One of the basic philosophies of the raw food movement is that since humans evolved from primates, our most natural and health giving diet consists mainly of fruit. I love that philosophy…in theory.
Fruit is sweet and luscious and so delicious that I wholeheartedly embraced this way of eating for the past few months. I embraced it until I noticed that I began severely lacking in energy and I kept getting sick (three times this winter compared to my usual one), and my skin wasn’t looking better, as all the raw food lessons, books and articles said it would. In fact it was looking a little worse. And I was craving protein. Even as I was studying my “Peak Performance” lesson which stated that protein was over-rated, I was severely craving protein. Something had to give. And so it did.
One day the image of a succulent, savoury piece of salmon wouldn’t leave my mind. No matter what I did or how I tried to lead my thoughts down another path, a path filled with raw carrots and bananas and mangoes, I couldn’t stop thinking about salmon. So, after much deliberation, I did what I had to do. I had to admit that the 80 -100% raw vegan life is not for me. Then I went out a bought the biggest wild salmon steak I could find. I jogged home with it, ripped my coat off, raced to the kitchen and covered my fish in lemon and capers and a thin layer of mayo. Then I proceeded to slow cook it at 180 degrees. The aroma was heavenly.
I really loved eating all of the recipes filled with sweet tropical fruit, honey and maple syrup but clearly I was consuming a bit more sugar, even if it was natural sugar, than my body could handle. So, as much as I like the ‘gorilla food’ theory there is also a theory that you should be eating food that is natural to your environment. So, if you’re living in the Yukon it would not be natural for you to be chowing down on kiwis and pineapple and if you’re living in Vancouver, eating wild salmon and greens and fruit that is indigenous to your environment would be the healthiest fare. Makes sense to me.
So, after a visit to the local farmer’s market, where I found the freshest greens and spouts I’ve tasted in a while, I have a farm fresh salad to share with you. Enjoy.
Farm Fresh Greens
- 1 cup fresh organic spinach or greens of your choice
- 1 heirloom tomato
- 1/4 cup minced scallions
- 1/4 cup various sprouts
- sprinkle of Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds
- Dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mixed herbs and fresh apple (all ingredients to taste, blended together)
Nothing beats the taste of home.
I’m loving the raw food recipes I’ve been sampling as I continue with my nutrition course.
You can’t be perfect though, and sometimes I just want to leave the uber-healthy green smoothies behind and indulge in a messy, gooey, rich and delicious dessert. But a dessert that won’t make me feel unhealthy and bloated and give me a sugar rush. Well, The raw food recipes I’ve been experimenting with have got that covered too.
Let me introduce you to Nice Cream.
- 3 frozen bananas cubed
- Splash of maple syrup
- One T coconut cream
- Two T raw cacao for chocolate (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc. for other flavours)
Blend all ingredients together and indulge in this rich, delicious ice cream-like dessert that is actually good for you!
My MSG free journey is coming along pretty well. Of course there have been a few surprises along the way. One of the surprises was the realization of just how much MSG has infiltrated our lives by being in almost every prepared product on the shelves of the grocery store. This annoying little toxin is in so many every day items that you really have to re-think almost everything that goes into your mouth. An example is that I had to toss out my minty fresh, flavour enhanced toothpaste and am now brushing my teeth with a coconut oil/baking soda mixture. Oddly enough, I’m finding that I have fresher breath with this natural cleanser. I can’t wait until my next trip to the dentist for a cleaning to see what the verdict is on my new found oral hygiene. But I digress.
What I really want to talk about is salad dressing. Do you know that it’s pretty much impossible to buy a commercial salad dressing without a liberal dose of MSG added? I’ve looked and looked and haven’t been able to find one (If anyone out there knows of one please leave the brand name in the comments section below). So, I’ve been making my own dressing at home…much like I’ve been making my own everything on this journey. The TV show Little House on the Prairie that I used to watch as a teenager has been popping into my mind as I make all of my meals from scratch in my little galley kitchen. I used to love watching the show and all of the homesteading that was just part of life back then. Oops, digressing again.
So salad dressing! I’ve concocted what I think is a winner.
Such a winner that as I eat my delicious, wholesome salad, I wonder why I ever bought that preservative filled, MSG laden store-bought dressing in the first place.
Here it is:
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Drizzle this over a salad of mixed greens, pecans, goat cheese and fresh raspberries for a big plate of yum!
I’ve been learning a lot about MSG lately and none of it is good. Did you know that MSG is an excito-toxin that does a bunch of terrible things to our bodies? First, it contributes to ADD, mood disorders and the “dumbing down” of our society by causing neurons in our brain to fire too quickly. It also exacerbates Alzheimer’s disease when eaten in excess (and, since it’s in everything, it’s very easy to unknowingly eat in excess). And, as an explanation of why North Americans are getting bigger and bigger as time goes on, it suppresses the mechanism in our brain that tells us when we’ve had enough food. Oh, and to top it all off, this cheap little flavour enhancer is addictive too. Clearly big food corporations aren’t interested in our health and well-being – only their profits – by adding MSG to literally every processed item in our food supply.
So, after reading all of this, I’ve decided to eliminate MSG from my diet and I’m discovering that it’s literally everywhere, hidden behind some very sneaky labeling in a lot of cases. It was even in my toothpaste, vitamins, vegan protein powder and “healthy” granola. Basically, if a food is processed and packaged, it’s got MSG in it. So I’ve realized that the only way to avoid this nasty little toxin is to make my own food for every meal.
I’ve been doing just that and it’s been a wonderful experience the past few days. Time consuming for sure, but the food I end up with is wholesome, yummy and, most importantly, real. It tastes like the food I ate as a child when we picked our own veggies out of the garden, added butter and salt and chowed down. No health-robbing chemicals needed.
I’m looking forward to sharing all of my healthiest and prettiest raw, MSG free recipes here as well as any changes I notice as I go along.
There’s nothing more important than nourishing our bodies with delicious, healthy food made with love. I’m excited to be on this journey and to share it with you.
Happy Valentines Day ❤
Are you looking for something sweet, dark and delicious to serve your Valentine in a few days?
How about a delicious chia pudding to share?
This easy parfait consists of the following two recipes layered with frozen blueberries and a little dusting of coconut flakes to top things off. It’s a yummy, healthy and energizing dish. Perfect for Valentines.
Blueberry Chia Pudding
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1 bananas
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- ½ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
Chocolate Chia Pudding
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 bananas
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- ½ cup organic nut butter
- 3 T raw cacao
Here’s to a happy, healthy Valentine’s Day xo
This week, in my Raw Food Educator course, I’ve been learning how to transition healthfully and gently to a raw food diet. Im currently doing ‘Raw til 4’ which means you get to feast on Smoothies, juices, fruit, chia pudding, veggies and raw nuts until dinner, when you eat a ‘normal’ meal.
This is working out incredibly well and doesn’t shock the system the way going fully raw all at once might…As in ‘too much of a good thing’. In fact this might be the perfect ‘raw ratio’ for me. I completely believe in the health giving qualities of raw foods but I also believe in moderation..and the soul satifying qualities of some cooked food.
Anyway, back to the recipe. Here’s a recipe for one of my breakfast bowls. It’s easy, delicious and pretty lovely to look at too.
Berry Mandarin Smoothie Bowl
- 3 bananas
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
Blend ingredients together and top with your favourite fresh fruit. Bon appetite.
Vancouver has had an uncharacteristically cold, snowy and sunny winter so far this year.
The temperatures even dipped below zero a few times, making our usually rainy city feel oddly like the rest of Canada.
My inner Ontario girl is loving this weather but it is a little chillier than I’m used to, so I’ve been drinking a warming smoothie instead of my usual frozen fruit concoctions. Here it is..
Warm smoothie latte
- One scoop Vega chai protein powder
- One tsp turmeric
- One tsp cinnamon
- One cup coconut milk
Blend all ingredients then Gently heat in a saucepan until warm. Pour into a cup or glass and warm up from Winter in Canada. Eh.