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Archive for the ‘Vegan & Raw Foods’ Category

Raw Chef Panel Q2: The Raw Journey

Q. How long have you been raw? What percentage raw were you in the beginning of your raw journey? If you were 100%, how long did that last? What percentage are you now? And, finally, if you do eat cooked foods, what cooked foods do you eat?

A. I have lived a raw food lifestyle since 2004. I have been interested in nutrition my entire life. I grew up loving to cook and spending time in the kitchen. Creating recipes and wooing guests with my cuisine has been my greatest passion in life. Working with food is like a working meditation. It is my solace, my love, an expression of my inner beauty, my artistic self, my true being. I love food, and more importantly, I love food that heals and nurtures the body not only on a physically level but on a deep soul level. Raw foods do that.

In 2004, I was visiting my sister, Tanith, in Portland, Oregon for a weekend, and while in her home, I found a cookbook. It was Rawsome by Brigitte Mars. I had never before heard of a raw food diet. When I picked up this book, I was immediately entranced by its content. It promised a new way of eating that offered amazing health and beauty benefits. Being that I am the type to devour any nutritional book or cookbook I can get my hands on, I spent the rest of that weekend in Portland gobbling up every word on every page. I was instantly hooked. When I returned home, I sought out every book I could find on the topic. I started with Juliano’s book, Raw: The Uncook Book: New Vegetarian Food for Life and dove right in. I was immediately discouraged by the complexity of the recipes. Transitioning from a cooked food diet, I craved heavy meals. The vibrant pictures and recipes in his book allured me, but I realized that if I wanted something as simple as a sandwich that it would take several days to make it. The grains had to be soaked and sprouted for a few days, mixed into a batter and dehydrated for two or so more days to make the bread alone. My growling stomach and my impatience sent me right to the grocer for raw nuts, seeds, nut butters and dried fruit. These items were filling and easy to attain. At the end of my first week raw, I could proudly protest that I was indeed 100% raw, but I felt toxic. I could withstand this way of eating for about two weeks before I would delve back into my tried and true cooked foods.

One weekend while visiting Mendocino, California, I stumbled across Living Light Culinary Art Institute in Fort Bragg. They were advertising the first annual Vibrant Living  Expo. I was amazed at this find. I bought tickets for the entire event and immersed myself fully into all the information and enthusiasm offered by the inspirational speakers and vendors. It was there that I saw Victoria Boutenko speak for the first time. Her philosophy on the importance of greens changed my life. I realized that I was missing green leafy vegetables in my diet. This was the golden key to my success. I went right home and invested in a VitaMix, a high powered blender equipped to purify the tough fibers of sturdy leaves like kale and collard greens. Adding green smoothies and large kale salads into my diet balanced me, allotting me energy and happiness on a level I had yet to experience with any cooked food diet. Once I discovered that raw foods were then vitalizing and sustainable for me, I enrolled in Living Light. I trained as a raw food chef. This was what I had been waiting for all my life. I was able to finally integrate my love of the culinary arts with nutrition. I fell in love with raw foods.

Before I could professionally endorse this radical diet, I wanted to know, first hand, what raw foods truly had to offer. There is an enormous amount of testimonial on the internet, claiming impeccable health, age defying and mood enhancing results. I had to follow this diet 100% and discover it for myself. I decided to commit and follow a strict raw food diet for three months. I kept a daily journal during the entire experience. I even had my blood work done before and after the three month period to scientifically see my physical results. I was curious.

Those three months were amazing. I discovered what all raw foodies had already known. I needed far less sleep. My sleep requirement went from 8-10 hours a night to only 4-6 hours. I had more energy than I ever had in my life. This was great, because it meant that those extra waking hours were productive. I wasn’t just sitting around, lounging in front of the television late into the night. I was getting things done and happily so. I was highly motivated. My mood increased considerably. I would often laugh for no reason or break into a happy dance while drinking my morning green juice. I felt clean, pure, wild and awake. My stress level decreased. I felt more connected to everything around me. I felt more whole and apart of the bigger picture. I believe this is why stress could no longer exist within my psyche. How could it? Usually, the things that stress one don’t even exist. They are fears and negative anticipations. They are small compared to what truly exists in this world, physically and spiritually. I could clearly see my place within the fabric of my earthly existence. I play a small yet significant role. I am interwoven with everything else, matter and energy. How could I feel stress over a man-conceived situation or materialism? I simply couldn’t any longer. I was blissful. I was also exceedingly healthy. I have never had a strong physical constitution, but that winter I didn’t get sick once. I shared space with clients and loved ones who suffered from common colds and flues, yet I never once fell ill. I felt super human. I loved the way I felt. I also loved the way I smelled. I lost my body odor and the need for deodorants. My body became sweet and pure. By month three, my third eye opened. I began to have physic notions. I could sense things would happen before they did. Small synchronicities would occur that would cause pause; I was amazed by my increased “knowing.” I was raw and awake.

I faced challenges. My social life got in the way of me staying 100% raw after the three month commitment came to a close. I found I had anxiety about dinners or lunches out with friends. In the beginning, I would isolate myself, becoming antisocial. However, after the three months ended, I succumbed to social invitation and began to incorporate cooked foods back into my diet. Sadly, once I did this, all those amazing benefits I mentioned above dissipated. I swung back and forth from being 100% raw to being a naughty cooked foodie. Being the perfectionist that I was caused me to struggle, for I turned myself into a gastronomic yoyo. In retrospect, I realize that had I just allowed myself to eat cooked foods once and a while, I would have handled transitioning into a raw diet far better than I did. I was unforgiving with myself; I was strict and inflexible. I was an all-or-nothing kinda girl, so I was either 100% on or I was very off.

Now my attitude around food is much healthier. I choose to eat 100% raw when I can, which is the majority of the time; I love the way it makes me feel on every level. If there are times I need to eat cooked foods, I do. I no longer beat myself up about it. I no longer feel shame, failure or anxiety around my food choices. Left to my own accord, I am a 100% raw foodie. When I am in a traditional social situation, when I am with family or if I am in a restaurant, I eat cooked foods. I savor my choices; however, I do pay the price for the experience after the fact. Cooked foods are simply not as clean as raw foods, so I often wake the next morning with puffy, watery eyes, dry skin and a runny nose, feeling dehydrated, sluggish with low energy. One could ask why I put myself through all that for a single cooked meal; however, just as I am with the nut-laden raw desserts I occasionally order, I am highly conscious of my food choices. Waking up once and a while feeling unwell is far healthier for me emotionally and spiritually then suffering from anxiety over my social life or from closing myself off from my family and friends in an effort to obsessively encapsulate myself in a rigid raw lifestyle. The latter is far more difficult for me to overcome.

When I do eat cooked foods, I keep it clean and, for the most part, vegan. I will, infrequently, have a little cheese, but, in all honesty, I am not interested in supporting the inhumane and irresponsible dairy industry. In addition, the dairy itself congests me dearly. I always feel terrible, experiencing cold-like symptoms after eating it. I will also eat fish occasionally, but the energy I feel from eating a once-living being causes ill-ease within me. I do ingest negative energy when I eat dead seafood. I am aware of this. I am reporting now that I eat a little fish, but I know this will change. My diet is an evolution. I see myself moving away from seafood completely at some point. It could be as soon as tomorrow or it could be months from now. It is unknown how my palate and my heart will change. My diet evolves in direct proportion to my spiritual work. The higher my consciousness, the lower on the food chain I wish to eat. I am sensitive to the energies of life. I eat no other meats of any kind. I simply respect animals and birds far too much to do this. The longer I am raw, the more sensitive I am to all living beings. The more I develop spiritually and the more Reiki I practice, the cleaner my diet becomes. This is an effortless and natural progression. My physical and spiritual self is intertwined; there is no denying this, no separating it. As I continue on my raw path, I spiral into higher levels of consciousness.

Clean, whole, vegan foods transform the body into a conduit for higher energy. Meat and dairy products not only numb the body from spirit, but they support a destructive and cruel industry. At this point in my life, I chose to eat for my health and my spiritual elevation. The only cooked foods that I truly enjoy are steamed vegetables, which I can handle with no ill-affects. I can eat root vegetables like yams and winter squash as well as steamed green vegetables like artichoke, broccoli and asparagus. I will also, occasionally, eat miso soup or a light pasta. I eat these foods sparingly, and I always eat mindfully. Raw foods are my absolute preference, for they naturally enlighten my body and my soul on more levels than I am even aware. They are brilliant. And, I am brilliant when I eat them.

I honor life; I honor Mother Earth, and I honor myself through my food choices. Eating raw vegan foods, I thrive.

Happy All Hallows Day

I love fall. I don’t know if it’s because my birthday lands on the autumn equinox, appointing me the autumn ambassador, but I simply love fall. Come October, Sonoma County is graced with wispy, low, early morning fog, headless horseman weather. Through the feathered haze, one can see orange globes, the jewels of the pumpkin patches, dotted across the earth, waiting to be plucked and carved. Clear, blue skies adorn the afternoons, crisply kissing my cheeks. I am reminded winter is around the corner, for the temperature sinks, inspiring me to cuddle up, seeking warmth. The trees shimmer in amber, gold and crimson. They shutter, and it snows dried leaves, littering lawns and streets. Fireplaces are filled; wood is lit, infusing night air with a forest spice. I inhale the nostalgia. The promise of the nearing holidays sooth my soul on a primitive level. I am still that child that loves to dress up for Hallows Eve. I want to be thrilled, chilled and tempted by mystery and sweet treats.

Halloween crept up and rested on a Saturday this year. I spent the day puttering around the house, allowing my domestic whims and the day’s hours to sweep me into early evening.

There is something so pure about a woman who toils in the home, polishing and primping her sanctuary, her nest. She is considered plain to the metropolitan eye. No make-up, hair pulled back, barefoot, wearing jeans and a thin t-shirt, she is dressed perfectly for the occasion. If she finds her work fulfilling, as I do, she glows. She is beautiful in her simplicity, hiding nothing, fanning her true colors like a rainbow across the sky. Her spirit is expansive, and her home fills with her heart. Anyone who walks in will feel it, smell it and be nurtured by it. This was me on Hallows Eve before my witching hour.

Before Picture on Hallow's Eve

Before Picture on Hallow’s Eve

This is me on any given homey afternoon. But, Saturday, October 31, was no ordinary afternoon. Knowing I would go out to see what haunts the holiday had in store, I began my meticulous transformation. I love dressing up, impersonating a fantasy. This year I pieced my costume together partly from my own closet and partly from my Halloween costume collection. I was unsure the outcome; but, I was sure if I followed my soul’s desires, I would create a look that I would find enchanting. I was inspired by a black Parisian gown, my new bindi and a recent interest to decorate myself in henna. The result- I evolved into a French fortune teller named Madame Crystal.

Madame Crystal

Madame Crystal

The evening was visited by many characters. Tricksters and players wandered the darkness, giggling, admiring and delighting. I, myself, sunk deep into the night. The hours clicked by without notice. Before I realized, 3am snuck up and nipped at my ankles. It was time to wash off the evening energies, the thick, black eyeliner and crawl snuggly between my sheets. This little pumpkin head needed to rest.

7am rolled by and parked its carriage next to my bed, waiting to carry me away from slumber. I awoke, thinking how grateful I am that I am RAW. I imagined most of the witches and goblins of Hallows Eve arose to sugar or alcohol induced headaches and sleep filled eyes, but not I. I popped up and met All Saints Day as it greeted me in return with that early morning, low lingering fog I adore. The morning was quiet, for many of the city’s inhabitants were sleeping off the witchy spells of the preceding night. I rolled out of bed and up to my laptop, checking my email first thing. I received a message from We Like it Raw. In it was a link to a Youtube video of Tim Van Orden and Courtney Pool. I watched the 3 minute video titled Spirulina Salad with Courtney Pool. I was immediately motivated to spend my morning gobbling up greens, staining my teeth in an emerald brilliance. How ghoulish, I thought as I chuckled to myself, knowing that I would be one of the few in town who would awake on the morning after Halloween craving sprouts and algae.

The early hours ticked on. I never did get to that salad; though, it is on my list of recipes to make this week. Instead, I filled my morning with errands that kept me out of the kitchen. By 10am, hunger tugged at my stomach. My green salad craving needed attention, calling me into action. Remembering that Café Gratitude opens at 10am on Sundays, I pointed my car towards Healdsburg.

There is something so wonderful about having delicious raw foods made for me. Often, I am the one creating such dishes. When I have the opportunity to relish in such wholesome culinary offerings, I do so with pure graciousness and love. I ordered an entrée called, “I am Fulfilled,” a large salad chock full of greens, sprouts, tomato, cucumber, carrots, beets and avocado, tossed in a creamy, raw, vegan caesar dressing and garnished with a flax cracker.

I am Fulfilled

I am Fulfilled

I felt so at peace while I dined. I gave thanks for my life and the treasures within it. I blessed the season. I blessed the day, World Vegan Day. I blessed my food, and I blessed myself as I slowly ate. I giggled to myself as I enjoyed my abundant salad, thinking it was an odd breakfast choice for the average person. It was a breakfast of champions, a breakfast of raw girls like me. And, what do raw girls like me do after nibbling up a robust salad? Well, they order dessert, of course!

raw cacao hazelnut pie

raw cacao hazelnut pie

Featured here is Café Gratitude’s raw cacao hazelnut pie. It was divine. I can happily report, I have embraced autumn and the first festive holiday of the season without a single piece of commercial candy. Fresh raw desserts are my treat of choice. I sat in the restaurant, delighting in the raw chocolate goodness, grateful for its availability. Pure bliss was gobbed on the end of my fork; and as I slipped each bite of the rich chocolate between my lips, I could think of little more than how wonderful is life.

I love fall and everything it represents.

Cherish your life. Everything is a gift. Treasure it all. Honor your inner child. Play. Love. Celebrate.

Raw Chef Panel Q1: What do you eat?

Q. Describe a typical day. What time do you eat? What do you eat?

A. I like to meditate first thing in the morning, but I don’t want anything in my stomach to weigh me down, interfering with my energy flow as I tap into a higher state of consciousness. With this being said, my first meal is usually light. I would also like to add that every day is different and my palate changes with the seasons. In the warmer months, I will have a green juice or a green smoothie. I make the green juice with kale, cucumber, celery, ginger, lemon and, sometimes, garlic. All these vegetables, I run through my Green Star juicer. I love this juicer, for it provides a high yield of juice that is slow to oxidize. When I choose to make smoothies, I keep it simple. In the summer, when peaches are sweet and ripe, I adore peach smoothies blended with kale or spinach. Another all time favorite smoothie is mango and parsley. (For recipes, click HERE.) I am absolutely in love with mangos; and, after adding this particular smoothie to my diet, I actually salivate when I see parsley now. It’s a funny thing, but my body just craves these greens. I have noticed that the more greens I eat, the more I desire. I feel optimal physically, emotionally and spiritually the greener my diet.

When I get hungry next depends largely on how I ate the day before. If I had heavy foods or ate a lot of calories the day prior, I may not get hungry until 1pm or so. If this is the case, I will have a late lunch. However, there are other days I feel hungry much sooner. I have no qualms about eating my lunch as early as 10am. I don’t get hung up on timing. I think too many people ignore the body’s need for energy, being slaves to a specific snack or lunch hour. The body knows when it needs fuel. Just listen to it. Lunch, for me, is a huge salad. I like to vary my green leafy vegetable intake for culinary variety and for health. It is important to me that I get a wide spectrum of nutrients from foods. In addition, my salads always include one whole avocado. I find by combining an avocado with a large amount of fibrous foods, I am completely satiated. One of my staple summer salads is made with avocado and strawberries. I will make this with an entire head of lettuce, adding one cubed avocado and a large basket of strawberries, sliced. I toss these ingredients in a light oil, lemon, basil dressing. This is easy, fresh and very fulfilling.

If I need to snack between meals, I usually do so with fruit. One of my favorite fruits are figs, and when they are in season, and full of sweet goodness, I can easily eat a pound or so. My eyes actually roll to the back of my head when I bite into a plump, succulent fig. Yummy! Please make note that I use the disclaimer, “when the fruit is in season.” I try to only eat seasonally. In doing so, I am supporting and consuming eco-friendly, locally grown and highly nutritious produce.

Another fun snack I have recently added to my diet is chocolate in the form of raw cacao. I have a low tolerance for stimulants, and cacao is certainly one. I can only take it in small doses, but I have discovered that a little will not only satisfy me for hours, but it actually elevates my mood. I like to make a chocolate ganache with a heaping teaspoon of cacao powder, softened coconut oil, and a splash of agave nectar or a mashed banana for sweetness. This is the basic recipe. To this, I will sometimes add coconut flakes and superfoods like maca, spirulina, blue green algae and/or Vitamineral Green. This creates a chocolate superfood jolt of pure bliss and happiness. However, due to my sensitivity to the stimulating effect of cacao, I will only have this early in the day. And, I will never have this treat before any spiritual work like meditation or Reiki healing. This is not a grounding or a spiritually stabilizing food for me, so I use it mindfully.

If my physical activity was low or I drank over a quart of green juice earlier in the day, this could be enough food for me. However, there are many days this is not the case. My second meal varies considerably. I do have an active social life, and there are many times I will visit the local raw food restaurants for a meal. I prefer lighter fare, entrees that use few nuts. I also enjoy raw desserts, so I will often order one when out. They are so divine and hard to resist. Though, I do occasionally order nut based desserts, I usually pay the price for that decision. Nuts make me feel acidic and dehydrated. I often wake the next day, feeling puffy with watery eyes and a runny nose. But, as uncomfortable as that is, sometimes it is hard to pass up well made sweets. I know the consequences when I order or make dessert; I accept the results, and I choose, consciously, to savor it. If I ate nut-dense meals or desserts daily, a raw diet would not be healthy or sustainable for me. Being a conscious eater is key. I am aware of my choices. I know my body, and I thrive when in balance. With this being said, more often than not, I make my own foods. Dinner at home could be anything from a shredded cabbage, cilantro, lime salad to a carrot, beet, garlic salad or a simple romaine lettuce, avocado salad tossed in capers. The more green vegetables I eat, the better I feel on every level. I treat myself to complex meals from time to time, but for the most part, I am a simple raw foodie.

Every day is different. My diet ebbs and flows with my energy output, my spiritual work, my mood, the weather, the seasonal produce available and my social life. As I write, today is a dark day. Autumn has firmly set in, bringing with it billowing charcoal-grey clouds. I am craving warmth. I also had a heavy seed day yesterday, for I ate a fair bit of raw granola from Two Moms in the Raw. Because of this, today I am simply not that hungry.

Today I ate:

Breakfast: the water from one young Thai coconut mixed with a tablespoon Crystal Manna blue green algae

Lunch: a quart of green smoothie- 1 apple, ½ bunch of dandelion greens and 4 cups warm brewed herbal chai tea

Snack: 1 large basket of strawberries

I am listening to my body. Though this doesn’t sound like very much food, it may well be all I need for the day. I find when I eat calorie dense foods one day, my body naturally balances itself the next. If I do, indeed, feel the need to eat later, I will most likely have a light green salad with very little fat, meaning no avocado, nuts or seeds.

My best advice is to be highly conscious of what you are eating and why. Listen to your body. Pay little homage to delegated meal times and peer pressure. Eat what feels right for your activity level and mental/spiritual clarity. Eat well, allowing your body to stay in balance. Listen within. Eat for health and enjoy the pleasure of it. Cherish your food and honor yourself.

What the Top Raw Chefs Really Eat

Monday Night Live

Monday Night Live

Monday Night Live at Café Gratitude in Healdsburg, California is a fun and informative forum for like-minded, health-conscious people to gather, dine and learn. One can enjoy a cooked or raw vegan meal while listening to the speaker of the night. Industry leaders like raw chefs, athletes, doctors, energy workers and motivational speakers have been enlisted to lecture. There is no cost; simply order a delicious, healthy meal, sit back, relax and allow the theme of the night to capture your attention and inspire your actions.

There is a new lecture series offered at Café Gratitude. Shea Lynn Baird, the brilliant mind behind Monday Night Live, has organized a series of panel discussions. Shea invited me to be a part of the first panel discussion, a raw chef panel, launching her series into high gear. The topic was ‘What the Top Raw Chefs Really Eat.’ I was on a panel with Cherie Soria, Gabrielle Brick, Kathryn Ackland, Cecilia Benjumea-Kinzie and Andrea Primm, what a powerhouse of speakers, all beautiful and influential leaders making big splashes in the raw food industry.

As raw chefs, we often create cuisine that caters to the mainstream market. The foods can be dense and highly seasoned. Pick up a raw cookbook, and one will find a variety of recipes to entice any palate. These recipes serve their purpose. They are perfect for transitional foods, offering meals to ease one away from cooked foods and into a raw diet; they are great fun for entertaining, because they showcase beautiful dishes layered in flavor, color and texture, and they are delicious tempters used to lure a cooked foodie into the utopia of a raw lifestyle. What they are not is a way of eating on a regular basis. Most long term raw foodies eat very simply. The recipes created by raw gourmet chefs should be used occasionally, not daily. Many people, first discovering raw food, buy raw cookbooks, hoping to dive right into the cuisine and experience all the benefits this revolutionary diet has to offer. The recipes in these cookbooks create a challenge for many, because eating heavy, complex raw foods will cause imbalance in the body, rendering a raw lifestyle physically unsustainable. So the question begs to be answered, what do the top raw chefs really eat? How should a raw foodie eat to support vibrant health, mental clarity, top performance and emotional/spiritual/physical equilibrium?

I will take the questions posed during this Monday Night Live panel discussion, and over the next few days, I will elaborate on my own answers. (To watch this discussion in its entirety, sign up for Shea Lynn Baird’s Monday Night Live newsletter, and gain access to the video.) Since there were five chefs on this panel, we each only had 2-5 minutes to answer each question, limiting the amount of information we could provide. Watch the video to get a broad view of how different raw foodies eat. But, allow me to share here, in more detail, my own diet and my personal journey with raw foods as I expand on each of the presented questions. Stay tuned as I post the Q&A from the panel discussion over the days to come…

Blessings in vibrant health!

Birthday Blessings

Birthday Blessings!

Birthday Blessings!

Life is beautiful, and I am in love with it. Today is my birthday. As I wake up and settle into this new day, I look back and realize, with deep gratitude, that I have been living every day like it’s my birthday. And why not?! You should do this as well, living life completely with a receptive heart, open and clear. Nurture yourself. Love yourself. Did you know that the simple words, thank you, will raise your vibration, for it is one of the purest prayers you could utter? Say, “thank you,” feeling the words reverberate within you. Thank you. I love you.

What are you grateful for? This is an inspiring question and the mantra of Café Gratitude. Last night, on the eve of my birthday, Laura and I went to the Café Gratitude in Healdsburg to listen to raw chef Melissa Mango speak for the Monday Night Live series. Melissa, I might add, is a wonderful spirit. She is absolutely vibrant.  Laura and I had a fantastic time, and I love the photo above of us- two friends mingled with deliciousness. Thank you.

I am grateful for the growing raw community in my area. It is such a blessing to walk into an establishment, as I did last night, and know so many sweet souls. We shared smiles, conversation and delicious foods. I sipped on an ‘I Am Succulent,’ a grapefruit apple celery mint juice, which was divine, sweet and refreshing. I dined on my favorite entree, ‘I Am Sensational,’ the pesto pizza with hemp seed basil pesto & olive tapenade- oh so good! And for dessert, the entire staff of Café Gratitude crowed around my table hopping around, dancing, and clapping while joyously singing, They Say it’s Your Birthday, by the Beatles. My cheeks blushed through big grins. The cake that was delivered, garnished with a single red lit candle, was amazing. It was a layered strawberry shortcake made of nut flour called ‘I Am Rapture.’ How appropriate; need I say more?! Thank you.

As memorable as this evening was, the true blessing was gifted to me much earlier in the day. Laura hosted a Reiki class, and I joined her for it. I love Reiki. The energy flow is soothing and enlightening. Though I have been healing and attuning others with Reiki for many moons now, I am still caught in the wonderment of it. There is so much that cannot be seen that exists. Reiki energy is powerful, no doubt. It heals the body and sharpens the ethereal body and intuition. Every time I work with this energy, I feel spiritually empowered. I received a healing attunement for my birthday. Though my birthday presents have yet to roll in, I am certain that the attunement will dwarf all other tangible gifts.  I felt intense energy all around me, hitting me in waves, rolling over and around me like a gentle warm ocean. I sank into a deep meditation, my ankle twitched, my third eye ignited. Thank you.

The third eye, often referred to as the inner eye, is the portal that leads to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. Lately, during my meditations, I feel intense pressure in my forehead at my third eye. Yesterday, my forehead was on fire, intensely pulsating with the Reiki. I felt an energy shift as “something” left me. Reiki attunements amplify healing energies, clearing blocks and aligning the Self to higher purpose. Since the healing works energetically, it deeply nurtures the body as well as the soul. This treatment enveloped me, and I glowed for hours afterwards, basking in my heightened lightness. I am curious to see how I unfold as the days drift by. I wonder what blocks left me during this session, what energetic resistances were whisked away by the Reiki healing. I am blessed. I see this. I truly know this. Thank you.

You, too, are deeply blessed. I want you to see and know this for yourself. Take the time to count your gifts, your blessings. What are you grateful for today? What treasures lie within your life that need to be picked up and polished, acknowledged and showcased? Smile for no reason. Enjoy the people around you with fresh eyes. Appreciate and earnestly love your Self. Give and receive without expectation. Open your heart. Live in abundance. Honor your truth and cherish your precious life.

Thank you. I love you.

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

By Chef Shana


Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

4 large zucchini, peeled
2 large garlic cloves, minced
¾ c. fresh parsley, minced
½ c. fresh oregano, minced
½ t. Himalayan salt plus extra salt for step #2
1/8 t. red pepper flakes
1/3 c. cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. klamata or black olives, coarsely chopped
1/3 c. capers
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced

1) Peel the zucchini and spirulize it into spaghetti shapes. If you do not have a spirulizer, simply slice the zucchini into long ribbon-like strips with a potato peeler until you have a bowl of flat “noodles.”

2) Place the zucchini “pasta” in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt. Toss gently and set aside. The salt causes the zucchini to weep, riding the zucchini of excess water. If this step is omitted, the salt in the sauce will cause the zucchini to weep once the dish is assembled, creating an unwanted soupy consistency.

3) Mince the fresh herbs and garlic separately then heap together and mince together, blending the flavors into one another. Place the garlic herb mixture in a mixing bowl then stir in the remaining ingredients. Set aside.

4) Once the zucchini pasta has released its water (about the time is takes to complete step 3, gently squeeze and pat it dry with a cloth towel. Place the pasta in a serving dish and poor ¾ of the herbed mixture over it. Toss to completely coat. Top with the remaining mixture and serve.

Serves 2-4

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