May I Be Frank Documentary | Raw Food Powered Transformation 4 Years in the Making

may i be frank documentary by Ryland Engelhart May I Be Frank Documentary | Raw Food Powered Transformation 4 Years in the Making

Possibly an interesting documentary by our friends over at Café Gratitude. I have to be honest, I say possibly, because I haven’t seen it yet. I have only seen the trailer but the trailer alone made me want to post about it. I love when people turn their lives around and find happiness on the other side. Congratulations to Cary, Ryland, Conor and Gregg for bringing May I be Frank to life.

New York Times: “May I Be Frank,” by Cary Mosier, Ryland Engelhart, Conor Gaffney and Gregg Marks, at S.F. DocFest. This film came about by accident: when Frank Ferrante, a depressed and overweight New Yorker, ate at Café Gratitude, a feel-good vegan and raw food restaurant, he did not imagine the effect that meal would have on his life. But after Mr. Ferrante, a divorced drug addict with hepatitis C, declared to three young male managers at the restaurant that he wanted to fall in love again, they set out to change his life and took a camera along.

Over the course of 42 days, the Café Gratitude workers put Mr. Ferrante through a regimen of wheat grass, colonics and touchy-feely advice. The New Age jargon may put off some viewers, but Mr. Ferrante proves to be a compelling on-screen presence: at once honest and manipulative, hopeful and frustrating.

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Donate to Charity Water For My Birthday

what will money do Donate to Charity Water For My Birthday

My birthday is coming up on Sept 19th.. the big 43, and of course you guys know, I have received more than my share of life changing gifts this year. I am beyond blessed with all of the happiness in my life. I have found true love and complete happiness with beautiful Aria. And of course, we are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of our son, this coming Nov. If that wasn’t enough, we also have adopted, not just one, but two happy dogs. Basil our little buffalo and now baby Louie the love bug. Louie joined the family last week and I think he is a keeper!

So, for my birthday, if you have a spare $10 bucks or so.. maybe you could give it to Charity Water. They are raising funds to buy a new water drilling rig which will be used in Africa. Once they have the new rig, they will be able to provided fresh water to over 40,000 plus people each and every year. Think about it… and thank you in advance. Hope to see everyone soon.

V

I started it off by donating a $100

You can donate here or anywhere on the site: http://mycharitywater.org/gliving

You can learn all about the fund raising campaign here: http://www.charitywater.org/september/

And there is a great video about Charity Water and everything they are doing here: http://vimeo.com/27693696

Louie The Love Bug!

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The Perfect Holiday Treat, The Double Chocolate Hazelnut Candies by GreenChef Julie Morris

chocolate raw candy holiday julie morris 01 The Perfect Holiday Treat, The Double Chocolate Hazelnut Candies by GreenChef Julie Morris Photographer: Julia Morris

I have to admit, as a natural food enthusiast, Halloween and the entire holiday season ( Thanksgiving, Christmas ) really puts me in quite a quandary. On one hand, I love the mild madness that ensues around this time of year. The costumes, the parties, the creativity, the (idea of) candyland-come-true . . . clearly there’s some serious residual little-kid excitement in full force here. The irony is that much of what Holidays is about (conventional candy . . . and lots of it) is basically my nemesis. It’s not a matter of fun-size package denial, it’s a matter of reality: hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, red #5, or any ingredient made in a labcoat for that matter, generally equates to things humans should not consume.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to pull a scrooge moment. I understand this isn’t the time of year to tout the benefits of things like toothbrushes, raisins, or a nice apple. But don’t you worry; I’ve got plans for us. Better plans. Plans like, ahem, chocolate hazelnut plans. And while these chocolate hazelnut plans may still totally reside in the treat category (aka – don’t eat the whole recipe in one serving . . . everyday), this dessert is billions of times more beneficial than traditional holiday candy fare. Aside from using clean natural ingredients, it’s full of superfoods too. Raw cacao powder lends its copious antioxidant content and abundant minerals, and the chocolate coating utilizes the natural sweetness of mesquite powder (the milled mesquite pods from a low-lying South American shrub) making the exterior especially low in sugars. I’ve even snuck a little bit of optional adrenal-supporting maca powder into the filling of these candies, perhaps as a preemptive healthy strike against any conventional sugary “incidents.”

This dessert is billions of times more beneficial than traditional holiday candy fare.

Needless to say, these candies are an all-around “yes.” The exterior chocolate coating will remain solid at room temperature, and the inside pocket is a soft, sweet blend of cacao and hazelnuts. You can use ice cube trays for as molds for these, or get fancified and use real-deal candy molds with deep vessels to properly contain the filling. If using candy molds, double the amount of chocolate coating that the recipe calls for (the filling will remain the same). Short on time? Simply melt down a dark chocolate bar and use as the exterior coating instead of the raw chocolate recipe below.

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It’s Playtime With Butternut Squash Ravioli Stacks By GreenChef Callie England

Raw Squash Ravioli Stacks recipe 01 Its Playtime With Butternut Squash Ravioli Stacks By GreenChef Callie England Photographer: Callie England

I have two passions in life: Health and Art (in the sense of being creative and working with my hands). My goal: To eventually figure out how to merge the two together. How the hell I do that, still to be decided. I could write about all the options I’ve considered in my head, but then you’d just see me as a bipolar mess of a child. Literally, it expands from culinary school in France (to learn and embrace the emotional aspect of dinning/eating – which I think is SO important in our over-all health) to furthering my education in Natural Health – Like I said, two opposite ends of the spectrum. Pretty much, if you could jump inside my head, you’d beg to get out – as everyday it’s seems to become more and more a cluster f**k of ideas. Creativity truly is a blessing and a curse

In the meantime though, I’ll stick to the undecided route – i.e. cooking (or, playing) with healthy food!

Yesterday’s playtime included squash (told ya you’d be seeing a lot of this) and cookie cutters… Which I heart, because cookie cutters equal perfect shapes and perfect shapes make this perfectionist, perfectly happy.

At first I thought, “ravioli!” Which was then immediately followed by, “boring!” So instead, I went for a mix between lasagna and ravioli – A ravioli stack. Easy, but elegant. What more could a girl want!?

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A Portobello Mushroom and Curried Spinach Quiche By GreenChefs Golubka

portobello mushroom curried spinach quiche greenchefs golubka 01 A Portobello Mushroom and Curried Spinach Quiche By GreenChefs GolubkaPhotography Golubka

For this recipe, you might end up with some extra filling, which is still very good by itself, with a green salad or crackers. Knowing my family’s appetite, I made a double portion of the crust “dough”, and used it for a variety of tart sizes, making individual ones for Paloma. She now eats entirely on her own and enjoys being in charge of her meals, not letting anyone interfere with her spoon. Having a quiche all to herself made her one happy girl, and there may have been a few second helpings involved.

As predicted, I didn’t regret making the extra quiches, as all of them were gone in no time.

The quiche is particularly good when combined with a simple watercress and pea salad, my newfound culinary delight. I’ve tried watercress many times before, and always believed it to be too strong and tangy for me to enjoy. Well, I’ve recently realized that that’s not always the case. If you try it in a right combination of flavours that balance the tang just right, it’s quite refreshing and delicious.

We’ve been enjoying milder weather, which is always exciting after months of lazy summer heat. Consequently, our farmers market has opened for a new season, and the lengthy wait for the freshest local produce is over. We’re happy.

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Nutrition Is Not About Calories {food for thought}

twinkie diet rush limbaugh 27pounds 01 Nutrition Is Not About Calories {food for thought}

These past few days I have come across a few different stories that have touched me in some way or another and I would like to share them. Each totally unrelated yet also very related. They are about nutrition/food, of course but ALSO about finding our ‘purpose’ in this life!

The first is an article from the Washington Post: The new front in the culture wars: food
The next was the Rush Limbaugh show: See, I told you so: twinkie diet
And then, a David Wolfe vblog: Mission and Values {see below}
And finally, this wonderful indie film: The Human Experience {brililant}

All I mainly want to say about Rush’s Show is that I didn’t enjoy even one aspect of it. It gave me that icky feeling I talked about before – sort of a cynical, depressed mood about where we’re at on the food front in our society. Just an overall bad energy and vibe. But, on the other hand, Rush is correct when he conveys that calories in minus calories out is the equation for weight loss. Eating TONS of “health food” won’t necessarily result in weight loss. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. I went from a diet of basically smoothies and salads to no sugar/fruit diet and gained 5 lbs.

Many people associate weight loss with Health. It’s crucial to remember that optimal Health is more than just weight. This is the COMMON simple-minded way of looking at health. The twinkie diet? I mean come on. But, unfortunately, this mentality is not all that out of the ordinary when it comes to most of America. { oh and cholesterol is one of my FAVORITE topics that I will tackle later on.}

This leads me to the Washington Post article and it’s discussion about culture. I often talk about this idea: for our society to REALLY change its diet we would have to completely restructure the foundation of the culture and its value system. The article references the ‘elitist’ connotation that goes along with the idea of ORGANIC food and health food in general. We’ve already debunked this idea awhile ago – the truth is that eating organic healthy food can be affordable and is available to all classes. The reality is, you’d find WAY more people out on Black Friday spending their wads on flat screen TVs than you would on let’s call it Green Monday – a day when Farmer’s Markets were on every corner selling veggies at a discount.

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French Onion Soup (Bite This)

bite this post french onion soup vegan French Onion Soup (Bite This)

Vegans and carnivores will both be happy with this amazingly rich soup. A perfect starter for a Christmas meal. The special somethin’ somethin’ comes from the use of unpasteurized dark miso. I use south river miso. They make their miso using a variety of grains, beans and sea vegetables. They are all wonderful. Miso not only adds extra depth to any soup but has exceptional nutritional values. Unpasteurized miso is a ‘living food’ and contains natural digestive enzymes that aid in digestion, so it’s a great way to get your tummy ready for all the other food comin’ it’s way from your holiday feast!

*note: Use the recipe for ‘homemade vegetable stock’ from our earlier Bite This recipe for the vegetable stock!

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I Love My iPad! Now To Fill It With A Little Digital “G”

vegan recipe ebooks love them or hate them 011 I Love My iPad! Now To Fill It With A Little Digital “G”Photographer V Blak

Like any well behaved Flesh Monkie I follow my masters orders and when Master Steve Jobs told me to go out and buy his latest gadget, I didn’t ask why I just did it. I promptly strapped on my latex (nature) pants, pulled on hangman’s black latex hoody, and slid my feet into my favorite 6 inch faux leather KIZZ Boots. Okay, I am sorry that last part isn’t true. I don’t have faux leather KIZZ Boots. Now you know what to get me for xmas, just saying. Alright back to my story. After getting dressed I ran out the door, jumped onto my electric bike and headed to the nearest (only) Apple store to get my very own iPad. I am happy to report, it’s been true love ever since.

Yes, I have an iPad and I love it. But the ipad in itself isn’t really something to fall in love with. Yes, it’s slick, well made, cool to the touch, nice to look at and comes with some great basic apps. But to really fall in love with the iPad, you need to get busy adding some serious “G” digital stuff. What is “G” digital stuff? I am glad you asked. “G” digital stuff is defined as anything you can load on to your iPad which inspires you be “G’er”. You know…. eat greener, dwell in a cave, stop buying printed things, eating more greens, never leave your home, consume more G Living post, and of course digging up your yard and planting a espresso powered veggie garden. Your basic “G” lifestyle stuff.

To get you started on your own love affair with your new ipad (I know you have one, admit it), here are a few digital “G” finds you might want to tryout

For today lets start with Recipe eBooks and Apps.

The Photo Cookbook is an app taking the cookbook to a whole new level. This is my favorite food app so far, but sorry to say it has a limited Veggie recipe selection right now. Lets hope that changes as they new recipes. The Photo Cookbook is like a private cooking course in your own kitchen with an experienced cook, who clarifies the preparation. Beautiful photography, which is displayed in high resolution especially on your iPad, illustrates every step.

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Espresso, My Ticket Into The Green Thumb Cult Club

espresso that garden 012 Espresso, My Ticket Into The Green Thumb Cult ClubPhotographer V Blak

Gardeners, farmers, green thumb people, who can’t kill a plant if they tried, and those composting know it alls.  You know the type.  Always smiling as they guide you through their indoor forest of house plants.  Yeah, those people. I think they are all part of some secret club, maybe even an underground cult.  It’s just too suspicious… how do they know how to keep plants alive?  How do they get seeds to sprout?  How come they never have brown crusty leaves covering their house plants?  Come on, really, their orchids don’t turn belly up and die a week after they buy them?  

I will admit it, this Evil Dark Flesh Monkie is definitely not a green thumb cult member.  To prove it, I kill plants on a regular basis. I burn them alive, I kill them through dehydration and my favorite method is over watering.  Drown them in their own pots.  Yeah, I kill plants.   I have the boy scout patch and eerily empty pots to prove it. 

I don’t want to be a killer.  I was just sadly born this way, you know like Dexter Of course I have my fairytale dreams of joining the cult, learning the secret hand shakes and eating lunches with dirt under my nails.  Hell, I fantasies of indoor house plant forest, acres of gardens, a home surrounded by edible plants consisting of everything an Evil Vegan could ever want to digest.  I am drooling even as I write this.  Yeah I have dream! 

I also have an addiction. I’ll admit it. An addiction to that dark rich smooth warm drink called espresso. Better know as heaven in a cup. I am having one now.  My girlfriend even turns on the machine first thing in the morning and places a fresh mug in the receiving position, so I only have to walk up and push the two shot please button to get the ball rolling.  Lucky for me, I have one of those magic machines which grinds the espresso beans, filters the water, tamps the grounds and makes a perfect cup of espresso all with just a touch of a single button.  You have seen him ( the machine) on some of the shows.  Everyone calls him Joe.  He is my best friend…  He has also become my ticket into the that green thumb cult.  Yeah, I am sneaking in with a dark brown thumb.  Well that is my plan and so far…. Master Joe is proving to be a very wise indeed.  

Okay I know, V what the hell are you rattling on about?  We are going to stop reading this thing if you don’t get to a point. Okay I am getting there. Everyone who follows my post religiously knows I attempted to start a garden back in June.  I was all ADD kid excited. I found myself at the local gardening center buying hundreds of dollars of seeds, hoses, seed starting soil and those plastic sprouting trays.  Fast forward a month and guess what… no sprouting little plants in the clear plastic dome sprouting trays, no lush rows of plants and no sign of any cult membership forms in the mail. No, the perfect little seed starting soil I bought for $15 each didn’t work. The seeds seem to look at me as if I  was holding them hostage.  They even had the nerve to scream as I kindly put them out in the direct desert sun in the middle of July.  How was I to know it was going to get 150 degrees under that plastic dome? 

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Sweet & Spiced Pecans (Bite This)

bite this post 12 15 2010 Sweet & Spiced Pecans (Bite This)

A perfect holiday snack. Also wraps up nicely for a delightful homemade gift. Using walnuts in place of the pecans or mixing half and half is very yummy as well.

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Nutmeg Ice Cream (Bite This)

bite this post nutmeg icecream raw vegan Nutmeg Ice Cream (Bite This)

If you like egg nog… you are gonna love this. Frozen vegan nog! YUM! It’s incredibly delicious on it’s own or scooped on top of warm apple crisps, pecan or pumpkin pies. If you don’t want the alcohol you can leave it out but…it’s extra tasty with a little kick!

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Blood Orange Sorbet (Bite This)

bite this post Blood Orange Sorbet Blood Orange Sorbet (Bite This)

Here’s a light and refreshing way to cleanse your palate so you can make room for some more holiday dessert! Yes, you can definitely serve this sorbet on it’s own or scoop it over fresh organic berries or pie or crumbles….heck you could even put a scoop in a glass of champagne for a blood orange style chilled mimosa!

*Note: if you can’t find blood oranges you can use the juice of six regular oranges and 1/4 cup pomegranate juice

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