Debunking Those Raw Food Myths

Raw foods have seen an increase in popularity in recent years. Many people are exploring more diet options and adding more raw vegan foods to their diets and some are even going full-on raw.

What exactly does “going raw” mean?

Raw foods are those that have not been processed or heated above 115-118 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius). Proponents of raw food diets believe that many foods cooked at a higher temperature lose their enzymes along with much of their nutritional value and in some cases, can actually harm the body. Uncooked foods, on the other hand, provide living enzymes that have not been tampered with and proper nutrition. Most raw food enthusiasts eliminate diary but in some cases unprocessed dairy products are included.

If you are thinking about joining this trend, there are some “raw foods” myths that you need to be aware of that are repeated over and over but are simply not true!

Myth #1 –

All or nothing at all – The belief that we must be 100% raw to gain any benefits is far from the truth. The reality is, most modern diets are high in processed and fast foods so any increase in fresh raw foods is beneficial. Replacing soda, fries and burgers with green veggie salads for lunch, provide more energy and will always offer more benefits. Of course, the more processed foods we replace with healthy fresh veggies and fruits the more benefits we receive. To enjoy all the benefits that a raw diet offers your diet needs to be about 90% raw foods.

Myth #2 –

The belief that raw foods cannot be warmed is not true. Raw foods can be warmed to approximately 118 degrees without altering the nutritional value. Food dehydrators are often used to warm foods as well as stove tops and ovens, making sure that everything is kept at a safe temperature.

Myth #3

Only fruits and Veggies are allowed – The reality is, a raw food diet consists of seeds, nuts, nut milks and butters, sprouted grains, fresh juices and seaweeds. There are also some fermented foods such as raw soy sauce, miso and cold pressed raw oils.

Don’t limit yourself on your new raw food diet but explore as many possibilities as you can. Raw foods are readily available. Expand your horizons beyond your local market and find some farmers markets to explore. Ethnic foods are another avenue for exotic fruits and veggies and don’t forget the power of the Internet. You now have choices from all over the world, although in the long run its best to use most of what is offered locally for reasonable prices and freshness.

Myth #4

Raw food meals take a long time to prepare. The success of a tasty meal begins with the tools at hand. With the right tools, preparing raw foods is no harder nor does it take any longer than prepping and serving cooked foods. A high-powered food processor saves hours of chopping and grating time. A quality dehydrator can prepare tasty natural treats consistently so that you always have a fresh batch on hand and a blender creates yummy soups, smoothies and dressings in no time at all.

Myth #5

A raw food diet will break the bank. Not true. Focusing on local produce gives a lot of bang for the buck. Local offers the best prices, flavor and freshness. There will always be raw items that are more expensive than others, just choose wisely and shop around. Use the Internet when possible to save on items such as organic spices. Buy in bulk, watch for sales and skip the fancy platters and pre-cut veggies.

If you are ready to expand beyond your traditional recipes and upgrade them to a more nutrient dense level you will love my newest creation…“Blended Bites.

Sugar Turns on Your Fat-Storing Switch…

bad diet

Nutrigenomics is a blossoming new field that studies the genes associated with health and disease as well as obesity.

It is the study of how nutrients interact with our human genes.

We’re already aware that certain foods contain information and instructions for cells and hormones along with nutrients and calories. Now they are trying to find out how this information can turn on or off the expression of certain genes.

For example –

When you eat sugary types of foods a cascade of chemical and hormonal reactions are set off in the body. One of the side effects of this is it turns up the dial on your hunger thermostat which reprograms your level of hunger upwards. You not only experience increased hunger, you now experience increased cravings as well.

It’s a known fact that fructose (sugar) stimulates and turns on a gene-mediated “fat-storing switch.”

The results are…

A cascade of chemical reactions that play havoc with our bodies and health. Decreased HDL (good cholesterol) levels and increased LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, elevated blood fats (triglycerides), higher blood sugar levels and high blood pressure – all thing that lead to the condition known as metabolic syndrome.

Dietary carbohydrates, especially fructose, are also the primary source of a substance called glycerol-3-posphate (g-3-p), which causes fat to become fixed in fat tissue. At the same time, high carbohydrates raise insulin levels, which prevent fat from being released from the body’s cells.

Fructose further tricks your body, turning off your body’s appetite control/regulation system which results in feeling hungry all the time, even though you have eaten. You continue to overeat which causes you to not only gain excess body fat and weight but now you’ve opened the door to developing insulin resistance which is the precursor to not only diabetes, heart disease and cancer, but a long list of other chronic disease.

When we eat the wrong foods, particularly the wrong carbohydrates and turn on this “fat storing switch” it leads to weight gain, especially in the abdominal area. But the damage doesn’t stop there. It goes on to affect your health in other negative ways and can eventually lead to serious disease. Unfortunately, no amount of exercise or physical activity alone can compensate for this type of damage to the body cells and systems.

Fructose and the wrong types of carbohydrates, for example grains that break down into sugar in the body, lead to weight gain, obesity, weight loss resistance and on to other more serious health issues.

Becoming and staying overweight is not necessarily the result of eating too much food and calories but rather eating the wrong types of foods and getting calories from the wrong sources.

The truth is, the foods that are now making us unhealthy and overweight were not part of the diets of our ancient ancestors. These are modern varieties. They activate and program our bodies to continue to store fat rather than burn it and the only way off the merry-go-round is to get them out of our dietsl.

Isn’t it time you began introducing much ignored nutrient-dense super-star ingredients into all your dishes…including desserts?

To enjoy delicious, nutritious desserts and treats that contribute to your health – “50 Desserts with Hidden Veggies.” Inside  you will discover no bake, Paleo friendly, no sugar, gluten free healthy sweet treat and dessert recipes…

 

Raw Honey is a Super-food Favorite

honey2Anyone that is truly seeking health pays attention to what goes into their bodies in regards to nutrients.

White sugar quickly becomes a no-no and satisfying their sweet tooth can be a challenge.

However, there are a few great sugar substitutes available and raw honey is one of those – it’s a long time family favorite.

Humans have enjoyed and indulged in honey for thousands of years. Its consumption dates back to prehistoric cave paintings found in Spain over 8,000 years ago. Recorded in Egyptian, Chinese and Biblical texts, honey was also enjoyed and used medicinally by Native Americans.

Used in beverages and foods of all types for its nutritional value, honey has been used as a remedy for everything from burns to intestinal problems.

Of course, like other foods, honey comes in differing grades. If you’re really after the super-food nutrient value of honey, steer clear of the processed “heated” kind. Choose high quality raw honey that still retains all of its nutrients, enzymes and medicinal properties. When honey is in this state, it is still a living food offering enzymes that can boost the immune system and digestive functions.

Honey contains a wide variety of trace minerals. Iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, chromium, copper, manganese, and selenium are critical for insulin sensitivity and, blood sugar balance. Because it is easily digestible, it offers a huge energy boost for the body.

Raw honey is a perfect alternative sweetener but should be used in moderation because of its high glycemic sugar content. Often prescribed at bedtime, raw honey helps promote the release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for the recover and rebuilding of tissue when the body is at rest.

 

Benefits you’ll derive from honey include:

Boost in energy

Relieving arthritic discomfort

Promoting healthy gastro-intestinal/digestive systems

Helps with calcium absorption

Prevents heart disease and cancer

Prevents plaque build-up

Heals burns

Slows aging

In order for honey to be considered real honey by the Food and Drug Administration, it must contain pollen.  Unfortunately in the U.S. has a lot of honey being sold that is not real honey. For the most part, honey is not checked so many people buy and consume nutrient-depleted honey. The best thing to do is to buy organic, raw honey from your favorite health food store or health food aisle in your grocers. If there is a local beekeeper in your area that would be the best place by far to purchase your honey.

Raw unprocessed honey comes straight from the beehive. It is a potent superfood that provide us with healing enzymes that make us mentally alert and sharpen our IQ. 

Raw honey or real honey is usually labeled according to the flowers it was obtained from – each offering their own array of nutrients. Flower sources can include wildflowers, clover, buckwheat, alfalfa and or other specialty types.

Isn’t it time you began introducing much ignored nutrient-dense super-star ingredients into all your dishes…including your desserts?

For more delicious, nutritious desserts and treats – “50 Desserts with Hidden Veggies.” Inside  you will discover no bake, Paleo friendly, no sugar, gluten free healthy sweet treat and dessert recipes…

Shift Your Perception about Dieting by Adopting the Addition Diet…

additon diet3Elimination diets have been around for a while now. They are a dime a dozen putting focus on food groups that need elimination from your diet. Filled with words like “can’t,” don’t touch,” and “bad for you”…all pointing the fingers in a negative direction.

It’s no surprise then that many people “fall off the bandwagon” when trying to improve their eating habits by following such negativity.

But just as all things in life change and evolve, so too does healthy eating and there’s a new kid on the block gaining popularity called the “addition diet.” Even the name sounds positive and reflects positive images into our psyches.

The “addition diet” represents a real shift in perceptions (a psychological shift) from negatively to positively approaching our diets. It shifts the “can’t” to “can”…a much more empowered way of doing things.

Truth is, human beings are curious by nature. If we are told we cannot do something or cannot eat something it seems as though a trigger goes off inside and suddenly we want those things more than ever and that’s when real battle begins.

The “addition diet” avoids this negative “dieting” trigger by allowing you to add foods not subtract them.

This puts your mind in a different mindset, a healthy, positive mindset…one focused on the positive rather than the negative putting you on a direct path to success.

Dieting in general teaches us to remove unwanted, unhealthy foods such as certain types of breads, sugar and all processed foods but they fail to inform us on what to replace these foods with so we’re left with a big gap in food and meal choices. Unfortunately most times we end up filling these gaps with “junk foods.”

The first thing you need to do before beginning an “addition diet” is to make a list of foods that will be added to your eating plan rather than subtracted from. These foods should be real, natural, whole fresh choices.

Your goal should still be stellar health and vibrant living and that can only happen with real live food.

So, if you’re ready to shift your diet perceptions from negative to positive then it’s time to start making a list of foods you’ll want to incorporate into your new “addition diet.”

Here a short list to get you started (this list is only an example and not the end-all).

Fruits and Vegetables: Be adventurous and expand your horizons. Mother Earth has provided us a rich bounty. Try some fruits or vegetables that you have not been willing to try before…or possibly some you have not had in a while. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes are perfect choices but why not reach for that Mango you’ve never tried too?

Protein: This is another area that you can get adventurous in. Quality proteins include things such as grass fed meats, fresh fish from the ocean and free range poultry and eggs. High quality whey protein powders are also good choices.

Healthy fats: Your body needs fat in order to be healthy but we’re talking healthy fats – not bad ones. Coconut oil is one of the perfect fats that can replace some of the “bad fats” that may be lurking in your kitchen cabinets.

Nuts and seeds – There are lots of raw nuts and seeds you can add – nutrient-rich and packed full of healthy fats too.

The whole idea of an addition diet is to focus on adding foods into your diet that “contribute” to your health balance and by doing so; you automatically “crowd out” the ones that are “subtracting” from your health balance.

Simple, important and powerful!

You don’t have to give up desserts and treats either if you plan and choose the right ingredients – even desserts can be made healthy, nutritious (using veggies and fruits will help you meet your daily requirements too) and good for you!

If you are ready to take your traditional desserts, treats and snacks and turn them into “life giving” ones grab my “50 Desserts with Hidden Veggies. “  In it you will discover no bake, Paleo friendly, no sugar, gluten free healthy sweet treats and dessert recipes…

It’s time to make every bite you take count!

Whey Protein…An Excellent Source of Protein

whey protein2

Whey protein is a naturally complete, high quality source of easily digested protein and bio-available essential amino acids. It is a complete protein, low in lactose content, containing all 9 essential amino acids that is easily digested and absorbs from the gut quickly compared to other types of protein. These qualities make it one of the best dietary sources of protein available.

This super supplement is the liquid byproduct (used to be discarded by cheese manufacturers as a waste product). It is sold as a dietary supplement in protein powders and shakes. The benefits of a high-quality whey protein supplement range from preserving healthy to purely aesthetic reasons.

Whey protein is a favorite supplement with athletes who use it to help improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean muscle tissue mass when strength training.

This powerful protein helps dieters burn fat – especially belly fat! Dieters take advantage of its hunger-curbing benefits and ability to help preserve lean body mass while shedding weight. and health conscious consumers like it for the antioxidant support it offers –  delivering amino acid building blocks for glutathione, a super intracellular antioxidant.

But the benefits of this super food don’t stop there…science is also proving whey protein to be a powerful super-food in the quest towards longevity and it has proven effective at lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardio-vascular disease, and has anti-cancer properties.

There are a number of varieties of whey protein powder that you can take, each formulated slightly different to assist your goals at various points in the day. There’s one to fit all needs…

The best kind to take before or after a workout is the whey isolate variety. This type digest more quickly in the body giving your tissues what they need at this critical point in the day. On the other hand, if you are taking protein powder before bed then you’ll want to go for the casein variety as this type breaks down and digests very slowly (you get a steady and even release over time.)

If you are lactose intolerant, take the lactose free variety or consider an egg white protein powder instead. Vegetarians can turn to soy protein powder or hemp protein powder as well.

The important thing to keep in mind when choosing any whey protein variety is to find one that is low is sugar and fat content so that you are getting just 100% pure protein – or as close as possible. Avoid using them as a meal replacement too because they offer little on the satiety front and some are extremely high in sugar not exactly what you want to be loading your body with.

A typical serving of whey concentrate contains about 5 grams of carbs, 25 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fat. You can even use whey successfully in many healthy desserts and snacks.

If you are ready to take your traditional desserts and turn them into “life giving” desserts grab my “50 Desserts with Hidden Veggies. “  In it you will discover no bake, Paleo friendly, no sugar, gluten free healthy sweet treat and dessert recipes…

Dessert Herbs that Grow Easily in Any Home Garden

herb garden

Some of the best nutrients that nature provides us comes packaged up in small containers. Herbs are some of those things.

Offering a fresh from Mother Earth taste to your recipes, herbs are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. Adding character, spice, appeal and health benefits to every dish they are invited to, many of them make the transition from savory to sweet dishes easily with their delicate flavors and aromas.

According to Brian Hetrich, a gardening expert and naturopathic doctor at the Hippocrates Healthy Institute “half the nutritional value of plants are lost within thirty minutes of harvesting.” This means that no matter how healthy and appealing they look at the market, they have already lost a great deal of nutrients that nature freely provided.

Not so with a fresh herb home garden…

The great thing about most herbs is that they can easily be grown right at home…in a garden or planter. (although they can grow easily in planters, herbs love to spread out too so don’t be afraid to give them room in your garden). This allows us to pick them right as we’re ready to use them taking advantage of all their nutrients and health benefits.

Planting indoors is easy:

Planting tray of some sort

Organic potting mix

Seeds or starter plants easily obtained at any nursery or garden center for a nominal price.

Here’s 8 of the top and most popular kitchen herbs that are easily grown in any garden:

Rosemary: Pretty and aromatic, the scent of this herb has been shown to improve memory. It has also been shown to fight cancer cells with its carnosic acid compounds. Frequent watering in full sun. Simply touching it will releasing its unique scent.

Thyme: As long as it gets plenty of sunshine, this herb grows well in indoor gardens because its stays relatively small in size. Long known for its antiseptic properties and its success as a remedy for respiratory problems, it is calorie free so you can add it freely to any soup, salad or side dish.

Parsley: Common yes. Often overlooked and shoved aside, yes. Parsley is nutrient rich with more than ½ the daily recommended intake of vitamin K contained in just one tablespoon. It also offers vitamins A and C. Not much sunshine is required for them to thrive but make sure to keep the soil from getting too dry. It’s hard to renew wilted parsley.’

Cilantro: This popular staple of both Asian and Mexican cuisines is a great source of fiber and supplies a hefty dose of iron. It helps clear heavy metals from our body by attaching itself to them and drawing them out of the tissues. The seeds of cilantro are the spice known as coriander. Cilantro is a little more challenging to grow in a home garden because it requires deep soil in order to thrive. You can sow the seeds outdoors in the spring and summer and will continue to regrow from seed that drop from harvested plants throughout the growing season. Grown in full sun or light shade.

Basil: This popular herb offers a warm and spicy flavor to any dish. It offers a wealth of vitamins including A, K and C as well as magnesium, potassium, iron and calcium. Grown in a sunny locations the seeds can be sown directly into the garden in late spring or started from seed indoors in early spring and transplanted into your garden later on. Basil’s rich minty aroma is a nice addition to any peach dish.  Make sure you keep pinching off the flower heads so that the plant will keep throwing out new leaves all season.

Dill: This flavorful aromatic herb offers a healthy dose of antioxidants such as beta-carotene. Requiring full sun, this easy to grow herb needs a garden or large post to grow in and soil that is deep but not too dense.

Lavender: Lavender is often used as a seasoning for baking. Its distilled oils have been useful and versatile as herbal remedies. Grown by seed indoors and then transplanted outdoors in full sun in early spring, lavender does not tolerate excessive moisture or humidity.

Peppermint: This aromatic and tasty herb has talents beyond the kitchen. It is an excellent deterrent for many pests such as rodents, ants and spiders so plant it around your home and garden. Peppermint leaves are a refreshing healthy addition to many beverages and desserts. Grown indoors than transplanted outside they can also be grown directly outdoors. Full sun or partial shade is best.

Most veggies and many herbs can be used with great success in desserts and treats and can be key to getting the required daily requirements of nutrients that your body needs.

It’s time to step out of your comfort zone, expand beyond your traditional recipes and upgrade them to a more nutritional level – “Blended Bites will help you do just that.

Cashew Ginger Crunch

ginger2Fresh ginger is a spice known botanically as Zingiber officinale.  

This odd “horn shaped” spice offers a distinctive flavor. It is pungent, spicy and aromatic adding special flavor and zest to many fruit and veggie recipes.

Ginger has been prized and used in cultures all over the world for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties for at least 2,000 years.

Scientific studies reveal that ginger offers antioxidant effects and other important therapeutic properties.

It has been known for centuries as a very effective solution to symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In fact, ginger is regarded as an excellent spice for promoting the elimination of intestinal gas as well as offering the ability to relax and sooth the intestinal tract.

Ginger has also proven very effective in preventing symptoms of motion sickness and even beats out Dramamine (an over the counter motion sickness drug) in effectiveness. All symptoms associated with motion sickness including vomiting, cold sweats, nausea and dizziness are effectively reduced with ginger.

This odd looking but zesty spice offers potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols – the component responsible for ginger’s distinctive flavor. Research shows that gingerols may also inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells and has proven effective in reducing pain levels and improving mobility in those that suffer with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Because ginger is extremely safe to use and only requires a small dose, it has even been used to reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women and proven effective for those suffering with migraine head-aches.

Depending on the variety chosen, ginger can be white, yellow or red in color and covered with a thin or thick (depending on when it was harvested – mature or young) brownish skin. The active substances in ginger are very concentrated so it does not take much to receive its beneficial effects.

Fresh ginger is far superior in flavor to dried ginger and contains higher levels of gingerols.

Mature ginger (more readily available than its younger counterpart) is readily available year around in the produce section of your favorite grocery store or super-market. It has a tougher skin than young ginger so it must be peeled before use. Once peeled it will last up to 3 weeks refrigerated while unpeeled ginger can last as long as 6 months. Be sure to choose ginger that is firm, smooth and mold free.

Ginger is so versatile that you may also find it in crystallized, candied or pickled form.

Try this healthy quick to make Cashew Ginger Crunch snack…

 

Cashew Ginger Crunch

1 cup cashewsgingerbars

1 cup dried apricots

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

Put all ingredients except for the honey into a food processor and process until roughly chopped but still with some texture. Add honey and process just long enough for it to blend.

Press into a dish or on a plate about ¾ inch thick and refrigerate for about an hour or more.

Cut into squares or any shape and enjoy!

Most veggies and many herbs and spices can be used with great success in desserts and treats and can be key to getting the required daily requirements of nutrients that your body needs.

If you are ready to expand beyond your traditional recipes and upgrade them to a more nutrient dense level you will love my newest creation…“Blended Bites.

Raw Cacao – A Rich Source of Nutrients and a Powerhouse of Antioxidants

cacao2

The cacao bean is the source of both cacao powder and cocoa powder. However, if you are looking for the purest form of chocolate you can consume packed with the most nutrients, raw cacao is your answer.

Cacao powder has been enjoyed for centuries in the kitchen and as a health aide. It is believed to be the highest source of antioxidants of all foods and the highest source of magnesium of all foods – it even trumps dark chocolate when it comes to antioxidants provided offering 300 different chemical compounds with nearly 4 times the antioxidant power of dark chocolate. Cacao powder is also considered brain food because it contributes to cognitive function and the flow of blood to the brain – it improves heart health, stress and cholesterol levels and reduces inflammation. It is perfect for desserts, smoothies and even makes the cross-over easily to savory dishes.

Cacao beans grow in cacao pods on the fruit tree known as “Theobroma Cacao.” When the pods are cracked open the cacao bean is released. The bean is then harvested, fermented (not always) and dried.

 

Cacao and cocoa powder are not the same

In cacao powder the bean is still in its raw state – uncooked, unprocessed and additive free. It is unadulterated and is not as processed as traditional cocoa powder. It is processed by cold-pressing (pressing the oil/cocoa butter out) unroasted cocoa beans which removes the fat but keeps the living enzymes active. Cocoa powder on the other hand has been roasted at high temperatures which changes the molecular structure of the bean and reduces the enzyme activity lowering the nutritional value.

The fattest part of the cacao fruit is the cacao butter that lines the inside of the cacao bean. Offering a rich, buttery texture similar in taste and texture to white chocolate.

Cacao powder is what remains of the fruit once the cacao butter is cold-pressed removed. It is the most important ingredient for making chocolate. An excellent source of nutrients, offering monounsaturated fats and cholesterol-free saturated fats. It also offers a wealth of vitamins, minerals, fiber, natural carbohydrates and protein.

Cacao nibs are cacao beans that have been chopped into edible pieces similar to chocolate chips but with no added sugars or fats. They do contain the same wealth of nutrients, fiber and fat you find in cacao beans. Nibs are just small bits of fermented, roasted, dried and crushed cacao bean. Offering an intense, non-sweet, chocolaty taste, they are very good for your health.

Cacao nibs and cacao powder are becoming a healthy cook’s best friend and are showing up everywhere.

The versatility of cacao nibs is one reason for their recent popularity. Similar to a macadamia nut in texture, cacao nibs are crunchy yet tender. If chocolate is already a favorite treat of yours, then you’ll likely fall in love with cacao nibs – even if their somewhat “bitter” taste takes a bit of getting used to.

They are perfect as is just sprinkled on your favorite gluten and sugar free cupcakes or mixed into your favorite homemade granola.

Ready to take your traditional desserts and turn them into “life giving” desserts? “50 Desserts with Hidden Veggies” was written with you in mind.  In it you will discover no bake, Paleo friendly, no sugar, gluten free healthy sweet treat and dessert recipes…

Isn’t it time to make every bite you take count!

Treat Your Sweet Tooth to Healthy Raw Desserts…

raw cacao2Shifting your lifestyle from one with destructive, disease inviting habits to one that embraces health and wards off disease doesn’t have to be as painful as some people believe especially when it comes to diet.

Many people are under the misguided belief that their “sweet tooth” will suffer in this transition and because of that they stay locked into their unhealthy eating patterns and health destroying desserts.

But the reality is, you don’t have to give up your sweet desserts and treats. You simply have to change your perception of desserts and treats and modify them to reflect healthier ingredients.

What better way is there to make a lifestyle shift towards healthier eating and better health than with decadent raw desserts that are as healthy as they are delicious?

Truth is, you can serve up delicious raw desserts, snacks and treats that are created from the healthiest foods on earth…those that Mother Nature provides us.

When your desserts are made with real, whole, healthy ingredients that our bodies were designed to eat and process…those that provide anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes what is there to feel “bad” or guilty about?

You can replace your guilt with “joy of knowing” that you while your taste buds are getting a treat, your body is getting the gift of nutrition.

Dried fruits and other natural sweeteners replace harmful white sugar, coconut and its oil replace butter, cream and eggs (avocados are often used to replace fat too) and ground nuts can be used to replace flour. The only things you eliminate are bloating, lethargy and guilt. In return you get energy and a feeling of lightness…and all the joy, goodness and satisfaction you want and expect from dessert.

With a new perception we can appreciate desserts in a whole new way – raw and healthy. Raw desserts are a delight literally. They taste better than their counterparts and offer fresh dynamic “clean” flavors because they are created from real, whole healthy ingredients.

Imagine throwing almonds, avocados, dates and cacao powder in a food processor and creating rich cream chocolate mousse. Or, how about serving up a slice of “cheesecake” that you’ve put together with healthy ingredients like fruits and nuts that could easily rival something in a gourmet bakery.

And, to make your raw desserts even healthier…try adding vegetables to them.

Raw desserts offer more flexibility than their baked or cooked counterparts and eating them helps us to not only achieve ultimate health but it helps us to maintain a healthy weight. The negative impacts of chemicals in our food and our exposure to food allergens like wheat, dairy and gluten are eliminated.

Next time you serve dessert, feel good about what you are serving. Try serving something made with raw healthy ingredients and watch as people’s face light up and they come back for seconds.

Here’s a simple but delicious fudge recipe that’s sure to quench your sweet tooth and bring in rave reviews.

White Chocolate Goji Fudge

Grind up:

1/2 cup goji berries (usually sticky not really a powder)goji fudge

Blend until smooth:

1/2 cup cacao butter

1/2 cup cashews

1/2 cup agave nectar

Blend in ground goji powder and mix in by hand:

1/2 cup cacao nibs, 1/2 cup whole goji berries

zest from 1 orange

Spread in a glass pie plate and chill in the freezer until firm.

Serve and accept compliments with grace…

Isn’t it time you began introducing much ignored nutrient-dense super-star ingredients into all your dishes…including your desserts?

For more delicious, nutritious desserts and treats – “50 Desserts with Hidden Veggies.” Inside  you will discover no bake, Paleo friendly, no sugar, gluten free healthy sweet treat and dessert recipes…

Choosing Healthy Fats – Good Fats v Bad Fats

healthy fats3

Although nutritionists and doctors alike have been preaching the benefits of a low-fat diet as one of the keys to managing cholesterol, losing weight and preventing future health issues, it’s really more about what types of fat you eat…not the amount.

Bad fats such as trans-fats and saturated fats have given a bad name to all fats but fat isn’t always the bad guy when it comes to disease and weight gain.

Truth is, eating fat can be heart-healthy when you pick the right fat. In fact in order for your body to function at peak performance, your body needs some fat…the healthy kind. If you try and avoid all fat you risk not getting enough fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.

To truly understand the difference between good and bad fats it’s important to know the major types of fats we’re dealing with.

 

Bad Fats include:

Trans-fats

Trans-fats and some saturated fats are bad because they increase the risk of disease and elevate cholesterol levels and play havoc with your weight. Good fats on the other hand protect your heart and your overall health.

In fact, good fats like omega-3 fats (fish is by far the best source of omega-3 fatty acids) are essential to your body physically, mentally and emotionally. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fat and are proving to be especially beneficial. Getting more omega-3’s in your diet can help to sharpen memory, protect against dementia, balance mood and battle fatigue.

Healthy fats are far more satiating than refined and processed carbohydrates and a healthy diet should include at least 50-70 percent healthy fats.

Healthy fats do not include things like vegetable oils that are often marketed as being “healthy.” These man-made, refined and processed vegetable oils they want to label as “healthy” are actually loaded with unhealthy omega 6-fats that mess with your fat storing-fat burning hormones.

Fructose along with the wrong types of carbohydrates such as grains (that break down into sugar once in the body) lead to weight gain and eventually obesity. Other conditions such as weight-loss resistance are also the result of eating the wrong types of carbohydrates. The key is to begin replacing grains, sugars and lost carbohydrates with healthy fats.

 

Healthy Fats

Healthier dietary fat includes:

Monounsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats

Omega-3 fatty acids (a type of polyunsaturated fat)

Some saturated fats (like those found in coconut oil)

There are many readily available sources of healthy fats that you can include in your diet, here’s a few examples:

Olives and olive oil – Not for high temperature cooking but perfect for cold dishes

Coconuts – All forms of coconut…shredded, dried, fresh and flour for cooking and baking. Coconut oil or butter is good for high temperature cooking

Avocados –

Butter – From grass fed cows

Raw nuts – All raw nuts not roasted

Seeds – Chia, flaxseed, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds

Eggs – Free range

Meat – Grass fed

When focusing on replacing bad fats with healthy ones, a good place to start is to eliminate the trans-fats in your diet because no amount of trans-fats is healthy. They all contribute to major health issues ranging from heart disease to cancer.

The answer is not cutting fat out of our diets…it’s learning to make wise healthy choices in regards to which fats we eat as we begin replacing bad damaging fats that are currently in our diets with ones that promote health and well-being.

It’s time to take your traditional desserts and turn them into “life giving” desserts. Grab my “50 Desserts with Hidden Veggies. “  In it you will discover no bake, Paleo friendly, no sugar, gluten free healthy sweet treat and dessert recipes that use only healthy life giving fats.