Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Breakfast on this Journey

I decided to break my fast a little earlier then expected. I felt ready. I have reached a place where I can accomplish the goals I set out to achieve. The main one was to give my body a much needed break from allergenic foods and junk foods. Wheat products in particular I find makes my body react in an unhealthy way. My number two goal was to acquire the taste for green juices and to get in the habit of making them everyday. This process already started about a year ago but I just wanted to give my taste buds a light speed boost. The next goal was to cleanse. We talked a couple of days ago about colon cleansing. I accomplished this through daily enemas and I was able to release plenty of old, backed up "trash" and also some parasites and candida. This feast was a way for me to get back on track with eating exclusively whole foods and include plenty of raw and living foods. The goal for me is to eat mostly live foods with maybe an occasional soup or some quinoa. Another added benefit that I didn't really predict was really feeling true hunger. I mentioned earlier that sometimes our emotions can trigger signals to eat even when we are not really hungery. Well I know what being hungry really feels like after this juice feast and now I can compare it to the times when I am feeling stressed and need food for grounding and security. Then make an intelligent decision and eat when it's good for my body (especially my tummy) and deal with the emotions in a way that will have a lasting effect.

I approached my "breakfast" with intentionality and love. My whole meditation yesterday was balance and harmony. I now resolve to view my body as a partner not an enemy. I now choose to view my health challenges as signals for me to find balance rather than a problem to solve or a battle to fight. We always hear about the "War" on cancer, AIDS, poverty etc. but why not make peace with these things. Why not change our perspective? Can these things indicate that we have veered off course and knocked off balance?

A word on my own personal health challenge

I am coming to these conclusions after years of research and deep consideration into my own personal health challenge. In 2005 I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which upsets the balance of the hormones, causes irregular or non-existent cycles, infertility, acne, hirustism and weight gain. At that point I had been suffering from extremely long moon cycles (I'm talking weeks long). The options my doctor gave me were this medication (birth control) or that medication (glucophage, a medicine for diabetics). I wanted neither! And so started a journey of intense learning about the female body, herbs, yoga, meditation, vegan nutrition, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and so forth. I have used many modalities for healing which all contributed to my drastic improvement.

In short, I have found that we are our own healers and that our dis-eases are just words for "imbalance" and we can restore the balance if we are willing.

This is what I intend to do. I used to look at my body as a battle ground but now I'm calling a truce. Cease fire! I intend to continue on my path through holistic healing and this path has lead me time after time to raw and living foods. There are just too many testimonies of people who have turned their lives around by eating fresh, live, whole fruits, veggies, sprouts, nuts and seeds. PCOS is related to diabetes. Many women with PCOS are insulin resistant and this disrupts the hormonal cycle. But Dr. Gabirel Cousens is healing diabetics in 21 days with raw and living foods. So I know it is possible. I know there will be peace! There will more on this subject to come. I'm just taking the opportunity to get a little up close and personal with you so we can heal ourselves and the world together!

With love and an open heart,

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Importance of Colon Cleansing

Many people are uncomfortable with idea of colon cleansing. However, it can not be over looked because it really helps the detox process. The colon is like the trash room of your body, if you don't empty the trash the room gets crowded, stinky and infested with pests. Well the same thing actually happens with the colon. For those of us who don't have at least 2 bowel movements a day we are constipated and that means we have a surplus of "trash" that is backed up in our colon.

Did you know?
If stretched out to their full length, the large and small intestines together would measure 25 feet long.
The total surface area in the intestines (made larger by myriad folds) capable of absorbing nutrients is the size of a tennis court.
The intestines can store a vast amount of partially digested, putrefying matter (as well as drugs and other toxic chemicals) for decades! Some intestines, when autopsied, have weighed up to 40 pounds and were distended to a diameter of 12 inches with only a pencil-thin channel through which the feces could move.
EEK! So we can see now how much the colon and intestines can store!

When we are chronically constipated we can encounter some serious problems.
A Few Symptoms of Colon Dysfunction
Lower back pain
Neck and shoulder pain
Skin problems
Brain fog (hard time concentrating)

Colds and flus
Constipation or diarrhea
Digestive problems
Pain in lower stomach (especially left side)
Crohn's disease
Ulcerative colitis
Colitis/Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Bad Breath
Depression, irritability
Frequent Infections
Colon and other cancers
I know I have been constipated since I was a child. I grew up eating the standard American diet (SAD) and I barely ever drank water. So now I am paying the price with food sensitivities, allergies, indigestion and possibly irritable bowel disorder. But I am so happy because now that I am taking charge and responsibility for my health I have been reversing these dis-eases easily through a nutritious diet and periodic cleansing like the Juice Feast! YAY!!!

There are many ways to cleanse the colon the most simple way one can start right now is called the "water cure". And it goes like this; upon rising in the a.m. drink a litre of water. That's it! This will flush your system and eliminate the waste from the day before as well as prepare the body for digestion. I personally do this everyday!

There are many herbal cleansing systems, there is colon hydrotherapy, eating raw foods will definitely help because of all the fiber and juicing is very powerful in it's cleansing effect.

If you are serious about taking your health to the next level and healing the body naturally then you must include colon cleansing. Be open minded about the options. A combination of plenty of water, exercise, fresh raw foods combined with periodic colon cleansing using herbs, juicing and colon hydrotherapy will gently ease any issues with constipation and colon dysfunction. Remember the goal is to eliminate every time we eat a meal. This is how our body is designed to function when we are in good health, anything less than that will lead to illness.

Another word on stress:

When we are chronically stressed our digestion is severely impaired. So add some stress relieving techniques to your cleansing regiment. More on this later! :-) Until then......
I am Herbally yours,

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Loveliness, Juicyness and Stress

With day two complete of my juice feast I am sitting at home reflecting on a pretty hectic day. On my drive home (my car is my seat of contemplation) I realized that I have some serious digestive issues. What I have noticed is, although I am consuming only liquids, I have had a fair amount of really good energy. Comparing this to how I usually feel is like night and day. I am usually very tired especially after a meal. I have also been dealing with some abdominal pain that has lessened quite a bit in just these last two days. Of course I have been hungry, that goes with out saying, but the juice has truly been sustaining me.
This is because liquids are the most easily digestible food.
Today I drank 16 oz. of green veggie juice with spirulina and coconut oil, 32 oz. of carrot juice, 16 oz. kombucha tea, and 16 oz. of mango guava loveliness!

I didn't hit the gallon mark unfortunately, but that is only because I was extremely busy today with work (and the coconut man is on hiatus). Being on the juice has also allowed me to really tune into when my emotions trigger my appetite rather than hunger. When I get stressed or under pressure I turn to food to ground myself. But I must ask the question is this really healthy? Is this really what my body needs? If I eat when I am stressed, not when I am really hungry will my food be properly digested? Probably not. When the mind senses stress it sends a message to your body to send blood and hormones to your muscles in your arms and legs. Where does this extra blood come from? From organs that aren't need to fight or flee, such as the digestive tract and the brain. So our digestive capabilities are compromised when we are under stress, so it doesn't help to eat right at that moment.

From now on I am going to make time to relax before, during and after my meals. I am also going to notice the emotional triggers to reach for a snack and look into dealing with the emotion in a more appropriate way.

Until tomorrow, I am Herbally yours!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Juice Feast Extravaganza

Wow I can't believe how long it's been since I posted...oops! Anyways, I am updating with an entry on The Juice Feast. What is Juice Feasting you ask? Well, it is similar to a juice fast, abstaining from solid foods while consuming only fresh, raw fruit and veggie juices. However it's called a feast because there is no maximum limit to how much one can drink. In fact, it is recommended to drink at least a gallon a day. Why am I doing this you ask? For many reasons, I have been contemplating this for about a year. You see fasting and I really don't get along, I usually can only last to day 3 on a "long" fast. But this time something has shifted in me, it's like my spirit is finally saying "ok, let's do it!" and I am so excited. More on the why below....So here is my first days' experience

Day 1 Juice Feast 9-29-09

ok I started last night at sundown (the Hebraic beginning of the day) at the closing of the High Holy day Yom Kippur. I dry fasted as is the custom for Yom Kippur and broke the dry fast with my juice feast (oh yeah good news, my hubby is joining me! Yay!!) Yesterday evening we had about 6 oz. of coconut water, then 16 oz. of green juice, then, I had about 16 oz. of guava, mango, gogi berry juice, DH had more of the sweet stuff. For measuring purposes I am going to measure my intake from breakfast (a.m.) to the last juice of the day. This morning it was difficult for me to get out of bed, my body wants more sleep than usual. I also feel a little of balance, a like shaky. I'll see how I feel after I drink my juice. I am going to get a gallon of coconut water today to have on hand when I need a fresh drink and I haven't yet juiced. I am very excited about this whole thing though. But I got hungry last night after all my juice was digested. I should have took that as a signal to drink some water and go to bed but I stayed up too late. So this morning I'm feeling it!

Another observation, even though the mango has a little bit of fiber in it and probably isn't ideal for the feast, we had some so we just had to consume them and I think it's a good way to transition into the whole thing. Those mango, guava drinks are kind of like watered down smoothies!
Well the whole morning shakes were a bit of low blood sugar because I felt fine after my first juice which was more mango/ guava. In the future I want to start off the morning with the green juice. One of my primary goals for this feast is to acquire the taste for the green stuff. I want to include at least 16 oz. a day from now on (much more for the feast of course). I figure if I have to live and sustain myself on greens my body will learn to love it. I also hope to cleanse the toxins out that are making my body acidic. This process is already starting. The whole point of this juice feast is to supercharge the body with plenty of nutrition, to alkalize and cleanse the blood and tissues and give the body a rest from digesting solid foods so it can concentrate on healing other parts of the body. Some of my goals for this feast is to get over some food addictions, to relieve the body of foods that I may be sensitive to or allergic to (i.e. gluten products) and to resume a vegan diet consisting of only whole foods including plenty of fresh and living foods (uncooked). I really want to get away from processed foods so this is my jump start into it! Wish me luck!

herbal love for you always!!!


p.s. here are some great resources on juice feasting.....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Magical Mango Mystery Tour!!

Yes! The season for mangoes, the King of all fruits, is in full blast down here in the Virgin Islands. My heart goes out to all of my northern friends because I never ate a "real" mango until I came down here. Well, whoever is interested is welcome to visit and taste for themselves!

Eating whole, raw, fresh and ripe fruits is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth with out eating sugar and chemical flavorings found in most desserts. Mangoes are a great candy alternative because they are SO SWEET!!

Mangoes are a delicious fruItalicit with a taste similar to peaches and are surprisingly low glycemic! Mangoes are an excellent source of vitamin c and carotene (orange colored fruits and veggies carry the nutrient carotene). Due to it's high concentration of antioxidants it is a great anti-cancer food. They also contain enzymes for proper digestion, similar to papain which is in papaya. Mangoes also protect against infections and can prevent intestinal disease and diarrhea, especially in children. It can help prevent giadara, or "traveler's diarrhea".

A study was done where scientists poured mango juice into a test tube with a virus in and the virus was eliminated. Mangoes are also high in iron, so combined with their high vitamin c content, they make great blood builders. Mangoes is one of the few fruits that can be safely eaten by diabetes. In comparison to other tropical fruits, the glucose and insulin response to mango was the lowest!

Careful not to eat unripe mangoes or fruit that has not been ripen before harvest. The mango tree releases a toxic sap when the fruit is picked before ripening that can cause skin irritation and allergies. Some mangoes remain green when ripe, but most become a beautiful golden color with a hint of pink or orange.

My favorite way to eat a mango is to peel it and go at it as is (allowing the juice to drip down my arms)!! However my second favorite way is in a fruit salad with sliced bananas and pineapple or papaya. Mangoes are really great in green smoothies to make and excellent, rejuvenation drink full of iron, vitamin c and k!


Herbal Eranah
Murray N.D., Michael 2005. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, New York: Atria Books. pgs. 291-294.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sacred Body, Sacred Diet (part 1)

I know it has been quite a season since my last post but I have been very busy with my artwork and youth programs. We are going to have a summer youth program so much of my creative energy is going into the planning!

Today I wanted to talk about The Sacred Diet, it is a plant based dietary program that includes whole food supplements. It also includes ample raw foods, fresh juices, gentle cleansing and exercise. But its so much more. The Sacred Diet is an idea, its a way of approaching our food and it's the basis for the idea of being a "Whole Food Vegan". What we want to eat and what is good for us is not necessarily the same thing all the time. However, when our goal is wholistic health and vibrancy our desire begins to blend with our conscious. As our tastes change we no longer reach for a candy when we want something sweet, we begin to be satisfied with the sweetness of fruits. We really know we are on the right track when we can taste the sweetness in veggies!

The Sacred Diet is based on the idea that our bodies are a temple for our spirit. That our body is so much more than a physical thing. The Sacred Diet is an expression of self love and when you share you sacred meals is an expression of loving others! It is also an expression of love and gratitude towards that which created our temples and our environment.

As far as the meal plan goes it is Whole Food and Plant Based, meaning no processed foods everything is made from scratch. This prevents us from ingesting any additives, preservatives and/or flavorings which can be innocuous threats to our health.

Some of the whole food supplements include sesame seeds, powdered kelp and parsley (these are all included in the meal pictured above). There are a couple more but I want to just talk about a few today. Including whole food supplements in our diet can assist us in maintaining our daily intake of vitamins and especially minerals. Rather than getting them from synthetic supplements we can know we are getting healthy and balanced nutrition when we apply the Sacred Diet to our lives.

The little, humble sesame seed is a nutritional powerhouse that is usually over looked but occasionally sprinkled on the top of bread. They are rich in the B complex vitamins, vitamins A, D and E; phosphorous, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and essential fatty acids. When consumed raw they contain valuable enzymes. The calcium content in 1 cup unhulled seeds rivals that of one cup cow's milk. The amino acid profile makes it one of the best sources of plant based protein.

Grind them up in a seed grinder and eat about 3 tablespoons a day for ages 9- adult, 2 tbs. for children under 9 and 3 tsp. for infants 7 mo. - 1 year. Consistency is a major factor in obtaining the benefits of any nutritional and exercise program so we need to eat our sesame seeds every day.
(I also love to add black sesame seeds to Asian inspired recipes!)

Asian Cole Slaw
2 cups shredded cabbage

One grated carrot

One bunch parsley

2 Tbs. sesame seeds (I used black and white)

The juice of half a lemon

1 tsp. powdered kelp (optional)

1 tsp. agave or raw honey (optional)

Season with a little tamari, toasted sesame oil and olive oil to taste.
Toss and serve.
With love,
Herbal Eranah

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Avocados are really good (for you!)

This was an awesome meal! The pate was rich and buttery and a perfect combo with the Avo. Also plated is a salad topped with baked eggplant and kelp and steamed broccoli.

Stuffed Avocados
Let me preface. I got the idea from the Renegade Health TV Show, but I used a different recipe, basically I made it up on the fly so this isn't exact (pretty close though).

You will need a Vita mix or food processor.
One carrot
1 C. Walnuts

1/2 C. coconut pulp (left over from making coconut milk)

2 Tbs. EV Olive Oil

3 Cloves Garlic1 Tsp. Cumin

A pinch of salt, oregano, basil and thyme
1/2 Cup Water
Blend everything until desired pate consistency. Take one perfect avocado and divide in half, remove seed. Depending on the variety of avocado if the seed is very small scoop out a little extra to make room for stuffing. Peel the skin and discard. Place a good heaping spoonful of stuffing into avo and garnish with a little cilantro.Enjoy!!!
Green Goddess Smoothie (I made this today)
3 leaves Kale greens
1 frozen banana
1/2 granny smith apple
1/2 cucumber
2 kiwis (peeled and make sure there ripe)
1 Cup water (or more if needed)
1 Tbs Fenugreek powder
1 Tbs. Spirulina and a teeny tiny cube of bitter melon (optional, I used this for medicinal purposes and didn't taste it at all!)
Blend and enjoy!
Herbal Eranah
P.S. The Green Goddess is good with any greens not just Kale! I used cilantro today and left out kiwis (cause mine weren't really ripe yesterday) So good! I'm sippin on it now!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Ultimate Elixir Of Life!!!

When I first tried this dark blue green powder called Spirulina I thought *yuk* and then it made my stomach turn. The reason I tried it is because it is a great source of vegan protein, iron and vitamin A. I wanted to do something good for my body. After a while I began to get used to the swampy, fishy taste but it wasn't my favorite thing to drink (one usually mixes it in a liquid if using the powder). I usually tried to hide it in a smoothie.
Fast forward about 6 years to when I first moved to the Virgin Islands and you will find my favorite drink is fresh young coconut water. Anytime I see someone with their cutlash and a pile of young, green coconuts I stop and hand over my 2 bucks with a smile! I know I am about to digest one of the most alkaline and purest forms of water on the planet. Then there is a jelly dessert inside too! Oh, I am in heaven!
Well it just so happens that when combined the Spirulina and coconut water is basically like a blood transfusion in a glass (does that even sound appetizing???) Anyhow, no matter what its nutritional properties are it does TASTE awesome! The same swampy, fishy taste harmonizes and is completely transformed by the sweet, buttery coconut flavor. And its good for you too (did I mention that already?)
So if you have some spirulina in the shelf just sitting there go out and find a young, green coconut. Chop that baby open and pour in 3 teaspoons of the blue-green booster....and drink it down with a smile! BTW Young coconuts are becoming more popular in North America you can find them in asian markets or sometimes at health food stores. If worst comes to worst you can get the water packaged in little drink boxes (watch out for preservatives). Or you can come visit me in the VI and I'll take you to the coconut man! His name is Pete.
With Perfect Love!
Herbal Eranah

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Importance of Farmers' Markets

Every last sunday of the month there is a farmers' market in Bordeaux St. Thomas. We spent the greater part of the day there yesterday and had a blast!Cherry tomatoes are my favorite!
Beautiful organic mineral and protein rich collards! And our good friend Ras Omaha.
"Ital" food, completely whole food vegan and delicious!!

Drinking fresh coconut water, I also had some water from a young coconut!
At this point we are on a tour of part of the farm. An Edwards variety mango tree on the farm. Not quite ready
Breadfruit tree and staple here in the Caribbean. Yum yum!!! "Figs" are small, sweet bananas.
As you can see shopping at, or even volunteering at your local farmers market can reap BIG benefits!! It is the BEST way, outside of gardening yourself, to get organic, fresh, seasonal produce and get outside in the sun and meet up with friends. Some of the produce available included collard greens, arugula (an aromatic salad green), fresh parsley, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and thyme (yay herbs!!!), young coconuts, eggplant, red and green leaf lettuce, pumpkin and grapefruit.
Plus there were plenty of vegan food vendors and people selling local drinks like sorrel tea and peanut punch (more on these later!). As well as some local crafts people selling clothes, tams, jewelery, art and household items. So we had an all around great day.
We took a tour of part of the farm and learned all about mango trees, grafting and gray water irrigation. So awesome!!! We tasted a couple of acerola cherries right off the tree which are very high (higher than citrus fruits) in vitamin C.
In Radience,
Herbal Eranah

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Much <3 to All Vegan Newbies!!

I just got an email from my cousin and she has decided to revisit the world of veg and needed some pointers;
here is my response.

"Hey girl! Good to hear from you! To keep things simple stick with whole foods (not the super market) The main rule is stay away from processed starches and sugars (white flour, white sugar etc)

Dairy can be very allergenic for many people (my bi yearly flus and strep throat went away went I went dairy free)

Make batches of rice or other whole grains(quinoa and buckwheat are my favorites)to keep in the fridge and serve up with soups, veggies etc.

Make big batches of bean soups (please don't use cans!!!) these are good to reheat the next day.

Steaming veggies is very healthy, quick and easy, just pour some olive oil and salt and pepper after they are cooked and your good to go!

Go RAW!! Salads are always quick and easy, it seems like a lot of work to chop up all those veggies but you don't have to wait to cook, make your own dressings sometimes to experiment and save $$$.

Have a fruit bowl for quick snacks.

Do smoothies, look into superfoods to supplement with like chlorella, spirulina, maca etc...
Nutritional yeast= magic ingredient for vegan soy/cashew cheese+ high in B vitamins.

Don't over do it on vegan junk foods and replace sugar with 100% maple syrup, dates or honey (some don't consider vegan but I use it.)

Have fun! Learn new recipes every once in a while but just keep it simple, I make a meal with salad, steamed broccoli, potatoes and grain or soup in under an hour. I am so glad to hear you are venturing into herbivore territory ^-^!!

Also be gentle with yourself, take time to rest, meditate, pray....envision your goals on this path, see yourself beaming with health and breathe. Sometimes it is hard for me still, to pass by the convenience of "Standard American Diet" as they say. But eventually it gets easier, your tastebuds will change and you will notice a difference and if you don't you can always try something else :D love you, never hesitate to ask me anything and let me know how it goes....teehee between you, me and E, we should take over Thanksgiving!!! Ha ha!! free the turkeys!!!"
I thought this was pretty good advice for off the top of my head!!! :D But I am glad she asked because, that is exactly why I started this blog, for people who want to keep veg as simple and healthy! HTH!!

With love and Blessings and lots of yummies!!

Herbal Eranah
Question of the day....What is your #1 tip for a veg newbie???

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Greetings! This is for those of you who are concerned about the amount of protein and calcium in vegan/ vegetarian diets. One who consumes a variety of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, grains and legumes will absolutely thrive and meet nutritional needs!

However, I said variety, (and I said vegetables :D) this means we may have to try something unfamiliar at times and that is what I did today!!!

I just have to share something, I have just discovered chia seeds, that's right, you may remember the Chia Pet from the 80's the pet that grows!!??!! Yeah that one, well the seeds are edible and nutritious! (don't eat your Chia pet though!!!)

I received a free sample in an order from The Raw Food World and decided to try it today. So what I did is put about 2 Tbls. into a 16 oz. glass of water last night. Lo and behold the seeds formed a gel, it has a slight taste similar to coconut water. I am sitting here drinking it as I type. I will definitely be experimenting with recipes in the future but for now here is some info from ChiaForHealth.com ;

"High in Protein Chia seed is a complete source of dietary protein, providing all the essential amino acids. Compared to other seeds and grains, chia seed provides the highest source of protein, between 19 to 23 percent protein by weight. One of the unique qualities of the chia seed is its ability to absorb more than nine times its volume in water or other liquid. This ability can prolong hydration and retain electrolytes in body fluids, especially during exertion or exercise. Normal fluid retention ensures electrolyte dispersion across cell membranes, maintains fluid balances, and aids normal cellular function."

Angela Stokes the Raw Food Goddess!!! Has a great page of info on Chia along with recipes Here.

In health, Peace and Blessings, Love Always!!!!
Herbal Eranah

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spotlight: Nomi Shannon Great Tips From A Master!

I just received an email newsletter from author, Nomi Shannon. When I read it I thought I MUST put this in my blog! She offers some great tips for organizing the kitchen (nutrition room as I like to call it!) Ooh and some yummy recipes as well!

"Here are 12 simple steps that will save time while eating healthier than you ever have before (adapted from The Raw Gourmet by Nomi Shannon)

When you're starting out with any new type of cuisine, it takes awhile to learn the "tricks of the trade"--the little shortcuts and strategies that save time and make food preparation a breeze. Here are 12 tips that will help you become faster and more efficient in the kitchen, so you have time for all the other things that are important to your life.

Twelve Steps to Living Foods Success

1. Always keeps at least two jar sprouted items in your refrigerator. Whether they're radish sprouts, clover sprouts or green pea sprouts, you'll be glad to have them on hand for tossing into salads or placing at the bottom of a soup bowl.
2. Always have sunflower sprouts (and buckwheat lettuce if growing your own) on hand. The most economical way to have them on hand is to grow them yourself. But, if that is not possible, consider buying them at a health food store or from a grower. Some growers will ship them directly to your home.
3. Keep a jar of almonds or other favorite nuts soaking in the refrigerator.Change the water daily and they will keep, ready to use, for five days. (On the fifth day use them up in a salad, eat as is, as a crust or in a nut loaf, then begin the soaking process again.)

4. Make up a big batch of your favorite Pâté each weekend, and add different flavors to vary the taste during the week. Remember to begin the sprouting process on Thursday or Friday night. A pate made up of sprouted sunflower seeds (soak 8-12 hours and sprout 4 hours or less. Rinse well.) will last the longest.
5. Keep salad dressing ingredients on hand like tahini, oil, lemons, garlic and onions so that you can whip up salad dressings quickly.
6. Keep sauerkraut in your refrigerator. Once made, this tasty food will last for many weeks. It is a healthy addition to many recipes and makes a great condiment or side dish.
7. Always have assorted greens, root vegetables, red peppers and parsley in your refrigerator so that you can "throw together" a meal quickly. Keep a large bowl of seasonal fruit ready to eat on your counter or in your refrigerator. Whether you shop each night on your way home from work, or go to the farmer's market twice a week, buy the best, freshest organic produce that you can find that day and use it very soon after purchasing. (If you do not have the luxury of being able to obtain organic produce wash your conventional produce thoroughly, and don't worry about it-it is still far better to eat all fresh raw ingredients than to eat processed or prepared foods even if you can't have organic. There are lists online that will tell you the most sprayed/pesticide laden foods and the least so that you can have an idea of the more important foods to buy organic)

8. If you can, pre-wash all your produce before putting it away. Having to wash and dry your vegetables for each meal is time consuming. For one or two people, purchasing bags of pre-washed organic baby lettuces that contain a variety of greens is convenient and waste-free. Be sure all washed produce is thoroughly dried before refrigerating.
9. Make a large salad every night for dinner. Prior to putting dressing on, remove enough to use for lunch the next day. Store in an airtight container with a dressing on the side so the salad will stay fresh and crisp. (Or bring a small container of pate on the side to put atop the salad next day at work, or a small bag of your soaked nuts plus some dressing.)
10. Keep a piece of fresh gingerroot in your refrigerator and a backup piece in a plastic bag in the freezer. You can flavor foods and make tea by grating in a little ginger. Note that you should never let frozen ginger thaw.
11. Keep about a dozen peeled bananas in the freezer. Choose very ripe fruit, peel, and freeze them in plastic bags. They make wonderful "ice cream" and other frozen treats, including great morning smoothies like Vanilla Bliss.
12. To maintain freshness and for convenience, keep the following foods stored in your freezer: shelled nuts and seeds, dried coconut, grains, all dried herbs and spices. If you do not have room in your freezer, store the shelled nuts and seeds and bananas in the freezer, and the rest in the refrigerator. (Nuts and seeds still in their shell have a long shelf life and do not require refrigeration.)

By creating habits based on the above 12 suggestions you will find that you can arrive home at 6PM and be eating a fine dinner by 6:30.

Vanilla Bliss
This recipe has appeared here in the past but it is such a lovely and fast recipe it bears repeating. Don't forget you can do endless variations on the basic theme by adding other fruits in, flavoring with carob, adding in your green food supplements, etc.

3/4 Cup water
2 Tablespoons or more of tahini
1-2 frozen very ripe bananas
dash of vanilla (optional)
Blend. Serves 1.

Add more tahini if you are working out and want additional protein and calories. This is a lovely smoothie for youngsters, athletes, and older people, as well as people with weak digestive systems. The tahini is high in protein, calcium and good fat. At 200 calories for 2 Tablespoons with 6 grams of protein you can easily adjust this smoothie to replace unhealthy protein powders or use it to help gain weight. In a heavy-duty blender this recipe only takes about three minutes to make. In a regular blender it is best to cut the frozen banana into bits and to add them slowly, so it will take a few minutes longer.

Christmas Tree Hors d'oeuvres (anytime of the year)

1 Styrofoam cone (reuse a million times at least)
Cherry tomatoes
Sea salt
A silver tray or other attractive flat serving piece

A few hours before your guests arrive, pin the cherry tomatoes on to the tree in straight rows or a spiral design with the toothpicks. Stuff parsley bits in between the tomatoes so none of the styrofoam shows. Place a tomato on the very top. Sprinkle sea salt around the base.

This looks just like a Christmas tree and the sea salt like snow. Your guests can dip the cherries into the salt.

Variations: alternate tomatoes and olives. Or use this idea with other veggies like squares of jicama, all olives, melon ball scoops of zucchini or cucumber dusted with paprika.

If you like this idea and are expecting a large crowd you could use styrofoam of all different shapes and sizes or stay with the Christmas tree theme in different sizes and serve all of your hors d'oeuvres at one table in this way. Pretty!
Note: styrofoam never decomposes so keep yours in a safe and clean place to use over many times.

Zucchini en pate

Make up your favorite pate or nut loaf. Season it more strongly than you normally would. Perhaps with finely minced shallots and chopped green olives. Or, with minced red peppers and chives or dill.

Cut your zucchini in thin circles (about 1/4 inch) and spread with seasoned pate or nut loaf, top with a sprig of fresh herb or a decorative cut of red or yellow pepper. Place the rounds on large platters decorated with parsley sprigs or kale leaves and serve buffet style or pass around.

If you own a dehydrator, dehydrate the above until topping is warm and dry, about 6-8 hours, then place decorative topping on. Or, slice the zucchini very thinly the long way, using a mandoline will make the job easier, thinly spread your topping. Dehydrate until the veggie can be rolled up, then roll, secure with a toothpick if necessary and dehydrate until warm and soft or even until warm and dry and hard, any stage is delicious. Serve fresh out of the dehydrator. (This recipe is enlarged upon and nicely photographed in my new book Raw Food Celebrations written by myself and Sheryl Duruz.)

You can also make an outstanding dip with your favorite pate. Again, season more strongly than usual, good items to use would be mild onion, shallot or green onion as well as lemon and chopped herbs such as dill or tarragon-see what you can find fresh. Put dip in a large shallow bowl and place on a very large platter (inexpensive plastic trays of all shapes and sizes can be purchased at catering supply stores and stores that carry party items-when decorated they look wonderful. Often they are available in a clear plastic, gold or silver) with lots of colorful and attractively cut vegetables. Some ideas: zucchini sticks, celery sticks, carrot sticks, cucumber rounds, thinly sliced root vegetables, cherry tomatoes, etc. Vary the shape of the vegetables.

Pate Recipe
3 cups sunflower seeds soaked 10-12 hours, sprouted for 4 hours or less, well rinsed
1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons nama shoyu, or soy sauce or 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 2 tablespoons of water
4 thin slices red onion
6 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
2-3 cloves garlic
Process in a food processor or in a heavy-duty blender or put all ingredients except tahini and liquids through a heavy duty juicer, them mix all together. Taste and add your extra seasonings. If using as a dip use enough liquid so it is the right consistency.

Nut Loaf Recipe
2 cups almonds or walnuts or pecans. Soaked 8-12 hours. (If using walnuts or pecans many people prefer to just soak for 20 minutes or not at all for a good result)
2-3 large carrots
1/2 large onion or more to taste
1 1/2 cups finely minced celery
1/2 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon nama shoyu or soy sauce or 1 teaspoon sea salt with 1 tablespoon water if necessary

Put first three ingredients through a heavy-duty juicer (Champion, Green Life, Solostar) with the blank screen. Stir in the remaining ingredients then add your extra seasonings to taste.

If you are making these recipes for a dinner party, y
ou can make the pate up to a week in advance, the nut loaf the day before. This will allow you time to assemble your food attractively without spending too much time on the day of your event dealing with food.

The Twelve Steps To Living Food Success has been adapted from Nomi's best-selling book, The Raw Gourmet. All recipes mentioned are in the book along with instructions on how to sprout and many other helpful hints both in the text of the book and in the Appendix. http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=IqnZG&m=KbVtzCmIJEk&b=RLbKsf4BmpvZHSVA70FeKA.

Author of the best selling raw vegan book The Raw Gourmet, and co-author of Raw Food Celebrations (with Sheryl Duruz) Nomi Shannon has recently been voted Best Raw Vegan Educator of 2008, and earned second place as Raw Vegan Chef of 2008.
A well-known proponent of natural health and healing, Nomi Shannon is an author, a raw foods chef and a Certified Hippocrates Health Educator. As a Living Foods Lifestyle Coach, she provides counseling and consultation services for individuals and groups the world over who wish to improve their health-one bite at a time.

Nomi offers a free online newsletter as well as a free 7 part email class called The Raw Truth at http://www.rawgourmet.com/."

I don't know about you but I am going to check out her book!

Love,Peace and understanding!
Herbal Eranah

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Want to live BPA free? Try using whole foods!

"Biphenyl A [BPA] is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disrupter, meaning it disturbs the hormonal messaging in our bodies. Synthetic xenoestrogen are linked to breast cancer and uterine cancer in women, decreased testosterone levels in men, and are particularly devastating to babies and young children. BPA has even been linked to insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes."

BPA is found in plastics, it can leach from the plastic into our food and drinks and into the body causing much havoc. There was a study done on the effects of BPA in mice. After four days of exposure to BPA the mice were resistant to insulin due to it’s effects on estrogen in the body. This can cause real problems. Diabetes and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome are linked to insulin resistance.

"Studies show canned foods are a predominant source of daily BPA exposure in our lives. Food and drink cans are lined with a BPA-containing plastic. Beverages appear to contain less BPA residues, while canned pasta and soups contain the highest levels. EWG found that the worst foods tested put pregnant women and formula-fed infants within an unacceptable margin of safety to levels that cause harmful effects in laboratory animals. Typical exposures are within a 10 to 100-fold range of the effects that cause harm in a laboratory setting."

All the more reason to create your own meals from whole, fresh foods rather than a can. Canned and other pre-processed foods may seem to be more convenient at the time but in the long run it is detrimental to our health.

Take pride in creating and preparing your meals from scratch. Get the whole family involved. Children especially love to help out in the kitchen. Set them up with a bunch of green beans and those little hands will have them ready to steam in no time!!

Some tips on preparing whole foods quickly:

* Planning your menu ahead of time will prevent a "brain freeze" as you gaze into the fridge wondering what to prepare.

* Take steps to prepare. Prep veggies ahead of time. Boil a big batch of rice or soup to use a couple of days in a row. Soak beans saves cooking time.

*Prepare in bulk. Take a day and make up a few meals to freeze (or just keep in the fridge for up to 3 days) and use through out the week.

* "Haste Makes Waste" (as my geometry teacher used to always say!) Breathe and take your time, rushing will only cause accidents.

* Steaming goes a long way! Steaming veggies is quick, easy, simple and tasty.

* Go Raw! A salad is a lot quicker than a pot of soup or a casserole. Stock up on your favorite add on and a yummy dressing and Wham! Dinner is served!

*If your really in a pinch for time, make a smoothly. Your body will sing as you step out the door after downing a healthy and fresh smoothie (ahh, go ahead try a green one!!)

* Eat you fruit! Have a big basket of fruit stocked for when hunger strikes! Grab a quick snack and then take your time and prepare something wholesome!


Steamed Green Beans with Red Skin Potatoes

You can not get any simpler than this folks! I think the most iconic canned veggie is the green bean. But it really doesn't take long to cook!

You'll need:

A pound of green beans washed and prepped

about 5 small red skinned potatoes, diced

a teaspoon of seasalt

a dash of cayene pepper

some coconut oil

Boil red skin potatoes in plenty of water until fairly soft (not mushy).

In a steamer steam the green beans until bright green and crisp (again not mushy).

Combine in a bowl and add salt, pepper and coconut oil as desired!! That's it!

serve immediately with a salad of freah greens and some quinoa (a very quick cooking grain!)

I hope you like this simple recipe and tips on staying healthy and BPA free! All the best to you and yours!

Herbal Eranah

P.S. Click HERE for an easy to use chart about plastics and BPA.

Sources: EWG's report on canned food, Environmental Health Perspectives report on BPA induced hyperinsulinemia

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's all so new!


Herbal Eranah here,

I am so excited to share all of the knowledege that I have collected for the last 12-13 years in my own journey through vegetarian and vegan living. (note: I won't use the word diet unless in a quotaion, we aren't in the business of dieing here!) Weekly, perhaps bi-weekly I will be posting info, recipes, photos, interviews, videos and other goodies that we can use as we explore the world of healthy living. This blog is not just for vegans, it is for anyone who wants to learn more about preparing delicious meals using whole and complete foods, herbs and healthy living. This blog is also not only about foods but about a way of life that is sustainable, attainable, vibrant and healing!

Mission Statement
Whole foods Vegan 101 is a resource center for those who wish to reach high levels of health and wellbeing through simple and natural living. We offer recipes, tips and solutions for a healthy vegan lifestyle. The basis of WFV101 is whole, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains with an emphasis on raw and living foods.

Why raw and living foods?
These are plant based foods that have not been cooked or otherwise processed..."how nature intended!"

Why whole foods?
Eating foods in their whole and complete state allows us to utilize the best nutrition for healing and maintaining health. Eating meals that include a variety of whole foods enables us to stear clear of artificial preservatives, flavorings, other non-foods as well as animal products that can be damaging to the body.

Why care?

Recently more and more people are being diagnosed with chronic diseases that can be either prevented, improved or cured by positive lifestyle changes, eating fruits and vegetables and stearing clear of junk. We deserve to give our bodies af ighting chance at life and take care of the "temples" that house our essence! ; P

This blog and the information within it is intended for educational use only. I do not diagnose or treat illnesses. I am offering this information so you, the reader, can make educated decisions about your own health.

My Story

At 15 I decided I didn't want to eat meat. It was a simple way for me to make a difference in the world albeit a small one! The decision felt very natural to me. My first attempts at cooking were pretty interesting (meaning lots of lentils!) At that time my eating habits were not healthy at all. I drank a lot of soda and coffee, no water. I ate plenty of sugary foods, processed cheeses and other junk. I think I survived my first year of college on all foods that included chocolate chips as the main ingredient. I was constantly sick with the flu or colds plus seasonal allergies were starting to develop. Meanwhile, I knew that a healthy vegan meal plan was my ultimate goal, but it seemed like such a daunting commitment. How can I give up chesse and chocolate? Then I started working at a vegan restaurant, which gave me the experience and expertise of a vegan gourmet!In the last seven years being vegan, I have learned and healed so much. I am doing well and I rarely get colds, flu and my spring time itchies are virtually non-existant. My skin is clear and glowy and best of all I am happy! Thats my story what's yours?