Ditch Cravings with Green Food - Chlorella

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Chlorella is a green single cell algae and an excellent source of protein that is easily digested. Chlorella has many benefits to assist in the achievement of optimal wellbeing because it helps the body to get more out of vitamins and minerals and is helpful with blood sugar regulation, for both hyperglycemic and hypo-glycemic episodes. It is a high-quality concentrated food for supplement that also enhances immune health. 

The best long term strategy to cut cravings is to deliver a high amount of nutrition on an ongoing basis, over time, your cravings nearly disappear. Chlorella stabilises blood sugar levels, effectively allowing you to gain nutritional value while losing your cravings for empty calories. 

There are many species of chlorella which grow naturally in a fresh water environment. Some algae (water plants) like chlorella are tiny microscopic organisms, and there are well over 25,000 known species of algae, which is said to be responsible for 90% of the photosynthesis on the earth. It's that old, that fossilised algae can be dated back to more than 1.5 billion years, plus it's said to be the first link in the food chain!

Traditionally chlorella has been used for promoting the normal function of the immune system and the high yield of chlorophyll has been thought to be a natural detox/cleanser, because it also helps to maintain a normal colonic function.

Chlorella's high antioxidant power protects your cells from ‘free radicals’ that cause DNA damage and can lead to cancer. Taking Chlorella supplements can help you to draw out and detoxify your body of some seriously nasty toxins, like metals consumed in fish that could be damaging your body.

You can ensure that you get a number of vital vitamins and minerals that your body needs for optimum functioning, these include vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron! It also contains good amounts of vitamins B1 and B6. 

Most excitingly, taking chlorella has been proven to lower levels of both blood sugar and cholesterol! It greatly speeds up the movement of your food through the gastrointestinal tract, and can therefore reduce the absorption of fats into the bloodstream. Studies have given scientists reason to believe that the algae activates genes at a cellular level that can improve your sensitivity to insulin, encouraging a health balance in your body. So this is potentially a fantastic aid for treating type 2 diabetes.

Adding chlorella to your diet couldn't be easier and you'd want to because it's also more nutrient-dense than super greens like kale, spinach and broccoli. So here are some easy ways to add chlorella to your diet.

How to use Chlorella:
Chlorella is at its best in pure powder form, from a pure source, but tablets are also acceptable if you can't find a way to enjoy chlorella. Typically the maintenance dose for chlorella is 3-6 grams per day. Some people may find they need to start with a smaller dose of chlorella and gradually increase it until their body adjusts to this whole superfood. You can start with as little as 500 mg per day.

Add a to your green juice.
Add to your green smoothie
Add to your salad dressing
Add to a raw green soup or gazpacho
Add to sauces, dips and pates.

Unlike spirulina, chlorella is a complete unicellular organism, and the richest source of chlorophyll on earth. Although while both are natural algae, spirulina contains a blue green pigment and chlorella is emerald green. Chlorella only grows in fresh water, which means that unlike sprirulina, it contains little or no salt or iodine. Spirulina is also well known for its yield of fats and proteins and is considered to be good for fighting disease.

Chlorella is a powerful food supplement. If you have been advised to undertake a detox protocol, chlorella is of great addition to that process. Known for it's detoxifying nature and ability to nourish the immune system, to improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels over time, it is rich in natural carotenoids and it may also benefit those with high blood pressure.  

Learn how to ditch sugar cravings forever on my new 14 Day Raw Food Lifestyle Programme coming soon...

Want to know more?

Sources and Research:
Chlorella and Hypertension: http://hippocratesinst.org/science/chlorella-for-hypertension

https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-13-57

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3988967/

 

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. 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. 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. 

Leaky Brain Syndrome

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Are you been experiencing memory problems, trouble concentrating, brain fog, or constant anxiety? We talk a lot about leaky gut and the complications that result from this condition. However, a similar problem can happen in the brain. There is a clear connection between your brain and digestive system. 

Blood-brain barrier leakage means that the brain has lost its protective means, the stability of brain cells is disrupted and the environment in which nerve cells interact becomes ill-conditioned. These mechanisms could eventually lead to dysfunction in the brain.”

— Dr. Walter H. Backes, Maastricht University Medical Centre

What is Leaky Brain Syndrome?

Your brain houses your memories, your communication and language skills, and your ability to move your body. It also controls automatic functions such as breathing, body temperature, and heartbeat. Your brain is one of the most vital parts of the body, performing important functions, and it needs serious protection.

Despite the brain’s incredible superpowers, there are instances when the brain, as well as the Blood Brain Barrier—or BBB—can be compromised. Leaky brain happens when the protective BBB is breached and naturally occurring substances cross through the walls of the vessels to the brain.

What are the Symptoms of Leaky Brain Syndrome?

The following are common signs of Leaky Brain Syndrome:

  • Headaches

A headache is one of the common signs of a leaky brain. The headaches are unexpected and severe. Studies also revealed that pain associated with these headaches is more intense especially when a person is standing. 

  • Cognitive Decline

This includes memory loss and can happen for various reasons, such as from blood brain barrier dysfunction. Studies have revealed that this dysfunction can contribute to the cognitive decline that is often observed in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

  • Chronic Fatigue

Leaky brain syndrome can lead to tiredness that does not go away even with rest or sleep. It has been discovered that the change in BBB’s permeability may resemble the continuing symptoms and signs of chronic fatigue syndrome.

  • Depression

The breakdown in BBB is often observed in patients with serious psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia and depression.

Causes of Leaky Brain Syndrome:

  • Systemic inflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Chronic psychological stress
  • Infections
  • Head trauma
  • Poor diet and food additives
  • Disrupted circadian rhythm
  • Intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome)
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Environmental toxins and heavy metal

If you are suffering from leaky gut, you are more prone to leaky brain syndrome. Things such as gluten and other known food allergies that damage the villi of the small intestine may eventually damage the blood brain barrier, too. Drug and alcohol abuse also poses risks to BBB permeability.

Infections, environmental toxins, and stress also take their toll on the blood brain barrier. There is a substance in the body known as Zonulin that determines the brain and the gut's permeability. Studies revealed that consuming gluten tend to increase Zonulin levels within the body, resulting in elevated permeability on both barriers. This is also common for individuals with gluten sensitivities to develop both leaky brain and leaky gut. 

A healthy, properly-functioning blood-brain barrier is critical for optimal brain and mental health. In order to effectively treat leaky brain, it is important that any issues concerning the gut are addressed due to the connection between the brain and the gut. Gluten must be eliminated from your diet since this increases the permeability of tight junctions, resulting in a broken down BBB.  Food sensitivities are often linked to the inflammation.

Many individuals suffer from leaky brain syndrome.  If you are at risk for developing this, you need to protect your brain. You should embrace a healthy lifestyle and engage in activities that promote ideal mental health. If you have been diagnosed with leaky brain syndrome, however, there are many effective treatments today that you can consider. 

HEAL YOUR GUT Programme

You can start making healthful changes to your diet and lifestyle straight away. Add more vegetables that contain Sulforaphane to your plate. Sulforaphane is a phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts or cabbages. Some studies have shown that Sulforaphane can prevent breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, reduce permeability of the blood-brain barrier, and improve cognitive function after stroke and traumatic brain injuries.

Add more natural anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. Add resveratrol to your diet, which is a beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound found in grapes and raspberries. Pterostilbene is a compound found in blueberries and is very similar to resveratrol, and it has also been shown to protect the blood-brain barrier by reducing oxidative stress. Choose curcumin from turmeric, probiotic (fermented plant-based) foods, healthful plant-based fats like omega 3 fatty acids (which your body cannot produce itself), from hemp, flax, sunflower and chia seeds, plus walnuts.

Make sure that you're getting sufficient Vitamin D, B Vitamins (B12, B6, and B9), magnesium (spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocado and bananas, plus epsom salts baths), also reducing stress and getting enough sleep.

Toss out inflammatory foods, like white flour, sugar and other processed carbs can damage both brain and gut. Avoid alcohol, and acetaldehyde – a byproduct of alcohol metabolism – can also contribute to leaky brain.

Also reduce your exposure to any environmental moulds and EMF's (electromagnetic fields) where possible.

I have no doubt in my mind that, at the present time, the greatest polluting element in the Earth’s environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields.” - Dr. Robert Becker, Nobel Prize nominee

Brain_1.jpg

Resource and Research:
Book: Why Isn't My Brain Working, by Dr. Datis Kharrazian

https://www.glutenfreesociety.org/leaky-gut-leaky-brain-gluten-is-an-equal-opportunity-destroyer/

American Chemical Society. "Mercury Can Jump Barrier That Keeps Toxins Out Of Brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990909080318.htm>.

Immunol Res. 2016;2016:4576012. Epub 2016 Sep 21. Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption Induced by Chronic Sleep Loss: Low-Grade Inflammation May Be the Link. Hurtado-Alvarado G1, et.al. PMID: 27738642 PMCID:  PMC5050358 DOI:10.1155/2016/4576012

PLoS One. 2016; 11(5): e0154427. Published online 2016 May 6. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0154427
PMCID: PMC4859489 Melatonin Preserves Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity and Permeability via Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Inhibition Himakarnika Alluri, Rickesha L. Wilson, et al

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Resveratrol appears to restore blood-brain barrier integrity in Alzheimer's disease ScienceDaily 27 July 2016.

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.  

 

Growing Your Own Living Sprouts part 1

"What is planted in each persons soul, will sprout" -Rumi

One of natures superb gifts is the availability of live food, so in the raw food kitchen, we teach that its always best to soak or activate your nuts and seeds before eating them. Soaking your seeds releases their enzyme inhibitors and activates the growing process, which means that they are alive, (actively growing) food, it is essentially a baby plant which is bursting forth with new life; and this also makes them easier for most people to digest. 

Sprouts which are actively growing are at their most nutrient rich stage in the growing process, they are a living super food and their healing potential is phenomenal. Sprouts contain a high level of nutrients and enzymes, which make them easy to assimilate by the body. 

  • "The greatest enzyme activity is from germination up to 7 days and is 100 times greater than the enzyme content of fruits or vegetables which helps to replenish our own body’s reserve of enzymes." -HHI

Additionally, as a sprout the concentration of proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, RNA & DNA is greater than at any other point in that plant’s development, plus

  • Its carbohydrates become easier to assimilate as the starches are changed to simple sugars.
  • Its fats are changed to fatty acids which are an easily digested soluble compound.
  • Its complex protein is converted into simple amino acids, which essentially means that it is “predigested”.
  • Vitamin production is increased three to twelve times more.
  • Minerals are chelated, a natural state where they are chemically bonded to amino acids and easily assimilated by the body.
  • It has delicate cell walls so it can release nourishment easily.
  • It contains photochemical, which are plant compounds that protect against disease.
  • It contains highly active antioxidants that prevent DNA destruction and the effects of aging.
  • It contains both increased fiber (up to 300%) and water.


Believe it or not, growing sprouts is super easy and you can grow them right in your own kitchen. The availability of right temperature, humidity, ventilation and lighting, all close to a water source make it a great location, plus it doesn't require heaps of space. A windowsill, drainer or stackable shelf space can work just fine.  

Ensure that your seeds are from a good source, 100% organic seeds, distributed for the purpose of sprouting. Before starting, you should keep your seeds stored at room temperature in an air tight container until you're ready to sprout them.

Sprouting beans and legumes
The great thing about sprouting grains and legumes means that they don't require soil, making it an even easier process. Sprouted Beans and Legumes will increase in size and weight 2 to 3 times. This means ½ cup dry seeds will yield 1.5 cup of sprouts. It's an easy 5 step process, which you can rotate to ensure you always have one of natures richest foods available in your kitchen. All of these varieties make a great addition to any salad.

Easy beans and legumes to sprout:

  • Adzuki Beans (soak for 12 hours)
  • Whole Red Lentils (soak for 8 hours)
  • Whole Green Lentils (soak for 8 hours)
  • French Lentils (soak for 8 hours)
  • Fenugreek (soak for 6 hours)
  • Mung Beans (soak for 8 hours)
  • Garbanzo Beans/Chick Peas (soak for 12 hours)
  • Green Peas (soak for 8 hours)

Mung, Lentil. & Adzuki sprouts — contain soluble fiber and help lower cholesterol by clearing out dangerous LDL cholesterol in the blood. They also help regulate insulin and thus blood sugar.

Sprouting Supplies and equipment for beans and legumes:
-Seeds. 
-An 'Easy Sprouter', or other sprouting vessels like glass or plastic jars and sprouting lids
-Drain pan

You can start off with ½ cup of each and adjust quantities as necessary. 

Step 1: Put 1 cup of beans in a soaking vessel. Fill with 3 times the amount of water. Stir to eliminate air bubbles. Leave to stand, away from direct sunlight, for between 6-12 hours depending on which bean or legume you have chosen.

Step 2: Once the 8 to 12 hour mark has been reached, it is time to drain your. Pour out the contents of the soaking vessel into a small hole draining colander and rinse the seed with fresh water and allow water to drain away. Return your seeds to the sprouting vessel and position it in the draining position on the drain pan, this allows any excess water to drain away from the seed.

Step 3: This stage is all about rinsing and draining your seeds, this will be performed two to three times per day. Fill or flood your sprouting vessel with water and carefully stir the seeds. Allow seed to soak for a minute or two, then allow water to drain away. Continue this procedure for two to three days until you see that your seeds have stated to sprout (roots popping out).

Step 4: Time to harvest your seeds. Now that the roots have emerged from the seeds, which should be at least as long as the bean itself, you can now prepare your seeds for storage. If another shoot with a leaf begins to emerge, you have sprouted longer than necessary. Sprouted

Step 5:  Store sprouted beans and legumes in a green bag with the air removed. If moisture is present, placing a paper towel in the bag will extend shelf life. Green Bags are impregnated with a natural mineral called “oya” that will absorb the ethylene gasses that are released. If used as directed these will certainly extend the life of your harvest.
Another great option is to use a Food Saver, which comes with a small pump to remove air and gives the ultimate longevity to your sprouts. Place your sprouts in the refrigerator.

Various methods
There are different methods used for sprouting, from soaking in water and draining in jars for beans and legumes (outlined above), to planting in soil in a tray for wheatgrass, pea, sunflower and buckwheat sprouts and other micro greens.

When it comes to seeds like chia and flax which can also be sprouted, they are not soaked first like other seeds and have a slightly different sprouting process.

These methods will be covered separately.

Image by Evergreen

Image by Evergreen

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.  

Dangers of Soy?

Green soybeans

Green soybeans

It's interesting that after decades of marketing, soy milk still enjoys such an undeserving health label. The difference between the healthy soy eaten historically in China and the soy that we get here in many Western countries comes down to fermentation. Fermented soy is good and healthy, while unfermented soy is definitely not good stuff, according to studies (see below), it's extremely unhealthy.

Why is that? Much of the soy available in America for instance, is not fermented soy and is also genetically modified in order to stand up to poisonous pesticides. Soybean crops are heavily sprayed with chemical herbicides, such as glyphosate, which a French team of researchers have found to be carcinogenic. Even if you can get organic soy, (only about 5% in USA), it is still unhealthy because soy naturally contain “antinutrients” such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, trypsin inhibitors, goitrogens and phytoestrogens as is high in phytic acid. In addition, genetically modified soy has also been linked to sterility and infant mortality.

Traditional fermentation destroys antinutrients, which allows your body to enjoy soy’s nutritional benefits.

Some Soy products that are OK to eat:
Tempeh, miso, Natto and soy sauce that are fermented.

Some Soy products that should NOT be eaten:
Over 90% of the soy in the US is not fermented. Shocking to think that soy gets such a good reputation for being healthy without ever thinking or considering the facts behind what are it's good and the bad aspects! Tofu is not fermented. There are a lot of foods that vegetarians eat, like tofu, edamame, soy yogurt, soy cheese, soy oil, soy burgers, etc. that are not healthy.

Edamame is a immature soybean product that has been harvested before the beans have had a chance to harden. Pre-made shop made salads that are made with edamame beans, are to be found in a abundance in supermarkets lablelled as healthy takeaway meals.

The most troubling soy food product is something that a lot of people feed to their children on the recommendation of their doctors. What is it? It's Soy baby milk formula. Research has found that the amount of manganese found in soy formula for infants causes brain damage in infants and behavior problems in adolescents. The manganese found in soy milk is 200 times the amount found in mother’s breast milk.

This comes from Dr. Mercola’s website….
The best-selling brand is Isomil (Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories), followed by Enfamil ProSobee (Mead Johnson), Nursoy (Wyeth-Ayerst) and Alsoy (Carnation).

According to Crinella and Tran, the discovery of potential harm from such products began in 1980 when a federal agency then called the Food and Nutrition Board established safe and acceptable values for manganese in adults, toddlers and infants.”  See  Dr. Mercola’s Site for further reading.

Illnesses associated with soy
Some of the illnesses associated with soy are cancer (specifically, prostrate and breast), brain damage, infertility, thyroid disorders, infant abnormalities, immune dysfunction and severe allergy.  Soy is an endocrine disruptor and it disturbs regular cell formation.

Silk bought Chinese soybeans for years, building a commanding share of the soy milk market, before substantially decreasing its support of organic agriculture altogether. Few Silk products are certified organic anymore, and some are processed with hexane, a neurotoxin. While the green “USDA Organic” seal is gone, hexane-processed soymilk can still be labeled “natural,” and if it contains organic ingredients, the label “made with organic ingredients” is still used.

Best Practice
It's always best to eat plant-based whole foods that are not genetically modified. Do not eat processed foods, not even those that have been pushed as health foods. Anything that has been made in a factory has been altered, is unnatural and should not be on our plates or in our baby’s bottles.

Many people have tuned into soy milk because they can’t do dairy. If you are looking for healthier alternatives to soy milk, please see here for an excellent  of an alternative example which you can easily make at home.

Because of the way we have “learned” to eat, healthy eating sounds difficult, but's It's not really.  All you have to do is break out of the old way of thinking about what it means (which is also learnt). It really isn’t hard, it is just that it's different for many of us. Once you make the changeover, you will find it is worth it and you will be so glad that you are living according to a healthier paradigm, I did.

If you feel inclined, do share your thoughts on soy…

Resource and Research:
-https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/soy-alert/studies-showing-adverse-effects-of-dietary-soy-1939-2008/
-https://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert/
-The American Soybean Association, St. Louis, Missouri “Genetically Modified Foods-Are they a Risk to Human and Animal Health” by Arpad Pustar, June, 2001.
-http://hippocratesinst.org/genetically-modified-soy-linked-to-sterility-and-infant-mortality
-“The Dangers of Soy Protein” by Roy B. Kupsinel, M.D. Phillips, Jack, American Free Press, August 7, 2006
-http://hippocratesinst.org/soy-bad-news-for-soymilk-drinkers

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.

 

 

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.

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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.