Flax Seed is an essential part of the Raw Foodist Diet. This tiny seed contains an incredible amount of health benefits inside a small package; and you only need to incorporate about one tablespoon a day into your diet to get all the healthy benefits. But are you getting the most out of your flax seed? If you buy your flax seed whole, and do not break up the seed and crack open the shell you’re body will not be able to extract all the health benefits available and will just pass through your system. Similarly, if you buy your flax seed already ground, it may already be rancid from oxidation. So whats a person to do? Educate yourself on the facts, and find out how easy and fast it can be to incorporate this into your diet.


Flax seed comes with perfect packaging, the shell encases all of the lignans, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, and E; a full array of trace minerals, carotene, lecithin, and phospholipids  inside. As stated earlier the unbroken flax seed, protected by the shell, will pass right through your system without breaking down. Our bodies can only digest flax seeds and benefit from their many nutritional qualities if the shell is broken.


“The seeds need to be in tact [when you purchase them] in order to avoid oxygenation and rancidity. In our experiments, golden flax was most suitable when crushed slightly, not cracked or milled- just squeezed enough to break the cell open without damaging the oil cells” (Fantastic Flax by Seigfried Gursche) the book goes on to say that Dr.Paavo Airola, the nations leading nutritionist at the time “warned consumers not to purchase flax meal or ground flax, as the exposed oil in ground flax oxidizes rapidly and goes rancid within days. Heat, light and air all contribute to this process of oxidation. Rancid oils should be avoided as they are toxic and cancer causing.”


I do want to note however that today some companies offer specially milled flax seeds in vacuum-sealed foil packages. They utilize a unique new milling technique that can guarantee freshness. If you would like to try these products, make sure that the production date is no more than three months before the purchase date and once the package is opened, refrigerate it, and keep the bag tightly closed and consume it within two weeks.


Here’s the good news: It's actually really easy and fast to grind your own flax seed! All you need is a coffee grinder, simply measure out one tablespoon of flax seed and grind it in the coffee grinder for a few seconds. You don't have to grind it into a fine powder, just grind it enough to crack open the shell. Any left over ground flax you make should be put into a container and stored in a fridge and will last up to one week.


You can add your freshly ground flax into anything you like; its great for breakfast cereals or “baked” items, and is also great sprinkled over your salad. There are a lot of great recipes out there for flax and different uses for flax. The best book I can recommend on flax is called Fantastic Flax by Seigfried Gursche that has a wealth of information on the topic, the best recipes I have ever found for flax and includes all of the possible applications there could be for flax. If you are a rawfoodist or plan to live a healthy lifestyle I would HIGHLY recommend purchasing this little book that is a fast easy read.


Flax seed is a powerful defense against cancer, heart disease and digestive disorders.

It is probably most known for helping the skin and digestive problems; it is incredibly effective at  aiding the digestion and helps relieve constipation and other intestinal problems. There are a lot of incredible health benefits from incorporating this into your diet besides improving your digestion, hair and skin; flax seed can help control high blood pressure, help you lose weight by increasing metabolism, and can even repair the damage caused by taking massive doses of antibiotics!


The fast facts: Buy golden flax seed. It has way more health benefits than the brown flax seed. Also, you should buy golden flax seed oil and incorporate that into your diet (but that's another blog for another day ;)). Buy your flax seed whole and grind it yourself just before you use it with a coffee grinder. Use about 1 tablespoon of flax a day and if you have extra, it can be stored into your fridge for a week. Stay educated and stay well my friends!



References:


Book: Fantastic Flax written by Siegfried Gursche


http://www.flaxcouncil.ca/english/index.jsp?p=faq


http://www.healthyflax.com/flax-faq/


http://www.eatbydate.com/proteins/nuts/flax-seeds/


http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81

Long gone are the days when animal products were viewed as the only and best way of getting adequate protein levels. We now know that the plant kingdom not only offers the human body sources for complete protein but that these sources are often ideal because they are less taxing on our digestive systems, livers, and kidneys, and are easier for us to assimilate. For most of us the quality and quantity of protein that we consume on a daily basis plays a huge role in how we feel, how we look, and the level of health and fitness we enjoy. If you're looking for the best way to get a little extra protein action in a convenient and delicious way look no further than Epic Protein by Sprout Living. 

All Epic Protein is formulated with a base of highly nutritious, organic, sprouted, and bio-fermented whole grain brown rice. This brown rice is low-temperature processed in such a wayas to maximize protein content and seriously enhance its overall digestibility. Through this unique process starches and carbohydrates are minimized and the texture becomes very silky, lightweight, and refined, making it blend flawlessly into protein shakes and smoothies. 

Within Epic Protein you'll find all 9 essential amino acids, including the "branch chain amino acids" isoleucine, valine, and leucine which are crucial for muscle endurance and overall athletic performance. These amino acids are quick to digest, have 98.2% bio-availability for the human body, have a 98% correlation to mother's milk, and are naturally 100% free of gluten and non-allergenic. Epic Protein is also free of ALL chemical and "natural" additives, flavors, and refined or artificial sugars, and wont negatively effect the endocrine system like many proteins made from a base of dairy or soy. 

While pure brown rice protein is the only ingredient in Epic Protein's original formula, they've taken it many steps further by blending in some of the world's tastiest and most nutritious superfoods to create 3 additional flavors: Vanilla Lucuma, Chocolate Maca, and their newest and super exciting addition: Green Kingdom. Together they form an absolutely delicious and dynamic quartet of raw plant-based, protein-rich goodness! 

So, which flavor is best for you? Choose one or try them all! 

Original  contains sprouted and bio-fermented whole grain brown rice protein powder with nothing else added. The taste is mild and pleasant and will add a hint of brown rice flavor toyour recipes. This formula packs the most protein content of the bunch with 23 grams per serving. 

Vanilla Lucuma  is perfect if you love the flavor of real vanilla bean, caramel, butterscotch, and maple. It is subtly sweet and blends seamlessly with fresh almond or coconut milk,protein shakes or fruit smoothies, and can easily be incorporated into vegan baked goods such as muffins and cookies, breakfast foods such as pancakes or oatmeal, frozen desserts such as banana ice cream and vegan milkshakes, and more. Other than sprouted and bio-fermented brown rice protein you'll find lucuma fruit powder, mesquite pod meal, actual whole vanilla bean power (not extract or vanilla flavor) and baobab fruit. 

Chocolate Maca  builds on the original formula with an antioxidant-rich and chocolatey dose of truly raw cacao powder, a dash of energizing and hormone-balancing Peruvian maca root, mesquite pod meal for its sweet (yet low glycemic) caramel-like flavor, and baobab for its incredible array of nutrients including epic levels of Vitamin C and more iron than red meat.Epic Protein Chocolate Maca tastes absolutely amazing in fresh chocolate nut milks, chocolate milkshakes and smoothies, and chocolate treats of all kinds such as cookies, truffles, actual raw chocolate, and more! Both raw chocolate and maca are natural aphrodisiacs too, shhh don't tell…

Green Kingdom  is the newest addition to the line up and is absolutely packed with nutrition. If you love your green superfoods and love the benefits of brown rice protein you will love this flavor. Within the Green Kingdom formula you will find several powerful, mineral-rich and alkalinizing grass powders, protein and nutrient-rich algae and seaweeds such as spirulina, kelp, and dulse, greens such as spinach and alfalfa leaf, detoxifying liver support ingredients such as dandelion leaf and beetroot powders, a powerful dose of bioflavonoids from gingko leaf, lemon and orange peel, along with another dose of the ever-potent mineral and antioxidant-rich baobab. With an ingredient list like that you're probably wondering how it tastes? Actually, quite mild and yummy! The addition of lucuma fruit powder gives it a subtle sweetness and faint maple-like flavor, and there is also a pleasant earthy sweetness that comes through from the grass powders. The flavor is truly mild enough to blend well with a variety of smoothie recipes, especially ones with a little cacao thrown into the mix (coming from a self admitted choco-phile) 

Maybe you're a nutrition and fitness fanatic looking for  the best products to enhance your lifestyle. Or maybe you're new to raw foods and are looking for ways to boost your protein intake. Perhaps you've been disenchanted by conventional protein powders loaded with less-than-ideal ingredients and are looking for a more pure option. Or maybe you are vegan whose sick of the protein question and want something convenient to throw at the next person who asks (just kidding!) Epic Protein is the cream of the crop in terms of plant-based protein powders and could very well be the answer you've been looking for! 

Experience the profound difference and benefits for yourself…. 

Click HERE  to purchase Epic Protein! 


Lucuma and Greens Protein Shake 
Serves 1

12 oz fresh nut mylk 
1 tbs Dastony almond butter 
1 tbs RawGuru lucuma powder 
1 tbs RawGuru hemp seeds 
1 scoop Epic Protein in vanilla lucuma (or green kingdom!)
1 frozen banana 
1 fresh banana 
4 strawberries, fresh or frozen, always organic 
2 leaves green kale 
1 tsp spirulina 
2 pinches vanilla bean

1. Blend until smooth and fuel up!

Click HERE  to purchase your superfood ingredients.


  
Yoga is far more than a physical practice. It is in fact one of the most effective ways of turning the consciousness within and experiencing more joy, flow, and ease within our lives. As daily life draws our consciousness outward into a whirlwind of activity, yoga helps us find even-mindedness by drawing the consciousness back inwards. The result is a sense of peace, wellbeing, and a deeper connection with our inner selves. 

Through yoga we discover all sorts of interesting things about our own bodies that might have otherwise gone under the radar. A forward bend might illuminate areas of tightness and discomfort. Balancing in tree pose on the left foot might prove to be far more difficult than on the right side. A seated spinal twist may quickly reveal a misalignment going on within the spine, or that certain muscles are gripping and holding onto tension with a vengeance. Our bodies are constantly responding to our thoughts and emotions and as we practice yoga we begin to understand just how closely body, mind and spirit integrate with one another. 

So, how does this all correlate to diet? The foods we eat (or choose to avoid) play a huge role in how our bodies feel. Yoga amplifies the awareness of how food (and everything else) affects the body. The two absolutely go hand in hand. There are certain things that we can do nutritionally to help our bodies feel amazing and really give our yoga practice a huge boost. Here are 6 of them...

Greens, sprouts, and other chlorophyll-rich lovelies 

When it comes to yoga and diet the importance of all things green and gorgeous cannot be emphasized enough. Per calorie greens are some of the most nutritionally dense foods on earth and help both strengthen our bones and increase muscle flexibility with high levels of key nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and Vitamin K. Greens are healing, detoxifying, alkalinizing, nourishing, strengthening and beautifying, and should be included in the diet every single day, whether you're a practicing yogi or not. 

Best ways to get your greens:

Green Juices

Fruity Green Smoothies

Savory Green Soups 

Fresh Salads

Lightly Steamed with melted coconut oil or a yummy dressing

Superfood Powders: spirulina , chlorella , E3 Live , Sprout Living Freeze Dried sprout mixes, Pure Synergy , Vitamineral Green 

  

Review by Alex Malinsky 

Whether you are browsing the shelves of your local health food shop or scrolling through the pages of your favorite online retailer you'll likely be confronted with many options for nut butters including various brands, varieties, and even methods of production. Which to choose? Here are 4 reasons why you might consider reaching for certified organic, simply prepared, raw and stone ground nut butters!

NUTRITION

Typical nut butter production involves large grinding machines with sharp blades producing a lot of friction and subsequent heat. The inevitable result of this is a vast quantity of nutrient destruction. Nuts and seeds are naturally full of many valuable nutrients for us including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fats. Many B vitamins and important fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin E are heat sensitive, as are delicate oils which can easily oxidize and go rancid. Heat and friction will also effect the amino acids within nuts and seeds, making it harder for our bodies to recognize, digest, and absorb them to build protein.

Get the most nutrition out of your butters by going with low temperature grinding methods such as stone grinding. With stone grinding large natural granite wheels slowly turn and churn nuts and seeds into a rich, creamy butter over a period of time that can take up to 48 hours. Temperatures remain very low (room temperature), and all of that valuable nutrition remains intact.

PURITY

By choosing organic you protect your body and the planet from chemicals such as carcinogenic herbicides and pesticides along with genetically modified ingredients. While we have proven through research the negative implications of many of these substances, they are still very new to us in the grand scheme of things, and many of their effects have yet to even be discovered. Go organic and rest easy that your body is being fed the nutrition that it needs without the risks associated with chemicals used to grow conventional food.

TASTE

Stone ground nut butter made with truly raw, organic nuts and seeds tastes amazing! There is a purity and complexity of flavor that comes through when the least amount of processing is used. You'll notice nuances of flavor within almonds and coconut that you never knew could exist in a butter. Did you know cashew butter, when raw and stone ground, is naturally very sweet? It's true! No added sugar necessary. Try it with fresh celery sticks for a quick and healthy sweet/salty snack combination. To sum it up, the absolute difference in taste alone is enough reason to go with pure, raw, organic stone ground nut butter!

CONSISTENCY

Leave lumpiness and oil separation behind! With low temperature stone grinding the result is unparalleled creaminess and a smooth texture that is decadence defined. This creamy, perfectly broken­ down consistency lends very well to a variety of recipes and is versatile to work with. You can drizzle the butter over soups, salads, vegetable dishes, muffins, scones, crepes, or ice cream, or blend it easily into smoothies, nut milks, salad dressings and sauces. Without the oil separation you can enjoy your nut butter right after you open the jar without the mess of trying to mix everything together.

Nut butters offer us a delicious energy and nutrient rich form of nourishment, and can be used to enhance so many different recipes. They make a quick and filling snack option that fits well into busy lifestyles, and are perfect for children too! If you're looking for a brand that fully encompasses theses 4 benefits you need not look further than Dastony . They have mastered the art of raw, organic and stone ground nut butter crafting, and the result is addictive in nature. We encourage you to experience the difference for yourself!

Try All Dastony Flavors Here!



Combining the term blessing with the term disease may seem like the ultimate oxymoron. But when it comes to making crucial and even drastic changes in ones life for the better sometimes it takes a crisis to seek out those necessary answers. More and more people are realizing the active role they play in creating their own state of health or disease. People are turning away from those that profit from keeping people ill, and are instead turning to nature, to organic foods and to nutrient dense superfoods to build their immune systems, loose excess weight, boost their moods and fertility, extend their life, and nourish their body on a deep level. 



Longevity Power is at the forefront of this exploding world of superfoods and we had the distinct privilege of trying out a selection of their amazing products. We were immediately blown away by the quality and potency, and naturally couldn't wait to offer them through our raw food shop!


Without further ado -we'd like to introduce to you a few products we truly hope will become staples in your wellness routine. Potent and formulated to actively nourish and protect the body from the inside out, think of these supplements as tools that you can utilize for ultimate health and wellbeing.

Longevity in A Bottle :

This product is truly revolutionary. A poster child of Longevity Power, within it are 60 of the worlds most cutting edge medicinal herbs. 25% of the formula is a blend of powerful medicinal mushrooms, while the remaining 75% is made of an array of raw, organic, whole, and extracted tonic roots, berries, and plants with outstanding nutrient levels and proven immune strengthening abilities. There are absolutely NO fillers, additives, synthetics, preservatives, flowing agents, diary, or gluten within the blend. The profound benefit of this supplement is that it acts as an adaptogen for the body. What does this mean exactly? It means that the ingredients help build the body's defenses and ability to handle stress of all kinds. No one will deny that life is often stressful and Longevity in a Bottle was made to help you deal with it like a superhero! Taoist tonic herbs from Asia, Ayurvedic herbs from India, medicinal mushrooms from Siberia, top folk herbs from areas of Europe, superfoods from the Americas, and powerhouse plants from Pacific coastal traditions are all included within the formula. If you're curious about how YOU can benefit from superfoods and herbs but are overwhelmed and don't know where to start this makes a great product for you. We won't list all 60 ingredients but here are some of our favorites that stand out: goji berry extract, pine pollen extract, alma berry extract, maitake, shiitake, chaga, reishi and cordyceps, noni fruit, maca root extract, holy basil, mucuna pod and seed, shisandra, horsetail, ashwagandha, rhodiola, and and panax ginseng (to name just a handful!). 

Goji Joy

The goji berry is a queen of superfoods! If you like munching on these delectably chewy little berries, and have benefited from their enormous levels of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and immune boosting polysaccarides, why not take it to the next level? Goji Joy is a delicious and fun way to get an epic dose of concentrated goji berry nutrition. This is a 12:1 full spectrum water extract of pure goji berries. The powder is naturally sweet like candy yet the fructose level of Goji Joy is very low: only 5% fructose instead of the 50% found in whole dried goji berries. The powder is very refined, and once in your mouth will completely melt away. We suggest you try it plain first, letting the powder dissolve in your mouth. You may experience an immediate rush of energy. This is powerful stuff!

LEVITY (currently sold out- check back soon)

LEVITY is simply red asparagus extract; a 10:1 full spectrum water extract to be more precise. If you're thinking the vegetable asparagus this is actually completely different! It is an ancient Taoist herb used for generations to open the heart, help maintain positivity and lightness of being, aid in meditation, restore sexual vitality, and beautify the complexion. It has been validated in both modern research and ancient legend to have an anti-stress effect. The medicinal benefits are amazing, so the fact that it tastes like creamy caramel butterscotch is kind of an icing on the cake. Speaking of which…LEVITY makes a wonderful superfood ingredient to add to your raw desserts! It tastes amazing in vanilla cake frostings, caramel sauces and dips, coconut smoothies, raw chocolates, ice creams and more. It goes great with the flavors of lucuma, vanilla, cacao, mesquite, coconut, and maca - all amazing superfoods in their own right.


Mushroom Immunity

Medicine mushrooms have outstanding and proven immune protecting benefits. In todays world trying to escape from things like radiation and environmental toxins completely is next to impossible. We can lessen the amount of exposure but our body's are still going to have to deal with a certain degree of stress and toxicity. The true power of medicinal mushrooms lies in their unique array of polysaccharide essential sugars and various other compounds that work intimately with our immune systems. A strong immune function means more life force, it means we can deal with stress in all of the various manifestations without falling ill or prematurely aging. Mushroom Immunity is a blend of 34, yes 34, potent medicinal mushroom concentrates. You can take some reishi or chaga and benefit from these, but if you're looking transform your health and immunity with the help of medicinal mushrooms than don't mess around; simply get  a bottle of this stuff and be on your way. This blend tastes great in elixirs, teas, and latte- style drinks of all kinds as it has a very exotic coffee-like flavor. An amazing ingredient to add to your morning health elixir! 

We hope this blog gives you a clear picture for just how much we love these products and encourage all of our RawGuru health seekers to give them a try. Be sure to check out our blog on Elixir Crafting , as all 4 of these powders work amazingly well in tonics, elixirs, and creamy warm blended drinks.

Cheers to ultimate health and the amazing superfoods there to help us achieve it!


Disclaimer

*this article is meant for education purposes only and is not intended to be healthy advice. It has not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult with a doctor before beginning any new supplement regime. Individuals taking medications and those with known medicals conditions should consult their holistic physician before using any of these nutritional supplements


 

One thing is for certain, throughout life there are many opportunities to begin anew, try something different, or set a reset button. In fact, every waking moment gives us this opportunity. That being said the New Year offers a beneficial collective push in that direction. The air is thick like raw honey with affirmations and resolutions; why not ride that collective wave of positivity and resolve! Reflecting on the past year we can determine what might not have been working well for us and what me might like to try differently. If you could use a little inspiration in the resolution department we've compiled a little list of some awesome suggestions that will enable you to experience 2014 as a happier and healthier version of your beautiful self! Pick 1 or 2 or resolve to incorporate them all into the this new year that is upon us. 

*Drink More Water!

We ARE water (basically), so it makes sense that proper hydration should be number 1 on the list. All of our organs simply cannot perform at peak performance if the body is dehydrated. DRINK UP and choose the best water possible. If you're still drinking tap water this is the year to invest in a filter, start harvesting spring water, or purchasing bulk filtered water from the supermarket. We've all heard the saying "you are what you eat", however we're also what we DRINK so make it clean!

*Eat More Superfoods! 

Start ingesting superfoods on a daily basis. What is a superfood exactly? In essence these are foods with more nutrition per caloric unit. Superfoods range from the common place (think kale, sprouts or fresh raspberries) to the more exotic (think Indonesian cacao, Peruvian maca root, or freshwater blue-green algae). By including superfoods in our diet we automatically enjoy vastly more nutrition with little effort. The result is that our cells get more of what they really crave and we start to enjoy a more robust level of health. There are some truly amazing superfood products out there these days that offer the body a serious dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and general food-based nutritional support. You'll feel the difference once you start incorporating products like Longevity in a Bottle, Goji Joy, Mushroom Immunity, Pure Synergy, Vitamineral Green, spirulina, chlorella, raw cacao powder, maca, lucuma and mesquite into your smoothies, nut mylks, and elixirs! If powdered superfoods aren't your thing than look into adding a handful of goji berries, incan berries, raw cacao, hemp seeds, and chia into your recipes, meals and snacks. And of course stock up on all of the fresh, colorful, and seasonal goodness available at your local organic market.

*Eat More Variety!

Speaking of your local organic market, make a point to try new fruits and vegetables when you go shopping. If you tend to stick with the same foods day after day your body may not be getting the more subtle trace elements and phytonutrients that it needs. By embracing a more adventurous mindset around food we get to enjoy more flavors, textures, colors AND nutrition! So if you've been eyeing that interesting tuber or strange looking citrus fruit don't hold back! You may discover a new favorite….

*Juice It Up!

Yep, there is no time like the new year to invest in a juicer, bust it out of its dark hiding place if you already have one, or start frequenting an awesome local juice bar. Getting into a habit of juicing is one of the best ways to ensure you experience better levels of health. If it seems overwhelming, try to aim for a green juice day at least twice a week. Pick days that you have a bit more time for cleanup, and get juicy with some celery, cucumber, apple, lemon, ginger, pineapple, carrots, beets, or whatever fruits and veggies you like most. Try to aim for a base of non-sweet water-rich items like celery and cucumber, make sure to add in at least a handful of dark greens, and then sweeten it up with your choice of fruit. Lemon and ginger are wonderfully accompaniments for flavor that also offer a great immune boost. Juicing will help mineralize the blood, alkalinize the body, hydrate the tissues, detoxify the organs and give you vastly more energy throughout the day. 

*Make Friends with Chlorophyll!

Make 2014 your greenest year yet! And we don't mean by recycling more (although that's always encouraged too!) When it comes to oxygenating, detoxifying, remineralizing, and buffering acidity within the body nothing does it quite like chlorophyll. From a science standpoint the molecule of chlorophyll holds great likeness to our own hemoglobin. If you're eating green food you're building healthy blood. It's easy to pick a chlorophyll-rich friend out from the crowd too; the darker green the hue the better! Think dark green vegetables, spirulina, chlorella, matcha green tea, and superfood green powders. Make sure to get at least one big green salad in a day, and swap out lighter greens like lettuce for more mineral and chlorophyll-dense options like raw kale or collards. The taste of some of these green foods is quite strong, but give it a little time, your body and taste buds will adapt and you may even start to crave them. Also look to recipes that incorporate greens into tasty mediums such as smoothies or even desserts. No one could refuse a creamy cacao and frozen banana milkshake even if it is colored green with spirulina. 

*Eliminate Refined Sweeteners - Use These Instead! 

It seems like wherever you turn sugar is there getting a bad rap. While it's true that too much sugar in the diet can lead to things such as candida overgrowth, inflammation, diabetes and blood sugar-related diseases, the truth of the matter is that our bodies NEED sugar to function. The type and quantity of sugar we ingest makes all the difference in the world. Give up refined sugars and artificial sweeteners and replace all that nonsense with these amazing alternatives instead! Coconut palm sugar, raw organic honey, yacon syrup, mesquite pod meal, carob powder, lucuma, maple syrup, dates and other soaked dried fruits, or for very low glycemic options try xylitol (made from birch) or stevia leaf. So rest easy tonight knowing that you don't have to give up your sweet tooth entirely in 2014....

*Get Some Ninja Kitchen Tools

Having the proper kitchen tools will enable you to easily incorporate healthier foods into your diet. A high speed blender will make recipe creation a breeze and you'll be able to easily whip up smoothies, soups, milks, puddings, pie fillings, creams, yogurts, sauces, dressings, and the list goes on and on. Blenders can also double as juicers if you blend your produce with a bit of water and then strain things through a mesh strainer or nut milk bag. Invest in a good chef knife that is easy to use. Get yourself a spiralizer so that you can make pasta noodles out of vegetables like squashes and root veggies. Dehydrators, juicers, and food processors are also great things to have but the number one appliance in a raw food kitchen is a blender, hands down. You won't regret making this investment in your health!

*Stretch It Out 

The human body is simply not made to be as sedentary as many of us stay throughout the day. If you're sitting down at a desk for 8 hours or more a day then you're likely experiencing some stiffness, aches, pains, or muscle tension because of this. Make stretching a priority! A great way to start is to begin and end each day with some light stretching, and take at least several short breaks throughout the day to do some forward bends, elbow and wrist stretches, triangle poses, hip openers, or whatever stretching feels most intuitive and best to you. The key is to tune into your body and listen to the signals its giving you. You'll be amazed by how much a simple stretching routine can enhance your sense of wellbeing both mentally and physically.  

*Jump On The Movement Train!

Yes, we had to go there. Getting more exercise is probably the most cliche resolution around but for good reason! It is one of the most surefire ways of becoming healthier and feeling amazing! Instead of paying for an expensive gym membership that you may use for a few months and then forget about why not take some gentle steps toward making movement (in some shape or form) integrated more with your lifestyle. Do you like to dance? Turn up the music and get your groove on more often. Feeling a bit tense working at your desk? Stand up and do a few burpies (google it!), run in place, or get up and do some stretching. By tuning in fully with our bodies throughout the day we can pick up more easily on those "it's time to bust a move" signals. Our bodies were meant to MOVE and this is such a key component of true health. 

*Turn Off The Gadgets! (just do it!)

Unplug from email, social media, internet, tv, etc. earlier in the evening and spend some time writing, journaling, reading, or meditating before bed. You'll go to sleep with a clearer mind, will sleep more deeply and restfully, and will wake up feeling more rejuvenated. Sleep is so critical to overall health, and while quality of sleep isn't always under our control we do have control over many aspects. If you've fallen into a trap of staying up too late because you're plugged into your electronic devices really think about how this is affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep and consider unplugging earlier in the evening. You my find yourself experiencing a refreshed state of being! 

Whatever you resolve to do in 2014 may it be for your highest good and may you experience the determination and inspiration to stick with it! It's going to be a wonderful year of expansion and growth, this is for certain.


It's always a bit of a shock to the system as we head into the colder, darker months. For many of us, at least in the Northern hemisphere, our quality and quantity of natural light changes drastically and feelings of tiredness, lethargy, lack of inspiration or even down right depression can become an unwelcome winter guest. It becomes even more important during these darker months to find things that help give us a little mood boost, and there are many options to achieve this. Immersing yourself in Mother Nature as much as possible, embracing the weather by throwing on that rain gear and getting outside for a run despite the odds, meeting up with friends for a game night or potluck, throwing a dance party (even if you're the only one attending), taking part in self-nurturing rituals such as getting a massage or taking a hot bath with oils and mineral salts, or cooking/uncooking a delicious meal for yourself or your family. These activities can all work wonders for boosting your mood during the winter however it wouldn't be a RawGur blog if we didn't plunge fully into the aspect of superfood nutrition. Eating more superfoods will flood the body with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids and more, many of which have a direct impact on the health of our brains and our moods in general. So, what is our favorite feel-good, brain nourishing, joy inducing superfood you might ask? Glorious raw cacao of course!

Cacao is by far one of the best superfoods to include in your diet during the winter, and here are the top reasons why:

PEA

Nope, not the vegetable. PEA is an abbreviation for phenylethylamine, a brain chemical also known as "the love drug", and it just so happens to be found within cacao! Yes, there is actual science and chemistry behind why giving the gift of chocolate is a perfect expression of love. Once PEA crosses the blood-brain barrier it has many interesting and pleasurable effects, and many claim it mimics those feelings that flood our brains when we're falling in love. It can also help to enhance mental focus and concentration, counter depression and anxiety, and improve our moods in general. While cacao may only have small doses of this particular chemical, it is in fact enough to have a tangible effect within our brain.

ANANDAMIDE

If you're familiar with Eastern spirituality or Sanskrit you may have heard of the term Ananda, which is defined as "bliss" or "delight". Anandamide, like PEA, has a definite impact on the way we feel. It is actually a cannabinoid neurotransmitter that plugs into our "bliss" receptors within the brain, stimulating a release of feel-good endorphins that may even mimic a very, very (very) mild high. Also found within cacao are several chemicals (such as n-acylethanolamines) that act to block the breakdown of anandamide in general, prolonging its positive effects. The gist of things: consuming cacao is downright blissful!

THEOBROMINE

This compound, while closely related to caffeine, is much more mild and less habit forming within our system. Theobromine helps wake up the senses and gently increases energy and focus. It also acts as a mild diuretic and actually has a relaxing effect on our smooth muscle tissue such as the bronchi within our lungs. It aids healthy circulation by promoting the dilation of our blood vessels, a benefit especially welcomed during the chilly days of fall and winter. Note that theobromine is the substance within chocolate that is not metabolized properly by our canine friends, and can actually be very toxic to them. Keep all chocolate away from your dogs (it's okay, it means more for you!).


TRYPTOPHAN

This feel-good essential amino acid is commonly found in protein-rich foods such as legumes or nuts and seeds, however cacao beans also happen to be a great source! Within the body tryptophan is metabolized into two of the most important neurotransmitters of all for mood and sleep regulation, serotonin and melatonin. Combined with the stimulative effects of cacao, this makes for a very unique combination; an almost relaxed yet very alert state of being, and who doesn't like the sound of that?


ANTIOXIDANTS

Raw cacao has recently become one of the most talked about and desirable superfoods largely in part due to its off the chart antioxidant levels. And justly so. When using the ORAC scale (a unit of measurement used to gauge antioxidant value in food) little compares to the antioxidant value of cacao. It's ORAC value surpasses antioxidant mega-stars blueberries, goji berries and even acai with a rating of 62,100 per 100 grams of nibs* When it comes to antioxidant power a high flavonoid content is what gives chocolate the upper hand. These powerful compounds are found within the plant kingdom, often giving fruits, vegetables and flowers their colorful pigment. They are highly protective, acting to guard both the plant they're found within AND the human body from free radical degradation or pathogenic attack. If you're currently eating matcha green tea or red wine for a dose of flavonoids, you may want to switch over to raw chocolate; you'll be getting an even more profound benefit!

MINERALS

When searching for ways to remineralize the body, your mind may hop over to leafy greens, sea vegetables, green powders or something of the like. All of those are amazing, however you may be surprised to know that raw chocolate actually offers many important minerals which our modern diets often lack. Magnesium, a mineral which is absolutely crucial in maintaining healthy brains, bones, hearts, muscles and digestive systems, is found abundantly within cacao! In fact, cacao is the worlds best source of this amazing mineral hands down. Magnesium helps increase feelings of relaxation and wellbeing, and sufficient quantities within the diet also help prevent constipation as well as muscle stiffness or cramps. Magnesium works alongside calcium, Vitamin D, and trace minerals such as silica to form strong, resilient bone tissue. Cacao is also high in minerals chromium, manganese, and zinc - which play important roles in blood sugar regulation, iron absorption, and the general robustness of our immune system.


YUM!

The yum factor - perhaps the most profound benefit of all! Chocolate is just so darn yummy! Finding the highest quality raw cacao possible and enjoying it to the max is such a nurturing experience, for body mind and spirit. There is a reason why chocolate become even more popular during the winter season - we just need a little more pleasure this time of year to get us through the cold, and that's okay!

 
Give your brain, your mood (and your taste buds) a little boost this winter with the aid of raw cacao - the "Food of the God's"!

Our top raw chocolate picks:

Organic Raw Arriba Nacional Cacao Nibs

Truly Raw Organic Ecuadorian Cocoa Powder

Truly Raw Organic Ecuadorian Cacao Butter

Indonesian Organic Cacao Powder

RawGuru Cacao Paste (cacao liqueur) - Sweetened and Unsweetened

Rawmio Chocolate Barks (you've got to try the superfood flavor!)

Rawmio Chocolate Truffle Cakes

Rawmio and Rawtella Raw Chocolate Spreads


Sources:

Craft Your Own Warming Superfood Elixirs!

Posted by: RawGuru in Untagged  on

RawGuru

Waking up on a chilly morning to be greeted with a mug of something warm and delicious to sip on is such a delightful and nurturing experience. This ritual of coffee and tea drinking is so common place around the world that it's nearly synonymous with being human. While a cup of hot herbal tea can warm up those bones quite nicely, here in the West we've become a society completely hooked on consuming coffee and caffeine first thing in the morning. That initial jolt from coffee can do miraculous things for our energy levels on a short term basis, however the after-effects are often less than ideal or sustainable. Sadly, a coffee habit can move the body into a more acidic state, dehydrate us, and also lead to adrenal exhaustion. Why do we want our adrenals to be energized as oppose to exhausted? Because these small but powerful endocrine glands play a crucial role in our overall hormonal balance as well as our energy levels and mood throughout the day. Weak or tired adrenals can lead to chronic fatigue, poor digestion, depression, feeling run down, insomnia, low immune function, extreme sensitivity to cold, allergies, premenstrual issues for women, suppressed cellular repair, and overall brain fog. Coffee has also been shown to elevate a stress related hormone in the body called cortisol which further drains the adrenals or life force and can also increase inflammation and fat storage. If moving towards even greater levels of health is a goal of yours, you'll want to replace habits that drain you with habits which energize, heal, and promote true vibrancy! When it comes to breaking bad habits, the art of substitution can work like magic to move us in the right direction without any sense of loss or deprivation. If you're giving up a coffee habit try replacing it with delicious and creative superfood infused elixirs!

The secret to creative elixir crafting is coming up with a base of ingredients that works well with your personal tastes and also your constitution. Everyone has a different set of things they'd like to work on within themselves whether its building muscle, decreasing inflammation, detoxifying the organs, balancing hormones, healing chronic disease, and the list goes on. This is where the art of elixir creation can become an exploration, using an adaptation of ingredients to meet the needs of your body. A warm creamy elixir on a cold winters morning is just about the best thing ever for soothing the soul and starting the day off in an energized yet balanced way.

Depending on how thick and creamy you make it an elixir could even become an energy sustaining yet easy to assimilate liquid breakfast. Adding a thickening ingredient like soaked chia seeds will also make it more dense. The consistency is up to you! Once you learn more about specific herbs and superfoods you can start experimenting a bit with your elixirs. If you're sensitive you'll be able to feel the effects of certain ingredients either right away or over the course of a few weeks or months, depending on what they are and how they work within the body. For instance if you're looking for something energizing you may choose to use bee pollen, ashwagandha, raw honey and cayenne for a "wake up" effect. Throw in a few cacao nibs for a creamy chocolate flavor and subtle blissful cacao buzz. You may also want to include a caffeinated herb in your tea base such as yerba mate or green tea. If hormonal balance is something you're looking to achieve you may choose to include wild yam, damiana, raspberry leaf, and nettle in your tea base and throw in a few ingredients like pine pollen and holy basil. For cleansing and detoxification milk thistle, marine phytoplankton, burdock root and shilajit are great additions. If you want a building, nourishing elixir try a base of yerba mate, nettle, alfalfa and oat straw and include some blue green algae, soaked goji berries, shilajit, pine pollen and extra coconut butter.

Firstly lets talk about the very fundamental starting point of every tea based elixir - water. The quality of the water you use for your elixirs if of utmost importance! Freshly harvested spring water is ideal because with this you get clean water with a plethora of minerals, and also a naturally structured liquid base perfect for blending medicinals into. The next step is creating your tea blend. You'll want to choose herbs for your base that taste good to you. Do not make a tea with herbs that are overly bitter or have an off-putting quality because the flavor will definitely shine through no matter how much, cacao, vanilla or spices you add. Using a base of yerba mate (if you prefer a little caffeine), nettle leaf, honeybush or rooibos are good options as these ones possess a sweet, mild, earthy flavor without any bitterness or astringency. Chaga mushroom also makes a great base in and of itself especially if you can find chunks of wild harvested chaga to make a dark coffee-like tea base. Chaga is an incredibly powerful anti-cancer and antioxidant substance and yet has a very pleasant, mild flavor that blends so nicely with sweet flavors like vanilla.

Now that you have a base for your elixir its time to make it creamy and sweet like a latte! This is where your coconut cream, almond butter, or thick nut milk will come into play. Adding an emulsifier like soy lecithin will also help give it richness and creaminess. Making a milk or cream and adding it to your tea base is the best option, but if you are short on time using a few truly raw cashews nuts will suffice as these blend nicely and don't leave a residual fiber behind. You can also use a tbs or so of raw almond or cashew butter. Using vanilla, either in tincture form or whole bean, is also highly recommended as this really helps balance flavors. Cacao nibs will give your elixir a delicious chocolate flavor and will also energize and elevate your mood, not to mention give you a solid dose of muscle relaxing, blood and bone building magnesium and protective antioxidants.

You'll also want to choose a sweetener that you love! Try raw manuka honey for a medicinal benefit that works very nicely with the theme of most elixirs. If you are avoiding or limiting your use of sweetener try using a drop or two of liquid vanilla flavored stevia and only a smidgen of another sweetener, this will lower the glycemic load substantially. If you're unsure which herbs and superfoods to start with simply play around with small amounts of ones you're already familiar with. If you know you like the taste of maca than add a bit of that. If you adore cinnamon add in a pinch. Use superfood ingredients that taste amazing like mesquite or lucuma to help blend over any stronger tasting medicinals. If you're unsure about something give it a taste test before hand and get a feel for the flavor on its own in order to gauge how it might blend with the flavors of your other ingredients. Start simple and build on it over time. You'll probably have a few misses but thats just part of the process of elixir crafting! The last tip is to always include a pinch of high quality salt in your elixirs before blending. This will add more minerals, and also help flavor balance and bring your creation to life! Take advantage of the fact that salt holds a crystalline structure and can therefore hold intention. Bless your elixir and say a positive affirmation during this step!


 

As a parent the last thing you want to do is give your child something potentially toxic or dangerous, yet this is often the case when it comes to nutritional supplements. Even if you're a health conscious and well informed parent harmful ingredients may be sneaking into your children's bodies through something as well-intentioned as a vitamin, mineral, essential fatty acid or probiotic supplement!. Highly processed, GMO, and chemically derived ingredients are surprisingly all too common in the supplement industry.  These ingredients include pharmaceutical glazes, waxes, glues, preservatives such as parabens and sodium benzoate, synthetic lubricants, hydrogenated corn, soy and cottonseed oil, chemical food dyes, talcum powder, magnesium stearate, GMO derived maltodextrin, and more. While this sounds like a chemical cocktail (because it is!), these products are marketed as health-promoting, and these toxic ingredients are even included without reservation in supplements for children.  However, that being said there are a handful of companies out there doing it right and creating organic, truly pure, whole food supplements free of all harmful ingredients. Sunbiotics is one of them.


Sunbiotics is the maker of the worlds most pure, completely vegetarian, certified organic probiotic supplement on the market and they've just come out with a probiotic powder specific to children. Sunbiotics Just4Kids is a blend of 5 highly potent non-dairy probiotic strains in a ratio specifically suited for the GI tracts of children. The following probiotic strains are included: Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Bifidobacterium Longum, and Lactobasillus Plantum. In addition to the actual strains of probiotics the only other ingredients you'll find are organic, low temperature dehydrated heirloom fruit powder, and organic yacon root. Nothing else is added, pure and simple. The product currently comes in two versions that any child will love: Apple and Banana. Both flavors are sweet and delicious and blend easily into juices and smoothies, can be incorporated into raw energy bars, bliss balls or no bake cookies, and can even be sprinkled over cereal,  oatmeal, yogurt, and chopped fruit. The product is also
enhanced by the addition of a prebiotic. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that help support healthy probiotic activity, and are often times a missing link in todays probiotic market. The development team at Sunbiotics was sure to address the issue in the most organic and natural way possible by utilizing yacon root. Yacon is a South American superfood root vegetable that contains a form of sugar called oligosaccharide. This sugar isn't utilized by our bodies for energy,
however the beneficial bacteria in our GI system love it and thrive on it. The inclusion of this ingredient serves to increase the potency and efficacy of the product.


Probiotics have gotten a lot of attention lately, and for good reason! They are quintessentially one of the foundations of our health, if not THE foundation. Our very existence is completely dependent on the symbiotic relationship between our bodies and the vast quantity of beneficial microbes within us. The truth of the matter is that we have more bacteria cells within us than actual human ones. Probiotics, while microscopically small and silent in their activities, are literally helping to sustain our very existence. They are completely necessary in the production and assimilation of crucial nutrients such as B12 and vitamin K that we must have in order for our nerve and blood cells to function properly. They help us fully break down and absorb our food and act as our primary weapon against the invasion of pathogens thus playing a huge role in our overall immunity. The inclusion of a daily probiotic in a child's diet only makes sense since they are still in the process of building their immune systems to full capacity. It is surely one of the most important things one can do for their child when the goal is to foster a fully healthy and vibrant human being. Building up a good supply of probiotics within the GI tract will strengthen the entire system, preparing the child's immune system for contact with pathogenic bacteria, viruses and other stressors. It's best not to wait until flu season to start introducing
probiotics. A daily dose over time will have a much more potent effect.


 A health supplement should be health promoting and non toxic, not chemical and GMO laden. With products such as  Sunbiotics Just4Kids there is no reason to turn to lower grade, less effective and potentially harmful supplements for our children. They can't yet choose exactly what to put in their bodies, rather they must rely on their parents to make the best choices available. Sunbiotics is there to support health conscious parents everywhere in being able to offer the most pure and effective probiotics to their children for a robustly healthy future!

Order your Organics Kids Probiotcs Today!


Summer is upon us and its time to shed those layers of clothing and enjoy the glorious warmth of sunshine on our skin. The summertime brings with it many opportunities to get outside and have loads of fun; it's only natural to want to look awesome while doing it. A bloated belly can be a real downer especially this time of year - swim suit season! What many don't realize is that tummy bloat is often a sign of digestive distress and can be greatly improved upon by following some simple tips in regards to diet and lifestyle. Bloat is most often caused by 3 things: indigestion and subsequent gas, water retention, and/or constipation. These tips will help you eliminate all 3!

*Drink more Water!
This simple tip should be the foundation of your health and wellness program. The cells of our bodies - which are made of mostly water- need to stay hydrated for peak function. This is especially true of our colons as not enough water will slow things down and create constipation. Dehydration also inhibits the release and flush of toxins from our bodies, so drink up to stay stay healthy and bloat- free!

*Eliminate (Or minimize) Salt
Too much sodium will cause the body to retain water - the opposite of what you want if you're trying to banish the bloat. We need natural mineral salts in order to maintain proper hydration and electrolyte levels so no need to eliminate it entirely. Just make sure to use it in moderation and choose unprocessed and unrefined salt such as Himalayan or high quality sea salt, or simply eat sea veggies!

*Juice Your Greens
Make juicing a part of your daily routine for hydration, minerals, and alkalinity. All green leafy veggies and sprouts are good, just make sure to not skimp on things like celery which are rich in potassium - a mineral that will help flush out excess sodium and fluid retention.

*Practice Squatting for Optimal Elimination
Yes you can do this even while using a toilet - or try elevating your knees by resting your feet on a bench. This aligns the colon in such a way to maximize elimination. The result is less gas and a happier tummy.

*Abdominal Massage
By massaging our colons in the direction of elimination we stimulate blood and lymph flow and help get things moving. Its also a great time to check in with our bodies and nurture ourselves. If you're looking down at your own tummy massage from your belly button in a downward, circular motion, giving special attention on the downward movement. You can use visualization during this time as well; picture all of your cells waking up, flushing out toxins, and shining with radiant health.

*Exercise!
Most specifically - cardio! Regular exercise will stimulate the colon and gets things a-flowin! For anyone that deals with constipation one of the absolute best things you can do is get the blood pumping and the oxygen flowing through a regular cardio routine.  Try cycling, jogging, or rebounding and make sure to put some oomph into it. Movement is crucial to our overall health and increasing the efficiency of our colon is just one example of this.

*Proper Food Combining
Ever eat a meal and have your belly almost immediately blow up with gas? This may have been caused by a simple case of bad food combining. There are many different thoughts about what we should and shouldn't be eating together. Everyone's system is different but the general rule of thumb is to eat fruit - especially melons- alone, and eat your proteins and fats with plenty of non-starchy vegetables. Fruit digests very quickly, and if you already have slower digesting food in your belly this will likely create a gassy situation (and tummy bloat!). Proteins and fats require certain enzymes and digestive juices to break down and absorb properly. The same is true for sugar and carbs - however the requirements are different than that of protein and fat. Keep the two separate and you may find this eliminates excess gas and bloating. An example would be a green smoothie for breakfast with 100% greens and fruit, and a large salad for lunch with all kinds of veggies, olives, avocado and some sprouted nuts and seeds or a dressing made from cold pressed oils. Once your digestion improves on a raw food-based diet you may find that food combining becomes less of an issue.

*Eliminate Gluten!
While not everyone is gluten intolerant, many find that this protein found in wheat products is an irritant to their system and increases inflammation in their body. Inflammation is exactly what we need to avoid when trying to banish the bloat!

*Enjoy an Early Dinner
When we stop eating early enough this gives the digestive system a chance to catch up, digest everything fully, and increases proper elimination the day after. Give it a try! You will likely be far less bloated if you stop eating by 7  than if you were to eat dinner at 9 or 10.

*Eat High Quality PROBIOTIC Foods
Probiotics are our best friends when it comes to banishing the bloat. These friendly life sustaining bacteria help us to break down our food, and not enough of the right kinds of microbes can cause inefficient digestion and a lot of gas. An efficiently functioning GI tract is in fact one that contains trillions of probiotic bacteria! Consume a daily probiotic supplement such as Sunbiotics Potent Probiotics with Prebiotics, as well as probiotic enhanced snacks and cultured foods such as kefir, raw vegan yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi, unpasteurized miso, and kombucha.

*Periodic Colon Cleansing
This may include a professional colonic or maybe just a self-administered pure water enema occasionally. Other areas of our bodies get constant maintenance - take for instance our teeth; we brush and floss those babies every single day! However many people don't give the same attention to their GI tract. This is a great way to eliminate toxins and vastly improve the overall health of our digestive system for better elimination and even nutrient absorption.

*Juice Fasting or Smoothie Day
Consider doing 1 day of juice fasting or blended foods per week. This gives the digestive system a bit of a break, and allows energy to go towards elimination rather than digestion and absorption. You may even choose to do this practice with your periodic colon cleansing as mentioned above. This is a great routine to establish for a little weekly "reset" and can even help eliminate cravings for unhealthy foods as well.

We hope these tips help you banish the bloat and experience a more carefree and joy-filled summer full of sunny adventures to all of your favorite places!


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