Monday, June 30, 2008

Green Smoothies and teeth health

I have begun a green smoothie challenge! The daily emails I have been receiving by signing up for this challenge have been so great. Really inspiring and I recommend signing up for this. I've been picking so many greens from my garden daily, and blending them with fruit (and adding some of the supplements and superfoods I have on hand). Fun and delicious.

Also, I am working on the health of my TEETH! I have black spots (and lots of yellow/brown ones, too) along the gumline. I had a totally surreal experience at a (holistic, biological, mercury-free) dentist on Friday -- really awful! He just began berating me, and I honestly could not understand where he was coming from or what he meant. I literally ran out of the office in tears. The bizarre thing: that is the second time I've gone to a dentist (different ones, both recommended to me) to take care of those cavities and get some dental care, and neither one did the work. The first one charged me $50, just for looking at my mouth and agreeing I needed dental work. At least this time I didn't have to pay (for being insulted and condescended to....) So, I guess either I haven't found the right dentist, or I'm meant to solve this problem myself (truth is, I am not a fan of dentists, anyway, and that is an understatement.)

I am working on a regimen that I hope results in healthy white teeth. It includes lots of greens, minerals, herbs, mouthwashes, perhaps supplements. The teeth are related to bone, and I feel like one's teeth most likely reflects one's overall health and state of bones (and in Chinese medicine, kidney energy), so I'll do my best to boost that. I'll report back with specifics. Unfortunately...I did have some Thai food today and now my one tooth (with the big black spot, on the left) is aching. So at least I know.

In general I have been doing great with raw. My plan is: smoothies in the morning and evening, and seaweed/veggie salad during the day. If hungry: raw seed "breads", veggies, fruits, juice, or more green smoothie. And lots of water. I do notice that I do lots of grazing almost all day, which I don't think is the best thing for my teeth. I noticed yesterday because I made up a cell salt formula for my teeth (calc phos, calc fluor, kali phos and silica) and I am supposed to take it away from food...and there was hardly ever a time that I hadn't eaten for a while or wasn't just about to eat.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mulberries, mulberries, mulberries

I love mulberry season!
Right now I have two trays of mulberries drying in the dehydrator (first time I've done that!), I had loads off the tree, a cup or so in my smoothie, there's some out at the office for clients (and Dave) to munch on, and yesterday we made a raw mulberry pie!

Recipe for the pie:

In the food processor: pecans, walnuts, dates and dried apricots blended together until sticky, then pressed onto the bottom of a pie pan.

Then, we took half the mulberries (about 3 cups?) and put them through the food processor (just pulsing lightly, not liquidizing!) and then mixed it back in with the other half of un-blended mulberries, then poured it onto the pie crust (the crust will absorb the liquid.) We topped with shredded coconut and a daylily.

And I've been having Green Superfood Smoothies, here's my recipe:

1 banana
1 cup frozen or fresh fruit (I used mulberries today, of course!)
1 handful greens (I used garden greens and wild edibles, including mulberry leaves!)
1 Tbsp chlorophyll
1 tsp or more spirulina powder
1 Tbsp cacao powder
1 Tbsp honey (optional, the fruit is often sweet enough)
1 Tbsp bee pollen
1 handful Goji berries
1 cup ice
2+ cups raspberry or nettle infusion (strong tea, made the night before and refrigerated.)

I watched a really inspiring youtube video about Superfoods and wild foods yesterday by Shazzie. It's in four parts I believe.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Raw Food Potluck

We just went to another amazing raw food potluck with the Pittsburgh meetup group. What an amazing event! It was held at Love Street Living Foods, where I bought an amazing raw chocolate sauce that I can't believe is not already gone!

We brought mulberries picked this morning by Dave and Ella (while I was enjoying my outdoor yoga class up on Mt. Washington), and a wild edible green salad topped with edible flowers (and my miso-orange dressing.) What I can't believe is that we forgot to take pictures of our food! It was really so beautiful. I topped the salad with the daylilies, so at least I can put a picture of those (above) on here.

Also, here is a picture (taken two years ago!) of Dave and Ella picking mulberries...time flies!

It was great to see people again at the potluck, and to meet new people as well. These raw food and raw food-interested people are just so amazing. Full of life and vibrant energy!

We met Jody and her daughter Bethany, who have such an amazing story. If they post online I will definitely post a link. Bethany is on Day 16 of a juice feast right now. Here is a short bit of her story...she had been in a wheelchair for three years (paralyzed below her waist), went raw in April (I believe), and now she is walking with only one crutch. There is even more to it than that...this young woman is just incredible. I am so grateful to have met them!!! I really hope to be keeping in close contact with both of them.

Anyway, I am so tired tonight. But I will leave you with a picture of mulberries on our tree. I hope you are enjoying these wild edibles! They are so amazing and sweet. I just wrote a blog entry about them on my Birch Center blog, I hope you'll check it out if you are interested.

I feel so full of love and appreciation right now!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Super Easy, Superfood Crepes (and Goji Berries)

I made some delicious crepes for breakfast with only 6 ingredients! They were so easy (though you need a dehydrator) that I thought I'd share the recipe.

This recipe is for three crepes (though I do have some filling and syrup left over for other treats!)

You will need:

  • 2 bananas
  • handful strawberries
  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • juice of an orange
  • 6 dates
  • handful goji berries (if you don't have these, just omit and soak a couple more dates)

These first steps do in the evening before bed:

For the crepe base:

1. Blend two bananas and a handful of strawberries (I used the food processor.)

2. Making three crepes: pour in thirds on teflex dehydrator sheet and spread in circular fashion to make three thin circles that don't touch.

3. Dehydrate on 100 degrees overnight.

Also overnight:

4. In one bowl: soak cashews in enough water to cover

5. In another bowl: soak dates and goji berries in water to cover, plus a little more

In the morning:

1. Blend the soaked cashews, juice of one orange, and a bit of the soaked dates and gojis for the filling.

2. Then blend the rest of the dates, goji berries and soak water for the syrup on top.

To assemble:

1. Peel the fruit off the teflex and lay out on a plate.

2. Put the cashew filling in a line on one side.

3. Roll crepe.

4. Top with syrup.

5. Enjoy!

Oh, and by the way: Goji Berries look like this:

They are like little red raisins, and can be eaten as is, added into recipes as is, or soaked first. They are considered a "superfood" in the raw food community because of their nutritional and healing content. These are organic raw goji berries that I ordered from (if you feel like ordering anything from there, you can use code MEL526 for $5 off.) Locally (in Pittsburgh) they sell them at the East End Food Coop and Whole Foods.

In Chinese Medicine, goji berries (also known as gou qi zi, lycium berries and wolf berries) are a very valuable and fundamental herb. It is known to strengthen the Kidneys and the Liver (Yin and Blood), and has special benefits to the eyes.

Please visit our Birch Center blog. Today's entry is all about Gou Qi Zi (Goji Berries)!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mulberry Season!

It's mulberry season! Here is a picture of Ella from two years ago - she enjoys mulberries to this very day!

We had a very nice weekend camping, despite the rain. I stayed raw throughout the trip - I had made such delicious food it was actually easy! The orange-miso-shiitake soup/dressing was so incredibly good that I ate all the greens the first day, just to eat more of the dressing! Then I peeled my zucchini into pasta-like strips and put the rest of the dressing on that.

I also brought large broccoli leaves to use as wraps, and made burritos with a brazil nutmeat (spiced with cumin and coriander), avocado, tomato and cucumber with a squeeze of lemon on top.

For breakfasts I made sesame milk (which only lasted one day, though) to top fresh apples and my mix of sunflower seeds, raisins, dates, prunes, brazil nuts and goji berries. A breakfast of champions.

Speaking of champions...there was a triathlon happening at Yellow Creek State Park (where we were staying - we were actually in campgrounds across from the park) on Saturday morning! It was a sprint one: 1/2 mile swim, 9.5 mile bike and 3.5 mile run. I wish I had known! But as it was, I had no bike or running shoes, so I had to let that one pass me by. We had a beautiful Saturday instead visiting Smicksburg - Amish country. We stopped into an Amish owned harness shop (to post a wanted: land sign. If anyone knows of any rural land around Pittsburgh please let us know! We're looking for a couple acres to build a cob house, have chickens, bees, organic gardens, etc.) Ella and Dave waited outside and watched the horses and buggies go down the street (they move at quite a clip!) and when anyone came to the store Ella would ask, "What's your horse's name?" Very sweet, as were the Amish, who graciously replied.

The campground, however, wasn't the best kept place. The first site they gave us was full of trash, which we cleaned up, but then when I noticed how much broken glass there was everywhere, we had to move.

The second one had trash, too, but a toad was waiting there for us, so I knew it was to be our site.

A few years ago when we stayed at a house in Nags Head with some friends, we stayed on the ground floor and at night frogs would come out and guard our door. That's when Molly was with us, so when I saw this toad, I just felt we had to stay at that site.

However, there was still quite a bit of broken glass and rusty metal, so everyone had to wear their shoes at all times at the campsite, which Ella was able to accept. (My fingertips are stained purple in the picture below from mulberries!)

Her favorite part of camping: roasting marshmallows for s'mores. Here she is in the car during the rain, digging in:

Thursday, June 12, 2008


We're going camping tomorrow and over the weekend to celebrate Dave's birthday! I have flax crackers and Ani Phyo's flax/seed bread in the dehydrator right now...I've made nori rolls, salsa, orange-miso-shiitake soup/dressing, and also little sweet date/cashew balls. We're bringing lots of fresh fruit, oranges and the citrus juicer, tomatoes, avocados, tomorrow I'll pick garden greens for salad and collards for wraps...I think I'm all set (I hope.)

When we get back I may revisit juice feasting; I'm playing with the idea. Though I am definitely loving eating, I overate (raw) foods today and felt quite unpleasant. I think maybe I did end my juice feast too soon. I don't know, we'll see. I'm also wanting to take another day of water fasting again: I really enjoyed that day so much!

But anyway, I'll be away from the computer for the weekend, but I'll update when I come back.

Have a great weekend!

~ Melissa