raw foods

All posts tagged raw foods

Sugar

Published August 13, 2015 by Maryanne

PoisonPoison

Ninety five percent of yogurts sold in Whole Foods have SUGAR. Ninety-nine percent of their packaged goods contain sugar. Do not be fooled by their term “organic sugar.” Would a diabetic consumer organic sugar? Your body doesn’t know the difference between sugar and organic sugar. What next, Local Sugar?

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an author, journalist and public speaker. She’s presented the following programs in libraries: “Healthy Pasta Alternatives,” “Paleo for Beginners,” “Raw Foods for Beginners,” and “Stay Healthy During the Holiday Season.” For pricing and availability, contact Maryanne at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Why the Word “Moderation” Has Got to Go!

Published July 19, 2015 by Maryanne

motivational-tipsKeep at it!

When it comes to health goals, the phrase “everything in moderation” has got to go. Would you tell an alcoholic to drink in moderation? Would you tell a diabetic to consumer sugar in moderation? To get from point A to point B you have to be extreme and say “no” — and sometimes for a very long time. Maybe forever. If I did things in moderation, I wouldn’t achieve such great health goals — I’ve freaked out more than one doctor in my lifetime with my health success by being an extremist.. So, don’t talk to me about “moderation.” You ain’t gonna win.

Now, this post isn’t about healthy people going on vacation and bringing food into their hotel rooms because they’re afraid to eat at a restaurant. This post is about people who have a health goal — whether it’s reversing diabetes or losing weight. If you’re serious about something, you gotta stick to it until you get to where you want to be.

As followers know, I’ve been doing the paleo diet for over a year now. For the first few months I was pretty rigid in it. During those first months, I developed fab abs (in my 50s!) and was able to raise my blood pressure to “normal.” That thrilled me because all my life my blood pressure was “too low.” Doctors said “too low” was better than “high” — but for me, I like to be perfect. I also impressed the ladies in the front office at my dentist. They thought I had my teeth whitened! No, my teeth got whiter from eating paleo!

But like anything else, when you’re feeling good and happy, you start to slack off. I’ll never forget, it was around Halloween when I had my first fun-sized bag of chips after four months of avoiding them. They just didn’t taste the same, but I ate them anyway. Then came Christmas and like everyone else, I indulged. Of course the little belly came back, but the blood pressure stayed normal because I was able to get right back into eating paleo. The paleo lifestyle is a win/win because it’s one of the few lifestyles that is so easy because you’re never hungry. The reason you’re never hungry is because you’re feeding your body with beautiful nutrients from good fats (grass-fed butter, avocado and coconut oil). So, now at this point I was eating about 80 percent paleo but also some grains.

 Now, if I didn’t know a thing or two about health/nutrition, I wouldn’t have had my own health column in The Patch online. Nor would I have had the opportunity to present lectures on the paleo diet at local libraries. (You can see this awesome article about me that ran in the Observer: http://www.newjerseyhills.com/observer-tribune/news/caveman-diet-discussed-in-long-valley/article_225401a6-6fcd-5968-8968-355e730c439a.html?mode=story

This week, I got into a sweet groove again after buying a package of paleo coconut wraps. I started making avocado/tomato sandwiches with them and also putting some extra grass-fed butter into my bulletproof coffee. Still not 100 percent paleo, but because of the extra fat — I noticed I lost about three pounds in a matter of a few days! The belly was going down again!!

My mistake was sharing this on Facebook.

Leave it to a “joy stealer” to come along and shoot me down. (NOTE: I coined the phrase “joy stealer” to define this sort of asshole: When someone is speaking positively of something they love, whether it be food, their husband, their career, etc. and another person shoots it down, it’s called “stealing joy.” And that is not a live-and-let-live mindset. If you do this, shame on you!)

A woman who drinks three yeasty beers with her lunch had the nerve to tell me “Everything in moderation. Fat is unhealthy.”

It cracks me up. People can drink like fish. Smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. Go to McDonald’s on a regular basis. Put chemicals on their hair. Avoid exercise. No one bats an eye. Then because I had an avocado in a coconut wrap — I have to hear, OH MY GOD I gotta watch my fat intake or I’m gonna die!!!

It’s pretty silly, right? I first said that back in 2004, defending my raw food diet (which is pretty close to paleo, actually … ever since I became paleo, my raw food intake increased dramatically). On day after a minor surgery, before I was self-employed and was still working in an office, I was eating a pineapple for lunch because pineapple is great for healing.

A snooty woman turned her nose up at me, scrunched her face, did the Elvis lip thing, and whined, “You’re gonna eat ALL THAT?”

But she never ever questioned the man who had three slices of pizza for lunch ever day. And she never questioned the ladies who had buckets and buckets of Chinese and Mexican take-out — not once ever making a fresh salad.

No, no, no … it’s the HEALTHY PERSON that people are skeptical of!

Thinking about all this, I came to the conclusion that people who say, “Everything in moderation” are those who feel guilty about their own shortcomings like the yeasty beer chick.

So, before you act like a JOY STEALER when you see someone eating 100 percent raw, or paleo or vegan … or doing the Master Cleanse … Don’t be an asshole and shoot down their goals with the ultra ridiculous “moderation” comment. Let people be and come to their lovely place on their own time. “Moderation” will always be around. Your health, maybe not.

SAM_7938Healthy me!

Thanks to grass-fed butter, coconut oil and avocados — consumed daily!

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta is an author and public speaker. She is available to present the lectures “Paleo for Beginners” and “Eat Well During the Holidays.” Will travel. Email Maryanne for pricing and availability: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Maryanne is also the author of “Love Cats” — a romantic/erotic fiction story that takes place in the 1980s and is definitely not for the moderation-minded! “Love Cats” is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/

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!

HELLO SUMMER!

Cold (Raw) Mango Soup!

Published May 6, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0761Cold Mango Soup (Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

I just made this amazing cold mango soup (suitable for vegans and raw foodists!)

Simply blend all the following ingredients

2 cups diced organic mangos

1 orange

1/2 large cucumber

1/2 red bell pepper

2 cloves organic garlic

Juice of two limes

Handful of cilantro

1 tablespoon organic cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

A half cup water

Flavor with sea salt and freshly ground pepper

This makes one serving. And it’s so ultra delicious! Yum!

“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 (http://www.awesomefoods.com/) — “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!

What Comes Out of Your Mouth is More Important Than What Goes Into It

Published January 11, 2013 by Maryanne

Fruit dish with cacao nibsMy fruit dish with bananas, kiwi, cacao nibs

Yesterday I wrote a blog about inspiring women and mentioned a woman who was very negative in her words. A friend commented to me, via email, that the negative woman probably needed to eat healthier.

I reminded my friend that eating healthy is a mere 10 percent of the battle. In order to lead a happy life, it’s a make-up of many things: love/good friendships, exercise, creativity, spirituality/faith, and yes, food, but to an extent.

Some people are too obsessed with food and ignore everything else. I look back to my early days as a raw foodist and remember all the arguments on forums with the “elite” and the “holier-than-thous” who measured their worth by what percentage of raw food they ate.

I always laughed because I’d be out doing something fun, then go back on the computer and see these people still spewing their militant hatred toward anyone who wasn’t raw or vegan. Ewww!

Attitudes like this can’t possibly be healthy. I know because I’ve been there myself. The punchline is I thought I was healthy because my diet was pristine. I only weighed 105. I wouldn’t even go to a restaurant because I wanted to eat nothing but the most pure food. I once looked into a raw food kitchen at a popular NYC restaurant, noticed that McCormack’s spices (non-organic ones) and stopped going to that restaurant.

Is that any way to live? Isolating yourself? Not socializing because food isn’t good enough for you?

Yeah, I looked great, but honestly, I didn’t feel great. I felt like a freak. I felt sad and lonely because I couldn’t participate in social engagements people invited me to. And when I did bite the bullet and eat out, I’d get rashes on my skin as a reaction to having food that wasn’t pure because I was TOO pure! One of my friends referred this to the “Princess and the Pea.”

How awful it was, mentally and my health suffered too. I remember getting more headaches, having more anger inside me and being way too hyper.

One time when a woman found out I was a vegetarian and invited me to lunch at Veggie Heaven in Montclair and stupid me, I said “no” because their ingredients weren’t pure enough for me. I was becoming one of the ugly people on the raw food message boards that creeped me out!

Well, guess what? Now Veggie Heaven is one of my favorite restaurants and I enjoy many wonderful lunches there with friends and clients. I also take home Veggie Heaven food to my husband who loves it.

Once I weaned myself off of raw foods and started adding healthy cooked foods (more macro-biotic) into my diet and some healthy junk like whole wheat pasta and sprouted bread, I gained some weight (many said I looked better with the weight gain) and felt so much happier … more balanced.

I was so glad I realized health is more than just health foods after three years of heading into a downward spiral. Even though I wasn’t anorexic or bulimic, I had the same food issues. All I would think about was my next meal. How was I going to eat on the holidays. How to avoid food at events. And THAT is not good!

Sad to say, I know too many people obsessed with eating clean food, obsessed with their weight, that they don’t know how to enjoy life. And on the other hand, I know people who eat crappy food (or eat healthy but aren’t health obsessed) but are always positive and lead fulfilling lives because they are spiritual and optimistic and know the meaning of “balance.”

Now for me, healthy food is still important. I can definitely get depressed if I eat too much chocolate. It’s called the “sugar blues.” But the key, in my opinion, is balance.

Yesterday a client called me “Happy Pants.”

I laughed and asked, “Why are you calling me that?”

He said, “Because you’re always happy. You’re always smiling.”

Yeah, 90 percent of the time I am! Because I realized good health is not just about food. And this client  knows that too, as he was the one who said to me, “What comes out of your mouth is more important than what goes into it.”

Kind words go a lot further than a kale shake.

Super Fats!

Published October 7, 2012 by Maryanne

Another healthy obsession of mine!

I can’t stress how tired I am of going to Whole Foods and hearing vendors promoting their products using the “fat free” card.

I’ve said it once. I’ve said it twice. I’ve said it a thousand times. FAT IS NOT THE ENEMY!

Fat is GOOD for you.

And FAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU FAT!

Fat is a vital nutrient. Fatty acids are good for healthy skin, muscular strength and growth, and vitamin absorption. Fats contribute to a healthy nervous system and can help lubricate your joints.

Now I’m not talking about hydrogenated, saturated fats and trans fats. I’m talking about GOOD FATS such as: avocados, cold pressed olive oils, nuts, fatty fish, and my favorite: raw extra virgin coconut oil (see above photo!)

In addition to the benefits of healthy fats, additional health benefits gained from using raw extra virgin coconut oil include: stress relief, proper digestion, thyroid function, increased immunity, healing infections, relief from high blood pressure and even WEIGHT LOSS!

This stuff just melts in your mouth.  I use this product most often in non-homogenized yogurt and on my Ezekiel low-glycemic raisin bread. And sometimes I’ll use it on a baked sweet potato, the combination of the two tastes like a marzipan treat!

This delicious treat is so tasty, sometimes I just spoon it out of the jar and enjoy!

Step aside super foods and super fruits — make way for the super fats! And I nominate raw extra virgin coconut oil to be at the top of the list!