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Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

Where Do I Get My Protein on a Raw Food Diet?

Raw Food Protein Sources

Amino Acid Illustration - Protein and SuperfoodsSince I started my raw foods diet in June 2010, one of the most frequently asked questions from my friends was where I would get my protein from? Recently even my brother expressed his concern about my protein needs. It was then I realized how important this question really is, I feel that it is my responsibility to fully explain the protein sources to those who are interested in raw food diet or maybe are concerned for themselves or their friends or family members.

Let's first look into what protein actually is…

We have all learned in school that our body consists to more than 65% of water, making up for our primary building block. The second most abundant building block of our body is protein. Our hair, skin, nails, organs, muscles, bones, and every single cell is made up of protein molecules. All protein molecules consist of a chain of amino acids. You may have heard the term "essential amino acids" – these are amino acids that cannot be used by a human body. Up to today we know about20 essential amino acids that we must include in our diet to receive the full protein requirement. (apples contain 18 of these amino acids) All plants have at least some protein because all of them contain at least one or more amino acids; the building blocks of protein.

The difference between complex proteins found in meat, dairy, and fish and the individual amino acids found in plant food is explained very well by Victoria Boutenko in her book "Green for Life:"

"It is clear that the body has to work a lot less when creating protein from the assortment of individual amino acids from greens, rather than the already combined, long molecules from protein, assembled according to the foreign patterns of a totally different creature such as a cow or a chicken"

When you eat leafy greens and other vegetables that contain lots of protein, you get  custom made amino acids for your body, freshly made with sunshine and chlorophyll, which the body will use to repair and to rebuild its parts according to your needs. Your body is a perfect working machine in need of the right fuel; you wouldn't put diesel into a Ferrari tank would you?

Myoglobin - Animal ProteinBut this is exactly what happens when you feed your body with complex animal proteins. Your body has a hard time trying to make a perfect molecule of protein out of someone else's molecules, which consist of totally different combinations of amino acids.  In addition to this already bad result, your body will most likely also receive a lot of unnecessary parts that are hard to digest and do more harm than they would do good. These parts would be floating around in your blood similar to waste for a long time, causing allergies and many other health problems. Just look at the picture; honestly, who would want to eat something that looks like that?

Soy proteins are meanwhile also known to do more harm than good and you should not consume soy products more than twice a week, The best plant based proteins are found in Spirulina, in Chlorella and in Seaweed. Spinach and other Leafy Greens from the superfoods section are also very good protein sources. And we should not forget Raw Cacao and Fresh Coconuts. If you don't mind eating an egg every then and when; organic eggs are near to 100% protein and totally healthy, especially for people who are exercising a lot and try to build some muscles!

Stay Healthy and Merry X-mas to you all!

Pictures by Yassine Mrabet and Aza Toth

 

 


                  

Are You Eating The Right Foods?

We are Eating the wrong Foods!

Cheeseburger Unhealthy Food Kills UsAbout a half million people die from food containing 'toxic' nutrients every year. More than 100 million Americans are still at risk and it cost the nation over $100 billion dollars a year. And yet on a daily basis no one seems to butt an eyelid, despite it still being a serious major problem – an epidemic in fact. Obesity, and of the self inflicted causes of disease it is second only to smoking. Left to current trends it is soon to take the number one slot. And yet, if the same magnitude and loss of life was attributed to Mad Cows Disease in our food chain, there would be a public outcry.

I mean, how can we have more than 100 million web pages of information about superfoods, nutrients, diet plans, pills and potions on the Internet and yet be in the middle of an obesity crisis? The only conclusion I can think of is that diets don't work. And yet people are still paying for it in one of 2 ways; with their money or with their health. Diet companies are quite happy to take a dieter's money but are dependent on a dieter's failure for their very own survival. Some even say diets are designed to fail. And now, there is insurmountable evidence that many appalling diseases are related to inappropriate nutrition and obesity, and yet 60% of Americans take little notice of it.

Why? It is because the act of eating presents no emotion of fear or threat to life and we are in fact genetically programmed to simple eat! We are biological 'eating machines'. So who is responsible? The food manufacturers, the government or us – the individual. In simple terms we all have choices as to what we decide to put inside our own body in the form of food, and therefore the ultimate responsibly lies with the individual in respect to their chosen diet. Obesity is having a massive impact on the western world at large with all the causes well documented but little in terms of real, solid and lasting solutions.

As a research specialists, we have severe concerns regarding the current obesity trends and have developed methodologies the help combat the problem for individuals based on 'our' nutritional inheritance. We have been on this planet for more than two million years and for 99.5% of this time as hunter and gatherer, consuming a diet of predominantly consisting of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables and with plenty of water as the main source of liquid refreshment.

Our nutritional inheritance was and is still is well defined, and perhaps has less tolerance to variation than originally thought. You cannot so drastically change the human diet as we have today and not expect a reaction from Mother Nature herself. It is, and it always will be the survival of the healthiest and the fittest. And the fittest are those who can adapt to their environment. We also have to face the facts of the three key revolutions we have encountered during the past century – the Agricultural, the Industrial and Technological revolution, which all have significantly contributed to our demise. We no longer work for our food and we are far from being scared about not having anything to eat. Today we work less and therefore need less, but as a people we are eating more than necessary .

If we want to solve this problem. we must go back to the basics and change our nutrition towards a diet that is aligned to the nutritional needs and expectation of our body derived over millions of years of evolution. We need to take action to be able to change to a nutrition and a lifestyle that our body was originally designed for. This can be the only natural solution for a good diet and healthy foods except you want to wait until we are able to engineer nutritional genes to control appetite, and who knows what else… or we accept a lifetime of consuming superfoods to achieve the same aim.

These natural concepts have been detailed in many publications about Superfoods, allowing everyone to review their attitude and thought process about their own diet and nutrition to that of their inheritance. Everybody is responsible by themselves for what they eat and how healthy they want to live. By: Jeff Garcia Jeff Garcia specializes in providing tangible solutions to the demands of his client base through a comprehensive understanding of specific issues and meticulous research. His latest publication Glycemic Superfoods can be found at [http://www.glycemicsuperfoods.com] For more information email Jeff Garcia at glycemicsuperfoods@yahoo.com

Picture by: Renee Comet

Cooking Quinoa – Enjoy this Superfood from South America

Quinoa – Amazing Superfood from South America

Quinoa South America

Picture by Maurice Chédel

If you are looking for an epic super food that contains tons of protein, is extremely low fat, vegetarian and very inexpensive, then quinoa is your answer! Quinoa is a grain produced in South America but recently introduced in the western cultures diet. It is similar to rice or couscous yet with a much higher level of protein, almost 8-12%. Its very easy to cook and makes a fantastic side dish, breakfast, or even main meal. You can create an unlimited number of meals using quinoa. One of the best things about quinoa is that is really tastes good and is so good for you as well and you can even lose weight.

The most important part about cooking quinoa is to remember to soak it thoroughly first. Soaking the quinoa beforehand helps to loosens up and detaches the outer coating of saponin, which can give a bitter taste if not removed. It is also harder to digest if not soaked properly. Soaking it also ensure it cooks evening making the perfect light and fluffy dish.

One of my favorite ways to prepare quinoa is for breakfast. I cook a large batch of quinoa ahead of time and leave in the fridge until I need it. Breakfast time, I just take out a scoop of the fluffy grain, heat it up a bit and add some fresh raspberries and blueberries, a dash of brown sugar and some milk and it makes a really hearty breakfast that gives me a ton of energy without making me feel like I am stuffed. Quinoa alone has an earthy nutty flavor and works well with many additional fruits and vegetable.

Another way I like cooking quinoa is as a cold summertime salad with lots of vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, jalepeno, red onion, garlic, and avocado, all topped off with lemon juice, olive oil, olives, and cilantro. This quinoa recipe makes the most amazingly spicy dish that everyone loves. It's a perfect meal for weight loss, its fantastic for athletes, and it's a great way for vegetarians to get some healthy protein that is needed for their diet. I cannot recommend enough that you should give it a try and find your flavor and way to serve it up for your friends and family. It's such an amazing superfood that I think you will soon see it serves as a stable in the western world, and rightfully so.

By: Kylie Wint

There are so many great recipe dishes like no bake cookies or easy kids lunches, available on the internet you can surely find something for everyone. I love to experiment with all kinds of foods and see what I like. I would welcome any suggestions you have or if you would like to see something more about the food I enjoy cooking.

Kevin Gianni Interviews Happy Oasis about her Favorite Superfoods

Happy Oasis, founder the Raw Spirit Festival Inc, shares her favorite superfoods

Kevin: Sara says you really inspired her on the Rawkathon. She wants to know, you talked about foraging food but what do you eat? Do you fix it yourself? Is it simple? Is it gourmet? What’s daily fare?

Happy: Well, first of all, thank you Sara. You inspire me. I love this mirroring of inspiration because it always encourages me to go on. I have the option to just go back and be a hermit. I’m so content like that. So thank you, Sara.

What do I eat? Well, I try to be versatile. However I’m more or less pretty much raw vegan. I’ll say 99 percent raw vegan. Once in a while I will eat something else but it’s so rare that I can’t even remember the last time I had something else. This morning I had juice. I’m home so I had some carrot, apple, celery. Then I went into the garden. We grow a garden here four seasons. I’m up in the mountains but I put a piece of plastic over our garden. I raise it up a little bit in the winter. We also have a sun room. That sun room is part living area and part indoor raised bed gardens. So we have lounge chairs, a French dining table and we also have these vegetables growing. I love to grow greens. In Arizona by the time the greens get here they can be a week old. So I ate some parsley and cilantro. Almost everything I eat in the green category is from the garden here. Our garden is just lush right now. I love arugula. It’s one of my favorites. I love the mustard family. Chard sometimes, and lots of spinach in the winter. I’m not so into lettuce because I like the dark, leafy greens for their nutritional value even more. Then after the juice – oh, a little bit of ginger and lemon in it. Sometimes I’ll throw a couple tablespoons of spirulina in there. I’m pretty simple.

I’m really into fresh fruits. I usually only eat locally, as much as possible, and fresh, organic. I go to the farmer’s markets. I went to the farmer’s market in California three days ago and ate [indecipherable] and some blood oranges that had just come off of somebody’s tree.

Then there are these potluck celebrations which have more complex foods. However this digestive tract is other than able to digest gourmet foods with a lot of ease because of so many years of eating wild, edible plants and mono foods. If you know what I mean. Just like eating one cucumber. One of my favorite meals or snacks is just to eat a cucumber. Sometimes for my teeth I’ll just eat celery or a big carrot. I love beets as well.

Then in the tropics, I just came from a couple of months in Hawaii, I was having coconut every day, fresh coconut right off the tree. It would plunk down in the middle of the night. You can hear the avocados falling down on the ground, as well, at night. I go easy on bananas. I really try to avoid those. But coconut every day. Papaya. In the tropics it’s really easy to eat too much fruit so I try to start my day with salad. I used to be diabetic. And then try to end my day with a salad. Then I have fruit in between as my snacks. That’s it. Pretty simple.

I almost never eat dried fruit. I don’t do any raisins, Gobi berries, dates, or any of that because of the diabetes and also I find it very dehydrating and more difficult to digest. I also go easy on the nuts. I try to eat a lot more olives and avocados for my main source of fat. And flax seed oil and olive oil.

I’m pre-superfoods. I’ve been raw vegan for 14 years. The word “superfood” I’d never heard of. They kind of came in as this big fad. This has been going on for a few years. In the long run the superfoods are great and it’s really about fresh, organic produce and sprouting your own mung beans and other sprouts and your own garden and foraging. That’s really the sustainable, long-term diet of the millennia.

Kevin: Right. It makes a lot of sense. Gail does ask, “What is your favorite superfood?” So I imagine that even though you’re pre-superfood I’m sure that you’ve eaten a few of them. What would be your favorite one?

Happy: I would say my favorite superfood is loving kindness. It just feeds me. When people are really loving and kind and funny. When people are really hilarious, it just giggles me forth and it gives me so much energy. I love affection. I love to hug people and be hugged. And just living in nature is the finest superfood. But on that level that I know what you’re talking about, I would say spirulina. I do use, because I travel a lot, Jameth Sheridan’s Healthforce Nutritionals. He has this VitaMineral Green which seems to be a really nice blend. Sometimes I just put a couple tablespoons in water. I’m not gourmet, please understand. That will just do it for me. I eat to live. I don’t live to eat. People are sometimes shocked that I’m not a gourmet chef. I leave that to other people. I love the gourmet food on very occasional occasions.

Superfoods, I eat dulse. Dulse is wonderful. Sometimes nori sheets. But I don’t really take anything out of a bottle personally. However, if those people are in transition or they feel that they’re even busier than I am and they prefer eating out of a bottle then more power to them. However for me and for my budget, because I have a non-profit salary, so for my budget and for my vitality I just love fresh greens and fresh fruits.

By: Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni the host of “Renegade Health Show” – a fun and informative daily health show that is changing the perception of health across the world. His is an internationally known health advocate, author, and film consultant. He has helped thousands and thousands of people in over 21 countries though online health tele-seminars about abundance, optimum health and longevity. He is also the creator and co-author of “The Busy Person’s Fitness Solution.”

Superfoods – Ten Reasons to Eat Superfoods

Hippocrates said 2400 years ago:

Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food!

Nature provided us with everything we need in order for our bodies to remain healthy. Superfoods are very rich in nutrients and here are ten reasons to include them in your diet:

  1. With the modern day food industry refining natural foods to such an extent that they have the nutrients refined out them, very many people have diets far removed from what nature intended and are therefore deplete in essential nutrients.
  2. Superfoods can be less expensive than refined ready made and packaged foods to be found in the supermarkets. So called superfoods do not have to be the exotic and/or more expensive fruit and vegetables, which may have been imported from afar, that appear on many lists. They may be foods found closer to home such as peppers of all colors, sprouts, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli.
  3. Superfoods are colorful, tasty and full of texture and are therefore more satisfying. Part of the feeling of ‘having had enough’ or satiated is due to the experience of the actual eating itself and of the different textures and colors of the food. People are likely to eat less of the highly calorific and refined foods and therefore less likely to put on weight.
  4. Many superfoods produce an alkaline ash in the body which is much healthier for the individual. The body needs to maintain a slightly alkaline pH in order to stay healthy. A more acidic body is prone to inflammation, degenerative diseases, loss of skeletal calcium and gaining weight.
  5. Including superfoods in a balanced and varied diet may enable you to actually lose weight. Superfoods are ‘nutrient dense’ and it has been shown that people who consume the most nutrient dense diets may lose weight the easiest. This is likely to be because in this case, people are not eating so many highly calorific foods which are also relatively empty in nutrients.
  6. Eating superfoods is likely to bring back a balanced way of eating, reducing cravings and bingeing on refined, sugary foods. This will stabilize the blood glucose levels and reduce the possibility of adult onset diabetes.
  7. The majority of superfoods are low in fat and therefore calories, and so help with calorie controlled eating and weight loss.
  8. Also they generally have quite a high fiber content and as well has helping with weight loss they help the digestive system to function well and speed up transit time of the alimentary canal contents
  9. Superfoods combine phytonutrients – vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and adaptogens vital for health. Eg. they may reduce the risk of cancer, lower blood pressure and even improve eyesight.
  10. Superfoods boost your immune system and help you to fight off infections and diseases.

I hope that these top ten reasons to eat superfoods will encourage you to learn more about them and to include them in your daily eating.

-By: Anne Groom

Anne Groom is a Wellness Counselor and Psychotherapist. http://www.SelfHealSystems.com