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Eating raw,vegan food for nutrition, health and flavor.

Evidentally, when I changed my blogsite to my website, I lost my subscribers.  Sorry!  I really do want to interact with you.  Please take the time to go to my website,, and re-subscribe to my blog there.  While there, feel free to check out what you have been missing in my prior posts.  I have a fun one about my New Year’s Challenge and the contest that you can enter to win 20 Debbie Meyer produce bags!  Yes, you read it right.  You can enter the contest to win 20 bags.  It’s easy.

Sorry for the inconveniece.  See you soon!

Luv ya!


More on my jourrney.  I have been eating a lot of raw.  I do mean a lot!  That is until Friday.  I didn’t do so well for a few of days.  I can’t believe the difference in how I feel.  I am tired.  I have had more trouble thinking.  I feel like I am dragging.  My fingers are swollen.  My fingers are stiff.

How do I feel?  In a word – YUCK!!

It’s time to get back on rtack.  I know that eating raw is best, but, sometimes it is easier to succumb to the ease of eating out and mostly, to give into the self-indulgence of eating those comfort foods that I tend to turn to when I am feeling a little down.  The truth of it is that those foods only make me feel worse, physically and emotionally.  Besides, they didn’t even taste as good as I had remembered!  Then I added guilt on top of it all because I know I am poisoning my body when I eat like that.

Well, it’s time to get Back on the Wagon.  I didn’t go off RAW foods totally, but it’s time to get  back on them, TOTALLY!  I feel so much better when I eat that way.  I just need to “take captive” those thoughts of foods with processed sugar or flour, refined oils, additives, etc.  I can’t wait to start feeling better.

I will see you soon with more recipes.

Luv ya,



…..  How does your garden grow?

Well, I’m not sure how Mary’s grows, but, part of my garden grows in my kitchen.  Yep, that’s right – in my kitchen.  Sprouts are so good and so good for you.  Anyone can do it!  Here’s a great way to start:

Sprouts on a salad

2 Tablespoons of sprouting seeds, alfalfa or clover work well


Quart jar

Sprouting lid with a ring or screen and rubber band

Place the seeds in the jar.  Fill with water and place lid on.  Allow to sit overnight.

The next morning, drain, rinse, drain again.  Place on a rack at a 45 degree angle.

Rinse, drain, rinse, drain two to three times each day and watch them grow.

When the jar is full, remove the sproust from the jar and put them in a bowl full of water that more than covers the sprouts. Scoop off the seed hulls.  Swirl the sprouts around and scoop off more hulls.  Do this a few times to remove as many hulls as you can.  This process helps keep the sprouts from getting sour quickly.

Drain the sprouts and put them back in the jar.  Put a lid on the jar and store in the refigerator.

They are ready to eat and enjoy.

Every few days, if they last that long, rinse and drain them to keep them fresh.

Sprouts are high in nutrients because they are a live, growing food!

Try several different types of sprouts.  They are so delicious.  Radish sprouts are my fave!  They add some spice to my salad.  Yum-my!

Love ya!


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Did you guess the secret ingredient in the cheesecake?  Want a hint?  It is something that comes from a large, round thing that grows on a tree …the coconut oil!  Surprised?  I know, awesome, huh?  Coconut oil is a great binder and helps to make the cheesecake creamy as well.  It replaces eggs, butter and cream in desserts.  It is awesome for people that are lactose intolerant.

Coconut oil does great things in desserts.  It can be used in raw, vegan desserts because it solidifies at just the right temp in the refrigerator or at room temperature.  If using a virgin coconut oil, it is raw, thus maintaining its nutrients.

As with most oils, you want to consume it in moderation, though, because it does contain a lot of calories.  The desserts are so yummy, though, that you will want lots of them…often.

Positive points of raw, virgin coconut oil:

It is a raw food.                                                                                                                 It is a whole food.

Solidifies at room temperature.

The medium chain fatty acids in virgin coconut oil appear to increase absorption of key fat-soluble nutrients like omega 3s and vitamin E.

According to Dr. David Katz, “coconut oil is a saturated fat that contains lauric acid (also found in dark chocolate.)  Early reserch suggests they don’t raise heart disease risk.”

Even Tony the Tiger would agree, “It tastes GGRREAT!”

So enjoy coconut oil in desserts, but, in moderation.

Luv ya,


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Cheesecake to Die For

Feel like having dessert, but, want to stay healthy and light?  Have you ever tried a creamy, raw cheesecake made with cashews, dates and a secret ingredient that binds it all and keeps it creamy?  You will love this cheesecake recipe.  My daughter hates my calling it cheesecake, though, because it is a raw, vegan dish that is completly dairy free.  How can that be?  Read on to find out….

 Vanilla Cheesecake


2 1/2 cups pecans, soaked and dehydrated

1/4 cup evaporated cane juice (Sucanat or Rapadura)

1/4 cup seedless raisins


2/3 cup dates, pitted and packed

1/4 cup purified water

3 cups cashews, soaked 2-3 hours and drained

1 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1. For the crust:  Put the pecans, evaporated cane juice, and raisins in a food processor outfitted with the “S” blade, and process until the crust mixture begins to stick together.  Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan.

2. For the filling:  Loosely seperate the dates, and combine them with the water in a food processor outfitted with the “S” blade.  Process until smooth.  Add the cashews and coconut oil, and process again until smooth.  Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract, and puree once more until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

3.  To assemble the cheesecake:  Pour the filling into the crust and spread it evenly.

4.  Chill for at least 2 to 3 hours before serving.

5.  Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Freezes very well.

Variations:  Top with 1 pint fresh or frozen pitted cherries or berries of choice, thawed.  Or layer with cherries or berries.

Adapted from recipe from Living Light Culinary Arts Institute.  Thanks LLI.

Did you figure out the secret ingredient?  Check the next post to get the answer.

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Recently, hubby and I got to go sailing for an entire week with some friends of ours from Denver and North Carolina.  We sailed the San Juan’s in Washington and up into Canada.  We went to Butchart Gardens in Sydney, BC.  In a word – IMPRESSIVE!  We had so much fun going through the different parts of the garden.

Butchart Garden in Victoria B.C

I was the only RAWbie on the boat, therefore, it was a great chance to share some raw dishes with these “Choice-a-tarians.”  Some of the others had never heard of buckwheat groats, let alone seen them prepared with almond mylk and fresh fruit.  We even picked blackberries at one port and had those atop buckwheat.  We found some raw granola at the Co-op in Bellingham, WA and sprinkled some of that on as well for some crunch.  Yum!

While in Victoria, I stumbled upon a RAWkin’ Raw Cafe appropriately named, Cafe Bliss.  Their food is Raw-mazing! They have desserts that are RAWsome!  They have an extensive smoothie bar, fresh juices and a full menu.  They even serve their drinks in a pint jar that you purchase and then can get the $ back if you return it.

A raw "BLT" from Cafe Bliss - YUM!



Their raw, vegan “BLT” sandwich has the most amazing onion bread that I have ever tasted.  The B – part (bacon) is strips of zucchini that have been marinated and then dehydrated at 105 degrees.  It was U-N-B-E-L-I-V-A-B-L-Y good!  Piled high with fresh, live sprouts, lettuce, nut mayo and a thick slice of tomato, it is a party in your mouth.  You get the picture…




The next day I enjoyed a light snack with another raw, vegan that I met while walking back to the boat.  She was such a sweetie as she nibbled on leaves from my hand.

My raw, vegan friend!

She preferred to be hand-fed her plant-based diet.  I am sure it was very high in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
If you are ever in Victoria, B.C., be sure to check out Cafe Bliss.  It is sure to put a smile on your face and a lift in your step.
Luv ya

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So, I have been on the Raw/Vegan journey for 3 months now, and I am loving it!  I never felt really bad before, but, I had no idea that I could feel this good.  I went out on a limb, or in this case on a beach, and posted a picture showing me at the beginning of the journey.  I am feeling a little vulnerable here.  But, oh well, I think it’s about time to post another one.  So, here it goes….Me - 3 months and 15 pounds lighter.

You might have to scroll back to my first post, but, hopefully, you can see a difference.  What you can’t see is how I feel.  Better than ever!  I don’t go back to the doctor for another nine months.  I will then see what it has done for me medically.  I know one thing, I feel good, like I know that I should, now. (Hope you heard the song in that!)

BTW, this picture was taken while I was in Fort Bragg, at the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute, finishing my Raw Chef and Instructor training.  I won’t make you call me Chef Valerie, but, my hubby says he is going to call me Chef Sweetie! (You don’t need to call me that either!)

Here’s a closer view so that you can get a better idea of what eating a raw, delicious, plant-based diet can do.  I do need to add more exercise for the added health benefit.  Most of us know how important it is to get in cardio and weight training.

If I can do it, so can you.

By adding a great tasting smoothie (see earlier post) before your regular breakfast, you will be adding a lot of vitamins, protein, fiber and nutrients.  You will probably eat less of the cooked food that way also.  Then try starting lunch with a big, beautiful salad chocked full of dark, leafy green, bunches of cut up veggies, some nutritional yeast and a raw salad dressing and you will have tons of nutrition and less room for higher calorie, less nutritious foods.  Do the same for dinner, and you will have improved your diet immensely.  Starting is as simple as that!  Try it, you might like it!

Luv ya!

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