Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dairy-free Nut "Ice-cream"

Start the "ice cream" making process by making 3 quarts of nut milk. The nuts used are walnuts for rich flavor and pine nuts for creaminess. Use nuts in equal parts.

To make the nut milk "cream", soak nuts overnight and rinse (discard overnight water).
  • Blend 2 cups walnuts with 2 cups water
  • Squeeze nut milk through sprout bag
  • Blend 2 cups pine nuts with 2 cups water
  • Squeeze nut milk through sprout bag
  • Alternate this process between walnuts and pine nuts until there is 3 quarts of nut milk, the nut "cream". (Save the nut "meat" for crackers, cookies or "parmesan" sprinkles for salads.)

Add to nut milk:
1 4-oz bottle vanilla, alcohol-free
4 T. cinnamon
1 2-oz bottle maple flavor
2 capfuls stevia (start with 1 capful)
(to adjust sweetness, add either more vanilla or stevia)
Then follow the directions on your ice cream maker.

Hint: Taste your flavors when they are cold as flavors are more subdued then.

Caution: While I really enjoyed this treat which tasted a zillion times better than real ice cream, I knew that I shouldn't eat it very often. It gave me a sore throat, which I attribute to the vanilla and maple flavor (maybe the stevia too). The flavorings were the brand Frontier and are made with glycerin, which is a derivative of soy, which my throat reacts to. The "ice cream" sure was a treat though!

This was the Saturday night treat every week at Hippocrates Health Institute, and it sure was popular! For those guests who didn't have cancer, candida or other health concern where sugar had to be so carefully watched, there was even a hot carob sauce for their ice cream. They also had the choice between frozen bananas put through a food processor for their banana "ice cream". It was popular too.
Date Carob Sauce 
1/2 cup dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 T. carob powder
1/2 t. Frontier Vanilla Extract (no alcohol)
water as needed
  1. Soak dates in the blender with water covering dates with 1-2 inches of water
  2. Blend all ingredients after soaking a while
  3. Adjust flavorings as needed
  4. Add more water to adjust consistency if needed

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Raw Food Restaurant Menu II

Another restaurant that caters to raw foodists in West Palm Beach is Christopher's Kitchen. The menu has cooked items on it, but with its interesting and appetizing raw food selection on the menu with clear description of the ingredients, it is not so surprisingly that it is frequented by people working at and guests from Hippocrates Health Institute. Although I didn't go there, menus were passed out to all guests at HHI to let them know that in reality there are some places that do in fact cater to people choosing the raw food diet. 

(click on the pictures for a larger view)

Christopher's Kitchen : The Lunch Menu
Christopher's Kitchen : The Dinner Menu

An aside:  Christopher's Kitchen also has a whole page of wines to be served with the raw (or otherwise) food dishes, but as wines aren't raw food and, because of the sugars and fermentation processes, they certainly aren't for people with candida  (or cancer or a bunch of other autoimmune diseases needing to be controlled). So I didn't include the listing.

While the average concept of a raw foodist is someone who eats more than 50% of their food raw (like myself), people at HHI don't regard someone as a raw foodist unless they are 80% or more. That is their recommendation for people who can't manage the full raw food diet. 

raw tacos at Christopher's Kitchen
For the people who are at HHI for 2-3 weeks, there is a counseling session which individuals can sign up for and one counselor-lecturer-assistant will do a detailed web search on where the guest lives and the types of restaurants and stores back in the home area where the raw food lifestyle can be portmanteau-ed out of HHI. 

HHI is all about lifestyle change, and so in addition to the one-on-one counseling session, we were given menus for Christopher's Kitchen in order to get menu planning ideas for ourselves once we're away from the HHI lifestyle center. Although we might not live near a raw food restaurant like Christopher's Kitchen, we can still get a very varied listing of food ideas to package for work, take on picnics, for hosting parties, etc. and not feel so overwhelmed by suddenly not having 'anything' to eat. 

Here are some menu items from Christopher's Kitchen that I found on Yelp:

and of course a dessert item ... if you can have it!
Even for people on the healthy raw food diet, not everything is "healthy" for each individual. Food selection is still based on one's own health concerns. For instance, people with rheumatoid arthritis or chronic inflammation should avoid veggies in the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplants are the most common ones). When I was so sick at first,  I avoided these. Finally after 6-9 months when my inflammation was pretty much under control I started carefully adding a couple of cherry tomatoes to my salad. Wow! They tasted soooo sweet! As for eggplants, well, I like eggplant with soy sauce, and since I can't have soy sauce I don't often eat the veggie. Peppers I just recently added but I fix them in moderation, but there's nothing like a stuffed raw pepper for as a "sandwich" for lunch or when traveling!

Anyway, just because the food is raw and raw food is healthy it doesn't mean that everyone can eat everything. The people at HHI were taught what foods to avoid for their specific problem(s). People with candida and cancer (roughly the same diet) had some of the biggest restrictions. I have a ridiculous time eating out, but I could easily find something at Christopher's Kitchen. The biggest limitations there, I'm sure, would be the dressings as most have agave (a sweetener), sesame seed oil (a bit bothersome on the throat), soy sauce or liquid amino acids (fermented), or a vegetable oil (I use only olive and coconut). It's definitely the (candida-naughty) sauces on the tacos or the sushi rolls that make the food so amazing.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Raw Food Restaurant Menu

Every week while at Hippocrates Health Institute guests have the opportunity to have an outing to a local raw food restaurant (sorry, forgot the name and it's not printed on the main menu page). Anyway, the food was very good. The restaurant did not serve 100% raw, but perhaps it's 70-80%! The food was rather simple, and I have to say, after eating my flax tomato "sandwich" I was starving. At HHI most people don't have breakfast although some like myself who don't want to lose weight get a large nut milk -- alternating almond and Brazil nuts, so lunchtime is my big meal. My little "sandwich" was a taste of food; I needed more! I had to slip around the corner and get a can of almonds to tide me over to the evening meal as we were heading for an afternoon at the beach and I knew I couldn't stand a combination of hunger and heat. Ah, but the almonds did the trick! 

The menu -- the majority of items are raw!
(click on for a large view)

Some kind of salad with aoli sauce. The "pasta" pieces are filled with a cashew-herb cream "cheese".

Menu: Flax Tomato "Sandwich"

Menu: Tostadas with walnut "meat" pate 

Menu: probably this is the BLT on rye. The "bacon" is some kind of tempeh.

Menu: raw "brownie" ... and when it was served all eyes in the restaurant-cafe followed the decadent dessert to the table where a older couple sat. They said it was so rich they have a hard time eating it between them ... oh it looked GOOD!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Raw Food Centerpieces

During my three-week stay at Hippocrates Health Institute, two or three times a week a beautiful raw food centerpiece was added to the food line. These usually appeared on the two days a week when nuts were included in the menu. The idea of not eating nuts every day is that they can be rich and many people have GI track difficulties and therefore have trouble evacuating, and because nuts can get caught in old fecal matter or in pockets, it's best to initially detox without eating them. This is a large reason for limited nuts to only two to three times a week during the initial detox but it's also  recommended by HHI as a lifestyle choice even after leaving HHI. If more reasoning is needed for limiting nuts, I once heard a health lecturer say that eating more than 40 grams of nuts a day is rough on the kidneys. Hmm, there seems to be some sense in that so I try to control myself ... but I have to say, nuts are one thing that I really enjoy eating, probably because they give me a lot of energy.

Not sure of the ingredients, but I'd guess broccoli and sunflower seeds as a base.
Whatever it was, no one was complaining!

Pepper Pecan Pate
Just an aside:  For people with candida, eating only certain kinds of nuts are recommended - walnuts and almonds are best. Cashews are very moldy, and HHI absolutely does not serve them, not to mention that there are almost no sources where cashews are truly raw as they are almost always irradiated when coming into the states. I read that pistachios are as moldy as cashews, but they do appear occasionally in a salad here at HHI. When I asked Ken Blue, the executive chef, if they were considered a moldy nut too, he had never heard that. Anyway, everyone does there own specific research, but it's nice to be aware that there pistachios might not be such a good choice for people with candida.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hippocrates Health Institute Food Spread

For people going to Hippocrates Health Institute for jump-starting their immune system and cleansing  their bodies, HHI really puts on a great raw food spread for doing just that. Executive Chef Ken Blue, pictured below, is in charge of ordering quality food - organic, as chemical-free as possible in this day and age, and foods known particularly known to be beneficial to the body. The point of the 100% raw food diet at HHI is to utilize all of the enzymes, vitamins and minerals in plant-based foods that get destroyed with heat. Also, while eating food in the freshest form as possible, the enzymes, vitamins and minerals are giving the greatest benefit to the body.
Executive Chef Ken Blue in front of a sprout and fresh veggie spread.
The picture was borrowed from HHI's Facebook profile.
The one-week, two-week or full three-week program is to not only make food available to the visitors but also to educate them so they can take the raw-food lifestyle home with them and continue benefiting on the maintenance or recovery diet of nutritious and wholesome food.
A large kale-leaf "taco" stuffed with sprouts, a light nut "meat" with seasonings and some other veggies.
The "meat" and veggie stuffing for my kale-leaf "taco".
I was satisfied after eating one taco!
Once a week on a particular day something in the food line has a "cooked" item. Today it was a fiber-rich
whole-food prepared taco shell. I tried one but found the kale-leaf taco tastier. This hit my stomach too hard
and I tossed most of it (sorry to waste).
When looking at the "limited" food display in regard to calories, people often fail to see how they can power their bodies on such low-calorie and simple fare. What they don't realize is that the body fed with heavy fats and cooked carbs is not digesting the intake properly, and food undigested bogs down in the intestines, over time creating problems like flatulence, gall stones, ulcers, diverticular diseases, leaky gut syndrome, to name a very few. 

Yum! Raw kelp (I think) noodles and a light raw something-or-other sauce. Nice!!!
The idea of raw food eating at HHI is to have 50% of the plate with a variety of sprouts and the other 50% can be veggies like peppers, carrots, celery, olives, cabbage slaw and a small amount of raw dressing, or the raw noodles with sauce.

 For the people who come as three-week guests, after the first week they smile when the newbies go through the food line piling their plates super-high as if they haven't eaten already that day ... and end up eating it all and sometimes going back for more! The first three days the guests are eating, they feel starved on the low-calorie fare, but then they start tapering off on the amounts, and by the end of the week they take a decent plate of food and feel very satisfied. Their bodies have adjusted and they feel satisfied.

It is the undernourished body that has food cravings!

On average by the time the guests are ready to leave at the end of three weeks, they are eating and being quite satisfied with about 1,500 calories a day. This seems like very little, but the concept of counting calories is a modern concept based on easy access to high-fat and high-carb foods, which is making people grossly overweight and demanding that they count calories. 

For people on the raw food diet who are sports players or have high metabolisms, they can eat more avocados, coconuts and the rich variety of nuts and seeds available that people already eating high-fat diets are told to avoid. These plant fats are unsaturated and therefore can be easily assimilated in the body. 

And a BTW, people are warned off of coconuts because they are said to have long-chained fatty acids like meat. For people doing their research, they will quickly realize that coconuts are medium-chained fatty acids and therefore so very unlike the long-chained fatty acids of meat aka saturated fats. Coconuts are good for people. Unfortunately, since I have candida I react to the sugar in the coconut meat and milk (a young coconut sugar breakdown is approximately 50% glucose, 35% sucrose, and 15% fructose) so they're off my diet. However, coconut oil doesn't contain that sugar and is utilized differently by the body. So, strangely it benefits the GI tract by actually fighting harmful bacteria and over time repairs pinpoint holes in the GI tract that were created by the candida (fungus) that has attached to its walls and penetrated beyond to leak food particles into the body. 

Fresh young sprouts - loaded with energy and extremely high in plant protein!

Unlike common belief that calories matter for being healthy, it's NOT the calories but the nutrition. With the raw food diet if done properly (and usually properly means a high amount of young sprouts which are absolutely packed with mega-nutrition), the person would eat a full-nutrition diet and his/her cravings, because the body is well nourished, would virtually disappear. 

When the head administrator was asked how many calories should a raw foodist eat, he furrowed his brow and said, "It's not the amount of calories that needs to be counted but the amount of nutrition." After saying that and the calorie-question kept coming up, he finally said that on average the raw foodists eats about 1,500 calories a day, but he was quick to add that counting calories is not something raw foodists typically do. With their lifestyle change from heavy fatty diets to raw foods, calorie-counting gets thrown out the window, and a pursuing a diet of various nutrition-rich food becomes the focus.