Sarah Backhouse | Diet Revelations at Halfway Point

backhouse day15 01 Sarah Backhouse | Diet Revelations at Halfway Point

I’m proud to say I’ve reached the halfway point of my plant-based experiment. There’s a monastic quality to subsisting on a diet of organic fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds that I must say I’m enjoying. I feel clean. I haven’t missed sushi (that much), I don’t miss eggs (in fact the smell of a hard-boiled egg is kind of repulsive to me right now) and yogurt I can happily do without.

And best of all, I’ve even managed to conquer a horrible habit that’s plagued me for years… chewing gum.

What is it with that stuff? Without realizing it, I had become a gum addict. The gum chewer — much like the cigarette smoker — have their favorite brand and they feel panicked without a packet nearby. True: I would feel slightly anxious if I left home without it, which seems insane, I know. Apart from looking like an idiot whilst chewing it, I’ve known for years that aspartame is a carcinogen – so, why did I continue to masticate this manmade toxin year after year? God knows. All I know is that aspartame has no part in my new pure diet. I’m eschewing the chewing. Forever.

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The Magic Kingdom of Mushrooms

mushrooms01 The Magic Kingdom of Mushrooms

Remember when the term “supermodel” meant something? Namely, Linda, Christy, Naomi, Claudia, Cindy and Kate? Now the word is so overused, there must hundreds of so-called “supermodels” in the skies, on the runways and at the end of cigarettes. Well, the same thing is happening with “superfoods”. Suddenly, there seems to be a lot of them out there. Like mushrooms. But are they really a “superfood”? Let’s see…

Before we embark on their health giving properties, here’s a bit of interesting background on the ‘shroom, kindly sent to us by Mushroom Matrix. Did you know that mushrooms are neither a plant nor an animal, but in fact have their own kingdom? In the 1960s, they were given special classification as the “Kingdom of Fungi”. With an estimated 1.5-2 million species on earth, fungi could theoretically outnumber plants 6 to 1. And just like animals, they inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.

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Finding Clarity in the Blender | The Green Shake

sarma001 Finding Clarity in the Blender | The Green Shake

This post is a bit more upbeat than the last – no curse words, cranky complaining, cynicism or sarcasm. Writing down your thoughts is, in itself, therapeutic. But when you post it on the web and lots of people read it and give you all kinds of thoughtful feedback, well, that’s free therapy. I’ve learned a lot. THANK YOU!!!

Since it’s impractical for me to drop everything right now and run off to an Ashram to find myself, I had to see how I might be able to conduct the search locally. How do I do this, in my “spare” time? What spare time? How do I find solitude in New York City for some good self-awareness? And when? This has been an ongoing exploration. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Mater Design | Home Accessories With A Mix Of Social Responsibility

mater design Mater Design | Home Accessories With A Mix Of Social Responsibility

These days it’s not enough to furnish your house with exquisite designer furniture. If you really want keep up with Joneses, it’s got to be ethical, too. Luckily, design companies are cottoning on to consumer demand. Take for example Copenhagen-based Mater Design, which launched at the Maison et Object show in Paris in ‘06.

Mater successfully combines “exclusive home accessories and corporate social responsibility,” according to their website. Mater founder and CEO Henrik Marstrand says “For every one of the millions of products we use to improve the quality of our lives, there are associated environmental, ethical and social consequences. While some products have a small environmental bearing, others consume finite resources in vast quantities and are produced under abusive labour conditions and cause environmental damage.” Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Flax Seeds | Good For the Body, But What About the Taste Buds?

flax seed nutritional benefits 01 Flax Seeds | Good For the Body, But What About the Taste Buds?

I’ve eaten flax before and thought it tasted like the sawdust that covers the floor at the circus. But as it is a superfood, I’m determined to unearth all of its amazing health-giving properties and attempt to talk my palate into trying it again. Because, filled as it is with unique nutritious qualities, flaxseed certainly deserves its superstar status.

Flaxseeds are full of lignans — “up to 800 times the amount as in any tested plant food” — which is a promising cancer fighting agent (especially breast and colon cancer). Flax consumption can help reduce total cholesterol, including the bad kind and triglycerides. Which makes it good news for the heart as well. As flax is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, it can help diabetics reduce their blood sugar levels and ease the painful inflammation associated with arthritis.

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Starbucks Skinny Platform | Low Fat, Low Sugar, Healthy Brownies

vegan brownies starbucks Starbucks Skinny Platform | Low Fat, Low Sugar, Healthy Brownies

Starbucks has been modifying their menu and their image of high fat, high calorie lattes and sweets to appeal to the calorie obsessed “health” conscience coffee cult. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay Says Buy @#?&$% Local Food or Get Out of the Kitchen

hellskitchen Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay Says Buy @#?&$% Local Food or Get Out of the Kitchen

Hot-tempered, foul-mouthed British chef Gordon Ramsay isn’t one to keep his opinions to himself especially when it comes to his beloved food. Although immensely entertaining, sadly, some of the comments to his aspiring chefs on reality TV show, Hell’s Kitchen, are a little too colorful to print. Now this bastion of British cooking turns his attention to his colleagues. (Hide behind your saucepans, lads.)

In an interview with the BBC last week, Ramsay lamented: “Chefs should be fined if they haven’t got ingredients in season on their menu. I don’t want to see asparagus on in the middle of December. I don’t want to see strawberries from Kenya in the middle of March. I want to see it home-grown.” The TV chef believes banning out-of-season produce would cut back on carbon emissions from food imports and improve levels of cooking domestically. “There should be stringent laws, licensing laws, to make sure produce is only used in season and season only,” he says.

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Raw vs Dunkin’

raw dunkin 01 Raw vs Dunkin

Eating a raw food diet is still considered alternative. On the fringe. People don’t understand it. What is so hard to understand? Food that naturally grows from the earth, fed by sunlight. No one disputes that fresh fruits and vegetables are full of good things, and that generally, people should be eating more of them. Everyone seems to know now that nuts are good, full of “good” fats. Flax, sesame, hemp and more… most would recognize that these are also good foods. Yet, if I went on a road trip across the U.S., I know that there would be long stretches of driving where I would be hard pressed to find places where I could conveniently find and purchase natural and clean food. I would likely encounter a lot of people who would find my eating preferences unusual and odd. But I wonder, if I eat a raw food diet, does that mean that so many others out there are on a processed food diet? Are there enthusiastic processed foodists? For these people, is there an inspiring magazine called “Get Processed”? Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

In Season | 7 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Pomegranates

pomegranateseed In Season | 7 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Pomegranates

Pomegranate season has begun. I’m seeing them everywhere at the farmer’s markets. Pomegranates are usually in season from October through January. Native to Persia and cultivated in the Mediterranean for thousands of years, pomegranates are becoming the newest trendy fruit in the US — grown mostly in Southern California to be sold as pomegranate juice to health conscious consumers. Pomegranate juice isn’t the only way to incorporate the high anti-oxidants and other health benefits of the fruit into your diet. While they are in season as fresh whole fruits, try some of these delicious recipes that include the tangy sweet and sour pomegranate to zest up your meal. You can also juice them fresh, or be creative and add them as a garnish to salads, drinks, deserts, dips and guacamole’s etc. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

GreenChef Vanessa Sherwood | Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Cake

blkmousse GreenChef Vanessa Sherwood | Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Cake

True story: I got a call last week from the Food Network of all places. There is/was a contest going on called the Ultimate Recipe Contest- basically looking for the best recipe in six different categories (chicken, pasta, comfort foods, burgers, cookies and cakes). The casting director had come across my personal website www.somelikeitraw.net and thought that I would be able to come up with some pretty unique recipes for the contest and wanted me to enter some.

I have to admit I was a little flattered and a wee bit surprised. Yet another sign that raw food has hit the mainstream!! Anyways, I’ve entered my manicotti recipe for the ‘Pasta’ category and came up with a new chocolate cake recipe for the ‘Cake’ category which I am sharing with you today.

A lot of people ask where I get my ideas from. It does vary, but many times it’s just looking at a cooked recipe and trying to convert it to raw. This time I happened to have an old Gourmet magazine lying around with a fabulous photo of a chocolate-glazed hazelnut mousse cake on the cover. The light bulbs went off and I set to work on creating it ‘raw-style’. Hope you like it and wish me luck with the contest!

Hazelnut-Chocolate Mousse Cake

Serves 12

Crust:

½ cup shredded dry coconut

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Pinch of sea salt

2 tablespoons agave nectar

1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil

11 tablespoon raw cacao nibs- optional

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Lean & Green Leads the Environmental Charge

leanandgreen cafe 011 Lean & Green Leads the Environmental Charge

Looking for a meal in the San Diego area that’s healthy for you and the planet? Check out Lean & Green.

By anyone’s measure, this La Jolla, CA eatery is small in size. But one look at the Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Three Steps to Finding a Good Food Bar

food energy protein bars 05 Three Steps to Finding a Good Food Bar

There are a lot of bars out there. Food bars, energy bars, protein bars, nutrition bars, diet bars, fiber bars, raw bars… bars bars bars and more bars!

A quick search on Amazon yields 2,759 different varieties. Think about it: 2,759 different kinds of neatly packaged little edible rectangles. It’s like space food… except on earth. (I think half of them are chocolate peanut flavor, too.)

Obviously not all food bars are created equal. So, what makes a good one?

Since reality TV does such a good job of selecting “winners,” we’ll just call our selection process Dancing with the Bars. Nifty, eh? In this case, the bars are the dancers, and we’re the expert judges. Oh, and just so you know: I’m totally wearing my fuchsia sequined flamenco mini dress with 4” heels and a tiara — not necessary for judging bars, but always a good touch.

food energy protein bars 02 Three Steps to Finding a Good Food Bar Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

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