Attention Meat Eaters

Unless you have been living in a bubble recently, I am certain you are at least somewhat aware of the myriad of food concerns these days. So many come and go, perhaps highlights of a few days’ worth of breaking news stories. We may shun the purchase of spinach or peanut butter due to a recent E. Coli or Salmonella outbreak – but two or three weeks down the road they are right back in the grocery cart. With an immediate threat no longer in sight we somehow feel “safe” again and resort back to our old habits.

Not knowing where our food comes from needs to change. And it needs to change fast. Or else Superbugs such as “Pig MRSA” that has been found in nearly half of all meat sampled in U.S. commerce, may soon appear on your very own plate.

Read this article and consider where you are purchasing your next food item. Especially if it is a meat, dairy or egg product. Not to lessen concerns facing produce (there are plenty). But the livestock industry is really causing some concerns for both humans and the environment. Even if “staph found in meat can be eliminated by cooking food well”, who wants staph in their food in the first place!?! And I certainly would not want a whole extra dose of antibiotics & hormones lingering from forced maturity on livestock to grow larger & quicker.

We all deserve clean, healthy food.

Next time you are at the store – ASK. Ask the butcher where the meat is from. Ask the grocer where the cheese, milk, butter, eggs, and yogurt are from. READ labels! Do your research online before you head out to the market. Call local farmers. Visit farmers’ markets. Invest in a CSA. DEMAND free-range, hormone & antibiotic free meat, dairy & eggs. It is the least we can do as consumers who rely on producers we don’t even know.

Don’t just stop your inquiry at the store. Ask next time you are out to eat. The waiter(ess) may think you are a pain in the @ss, and/or your company, but your body will thank you when you pass on meat that came from who knows where. Rule of thumb: if they don’t know the name of the farm – don’t eat it.

The more WE care about where our food is from and how it is produced, the more WE will begin to change the way our food system operates. Unless our voices are heard through our purchasing powers – superbugs & much worse will be a guaranteed threat to our futures.

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Highlights Of My Week

A few of my favorite things this mid week of February:

Simple juices… real simple. Like 1 to 4 ingredients and I’m done.

Top favorite??

GRAPEFRUIT!


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I woke up this morning not really looking forward to my day that set to begin at the doctors office. I turned my sleepy frown upside down immediately with the help of three grapefruits. Peeled & juiced to perfection. Not too sweet, not too bitter… and just so happens to result in the prettiest shade of pink. A mason jar full of pink juice is certain to make anyone smile :)

Another fave: the quintessential OJ!


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My friend Anna just introduced me to frozen, unpasteurized OJ from Whole Foods. Put it in the fridge overnight and wake up to a half juice/half slush beverage that is wonderfully hydrating.

Spin class. Love, love, love! Yet I’m convinced spin instructors are on crack. I don’t know how they lead these workouts while dancing (bike style) & singing simultaneously. Waving their hands around in the air… I’m lucky if I don’t face plant with both hands holding on and my feet strapped in. Crack or no crack though, I’m glad they are up there kicking my behind.

Night bike rides. Chilly but invigorating.

Multi-colored popcorn.

Farm fresh eggs in my fridge. Complete with feather remnants stuck on the shell.

Class outing to the Heinz History Center. So much history packed into this place! Another Pittsburgh gem.

NYC next week!

Chicago in two weeks!

and this song.

Raw Chocolate Macaroons

These pack in some serious chocolate & coconut goodness! With only 4 ingredients and the easiest,quickest preparation EVER… what’s not to love?

Ingredients:
2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup raw cacao powder

*Adapted by Sweetly Raw
**Original recipe calls for maple syrup, 2 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of salt. I had none of these = improvise!

Directions:
Melt coconut oil in a double broiler. Combine other ingredients in a medium bowl, add oil, and combine well with wooden spoon or hands. Place in freezer for 15-20 minutes (especially if using coconut nectar– so thick and sticky!). Remove from freezer and form into round, two-bite sized balls. Freeze until ready to eat.

mmmmmm so yummy!

Buh-Bye Veganism

I have finally come to terms with something nagging, really nagging the back of my mind for the past few months. In a sense I am straying against the belief behind this blog – to share raw recipes and follow a raw lifestyle. Vegan raw at that. I’ll still continue with my raw recipes BUT I’m changing things up a bit for now.

After much personal debate I decided it is in my best interest to begin eating yogurt & eggs again. Yep, as some friends said earlier “welcome back to the dark side”. Ha, yes… the dark side. However, I’m very much at peace with my decision and don’t see it as the dark side at all.

It isn’t so much the act of eating eggs & yogurt that I have thought would be difficult but the physical, mental, and spiritual acceptance of consuming animal product. Physically I feel there will be no problems. In fact this morning for breakfast I had a generous serving of full-fat organic yogurt & cottage cheese. I couldn’t wait to get to the breakfast spread at the PASA conference to eat some of the Seven Star Farms yogurt… I literally had spent my entire morning run thinking about how much I wanted yogurt & hard-boiled egg whites.

There are a two reasons I have decided to venture from my strict(ish) vegan diet. The first being how difficult it has been to stick to a raw diet, in Pittsburgh, in the winter. I decided I am done trying to force myself to adhere to raw, just because it worked for me at one point, when my body now has been craving other foods and protein sources. Recognizing this I finally decided I need to honor this during the winter months and feed my body what it wants. My hope with eating yogurt & eggs is to get in my protein without relying on nuts – my go-to source for raw protein. Nuts are delicious, too delicious if you ask me, and I have been eating an unhealthy amount to feel satiated. I haven’t been feeling one ounce of healthy eating this amount of nuts so I decided it’s time to hang it up. Yogurt provides an excellent source of protein without all the high amount of fats (regardless of them being healthy fats). There is a such thing as too much of a good thing.

My second reason is still in the works. But what I’m coming to realize is a sustainable diet looks different everywhere you go and I need to honor that while I live in a northern climate. Plus, with my vision to one day own my own farm (SOOONer rather than later) I’ll need to do something with the milk & eggs! So I guess I’m prepping my body for that :) I want to be an active part of my farm’s own closed-loop system. It just makes so much more sense to me.

I am sure I had my parents floored this morning when I sent my mom a message I was eating yogurt and cottage cheese for breakfast. My gosh. They were so incredibly delicious. And to add to the shock value I mentioned I may want to eat bison meat in the future! Yep, me! MEAT. Crazy! Eating meat may be a bit more of a hurdle to get over… if ever… but I am certainly becoming more open to the idea. Grass-fed bison meat doesn’t sound as appalling as it once did.

Regardless of what I decide I will be choosing the healthiest and most sustainable options. My eggs must be local, come from chickens that are truly free-range, and I must know the farmer. My yogurt must be sourced from a local farm that doesn’t use hormones, pesticides or rGBH. Just like I want the freshest, pesticide-free fruits & veggies, I expect my eggs & yogurt to come from the happiest & healthiest local animals.

I have to say I am truly excited about my latest “revelation”. It feels great. I feel great…

Adding dairy and eggs back doesn’t change my beliefs about raw foods. I still want to start each day with my green juice. The bulk of my diet will still be mostly raw fruits & vegetables… because nothing compares to that!!