My Sweet Butterhead Lettuce Salad

This past weekend I picked up a Butterhead lettuce from my local green market. They’re also known as Boston or Bibb lettuce. They’re pretty sweet. The Boston lettuce is similar to iceberg lettuce because they’re round. The only difference is that the Boston lettuce leaves are not as hard and stacked closely together.

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The leaves are also cupped which, is really an added bonus for serving special foods in them.

I love eating salads, so my way of enjoying Boston lettuce is by cutting up the leaves. I mix in a variety of other vegetables and fruit to create a beautiful dish. The photo below I did today for my lunch. This particular lettuce really holds up well in the refrigerator which, is why I like buying it.

If you noticed in the picture, I added a baked sweet potato in this salad. Sweet potatoes are very nutritious for us, and it’s excellent in salads too. According to whfood website, they are high in vitamin A, C, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium and fiber. For a more detail description on the nutritional value for sweet potato click here.

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My salad also has figs, blueberries, tomatoes, red onions, avocados, radishes, and yellow bell peppers. Super easy, and super clean eating. I hope my salad inspires you to eat more raw clean foods.

Raw Foodists For Three Days

I just decided today for the rest of this week, I will only eat raw foods. Eating a raw food diet is vey beneficial to your body. According to The Best of Raw Food website, when your diet consist of more than 75% raw foods, these are some of the improvements likely to happen to you.

  • More energy
  • Up to 3 hours more sleep
  • Weight loss
  • More beautiful skin
  • Clarity of mind and better memory
  • Improved immune system
  • Improved fertility
  • Prevent or even reverse diabetes

  • Raw plant foods are rich in oxidizing, alkalinizing chlorophyll. Live foods contain a specific balance of natural forces. Plant foods like vegetables, fruits, sprouted legumes, and nuts have a collection of proteins, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins found within them. But, what is raw foods? According to The Best of Raw Food, it consist of raw foods that hasn’t been cooked or heated above 42 C/118 F degrees and preferably:

    Unprocessed – as fresh (or wild) as possible
    Organic – no irradiation, preservatives, pesticides or GMO.

    So to kick off my three day raw diet, I started my morning with a fresh organic juice. It had carrots, kale, oranges, ginger and a lemon. Most of these items came from my local farmers market. Please go out a support your local farm.

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    Now raspberries are in season. I was able to get a small batch of blueberries last weekend, so I had some of that for breakfast. My lunch will be a fresh garden salad jazzed up with some raw nuts.

    In between my meals, I’ll drink white/green organic teas, fresh juices and my lemon water.

    If you are interested in a raw food diet. Check out this website. I think it has the best step-by-step raw diet plan that’s easy to follow. Click here for The best of Raw Food website. They also have fabulous raw food recipes to help you along the way.

    References:
    Raw Food – One of Your Keys to Outstanding Health by Wes Peterson, Mercola.com

    My #1 Tip for Eating Healthy

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    My number one tip for eating healthy would be to substitute one processed meal either breakfast, lunch or dinner for a raw food meal. Take my lunch here for instance, it’s a bowl of organic, raw vegetables, and fruits. It has vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

    Eating processed foods can decrease your body’s ability to function efficiently. According to Dr. Campbell, (author of The China Study), a diet that consist of processed foods are suggested to be related to the development of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, aging, shorter lifespan, psycho-behavioral conditions, cancer and many more illnesses. Processed foods like refined sugars, white flour, processed meats, packaged foods, flavored noodle mixes, packaged mac and cheese, soda and other processed foods are notorious for containing questionable levels of phosphate-laden ingredients as well as genetically engineered ingredients, which are destructive to your health.

    According to the American Heart Association, we down about 22 teaspoons of sugar a day; that’s why diabetes and obesity are high amongst American’s.

    I recommend eating a diet that consist of mostly plant-based with whole grains, nuts and fruits. These foods are rich in fiber, omega-3’s, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and so much more vital nutrients our body needs to be healthy. After changing my diet, I can honestly say, I feel wonderful. The biggest change was my energy level especially, after eating my meals. I didn’t feel bloated, lethargic, or groggy. Instead, I felt refueled and ready to tackle the rest of my day.

    The main idea is to stay away from anything unnatural or processed. I think by adding a raw meal into your daily diet will help to propel you to make wiser choices. By doing so, you’ll have more energy, and the most important one of all, your body is getting the proper nutrients it needs.

    If you can, stick to organic foods. Since organic standards ban the use of artificial food dyes, genetically engineered foods, and additives it’s safer. Now I don’t buy everything organic. I definitely follow the, Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list. According to their website, the Dirty Dozen generally have the most pesticide residues when grown conventionally because they’re more prone to pesky bugs. I also shop at my local farmers market.

    The EWG also recommends peeling fruits and vegetables or removing outer layers of leafy greens. That is also a great way to cut back on pesticide intake. That said, certain fruits and veggies might be more important to buy organic than others.

    Be selective and do your research.

    My Edamame Breakfast

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    For those of you who don’t know what an edamame is (pronounced “ed-uh-MAH-may”), it’s a green vegetable more commonly known as a soybean.

    According to the edamame.com website, edamame is a green vegetable more commonly known as a soybean, harvested at the peak of ripening right before it reaches the “hardening” time.

      Just 85 grams, or 1/2 cup of beans, contains 9 grams of protein, making edamame a protein powerhouse.

    Your body needs protein as a source of energy and to maintain muscle. Our cells and organs, our muscles, our connective tissue, and even our bones could not hold together as the key body parts they are without the help of protein.

    Vegan’s and vegetarian’s are always searching for alternatives for substituting for meat-protein, and edamame would the perfect substitute.

    For breakfast, I had 2 tablespoons of edamame hummus with a handful of pita chips, and my grapefruit. It was delicious and crunchy. This was a very simple breakfast with a lot of protein. Not my typical breakfast but definitely one I will incorporate more because it was very filling and satisfying.

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    I actually love edamame. Here’s a picture of the one I recently purchased from Trader’s. It’s very tasty!

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    Update – Weekend Raw Food/Juice Cleanse

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    My vegetables I juiced for the second half of my Saturday. Its very green. I juiced kale, apples, a broccoli stem, rainbow chard, celery, lemon, ginger, and some curly parsley. I kept more of the lemon peel on for more zing this time around.

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    My juice this morning held me pretty well. I started drinking it after 9:45am and finished some time after 11:00am.

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    My Blender Bottle was very helpful because I was able to tug my juice all over town today without a spill. It snaps tightly so there’s no spillage at all. I love this bottle. I also had an organic apple around two o’clock so that kept me going until just now. I was feeling hungry so I decided to juice. This will hold me over until later. I did a Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s run today, so I’m stocked for the week ahead.

    Thanks for the support!

    Day 11: Greens for Breakfast | The Key To Radiant Health

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    For breakfast this morning I had my favorite green juice. It had kale, celery, ginger, lemon, spinach and apples. I’m a strong believer in juicing your vegetables.

      According to Dr. Mercola there are three main reasons why you will want to consider incorporating vegetable juicing into your optimal health program. I stand by these three rules.

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  • Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to “pre-digest” them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet.
  • Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. If you are a carb type, you should eat one pound of raw vegetables per 50 pounds of body weight per day. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.
  • You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.
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    Chlorophyll, the phytochemical that makes plants green, is similar to the hemoglobin in your blood that carries oxygen.

    Chlorophyll acts as a detoxifier and antiseptic, and assists in cell rejuvenation and the manufacture of red blood cells. Thus the reason why many people detox by juicing vegetables and fruits.

    Chlorophyll is also believed to be a vital factor in promoting proper immune system function, lowering cholesterol, regulating blood sugar and fighting disease.

    REFERENCES:
    Dr. Mercola: Juicing: Your Key to Radiant Health
    Mayo Clinic: Juicing Nutrition and Healthy Eating

    Day 9: Dinner w/Roti and Juicing

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    For dinner tonight I juiced organic carrots, spinach, celery and beets. The health benefits for juicing your veggies are endless. It’s the best thing you can do for your body. Drinking green juices daily is the optimum way to consume your vegetables.

    Your body can receive enzymes from fresh vegetables and fruits. However, once vegetables are cooked at 118 degrees, they loose their enzyme content. Drink your veggies, it’s best!

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    I also had some of my curry vegetable dish I made on Sunday. I was in the mood for a roti so I made one. I’m actually getting better at it. Roti is an Indian bread. I ran out of whole wheat flour do I ended up using the regular one.

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    I was in a cooking frenzy tonight because I also sautéed bok choy and string beans with garlic and olive oil.

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    I took these pictures after I started eating so it doesn’t look the prettiest. However, it tasted great!

    Day 8: My 14 Day Vegan Diet

    This past weekend I was exceptionally busy with my children. I am very happy to say I did really well with sticking to my vegan diet. What works for me is packing healthy snacks for everyone.

    Well, I’m well into my second week on my vegan diet. I started my day with a cup of green tea. I then ate my favorite bagel with peanut butter of course.

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    I also had an organic grapefruit!

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    For dinner last night I cooked a vegan curry dish. It was really delicious! I also brought some in today for my lunch. I started out with a little olive oil, turmeric, a pinch of cinnamon, curry and fresh cracked black pepper. I sautéed my onions, garlic, tomatoes, and ginger.

    Cooking with turmeric is indeed healthy for us. Numerous studies have looked into this potential cancer-fighting link with curcumin, and promising results. Turmeric (Curcuma longa), is a bright yellow spice.

    For instance, curcumin has been found to:

  • Inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells
  • Inhibit the transformation of cells from normal to tumor
  • Help your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout your body
  • To read more click here!

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    After about 3 minutes I added potatoes, Eggplant, cauliflower, chip peas and green peas. I then added some water and simmered it down until everything was fully cooked.

    This will last me for two days. It’s simple, very tasty and nutritious. I had this with a little brown rice for dinner.

    Pretty good!

    Day 5: Breakfast and Lunch

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    Breakfast this morning consisted of my usual as you can see 7 whole grain bread with peanut butter, my berry/spinach smoothie, organic grapefruit, and a cup of organic white tea. This was very filling although it doesn’t look like much.

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    I decided on Indian food for lunch today. My favorite Indian restaurant is Agra. The food is authentic and amazing. There’s also a business lunch special that’s very reasonable. I got the curry vegetable dish (eggplant, carrots, potato, and cauliflower), 2 potato samosas appetizers (I ate one before I took the pic), curry cabbage, and basmati rice. I went a little off my diet today. I had white basmati rice and I shouldn’t have. I tried to get brown but they didn’t have. It’s not the worst thing. I figured it was Friday, so why not!

    Day 4: Breakfast and Lunch

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    My simple lunch today, consisted of a mixture of vegetables. Really, nothing over the top. I was actually craving for some pasta but, I couldn’t find any whole wheat. I’m going to have to make my own. Everywhere I looked had regular white pasta. I wasn’t overly excited over my lunch today. It’s days like this which makes sticking to a specific diet hard.

    My lunch wasn’t filling at all and that’s because I didn’t include any fiber. However, around 2:00pm I did have a grapefruit and half of a pomegrante. It’s after 4:00pm and I feel really hungry. I still have my barley salad leftover so I think I will have that for dinner with some fruit. I don’t feel like cooking anything tonight so leftovers will have to do.

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    And here for breakfast I had my crunchy peanut butter on a seven grain bread along with my favorite berry smoothie, and my pomegranate white tea.