Mango Delight



Ever wish that after taking a bite of a bowlful of greens your husband would say, "Whoa! Now that's a salad dressing that makes me actually want to eat salad!"

Well, this is exactly what my husband (who's not a fan of salad) told me after trying a bite of a salad I made for myself. So what did I do? I whipped up some more so we could enjoy it together! :) What I love is that this salad dressing is so easy to make. I mean seriously... it's just 2 ingredients blended together.




This recipe is taken from my new recipe ebook that will be full of low fat raw and cooked vegan recipes. So be sure to subscribe at the link below to find out when it will be available.


Printable Recipe

  • 2 c. mango* (about 2 ripe mangos), cubed
  • juice from 1/2-1 lime
  • 2 heads of organic romaine or your favorite lettuce, rinsed and chopped
  1. Place mango in blender and add juice from half the lime then blend till desired consistency.
  2. If desired, add more lime and blend to incorporate it.**
  3. Serve dressing already mixed in with the salad or on the side. Enjoy!
*Mangos not in season? Just grab a bag of frozen organic mango and thaw in a bowl of warm water. If the water gets cold before the mango is thawed then simply drain and refill with warm water. Drain water before use in a recipe.
**After I got married, I realized that not everyone enjoys the taste of lime as much as I do. That's why it's good to get in the habit of "taste testing" (with a clean spoon, of course) after adding half the amount of lime you think you'll want to add. Some some limes are a little more potent than others, and a little taste test will help you gauge the right amount so that you get the essence of lime without the sour faces. :)


– Hummingbird


 

Vegan Shepherd's Pie and Recipe Book Preview


Looking for a healthy "comfort food" to have during the holidays that everyone will love?
I've got just the recipe for you!
This dish is also featured in my recipe ebook that will be coming out soon! I'm so excited! It will be chock full of recipes and beautiful pictures. It will have both raw and cooked vegan recipes – all low sodium and no oil. So stay tuned because I will be having a contest and a discount special when it first comes out. ^_^





Printable Recipe

  •  2 lb. Yukon gold or red potatoes, scrubbed & chopped
  • 1/2 c. water
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 c. green onion, chopped
  • 1 t. onion powder, opt.
  • 1 t. garlic powder, opt.
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, diced
  • 16 oz. (1 can) or 1 1/2 c. cooked navy beans (or beans of choice), drained and rinsed
  • 2 c. frozen mixed vegetables (such as corn, peas, carrots, green beans)
  • 2 t. fresh rosemary, minced (or 1 t. dried)
  • 1 1/2 t. thyme
  • 2 c. baby spinach leaves, packed
  • 1 T. corn starch or potato starch
  • 2 T. water
  • extra rosemary for decoration
  1. Place chopped potatoes in large pot, cover with water, and boil till tender (about 10-15 min.). With a slotted spoon place cooked potatoes and 1 c. of the cooking water into a heavy duty mixing bowl and mash with potato masher till desired consistency. If potatoes are too dry, add more water. Set aside.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, you can make the pie filling. Heat a large cast iron skillet or Corningware pan (or any that can also go in the oven) on Medium or Medium/High with the green onions and enough water to keep it from sticking. Sauté the greens onion for about 2 min. then add the garlic, carrots, celery, and mushrooms and sauté till slightly softened.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, navy beans, frozen mixed veggies, and herbs. Simmer on Medium for about 10 min. or until all the vegetables are tender. Add the spinach and stir till wilted. 
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the starch with 2 T. water till smooth. Add it to the pan and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened.
  5. Turn the oven on broil. Spoon the mashed potatoes evenly over the filling then place in the oven on a low rack. Broil till top is golden. This happens quickly, so be sure to watch it so it doesn’t burn.
  6. Decorate with a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy! 





Have a dish you'd like to see on the blog? Let me know! I love to take my old favorite recipes and make them healthy and delicious.

Want to see a weekly menu or wonder what I eat in a day? Have questions about exercise? Not sure how to use a certain fruit or vegetable? Ask away! I want to give you the tools you need to become a happier, healthier you.

You can do iiiiiiittt!!! ;)

– Hummingbird

 

The Real Breakfast of Champions And My Dream



Have you ever had a dream?

Maybe it's a big one, like climbing Mt. Everest. Or maybe it's a smaller one, like running a mile. You know what's funny is that when you think about your dream you can almost see yourself accomplishing it in your mind's eye. :)

Well, just last week I had a dream. I pictured myself cycling across America and dipping the wheels of my bicycle in the Pacific Ocean.
...Hey...stop chuckling. ;) Everyone's got a dream, right? (reference to Disney's Tangled)



I know, I know... this dream may seem a little far fetched for someone who's never cycled further than 15 miles at one time, but that's why I want to start training now for it.

Also, if you have any cycling, athletic, or camping advice – I'd love to hear it!

In the mean time, I'll just be cycling as much as I can, reading cycling books from the library, googling bike touring, and fueling my body like a pro!

One way to fuel your body like a pro is to enjoy the REAL breakfast of champions. Some may know this meal simply as Banana Cereal. But, my friends, I'm here to tell you that what looks simple is chock full of the nutrients your body needs to be awesome.



Health benefits of bananas:
*per 1 medium banana

  • Fills you up quickly and keeps you feeling full
    • Only 105 calories
    • 27 g Healthy carbs
    • 3.1 g Natural fiber
  • Promotes your ideal weight
    • Because it's low-Calorie and the right kind of Calorie, you can eat more
    • Super low fat with only .4 g
    • Contains essential fatty acids: Omega 3 (31.9 mg) and Omega 6 (54.3 mg)
  • Fuels, builds, and repairs muscle
    • 1.3 g protein
    • Excellent amino acid profile including all the essential amino acids
    • Simple sugars (14.4 g) provide optimum fuel source
  • Promotes health, restful sleep, and overall happiness
    • Officially recognized by the FDA to protect against heart attack and stroke because its high in potassium (422 mg) and low in salt (1.2 mg sodium, which is healthy and different than sodium chloride, aka table salt)
    • Along with its broad nutritional profile, it has 10.6 mg of tryptophan which is converted into serotonin (aka "the happy-mood brain transmitter"1)
    • The magnesium (31.9 mg) and potassium (422 mg) help promote restful sleep
For more information on the powerful health benefits of bananas, check out Food Matters article.



Printable Recipe
  • 12 ripe bananas
  • 4 c. purified water
  • 2-3 drops of organic vanilla extract, optional
  1. Slice 8 bananas and place in large bowl.
  2. Blend 4 bananas with 4 c. of water and optional vanilla extract till it's a milky consistency.
  3. Pour banana milk over sliced bananas and enjoy!

– Hummingbird

 



Now in eBook!




This recipe is now in my new ebook. It will be available soon with even more recipes and tips!

Stay tuned by subscribing below.


 




What About Fat? Part 1



Bad fats. Healthy fats. All fat is bad fat. The fat you eat is the fat you wear.

There are so many different opinions on fat these days. So what do you do?
Find the truth! And I'm here to help you find it.

Often, people consider dietary fat to only influence a person's appearance. Or maybe they know that cardiovascular health can be affected by fat intake as well. Or maybe a person thinks, like I did 2 years ago, that fat is a good fuel source so they chow down on a can of salted cashews but limit the fruit.

But thighs, arteries, and fuel aren't the only things affected by dietary fat intake. If you're like me and most other people, it may be news to you to find out that it also affects cancer, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, cognitive function, and more.

So pay attention! And if you disagree or doubt the facts I share, please do your own research and let me know what you find. Someone's life may be depending on it. Be aware, though, of the many studies done that have conflicts of interest (i.e. the study supports the very product the funding company sells).





Here is Part 1 of "What About Fat?"

Fat is Necessary for Health


You can now calm the fat-phobic's fear... for good health, there has to be some dietary fat. Dr. Douglas Graham, author of The 80/10/10 Diet, says it well:
Fat plays many important roles in regulation of various bodily functions. It is essential to our production of hormone, although too much fat will exert an adverse influence on our hormones. It also helps to regulate the uptake of nutrients and excretion of waste products by every cell. Fat is the primary insulator within the body. It protects us against cold and heat, keeps the electricity that flows through our nerves on course, and protects our vital organs from jarring and other types of physical shock.1
Now this doesn't mean you need to go chug a bottle of olive oil so you don't have to buy a winter coat. That's just gross.

While most fats our body can produce, there are certain fats that we cannot. These are known as essential fatty acids (EFA).
Dr. McDougall gives 3 reasons why EFA are actually essential.


  1. They help in the formation of phospholipids which help prevent faulty cell membranes from being formed.
  2. They help in the "transport and oxidation of cholesterol; as a result EFA tend to lower plasma cholesterol."
  3. They are key to the formation of important hormones known as eicosanoids.2

So... what's the take-home on this first fact? Just know that the body needs fat and that 2 kinds need to come from our food since we cannot synthesize it: Omega 3 and Omega 6. (Discussed later in Part 2.)





High Fat = High Animal Protein Diet


Actually, I should probably say "High Fat usually = High Animal Protein Diet." That's what Dr. T. Colin Campbell, world-renowned researcher and scientist from Cornell University, has found. Here's what he says:
The correlation between fat intake and animal protein intake is more than 90%. This means that fat intake increases in parallel with animal protein intake. In other words, dietary fat is an indicator of how much animal-based food is in the diet. It is almost a perfect match.3 [emphasis mine]
Surprised? Not gonna lie, I kinda was. Most people know that red meat is associated with cholesterol problems and that whole milk and butter are high in fat. But eating lean cuts, egg whites, and skim milk increases fat consumption too... not to mention animal protein. Remember the problems we found with animal protein in "What About Protein" Part 1 and Part 2? Yeah... that's why we want to stay away from it.




Too Much Dietary Fat is Harmful


In 2012, it was estimated that about 1/3 of Americans are obese.5 Dr. Campbell says that "on average, we consume 35-40% of our total calories as fat."6 And Dr. Graham's research shows that Americans eat around 1/3 to 1/2 of their total calories as fat.7 Dr. Graham's research also associates high fat eating with "almost every type of digestive disturbance, blood disorder, and degenerative disease."8 If that's the case, then over 60 million Americans who suffer from acid reflux at least once a month, may find relief in changing their diet.9 I believe we can infer that too much dietary fat affects a lot of people.

Too much fat not only affects organs, but it reaches into your blood and the very cells of the body. Dr. Graham says that the uptake, transport, and delivery of oxygen to the cells is negatively affected by excess fat.8 Have candida issues, insulin/blood sugar problems, or yeast infections? It's most likely too much dietary fat. 10, 11, 12

Vegetarians and Vegans can also often have too much dietary fat. The "Junk Food Vegan" can eat too many potato chips or other processed vegan food. Usually, it's also the added oils or too many nuts, seeds, and avocados that cause the fat % in the diet to be more than the body needs. Remember, 1 gram of fat has more calories than a gram of protein or carbohydrates. While the body needs dietary fat, a little goes a long way.



  • So how much fat is needed in the diet? 
  • Curious about Omega 3 and Omega 6?
  • What about Cholesterol?


Stay tuned for What About Fat? Part 2!



Interested in learning more about nutrition and health? Stay up to date by subscribing to my email, and also don't forget to "Like" my Facebook page!

–Hummingbird



 



1. Graham, D. (2006). The 80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health, Your Weight, and Your Life One Luscious Bite at a Time. p. 112. Decature, GA: FoodnSport Press.

2. http://www.drmcdougall.com/res_vegetable_fat_med.html


3. Campbell, T. Colin; Thomas M. Campbell II (2006-06-01). The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, We (p. 83). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition. 


4. Campbell, T. Colin; Thomas M. Campbell II (2006-06-01). The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, We (p. 82). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition. 


5. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html 


6. Campbell, T. Colin; Thomas M. Campbell II (2006-06-01). The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, We (p. 82). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.  


7. Graham, D. (2006). The 80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health, Your Weight, and Your Life One Luscious Bite at a Time. p. 121.  


8. Ibid. p. 124.


9. http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/acid-reflux-symptoms


10. http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/articles/candida.html


11. http://www.mendosa.com/The-Fat-of-the-Matter-How-Dietary-Fat-Effects-Blood-Glucose.htm


12. http://www.raw-food-health.com/yeast-infection-cures.html

Scrumptious Pumpkin Pie



Fall is in the air. The leaves are turning colors. The sun rises to crisp mornings. The acorns are dropping. The animals are getting ready for winter.


And there's pumpkin pie for breakfast!


Yes, you read that correctly. But how can a dessert be good enough for breakfast? When it's low fat raw vegan pumpkin pie! 





I have to admit, when I first made this recipe, I was a little nervous that it'd taste like raw pumpkin...which I'm not a fan of. But it doesn't! It tastes and smells like traditional pumpkin pie!! In fact, it was so good that I ate it myself in just 3 days. ^_^





I consider this recipe a special treat for a few reasons: it takes a little more effort to make (about 30+ min. prep time), it mixes nuts with dates (not best for optimal digestion but perfectly fine on occasion), and it is so delicious that you'll want to share it with everyone when you get together for the holidays!
*This recipe is based off Kristina's here.



Place crust ingredients (dates, pecans, and cinnamon) into a food processor.
Pulse till well mixed and begins to form a large clump. 
Press crust mixture into pie pan and smooth out evenly.


How I dice a pie pumpkin: 1) Cut off the top, 2) Slice in half, 3) Scoop out seeds,
4) Slice into wedges, 5)Peel off the skin with a paring knife, 6) Chop into about 1 in. cubes.
The Persimmon should be so ripe and squishy
that it just pulls right off the stem.
It should smell and taste sweet, but not rotten/fermented.
Pour pie filling into the crust and
smooth out with a rubber spatula or spoon.
Printable Recipe



Crust:

  • 1 lb. Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 c. fresh pecans, shelled
  • 1 t. Cinnamon

    Filling:

    • 1 lb. Medjool dates, pitted
    • 1 ripe Persimmon
    • 1 Pie Pumpkin* (aka Sugar Pumpkin); seeds scooped out, peeled, and diced
    • 1 t. Cinnamon
    • 1 slice of fresh ginger, about the size of a quarter OR 1 t. ground ginger
    1. Place crust ingredients (dates, pecans, and cinnamon) into a food processor. Pulse till well mixed and begins to form a large clump. 
    2. Press crust mixture into pie dish and smooth out evenly.**
    3. Place the following ingredients in your high-speed blender in this order: 1 lb. pitted dates, persimmon, diced pumpkin***, cinnamon, then ginger. Blend working up to High speed. Once in High speed, press filling down with the plunger (if Vitamix) or turn off blender then mix with a spoon, then blend again. Continue blending till thick, smooth, and creamy with no chunks left.
    4. Pour pie filling into the crust and smooth out with a rubber spatula or spoon.
    5. Cover and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up or in the fridge overnight. Best eaten fresh, but keeps up to 5 days covered in the fridge. Enjoy!

    Tips:

    *Don't have a high-speed blender or don't care about eating 100% raw? Replace the raw pumpkin with 1 can of organic pumpkin. Be sure it's not pumpkin pie filling though, otherwise it will have added ingredients. 
    **Too sticky? Fill a small bowl with water and dip fingers to keep the date mixture from sticking to you. Also, rub a little bit of water on the inside of the pie dish to help the pie from sticking too much to the bottom of the dish.
    ***How I dice a pie pumpkin: 1) Cut off the top, 2) Slice in half, 3) Scoop out seeds,
    4) Slice into wedges, 5)Peel off the skin with a paring knife, 6) Chop into about 1 in. cubes.




    –Hummingbird

     

    Pizza Party!



    Who doesn't love a good pizza? I know that I love the stuff... especially if I feel good after eating it. And that's what's so great about today's recipe! It's pizza you can feel good about!





    Years ago when I first found out about all my food allergies (gluten, dairy, yeast, soy, etc.), I thought I'd never again have a good tasting pizza. UNTIL NOW!!! I'm so excited about how this turned out! It wasn't too doughy, chewy, or soggy. The crust was just right – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Please let me know how you like the recipe in the comments below. :)


    (Unbaked Pizza Crust)

    Printable Recipe

    Crust:

    • 1 1/2 c. any Gluten Free Flour (I used a mix of Bob's Red Mill All-purpose Gluten free flour and Brown Rice flour)
    • 1/2 c. Corn Meal (or another 1/2 c. gluten free flour)
    • 2 t. Baking Powder
    • 1/2-1 t. Salt or Garlic Salt (opt.)
    • Dried Italian Herbs, to taste (I used about 1 t. of Rosemary, and a pinch of Thyme, Oregano, and Basil)
    • 1 c. Water
    1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
    2. Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl, then slowly add water while stirring. Mix well. You want it to have the constancy of soft play dough. If it's too wet, add a pinch of flour. If it's too dry, add a dash of water.
    3. Place dough on lined baking sheet and press out with fingers or rubber spatula till it's about 1/4 in. thick (thicker for a more "doughy" crust, thinner for a more "crackery" crust). 
    4. Bake crust for 10-20 min. (depending on how thick it is). The crust should be pretty much done.



    Pizza Toppings:

    • 1 recipe of Never Fail Red Sauce
    • Toppings of your choice:
      • 1/2 c. Broccoli
      • 1/2 Yellow Zucchini, spiralized
      • 1/2 c. Fresh Tomatoes, sliced or chopped
      • 1/4 c. Sweet Onion, chopped
      • 1/2 c. Pineapple, frozen or fresh
      • 1/2 c. Sweet Corn, frozen or fresh
      • Small bunch of Spinach
      • 2 T. "Parmesan" sprinkle (opt.)
    1. While the crust is baking for its initial 5-10 min., prepare Never Fail Red Sauce
    2. When the crust is finished with initial baking time, top with the Red Sauce and then layer on your toppings.
    3. Bake for about 10-20 min. until the crust is golden and the toppings are warmed. Enjoy!
    *Don't forget to let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments below! :)

    –Hummingbird




     

    Vegan "Parmesan" Sprinkle



    Not sure what to put on top of that salad, pasta, or vegan pizza? How about a little "Parmesan" Sprinkle?



    It's super easy to make with only 3 ingredients, and it keeps for at least 2 weeks in the fridge! That is... if it's not gone before then. ^_^



    Printable Recipe

    • 1/3 c. Raw Cashews
    • 1/3 c. Raw Hemp Seeds
    • 1 small garlic clove or 1 t. garlic powder
    1. Grind all ingredients in a coffee grinder. 
    2. Store in fridge in airtight container.
    3. Enjoy!
    –Hummingbird


     

    Starry-eyed Starfruit


    Ever dream of relaxing on a the shore of a tropical island with sand between your toes, soaking in the suns golden rays, while enjoying juicy tropical island fruit?

    While it may not be easy for you to get to a tropical island or find a sunny day, you may be able to find some tropical fruit in your neighborhood grocery store. More recently, I've been seeing cool tropical fruit, like the Starfruit, show up in the local Trader Joes, natural food markets, and of course Whole Foods. So check out the local grocers and see. If they don't have it, talk with the produce manager to see if they can order it or other specialty fruits.



    What does it taste like?


    Amazing! ^_^ Some people say it tastes like an apple and a pear or peach infused together. I think it has more a light citrus flavor with a hint of Paula Red apple. Basically, it tastes better than candy. :) You have to try it!

    When is it ripe?


    While some people prefer to eat it with some green, I find that to be too sour for me. I like to eat my starfruit when there's little to no green left, just a good yellow/orange color and when it's just starting to soften. Sometimes the edges will get a little brown from getting bruised from shipping, but that's okay because sweet starfruit is ripe starfruit!


    Some health benefits of the Starfruit

    *Per 100 grams:

    • Low cal with only 31 Calories
    • Super hydrating with 91.4 grams of water
    • Slimming and satisfying with 2.8 grams of Fiber and only 4 grams of natural fruit sugar

    • Low in Fat - only .3 grams
    • The fat that's in it is the essential kind: Omega 3 (27mg) and Omega 6 (157mg)
    • With 1 gram of Protein, it has all of the essential amino acids and a variety of nonessential ones too

    • 34.4mg of Vitamin C = over half (57%) of the Percent Daily Value**
    • A wide range of other vitamins, including: B vitamins, Folate, and Vitamin K and more
    • High in Potassium (133mg), important in the transportation of serotonin
    • A Variety of other minerals, including: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, and more
    **For those on a 2000 Calorie diet




    So go slice up a juicy ripe starfruit, google "island sunset", lay out a picnic blanket, then stare off into the beautiful sunset while relaxing and enjoying your tropical fruit. :)

    –Hummingbird

     

    Mango Serenade Smoothie (aka Constipator Eliminator)



    I think that most people who are trying to figure out what's the best way to eat may occasionally experience some mishaps. Perhaps you have slowed digestion from a meal made of nuts, avocados, or durian. Or maybe it was from poor food combining like nut butter drizzled on bananas and dates. Or it could be that you found out the hard way that your stomach doesn't digest brown rice as well as you thought it would. Whatever the reason for your indigestion or bloating, I think you'll find relief with this Mango Serenade Smoothie. Best served for breakfast about 20 minutes after drinking a tall glass of water.

    So why is this smoothie so good for you? One word: Fiber. I'm not talking about the fake fiber supplements that can actually harm the intestinal walls and deplete some vitamins/minerals. On the contrary, this smoothie has a symphony of vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber! The perfect combination, the way God intended in nature. It will cause your tummy to sing!




    When I took the pictures for this recipe, I was making it for two adults who would drink it over the course of 1+ hours. The recipe below is only for 1 adult. Feel free to make less and vary the ratio of ingredients to suit your taste and texture preferences.



    Printable Recipe

    (Makes enough for 1 hungry adult)

    • 15-20 Fresh Medjool Dates, pitted
    • About 2 c. frozen Mangoes, or the flesh from 2 ripe Mangoes
    • 3 c. of filtered water
    1. Pit the dates and place in the bottom of the blender, then add the mango. 
    2. Add enough water to cover the dates by at least an inch.
    3. Blend, adding more water to reach desired consistency. Enjoy!
    *Tips: If you buy organic dates, be sure to check for little buggies. Don't fret if you find them though! My philosophy is that if the buggies won't eat it, maybe I shouldn't either.
    Also, if you don't have a high speed blender, be sure to soak your dates first. If that doesn't work, then you can blend half the dates with some water, slowly adding more dates and water as you continue to blend. After the date/water mixture gets to a creamy consistency, add the mango and a little more water then blend. That's what I'd do when I had my 20+ yr. old Osterizer blender. It worked just fine!


    –Hummingbird


     

    Sun Dried Tomato Burger


    Ooooohhh boy... this was DELICIOUS!! I saw Megan Elizabeth's Youtube recipe video on this and I knew I had to try it. It was so easy to make, and it tasted absolutely amazing!


    This same recipe is in her new ebook Delicious Raw Recipe Guide.
    I only did a couple things different: I used a pinch of cayenne instead of mustard seed, and I wrapped it in romaine and iceberg lettuce leaves instead of mushrooms.
    I've recently been kinda missing a good 'ol sandwich, and this burger totally knocked that craving out of the park! 

    The burger only has 6 ingredients, but is FULL of flavor.
    To get the recipe, check out Megan's Youtube video or her new book.

    My view right before I chowed down ⬇

    If you've tried this recipe or others on my blog, comment below! I'd love to hear from you!

    –Hummingbird
     

    Refreshing Cucumber Boats

    Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream! ...just kidding.


    Ever feel the need to eat something crunchy? Forget chips and pretzels! Try this recipe for refreshing cucumber boats!
    These sweet and savory cucumber boats are easy to make, and they're a delicious lunch or a perfect appetizer before dinner!



    Ingredients:

    • 10-12 Persian Cucumbers (about 2 packages)
    • about 1 1/2 c. Mango, roughly chopped (about 2 large or 3 small mangoes)
    • 1 Red Bell Pepper, de-seeded and stem removed, roughly chopped
    • small handful of green onion, chopped
    1. Slice Cucumbers in half long ways. With a small spoon, scoop out the seeds to form "the boat."
    2. Blend Mango and Bell Pepper, but don't purée. Too much blending will cause it to lose some flavor. Some small chunks and red pepper flakes give it a nice texture and color.
    3. Carefully spoon the mango/pepper mixture into the cucumbers. Top with green onion and enjoy!
    *Please Like, Share, and Subscribe to keep getting recipes and nutrition info. Also, Comment if you have a question or recipe request!

    –Hummingbird


    Favorite Raw Food Recipe Book!



    Like the idea of eating raw, but not sure where to begin? How about start where I started!

    The title of her first book Easy To Be Raw is true to its name. No need for special ingredients or a dehydrator, these recipes are perfect for those wanting better health and energy.

    So, whether you're super busy or you have time to make special creations, grab a copy of one of her books. You'll find her recipes are perfect for everyone!




    Here are some of my favorite things about Megan's books:
    • Easy to find ingredients
    • Simple and easy to make
    • Quick! (most can be made in less than 10 minutes)
    • Delicious and filling recipes
    • No expensive appliances needed
    • Recipes promote energy and health
    • Down-to-earth tips to a sustainable lifestyle

    –Hummingbird

    *Yes, I am an affiliate, but I would NEVER recommend something that I don't currently use or support.

    Manicotti


    As I'm continuing on my health journey, I find that the more I raw food I eat the better I feel. But I certainly don't mind the occasional cooked meal. That's where this recipe came from. It was a special occasion, and I wanted to make a healthier version of one of my husband's favorite dishes – manicotti. (By the way, he said it tastes better than the original – win!)



    The assembly takes some time, but it's worth it. To make this dish easier, you could always layer the filling and sauce on top of the noodles.

    Ingredients:

    *Adjust ingredient amounts to taste.
    • 1 box of large brown rice shells
    • 1 recipe of Never Fail Red Sauce
    • 1 zucchini, roughly chopped
    • 4 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
    • 1/4 c. pine nuts or cashews
    • small handful of green onions
    • small handful of sunflower sprouts
    • 1 small clove fresh garlic or 1/2 t. garlic powder
    • juice from half a lemon
    • pinch of basil or Italian herb blend
    • pinch of smoked paprika
    1. Boil noodles according to package directions.
    2. Make Never Fail Red Sauce.
    3. Put the rest of the ingredients into a blender, and blend till about the consistency of ricotta cheese.
    4. Run the noodles under cold water to avoid burning yourself and to keep them from sticking to each other.
    5. Fill each noodle with a small spoonful of the herb "cheese" mixture, and top with red sauce. Garnish with sunflower sprouts and enjoy!
    – Hummingbird



    Snicker Doodle Cookies (Kid-friendly)




    Who doesn't love a sweet, gooey cinnamon sugar cookie
    How about 10 of those for lunch with no guilt? 
    Count me in!



    Ingredients:

    • 10 Medjool dates, pitted
    • 1/2 c. dried Mulberries
    • 1 t. + 1 t. Cinnamon
    • 1 t. Vanilla powder
    • 3 T. Coconut sugar
    • some Raisins (optional)
    1. Place Medjool dates, Mulberries, 1 t. Cinnamon, and Vanilla powder in food processor. Pulse until it starts to form a ball.
    2. In separate bowl, mix 1 t. Cinnamon and 3 T. Coconut sugar.
    3. Take about 2 T. of cookie dough and form into a ball, roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture, then press to form a cookie. Repeat for the rest of the cookie dough.
    4. Top with a Raisin. Devour and Enjoy!
    **Tip: Keep a small bowl of water near your work space and use it to wet your fingers to keep the cookie dough from sticking to them.

    What About Protein? Part 2



    And now, the moment you've all been waiting for.... Part 2!!

    If you missed the first 5 Facts, be sure to head back over to "What About Protein?" Part 1





    Fact #6 – Protein Surplus = Ill-Health


    If protein is good, then more protein is better, right? Depends on who you ask. Ask those selling protein supplements or meat and dairy products then, yeah, they'd most likely say to get all you can because it's the most important nutrient...like ever... But ask someone not selling you anything, and they'll most likely say what I'm about to tell you. Too much protein-based foods is unhealthy.

    Dr. Graham says it well in his book The 80/10/10 Diet:
    Too much protein in our diets is associated with all manner of health impairments, including such symptoms as constipation and other digestive disorders that often lead to toxemia (toxic blood and tissues) and, eventually, cancer. Autoimmune dysfunction, arthritis, and all other autoimmune conditions, premature aging, impaired liver function, kidney failure, osteoporosis, and many other degenerative and pathogenic conditions result from eating more protein than we need.
    In general, protein-based foods are highly acid forming in the human body (even the high-protein plants, such as legumes). This is because their predominant minerals are the acidic minerals – chlorine, phosphorus, and sulfur. To maintain homeostasis, the body must counterbalance the acidity caused by excess protein consumption. Unfortunately, it does so in part by taking a precious alkaline mineral – calcium – from our bloodstream. The body replaces calcium into the bloodstream, where calcium levels must remain relatively constant, by removing it from our bones and teeth, setting the stage for osteoporosis and tooth decay.1
     I had always been told by my doctors that because I had an autoimmune disease I was more susceptible to getting osteoporosis. Also, autoimmune diseases and osteoporosis supposedly run in my family. Hhmmmm.... Maybe it's the eating habits that run in my family!

    The sad part of researching this is when you come across information on how too much protein has affected children. When renowned scientist Dr. T. C. Campbell was doing his research in the Philippines, he found to his surprise that "the most protein-rich children had the highest rates of liver cancer." In fact, it was so bad that the oncologists in the Philippines were operating on liver cancer paitients as young as 4 years old!2


    3


    Fact #7 – Protein Should be <10% of Total Calories 


    The average American protein intake ranges from 11-21%. The World Health Organization, National Research Council, and the U.S. National Academies' Institute of Medicine say that only eating about 10% of total calories from protein is plenty.4 In Part 1 of my "What About Protein?" series, I referenced a study done by Dr. Campbell on protein percentage and tumor growth. He found that rats were developing tumors when their diet consisted of more than 10% animal protein. He also found that the same rats who were developing tumors with the high protein diet would stop developing tumors once switched to a low protein diet (5% animal protein).5

    But it's not just cancer growth that protein amounts affect. Besides the ailments mentioned in Fact #6, excess protein, whether plant or animal, can damage the liver, kidneys, and bones. If you're interested in the numbers, charts, and graphs, I highly recommend checking out this article by Dr. McDougall in his January 2004 newsletter.

    What about body builders? You often see bodybuilders and weight trainers advocating "high protein, low carb" diets and protein powders and supplements. "In reality, only weight bearing exercise builds muscle... Bodybuilders following the 80/10/10 program have found that if they supply sufficient calories from carbohydrate, their protein needs go down dramatically, and their energy to train and their muscular growth both increase."6 For more information regarding nutrition and athletic performance, I recommend reading the book by the same title, Nutrition and Athletic Performance by Dr. Graham. It's excellent!









    Fact #8 – Animal Protein = Disease 


    Wouldn't it be cool if "nutritional manipulation can turn cancer 'on' and 'off?'"Scientific research shows it can! Again, in the same study that I reference in Fact #7 and Part 1, Dr. Campbell proves that even switching the rats from a high animal protein diet (20%) to a high plant protein diet (still at 20%) will turn off the cancer.
    What is it about animal proteins that make them harmful? One of the things is that they contain a lot of sulfur. And while we do need some sulfur (the small amounts found in plants are perfect), too much puts a burden on the body.

    Dr. McDougall shows 6 ways too much sulfur can affect the body:

    1. Too much acid (which naturally comes from the breakdown of certain amino acids into sulfuric acid) "is the primary cause of bone loss leading to osteoporosis and kidney stone formation."
    2. More meat in the diet equals higher levels of homocysteine in the blood. "Epidemiological and clinical studies have proven homocysteine to be an independent risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, closure of the arteries to the legs (peripheral vascular disease), blood clots in the legs (venous thrombosis), thinking problems (cognitive impairment), and even worse mental troubles, like dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and depression."
    3. "Sulfur feed cancerous tumors...  Meat and dairy products raise IGF-1 levels and promote the growth of cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, and lung."
    4. The colon can be damaged by the sulfur in sulfur-containing amino acids found in animal products. The damage is seen even at low intake levels. "The consequence of a diet of high-methionine (animal) foods may be a life-threatening inflammatory bowel disease, called ulcerative colitis."
    5. "Sulfur restriction prolongs life."
    6. Have you heard the phrase, You are what you eat? Well, what about You smell like what you eat? "Possibly a stronger motivation to keep protein, and especially methionine-rich animal protein, out of your diet is foul smelling odors – halitosis, body odor, and noxious flatus – akin to the smell of rotten eggs – are direct results of the sulfur (animal protein) you eat."3





    Fact #9 – Completing Your Proteins can be Stress Free


    There's no need to stress over carefully combining different plants in order to get a complete protein. Just enjoy the variety of produce that's available every day throughout the year and you automatically get it! Dr. Campbell says, "We now know that through enormously complex metabolic systems, the human body can derive all the essential amino acids from the natural variety of plant proteins that we encounter every day."7  
    For over 100 years, science has known that plants easily provide complete protein even if only one type of plant is eaten for a day. The charts below summarize what was found in the studies of Dr. William Rose on the nutritional requirements of protein. Click on the charts to expand them, and you will see that a sufficient quantity of common vegetables have more than enough of the daily requirement of essential amino acids.8



    8


    Furthermore, no improvement has been found from mixing plant foods or supplementing them with amino acid mixtures to make the combined amino acid pattern look more like that of flesh, milk, or eggs. In fact, supplementing a food with an amino acid in order to conform to a contrived reference standard can create amino acid imbalances. For example, young children fed diets based on wheat or corn and supplemented with the amino acids tryptophan and methionine in order to conform to the standard requirements set by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) developed negative responses in terms of nitrogen balance (the body's utilization of protein).8
     Still don't believe it? Try it out for yourself. Go to Cronometer.com and type in a full day's worth of calories for a veggie or fruit (at least 2500 for women and 3500 for men). You'll find you get so much protein! Even if you don't get all your essential amino acids in one day, don't fret! As you have variety of plants over the weeks, and even the year, you'll get everything you need. That's the way God designed plants. That's the way God designed your body. Cool huh? :)





    Fact #10 – Produce Protein is More Than Enough


    If you couldn't already tell from Rose's charts above, the protein in produce is more than enough to reach a person's daily requirements AND recommendations. Eating only fruits and vegetables, your protein percentage will average at least 5%; add a small amount of nuts and seeds and you can easily reach 10%.9 Again, try this out at Cronometer.com. Produce protein doesn't have the baggage attached to it either, like the way animal protein does with disease and ill-health. You also don't have to worry about fat and calories the way you would if you kept trying to get enough animal protein.

    If it sounds like plant protein is the whole package, it's because it is. :)

    *Want more quality information like this? Let me know!
    Did you like this? Then like it! and share and comment too.

    –Hummingbird







    1. Graham, D. (2006). The 80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health, Your Weight, and Your Life One Luscious Bite at a Time. p. 106. Decature, GAFoodnSport Press.

    2. Campbell, T. Colin; Thomas M. Campbell II (2006-06-01). The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, We (p. 36). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition. 


    3. http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2004nl/040100puproteinoverload.htm

    4. Graham, D. (2006). The 80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health, Your Weight, and Your Life One Luscious Bite at a Time. pp. 100, 104. 

    5. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/6/1667.full

    6. Campbell, T. Colin; Thomas M. Campbell II (2006-06-01). The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, We (p. 62). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition. 

    7. Campbell, T. Colin; Thomas M. Campbell II (2006-06-01). The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, We (p. 31). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

    8. http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/apr/protein.htm

    9. Graham, D. (2006). The 80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health, Your Weight, and Your Life One Luscious Bite at a Time. p. 108.