The Raw Glow Blog

Category — How To

List of Heart Healthy Foods – How to Take Care of Your Heart

list of heart healthy foods

In honor of Valentine’s Day in February, I thought I would create a list of heart healthy foods and give you some tips on how to take care of your heart all year long. The heart is the most important organ of the body, in my opinion, without it we can’t survive and we are only born with one! Hope you enjoy my list of heart healthy foods and tips for a healthy and happy heart.

(Some of the below links are affiliate links, yet I really do love and recommend these products!)

How to Take Care of Your Heart

  • Slow it down. Relaxation techniques such as meditation can lower your blood pressure and decrease your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Try this heart centered meditation I recorded whenever you need to relax:

Click here if you can’t see the video below.

Cecilia says: if meditation isn’t your thing, find other ways to relax such as massage, listening to beautiful music, being out in nature, or whatever helps you to relax.

  • Speed it up. Studies clearly show that exercise helps the heart, both by improving exercise capacity and reducing the risk of heart disease and premature death.

Cecilia says: find aerobic exercise that you enjoy such as walking, dancing, or swimming because you are more likely to be consistent by doing something you love.

  • Spice it up. Flavoring foods with more herbs and spices and less salt can enliven your diet while helping to keep your blood pressure balanced.

Cecilia says: preparing food with fresh herbs and spices can be so much fun! There are many quality herbs and spices on the market and I recommend buying in bulk to save money. You can get good quality bulk herbs and spices here.

  • Eat your greens. Research indicates that a diet rich in green leafy vegetables lowers the risk of heart disease.

Cecilia says: if salads aren’t your thing, try juicing or blending your greens for a daily delicious green drink.

  • Magnesium is your friend. Magnesium helps maintain normal heart rhythms.

Try these magnesium rich foods: pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, sesame seeds, and summer squash.

  • Get your omega-3s. ALA an anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid that may reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels and possibly lead to heart disease.

Try these omega-3 rich foods: walnuts, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax, winter squash, olive oil, navy beans, kidney beans, and soybeans.

  • Eat the rainbow. A wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables deliver powerful phytonutrients that can prevent and repair damage to cells. That’s the essence of preventing heart disease.

Try these phytonutrient rich foods: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries, carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, red bell peppers, asparagus, oranges, tomatoes, acorn squash, cantaloupe, papaya just to name a few!

  • In summary, for a healthy heart try to relax, get moving, reduce your sodium intake, and try to include as many heart healthy foods into your diet as possible!

List of Heart Healthy Foods

(This list is not all inclusive)

All leafy greens

Magnesium Rich Foods

spinach
Swiss chard
pumpkin seeds
sesame seeds
summer squash

Omega-3 Rich Foods

walnuts
macadamia nuts
chia seeds
hemp seeds
flax
winter squash
olive oil
navy beans
kidney beans
soybeans

Phytonutrient Rich Foods

blueberries
strawberries
raspberries
cranberries
blackberries
carrots
broccoli
sweet potato
red bell peppers
asparagus
oranges
tomatoes
acorn squash
cantaloupe
papaya

Thank you for visiting the Raw Glow Blog, if you liked this list of heart healthy foods and how to take care of your heart tips please “like it” below. Comments are always welcome.

From my heart to yours!

♥,
C

Get your heart healthy hemp seeds here:

February 19, 2014   No Comments

Brown Rice Milk Recipe – Easy and Homemade!

Brown Rice Milk Recipe
Brown Rice Milk Recipe
I hope you enjoy this easy homemade brown rice milk recipe. While most brown rice milk recipes call for making brown rice milk with water, I prefer to use coconut water for the brown rice milk recipe because it makes for a sweeter and more flavorful milk. This is a cooked brown rice milk recipe that I find really creamy while still being easy to digest. It is a great base for fresh fruit smoothies and an easy way to add extra calories to your diet if you are looking to gain weight.

Prep Time: 3 hours

Yield: 6 Cups (Serving Size = 1 Cup)

Nutrition Information:
  • 173 calories
  • 1 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of sugar
  • 17 milligrams of sodium
Ingredients:
  • 4 cups organic overcooked short grain brown rice
  • 4 cups coconut water or filtered water
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon non-alcoholic vanilla extract
  • Preferred sweetener to taste (I have used white stevia powder or liquid, honey, and maple syrup, but you could use whatever sweetener you prefer)
Instructions:
To cook the short grain brown rice use a little more water than usual. I personally use 1 cup dry brown rice to 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for an hour and then take off the heat and let the brown rice cool down for a few hours. Add 4 cups of the cooled brown rice in a high speed blender, such as the Vitamix, with 4 cups of liquid. Then add 1 vanilla bean and blend for about 1 minute on high. Strain the mixture through a nylon nut milk bag and put the strained mixture back in the blender with your favorite sweetener to taste. I usually add a few pinches of white stevia powder or a few drops of flavored stevia to taste. If you don't have vanilla beans you can add 1 teaspoon of a non-alcoholic vanilla extract at this point. Blend the sweetener and vanilla in the blender and then pour the rice milk into a sealed container and put in the fridge, where it will last for a few days. Makes about 6 cups of brown rice milk. Use it as you would regular milk.

 

straining brown rice milk through a nut milk bag

Tips:

  • You really need a good nylon sprout bag or nut milk bag for making this recipe, but if you don’t have one you can use a mesh strainer or cheese cloth. Get a nut milk bag here.
  • You only need to blend the rice and liquid in the blender for 1 minute if you have a high speed blender such as the Vitamix, but if you don’t have a Vitamix you might need to blend for longer.
  • You can use the same method above for any type of grain milk. The ratio is 1 cup cooked grain such as quinoa, oatmeal, buckwheat . . .to one cup of liquid and follow the above directions. You can also mix and match grains and even add some soaked nuts into the equation as well. I like to mix one cup cooked oatmeal, 1/2 cup soaked almonds, and 2 cups brown rice with 4 cups liquid to make a delicious non dairy milk. You can also make the same recipe  with cooked quinoa instead of the oatmeal. The possibilities for mixing grains and nuts to make different milks are endless.
  • Some people will ask me if you can skip straining the milk in the sprout bag or nut milk bag. I would say that straining is essential unless you want a grainy milk. The only exception to this would be if you have a Vitamix and make oat milk out of cooked oatmeal. I have been able to get oatmeal milk  really smooth without straining, but I still prefer to strain for a smooth consistency. If you don’t have a Vitamix or another really powerful blender you will almost always need to strain when making grain milks.
  • You can experiment with using different liquids to make your grain milks as well. My personal favorite is to use coconut water for a sweet milk, but you could use: coconut water kefir for a tangy fermented drink or your favorite herbal tea such as mint or lemon verbena for a flavored brown rice milk.
  • Nutrition info is per 1 single 8 ounce serving using coconut water and stevia powder as sweetener.

I hope you enjoyed this brown rice milk recipe. Thanks for reading and please share your favorite non-dairy milk recipe in the comment’s section below.
♥,
C

enjoy free shipping with your vitamix purchase

June 13, 2013   5 Comments

Easy Dehydrator Recipes – a Plethora of Ideas

dehydrated squash

Most people don’t realize how easy dehydrator recipes can be. Easy dehydrator recipes can be as simple as slicing fruits and vegetables and preserving them for later. If you haven’t used your dehydrator in awhile, here are some easy recipe ideas to make sure you are getting the maximum benefit out of your dehydrator.

All of these recipes were made in the Excalibur Dehydrator, but any dehydrator will do. Dehydrating times vary according to your dehydrator model, altitude, humidity, thickness and quantity of product.

1. Sun Dried Red Bell Peppers

Most people know that they can dehydrate tomatoes, but most people don’t realize how delicious dehydrated red bell peppers can be. You can use them just like you would sun dried tomatoes. They make a beautiful thickener in blended sauces and soups while adding a rich flavor.

Directions: De-seed bell peppers by removing the stem and seeds. Then slice them into rounds about half an inch thick. Dehydrate for about 12-14 hours at 115 degrees until completely dry and store them in an air tight container for later use.

2. Dehydrated Persimmons and Pears

Most people know you can dehydrate apples, but did you know you can also dehydrate other fall fruit such as thinly sliced persimmons and pears? Sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon and they make great gifts around the holidays.

Directions: De-seed persimmons and pears and slice them into rounds about half an inch thick. (You can squeeze lemon or orange juice on the pears to prevent browning.) Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Dehydrate for about 12-16 hours at 115 degrees until completely dry. Store them in an air tight container for later use.

3. Natural Salt Replacement

Did you know that you can dehydrate a bunch of  yummy vegetables to make your own natural salt free seasoning? For example, you can dehydrate a combination of any of the following: celery, lemon zest, lime zest, shallots, leeks, onions, green onions, fresh herbs, hot peppers, and red cabbage to make amazing flavor combinations.

Directions: Wash your produce really well and dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Slice desired vegetables very thin. Dehydrate for about 6 hours at 115 degrees or until all veggies are crisp. Grind the vegetables in a spice grinder and put in a sealed jar for later use. If kept dry, spice mixture should last a few months.

4. Dehydrated Veggie Snacks

Most people are aware that you can dehydrate fruit, but did you know dehydrating veggies can be as rewarding? Dehydrated kale and sweet potato chips have gained some popularity, but did you know you, you can dehydrate butternut squash, jicama, and cauliflower as well? Enjoy as a healthy snack when you get a craving for something crunchy.

Directions: Cut each vegetable differently according to which one you choose to use. Thinly slice butternut squash into chips using a mandoline if available, cut jicama into match stick strips, or crumble cauliflower florets. Toss desired vegetable in a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle a dash of salt, cayenne, paprika and combine well. Dehydrate veggies at 115 degrees until desired crispiness is reached which could take anywhere from 12 to 24 hrs at 115 degrees to reach maximum crispness.

5. Transform Leftovers

Did you know you can dehydrate left over fruit smoothies to make fruit leather in your dehydrator? You can also dehydrate leftover nut based blended dressings to make raw crackers just by adding a few tablespoons ground flaxseed or other ground seeds such as sunflower, sesame, or chia. You will need teflex sheets for both of these applications. (Although if you are making crackers, you might be able to get around the teflex sheets by using a large sheet of nori seaweed instead. Just spread your cracker mixture on the nori sheet and flip over half way through the drying process.)

Directions: To make fruit leather from a left over fruit smoothie you can add a little lemon or lime juice to the smoothie to prevent browning. Then using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread a thin layer of your smoothie onto the teflex or dehydrator sheet (you can grease the dehydrator sheet with a thin layer of coconut oil to prevent sticking). Dehydrate for approximately 12 hours at 115 degrees until pliable. Store them wrapped in plastic wrap or in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat as soon as possible. They shouldn’t last more than a week.

If you make a lot of nut based dressings in the blender (such as tomato, macadamia nut, basil, or some similar combination) and have some left over dressing, just as add a few tablespoons ground flax or another ground up seed (if you have a Vitamix you can just grind the seeds in the blender with the rest of the dressing ingredients) and blend in any other vegetables or spices you have laying around. Add water to thin if necessary until you get a muffin batter like consistency and then spread the mixture on a teflex sheet or large nori sheet. Dehydrate at 145 for 2 hours and then 115 for 8-10 hours, flip and then continue dehydrating for another 8-10 hours until desired crispness is reached.

Hope you enjoyed these easy dehydrator recipes. Here are some more easy dehydrator recipes you might enjoy:

Dehydrated Young Coconut Recipe

Dehydrated Sweet Potato Chip Recipe

Simple Kale Chip Recipe

Please do share your favorite easy dehydrator recipes in the comment’s section below.

♥,
C

P.S. If you liked these easy dehydrator recipes you might enjoy the everyday raw food recipes in the e-book, What do Raw Fooder’s Eat?  *Affiliate Link

January 16, 2013   4 Comments

How to Use Coconut Oil – 10 Easy Ways!

If you ever wondered how to use coconut oil read on . . .

By now you’ve probably heard of some of the unique benefits of coconut oil. Coconut oil is a unique fat because it contains 50 percent lauric acid, a rare medium-chain fatty acid found in mother’s milk that supports healthy metabolism and is now being studied for its anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial health-protecting properties.

It is also excellent for dry skin and hair and in my house we use coconut oil liberally both in the kitchen and bathroom. We prefer cold-pressed, organic extra-virgin coconut oil with a heavy coconut smell and taste.

Here are some of our favorite ways how to use coconut oil:

 1. Make a delicious honey coconut oil spread:

Mix equal parts coconut oil and raw honey and a pinch of cinnamon to make a delicious spread for baked goods, pancakes, toast . . .

 2. Make an herbed coconut oil:

Mix one cup coconut butter and a bunch of fresh herbs or assorted herbs (chives, basil, tarragon, cilantro, dill . . .). Blend in the food processor with the s blade until the herbs are finely minced and store in the refrigerator. Use on rice, baked potatoes, steamed vegetables . . .

3. Substitute coconut oil for butter in any recipe:

Use it in baking, sautéing, spread on mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, toast, popcorn . . .

 4. Make a hot coconut oil treatment for your hair:

Warm coconut oil until liquid with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Put on clean dry hair and cover with a warm towel. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and then shampoo out.

 5. Use coconut oil instead of shaving cream:

Spread on desired areas and then smoothly shave away!

 6. Use coconut oil as an anti-frizz hair styling product:

Rub a little bit of oil in the palms of your hands and then comb your fingers through your hair.

 7. Use coconut oil as a make-up remover:

Apply coconut oil to your made up face with your fingertips and wash away make-up gently with a warm moist wash cloth.

 8. Use coconut oil as a massage oil by itself or mix with other oils such olive, sesame, or almond.

 9. Use coconut oil to occasionally season your wooden cutting boards and keep them looking new.

 10. Use coconut as a natural deodorant:

Mix with some essential oil such as lemon or lavender and apply under arms.

I hope this list gave you some ideas on how to use coconut oil, but I know this list is just the tip of the iceberg! Please share your favorite ways to use coconut oil in the comments section below.

♥,
C

June 26, 2012   13 Comments

How to Control Food Cravings – 10 Ways to Comfort Yourself Without Food

woman at peace

We all get unhealthy food cravings from time to time that are hard to control.  There can be many reasons why we crave certain foods: it could be that we’re just plain hungry, stressed/emotionally upset, or physically addicted to the foods we are craving. Certain foods are more addictive than others such as high fat and high sugar foods, chemically processed foods, and sometimes we can be addicted to the foods we are allergic to.

However, no matter what the reason for our food cravings we are trying to satisfy a need in us, whether emotional or physical. To put it simply, we are trying to make ourselves feel better. Unfortunately, most of the time, if we give into unhealthy food cravings we end up feeling worse! Fortunately, there are other ways to comfort ourselves without food that won’t make us sick or leave us feeling guilty!

Here are ten ways how to control food cravings and comfort yourself without food. Try them next time the craving monster hits!

Next time you get a craving . . .

Tip #1  Try chewing on something instead of eating such as a piece of sugar free gum, a straw, seaweed, licorice root sticks . . .(etc.)

Tip #2  Try stimulating your mind by playing a crossword puzzle or suduko.

Tip #3  When wanting to zone out and eat mindlessly try flipping through a magazine instead, it doesn’t take much mental effort and can have a calming effect.

Tip #4  Try bringing yourself back to present moment by paying attention to you breath and any bodily sensations you are experiencing in the moment. Repeat the statement, “I am here now”.

Tip #5  Try making yourself more comfortable by changing into sweat pants, letting your hair down, finding a comfortable place to sit or lay down, and or snuggling up with your favorite blanket.

Tip #6  When looking for comfort without using food, try using the soothing effect of heat to calm your body such as drinking your favorite cup of herbal tea, or applying warm washcloth over your eyes or forehead.

Tip #7  Try giving yourself a quick self massage on your hands, feet, shoulders, ears, face, and scalp.

Tip #8  Try changing your mood with different scents. Essential oils are great way to experiment; some scents have a calming effect and others have an invigorating effect. You can use an aromatherapy humidifier, lamp or diffuser or simply pour the oil on a cotton ball and sniff anytime you need it!

Tip #9  Try listening to a piece of beautiful relaxing music such as classical or new age type music that has a calming or uplifting effect on your mood. If you need a quick pick me up try dancing for a few minutes to your favorite energizing music.

Tip #10  Try looking at pictures of loved ones that make you smile, and make sure to have these pictures handy next time a craving hits.

This blog post was inspired by the book 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food by Susan Albers, PSY.D, so if you liked these tips, check out the book! (Available on Amazon.)

If you have any other ways you like to comfort yourself without food, please do share!

♥,
C

P.S. If you would like some personal guidance on how to conquer cravings I am also available for a  raw food coaching session.

May 3, 2012   6 Comments