REAL ADVICE. REAL RESULTS.

Going Raw for Weight Loss? Here's How!

You've heard that raw foods are the best thing for your health, beauty, and weight, but aside from fruit and vegetables, what are you actually supposed to eat on a raw diet... and why?

The point of eating a raw diet is to give your digestive system a rest and to replenish the nutrients your body needs to be healthy and vibrant. When your body senses that it is getting the adequate nutrition, it switches out of famine mode. It releases the fat it's been storing up as a consequence of nutrient deprivation... and you lose weight!

When you eat raw, your body doesn't have to spend all its energy digesting food. Instead, it uses that spared energy to cleanse your organs, tissues, and fluids. As a result- among a multitude of other health and beauty benefits- your skin glows, you have more energy and mental clarity, and you get a major boost to your immune system.

Here's the deal for anyone who is considering going partially to fully raw: Anything cooked at a temperature over 118 degrees is NOT raw. Raw foods include uncooked fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, seeds, sprouts, Superfoods & cold-pressed virgin oils. So grains, beans, and legumes are not raw after they are cooked (and are inedible if uncooked).

What does a day of raw meals look like? Here are a few examples:

BREAKFAST OPTIONS:

LUNCH OPTIONS:

SNACK OPTIONS:

  • fresh fruit
  • cashews, almonds, pecans- any raw nuts you like
  • dehydrated vegetables- for a salty fix, lightly toss them in extra virgin olive oil then sprinkle with himalayan salt & black pepper

DINNER OPTIONS:

  • zucchini pasta w/ chopped veggies & basil pesto
  • Greek salad- cucumber, tomato, red onion, artichoke, red bell peppers, olives, olive oil, apple cider vinegar & fresh herbs/spices (skip the feta)
  • vegetable wraps made with collard leaves  

DESSERT OPTIONS

  • dairy-free "nice" cream made by blending frozen bananas
  • fresh fruit salad drizzled with raw honey & your favorite toppings (raw examples: unsweetened coconut flakes, cacao nibs, fresh mint, or hemp seeds)

How Not to Overdo it on New Years Eve

Holidays seem to have become an excuse to let go and inhale as much food and alcohol as humanly possible. We all, on many occasions, have been guilty of this.

No, you don't have to be perfect, but part of being successful in maintaining healthy weight loss is being consistent ...no matter what the reason. That means being conscious of what you put in your mouth EVERY DAY.  

A lot of damage can be done during a holiday party. Here are a few tips to get through your New Year's Eve without totally sabotaging yourself:

  1. Skip foods like crackers & breads. These are full of empty calories that will just make you feel lethargic & full quickly. Don't you want to party past midnight?
  2. Fill your plate with veggies before you indulge... then hit the champagne and appetizers (in moderation). It may sound awfully restrictive to you, but you will undoubtedly appreciate it as the night goes on ...when everyone else is crashing and you feel great!
  3. Bring something healthy and plant-based... like a fruit and vegetable cru d'etat, shake raw fruit juice with vodka for a healthy cocktail, or try these recipes for raw cookies & eggnog
  4. Hit the gym before the party. This will boost your metabolism and keep your body burning calories for the rest of the day.

Have a healthy, happy New Year!

Healthy Holiday Recipe: Merry Mint Smoothie


Indulge in this healthy holiday treat that will help you stave off cravings for those sinful sweets! This creamy mint smoothie tastes so decadent that you can even serve it as a custard-like dessert.*

Paleo-friendly, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free, this luxurious recipe is made with HEALTHY fats that won't totally sabotage your weight (the way those cookies will).

Merry Mint Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup spinach
  • 1 avocado
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk (stir well before using)
  • 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. pure mint flavor
  • 4 medjool dates
  • a few ice cubes

Directions: Blend until smooth, enjoy, and HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY!

Or cut your almond milk portion in half, add your favorite toppings, and eat it with a spoon!

Eggnog & Cookies: Skinny Substitutes for Holiday Treats

Happy Holidays! You can maintain a healthy weight & lifestyle and still indulge in holiday traditions. 

These RAW holiday treats are quick, easy, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, vegan, and plant-based! Try them this holiday season!

3 Ingredient Raw Cookies:

Ingredients:
- 2 cups raw dates
- 1/2 cup crushed pecans or walnuts (if you have a nut allergy, use your favorite raw seed like pumpkin or hemp)
- unsweetened shredded coconut

  • Put dates into a large bowl and mash them into a paste with a wooden spoon.
  • Fold in pecans/walnuts until they are evenly distributed.
  • Take a small handful of your mix and roll into a ball.
  • Pour shredded coconut into a small dish. Roll your date ball in the coconut until it is fully coated.
  • Repeat until you've used up the mixture and serve.

You can add whatever healthy ingredients you like to your date-nut mix to create different varieties (cacao nibs, dried fruit, peanut butter...)

RAW Skinny Eggnog

Ingredients:
- 2 cups raw nut milk (try our Satisfy & Sustain cashew milk or Vitality & Vibrance hemp milk!)
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or coconut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

  • Place all ingredients in a high speed blender/food processor and blend for 1 minute or until smooth. Optional: Add ice or be naughty and add your favorite holiday liquor...

11 Tips to Avoid the Post-Cleanse Spiral

 style=

It’s that defining moment. You’ve just finished a three-day juice cleanse or SKINNY START and now you must decide what you are going to eat. If you don’t make the conscious decision to continue on your path towards health and wellness with simple, whole and healthy recipes and foods, it is very possible to gain back the weight you just lost.

But don’t fret, by following the tips below you can keep the weight off and your energy up long-term, without depriving yourself of food. 

  • Eat and drink a diverse variety of RAW fruits and vegetables daily, especially greens like kale, spinach, collards, wheatgrass and Swiss chard. Count your fruit and vegetable servings instead of calories or grams of fat. The more raw nutrition you feed your body, the easier it will be to maintain your results (and keep them going).
  • Avoid wheat and other grains with gluten, refined sugar/sugary foods, processed foods, fried foods, dairy and alcohol. These foods are easy to overeat and lead to weight gain. Stay away from almost everything sold in the middle of the grocery store and don’t buy anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  • Incorporate green juice into your daily routine. Keep your freezer stocked for convenient, instant, caffeine-free energy each morning and all the nutrients your body needs to burn fat and beat junk food cravings.
  • In addition to raw fruit and vegetables, focus on whole, plant-based foods like nuts and seeds. Eat healthy fats like extra virgin coconut or olive oil, avocados, and raw nuts. Replace milk and dairy products with substitutes made with ingredients like coconut, hemp, or almond.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. This includes plenty of water before each meal and hydrating fluids like coconut water, fresh juice and herbal teas. If you are looking to supercharge your body’s fat burning capacity, drink 2 Skinny Teas with green coffee extract and superfoods.
  • Don’t deprive yourself. When you’re hungry, stop and eat. Eat dessert if you want, too. There are plenty of satisfying sweets and comfort foods that won’t sabotage your waistline. In need of inspiration? Find easy plant-based recipes and desserts in our Skinny Eats E-book.
  • If you’re going out to a social event later in the day, be sure to start your day with a healthy breakfast. When dining out, order vegetables with everything. If you order salad, skip the creamy dressings and opt for vinaigrette.
  • Ask for substitutions. Most restaurants understand dietary restrictions so speak up (i.e. skip the butter and request olive oil instead). Have a one drink maximum, and as soon as you get home, drink a tall glass of water or a hydrating juice.
  • Your body hears everything your mind says. Speak to yourself in positive affirmations! Visualize yourself succeeding!
  • Don’t set lofty goals. Set systems in place. In order to manifest lasting change, you have to create healthy habits and then repeat them daily until they become second nature. Consistency is key.
  • Develop a morning routine. This includes waking up at the same time every day, and drinking water with lemon and/or raw apple cider vinegar. Drink one Green Skinny Tea before breakfast and have a green juice or smoothie. Instead of grain-based breakfasts, which can cause a mid-morning crash (cereal, waffles, toast, etc.), eat high protein foods for stable energy levels like chia seeds, a green smoothie, or organic eggs. Get some exercise. Meditate to lower stress and cortisol levels, which support weight loss. And lastly, expose yourself to bright, natural light. This will help you feel more energized and lift your mood which sets you up for success in maintaining your weight loss!

Interested in trying some juice recipes at home? Download our 30 juices e-book for some delicious and healthy home weight-loss options.

RAW GENERATION & YOUR FAVORITE LIFESTYLE BLOGGERS PRESENT: A Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

‘Tis the season of giving and what better way to show someone you care than with a gift that promotes healthy living.

Our health-inspired gift guide will have your loved ones swooning even after the season ends. Inspired by overall health and wellness, our team has compiled our absolute favorite gifts for the holiday season. Enjoy!  


Give the gift of a clear mind with the Simple Habit Meditation App. Making time for meditation can feel like yet another task on a never ending to-do list. As a small-business owner and new mom, it would be easy to just jump into the work from home mompreneur juggle from sunrise to bed time. Simple Habit offers 5 minute meditations that I can easily sneak in throughout the day, making for smoother, calmer days. Plus, it's super easy to gift.


Holiday Gift Feature provided by lifestyle blogger Crosby Noricks, of PR Couture


Give the perfect gift to the favorite yogi in your life, and customize a yoga mat! Yoga strengthens your body from the inside out, so you don't just look good, you feel good, too.


Can you really treat someone to relaxation on-the-go? Yes, you can with these cute portable essential oil diffusers that provide natural aromatherapy mood-management. At home or in the office, this gift brings lasting relaxation. 


The Clarisonic Mia 2 brush for the face is a must-give gift this holiday season. I love it because it keeps my skin clean and healthy, and that special someone on your list will, too.


Holiday Gift Feature provided by lifestyle blogger Marie Ernst


For the foodie on your list, make eating “pasta” healthy! The 4-Blade Spiralizer makes replacing traditional pasta with raw vegetable noodles simple. This is the perfect tool for making zucchini pasta – yum! 


Give the gift of glowing skin with Ole Henkrison, a paraben, sulfate and phthalates free skincare set. Inspired by the beauty benefits of Scandinavian healthy living, this line’s mission is to make youthful vitality a reality for everyone.   


Get cozy with a Chunky Knit Blanket in white or blush this holiday season. 
I love a clean modern palette at home but that doesn't mean boring. Textures are one of my favorite elements to add in a home – shaggy rugs, pillows or faux fur benches. These cozy knits make any bed or couch a little more chic and also that snuggly feeling we all want when we're at home. I'm obsessed!


Holiday Gift Feature provided by lifestyle blogger Kristen Conahan


Deliver healthy meals right to your loved one's door with a gift card to meal-delivery services such as Blue Apron or HelloFresh.


Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. This holiday season is a different one for me than most. Just having a baby, my priorities have shifted from 'how many new clothes can I get this Christmas' to 'how can I keep my sanity this Christmas'.  For me, this year is all about wellness and mental health because I now have another human depending on me. My therapist actually recommended adult coloring books to me to keep my anxiety low and my brain stimulated. After many nights of pencils breaking, I decided that what I really wanted was an awesome set of colored pencils to help my excessive coloring habit. These pencils from Prismacolor are at the top of my wish list this year! They have so many colors and are awesome quality, so they’ll last me forever!


Holiday Gift Feature provided by lifestyle blogger Miss Alissa


Looking for a best all-around gift? Then a Himalayan Salt lamp should be on your list. It creates an inviting atmosphere with its warm glow and is a natural ionizer that cleanses and deodorizes the air, alleviates stress and promotes quality sleep.


Stay hydrated while kicking off your New Year’s resolution with a bobble Insulate water bottle. I love it because I like to have a chilled drink of water post-workout, and this keeps your drink cool for hours! I also have a daily glass of tea, and this keeps it nice for as long as I want to sip.


Holiday Gift Feature provided by lifestyle & beauty blogger Margo Francois


Give the gift that keeps on giving with a Vitamix personal blender! This high-powered blender easily breaks down raw foods to create smoother, more palatable and healthy homemade soups, smoothies, salad dressings and raw nut milks!


Last, but not least, one of our personal favorites this holiday season: SKINNY START! Sipping and snacking on delicious treats to jumpstart health and wellness never tasted so good!

 

BLOW OFF STEAM. NOT YOUR DIET.

Sometimes it’s hard to resist the temptation to partake in a few drinks at the end of a long day or at social functions… but drinking alcohol can totally cripple your weight loss goals.

  • It slows down your metabolism
  • It’s empty calories with zero nutritional value
  • most mixers are loaded with sugar
  • drinking increases your appetite and decreases your self-control... the perfect storm for overeating and making poor food choices
  • alcohol causes depression even after you sober up. This means you’ll have less motivation to eat right and work out

If you must have a drink (or 3)...

  • drink a fresh green juice before you go out
  • replace sugary mixers with club soda and fresh lemon or lime
  • add raw juice instead of processed juice in your fruity cocktails
  • Try a gluten free vodka like Tito’s
  • If you are a social butterfly, try limiting your drinking to Friday and Saturday nights

 Check out THE SKINNY GIRL’S GUIDE TO UNWINDING and learn how to chill out without weight gain! 

The Skinny Girl's Guide to Unwinding

Here are a few ways you can blow off steam, improve your mood, and relax naturally without the toxic empty calories of alcohol:

  • Originally from the South Pacific, KAVA (or Kava-Kava) root can be purchased in a variety of forms including teas, supplements, powders, and extracts. It’s a mild sedative with a traditional history of social, ceremonial, and medicinal uses. Like alcohol, Kava eases anxiety, elevates mood, releases inhibitions, and promotes relaxation, but UNLIKE alcohol, it saves you the empty calories. Kava exerts its calming effects without diminishing mental alertness or transforming you into... THAT girl (you know, the one who texts her ex and loses her purse). If alcohol is your go-to social lubricant or post-work tension-easer, Kava may be an alternative way to chill out and/or reduce social anxiety. It is non-addictive and won’t leave you with that nasty hangover (You should avoid alcohol when taking kava, and not just because of the empty calories. They may have a negative interaction, leading to drowsiness, dizziness, and possible liver damage. Consult your health practitioner before using kava if you are taking psychoactive medications).
  • Get on the RAW CACAO craze! In Europe, some club-goers are replacing booze (and other toxic mood-altering substances) with raw cacao. In high doses, raw cacao can induce mild feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and reduced social inhibitions. Whereas sedative alcohol can turn you into a drowsy, bumbling idiot, energizing cacao actually has been shown to improve cognitive function and memory (PLUS there is growing evidence of a correlation between regular cacao consumption and increased weight loss!)
  • Rub ESSENTIAL OILS on the bottoms of your feet or your temples, inhale, or use a diffuser. Lavender, bergamot, chamomile, and ylang-ylang are just a few of the powerful oils that absorb rapidly into the bloodstream, quickly affect brain chemistry, and help to dissipate stressful and negative emotions. Essential oils smell awesome, especially when blended, so they can also double as your new favorite chemical-free perfume (Because they are extremely concentrated, just one drop goes a long way. You may want to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil like jojoba or almond to avoid skin irritation).
  • Skip the bar and get high on endorphins instead: GO EXERCISE! Running, swimming, or spinning are great ways to get your blood flowing, reduce nervous tension, and boost your mood. In general, keeping a regular exercise routine is one of the most powerful ways to promote a positive mental state and manage the stressful emotions that trigger cocktail cravings in the first place. 

Healthy Hangover Cures

“When people tell me ‘You’re going to regret that in the morning’, I sleep in til noon, because I’m a problem solver.”

Let’s be honest- you’re no Puritan. Sometimes you’re going to have a cocktail.

Or four.

You don’t need a lecture. You need a healthy fix. So here’s what to do if and when you gasp awake like, “WHAT THE HELL DID I DO (to my body) LAST NIGHT?!?”:

  • RE-HYDRATE! Alcohol depletes liquids from the body. Hydration is pivotal to overcoming the hell that is a hangover and also helps dilute any impurities remaining in your stomach from the night before. Coconut water is a great option for hydration because it is full of electrolytes.
  • GO BACK TO SLEEP. Alcohol decreases the quality of your sleep, so you’re probably sleep deprived from the night before.
  • Get some LIGHT EXERCISE- no need to “sweat it out” at the gym if you don’t feel up to it. Go for a long, leisurely walk outdoors. Oxygen helps alcohol breakdown faster, so breathing, meditation, and yoga are also helpful.
  • Settle your stomach with ginger.
  • EAT A BANANA (alcohol depletes potassium).
  • EAT ASPARAGUS. Asparagus helps the body break down alcohol.
  • Replenish electrolytes and heal your body with refreshing, RAW JUICE.

Raw Generation Juices that will help cure a hangover:

  • Slim & Strong: Beets- cleanses your liver and helps metabolize all of the sugar in alcohol
  • Beauty & Brilliance: Oranges- Vitamin C reduces inflammation and helps break down alcohol; alcohol depletes your body of vitamin C. Ginger- reduces nausea and calms digestive distress
  • Heal & Hydrate: Cucumber- helps soothe digestion and hydrate efficiently. Pineapple- helps reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Energy & Endurance or Refresh & Revitalize: Greens- help replenish minerals depleted from drinking

There’s no universal cure for a hangover because a hangover is in reality a combination of multiple ailments. Prevention is key. Hydrate while you dehydrate by alternating booze with water or club soda, and drink at least 8 ounces of water before you fall asleep. Avoid darker, hangover-intensifying drinks like red wine, whiskey, and beer and opt instead for white wine, vodka, or gin.

How to Lose 5 Pounds in 3 Days

Jumpstarting a weight-loss plan can be the most daunting of tasks. For so many, getting started is half the battle. 

A plan like SKINNY START is an ideal way to embark on the journey to a healthier, more active lifestyle with easy, achievable steps.  Before getting started, read these five tips to set you on the road to success!

1.  Plan to START on your least demanding days. It may not be possible to completely shut your life down, but try scheduling your SKINNY START on the three days when you have the least amount of commitments and stress.

2.  Next, give yourself at least one to two days to prep for the best results. How do you prepare? Eat lots of raw fruit and vegetables, drink lots of water, and get as much rest as possible. Also, your results will greatly improve by avoiding the following foods and beverages: wheat, dairy, highly processed and sugary foods, and alcohol.

3.  Drink, eat, & enjoy! SKINNY START includes a nutritionally balanced assortment of raw juices, fat-burning teas, apples, and crave-killing chocolate protein bars to keep you nourished and satisfied everyday. If you can’t consume the seven juices, two teas, and snacks, keep your extras in case your hunger level varies from day to day. If you find yourself with leftovers after completing the three-day plan, use the teas, fruit and bars as healthy snacks or meal replacements.

4.  Have a healthy, whole-foods based meal plan ready for when you finish your SKINNY START.  The best way to maintain results is to continue to eat lots of fresh and raw fruit and vegetables each day. Try starting the day with a cold-pressed green juice. Other great options to nourish you throughout the day include green smoothies, fruit salads, vegetable salads, and non-creamy soups. The more fresh and raw foods you eat, the easier it will be to maintain your results.

5. Avoid grains and dairy. These are the two biggest offenders that cause weight gain. They are high in non-nutritious calories and are often over-consumed. If you must indulge, try eating small quantities once a week.

Interested in learning more about maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle from Raw Generation? Download our Skinny Eats eBook for great before and after recipes! 

New Review on NewBeauty.com

The benefits and pitfalls of juice cleanses have been debated by many experts over the past few years. Some nutritionists say they are a way to get more phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables than you would normally get and that they give your digestive system a much-needed break. Others say they are unnecessary for ridding the body of toxins and actually pump you with more sugar (and hardly any beneficial protein or fiber) than you really need.

I see the pros and cons of each argument, but when a juice cleanse claims to help shed five pounds in just three days, I'm curious. Raw Generation's Skinny Cleanse does just that, and I was up for the challenge. I also wanted to see what it was like because during the holidays, when my diet plummets and I need to hit the reset button, this could be a good option.

Read more...

RECIPE: Pumpkin Soft Serve "Nice" Cream

Everyone loves ice cream, especially soft serve ice cream.  Mix that with a little pumpkin and you've got yourself a party.  Check out this easy and delicious way to turn pumpkin into a delicious and cool dessert.

Pumpkin Pie Soft Serve  (Prep Time: 2 minutes / Total Time: 5 minutes)

  • 4 frozen bananas (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons sprouted pumpkin seed butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • splash of coconut milk
  • splash of vanilla extract

Instructions

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.

It just doesn't get any easier or more delicious than that! This can be topped with blackberries, organic dark chocolate chips, or nothing at all! It's that good.

 

Why is green juice all the rage?

People go nuts for green juice, and there's a good reason for it.

Here are some of the benefits our customers notice: 

  1. Promotes healthy weight loss 
  2. Brightens your skin
  3. Boosts your immune system
  4. Quick nutrition for when you're on-the-go
  5. Boost of energy without coffee!

But did you know that not all green juice is created equal?

Our green juices contain 50% leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards) and still taste great. You can drink green juice to help you reach your weight loss goals, for a quick breakfast, as a late afternoon snack, a pre or post workout snack... the possibilities are endless! 

And, most juice companies actually process their juices through applying heat or pressure. The biggest appeal of green juice is you're drinking straight nutrition and your body absorbs it immediately. 

When other companies heat or process their juices they destroy the nutrients and enzymes. Without the nutrients and enzymes, you miss out on all the health and weight loss and benefits! We NEVER process, heat, or pasteurize our juices. This is why we freeze them. Freezing is the only way to preserve the nutrition and flavor and adds the convenience factor because you aren't in a rush to consume them. You can just store them in your freezer til you are ready! 

Try our SKINNY Cleanse juices and aim for at least one juice a day.

BREAK THE BAD HABIT: Delicious dairy-free living (Part Two)

There's a *delicious* life after dairy, and it starts with replacing your milk with this…

  • Drink unsweetened coconut, hemp, oat, cashew or almond milk. If you usually put cream in your coffee, try adding a teaspoon of coconut oil for a “creamier” consistency.
  • Use pureed cauliflower or cashews (that have been soaked over night) to make “cheesy” sauces, spreads, and fillings. You can add nutritional yeast for an extra “cheesy” flavor.
  • Instead of buttering your bread, spread creamy avocado.
  • Using a recipe that requires buttermilk? Combine 1 cup of non-dairy milk with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 7-10 mins before using.
  • If you rely on yogurt as a source of probiotics, look for cultured yogurts made with coconut or almond milk.
  • Finely grate macadamia nuts to replace parmesan cheese
  • Instead of whipped cream on desserts, use canned coconut milk or aquafaba (the liquid found in canned chickpeas- who knew, right?) to make a light, fluffy topping.
  • Blend frozen bananas to make homemade “nice cream”

... Because going dairy-free should not to equate to deprivation!

(Click here to learn how to make homemade cashew “cheese”) 

Recipe: Delicious Dairy-Free, Plant-based “Cheese”

If you want sustainable weight loss and to alkalize your body, ditch the dairy. The most common protest we hear? “I could never give up cheese!”

A brief history of cheese: Cow’s milk was a God-send to the earliest dairy farmers. Back in the days before factories, mass-production, and commercial capitalism, food was often in scarce supply. Most people had to work hard to support their sustenance needs… so it must have been awesome when they realized that there was a way to make milk stay edible for an extended period of time: cheese. But these were times which called for desperate measures like... eating old, fermented milk to survive. What the hell is your excuse?

You can go dairy free and still indulge in delicious foods!

Here’s an easy recipe to help you replace cheese:

Super Simple Spreadable Cashew Cheese:

Full of healthy fats, fiber, and protein!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup RAW cashews
  • 2 Tablespoons water or unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (Himalayan salt is best!)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: Add 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast for an extra “cheesy” flavor

You’ll need: A food processor

  • Submerge your cashews in water and let them soak for at least 3 hours. You can soak them overnight if you like, up to 10 hours. Drain and rinse.
  • Put all of your ingredients EXCEPT FOR the water/plant-based milk in your food processor. Pulse repeatedly to break the cashews down, until they form a coarse, wet meal then scrape the sides of the food processor down with a spatula or a large spoon.
  • Turn the food processor back on and slowly add the water/plant-based milk while the motor is running. Pause periodically to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
  • When your cashew cheese is fully blended, it will be smooth and thick, resembling the consistency of hummus. Add more salt, pepper, and lemon juice according to your own taste preferences.

Serve with your favorite sliced vegetables (or fruit- apple slices for example!), fold into warm quinoa, rice, or gluten free pasta dishes, or dollop on soups and stews. You can even use your cashew creation as a replacement filling in recipes that call for ricotta cheese (Crepes! Eggplant rollatini! Raw lasagna!).

Experiment with flavors! You can even add your favorite herbs and seasonings like basil, dill, chives... even try sundried tomatoes, dried fruit, or a drizzle of raw honey.

If you prefer a firmer cheese, wrap your cashew cheese in cheesecloth, and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

For more of a cheese sauce à la mac n’ cheese, increase your ratio of liquid to cashew. Gradually add more water or plant-based milk until you achieve your desired consistency.

Refrigerated in an airtight container, your cashew cheese will stay fresh for about 5 days

BREAK THE BAD HABIT: Delicious dairy-free living (Part One)

 style=

"Who was the guy who first looked at a cow and said, 'I think I'll drink whatever comes out of these things when I squeeze 'em!?" -Calvin, from Bill Watterson's "Calvin and Hobbes"

If you want to maximize your weight loss and alkalize your body, ditch the dairy.

As a generation who grew up on milk, we were taught that “milk does a body good”. But what's the actual evidence telling us?

Turns out, we don't adequately absorb the vitamin d and calcium found in milk. Dairy has been linked to...

  • A higher rate of osteoporosis (so much for strengthening bones)
  • Acne breakouts
  • Allergies and nasal congestion
  • Weakening hair and nails, and...
  • WEIGHT RETENTION

Don't freak out! Despite the persistence of the dairy industry, which deceptively portrays milk as a staple of the human diet, there are plenty of other easy, plant-based ways to get your necessary doses of vitamin D, calcium, and/or protein (leafy greens, almonds, oatmeal, quinoa, lentils, hemp seeds, chia seeds, avocado...shall we go on?).

(Jump to PART 2 to learn more about how to swap out dairy without total sacrifice)

 

Simple Swaps to Help You Become More Alkaline…

So how do you get your body into an alkaline, fat burning state? Here are some tips:

  • EAT MORE RAW FOODS! Most cooked foods are acidic, but ALL raw fruits and vegetables are alkaline.
  • Make sure your fruit and vegetables are ripe when you eat them.
  • Get your leafy greens: at least one juice or meal a day! They are the most alkalizing food in the entire world!
  • Eat less animal products, they are extremely acidic!
  • Replace milk and dairy products with substitutes made with plant-based ingredients like coconut, hemp, and almond. Trade your butter for creamy avocado!
  • If you consume an acidic food, pair it with a raw food. Add diced raw vegetables to your gluten free pasta! Have a colorful green salad with your steak!  
  • Replace your coffee with green tea (or energizing green juice!)
  • Squeeze lemon or lime in your drinking water
  • Drink less alcohol (if you are a social butterfly try limiting it to Friday and Saturday nights)
  • Avoid processed foods. Read ingredient labels, if it has more than 5 ingredients don’t eat it.
  • The devil is in the details! Substitute almond butter for peanut butter, sweet potatoes for potatoes, liquid aminos for soy sauce, Himalayan salt for white table salt, stevia for sugar

    Top 7 most alkaline foods:

    • Kale
    • Spinach
    • Cucumber
    • Celery
    • Avocado
    • Bell pepper
    • Broccoli

     

    What Does Alkalizing Look Like in Real Life?

    Maintaining a consistent diet of alkalizing foods is critical to maintaining weight loss. But how do you incorporate the right foods into your diet on a long-term, consistent basis without totally overhauling your life?

    - Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collards are the absolute best thing in the world for promoting alkalinity in your body. Regardless of what you're doing to lose weight and get healthy, if you do not eat greens every day, you're going to struggle more than you have to. 

    If eating one or more servings of greens daily sounds like torture, here are some tips for sneaking that chlorophyll into your system:

    • Swap out your iceberg or romaine lettuce for chopped kale or spinach 
    • Use collard green leaves to make wraps instead of tortillas/pitas/bread
    • Incorporate green juice into your daily routine
    • Finely dice your greens and fold them into your favorite dinner entrees (like quinoa bowls, whole grain pasta and rice dishes, casseroles, or even as a healthy pizza topping)
    • Make green smoothies with your favorite fruit
    - All ripe, raw fruits and vegetables are alkaline; keep your home stocked up. Get into the habit of snacking on apples, bananas, fruit salads, sliced vegetables and hummus, fresh guacamole, etc.

    - All cooked foods are acidic, especially animal products. Cooked chicken, steak, fish, cheese, and dairy foods are very, very acidifying. We’re not telling you to cut those foods out completely (unless you want to), but if you're going to eat them, have something alkaline along with it.

      - Take small steps. It’s not all about making a big massive change that will upturn your entire life. It’s about taking small steps consistently that in the long run will add up to a healthy and beautiful you.

      Ripe Produce and Alkalinity: Why it MATTERS

      Everything we eat is either alkaline or acidic to our bodies’ pH.

      Getting your body in an alkaline state is key to not only weight loss, but also beautiful skin and hair, a good mood, and high energy levels!

      Your body yearns to maintain an alkaline state, and is always working to maintain homeostasis.  Our polluted environment, stressful daily routines, and the typical American diet trigger acidity and force your body to work even harder (think meat, cheese, sugar, bread, and booze…)!

      If there's an abundance of acidity, your body compensates by leaching alkaline minerals from other parts of your body.

      Why should it matter to you? Mineral deficiency instigates weight gain, fatigue, premature aging, crappy hair/skin/nails, and muscle weakness... among other unwelcome ailments.

      The best way to combat mineral deficiency? Eat an abundance of raw fruits and vegetables!

      Most importantly: consume at least one serving of super-alkalizing, chlorophyll-packed leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens, and swiss chard each day.

      Unless you’re a koala bear, you probably don’t have the desire or the leisure time to nosh on the handfuls of leaves that will make you look and feel your best. Drinking your greens in the form of juice removes the tedium and allows you to maximize that leafy green intake… And if you don’t totally dig the taste of leaves, you can add fruit to improve upon the flavor.  

      Why is it so important to make sure that your raw fruit and vegetables are ripe? Did you know that raw, ripe produce is nutritionally different from its unripe counterparts? Unripe produce is acidic to your body!   

      A guide to picking your favorite ripe produce:

      • Pineapple- If your pineapple is green, it doesn’t smell like anything, and you cannot easily pull one of the fronds out of the top... it’s not ripe.
      • Avocados- Everything generally gets darker as it ripens. You want your avocado to turn black. When it’s still light-medium green on the outside, it’s not ripe.  Feel your avocado. Make sure it’s a little soft. Check the color under the stem. If it’s a bright yellow-green, eat it. If it’s dark brown, it is overripe (maybe throw it in some guac’ or a smoothie).
      • Tomatoes- Dark red tomatoes are ripe, light tomatoes are unripe. Gently squeeze your tomato; if it is unripe it will feel like a golf ball. A ripe tomato will be firm, but have some give. When you cut into a ripe tomato, it will be juicy.
      • Bananas- This is the number one fruit to be vigilant of ripeness! When a banana peel still has some green, or even if it’s fully yellow, it’s actually still unripe. Until a banana turns brown and spotted, it lacks its full nutritional value, and your body digests it as a constipation-causing starch.  
      • Melon- Much like pineapple, melon will smell sweet when ripe.
      • Lemons- Your lemon should be entirely bright yellow- no green on the rind. The rind should feel thin and the lemon should have a little give when you squeeze it.
      • Mango- Similar to an avocado, it should be soft to the touch but not so soft that you can easily put a dent in it.

      So when you're in the produce department, don't be ashamed to be meticulous! Look at, smell, and touch things. Remember, ripe produce tastes exponentially better than anything unripe and is the only way to get the full nutritional value of what you’re eating!

      How ALKALIZING Helps You Lose Weight ...And Be Your Best Self!

      When your body is ALKALINE, you:

      • don't think about your weight- it melts off & stays off
      • have skin that glows and strong, shiny hair
      • feel balanced, grounded, and positive
      • wake up energized... like you don’t even need coffee!

      What’s your excuse for keeping your body in that rut? If fatigue and junk food addiction are holding you hostage, eating alkaline might just be your salvation. A diet HIGH in alkalizing foods is essential for lasting weight loss, bringing balance to your body, and feeling your BEST.

      Your body is always working to maintain its pH level. In an alkaline state, your body works more efficiently because it is using less energy to neutralize acid in the body. Preserved energy = less exhaustion and food cravings = less struggle sticking to your diet and getting your body moving!

      Unfortunately, the typical Western diet is highly acidic… and inherently detrimental to your weight loss, health, and beauty goals. Things like meat, cheese, wheat, processed foods, and alcohol shift your body’s pH to an acidic state. In this acidic state, you are sitting duck for weight gain, disease ...and feeling just downright shi**y.

      If there a lot of acidity present, your body compensates by leaching alkaline minerals from other parts of your body. Mineral deficiency can trigger lethargy, weight gain, hair loss, bad posture, premature aging, joint pain, constipation, muscle cramps, osteoporosis and even tooth decay.

      What's the fastest way to alkalize your body?

      EAT MORE RAW FRUITS AND VEGETABLES!

      Most importantly, consume at least one serving of leafy greens each day.

      Here’s a few simple and easy ways to get more raw into your diet:

      • Consume at least one salad of leafy greens each day
      • Drink a green juice in the morning
      • Satisfy your sweet tooth with a colorful fruit salad
      • Blend frozen banana with your favorite fruit to make healthy homemade “nice cream”
      • Snack on sliced vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and celery with hummus or your favorite healthy dip