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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

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

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

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

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 ( 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

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.

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.

Carob Walnut Cookies

One of my favourite raw food books is Ani's Raw Food Desserts by Ani Phyo. Its an awesome read, she explains what a raw food diet is and some of the benefits. She also goes through ingredients and explains what healthy fats are and why our body needs them. She introduces you to super foods like Maca Powder, and Mesquite Powder, things I hadn't heard of before exploring raw food recipes. There is also a section on Equipment and tools.

Every recipe I have tried from this book has turned out perfect every time. Here's one I tried last week. It was so quick and simple to make. I hadn't tried using carob before but I loved it. I actually prefer it to chocolate.

1 cup raisins
3/4 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup raw carob powder
1 teaspoon mesquite powder (optional)
1/8 teaspoon himalayan sea salt

Combine all ingredients in the food processor, process until the dough begins to stick together. Press the dough onto baking paper and cover with another sheet. Flatten using a rolling pin to desired thickness. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Alternatively, you could make balls.

Place the cookies on a lined tray and place in the freezer to firm up for about 30 minutes. Transfer to the fridge for serving later. Will keep for many weeks in the fridge or freezer, thaw for 5 minutes before eating.

Mesquite Powder
From ground pods of the mesquite tree, mesquite powder contains amino acids, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc. It also has fructose, which doesn't require insulin to diges, preventing spikes in blood sugar levels. It contributes great flavour and is a natural sweetner, especially when used with chocolate.

Cashew Cheese and Flax Crackers

I attempted Raw Cashew Cheese and Flax Crackers today for the first time and am so happy with the result. Since going raw, I've been craving something really crunchy and miss having savory things like bread and crackers. These crackers are so flavoursome and easy to make. I have a stack in my pantry now for whenever the need arises.

Cashew Cheese
2 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight)
1 cup water
1 clove garlic
6 sundried tomatoes
freshly chopped chives
cracked black pepper

Soak the nuts in water overnight. Drain and rinse, place in blender with 1 cup of water and blend well to break the nuts down into a fine cream. Pour into a sprout bag (I used my nut milk bag) and hand over a sink or bowl. Let ferment at room temperature for approximately 8-12 hours. Transfer cheese to a bowl and add finely chopped sundried tomatoes, cracked black pepper, chives and garlic. I put my garlic through a garlic press. Store in the fridge. Garnish with freshly chopped chives when serving.

Flax Crackers
2 cups of flax seeds (ground) I used my coffee grinder
1 red capsicum (roughly chopped)
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 fresh tomatoes (roughly chopped)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic (roughly chopped)
1/2 large onion (roughly chopped)

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor. Press mixture onto lined trays in the dehydrator making sure that mixture is only a few millimetres tall. Dehydrate overnight. Break into pieces in the morning.

You can score the mixture half way through so that you get nice neat rectangles if you like, but I don't mind them looking kind of rustic.

Store in an airtight container, somewhere close to hand for when the cravings strike. These are nice dipped in the cashew cheese or on their own. Enjoy!

Goji Berry Museli

I thought it was about time I shared some of my favourite recipes. I attended a raw food class with the lovely Remedy Bliss. Its a series of 4 classes where Remedy shares her recipes and demonstrates about 6 per class. At the end we get to feast and OMG... the food is awesome. It was after these classes that I felt like I had the confidence to go raw. Before then I only had a few recipes under my belt.

Here's one of her recipes that has now become on of my staples. Its great because you can eat it fresh or you can dehydrate it and store it in containers.

1 cup buckwheat (soaked for 4 hours)
1/4 cup goji berries (or any dried fruit)
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (soaked overnight)
1 T raw cocao nibs
4 T raw unfiltered honeyu
1 T superfood of choice (I used Mesquite powder, it has a nice malty flavour)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 handful of almonds (soaked overnight)
and a pinch of himalayan sea salt

Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly. Can be eaten fresh or dehydrated for about 6 hours, it will form nice little museli clusters. Store in airtight containers. Store in the fridge if fresh.

Serve with almond milk and fresh fruit. I doubled this recipe so I had plenty in the cupboard to last.

Almond Milk

2 cups of almonds (soaked overnight)
3 cups of water

Place almonds and 2 cups of water in the blender, blend for about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of water and blend some more. Strain through nut milk bag or muslin cloth. Pour into a jug or container and store in the fridge. Will keep for approx 3 days.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

30 Day Raw Food Challenge

It was around Christmas time when I noticed my clothing getting tight again. Just after I started looking at photo's taken on the day. I looked as bad as I felt. I had lost about 20kg before my wedding and now that it was over, the weight was creeping back on again. After gaining 10kg I decided that I need to put a stop to my yo-yo dieting and look at a more permanent solution.

I've been wanting to go raw for a long time now and am equipped with the knowledge. I know that the path I am currently on only leads to obesity, disease, lethargy, depression and misery. So why do I keep going back to it. The new year seemed like a good time to start.

I decided that I needed to make a short term goal so that it didn't seem to daunting. So I created my own 30 day challenge. I read somewhere that if you do something for 30 days, it becomes a habit. And I was desperate to remove my old habits and replace them with healthy ones. No more coffee, chocolate, take-away, processed foods, dairy, meat, bread, pasta etc.

The first thing I did was planned what I was going to eat that week and shop for my ingredients. It was expensive at first because I didn't have a lot of raw staples in my cupboard like nuts, seeds, oils, powders, spices, superfoods etc. But this is an investment into my health and I'm worth it.

It's day 12 now and I'm finding it way easier than I imagined. I have no cravings for bad foods, am loving the new foods and find it quick and easy, as long as I'm prepared.

A lot of people ask me where I find the time, the truth is, this is the quickest and easiest way to prepare food. For breakfast on most days I have a smoothie, this takes a couple of minutes to prepare. For lunch I have a salad with lots of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado, sprouts, capsicum, celery, carrot etc. The dressing is simple made up of olive oil, lemon juice and cracked pepper. For dinner I make my own zucchini noodles and blend up a quick tomato based or alfredo sauce (raw of course). There's no time spent stirring, roasting, cooking etc. Everything is instantly ready to consume. I'm actually saving time in the kitchen. I snack on fruit regularly as well. No prep needed there.

Of course you can spend more time in the kitchen preparing recipes etc if you want. There are some complex recipes out there and if I feel like it, I might do one a week. I occasionally make raw desserts as well, but I actually haven't felt like eating many sweets with all the fruits I am consuming.

So at day 12... I can honestly say that I don't want to go back to eating like I was before. I'm feeling empowered with knowledge and am looking forward to receiving the health benefits of a raw food diet. Bring on health, vitality and a kick ass body, yeah!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where do I get my Protein, Calcium and Iron from...

This is another common question. If I'm not eating meat and dairy, then where am I getting protein, iron and calcium?

•Based on 700 studies, a diet consisting of about 7% protein is more than enough for most people.("The China Study" by Dr Campbell)

•Raw food has much more usable protein and of higher quality than cooked food. So you'll need less.

•Multiple studies show that eating vegan protein is much healthier for you than protein from animals (dairy and meat).

•The best sources of non animal protein are green leafy vegetables, nuts & seeds, (wheat) grasses, sprouts, grains.

The best vegan sources of iron are spinach, swiss chart, prune juice, beet greens, sesame seeds, cashews, raisins, apricots, water melon, kale, sunflower seeds, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, sun dried tomatoes, seaweeds and flax seed.

That's why drinking fresh vegetable juices on a raw vegan diet is very important. Vegetable juices are concentrated mineral juices.

The best vegan source of calcium is sesame seeds. But also almonds, broccoli, cabbage, collards, dandelion greens, dulse (a seaweed), kale, prunes. And uncooked they're much easier to absorb.

Why I don't eat Dairy
The butterfat is crushed in the homogenisation process and produces foreign amino acids, the body produces homocystines as a result which leads to allergic reactions. They put vitamin D in the milk. Do you actually believe they want to do this and are doing it for your health? It is due to the fact that the altered calcium from the high heat in pasteurisation alters the calcium so much your body will reject it and they found children getting rickets due to this. So they added the vitamin D to force the body to absorb this altered calcium that generally ends up as bone spurs, cataracts, and kidney stones.

Besides all that... Cow's milk is designed for baby cow's, not humans! Drinking another animal's milk introduces new toxins in the body and actually leaches calcium.

Why I don't eat Meat
To those people who say we are designed to eat meat... ever tried to catch a wild animal with your bare hands, then proceed to eat his freshly-dead corpse? Just because we are able to (of course after we carefully cut it off the bone and thrown spices on it to make it palatable) doesn't mean we are supposed to.

Apart from the fact that we weren't designed to do that and that we are more closely related to Herbivores, its bad for your health. All meats are highly acid forming in the body. A diet which is rich in acid forming foods is know to increase the risk of many illness and disease, the body's immune system, and the ability to eliminate toxins.

Meat also contains no fibre and is difficult for our bodies to digest, it is also high in fat and cholesterol.

Why Raw Food?

This is something a lot of people are asking me right now so I thought it would be helpful to create a post. I've been researching this topic for over a year now and trying different foods on my own body and seeing how I feel afterwards. Here's what I have learn't.

Heating your food above 115 degrees F (45 Celsius):
•Kills enzymes. Enzymes help you digest your food. Your body can create enzymes but that process takes a lot of energy. This process makes you feel tired and heavy after a cooked food meal. The enzymes your body makes are not as efficient and effective as the ones that were destroyed in your food.

So your food is not be broken down as well and harder to digest. Your food starts rotting in your intestines and parasites have more chance to survive. Your body has a limited amount of enzymes that it can produce. If the supply is finished, body organs will function less and less. It will accelerate aging.

•Changes the pH of the food and makes food acidic. Eating acidifying food makes your body a welcome feeding ground for disease.

•Destroys most vitamins

•Destroys the life force. Eating cooked food is eating dead food. This will make you feel heavy and tired. Live food has live energy. It will give you energy. Simply put. A raw seed will grow, a cooked seed won't. When you pick unripe fruit it continues to ripen for weeks. Cooked fruit starts to decay within days.

These reasons are enough to explain why most people on a raw food diet feel more energetic and have a stronger immune system.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Getting back on track

The new year got me thinking about what goals I have for 2011 and the ones I let slip in 2010. After my wedding in October I went crazy with food and reverted completely back to my old ways of eating processed foods. I am now paying the price, not only have I gained a whole 10kg, my energy levels had dropped completely and my thyroid problem has doubled. Time to take this diet and lifestyle thing seriously.

Leading up to my wedding I became completely obsessed with diet and exercise and my main goal was to loose weight and I didn't care how I did it. I did the lemon detox diet which involves not eating for 7 days! By the time my wedding came around, I had lost 22kg and felt quite good. Still about 5kg off my initial goal, but I didn't let it spoil my day and it was fabulous!

So why did I let myself go straight afterwards, I swore I never would... I think the pressure of leading up to a major event contributed.

Its also time to admit that I have a food addiction. About a year ago my natropath told me that I needed to completely give up sugar and processed foods because I was addicted. I'm not one of those people that can have a piece of chocolate and stop at just one or two. On a standard diet, I also never felt full, I could eat and eat and still feel hungry.

I now know that I wasn't actually 'hungry' I was depleted of nutrients and my body is telling me that there is something missing. Thats why I ate so much.

This week I have started eating a 100% Raw Vegan diet, and I really struggle to fit in all that I have planned in my daily menu. Its amazing how much less food I am consuming, but how much more satisfied I feel. My body is finally getting the nourishment it has been craving. I don't feel at all deprived, I'm loving the food. The biggest surprise is that I'm not missing coffee like I thought I would. I'm drinking herbal tea and making sure I have some in my bag so if I go visit someone, I'm prepared. Its not hard at all, I've had no bad side effects like headaches etc either. Cool!

So for me, the best option was to commit 100% instead of 80/20 which is what I was trying earlier. Completely eliminating other foods from my diet has helped. I think where I went wrong was using the other 20% to eat junk. In the future I may choose to eat some cooked veg, but thats as far as I'm straying.