Cold Brew Coffee with Toddy 67% less acid!

Cold Brew Coffee with Toddy - less acid and very delicious!

Toddy Toddy Toddy!  I love you! Being a french press only coffee drinker, the cold brew system by Toddy is a great change.  While in the hot days of August there is nothing better than an iced coffee with less acid.  Yes, cold brewing coffee makes it 67% less acidic - easier on the stomach, the teeth, and digestion.

I used to be a Barista and am very picky about the taste of coffee and espresso, the cold brew process in my opinion is superior to hot brewed coffee and espresso. This cold brew process makes it super condensed, you really only need about a shot glass worth of it in a drink.  It also retains the rich and robust flavor for days.  When your toddy is done brewing, simply put it in the fridge for days of coffee drinks. It is easy but requires some timing - to get the best brew it must sit for 24 hours.

I got mine from Amazon of course and you should get one before all of your friends do!

Instructions are provided with the Toddy but my tips are:

  • use reverse osmosis water
  • let it sit for 24 hours (it says 12-24, but 24 does the trick)
  • keep them going so you don't find yourself without coffee for 24 hours
  • drink it cold or hot
  • it is great over ice with rice milk
  • use coarse ground coffee (otherwise your filter will get clogged)
  • use a non-greasy bean (otherwise your filter will get clogged)

I have noticed whiter teeth, no stomach issues, no jitters, and a good caffeine buzz.

Get one!


Raw Pure Carrot and Ginger Juice

Carrot and Ginger Juice - Energizing!

Juice is not REAL juice unless you either use a juicer or your mouth to juice vegetables and fruits.  Everything in the store sold as "juice" is not alive - it is dead and pasteurized, as well as being loaded with sugar and other unnecessary ingredients.  

I juice everyday.  I use a Breville Juice Fountain or my mouth to extract juice the way nature intended.  I at minimum, replace ONE meal with real pure juice.  You can do any kind of recipe you want but I am focussing on my delicious, creamy, carrot juice with ginger.   I often use carrots as a go- to when I am juicing because they taste sweet and creamy when juiced.

The health benefits of drinking raw carrot juice are immense for both men and women. The carrot contains so many different vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of pro-vitamin A, vitamins C, D, E, K, B1 and B6.

I use about 11 good sized carrots, ends cut off (not peeled), and a piece of ginger about the size of my thumb.  Drink the juice as soon as possible as it is best closest to juicing.  I usually feel the energy of this juice within minutes and if I have this juice in the morning I make it to lunch without being hungry.

Above is the pulp that remains after the carrot juice is extracted.  I have been making a delicious bread with the pulp.  I will be posting the bread later.  



How to Juice Wheat Grass and the many Health Benefits

Wheat Grass!

Wheat Grass is nothing shy of AMAZING!  It is so good for you and easy to juice.  I have been juicing wheat grass for over 7 years now and am devoted to giving my body this super shot of nutrition.  Some may get turned off of wheat grass by the process but it is worth it. Wheatgrass is packed with nutriton, one shot contains: chlorophyllamino acidsmineralsvitamins, and enzymes.

Once you do it you will not be able to stop.  I am not the only one that loves it in my house, when my cat hears me getting out the juicer he runs into the kitchen to get a few blades for himself.  I simply cut a few blades, hold it near his mouth, and he does the rest!  It is very nutritional for cats too!

There are many options to juice wheat grass but I prefer a cast iron hand cranked juicer. Do a google search and you can see where to get one.  Mine is so burly that it has been making wheat grass juice for me for 7 years!  

 The amount of juice in the picture above will produce 2 full shots of wheat grass.

1. Cut the grass with scissors down to the end of the green.  
2. Take 1/4 of the grass and put in juicer and crank.
3. Capture the juice and enjoy!

  • I sometimes follow with a half a lemon or a small orange to extract all of the grass, it also gives it a citrus sweet taste for those that have trouble with the taste.
  • After the blades of grass come out put them back through the juicer to extract even more. Every drop counts!

If you do not have a juicer you can also just chew it!  Yes, you can juice wheatgrass in your mouth and it is very good for your gums and teeth.  Simply cut a handful of blades, put it in your mouth, and start chewing - yes, just like cows and horses do ALL DAY long and stay so strong and healthy.  You can chew for a few minutes until the blades of grass are dry. 

I notice one days that I have wheatgrass  for breakfast I have more energy than I usually do and do not get hungry.  It truly is a superfood and everyone should try it!!

More health benefits:
from HippocratesInst.org   http://hippocratesinst.org/wheatgrass/benefits-of-wheatgrass
Some of the superior qualities of wheatgrass and the juice that can be extracted from its blades include the following:
  • Increases red blood-cell count and lowers blood pressure. It cleanses the blood, organs and gastrointestinal tract of debris. Wheatgrass also stimulates metabolism and the body’s enzyme systems by enriching the blood. It also aids in reducing blood pressure by dilating the blood pathways throughout the body.
  • Stimulates the thyroid gland, correcting obesity, indigestion, and a host of other complaints.
  • Restores alkalinity to the blood. The juice’s abundance of alkaline minerals helps reduce over-acidity in the blood. It can be used to relieve many internal pains, and has been used successfully to treat peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, constipation, diarrhea, and other complaints of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Is a powerful detoxifier, and liver and blood protector. The enzymes and amino acids found in wheatgrass can protect us from carcinogens like no other food or medicine. It strengthens our cells, detoxifies the liver and bloodstream, and chemically neutralizes environmental pollutants.
  • Fights tumors and neutralizes toxins. Recent studies show that wheatgrass juice has a powerful ability to fight tumors without the usual toxicity of drugs that also inhibit cell-destroying agents. The many active compounds found in grass juice cleanse the blood and neutralize and digest toxins in our cells.
  • Contains beneficial enzymes. Whether you have a cut finger you want to heal or you desire to lose five pounds…enzymes must do the actual work. The life and abilities of the enzymes found naturally in our bodies can be extended if we help them from the outside by adding exogenous enzymes, like the ones found in wheatgrass juice. Don’t cook it. We can only get the benefits of the many enzymes found in grass by eating it uncooked. Cooking destroys 100 percent of the enzymes in food.
  • Has remarkable similarity to our own blood. The second important nutritional aspect of chlorophyll is its remarkable similarity to hemoglobin, the compound that carries oxygen in the blood. Dr. Yoshihide Hagiwara, president of the Hagiwara Institute of Health in Japan, is a leading advocate for the use of grass as food and medicine. He reasons that since chlorophyll is soluble in fat particles, and fat particles are absorbed directly into the blood via the lymphatic system, that chlorophyll can also be absorbed in this way. In other words, when the “blood” of plants is absorbed in humans it is transformed into human blood, which transports nutrients to every cell of the body.
  • When used as a rectal implant, reverses damage from inside the lower bowel. An implant is a small amount of juice held in the lower bowel for about 20 minutes. In the case of illness, wheatgrass implants stimulate a rapid cleansing of the lower bowel and draw out accumulations of debris.
  • Externally applied to the skin can help eliminate itching almost immediately.
  • Will soothe sunburned skin and act as a disinfectant. Rubbed into the scalp before a shampoo, it will help mend damaged hair and alleviate itchy, scaly, scalp conditions.
  • Is soothing and healing for cuts, burns, scrapes, rashes, poison ivy, athlete’s foot, insect bites, boils, sores, open ulcers, tumors, and so on. Use as a poultice and replace every two to four hours.
  • Works as a sleep aide. Merely place a tray of living wheatgrass near the head of your bed. It will enhance the oxygen in the air and generate healthful negative ions to help you sleep more soundly.
  • Enhances your bath. Add some to your bath water and settle in for a nice, long soak.
  • Sweetens the breath and firms up and tightens gums. Just gargle with the juice.
  • Neutralizes toxic substances like cadmium, nicotine, strontium, mercury, and polyvinyl chloride.
  • Offers the benefits of a liquid oxygen transfusion since the juice contains liquid oxygen. Oxygen is vital to many body processes: it stimulates digestion (the oxidation of food), promotes clearer thinking (the brain utilizes 25% of the body’s oxygen supply), and protects the blood against anaerobic bacteria. Cancer cells cannot exist in the presence of oxygen.
  • Turns gray hair to its natural color again and greatly increases energy levels when consumed daily.
  • Is a beauty treatment that slows down the aging process when the juice is consumed. Wheatgrass will cleanse your blood and help rejuvenate aging cells, slowing the aging process way down, making you feel more alive right away. It will help tighten loose and sagging skin.
  • Lessens the effects of radiation. One enzyme found in wheatgrass, SOD, lessens the effects of radiation and acts as an anti-inflammatory compound that may prevent cellular damage following heart attacks or exposure to irritants.
  • Restores fertility and promotes youthfulness.
  • Can double your red blood cell count just by soaking in it. Renowned nutritionist Dr. Bernard Jensen found that no other blood builders are superior to green juices and wheatgrass. In his book “Health Magic Through Chlorophyll” he mentions several cases where he was able to double the red blood cell count in a matter of days merely by having patients soak in a chlorophyll-water bath. Blood building results occur even more rapidly when patients drink green juices and wheatgrass regularly.


Vegan Sloppy Joes - Quick and Easy Recipe

Vegan Sloppy Joes - Quick Easy Recipe

Tempeh to the rescue again!  We use tempeh as our meat replacement over all other alternatives.  Tempeh is  easy to work with - simply dice it into tiny cubes and simmer it with your favorite veggies, oils, and spices.  We have made taco "meat", churizo, and now these Sloppy Joes.  The recipe below takes little ingredients,  quick to make, and low cost at the store! You can add many other ingredients if you like - let's just keep it easy!

Shopping List / Ingredients:
  • Organic Tempeh
  • Organic Ketchup
  • Organic Mustard
  • Organic Brown Sugar
  • Organic Green Pepper
  • Organic Sweet Onion
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Hamburger Buns
  • Salt & Pepper Chips

1. Dice Tempeh into tiny cubes.  Cut lengthwise and then widthwise into thin strips, then crumble with a fork.
2. Dice green pepper and onions - to equal 1 cup each.
3. Heat pan with favorite oil and put tempeh and veggies in to sizzle for 5 minutes.
4. Add 1/2 cup organic ketchup, 1 teaspoon organic mustard, add 1/8 cup organic brown sugar (more or less), 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, sea salt to taste.
5. Simmer on lower heat for 5 - 10  minutes.


Borscht Soup - Delicious and Vegan

Borscht Soup - Delicious AND Healthy

It is still off and on cold outside and a warm bowl of Borscht Soup would be a perfect way to welcome in a chilly Spring night. There are so many great things about this soup!
  • Healthy
  • Inexpensive
  • Feeds you for days
  • Vegan Friendly
  • Delicious
  • Great for Weightloss
A little history first . . .
There are a few opinions out there as to where this soup originated.  It can be traced to Ancient Rome, then in the 15th and 16th century to Russia and Ukraine.  

Health Benefits:

  • Beets are off the charts healthy - the soup is based in beet stock and has chopped beets, as many as you like.  
  • Cabbage is also a superfood and cancer fighter. The sinigrin in cabbage can be converted into allyl-isothiocyanate, or AITC. This isothiocyanate compound has shown cancer preventive properties with respect to bladder cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
  • Garlic and onions are antimicrobials - great for cold and flu days!
  • This soup is very low calorie and fills you up with nutrients.

There is no ONE way to do Borscht.  Classic Borscht  includes: beetroot, cabbage, potato, onion, carrot, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and spices. We followed this recipe, due to her very detailed instructions (we also cubed our beets):

We also paired this with a sourdough baguette for dipping from Macrina Bakery http://www.macrinabakery.com/ here in Seattle. 



Sumo Oranges - Unique Treat!

Sumo Oranges! 30 years in the making for this amazing fruit! I had my first Sumo Orange in February of 2012 and looked forward to this season to get my hands on some more. This orange was created in Japan with a California Navel and a Mandarin and magic happened. In Japan it is called Dekopon but got the name "Sumo" when in landed in the United States.

Sumo oranges have a taste that is hard to describe. Imagine the full flavor of a mandarin orange, a perfect blend of sweet and a tiny bit of sour, and the size of a navel orange. Love the way mandarins peel? You will love the peel on this fruit. The appearance of this fruit is also endearing . . . wrinkles and puckers but oh so beautiful and perfect on the inside.

If you see them in the store you must try them! The season is winding down and I cannot wait for next year!


Meatless Ground Beef style Tacos made with Tempeh

Everything about this taco meat is like the real thing - texture, taste, and look. Made with Tempeh, taco spice, and chopped vegetables, this taco meat will fool your most committed meat eater. This is easy to do and delicious. If you are vegan vegetarian you do not have to give up tacos!

Tempeh is a great meat alternative and full of nutrients as well. When I check out at the market with tempeh the checker oftens asks "What do you do with that???". I explain that we make hamburgers, tacos, sloppy joes, and many other things with it. A look of "how?" appears on their face.

Below is the process of turning tempeh into great taco meat. Top with what you like!

Shopping List

1 8oz package Organic Tempeh
1 package Taco Spice
1 onion (sweet or yellow)
serranos or jalepeno peppers (optional)
oil (I prefer grapeseed)


1. Cut Tempeh in half and begin slicing lengthwise in small slices. Next, cut tempeh widthwise. Use hands and crumble further.

2. dice onions and peppers

3. Begin heating pan with 3 Tbs. oil

4. When oil is hot put tempeh and vegetables in the pan and fry. Fry until golden brown

5. Add taco spice and 1/2 cup water and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.



Roasted Vegetables and Olive Oil

On my travels last week, this wonderful rendition of roasted vegetables was prepared for me to cater to my vegan lifestyle! Everyone else had a roast with meat and some of these veggies. I could not resist snapping photos as it was prepared, so beautiful! This is easy to do and a real crowd pleaser, so many different kinds of vegetables. You can add or remove any you like but here is the recipe as seen in the pictures:

-Summer Squash
-Brussell Sprouts
-Red Bell Peppers
-Small Yellow Potatoes
-grape tomatoes

Other Ingredients
-sea salt
-coarse black pepper
-olive oil
Clean veggies, pat dry, cut into medium to large chunks and place in large bowl. Add crushed garlic, tomatoes and all veggies. Stir sea salt, large black pepper, and olive oil to coat veggies. Let sit to marinate flavors. Pour onto cookie sheet, separating the tomatoes until broil time. Save the bowl and re-use to serve to get more flavor. This was roasted on a greased foil covered cookie sheet 400 about 20 min or until desired tenderness. Then add grape tomatoes and broil about 2-3 min. Let cool.


Inspired by Vegetables

Hello! Wow! Been awhile! I have not been writing as I should for the last couple years but have new inspiration to continue. That new inspiration is the increased awareness of the healing properties of fruits, vegetables, and nuts - PLANTS!

I have been making more of an effort to go raw but that does not always work out as planned. In my food adventures and new found education I have become aware how amazing and healing it can be to drink raw juice. No, not made with a blender . . . a juicer! Everyone one asks about my "fancy blender" but I always reply,"It is a juicer!!" Blenders do not extract the fiber from fruits and vegetables, and the powerful effect of juicing is just that - removing the fiber for optimum digestion.

I have been juicing for one meal a day for over 6 months now but I want to do more juice. I want to go total juice for 30 days. I will gradually build to 100% juice over the next week and a half and then I am going to take the big plunge - raw juice 30 days. I will report and keep you informed!

The picture above is from last weekend. I was traveling to see family and had this wonderful juicer waiting for me - what amazing accommodations. The wonderful elixir that came from this veggie combo was incredible, energizing, and inspiring and leads me to this post!

recipe will energize 2 adults

-organic tomatoes from the vine (4)
-organic medium sized carrots (3)
-organic cilantro (1/3 bunch)
-organic garlic (4 cloves peeled)
-organic serrano pepper (1 and a half)
-organic kale 1/2 bunch
-organic meyer lemons (2)



A Few Good Reasons to Go Veg!

In November I reached my 2 1/2 year anniversary of eating only plant based foods! I have never felt better and have lost many pant sizes to boot! It is no longer a diet, nor does it have a label, it is simply a way of life. Going vegan is kinder to animals, the earth, and your body. Below are facts and figures that reinforce how important it is to consider a plant based diet

# Human population of United States: 270,000,000 (and counting)
# Number of human beings who could be fed by the grain and soybeans eaten by U.S. livestock: 1,300,000,000
# Sacred food of Native Americans: Corn
# Percentage of corn grown in United States eaten by human beings: 20
# Percentage of corn grown in United States eaten by livestock: 80
# Percentage of soy grown in United States eaten by livestock: 90
# Percentage of oats grown in United States eaten by livestock: 95
# Percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 90
# Percentage of carbohydrate wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 99
# Percentage of dietary fiber wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 100
# How frequently a child dies of starvation: Every 2.3 seconds
# Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on 1 acre of land: 20,000
# Pounds of beef that can be produced on 1 acre of land: 165
# Percentage of U.S. agricultural land used to produce beef: 56
# Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce 1 pound of feedlot beef: 16
# Pounds of protein fed to chickens to produce 1 pound of protein as chicken flesh: 5 pounds
# Pounds of protein fed to hogs to produce 1 pound of protein as hog flesh: 7.5 pounds
# Number of children who starve to death every day: 38,000
# Amount of total U.S. grain production consumed by livestock: 70%
# Amount of U.S. grain exports consumed by livestock: 66%
# Amount of world grain harvest consumed by livestock throughout the 1980s: half
# Number of pure vegetarians who can be fed on the amount of land needed to feed 1 person consuming meat-based diet: 20
# Number of people who will starve to death this year: 20,000,000
# Number of people who could be adequately fed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%: 100,000,000
# Amount of increase in global cattle population during the last 40 years: 100%
# Amount of increase in global fowl population during the last 40 years: 200%
# Ratio of livestock to people on Earth: three to one
# Amount of Earth's land mass grazed by livestock: half
# Amount of U.S. cropland producing livestock feed: 64%
# Amount of U.S. cropland producing fruits and vegetables: 2%
# Percentage of original U.S. topsoil lost to date: 75
# Amount of U.S. cropland lost each year to soil erosion: 4,000,000 acres, the size of Connecticut
# Percentage of U.S. topsoil loss directly associated with livestock raising: 85
# Amount of original U.S. cropland permanently removed from production due to excessive soil erosion: one-third
# Pounds of topsoil lost in the production of one pound of feedlot steak: 35
# Current annual topsoil loss on agricultural land in the U.S.: over 5 billion tons
# Current annual topsoil loss on agricultural worldwide: 26 billion tons
# Time required for nature to form one inch of topsoil: 200 to 1000 years
# Historic cause of demise of many great civilizations: Topsoil depletion

Facts and Figures : Vegan Facts on Our Impact
cow : Farm Sanctuary - Gluttonize
veggies : Dallas News


Simple Tempeh Burgers

I have to admit, as a vegan I miss hamburgers. I do not miss the nasty hamburger patty, I just miss the act of preparing and eating hamburgers. I have experimented with many things to create a good vegan hamburger, but have been disappointed many times. The common meat substitute options made by Boca, Amy's, and others are full of preservatives and things I do not want to eat. Falafel works ok but it does not hold together that well as a patty. The other night we thought we would try tempeh. We use it a lot but have not ventured into patties. It worked! We cut the packaged tempeh below in half and then sliced each half into two slices, ending with 4 patties. We fried it in grapeseed oil and the rest is tempeh burger history. I suggest using the tempeh in the last picture - it cut the easiest into 4 patties.


Raw Garlic at the Onset of a Sore Throat

It is cold and flu season and there are some nasty bugs out there. Three days ago I woke up with a very painful sore throat and knew I was in for it unless I got aggressive. I am a believer in the healing powers of garlic, but that was at the back of my for some silly reason.

I started with a warm tonic of cayenne pepper, honey, and apple cider vinegar to no avail. I drank many cups of green tea and sucked on throat lozenges. By the afternoon of day one it was hard to swallow and I started to feel the weak and warm, I was losing hope. I then went to Earth Clinic, a great website full of natural remedies for everything you can imagine including testimonials from faithful users. There it was! My cure! Raw Garlic! I nearly kicked myself as I have used garlic as a remedy for years - why did I wait! It was 4pm, many hours of a painful sore throat, I cleaned two cloves of garlic and immediately put them in the garlic press. I put the pressed garlic into my mouth and started chewing,sloshing it around, and reluctantly swallowed. Within SECONDS my sore throat had diminished 75%! Not only did my sore throat subside, I had an instant burst of energy and the weakness was gone. Throughout the rest of the night the sore throat waxed and waned, but the weakness and body temperature was gone. Before going to bed I pressed 2 more cloves and ingested them.

Day 2
When I woke up I could feel the sore throat, but it was a 50% change from the morning of Day 1, the weakness was completely gone. Throughout the day I took good care of myself with soups, vitamin C, vitamin D3, green tea, and my cayenne tonic. Over the course of the day I consumed 4 raw cloves of garlic. Around 7pm my sore throat reared its' ugly head and gave me a good scare, I went to bed with hope - mind over matter right?

Day 3
This morning I woke up with glee as my sore throat is only 10% there! I have normal energy levels and feel confidant that I am safely out of the woods.

Garlic was an instant cure for me, I feel that I killed the nasty bugs that were inside of me trying to take over my body and give me a full blown cold. I eat garlic in one form or another several times a week so it was easy for me to eat it raw, this may not be the case for others. Raw garlic will burn but the burn will fade. Throughout all of this raw garlic consumption I did not get heartburn or any kind of stomach aches. Contrary to common assumptions garlic does not CAUSE heartburn, some have had luck with it aiding heartburn.

Garlic has many potent properties and one of those is Allicin - it kills bacteria on site! The pungent smell of garlic is just a hint as to how powerful it is on the human body when taken internally. I did a blog on garlic and its' anti-cancer properties back in March Garlic Consumption a Key to Longevity? , I wish I would have taken my own advice before suffering through a whole day with a sore throat.

I saved hundreds of dollars by avoiding the mainstream doctor mill as well as skirting a nasty round of antibiotics. Yes, I panicked and wanted it to go away, but I always go to the natural cures first. I encourage everyone to visit Earth Clinic, it is a great "go to" website for ideas and testimonials on natural cures.

***I am not a doctor, if your symptoms are worsening visit your doctor.
***too many raw garlic cloves can make some light headed...tread lightly if you are not a usual garlic consumer.
***garlic will burn going down but the burning should subside.
***If a sore throat is severe for more than 3 days you should visit your doctor.
***If you do not have a garlic press you can just chew the cloves or slice the cloves.

Stay Healthy!

***********UPDATE 11/11/09

It is now day 4 from the onset of the super sore throat and when I woke up this morning there was no sore throat. I have no symptoms of a cold. I must add that I took 6000 IU of D3 on day 2 and day 3. I must say that Garlic stopped my sore throat from developing into a nasty cold.


Many Health benefits of Cherries!

The health benefits of cherries are as sweet as they taste! It is that time of the summer when Cherries are in season and abundant in the grocery stores and farmer's markets. I am not talking about the dyed red cherries in a jar, I am talking about Rainier, Bing, and Chelan Cherries of the Northwest. While living in the Northwest I would look forward to this time of the year when I could get my hands on the freshest cherries around! While consuming mass amounts of Rainier and Chelan Cherries I was unaware how healthy they are. I keep a big bowl of cleaned cherries in my refrigerator as long as this party lasts - through August :)

There are two categories of Cherries - sweet and tart, both packing health benefits. Cherries grown here in America are a great Super Fruit alternative to tropical berries we do not have great access too. Cherries are often overlooked for a sweet treat but they are much more than that, showing promise in weight loss, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and much more.

Cherries (both sweet and tart) contain a compound called anthocyanins, which is of growing interest to scientists because of its' anti-inflammatory effects on the body. A study at John Hopkin's University shows that anthocyanins can reduce painful inflammation in animal studies. Cherries were shown to reduce oxidative stress, which is a cause of autoimmune disease.

Cherries are being recognized as a "Super Fruit" based on recent research indicating they have powerful cancer fighting qualities. Tart cherries were studied and found to be beneficial in reducing the risk of colon cancer. In a study with mice prone to colon cancer it was found that adding cherries to their diet resulted in a reduction in colon tumors and sizes. The compound anthocyanins may inhibit mammary cancer in rats, reducing the risk of breast cancer.

Sweet Cherries (and of course tart ones) are a good fruit for people with diabetes because even sweet cherries are lower than other fruits on the glycemic chart at only 22. The compound anthocyanins may also help those with diabetes. "In early laboratory studies using animal pancreatic cells, the chemicals, called anthocyanins, increased insulin production by 50 percent, according to a peer-reviewed study scheduled to appear in the Jan. 5 issue of the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry." - Science Daily. Some people have reported checking their blood sugar before eating cherries and found that it actually went down after eating cherries!

Cherries also contain:
-Vitamin C
-Vitamin A
-Ellagic acid

When I do not have access to fresh organic cherries I eat Raw Cherry Pie Larabars. You can also find dried cherries or organic cherry juice in the off season :) Enjoy!

References and Interesting Links
All About Northwest Cherries

Recent John's Hopkins Cherry Information

Cherry Growers of Australia


Raw Pumpkin Seeds - The Superfood I Eat Everyday!

For a couple years now raw, organic, unsalted, pumpkin seeds have been a daily part of my life. They are versatile, delicious, vegan friendly, low fat, low calorie, and most importantly a true superfood. The word "superfood" is being thrown around a lot lately, in the case of pumpkin seeds they are a PERFECT superfood! Recent studies are showing that pumpkin seeds are a vital food for that man in your life due to the protective power they have on the prostate gland. I make it a habit to have at least a handful each day as if it is a medicine. There are many health benefits of pumpkin seeds, enough to deserve their own blog post.

Pumpkin seeds are naturally rich in protein, zinc, essential fatty acids, magnesium, iron, and fiber. To boot they contain most of the B vitamins, along with C, D, E, and K! Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acids alanin, glycine and glutamic acid.

1/4 Cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds
182 Calories
10 Grams Protein
15 Grams of Fat (essential fats)
13.000 mg Iron
1.000 mg Calcium

- Native American were among the first to notice the health benefits of pumpkin seeds. They referred to them as cucurbita and used them to treat kidney problems and to eliminate parasites from the intestines.
- The high zinc level in pumpkin seeds is good for the prostate. The high zinc level is also good for the bones and protecting against osteoporosis.
- The essential fatty acids in pumpkin seeds can kill parasites and provide many other benefits. Parasites and worms are paralyzed with pumpkin seeds.
- The high protein load can provide an excellent source of protein for vegans and vegetarians.
- The fiber content helps the digestive system
- Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan, which helps keep depression at bay.
- Pumpkin seeds can help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol. The seeds have phytosterols, a compound that not only helps lower cholesterol but helps protect against certain cancers.
- Pumpkin seeds help with urinary health.

- The way to get the most out of pumpkin seeds is to eat them raw and organic
- Sprinkle them on top of a salad or cereal for extra crunch and protein
- Roasted Pumpkin seeds can actually raise cholesterol with the very high bad fat content ...just eat them raw
- You can find them in your bulk aisle at most grocery stores.
- Some mainstream grocery stores have them in their bulk aisle raw BUT made in China and not organic. I stay away from those.
- Pumpkin seeds can be enjoyed year round.
- Pumpkin seed oil is available in capsule and packs a super punch of nutritional value.
- The cost at my organic grocery store is 3.99/lb and that can last me a week,
- Add them to raisins, nuts, and coconut flakes and you have your own trail mix.
- Make it part of your daily life!

Pumpkin Seed Oil and Prostate Health


An Ode to Peas - Protein for Vegans

Eat your peas! Grandma was right! Many times I am asked "How do you get any protein???" as if I am going to fall over from lack of protein at any moment. First of all, there is a debate as to how much protein we actually need. Where did this obsession with protein come from, it is not as if we are all hunters and gladiators? Second, vegans have plenty of resources for protein in plant based foods- this brings me to peas. When I read about the health benefits of peas I was shocked, especially with the high protein content.

Peas are of the same family that beans are - Legumes. Legumes are high in folate, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, and selenium, and B6. Peas pack a super punch with 8 vitamins, 7 minerals, dietary fiber and protein (lots of it). I had no idea that peas contained fiber OR protein! In one cup of peas you can pick up 35% of your daily fiber and 6.4 grams of protein - that is more protein that 2 tbsp of peanut butter! Many foods high in fiber and protein are also high in calories, peas are a great source of protein and fiber without adding pounds.

There are now studies being done on protein in the diet and in particular too much protein. In the December 2006 Issue, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, findings indicate that those consuming less protein have lower levels of certain hormones that have been linked to cancer. If you are concerned about protein do some research and most important - relax and eat your peas!

- Canned peas are not only gross but they also contain a ton of sodium and most of the nutrients are missing after all the processing - best to eat them raw.
- Dried peas retain their fiber and protein content and are still very nutritious.
- Yellow peas are a must try
- Asian markets are a great source of snap peas all year round

Medical Study on Peas and High Blood Pressure
Too Much Protein Increase Cancer Risk?