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this week’s ASK LINDA: top 10 foods

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Great question this week: What are your 10 top foods in YOUR diet?

Answer: This is a very fun question in that it helps me to reflect on what I love to eat each day plus it helps me to notice where I’ve come from and where I’m headed. Here’s the list in the order of importance as it is to me presently. Please note that this list will probably change as I do. This list also is very different than the list of my top 10 must haves when I first started on this raw/living food journey. For example, raw nuts and flax seeds would have been first on the list in the beginning along with avocados. Raw nuts and seeds are #10 now and I almost didn’t even include them although there are some good ones that I like to eat each day. The myth that people have (I think because I used to have it) is that you have to eat lots of nuts/seeds to survive and thrive as a raw vegan and that’s not true. In fact, I think it’s the sure fire way to get yourself fat and unhealthy if you kept eating lots of nuts/seeds each day. The myth is also that you have to find a way to exchange all that animal protein you once ate with vegan protein alternatives and while that is probably true in the beginning, it’s not the way you’ll be eating 10+ years from now for sure.

1) Greens, greens and more greens.

This means green sprouts, kale, collards, spinach, lettuce leaves, wild greens (in the spring and summer), chard, etc. Anything green so this also means broccoli, celery, cucumber, too, to name a few. For me now, a meal doesn’t feel like a meal unless I have greens in it. I have greens with every meal. The idea is to vary your greens each day, each week but if you can’t then use a rotation of every week or two to incorporate different greens in your diet. Remember: variety is the spice of life and that includes greens! Eating loads of greens is what has helped me release around 50 lbs and got me back to walking/exercising after 7 years of pain and inflammation. I eat a LOT of greens. The entire plate at dinner is packed with greens and then I add other things on top of it. I’m serious when I say that if I eat something that doesn’t include greens, it’s not a meal to me - it is considered a snack. :-)

2) Seaweeds. Otherwise known as sea vegetables.

This includes: irish moss, spirulina, blue green algae, dulse, nori, kelp, kelp noodles, kombu, alaria, arame, hijiki, wakame, sea lettuce, VM Green, etc. One or two meals per day contain some form of seaweed. I make crunchy, delicious nori snacks, I have blue green algae and other seaweeds in my morning smoothie, I make desserts with irish moss, I’ll add dulse to meals, and so on. I don’t do a lot of seaweeds but I do include a little bit of them each day. Seaweeds help my thyroid, help to get the junk out of my body, helps to give me iodine and other minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and other good stuff (including Vit C and Vit K!)

3) Cultured Veggies/Fermented Foods:

The list contains: kombucha, coconut kefir water, kefir puddings/yogurts (non-dairy), miso, sauer krauts and kim chis. (I’d add tempeh to the list but they are all pasteurized unless you make them yourself. Same for miso. Best thing to do is MAKE YOUR OWN CULTURED VEGGIES AND FERMENTED FOODS!) My morning smoothie contains some kind of fermented drink: when I make/have coconut kefir water, I use that in my smoothie each morning. If I don’t have that, I use a bit of kombucha in my smoothie. I have some kind of cultured veggies in my meals each day. Lunch and dinner will have some kim chi in it. I learned how to make kim chi a few years ago and have been so overjoyed to make so much of it that I now sell it and use it in my cafe. Cultured veggies help to give me not only probiotics for healthy gut flora, but also to provide me with a slew of B and C vitamins and other things to help me digest all my food well. Each meal must have some natural probiotic food in it for me to call it a meal.

4) Fruits.

Fruits are the cleansers and greens are the healers. That’s what I learned and while I’m much more inclined to eat more greens than fruits, fruits are so freaking delicious, beautiful to eat and definitely part of the top 5 list. My smoothie contains fresh and frozen fruit each day. I can’t tell you how amazing a big, crisp, crunchy apple tastes or a perfectly ripened pear. Gorgeous mangos and avocados and dates are proof that there is divinity in and all around us. I love dried fruits, too, but tend not to have a lot of them in a day or week. Fresh ripened fruits are where it’s at.

5) Water

Though technically not a food, it has to be in the top 5 for me. When I first started eating raw foods around 10 years ago, I noticed that I didn’t need to drink my gallon or so of water each day because so much of the food I was eating was so hydrating. It was actually difficult for me to drink water because I wasn’t ever thirsty (amazing to note because when I was eating my local/organic/cooked/whole foods about 10+years ago, I was always SOOOO thirsty.) I drink now at least 64 ounces of water a day plus my smoothie in the morning is 32 ounces and I use water in my smoothie vs. other types of liquid. I drink more water when I am exercising more. We have great water here but if you don’t, it would be good to invest in a good water filter.

6) Bee Pollen & Coconut Oil:

I add bee pollen to my morning smoothie each day. It is a perfect food, an excellent traveling food and so super nutritious. I’m grateful to the bees for attracting the stuff to their legs and bodies and for the safe way to get it off them so we can have some to eat. I found that when I ate bee pollen by itself, it is rather intense nutrition. I think that that’s why it makes great travel food. A tablespoon eaten a day is a great pick me up. When I add it to my smoothie, it feels like I’m taking a multi-vitamin.

Coconut oil is something that I find myself eating a little bit each day of, too. I take about 1 TBSP and add to my morning smoothie. Fats help to make things taste better and typically it’s good to have fats from their whole foods vs. eating refined fats (meaning fats pressed out of the whole foods.) Coconut oil is a pressed oil so it is not a whole food fat as a nut, olive or avocado would be and yet I eat it and love it just about every day. Coconut oil helps me feed my brain and I also use it as a moisturizer every day to feed my skin both internally and externally. When I make a smoothie and forget the coconut oil, I can taste the difference. The smoothie goes from being good to f*&#ing incredible. (Pardon my language but it really does make a difference.) P.S. I should say that I love young coconuts: I love the water and the meat from them, however I don’t live in a place where they are readily available to so I eat the coconut oil until I am able to get fresh (so I can make coconut kefir pudding and water. YUM!)

7) Green, Veggie Rainbow Juices.

I am being honest when I say that I go in and out of the habit of making juices each and every day. When I am doing great, I am having a big satisfying smoothie in the morning and a juice in the afternoon. Of course the juice has a boat load of greens in it, a beet, a couple carrots and some ginger. Green & veggie juices are so nutritious. Whenever I drink them, I feel as if I have just had instant nutrition into my brain, body and blood stream. I don’t think it could get any better unless I could some how have the green juices go in intraveniously! LOL Why do I get out of the habit? I don’t know, to tell you the truth. I love my “rainbow” juices and yet I love smoothies more. I’m more apt to make an afternoon smoothie to drink than a juice. I’m working on it though. I want to have at least one 12-16 juice per day as my life long habit… and then I’ll go from there. I can tell you that when I have one juice per day, I’m feeling so vital so it makes my top 10 list even if I might go a week or two without a juice.

8) Cooked Grains/Beans.

About 3 or so years ago, I started incorporating some cooked grains and beans back into my diet and it was a super great inclusion to make. My meals became much more varied and satisfying. I was able to drop nuts/seeds from my dinner and that felt very good for weight maintenance. For those that are worried about the protein myths that abound in US culture, eating cooked (or sprouted) grains and cooked beans are jam-packed with protein. They also have good fiber in them and thus a little goes a long way to filling you up. I started adding 1/2 - 1 cup cooked grains in my dinner (wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, etc.) and 1/2 cup of cooked beans (black beans, chick peas, cannelini beans, hummus, etc.) I don’t eat anything cooked before dinner. Right now that’s what works for me. There are some nights when I eat all raw but I enjoy having a choice of adding some cooked things. Plus this also ensures that my kids and I will eat the same things at the dinner table and I don’t have to make meals just for myself and meals just for them. I never imagined them being 100% raw, particularly as they are growing.

9) Cooked Veggies.

There are a few vegetables that I enjoy and so I eat them. This includes sweet potatoes and broccoli and other potatoes too. I know how to make raw versions of everything cooked so I will marinate veggies to resemble a stir-fry and it is satisfying and delicious. However, I do NOT enjoy eating lots of raw broccoli, sweet potatoes or regular potatoes (and same goes for squash like butternut squash or acorn squash.) I don’t mind a few nibbles of raw broccoli or raw sweet potato but I don’t like a meal of them. I’ve tried many ways of doing them and it just doesn’t suit my taste buds. SO, I will cook the broccoli and add it to my greens on the plate. I will bake a sweet potato and add it to my greens on the plate. I will bake some squash and other root veggies for a change and add it to my plate piled high with greens. These things don’t make up the majority of my meal. Remember, my meal is mostly greens and a little of these added things go along way. I also don’t do a cooked grain with a cooked root veggie together in the same meal. That’s something I learned from Dr Fuhrman and it works for me. One 1/2 cup to 1 cup serving of a grain —OR— a cooked root veggie a day. Notice I didn’t say in a meal! :-) Grains and cooked roots don’t make up the majority of my daily intake. They are small sides to ONE meal and for me, that’s dinner.

10) Nuts and Seeds.

Like I wrote above, I almost didn’t include nuts/seeds to the top 10 list however there are some seeds that I love to eat every day. The love list is hemp seeds and chia seeds. I will have 1 TBSP of either hemp seeds or chia seeds each day because they provide for me the omega fatty acids that are sooooo key for a woman my age. They are essential for everyone (hence the name: essential fatty acids!) I also include 1 tbsp of nut butter in my morning smoothie, particularly in the winter time. I make a lot of items in the cafe that have nuts/seeds in them. They are fun to make and they are very versatile. Nuts give texture and flavor to foods and they are brilliant and beautiful. Cashews contain Vit E, walnuts are good for the brain, almonds give you good magnesium, to name a few. So nuts/seeds are good to eat, but eat them sparingly. Make yourself a grand nut pate, dessert and share it with others or freeze into small portions to eat later.

p.s. here's what chia seeds look like!

p.s. here is what chia seeds look like!

So, that’s the top 10 list. It will be fun to look at this list in a coupla years and see how it has changed/grown. Thanks for the question! I love questions that make me think. <3 <3 <3

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Ask Linda! Please feel free to submit your questions to linda AT vt-fiddle.com. Questions don’t have to be completely raw food related but please bring questions on health, recipes, diet, weight issues, nutrition, parenting, nursing, pregnancy, spirituality or whatever it is you’d like to ask. I’ll do my best to answer and will most certainly learn from this as much as I can give.

this week’s ASK LINDA - question about sprouting & rejuvelac

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

QUESTION: Linda,
Can u tell me if it is ok to use the kefired soaking water from soaking seeds and grains and such?  Do I keep reusing it adding fresh water each time or do I toss it with each batch? Thank you so much!
I am looking into takin one of your workshops to get a better sense of all this sprouting ;)
Warmly,
T

ANSWER: Hi there!

To be honest, I’m very knew to the kefir world. I’ve just made my first batch of  coconut kefir water and fermented coconut meat pudding. I don’t use dairy products so I’m not going to make any kefir creams. Kefir is a culture that is added to water and sometimes sugar/honey is mixed in to feed the kefir culture.  Here is a link for kefir: http://www.bodyecology.com/kefirinstructions.php

If you are soaking grains for making rejuvelac, it is the fermented water that you use for making your cheeses or soups or smoothies. You sprout the grains for a few days and filter out the grains (remembering to catch the fermented water in a bowl) then add fresh water to the grains to make a second batch of rejuvelac. Let the water stand for a couple days to ferment and then use that soak water as the rejuvelac liquid. You can get a coupla batches from the grains. Here is a link for rejuvelac: http://www.ehow.com/how_2320602_make-rejuvelac.html - My friend Natasha has some good rejuvelac instructions in her book SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual. You can pop in anytime and check it out.

Typically though, as far as regular hydroponic sprouting is concerned, you always want to rinse grains/seeds/beans and not reuse the soak water. The only time I’ve ever used soak water is when I soak raisins or dates or sun dried tomatoes. But not for sprouts (unless it is rejuvelac!) If you are just sprouting grains or seeds to have them to eat, you would always rinse out the water and not keep them in the water for sprouting. We have a link on how to easily sprout with our nut milk bags: http://www.vt-fiddle.com/rawfood/how_to_sprout_using_nut_milk_bag.php#sprout - the idea is to keep the water away from the sprouts so that they can grow their little tails. You want to rinse the sprouts so that they will be kept clean. The rinse water goes down the drain for this type of sprouting.

Hope that helps! Happy sprouting!

Linda

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Ask Linda! Please feel free to submit your questions to linda AT vt-fiddle.com. Questions don’t have to be completely raw food related but please bring questions on health, recipes, diet, weight issues, nutrition, parenting, nursing, pregnancy, spirituality or whatever it is you’d like to ask. I’ll do my best to answer and will most certainly learn from this as much as I can give.

goji pink smoothie with sprouts recipe

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Made a lovely smoothie today. Was in the mood for goji berries today which is wild because I’m hardly ever in the mood for goji berries.

Goji Pink Smoothie

Goji Pink Smoothie

Here’s the smoothie recipe - it’s quite delicious - this made about 48 oz of smoothie goodness and served 2

• 2 bananas
• 1/2 cup goji berries
• 3/4 cup strawberries
• 1 heaping cup clover sprouts
• 2 Tbsp raw tahini
• filtered water
Raw agave
warrior protein powder

Blend in the VitaMix until smooth. Pour in your favorite glasses and enjoy.

looking into the VitaMix pitcher

looking into the VitaMix pitcher

chilicious food - week 3

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Hello Good People!

Week 3 of our opening! We had a shorter week last week - we went away for the holiday and that was good medicine indeed. This is another week and we’ve extended the menu a bit. See below for details…

Hours that we will be open this week:

Tuesday - Friday: 10 - 6 pm

Saturday: noon until 6 pm

that’s the RAWvarti Wrap Sandwich - amazing looking and amazing tasting!

Some of what’s on the menu this week:

• Chocolate green smoothie - this was a hit this past week. Green sprouts in the smoothie but you can’t taste them. Drink your greens!

Hella Good Shake: this really is a hella good shake! Greens and chia and nut milk. It’s sweet and tasty!

• Pink Smoothie - the 2nd top hit for smoothies this week

• Get Your Greens Juice

Pear and Ginger Cheezecake by the slice with a dreamy raw chocolate walnut crust (tastes like fudge!)

Chocolate & Superfood Truffles

Raw Chocolate Fudge

Kefir Soda & Kombucha

RAWvarti Wrap Sandwich - Should-a called it the Hella Good Wrap. Hmm… maybe I will!

Sprouted Grain Chili with Macadamia Nut Sour “Creme” - the spices will warm you from the inside out.

Linda’s Witches Brew - When I’m there at the cafe and you feel daring, let me concoct a smoothie for you. Trust me, no toads will be added to the smoothie!
Now here’s something really RAWsome I want to share with you for the month of November:

Don’t you love the colors? I’ve got some of my silk paintings on display at a little store in Montpelier called the Shoe Horn. It’s on Langdon Street. Take a looksee please! This photo is a picture of a Memory sarong that I made for myself. I used to wear it and then decided to frame it. It’s 4 feet by 6 feet! Big and colorful - just like the person who painted it! 8-)

There are many other silks to look at. Some I beaded and some I didn’t. A lot of the silks are based on some medieval paintings that have inspired me.

Just had to keep this picture up one more week. They look so darn cute!

So come on over and have some of the best food ever!

NEED A NUT MILK BAG? Get your wholesale/retail nut milk bags here. Check out our hemp and nylon filtering bags. GREAT NEWS! We now have 100% compostable bags to package our bags in! As you know, it is our mission to be a sustainable company and that’s not just for our business sales, but for our business practices, meaning our packaging and shipping materials.
NEED SOME

HOW-TO’s?

http://www.vt-fiddle.com/rawfood/how_to_make_nut_milk.php - at the top of the page, you’ll see links to do various things with your nut milk bag and VitaMix. Recipes included! YAY!

Thank you for your RAWsome time and energy! Please contact me for information or other raw goodies (both bulk and prepared.)

In joy and in health,

Linda

Vermont Fiddle Heads

18 Worcester Village Road

Worcester, VT 05682

802-223-2111

802-408-1000 (fax)

http://www.vt-fiddle.com

Please check out our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Worcester-VT/Vermont-Fiddle-Heads/63781489465?ref=nf -  Become a fan and check out photos, events and notes. MM-kay?
P.S. Keep checking back on the shop. Adding products as we speak! http://vt-fiddle.com/shop/

P.P.S. Need some bulk food items? Or great reading/educational material? Hella awesome skincare products? We’ve got: Healing Cancer from the Inside Out DVD, Pacifica Perfume Products, Candles and Lotions, WiseWays Herbals, Sea Chi skincare, The China Study book, Joel Fuhrman books and audio, heavy duty dehydrators, new products by Health Force Nutritionals, really raw oats, raw nori sheets, chia seeds, turkish mulberries, dandy blend (a dandelion coffee substitute), wasabi powder, kelp noodles, dandelion leek miso by south river, garlic red pepper miso by south river, Eating for Beauty by David Wolfe, Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe and Shazzie, Sun Warrior Biofermented Rice Protein powder (in natural and chocolate flavors),  marine phytoplankton, lucuma powder, yacon slices, really raw cashews, artisana coconut butter and goji berries. Please contact me if you are interested in getting any of these items.

With everything we sell, items can be picked up or I can mail them to you.

got a phone call today

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Hi there,

Got a phone call today that was SO pleasant to receive. A woman called me to say she  attended one of the documentary workshops I’ve held recently and she said she wanted to thank me because it has changed her life. She’s been researching raw food and changing her diet and her own medication is dropped significantly and her blood sugar has also changed dramatically. She said it’s so amazing and she can’t ignore this. How cool is that! I love these kinds of phone calls and I want to hear more of them.  It is so supportive to me personally. Just helps to keep me plugging away.

A heartfelt thank you to you that write me and send me feedback or call me with your stories. I love to hear them.

Many blessings to you!

Linda


© 2014 Vermont Fiddle Heads, LLC • Photos were taken by Pat Hazouri • website created by Linda Wooliever