Happy 2015!!! Let the New Year Begin!

It’s New Year’s Day 2015 – the day when New Year’s resolutions begin and hopefully don’t end.  In keeping with my healthy lifestyle — I decided to make a simple lunch for myself with ingredients I had around.

I had my favorite RAW Onion Bread which I made a couple of days ago.  I posted about this recipe last year.  Click on this link for the recipe again!  I also had a ripe avocado and some cherry tomatoes in the house.  Add a little cracked pepper and Voile!  Lunch is ready!  And it’s SIMPLE!  And it’s EASY!

Eating RAW does not have to be challenging or difficult.  Sometimes it takes a little planning and time, but doing things ahead and keeping your pantry and fridge stocked will have you enjoying delicious healthy meals for years to come!!!

Let’s all have a Happy and Healthy 2015!!!!  And most important . . .

Enjoy!

Michele 

Note:  Sorry for the delay.  This post was set to launch New Year’s Day.   Had to fix some WordPress snafu’s!

snafu

Let Me Say This About That

fruit is a fast food

RAW?  Really????

Yes – I’ve heard it all.  And if you told me 3 years ago that you ate RAW, I’d give you “that look” as well.  W E I R D!!

But let me just say this about that . . .

I was not looking to become RAW or a spokesperson and a living example of the RAW Lifestyle.  I stumbled into this through the back door quite by accident.  But within 3 (three) days, let me repeat . . . THREE DAYS, my health improved, my life improved, my outlook improved and my attitude improved.   My arthritic pains went away and I slept through the night for the first time in 3 years .  My energy, stamina and clarity soared off the charts!!  Where once I could not get out of a chair, I now do Zumba 3-5 times a week!  When I was eating processed foods or foods that caused inflammation in my gut and joints — I couldn’t do Zumba for 15 minutes!!!

I had been diagnosed with arthritis in both knees and have also been told I have arthritis of the spine.  I suffered with migraines since my early teens.  I did everything the doctors told me to do as a young woman . . . eat more dairy, get more soy in your diet and eat whole grains!!  Ouch!!!  Since changing my diet and eating 80% living foods (RAW), I have been around people who had swine flu, seasonal flu, stomach flu, colds and illness and I NEVER caught them.   There has to be something said to eating nutritionally filled living foods.

People think I only eat trees or paper

trees

Even though this does look tasty — this is not what I eat!

Nor this paper

However, let me show what what I eat during a typical day!

Doesn’t this food look FABULOUS!!!

Typical Day’s Menu

Breakfast — green smoothie, cup of tea. fresh squeezed lemon in water

Snack – raw nuts,  fruits, LaraBar

lunch – salad, wrap, raw humus and veggies

snack – more fruit, nuts or seeds or left-over smoothie, cup of tea

dinner – raw spaghetti and meatballs (though  at this point –I  can eat anything I want . . . cooked or uncooked . . . 80%/20%)

dessert – raw brownie (or again — whatever I want)

Tons of water throughout the day.

But Protein!  Where do you get your protein???

That’s always the second question that follows once you state you eat RAW!  My answer is always the same!  Plant protein!  Protein comes from dark leafy greens such as:

kale and other dark green leaves, broccoli, celery, corn, and avocado.

You can also get protein from  amaranth, buckwheat, chia seeds, hemp seed, quinoa, soybeans, spirulina.  I do eat chia seeds, hemp seed, sprouted quinoa and spirulina.  All of these ingredients can be incorporated into recipes including smoothies, soups, main dishes, sides and desserts!

So all that being said — feel free to look at me as though I have two heads when I tell you that I eat mostly RAW!!!  I totally understand.   However, if my health didn’t improve  so quickly — I would not be this passionate about eating this way.   Look at the beautiful, vibrant food choices up there!  I get to eat this way all the time!!

If I ate this way to solely  lose weight — then this would just be another “diet”.  I eat this way for Rejuvenation And Wellness so now — it’s a lifestyle!!  If eating RAW  was strictly a diet — I would have failed many times over.   There’s something to be said about a living a “lifestyle” however.  There’s nothing to fail if it’s your lifestyle!!!

If you want to try to incorporate more living, nutrient dense and fiber- filled foods into your diet, just start by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables.  Perhaps add a green smoothie or fresh pressed juices into your morning routine.  Have a wonderful salad for lunch.  Snack on raw nuts, seeds and fresh fruits.  That’s a good way to start.    But the most important thing that you should to is . . .

Enjoy!

Michele ♥

Do Workout Clothes Make The Workout?

Image

Does It Really Matter??

I was wondering if workout clothes really make the workout?  After all — I know when I feel good in what I’m wearing, my workout usually benefits from the positive  “mental” attitude I have (or maybe it’s just the mental picture I have in my mind thinking I look like J-Lo.  We’re twins you know!!!).  Now, I don’t go to the extremes that the Ecard above states . . . I’m too old to care.  I don’t care if my legs need shaving and it doesn’t pay to do my hair or make-up because I will sweat that off in 15 minutes.  I’m not there to impress anyone . . . I’m there to have great time and to SWEAT my tush off — literally!

BUT – as I continue to workout — I do notice that if I put a workout outfit on that I feel “good, pretty, slender, hot, etc. in . . . my energy soars and I have a remarkable workout!  And the opposite is true as well.  When I can’t find an outfit and I’m running out of time and throw anything on — especially clothes that I’ve painted the house in and have paint splattered all over them, or little holes in them, or too baggy or too tight — my workout suffers.

I was wondering if this is normal so I researched it.  I found many articles supporting this theory of mine.  The Right Exercise Clothes Can Improve Your Workout is an article from www.imetobolic.com.  It supports my theory that clothes can make the workout.  An article in Glamour Magazine supports this theory as well.

I decided to put this theory to the test.  I don’t own any clothing from Zumba for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I feel I’m too old to be wearing that type of clothing and secondly, I can’t afford it.  So I went in search for clothing on line that I feel would look good on an older woman.  I came across this really terrific website called ActivewearUSA.com.  Their clothing is AMAZING!  I decided to reach out to them and ask them if they would consider sending me an article of their clothing in return for a story written about it.  I received a response saying they would and asked me all kinds of relevant questions.  They matched a piece of clothing to my tastes and needs.

Activewear USA Tie Die Workout Pants

Activewear USA Tie Die Workout Pants

This is what they sent me.  How did they know that this is exactly the piece of  clothing I wanted!!!  I never gave them a stock number, I just told them what I like!!!  I tried them on and they fit, except for the fact that were made for a 6 foot tall woman.  I had to hem them.  The quality of the pants were superb!  I had to put them to the test.

They fit well, they moved well, they were extremely comfortable and they did they job!  I had a great workout!!!  And — they launder well too.  No shrinkage, no fading, no ironing!!!

Does The Price of Workout Clothes Make for a Better Workout?

Honestly, I’m not sure.  I would hope not.  I was thrilled to death to find ActivewearUSA.  Their clothes are funky, original, fun and GORGEOUS!!!  Maybe everyone should own at least one piece of workout clothes that they have to “stretch” for.  They even sell the Zumba Brand line of clothing as well!

I will always continue to check the  clearance section of my favorite workout clothes sites like Activewear USA and Zumba and I will continue to buy workout clothes from the clearance racks at sporting good stores, Target, other major retailers, thrift stores, hand-me-downs, etc.  That’s just who I am.  My main objective is SWEATING — and getting my heartbeat up and having a truly fun workout!

“For you see, it’s not what you look like and the clothes you wear while you work out.  It’s what you look like and the clothes you wear AFTER YOUR WORKOUT!  Results baby!!!!”

And you can quote me on that!!!!  Those are MY words coming straight from MY heart!!!

So whatever you wear, whatever workout you love the most — the most important thing is that you

Enjoy!

Michele ♥

Thank you ActivewearUSA for sending me, probably the best and prettiest article of workout clothes I will ever own!!!

Nwenna Kai’s 7 Day Raw Food Cleanse

Nwenna Kai's & Day Raw Food Cleanse

Nwenna Kai’s 7 Day Raw Food Cleanse

Or As I call it . . . Spring Cleaning!!!

It seems that everywhere you turn these days, someone else is talking about or participating in some sort of cleanse or detox.  Juice cleanses, fasting cleanses,  raw food cleanses all with the purpose of either getting healthy, losing weight or just wanting to get rid of the toxins that are in our bodies.  I knew I had to do something soon, because even though I adhere to the 80/20 rule (eating RAW 80% of the time and cooked for 20%), with all the  holidays that start in November and end in April — my 20% of non-raw food was growing larger and larger!!

The holidays  start at Thanksgiving and end around Easter with many birthday celebrations in between.  These holidays are centered around food, desserts, chocolates and LOVE!  And to make matters more complicated — I live in a Southeast State where during those “winter” months, friends and family are drawn to the sunshine, warmth and great restaurants that Florida and “Goot ‘ole hospitality” have to offer.  So, I live my 80/20 rule religiously, but I living the 20% LARGE!!!!  I knew I had to do something and FAST!

Enter . . . Nwenna Kai!  Nwenna is one of the pioneers on RAW food living — or as her book clearly is named . . . The Goddess of RAW Foods!!  I had the opportunity to volunteer on a project that Nwenna was working on and in exchange for my time, I was given The 7 Day Raw Food Cleanse to use at time that was convenient for me.  Well — NOW WAS THE TIME THAT WAS CONVENIENT FOR ME!!!

I signed up for the Cleanse that was starting April 17-21 (Sunday through Saturday).  I truly believed that in my heart, this was going to be a cake-walk!  I mean — I’ve been living RAW now for about a year and a half.  I’ve got this covered.  And I’m going to succeed and I’m going to feel great and look better at the end of it in 7 days!!!  Well!!!  I forgot about the part where you have to give up caffeine!!!  AGH!!!!!

Caffeine Withdrawal

Caffeine Withdrawal

Now, here’s the thing!  I still had to go to work every day, which is tough when you have no energy and a dull headache.  I will admit however, being that I drink only tea and not coffee, my headache was not as bad as I thought it would be.  It was just constant.  I also couldn’t take any pain reliever for it because I was doing a cleanse, and pain relievers were another item that I wanted to cleanse myself of during this detox.  Nwenna does give you breathing techniques and other solutions to handle the “detox” headache and I used them — constantly!!  They definitely helped!!

I found this note on my desk one morning.  I guess they thought I needed either caffeine or needed to go someplace else to “kick the habit”!!

Coffee Rehab

Coffee Rehab

on the 7 Day Raw Foods Cleans

Celebrate Teachers with Office Depot

Real Change

(Click on link above for YouTubeTrailer  video).

Office Depot and Real Change

Office Depot and Real Change

If you’re reading this . . . thank a teacher!  If you’re making positive changes in your life, most likely you had to learn about those changes you wanted to make.    A teacher taught you to read, write, to gather information, make decisions, and perhaps, to think outside the box!!!

There are many causes I believe in and sometimes I will post about them, and other times I will not.  I will be teaching RAW “Uncooking” within this year and realize how difficult it sometimes could be.  I have a total respect for those who teach.

Join Office Depot along with a cast of great performers as they celebrate  and pay tribute to TEACHERS tonight at 7:00 EST on CBS and all their nationwide affiliates!   On a personal note — don’t go to the potty.  My daughter Katie stars in one of the commercials that will be shown this evening.  She plays a teacher in a “Pencil School House”!  Watch for her!!!

I’ll be watching as well!  So make yourself at home, sit back and relax and

Enjoy!

Michele ♥

Natural Beauty

Glow

I must admit that I’ve been lucky in the complexion department.  I never really suffered from acne and only still get an occasional pimple.  I used to call those breakouts “my barometers” because they signal to me that something was up.  Either my hormones were acting up or my gut was out of balance.

My first job out of school was for Revlon — the make-up and beauty product company.  My tenure there was not long.  That’s okay!  Leaving was my choice.  However, one of the benefits of working there was their Discount Employee Store that they had below ground level.  I got to shop and try all the products that Revlon was selling.  I found many facial cleansing products that were not soap but were more like “cold-creams”.  Those seemed better for my dry skin.  I  used those products for years when cleansing my face.  For some reason — those products that I loved back then have been discontinued.  I wonder what I would think if I checked the ingredients in them now – knowing what I now know!

Fast forward 30 years when I started selling Arbonne Products.  Touted as “all natural”, I loved those products.  But they cost a fortune and I couldn’t sell them for anything!  So back to over the counter products for me.  But something wasn’t right!  I didn’t like putting those chemicals on my face or body and even though they were over the counter, those products can still add up.  Plus my body was changing, my needs were different, my skin was dryer.  I needed to address my issues for myself – – not for the general populous.

Going Raw

When I started going RAW — EVERYTHING changed for me in my life!  First of all, without eating processed foods and not cooking the essential nutrients out of my food, I started to glow and my hair got really thick and healthy.  I started to read all kinds of articles and found that the simplest natural ingredients are those that serve double duty.  I found recipes for making my own body lotion, body bars, tooth paste, deodorant, make-up, etc.  I had to try it!  I was on a mission!  And so I did.  Below are the links, recipes, hints and tips  that I use in addition to good clean eating that I use every day!  Hopefully, these will work for you as well.

but wait, there’s more!

Workout Wednesday — Walk At Home w/ Leslie Sanson

Walk at Home | #1 Walk Fitness by Leslie Sansone

Way before I started changing my life by eliminating the foods that caused inflammation in my gut and joints — exercise ALWAYS played an important part of my daily routine!  Even when I was chunky and in pain — I always felt that “moving” and “sweating” was a major part of my life.  Even during two pregnancies — I always worked out!   Both my parents were diagnosed with very different debilitating health conditions at relatively young ages, and I was determined to change my gene pool, if that was possible.

Back in 2008, with my hectic schedule, I found Leslie Sansone and her Walk at Home Program.  The convenience of having DVD’s in your home allows you to work out whenever you have some extra time.   I ordered a 2-mile “senior” walk, figuring that if “seniors” could do it . . . so could I!  Well — I was wrong.  Even though walking was my general form of exercise up-to-that point, Leslie used different steps, moves and muscles which added to the intensity of the workout!  Within 10 minutes, I was huffing and puffing and sweating.  It took me some time and some diligence, but I worked my way up to a 5-mile walk with weights and workout bands!

Not everyone can find the time to get to a gym or can  afford a gym membership.  Maybe classes don’t coincide with your schedule.  Or maybe you just want to work out in ripped shorts and an over-sized tee shirt!  Whatever the reason is — I find at home DVD’s are a great way to get your body off the couch and get moving and sweating!

Working out — even lightly for 20 minutes, kicks your endorphin’s into gear and makes you feel so much better, healthy, positive and light,  PLUS sweating aids in detoxing the body.  However, before starting any workout program, make sure to discuss it with your doctor for approval.   Make sure the program you choose is fun for you so you don’t get bored and once you do, the only thing left to do is . . .

Enjoy!

Michele ♥

What is Raw Honey?

Honey — a term of “endearment”

I dedicate this post to my dear friend Margaret — who has been my number 1 supporter since Rejuvenation And Wellness (RAW) began.  She sent me this link knowing how much I love RAW honey, but more than that, how much I love the BENEFITS of raw honey.

RAW Honey

RAW Honey

I sort of knew the benefits of honey, without knowing that I knew the benefits of honey!  Does that make sense?  Well — really, it does.  Let’s look at an example . . .

When you’re a child and you’re home sick with a cold and sore throat — what does mom make for you (other than chicken noodle soup)?  Tea with honey!!  When I was a child and came down with strep throat,  my mother would give me honey to suck on.  It coated my throat,  took care of the pain, but moreover — the taste was divine!

Some other interesting facts about honey:

  • What food never spoils?   Honey!  We knew that growing up!
  • By law, honey never contains any artificial ingredients
  • Bacteria will never grow in honey
  • Honey is hygroscopic; it sucks moisture from the air, which is why it is such a great addition to baking. It keeps baked good moist and also adds shelf-life because of its anti-bacterial, or anti-oxidant, qualities.
  • This antiseptic quality of honey is also why it is recommended as a healing agent for minor cuts, scrapes and especially burns.  It is recommended you try it instead of antibiotic ointment. Cover as usual with a band-aid, and see how remarkably it cures.
  • Honey has a lower glycemic index than sugar. This means it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels as quickly.

Below is an article sent to me from Margaret.  It’s great to maneuver around — click on some of the tabs — learn more about RAW Honey.

What is Raw Honey?

Experts are now claiming numerous  health benefits of Cinnamon and Honey for your overall health as well.  Here’s a link to that article:

http://www.newrealities.com/index.php/articles-on-health/item/532-the-healing-benefits-of-cinnamon–honey and then I checked it out on

http://www.snopes.com/medical/homecure/honey.asp

But honey isn’t all work and no play!  It tastes delicious and it’s a great sugar substitute so I also wanted to share some recipes that include honey — yet I wanted to share  allergy-free (unless you’re allergic to honey — then these are not for you), simple and delicious recipes.  Click on the links to view.

Raw Cacao-Coconut Cookie Bites

http://www.homeonthepasture.com/blog/2012/03/02/gluten-free-banana-bread-with-raw-honey/

So, there you have it.  One of nature’s most perfect foods.  The uses are endless.  Why not come up with some of your own and share them with us as well!  Leave a comment below if you have good tips, allergy-free recipes  or everyday usages for honey (be nice though).  Some women use it as a facial scrub or mask.  Let your imagination be your guide.  However you use it, whether you eat it, cook with it or have a household tip or usage for it, the one thing that you must do is . . .

Enjoy it!

Michele  ♥

Thrifting = Saving $$$ = Recyling = Better for the Earth

Yard Sale

Yard Sale

One Persons Junk is Another Persons Treasure

I never sought out to write a Blog on “Thrifting”,  but there have been times in previous posts, where the topic should have come up — but I decided against  it.   I’ve rethunk the idea again and truly believe “thrifting” definitely deserves a “shout-out” on Rejuvenation And Wellness (RAW).  I’ll tell you why .  .  .

When one makes changes to their diet and decides to give up processed foods, it’s very difficult to walk into your grocer and find foods that are 100% additive/chemical  free.  Even a great quality Almond Milk may have guar gum added, and, if you read the fine print — may say something like “made in a factory that processes peanuts”.  So if you have an allergy to peanuts — this can be very dangerous for you.  So — being the pioneer that you are — you decide to make your own Almond Milk!! But in order to make Almond Milk — you need a pretty expensive piece of equipment.   OR — as I wrote in a previous post on Flax Crackers, in order to make these wonderful crackers, you need a dehydrator, which is another piece of expensive equipment.   Or to make smoothies or nut butters, or sauces , one needs a really good blender like a Vitamix.  Want to make a cheesecake?  Then you most probably would need to have a food processor.  These are examples of homemade foods that use somewhat expensive pieces of kitchen equipment.

I try to post recipes that don’t necessarily need a Vitamix, a dehydrator, or a food processor because most people starting on this journey may not have those pieces of equipment on hand and I wouldn’t want anyone to run out and buy them until you’re sure if you actually like living RAW or semi-RAW.  However, you can be like me and try to win all these kitchen wizardry’s.  Anyone who “likes” my FB page knows that I try to win anything and everything AND I pass these contests on to you, my readers, so that you can enter and have a chance to win as well!!  That’s one way to obtain a great piece of equipment.  But as you know — you don’t always win.  As-a-matter-of-fact, I never win!  But I keep trying!

Thrifting Does Not Equal Frugal

The other way to obtain some good machinery is by going to Garage Sales, Moving Sales, Estates Sales, Thrift Stores, Consignment Shops, etc.  thrift shopI know a lot of people get turned off by that idea, but if you do your homework, know your prices, check out the product and inspect every inch of it, plug it in — make sure it works  . . . then you may be able to score some great bargains!!  When you bring it home, just clean it with a little warm water and bleach (or if possible — throw dishwasher safe parts into the dishwasher) and you’re good to go.

When I was baking breads (before I had to give up breads for my inflammation), I purchased my first bread machine at Goodwill.goodwillI paid $5.00 for it (it was a Breadman Machine — top of the line), brought it home, sanitized it and began to make breads for years!  Everyone enjoyed them.  Sadly, after a couple of years, the machine finally died and so did my ability to eat breads!  So it was a win-win situation.

When I decided to try my hand at dehydrating foods — I didn’t want to jump in and purchase a dehydrator before I knew if I’d be good at it or if I even like dehydrated food.  I lucked out one day because my neighbor was moving and having a “Moving Sale”.  I didn’t even notice the dehydrator he had until I was about to leave.  It’s one of those moments, when I set about to walk out and turned around quickly when out of the corner of my eye I saw a 15 tray Nesco dehydrator!  Fifteen tray!  And all the accessories!!!  Five bucks ($5.00 folks . . . $5 bucks)!!  How can you beat that??!!!  Took it home, cleaned and sanitized it and have been using it ever since.

My friends and I now love going “Thrifting” together!  It’s a great way to spend a Saturday together and see who can score the best deals!  One friend bought a “Mr. Coffee”  (brand new) coffee grinder for $5.00.  You can use those for coffee beans, grinding spices, making flour or meal from sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, etc.   It’s a great way to recycle goods and a great way to save money!

In today’s economy, thrifting or “thriftiness”  is no longer considered “taboo”. Thrifting Does Not Equal Frugal, nor does it mean you’re cheap and it’s great for the economy and a great way to recycle.  Actually, it’s a great skill if you have a great eye and could spot great deals!  If you’ve never hit a thrift store, or have never been to a moving sale — it could be quite intimidating and overwhelming.  I know – I’ve been there.   But once you go — the only thing you can do at that point is just . . .

Enjoy!

Michele ♥

A Day of “Simple” Raw Recipes

KISS — Keep It Simple Silly

Raw Foods

Raw Foods

One of the main complaints about eating raw is that you actually need lots of time to prepare things (dehydrator, soaking or sprouting).  While that is true to some degree, there are tons of recipes you can make well within the time it would have taken you to gather, prep and cook a full meal.   All you need here are things that most of you will have at home — a blender and or a food processor.  Lots of blenders can actually double as a food processor, by the way.  Other basics would include a great knife and a cutting board!

When talking about KISS recipes . . .  we need to keep in mind geography.  While I live in the South, the fruits and vegetables will be different from those living in the North.  Try to use what’s in season for your season.  I was just up North and I found that the bananas and oranges were not as sweet as the bananas and oranges I get down here.  On the other hand,  the apples  were much better tasting this time of year up North.    I also like to use a lot of frozen fruit (which is getting mixed reviews on whether it’s as good and as healthy for you as fresh).  However, this way I get to use strawberries when we’re not in strawberry season.  It’s a personal choice and so far, the fresh fruit police have not come to arrest me.  Plus — frozen fruit make really good smoothies.  Don’t forget, you can buy organic frozen fruit.  I just buy my regular grocery’s own brand.

So, the long and short of it is that my “typical simple day”, may not be exactly the same as your “typical simple day”.  I’m using my day as an example — feel free to use what you have at hand or what your grocery or farm may be stocking now.

So, here’s a sample of one of my “simple days” .    .     .

To get your day started — just squeeze 1/2 lemon into a glass of water (you can use 1 whole lemon if you like). lemon waterSome people insist of using hot water; some insist on using tepid water; some insist on using cold water.  Whatever floats your boat — do.

Then I make a huge mug of caffeinated tea.  See my post about the tea I make here.

Then I make a wonderful green smoothie.  I usually make enough to bring the leftovers to work with me as a snack!

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

MY BASIC GREEN SMOOTHIE

Then I make lunch — usually a huge salad consisting of spinach, arugula  red, green, yellow and orange peppers, radishes, grape or cherry tomatoes and avocado.  I also shred up red and green cabbage and add that as well.  I love the flavor of raw cabbage — it’s got a very sweet, delicious flavor.  I also use green and kalamata olives for added flavor and texture!   A simple vinaigrette of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of sea salt and olive oil can be used as your dressing.  I usually don’t use dressing  . . . I personally love the flavor of fresh vegetables.

Actual photo of my lunch today!

Actual photo of my lunch today!

If I get hungry in between lunch and dinner, I usually snack on raw nuts and seeds or a grapefruit or dried fruits, etc.

Dinner could be a Zuchinni Pasta (see my pasta story here)  and dessert can be fresh fruit or another smoothie.  And you’re done for the day!!!

Starting a RAW diet can be a very daunting undertaking!  Don’t be intimidated.  Basically, what it is is buying fresh everything and assembling it!  Nothing could be simpler.  The most important thing, however, is that you have fun and

Enjoy!

Michele ♥