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4 Ways To Encourage Healthy Eating Habits For Your Kids And Family

When transitioning to a healthy, organic, high raw lifestyle many people end up pulling their hair out because their loved ones often don't share their passion and even totally reject the new regime.

I am frequently asked how to deal with this and here are 4 suggestions I have based on my personal experience:

1/ "Be the change you want to see" or in other words "lead by example"

When I first went on a high raw diet 11 years ago, my children were 11 and 14 years of age respectively. They had been brought up on a diet which included generous servings of processed food and were not about to jump on the raw food train. While I wanted my kids to be healthy I knew that forcing them to eat a raw diet was not the answer. Instead I just stuck with my program and offered them yummy raw meals and treats when they came to my place. Eight years later without preaching (too much :-) about the benefits of raw food they have both adopted a very healthy high raw diet of their own accord.

2/ Only keep healthy unprocessed foods in your home. 

This may not be possible if your spouse enjoys meat pies and ice cream, however, it is possible if you have young children and your spouse is on board. This way your kids choice is defined by what is in your fridge and pantry. If your kids pester you about having processed foods that are on TV or that their friends are eating, let them sometimes try them when you go out. If they have been eating well at home they will probably feel ill eating junk food and will self-regulate anyway. Again, prohibition clearly does not work.

3/ Create a healthy food imprint in toddlers. 

Research has shown that the types of food that we are fed at a very early age are often the very foods we are drawn to throughout out our entire lives especially when we are stressed and looking for comfort. This is known as the "Food Imprint".  Some researchers believe that even by offering a baby breastmilk when they are distressed but not actually hungry can set the child up for eating disorders later in life. Similarly offering toddlers treats and food when they are upset can also set up unhealthy eating habits if left unexamined can perpetuate throughout the child's adult life.

Imagine being drawn to having a green smoothie or some leafy greens when you are looking for comfort food instead of chocolate, cakes or chips!

4/ Green Smoothies

Green smoothies are the perfect way to introduce family, friends and colleagues to the power of living foods. Even if they are still eating lots of processed foods, many people are willing to have just one green smoothie a day. We have many testimonials from people reporting that by adding just one green smoothie a day they have:

  • lost their cravings for sugar, junk food, coffee and alcohol
  • have developed a craving for fresh leafy greens
  • have more energy and feel happier
  • have improved health in all areas from diabetes to skin conditions to digestion conditions
  • lost weight (when needed)

Remember all of the above happen just by adding one green smoothie a day without making major dietary changes.

All you need is a good blender that can really make all the fibre in the smoothie go nice and creamy and smooth. This is important as thorough blending allows more nutrition is released from the cells and it is a much more pleasant experience not having chunks of fiberous greens floating around your smoothie!

By Anand Wells, Live Food Education


 


Superfoods - What They Are And What They Contain

We're frequently asked what many of the nutrient-dense superfoods are and what they contain. Here is a quick cheat sheet of some of the more popular superfoods.

  • Spirulina – 60% protein, contains most of the essential minerals and vitamins, particularly iron and the B vitamins
  • Ezy Protein – 98.2% digestion efficiency with 80% protein. Easy to absorb, easy to digest.
  • Bee Pollen – rich source of high-quality protein since it contains all the essential amino acids plus quite a few more. Bee pollen contains vitamins A, B, C, and E, and is extraordinarily rich in most of the B vitamins, including folic acid (folate).
  • Chia Seeds – High in omega 3, 22% protein, a powerful source of the antioxidants that protect delicate essential fatty acids from oxidation
  • Cacao – high in antioxidants and magnesium and mood enhancing chemicals such as Anandamine
  • Maca – balances hormones, increases energy, full of minerals, vitamins, and protein, containing many of the essential amino acids, and particularly rich in calcium and magnesium.
  • Camu Camu Berry powder – nature's highest source of vitamin C
  • Lucuma Powder – High in betacarotene, niacin (B3) and iron
  • Mesquite Meal – High in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, and is rich in the amino acid lysine
  • Coconut Oil - Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal; great for skin; assists weight-loss; assists body to burn fat; lowers bad cholesterol; lauric acid; important in building and maintaining immune system; doesn’t go rancid at room temp.
  • Acai Berry – extremely high in antioxidants and essential fatty acids
  • Maqui Berry - the highest known antioxidant on the planet.
  • Goji Berries - They contain 18 kinds of amino acids (six times higher than bee pollen) and contain all 8 essential amino acids (such as isoleucine and tryptophan).
  • MSM - naturally-occurring form of dietary sulphur
  • Sea Vegetables – most sea vegetables including sea weeds such as kelp, Nori, dulse, arame and wakame to name a few contain highest levels of trace minerals and iodine that you will find in any foods. These important minerals are often found lacking even in organically grown produce.

There are many many more superfoods available with more arriving on the market all the time.

 


Experiments on a raw food diet – which is the best approach for you?

I embarked on a high raw food diet in 2004. In that time I have experimented with a wide variety of approaches including low fat, high sugar (from fruit), low sugar and higher fat, vegan and non-vegan, 75% raw to 100% raw.

So which is the best approach? I would have to say all of them and none of them. I have experienced the healthiest, happiest years of my life since eating a high raw, whole food diet and it appears to me that avoiding processed foods is more important than getting obsessed with what percentage raw I am eating. In retrospect, perhaps it would be more accurate to say the best approach is to remain aware and flexible and act accordingly. My body’s requirements change over time and what works for me today may not work tomorrow. If I am stuck in an ideology of how I “should” be eating, I may ignore or miss by body’s signals and innate wisdom.

I am currently on an 80% – 90% raw food, low glycemic diet that includes animal protein (eggs, goats kefir, fish) and lots of cultured veggies and this is working very well for me. If anything I am feeling better than when I was experimenting with a 100% raw vegan approach.

What has been a constant through out my eight years of experimenting are the following seven things:

  1. I have completely avoided refined/processed foods
  2. I have maintained a high percentage of raw food 75% or more
  3. Leafy greens have remained central to my diet (including juices, salads and smoothies)
  4. I haven’t drunk coffee or alcohol or taken pharmaceutical or recreational drugs
  5. I have exercised on a regular basis
  6. Animal protein has remained under 10% of my diet
  7. I have eaten organic wherever possible

By sticking to the above guidelines I have had more energy and been healthier than I was during my 20s and 30s with cold symptoms only showing up 3 times in the eight years as opposed to 1-3 times a year!

A typical day might look like this:

  • First thing in the morning - 500ml of green juice made in my Kuvings Silent Juicer with 1ml of Oceans Alive Marine Phytoplankton, 1 ml of Fulvic Acid. 10 drops of Crystal Energy.
  • Breakfast – A smoothie made in my Vitacrush 1500w blender with 400ml of raw goats milk kefir with 3 organic raw egg yolks, 1/8 tsp of non-gmo soy lecithin, 1 tbs carob or cacao powder
  • 2 TBS chia seeds, 2 TBS bee pollen, 1 TBS of stevia, 2 vanilla pods and 2 TBS of coconut oil.
  • Lunch – A big green salad with avocado, dulse or wakame seaweed and sometimes some with some lightly baked local fish – I often drizzle my salads with apple cider vinegar and hemp oil and when out of Australia I will sprinkle hemp nuts on top as well.
  • Afternoon tea – I have been making a pudding in my Vitacrush blender using 2 Thai coconut (flesh and water), vanilla pods, a pinch of salt, 4 TBS coconut oil, 4 TBS chia seeds, (sometimes 1 avocado), 2 TBS of stevia powder and 4 TBS of carob powder
  • Dinner – usually involves more green salad, green juice, sometimes some steamed sweet potato or kelp noodles or 100% buckwheat soba noodles.

by Anand Wells, Live Food Education

 


RECIPE: Tomato & Cocunut Caprese

RECIPE: Tomato & Coconut Caprese

Ingredients:

(per person)

  • 1 large tomato per person
  • flesh from 1/2 young coconut
  • 4 - 8 asparagus spears
  • 6 baby spinach leaves
  • hulled hemp seeds for garnish
  • balsamic vinegar
  • coconut oil

Preparation:

Slice tomato into thick rounds. Remove the flesh from a coconut keeping it as intact as possible. 

Start to layer the tomato, 2 spinach leaves, coconut flesh, asparagus spears, and repeat again with the tomato, spinach leaves, coconut flesh, asparagus spears until you are left with 1 tomato slice. Place this tomato slice on top. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and coconut oil and add hemp seeds to garnish if desired.

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath

 


RECIPE: Berry Superfood Compote

RECIPE: Berry Superfood Compote

Ingredients

½ cup Coconut water made from Organic Coconut water powder
2 Tbsp Berry Ultimate Antioxidant Blend
2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
2 Tbsp Yacon Syrup
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Directions

Mix together the chia seeds with the coconut water in a small bowl or glass. Allow to sit for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring once. After the chia has gelatinized, mix in the Berry Ultimate Antioxidant Blend powder, yacon syrup, and lemon juice. For best results, allow mixture to set for 30 minutes before serving. Will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

Makes: 2/3 cup

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath

 


RECIPE: Ultimate Alkalising Super Salad

RECIPE: Ultimate Alkalising Super Salad

 

Ingredients:

  • ¼ green cabbage finely sliced
  • 1 pear sliced finely
  • 3 cos lettuce leaves shredded
  • 1 large handful mustard greens
  • 4 dandelion leaves shredded
  • 1 lebanese cucumber finely sliced
  • 8 snow peas chopped
  • ¼ red capsicum finely diced
  • 1 large handful sunflower sprouts
  • 1 large peach diced
  • 1 large avocado diced

 Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons cold pressed organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1 large orange juiced (include pulp)
  • 1 tspn bee pollen
  • ½ tspn chlorella
  • ½ tspn Ultimate Green Blend
  • pinch Pink Himilayan salt to taste

Combine salad ingredients, ensuring well mixed. Combine all dressing ingredients except for bee pollen. Add dressing to the salad and mix to combine. Sprinkle the bee pollen over the top for garnish

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath

 


RECIPE: Maqui Hummus

RECIPE: Maqui Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Maqui Berry Powder
  • 1 cup chickpeas soaked overnight
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp unhulled tahini paste
  • 1 lemon, squeezed
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • Pink Himilayan Salt to taste 
  • Organic cold pressed Apricot kernal Oil or cold pressed avocado oil for garnish

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor – blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle apricot kernal/avocado oil on top. Dip veggies and enjoy!

Try adding some lucuma and mesquite to your smoothies with some frozen bananas, some cold pressed avocado oil and or cold pressed virgin coconut oil, a cup of mixed berries (frozen is fine), a dash of coconut nectar and the flesh & water of one young drinking coconut 

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath

 


Probiotics for Better Health

Your gut literally serves as your second brain. It even produces more of the neurotransmitter serotonin— which is known to have a beneficial influence on your mood—than your brain does! 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system, making a healthy gut a major focal point if you want to maintain optimal health.

Your gut is quite literally your second brain - it originates from the same type of tissue as your brain! During foetal development, one part turns into your central nervous system, while the other develops into your enteric nervous system. These two systems are connected via the vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen. Hence your gut and your brain work in tandem, each influencing the other. This explains why the health of your intestines can have such a profound effect on your mental health.*

Some of the important bacteria are:

  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus

Some food sources of good quality probiotics I often recommend clients to incorporate into their diet are:

  • Lassi (an Indian yogurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner)
  • fermentations of cabbage sauerkraut,, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash, and carrots.
  • Tempeh
  • Kimchi
  • Fermented raw milk such as kefir or yogurt – using milk that has been homogenised and pasteurised will eventually kill the kefir
  • Natto (fermented soy) This has an unusual texture that does take some getting used to

RECIPE

Probiotic Smoothie

  • 1 large red papaya
  • 1 white flesh peach deseeded
  • ½ tspn papaya seeds
  • 1 heaped tbsp lucuma powder
  • 1 heaped tspn NuFerm Organic Woman Probiotic or 2012 Probiotics
  • Water and flesh from 1 young green drinking coconut

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately! 

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath

 


RECIPE: Nutrient Detox Salad

RECIPE: Nutrient Detox Salad

  • 1 ripe avocado diced
  • 1 ripe beefsteak tomato diced
  • 6 Cos lettuce leaves shredded
  • 2 large pinches of wakame previously soaked and drained (keep the water later to add to the cup of miso soup for the afternoon pick me up drink)
  • up to 1 bunch asparagus sliced

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon light miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon raw dark unfiltered agave nectar
  • water added for desired consistency (I personally prefer a thick dressing)

Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath

 


Getting Started on Raw & 3 Recipes

One of the most common questions I get asked in my clinic is how do I start a raw food diet? My response it depends on why you are starting on the raw food journey. Are you bringing in raw because of health issues or do you wish to feel generally healthier, lighter, more energetic? If you are used to a lifestyle of caffeine, alcohol, fast foods or smoking, going raw quickly can create the most uncomfortable detoxification results whereas if you start with a few changes, you give your body time to adapt, detoxify slowly and more easily.  

The easiest way to slide into a raw lifestyle is to start with juices or smoothies. These have the most gentle way of detoxing the body while loading you with vital nutrients and enzymes. I am personally fond of green juices or green smoothies and alternating them with red juices. They are simple, tasty and easy.

Green smoothies are extremely alkaline which is where we want our bodies to be. An acidic body is a body inviting disease in. Foods such as meat, all dairy though cheese especially, alcohol and sugars are highly acidic. Some nuts can be quite acidic also e.g. walnuts. 

When our bodies are alkaline, we absorb nutrients better, our cells function more effectively and we detoxify quicker and easier. 



A highly nutritious green smoothie base is lebanese cucumber (for its gentle diuretic effect in helping to remove toxins), cos lettuce (also known as Romaine lettuce – the most nutritious lettuce available), celery (gentle diuretic and alkaline) and parsley (unless you are breastfeeding). Parsley is a great blood cleanser and booster of red blood cells. You can substitute in herbs such as Lambs Quarters or Borage instead. Add in a banana or two – I prefer mine frozen as it makes the smoothie thicker. 

A basic recipe would look like this:

  • 1 lebanese cucumber peeled
  • 6 cos lettuce leaves
  • 3-4 stalks celery
  • 2-3 stalks parsley
  • 1-2 frozen bananas
  • 250 – 500mls water

Add all to the Vitacrush or Vitamix blender with alkalised & ionised water (if possible) and blend briefly.

The red juice recipe:

  • 1-2 carrots
  • ¼ kent or Jap pumpkin
  • 1 small sliver of ginger
  • 1 small sliver of tumeric
  • 2-3 leaves red cabbage
  • 2-3 apples
  • ¼ beetroot

Add all to the blender and blend briefly.

Red juices are fanastic for repairing and tonifying the liver. Go easy on the beetroot as it can stimulate liver function. That is why I only recommend ¼ of a beetroot. At this dose, it repairs and tonifies beautifully.

Experiment with these recipes for a few weeks and see the improvement in your life. Once you have been drinking raw foods for a while, you will start to want to try other forms of raw food too. A dehydrator is an excellent purchase as you can create divine treats and meals so easily while keeping all the nutrients in your food!

RECIPES

Pecan-Wild Rice Loaf 


Ingredients

  • 3 cups  pecans, soaked 1 hour

  • 2 cups carrots

  • 1 red bell (red capsicum) pepper

  • 1/2 cup shallot or onion

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 
1 cup sprouted mung beans or sunflower sprouts

  • 1 cup sprouted  wild  rice
  • 
2 1/2 lemons, juiced

  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 
1/4 tsp. cayenne (optional)

  • Nama Shoyu and/or Celtic sea salt, to taste

Method
  1. Put  pecans  and carrots through the Champion, Samson or Lexcon juicer with the blank 
in place. It comes out like a paté. Set aside in a large bowl.

  2. Put the red bell pepper (red capsicum), shallots or onion, basil and parsley into a food
processor & blend well using the "S" blade. Add this mixture into the paté.

  3. Then, add in the sprouted mung beans and  wild  rice, lemon juice and spices. Mix very
 well by hand. Taste and adjust flavors. Shape into a loaf and transfer to a serving platter.
 Garnish with pecan halves and red bell pepper (red capsicum) rings.


Serves 6. Keeps 2-3 days in refrigerator.

Orange-Cranberry Sauce 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 
1 orange, juiced

  • 1 orange, cut into pieces
peel from 1/4 of an orange, finely grated. (Make sure the rind is not artificially coloured)

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, soaked overnight (or for at least 1 hour)

  • 3-4 tbsp. raw honey


Method

Put all ingredients into a food processor and process to a sauce consistency.


Makes approx. 1 pint or 600mls. Keeps for up to two weeks, if you lock the refrigerator
 otherwise it has the nasty habit of disappearing (especially when my son discovers it's 
location)! Goes well with the Pecan-Wild Rice Loaf.

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath