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Is Raw Food Still Relevant?

Pure Joy Planet was created from a passion for sharing the amazing healing benefits of raw, unprocessed foods. Raw foods have been our heart and soul for almost 20 years, and recently my team and I have begun to ask, “Is raw food still relevant? Are people still interested in raw food in 2016?”  Buzz words like,”Plant-Based” seem to be the new “Raw” and are popping up everywhere. Cafes, restaurants, and even festivals are picking up on the demand for more veggies. The problem is, the vegan and plant-based buzz words don’t necessarily mean healthy or unprocessed.  Did you know that oreo cookies and gram crackers are vegan?! I recently stumbled upon a meat-free processed food company that is claiming to be ‘vegan’ and ‘healthy’ yet the main ingredients listed on one of their top selling products include soy protein isolate*, vital wheat gluten*, expeller pressed canola oil*, methylcellulose,  yeast extract, potato starch, enriched wheat flour, modified corn starch. Seriously? This is what companies are claiming to be healthy?

Packaged foods are not cool and not healthy! When we eat Frankenfoods (like the food referenced above), too many sweets and moldy grains such as corn and wheat, we can end up worse off than we were before starting a plant-based diet.

Eating clean, Plant-Based foods is more important than ever!  With scientific studies pointing to how sugar and grains are compromising our brain and gut health, and how plastic and packaged foods are contributing to hormone chaos, there is no better time than now to start making your own food and eating it as whole, raw, and local as possible. We don’t believe in diet dogmas; we do believe in the benefits of adding more plant foods into your diet.

Here are 6 easy ways to merge raw and cooked food and make your own raw-cooked (Rawked) fusion meals:

  1. Follow the 80-20 Rule – Fill your blender, bowl or plate with 80% raw fruits and vegetables, and the other 20% can be something cooked and warm.  You can either use a measuring device and recipe or your body’s knowing to guestimate how much to pour into your bowl or blender. My favorite raw items are leafy greens, some kind of fat (seeds, coconut butter or avocado), seasonings (Himalayan salt, onion powder, cumin, cayenne), veggies (lettuce, red bell pepper, tomato, zucchini, carrots, etc.). My favorite cooked items are artichoke hearts, hummus, jars of salsa, steamed beets, onions, garlic, winter greens, squash and sweet potatoes. See # 3 below for Rawked Fusion ideas.
  2. Be a Locavore - Start by shopping for local foods at Farmers Market, and if you can, buy most of your produce for the week while there. You will be getting the freshest and most locally grown items. Eating locally will help you stay in tune with the seasons, which means fewer colds, fewer food allergies, more variety in the long run and lower food costs. Also, when you are buying food from countries that are not regulated, you don’t always know what you are getting. Some countries pick under-ripe fruits and vegetables and die them richer colors before shipping them to us! Watch this Indian Vegetable Scam
  3. Quick and Easy – Buy lemons, garlic, and onions in large amounts so you can use them all month. Pre-juice all the lemons and store them in a jar in the fridge for drizzling over salads and pouring into sauces. Order your grains, beans, nuts and seeds from companies that sell in bulk online. Store the extra food in your fridge or freezer if you have space or use a vacuum sealing system. We use Terra Soul Superfoods for our bulk orders.
  4. Get Creative! Now that you have stocked your kitchen with veggies, decide which ones to cook and which ones to eat raw. I always cook my onions and garlic for easier digestion. What else should you cook? Chard, kale, collards, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and quinoa. These can be your base food (your 20%). Now top those cooked items with fresh leafy greens, herbs, fresh tomatoes, spiralized zucchinis, etc. Mix them all together and have a warm bowl full of veggies. Make a raw sauce or red pepper dressing for the top, then pour over your bowl.  If a bowl sounds too heavy, try a light soup. You can steam up some kale and squash, add sauteed onion, then blend it all together with a raw avocado or 2 Tbsp. coconut butter, a handful of spinach or basil, a tomato, and a carrot. Voila! Soup! Eat a 100% raw at breakfast by making a green smoothie filled with leafy greens such as spinach or parsley, hemp seeds, frozen berries and a scoop of green powder such as Vitamineral Greens, or a chia porridge:  1/4 cup chia soaked overnight in 2 cups sweetened almond milk. Top either one with bee pollendehydrated pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, or some goji berries.
  5. This is a coconut milk chia pudding topped with fresh seasonal berries and local bee pollen
  6. Have Fun!– Are you still confused about whether you should be raw, vegan, paleo, 80-10-10, high carb, high fat or bulletproof? Relax! Dogma and stress are not your friends! You really can’t get this wrong. Follow your healthy cravings, eat what’s local and fresh, and remember that whatever you make at home is going to be 100 times healthier than anything you can buy at a restaurant or store. Plus you get to make it exactly the way you like it. Check in with your body often by journaling to see what is working and what is making you feel bad. Cravings for junk? Snacking is my favorite way to beat cravings. A little organic pumpkin seed butter or hummus with some celery sticks, apple slices, snap peas or red bell pepper slices are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
  7. Worried About Protein? – This is a common concern. Funnily enough, most people eat a lot more protein than the human body requires. Consumption of more than 5% animal protein has been linked directly to tumor growth in animals.  Plant-Based amino acids (proteins) are in all vegetables but are highest in hemp seeds, vegan protein powder, and Spirulina.

Antioxidant Berry Smoothie. Recipe here!

Motivated to start adding more plant-based recipes into your diet but need a little more help?  Check out our 4-week Plant-Based Bootcamp! Join our team and other participants on November 7 through December 5, 2016. Learn how to immerse yourself in the lifestyle, make simple and easy recipes for daily living and get fit! Indulge in some of the best recipes on the planet while nourishing you and your family. Get the download on the most cutting edge nutrition and diet information and personal lifestyle guidance from Elaina Love. Learn all about superfoods and herbs and how to concoct your own medicinal teas and smoothies. Get the best plant-strong fitness tips, workouts and meal plans from our award winning fitness model, Ali Stringer.

All recipes from the recipe book and video demonstrations are completely free of gluten, dairy, processed, and soy, so you can truly feel what it’s like to eat clean and be full of energy. Find out what it’s like to live in a healthy, vibrant body. Get more information and join our healthy family here.

Top 10 Ways to Become Super Human

How would you feel if you knew you never have to take prescription medication again? Or that you would never get the dreaded seasonal flu every year? Is it possible?

Yes, it is! I have discovered some simple lifestyle habits that are easy to do and can completely transform your health. Since I started eating a high raw food, vegan diet, I have learned many things about how not to get sick. I have not been hospitalized for illnesses since adopting these lifestyle habits. I  have not taken any form of medication or prescription drugs, nor have I been down with the flu for years! My blood tests show that I am fully mineralized am in great health.

Do our genes decide whether or not we are prone to dis-ease or illness? Was I born with ‘good genes’? Quite the opposite actually. I was born with thrush (systemic candida), yeast overgrowth, and severe digestive problems. I struggled throughout my teens and early twenties with arthritis before I discovered the power of plant-based foods, cleansing, and fasting. I have completely healed and overcome these is ailments through a swift change in my diet and lifestyle habits.

Below, I share things that have worked well for me and how I outsmart sicknesses, disease, or even a cold or flu:

  1. Morning water: Keep a 32 oz. glass jar of water next to your bed and drink it as soon as you wake up. Try adding 1 tsp. of lemon juice and a pinch of salt for optimal absorption and extra alkalizing boost. Drink as much of it as you can before leaving your bedroom. This will help flush out any toxins your liver accumulated during sleep and the day before. It will also dramatically help get your bowels moving for the day and decrease sluggishness.
  2. Daily Juice: Yes, it’s as simple as drinking a 16 oz. green juice every day (or most days) Make 2 or 3 days worth of celery or green juice at one time in your juicer (I like the Greenstar juicer) and store it in 16 oz. glass jars in your refrigerator. That way you can just grab one first thing in the morning before consuming food or beverages (other than water).
  3. Sleep! At least 7-8 hours a night: You’ve already heard this over and over, but it bears repeating. A good nights sleep is more important than any supplement you can take. Sleeping is when the most healing and reconstruction occurs. It’s the time when your body balances hormones, detoxes your liver,  and re-energizes your entire system. It is a time of rejuvenation which cannot be achieved any other way. Getting enough sleep also keeps your appetite in check. Appetite is stimulated by a certain hormone and when that hormone is out of balance because of lack of sleep, your appetite can be firing on overdrive. This leads to false hunger cues, over-eating and sugar cravings!
  4. Regular Cleansing: Every change of season (4 times a year) do a 3-day juice fast, a liver flush or an elimination diet to help your body flush and dump extra heavy metals, toxins and accumulated hormones, undigested proteins and more. This is the fastest way to gain more energy, clarity, and happiness in your life, guaranteed! Do you think you are addicted to coffee or stimulants? Try a 3 days juice cleanse and discover just how much energy you can have just from green juice!
  5. Avoid grains, especially gluten and corn: Grains like wheat, rice, barley, and rye can be highly acidic to the body. The more acidic foods we eat, the more energy is being drained from the body as the body try to reverse the acidity in the food you eat.   The more alkalizing foods you eat in the form of greens, fruits and veggies, the more fiber and alkaline minerals you have to nourish your body and keep the toxins moving out. Fact: Disease cannot live in an alkaline environment, so if you eat a highly alkalizing diet, you will be on the fast track to health. Watch my video on GMO corn and the dangers here.
  6. Avoid meat and dairy: Meat and dairy (red meat, chicken, pork, milk, yogurt, and cheese) are also very acid forming. When you consume meat and dairy, your body accumulates uric acid and excess proteins which can lead to bacteria growth and disease. Despite popular belief, science has proved over and over that consuming over 5% animal protein leads to cancer, osteoporosis, liver degeneration and more.
  7. Eat a High Alkaline Diet: Eat lots of leafy green vegetables by adding them into raw salads, smoothies or other cooked dishes. A high raw diet is beneficial for most people because raw foods are full of life-enhancing enzymes, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats which your body requires to function efficiently. It’s easy to get enough raw food daily in the form of green juices, salads, dehydrated bread, wraps and crackers and sprouted nuts and seeds. Make your diet 90% raw in the warm months and at least 75% raw in the cold months. It’s easy to warm your food without cooking it by placing it in your dehydrator at 118 degrees F, gently warm raw soups and sauces in a pot or put hot water in your blender with your green smoothies or raw soups.  By eating mostly raw, you will be avoiding all processed and packaged foods and your health will improve exponentially. You will also drastically reverse aging! How? Raw foods contain all their natural enzymes which mean your body does not have to use it’s own enzymes to digestive the food. Enzymes=life. When your enzymes banks are used up by eating a SAD cooked, processed food diet, your life span drastically reduces.
  8. Add in Superfoods: Chaga Mushroom, Reishi Mushroom, tinctures and herbs like astragalusashwagandha, and powders like spirulina will offer you the most immune boosting support for your health.  Other adaptogenic herbs such as licorice, ginseng and he shou wu can greatly increase your nutrition while balancing your adrenals and hormones. Take some time to research all of these natural medicines and incorporate some of them into your daily routine. I like Wild Harvest tinctures for all of their adaptogenic formulas (you can find one that is right for you). My favorite at the moment is Count to Zen to keep myself feeling grounded and harmonious in my daily interactions.
  9. Acupuncture: Doing regular acupuncture helps to keep your hormones balanced. It can do wonders for keeping all of your channels open, keeping you healthy. It has worked wonders for me with hormone balancing, menopause and keeping my immune system firing during high-stress periods.
  10. Meditation: Diet is so important when it comes to maintaining good health but it is only half the piece to staying juicy. Believe it or not, our minds and emotions play just as big of a role in keeping us from getting sick. A happy heart and soul make a healthy and energized body. That’s why I love meditating. Meditating for 20 minutes a day can greatly improve your peace of mind and actually boost your immunity by lowering your cortisol levels. I use an app called Meditator or Insight Timer right on my phone. It’s as easy as committing to 1-5 minutes per day, especially in high-stress times during the day. Even just taking 5-10 deep breathes throughout the day will bring down stress hormones and keep you feeling balanced!

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