Vegan Probiotic Key Lime Ice Cream: A Fermented Dream Come True

Mochi ice cream in green tea, vanilla, and str...
Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at making ice cream, but didn’t think you had the time? Well, you can make your own ice cream from fermented coconut meat or avocado, and enjoy it as a dessert or even a tangy, sweet smoothie addition.

It’s delicious and takes minutes to make — and even less time to disappear from your bowl. So you may want to consider doubling the recipe.

Ingredients:

4-5 cups coconut kefir cheese (fermented coconut meat) or avocado

Juice of 3 limes

½ cup Lakanto or birch xylitol or luo han (herbal sweetener)

Few drops Stevia (to taste)

1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean

Pinch Celtic Sea Salt

Process:

In a Vitamix or food processor, combine coconut kefir cheese (or avocado) and lime juice, and blend for about 1 minute. Add Lakanto, sea salt and vanilla and blend for another 30 seconds. Taste and add Stevia as needed. Pour into freezer-safe container or ice cream maker.  Freeze until ready to enjoy!

*Note – If you do not have an ice cream maker, you will want to blend it once more before eating to get the creamiest consistency.

Use this to fill a raw pie crust, make a delish sundae with berries and chocolate syrup or add it to a green smoothie for the yummiest of smoothies.

Note: when we freeze fermented food, we do kill off the living bacteria. However, the bacteria has already predigested some or all of the  sugars, fats and proteins to ake this food much easier for you to digest.

when we are trying to heal and support our children’s  guts, we need to make our food easiest to digest and delish enough for them to eat it.  You can get creative with this recipe and add supplements that you need or pull a switcheroo on the flavors to make it more palatable for your little sugar plum at home.

I’d love to help you create Bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!

 

Looking for some Major Healing like our family had? Check out our 3 Days to Bliss Toolkit…Free!

Enjoy your moment,

Gina

Fermented Pine Nut Cheese with Body Ecology Starter

 

Pine nuts
Image via Wikipedia

I have learned that fermenting nuts means that I can have more of them. This is probably because the good bacteria in the culture starters I  use helps to break down the nuts, However, I still try to keep them varied and in small amounts for balance.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic raw pine nuts
  • juice of 1 lemon

Props

  • Sterile glass jar
  • Strainer (like a metal strainer with handle)
  • Cheese cloth
  • Bowl and plate
  • Good blender

Process

Blend 2 cups of pine nuts  in your Vitamix or high speed blender(you do not have to soak these) with enough water to make a creamy consistency in . Add juice of 1 lemon. Scoop into sterile jar. Ferment over night using 1/4 cup coconut kefir or other fermented liquid or 2  digestive enzymes.

Close the jar and allow to ferment for about 12 hours.  Remember that the friendly bacteria eat sugar, so foods like this ferment quickly, and the bacteria will die if there is no more sugar to feed them. If you wanted to ferment it longer you could add some inulin (chicory fiber) to feed the bacteria… but I have never done it that way.

After 12 hours, remove cheese from jar and place in cheesecloth. Lay the cheesecloth in strainer, and place the strainer over a bowl in the refrigerator. The liquid will drain into the bowl and make a thicker cheese. Cover the bowl with a glass plate (to keep it as sealed as possible)

You can then add herbs and sea salt to your cheese for a delicious dip, spread or addition to your soup, salad or any other meal.

You can even dehydrate this on raw crackers and make cheese crackers.

(You can skip the cheesecloth step if you like. The cheese will still be delicious, but softer).

P.S.  Lots of children on the “autism spectrum” have food allergies because they do not have the bacterial digestive make-up to break down some of the proteins and sugars. Nuts are a big trigger for many of our kids. We never had a problem with fermented pine nuts in  moderation. Then again, pine nuts are not really nuts.

If your child is allergic to nuts, depending on the severity — you may be able to reverse the allergy by repairing the gut. And, if you still want to try this cheese recipe you can replace the pine nuts with sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or a combo of them.

Mangia Mangia

G

 

Fermented Quinoa Milk

 

The Incas knew about this magical grain…. have you tried it yet?

If you haven’t already added quinoa to your diet, you probably should. This grain-like gluten-free seed is so versatile and absolutely delish.

I used it to make my vegan guacamole burgers last week, I use it in salads, wraps and even make milk out of it.

You can make quinoa milk much like you make rice milk or almond milk and  add  it to smoothies, soups or chocolate — YUM!  Of course, I like to take it one step farther.

I’ve been known to ferment just about anything I get my hands on, and why not? Fermented foods are the most powerful of all super foods because they are predigested.

When you ferment quinoa milk you add living bacteria and enzymes to it. These bacteria live in your digestive system and create your immunity.

Make your own fermented quinoa milk

Equiptment

  1. High speed blender
  2. 2 quart sized sterile glass jars with lids
  3. nut milk bag or strainer

Ingredients

2 cups raw quinoa ( I buy mine in bulk)

1 quart pure water

pinch sea salt

1/4 cup coconut kefir, home-made kefir or strong probiotic powder.

Optional

vanilla, stevia or agave, mesquite, maca

Process

  1. Soak your quinoa overnight in quart-sized  glass container with a pinch of sea salt ( in fridge or on the counter)
  2. Rinse quinoa and add to blender with 1 quart pure water
  3. Blend for 30 seconds
  4. Drain quinoa pulp by using a nut-milk bag (found at natural grocers) or a strainer
  5. Pour the liquid into a sterile glass jar
  6. add 1/4 cup kefir or tbsp probiotic powder and seal jar
  7. Make sure jar is sealed and clean
  8. Set out to ferment at 70-80 degrees for 18-24 hours
  9. Drink as is or add sweetener and flavors listed above

This is so much healthier than the store-bought pasteurized probiotic drinks, because it doesn’t contain added sugars, colors or preservatives. It’s raw, its delicious and I hope you love it.

photo credit: “Hand in Quinoa” by:FranUlloa

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Raw Cream of Mushroom Soup (with hidden ferments)

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Image by su-lin via Flickr

We eat raw, living foods whenever we can. But using raw food for autism recovery means paying extra special care to the digestibility of the food and the sugar content.

I’ve worked with hundreds of children on the autism spectrum, and ALL of them have had gut imbalances including candida (yeast), food intolerance, allergies, and  nutrient deficiencies. So, we’ve got some pretty delicate systems here. Finding a balance of green, raw, fermented and blended (easily absorbable) food is a must. We also keep as close to the  Body Ecology principles of food combining (fruit is eaten alone, on an empty stomach,  and proteins are not combined with carbs) and  80/20 (keeping our meals 80% vegetable and 20% protein or carb) as possible. This ensures that we can get the most nutrient bang per bite.

This recipe is blended and contains live beneficial bacteria that can help you digest it.  It also contains some nuts — which do cause reactions for some people.  I wouldn’t call this one of my healing recipes but, it’s a darn delish way to enjoy raw food.

Raw Cream of Mushroom Soup (with hidden ferments)

Ingredients:

1 lb of mushrooms (shitake and maitake are delish and healing)

½ cup olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

pinches of black pepper, oregano, thyme, sage, pinch nutmeg and any other herbs you may like

3 cups  homemade Brazil nut milk (recipe below)

½ cup pine nut cheese

Process:

Marinate 1 lb of mushrooms (I  get a bag from farmers mkt.. any kind you like will do) with ½ cup olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt, black pepper, oregano, thyme, sage, pinch nutmeg and any other herbs you may like for about an hour. Then, blend the entire mixture with 3 cups  homemade Brazil nut milk and ½ cup pine nut cheese. You can warm this on the stove top or blend in vitamix until warm. We like to have this with peas. Then again, we simply love peas.

Tiny Kick in the Pants:

Add some ume boshi plum vinegar to the end result before you eat.

I like Brazil nut milk with this recipe. You can make it by soaking 3 cups of Brazil nuts in enough water to cover them for about a day. Then, rinse the nuts and add to your blender with 6 cups of water. Blend for about 30 seconds and  strain the pulp through a nut milk bag (or strainer). The liquid is “nut milk,” and the pulp can be used in muffins, crackers and raw breads.

Mangia!

G

Autism Recovery: Letting Go of the Autism Label

We are moving all of our posts from Heal Artfully  to solidify our mission in one place.  originally posted this on  a while back, but it’s still pretty relevant to me.

Gina

emily shaules 006

When Dougie was ill,  autism was a word I needed. I was looking for answers to my son’s illness, behaviors, developmental regression and complete change of character and consciousness. I needed a definition. I needed a reason.

I needed to call it autism and beat it with a bat. Scream at it. Punch it. Kick it. Spit in its face and hate it for all it did to my boy. For the night terrors and 36 hour sessions without sleep. For the vagueness in his eyes. For his sadness. For the loss of the boy who hugged and kissed. For all it prevented us from doing.

I hated autism. And I needed the word. I felt as though the definition would fuel my reason and research. But the word quickly became a taboo in our home. My husband refused to hear me say it. And he refused to ever say that Dougie had it. This made me angry. And I stored that anger in a little box marked “nobody in the world understands me.”

I’ve lived in close proximity to autism for my entire life. I’ve taught in “special” programs for “special” children. I have an aunt who works specifically with children on the spectrum. At age 10, I befriended a woman named Rosie who probably had the label. So, when Dougie fell into chronic illness and returned without the language he previously had, without the social skills he previously had, without the spark that the previously had –I had an instant inkling that I was witnessing autism happen.

That’s what got me. I never understood that autism could happen. I only understood that the children I previously worked with were just the way they were because they were born that way (and maybe some of them were). I never had a feeling of needing to “cure” them. I loved them. They glowed. Maybe they learned differently or occasionally hurt themselves – but there was something that made them magnificent. I taught them and worked with them with love and believe that we made a difference together. I never connected inner health with outer behavior/symptoms during my time with them.

But, at home, I was watching my son change. And become sicker and sicker. The behaviors and sensory expressions, like licking everything, seemed to be connected to his illness – not simply some unique character qualities. Dougie rubbed his face against the carpeting, spun in circles, stacked and lined up toys, containers or whatever he could get his hands on. I’d watch him and hold the little angel. And there was no question in my mind whether or not I could help heal his predicament. I knew I could, and I knew he wanted me to.

I felt that if I couldn’t call it autism I couldn’t recover him. But the majority of my early studies on the word only provided superficial reasons for these symptoms. No one was saying that there was a physical, scientific, reason that the body responds with exaggerated sensory activity. I was hearing that these children are “special” and there are so many great teachers and doctors out there who can help them succeed. I was hearing that there is no cure but there would be hope that he could get a “job.”

And, as soon as I began talking to other parents of children with autism, I ran into those who thought I was egotistical, insane, cold, un-accepting and of course a terrible mother and role model for wanting to rid my son of this beautiful illness. Have you heard of autistic children referred to as Indigo children or crystal children? I started to question whether this autism was a gift and if I should just let go of trying to help Dougie heal from it. I never questioned my son’s magic. We always had a very deep intuitive connection. And, I wanted to do right by him. Was this his true path?

But, then I thought… if my son fell and got a gash in his head, I would stop the bleeding. If he had a cold, I would help him heal. If he was sad, I would hold him until he wanted me to stop. If my son was licking the floors and the walls and people in public because that consciously made him happy, and he wasn’t displaying other symptoms of unrest, I would accept him. I would teach him that people do not like to be licked. I would help him find healthier ways of fulfilling this need.

And I tried doing that. But my instinct kept telling me they there was something deeper to this autism. No matter how many physical/cognitive attempts I made to help him stop behavior that was dangerous to him I didn’t seem to be able to succeed that way. No matter how many times I pointed to myself and self “mommy” – he wouldn’t respond.

Along the journey, I saw a life changing video made by a woman with autism that opened my mind about how she perceives the world in a really sensory way. How she communicates with water and air. How even though she couldn’t talk she could write eloquently and felt so much joy about her life.

I could deeply relate to her. I too can see energy in the air. Feel emotion from animals, people and water. I honestly started to question whether or not I had this “autism.” I began remembering spinning in circles as a child, not talking to anyone but my parents, rubbing my face on everything, putting everything in my mouth, crying all the time, lining up pop bottles and biting people in public. They mystery behind autism was beginning to unravel for me.

I’ve never been one to conform and this has never been about conformity for me. It’s been about helping my son become his healthiest self.

Many of his behaviors were not socially acceptable. But I never flinched when taking him out in public. I used to get shoved to the front of the grocery checkout line because of his screaming. I took him to the park nearly every day where he would insist on banging the metal slide pole to hear the sound. And I never felt the need to say “oh he has autism” to explain us.

I needed the word only for me. I needed the word to help heal him – or so I thought. And I allowed him to be evaluated and labeled by the school system – a long and painful process, so I could get my answer. And we accepted the label because we were promised help if we did so. We interviewed the Chicago Public School staff who performed the evaluation. We explained that we would completely recover our son from his illness. We explained that we would accept a label if it would bring us help that reflected our beliefs. We explained that although we generally don’t accept the idea of labeling a child, we would take this one if it meant that Dougie could get real help. Help that brought us closer to recovery. And most of all, we didn’t want him pigeonholed because of it. We didn’t want the word spoken around him.

I signed a piece of paper agreeing that my son had “autism.” I did it against my deepest intuition. My husband wouldn’t sign it. In the instant that I crossed the last “t” in my last name, I regretted it. My son did not have autism as defined by the school system so they could never help recover him. They could only offer services with the notion that he had speech and occupational difficulties. They couldn’t get the root cause of those issues because they did not have the tools.

Then I began to hate autism even more because of the way the school system made extra money from it. I hated it because it put a cloud over my son at his school… and the word was repeated over and over and over. I hated it because no one believed that we could end its destruction on Dougie’s life.

Early on, I began to understand Dougie’s condition as a toxic manifestation. As I studied I learned where those toxins came from and as many of you know, we have brought him into a very healthy light.

But I continued to struggle with what to do with this label that kept coming up. All of the negative comments I continue to get from people who call me an autism hijacker. And, the sick children out there whose parents struggle like I did over how to handle a disorder that is only defined in social, sensory and outward symptoms.

Finally, last summer I really embraced shamanism and studied with some amazing spiritual teachers. Dougie’s and my recovery through raw foods helped open both of our bodies for deeper healing. But, food could not bring us to the level of peace we now have.

Shamanic journeying, meditation, chakra balancing though sound and movement, and touch therapies like reiki all helped me realize the insignificance of labels. But most of all they helped me let go of my need to label our situation.

The autism label, as widely defined never described how my husband and I see our son. My husband knew this all along. We create our own lives. We manifest our desires. We are completely responsible.

By believing that my son does not have “autism,” but merely an overload of toxins that continue to melt away I am defining it more scientifically because this is actually what he has. And, by understanding how these toxins can be released energetically helps add more valuable tools to our healing regime.

As time goes on, I continue to practice shamanism and reiki and I continue to gain deeper acceptance for who my son really is.

I have realized that yes, this is about acceptance. Yes this was supposed to happen. Yes my child does have a magical reason for being here and for displaying these behaviors. There is something very intuitive about him. He can use touch to heal me when I am in pain.

I believe he was put here to help us all heal. Because we were able to heal him against the odds, I know that anything is possible. I don’t know if I realized that before. Letting go of autism has helped me let go of my addiction to all labels. Now I can enjoy life for what it is. I can enjoy the feeling of water on my skin and wind in my hair without having to define it. I am more relaxed thanks to my little angel.

It just so happens that as we continue to physically heal and release toxins though diet and energy healing, Dougie’s speech and communication becomes more and more typical. But his magic and his power also increase. I would love and adore my son if he never said a word to me. If he never looked at me. But, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t lead him in the direction for complete wellness and fulfillment.

Dougie is not autism. Dougie is Dougie. He’s my magical little spunkmuffin – a glimpse into the heavens, and my strongest role model.

I’d love to help you create Bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!

 

Looking for some Major Healing like our family had? Check out our 3 Days to Bliss Toolkit…Free!

9 Suitcases 9 days to Pack: A Challenge in Simplicity

Beginning our road adventures without the house on wheels is forcing us to release more of our possessions than we first planned. Amtrak allows for 9 suitcases. I’m thinking, okay great – let’s travel lightly: First pack the Vitamix (20 lbs of blender), now the water ionizer, my massage table, food dehydrator (nope, we’ll ship that to our first stop)….. We really don’t own many “things,” but our stuff is expensive, heavy and well – very useful for our lifestyle. While I know we will be happier without a hub-bub of material, I need some serious and quick reflection on what’s truly important to us.

So I made a list. Well several.

Necessities for RV Living

  • warm blankets and pillows
  • towels
  • clothes
  • toiletries
  • tent and camp supplies
  • bikes
  • beach umbrella
  • kite
  • Vitamix
  • spiral slicer (oh yes!)
  • food dehydrator
  • water filter
  • minimal dishware and utensils (bamboo and handmade bowls + McDonald’s Dinnerware )
  • yoga mats
  • weights
  • kitchen supplies (nut-milk bag, cutting board)
  • cds
  • family photos
  • food/herbs

Work and Homeschool

  • 2 laptops
  • camera
  • Flip Cam
  • books and research
  • biomat
  • healing stones
  • massage table
  • tapestries
  • drum
  • rain stick

Dougie

  • blocks
  • crayons and paper/coloring books
  • fave toys (Woody, Buzz, Toy Story gang)
  • ball and glove
  • puzzles
  • playing cards

We have to cross out things like the massage table and bikes which cannot fit on the Amtrak, and are easily replaceable after a quick stint on Craig’s List. The kite and weights will have to go too. Our clothes are already minimal and ready to be squished in the vacuum travel bags.

Things like my juicer, ice cream maker, Magic Bullet Express, which is awesome for cultured veggie making, are all going to have to stay behind. So is my Dyson Vac– The King of Clean. I sure will miss him.

Good thing the dehydrator is being shipped to meet us when we arrive in Chi-town. Can’t live on the road without kale chips.

So, is this list practical?

We’ll need to replace our cookware once we score the RV because lugging it doesn’t make sense. Have you lived in an RV? Any tips on living light and still covering all the bases? We’ve made a commitment to make only sustainable purchases – those which are as eco friendly as possible, long-lasting, and can be re-used, re-purposed or recycled. Of course, we’re not opposed to alley shopping.

Now, to do something sustainable with the great items that will be left behind.

Making the decision to simplify isn’t always easy as pie – even if you aren’t completely married to your stuff. Fact is, we bought our stuff (or rescued it from the alley). So, we are responsible for it. We won’t throw it away. Where is “away” anyway? We won’t give it to someone who won’t use it or someone who will dump it soon.

We’ve chosen to list the big stuff on Craig’s List and host a Bon Voyage Easter Potluck to give the rest away to friends. If you’re in Santa Monica this Sunday and want to have dinner and possibly take home a crock pot – talk to me. Whatever is still here Monday will be taking a walk to the best alley locay for dumpster diving or the Salvation Army down the street.

I can’t wait to see what actually makes it on to the train with us, what we ship to meet us and what we say goodbye to. I’ll keep you posted.

We’ll be back in SoCal this summer for more adventures and with even less stuff!

xoxo

Gina

Bliss Tour, Chocolate, Reiki and a Sustainable Lifestyle

This Post was originally written in January 2011, at the beginning of our Bliss Tour! It’s cool to see how far we’ve come — buying and selling the RV, traveling the US and living in Mexico for 6 months. Life is BLISS!

Back in December 2010, I drew the “retreat card” from a deck of angel cards and the events that have ensued have been crazy style amazing.  I gotta say that as an energy worker and one who constantly witnesses the results of the “super natural” in action –I’m quite the skeptic. I’m not one for tarot cards. I’m not one for listening to “guides” or psychics — UNLESS the messages ring true for me on a deep level. I mean logic has got to play some role in my decision-making.

That retreat card symbolized the simple sustainable adventurous life that Doug and I have dreamed of our whole lives. 2 years ago, the same energy brought us to Santa Monica, CA to get healthier, expand our minds and our business ideas. Things just move fast in Bliss Land.

We’re growing so quickly, we can’t help but feel the urge to use that expansive energy to spread the Bliss to you. I recently wrote a blog titled “How your intuition can save the world.” This trip is my husband’s and my intuitive answer to the next step in fulfilling our purpose.

How can we all live a more sustainable, Blissy, earth-loving life?

We hope to find out. Purging more possessions and gearing up to live in and travel via RV (on veggie fuel and/or zero emissions vehicles), composting, wild food forging, planting, unschooling, sharing from our hearts will  help us discover that. So will connecting with all of you.

We feel that there is a better way to feel good and accomplish your goals, and we’re on the road to discover that. It’s time to change things around. Re-allocate the wealth to the people, shift our priorities and wake up to what we can do to help.

Our gift is primarily our energy and our experience. By giving of our truest selves we hope to inspire you to do the same and find your purpose.

Life on the Road

Do you know that at the rate of waste that we create — we actually require the equivalent of 3 planet earths to manage our crap? We cannot subscribe to that which so deeply harms our planet… anymore.

Need the Bliss Machine

We’re in search of a used RV that can be made to run on veggie fuel or some other sustainable fuel. We’re jumping without the net because our message has to get out there. If you know of an RV for sale…  (or rent, buy, barter or borrow) send the deets our way.

Look Forward To

We’re hosting camping retreats, classes, potlucks and offering all of our current coaching and healing services. The only difference is that this time – it’s very likely we’ll be able to talk and work with you in person. Check our Tour Events link for scheduled cities, and blogs for our latest updates.

Reiki

We’ll be incorporating energy Healing and Reiki in most of our workshops. Our final Santa Monica (Reiki Level 1 and 2) certification class before we leave, takes place this Saturday April 23. Please email me at Gina@BlissedLife.com if you’d like to join us.

Host Us in Your Area

Contact us if you’d like to host a class in your home or town. Hosts get free classes and private sessions.

Chocolate

I can’t leave you without some chocolate. My Italian Nana taught me better than that. For some of you celebrating easter next Sunday, you might like to make these for your loved ones as a much healthier option.

This is from my upcoming book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?”

Cultured Cacao-Wows

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cup raw organic cacao powder
  • ½ cup cacao butter
  • ½ cup – 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vitamineral Green powder
  • 1 packet Body Ecology kefir starter
  • 1 packet Body Ecology culture starter
  • Glass jar or bowl with lid
  • Candy molds of choice
  • Blender

Add-ins: sea salt, cacao nibs, and mesquite; cherries, cayenne and sea salt; maca, mesquite and lucuma; , cinnamon,maca, mesquite and lucuma; spirulina and mint; Gojii berries, bee pollen and anything else you like with your chocolate!

Process:

  • Melt cacao butter at 80 degrees in food dehydrator or in double boiler
  • Stir in cacao powder
  • Blend with coconut sugar in blender
  • Pour into glass jar
  • Add green powder and culture starters
  • Let ferment for 36 hours
  • Add your add-ins
  • Pour into molds
  • Refrigerate and Bliss Out!

Thanks to all of clients, friends and family for helping make our lives so full. We can’t wait to see what unfolds here.

Learn more about Gina and Doug.

xoxo

Gina

I Wanna Be A Vegetarian Again Because She is a Vegetarian

Food for Life distributes food on an internati...
Image via Wikipedia

By, Gina LaVerde

I ate meat. Well, fish. In my family that’s not meat at all and I am still really weird. But, at least I can go out to dinner with my parents and order something “cooked” for cryinoutloud.

I talked about this a little in my post “Into Bliss: Improving the Way I Eat.”  I ate all raw vegan food for about a year, and I felt amazing.  Being all raw for too long (and vegan) got me a lot off balance though. I got sick. And every ounce of me knew that I needed to incorporate fish back into my diet.

The first piece of fish I ate after coming off my high horse ( not eating animal products for at least 3 years) was so hard to eat. I cried, I prayed over it. I was so torn. I thought I could live the rest of my life without eating meat again. But, once I ate that fish, I have to tell you, I felt so much better.

It’s not easy for me to even think about eating flesh — because of the dying sea life, the toxins in the water, our over indulgence, our gluttony and poor treatment of animals. I think it would be easier for me to just remain vegetarian.

But for now, for today — this is right for me.

Food has energy. Energy that goes beyond nutritional power. Food has vibrational energy that helps heal us (if we chose the right food). There is something about the energy of the fish that grounds me.  It makes me feel so balanced. A message from one of my spirit guides told me that I am NOT a vegetarian, and that I just have to get used to that.

Funny thing is that I don’t enjoy eating meat at all. But I have always really enjoyed fish. After taking it away, I sometimes missed it.

What did raw veganism do to my body?   Well, I’m freezing and exhausted to be honest.   I have dark circles under my eyes because my kidneys are very taxed. I cannot say that I saw the signs, because I was feeling so good at first with the diet. In fact,  I didn’t even do sugar. I was not an agave, cacao person. I did my raw food diet with lots of cultured foods, and it helped me heal from candida and infections.

According to my Chinese doctor, raw food is too cooling for someone like me. But, I have found a balance and am working back to restore my energy.

Much of my diet is still very raw, but I am eating fish a few times each week to restore my strength energy and mental clarity, and for me this is working.

I think it’s important to open up to our intuition about the food we are eating. What does your gut say about that kale? Or that burger? Any food can be medicine or poison — depending on where you are in life. And, chances are that if you are making whole food choices because you are on your way to better health — then your needs will change as you go through stages of improvement.

Please don’t feel you have to label the way you eat. You just need to eat what feels good for your body. I’ve always used my intuition to tell clients when they needed to eat meat or rice or cauliflower — whatever. But I let my intuition be blinded by glimmery pictures of healthier raw foodists.

These days I just eat what my body tells me to. I get all my veggies and fruits fresh from the farmer’s market. And, I buy what I gravitate toward. This week I have collard greens, corn, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, kale, beets, garlic, cilantro, mint, basil, dill, apples, a frog melon and some peaches in my fridge.

I buy fish right when I am going to eat it. My food is raw when it wants to be. I have a delish smoothie nearly every morning! I’m not concerned with labeling my diet, but I am concerned that others may feel the need to conform.

Before making any final decisions on how you’ll eat forever, just enjoy what you are eating now. What foods are calling you?

xoxo

Gina

Into Bliss: Improving the Way I Eat

This is me in my new "office" Bringing my computer to the beach brings me more BLISS

A few months ago something REALLY crazy, hard, painful and AMAZING happened to me. I’ll share more details soon, I promise, because that event is the reason behind the enhancements I’ve decided to make to my life, my diet, my career and my offering to the world. In the midst of pain I saw what I need to do. And I’ve been acting upon it in a gradual way, which is kinda funny for me, since I usually go after things in a much more bulldozerish way.

So, what’s getting better?

My Diet

I was given the clear message that food not only offers nourishment, but there’s an energy to what we put into our mouths. I understand this on a level I never did before. I used to have Reiki sessions with people and receive clear signs that that they should be eating something like lamb, turkey or cooked rice– all things I wasn’t eating at the time.

So, while the nutritional value of eating animal flesh kind of still boggles me, I completely understand now that we humans do not fully get the intricacies of why we need everything we need. But, we must be open to receive the information about what’s best for us, individually.

I could go on for years about the guilt complex I gave myself (for years) about wanting to eat fish. Because I grew up with lots of seafood and it just felt “right” to me. But, alas the threat of mercury and more importantly the taboo I put on eating a being that once had eyes… you probably know what I mean.

Once, before going to a steak restaurant with family, I had to call Emily Shaules for an impromptu coaching session, just to be able to sit at the table with meat. It was harsh times.

Being a raw vegan has opened me up, cleared my mind, helped me get healthy, and most importantly given me a deep respect for all life. It no longer completely serves my body. I’ve tried countless times to go all raw vegan in the past few months. I don’t have “cravings.” I just don’t feel well with it anymore.

That said, funny enough, I have discovered that somewhere between 70-90% raw with the inclusion of cooked grains, beans, and fish in a balanced way, plus much more fermented foods. I am eating at least half my day’s worth of food fermented like coconut kefir, cultured veggies and other cultured drinks, and this is making me feel like the Cat’s Meow. I love the way I feel. And today this works for me.

I haven’t changed much on the surface. But, internally it was HUGE to eat fish again. I must share that first experience in another blog.

I’m about to read The Vegetarian Myth because EVERYONE is suggesting it. Can’t wait.

During the “event” I mentioned above, the voice of one of my spirit guides shouted at me “You are NOT a vegetarian! Get over it.” It’s taken nearly 6 months for me to actually admit this to myself.

It’s like I wanted to be a vegetarian so that I could be on some healthy high horse. But, if that’s what I really want for myself, I need to be open that my needs have changed.

I cannot wait to tell you everything else that is changing.

xoxo

Vegan Fusion Guacamole Burgers that will Blss Your Socks Off

You hungry?

You better be. This recipe Blissed my family out so much that my hubby made me write it down. It’s probably due to the fact that we eat so much raw food. Once in a while we like to enjoy something cooked. Luckily, I also created a raw version that is equally as delish.

Friends, I am no Rachel Ray. I don’t follow recipes, exactly. I make huge kitchen messes. And, I never open canned food. But, what I admire about Rachel Ray is her ability to make something tasty in a pinch, and recreate recipes to be used over again.

A Dish That bears Delicious Leftovers

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups soaked/sprouted and steamed red quinoa (soak in water and 2 tblsp raw apple cider vinegar for 8 hours or more)
  • 2 cups home made rice/sesame flour
  • 2 cups chopped wild mushrooms
  • 3 stalks chopped celery
  • ¼ chopped purple onion
  • 2 tblsp Italian seasonings
  • 2 tsp yellow curry
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • ¼ cup wheat free tamari
  • 1-cup tempeh crumbled

With a little prep work you can have several healthy eats.

Step 1: Make Homemade Flour

Rice/Sesame Milk:

  • Soak your sesame seeds and brown rice in water for 1 day
  • Rinse. Add to your blender with 1 quart of fresh water. Blend. Strain pulp with nut milk bag.

Your pulp is your flour. You can use it wet or dry.

This milk can be added to smoothies or used to make hochata or enjoyed alone

Step 2: It’s Burger Time

Burgers:

  • Marinate mushrooms, celery and onions for a half hour with tamari and spices
  • Add, cooked quinoa and raw tempeh. Blend on high speed until it’s all smooth. Fold in your flour and form patties.
  • Pan sear with coconut oil and place in the oven on 350 to finish cooking.

Serve with guacamole and cultured salsa between lettuce leaves or on a sprouted tortilla

Holy yum!

Raw Foodie Option:

This whole recipe can be done raw by eliminating the quinoa and adding sprouted sunflower seeds in its place. Then you can dehydrate it for about 5-10 hours depending on thickness of burger. I also love this method. Holy Yum plus living enzymes!

OR, you can try another one of my Faves.. the Midnight Mushroom Wrap — an all raw magical feast.

Enjoy!

Gina

Image credit: Making Guacamole by: blmurch