Friday, December 28, 2007

Year for New Beginnings

Numbers are important and associated with symbols, and no one knows that better than our Jewish friends. For them, "numbers have word meaning, which have picture meaning, which have sounds. The Hebraic Year 5768, which will encompass the Gregorian calendar’s Year of the Lord 2008 A.D., is “The Year of Samekh Chet!” That means we are coming into “The Year of the Full Circle of Life.”" Therefore, it is a year of New Beginnings! I've been told that the symbol for this year is an open gate.

That excites me and I fully intend to walk through that gate expectant for what 2008 will bring!

It is a year filled with potential and new beginnings! I'm taking that literally for both my spiritual life and my physical one. Starting the new year with 30 days Raw will be a challenge and, if I make it through, a new beginning with my health.

I want to "up the ante" this year - spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally ...

How about you? Whether you make resolutions, list goals, or simply evaluate your life, the fading embers of the old year and the fresh beginnning of the new one make for an excellent time to re-evaluate, re-prioritize, and re-focus.

Have a Happy New Year!
I'm checking out of the blogosphere for a bit but will be back after the New Year. Posts around here have been few and far between lately. My plan is to post more regularly after the new year -- partly to chronicle my 30 days and partly to sort through the pile of raw/vegan info yearning to be added to this blog.

All the best!


Friday, December 21, 2007

Nashville Raw Event

For those of you who don't get the Nashville Farmer's Market newsletter, here's a tidbit of information you might want.

Sandor Katz on Wild Fermentation
January 6, 3 p.m.
at the studio of photographer Thomas Petillo, 1015 West Kirkland
Avenue, Suite 203, Nashville
(Click for map)

Meet raw food expert Sandor Katz on the ultimate slow food technique: wild fermentation. Sandor is a national speaker and the author of two books, one has the wonderful title of "The Future Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements."
Slow Food is requesting a $25 per person donation. For more details you can visit Slow Food Nashville.

I don't know anything about Sandor or the technique, but figured I would pass along the information in case anyone else was interested.

That's all for now -- sorry it's so short.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Getting Ready for Raw in the New Year

We're edging closer to 2008 and I, for one, am ready for the new year. It can't come soon enough. 2007 seems like a blur and I'm elated that a fresh chapter is about to start.

For those of you participating in the Raw 'Experiment' here's a little update:

We'll be officially kickin' it into high gear on January 7th (that's a Monday). You're more than welcome to start earlier or later. You're also more than welcome to define what RAW will mean to you and those in your household participating.

I've got some folks who have mentioned they will be 80% raw, some raw only on the weekdays and still others raw until the evening meal. Some are even considering 30 days of green smoothies.

The OCD in me is wanting to go 100% but with this being my first venture into RAW, I'm going to aim for 80% and keep track of my 100% days as a bonus.

Also, you might consider checking out Alissa Cohen or The Raw Divas for pointers on going raw. Some folks are able to do this cold turkey from what I have read, but the majority seem to do better by transitioning. Both Alissa Cohen and The Raw Divas have quite a bit of experience in helping folks transition. In fact, I'm pretty sure I will be doing the detox program suggested by The Raw Divas to kick my raw month off.

What day will work for us to get together for our tasting night? I know we're all on hyper-drive right now with the holidays, but think of a evening or afternoon in your schedule that might work for you.

We'll take Before Photos of anyone interested in doing that. They will be your personal photo and you can choose to share or not share the Before/After shot once we complete the 30 days. I'm definitely going to take one so that I can see the difference. I don't know if I would truly notice it otherwise. Plus, photos of me are scarce ... so this is as good a time as any to get a mugshot.

A few Websites:
Let me leave you tonight with a few sites you might want to bookmark and peruse.

Buon Natale! Merry Christmas!
and Happy New Year!!!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Cinnamon-y Roasted Veggies

Here's a recipe from Amanda R.

She says, "I have a recipe I got out of my Vegan Recipe book that James and I absolutely love, so I wanted to share. It sounds a little weird, but it is totally scrumptious!"

Give it a whirl -- credits for the recipe appear below

Cinnamon Roasted Veggies

1 small butternut squash- bite size cubes
1 sweet potato - bite size cubes
1 small red bell pepper or half of a bigger one - bite size pieces
2-3 shallots chopped (Purple Onion works if you can't find Shallots)
Olive Oil
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coriander

Chop up Veggies and spread in a 9 X 13 baking dish. Drizzle Olive oil over veggies and stir to coat. Add Spices and stir again to make sure the veggies are evenly coated. Bake for about 45 min. at 375 degrees or until veggies can be pierced with fork.

Recipe credits:
"La Dolce Vegan! Vegan Livin' Made Easy" by Sarah Kramer


Friday, December 7, 2007

Rantings of an Overloaded Newbie

Take all the blogs, websites, advice, recipes, and mix in a helping of being behind in Christmas preparation and you've got a recipe for me ... on overload. :o)

I realized last night when I tried sorting and organizing my new bookmarks for all these raw, vegan, healthy websites and blogs (I think I'm approaching 200), that I am overwhelmed and quickly moving to shut down mode on it all. Not good!

Even wading through websites looking for recipes is overwhelming. "what if my family won't eat it, what if it's nasty, what if I waste my $$ and time and then still have nothing fit to feed them." It needs to be nutritionally balanced and I can't neglect to insure that food combinations are done properly. My customary "go-to" meals are definite "no-go" meals now, if I want to be healthy. And it seems to defeat the point if I fix raw/vegan for me and feed them something different. And I do feel guilty if I, for time, convenience, or lack of other ingredients, resort to feeding them typical fare. Sheesh!

In theory I know that healthy is best but have been programmed for all my life in a different fashion. Re-learning can be interesting but tiresome. I'm grateful that I have the ability to make this choice without any serious health issues prompting the change. However, because of that same fact the motivation for my change can wane. I think I will be great at this in the summer with all sorts of fresh fruit and veggies, but beginning this at the onset of winter might have been insane. ;o)

However, I am confident that my impending weight loss (yes, I am believing for it to come) will be a powerful motivator in and of itself. Now, if I can stand firm until then.

Ok, rantings are now over and we're moving on ...

Melodie B. sent me a link to this site. It's has a video documentary on what happens when folks from different walks of life -- all with diabetes -- go raw for 30 days. Check out the short trailer for the project.

Raw for 30 Days Documentary

It hasn't been released yet and it isn't the 'feel good film of the year' -- emotions run high and they don't sugarcoat some of the reactions - but it is yet another item in the mounting evidence that raw/vegan/non-processed foods are the way to go and the answer for so many.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Two Raw Sites from Kristen

I've been wanting to introduce you to a website I found the other day. Before I was able to do so, the funniest thing happened ... The author of this site actually left a couple of comments on this blog. (Yes, this obscure, mostly-for-my-friends, we've-discovered-raw/vegan-now-what-the-heck-do-we-do-with-it blog) But I didn't realize she was the one and the same Kristen until after her second comment.

So, without further ado, I would love for everyone to check out her website and accompanying blog:

Kristen's Raw

Kristen's Raw Blog

According to her website, she "is a former competitive bodybuilder and Associate Chef and Instructor in Raw Gourmet Foods, certified by the world-famous Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in Fort Bragg, California."

You can read more about her personal story here.

Before you jet out of here to explore her site, though, let me break it down and give you some direct links to the nooks and crannies in her site you will definitely want to visit.

For starters, the website is well laid out and each of the pages conveniently lead you through the bulk of the site with connecting links at the bottom of each page. She writes well, is easy to follow, and never tries to overwhelm you with technical jargon. In fact, you will find her approach to this raw journey to be "real" and inspiring. Which is good for me, because I prefer the non-fluff, 'you can do it' version of things! :o)

The FAQ Page is well thought out and answers a bunch of questions I didn't even know to ask. I found the last entry to be especially helpful. It's about food combining which, the more I learn, seems vital to the success of any raw food lifestyle.

Kristen's Raw Recipe books
One of the first things you will notice is that she has several extensive Raw Recipe Books for sale. They are all ebooks, which is uber-convenient and quicker than waiting for the postman to deliver your latest purchase. She even has one specific to Holiday Cooking (view the list of included recipes)

Kristen's Newsletter
Be sure to register for her newsletter. I received my first one the other day and it was quite informative and useful. It even included three recipes for raw salad dressing that I can't wait to try. YUM~

She's based in Arizona. So, anyone reading this blog from out that way should definitely check out her classes and live events. (Click here view her event calendar)

Kristen's Blog:
Last, but certainly not least, you will want to subscribe to (or at least bookmark) her blog.

OK -- now that you've read my short review, head on over to her site and don't forget to sign up for her newsletter!



Thursday, November 29, 2007

Green Smoothie news and other notes

As all of my regular readers know and most of the others will recall, I am very new at this. So, I finally worked up the courage (and finally getting a blender capable of making a true smoothie instead of a 'lumpy' helps too) to make my first neon green smoothie. I kept the ingredient list simple - juiced two apples, added two big handfuls of kale, and then a banana - and I can honestly say that it RAWked! (sorry - I couldn't help it) Now, I'm a big fan and look forward to my neon green fix in the AM.

I don't know much about food combining yet but am learning. So, I'm sure there are better combos out there. The way I figure it though is if I can't choke it down, it doesn't do me any good either. So, at least I am starting to get good stuff in my system, right?

To that end, when I saw this post about Green Smoothie Queen from the Raw Divas I was excited! I think I managed to finagle a few of my friends to give it a try with me. :o)
Even if you are not interested in the Green Smoothie aspect, they have a really cool green jug that they are selling that would work just as well for water or any other beverage. So, go check it out.

Here's a little reading on the benefits of green smoothies (as opposed to just eating greens or juicing):
They also list a few recipes at the end as well.

Here are a couple more ~

Raw in the New Year Update:
Quite a few of you are jumping on board with the raw "experiment" in the New Year. Just to clarify, you don't have to be 100% raw to do this with us. Some are aiming for 80/20 and others are varying their days of participating. So, feel free to join up no matter your motivation or food plan. The point is to do this as a group, to support one another, and share detox and recipes too. :o)

For anyone interested, we will be taking "Before" pictures at the tasting night. While not required, we thought these "Before" shots would be fun to pair next to an after shot when we have completed the 30 days. We will be planning the rest of the tasting night soon and will keep you posted.

Also, instead of starting January 1 -- what do you think about waiting a few days? This way last minute guests (and the treats they brought) can be cleared from the house and aren't staring you in the face mocking you as you embark on this healthy phase of 2008!

(Leave a comment or send me a message and let me know if you have any preference)


Monday, November 26, 2007

Alissa Cohen on YouTube

Ok ... how about a fun post with videos after a busy holiday?!?!

Here are a few videos I found on YouTube that feature Alissa Cohen. The first one is from NBC's Today Show and the second from Tyra Banks.

And here is the one from Tyra's Diet Wars:



Sunday, November 25, 2007

Vegenaise Salad Dressing

I pray everyone had a fantastic time with family celebrating the holiday and reflecting on the many things for which we each have to be thankful. I spent time with my family and friends this weekend and enjoyed some great food as well.

For a transitioning person, I think the holidays (which hold many fond traditions regarding food) will be the toughest to get used to. So ... this holiday was a mixed bag of raw, vegan, and traditional items in our household.

One really scrumptious item was something Tricia made: Vegenaise Salad Dressing
It tastes much like ranch dressing but yummier!

She mixed up the following items to taste:

  • Vegenaise (grapeseed oil)
  • Rice Milk
  • Tarragon
  • Mrs. Dash original seasoning

She said that she just added the last three items to the Vegenaise in a blender and continued adding until she had the amount, consistency, and taste that she wanted. I don't know that I can replicate it exactly but plan to give it my best shot.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wowser ... I am SO trying this!

OK boys and girls. Just a quick entry before I commence to scrubbing my house in preparation for company this weekend.

I just checked my Google Reader and found a recipe that is SCREAMING to be attempted for Thanksgiving. Seems I will brave the store later today to grab ingredients that I lack for this one.

So ... run, don't walk, over to the FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog (have I told you how much I adore this blog?????) for her --- drum roll please ---


Monday, November 19, 2007

I've located a few more local resources that might be of interest to some of you out there.

Local Resources:
Shannon Rose Live! -- local lady with raw classes, recipes, and information.
Beautiful on Raw -- featuring reviews, resources, books, and more from Cordova, TN

Nashville Raw Foods Support Group -- found on
As stated on their website:
"Gain support and encouragement from other raw fooders in the area and share meals, recipes, books, ideas and friendship together on a monthly basis. This group is for everyone interested or just learning about raw foods as well as for those that are stuggling or have already "gone raw." You don't need to be 100% raw, all eating paths and lifestyles are respected."

You can also find a list of other local farms and such on these posts:
Local & Noteworthy, part 1
Local & Noteworthy, part 2

Recipe link from Trisha G.:
Trish recently sent over a recipe that her crew liked a lot and I tried it with mine. I'm including the content of her email in this post so you can see the substitutions she made. I think I will try these substitutions next time with my family too.

Hi ladies! Just passing along a recipe that I served tonight. The kids and I loved it, Brian ate it all and said it was good, but said it's not his favorite. I'm ok with that. ;-)

Here's the link. I grew up with my Polish step-dad's family serving cabbage rolls at family meals. LOVE those! This is very similar, but in a much easier casserole form.
I made a couple of substitutions. I used a bit more cabbage than the recipe called for, substituted Kashi pilaf for the rice and used two cans of diced tomatoes and one can of tomato sauce and added a bit more water. It says to cook until the liquid is absorbed, but with all the liquid from the tomatoes and extra water, that would have been hours. I just watched it for the cabbage to be good and tender. It was yummy!! My boys asked for more and more until we finally just had to make them stop eating. That's when I knew they liked it.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Revvin' Up the Raw

As I have mentioned before, after the first of the year some of us plan to take the plunge and try a 30-day, 100% raw adventure. Anyone is welcome to join us and if you are in the Nashville area we will get together a few times before, during, and after for encouragement and recipe sharing.

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that part of my interest in the raw food lifestyle is for weight loss, and ultimately better health. I know weight loss should not be my only motivation but I can't help but be intrigued by the volume of positive weight loss stories. I'm looking forward to giving that another go. It took me nearly two years to lose 50 pounds (most of which I have regained) with tradional dietary approaches. Prayerfully, it won't take that long when I am eating properly and have certain food items out of my diet altogether.

So, on that note, I thought some Before/After inspiration might be in order for those of us gearing up for the adventure!

Take a look at this site: Raw Reform
This is an amazing site with lots of good information on it. There's a store, a forum, lots of resources (links, recipes, etc.), and basic information on making the switch to raw. But what I'd like for you to notice is that, in addition to the before/after shot of herself on the homepage, she has a large list of other Before/After Shots to inspire you. Not only have they lost weight, their complexion and overall appearance looks better too.

Additionally, she links to several other Before/After Galleries. In addition to being inspiring, they prove to me that you can lose weight, no matter your age, with proper diet and exercise and without modern pills and procedures.
Other Before/After Inspiration:

So ... after taking a look at that inspiration, if you want to join us please email me or post a comment to this entry and I'll make sure you get all the details in plenty of time.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Kitchen Goodies and Farmer's Market Fun

Just a few websites today that feature items you may wish to purchase for your kitchen or journey into this healthier way of living.

First ... an ultra-cool bottle that Melodie B. purchased. It is leach free and keeps water extremely cold for a long period of time.

SIGG water bottles (and more)
or check out

They have really cute designs - including some for the kiddos - and offer customizable solutions. Not too pricey if you consider it doesn't leach harmful chemicals and toxins into your precious water and you can reuse it indefinitely.

Kitchen Stuff
Here are a few sites for spices, hard to find items, and kitchen essentials.

Farmer's Market Fun
Sandye and I journeyed to the Farmer's Market downtown today and several of the local farms still had nice greens (sadly, no kale) and sweet potatoes. We also checked out the tiny international market and found some interesting items.

Picking out sweet taters for her crew

Can't speak for the quality but the prices were incredible. That Tahini that is bigger than her face was only $13 and the small jar was $3.50 or something like that. I paid $6 for the same size jar at another store.

The prices on the spices were out of this world too. And they have young coconuts for 99 cents. Two pounds of medjool dates were $5.99. Again, can't speak to the quality of the stuff since I'm no expert but it might be worth a look for yourself at any rate.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Chock Full of Raw Recipe Goodness

The site that follows is just like the title of this post implies. It contains a plethora of raw recipes (I think it has over 1200) and has a forum, blog, and more. So, because it is so huge it probably warrants a post all its own. Therefore today we'll keep it short and sweet with a link and some highlighted recipes.

Gone Raw:
"Gone Raw is a website created to help people share and discuss raw, vegan food recipes from around the world."

Here's the link to their recipe page:
The cool thing is that beside the recipe it has an icon for any special equipment needed (food processor, juicer, etc). So, you can tell at a glance what you will need to have for each recipe. You can also search by category (holiday, party, smoothie, snack) or ingredient which is doubly helpful.

Here are links to a few I noticed while perusing the site that interested me.
"Tuna" Salad Sandwiches
Spicy Avo-Mango Salsa
White Hot Chocolate
Rawtella (raw version of Nutella)
Grilled Steak! for stir frys, BBQ Beef, Kebabs, etc.
Purple Pina Colada Smoothie
Mango Colada Smoothie
Italian IceBox Salad

That's probably enough for now. While you look through the recipes, be sure to add a comment or email with some of the ones that stand out to you.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Whoops ... maybe not for everyone

We have our first review by Sandye tonight. She and her family gave the Yellow Split Pea soup with Sweet Potatoes and Kale a go. Here's what she has to say:

First let me start by saying that I truely am enjoying all new cuisine that we
will be diving head first into in January.

Second, the soup went over
like a lead balloon!!! LOL I did not like it, the kids did not, and Randy put
mustard in his and then said he liked it. Whatever! If you have to doctor food
up, it does not taste good! HA

It was thick and tasteless. You could
smell the ginger, but you tasted nothing. We ate it reluctantly because it was
not going to be wasted and it did have veggies in it, and veggies are good for
us! My kids each had half of a half of a bowl including lots of crackers in it
and Sam broke out the hot sauce praying it would help! I even put a few drops of
hot sauce in mine too, thinking I would love it then! I did not love it, I hated

So, try for yourself if you like, everyone has different taste buds,
but as for me and my house.... no more split pea/sweet pot. soup! AMEN!

So, there you have it! Decide for yourself but I think that you probably have to enjoy split pea soup to start with to really enjoy this recipe. I might still give it a whirl since my hubby digs sweet potatoes, but I'll keep ya posted.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Another Recipe Review

Just thought I would compose a quick post about the raw cookies that some of you got to taste last night. I forgot to take pictures of the dough and the process, so we'll have to save that for next time.

I used a slight variation on the recipe that I featured from Raw Nirvana on this post. It basically consisted of the following: (BTW, this is what I did -- it isn't necessarily the recipe as they have it. Watch the video if you want an exact replica)

  1. Take about 1/2 cup almonds and 1/2 cup walnuts and a dash of salt
  2. Process in food processor until the consistency of meal
  3. I added four pitted dates and 1/2 cup (give or take) of raisins and a dash of almond extract
  4. Process that well with the nut meal
  5. Add to that 1/2 cup of shaved (grated) coconut
  6. Blend well in food processor

Voila! You are done!

From there you will most likely want to keep it refrigerated. At least, that is, whatever is not consumed outright! I rolled some of mine in a ball and then rolled it in coconut again, but the majority of it I placed in the fridge and plundered from time to time when I was feeling peckish.

I found it to be surprisingly sweet and rich and it really satisfied my sugar cravings.

Big thumbs up and simple to boot!


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Odds and Ends as we wrap up the week

Whole Food Markets in Green Hills is officially open now. Be sure to check it out online and register for their e-news. Also, I just got an email from Brinda noting the cooking class schedule will be posted soon. Check it out here.

Many of the folks I've talked to are intrigued by the Raw Food end of this new healthy way of living. So we are considering doing a 30-day Raw 'adventure' after the first of the year. We'll also have a tasting night to go along with it.

If you are interested in participating in either the tasting night or the 30 day Raw, just email me or reply to this post (either way is cool). The tasting night is simple: prepare enough of a raw food recipe to share and bring it, along with copies of the recipe to give out. This way we get to try new recipes and have recipes to take home from the tasting night.

I figure we might as well have some fun as we go, eh?

Green Smoothies:
I know a lot of us are trying them. Share some recipes of your favorite green smoothie concoctions and we'll put it on the blog for all to try. I have found a few sites that feature them but would rather hear what you all enjoy. Email or reply to this post with your fav!



Saturday, November 3, 2007

Whole Foods, Kale, and Soup Reviews

Melodie located a page over at the Whole Foods Market website featuring Thanksgiving and other holiday recipes.
Check it out here:

* Not all of them are vegan (or even vegetarian) so read carefully if you are staunchly vegan for the holidays. For everyone else that is transitioning these might make for good inclusions for this holiday season.

Whole Foods Market also has a list of quite a few blogs they publish. Here is one for the "Whole Body." The latest entry is for mineral makeup that is good for you.

Kale is a little powerhouse of a plant. If you need proof, just follow this link to learn more
(link was on a post from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen blog)

I gotta tell ya ... I love that blog and the recipes she's postin'. If you haven't looked through her stuff, you SO need to. Last night both Sandye and I made the Rustic Red Kale and White Bean Soup (see post below that links to her recipe) for our families. It was SOOOO yummy!!!

We both had two thumbs up from the entire family on it (except Steph because I totally overdid it on the pepper with mine -- yowser was it hot!) It was so good that my hubby said I could make it everyday if I wanted to.

But I gotta tell ya ... it is one of those soups that makes you want to snuggle under a blanket while enjoying a roaring fire in the fireplace and watching a good movie with family gathered around. It's also one of those that makes you crave a hunk of crusty bread to go along with it.


Now, go on, rush out to the store and get the ingredients because you know you want to make it!


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Pumpkin Hummus

Speaking of using things up that are in the pantry ...

I found this recipe for Pumpkin Hummus over at and I think I'll make it to use up some of those canned veggies. Yes, I know canned are not the best option, but ....

So, the link above is for the video of the preparation. Here is the link to the actual recipe you can print: Pumpkin Hummus Recipe. The recipe is courtesy of Everyday Dish

Fall Recipe Share:
If you have a great recipe that screams "Fall Flavors" please consider sending it over so that we can share it with everyone. (Tonda ... if you are reading this, I want the recipe for the roasted Sweet Potatoes that we had at Pastor's Appreciation Day - hee hee!)

Here are a couple I found but haven't tested yet:

Please pass along any that you may have found or created.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dabbling in the Vegan

So, in making the move to healthier living I'm making a list to try an entire week of Vegan only dinner meals. I'm still using things up that are in my pantry and working toward a much better form of cooking. So, this is my first week of full-on purposeful recipes.

With the cooler temps and leaves turning to fall colors, I find myself drawn to soups this week. Here are two that I plan to put on this week's menu:

I'll be sure to post reviews on the soups once I make them.

Two thumbs up for Miso Soup, by the way. My hubby and I have made a couple different concoctions (dependent of veggies in the crisper) with the Red Mellow Miso and found it quite palatable. :o)

Recipe from Melodie B:
Melodie submitted this recipe for Taco Nut Meat

  • 1/2 cup almonds, dry
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, dry
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander
  • 1/3 cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 2/3 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce

Process all nuts in food processor. Place nut meat into mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
Will keep for 4 days in fridge. We used it in a wrap and totally enjoyed it --- Melodie B.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Going to the Amazon (.com, that is)

So, I figured now is as good a time as any to highlight some books over at Some are cookbooks, some are instructional, but all feature even more "healthy discoveries." So, enjoy!

I don't own all of these but they looked interesting. I did see the Miso one at church - Pastor had it.

You can click on the slideshow below to activate it and then hover over the book you want to know more about. Additionally, you can click directly on the book to go to that page in


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Of Supplements and Sales

Just thought I would post a quick note about Valerie Saxion and Total Health Labs. Valerie is a Christian who is also a proponent of healthy, natural living.

She has a TV Show on TBN and several books on the market as well.

You can purchase supplements from her online store and she is currently offering a special. Through midnight Wednesday, purchase any supplement online and get the second free.



Monday, October 22, 2007

Blogs to read and ... a Challenge!

Sorry for the many days without a post! Let's take a look at some blogs today that I have been introduced to in recent weeks. (Again, please note that I do not condone 100% of everything a website - or blog, in this case - contains.)

Side Note:
Before I dive into the blogs, I just want to mention a quick upgrade that was added to this blog. You will notice a 'chat balloon' icon near each link now. You can hover over that to see a preview of the website that is linked.

Quick Lesson on RSS:
For all my non-geek readers :)

If you aren't familiar with the benefits of RSS, you might want to acquaint yourself with it. To put it quite simply, an RSS file 'feeds' information to any device that checks it. This allows you, the end user, to subscribe to any RSS and receive automatic notification of updates to the feed WITHOUT having to physical check each website or blog. Nice, huh?!?!

OK, so how do you use that feature? Simple.

Choose an RSS/feed reader and then plug in the feed address of any blog (or RSS file) and the reader does all the work. For instance, I utilize Google Reader to keep up with all the blogs I regularly follow. I then use iGoogle as my homepage and it lets me know when the reader has new content. Easy as pie!

I currently track over 50 blogs this way and have them organized into folders. This saves me SO much time and effort because the reader does all the work and then I skim through the entries and read the ones that interest me. So, give it a try. Go over to to get started.

Now ... on to the blogs:

Fat Free Vegan Kitchen: Pastor introduced me to this one. Her blog features recipes and other tidbits of healthy living info. I like the great photos of each of the recipes, and the archives run all the way back to Dec 2005.

  • She's even got a HUGE list of other foods blogs that she follows. Check the list out here.
  • Also, you should really look at the parent website to which this blog belongs. -- you will find absolutely TONS of recipes there as well.

Raw Food, Right Now: I realize not everyone is a full-on raw foodie, but they have interesting recipes and good tips to boot. A recent post featured Chewy Chocolate Freezer Fudge. Sounds yummy!

The Raw Divas blog: I introduced their website in the last post and wanted to include the blog in this one -- just in case you missed it.

  • Check out the links in the right hand column for more blogs
  • They even feature workout tips and ideas. See this one on Poi

The Daily Raw Cafe: Here's another one that I just started reading. Interesting recipes and I also noticed that they link to two other blogs

We like it Raw: This seems to be a conglomeration of news, recipes, and links to other Raw websites and blogs. Check out the interesting post on The Importance of Organic Tea. To learn more about this blog, check out this page.

The Challenge:
So, now that I've introduced you to a few of the many blogs I follow, here's your challenge. Find a blog -- Raw, Vegan, or other Healthy lifestyles - that you like and think has information worth sharing and send me the link. I'll post a list of the blogs for everyone to enjoy.

(In case you are having trouble finding one ... visit one of those listed above and then check out the blogs that they link to. )

This challenge will end on Friday, October 26 -- so get your entries in ASAP.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In the Raw

I've been reading a lot about RAW food and how beneficial it is for you. Although I'm probably not ready to plunge headfirst into nothing but raw food, I am interested in incorporating more of it into my life.

So, here are a few websites that might prove helpful and informative if you are in the same place.

Raw Food Coach:
Karen Knowler has an extensive website and blog with lots of good info -- especially for raw food newbies. She explains how to get started and the "why's" of raw food, along with offering plenty of free resources.

Take a look at her recipes, -- from smoothies to ice cream -- all are raw and healthy for you. There's even a free download of Get Fresh! Magazine from 2006. Karen is a writer for Get Fresh! and I've skimmed through the issue. Looks like it has lots of interesting information even if it is UK based.

She does have her own YouTube channel with several "how-to" videos. Some of the videos feature nori rolls, flax cracker, chocolate smoothies, and 'fried' mushrooms.

Alissa Cohen:
Another raw food site featuring author, speaker, and chef - Alissa Cohen. She is often seen on television shows like Tyra and NBC's The Today Show. Her site features a link to Raw Food Talk, an online community for folks exploring and living the raw food life.

There's a store where you can purchase a food items, a cookbook, DVD, or even apparel and tote bags. She also has online audio files from her weekly radio show. Additionally, she has a link page filled with lots of other websites to check out.

Last point to note: she certifies teachers and offers classes throughout the US. Here's a link to the teacher in our area in case you are interested in taking any classes or workshops:

Marcella Ray - Living on Live Food Teacher
Teaches Level 1 and 2

One last site for today:

The Raw Divas:
The Raw Divas offer a blog, newsletter and detox information. Most of it is free - including several ebooks that you can download. You'll receive the links for those after registering for their emails. Once registered, you also get access to their online forums and community areas.

OK ... I fibbed. How about one more - with videos!

Visit Freshtopia for an interesting twist and some recipes. I think I might try the Virgin Ginger Mohito with the leftover ginger from my Asian Noodle Salad.

Here's a list of the recipes featured in the videos: They offer everything from drinks to entrees, desserts to soups ... and more!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Recipes ... share 'em

Two thumbs up from the Broxton clan! That's what the Asian Noodle Salad by Vanessa Sherwood received over here tonight. We made a few modifications but kept the spirit of the dish fairly intact. We even used a machete and opened our first coconut!!! Woo hoo -- The meat was a little tough to get out but all in all it went well.

Do you have any recipes that are a hit already? Or have you tried anything that we've linked to yet? Please comment (by clicking on the COMMENT link at the end of this post) to let us know any recommendations you may have.

Also, here's a recipe for salad dressing that I will probably try. Seems like a fairly decent way to work a little extra miso in the diet.

Combine following ingredients in blender and mix well:
1/4 cup garlic oil
1/2 cup tahini
1 tablespoon miso
and the juice of 1 lemon

So, add or link to one of your favorite recipes and let's see what healthy discoveries we can make!


Monday, October 15, 2007

Local and Noteworthy - part deux

So, after a little more research today I found TONS of other local farms where you can get fresh produce, participate in CSAs, and even take the family to "pick-your-own" during certain seasons.

Quite frankly it's a shame that we are at the end of summer in locating these places. But, it just means more to look forward to next year! I'm already making my list of farms around Tennessee and getting jazzed about planning Saturdays to go and explore with the family.

A lot of these farms are CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) -- which simply means that you pay a certain fee for the farmer to "work for you" and you have a "share" in the harvest that season. Usually these "shares" are delivered (or picked up) every other week or so, depended upon the farm. You can read more about CSAs here

Click the links provided to check out the farms. Some don't have links but I'll try and give you as much details as I have (most of this information comes from "Local Table") . They are listed in no particular order but I have '*' the ones that looked interesting to me.

For TONS more listings, visit these sites: (listed by counties) (search by State, county or zip code)

Also check out: Pick TN Products

Oh yeah - if you check out any of these places or know of others that should be highlighted, please, PLEASE let us know so that we can share the details with those following this blog. Thanks!!!!

Anyway ... on to the list.

Here's info on places without websites:

Bramble Hill Farm
Organic, Produce, Eggs, Farmers Market
Nancy VanWinkle
1722 Campbell Road, Goodlettsville
Season: Spring, Summer and Fall
We sell our produce and eggs at the Whites Creek Farmer's Market.
We are a small-scale sustainable family farm using organic practices in the north hills of Davidson County. We grow a variety of vegetable crops in the spring through the fall, as well as offering eggs from our free range hens.

Hungry Gnome Farm
Produce, Eggs, Farmers Market
Alicia Batson and Bert Hartman
4712 Lickton Pike, Whites Creek
Season: Spring through Fall
We sell at the Whites Creek and Franklin Farmers Market.
Our farm is located on 75 acres in North Davidson County and we grow a large variety of produce. We also sell eggs from our free range hens. Beginning in 2008, we will also offer goat meat.

Howell Farms
Produce, Peaches, Berries, Farmers Markets
Johnny Howell
Season: Spring, Summer and Fall, April thru October Hours: 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM
We have been selling produce from our farm since we had a stand on the old Nashville Courthouse Square in 1938. We now have 3 seasonal produce tents in the Nashville area; on Glen Echo Road, Sharondale Drive in the Trinity Presbyterian Church parking lot, at the intersection of Old Hickory Boulevard and Franklin Pike in Brentwood and their year-round booth at the Nashville Farmers' Market. We sell locally grown peaches, berries, root vegetables, squash, corn, greens, and heirloom tomatoes.

Richards' Family Farm
Produce, Farmers' Market
Troy Richards
1508 East Stewarts Lane, Nashville
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall Hours: Daily at the Nashville Farmers' Market, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Specialize in turnip greens and okra. We grow green onions, tomatoes, corn, leaf lettuce, cucumbers, squash, collard greens and mustard greens, beets, green beans.

* Circle S Farm
PYO Strawberries, Produce, Farm Stand
Donnie Steed
1627 E. Old Laguardo Rd., Lebanon,
Open season early-Mid May: Mon-Fri., 3 PM to dark Saturday, 12-5 PM Closed Sundays
Circle S Farm has operated as a family farm in the LaGuardo community of Wilson County since 1838 and is recognized as one of Tennessee~s Century Farms. In the springtime we offer a pick your own strawberry patch. It~s fun and the taste of freshly picked strawberries cannot be beat. If you don~t have time to pick your own, just call ahead and we~ll have your order waiting for you at the farm. In the summer we also offer homegrown tomatos, corn and canteloupes. These are offered for sale by the honor system ~ just leave your money in the box at the stand.

Growing Crazy Organics
Organic, Produce, Herbs, Edible Flowers, Farm Stand
Jennifer Sutton
2320 Bluebird Rd., Lebanon, TN
Call for hours.
We are a small organic farm and greenhouse operation located outside of Lebanon offering a large variety of vegetable plants including tomatos, squash, zuccini, cucumber, eggplant, hot and sweet peppers, melons and gourd plants. We also have herbs and edible flowers. We will also grow seeds per request. We are a ~garden to go~ service and will produce container plants to your personal wishes.

Jones Mill Farm
Organic, CSA, Produce, Farm, Farmers Market
JR and Judy Stroud
391 Jones Mill Road, LaVergne
Season: Year round via email subscription service taking weekly orders, Franklin Farmer's Market and Murfreesboro Farmer's Market.
We grown organic heirloom varieties and other unusual produce, including shiitakes, asparagus, horseradish, candy onions, garlic, tomatoes, and fingerling potatoes. We also grind our own flour from organic grains and sell breads, jams and jellies from our certified kitchen.

Honorable Mention: (because they are closed -- definitely worth a look in 2008)

Breeden~s Orchard & Country Store
PYO Peaches, Apples, Farm Stand
Tommy or Mary Nell Breeden
631 Beckwith Rd., Mt. Juliet
Season: closed for 2007. There are a few farm store items remaining from last year~s crop, such as preserves and chow chows. Call if you~re interested.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Local and Noteworthy

Today's post is going to focus on local places you might want to add to your "frequent shopping" list.

Nashville Farmer's Market:
Visit the website and then make plans to go shopping for local, homegrown flavors. While at the website you can sign up for their weekly newsletter and take a look at the merchants. Here's a sample of what's available currently at the Farmer's Market:

~Late Season Tomatoes
~Freshly hulled purple hull peas
~Kubota squash
~Blueberry, raspberry, apple, peach and plum shrubs & trees grown in Tennessee
~Gigantic pumpkins and gourds
~Fresh local lamb chops

Franklin Farmer's Market:
Visit the website. Take note that they have limited days of operation at this time and will close for the season in November.

Wild Oats Marketplace:
Website link here! There are a couple of these in town and they feature whole foods and organic fruits/veggies. One of the cooler things I noticed is the monthly calendar of events (each store is different, so check both the Franklin and Green Hills locations). I've linked to the Franklin one. Among other things, they offer a FREE raw food cooking class and a Candida Support Group.

You can also view the online sale flyer to help make shopping lists before you go.

*Don't forget ... most of these websites (and those aforementioned) offer monthly or weekly newsletters. So be sure to find the subscription box and add your email addy!!!

Whole Foods Market:
will be merging with Wild Oats and the store in Green Hills will be opening in November. So you might want to check them out when they open. You might also sign up for the WFM newsletter since that will be the dominant brand after they merge.

Some late entries in the game here ....

I was searching some boards and found some other local items of interest. First up is

Peaceful Pastures:
Local farm that raises all natural, grassfed meat, including: beef, turkey, chicken, pork, lamb, goose, duck, and goat.

The Turnip Truck:
Located on Woodland Street, this market features organic and whole food items: produce, supplements and more! BTW, miso, coconut oil, and vegenaise are on sale right now ;o)

Avalon Acres:
Local farm in Hohenwald raising all natural meat, eggs, and herbs, veggies and more.

Rocky Glade Farms:
Features meat and veggies but offers a winter CSA providing fresh veggies throughout the winter in 1/2 bushels every two weeks.

Tennessee - Eat Wild:
Webpage offering listing of other local farms and companies from which to purchase whole and organic foods.

PLEASE let me know if you find any others and we will add them to the list.



Saturday, October 13, 2007

iTunes Finds

I have this love/hate relationship with podcasts. I love them for their content and convenience (I don't have to remember to check each website), but hate them for incessant downloads of irrelevant items. I find myself constantly halting the download midstream ... but I digress.

Anyway, I checked out iTunes to see what goodies it might be hiding in regards to healthier living. Here are a few I unearthed:
(The iTunes link will take you directly to their podcast info on iTunes. We'll revisit the websites in a minute.)

Each of these websites and podcasts offer a different look at healthy cooking (or uncooking, as the case may be). Let's take a little closer look at each one and I'll highlight some of my favorite parts of each.

Delicious TV:
Chef Toni Fiore's television show highlights Mediterranean cooking with a vegetarian flair. The recipes look simple enough and her on-air personality is pleasant to watch. She also makes the recipes look easy for any skill level. I have yet to try out any of the recipes (this "journey" is still so new) but I am adding the Pumpkin Chili and several of her soups to my 'must-try' list. Plus, who wouldn't want to try her Tofu Cannoli with Chocolate Bits!!

The website offers an Episode Guide and full Recipe Listing. I imagine not all of the recipes featured there coincide with uber-strict vegan or raw diets but not everyone perusing this blog does either.

Her blog also features some interesting recipes not listed elsewhere on the site and helpful tidbits of info as well.

The Eazy Vegan:
This is actually a subpage of another website (please see caveat in upper right-hand corner of this blog). Basically, their subpage recaps the latest entry in their podcast/rss feed. They have a lot of recipes and the podcast is in video format which helps.

I might give the Apple Cinnamon Granola a whirl or the Carob Walnut Fudge.

*As with any of these sites, if you do try out a recipe, please comment on this blog to tell us what you thought about the recipe (taste, ease of preparation, etc)

The G Living Network:
I think I saved the best for last on this short list of sites today. True gourmet and LOTS of variety. This site features multiple chefs and each one has some exceptional looking recipes! I actually have started a HUGE list of recipes to try from this site. (Pastor, if you're reading this, I know you'll like this site) :)

Where to start on this one ...

Some of the links inside the site don't work, but don't let that deter you. The layout is a little overwhelming but cool at the same time. The first thing you will notice is that this is Green LIVING -- so not everything on here pertains to cooking/food.

oh yeah ... one other note: This is listed on their website

G Living is the next generation lifestyle simply called “G”.

Sounds a little like some Sandye might have, eh?

OK, let's jump right in!

Under the Green Chefs category, they list recipes and have videos for you to watch. I've already watched several videos (and I just found this site about two hours ago).
Of course, Ani Phyo (mentioned yesterday) is listed here and her Portabella Mushroom Steak with Mushroom Gravy is featured.

Vanessa Sherwood's "Some Like It Raw" also looks interesting and has several recipes I want to try. Among them are: Asian Noodle Salad, Chocolate Walnut Biscotti, Mango-Avocado Salad, Lemon-Strawberry Trifle, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, and Fresh Raspberry Tart.

I'll review more of the chefs tomorrow, but in the meantime, check out the site and comment back with some of the recipes you are looking to try!

Oh, and be sure to check out the INDULGE section of the site. I think I want to make just about every recipe listed there!



Friday, October 12, 2007

Now ... on to the Nitty Gritty

Ok == let's get to lookin' at some of my new finds.

Raw Nirvana
We're going to start with Raw Nirvana -- a great little cooking show featuring raw recipes, of course.

Here's a sample and what looks to be a great recipe to boot! If you make these, please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts on the recipe.

Ani's Raw Food Kitchen
Ani has some really fabulous looking recipes and videos loaded right onto her website. I personally can't wait to try the Donut Holes!

Take a look at Ani's site here
And then try out the donut hole recipe -- video below.

Where to Begin?

Where do I start?? Hmmm ... I've read so much and learned a TON since meeting Dr. Lou Niles, N.D. a week ago. Some of it was a refresher course of things I've known -- just never practiced, or practiced in part. But I'm on a quest and so I thought why not compile a list of things I've located (on the web or otherwise) and blog about them for everyone's benefit.

First up are two products which were recommended by Dr. Niles. I take one of them but have yet to start the other.

1. Monavie - (the one I have yet to take) You can read about this juice or purchase it here. If you need details or have question, I can point you to someone that can answer them.

2. Natural Cellular Defense - (this is the one I take)from Waiora. Pulls heavy metals and toxins out of your body. I'll devote an entire post to this at some point but just suffice it to say, "You ARE toxic and you need this all-natural volanic zeolite!" You can learn more about it or buy it here.

These are, from what Dr. Niles shared, two very vital supplements in this modern age. You need the first one to help fight aging and the other to get the toxins and heavy metals out of your system.

Discovering Healthy ... join me, won't you?

OK folks ... so here is the blog I promised. This will be a compilation of things I run across while on my journey of becoming healthier. You are welcome (and, in fact encouraged) to contribute to this blog by sending info on healthy items -- recipes, lifestyle, websites, etc. If it isn't something you wrote or created, just be sure to include proper credits so that we can point everyone back to the original content.

Check out the links and blogroll items that are always visible on the right-hand side of the blog and be sure to search by labels for even more information on a topic.

Let me know if you have anything to contribute or would like to post/write for this blog.