Monday, October 24, 2011

It’s HaLlOwEen

Between now and next Monday American’s will consume an abundance of sugar.  That’s not even considering the fact that the holidays are coming. Heck they are here!  There will be office parties, trick or treating, mall events, house parties and the list goes on and on.  All of these events spell one thing and one thing only…..SUGAR! Sugar is literally killing the human body.  Yes it taste good, but the high fructose and sucrose does such damage .  Sugar can suppress the immune system, it interferes with the mineral relationship with the body, can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.  Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides, reduces the body’s defense against bacterial infection, reduces bone density, leads to ovarian cancer, increases fasting glucose levels, copper deficiency, interferes with calcium and magnesium.  Weakens eyesight, can cause arthritis, gallstones, appendicitis, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, hemorrhoids, and the list literally goes on and on.  Sugar is a weapon to the body.  Is an occasional sweet tooth going to kill you….NO! However, we shouldn’t want to aid in these conditions effecting us, and one way to aid is to continue putting the poison in our bodies.  Sodas, chips, cakes, ice cream, etc.  October 31, 2011 there will be pillowcases and garbage bags filled with nothing but sugar, sugar, and more sugar.  I remember when I was a kid my mother would take my bag of candy and put it in the freezer so that I would not consume it during that week.  Not just Halloween though.  Our daily Starbucks Frapps, and Lattes,  Mocha’s, you name it.  High sugar follows us, we eat it and it sits in our bodies eating our teeth away, our calcium away, the magnesium, our immune system………AWAY! Reduce your sugar intake.  Like way down!  There are alternatives to sugar, you just gotta go out and research to find it, but it’s there. 
Have a great day and Keep JoOcing!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fresh Taste Friday ---Recipe #6--- Racquel’s Faux Fish Cakes

Racquel’s Faux Fish cakes
1 lb. extra firm tofu
5 carrots (finely shredded)
Parsley (finely shredded)
Cilantro (finely shredded)
Medium onion (small dice)
1 large celery stalk
4 garlic cloves (minced)
Juice of one lemon
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce/liquid aminos
6 tbsp nutritional yeast
Tbsp ground mustard
3 tbsp old bay seasoning
Pepper to taste
1 egg replacer
1 cup +3 tbsp flour

DIRECTIONS: Remove tofu from package wrap in clean kitchen towel to fully drain.  Sit on plate and sit a pot or another plate on top for about 15 to 20 minutes.  You won’t believe how much water is inside of tofu.  Meanwhile, sauté your onion and celery on medium heat in non-stick pan coated with extra virgin olive oil.  Sauté for 3 minutes or until translucent.  Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.  Remove from heat and transfer to bowl to cool.  By now the tofu should be ready.  Remove from towel, and crumble with your hands as fine as you can….NO CHUNKS!  Add carrots, parsley, and cilantro.  Mix well with tofu….very well! Add nutritional yeast, soy sauce or liquid aminos, old bay, 3 tbs of flour, mustard and pepper.  Mix well with a spoon (I prefer my clean hands to mix).  By now onion mixture should be cooled.  Add to tofu mixture.  MIX WELL! Add 1 egg replacer (instructions to follow) mix well.  Add lemon juice, mix, vinegar and mix.  You should begin to get an amazing smell from what’s in your bowl.

Combine into balls and form patties and take the other cup of flour and lightly coat patties and put into pan for frying.  3 minutes on each side.  Flip when golden brown.

Egg Replacer
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp oil
Mix well until paste like.

Fresh Taste Friday ---Recipe #5--- Sloppy Mike's

I haven't had the traditional Sloppy Joe since I was in grade school. My sisters used to love them (as did I) and I remember the mass hysteria they would cause in the lunch room when Sloppy Joe's appeared on the lunch schedule. However, I'm pretty sure those were made with Manwich. About a week ago, I was at work and had this sudden hankering for the old classic, kid-friendly meal. I literally hadn't had one of these in almost 20 years so I had no idea where the craving came from. Maybe it was the cold, rainy weather. At any rate, I couldn't wait to get home and experiment. Manwich, coincidentally is vegan but it's processed and I've grown very leery of canned and processed foods in the past three months simply because it's not fresh and because there are a lot of things added to keep it safe in that tin can. Things that offer absolutely no nutritional value. And let's face it, it tastes like it came from a can. My mom made hers from scratch when my sisters and brother and I were kids and I'm about to teach you how to do the same thing only without the fat and cholesterol that heavy read meat (and even turkey) leave lurking between the buns.

So here goes:

Ashley's Sloppy Mike's

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 pound tofu or beef-less ground "beef" crumbles (I use the Trader Joe's brand)
1 large yellow or sweet onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons Bragg's liquid aminos (this tastes like soy sauce without the salt; feel free to use soy sauce if you'd like)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon black strap molasses
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
a few splashes of your favorite hot sauce (I use either Texas Pete or Trader Joe's pepper sauce)
Black pepper to taste
Whole wheat buns (Trader Joe's whole wheat hamburger buns are vegan) or Trader Joe's Tater Tots (also vegan)

In a large cast iron skillet, melt coconut oil and saute tofu or crumbles for a few minutes (tofu until it's brown; crumbles until they're warm). Add chopped onion, green pepper, and nutritional yeast and continue to saute in skillet. I like to cook the veggies down until they're almost soft (they'll continue to soften as you add the rest of the ingredients. Add the ketchup, mustard, molasses, brown sugar, vinegar, and lemon juice and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The kitchen should start to smell like one big Sloppy Mike. Add your hot sauce and black pepper and simmer for a few minutes. Enjoy!

I like these one of two ways. Either on a bun or over tater tots! Believe me, the tater tot version will change your life :-)

Have a wonderful Friday and Veg Out!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Hot Breakfast of Champions ---→ Steel-Cut Oatmeal -3 Ways

I recently discovered steel-cut oatmeal and it was literally love at first bite. I kind of pride myself on being an oatmeal aficionado. I hated it as a kid but as an adult it’s really been the only breakfast food that will keep me satiated well into the lunch hours of the day. As an “aficionado”, I only would purchase boxes of instant oatmeal. Which is healthy, right? Eh! They’re healthier than bacon and eggs but have you ever taken the time to read all of the ingredients on the box? The list is ongoing and I don’t recognize a good many of those ingredients.
Even if you’re a straight up rolled-oats-on-top-of-the-stove person you may realize that they aren’t as satisfying as they could be. They’re rolled to hurry the cooking process. Which in this day-in-age is a must! Who isn’t in a hurry?
Steel-cut oats are notorious for taking longer to cook. They are whole grain groats (Yes, groats! The inner portion of the oat kernel.) They’ve been cut into two or three pieces by steel rather than rolled like our more recognizable variety of oatmeal. Therefore, they’re far less processed and much heartier than rolled oats. The nutrients in this oatmeal are super duper copious as well. It’s a great source of iron and fiber and packs five grams of protein per serving. They have a nutty flavor and have a tendency to have a chewiness to them (which I rather like). Once cooked, they resemble rice while still maintaining that oatmeal consistency.
Traditionally, steel-cut or Irish oats take at least 30 minutes to cook (less if they’ve been pre-soaked). I know you’re probably thinking, “Who in the world has that kind of time in the morning to make oatmeal of all things?” Well, I found a quick cooking version of the stuff at my holy grail Trader Joe’s. I pay $2.99 for a 24 oz can (17 servings). That’s less than 18 cents a serving! *picture below

These bad boys cook up in about eight minutes and are so much better than the instant version in my opinion. In the autumn and winter months, I crave a hot breakfast almost every morning and oatmeal never bores me. Mainly because you can add so many different dried fruits and syrups to switch up the oatmeal magic. Here, I’ll share the three ways I’m currently enjoying my steel-cut hunger busters!

**These recipes are calculated for one serving and can be doubled or tripled easily for more hungry tummies J

Option #1
Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Cranberries

¾ cups of water
¼ cup steel-cut oats
a pinch of fine sea salt
1 tablespoon organic light brown sugar
1 tablespoon organic pure maple syrup
¼ cup dried cranberries
tea pot of boiling water (just in case)

In a small sauce pan, bring water to boil. Add a pinch of salt and toss in steel-cut oats. Stirring periodically (uncovered). Lower the heat to medium and continue to stir as oatmeal thickens. Add brown sugar and maple syrup. Sometimes, I find that the oatmeal will begin to get a little too thick (for my taste) so as I stir, I’ll add about a tablespoon of boiling water at a time.  This step is only necessary if you like your oatmeal a little bit looser like I do. Toss is cranberries and allow them to soften for just a minute and serve!

Option #2
Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Follow the same steps as in option #1 but leave out cranberries and add a tablespoon more of either maple syrup or brown sugar. (I wouldn’t suggest doubling both as your oatmeal will be too sweet).

Option #3  (pictured below)

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal
(same amounts of water, oatmeal, and salt)
1 tbs of fresh orange juice
1 tsp of orange zest
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ cup dried cranberries

Proceed with the same method of cooking the oats. After about a minute add the orange juice and orange zest. Continue stirring and then add the cinnamon and brown sugar. Again, if this gets too thick, add a little bit of boiling water from your teapot. Add your cranberries and serve.

Please feel free to send us your variations of steel-cut oatmeal!!!!

Twitter @GoddessNectar and @RawktheJoOce

Next week’s recipe clue: Comfort is the key when making this messy lunch or dinner treat. Keep a napkin handy for this veganized flash-back recipe!

Have a great Friday!

Keep JoOcing, RAWk on and Veg Out,


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Six Years Later -----> Heaven Rejoices Over One :-)

This morning I was digging through an old email address for the password to one of my vegan cooking sites. I typed in the words vegweb and and old correspondence from me (Ashley) to Racquel popped up. I'd sent her a link to and was encouraging her to become a new convert and join all the meat free fun. As you'll read, she wasn't too psyched about it. By this time, I had been a vegetarian for a little over a year and hadn't yet become a vegan (for the first time) but I was sticking to my guns! I thought this would be fun to share since now-a-days (SIX YEARS LATER) she's just as passionate about her plant-based diet as I am. Enjoy!

From Racquel:


From Ashley: Well, I can say that it is similar to the Atkins diet. As fair warning, any diet that is high in animal protien will cause your bones to secrete significant amouts of calcium, which is a vital nutrient especially in women (active women). Also the low carb thing will cause you to become sluggish because of the lack of complex carbohydrates which are vital to proper brain function. What you really need to do is become mindful of how much animal protein you eat on a regular basis. I am not just saying this because of my lifestyle, but because it is true. I am also not saying this because I want you to bannish meat from your diet - that was a choice that I made for myself! When consuming animal products you are not just eating your calories but whatever calories that animal ate as well. You have to work just as hard to get that burned off of your body. Animal protein can have abverse affects on the digestive system, the bones, and the waistline! Think about it and hit me back!

~Dr. Mac, MD


From Ashley: Protein, protein - you meat eaters, I tell ya! Of course we get adequate amounts of protein and I'll tell ya how. First through fortified soy milk, which also supplies tons of calcium. Beans and legumes are rich in good protein without all of the fat and still giving a rich meaty flavor. Protein is found in adequate amounts in most plant foods - it's low in fruit, potatoes, and rice, but extremely high in those beans! I am going to prove to you that animals aren't the only source of adequate protein. Girl, you know that I don't jump into anything without researching it first. I am also doubling up on vital vitamins and minerals that most flesh eaters lack because my diet is plant centered and not meat centered. Meat supplies absolutely no fiber and no vitamins or minerals - if there are they are from what the now dead animal ate. The fiber that I get daily helps keep my bowels clean and running smoothly! Hit me back!

From Racquel: heehehehe!  Do you think that less meat would help my sore knees now that I am playing ball again my knees always ache.  uhmmmm....guess what I am eating pasta Italiano soup it is wonderful and no meat.  ooh, you need to go to Kroger they have a wonderful vegan/veggie isle you'd love it...expensive but you'd love it.

From Ashley Restricting meat from your diet and eating only in moderation may result in relief for your soar joints. Also light yoga (seriously) will work wonders for sore joints causing them to work from a different range of motion and increasing flexibility! Either way you are bound to make those joints feel better. If you don't act soon you may have worse damage as you get older! THink about it and hit me back!



From Ashley: All of these sites offer great veggie recipes from salads to pasta! I know you will find something! GIve it shot - I think you are way too afraid to not eat meat. Imagine how good you will feel. Side note - meat is higher in fat than veggies (dug) but the fiber in the veggies (the fiber that ALL meat lacks) will cause you to eat much more while feeling full much faster. Fat does not fill you up nearly as fast as good wholesome fiber!

If you read this far, I decided to give you a little bonus and share the sites I shared with Racquel all those YEARS ago :-) 

Thanks for reading!

Keep JoOcing and RAWk On!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No More Mustache ----> The truth about DAIRY!

Remember the white milk mustache that we used to see on the billboards? Yeah, the ones promoting consumers to go and buy milk and to drink at least three glasses a day.  Yeah, if I’m a calf.  The USDA is something else.  Dairy is a quick way to the grave.  Notice how a calf grows into a huge cow, notice how we do too (no pun intended).  For me to criticize milk is like me cursing you-in America.  It’s been etched into our minds to drink this pasteurized solution that we call a drink. We tout it as extremely healthy.  I beg to differ.  I once felt like everyone else- that we need dairy…where will I get my calcium?  So we drink pesticides, and big, fat, cold glasses of hormones.  No wonder so many little girls are starting to look like grown women.  Dairy doesn’t keep us from breaking bones, it doesn’t cause Osteoporosis.  Did you know that an increased amount of dairy can cause cancer?  Hey, what about lactose intolerance? That doesn’t feel well….well the only reason the body is intolerant is because YOU ARE NOT A COW!  Milk doesn’t support sports performance, it’s full of fat, it causes digestive problems, irritable bowel syndrome, and it is not good on the lymph system…..and adds mucus!!!! Listen guys, occasionally you may want to grab an Oreo cookie (which is vegan) and want to dip it in some milk. Well use nut milk like walnut, almond, or coconut.  The body doesn’t need the calcium that much. It needs the vitamin D.  You can go outside and sit in the sun and get some Vitamin D. You can get supplements of Vitamin D. Just leave the dairy alone.  So “Got Milk?” I sure hope not! Go dairy free!!!! Clean up your body by not putting that poison in it.  Oh, and your children will be fine!!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Realign Your Balance

Hey slow down, hold on, wait a minute, take a breath, relax, and be still.  Take some time and read, to breath the fresh air, to let the sun beat on your skin, to walk, to laugh.  Whatever is going on in your life will be there, when you return.  Right now, you are the one that matters. As a matter of fact, you should always be the one that matters.  Our spouses, children, jobs, finances, friends, enemies, etc., etc., always take the front seat of our lives.  I bet you didn’t know that stress, along with diet and exercise plays a huge role in acidifying and alkalizing your body.  What is known as our pH balance.  Yes, when we go to the doctor they are going to tell us you have high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes or even cancer.  Your doctor does not get paid to tell you in full that your stress levels, your diet your exercise plays a huge role in your surviving these nasty diseases.  They don’t tell you that if you were disciplined and rebalanced you would see major changes.  That’s the truth.  Why don’t they tell you that? Because that doesn’t make them any money.  I know! I know! I’m not a doctor, nor did I play one on TV, but I know this to be true.  If you worked on realigning your body, you would see a major change.  This is not a “take a pill to cure an ill” this is what God put here on Earth for us to live by.  That said, did you know that human blood pH should be alkaline between 7.35-7.45.  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 healthy 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 7.0 is neutral.  Below 7.0 is acidic.  Above 7.0 is alkaline.  So am I saying acidic blood is bad? Well let’s just say it’s not good! An acidic pH can occur from, an acidic diet, emotional stress, toxic overload (like smoking, drinking and drugs) and /or immune reactions or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients.  The body tries to make up for the alkaline minerals or the lack there of by robbing the minerals that are there, therefore there is going to be a deficiency.  Your body is robbing from your body (seriously) the cells begin to decrease and its ability to repair those missing cells decrease.  The body was made to detoxify itself-but how can it, when the properties needed are absent? Well how does it become absent? By the things I listed above-we have to learn that “Ok, so the bill didn’t get paid on time this time, there is nothing I can do about it” AND MOVE ON!!!  Keep our stress levels down….in a world of nothing but stress that seems hard but it can be done.  Dismiss the stress, take deep breaths, get oxygen into your body, not just the rested  breathing, but deep breathes really heal the inside of your body.  Back away from your desk go outside and take a 15 minute walk.  Yep you knew it was coming…we gotta eat the right foods.  These typical AMERICAN DIETS just don’t work.  Our bodies were meant to be alkalized and the only way for that to happen is to eat plant based foods.  Eat to live! The doctor as I stated is not going to ask you “how much Kale do you eat?” “How much green juice do you drink?” “Do you have a juicer?” Every diet he or she gives you is going to include globs of acidifying foods that essentially break the body down.  Well Racquel, what foods are good and what foods are not? Are you saying that I can never enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, or Christmas meal, cookouts?
No, I’m not saying any of that, but I am saying that the longer we fill our bodies with poison because it feels good, we will be 6 feet under, rather quickly.
ACIDIC FOODS: Beef, chicken, eggs, liver, ocean fish, organ meats, Oysters, Pork, Veal, dairy, quark(whatever that is…still learning), bread, biscuits, cashews, peanuts, pistachios (my favorite)butter, corn oil, margarine, any artificial sweetener (even Splenda) Barley, brown rice syrup, chocolate(Heaven help me) fructose, honey, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, soy sauce, vinegar.
All I’m saying is if we don’t start making better choices with the foods we eat, our bodies are going to make us pay more and more every day.  We know that some things on the list (and that’s not the whole list) we eat every day.  Moderation is not usually part of the American vocabulary.  Moderation doesn’t mean once a week. 

Alkalizing Foods: Asparagus, Barley Grass, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cayenne Pepper, Celery, Chives, Cucumber, Dandelion (staple) Endive, Leeks, Lettuce, Onion, Peas, Red Cabbage, Green Juice, spinach, Beet, Carrot, Horseradish, Potatoes, Red Radish, Rutabaga, Turnip, Fruits:: Avocado, Lemon (top of the list) Limes, apricot, banana (ripe), currant, blueberry, cantaloupe, cherry, coconut, Date, Figs, grape, grapefruit, Plum, Mango (staple), orange, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple Raspberry, Watermelon, tomato,  lentils, Lima Beans, tofu, Navy Beans, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Seeds (cumin, fennel, flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, wheat), Oils (flax, olive,) Fresh Water Fish (MODERATION) coconut milk, Sunflower oil.
Just make sure that even fruits that they are eaten in moderation, and fresh not cooked.  This is just part of the list, but it’s a great start.  Have a great day!!!!

Keep JoOcing!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Product Review---->L’Equip 215XL Big Mouth Juicer Review

Good Morning JoOcers!!!! This is my new baby The L’Equip 215XL Big Mouth JoOcer.  I absolutely love this juicer.  One reason that I love is because it gives you a smooth, clean juice.  What I mean by that is absolutely no pulp, and when you clean up your pulp is very dry, meaning that it has extracted all of the juice.  

The L’Equip Model 215 XL Juicer has a “big mouth” but a “quiet motor” and it is designed with convenience in mind.  The feed tube  medium apples without slicing.  The pulp ejection is designed to shoot pulp directly into the pulp basket.  Very powerful motor.  It’s very easy to clean.  It has a 10 year warranty, and a 3 year warranty on the motor.  I have had my new baby for 2 weeks and he has put out efficiently.  This morning it produced for me my daily “Green Dream” Beet greens, Dandelion greens, Arugula, Celery, 2 kiwi, 2 Green Apples, Ginger root, and cucumber.  I call it that because we all dream of being healthy, eating healthy and living healthy, this juice makes it possible the natural way.  Then it produced for me “The Beat the Beet” Carrots, Pomegranate,  Pears, and Beets….so refreshing!!! I purchased the L’Equip Juicer because it is American made, and I am absolutely loving it. 

This is Racquel
Keep JoOcing!!!!!