Conscious Cuisine - How to Infuse Your Food with Love!

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On the longest day of the year, it’s customary to celebrate the light of summer which guides our way with food festivities within our communities. Gratitude plays a big part in marking the achievements reached at mid-year, and the sacred element is often equally as important in how to prepare, share and receive the nourishment of food as part of the communal celebrations.

The longest day occurs when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere (Northern and Southern). It is a time when many communities practice ancient rituals and in many countries, herbs are harvested on the solstice evening, especially those believed to have potent medicinal properties, such as St John's Wort.

The concept of conscious eating is now quite familiar to many people, this is especially true at times when you want to ground yourself in the lifestyle beliefs and practices you have chosen to commit your life to.

For me while growing up, the sacred practice of sharing ‘Prasad’ was a familiar experience in the Indian side of my family. Prasad or Prasāda is a devotional offering made to God. It typically consists of food that is later shared among the people gathered. It is vegetarian food that is a religious offering in both Hinduism and Sikhism. Sometimes this vegetarian offering may exclude ‘prohibited’ foodstuff such as garlic, onion and roots etc. simply because of their stimulating properties.

There are many forms of sacramental food offerings practised across the world, such breaking bread together and receiving during holy communion. ’Prasada' literally means a gracious gift, it is a way of infusing food with sacred love. This concept is a wonderful way to think about how you can add positive energy to your food, making the shared experience even more precious with those around you.

The food is blessed as part of a sacred ceremony and consumed with reverence and gratitude. As a child I always looked forward to the receiving my little portion of delicious sweet tasting Prasad at the end of devotional prayers. Traditionally Prasad dishes are a small serving of cooked home-made Indian sweets or savouries, or a piece of fruit, which is served after devotional rituals like communal songs and prayers.

Providing communal offerings for your guests or group on the summer solstice or mid-summers day (June 21st in 2019, in the northern hemisphere), is a lovely way to get closer and more connected to family and friends, while you feed into the solstice energy provided in the ripening summer harvests you are about to consume.

Your simple bite size raw plant-based dishes could consist of things like:

-2-3 plump soaked almonds (soak over night for 12 hours)

-savoury (laddu) or sweet bliss or energy balls

-stuffed olives or dried prunes

-plantain or cucumber bites (slices topped with hummus or guacamole etc.)

-bite size summer berries

When offering Prasad, it is the attitude that matters, it is one of complete love and reverence. Remember to bless your food first before consuming it, being grateful for the energy that has gone into providing and preparing it will make it taste all the better. Usually only small portions are shared and eaten, allowing for easy digestion and absorption of the nutrients.

Wishing you a wonderful mid-summers day!


Living Food = Vibrant You - Create healthier habits, try out one of my online wellness programmes, register here

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Anita McKenzie, is a Raw Soul Food and Holistic Health Lifestyle Mentor, she is founder of the brand "Sistahintheraw" and "Raw Soul Food" and a leading authority on Raw Food Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make healthier choices, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Sistahintheraw now atwww.sistahintheraw.com

Medical Disclaimer
Sistahintheraw.com provides information on this website as an educational service. This website does not provide medical advice. The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. The products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications and medical conditions.  

Plant New Seeds of Health In Spring

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Spring is an excellent time to extend your health and wellbeing plans in preparation for the coming months of summer. With each seasonal change, your health vibration needs to adjust to stay in rhythm with the newly emerging energies around you, from more light, the longer days, spring blossoms and spring fruit and vegetables; but we need to do our bit to support our minds and bodies to stay in synch. Think of it as looking after the garden that is your daily life, which needs constant tending with your loving attention to feed, weed and replant as necessary. 

For instance, lets consider supplements; do we need to take them? Why should someone who is eating a healthy balanced vegan diet even need to? Well in the course of my work, I have learnt that when we are consuming the best quality organic diet, we shouldn’t generally need to take supplements except for just two supplements that many of us may need in the form of vitamin B-12 and vitamin D, especially if we live in urban environments. And its not only vegans that need to take these supplements either, since these vitamins are not produced by our body.

Vitamin D is also called the sunshine vitamin since it’s a hormone made by the direct action of the suns rays on our skin. If we do not get enough exposure to the sun (at least 20 minutes daily), we are likely to become deficient. However both a deficiency and excess of vitamin D can cause health problems, so its best to get your levels checked so you know the level of supplementation required and do not over supplement. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and other vital functions like sleep and mood, skin and immune health. So that’s something you can schedule in along side your healthy, balanced diet.

Spring is also thought of as time to spring clean and many people use this time for an annual or bi-annual cleansing of your body. There are different levels and types of internal cleansing which you can observe, and this is my gentle invitation to you about a few ways you can prepare and get started.

1. Try a gentle restorative detox or cleanse - check out my two cleansing programmes at Sistahintheraw.com. Try to bring a positive mindset to this choice by seeing it as an opportunity to free your body of any cumbersome toxins, rather than as a restrictive pursuit. Be positive about your preparation for cleansing, consider the health benefits (explained in full in each programme) for improving your energy and overall health, and importantly, be gentle with yourself by not self-chastising for not being perfect.

2. Release and write – I’m a firm believer in the empowering practice of journaling. Create space in your life to let go by writing out any insights, experiences, fears, pains and emotions that you may be carrying around with you unnecessarily. You may find, as I often do, that further helpful insights arise from this process, casting a new light on the things written and deeper clarity and understanding on what you have shared with your notebook. A good question you could start with asking yourself is: “What’s something healthy that I did for myself today, that felt really good?”. Make it a regular habit if you can, the more you undertake writing about your emotions and experience’s etc. the easier it will become and the more you will be able to release.

3. Consider stress relief –  although experiencing stress is normal part of life, too much stress can result in anxiety, overeating and metabolic changes and can also play a big part in digestive problems. Trying a new exercise routine can help to relax your mind and body, allowing for conscious breathing when done properly. Join a class if it feels like too much to expect of yourself to do it on your own. A thirty minute walk helps strengthen bones, increases circulation and improves heart rhythms, while breathing exercises help to strengthen the respiratory system and increase oxygen to the brain. Breathing exercises can also reduce lethargy, anxiety and brain fog, its easy to stop whatever your doing and focus on your breath for a few moments, which can be extremely calming.

4. Take a holiday from continuous stimulation – we all know how addictive technology can be, so its a good idea to try minimising the time you spend on social media, on your phone, on headphones, tablet, TV and computers etc. Instead of carrying your phone around everywhere with you, leave it stationary in another room and check on it once every hour or so for messages. Use the extra time differently to engage in joyful pursuits like being outdoors in nature, meditation or singing while you do some housework!


5. Go on retreat or vacation - This has got to best way to step away everything from your normal daily life in order to recharge and rejuvenate. Scientific evidence shows that taking a holiday and a detox results in: strong and immediate impact on molecular networks associated with stress and immune function; makes you more resilient in the face of stress and more productive and engaged at work; being exposed to new and different experiences can actually boost your creativity! You’ll be able to gather your thoughts and return with more clarity and creativity to drive through to the life goals you’ve committed to.


You can boost the benefits from these tips by ‘sowing’ them into your daily self-gardening, self-care or wellbeing routine; they will add to your sense of achievement by elevating the commitment you have made to yourself to live a healthier, happier life. Remember that the secret to life long-term health, is to listen to your body and let it take care of you. As these protocols take root and grow, so too will the strength of your resolve towards your personal health and wellbeing excellence.

One Love,
Sistahintheraw x

Reference:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/feeling-it/201708/three-science-based-reasons-vacations-boost-productivity

Living Food = Vibrant You - Create healthier habits, try out one of my online wellness programmes, register here

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Anita McKenzie, is a Raw Soul Food and Holistic Health Lifestyle Mentor, she is founder of the brand "Sistahintheraw" and "Raw Soul Food" and a leading authority on Raw Food Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make healthier choices, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Sistahintheraw now atwww.sistahintheraw.com

Medical Disclaimer
Sistahintheraw.com provides information on this website as an educational service. This website does not provide medical advice. The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. The products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications and medical conditions.  

February - Self-Love is in the Air

©Sistahintheraw Sweet potato and pomegranate mousse

©Sistahintheraw Sweet potato and pomegranate mousse

February is a unique month, shorter than any other in the yearly calendar. Live it with all your heart! 

Thinking more deeply about self-care, I decided to run my first class of the year titled, ‘The Essentials of Natural Self-Care’ on 2nd February in Folkestone, Kent; and what a brilliant day it was too!

The focus for this one-day session was on loving yourself with natural, nutrient-dense dishes, using essential oils for flavouring, an evolving and exciting approach to designing new raw food recipes. The days attendees were introduced to the principles of a raw food lifestyle, along with a hands-on experience to following the recipes for the lunch menu. They thorough enjoyed creating the recipe dishes and completed each one with joyful creativity (we had music playing in the background).

One attendee commented that “the most interesting part of the day was the variety of ways to make delicious raw food and the use of (essential) oils”.

I also teamed up with essential oils expert, Abi Osho from Natures Soul Medicine, who facilitated an expert session about using essential for emotional wellbeing and self-care.

As more and more general medical practitioners are recommending nutritional therapy to tackle preventable health conditions, it makes sense to add new healthy eating techniques to your personal self-care system. It takes just a few weeks to transform your eating habits and taste palette.

With so many wonderful essential oils to choose from, each one having unique benefits and advantages, easily incorporated into your daily routine. It is no surprise that essential oils can also be useful in the kitchen. You can use essential oils for flavour and for their internal benefits, as a safe and natural ingredient, and for their convenience.

Important note: It must be said though, as with any substance, essential oils only present a risk when they are used improperly, or in incorrect amounts. Before adding any essential oil to food, make that each oil you intend to use has been APPROVED FOR SAFE CONSUMPTION AND INTERNAL USE.

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Living Food = Vibrant You - Create healthier habits, try out one of my online wellness programmes, register here

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Anita McKenzie, is a Raw Soul Food and Holistic Health Lifestyle Mentor, she is founder of the brand "Sistahintheraw" and "Raw Soul Food" and a leading authority on Raw Food Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make healthier choices, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Sistahintheraw now at: www.sistahintheraw.com

Medical Disclaimer
Sistahintheraw.com provides information on this website as an educational service. This website does not provide medical advice. The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. The products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications and medical conditions.  

Kitchen Kit - Getting into Rhythm with your Pestle & Mortar

Sistahintheraw Pestle and Mortar

Kitchen Kit...

A well used pestle and mortar can add the gift of ancient creativity to your kitchen. These sets have been around for thousands of years BC. and have traditionally been used for medicinal, pharmacology, alchemy and culinary arts.

In the kitchen this utensil set is used to crack spices like peppercorns, for crushing herbs and hand grinding roots. I love crushing tender herbs like basil to make pesto, or dry spices to make up a garam masala or jerk seasoning. Manually crushing aromatic ingredients allows their oils to be released, even dry appearing ingredients, like ginger or lemon grass, can be reduced to a paste through crushing. Theres something really satisfying about working this technique through your ingredients with your hands. 

No raw food kitchen should be without it's pestle and mortar set, however there are certain features to consider that can make it an easy to use option for specific uses. Your well constructed pestle and mortar set will last for many years and is always convenient to use and easy to clean.

I opt for either a stone (granite) or marble pestle and mortar set. This is because I have found their substantial weight enables them to remain stable while you're pounding away at your spices, unlike the wooden one a purchased before realising this is an important feature the kind of use I wanted it for.

When the interior of the mortar is slightly rougher in texture, it allows for both wet and dry mixes to be worked on with ease.

I look for a wide base pestle, so that the base is broader than it's top. 

A larger capacity mortar with a deep well is effective as a kitchen tool; if you're using it to make pesto for instance, you need it to be able to adequately hold all the ingredients, with room to mix them together as well. If you plan to use your pestle and mortar for small occasional jobs, then a smaller set will do.

It's so easy to use...
Here's a great instruction on how to use your pestle and mortar:

  • Place your ingredients in the mortar and hold it in place with one hand.
  • Hold the pestle in your fist with a firm but comfortable grip.
  • Press the rounded end of the pestle down onto the ingredients and roll it against the mortar while applying firm pressure.
  • Grind until you've reached your preferred consistency.

If you are making a paste, after grinding your ingredients, you can add a small amounts of liquid (oil, water, plant milk) at a time to get the desired consistency. You can get into your own rhythm from pounding the pestle against the mortar in the process of making a paste from scratch.

I find that a pestle and mortar allows me more control over preparing small quantities and herbs and spices also have an earthier flavour.

When you’ve finished using a mortar, whether it's granite or another kind, rinse it off with warm soapy water and immediately wipe the bowl dry, especially if it's wooden, before storing it away.

Try out a Handmade Garam Masala (gah-rum ma-saa-la) Blend Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon black cardamom seeds
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 3-4 dried bay leaves

Crush out the spices adding a teaspoon at a time, until it reaches either a coarse or fine mixture as preferred. Store in an air-tight glass jar.

Translated the name means hot (garam) mix (masala). Garam Masala adds warmth (having a warming effect on the digestive system, as well as imparting a warm, spicy flavour). 

It's a spice blend that is used in all sorts of Indian recipes, including tarkas, raitas, lassi drinks, teas, desserts. Growing up, we used Garam Masala to add flavour to our baked beans. You can also sprinkle Garam Masala onto fruits like watermelons and guavas, with a pinch of salt. 

For your raw food recipes, you can add Garam Masala to your raw crackers, pate's, sauces and other savoury dishes.

The recipe ingredients for Garam Masala often varies according to its geographical region of origin.

Resources: (copy the links below and paste into your browser)
- A the traditional Mexican version of the mortar and pestle is called a molcajeteused to crush and grind spices and to prepare salsas and guacamole. 
Ten Thousand Years of the Mortar and Pestle https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/01/mortar-pestle-object-lesson/423852/
Mortar and pestle in history and heraldry
http://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/opinion/blogs/mortar-and-pestle-in-history-and-heraldry/11089459.blog
Bird-shaped pestle
http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/xQBDvzBRSrqVQYQ5ECaZwA
"Grinding Stone to Art Object: The Mortar and Pestle from the Renaissance to the Present"
https://www.usciences.edu/about/marvin-samson-center-for-the-history-of-pharmacy/collections-exhibitions.html
Why Every Chef Needs a Mortar and Pestle
https://www.escoffier.edu/blog/culinary-arts/why-every-chef-needs-a-mortar-and-pestle/
Real Chefs Grind It With A Mortar And Pestle
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/11/25/165596088/real-chefs-grind-it-with-a-mortar-and-pestle


Would you like to know about the Healthy Raw Food Lifestyle?

Living Food = Vibrant You! 
Create healthier habits, try out one of my online wellness programmes, register now

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Anita McKenzie, is a Raw Soul Food and Holistic Health Lifestyle Mentor, she is founder of the brand "Sistahintheraw" and "Raw Soul Food" and a leading authority on Raw Food Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make healthier choices, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Sistahintheraw now atwww.sistahintheraw.com

Medical Disclaimer
Sistahintheraw.com provides information on this website as an educational service. This website does not provide medical advice. The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. The products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications and medical conditions.  

How to Survive the Holiday Season

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It's that end-of-year time again when many people start looking forward to sharing all sorts of social gatherings with their family, friends and colleagues. It's a time when sharing meals or special food is at it's most intense. 

Do you gain 5 pounds just thinking about that holiday pumpkin pie? Well, I used to have a tough time of it getting through the holiday season too. although I tried, I was always tired and ended up feeling bloated after indulging at holiday dinners or a work party; and let’s not even mention the weight gain it promoted. It really put a damper on what should have been a time for me to celebrate and have fun.

Now after many years of practicing healthy eating, I believe that I've come to some understanding about how to make the holiday season easier to enjoy and still stay healthy and energised. I'm a planner, which allows me to aim for what I want and move into the year ahead with a sense of accomplishment.

I love receiving gifts don't you? Please accept and enjoy the new Holiday Survival Guide I've created just for you. I offer it to say a big thank you for your continuing support over the past year.

It's a free guide and it's designed with you in mind, especially to support your desire to remain on track with your raw food health and lifestyle goals during the end of year season. 

This free lifestyle plan includes a guide with survival tips and recipes, a check list, a shopping list and a food and self love journal. There are no hard and fast rules about how to use it either! Use the plan as a natural meal planner and or as a reset tool to get you back on track. It's available for you to download from now until mid-January 2018, all you need to do is download it here and be open to a great new experience.

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Would you like to know about the Healthy Raw Food Lifestyle?

Living Food = Vibrant You! 
Create healthier habits, try out one of my online wellness programmes, register now

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Anita McKenzie, is a Raw Soul Food and Holistic Health Lifestyle Mentor, she is founder of the brand "Sistahintheraw" and "Raw Soul Food" and a leading authority on Raw Food Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make healthier choices, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Sistahintheraw now atwww.sistahintheraw.com

Medical Disclaimer
Sistahintheraw.com provides information on this website as an educational service. This website does not provide medical advice. The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. The products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications and medical conditions.