sistahintheraw

Get Organised with Your Raw Food Kitchen

Sisthahintheraw in the Panama kitchen.jpg

This is me in the kitchen at the Sunfired Culinary Institute in Panama. I love to roll up my sleeves and let get in flow with my creativity. Here, I'm slicing onions that went into the dehydrators behind me, for which I needed a suitable sharp knife...most people who know me, know that I'm a bit shy of sharp knives, even though I did do some knife skills training in London some years ago.

This brings me to where I want to share some thoughts about how to go about setting up your raw food kitchen. A well stocked living foods and raw plant-based kitchen is your affirmation that you truly understand this lifestyle choice. Your commitment is reflected in your choice of organic products, your shopping habits and kitchen equipment chosen. More than food, this is an holistic health lifestyle choice, which recognises your connection to and inter-dependance with others and nature, it concerns all your choices, attitudes and behaviour. This is the lifestyle that restores harmony to the mind, spirit and body.

When you think about creating your raw food kitchen, there are some simple guidelines that will help you to create a space that is hassle-free, where your culinary creativity can flow in a space conducive to preparation of health promoting meals.
We consider

  • Shopping and best produce and ingredients
  • Kitchen appliances and gadgets
  • Storage
  • Sprouting
  • Education

Clean, plant-based raw food means eating foods in their most natural, whole state, so as to maximise their nutritional benefits, let this be your guide. You choose food preparation techniques and equipment that enables you to stick closely to this principle.

Shopping, best produce and ingredients
The first step to setting up your raw food kitchen is to take a look at the type of food you buy, is it healthy, sustainable, whole and clean, or mostly some type of processed foods? Simply, you can start to phase out anything that doesn't fit the 'healthy, sustainable, whole and clean' format. Look through you pantry and dispose of all unhealthy culprits, including seasonings and sauces that contain preservatives, oils that are not cold-pressed, cartons and tinned food. Look for healthy alternatives, which also means learning how to read food labels.

When shopping for fresh produce, focus on reducing your exposure to pesticides and buy organic, or grow your own. You can visit farmers markets, or use a fresh food delivery service. If possible choose the freshest, ripest locally grown, vibrant looking food and food that is in season in your location.

Firstly, making a shopping list and stock your cupboard with ingredients that you already like and use regularly, then add small quantities first of new ingredients over time to test them. Think packaged dried goods (nuts, seeds, grains etc.), cold pressed oils, salt substitutes (like dried seaweeds or celery powder), herbs and spices, then add fresh vegetables and fruit, which require more frequent shopping trips. 

Wash and dry fresh produce and store them in their whole form in bags or containers that are not tightly sealed, in the refrigerator to allow them to breathe and to maximise freshness. Keep fruits that emit ethylene gas (apples, apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew, figs, avocados, unripe bananas, nectarines, plums, pears, tomatoes, peaches) separate from all other produce. Use up your most perishable produce first. 

Avoid cashews and peanuts. Cashews most often they are not truly raw and the nut is encased in toxic resins, while peanuts are commonly contaminated with moulds.

Daily work
Rinse sprouts and put nuts and seeds to soak in the morning while you are preparing your fruit or making a fruit smoothie.

Appliances and gadgets
It isn't really necessary to have lots of kitchen gadgets, but they do allow for faster and easier preparation time. I have to admit, I do love testing out new gadgets, so over the years in my raw food kitchen, I have acquired an array of gorgeous food prep play things.

The type of equipment you choose, will depend upon the type of raw food recipes you intend to prepare, so you can acquire kitchen equipment as and when it's needed.

Start off with some main pieces of equipment to make preparation in the kitchen easier. A masticating juicer for superior juices that retain more of their nutrients and enzymes; a blender that can deal with the thick nature of many raw food dishes and frequency of usage; food processor with lots of attachments, great for chopping; a dehydrator with a thermostat for making pie crusts, patties, fruit leathers etc; and utensils and knives that you feel comfortable using. 

You might also want to consider a mandolin which slices, juliennes and shreds vegetables quickly, decoratively and with so much ease. A spice grinder which is also known as a coffee grinder, these tools double as a great way to grind up fresh spices or small amounts of seeds or nuts. They can also ground flax seeds.  

Think about how to design your space that that when you're preparing a recipe, your process can flow easily from one piece if equipment to another, so where they are stored and located is important.

Storage
Store your seeds in a cool, dark place, preferably in glass containers. However, all seeds vary in their shelf life, and storing your seeds in the refrigerator will also double their approx shelf life. Nuts and seeds that are high in fats and protein can oxidise and become rancid over time, so store them in a freezer and ensure that they remain dry.

Generally, it's best to use dried herbs and spices within a year of purchase. Ideally buy whole spices and ground them yourself. 

Avoid plastic containers, glass is great for storage of dry goods and prepared foods. Glass jars come in most handy for fermenting foods. Raw kimchi, nut cheeses, sauerkraut and other pro-biotic raw foods are fermented and stored using glass or ceramic jars only. Glass bottles and jugs are best for your raw hut and seed milks, flavoured water and other drinks.

Sprouting
Sprouts are living foods, chlorophyl-rich and a great source of nutrients as well as anti-oxidants. Sprouting is so simple. Glass sprouting jars with their fine mesh caps commonly used in the raw food kitchen. You can do this without building a greenhouse. Believe it or not, the best place for you to grow all your sprouts is right in your own kitchen. You can pick and eat your sprouts on the same day. Learn how to sprout by watching a video, reading a book or attending a class. For your kitchen you will need these items to get you started:

  • Seeds
  • A sprouting vessel
  • Trays
  • Potting mix
  • A sprouting rack
  • A drain pan

"Sprouting really does not require a lot of space. You can grow five pounds of food in the form of sprouts in one square foot of kitchen countertop space. This takes care of all the beans, legumes, and leafy sprouts. Using a tiered rack such as the seven-tiered Hydrosol rack, you can grow all the wheatgrass, sunflower, buckwheat and pea shoot sprouts you need for two people in two square feet of floor space. You can have a nice butcher block cutting board cut to size to fit over your stovetop and use that area for growing sprouts."

Education
There is so much more readily available information about how to get started with raw and living plant-based food and it's accompanying lifestyle, that it's easy to yourself clued up, which will enable you to make more informed decisions. There is a great deal of conflicting information flying around, even raw food fads and fashion that encourage unhealthy habits; so pick from the best tried and tested sources. You only need to start reading, signing up for Sistahintheraw programmes or attending a local class as steps towards optimum health and wellness. See the list below to get on track.

Sistahintheraw holding her tray of sunflower sprouts

Sistahintheraw holding her tray of sunflower sprouts

Resource and Research:
Growing Your Own Living Foods - Sprouting The Easy Way. By Brian Hetrich. New Life Books ISBN-13: 978-0-6926-0055-9
http://hippocratesinst.org/how-to-set-up-your-kitchen-for-sprouting
www.sistahintheraw.com/products/
The China Study. By Colin T. Campbell and Jacob Gould Schurman

Want to know more?

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.  

 



 

Birthday Edition - Living the Whispers of Your Heart

It's my 59th birthday on Monday 24th July and I have had a most phenomenal past year, exploring the world from the guidance that comes from within the whispers of my heart.
In the past year alone I've achieved awakening several of my dreams, I feel more happy and alive and look forward to ever deepening happiness and fulfilment. 

Travel, food and spirituality are my guiding light, the things I truly love to engage my mind, body and spirit with. During the year I have visited several islands, continents, cities and towns which are bathed in sumptuous golden sunshine, because I definitely love most things tropical! For me, that also applies to food. Food is one of our universal sources of life-sustaining nourishment, but only when if it's food that has not been artificially processed and maintains it's fresh natural life force energy. 

I have been fortunate to transform my internal self image into the lifestyle path I have dreamt of. Several years ago when I decided to make my holistic health my number one mission, things in my life started to shift and align more strategically to support that desire in such a way as to begin to make that dream come into being more of a reality. Through creating a healthy lifestyle that is holistically focused, food and spirituality have become a gorgeously combined ministry. It has not always been clear to me when an opportunity for growth and expansion is staring me in the face, but I have a lived belief that everything happens for a purpose, so I make time to find the hidden guidance and to learn how to read it's signals! I have also learnt that it is important to trust in the uncertainty that often comes before any great change occurs, it's just part of the process.

“When you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all. We all need some form of deeply rooted, powerful motivation — it empowers us to overcome obstacles so we can live our dreams.” – Les Brown

Like many of you, I have sometimes been fearful about making 'good enough' life decisions, but my spiritual path, self-honesty and personal growth have revealed the beauty that is afforded when healing and humanitarianism take the central focus in your life. Emotional, spiritual and physical healing processes is an art that takes time, practice and a lot of self-love. I love the gift of life and spirit that has evolved through the on-going healing processes I have chosen...and I try to live my life according to those values. I am at my very best when sharing with and supporting others on their wellbeing journey too; plus of course exploring the world of health through raw, plant-based whole food (smile); that's why I also love the Zen Buddhist saying i the picture above. The Les Brown quote then reminds us that there is a purpose to fear if we can allow ourselves to see and feel it.

I guess what I'm sharing is about committing to living your best life possible, no matter what restrictions you may encounter. Your best life comes from the spirit within you, not from the outside and remember also, no matter what, YOU ARE ENOUGH! 

Have you ever celebrated yourself on your own birthday? I don't always plan a celebration for my birthday unless its a big one (30, 40, 50 years etc.), but I like to enjoy a celebratory atmosphere for the whole month of July, by making time to include lots more smaller joyful experiences in my schedule, like spending less time working and more time doing what I love with family and friends, sometimes I even crave some excitement, so I go dancing. I also evaluate the previous year's achievements in order to set a few new goals for the coming year. My mum always used to remark "If my life spare" meaning that if I live long enough from this point on, as a positive reminder to live in the present and not take the future for granted.

Whatever you decide to do on your birthday, whatever your plans, (or none), it can be helpful to be open to new ideas. Here are 7 low key, easy suggestions you could use to enjoy a healthy birthday. You could even create a birthday vision board to plan out the elements of your preferred day or delegate to someone you trust to plan your birthday activities!

7 Easy Ways to have a Soulful Birthday

  1. Create a day of indulgent joy and comfort with people who will reflect that joy back to you, let joy be your compass
  2. Prepare a birthday self-care ritual (or have one prepared for you)
  3. Go for health building food and drink options to nourish your body
  4. Go on an outing to somewhere you've always wanted to visit, (I have a long list), take a gorgeous picnic
  5. Try a simple easy chill out and go see a new performance, movie or play (I'm going for comedy next week, looking forward to laughing, going to see 'Girls Trip'), I love going to the movies during the day on my own...
  6. Learn something useful and raw health promoting, like how to germinate and sprout or activate grains, seeds, legumes and nuts
  7. Go to a retreat, beauty parlour or spa for a total make-over, relaxation and rejuvenation

This year I'm going for low key, so Do celebrate my birthday with me on Monday 24th if you can, I'd love to hear from you. You can check out my birthday smoothie in the recipe pages too.

Also I'd love to receive a virtual hug or birthday message. Even better though, please make and send me a quick one-minute selfie video sharing what you like most about what I do as Sistahintheraw.... that would be so cool!

Wishing you One Love always
Sistahintheraw x

"I for one wish you a long and healthy life. You have created so much good, so much energy around healthy eating and healthy food! Bravo to you!" -Facebook 24th July 2017

Arriving in Mozambique

Arriving in Mozambique

Want to know more?

Resource and Research:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTRwTvAYYrQ
http://hippocratesinst.org/hippocrates-health-institute-how-to-transition-to-a-truly-healthy-lifestyle


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.  

Love Your Gut - Digestive Health with Raw Food!

For me, it’s been a long journey with my digestive health! Swopping to a raw, plant-based, whole food diet and lifestyle, has definitely been my best decision and has certainly changed my life and improved my health immensely. 

There have been times in the past when I experienced desperation from the physical pain that goes with what was then diagnosed as stomach ulcers and colitis, which recurred at different stages in my life. This tended to happen most often when I was extremely stressed, not taking care of myself, not eating healthily or staying hydrated, not sleeping well and not exercising, which proved to be a very harmful combination for me. To top it all, I later developed elevated blood pressure too, but I’ll leave that bit for another time, but know that it’s all related.

On this journey to a healthy digestion, I have tested several different types of treatment, starting with pharmaceutical medication prescribed by my doctor, and later on to a one-month juice fast with guidance from a professional natural health practitioner. Interestingly, these protocols have all worked in terms of relieving the symptoms, but it was from the point that I began to change my entire lifestyle that those debilitating symptoms never returned, as they had done previously when I relied on pharma medications. 

For me this means that what has been highlighted, is that when I overload my body with certain types and combinations of de-natured cooked food and don't take care of my entire health, eventually my body can’t preform the required digestive process thats needed. My body then becomes bunged up with hard to digest, or indigestible content and if that undigested waste material gets backed up, I become bloated, constipated (not going to the loo after each meal), and it begins to stagnate within me because it’s trapped inside, which is gross!

If waste material is stuck inside your body, it is also being absorbed into your blood stream, causing inflammation within you, while starving your organs and cells of the vital nutrients needed for a their healthy functional flow. I’m sure that you’ll understand that this is a situation that can be ripe for disaster, an internal environment in which disease can be cultivated and even take hold if nothing is done to undo this situation. 

Most people would rather not think about that part of your body’s function, I know I didn’t want to at one point. However, you need to know that a healthy digestive process is vital for your good health. Over time, ustilsing an holistic approach to my digestive health has enabled me to develop and deepen my awareness of what works well for my gut wellness. It has also helped me to address any disharmony caused between focusing solely on my physical needs, by not also considering how my emotional and physical health are also an integral part of the equation. Taking care of all of you creates a better sense of balance and promotes the holistic healing principle of 'looking after the person and not the illness'.

A few helpful facts you need to know -

  • For every foot of colon in your body (it is as long as we are tall), you can store
    approximately 5-10 lbs. of feces
  • a healthy person will have 2-3 bowel movements per day
  • the degree to which your colon is clean is the degree to which your blood stream
    is clean
  • your ascending colon controls the aging process in your body.
  • Therefore keeping your colon stimulated with nutrient rich, easily digested food is
    key to good health.

Stress has a direct impact on digestive health also, it can slow down your digestive process, along with any stress caused from eating unhealthy foods. In my time at HHI I learnt that the physical conditions usually associated with stress include obesity, insomnia, heart disease, chronic pain, cancers and autoimmune diseases, which in turn are also affected by your digestive health, since how clean or unclean your blood is, it feeds every part of your body’s functioning capacity! A healthy gut bolsters the body’s immune system and the body’s innate ability to resist disease.

You Can Support Your Gut Health by -

  • Mindful living
  • Opt for clean and green cleansing raw plant-based foods, herbs and spices
    that support gut health and aid digestion
  • Completely chew your food before swallowing (chew each bite approx 37 times)!
  • Have your meals in a calm and relaxed manner and environment - be present
  • Add digestive nutritional supplements
  • Adopt food combining methods
  • Activate your nuts & seeds
  • Stay well hydrated
  • Start Juicing & having healthy smoothies
  • Create a routine of daily detox activities
  • Introduce stress reduction strategies to reduce fear and lifestyle anxieties
  • Fast for one day a week
  • Incorporate colon cleansing protocols (enemas, colon hydrotherapy) in your overall digestive health plan.
  • Spend time moving your body in nature

Incorporating these healthy digestion tools into your healthy lifestyle is easy when you know how. They are not transferable, meaning that you can't choose to adopt in some of them and ignore the others...you need to do them all over time, at a steady pace and get support with the ones that feel is a bit more challenging. It's best to leave behind any sense of pursuing superior health, a better body, and longevity, as this focus and hamper your process and progress. Be easy with it and whatever you do, don't stress about it either.

My healthy gut regime includes using food-grade essential oils, yogic gut exercises (Satyananda), weekly fasting, organic raw whole foods, coconut water, probiotics, digestive enzymes, green juices, dancing and walking, meditation and reflection, relaxation...to name a few. 

Whenever you decide to get started, that will be the right time (but get started as soon as you can). Remember the lifestyle combination that works best for you, is totally unique. Your attitude and perspective are paramount to your achieving optimal eating, as is the atmosphere you create within which you engage with these tools for healthy living. Your health is always in the here and now, not somewhere down the road, so pay attention your health needs, make smart choices and work on cultivating healthy habits.

Be aware that all Sistahintheraw programmes include a connected mind-body-spirit approach, to a healthy plant-based, raw food lifestyle; with clean, cleansing, nutrient-rich recipes, plus accompanying practical guidance and mind-set tools. You can check them out here:

Cautions:
Colon hydrotherapy may not be suitable for people with certain conditions. Please check with doctor or health care practitioner.

Try out the raw food for a healthy gut programme over three days. Take a look here.

Want to know more?

Resource and Research:
http://hippocratesinst.org/ten-holistic-tips-life-long-healthy-gut
http://hippocratesinst.org/it-takes-guts
http://hippocratesinst.org/hippocrates-four-core-nutrients-to-support-optimal-health
http://nutritionstudies.org/time-chew-digestive-system-starts-mouth/

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.