This is one of my all time favorite raw cookie recipes. Many people don't like raw chocolate but for me it seems to work as long as I do it in moderation.
So here goes the raw cookie recipe, chocolate chip style:
1. 2 cups cashews
2. 2 cups almond flour
3. 1/2 cup agave nectar
4. 4 table spoons coconut oil (melted if possible)
5. 1 teaspoon vanilla to taste
6. pinch of sea salt
7. 1/2 cup cacao nibs
I like to split this raw cookie recipe in half and do it in two stages because it's easier on my food processor. In any event, put all the ingredients and blend. Then form into flat cookies and dehydrate on 105 degrees for about 12-18 hours.
This is one of my all time favorite raw cookie recipes. Many people don't like raw chocolate but for me it seems to work as long as I do it in moderation.
This was a fun chia seed recipe that I put together that is sweet but not too sweet. It tastes amazing.
1. 1/2 cup chia seeds soaked in 3 cups water overnight.
2. 2 packets stevia powder
3. 1/4 cup agave nectar
4. Huge tablespoon raw cacao powder or raw carob powder if you prefer *
* You can always replace the chocolate flavor with fresh fruits if that suits you better.
You can read this article for the benefits of chia seeds.
This raw soup recipe is rather quick and easy. It's also perfect for the winter months. I kind of made this up on my own but also got ideas from books like Ani's Raw Food Kitchen and raw food real world. Essentially I made it up and man is it good. So here she goes:
1. Heat 2 cups water on the stove to 160 degrees.
Add to the blender these ingredients.
2. 1/4 cup spinach
3. 1/4 cub cilantro
4. 2 celery stalks
5. 1 clove garlic
6. 1 tomato
7. 1/4 cup olive oil
8. 1/4 cup basil
9. big chunk of fresh onion
Poor water in and blend until smooth.
After it's done, add cut up avocado chunks, carrot chunks and use a spiral slicer to make noodles.
" or "You must get rid of all sugar from your diet immediately!" We need to take a lot of things into consideration before making these platitudes.
We recently launched a raw food affiliate program for our new raw food store called ShopRawFoods.com. I've seen many blogs out there that have affiliate banners on their sites promoting various online raw food stores. This is a great thing because it benefits everybody.
If you really believe in a store or the vision of a company why not earn some extra money by putting one of their banners on your blog? The way an affiliate program works is that most of them are free to sign up.
If you would like to see what our affiliate program is all about, feel free to checkout our raw food affiliate program here >>
If you want to signup directly click here >>
Signing up is pretty easy, you just need to fill out a quick form. Then you can typically select from a number of text or graphic banners to put on your site. Don't worry you don't need to know any html or coding language. The affiliate program gives you this code and all you have to do is copy and paste it into your site or blog.
When somebody clicks on your new raw food affiliate banner that you just placed on your site and makes a purchase, then you receive a commission, just for the referral. How amazing is that?
What happens if the person who clicks on that new banner simply looks around and then doesn't buy? Well you wouldn't make any money off that. But most all affiliate programs have what's called a "cookie" length. That simply means that when the reader of your blog clicks on your banner and doesn't buy; they still have been "cookied." That means that even if that person goes directly to the merchants site X amount of days later (w/o going to your site and clicking on that banner first) and makes a purchase, you still get credit for that sale. Why you ask? Well the reason why is because you're being rewarded days later for "introducing" your blog reader to the merchant who sells products.
The trick is to look for raw food affiliate programs that have long cookie lengths. Typically most affiliate programs offer a 30 or 60 day cookie program. Ours has been set to 150 days. That's 5 months! You could refer somebody over to our site and they can wait almost 5 months to buy something and you still get credit for that order!
Another thing about raw food affiliate programs is that you have to accrue a certain amount of money in your affiliate account in order to get a check. Most of the time affiliate programs make you have to accrue at least $100 dollars before you can get a check. I've seen some as low as $75, we really want to reward our affiliates so we set ours currently to $50. All you have to do is earn $50 and you get paid!
Last but not least, you want to look for an affiliate program that has a high commission rate. Typically commission rates hover around 5%. I think even Amazon.com starts their affiliates off at around 4.5% Our commission rate right now is set to 8%. Our average order size is $120 so that means a commission check for each order just shy of $10.00! Imagine making an easy $10 for every order you refer and making some money for doing something you love like blogging about the raw food lifestyle?
I know that having an affiliate program on your raw food blog or website is not for everybody. If it is and you resonate with what we're doing, we'd love to have you on board.
If you'd like to see what we have to offer, find out more here! >>
Taking it slow...
There are many ideas of how to transition to a raw food diet. Many people like to transition in a fast way. They hear all the great results that you can get (and there are many) so they decide to jump right in and go 100% raw overnight or in a week. There really is no right or wrong way to transition. But in my opinion if you are 100% dedicated to doing this type of diet for any length of time, then there is no rush, and you should take it as slow as possible. If you're in a healing crisis like cancer you unfortunately, don't have this luxury.
Why is it better to transition slow rather than fast for most people?
Transitioning to a raw food diet is not easy for your mind or your body. The current diet that we had before going raw was probably in the least, about 20 years old. That means even if we got into raw foods at a young 20 years old, that's still fighting against 20 full years of our relationship with food. Assuming two people were in love, do you think a person who was in that relationship for 20 years could overnight start a brand new relationship without any emotional issues? It's just not possible. Many times the best thing for a person that is getting out of a long term relationship is to just be alone for a while. Why is that? Most likely because they need to see what life is like without that person. Food is no different. Everyday we have eaten all our lives, it has left its imprint on us whether we like it or not. Just ask anybody who has an eating disorder or a person who has food addictions. The longer a person has gone eating the traditional diet, the longer they should take to transition.
By taking it slow, you're also giving your body a chance to recalibrate itself when needed. We all need to find a new level of homeostasis every time we make changes. Don't get me wrong, it is possible to change overnight, people have done it. I'm just telling you what has worked for me. If you set a long term goal, years out for example, that you're one day going to be all the way raw then this is the best approach.
Because we've abused our bodies for many years we have low hydrochloric acid levels in our bodies. Because of this it's not easy to break down the roughage and fiber that comes in when we start introducing raw foods into our new diet. If we suddenly shock the body, we start feeling sudden symptoms of detox. The food is not being broken down and upsets our stomach etc. Also when people transition too fast they sometimes swing back and forth. They'll be 100% raw for a week and then eat no raw foods the next week and it becomes this pendulum swinging back and forth. We're moving towards the slow and steady approach.
As you are changing your current diet, your body will pull minerals out of your body to keep itself in balance and a sudden change can be too much of a shock for most people. Be kind to your body. You don't like waking up to an alarm clock do you? It's a shock to wakeup that way and not very natural. So give your body time to readjust itself over the long term. Thinking long term will help because you won't be focused on things like weight gain or weight loss or any of the other things that we think about for right now. You're in it to be healthy and you're in it for the long term and long term health.
It's all about small changes that you can get used to and being okay with whatever level or "rawness" that you achieve. I never thought to myself that I'd be 100% raw one day. I just new I wanted to start eating healthier and it just happened by accident really. I never tried to do it. That may sound strange. I never struggled. I never felt hungry all the time. I never felt detox and it was always fun. It took me 5 years to get to 100% raw. I was addicted to meat, sandwiches, pizza, burgers and my all time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie.
So how did I do it?
Well my first goal was to clean up my breakfast habits. I used to wake up starving. Now I wake up and can go till 4pm on just water and not even feel hungry. I'm telling you, your stomach changes and your need for food diminishes unbelievably. We eat because our body wants minerals. We can get them in half the amount of foods now that we eat raw. In any event, I read Fit for Life and decided to eat fruit until noon. But I was addicted to my two bowls of cereal and peanut butter toast. For a week I just ate 1 piece of toast. Then I'd have only 1 bowl of cereal with one piece of toast for a few weeks. Then I'd just have cereal. Then I did the fruit until noon trick and just did that and only that for a good year. I didn't care if that's all I ever did. But at that point I signed up for thebestdayever.com and started learning more and reading more raw food books. Tip: Learn as you go and experiment in the kitchen as you transition as well. There are a lot of great raw foodists out there. I've learned a lot from Daniel Vitalis and the Raw Vegan Radio Show.
At this point I thought I'd tackle lunch. I'd eat a salad with my turkey sandwich and chocolate chip muffin. But hey, my lunch meal was now 50% raw! Then I'd have a veggie sandwich with my muffin and salad for 6 months of more. Then for a good year I was raw at breakfast AND lunch, amazing. Then again at that point if that's all I ever did I was happy with that. No struggle, no addictions, no stress. It was easy as can be. Then I thought...."hmm if I can take care of dinner that's the whole show!" Then it took me a long long time to tackle the dinner issue and I'm telling you, it was the easiest way to transition ever.
What was my approach?
Fruit only for breakfast
Salads with lunch and dinner
A daily green juice and/or green smoothie if I had time.
Then all the cooked food I wanted, as long as I did the above things each day.
If that's all you did, you'd be eating healthier than just about any average American. Just imagine if all you did was have a green smoothie for breakfast for the next 20 years instead of bacon, eggs, hash browns and cereal. That one change alone saves your body 7,300 toxic meals. Isn't that amazing? If it takes you 5 years to transition to 100% raw", don't you think that is better than going on the seesaw diet constantly going back and forth struggling and fighting addictions? In the grand scheme of things taking 5 years to change 20 years of habits isn't so bad.
In order to do the whole show all the way you really have to have a mindset that this is what your eating program is going to be about. But it's really not important to be 100% raw or 90% and count percentages here and there. The point is just to keep adding and introducing healthier foods into your diet.
What do you do about addictions?
Having a sugar addiction is no fun, or any addiction for that matter. If you’re transitioning, just slowly lower the number and amounts of bad things you eat. For example, if you're craving 5 fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies, then tell yourself you can eat them only after you have a green juice before or perhaps a nice fresh salad, and try to eat only 4 instead of 5. The key is making yourself eat the salad first and then have the cookies. And be happy with that. No big deal. Pretty soon, and before you know it, you'll be eating a nice balanced healthy diet without even trying. Remember don't focus on avoiding foods, focus on adding the good stuff. More toward things, not away from things.
No struggling, no addiction and no effort. Make it easy and make it fun. Life is about way more than food anyway.
Recently I read about a hamburger resturaunt that is in Arizona offering the triple bypass burger and the quadrupal bypass burger amongst other interestingly named menu items. After reading a lot of cleansing and fasting books, this article got me thinking.
When I first read about this place I actually laughed because from a marketing perspective it's great and it looks like they do an amazing job and are actually really funny about it. The reason why I laughed is because they have girls in nurses outfits delivering the burgers. All of the customers get those aprins you get when you have a surgery in the hopsital. I think they even take you to your car when you're done in a wheel chair. Clever marketing and quite funny.
But on the flip side it's actually quite sad. I see in america today a love for food and a love for the taste of food above all else. Only when a person has a disease (and most of the time not even then!) or if they're trying lose weight does the idea of food as something other than a tasty addiction even become important.
I see on popular tv cooking shows the cooks making food and all they talk about is how their food will taste. It's almost quite amazing how our addictions are being supported and praised.
Does anybody think when they're making this "tasty food" (that they're completely addicted to) what kind of an impact this has on the earth? Do they care how many animals were slaughtered in the process? Do they care how many acres of land are ruined from the excrement of these animals? Do they think about how the prices of homes in entire middle class neighborhoods fall, when a slaughter house is nearby, and what affect that has on those people who lived there? Do they think about how much land is wasted growing food for these animals (they they end up killing) that could be used to help end starvation? Do they think about the people or immigrants that have been killed or maimed in the process of the making of these hamburgers or tasty meals? Do they think about what industries they're supporting by buying these foods? Read Fast Food Nationfor a jolly time. These are just mostly the enviornmental and political factors involving the creation of this "food." Do they think that they can abuse their bodies all their lives and get a way with it? Do they think about what that food is doing to their insides? Do they care? Do they care about how long they might live or what diseases they may get? How about being around for their kids and grandkids? Do they think about how the drug industry profits from the drugs they're going to need to take when they get sick? Does this matter? Or do they only think about how something tastes and how good it is?
It almost pains me to watch these cooking shows because of this. There is no thought whatsoever about anything other than how the food looks and how the food tastes.
The bible says "whatsoever a man sows that he also reaps." This is true in every area of life, not just health. But one cannot abuse and poisoin their body on a daily basis and then expect any level of health. It doesn't make any sense to assault your digestive tract continually and then complain every day that you have stomach aches and the pills your taking just don't work anymore.
We have removed ourselves from the personal responsibiblity of health and happiness and now expect to get it from watching endless hours of T.V. and taking pills. Health and happiness is something like a discipline that must be developed on a daily basis. T.V., pills and quick fixes aren't going to somehow get rid of the affects toxic living is having on us.
So the next time you're going to eat somewhere or eat something (or for that matter buy a product anywhere) ask yourself who is being harmed, who is benefiting, what industries are you supporting and how will this effect your health and life as well as how it will affect your family and the planet.
Hopefully we all can start making better decisions in every area of life...
I'm going to keep this short as I don't want to be doing too much promotion. But for the past 6 months or so I've been working with a company and developing a brand new website called ShopRawFoods.com. As most of you know, I've been doing the raw food diet since 2003 and have learned so much and really felt like I wanted to move forward in the direction of my passion. As with many of us, we are passionate about raw food and what they can do for us, but just not sure how we want to (or if we want to) make a living with this lifestyle.
There are many ways to start getting into this as a career like teaching, lecturing, writing books, blogging, coaching and more. I thought for a long time how I wanted to move forward and I thought that I needed to start selling raw food and raw food products.
Why did I start this store?
With the economy the way it is and the raw food movement the way it is, I felt there was a niche I could carve out for this business. As we all know the economy isn't what it once was and even though the raw food movement has been around for many years, with the advent of the media it's still in its infant stages but growing fast. Many of the people who are into raw food seem to be older people (perhaps on a fixed income) looking to help aid their bodies in their older years, or younger people who haven't quite locked themselves into a high paying career type job yet. Many of us are strapped for cash. As I was beginning to notice this, I was also going to the local health food store and spending WAY too much money on a regular basis.
I thought how in the world can people afford to eat this way? There had to be a better way. That's where ShopRawFoods.com was born. If I could I would sell all my products for cost, because I want everybody to be able to have access to them. I'm serious. I really don't care as much about making money as trying to make sure that this food is more accessible and affordable to people. My mom for example is into raw food and is on a fixed income and she cannot afford many of the items she really wants to buy. She's a 3 time cancer survivor and it pains me to see her not able to afford certain items because they're just too expensive for her at this time.
Because this type of food is made with love and not run through machines it does cost a little more to make and sell. We've all got used to that. But I'm hoping that if we can get more and more people into this way of eating the demand will rise and the prices will continue to fall.
Like I said if I could I'd sell this food at cost. I just want people to try it for themselves and stick with it. So if you notice all the prices on my store they're low low low. I've been adding products on a daily basis and trying hard to make sure everything is functioning perfectly.
I do apologize for the lack of blog posts lately, I've been heavily in tune with this project and I will get back to my routine blog posts now that most of the hard work is behind me.
You can check out this site here: http://www.shoprawfoods.com. Please let me know your thoughts and what types of products you'd like to see us carry :)
Have you found your passion in the raw food movement yet? Do you see yourself doing it as a career? Where do you see this movement in 10 years?