Posts from — August 2011
This week I am visiting beautiful Sunny Southern California and I thought I’d share my favorite travel tips for eating healthy while traveling. Even if you are taking a short day trip, it always pays to be prepared!
Tip#1 Bring Your Kitchen With You!
- Travel with a small cutting board, utensils, napkins and paper plates. A package of compostable forks, knives, and spoons can be really helpful to cut into fruits and vegetables on the go. You can also travel with a sprout bag to soak nuts and seeds and small personal blender called the Tribest Personal Blender (available in 220V also) to make smoothies. (I once soaked some sunflower seeds overnight in a sprout bag and made them into a pate in a Tribest Personal Blender on a cruise!) If you are driving, traveling with a plug-in cooler is also great.
Tip#2 Bring a Few Essentials!
- Pack some unopened non perishable food items into your bag. (These days, it is best to pack them into your checked bag and make sure to declare them because each county is different in what they will or will not allow into their country.)
Here is a list of food items I like to pack:
- Raw Tahini and Almond Butter (unopened jars) because you can dip vegetables into them and use them as dressings just by adding some orange juice.
- Dulse Flakes and Nori Sheets (unopened packages) are beneficial as Dulse can be used as a salt substitute. For example, you can make a lettuce wrap with avocado, torn Dulse, and chopped tomatoes. Nori sheets can also be used as a wrapper, just cut up some vegetables such as cucumber and carrot, spread on some tahini, and you have an easy wrap.
- All Prepared Raw Food Snacks such as raw food energy bars, cookies, and crackers for that little extra boost of energy on the go.
- Green Powder because you can mix it with juice or water and if you are traveling in the United States there are juice bars/smoothie bars everywhere where you can ask them to make you an all fruit smoothie. You can then add your green powder to make an instant green smoothie!
- Liquid Stevia because you can use it to sweeten some mineral water (as a substitute for soda) or use it to sweeten some tea.
- Italian Herbs and Sea Salt because when dining out all you have to do is ask for a lemon wedge and you have an instant salad dressing!
Tip#3 Research, Research, Research!
- Before going anywhere, research whether they have a natural foods grocery store or a farmer’s market and then make sure this is your first stop off the plane to stock up on healthy food. You can also research to see if the area has any juice bars and vegetarian or vegetarian friendly restaurants where you can dine out.
- Sometimes the local food culture will have a vegetarian specialty for example, in Spain you can order gazpacho (a raw tomato soup), in Fiji you have the young coconut meat and water widely available, in Italy fresh squeezed orange juice is widely available . . .(etc.) (If you are traveling to a third world country, it is also a good idea to research what foods are safe to eat!)
Tip#4 Stock Up!
- When you locate that health food store or farmer’s market stock up on healthy food that you can store in your hotel room. Hopefully, your hotel room will have a refrigerator, but if not, it might be worth it to travel with a small cooler because most hotel rooms have an ice machine.
- Some of my favorite healthy foods to stock up on when traveling are: fruits that will last a few days such as melons, oranges, bananas, apples, and avocados; dried snacks such as dried fruits and nuts; and plenty of liquids to stay hydrated in dry hotel rooms such as water and coconut water.
- Also, at most U.S. grocery stores you can always find raw guacamole and salsa. All you have to do is add a scoop of salsa and guacamole into a romaine lettuce leaf or you can enjoy it with some baby carrots or other cut up vegetables such as celery or zucchini.
Tip#5 Learn Some Lingo!
- If you are going to a country where they don’t speak English, and you are going to eat out, make sure to learn a few phrases so you know what to ask for. And this goes for any restaurant, they will usually make something special for you, especially if you tell them you have dietary restrictions and food allergies. For example, when I’m out to a Mexican restaurant with friends or my husband I ask the waitress to bring me a plate of lettuce, chopped raw vegetables, salsa, and guacamole. I mix it all together to make a delicious salad. Sometimes you just have to get creative!
I hope you enjoyed these tips! Although I am definitely more flexible while traveling than I am at home, I still manage to eat pretty healthy so that I can feel great and enjoy my travels!
Make sure to add any of your tips to eating healthy while traveling below in the comments section.
P.S. These are some bonus tips not related to healthy eating but they have really helped me a lot this trip: You might consider investing in a portable humidifier (it will make those dry hotel rooms bearable), a portable white noise maker or ear plugs and an eye mask so you can sleep under any circumstances. Really helped out last night when our hotel room was situated right next to a busy stairwell and crowded pool with kids playing! We slept like babies.
August 26, 2011 14 Comments
You are gonna love this simple no bake healthy peach cobbler recipe, donated by Julia Corbett. She is the author of Sweet & Raw Pie Mandalas, a superfood dessert recipe book, and owner of Diviana Alchemy.
It’s a simple and fresh raw dessert recipe that can be modified to use any type of fruit you like!
2 ½ cups peaches, sliced (or other fruit)
5-6 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup raw coconut flakes
½ cup almonds
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp raw honey
3 Tbsp coconut oil
Slice and pit peaches and set aside. Place dates, coconut, almonds and a pinch Himalayan salt into a food processor and mix until combined and sticky. Set aside. Blend only ½ cup of peaches with vanilla, honey, and coconut oil in the blender until smooth. Layer all components in a glass dish or in individual serving cups.
Please let me know if you try this recipe and what fruit you use. I’ve also tried it with mixed berried (strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries) and it worked great!
For more of Julia’s recipes you can go here: www.divianaalchemy.com
P.S. There are still a few more days to get the ground breaking e-book, What do Raw Fooders Eat? Click here for more info!
August 18, 2011 4 Comments
One of the things that has intrigued me about human psychology, is how often times we might know what the right thing to do is, but sometimes we do the opposite. For example, how many of us know that refined sugar is bad for us, fried foods, alcohol, or smoking cigarettes; but we still continue to consume them day after day?
Well you might say, people are addicted to substances such as junk food or nicotine and they can’t help it. I would agree with you, especially in cases of severe addiction, but what about the things we don’t do that are good for us such as exercise, meditation, rest . . .(etc.) It can’t be that we are addicted to not exercising or not meditating, right?
You might say, most people don’t have enough information on the benefits of exercising or eating healthy to make an informed decision. And this might actually be true in some situations, but I have seen too many people go to the raw food expos and the potlucks year after year and I know they have, if anything, an overload of information on the benefits of eating healthfully. Yet, I see them year after year struggle with making healthy choices and positive changes in their lives. Why is this?
And I’m not immune oh no (I wish), I know I should get to bed earlier and exercise more, and not overeat . . .I know the benefits, so why is so hard for me to do the things I know are good for me?
For me personally, I know it is because I don’t make these things a priority. If I made them a priority I would put more energy into making them happen. For example, I recently made it a point to watch a sunset everyday, so I made the extra effort to set an alarm on my phone to remind me. It has worked beautifully and I haven’t missed a sunset since I set the alarm.
This leads me to an observation about human nature. We are easily programmable. This can be a good thing if we are programming ourselves. Like I mentioned earlier, setting an alarm to remind me to watch the sunset everyday has worked like a charm. Setting a routine of preparing healthy food everyday has become a habit I don’t even think about anymore, it has become so ingrained into my life and personality it doesn’t even occur to me to eat junk food . . . but it wasn’t always like that.
Over ten years ago I ate whatever I wanted, which was a combination of Spanish and American Cuisine, and my Mom’s idea of what a healthy diet should look like (think grape nuts cereal, 1% skim milk, chicken with no skin, and a lot of broccoli beef stir frys). I just ate what I was accustomed to eating growing up in my family. I never questioned it, and why would I? Everyone else around me was eating what I was eating and doing fine. Except for, I wasn’t doing fine. I was overweight and had Asthma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Depression . . .
Like I said earlier, humans are easily programmable and this is good if we are programming ourselves, but not always beneficial if we allow society, our families, and our peers to influence all our choices. Many of us are making decisions about our diet and health on auto-pilot without questioning if there is a better way.
It’s like we are trains on a one way track. Do you know how much effort it takes to turn a train around? Quite a bit. Well it’s the same with humans. It takes a lot of effort to change diet and lifestyle habits and most of us will cruise on that one way track until a major event forces us to change direction. We need an impetus big enough to cause us to shut off the auto-pilot and wake up!
For some people, the impetus might be an illness or when someone close to them gets ill. For others, it might be a traumatic event that causes them to realize life is short. It might be that they don’t want to be a burden on their kids or they want to be around for their grand kids. We all have our reasons that inspire us take better care of ourselves!
I’ve observed that most of the time it isn’t just information that shakes up our world. I’ve never had someone write me and tell me that an article or a recipe that I’ve written inspired them to change their diet. It is always 100% of the time “my story” that touched them.
It’s usually something deeply personal that inspires us. Reading a story or meeting someone who has overcame the same obstacles we are going through can sometimes give us enough hope and enough push for us to prioritize getting healthy and reprogram ourselves.
I hope that you are able to take the time to think about the reasons that inspire you to take better care of yourself and if you need some extra inspiration from the stories of actual people that have changed their eating habits for the better I recommend the e-book “What do Raw Fooders Eat?” available again for this week only.
As I mentioned above, putting a face on the “nutritional facts” can be very powerful. And that is what I feel Nomi Shannon has done with her groundbreaking e-book “What Do Raw Fooders Eat?”. Not only do you get the daily recipes from 48 raw foodists, but most importantly, you get their stories. What inspired them to change? And what are the benefits they received from making the extra effort to eat healthfully? This e-book might just be the little boost you need to turn your “train” around:)
Click here to learn more: http://rawgourmet.com/cmd.php?af=1286243 *affiliate link
“What do Raw Fooders Eat?” e-book is available again for this week only Aug 16-23rd (with the 400 dollars worth of bonuses!) due to the many e-mails that were received that expressed disappointment for missing out on the offer. If you were disappointed, I do hope you can take advantage of this offer the 2nd time around!
Click here to learn more: http://rawgourmet.com/cmd.php?af=1286243 *affiliate link
P.S. What is your reason to take better care of yourself? Please comment in the comments section below.
August 16, 2011 20 Comments
I get asked a lot about the best raw food books that I recommend. Although I have to say I haven’t met one raw food recipe book that I didn’t like, I do have have my two favorites and I’ll tell you why. Also, please make sure to share in the comments section your vote for the best raw food book and why you like it so much!
Brenda Davis RD and Vesanto Melina MS RD
Nutrition geeks rejoice! This book is chock full of nutritional information about the raw food diet. If you’ve ever asked (or been asked) how to get enough protein?, where to get B12, iron, and calcium?, what raw foods are unsafe to eat?, and can you really get all the nutrients you need from the raw food diet? This book answers all those questions and more! It also includes 50 raw food recipes that contain all the nutritional information about the recipe including calories, protein, fat, carbohydrate content and a complete vitamin and mineral nutritional analysis.
My favorite recipes from the book are: Sprouted Quinoa Tabouli, Thai Spring Rolls with Spicy Pecan Sauce, and Mango Pie with Coconut Crust. After reading this book, you will have a greater understanding of the nutritional needs on a raw food diet and you will be better equipped to answer any questions from family and friends. Yay!
By Jennifer Cornbleet
The Zen of raw food preparation! This is one of my favorite raw food recipe books because of ease of preparation and the availability of the ingredients in all the recipes. Even though the recipes in this book are simple, they do not sacrifice on taste one bit!
My favorite recipes are the Cream of Zucchini Soup, Ranch Dressing, Mediterranean Kale, and Key Lime Mousse. If you are new to raw foods and want to get started right away this book is for you. No fancy equipment required!
Here is a video of the Mediterranean Kale Recipe by the author of Raw Food Made Easy, Jennifer Cornbleet
*A side note, in both books some of the recipes call for Tamari or Nama Shoyu and I prefer to substitute those two ingredients with Organic Chickpea Miso or Sea Salt. Also, I usually substitute some of the sweetener called for in a recipe such as honey or maple syrup with stevia to cut out some of the sugar. But you see, that is the cool thing about recipes, they can give you a foundation and then you can make them your own!
What do you think? Did I get it right? What’s your favorite raw food recipe book?
P.S. The two links above are amazon affiliate links.
August 1, 2011 24 Comments