How important are fats, what forms should you be consuming and in what quantities? It wasn’t long ago when then medical community was advocating the avoidance of all fat, even in the form of nuts or an avocado. Long gone are the days of neglect and dismissal when it comes to fat. We have made great progress drawing more clear lines between raw plant based sources that are good for you, even anti-aging, and those that are harmful such as cooked, animal based, and processed saturated and trans fats.
A deficiency of healthy fat runs prevalent throughout the modern day North American diet with the majority of people consuming too many of the detrimental bad fats including saturated fats in meat and dairy, and processed polyunsaturated fats or hydrogenated trans-fat from cooking oil and margarine used in processed foods. Consuming too many of these and not enough of the good fats contribute to stroke, heart attack, chronic inflammation, cognitive impairment, allergy, auto immune diseases and ultimately premature death.
Many of the oils we think are doing our bodies good are in fact causing further damage. The processing of oil can be the difference between good and bad. Some extraction methods for cheaper oils involve high heat, which can actually cause the oil to convert to trans fat. Other extraction methods use chemical solvents to separate the oil, usually done with low-grade oils.
This is an extended, unedited version of an article I originally wrote in July for Get Fresh magazine… U.K.’s glossy raw food mag. You can get current and back copies of the mag at oneluckyduck.com. Dhru has been a contributor in the past too!
Thanksgiving was beautiful at Pure Food and Wine… and WLIR’s own Philip was there too. Now we’re full on immersed in the holiday season, so I thought it’s not a bad time to put up this post about fasting, eating and all the issues in between. Happy Holidays, and may everyone take really good care of themselves.
My Summer Adventures in Juice Cleansing
Some people call themselves experts or even gurus (yes, I have heard someone introduce themselves as a “guru”) on nutrition, raw foods, weight loss, or enlightenment, or all of those. They write and/or speak publicly about conclusions they’ve arrived at through years of experience and diligent research. I, on the other hand, don’t claim to have conclusively figured it all out, nor do I have time for hours of detailed investigation. I just try things for myself and write about it while I’m sorting it all out—like a guinea pig with a notepad, jotting down reports on the experiment phases, tossing out random hypotheses. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
This is one of my favorite and easiest versions of raw ravioli. In my Istanbul restaurant we offer many small plates, encouraging our guests to share and experience many options off of the menu. I offered this dish on our opening menu and it was by far the best selling small plate we offered for the winter and spring. It is a great starter or amusé for any Mediterranean focused meal, really giving the diner that first delicious introduction of what is to follow. The sweetness of the beetroot, and cashew based cheese is balanced out very nicely with the acid of the balsamic and spiciness of the garlic oil.
For the Ravioli:
1 Large Beet, slice paper thin rounds and marinated in garlic oil, salt and pepper
“This was a beautiful and refreshingly sweet salad, perfect for a light lunch. The mixture of the fresh fruit and greens together with a sweet and tangy creamy dressing was a great combination. I don’t usually eat poppy seeds, but it worked rather well with this dish and added a nice crunch. It’s important to remember that poppy seeds contain opiates like morphine and codeine, although the cultivated western poppy seeds contain little opium if any. I’m sure they’re safe in small quantities as a garnish as they are usually used.” – Indulge
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.
Coconut Persimmon Flan with Strawberry, Mango, and Banana Salsa (raw)
Young Thai coconut has to be my all time favorite ‘raw food’ ingredient. It’s so versatile; you can use it in sweet or savory recipes. I tend to have a sweet tooth, so I end up using it mostly for puddings, flan, or tart fillings.
The only thing I hate is the labor involved in hacking the coconuts open, scraping out the meat, and cleaning it. There’s just no easy way about it. Other that that, they’re great! I’ve experimented with several different knives. I destroyed my very expensive Viking cleaver- it worked, but the blade is too thin. I tried a couple of those cheap Chinese cleavers, but they don’t seem to be sharp enough. The guys at Northwestern Cutlery in Chicago (www.futurechef.com) came up with the solution- a heavy-duty cleaver that I think they use for chopping off fish heads (gross, I know). It was either that or a machete, and that would have just been too crazy.
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.
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
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