Thursday, June 26, 2008

Raw Ice Cream & Magic Shell

Yes indeed. Raw ice cream for me! This IS an actual photo of the ice cream I made. Here's my recipe:

1 cup raw cashews (soaked 15 minutes)
15 dates (soaked 15 minutes)
1 vanilla bean
2 cups water
pinch sea salt
I blended all of this up in my Blendtec blender until everything was completely smooth (especially the vanilla bean since I used the whole thing). Next I poured the mixture into my handy dandy ice cream makin' machine and voila! Creamy sweet wonderful raw ice cream that the whole family loves ;D
Chocolate Magic Shell Topping
Equal parts (I used 1/4 cup each):
  • cacao powder
  • agave nectar
  • coconut oil
Remember Magic Shell chocolate syrup that would harden shortly after pouring it over your icecream? Well, thanks to the coconut oil this stuff does the same thing! So fun. I think I'd like to thin it out, though. Maybe add and equal part of water just to make it easier to pour. Either way, it tastes AMAZING.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Don't Despise Small Beginnings

I have totally not started the Fit for Life plan at all. As a matter of fact, I've come to dread it and resist it. I'm not sure what's going on exactly - the air around town has been pretty thick with emotions responding to the 500-year flood we've experienced the last couple of weeks here in Iowa City and I think I'm pretty sensitive to that. So making a change right now feels hard. But it also feels completely necessary. And if I can't do it on my own, I have no choice but to call on God to be my strength.

I'm utterly miserable this morning without my morning cup of joe but here I am. Only one hour and 45 minutes away from the end of my morning fruit fast. I keep finding myself reminded of some encouraging words I recently heard at a women's conference, "don't despise small beginnings!" So I carefully chose a small beginning today:

Remove: Coffee
Add: Fresh fruit until noon

It seems to make sense to start here. To begin by removing a negative thing and replace it with a good thing. (I say coffee is a negative thing because I fully recognize my addiction to it and dependency on it - clearly not good. I could argue the nutritional side separately but won't here and now...) So when I remove the bad thing I'm not just sitting here with a big empty hole in my being. I'm filling the void with what the authors of Fit for Life describe as the single most important element of the lifestyle. The body is in "elimination" mode until noon. Help the body eliminate by feeding it fruit.

This is my small beginning, and you know what? Right at this moment, even now, I feel a little better than I did two paragraphs ago. Fascinating. I decided to lean on God and now I feel completely supported. I like knowing that He's in this with me :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Raw Strawberry Pie

We've had plenty of fresh strawberries from our little patch and Adi suggested the other day that we make some strawberry pies! I thought that was a fabulous idea, and even better, why not make it raw!! So I already had some date/nut balls on hand - all ingredients are raw:

Date/Nut Balls

1 cup soaked hazelnuts (or whatever kind you like - soaked overnight and rinsed)
7 dates
1 tsp agave nectar
pinch salt
dried coconut flakes

Process dates and nuts in food processor, add agave and pinch of salt. Shape 'dough' into balls and roll in coconut flakes.

Adi likes Strawberry Shortcake so I used her cupcake liners placed in a cupcake tin and pressed one nut/date ball in the bottom of each one to create a crust.


Divide sliced strawberries among the cupcake liners and add agar agar syrup ---

Agar Agar Syrup

  • 1/4 cup hot water (not boiling)
  • 1 tsp agar agar powder (agar agar is like gelatin but made from seaweed and is not 100% raw but a great vegan substitute for recipes needing a bit of form)
  • 2 Tbsp agave nectar

Chill in the refrigerator until set and enjoy! We did :)

Note: this recipe does not follow proper food combining rules.

I'm landing at a place right now that leads me to believe that food combining is far more important when eating cooked foods. I choose to believe that raw foods are digested in a completely different way... I may be in denial. Regardless, this recipe rocks and Adi couldn't get enough of it and I don't feel in the least bit bad for letting her eat not one but two pies for breakfast!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fit For Life

So I'm re-reading a book called Fit For Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond which I read about 13 years ago. It was originally recommended to me by a room mate while I was living in Miami Beach, FL. I think at the time some of it made sense but I just wasn't willing to make the life-style changes needed to eat the way modeled in the book.

It feels really interesting to read this book now, after I've done so much research on raw foods and so much of that has really resonated with me. Now to throw food combining on top of that makes things feel a bit restrictive. Though there's certainly a toss-up here. Fit For Life allows eating cooked foods, just in the proper combinations.

And that's a hang up for me - this book claims I can detox while including cooked foods in my diet, which, if true sounds wonderful! I think I want to give it a shot. The book includes a 30 day menu plan to teach readers how to successfully combine food and eat the right stuff at the right time. I guess I've got 30 days to give it a try. Why not? I don't think I could make it 30 days 100% raw at this point so why not shoot for 70% and see if Harv and Mar are full of hooey or if they really do know their stuff! Here's a really condensed run down of what this will look like:
  • Eat only fresh, raw fruits (and up to 14 oz fresh juice) every day until noon
  • From noon to approx 8:00 p.m. eat correctly combined meals
  • Exercise a minimum of 20 minutes daily (this will be the hard part for me!)

What does correctly combined mean? Essentially, there are two types of food: high-water content foods and concentrated foods. Fruits and veggies are high-water and everything else is concentrated. The claim is that the human stomach is not designed to eat more than one concentrated food at a time. Therefore, protein can not be combined with another type of protein, or carbohydrates (whole grain bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc.) Concentrated foods can be combined with veggies only as fruits should always be consumed alone and never following a meal. Here's a chart:

How long to wait after eating other food before you can again eat fruit

Food Time to Wait

Salad or raw veggies 2 hours

Properly combined meal, no flesh 3 hours

Prperly combined meal, with flesh 4 hours

Any improperly combined meal 8 hours

Energy Ladder


Fresh fruit & fruit juices

Fresh vegetable juice & salads

Steamed vegetables, raw nuts & seeds

Grains, breads, potatoes, legumes

Meat, chicken, fish, dairy (if any;)


Now that's a lot of info. If you want to give this a try I highly recommend getting this book and realding the details for yourself. There are additional concepts that I haven't even touched on here that are really important. I think the read is worth it even if you have no intention of trying it out. So I suppose I will keep all posted.