Wasa brand…..Cheers to your good health!
Melitzanosalata I: Eggplant Dip Appetizer with Tomato (from www.about.com)
(In Greek: μελιτζανοσαλάτα, pronounced meh-leed-zah-no-sah-LAH-tah)
If you are a devoted fan of the traditional, cook the eggplant over a wood fire – or add wood chips to a charcoal grill and cook it for that deep, smoky taste. This version is easier and delivers a tasty result, and includes chopped tomatoes.
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Pierce the eggplant with a fork and char it on the grill, or over an open flame until the eggplant turns black and is very soft. (Alternatively, broil for 10-15 minutes.) Set to cool and drain on a rack with paper towels underneath.
As soon as it can be handled, peel. The skin will come off easily by hand. Place in a bowl and chop with two knives. With a wooden spoon, stir in garlic, onions (shallots or scallions), tomatoes, and herbs. Mix the oil and lemon juice well and add slowly, with a fork or hands to work it into the eggplant (don’t just add it and stir; it will separate). Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve chilled or at room temperature, with pita wedges, slices of crusty bread, and/or fresh vegetables, garnished with black olives and a sprig of parsley.
Melitzanosalata goes well with salty cheeses and fish mezethes like anchovies.
Yield: about 4 cups
This is a great article written by Dr Mark Hyman for the Daniel Plan: http://danielplan.com/healthyhabits/understandingthelabel/
He breaks down glycemic index and phytonutrient values and how fiber affects the glycemic load of a food.
And- a video! http://danielplan.com/blogs/dp/dp-understanding-the-label/
I have been experimenting more and more with raw foods (not including fish sushi/sashimi in this category) and dehydrating foods. If you care to learn more, check out books written by David Wolfe. He is an ultra hippie intellect that is passionate about preserving the maximum energy in foods that the sun has given to the foods until we consume it.
I actually love eating raw foods, especially when they are spin off on other “cooked” recipes and taste just like them but they preserve all the nutrients – like raw spaghetti sauce with zucchini angel hair “pasta”. You can purchase a lower-end dehydrator for around $40. I have the Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator, which is one of the best on the market, but it is pricey, and unless you are using it to make several recipes at once and need the space, a four tray or even a 2 tray can work for your needs when getting started. The big “rage” right now is making dehydrator Kale Chips. There are a lot of great recipes for those right on the web and they are inexpensive to make, but way expensive to buy already prepared from the stores.
What I wanted to share with my readers is my “go to” recipes for yummy, healthy cookies. Of course, nothing can be “uber-healthy” unless eaten in moderation, so you do still need to exercise willpower and restraint around these cookies. However, you will be able to digest them better, because they will still retain a ton of nutrients, and the enzymes are not destroyed when foods aren’t heated over 115 degrees…which is the glory of raw and dehydrator foods….
First is the Basic Cookie Dough recipe from Ani Phyo’s excellent cookbook Raw Food Essentials. I have yet to make a recipe out of this cook book that I did not love. I highly recommend any of her cookbooks. I think she is ahead of her time as a Raw Food chef.
These cookies taste like fresh out of the oven, melt in your mouth Chocolate Chip cookies, but without the gluten and ultra-refined flours and sugars. I AM IN LOVE with this recipe ….hope you can enjoy it too….
BASIC COOKIE DOUGH
Makes about 16 cookies
2 and 1/2 Cups of Almond Meal (can purchase at natural food stores, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods OR food process your own almonds until ground, but not sticky)
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Agave (Ani calls for 1/2 C but I think it is too sweet)
1/4 Cup Filtered Water
1Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (I add this for depth in the flavor)
1 and 1/2 Cups of your favorite mix ins- I use 70% dark chocolate chips or chop my own chocolate bar). You can add nuts, and dried fruit, or any other things you like in your cookies.
Mix the almond meal with the salt. Add the agave and water, and mix well. Stir in all your add ins.
Use a 2 Tablespoon scooper and round the cookies in a mound on dehydrator tray. Dehydrate for 4-6 hours at 105 degrees or until your desired consistency.
Thanks Ani for this cookie masterpiece….I can make them in 7 minutes start to finish flat….
Before I share the next recipe, I must say that it is not a cheap recipe to make. I was shocked when i found out the price of Raw Pistachio Nuts….these are NOT ROASTED! rather they are RAW. This makes a huge nutritional difference, as roasted nuts are not healthy for us. They go rancid very quickly – so in order to not go rancid, they are doused with preservatives – mainly sodium. Stay away from roasted nuts whenever possible!
RAW PISTACHIO MACAROONS
Gluten Free; Raw; Makes 50
(I got this recipe from a friend at a vegan potluck, so I am uncertain of its origin!)
3 cups raw pistachios
3 tablespoons coconut flakes (plus extra for garnish)
2/3 cup melted coconut oil
2/3 cup agave
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Clean the pistachios from their outer shell, in a food processor blend them into flour.
2. Mix everything in a big bowl using a spatula. In a shallow bowl, place the extra coconut flakes (about 1/2 cup). Roll into 1 inch balls and roll in the extra coconut flakes, put in the fridge for 24 hours.
3. Serve garnished with coconut flakes and fresh fruits.