Monday, September 13, 2010

The Pleasure Trap

Douglas Lisle, author of the pleasure trap spoke today during our science of raw food nutrition Level 3 Class. He lectures at True North fasting facility quite a bit and has many fascinating insights on the population's addiction to food. Basically, junk food acts very similarly to how drugs affect our body, which makes sense.
They are both processed and condensed versions of natural things. It's understandable that we lean towards something with condensed calories, fat, and sugar content, because our dopamine levels increase in the presence of these things, although to an extreme level. It's a survival Mechanism. It means were perpetuating the species by getting the most impact for the least amount of energy. With whole natural plant food, on the other had, in a situation with out the affects of modern day living, we get decent, sustainable levels of dopamine. The problem is that we've built up a major tolerance to it, just like we would any other drug. Whole natural plants foods, being high in fiber content, do not give us as high of a spike in dopamine, so it doesn't give us the same effect that were used to. Thats why fasting can be such a useful tool, because it restarts your system, and you can appreciate simpler food, with lower sugar and salt content. But at the same time, you don't need to feel guilty if you get off track, because its are hard cycle to get out of! Just remember that it's all worth it in the end to train your body and your brain to crave the things that are good for you, because in the long run, thats more sustainable for you, and for the planet!

Can Sugar be more addicting then cocaine?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chili Sin Carne

This is one of my favorite recipes that I developed at living light. Chili sin Carne or "Chili without meat"

Serving size 25
15 cups of quartered tomatoes
2 bell Peppers
3 Tbsp Chili Powder
3 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp "refried beans"
1 1/4 tsp Coriander
1 1/4 tsp Cumin
1 1.2 tsp Paprika
Hot Pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp Tamari
3 cups "ground beef"
1 1/2 cups corn, diced
1 1.2 cups zucchini, diced
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
3 heaping tsp Cilantro, minced

Blend the first 10 ingredients, put in bowl, mix in the rest of the ingredients

"Ground Beef"

1/4 cup walnuts, soaked and dehydrated
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 tbsp dark miso
1 tbsp water
1/3 cup minced mushrooms
1/3 cup celery
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tbsp ground flax
1 1/2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tbsp fresh sage
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
pinch of cayenne

food process walnuts and zucchini, put in bowl, set aside. In another bowl mix other ingredients and stir. Combine both bowls. Dehydrate for 2-4 hours. Should still be moist. Keeps for 3 days

Food Styling For Photography

This was a very interested class, taught by Denise Vivaldo, an expert food stylist who has created more then 10,000 parties for celebrities. It was quite interesting seeing all of the tools and props used to make food look the way it does on camera. Everything we see advertised is fake! Personally, if i write a recipe book, I want to make it as authentic as possible, but it was still interesting hearing all of her stories about being in the business. One of my favorites was her talking about setting up a food scene for the movie Hook! Rufio! She's got a lot of good tips and making it in the world of food styling, it might not be something I would want to be professionally, but I learned a lot of useful things for taking photos for my own books and blogs :)

Allie's Cabbage Chips

1-1/2 head of Cabbage

1/2 cup Tomato Powder
1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
1-3 sprigs Rosemary
1/2 a Lemon, juiced
1/3 cup Olive Oil
3 stalks Celery
1/4 of a cucumber
1/2 tsp Jerusalem Artichoke Syrup (or Sweetner of your choice)
1-1/2 tsp Salt

Instructions: lend everything except the cabbage, massage mixture on to ripped cabbage leaves. Dehydrate until desired texture. With these, they are really good when they are warm and soft, so I dont always have any left by the end, but they are also good when they get crunchier, which takes about a day. You can dehydrate them and the morning and they will be done by the time you get off work! I usually do it at 120 for the first two hours and then put it back down to 110 or 105. They are a hit, so make plenty! :) <3

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Restaurant Review #2 - The Ravens

The Ravens Got high ranking in VegNews the other month, and it happens to be about 20 minutes away from where I'm residing right now! One of our classmates was leaving, so we through a going away party at The Ravens. Knowing that we were a clan of living light students, the head chef sent us a raw complimentary dish with figs and a pecan pate. Delicious!! We also had an all raw dinner held after the showcase. $60 and definitely worth it! The melon soup was bomb, as well as the spinach quiche.. Exquisite.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Santa Rosa's raw food expo

This was my first Raw food expo ever!! Saw a lot of familiar faces, mostly ones I recognized from blogs and you tube videos :) Being surrounded by so many other raw fooders is an exciting experience! It's definitely not something that happens ever day. They had the exact model of water ionizer that I had. I bought a water bottle that only lets certain types of light in, and it helps to keep the structure of your water. It stays alkaline and doesn't start getting the funny taste :P I also got some black sesame seed butter and made some kickass black kale chips. I'll be posting pictures of them in the future..

Restaurant Review #1 - CaPhe

CaPhe is an adorable restaurant located in Fort Bragg. It's attached to a hotel/spa that includes other services such as colon hydrotherapy. CaPhe an 80% raw menu, and the title refers to it being a facility that serves alkalizing meals, hence the "ph." My personal favorite is the Cucumber kim chi. One of the things I love most about this place is that they use a unique combination of asian spices to enhance the flavors of their dishes. Some of there dishes include green soups, coconut smoothies, and salad that are mostly raw, but served with buckwheat noodles. Quite the delight! They do serve meat here, but its all free range organic. A large portion of their produce is grown by the owner of the restaurant, and you can taste the difference! I would highly recommend this place to anyone traveling through, looking for an easy to digest meal. She is closed on odd days of the week, but if you call her, most of the time she will open it up for you! Happy travels! <3>

"not so simple living" festival

This Festival was quite delightful. Camping all around and booths galore, which are some of my favorite things. There was everything from wine making to Acorn Mush! :) Turned out to be quite a busy weekend for me, seeing that i was hopping from here to the raw food convention and back. There was always something exciting happening ^.^

I enjoyed the talks on local and organic food and gardening. Some nice products like green cleaning supplies and clothing. I even got to learn and make my own lavender wands! I wonder what other herbs and flowers that would work with.. One of my favorites was a talk about medicinal plants. Did you know that Arnica (A. chamissonis) reduces pain and bleeding after accidents, shock and trauma? Cat nip is sedative, diaphoretic, astringent, carminative, and great for children! Helps with teething, gas, hyperactivity and many other things.

Another one of my favorite booths was one where natives were teaching about there herbs, and doing demonstrations and taste testings of "Acorn mush." Acorns were a very important food for native americans. They are good for controlling blood sugar levels, high in fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals, and relatively low in fat compared to other nuts. Yum!