Food!

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I wanted to share with you some of our eats around here the past few months!
Of course there have been smoothies!

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This one was a Chocolate Peach situation with shilajit and lucuma topped with bee pollen.

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Banana, peach, blueberry, lucuma, amla berry and coconut water for the little.

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Frozen banana, fresh mango, aloe Vera, snow pea tendrils and chlorella with bee pollen. I am loving bee pollen this Spring!!

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Another banana, mango, aloe and chlorella smoothie. So healing for the gut lining. It’s just an amazing plus that it tastes truly incredible! There were many more, but this is what has been recorded for posterity’s sake.

There were also juices. Lots of wild greens.

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Pretty much all of these has some combination of chickweed, cleavers, cucumber, celery, apple and lemon.

Also, there has been food. Much more than this, too lol!

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Cauliflower and jicama in a wild garlic cream sauce, spinach with coconut aminos, olive oil and lemon and some raw bread I made using psyllium husks for the first time!

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That bread going into the dehydrator.

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Some high raw wraps with greens, sprouts, quinoa burger and green Gaia dressing.

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Green juice and raw brownies. Love.

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Red bell pepper gazpacho with spirulina and bee pollen.

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Kelp noodles in a cheesy sauce with black pepper and scallions. Amazing :)

I’ve been feeling pretty incredible recently with all the green juices and wild spring greens. Having large quantities of it daily really just changes everything! So worth it!

Sacred Strawberry goes wild!

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I don’t think I ever posted that Sacred Strawberry was in the Shreveport Times again. This time it wasn’t for raw foods, but something else that has become a big part of what we do- foraging.

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20140319

A few recipes of mine were included, too, my Chickweed-Cilantro Pesto recipe that you can find in the Recipes section of this blog as well as a Wild Green Lemonade with cleavers.
Check out the article!

Reading this blog and searching in the archives it is apparent that finding and consuming wild edible plants is something we have been doing a while. We have had the good fortune of being interested in wild plants at such a time that we have been able to forage in three countries and amass a decent library and store of knowledge. Anyway, we thought it was time to start to share what we know and teach again a little.

We led our first official edible plants walk, with our friends over at PermanentGardens.com, who are blowing up the permaculture scene here in SBC. It was wonderful to collaborate on it and we look forward to doing more soon!

My friend and one of the walks participants, Nancy, took some great photos and has kindly allowed me to share them:

The guides:

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Everyone ready to go-

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We found lots of edible plants, but one of my favorites is the Yaupon holly (ilex vomitoria) the North American cousin to Yerba Mate. Local and free caffeine source, holla!!

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We found a lot of old favorites like chickweed, dandelion, sow thistle and clover, but some relatively new to me edibles as well!
This is the spiderwort- lovely to look at and slightly mucilaginous but perfectly edible.

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And one more- Pennywort. This lily pad looking herb is related to Gotu Kola (Indian Pennywort) and has a lot of the same properties- increases blood flow to the brain thus mental clarity, memory enhancement etc. It also has a fresh parsley like taste.

All photos of plant walk: Nancy Koshnick Dinsmore.

This Spring here in North Louisiana is really amazing. We’ve had rain so things are lush and green but it hasn’t gotten hot and humid yet. We are taking full advantage of the season and get outside together as a family as much as possible. Amethyst loves it so much and I am so happy to be sharing with her something so dear to us. It took me many, many years on this planet before I really opened myself up to Mother Nature. I hated being outside, thought it was gross and generally resisted it. I am so, so thankful that that changed, that I changed before it was too late! :)

New Kale Chips!

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Hey all local Shreveport/Bossier peeps and beyond!
Our kale chips are fully stocked again in Sunshine Health Foods, including a new flavor- Sage and Onion!!

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Also back in stock are Strawberry Chocolate Love Ball truffles, Pura Vida Green Powder blend and Spicy Nacho Vegan Cheeze-Its. Have an amazing Monday!!

Travel Tips- Eating Healthy During Airplane Travel

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During the last decade of my life, I have had more than my fair share of airplane travel. First, a trans-Atlantic long distance relationship and then living abroad in two countries meant frequent trips back home to visit family and friends. After the first few years, it became apparent that we had to change the way we viewed eating while traveling because it seemed that a trip always threw us off our healthy eating game. What that means has evolved throughout the years, but now I would define it as plant based, high raw and nutrient dense food eaten with the goal if feeling great physically, emotional and spiritually. So, depending on your personal health goals, feel free to take what works for you and leave the rest!

- Greens and Superfood Powders
Can you find a fresh squeezed orange juice, even bottled? Or water? Add a few spoons of a green super food powder and you are good to go! You can rest easy knowing that you are well nourished and getting your greens in. For green powder blends, we like our own Sacred Strawberry Pura Vida, as well as Healthforce Nutritionals’ Vitamineral Green and Greener Grasses. For single powders, we like to have something deep green, like Spirulina, chlorella, barleygrass or wheatgrass juice powder as well as something super high in Vitamin C, antioxidant and high vibrational! Good options are Camu-Camu, rosehips (rosa mosqueta), acai berries or acerola cherries. Choose ones that you like the flavor of, that feel good in your body and that you resonate with.

Bonus points for adding a few tablespoons chia seeds to your liquid and powders mix. This makes it filling and gives you sustainable energy, as well as necessary essential fatty acids and fiber. This can act as a meal in a pinch.

- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
This really can’t be stated enough. Planes literally suck the moisture from your body and the high stress environment of airports can make it easy to neglect this, especially if you are afraid of needing to pee. Drink more than you think is necessary, and then drink some more. Your body will thank you once you get to your destination. I can’t claim that if will prevent jet lag, but you will be in much better spirits and have a fighting chance of avoiding it.

-Drink a BIG green smoothie before you go through security.
This will set you up so that you don’t need to worry about food this side and depending on the length of your flight, on the plane as well. They won’t let you take it through security, so drink up! Make it delicious and fill it with some good fats so that it keeps you fuller for longer. Excellent choices would be things like coconut butter, soaked nuts or nut butters, hemp seeds, avocado etc.

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-Bring snacks!
Don’t skimp on this. It is way better to bring too much than not enough. We like to bring a trail mix of some sort (sprouted nuts and seeds, goji berries, dried pineapple , cacao nibs etc.), single serve packs of nut butters, raw chocolate for sweet cravings, raw dehydrated crackers and even cut up fresh vegetables. Cucumber is wonderful for airplane travel because it is so hydrating! Whole fruits like apples, oranges and bananas are easy to travel with. Find a plastic knife at one of the airport cafés, cut up your apple or banana, drizzle it with nut butter and sprinkle on a bit of your superfood powder that you brought. This makes it easy to use what you bring!
Also, most Sacred Strawberry snacks make excellent travel food! Sprouted crackers, kale chips and Love Balls all make excellent options for nutritious and delicious healthy snacks!

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- Don’t be afraid to go without.
I understand that this one might bring up all sorts of emotions, and it may not be right for you at this time. The truth is though that being in a plane brings our digestive system to a halt. Add to that the stress of traveling, and it can add up to digestive distress. It can mean the perfect opportunity to do a little mini cleanse/fast. Make sure you stay well hydrated and that you have loads of positive entertainment- inspirational books, music you love to hear, podcasts of speakers you love to hear ( especially about health and wellness), a journal to jot down anything you want, or the feelings that come up for you. Relax and allow the freedom that comes from not stressing about what to eat wash over you.

-Choose airport food wisely.
I get excited when I see a Jamba Juice, but I know now that their smoothies are NOT fresh fruit and are full of sugary things that don’t make me feel good. Instead, I go for a huge fresh squeezed orange juice and a double shot of wheatgrass juice.
Also, sometimes you can find a sushi restaurant that has avocado rolls with brown rice or seaweed salad. That really is about the only thing that we as a family feel comfortable consuming, due to a variety of factors. We have gotten sick from eating salads in airports before, and have also spent ridiculous sums of money on food that we would never ever considered eating outside that environment. It’s just not worth it!

-Plan your next meal well.
If you have a connecting flight and are going to have to eat in an airport that night, pack a light meal with you and make sure that you eat it! Research what restaurants are in your terminal so that you can then look online and find out what they offer before you arrive tired, hungry and DONE! This is a recipe for heading straight to whatever your trigger foods are. In other words, fail to plan and plan to fail! If you have a short flight, find out what healthy restaurants are near where you are headed to. I never, ever go anywhere without first checking out happycow.net. That way, I can look and see what health food stores, vegetarian restaurants and markets are in our area and where I would like to plan to go visit. Tourism for me has always included vegan and raw food restaurants, health food stores and organic markets. It is one of my favorite ways to get to know a new city! Sometimes, just knowing what incredible healthful food awaits you can prevent spur of the moment less than optimal food choices in an airport.

-Stay positive and do the best with what you have!
It’s not about perfection, it’s about having fun and feeling great. If you find yourself marooned and starving and walk past a veggie pizza and the idea of walking across two more terminals to find somewhere that may or may not offer salad is too much for you, then STOP! The stress and negativity that beating yourself up brings is far worse than any food choice! Whatever you eat, eat with enjoyment, gratitude and love.

I sincerely hope that something in here helps you on your health journey. Bon voyage!

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How to eat your kale and move on!

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Have you heard all the alarmist news stories about how kale is bad for your health?   Well, kale is goitrogenic and thus should not be consumed in ridiculously vast quantities, especially if you already have thyroid dysfunction. For most people, we are talking having a big green juice in the morning made of mostly kale, followed by a massaged kale salad for lunch and maybe some kale chips for snacking on.   However, there are two ways to eat your kale and stay abundantly nourished and vibrantly healthy.

1. Protect your thyroid

Most people are iodine deficient.  Many types of radiation are taken in by the thyroid in search of iodine, so make sure your thyroid is fully topped up with iodine.  Our family enjoys iodine rich foods in the form of seaweed, especially kelp and also supplementing with Nascent Iodine product.  Kelp is extremely rich in iodine, in fact many times higher than most other types of readily available seaweeds.  It is also relatively inexpensive. Kelp is something that should be eaten in small quantities regularly.  If you want to mix it up a little, our Sacred Strawberry brand Tahini Dill Kale Chips contain kelp.  It’s a perfect marriage!

2. Rotate your greens

By regularly switching up the greens you eat, you avoid any build up of plant alkaloids or anti-nutrients that one particular green may have.  Kale, collards and mustard greens contain goitrogens; spinach and beet greens have oxalic acid; lettuce has traces of opioid like sedative compounds, etc. Eating too many of one thing only is not eating optimally- we need variety! By eating only one type of green that you find tastiest, you also miss out on the benefits that other greens have- different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.  Eating a variety of greens over time is what we want to strive for.

Love Kale!

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photo by KeepCalmShop on Etsy :)  I can totally see this framed and in the kitchen!

Gratitude is Great!

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I know I’ve posted about gratitude before. I’m sure there have been a few gratitude lists and explanations, but it is worth revisiting because I truly believe it is one of the simplest, most effective and yet undervalued tools for emotional transformation. It is a fundamentally spiritual tool- by putting out there what AMAZINGNESS already exists in your life, you open up to more of it!

For me, part of recognizing that love is in having a grateful heart. It’s hard for me to be conscious of the good in my life if I don’t work at it.

Today I am grateful for:

1. Rebounder. I picked up a cheapy one last week and I love it! I like how I can jump for short spurts all throughout the day and I really feel like it gets things moving on all kinds of levels. Love it! Can’t wait to work up to being able to jump for a really long time!!

2. The simple truth that movement begets move never. Isn’t one of the basic laws of physics that an object in motion stays in motion? The short, doable bursts of exercise that I’ve been doing make me want to keep doing it! I absolutely love that feeling

3. My life thus far. All of it- EVERY wart makes me who I am now. All those times I suffered, feeling like I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, whatever enough- Thank You.

4. The people who came to my talk tonight. Thank you for allowing me to share my truth with you. There are many things I get excited about, and eating greens is one of them!

5. That soup Dan made tonight! I don’t know what all it had, but I know it was celery, kale and potato cooked in a vegetable broth some medicinal herbs like astragalus, maca and goji berry, then blended. It felt incredibly nourishing to my body after a long, long day and sick people all around.

YES!!

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Sacred Strawberry Pop Up Lunch

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We did another lunch yesterday, and it was a success! Sold out, whoo hoo :)
I am so grateful and feel amazingly blessed to be able to do what we do, where we are doing it. I know that so much goodness is coming in 2014!!!

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Pad Thai! And Chocolate caramel cake!

(Pic taken by @steponmehuf on Instagram. I didn’t get around to taking a photo yesterday, so thank you Stephanie!!)

Wild Juicy Day

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The other day we woke up and had a green juice. This had pineapple, cucumber, celery, and orange.

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Feeling good, we took some kale chips and fruit for the road and decided to get outside. We ended up near Caddo Lake, where we hiked a bit, relaxed and end up finding tremendous patches of chickweed, cleavers and dandelion! You know we picked some!!

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Chickweed patches

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Cleavers!
We also saw some mushrooms, and we saw then again the next day down by the Red River! They look like oyster mushrooms, but I don’t trust that!

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More green juice- this time wild!! I blended the greens with apples and lemons and then strained. Simple, effective and delicious! I made enough for two days.

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Amethyst LOVES her green juice!!

We also saw sow thistle, goldenrod and a few other things on our day out, but none in such abundance or condition to pick. The sow thistle is really abundant now though around here but is best cooked, so expect a cooked wild greens post soon ;)

From my green heart to yours! xx

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Sprouted Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge

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Oh, this porridge is good! Breakfast is ALWAYS one of the pitfalls for me in maintaining a high raw diet. Some mornings, especially in the colder months I just do not want a green smoothie. I have been loving my green smoothies recently, don’t get me wrong! Just not first thing in the morning. Hence, the buckwheat porridge! I first blogged about it over a year and a half ago when I was still pregnant, so it has been a while! I don’t really know why as it is also damn easy once you have your buckwheat prepared. You can even do that the night before- just soak a bowl of buckwheat before you go to bed, and it will be ready the next morning. Is it better and more optimal to have your buckwheat after two days of sprouting? Well yes, but sometimes ain’t nobody got time fo dat! And that is good enough for me!! So anyway,
This porridge has rosehips added for extra vitamin C action and shilajit for trace minerals.

Raw Vegan Sprouted Buckwheat Porridge

2 cups sprouted buckwheat
1 handful sprouted hazelnuts
1 banana
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp rosehips powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp shilajit (optional)

Blend until smooth. Heat gently on stovetop if you want (I won’t tell!)

Top with fruit of choice ( my berries were not seasonal or local, but a needed burst of summer flavor I needed this morning) and more maple syrup if desired, and any toppings you like- hemp seeds, bee pollen etc.

Enjoy!!

Amethyst 15 month update

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Life with an almost 16 month old is fundamentally different to life with an itty bitty baby! Amethyst is so mobile it is crazy- like she runs fast! She is also starting to explore language. She says around 20-25 words. Mama, Daddy, dog, owl, turtle, bow (bottle), out, happy, moon…it is awesomely cool! She is still experimenting with food. She loves spicy food! Also, smoothies, raw chocolate, berries, beans, hummus, nut milks, juices, rice dishes ( or even plain white rice!), raw crackers, satsumas and so much more!

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Amethyst with her Boppa (my dad) eating some food at a little place we found in Marshall, TX that does some vegan food. They had live jazz while we were there, too and Amethyst ADORES music.

We are still co-sleeping. It’s been a little difficult recently as Amethyst has been waking up easily throughout the night but I still wouldn’t change it for anything! I’d still love a big ole king sized natural latex mattress, but we’re good without it :)