all natural

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Live Kombucha Soda

Published May 6, 2015 by Maryanne

Live kombuchaLive Kombucha Soda Series

I think I’m in love!

I’ve written in the past about my love for kombucha. Today I discovered, Live Kombucha Soda (which is really kombucha with evaporated cane juice, stevia and natural flavorings). It’s a fabulous treat. I had the “Pure Doctor.”

According to the label, the founder had a dad who was a soda addict so he wanted to create something healthy and tasty.

I look forward to trying the Cola and Limon flavors.

I found mine at Stop & Shop in Clifton, New Jersey. If you go to their website, you can put in your zip code and find out where they carry it in your area:

“Eat Well for the Holidays” at Westfield Library

Published December 18, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_6640Maryanne and librarian, Jennifer

Thanks to Jennifer and Westfield Library for having me present “Eat Well for the Holidays.”

I spoke about little “tricks” you can do to stay motivated during the holiday season as well as how to deal with “food pushers.”

Afterward, I served paleo, gluten free, grain free, sugar free zucchini bread from The Squirrel and The BeeĀ  in Short Hills, NJ (

For a list of all my lectures (available to libraries, JCC groups, seniors, health clubs, schools, etc.) please visit me at:

Happy National Spicy Guacamole Day!

Published November 14, 2014 by Maryanne

avocadoAvocado — GOOD fat!

Today is National SPICY Guacamole Day. Wanna celebrate? I got you covered. This has been my “go to” party dish for years. I found this recipe on a raw food message board over 10 years ago. It’s very simple.

To make a small serving, blend one avocado, one banana and one clove of garlic. Yes, garlic — that’s what gives it the spicy kick! I’ve had someone tell me, “This is the best guacamole I’ve ever had!”

This recipe is not only good as a party dish, but great to pour over greens when you’re seeking something different in a dressing. It comes out thick and creamy. The fat in avocado is so good for you, I have one every day.

This recipe is suitable for paleo minded as well as vegans and raw foodists.


Springing Ahead!

Published March 9, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_3732Art on wall of Surf Taco in Red Bank

It was super getting up early during “Spring Ahead” when everyone else stayed in bed making up the extra hour.

My husband and I hit Red Bank which is a hip little town about a half hour from our home. I did some clothes shopping while he went record shopping, then I met up with him. I scored two blouses and a CD from a band that’s been around for some time but I recently discovered via Pandora.

It’s just all about the keyboards — they totally speak to me.

After shopping we had a great lunch at Surf Taco. I’m thrilled that they now have vegan tacos (and that they KNOW that vegan means NO CHEESE!) YAY!

Then we went to the next town over — Shrewsbury — to my favorite market Dean’s and got some great healthy eats: buckwheat noodles, chia kombucha, fresh organic blackberries, and much more!

The sun was shining and it was simply a gorgeous winter day! Life is good, as always.

Ch-ch-ch-CHIA POD!

Published June 19, 2013 by Maryanne

chia podAnother delicious, healthy treat I tried today is Chia Pod.

It’s a small serving of chia pudding and comes in various flavors. I got the blueberry and it was amazing.

It’s cold processed (which means it’s not pasteurized so you get all the enzymes in the fruit, and it tastes like the fruit was fresh picked). It contains omega 3, fiber and protein.

It’s vegan and there is no added sugar. Simple ingredients: blueberry, coconut milk and chia seeds.

Because of the fiber in chia seeds, the small serving is totally satisfying. But next time I’m going to buy all the flavors and try them all! The little cup comes with a spoon. They should serve these on ice cream trucks. I’m sure kids would love them!




Healthy Raw Non-Dairy Dessert

Published May 30, 2013 by Maryanne

Raw Coconut Cream Ice Cream

I’ve always been a fan of raw “ice cream” (which isn’t really ice cream because it’s made without milk, making it a non-dairy vegan product). I love raw ice cream because it’s easier on the stomach and actually tastier. It just melts in your mouth. It’s low glycemic and has no artificial ingredients or preservatives. And because it’s raw (uncooked, unprocessed) you get all the enzymes — the full benefit of all the natural ingredients.

Today for the first time I tried the Coconut Secret brand. I went for the Madagascar Vanilla – and it’s heavenly!

I’ve been using Coconut Secret products for a couple years now. I love their coconut vinegar and their coconut amino acids (so much better than Bragg’s in my humble opinion).

I can’t wait to try the other flavors! It’s pricey, but I’m worth it!


“Awesome Foods”

Published May 4, 2013 by Maryanne

???????????????????????????????Collard Wraps made by “Awesome Foods”

For quite a few years I’ve been a fan of Awesome Foods ( — “on the go food” that is raw and vegan.

They are located in Pennsylvania but distribute to health food stores in my area. One of the places is Dean’s (in Shrewsbury and Ocean Township). Today I had a dentist appointment just a half hour from Shrewsbury, so I took a drive on this gorgeous New Jersey day and got some Awesome Foods goodies. I absolutely LOVE their collard wrap, as well as the raw vegan sushi rolls (which come with natural wasabi).

Over the years I’ve tried so many Awesome Food products I’ve actually got sick of some of them! Can you imagine liking something so much you eat it twice a week for almost two years straight?! Well that’s what happened with their raw pizza.

Now aside from sharing with my blog followers about the raw pizza, I keep my mouth shut about it because a lot of people are just clueless when it comes to good health. You say “raw pizza” and they’re picturing uncooked doughy yeast. Uh — NO!

Raw pizza is a burrito made with flax meal so soft it practically melts in your mouth. The “cheese” is made from Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds with lemon juice and garlic. And it’s topped with sun dried tomato sauce, parsley, and other goodies like fresh peppers.

How can you not love that?

Then the same thing happened with their eggplant lasagna. I loved it so much, again, I ate it for years, two or three times a week until I could no longer look at the dish! Does that make me a glutton, or just a die-food foodie who likes what she likes?

Now, let’s move on to their salads. The raw beet salad is my favorite thing in the world. Second is the cucumber sea vegetable salad — whoa, just so super delicious! The raw “egg-less” salad and “better than tuna” salads are terrific. One container makes for two meals easily.

And last, but not least, the mother of all treats — Awesome Foods raw coconut goji berry bar! Again, ate these so much I got sick of them. Absolutely melts in your mouth! Runner up is the raw chocolate coconut bar. (But I did get another brand of raw chocolate today — as I was just jonesing for some real chocolate!)

So if you wanna bon appetite without the cooking and mess — try Awesome Foods for a truly good meal that’s both tasty and healthy.

Also have to rave about other Dean’s goodies. I always love their house brand raw cream “cheese” which made from raw cashews. Also scored some Kvass — a probiotic cultured drink (they have many flavors but I try to go for the super green). And took home a loaf of manna bread, which isn’t raw but cooked at very low temperatures so you get plenty of good nutrients from it.

And Dean’s took the time to special order a mascara for me that’s all natural and doesn’t test on animals.

Funny thing on the way out, the cashier was so nice, I told him he had a dynamic personality. He loved that and started joking around with me. So much joking that I handed him a $100 bill and he forgot to give me change! I didn’t even realize because we were laughing so much until I got in my car and went to my wallet for change for the Parkway! I ran back into the store and was like, “Stop everything!” And then I got my $45. Whew!

A perfect spring day with lots of fun, a good report at the dentist and yummy treats!

Fettucine Avocado

Published February 3, 2013 by Maryanne

Fettucini Avocado

Fettucine w/avocado sauce (photo swiped from Google search)

Here’s a delicious recipe I found in Woman’s World. It’s a much healthier version of fettucine alfredo, so I re-named it “fettucine avocado.” This is what my husband and I had for a late lunch today and it was amazing!

Avocado is one of the healthy fats that your body needs to function (and actually burn fat!) Avocados contain potassium, B vitamins and more lutein than any other fruit.

This version is fettucine has no animal ingredients at all, so it’s perfect for vegans.

Add a small salad as a side dish and you have a perfect Sunday meal!

Fettucine Avocado

Prepare two servings of pasta. (I used artichoke fettucine style pasta.)

While that’s cooking, pulse (in blender or food processor) two peeled garlic gloves, juice from 1/2 a lemon, two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil (I always used cold-pressed because it’s healthiest) and two tablespoons of water until smooth.

Then add a medium sized avocado (pitted of course) and one fresh basil leaf and pulse until creamy. (The recipe called for salt, but I didn’t use any).

Pour over pasta and add pepper to taste.


My Top 3 Favorite Natural Products During Flu Season

Published December 12, 2012 by Maryanne

Migraine Relief

It’s flu season and even the healthiest of the lot can feel a little under the weather.

Luckily I’ve discovered three safe, all natural products that help me tremendously:

1. Migraine Relief from Ridge Crest Herbals (pictured above). If you feel it coming on, take two tablets and you can take another every three hours. In the past if I got a migraine, I’d be done for the day and in bed asap. Not anymore!

2. Sambucol Tablets. These work too. Feeling under the weather? Flu-ish? Tired and draggy? Pop one of these under the tongue every few hours and you’ll be good as new.

3. Whole Food’s 365 Brand Arnica. Achy? This works! It’s great if you have a minor backache or other little pains.


Cha-Cha-Cha CHIA!

Published August 4, 2012 by Maryanne

Chia seeds — they expand when wet!

Yeah, they’re the same seeds that make Chia Pets!

GT’s Green Chia Kombucha is my crack!

So last November I got married and packed on a few pounds. Nothing too bad, just enough to make all my favorite clothes tight on me.

Well, what did I expect? It was winter, people were taking us out to celebrate and we had many a late night meal. Then came the holidays … and there you have it.

Once I made up my mind to shed those extra pounds, I did all the smart things: gave up sugar, exercised twice a day, ate all-natural, cut down on bread and even had super light dinners.

Nothing worked and I was really surprised. I always had a super fast metabolism. If I went one night without a meal, I’d be three pounds lighter the next day.

When I commented to a few female friends about my struggle, they pointed out my age (I’ll be 49 in a few weeks) and attributed the struggle to peri-menopause. Since I was using wild yam to fight night sweats, I figured they were right and just “went with it.”

So, in acceptance of my extra padding, I stopped fighting it. I stopped working out so much. And I just ate like a normal healthy person does — good, with occasional treats. I even started having TWO dinners again because my husband gets home after 7 p.m., so I’ll eat when I get hungry, then I’ll eat again when he gets home. (Bad, I know!)

Well, much to my surprise I stepped on the scale a few days ago and saw that I lost THREE POUNDS — which is a lot because I’m a petite woman, at 5’2″! Three pounds on me is probably like seven pounds on someone of normal height!

I thought it was a fluke and weighed myself again a few days later — and yes, it was official, I was stable at three pounds less than I’ve been weighing for the past six months! And my jeans are loose again!

I casually mentioned this to a nutritionist friend and that I didn’t understand how it happened because I stopped trying to lose weight.

He said, “There has to be a reason. You have to be doing something different.”

I thought long and hard and couldn’t figure out what I was doing different, until I got to Whole Foods today and realized I was jones-ing for a GT’s Green Chia Kombucha drink.

Chia seeds are my latest addiction! OMG, I love the way chias feel in the mouth — like miniature Pop Rocks, or Pastina.

While I’ve been a fan of kombucha for several years now, chia seeds up the kombucha experience 10-fold! It’s like getting Steve Madden shoes, when all you set out for were a cute pair of Bamboo.

This chia addiction started about a month and a half ago when I was dining at The Green Room, in Carlisle, Pa. with my husband and I had the most amazing mango/chia pudding.

Since I came back from the trip, I started drinking chia kombucha every few days … then it came to every day … and now it’s every day; plus doing extra things with chia seeds like putting them in smoothies, or mineral water (with fresh fruit added). Or if I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll blend them with avocados and fruit — yum!

Chia is my crack! It’s healthy, it gives me energy and it’s loaded with FUN! And thinking back to my conversation with the nutritionist, THAT is what I was doing that was helping me lose weight, without doing anything different (and even eating more than ever!)

Weight loss is one of the top 10 benefits of eating chia seeds.

Other benefits include: balancing blood sugar, adding Omega-3s to your diet, and being high in anti-oxidants (which mean anti-aging!) They also have fiber, calcium and protein!

These are the very same seeds that were used in the 1970s to make Chia Pets and all of a sudden they took off as the newest super food.

I hate being trendy, but this is one trend that I’m going to take to the grave with me.

And in honor of this delicious healthy seed, I’ve made up a new dance — the cha-cha-cha chia!