In this post I feel like I am catching up with myself as well as bursting to share some tips and fragments of ideas that have been percolating since returning home from vacation.
It’s so easy on vacation to be filled with love and appreciation with a hearty dose of acceptance. Once home, combine a very full work schedule with a one-day juice fast and all tolerance and gratitude goes out the window. My remarkably patient partner seems to be on the receiving end of my extreme letting go.
“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thought nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” - Anonymous
I am reminded daily of how fortunate I am. I live on a remarkably idyllic island. I am surrounded by positive energetic loving people. I am never wanting for food. The food I eat is unprecedented in quantity and quality. I have all my family close by and my grandchildren on the same island. I get to work in an environment that is supportive and educative as well as nourishing. And I have an amazing life partner who is patient, supportive, creative, accepting, and entertaining. Life really doesn’t get better than this.
View this video to catch a glimpse of my incredible grandchildren on our wonderful island serenaded by our son JP Maurice. (If you live anywhere from British Columbia to Ontario, he is going on tour in March and may have a show in a town near you.)
I’ve mentioned recently that when one begins to eat a live plant-based diet it is difficult to not sound evangelical. I attribute that to getting the full on nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables. Once the body begins to come into alignment with how it was always meant to function, then other aspects of your life begin to come together. Not only physically but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. There is a homeostasis that occurs that I have never felt when eating cooked and processed foods – whether vegan or animal-based. The more balanced you feel, the more amazing life begins to feel, and the more other aspects of your life come together. The more energized you are.
It has a lot to do with enzymes. Raw foods are rich in enzymes. Enzymes are needed for the digestive system to work. They are necessary to break down food particles so they can be utilized for energy. The human body makes approximately 22 different digestive enzymes which are capable of digesting carbohydrates, protein and fats. Raw vegetables and raw fruit are rich sources of enzymes.
And then there is this whole thing about calcium. Due to a family history of osteoporosis and my age, I have decided to increase my calcium intake and insure that I am building my bones. The following nutrients that are essential to building bones – Alfalfa, Silica, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K.
I have found a great source for alfalfa from Suede Hill Farms. Alfalfa contains 8 essential digestive enzymes and 8 essential amino acids and is considered a healthy source of chlorophyll, beta carotene, calcium, potassium, iron and zinc as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12,C, D, E, K and U. Obviously alfalfa sprouts are a great food source.
Good food sources of silica include apples, oranges, cherries, raisins, almonds, raw cabbage, onions, carrots, pumpkin, cucumber, oats, nuts and seeds.
Vitamin D is best consumed by sitting out in the sun. That seems to be a challenge on the wet coast of Canada. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption. There are no reliable plant-based sources of Vitamin D, so taking a supplement is the best alternative. It appears that at nutritional doses vitamins D2 and D3 are equivalent, but at high doses vitamin D2 is less potent.
Excellent sources of vitamin K include parsley, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens, thyme, romaine lettuce, sage, oregano, cabbage, celery, sea vegetables, cucumber, leeks, cauliflower, tomatoes, and blueberries. Interestingly, many of the foods I am craving at the moment.
And recently I was reminded about chia seeds.
All this comes full circle to the beginning of this post when I was reminded about the richness of life. It comes in many forms with the physical being the most obvious and easiest in which to make a difference. As we all know, if we make a change in what we consume today (i.e. whole fresh foods including fruits and vegetables preferably organic, as local as possible, and unprocessed) we will positively impact our health outcomes for tomorrow.
Raw Foods on a Budget makes some reasonable claims that as well-intentioned someone may be, their pocket book just can’t afford to shop entirely organic. This site provides tips and recipes and support for those in that situation, making it possible to consider best alternatives that are affordable.
Simple raw food meals which require very little preparation and equipment. The recipes are simple, and fruits and vegetables are eaten in their whole food forms as much as possible. For example, a person may eat two whole apples for breakfast and chopped vegetables for lunch.
Moderate raw food recipes merge simplicity and advanced food preparation. These recipes include basic ingredients; however, some equipment is used like a blender, food processor, and/or dehydrator.
Fancy raw food preparation stretches the imagination of what we think about raw foods. It consists of elaborate recipe preparation that utilizes ingredients from around the world and expensive equipment like high-speed blenders or juicers. This type of raw foods also requires the most planning as it can take 1-2 days to complete a recipe.
Well that was a lot to cover and lots to read. Thanks for sticking with it. I hope there were some beneficial tidbits. And in keeping with more simple recipes, below you will find 2 suggestions for including some of the nutrient rich elements recommended to maintain your bone health while not taxing your budget or getting too fancy. Enjoy.
- Chopped fruit of your choice (I usually just have 2-3 apples)
- Lightly coated with chia seeds, maca, mesquite, alfalfa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg
Everything But . . . Salad
This salad contains everything but the kitchen sink. When lettuce is particularly pricey in the winter, then you can heap on the cabbage, chopped root vegetables, kale, and sprouts (best sprouted in a jar at home). And then top it with the salad dressing from my last post which is high in calcium.
Sesame Salad Dressing
You come up with the amounts. Below are the ingredients.
- lemon or lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Medjool date, pitted
Blend all ingredients and adjust flavourings to your taste. Add more water to thin and provide a consistency you prefer.