Favorite Raw Spring Recipes for Healthy and Glowing Skin

This is a guest post by Ingela Johansson.

What I eat is determined by how delicious it is. How healthy the food actually is, comes second. I think we’re all in the same boat, which is why it is so crucial to make delicious raw food recipes.

The last couple of years I have been experimenting with raw and vegan foods, trying out people’s recipes and making up my own. To the amazement of both my boyfriend and I, we are able to eat delicious foods without processed sugar, dairy products and wheat.

Sure, my taste buds might have changed a few times along the road and gotten used to and more sensitive to different flavors. But I don’t care. What matters is that I love the food I eat.

Below are three recipes I enjoy on a regular basis. My measurements aren’t 100% accurate as I go by feel a lot, so feel free to experiment and find your own special formula.

Fresh Spring Salad
Photo of Spring Salad by Ingela

1. Fresh Spring Salad

When summer is around the corner, I start craving salad. I love this spring salad recipe because it is so fresh and light, perfect as a side-dish or just as is. I like to make a big batch of it and have it ready to snack on whenever I want.

The sweetness of the carrots and peppers eliminates the bitterness of arugula, which is always good. Arugula is loaded with powerful minerals. Alongside with the immune boosters, garlic and ginger, it’s a match made in heaven.

Here’s the recipe:

  • About 200 g Arugula
  • 1 Bunch of Radishes
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 2 Stalks of Celery
  • 2 Medium Carrots
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • A Little Fresh Ginger
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste

Slice all the vegetables and combine in a big bowl. Crush the garlic and chop or grate the ginger. Combine the rest of the ingredients with the vegetables, and taste it to see if it needs more vinegar or salt.

2. Simple Frozen Berry Smoothie

This one is a regular breakfast for me. I usually make it big, about 1 liter, because I’m so hungry in the morning.

It is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals from the berries and spinach. I don’t actually like the taste of raw spinach, but it is covered up by the tasty berries. You won’t even notice it.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 3-5 Bananas
  • 2 dl Frozen Raspberries, Strawberries or Blueberries
  • 100 g Spinach
  • 1 dl Water

Put everything in your blender and blend until smooth. Increase the amount of water if needed. Pour into a tall glass, sprinkle a few berries on top and enjoy!

[Editor’s Note: If you want to start ramping up the greens, you can get more information on green smoothies here.]

3. Apple Pie

Oh my, of all the apple pies I’ve had this one is my favorite. When I first tried this recipe, I couldn’t believe it was actually healthy for me. The dates can be switched to dry fruit (raisins, apricots, figs etc.) if you so desire.

The crust:

  • 2 Cups of Brazil and Pecan Nuts
  • 1 Cup of Fresh Pitted Dates
  • ½ Tsp Cardamom
  • ¼ Tsp Nutmeg
  • A Pinch of Sea Salt

Put the nuts in the food processor for a few seconds, until they are small crumbs. Add dates and spices and process until the dates are in small pieces and everything is nice and crumbly.

You can process it longer if you want it more like dough, but I find it yummiest when it is like crumbs.

At this point I usually taste it to see if I’d like to add a little more salt or cardamom. Now press the crust into a round form of 9 in/22 cm and freeze until it’s firm. While I wait for the crust, I make the filling.

Filling:

  • 6 Large Apples (or 8 Smaller)
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Fresh Dates

Slice 4 apples and put into a bowl. Cut 2 apples into chunks and put in the blender with the lemon juice and the dates, and blend until smooth. Now combine the mixture with the sliced apples and mix it together. Take out the pie crust and spread the filling evenly in it. Eat instantly or refrigerate, it keeps at least a few days in the refrigerator.

There are so many tasty raw recipes that you have no excuse to keep eating unhealthy foods.

Ingela Johansson is in love with taking care of her skin naturally. If you want more health and beauty tips, you can visit her blog, where you will find topics ranging from how to prevent oily skin to removing age spots.

How to Use Essential Oils Against Cravings for Weight Loss

relaxing-aromatherapy
Photo by M. I. Zuhair

Today’s post is a treat for those of you who are struggling with cravings or emotional eating.

Peggy Carey, the author of this article, is also offering a special promotion to Raw Foods Witch readers so be sure to read till the end!

This is a guest post by Peggy Carey also known as The Zest Lady.

I have been a yo-yo dieter all my life… losing 50 pounds and then gaining it all back in a couple of years.

As a result of my desperate quest to reach my ideal weight I ruined my health.

I finally found the secret to losing excess weight and keeping it off in a way that also promotes vibrant health and fitness. I lost 45 pounds using a combination of raw food and essential oils.

Achieving your ideal weight can be challenging, but there are many tools that can help you reach your goal. Let’s look at aromatherapy and how essential oils can be used as a weight loss and maintenance aid.

Using Essential Oils for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance

As a result of his research Dr. Alan Hirsch says that we feel full because of a special mechanism in our brain.

One reason we stop eating comes from signals designating being full or a sense of being satisfied.

An emotional state can also trigger a desire for food and we can control these feelings by inhaling certain scents.

The sense of smell can help us suppress appetite and all those irrational emotional responses we have to food.

Using our sense of smell consciously can give us control where our will power fails. For most people, using scents can curb cravings.

The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Institute of Chicago found that by inhaling an aroma throughout the day, you can inhibit the desire to eat.

Dr. Hirsch, in his study, found that the more people used scent to control their appetite, the more weight they lost.

The key was to vary the oils used to prevent becoming desensitized which would reduce the effectiveness of the inhaled oils.

How to Use Essential Oils to Keep Your Irrational Hunger at Bay

Whiffer

Experiment by choosing three essential oils to use throughout the day.

Put a couple drops of each one of the selected oils on the cotton wick of your Be Lean Whiffer™ aromatherapy pendant.

Hold the Whiffer™ close to your nose when you feel you need a stronger scent.

The more you use these scents, the more effective they will be. Each day change the oils you used previously with three different ones.

This can be done easily by unscrewing the cap and inserting a new wick. Save the used wick for another day in a glass vial. (Oils can dissolve most plastics.)

Recommended Essential Oils for Weight Loss

  • Peppermint: Is a digestive aid that soothes an upset stomach and helps with digestive problems.
  • Grapefruit: A natural weight loss appetite suppressant through a process called lipolysis dissolves fat. (Combines very well with lavender in a Whiffer aromatherapy pendant).
  • Bergamot: Stimulates your endocrine system and produces a sense of calm and well being and alleviates stress. Lavender can be combined with bergamot to enhance this calming effect.
  • Tangerine: A diuretic and is also used to calm the nervous system.
  • Orange: Helps overcome depression and gives emotional support.
  • Ylang ylang: Used to clarify thoughts and assist in a feeling of wellness and calm.
  • Patchouli: Used as a sedative and relaxation aid.

It is suggested you start with peppermint oil, because it provides unique weight loss benefits.

Dr. Alan Hirsch’s study found that inhaling peppermint can directly affect your brain’s satiety center, the ventro-medial nucleus of the hypothalamus.

This powerful essential oil makes you feel full after a meal. The result is that you can eat less and still feel satisfied.

You can choose to either inhale peppermint oil before a meal or drink a few drops in a glass of water or tea right before each meal.

Make sure the oil is pure enough to ingest. Do not ingest oils that are not marked GRAS (generally regarded as safe) or are not labeled for supplement use.

In Essence…

Essential oils are a terrific and natural way to suppress appetite and calm emotions as they relate to food and stress.

For safety and effectiveness, read the directions that come on the bottles of each essential oil before inhaling or ingesting.

Reaching and maintaining your ideal weight is a very important step towards achieving vibrant health.

Get more health related tips at Peggy Carey’s site The Zest Lady.

The Special Offer I Mentioned

To help you get started with essential oils, Peggy has generously offered to give anyone who buys a Whiffer pendant putting the code “RFW” in the comment-box a free pack of cotton wick storage vials.

Simply enter the code “RFW” in the comment box at check-out to receive you free gift! Click here to pick up a Whiffer and get your essence on!

P.S. I am experimenting with one of Peggy’s handmade Whiffers and will be sharing my experiences in future posts! Join me and get your own Whiffer and oils here.

5 Profound, Yet Simple Ways Juicing Can Transform Your Life

This is a guest post by Henri Junttila.

If you’re familiar with drinking freshly-squeezed juices, I think you already know the powerful effects it can have on your body. What most people don’t notice are the effects it can have on the non-physical you.

Benefits of Juicing
Photo by Alfonso

Four years ago I had my first real date with juicing. You see, I bought an Omega 8005 Juicer and started throwing everything in it. The results were interesting, but not particularly tasty. You live and learn.

After awhile I decided to go on a juice fast, which is where I noticed the 5 subtle, yet profound ways juicing can transform your health and consciousness.

1. Intuition

Intuitive knowing sounds mystical, but for me it’s just a feeling or thought that suddenly bubbles up. When I’m doing something I might get a thought or feeling helping me decide which apple to buy or even which country to live in.

When I was on my juice fast my intuition became stronger. It was interesting, almost like having someone there to help guide you through life.

2. Courage

Fear penetrates even the most hidden parts of our lives. We tend to look at fear with fear, but how much would your perspective change if you looked at it with a fresh pair of eyes? Because what is fear? For me fear just shows me where my belief systems are not aligned with who I want to be.

Two of my biggest fears are public speaking and not having enough financially. When you go deeper and observe them, they are really not as big, bad and mean as you think they are. This awareness is amplified many times when you’re juicing and it allows you to break through these barriers and exercise courage.

3. Clarity

As you put less and less strain on your body, it starts to cleanse, detoxify and heal, which leads to enhanced clarity, focus and other mental functions. During my juice fast and when I juice daily I notice more clarity and an increased ability to make decisions.

Clarity is not only important in making decisions in your day to day, but in your life as well. What is your life purpose? What is your passion? What would you do if money didn’t exist? As I juiced, things suddenly started to become a lot clearer. Now, I am not saying I know everything about my life, just that it got a whole lot easier ;).

4. Awareness

Meditation is an awesome awareness expander, but cleaning up your body does that too. I remember walking down a quiet road in Spain (I lived in Spain then and will again soon, but that’s another story) and noticing new trees.

Had these trees appeared out of nowhere? How did they grow up so fast? I finally concluded that it was my awareness that had expanded. It’s almost as if I had been awarded the keys to a new world, the world of hidden trees.

(Editor’s Note: Maybe some of those trees were planted through my Tree Planting Initiative. If you could go back and in time, and all that. Ahem.)

5. Gratefulness

I was never the grateful type when I was younger, but as I’ve gained a few pearls of wisdom throughout the years I’ve noticed that being grateful feels awesome and is extremely uplifting.

If someone as anti-gratitude as me can become 87% more grateful on a juice fast, I’m sure you would notice it even more. How did I come up with 87%? I made it up, don’t you just love statistics?

To Juice or Not to Juice, That is Not the Question

We already know juicing rocks, so the question is: what benefits have you noticed from juicing? Any health benefits, healings or even subtle, transformational shifts?

About the Author: Henri Junttila is the founding father of the Wake Up Cloud, a place where you can discover your passion in 5 days and get conscious about your life.