Monday, November 16, 2009

Too much vitamin A?

Ha. Not enough iron, too much vitamin A...

Yesterday, I met my iron goals! In my attempts to find the nutrition facts for Healthforce Nutritionals Vitamineral green supplement to accurately log it in my food journal at, I discovered that one tablespoon of Vitamineral green contains 12 - 20 mg of non-toxic iron. That ends up being about 50% of my daily intake.  Just by taking two tablespoons of this amazing food, I get my entire daily allowance of iron plus 100% of my calcium plus 200% of my b12, plus probiotics. It's good stuff. Highly recommended. And it gets me so amped!

But now I'm worried that I get too much vitamin A. I think I read somewhere that getting too many IUs of vitamin A could be toxic.

Results: Since the majority of the vitamin A I consume is in the form of beta-carotene from fresh fruits and vegetables, the body will convert what it needs into vitamin A and eliminate the rest.

Conclusion: Our bodies are brilliant.

What's new in My World of Raw:

1) Yesterday, I went to the gym. I dropped another 2 lbs! Granted, I'm not being very consistent when I step on the scale. I weigh myself at different times of the day and I wear different clothing. For example, I got to the gym and weighed myself before I exercised and had only dropped half a pound. Then I weighed myself again at the end of my workout (minus the sweatshirt I had donned earlier) and was 1.5 lbs lighter.

so, 5.5 lbs down, 4.5 to go to reach my goal by January 1st. I can totally do this.

2) Here's my breakfast from yesterday that I was so excited about the night before (persimmons, oranges, medjool dates, bananas, romaine lettuce, and fennel):

I ended up peeling my orange with a vegetable peeler. Odd, right? I find it's the best way to keep that coveted white pith in tact, which is where the majority of the calcium in oranges is found.

I couldn't really taste the fennel that I sprinkled on top. Perhaps, I will try juicing fennel and making some kind of dressing to drizzle over the top of my fruit salad next time.

I added the romaine lettuce in there to counter-balance the sugars in the fruits in an effort to give my teeth and gums a break. Occasionally, I'll wrap a few pieces of fruit inside a romaine lettuce leaf. Some raw foodists are prone to dental issues due to all the sugary fruits and smoothies one consumes. I'm trying to avoid that by getting enough greens. I have noticed my gums have become a lot more sensitive since switching to a predominantly raw food diet. Tooth sensitivity and even receding gum line has proven a bit concerning, but I'm trying different things to combat the issue (greens, MSM powder, swishing with water after eating sugary fruits or desserts, etc). I'll devote a post to my experience with tooth and gum sensitivity one of these days.

I really need to make those scones and bean dips! The ingredients are begging to be reincarnated into something lovely and delicious, but I'm having a bit of a struggle finding the time to do it. Soon. Very soon.

Gym time for me. <3

Yesterday's report:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I have low iron levels

...according to

What's new in My World of Raw:

I just registered with and began logging my meals to see how many calories I eat per day. More importantly, I'm interested in seeing what percentage of those calories are proteins, carbs, and fats and how much vitamin C, A, iron, and calcium I'm getting every day. Here is today's report:

It's really time-consuming at first because I have to search through the Nutridiary database to find each individual ingredient for my meals and if I can't find those ingredients (i.e. wheatgrass, kamut, rice milk, etc) then I have to create a "new food" in my personal database and type in their specific nutrition facts. Logging each day's food will become a lot easier as I become accustomed with the site and expand my personal database with the foods I consume on a daily basis.

My iron levels are only at 75%. I did some research and came across a list of iron-rich foods. I've decided that the easiest way for me to get enough iron into my diet is to include more sea vegetables. I've been adding dulse (a type of seaweed) flakes to my soups and salads as a natural source of iodine. I opt for sea salt over regular iodized table salt because sea salt is less processed and contains trace minerals. However, sea salt lacks adequate levels of iodine, which is vital for the formation of thyroid hormones. It's good to know that dulse, along with all types of sea vegetables, is also a rich source of iron! (I am getting sleepy and beginning to ramble...)

 Meanwhile, my babies are sprouting!

I've decided I'm going to make a three-bean hummus dip with half of the sprouted beans, and a three-bean mexican dip with the other half for raw tacos! Omg, I can't wait. I'm so hungry right's been...10 hours since I had my last meal. This whole 'Daylight Diet' is for the birds. I look forward to the day the sun doesn't set until 9:00 P.M. And I look forward to breakfast tomorrow morning! Oranges and bananas sprinkled with fennel and chopped dates...and maybe sliced persimmons. Aggh. Stop it.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Now it seems like all I ever want to do is update my blog.

What's new in My World of Raw:

1) I ate a pomegranate for the first time in maybe a year! It was small and yielded just shy of a 1/2 cup of juicy seed capsule balls (what are they even called?).

2) I ran out of rice milk and was forced to improvise for my rice milk/vita shake.

I have a big jar of hemp seeds in my refir so I mixed a few tablespoons of the hemp seeds (good source of omegas) with about  a cup of water and blended on high in my shitty, second-hand blender (just kidding, but I can't wait to own a vitamix!). Mixed it up with my powders as usual and added a few drops of stevia. It was not pleasant. Not nearly as good as the rice milk, but I managed to get it down.

3) I rinsed and drained my oats and beans and now I'll just wait for them to start sprouting. Here's a look at my sprouting station:

4) I did yoga this afternoon and discovered that I dropped another 1.5 lbs. I am now 3.5 lbs closer to my goal to lose 10 lbs by January 1st. Nice.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sprouted kamut "sticky rice"

Wow. Thank you, BF, for making the genius suggestion to use the leftover sprouted kamut from my last batch of scones as sticky rice for sushi! It totally worked. I've used sprouted quinoa before as a sushi rice substitute, but it didn't have that "rice-y" texture to it and it wasn't at all sticky. The sprouted kamut worked perfectly! Check it out...

I removed the sprouted kamut from the jar and rinsed it down with water. Then I threw it in the food processor with the S-blade for about 20 seconds until it was sliced up into smaller pieces. This gave it a sticky feel and warmed it up a bit.

Evan enjoying the fruits of my labor (he promised to clean the kitchen :)

Caffeine-less caffeine trip!

I am really impressing myself with my recent blog dedication. Damn, Jaz.

What's new in My World of Raw:
Today I woke up feeling unusually energized like I've had one too many cups of maté. I haven't felt this way in awhile without the use of some kind of stimulant such as tea or raw cacao and I will attribute it to a few changes I've made in the past two weeks:

1) I started taking a nutritional powder called Vitamineral Earth by HealthForce Nutritionals in addition to the Vitamineral Green powder that I've been taking for several months.

Vitamineral Earth is a combination of several beneficial root vegetables, seeds, herbs, and grounding spices that help build immunity during the Fall/Winter months and into Spring. It also contains a dose of omega essential fatty acids and trace minerals. I was informed by a HealthForce employee that "Earth" is great during this time of year, but doesn't have to be consumed year-round. It is a wonderful complimentary supplement to Vitamineral Green.

Vitamineral Green is a little different in that it can be taken year-round and contains algaes, grasses, leafy greens, and seaweeds. It also contains probiotics and digestive enzymes for healthy intestinal flora.
Instead of adding the Vitamineral Green into my morning green smoothies (I discontinued making my morning green smoothies because it stopped sounding appealing), I've been adding one heaping tablespoon of Vitamineral Green and one heaping tablespoon of Vitamineral Earth into a cup of organic rice milk (not raw) with a few drops of liquid stevia. I am insanely addicted to it. I have one glass in the morning when I wake up and one in the evening before I go to bed. It reminds me of a sweet cup of matcha or a green tea latté from Starbucks, which I used to buy daily before I went raw. My boyfriend, Evan, enjoys a creamy serving of this nutrient-packed a.m./p.m. drink, as well.

Other ideas for getting an extra dose of greens and immune-boosting roots is to add these magical powders to soups, smoothies, salad dressings, and/or sauces.

2) Five days ago, I started enforcing the rule of eating only during daylight hours.

Over the course of the last six months, I've gained upwards of 10+ lbs. I think the reason for my weight gain is due to the fact that I work the closing shift at my job. During the the summer when we were really busy, I wasn't getting home until midnight or later, which meant I wasn't eating dinner until the early morning in most cases. This took a huge toll on my digestive tract and I started packing on the pounds (not to mention waking up with a stomach ache - feeling bloated and lethargic).

Two days after I nixed the late-night eating habit, I had already dropped two pounds! Now I'm on day six and I feel really, really good! I am still allowing myself to drink tea after dark (or red wine in last night's case) and that includes my new addiction - the rice milk/Vitamineral shake. It gives me something to look forward to after work and keeps me motivated :)

3) On Monday of this week, I wrote some new goals and revisited some old ones from a year ago that I plan to read through and apply to my life on a daily basis.

Goals (11/09/09)
1. I will lose 10 lbs. by January 1st by eating only during daylight hours.
2. I will find joy, passion, meaning, and fun in my job and work.
3. I will re-master and apply the law of substitution and see every situation, day, opportunity, and moment as a positive one.
4. I will find my path to optimum health and continue to discover what foods, combinations and activities work best for my mind, body, and spirit.
5. I will achieve, create, and inspire euphoric relationships.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen I have my oats and nuts soaking for the new batch of raw scones I will be making tomorrow as well as the navy beans, black beans, and garbanzo beans I bought from the co-op last night.

I rinsed the oats and beans and will continue to soak them until I see little sprouts popping out of their bodies (probably another eight hours or so, I'm guessing?). Then I will rinse and drain them again and allow them to germinate for a bit before I process them. After rinsing the soaked nuts, I tossed them in the dehydrator so they will be nice and dry by tomorrow morning.

And here's a pic of my breakfast this morning:

 My breakfast bowl included two cups of flame grapes, one navel orange, two bananas, a handful of spinach, and a rib of celery. I thought it would be nice to contrast the death pot with the living fruit bowl! Which one would you choose?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

second post of the day? Wat?!

That's a first.

I find myself at Side St. bar in Portland's Belmont District with a glass of cheap cab and an aging 'puter (two human years equates into 15 computer years/time to upgrade). My intention is to send out a bunch of emails to demo managers of various local grocery [natural food] stores - New Seasons, Whole Foods, food co-ops and the like to set up demos for Papa G's (my current place of employment). Aside from being the most Organic Vegan Deli in Portland, Oregon - Papa G's sells dank packaged tofu in three magnificent flavors: Barbecue, Savory Sesame, and Original Recipe. I've taken over as demo coordinator for Papa G's in addition to working at the deli four nights a week. I love Papa G's and everything it stands for - using all organic ingredients, composting just about everything (recycling the rest), buying and providing local produce and labeling everything so customers know what's local and what's not, employing wonderful people like moi (!), among other things, among many, many, other things.

So, anyway, the point of this post is not to talk about Papa G's, although, I will miss them dearly when I am on my travels. (P.S. I haven't told them I'm leaving, yet :/ )

The point of this post is to discuss my recent trip to my co-op, People's Food Co-op. Here is the list of items I retrieved:

Dino Kale
Oats (whole oats, sproutable)
Medjool dates
Garbanzo beans
Navy beans
Black beans

I am going to start a new recipe for scones tomorrow by sprouting the oats and soaking the walnuts and [local!] hazelnuts tomorrow. I am also excited to sprout the garbanzo, navy, and black beans and make some raw bean dips and raw hummus out of sprouted garbanzo beans for the first time. I've made a raw hummus using zucchini and raw tahini before, which is delicious (duh), but I've yet to sprout beans. I hear they are difficult to digest (cooked or sprouted), but lately I am having trouble digesting just about everything so I might as well explore the world of sprouted beans, grains, and seeds. I plan to post pics, of course.

I guess, that's it. My boyfriend has just arrived with his friends and I should probably mingle a bit. 

Once upon a time I was a singer...

I did spend a gajillion dollars to get schooled (or skool'd) by Berklee College of Music after all. Over the last couple of years I've let myself lose the juice. The inspiration and determination to keep up with singing leaked right out of me (heh, gross). As the saying goes, 'use it or lose it' and I completely lost it (my voice, that is). Don't worry, kids. I will get it back. In fact, I'm getting it back right now as I type.

Yes, I'm doing my vocal exercises whilst updating my blog.

For some reason, it feels like a waste of time to devote an hour solely to vocal exercises. I used to do it daily back in college and high school. Nowadays, it feels like I have so many things on my plate that I can only make room for it if I'm also completing a separate task simultaneously (i.e. cleaning my room, updating the blog, doing my nails, checking my action -  etc). But that argument only rings < > true because I had a ton of shit on my plate in both college/high school and I don't actually think devoting an hour of my time exclusively to singing is a waste. I do, however, think that I'm more likely to go through with my vocal exercises if I feel more productive by multi-tasking. So here I am...

sblinging. blinging. sblogging. singing whilst blogging. slogging.

What's new in My World of Raw:

Today I went on a short, 35-min slow jog. I always jog slowly. I figure if I'm moving, that's good enough. Oops, I forgot about my vocal exercises. (::tongue trills on a 5-tone scale::)

I ate a banana and two cups of flame grapes pre-jog and had a cup of earl grey tea. Got home and made a raw soup with blended romaine, apple, garlic, avocado, oregano, chipotle pepper powder, cumin, nutritional yeast and a myriad other spices - my soups (and sauces and dressing, for that matter) are always clusterfuck amalgams of several different cuisines combined into one. I've been skipping my green smoothies lately for some reason. I've been craving less sweet morning smoothies and more savory, pungent foods all the time (craving raw onions like crazy!) So today I decided to make a raw green soup. It was delicious! Just what my taste buds desired.

I drizzled the soup over a bed of baby spinach, diced up half an onion, a rib of celery, a few slices of cucumber, cracked some fresh black pepper and a hit of dulse flakes and oila! (then I did it again for seconds)

I started keeping a food journal, too! I want to eventually enter everything into some kind of online calorie/nutrient counter so I can see what ratios of proteins, fats, and carbs I'm consuming and (hopefully) what nutrients, if any, I'm missing.

I might begin posting the results here.

I'm scheduled to depart Portland Jan 1st-ish heading south to Mexico and beyond. More on that soon.

Monday, November 9, 2009

soon to be somewhere else

Hi. Greetings from Portland, Oregon.

*more coming soon*

Sunday, May 31, 2009

"I am" revisited.

I am:

-        -* living  in an adorable house in Portland, Oregon (with a lovely and soon-to-be bountiful garden!)

-       -* working at Papa G’s vegan organic deli

-       - * preparing new raw food recipes weekly

-       - * singing every day

-       - * not writing enough music

-       - * still not a cellist

-       - * in love

-       - * …with life.

-       -* very happy.

-       - * convinced this will be the best summer ever.


The forgotten blog

I plead guilty to blog abandonment, but now I’m back in full force (a few pounds heavier, and a whole lot happier – well..I think, happier – we’ll get to that). I’d like to recap my days at Living Light beginning with the last day and working backwards.

First, I will sum up the entire experience:
I had heard from a few sources, personal and non, that attending Living Light Culinary Institute would change my life. It took me up until the last few days of the program to really feel convinced of this. For the majority of the program, my sentiment went something like: a) The food is great b) the people are great and c) this feels right
It was nice because I lived with a group of raw foodies. The total number of people living in the house (Living Light Inn is really just a big house with several bedrooms) at one time ranged from 15 – 25 depending on the program. The refrigerator was home to an abundance of fruits, veggies, smoothies, nut milks, salads, dehydrated tortillas, olives, kombucha, miso, nut butters, etc. No meat, fish, dairy, or cooked food allowed. Everyone was at different stages of their raw journey, but each person was just as supportive as the next. There was so much love and positive energy contained in this one group of people, I could barely believe it. I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt this happy and carefree. I didn’t want to be anywhere else. It was the perfect Next Step in my post-college/post-LA…life.
So at what moment did I fee like my life had changed? I would say the change occurred during the three or four hours that followed my demo presentation. In the Associate Chef and Instructor Training program, all students are required to present a recipe in front of the class. This includes setting up your demo tray, prepping the ingredients for the demo, demonstrating techniques for chopping, dicing, mincing, chiffonade-ing, blending, processing; giving nutritional info and history of the dishes, plating the finished product, and keeping everyone engaged throughout. The thought of instructing people on how to prepare raw food dishes had never enticed me before.
Do I like teaching?
Do I like being in front of people?
Why would I decide, all-of-a-sudden, that this was right for me? Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t have a job. Maybe it’s the fact that Jennifer Cornbleet could be handed a pile of shit and make it marketable if given the chance. *Jennifer Cornbleet is a Living Light instructor and creator of the class kit instructor training programs and incredible saleswoman * I bought two of them. They are not cheap.
Maybe it’s because I feel very passionate about the benefits of raw foods and want to share it with the world.  Maybe it’s because I have painted a picture in my mind that I could seemingly teach classes AND write music consistently AND make a living AND grow a garden AND enjoy my work AND learn to love teaching and being in front of people and it would work to my advantage as a musician and songwriter.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Flaming Lips

Oh, there are many discoveries to be made with me in the kitchen...
This one came from Hot Red Pepper Dragon Chips. A pair of red pepper lips: 
Good for garnishing, goofy photos, and edible art projects. 

Friday, February 27, 2009

Essentials of Raw Food Photos

(I will organize the photos later. so sleeps)

Oh my gosh, you guys! I've been too busy to update the blog. I've now completed my fifth and final day of Essentials (of raw foods). It was really intense. Class started between 8 am and 9 am every day and ended between 5 pm and 6 pm. We were split into teams of four to five people. We picked our own teams and worked with them throughout the week. Each time we learned a recipe, we worked with our team. We learned how to use common raw food equipment: vitamix, food processor, dehydrators, sprouting trays, different knives, different cuts, recipe making, how to combine flavors, menu planning, nutrition of raw food, garnishing, movie viewing ("Future of Food"- if you haven't seen it, yet, please do. It will change the way you view the world, maybe).So far, the mexican lunch buffet has been my favorite. 

Here are some photos:
Clover sprouts Day 2
Sprouts Day 3
Sprouts Day 4
Sprouts Day 5
Always a glorious salad bar for lunch
Our apple pie with cashew cream frosting
And here are the other team's creative apple pie toppings
Zucchini Pasta w/ pesto and marinara
Planting red winter wheat (wheat grass)

Red pepper wraps ready to be dehydrated
Where the magic happens...
Ryoya (i.e. Joe) making "Banana I scream"
w/ vegan fudge sauce and raspberry.
The team I was on created this dressing: Pineapple-cilantro thai dressing

Monday, February 23, 2009

Living Light - Essentials Day 1

8:00 AM - Morning smoothies
Today we started our hands-on training. We made almond cheese, pizza chips to put in the dehydrator, sauerkraut, brownies, green garden energy soup, buckwheat granola to put in the dehydrator, and nori rolls. I didn't take very many photos today :/ Too busy.

Yin/Yang almond herb cheese
Salad with various sprouts, krauts, and veggies. Garden green soup and pizza chips

I made nori rolls
And at the end of the day...

Oh yea! And we had a knife lesson.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Living Light Culinary School - Fundamentals Day 2

well, I'm kind of drunk. Have you ever mixed kombucha and wine? I highly recommend it. It gives the wine an extra kick and a little fizz so I like it. I love it, actually. 

Day two of Fundamentals was another wonderful day full of food and demos and samples. We learned about the different knives, different cuts, carrot cake. I don't remember what else we learned and my pen was M.I.A for most of the day so I was unable to take notes.

~Here are some photos~
Morning green smoothie + E3 Live shot
Raw vegan oatmeal with Almond Milk
Raw Vegan Salad with Sauerkraut, zucchini angel hair + cashew alfredo, raw stir fry veggies, seasoned pumpkin seeds, mixed greens, sun dried tomato dressing, dulse, nutritional yeast, ground black pepper
Raw Vegan Carrot Cake display
Raw Vegan Carrot Cake

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Living Light Culinary School


~Day 1~

Class began at 8:00 A.M. Our class of roughly 30 people met up in the lecture hall near the kitchen studio. There were chairs set up in a circle and pitchers of green smoothie on the back table with complimentary E3 Live shots. Kari (Bernardi-Ibsen) and Patricia (Hoskins) greeted us and kicked off the day with an introduction to raw foods. The Fundamentals class (Day 1) was comprised of raw vegan demos and raw vegan food consumption. Everything at Living Light is raw and vegan.

The morning smoothie was followed by a sprouting demo. We learned various methods of sprouting, how to harvest, effects of light and temperature, approximate growth cycles, which ones to green, proper storage, etc.  A wheat grass demo was next. 

We learned how to plant wheat grass and young greens and the benefits of various stages of growth. We also had a rejuvelac demo. For those of you  who don't know, rejuvelac is a probiotic. It aids in digestion and contains several enzymes, as well as eight of the B vitamins, E, and K. It tastes a little bit like cheese? It was added to the almond cheese during the almond cheese demo.

Other demos of the day included: Almond Milk, Herb Cheese, Crunchy Buckwheat Granola, Black Forest Cherry Brownies, Juicing, Pecan Paté, Wrap'n Roll, Garden Blend soup and smoothies

Buckwheat Granola with Almond Milk

We got a long lunch break from 1:00 to 2:30 pm. Lunch included a lavish salad bar of mixed greens, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, herb (almond) cheese, cucumber dill (no)yogurt salad, pizza crisps, seasoned pumpkin seeds, and Earth powder compliments of HealthForce Nutritionals.


The day ended with a sample of the Nut Pate, Garden Green soup, and Wrap 'n rolls. heh. 


Sprouted greens and wheat grass
Salad Bar

Earth by HealthForce Nutritionals

Pizza Chips

My roommates and I in our chef coats and hats.