Delicious Thanksgiving Feast

What was on your raw 'thanks-giving' feast menu this year?

My daughter and I were grateful to share our feast, friendship and gratitude with good friends and a menu of:
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Thanksgiving Feast

Posted on November 25th, 2006 in family,meals,photos,recipes,thanksgiving by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Thanksgiving Feast

Here are pictures of the recipes in the previous post from the Thanksgiving feast I shared with friends this year. The dishes consisted of kale avocado salad, jicima potatoes and gravy, veggie stuffing, succulent cranberry sauce, fall acorn squash soup, pumpkin pudding and sweet! sweet potato pie. These recipes were all delicious, easy to make and enjoyed by everyone. They're great to make for all your holiday guests... they'll never know they're vegan and raw!



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Included are some additional pictures of the Thanksgiving meal at our local 'Raw Friday' restaurant prepared by Chef Moon at the Blue Nile Cafe in Tempe, Arizona. The meal was outstanding and included a spicy spinach and avocado soup, side salad with tangy dressing and a Thanksgiving Platter with a rosemary veggie loaf, walnut raisin and celery stuffing, sweet and tart cranberry sauce and mashed 'potatoes'. Delicious!

I'm very grateful for sharing this celebration with friends. One of the greatest gifts in life is the expression of gratitude. It not only feels good, but also brings joy and more of what you wish into your life. Try it and I'm sure you'll agree.

All the best for your health and happy Thanksgiving wishes!

Mark

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Get Your Greens With Blended Salads

Posted on July 22nd, 2006 in greens,meals,raw vegan diet,recipes by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 1 Comment »

One of the many questions I receive is along the lines of... "it's hard for me to get more greens in my diet, how can I do it?"

The short answer is, it couldn't be easier... if you want to. Making your salad the main dish for dinner is a great start... and then start experimenting with different greens. There's an abundance of green leafy vegetables that you can make into dozens of salads, burritos, wraps and many more.

Here's a favorite that's quick, easy and a great way to increase greens in your diet.

Blended Salad

One of the benefits of blended salads is that you can get a large amount of greens into a meal.. and you can be creative with what you add to the mix. Here's one of my favorite recipes:

(serves 1-2 ... adjust accordingly)

3-4 Kale leaves
5-6 Romaine Lettuce leaves
2 Roma Tomatoes
1/4-1/2 Cucumber
2-3 Green Onions
Handful of fresh Cilantro
1/2 Avocado
Handful Sun Dried Tomatoes
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 Red Pepper
Sprouts (alfalfa, brocolli, etc)
Sprouted Pumkin Seeds

Add all ingredients except green onions, red peppers, sun dried tomatoes and avocado into a blender or food processor and blend until you get a smooth consistency. I recommend adding a little at a time and saving the sun dried tomatoes until the end and blend partially to leave small chunks. Top with chopped avocado, green onions, pumpkin seeds, and sprouts and you have a super green meal! You can be creative and make any combination you'd like... toppings, different greens, vegetables, seeds... make a different one every time and have fun!

Enjoy!

All good things,

Mark

Why Cheating Doesn’t Work

Posted on February 2nd, 2006 in diet,eating,food,meals,raw diet by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 1 Comment »

OK, you've decided to "go raw". Congratulations!

But now you have temptations and cravings for cooked and processed foods. Is it ok? Is it acceptable to eat mostly raw?

Sure, eating some cooked/steamed foods is ok, it just depends on your goals and how you feel. Of course, you'll get the most benefits by sticking to as close to a 100% raw diet as possible. Again, it depends on your goals.

Here's the rub. I've been researching the reasons for the cravings and observing my experiences. What I've found is that by eating cooked foods occassionally, you're actually building a desire for more cooked foods. This also applies to spices, salt, garlic, chocolate, sugar and other foods.

If you crave a pizza and eat it, you'll have a desire for more. If you have salt, you'll build a desire for it again. It's a vicious circle that won't end unless you give it up. There are other reasons you crave certain foods. Sometimes your body may be low on a particular mineral that could trigger a craving.

In my experience, just a few weeks after going 100% I lost all desire and taste for cooked foods. It was a natural result of eating raw. I also found that when I tasted something cooked, I then had a desire for it again. After a short time, that desire went away. I also quickly gained a strong and healthy desire for fresh greens, fruits and other vegetables... a desire that's lasted and only grows with time.

My personal goal has never been to label myself 100% raw vegan ... I've chosen to be 100% raw for the way I feel as well and the health benefits. For me, they've been dramatic and I feel grateful for the many benefits I've experienced.

Here's an interesting quote from the great German thinker Goethe:

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy,
the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
....
That the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then providence moves, too.All sorts of things occur to help one
that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising one's favor all manner of
unforseen incidents and meetings and
material assistance which no man
could have dreamed would come his way.

Whatever you can do or
dream you can, begin it!
Boldness has genius, power
and magic in it."

In essence, until you commit yourself 100% to whatever you desire (in this case, better health through eating a vegan, raw diet) there will always be hesitancy, and you'll never reach your goals, whatever they may be.

Something to think about.

All the best for your health!

Mark
"The Raw Guy"

The One Book For Advice on Eating Raw

Posted on September 17th, 2005 in eating,food,meals,organic,raw diet,recipes,vegan diet,weight loss by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 1 Comment »

I often get asked what one book I would recommend for advice on eating raw and vegan.

Although there are many excellent resources, there are two I'd recommend today, you can choose the one best for your situation.

The first resource is The Garden Diet by Storm and Jinjee. Storm has been eating raw vegan for most of his life and you can see the benefits by just looking at him. His entire family is an inspiration. He and Jinjee share their research on the benefits of a raw vegan diet, their experiences along with delicious and easy to make recipes. One note, they don't use or recommend a dehydrator (often used by many raw foodists) so their recipes can be made and enjoyed simply and quickly. I would recommend their entire collection of ebooks which includes the Garden Diet, Anti-Aging, Raising Healthy Children, The Orange Juice Diet and several other related titles (ten in all). This collection is all meat, no fluff - direct and to the point. You get to know Storm and Jinjee throughout the books as well as learn about the benefits of a raw vegan lifestyle.

Note, this collection is in online and downloadable format. I would recommend downloading and then printing your copies for reading at your convenience. I've found that printing the recipes, hole punching, slipping them inside plastic sheet protectors and into a 3 ring binder works best for reference when preparing meals in your kitchen. Read more about the Garden Diet.

The second resource I recommend is the The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose. Natalia offers a flexible and sensible approach to adding raw food to your diet. The background on the benefits is not extensive, but offers the main one, detoxification, as the primary reason for eating raw. By eliminating the buildup of toxic and unused waste from your system, you regain the balance your body needs. She focuses on elimination, and for good reason. If your system eliminates quickly and easily, there is no ongoing buildup to clog your system and it can deliver and use the nutrition your body needs. Natalia offers different levels of the raw food diet which may be helpful to some. She offers a good set of recipes, and a special section for children and family eating. She is flexible in her approach and offers a plan that most readers can relate to and follow easily. Compared to The Garden Diet, I would describe Natalia's book the "light" and introductory version of learning about how raw foods can benefit your health.

As much as I recommend the book, there are a few issues I don't agree with Natalia on.

First, she recommends the use of Splenda as a sweetner. I don't agree. Splenda (sucralose) is a man-made abomination that has been linked to dozens of health problems including enlarged kidneys and liver, migranes and reduced red blood cell count among others. Read more about the effects at Healthy Living Talk. So skip the Splenda and enjoy the rest of the book!

Second, Natalia doesn't specifically advocate a vegan diet. I believe the benefits outweigh the occassional eating of fish, meat or dairy products and although not for everyone, I highly recommend it. Once you get used to fresh, organic and raw foods, your body no longer craves the processed foods you ate in the past and instead craves more fresh, raw and nutrient dense foods.

This book is a hardback although also available in a download version from Amazon.

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May your journey to enjoying fresh, raw foods be filled with health and happiness!

All the best for your health,

Mark