Markus Rothranz: Beyond Raw Foods

I caught the tail end of Markus Rothkranz's motivational speech from the Raw Spirit east coast D.C. festival. In this clip Markus touches on:

- is eating raw expensive?

- toxins in the liver

- digestive problems

- wild foods

- self-empowerment

- being YOU!

If you do not see the video below, please click here.





To learn more about his work:

http://www.markusrothkranz.com

Xavier Hawk on How to Make Kava

Late Friday night of the Raw Spirit east coast festival I met Xavier Hawk, musician and all around cool kat. He introduced us to kava which is a root that is crushed up and steeped in water to create a tea. Kava is known as the black pepper plant and is from the Western Pacific. It's used in ceremonies as a form of sacred communication. It's totally natural and works as a topical anesthetic which causes the tongue and stomach to go numb. It also acts as a mood enhancer and is know to open up ones heart for deeper communication.

Please be aware that it should NOT be mixed with alcohol or anti-depressants. Also do not drink it ladies if you are nursing or pregnant.

If you do not see the video below, please click here to view.




To buy kava:
http://www.nakava.com

To hear Xavier's music:
http://www.xavierhawk.net NOT com ;)

Have you ever tried kava and if so, what was your experience?

Paul Nison on IBD, cacao, daylight eating, and more...


I was stoked to see Paul Nison at the Raw Spirit east coast festival. Being a fellow east coaster, Paul and I hit it off with our northeastern lingo LOL. In this interview Paul shares how he overcame IBD when he was told there was no cure, at a high risk for cancer, and that would eventually have to have his colon taken out. After 'coincidentally' moving right next to the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, he was able to find the education he needed in order to heal himself.

If you do not see the video below, please click here to view.





Paul's new book The Daylight Diet is out now and discusses the importance of eating at the right times throughout the day.

- To order the Daylight Diet:
http://www.rawlife.com

- Watch Paul's health show: http://www.therawlifehealthshow.com

- For more information about Paul: http://www.paulnison.com

By the way, I LOVE his shirt! I can absolutely resonate with that statement. Where can I get me one of those?

Rawdawg Rory on Raw Foods


I met Rory Reese or Rawdawg Rory as he's known, at the Raw Spirit east coast festival 2009. I was immediately drawn to Rory's high energy and personality. Rory used to be overweight and suffered from chronic sinusitis. Since going raw he's lost 90 lbs. to date and has noticed a significant increase in his energy levels (like he needs anymore! - just kidding). In this video Rory discusses how he transitioned over a period of time with raw foods and his advice for beginners new to the lifestyle.

If you do not see the video below, please click here to view.






For more info on Rawdawg Rory:

- http://www.rawdawgrory.com

- http://www.youtube.com/user/xmantidx

Autism and Raw Foods


While at the Raw Spirit festival, I spotted Sunshine Boatright and pulled her right aside to say hello. I knew Sunshine (love that name!) from online social sites and had heard about her son who has autism. I was so stoked to chat it up with her and as soon as we started talking, it was as if I'd known her for ages. She radiates warmth and energy just like her name. What a sweet woman indeed.

When Sunshine was 34 years old, she found herself overweight and out of breath. She suffered from chest pains, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome. After going raw she immediately dropped 80 lbs. without even exercising! Because of the miraculous things that happened to her, the family followed along with the program, and since then she's noticed quite an improvement in her son's cognitive abilities and more. Watch to hear the rest of her story...





If you do not see the video above, please click here to view.

You can find out more info about Sunshine at:
http://www.sunshineboatright.com

Reversing illness and enhancing your life through raw foods: Jim Dee and Charles Balcer


I was fortunate enough to get an interview with these two goofballs together (I say that with love). If you've been into the raw food scene for awhile, chances are you've heard of Jim Dee, the husband of Wendi Dee, who together run the All Raw Directory and Pure Jeevan website and blog. Both of them have had tremendous results from eating a raw food diet. Jim shares his story of how he suffered from high blood pressure, acid reflux, and being overweight. For more information please visit their sites. You have to see their before and after pics on their blog, unbelievable!

- http://www.purejeevan.com/

- http://www.allrawdirectory.com/

Charles Balcer recently got back from his west coast adventure to explore the plethora of raw food restaurants and farmers markets. You can learn more about Charles on We Like it Raw or follow him on Facebook. Tell him Michelle sent ya. :)

If you do not see the video below, please click here to view.



Relax Far Infrared Saunas

Continuing along with the video series from the Raw Spirit festival 2009 east coast; we have Philip Wilson, distributor of the Relax Far Infrared Saunas and health food store owner in Columbus, Ohio. Philip talks about how using one daily may:

- rid the body of heavy metals
- relieve pains and aches
- help recover from sports injuries

- improve circulation

- help diabetic ulcers

- good for people with blood pressure and heart problems


If you do not see the video below, please click here to view.



To learn more about the saunas, you can visit Philip's website: http://www.momentum98.com/

Have you ever used an infrared sauna and if so, what were some of the benefits you experienced? Please share your thoughts below.

Raw Chocolate Conspiracy

Hey y'all, I just want to be sure that you know this blog post contains a video below. For some reason the Peter Douglas one sent out earlier in the week (who lost nearly 100 lbs. through juice fasting) didn't show up for those of you receiving the updates via email. If you are unable to view the video please click here. And now onto the story...

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Aj Wentworth, health counselor, raw foods chef, and chocolatier at the Raw Spirit eco live food festival in Maryland. Chocolate Conspiracy only uses raw, organic, fair-trade cacao sweetened with local honey. All of their flavors are awesome, but the wild spice is my favorite! It's the perfect chocolate bar that doesn't give you the jitters, yet gives you a smooth feeling instead.






To learn more about Aj and his chocolate you can visit: http://www.eatchocolateconspiracy.com/

or

To learn more about the health counseling he offers:
http://www.ajwentworth.com/


What is your favorite way to eat chocolate?

Juice Fasting and Weight Loss

This weekend I was at the Raw Spirit festival in Maryland working for Brad's Raw Chips. I'm so thankful to have been given the opportunity by Brad Gruno. I had such a wonderful time meeting new people and listening to their inspirational stories. It was especially awesome to finally meet people face to face that I had been in communication with via social media. On the first day I met Peter Douglas, who was on day 65 of a 100 day juice fast. Peter was motivated by Philip McCluskey's story of transformation from morbid obesity...




I love love love fresh green juices, especially with my favorite supplements.

What's your favorite vegetable juice?

Gluten free raw vegan snacks


What inspired you to start the Greenwood kitchen?

My inspiration for The Greenwood Kitchen stemmed from my inability to find tasty gluten free vegan snacks and baked goods. I have celiac disease and when I was diagnosed I was appalled at some of the gluten free foods that were on the shelves! So, I created my own! Friends and family were my tasters and many offered their encouragement in this endeavor.

How did you come up with the name?

The Greenwood Kitchen's name was all my husband. When we began the business we had a list of about 40 names. None of which we thought fit right. One morning he woke up, said 'The Greenwood Kitchen' and the rest is history. Now the meaning has significance, as well as our business symbol. The sprout represents roots and growth, and Greenwood is the street we live on, so we'll always remember where we came from.

What got you interested in raw foods?

Ah, raw foods. My wheat allergy caused me to really become aware of everything I ate and how it affected my whole body health. I picked up a few books, became very interested and began experimenting. Since that time, about two to two and a half years ago, my husband and I have been vegetarians, enjoying a good majority of raw foods.

Do you have a personal recipe you would like to share with our readers?

Im a BIG fan of green smoothies. BIG fan. My favorite all time smoothie is fresh spinach, frozen mango and coconut water. So simple and extremely rewarding after a long morning jog.

Where can people purchase your products online and local?

All of our store locations and market dates and times are listed on our website at www.thegreenwoodkitchen.com. There are just so many different markets that we're attending within and around the city, that I would suggest people to check this out on our website.

What would be your best advice to someone new to the world of raw foods?

If you're new to raw foods...the key is to eat your fruits and veggies. Up your greens. So many people new to raw foods head for the heavy nut based dishes, which have there place. However, for me, I was always a fruit and veggie eater, and if you're not, but are interested in eating a healthier diet, or adding more raw foods to your diet, I would suggest browsing the internet for fun recipes, which include whole foods. Smoothies are a great way of getting your greens, salads are another. Do not be turned off by a salad....don't think standard tomato/cucumber bland - blah. There are many wonderful books out there with amazing salad recipes!

What is your favorite raw recipe book?

My favorties....always are changing. Right now, Matthew Kenney's Everyday Raw, which has an amazing spicy almond dressing which goes great on a seaweed salad. My other favorite right now is Cafe Gratitude's I Am Grateful. AMAZING book. Some wonderful veggie filled pizza crust's and check out the juice section to change up your morning routine.

How can people contact you?

The absolute best way to contact me is through email at jaynel.hollis@gmail.com. If you don't hear back from me, you're more than welcome to call me. My website has all of my contact information, so again, I suggest you check that out to read more about the products we offer and our locations in and around the city.

Any last words you would like to add?

We have begun a gluten free and vegan baked line, after much demand. We will be sure to update our website within the next few weeks with photos and information on special orders, such as birthday and holiday cakes, cupcakes, breads, muffins, scones, etc.

For more info: The Greenwood Kitchen Philadelphia, P.a. Visit their blog here or email: jaynel.hollis@gmail.com

Cantaloupe Smoothie Recipe


I love the simplicity of eating fresh fruit and especially blending it into smoothies. Lately I've been drinking this daily after my 15-20 mile bike rides. It really hits the spot after riding in the warm sun. A refreshing and frothy drink to revive yourself on a hot summer day or after a hard workout! So simple yet so delicious.

Cantaloupe Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

* 1 whole cantaloupe
* 3-5 ice cubes
_________

1. Cut cantaloupe in half, scoop out seeds, and remove skin. Cut into chunks and place in high speed blender with ice cubes and blend.


Suggestions: Try adding fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice and fresh ginger root to taste (careful, a little goes a long way).

For more easy and delicious recipes: Check out my island paradise smoothie recipe here and coconut cream pudding here.

What to do now?

1. Make the recipe and try it out for yourself.
2. Please leave a comment, I LOVE hearing from you!
3. Share this post with someone you know that would enjoy it.

Banana Ice Cream Recipe

Almond butter, coconut, banana ice cream topped w/ fresh white nectarines

Nowadays we don't even need to be concerned about still being able to enjoy our favorite pastime foods. Ice cream, mint chocolate chip in particular was something I enjoyed immensely. Since going vegan seven and a half years ago, I haven't missed it since. In fact I love the banana ice cream so much, that I wanted to share the simplicity of it with you. Cool off with this simple and refreshing recipe, even for the novice.


Banana Ice Cream


Ingredients:

2 bananas frozen, with peel off
___________

1. Take bananas out of the freezer and place on counter, allowing to thaw for 15 minutes or until soft enough to be able to cut in 1 inch chunks.

2. Place the cut up chunks in the food processor and turn on. The mixture should start to whip up and come together. If the processor has trouble moving the mixture then you will need to allow the bananas more time to thaw off. You should end up with a creamy whipped consistency. You can either scoop out as is from here or add your additional toppings. Serve and enjoy immediately. Remember it's not like traditional ice cream where you can leave it out for a while. It will start to melt, so eat it up quickly.

Variation: If you're looking for the texture of a soft serve ice cream, follow all of the above steps except now place the ice cream in a bowl or container and place back into the freezer and allow it to refreeze. Then scoop out later and enjoy.

Suggestions for toppings: Try using any of the following to create a desired flavor of your own: almond butter, coconut butter, fresh or frozen berries, cacao powder or nibs, cinnamon, mint, vanilla bean.

What to do now?

1. Make the recipe and try it out for yourself.
2. Please leave a comment, I LOVE hearing from you!
3. Share this post with someone you know that would enjoy it.

Love Street Living Foods

Operating out of Pittsburgh, P.a., Love Street Living Foods was started by Jon-Michael Kerestes back in 2007 and has been growing ever since. They offer an assortment of raw super foods, bars, spreads, supplements, oils, nut butters, and even have a line of chlorine water filters, infrared saunas, air filters, and body products.

How did Love Street Living Foods come to be what it is today?

The problem was that when I would go on road trips, and I needed to fill up the car with gas, there was nothing to eat. At the time, I was feeling the power of eating food that digested well for the first time, so comparing that to how processed food was so hard on my system, I wanted to create a line of superfood snacks people would regard as the most delicious food they've ever eaten while maintaining the purest standards.

What turned you onto to eating raw/live foods and wanted to pursue it as a business?

Tasting the food of a truly gifted raw food chef.

What makes Love Street different from the other raw food products out there?

The great thing about raw foods are that each of them are unique so it's really important for people to try as many different ones as they can put their hands on to see how they respond to that energy. Most of your readers are in agreement that processed foods are similar in that they are dead and lifeless. On the other hand, living foods are still vibrating and should be experienced like meeting new people.

Can people buy your products online? What places in the Philadelphia area carry your products?

Yes, they can buy online. In Philadelphia, if there are any stores I should be in, please let me know (I would call ahead and ask for my products because these stores are on my list because they have ordered in the past but that doesn't mean they stay stocked):

Mariposa Co-op (Philadelphia)
Essene Market & Cafe (Philadelphia)
Whole Foods Market (South St, Philadelphia)
Whole Foods Market (Penn Ave, Philadelphia)
Whole Foods Market (Wayne)

Outside the Philadelphia area:

Whole Foods Market (North Wales)
Whole Foods Market (Wynnewood)
Arnold’s Way (Lansdale)
Martindale’s Natural Market (Springfield)
Natural Acres Market (Millersburg)
To Your Health Natural Foods (Quakertown)
Healthy Alternatives (Trexlertown)
Natural Foods Store (Penndel)
As Nature Intended (Bloombsburg)

How has eating raw foods helped you? If so please fill us in.

More energy, steady sustained energy though the day, no feelings of sluggishness, better phyiscal conditioning and body tone, clear skin, deeper connection to spiritual matters, opened up new levels of thinking.

How can people contact you or learn more about your company?

Our website, where you can join our email list for discounts and new product announcements. Our blog or you can email us at
info@lovestreetlivingfoods.com

Anything else you would like to add?

Other services that Love Street offers:

1. A full line of the best chlorine water filters, air filters, infrared saunas, body products (through the website)
2. Olympic caliber personal training and health coaching (around the world)
3. A 24/7 Body Rejuvenation Program - where people come to live at Love Street and accomplish their health and fitness goals while getting a crash course on how to eat and exercise.

For more info: Love street living foods Pittsburgh, P.a. Visit their blog here or email: info@lovestreetlivingfoods.com

Zukay Live Foods


A candid question and answer with Scott Grzybek, co-owner of Zukay Live Foods based here locally in the Pennsylvania area. Zukay was named after the word 'Tsuke', which in Japanese means pickled.

How did Zukay live foods start?


I was in marketing in our conventional food industry, and I was getting more and more disillusioned with what I was selling. At the same time, my wife and I had been going “back to the land” in our own lives, raising as much of our food on our own and buying the rest from small local farmers. The two sides basically collided, and I decided to roll the dice and start a food business based on how we lived, and based on what we felt was healthy – especially concerning our (then) newborn son. I wanted to add something back into the food system that I felt proud of, and would happily give to anyone.

What peaked your interest to become passionate about fermented foods and turn it into a business?

In our journey, we did a lot of research into traditional foods, and we fell in love with the simplicity and health of lacto-fermentation. It’s such a simple process, completely natural, and ancient – it dates at least back to the start of civilization, and perhaps even before that. It’s certainly older than recorded history, and it gave us a connection with our healthy past. Also, I loved the health benefits – it’s a win-win-win-win situation. The fermentation preserves the products raw, so they have all their natural life, enzymes, and vitamins. Also, the process actually CREATES vitamins and antioxidants that didn’t exist before, so they have more nutrients. In addition, the process breaks down the raw foods in a way that makes the existing vitamins and minerals easier for your body to absorb. And finally, they’re all naturally probiotic, so they’re great for your digestive system. So simple, and so healthy, and so based from nature. The beauty of it just floored me.

For the business, I was looking at doing something anyway. I just didn’t see my future being as an employee, so I was always thinking, and it was honestly a “eureka” moment, when it hit me (we were literally on the road, travelling to a party) that if we could ferment condiments, we could have a food that both was so tremendously healthier than anything that existed AND have it be valuable to everyone, not just the few of us who understood the benefits of fermentation. Once we got that basic premise down, forming the business was pretty easy. Not that running it has been, but the mission came from the heart and has been a pleasure to push forward.

What makes Zukay different from the other fermented foods out there?

A lot, and very little. The main difference is that they’re made for everyday living the way that Americans are used to. That’s why we’re doing condiments like salsas and salad dressings, and not traditional foods like sauerkraut. I wanted to increase the options available to people, not duplicate them. In addition, unlike fermented milk products, we’re completely dairy free. But what’s important is that we make the product in the same ancient, authentic way that traditional foods like sauerkraut and kim chee are made. That part is very, very important.

Now, we do differ considerably from other “probiotic” foods that have recently hit the market. These products are filled with sugars, are not raw, and don’t have any of the other benefits of fermented foods. They’re still, in my estimation, highly processed foods that are only slightly better for you because they have good bacteria in them. This doesn’t include kombucha or whole food supplements like New Chapter or Garden of Life, which are good pure products and are also raw and fermented.

Where is your company located, website, blog, email address, contact info to learn more?

We’re located in the beautiful little town of Elverson, PA, right next to Lancaster County. Our website is www.zukay.com, my blog is www.getyourfermenton.blogspot.com, e-mail is scottg@zukaylive.com, and our phone number is 610-286-3077

Can people buy your products online? What places in the Philadelphia area carry your products?

Our products can all be found at most of the natural food stores in the Philly area, including: Essene, Martindale’s, Kimberton Whole Foods, Harvest Market in Hockessin, DE, Newark Co-op in Newark, DE, Earth Foods in Buckingham, Big Bear in Lambertville, NJ, Basil Bandwagon in Flemington, NJ, Nature’s Harvest in Willow Grove, Grapevine Grocery in Newtown, and the salsas and relishes can be found in Whole Foods. And if that doesn’t cover you, they’re also available online at www.zukay.com.

How has eating fermented and or raw foods helped your diet in anyway? If so please fill us in.

In many, many ways. We’re not completely raw, but we’ve found a great increase in energy from eating as much raw as we can. It’s usually more of a time issue than anything else when we don’t eat raw. Also, it’s helped us tremendously eliminate processed ingredients from our diets, as you’re pretty much assured of eating a whole food if you go raw. We eat the majority of our raw veggies fermented, since I don’t do well with plain raw vegetables. From a health standpoint, we’ve always had strong constitutions so we weren’t unhealthy, but I’ve taken 20 pounds of fat off my frame and feel great. The probiotics keep me very regular, and my immune system (and my wife and son’s as well) are magnificent. We rarely get sick (even though Jacob is in daycare, which is a germ factory), and when we do, it’s minor. I rarely feel sluggish, and I have a more positive attitude and less anger than at any other point in my life. Perhaps I’m just growing up, but I really think the rawness, liveness and purity of my diet has had a huge part in that.

The other thing is that despite my basic rules and home cooking/non-cooking, I don’t stress about my food outside of the home. I do live by the 80/20 rule, and try to make the best decisions possible. But I’m on the road a lot, and have a lot of friends and family who are still firmly attached to the Standard American Diet. I don’t like offending people, so I generally just roll with the punches when I have no other options. Stressing is no way to stay healthy either, and that’s what it’s all about. The one thing I really won’t do is eat sugar, sugar substitutes, or do carb loading. I’m pretty strict about that, as I feel those are the #1 killers in our diet.

Is there any additional information you would like to include?

I’m just trying to do my part to end the Standard American Diet and bring our diets back to the life-giving ways our ancestors used to keep themselves healthier and stronger than most of us could imagine. It’s our birthright and it’s been taken away from us. The crisis in our diets is my central focus in my life, and it’s the one controllable thing we all can change to make everything better – most people just don’t know how.

For more info: Zukay Live Foods, Elverson, P.a. 610-286-3077

Weight Loss, Binge Eating, Opera Singing, and Being a Raw Food Chef


I first met Michelle Shulman, head chef of Arnolds Way Raw Food Cafe a little over a year and a half ago. She shared with me her incredible story of how eating raw foods was allowing her to be free from the day to day agonizing health problems she once suffered from. Michelle just got back from Raw Union, Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes wedding where she was invited to sing opera style for the ceremony. I've been wanting to do an interview with her for some time now and thought this would be the perfect opportunity.


What got you interested in raw foods?

For years I had been hearing about raw foods from a spiritual teacher, the founder of the Foundation of Human Understanding, Roy Masters. Roy wrote a book on raw food called "Eat No Evil." I had read this years ago. He proclaimed that God gave us raw unadulterated foods to live from and man corrupted them. People with obesity problems and problems controlling food were advised by him to eat raw. Roy planted the seed. Then, about 10 years ago a girlfriend told me about a raw food retreat called "optimum health institute" or O.H.I. in San Diego because she knew I had always struggled with my weight and also struggled terribly with binge and compulsive eating, and she thought this retreat would help me, as a friend of hers had gone there and lost a lot of weight quickly. At the time, the retreat was also very inexpensive, so I decided to go for 4 weeks and I'd meet my friend there. As it turned out, she never showed up, she was unable to come, but the retreat left an indelible mark as the raw diet indeed freed me from feelings of compulsion with food as Roy had suggested would happen. I also really felt drawn to the vegan aspect of raw foodism as I had been interested in the blood type diet "Eat Right For Your Type." I am an A Negative blood type and according to Dr. D'Amato, A Negatives are 'supposed' to be vegans. Curiously, my whole life I have had an absolute obsession with meat and could never get enough of it. After getting "off" of meat, I am so glad to no longer crave it, what a relief! Often we crave what is worst for us. I've since returned to O.H.I., actually worked there for nearly 8 months and after my last stay 2 1/2 years ago and became a committed raw foodist.


What was your lifestyle/health prior to discovering raw? Tell us your story.

Prior to committing to raw 2 1/2 years ago, my health was going for worse to deplorable. I had reached 425 lbs, I had severe sleep apnea, chronic snoring, allergies, chronic asthmatic bronchitis, severe reflux (GERD), acne, and chronic lower back pains so bad that I could hardly walk. Worse than all of that, was the fact that I was absolutely hopelessly addicted to food, specifically to fast food, and I couldn't stop binge eating. I was taking in between 7-10,000 calories a day sometimes. It was a living hell.


How has this lifestyle change impacted your life?

After 4 days of raw when i got to O.H.I again 2 1/2 years ago, my back pains completely disappeared. It was a radical impact. I also noticed that my cravings were disappearing the longer and longer I stayed raw. The sleep apnea disappeared, I no longer snore or have reflux or acne. I've lost 175 lbs. I work as a raw chef and really feel like this lifestyle is my 'savior.' I am no longer driven by intense cravings and out of control hunger for food. I eat when I'm hungry! I feel free!


Did you go to a school to learn how to prepare raw?

I didn't, but at the raw food retreat, I worked in the kitchen, and also as a guide in the raw food prep classes. The other workers and I also frequented the raw restaurants and would return back to the retreat and recreate the dishes we had just eaten. It was an amazing time of discovery. The biggest impact on my knowledge of raw food cooking came from a raw food prep video done by Victoria Boutenko. After watched that video, I understood the basic elements of raw food prep and felt as if the 'heavens opened' for me. It was an instantaneous understanding.

How long have you been the head chef at Arnolds?

It's nearing going on 2 years this August of 2009. How time flies! When I came back home from the raw retreat I KNEW I needed support to stay raw and approached Arnold asking for a job. The timing was right and the rest is history!

What would be the best advice you would give to someone struggling with their health and wanting to make changes but not knowing where to start?

Contemplating raw can be so overwhelming. Questions arise such as 'how do I do it right?' At Arnolds Way, we teach a basic principle to 'ADD', not 'SUBTRACT'. That means: Add raw foods to your diet. Don't tell yourself, 'I'll never eat meat or bread again.' Just start adding raw foods IN. The easiest way to do that is to start your day with a green smoothie. Green smoothies are fruit smoothies with added greens. Your getting an alkalizing drink with tons of fiber and soon your body will CRAVE more and more raw foods. We have seen customers improve their health significantly by just this one small change: drinking green smoothies for breakfast. They not only get better, they FEEL better. Feeling better motivates their decision to eat MORE raw foods. This is THE best way to do it, because it's your own BODY giving you feedback instead of some person just saying, 'you SHOULD do this.' Nobody ever sticks to anything because they 'should'. They stick to something because it has meaning and purpose for them.

Can you contribute a personal favorite recipe of yours for others to try at home?

Since we're on the topic of green smoothies, a personal favorite is mango, strawberry, parsley. Into a Vita-mix or a strong blender, add a few bananas, frozen or unfrozen, 1/2 cup strawberries, 2 mangoes cut up, 1 oz of agave, juice of 2 oranges, a handful of parsley, some ice if desired and enough liquid to get the blender going. This is yummy!


Do you offer classes and/or consultations?

I periodically run food prep classes or raw dinners at Arnolds Way, so everyone should get on Arnold's mailing list. You can sign up at www.arnoldsway.com. But I also go to people's homes and un-cook for them or give them raw food prep instruction or lead raw food prep 'parties' at their home. I also specifically help heavyset people who have a hard time losing weight on the more traditional mainstream raw 'gourmet' diets, and guide them to weight loss with a low fat, no salt, low glycemic raw vegan diet. I sometimes offer support groups in this vein, as well. I'm currently blogging daily about my weight loss and the low fat raw program I am on. http://purerawjoy.blogspot.com and I can be contacted at LaSoprana@aol.com


What's your next event coming up?

I have a few things in the works, but no dates set as of yet. I'd like to do another raw dinner, and since I sing opera as well, I'd like to sing at this dinner. The last few opera dinners were really successful and people not only loved the food but the music. I also would like to do another traditional raw gourmet cooking class, and another catered to the diet I am currently favoring, the low fat/low salt/low glycemic raw diet. Anyone can email me to find out about classes and they should definitely sign up for Arnolds weekly email at www.arnoldsway.com!!


How can people contact you for more information?

They can email me at LaSoprana@aol.com, visit my blog, or webpage.

xoxo Michelle Joy Shulman

Michelle also has a stunning voice being a classically trained opera singer. Check her out in action here!

Island Paradise Smoothie Recipe


Not your typical smoothie recipe. This is called a green smoothie because you will be adding leafy greens which are vital to increasing our energy and overall well being. Great for sustaining energy levels over a long period of time. Please don't let the color turn you off, green is good, green is life!

Research has shown that in order to digest the nutrients in the leafy greens they need to be chewed to a consistency of 1-2mm. This is because of the tough cellulose fiber which needs to be broken open to release the nutrients. Now that's a lot of chewing! Since most folks don't even chew properly anymore because of the food they're eating is predominately cooked, it doesn't allow them to exercise their jaw muscles which in turn helps to keep them strong and in shape. This is where the blender comes in, it basically does most of the chewing for you. Green smoothies are also fantastic because they can last for up to 3 days refrigerated and have all of the fiber intact which is important for elimination.

A few tips to get the most out of consuming green smoothies:

  • Drink within 20 minutes or so after making and be sure to swish your mouth with water afterwards so that the sugar isn't just sitting on your teeth.

  • Chew the smoothie each time before swallowing. This will help to produce saliva that whitens the teeth and allows you to digest it better.

  • Always use variety. Meaning-don't drink the same exact concoction of greens for more than 30 days at a time. Each particular green has a way of protecting it's species in nature and releases a small amount of toxins that if consumed for a prolonged period of time in massive quantities, isn't so hot for you.

  • I always find that most people do well adding more fruit in the beginning than greens, until the body becomes acclimated to the taste and naturally craves more greens than fruit.

Island Paradise Smoothie


Ingredients:

* 2 cups filtered water

* 2 ripe bananas

* 1 handful stemmed strawberries

* 1 mango of your choice, chopped and

* 3-4 pitted and soaked medjool dates, any dates will do but these taste best

* 2 collard leaves (stemmed)

* 2 kale leaves (stemmed)

Directions:


There are two ways to make this depending on which type of blender you have. The first set of directions is for high speed commercial blenders only. Pour the water, a few ice cubes (optional), and place the rest of the ingredients into the blender and turn on high for 30 seconds. Pour and enjoy.

For department store blenders. Because the motors on most department store models are not that strong you will need to do it in steps. First pour the water, a few ice cubes (optional), and the chopped banana and dates and blend on high speed till creamy. Next add the chopped mango and strawberries and blend again on high speed. Lastly, add the collards and kale but be sure to chop the leaves finely before adding. This will help to take the strain off of the motor and make the smoothie creamy.

Suggestions: Pour into a beautiful glass and garnish with a slice of fruit like pineapple, strawberry, or mango. Sit out in the sun, sip, and enjoy.


What to do now?

1. Make the recipe and try it out for yourself.
2. Please leave a comment, I LOVE hearing from you!
3. Share this post with someone you know that would enjoy it.

Atiya Ola's Spirit First Foods

Hidden out on the 4500 block of Baltimore Ave. is a warm cafe nicely outfitted in African decor. The cafe opened up back in September of 2008 and prior to that, owner Atiya Ola says it was a typical cafe that served coffee, steaks, and eggs. When asked what inspired her to open a cafe serving healthy food she said, "it was divine timing and just seemed right." The woman who ran the store before her asked if she wanted to take over and left everything in the store for her to use. The only thing Atiya had to supply was a food stand. "Even the plants were donated by the local Drexel girls," she says. Talk about a sweet deal!

When asked what sparked her interest in raw food she said, "people have always loved my food, it has always been with me. Raw food nutrition rang a logic bell in my head." Their goal is to provide nutritious and delicious raw food while educating the local community about eating less processed foods. "Keeping it simple and good is the way we like it," she says.

On the menu you can start with a tasty drink like fresh plantain milk, strawberry moss, or an energizing green juice. Their entrees consist of slaws, salads, sprouted beans, and mixed veggies. For dessert they offer raw vegan apple and sweet potato pie and chocolate souffle. It's light on the wallet as you can grab a meal and a drink for ten dollars. Spirit first foods also caters to vegetarians and vegans with additional items on the menu that are cooked.

The store is still in the early stages of expanding and will be holding educational and preparation classes in the future. Be sure to bring cash as that's all they except at this time. Atiya says, "Come on down! I want you to feel comfortable like you're in your own kitchen."

For more info: Atiya Ola's Spirit First Foods 4505 Baltimore Ave. Philadelphia, PA 215-939-3298 Closed Mondays. Tuesday-Saturday 8am-8pm and Sunday 8am-4pm. Website coming soon.

Coconut Cream Pudding Recipe


In sanskrit the word for coconut palm is known as kalpa vriksha, which means "the tree which provides all the necessities of life." Used widely for food and drink, this is a guilt free healthy treat you're sure to enjoy on a hot summer day.

Coconut Cream Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 young coconut
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked 1-4 hours (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon non gmo soy lecithin
  • 1/2 fresh vanilla bean scraped or dash of vanilla extract
  • raw agave nectar to taste
  • pinch sea salt


Directions:

Crack open the young coconut and pour the water into the blender. Not sure how to? Then watch this short clip. Scoop out the white coconut jelly inside and add that to the blender too. Sweeten with the agave nectar, vanilla, and sea salt. Turn the blender on high speed for about 30 seconds or until creamy.

Take the lid off and add the cashews and soy lecithin (this is not raw) to the mixture and blend once more until creamy.

Pour into cups or desired dishware and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set. It should be of a gelatinous consistency and chilled before serving.

Eat it as is or top with fresh fruit such as berries for a sweet treat!

Note: If you have a high speed blender and are in a rush or just plain lazy, you do not need to soak the cashews. Soaking nuts prior to use is beneficial though because it helps to release the enzyme inhibitors and also make the pudding creamy. Wondering how to soak your nuts? Place them in a bowl and cover with water. Depending on which nuts you use they have different lenghts of time. See this page here to learn more.


What to do now?

1. Make the recipe and try it out for yourself.
2. Please leave a comment, I LOVE hearing from you!
3. Share this post with someone you know that would enjoy it.

How to Make Fresh and Delicious Almond Milk Recipe


Many people have developed severe allergies to cow's milk and soy milk, making almond milk a great alternative to both. I'm highly allergic to pasteurized cow's milk and suffered for a number of years from chronic sinus infections and eczema. You can purchase almond milk already packaged in your local health food store, but it is pasteurized and a great deal of the nutrients are diminished in the process. You can easily make your own fresh batch at home with a nut milk bag, cheese cloth, or a personal favorite of mine, 1 gallon nylon mesh paint strainer bag. A commercial blender like a Vita-Mix is ideal but a half way decent department store model will do for the time being. I do recommend purchasing a Vita-Mix as it lasts a long time and can make everything to raw ice creams, soups, dressings, pâtés, smoothies, juices and much more. And it's very easy to clean!

You can use the almond milk as a base for your favorite smoothies, soups and even as creamer for teas. It's sure to sweeten things up and add variety which is key to succeeding with eating more living foods. Almond milk is cholesterol free and contains high levels of omega fatty acids and protein. Almonds also contain a rich source of vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, potassium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, and calcium are among the other vitamins and minerals in this powerhouse of a drink, helping aid everything from your bones to your blood. Be sure to soak your almonds overnight to allow the enzyme inhibitors to be released. Also make sure to discard of the water they were soaking in and use fresh instead. Please enjoy a personal recipe of mine below.

Fresh and delicious almond milk

1 cup raw almonds soaked

3 cups filtered water

raw agave nectar to taste

sea salt to taste
______________________


1. Place 1 cup raw almonds in bowl and soak at least 6 hours or overnight in water.

2. Blend 3 cups water and soaked almonds (drained of soaking water) until thoroughly blended.

3. Strain the milk through a nutbag or cheesecloth into a large pitcher.

4. Rinse blender and put the strained milk with the agave and sea salt back in the blender. Blend once more and enjoy!

Optional: Add fresh vanilla bean or extract to jazz things up. Try experimenting with other flavors for a change. Add 3 Tablespoons of cacao powder for chocolate milk or a pint of strawberries for strawberry milk.


What to do now?

1. Make the recipe and try it out for yourself.
2. Please leave a comment, I LOVE hearing from you!
3. Share this post with someone you know that would enjoy it.

Arnolds Way Raw Food Cafe


Finding a good raw food meal is few and far between in the city. There are not many places to grab a bite to eat on your lunch break or enjoy a nice evening out with friends-or at least not yet. The only option you're generally left with is a salad and you never know if it's going to be flavorsome or the usual two pieces of iceberg lettuce garnished with a bland tomato. So if you're tired of the same ol' same ol' when you go out to eat and are up for a fun trip, then I've got the perfect place for you. Arnolds Way raw food cafe has been open in Lansdale for eight years serving the local community fresh raw and organic vegan food. Owner Arnold Kauffman started his business eighteen years ago in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia operating as a vegetarian cafe. After ten years in that location he decided to shift gears and moved out to Lansdale and has been there ever since passionately spreading the word about the raw food lifestyle.

When it comes to the menu the place is known for it's delicious banana whips and green smoothies. You can pick and choose your favorite toppings for the famous banana whips. The green smoothies taste just like a refreshing fruit smoothie but with leafy greens added hence the name green smoothie. When trying a whip your first time I suggest going for the cashew dates topping. It's lip smacking good and satisfying to the taste buds!

Every month guest speakers come from all over the country to lecture and educate on the topic of the raw food diet. Various classes are offered throughout the month focusing on easy preparation and there is even a movie night showing the film "Simply Raw:Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days" which plays the second Saturday of every month. Arnold also has a new month long series taught by him titled "The 7 Steps to Becoming Younger" with the focus on reversing the aging process, the protein myth, food combining, fasting, and restoring vital energy.

Monthly potlucks are held every third Saturday which feature a guest speaker who has usually overcome a huge health obstacle or an educator in the field. The next potluck event is scheduled for Saturday June 20th at 6:30pm with guest speaker Dr. Melinda Q. Toney who will be speaking on "Dancing with Medicine, Taking Steps of Empowerment Out of the Chaos". Dr. Toney specializes in integrative medicine and is the Founder of the Center of Family Health in Catasauqua, PA. Cost is $12 per person or bring a raw vegan dish and just pay $2. Be sure if you bring a dish that the ingredients used are listed on an index card and that your dish feeds 6 people. Reservations are required as this will be a sell out event. If you have any questions or would like to register you can call the store. These events are a fantastic way to chat with other raw foodies or just dabble into the scene.

I must say this place is truly a diamond in the ruff and is definitely worth the 45 minute drive from Center City. You can make it an educational day trip with family or friends. You're sure to run into some folks with incredible stories of how they healed themselves with raw foods and in fact there are so many of them that Arnold has filmed over 200 testimonials posted on YouTube! The store is stocked with rare and old books, natural cosmetics, supplements, and plenty of interesting people. Their mission statement is,"Our mission is to create an energetic movement for the transformation of a disease-free World."

For more info: Arnolds Way, 319 West Main St., Lansdale. 215-361-0116. Please call for store hours of operation as they vary from day to day.


Have you ever been to Arnolds Way?

The Benefits of Eating Coconuts


Are you confused about whether eating coconuts are healthy or not? Thankfully in the past couple of years the correct information has been seeping out there to the general public about this amazingly nutritious food. It's unknown where exactly the coconut palm originated from, but classified as a seed, this gift from nature is used widely for food, drink, medicine, cosmetics, shading other crops, and producing earth friendly products like mats and utensils. In sanskrit it is known as kalpa vriksha, which means "the tree which provides all the necessities of life."

Widely known as a saturated fat most assume it's unhealthy, but not all fats are deemed bad. They contain lauric acid which is present in mother's breast milk. The lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid which requires less energy and enzymes to digest, therefore providing more energy quickly to the body. The oil that is pressed from the coconut is actually known to lower cholesterol levels and cultures that consume coconuts on a regular basis have frequently lower levels than people living in the U.S.

Coconut water is another gem that this food offers. Forget the so called sports energy drinks loaded with refined sugar and artificial flavors. Coconut water is one of the most highest and natural sources of electrolytes, important for your cells and maintaining voltages across the cell membranes. After a strenuous workout your source of electrolytes depletes through your sweat, losing potassium and sodium. Many of the popular sports drinks have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them along with loads of sugar to make it taste good. Not coconut water, it's a natural source of sodium, magnesium, and contains fifteen times more potassium than a banana. It's also naturally sterile from the fibers in the husk that filter it through and is especially helpful to recharge the body after a grueling workout. Surprisingly enough the water is identical to human blood plasma making it a universal donor. Mixing the water with a fresh green juice or an algae like chlorella or spirulina can make us feel like we've had an instant blood transfusion.

You can find the water from companies such as Vita Coco in your local health food store. The water is flash pasteurized to give it a longer shelf life. Not truly raw, but still very beneficial and sometimes more cost effective. The Thai coconuts which are pictured above can be found at your local Asian market or health food store. Speculation has recently surfaced about how they are shipped and whether they are treated with pesticides or formaldehyde. For you die hard raw purists or true organics, you're in luck because now you can order organic Thai coconuts online from Alex Malinsky of Raw Guru.

So, after hearing all of this splendid information on why you should incorporate this incredible food into your diet, I'm sure you're wondering how to pick one out at the store. The easiest ones to consume are the young Thai coconuts which are white and pointy with a cylindrical shape. The outer shell has been shaved off and you will find it wrapped in clear plastic. Look at the the tip and underneath of the coconut to make sure there isn't any mold growing. The best way to consume it is in a delicious drink by scooping the meat out and blending with the water, half of a vanilla bean scraped, agave nectar to taste, and a pinch of sea salt. Truly divine and delicious to the palate. Watch my video here on how to open one up.

Besides eating it another way to use it is to put a small amount on the ends of your hair for a natural shine or on your face as a moisturizer. Another great tip is after sunbathing, rub a small amount on your body to help retain the tan and provide a shining glow to your skin. And lastly for those of you that have had a late night on the town with friends, it's also great for hangovers. Drink a glass before bed and when you wake up in the morning to help you recover. Who would have imagined all of these fascinating uses and remedies coconuts can be used for. Hooray for coconuts!

Do you have a favorite way to eat coconuts?

5 Detoxifying Foods


Partaking in a cleanse or detox program for each seasonal change is a fantastic way to keep your body healthy and functioning at maximum efficiency. Just like we clean and organize our house after a long cold winter, we should do the same for our precious bodies. Clearing away the junk that has accumulated allows us to free up our energy and have a balanced state of well being. There are a number of ways one can cleanse such as fasting, juice feasting, herbal cleanses, and colon hydrotherapy. I've listed 5 common and familiar foods you can start to incorporate into your daily diet until you're ready to try a program that works for you.

Leafy greens - alkalizes the body and helps to cleanse. The number one food group you should consume raw on a regular basis. Collards, kale, baby spinach, watercress, arugula, swiss chard, dandelion, and cabbage to name a few. Fresh green juices, smoothies, and salads are an easy way to get your daily dose.

Garlic - used medicinally for everything from cleansing the liver to containing anti-bacterial properties to support a healthy immune system. Worried about scaring away family and friends because of the smell? Try Kyolic's Odorless Aged Garlic Extract. It's also certified organic and vegetarian.

Lemons - alkalizes the body and contains Vitamin C, essential for ridding toxins. You can make a tasty lemonade with filtered water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt, and touch of agave nectar to sweeten. Add ice for a refreshing drink and sip throughout the day. The sea salt helps to quench your thirst and the agave nectar allows for you to have a touch of sweetness without the refined white sugar.

Sprouts - anti-cancer fighting and full of enzymes which are vital for everyday functions such as walking, talking, and breathing. You know it's good for you but you're not too keen on the taste you say? Try disguising the flavor by blending a small amount in smoothies or adding to salads and lettuce wraps.

Fruit - a great cleanser for the body. Watermelon, cucumber, and pineapple help to rehydrate and cool the body down. So, the next time it's a scorcher out, opt for the fresh fruit instead of the refined sugar drinks. Your body will be sure to thank you.

What is the best way for you to cleanse your body? Do you have any favorite supplements or techniques that aide you in doing so?


Herbal Walks and Wild Edibles

Philadelphia is an amazing city with plenty of resources for eating fresh locally grown foods, but how about so fresh that you can literally pick the food yourself straight from the ground. Every week a man by the name of El Ha Gahn, herbalist, naturalist, healer, nutritionist, and ecotourism specialist teaches these workshops held throughout the area.

For those of you unfamiliar with the benefits of wild edibles, they are more nutritious than any greens you will ever find at your grocery store. Wild edibles are undomesticated and therefore extremely vital and full of vitamins and minerals . Someone new to eating them may be turned off by the strong acrid taste and that is why I suggest at first to try eating them by blending it into a fruit smoothie or modestly mixing into a salad. Eating them raw without heating allows us to get the maximum health benefits out of the wild edibles. Due to the tough cellulose fiber of greens, the blender is an ideal way to consume them because it acts as our teeth and masticates them to a small enough consistency that we can actually absorb the nutrients.

Many of you with gardens probably have a few of these so called weeds already growing in your backyard. The most common ones you've likely heard of are dandelion, nettles, lamb's quarters, and purslane. Others include burdock, mustard greens, and chickweed to name a few.

Dandelions contain inulin, which can help to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics. They are especially good this time of year because of their cleansing properties for the liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, and stomach. They are pungent so if making a salad you can add a fat like an avocado to cut the bitterness. Nettles are usually known as stinging nettles because if not picked carefully they can literally sting you and leave your skin feeling irritated. Nettles have been known to increase circulation and are very high in protein. It's also known to purify the blood and act as an anti-inflammatory. Purslane tastes great in salads and has been used as a natural remedy internally for things like inflammation and constipation and externally for insect bites, eczema, and sunburn. It has more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy green and the stems and leaves are chock full of vitamins and minerals.

If this has sparked an interest in you and you're wondering how to learn about which wild edibles are safe to eat in your area, you can learn more about El Ha Gahn and his upcoming seminars and workshops by visiting his website. He also teaches classes on reflexology, arthritis prevention, healing plants, colon cleansing, keeping your children healthy, and many more. I can't wait to take one of his workshops and learn about the medicine cabinet growing in my own backyard.

For more information: Herbal Walks, Philadelphia, P.a.

Photo credit: Morgana

Have you ever been on an herbal walk and if so, how did you like it, what did you learn?

Where To Find Raw Food Meals To Go?


Raw foods are uncooked and unprocessed foods under 115 degrees. They consist of fresh fruits, veggies, leafy greens, herbs, sea veggies, sprouts, nuts, seeds, and super foods. One of the most important reasons why raw foodies (people that eat at least 50% raw food) do not cook their food is that vital enzymes, minerals, and nutrients are lost in the process. By continually consuming too many processed cooked foods it starts to take a toll on our bodies and can become extremely taxing to ones energy, digestive system, and overall health.

Eating fresh raw and organically grown food has the ability to provide you with glowing skin, boundless energy, a clear mind, natural weight release, and can serve as illness prevention. In fact, many people claim to have healed themselves from a number of ailments and diseases such as diabetes, depression, IBS, and even cancer!

Many people think this way of eating sounds good in theory but have no idea where or how to start, let alone where to even purchase raw food. Don't limit yourself to thinking it's just carrot and celery sticks with lots of restrictions. It's quite the opposite indeed and thanks to a local company based out of Bridgeport, PA called Awesome Foods, chances are you can purchase their food to go at one of the many locations in the Philadelphia area. They will also ship to your home or business anywhere in the United States.

Awesome Foods makes mock dishes resembling your favorite cooked food ones like pizza, burritos, sandwiches, chips, breads, crackers, pates, and yes even dessert. Owners Bruce & Marsha Weinstein started the company back in 2005 with the goal to provide raw healthy carb foods. As taken from their website, "We were inspired to make foods that were really healthy for people and tasted awesome. Thus, the idea for Awesome Foods was born."

5 Tips Essential to Eating More Raw Foods


Whenever someone decides to make any changes in their diet they come face to face with a lot of important questions and concerns. Most importantly they want to know how to succeed with eating more raw foods. I've complied a quick list below of 5 steps that are essential in order to do so. This way you can get started immediately instead of feeling confused and lost.


Step 1 Get the Right Equipment

It doesn't have to be top of line but something decent from a good department store will do. Having a good blender and food processor is key to getting started. My personal favorites are the Vita-Mix blender (or my affiliate Vita-Mix link) and the Cuisinart food processor. A dehydrator is not necessary at this point, for right now lets keep it simple.


Step 2 Educate yourself

Purchasing a few books that cover the educational and food preparation aspects will help you tremendously. A few of my favorites are Sunfood Diet Success System, Rawvolution, and Green For Life.


Step 3 Get Involved

Take a couple of food prep classes locally. Attend meetups or potlucks regularly for support and encouragement. It can be very lonesome if you don't have anyone to share your experiences with and joining a social group will help you feel supported and able to stay on track. Join a few online forums or social media sites like Give It To Me Raw or Facebook. Plenty of people are ready to connect with you and share tips and ideas to help you stay motivated.


Step 4 Know how to make the food


Eating out at fancy raw restaurants and grabbing to go foods can be fun and oh so tasty, but what happens when you find yourself in an area that doesn't offer these kinds of luxuries? Look, when I first started out I had no prior culinary skills. My idea of cooking a healthy meal was grabbing a box of rice and stir frying veggies together. Preparing raw foods can definitely be a beautiful art form in itself, but it's not necessary. With all of the equipment out there it's nearly impossible to not be able to whip something together fast and that tastes great too. That's why it's so important to get the equipment as mentioned above. I'm not expecting you to make 5 star dishes but you can start by learning how to make smoothies, super food smoothies, pates or dips, gourmet salads, and decadent desserts that are satisfying to the palate. Two of my favorite sites for free recipes are GoneRaw and Raw Freedom Community.



Step 5 Go easy on yourself!

So many people really beat themselves up if they eat even one piece of cooked food. Although I choose not to eat any cooked foods in my diet, I also wouldn't have unrealistic expectations on you. Maybe you're not looking to eat 100% raw or aren't at the point of feeling ready to go head first all at once, but rather ease into it slowly which is what I highly recommend. Just starting out with smoothies, especially green smoothies is an easy way to do so. It's all about adding more rather than taking away. This way you don't feel deprived or like you're on a diet.


Being healthy should be fun and enjoyable in my opinion. For me it's a lifestyle change and with any changes they take time. I remember reading it takes 21 days to form a new habit. So whether you move into a new home or change up your eating program it's going to take time to feel second nature.

Remember, it's all about making better choices. So even if you still find yourself eating cooked foods from time to time, substitute the butter with non dairy spread or eat a steamed sweet potato instead of a white potato. Stir fry or steam your veggies instead of microwaving or boiling, you get the picture. If you feel like you've fallen off the wagon, just dust yourself off and get back on again. Grab a journal and record what you eat and review it daily as a constant reminder of how much better you are eating prior to your old habits. Be sure to write down the reasons clearly of why you're doing what you are and what your goals are. This way you can glance at them each day and know that you are making progress towards achieving those goals. Be sure to give yourself credit and celebrate your small victories towards becoming healthy and happy. Take a moment to reflect and truly enjoy the new journey you are on!

Let me know what your thoughts are. Do you have any tips to add? What is or was essential to getting started for you? Post it below and join the discussion. :)

Dead Sea Mineral Bath Salts


This weekend I was grocery shopping and out of the corner of my eye I caught the bath salts sitting on the shelf. I've been wanting to try these for sometime so I picked up the lavender scented one from Masada. Their sea salt is authentic and if you read the back of the label it will say that it's extracted in a natural form directly from the Southern Dead Sea. They also have eucalyptus and unscented varieties. If you're familiar with essential oils then you know that lavender is very calming and helps to relieve tension in the body. Just what I was looking for, a perfect combination for spending a relaxing evening soaking in the bathtub.

Photo credit

In case you don't already know, I'm an avid practitioner of Capoeira, an intense Afro-Brazilian martial art. I absolutely love it, but at times I can really get bruised and beaten up. Not on purpose though, it occasionally becomes a contact sport. Brings out the natural warrior in me (lol). Anyways I have an injury from about a year and a half ago in my lower back that's never really seemed to go away. So upon reading up on dead sea bath salts, this sounded like it might actually help to relieve the tension and stiffness that comes from time to time. Here are a few questions you may have in regard to the salt baths.

What exactly are Dead Sea Salts?

It's the salt extracted from the Dead Sea in Israel. The sea is world renowned for it's therapeutic benefits and is used in many cosmetic products on the market today like salt and foot scrubs, body wraps, soaps, bath salts, and even makeup. The usage of the salts date back to the ancient Egyptians.

Why does it help?

The salts are very rich in magnesium chloride, a particular kind of salt. The minerals are absorbed through the skin while soaking in the bathtub. This allows for an increase in blood circulation throughout the body.

What may it help?

Dead sea mineral bath salts have been reported to relieve stress, inflammation, aching muscles, sleep disturbances, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, acne, improved skin and roughness, and psoriasis, particularly the itching associated with it.


Interesting facts about the Dead Sea:

- Contains ten times as much salt compared to other sea water

- 12-18% of Dead Sea Salt is sodium chloride compared to 97% of the salt that is found in the regular ocean water

- Because the Dead Sea is so dense with salt, it allows you to float more easily.
Photo Credit






I've been soaking in the salts every night for the past week and have noticed the pain slowly easing up. It's also very relaxing for bed time for me because sometimes I have so much energy it's hard for me to fall asleep at a reasonable time. Probably due to the fact that my workouts are late at night. I feel very calm and relaxed afterwards. It's especially great if you've had a yucky day for it allows you to cleanse all of that negative energy out of your system and acts as a purifier from my own experience. So with all of this in mind, here is my question for you.



Have you ever used Dead Sea Mineral Bath Salts or Epsom Salt and if so what was your experience?