Sunday, 30 May 2010

Wondrous Fermented Foods!

We all know the benefits of fermented foods, so why make up some beneficial healthy bacteria from something good from your larder?

Oat Yogurt is Easy to Make
First, Take Some Oats…
You can make oat yogurt from either raw or cooked oats. You can use oat groats, rolled oats or steel-cut oats, or oat flour, whatever you've got.

For the best flavor and nutrition, start with unprocessed raw whole oat groats. Groats is just another word for grains. For some reason, buckwheat grains and oat grains are called that. Start with either unprocessed oats or milled oats, then let them ferment.

Put the oat groats in a ceramic or glass bowl, or a glass jar. Add some water, enough to get them moist, with a little extra water covering them. After a few hours, or overnight, put the soaked oats and the soaking water in a blender or food processor or mortar and pestle. Blend until smooth. Pour back into bowl.

Oat Yogurt from Milled Oats
Put dry whole oat groats through a grain mill or food processor. Either grind them into flour, or roll them into flakes, depending on the capabilities of your machine. Or use rolled oats or steel-cut oats from the bulk bins at a store. Put the flour or flakes or whatever in a bowl with water.

…Next, Let the Oats Ferment
Use a ceramic bowl, since healthy fermentation produces acids that could interact with a metal container. You can cover the bowl with a plate or a cloth to keep out dust, and to keep the oats from drying. If you use a plate, it doesn't need to be a tight fit, in fact it's better to let some air in, and to let carbon dioxide out. Leave the oats in a warm sunny place, on your kitchen counter or windowsill. If you have a gas stove with a pilot light, you can leave them on top of that.

Stir them once in a while. If they have absorbed all the water, add a little. There should be a little water on top, or around the edges. After a few days, taste them to see if they're sour yet. Then taste them once a day. When they are as sour as you want, either use the yogurt, or put it into the refrigerator if you don't want them to get more sour.

You Don't Need to Buy a Special Starter Culture
Friendly micro-organisms called Lactobacilli are everywhere. They're related to the friendly bacteria that naturally live in your colon, and the ones in dairy yogurt. They like starch and fiber, and will reproduce happily if you give them a culture medium of water, starch and fiber. The kind of bacteria that grow is dependent on what food you provide them. Micro-organisms produce substances that help them and suppress their rivals, so the good lactobacilli produce acids that suppress fungi, yeasts, bad bacteria, etc.

Oat Yogurt or Oat Sour Cream
Oats are creamy, because of their high fat content, so the result comes out resembling dairy yogurt or sour cream. If you make it thicker, and let it get more sour, it will be more like sour cream.

Save Some Starter for Next Time
To make oat yogurt more quickly next time, save some to use as starter. If you're going traveling, keep the starter in a ceramic bowl with a plate on top, in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. Cold slows down the growth of the lactobacilli, warmth speeds it up.

Health Benefits of Fermented Foods
The sour flavor comes from lactic acid, just like in dairy yogurt, sauerkraut, kim chi, kefir, sourdough bread, etc. Beneficial bacteria produce acids that suppress yeasts, including candida. Eating fermented foods helps promote the growth of the good bacteria that live in your colon, and reduces the growth of candida and other problematic organisms.

You Can Ferment Other Grains
You could ferment any grain, just as people make sourdough from wheat, rye, etc. For pleasant recipes, oats are nice, since the result resembles yogurt. For more anti-candida activity, other grains with more carbohydrate and less fat would be good, since the healthy lactobacilli live on starch and fiber.

Unmilled Oats Are Raw
Some people have heard that all oats you buy are cooked. Only the rolled oats are pre-cooked. Whole unmilled oat groats are raw, and alive. Those are the ones that look similar to grains of brown rice. Steel-cut oats are raw, but they are not alive and fresh.

Oat Yogurt Doesn't Go Bad if It Ferments Longer
It just gets stronger. If you let it ferment a long time, it gets more sour. That just means there are more of the beneficial bacteria. If it's more sour than you like, just mix it with some un-fermented oats and some water, until you get the taste you want.

Oat Yogurt from Oat Groats

Friday, 28 May 2010

You really can't get enough fresh produce!

An acid build up in the walls of your skin cells makes them thicken up, wrinkle and dry up. The cells then struggle to receive nutrients and the oxygen they need to be healthy. Because raw fruit and vegetables can be considered living, they still carry lots of oxygen in their cells, providing your bloodstream with a healthy boost. Babies’ bodies are alkaline yet anyone over 60 yr old is acidic.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Inspirational Mama!

You can visit Anne's website at and buy her book "Fruitarianism Path to Paradise"

Okay, as I was writing these out, I realized I had the most questions for you since you've been raw the longest. :) You are a fascinating person with a wealth of experience, thanks for doing this:

Thank you for this interview Michele;
it is a pleasure to answer your questions.

1) You were raw fruitarian when you got pregnant with Cappi--
Did you get any cravings? If so, how did you deal with them?

I did not get any cravings for cooked or processed food when I was pregnant with Cappi, but I did find that I had an attraction for the more savoury fruits; and I ate more Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Avocados than I normally do.

Did you get any morning sickness or any other pregnancy-related sicknesses?

I was not sick, nor did I get any backache when pregnant. Certain smells did made me feel a bit queasy though. I felt very well and healthy and full of energy during my pregnancy, and I really enjoyed the nine months; it was a very special time in my life.
I worked as a massage therapist until I was eight months pregnant, and my bump was small so many of my clients did not even know I was pregnant.

How was the delivery?

I had a long second stage, and I did have some pain, but this was all managed with deep conscious breathing, and a wonderful midwife. I did not have any drugs and needed no stitches
I think that as we are physically formed in the womb (including our reproductive organs) genetics and the lifestyles and diets of our parents and grandparents will affect our own birth experiences.
I feel that we can do much with our own diets and lifestyles in order to have the best birth possible within our circumstances. But I do feel that 'The Sins of the Fathers' (or our forebears' lifestyles) will genetically affect our birth experiences.

How quickly did you recover from the birth?

Very quickly, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight within a few days, and my stomach was back to flat the next day. This was a very pleasant surprise for me as after my first pregnancy (on a transition diet) my stomach took months to get back to flat.
I had good energy the next day and was out walking with one-day-old Cappi.

Did you eat more during the pregnancy? What did a typical day's food look like for you?

I did eat slightly more, and I really enjoyed my fruit.
I only put on 10kg(22lbs) during the pregnancy.
During the pregnancy, I was eating more Avocado and non-sweet fruits than I usually did.
I would have a seasonal juicy fruit for breakfast, maybe Orange Melon, Watermelon, Pineapple, or Passion Fruit.
I would have more juicy fruit mid-morning (unless I was working)
Lunch would usually be Avocado.
Mid afternoon would be more seasonal juicy sweet fruit.
Then in the evening I would sit down to dinner with Camlo, my elder son. We would have Avocado, Tomatoes, Cucumber and Bell Peppers.
I usually eat mono fruit meals, but I would often have a mixture of non-sweet fruits at dinner.

Was Cappi normal weight/height when born/growing up?

Cappi was in the 'normal' percentiles at birth and growing up, but at the lower end.
However, I personally think that it does not make sense to try to fit children who are on a simple raw diet into data charts based on children on a SAD diet.
Raw children, I feel, will have an endocrine system that is well-balanced, and therefore they will develop and grow at the appropriate time.
So many children have an endocrine system that is imbalanced, due to their diet containing processed food, growth hormones, and a large amount of animal products. As a result, many children, in Western society, are experiencing precocious puberty, and I think that this may affect lifespan, because for many mammals the longer the species takes to reach puberty, the longer is their lifespan.
Because hormones are responsible for growth and development, I would expect the growth and development of a raw child to be significantly different to a child on a highly processed diet that also contains animal products.
So I feel that standard height and weight charts are not really of much use to me and my children.
My elder boy was always, by Western society standards, a 'late developer' but he is now taller than anyone else in the family!

How was your nursing experience? How was your milk? How long did you nurse Cappi?

I loved nursing, one reason being that you have to take time out from everything else to sit and nurse; and for me, especially during the first weeks, it became a time where the World stopped turning and all that I needed to do was to take time to enjoy and focus on feeding my baby — nothing else mattered during that time.
I always had a good milk supply, and Cappi self-weaned at four years old.

How do you feel about home births?

I think that if the mother feels happy with birthing at home, then it needs to be an easy option for her. It seems that in Western society that option can be difficult to obtain.
If there are no complications, then, to me, home seems to be a wonderful place to give birth.
Cappi was born at home, under water, and it was so nice to be able to snuggle up with him in my own bed straight after giving birth.
It was also special to have my elder son present at the birth.

Did Cappi have any "childhood" diseases?

Cappi has had none of the 'usual' childhood illnesses such as mumps, measles or chicken pox. His elder brother has never had any either.
Both have not been immunised, and both have been in contact with other children with these diseases.
Cappi has had a few minor 'colds' which I see as elimination. I think that although his diet is good and has a Hygienic lifestyle, environmental pollutants cannot be avoided. We live near many Pineapple and Avocado farms where pesticides are frequently used.

What was his first food? What is his favorite food?

I cannot remember exactly what Cappi's first food was, it was probably some soft fruit such as mashed Banana or Papaya. Cappi showed an interest in fruit at a very early age. At three and a half months he started to reach out for my fruit — we were in Bali, and the fruit was just wonderful.
I have just asked Cappi what his fave fruit is; he called out "Durian!"

2) What do you feed your pets?

Our cat has BARF raw cat food, he also loves Avocado and will come running up at full speed if he spots anyone eating an Avo. I have heard that Avos can be toxic for cats and dogs, but I know of many pets who seem very healthy eating them. I also add nutritional yeast to the cat's diet.

3) Do you grow your own food? If so, what do you grow?

I love fruit trees and bushes and we have several young ones in our garden. Cappi really enjoys being able to pick his own fruit; and home-grown always tastes so wonderful.
Most of our baby fruit trees have yet to produce, but in the past year we have harvested Tomatoes, Mangoes, Blueberries, Mulberries, Strawberries, Passion Fruit, Youngberries and a lone (but very delicious) Fig from a very young Fig Tree.

4) How much do you spend each week on food?

For Cappi and I, Our food bill probably averages at around AU $160–$180.
If we are getting a lot of our fruit from fruit-growing friends, it will be less than this, and also if I am on a mono diet then I will spend less.

5) Tell us about the benefits of massage. How often do you get massages? How does massage fit into Natural Hygiene in your opinion?

I love Massage. Whilst I do not think massage heals the body, I certainly think that it can aid healing and increase a feeling of well-being by reducing stress and increasing blood and lymph flow.
I also find reflexology an amazing tool for diagnosis of imbalances and weaknesses in the body.
Therefore, I feel that massage can aid the body in its own healing; and so like sunshine and relaxation, massage can fit nicely into a Hygienic lifestyle.
I self-massage most days. I got lots of massages when I was pregnant, but have not had a professional massage since I gave birth to Cappi.

6) What made you turn into eating vegan? How old were you? What made you then want to go fruitarian?

As soon as I left home, I adopted a vegetarian diet, a year later when I was 19 I became a vegan. Becoming vegetarian and then vegan were purely for ethical reasons. I had been fortunate enough to have pretty good health as a child and teenager. However, when I went on a vegan diet, I immediately noticed a great improvement in my health. This discovery was totally unexpected, but it led me to make the connection between how I felt and what I put into my mouth; and this started me off on a quest to find the optimal diet for myself.
This quest led me to attend a talk by David Shelley, a local fruitarian author, at my local Animal Rights group. I was immediately impressed with David's glow, fitness, happiness, and energy.
I read David's book, and then along with a group of vegan friends I started to transition to a fruit diet.

8) Could you describe what you feel "overeating" is?

To me, overeating is when an individual eats an amount that is greater than the optimal quantity that the body requires at that specific point in time.

9) Where do you see yourself in 50 years?

Living in a Beautiful World, still raving over fruit, and going on foraging adventures with the great grandchildren.

10) What are some of your hobbies outside of health?

I love drawing, dancing, listening to live music, playing with Cappi, walking along beaches, spending time in rainforests, sewing, and collecting old or unusual fruity objects.

11) What is your favorite fruit?

Charentais Melon.

12) Where do you find all your interesting fruit research that you include in your blogs?

I love finding old books about health and fruit, they really inspire me. I love old copies of books, they seem to have a real history and a nice feel inside their covers. I also love researching on the internet. The internet has really helped me to find rare fruit and Natural Hygiene books; although, it is always exciting to me to scour second-hand bookshops.

13) How many meals a day do you consume?

Usually 3 or 4. If I mono diet, it is often 2 meals.

14) What time do you wake up in the morning? What time do you go to bed?

In the Summer I usually wake up between 4 and 4.30am, in the Winter usually between 5 and 6am.
I usually go to bed between 9 and 10 pm in the Summer and between 8 and 9pm in the Winter.

15) Were you tempted by cooked foods when you went raw? How did you deal with that? Do you ever get tempted now? If you don't, when did the cravings go away?
How did you keep your resolve?

I had a year transition to a fruit diet, and so I eased gently into a fruit diet, which, I feel, helped with cravings. I did not get big cravings for cooked food after this time. Except for a period of about 36 hours a few years into my raw diet when I got an intense craving for cooked eggs. I had not eaten eggs for about 8 years, and had never missed them when I became a vegan. I think if I had not been an ethical vegan, I would have caved in and had some.
The craving went away after 36 hours, never to return. I think that I may have been eliminating some toxins from cooked eggs I had eaten in the past, and this led to the craving.
Also, when I started out on the fruit diet, I had a new baby, and because I wanted to raise my child on a fruit diet, I did not want to be eating any cooked food myself; so I think having a child helped my resolve to be consistent on my fruit diet.

16) What advice would you give young people today?

Have fun, aim to be happy and positive, and enjoy your life in a way that will benefit both yourself and the planet.
Be aware that the choices that we make at any age will affect all the future ages of our lives.
Plant fruit seeds when you are young and you will have trees that grow up with you.

17) What is the most important element to health in your opinion?

Love, combined with natural food and clean air.

18) Did you have a hard time with being raw in the cold weather in the UK? If so, how did you deal with it?

Not really, as I was born in a cold climate. I found it important to exercise more to warm my body, especially if I was on a Melon mono diet.
I loved running in the cold, and would run in a vest and shorts to fruit shops, even at freezing temperatures. I have very fond memories of running in the cold.

19) What difference to you notice between Cappi's health and that of his friends? Does his diet cause any social challenges? If so, how do you handle it?

I notice that Cappi has a different kind of energy compared to children who are on SAD diets. His energy is bright and vibrant without being 'hyper', and it seems that his energy is more sustained than the 'up and down' energy of many young children. Also he never gets that thick green mucus that is so often being discharged from many children's noses!
Cappi also has a great attention span, and will spend ages engrossed on a project; I think that attention span can be greatly affected by chemicals and highly processed foods.
I have never found any real social challenges with both my children. I have found most people to be supportive and interested.
I feel that if one has confidence and faith in one's diet then this is mirrored back in how other people's responses to one's diet.
One special memory for me was during Camlo's (my elder child) first year in school; At Christmas the staff gave stockings full of sweets to the children, and they made a special fruit-filled stocking for Camlo. I was very touched by their thoughtfulness.
I have been blessed with great friends who have specially catered for my children when my children went to their birthday parties or played at their homes.

20) Do you ever have dinner guests over? If so, what do you serve them? What do you do when invited over as a dinner guest to someone else's house?

I sometimes make a fruitarian dinner, whilst at other times I have cooked a vegan meal for them.
Most people know about my diet, and I have been beautifully catered for at other people's homes. I am very grateful for the energies that friends and family have put into providing for my sons and I.

21) What kind of exercise do you do and how often?

I usually do a 40 minute workout first thing in the morning.
As I do not drive, I get to do plenty of walking most days, which I love.
I also dance for more intense exercise. I used to do a bit of running, but as I am homeschooling Cappi and care for him all day, I tend to dance instead as this fits in better with our lifestyle.

22) Describe your most challenging situation you've dealt with as a raw foodist.

I have been fortunate to have had a very happy and positive time since adopting a raw food diet.
I do feel, as I mentioned earlier, that if I have faith in my diet and lifestyle then that faith will be mirrored back to me both in how people react to my diet and also how I react to situations.
I have always found a great supply of fresh fruit wherever I have been. Sometimes great fruit seems to manifest in the most unlikely situations.

23) You've been on TV and have had magazine articles featuring you and your diet. Do you get recognized in public now? What do people say to you? Are they receptive? How do you handle the pressure? What do you say to those who tend to not be supportive?

I got recognised quite a bit after I was on 'Today, Tonight' on Aussie T.V.
I find most people to be interested and if not open to the diet themselves at least curious and wanting to know more.
I do not tend to get unsupportive comments in person, but I would hope that I would deal with them using Non-violent Communication.
I have had some negative comments on the internet, and I feel that it is often more challenging to communicate via the internet as there is a lack of personal contact. I try to use Non-violent Communication, and I try not take the comments too personally.
Generally, I do not feel any pressure, as the vast majority of my interaction with others is positive.

24) What does your extended family like your parents and siblings eat? Are they supportive of your diet? If not, how do you handle it? If so, how have you positively impacted them?

My family are on traditional Western diets. My late mother became vegetarian in her mid sixties after being raised in a Butcher's shop! She even had a quote by George Bernard Shaw taped to her fridge door. My mother was wonderful with Camlo, always taking care, and making time, to source and give him lovely fruit. My mum was the least judgemental person I have ever met and she always respected my decisions and never judged them. I am very thankful for having such a great mum.
My sister has also been supportive of my diet, and she really takes time to give Camlo and Cappi fruit to eat when they visit her. I really appreciate this.
When I spend time with my niece and nephew, they get to eat a lot of fruit. When I used to go and visit my sister and her family, I would usually take a Melon with me; the one time I arrived Melonless, my niece just looked at me and said "Where's the Melon Aunty Nan?"

25) What motivates you?

The wonderful inimitable feeling from being on a light fruit diet surpasses anything I have ever felt, and it is the desire to continue to feel great that motivates me.
I am also motivated by other raw foodists I have had the pleasure to meet, both in the fruity flesh and via the internet. I am inspired by the way people have transformed their health by changing their diets and lifestyles.
I am also motivated to exercise and keep my body in good condition when I watch Erwan Le Corre's videos.

Thank You Michele for the interview

Friday, 7 May 2010

Phew, It's over for a little while at least!

For a so called democratic nation our political system is way out of sync and desperately needs electoral reform at the very least. Only in the UK people are turned away at the polling stations. Again our lack of infrastructure let us down, this is reflected in the result; we have a hung Parliament. By the way I voted for the Green party(Not that they ever had a chance?!) as one definitely can't trust Brown or Cameron to run the country(Enough said there).

Monday, 3 May 2010

Wondrous Living Food Ideas!

•Super Berry Smoothie with Goji Berries and MSM Powder
(berries, bananas, agave nectar, goji berries, MSM powder)
•Hawaiian Pizza
(sunflower seeds, flaxseed, olive oil, nama shoyu, red onion, pineapple, red pepper, cucumber, fresh coriander, carrot, chilli)
•Sprouted Salad with Nori Sprinkles and Balsamic Dressing
(tomato, cucumber, red pepper, sprouts, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, nama shoyu, cider vinegar, garlic)
11 May 2010
•Green Smoothie with Chlorella and Spirulina
(kiwi, banana, spinach, chlorella and spirulina)
•Mushroom Almond Burgers with Avocado Salsa
(avocado, almond, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pistachios, mushroom, garlic, onion, red pepper, lemon juice, salt, pepper)
•Greek Horiatiki Salad with Sunflower Greens and Lemon Tahini Dressing
(tomato, cucumber, olives, red onion, red pepper, tahini, lemon juice, cider vinegar, garlic, olive oil, green leaves)
•Thai Cabbage in Romaine Lettuce Wrap
(white cabbage, carrot, romaine lettuce, cashews, ginger, red chilli, agave nectar, lemon juice, olive oil, nama shoyu)
12 May 2010
•Prune and Pear Smoothie with MSM Powder
(prunes, pear, agave nectar, banana, msm powder)
•Sicilian Burger in 2 Seed Red Onion Bread
(sunflower seeds, flaxseed, olive oil, nama shoyu, red onions, carrot, red pepper, black olives, tomato, cucumber, cashews)
•Turnip and Apple Salad
(turnip, apple, sprouted lentils, apricots, carrot, poppy seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt)
•Seaweed, Cucumber and Beetroot Salad with Sweet Miso Ginger Dressing
(beetroot, cucumber, white miso, cider vinegar, seaweed, ginger, agave nectar, lemon juice)
13 May 2010
•Green Smoothie with Chlorella and Spirulina
(banana, spinach, chlorella, spirulina, kiwi)
•Sunflower Seed Burrito with Salsa, Guacamole and Cashew Sour Cream
(sunflower seeds, sun dried tomatoes, tomatoes, cumin, chilli, red onion, coriander, lime juice, avocado, cashews)
•Courgette, Mango and Avocado Salad with Lime Chilli Dressing
(courgette, avocado, mango, lime juice, lime zest, chilli, lemon juice, nama shoyu, olive oil, maple syrup)
•Waldorf Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
(celery, apple, carrot, raisins, walnuts, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, agave nectar)
14 May 2010
•Forest Fruit Smoothie with Purple Corn Powder
(forest fruits, banana and purple corn powder)
•Forest Fruit Smoothie with Purple Corn Powder
(forest fruits, banana and purple corn powder)
•Red Pepper and Courgette Quiche
(red pepper, courgette, cashews, white miso, red onion, walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil)
•Celeriac and Pecan Salad with Sweet Thai Dressing
(celeriac, apple, pecans, cashews, ginger, chilli, lemon juice, agave nectar)
•Sprouted Lentil Salad
(sprouted lentils, pineapple, carrot, courgette, coriander,chilli, turmeric, cumin,lime juice olive oil)