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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

60 Day Juice Fast



I'm on day 24 of my 60 day juice fast. I thought I'd write a post explaining my reasons for doing this and also to explain what I'm doing.

Why Fast?

My weight started creeping back on because I let old habits slip back in. I did so well on my 30 day Raw Food Challenge at the beginning of the year. Then after that I introduced more cooked foods, started drinking coffee, and found myself eating pastries and cakes again. So its no surprise really that I started gaining most of the weight back that I had lost.

When that happened I started feeling really depressed. I felt like I failed and my failures were out there for everyone to see. I was also really annoyed at myself because I know what path I want to take towards better health, but I had lost control.

I decided that I had enough, my food cravings were ridiculous! I felt like it was controlling me and no matter how much I ate, I still craved more. I was doing a clean out of my cupboards at home and came across a book that I had bought but hadn't read. It's called 'The Juice Fasting Bible' by Dr Sandra Cabot. On the cover it said 'Discover the power of all-juice diets to restore good health, lose weight and increase vitality'. I needed all of that so I started reading. It's a small book so I read it in a night and decided to give it a try. She mentioned that fasting helps to eliminate food cravings because your body is getting a bucketload of nutrients.

I've heard of people like Philip McCluskey doing 60-100 day juice fasts to loose weight and transition to a raw food diet. I wasn't sure if I would be able to last that long though but decided to give it a go. Even if I only did 7 days, I would still be detoxing.

On the first day I felt so sick and extremely tired. I did this on a weekend so that I had time to rest if I needed to. I went to bed early that night. The following morning I didn't feel sick anymore, but my energy levels weren't great. I felt a bit cranky as well. But after that, I was shocked to find that my appetite and food cravings had completely gone. I really started enjoying my juices and looked up a few new recipes to try.

There were a couple of occasions that were difficult, I had a Christmas in July party to attend with the kids that involved a 3 course meal, alcohol, coffee etc. The smells made it really hard, but I drank a big juice before I left and just sipped on a herbal tea. I got through it.

So far I have lost 11.5kg (25lbs) and I have gained a whole heap of energy. I've also noticed that my moods have improved, I'm feeling really optimistic. And most of all, I feel proud of myself for coming this far. Before I started I was deflated and felt like a complete failure. Now I feel like I can make a promise to myself and stick to it. I'm more determined than ever to make it to 60 days.

What I'm doing

I'm drinking 3 juices a day, whatever I feel like. I try to make atleast one of those a green juice so that I'm alkalising. I also make sure that I'm getting a good variety of fruits and vegetables. I drink herbal tea and water throughout the day, peppermint tea is my favourite. I have Senna tea before I go to bed which is a herbal laxative. When you stop eating solid food, the food that’a already in your colon has nothing coming behind to push it out. Food remaining in the colon can putrefy, which, in turn, creates toxins in your body. Not good when your trying to detox!!!

Here's a couple of my recipes

PURPLE JUICE
Slice of Pineapple
1 Green Apple
1/4 Beetroot
2 Stalks Celery
1 Carrot

GREEN JUICE
1/2 Cucumber
2 Stalks Celery
1 Green Apple
Silverbeet & Spinach
1 Lemon (peeled)
Sml Piece of Ginger

VEGGIE JUICE
2 Tomatoes
3 Sticks Celery
3 Baby Parsnips
Sprinkle of Herbamare
Cracked Pepper

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Raw Dessert Class with Heather Pace



Today I had the pleasure of attending a raw dessert class by Canadian chef Heather Pace and OMG... my taste buds are still tingling. If raw food is something you are interested in but feel a bit intimidated about, I highly recommend attending a class by someone like Heather who know's their stuff. You get to see just how easy it is and it gives you the confidence to go home and give it a go yourself.

I've tried a lot of raw recipes, and some have been a total flop! This can be disheartening and a big waste of money as well seeing that raw ingredients are quite expensive. By attending classes you get to sample the food and find out what you like. Thats one of the big advantages.

Well today we were spoilt for choice, Heather made a Vanilla Chia Berry Parfait, Strawberry Lime Mousse Cake, Mandarin Orange Cheesecake on a Ginger Nut Crust (my fav), Chocolate Berry Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cacao Brownies, Apple Berry Peach Crumble (so good), Icecream Sundae and a Carob Superfood Milkshake. I can't share these recipes with you because they aren't mine, they might be available in Heather's dessert eBooks on her website. Check out www.sweetlyraw.com

I had the best time today watching Heather do her thing in the kitchen, tasting the amazing desserts and meeting other like minded people. I hope I've inspired you to go out and attend a class, even here in Adelaide there are clases and raw food experts visiting and giving talks etc. Just keep your eyes and ears open, ask at your local organic food store and search on the internet.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Raw White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake


This recipe is so good, it has to be shared. Its my first attempt at making a raw cheesecake and I was really happy with how it turned out. I bought a few mini springform cake tins and this recipe made 3 small cheesecakes. If you are making a large one then I suggest to triple the recipe.

For the Crust:
1/2 cup brazil nuts
1/2 cup shredded cocounut
pinch of salt
1 tbsp cocao powder
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp cocao nibs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Filling:
1 punnet of freshly chopped strawberries
1 cup of cashews (soaked overnight)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

For the Strawberry Sauce:
1/2 punnet of freshly chopped strawberries
1 tbsp honey

Process all the crust ingredients in a food processor until combined and crumb like. Press into the bottom of your springform cake tin, if yours isn't a springform then make sure it is lined with clingwrap. Set aside.

Blend all of the filling ingredients in a high speed blender until completely smooth. Pour over cust and chill or freeze until ready to serve.

To make the strawberry sauce, blend all of the ingredients in a high speed blender and either pour on top or drizzle around the bottom of the plate.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Raw Pad Thai with Kelp Noodles


I've been wanting to try Kelp Noodles for a while now, some of my favourite cooked dishes are things like Pad Thai, Laksa, Tom Yum Soup etc, so the thought of being able to re-create a raw version of these intrigued me.

If you haven't heard of Kelp Noodles before, they are made from sea kelp, low in calories and are are packed with nutrients and minerals that aid in digestion and metabolism, help with thyroid function, strengthen bones and teeth, and improve your circulatory system. Kelp is rich in more than 70 minerals, including potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and iodine. It also contains enzymes, vitamins, trace elements, and more than 21 amino acids.

I struggled to find them in any health food stores here in Adelaide, but managed to find them online at Raw Power Australia (http://www.rawpower.com.au/superfoods/sea-vegetables/kelp-noodles-340g). There's also some great Kelp Noodle recipes on there if you aren't sure what to do with them. They cost $10.50 a packet so aren't cheap, having said that though, I just made this Raw Pad Thai recipe and it made 2 servings so that isn't bad.

These noodles are clear in colour, ready to eat and have a neutral taste. They take on the flavour of whatever sauce you use. I think this recipe is based on Russell James version, I just googled a recipe on the internet and found it. It's a keeper!

Sauce Ingredients
2 tbsp almond butter
1/3 cup sesame oil
1 tbsp tamari
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 chilli (finely chopped)
2 tsp lime juice
1/3 cup water

Vegetables
1/3 carrot (julienned)
1/3 red capsicum (julienned)
1/3 yellow capsicum (julienned)
8 snowpeas (thinly sliced on diagonal)
Mung bean sprouts, corriander and chopped peanuts for garnish

Blend all sauce ingredients til smooth. Pour desired amount over Kelp Noodles and massage in until they are completely covered. Toss with vegetables and top with mung bean sprouts, chopped peanuts and corriander. It's that easy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Before and After - 30 Day Raw Food Challenge



I took some before photos at the beginning of the challenge, and I’m so glad I did. Sometimes I look at myself and think that the changes I’ve made aren’t really showing on the outside yet, but this proves they are.

At the end of eating a Raw Food Diet for 30 days I lost 8.5kg (18.7lbs). I think the most noticeable difference is in my stomach. I’m not close to my goal weight yet, but I am well on my way. I’m going to photograph myself every month and compare it to the one before, I will also be posting my results here on my blog.

I decided to wear the same outfit for my before and after pics so it is easy to see what a difference it has made. This top looks completely different on me. I haven’t gone down a dress size yet but I am fitting my clothes much better. The clothes I currently wear were getting really snug and I was nearly up to the next size. Now they are comfy and roomy, its such a nice feeling.

Needless to say that I will be continuing to eat Raw, I can’t imagine going back to the way I used to, and that probably sounds strange after just one month. Its not just the way I look, its about the way I feel. I have noticed that my stress levels have reduced, my energy levels have gone up, I’m less emotional and have more mental clarity.

I don’t find this way of eating difficult at all, to me it feels natural and right. If I’m busy then its easy to quickly grab a piece of fruit and whip up a smoothie. It doesn’t have to be hard, some nights I feel like putting more effort in and I’ll grab one of my recipe books for inspiration, other nights I might just make a salad. I find that I am actually saving time because I don’t have to wait for things to cook and the food I prepare usually lasts a couple of days.

I’ve definately developed a new found love for this lifestyle, maybe one that borderlines obsession, but its a healthy one so I think thats ok. My tastebuds have completely changed and the foods I once found appetising really repulse me, especially meat.

I used to be a 3 coffee’s a day, meat eating girl. Now I’m drinking herbal tea, filtered water and loving my fruit, veg, nuts, seeds and sprouts. I feel completely satisfied and my appetite has reduced dramatically. I used to feel hungry all the time and I now know that this was because my body was deprived of real nutrients. I thought I was craving sweets or fatty foods, but when I ate them I still felt hungry. Now I know why.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Raw Pecan Mini Tarts with Chocolate Ganache


I made this as a large tart today but ended up with too much mixture, so I decided to make a few mini tarts as well. They turned out beautifully and are just the right portion size for one person. Delish!

Ingredients for Crust
2 cups pecans
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup cocao nibs
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cocao powder
1/2 teaspoon himalayan sea salt

Ingredients for Filling
2 cups pre-soaked cashews
1 cup cocao powder
1 cup water
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon hinalayan sea salt

Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor and blend until evenly moist. Line mini tart pans with cling wrap and spread the crust with your fingers.

Combine all filling ingredients in the (cleaned) food processor, blending until very smooth. Pour filling into the crust and freeze or refrigerate until firm (1 hour). Garnish each tart with a pecan.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chocolate Mousse Parfait


This dessert is so rich and chocolatey... and guilt free. Its made from avocados, but you can't taste them. The avocado gives it a beautiful smooth creamy texture.

Chocolate Mousse
2 large avocados
4 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocao powder
1 tbsp lucuma (optional)
1 tbsp maca powder (optional)
cinnamon (to taste)
pinch of himalayan sea salt

Combine ingredients in blender and process until you get a thick velvety consistency.

Cashew Cream
1 cup cashews (soaked overnight)
3/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla essence

Blend cashews with 1/2 cup water to make a paste. Add remaining water to the consistency of cream. You can make this cream using other nuts, macadamia's would be nice. Cashews work well because they don't need to be peeled.

Assembling
Layer with chocolate mousse, cashew cream and fresh berries. You can decorate with flaked coconut and a sprig of mint. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour before serving.