Making Life Delicious!

Posts tagged ‘beauty’

Avocado Love

I grew up surrounded by avocado trees.  There were seventy-five of them on our heavenly acre of orchard in Santa Barbara, California.  I’m told avocados were my first solid food – and believe me, it was love at first bite!  These friendly fat fruits are a mainstay of my diet and belong on the top shelf of any raw pantry.  In Dan’s and my new book, Raw Food for Dummies, I cover all sorts of information about avocados as well as some fabulous recipes, two of which are reproduced here.  Avocados have so many health benefits; the fact that they’re so delicious is almost a side note to why we should eat them.  But – like so much else on our beautiful planet – they make healthy living delicious!

The typical avocado is about 250 calories, 75% of which are fat calories.  But wait – almost all of an avocado’s fat is monounsaturated – the kind we need to process the other less desirable kinds.  In fact, avocados are proven to decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (helpful cholesterol).  Did you know avocados have more potassium than bananas do? And extracts of avocado are being researched as aiding in the reversal of hypertension and diabetes mellitus.  And a new study out of Japan suggests that avocados may have an antibacterial component.  Avocados are truly amazing.  Here is one of my favorite avocado recipes (also featured on page 128 of Raw Food for Dummies, along with easy to follow instructions on how to pit and peel them):Vitality Soup

Vitality Soup

Yield: 2 servings

1 cup orange juice

2 cups stemmed and chopped kale or other dark leafy greens

1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped

1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, basil, or dill weed

1 tablespoon light miso

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1⁄2 teaspoon garlic, crushed (1 clove)

1⁄2 green onion, chopped

1⁄2 avocado, peeled and pitted

Filtered water as needed for desired consistency

1 Combine the orange juice, kale, cucumber, herbs, miso, lemon juice, garlic, and green onion. Blend the mixture until smooth.

2 Add the avocado and blend again — no more than 1 minute — until smooth.

The avocado originates in Mexico, the earliest reference to which dates around 10,000 BC.  The avocado tree also has a long history of cultivation in both Central and South America, with an avocado shaped urn found near the pre-Incan city of Chan Chan dating from 900 AD.  The domesticated avocado tree we know today is descended from these ancient roots and provides us with this irresistible treat.  Beside being a creamy, delicious alternative to dairy foods like sour cream and butter, not to mention making a wonderful base for chocolaty raw treats, the avocado is perhaps best know for its place in south of the border style cuisine.  One of my favorite avocado recipes of this sort is Avocado-Pineapple Salsa found in Raw Food for Dummies on page 198:

Avocado-Pineapple Salsa-7450Avocado-Pineapple Salsa

Yield: 3 servings

 1⁄2 cup diced pineapple

2 Roma tomatoes, finely diced

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes

1⁄2 cup peeled, seeded, and finely diced cucumber

1⁄4 cup packed chopped cilantro

1 green onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1⁄2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

1 1⁄2 teaspoons lime juice

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 Put all the ingredients into a bowl and stir to mix.

Avocados are so special to me.  My history with them is so close to my heart when I remember mycherie and fred childhood and my father’s avocado trees.  And I love all the ways I can incorporate them – my first food – into so many delicious raw dishes.  Avocados are so satisfying and such a sensual food.  They are truly one of the best, most comforting and healthy things we get to keep with us as we embark on our raw journey.  Enjoy!

Release by Cherie Soria

EatSmart (2)My husband Dan and I are so excited our new book Raw Food For Dummies, which was  released on December 12th . When Wiley Publishing first approached us about doing a book, I admit I was hesitant.  I wasn’t familiar with the “Dummies” books and didn’t like the connotation of the word, “dummies.” But once we started reading Dummies books, we realized why they are so popular! These books are not for Dummies! They are for smart, busy people who want to learn as much as they can in the shortest possible time. They are filled with facts that are readable and empowering. Once we decided to do the book, we had to dig deep to remember what it was like for us when we started on our individual raw food paths, so we could capture not only where we are now, but where we started from.

No matter where you are on your raw journey, there will be something in this book you can use.  It was good for Dan and I to get back to the basics and it’ll be good for you, too. As raw food enthusiasts, we need to support one another and sometimes, the most supportive things are the things we tend to take for granted once we’ve been raw for a while. That’s why, in addition to great recipes and food preparation tips, we included important information about what raw food is and what the benefits are; how cooking harms food; which foods are harmed most and which are harmed least. We shared things like how to set-up your raw food kitchen, how to shop, and how to plan menus. We even included how to connect with other raw food enthusiasts and of course, I shared my techniques for making raw food for cooked food lovers!

With a book of this magnitude and its potential to reach so many peopled new to raw foods, we haddan and cherie to make each word count. The tips, the recipes, the practical strategies are all based on our years of experience. None of these recipes are experiments concocted just for this book. Dan and I have been eating this way for decades and  have helped thousands of others “go raw” successfully and deliciously. We were new to raw once, too, and we know the pitfalls and challenges that can come up for the newly raw. We’re confident that this book will equip anyone to begin their raw journey well prepared. Our combined years of experience “walking the walk” make us excellent guides.

.As we look back on all the work we put into this book, we realize what an honor it was to work together to create this culmination of our knowledge and experience. And we couldn’t have done it without the dedicated support of our staff at Living Light. What a team! I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together and can’t wait for all of you to see it. We think you’ll be as pleased with it as we are!

Young and Delicious

We are in beautiful Toronto, Ontario, Canada preparing for one of our favorite yearly events, the Total Health Show. There are 60 different presenters here from all over the world speaking on a variety of topics related to health. My main focus this year is on Raw Foods for Health, Beauty, and Longevity as well as Staying Young Longer – topics that now I am completing my 65th year, I can say I have experience with!

I love telling people I am going to be 65 in May and watching the look on their faces! They look at each other in disbelief; ask each other if they heard that right; mouths drop open and heads shake (no, can’t be!) As I tell my audience, “The older I get, the bigger the payoff is from switching to a plant based, high raw diet.” But anyone, no matter how old they are, can benefit from changing their eating habits.

Start eating more raw fruits and vegetables today and you will most likely begin to feel better right away. You can be young and delicious at any age!

My book, The Raw Food Revolution Diet, will help you get started.  It includes tips about how to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally and physically if you have never eaten a primarily plant-based diet, and provides menus and great recipes that will nurture your spirit as well as nourish your body.  You’ll find everything you need to get started from A to Z, including nutritional information to ease your fears about not getting enough protein and calcium; how to know what a healthy body weight is for your body type, and even how to set up your kitchen and fill your pantry.

I’m so happy I wrote this book with my coauthors, Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis, two of the most knowledgeable dieticians in the world on the subject of the raw vegan diet. They researched this book thoroughly, using only peer reviewed studies to prove that the raw vegan diet is superior to other ways of eating.

If you can’t make it to Toronto, you can go to our online store and buy (a signed copy) of the book and start today – why wait to reinvent yourself? Get the book, then sign up for the nearest FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods. We’ll be offering four more in the next month. Check out RawFoodChef.com and find one near you.

Raw foods isn’t just roots and shoots anymore! It can be as delicious and comforting as any cooked foods you have eaten and we can show you how to make it easy. Our motto at Living Light is “Making Healthy Living Delicious” and no one does it better!

So, if you are interested in nurturing your spirit while nourishing your body, we can show you how! Check out our website, RawFoodChef.com and learn about all our classes.

Stay Young Longer!

Health. Beauty. Youth. We all want them, and some people are willing to do whatever it takes to get them. Keeping people looking young is a billion-dollar industry, but looks aren’t everything. In fact, looks can be deceiving. Lots of things can make you look younger, and even more beautiful, but what can actually make you feel younger? What can actually turn back the hands of time and reverse your physiological age?

There are many keys to achieving a more naturally youthful appearance, brighter eyes, a clearer complexion, more supple skin, shinier hair, stronger nails, a sharper memory, or a more positive outlook on life. Some people claim yoga is the key. Others say meditation. Still others swear by their favorite natural cosmetics, structured water, or exotic superfoods. In reality, a variety of products, practices, and lifestyle choices work together synergistically, and the mix differs for each individual. The good news is that taking any one positive action to look and feel younger often starts a chain reaction that improves other areas, as well.

But of all the actions you could take to look younger, feel more vibrant and joyful, and have clear beautiful skin, one thing stands out among the rest—raw plant foods.

Here’s why:

Whole, fresh, raw natural plant foods contribute nutrients important for clear skin, vivid eyesight, a sharp mind, and radiant health as we age. Many of these act as antioxidants, helping protect our cells from free radicals (highly reactive molecules that contain unpaired electrons, which can damage cells and cause premature aging). Here’s what you need:

Antioxidants found in darkly colored foods, like blueberries, blackberries, and black mission figs. and cruciferous vegetables such as collard greens, kale, bok choy, broccoli, and Napa cabbage.

Vitamin C which is essential to the  formation of collagen that makes up the connective tissue within our bodies and is important for good muscle and skin tone.  Damage to collagen in the skin can result in wrinkles, eye diseases, and cancer.

Essential fatty acids, especially omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential to good health and brain function, eye sight, and many other common heath and age-related issues, including healthy skin. A lack of this important nutrient can result in arthritis and can contribute to degenerative diseases like heart disease, stroke, and other age-related diseases.

Selenium contributes to antioxidant activity in the body and is essential for the production of thyroid hormone and proper immune system function.

Zinc  plays an integral role in skin health, especially skin cell growth and replication, collagen synthesis, DNA formation, and immune system function.

Hydration is the easiest and often the most overlooked consideration in anti-aging, and the general health of the body. Water is involved in many essential bodily processes, so if we don’t have enough, our bodies degrade and age rapidly. Fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as plenty of pure, un-chlorinated water are an important part of one’s diet.

If you are interested in learning which of these nutrients are available in whole plant foods, and how they can help keep you looking and feeling young longer, I recommend the Living Light Science of Raw Food Nutrition course with Drs. Rick and Karin Dina, D.C. We offer a basic course  as short as 2-days or stay for 3 weeks to earn certification as a raw food nutrition educator.

Learn how to make whole raw plant foods like these at Living Light International

Of course, there is more to health and beauty than just food, but we’ll save that for another day! Here’s to your health!

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