Lavender Love Affair

Recipe for Body, Mind AND Spirit

Is there such a thing as well-being in a bottle? I think that one of the most potent remedies that anyone can have in their medicine chest, gym bag, desk drawer, or purse — is a 10 milliliter bottle of lavender essential oil. This is considered to be the most universal of all of the essential oils, and if you’re just learning about this extraordinary healing tool, it’s a good starting point. Just to give you an idea of what lavender oil can do to improve your life (and this is only the short list):

  • It is an instant mood elevator and can help relieve depression.
  • It is effective in the treatment of tension, headaches, migraines, and high blood pressure.
  • It rapidly heals skin conditions, including serious burns, sunburn, eczema, insect bites, and abscesses.
  • It can soothe muscle aches, including sprains.
  • It encourages restful sleep and can lessen insomnia.
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Simple Raw Fusion Dish – Corn, Shitake and Asparagus Fricasse

Raw Fusion Recipe – blending the incredible health benefits of the raw foods lifestyle with the comfort and convenience of mainstream meals.

 Over the past few years the raw foods lifestyle has gained quite a following.  Eating primarily raw foods does not necessarily mean that you subsist on a boring diet of carrots and celery; or even that the food is always cold and completely uncooked.  In fact, gourmet raw food recipes are some of the most sophisticated-tasting foods that I have ever experienced.  The premise of this lifestyle is that you eat mainly whole foods that have not been exposed to heat over 118 degrees, which destroys most of the vitamins and minerals and virtually all of the digestive enzymes, making these meals very easy on the body.  Dr. Oz said this when asked about raw foods:  “There are immeasurable health benefits to maintaining a raw foods diet.”

The key word here is “maintaining.”  Because there are specific ways of preparing raw foods,  as well as certain equipment, many people would find it challenging to sustain a high raw foods diet over a prolonged period.  While there is nothing that I have personally experienced like the raw food diet that can almost miraculously transform a number of chronic food allergies and other health issues, I am also keenly aware of the human need for comfort, convenience and camaraderie in their eating habits – as well as getting certain cravings satisfied.

Over the years I have found ways to integrate the two lifestyles in very appealing combinations..  My first recipe offering is deceptively simple, yet everyone who has tried it is astounded by the tantalizing variety of tastes and textures of flash-sauteed veggies served over greens, which become semi-wilted and ultra-delicious.   Although other oils can be used for flash-sauteeing, there is none that imparts such a rich and nutty taste as virgin coconut oil.

This can be served as a main course or a side dish, however, one of the tenets of the raw fusion philosophy is proper food-combining.  Corn is a starchy, high carb food.  If you are seeking to lose weight, it combines favorably with the greens and other veggies and makes for a very fulfilling dish.  However, if you combine corn with a protein (meat, chicken, fish, tofu) it does not support weight loss.

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Meatless Monday – Wild Mushroom Nut Burgers with Raw-B-Que Sauce

  Over the past week CNN and other major news outlets have been touting the marvelous benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet.  President Bill Clinton turned his health around by following this lifestyle and he has been a great spokesperson on how minimizing your meat intake and eating more fruits and vegetables has an amazing impact on your health and well-being.  See this interview here.

The “Meatless Monday” initiative is not designed to turn every American into a vegetarian or vegan; it is geared toward raising our consciousness on where meat comes from and on the environmental toll and energy consumption that this industry perpetrates.  Did you know that if all Americans simply took one day off a week from animal protein it would have the effect of taking 7 million cars off the road?

This recipe is one of my favorites!  If you have eaten burger substitutes, I guarantee that these are the best you will ever taste!  The broth from the dried mushrooms lends a very meaty taste and the texture is very satisfying.  Dulse flakes are optional – they can be found in the dried sea vegetable or macrobiotic section of your local health food store.  You can even get powdered dulse shakers where the salt and other spices are stored and use that instead of the flakes.  And of course, that ingredient can be eliminated altogether.

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Conquering Your Cravings- Part I

A concern of many who make the switch to raw foods is how can they fulfill their cravings for their customary snacks and treats, as many of those foods don’t play a part in their new diet. If something sweet is your snack of choice, once you get accustomed to the basics of making Raw Desserts you find that it is easy to satisfy sweet cravings with only a few ingredients. Salty snacks require a bit more creativity. For example, if potato chips are your weakness, even with all the exotic new flavors and “natural” labels that make it to the marketplace each year, there is nothing health-supporting about this snack. The good news is that you may find a delicious substitute that will not only satisfy the craving, but also make you feel better in a multitude of ways. Comfort foods play a huge role in our lives – in fact, eating in general takes up a lot of mental energy. We either spend far too much time thinking about food, obsessing about what we want to snack or planning our next meal – or we spend way too little time, without making provisions for something healthy and whole and often wind up taking the fast food route. Whether your cravings tend towards sweet, salty or fatty foods, I’ve included many healthy options to fulfill those urges in Volumes I and 2 of Raw Fusion: Better Living Through Living Foods.  Volume I has a complete chapter devoted to creative ideas for conquering those cravings, be they for sweet, salty, or sweet/salty, along with several recipes.  Volume 2, the Recipes only book, has a category for cravings recipes.

As you begin eating more whole foods and absorbing added nutrition, your body will be slowly cleansing of the toxins built up over years. One of the symptoms of detox is that you may have an intense desire for particular foods, especially those that were the least nutritious Ideally you will find healthier and more proactive ways to satisfy those food desires and in time, many will diminish as your body shifts into a new phase of well-being. 

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Chocolate and Kale – Unusual yet phenomenal pairing!

You’ve heard the saying “having your cake and eating it, too”?  Well, there’s something about being able to eat chocolate and at the same time getting your nutrients that resonates with that popular refrain. Kale is loaded with both macro- and micronutrients and health-enhancing antioxidants.  On the ANDI Scale, a measure of a particular food’s […]

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What to expect from The Master Cleanse

The Master Cleanse is a ten day fast and detox that has been employed successfully by hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide.  While not everyone experiences the same reactions, there is some similarity overall.  We have a group “opt-in” experience from Tuesday, September 3rd – 12th.  (Day after Labor Day) Check back to the 2 previous posts for all of the vital information about this group fast.

NEW! Do you find it difficult to complete detoxes, like the Master Cleanse, that demand deprivation and difficult regimens? Check out my brand new program, S-Tox™: A Smarter Way to Detox. S-Tox is a simple, stress-free, satisfying way to detoxify your system. You enjoy wholesome Super Smoothies, Scrumptious Shakes, Soul-Soothing Soups, Satisfying Salads, and Sensational Snacks — that keep you feeling full while flushing away toxins. Best of all, a health coach will guide you through the process! Get started here!

Feel free to post comments, questions or personal  experiences here on the blog as well as on our Facebook page. I will personally monitor both sites on a daily basis, as I do the Master Cleanse along with you, and respond to the best of my ability.

While it helps to have a support group or someone that can respond to your questions, do bear in mind that I am not a medical doctor nor is my advanced degree in the area of nutrition.  If you have any medical issues or concerns, make sure to check with your regular physician.  While it’s natural to feel some mildly uncomfortable detox symptoms, they should not be extreme.

I am sharing some of the common detox symptoms from Peter Glickman’s website at the bottom of this post, as he does an amazing job in both his book and his website in preparing individuals for this fast.

Below are some of my personal insights, along with information and feedback from others who have done the fast.   I’d also recommend doing a search on the subject for “Master Cleanse Journals” – when I was first contemplating doing the cleanse, I learned a lot from reading a few online day-to-day journals.

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Daily Recipe for The Master Cleanse

In preparation for the Group Opt-In Master Cleanse beginning this Tuesday, September 3rd make sure to read all of the posts  to familiarize yourself with the program and to get an idea of what you will need to buy beforehand.  You are welcome to post any questions or comments either here on the blog or on our Facebook page where we will be checking in daily with motivation, inspiration and cheer-leading.

The basic Master Cleanse is over a 10-day period, with a couple of days at the end to ease back into solid foods.  There are individuals who have continued the fast for as long as forty days.  Although it is thought that the 10 days is an ideal period to facilitate a proper detoxification, should you decide to fast for a day or two or three, that’s perfectly fine.  Any time you can give your body a rest from solid foods and the very taxing digestive process, it’s bound to be good for you!  Make sure to check with your physician if you have any concerns.

NEW! Do you find it difficult to complete detoxes, like the Master Cleanse, that demand deprivation and difficult regimens? Check out my brand new program, S-Tox™: A Smarter Way to Detox. S-Tox is a simple, stress-free, satisfying way to detoxify your system. You enjoy wholesome Super Smoothies, Scrumptious Shakes, Soul-Soothing Soups, Satisfying Salads, and Sensational Snacks — that keep you feeling full while flushing away toxins. Best of all, a health coach will guide you through the process! Get started here!

NOTE:  If you are taking a prescribed daily medication, do not stop taking it unless your medical doctor advises as such!

Here is what you will be consuming on a daily basis during The Master Cleanse:

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The Master Cleanse Group Experience Opt-in August 19-28

Probably the best known detox diet, The Master Cleanse is a 10 day fast with a specific lemonade-based recipe for daily nutrition combined with a few steps designed to flush your system of accumulated toxins.  It has also been used extensively for weight loss.   Although each person reacts differently to the cleanse, for the most part what I have read about this fast is favorable.  I have had exceptional results from The Master Cleanse, but I strongly recommend consulting with a medical professional before embarking on any detoxification program.

Starting August 19th we will sponsor a group cleanse; At this point we are not sure how many people will join in, but it’s much easier to go through the program when you have the support and feedback of others going through the same experience.  Via this blog and regular postings on our Raw Fusion Living Facebook page you can check in daily, report on your progress, query others to find out about their reactions or just to cheer us on.

NOTE:  You don’t have to commit to the full 10 days.  If you’ve been contemplating the idea of taking some time off from solid food or want to try a day or so of fasting, feel free to opt-in for whatever time you feel is appropriate.  No matter what you choose, you will receive unconditional support!

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What IS Raw Fusion?

   In the 1930’s Dr. Paul Kouchakoff conducted research to compare the effects of cooked food versus raw food.  He found that cooked food can be perceived by the body as a threat, setting off the immune response.  When the immune response is chronically activated by something we do as regularly as having three or more meals a day, this causes a cascade of physiological problems   This process, called Digestive Leukocytosis, occurs only when cooked or processed food is consumed.  When we eat food in a natural, unprocessed state – food that has not been denatured or cooked over 118 degrees, there is no immune response.  Another way of describing the optimal diet is one that contains a high percentage of “living foods.”

This is completely alien to the way most of us have been trained to eat.  Traditional pairings of meat and potatoes, chicken and rice, bread and processed meats (sandwiches), while comforting and customary, are really at the root of many of the chronic conditions that many individuals do not attribute to their food intake.

However, if you can relate to any of the following symptoms, they may be a result of years of digestive leukocytosis, our systems being in a constant “state of emergency” due to irritants of cooked foods with very little natural and unprocessed food to counterbalance:

Runny nose, post-nasal drip, sluggishness and low energy, prone to sinus congestion or infections, intestinal disorders, muscle or joint pain, chronic headaches.  And the list goes on…

According to Kouchakoff, if at least 50% of our daily intake is not raw and unprocessed, our health declines NOT as a result of the aging process, but rather in response to the continual wearing down of our defenses, day after day, meal after meal.

I healed myself of ALL of the above symptoms once I embarked on a raw fusion lifestyle.

Raw Fusion teaches you how to blend the incredible benefits of the raw foods lifestyle, with the comforts and convenience of conscious mainstream meals.

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