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!