Food Allergies, Anyone?

Recently, I had lunch with a colleague at a popular upscale Asian-inspired restaurant  and was very surprised when  the waiter asked, “Do you have any food allergies we should be aware of?”

In over five decades of going out to eat at least once or twice a week, that was the first time I had been asked that question. Now, while growing up, I suppose I knew that some of the kids in my school had random allergies, like to strawberries or to shellfish. But the idea that eating a peanut could kill someone – let alone by being kissed by someone who had eaten one – never crossed through my consciousness. And I remember eating daily peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as our main staple food in camp without any fatalities. How is that our food supply has become such a potential liability, that restaurant kitchens want to be on alert?

I could have responded to the waiter with probably a lot more information than he (and my dining companion) might have liked to hear about my food allergies and sensitivities, but it’s something that I’ve been aware of for quite some time and have learned to modify my eating accordingly, especially when I stick to a high raw foods diet.

Food allergies are becoming quite prevalent in people of all ages. While most of what are defined as “allergies” are acute and abnormal reactions of the body’s immune response, there are also food sensitivities and intolerances, such as gluten and lactose intolerance, which have become more commonly known but are often overlooked in traditional diagnoses.

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Green Juice Fast Reflections on “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead”

As I am sipping on the first of my green juices for a 3-day detox, I am reflecting on the movie “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” which I streamed last night from my Netflix account.

This inspiring film was created by Australian entrepreneur, Joe Cross, documenting his astounding weight loss and reversal of several chronic medical conditions all through “rebooting” his system through a 60-day juice fast.

At a truck stop in Winslow, Arizona Cross met a man who was the same age, extremely overweight and suffered from exactly the same painful skin condition (Urticaria) that had plagued Joe for years.  What seemed like a random meeting lead to a life-changing moment for both of these men.  While Joe had already begun his journey to conscious self-care and better health, Phil Staples weighed over 400 lbs and was living a very reclusive and lonely existence.  When he reached out to the filmmaker, Cross flew back from Australia and gave Staples all of the tools to change his life.

I strongly recommend downloading or renting this 95 minute film through Netflex or Itunes.  The use of animation and provocative interviews with nutritionists and healthy eating pioneer Dr. Joel Fuhrman (“Eat to Live”) and other case studies.

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Fall Fruits – eating locally and in season

Whenever I see the first pomegranates of the season, fond memories resurface from childhood; My mother would always buy me a few for dessert during the long dark winters in Chicago.   On “pomegranate” night my Mom would cut one  pomegranate  into manageable pieces and place them in a large bowl.   I would curl […]

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Nuts about Walnuts

In an article by Dr. David Katz, Director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale presents scientific data from a couple of studies that tout the therapeutic benefits of walnuts (which have come to be my new favorite nuts).  In one study, they found that “adding walnuts to the daily diet of adults with Type 2 diabetes for two months significantly improved blood vessel health, as measured by something called endothelial function.”  (Source)

A great movie to get a visual orientation on how endothelial cells function is Forks Over Knives – it was released this summer and probably available for an online download by now.  These honey-comb shaped cells play a vital role in how blood flows through our arterial systems; The faster the blood surges through your arteries, the more youthful and vibrant your organs.

Katz’ own study paralleled with the diabetes research in which he found that adding about 14 walnuts a day to the diet of individuals who display metabolic syndrome (considered to be a potential pre-diabetic state), adding roughly 14 walnuts a day to their diet, did not gain weight, but rather stabilized in weight gain and all showed improved blood pressure and endothelial function.

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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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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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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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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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Green Smoothies – A Purist’s Perspective

GREAT SMOOTHIE RECIPES BELOW

Whenever I start teaching at a new locale, my inaugural class is “Raw Foods 101” – teaching the basics of the raw foods/raw fusion lifestyle with demo’s of delectable green smoothies and scrumptious salads.

It’s always very uplifting for me to get enthusiastic feedback from  participants on how they are integrating green smoothies into their lifestyles and how their families are also enjoying them.  Often they share their favorite recipes with me, but invariably their concoctions contain ingredients that I would not recommend.

I admit to being a purist on green smoothies:  While experimenting from time to time with adding some nuts, nut milk, protein powders, dairy etc. is perfectly okay – hey, variety IS the spice of life, after all — I am extremely loyal to Victoria Boutenko’s (Green for Life) marvelous creation and believe that the formula works, as is

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