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Friday, April 20, 2012

struggling with life uncertainty

Life is unpredictable. Anything could happen and that makes it more interesting and encourage us to learn and grow from the experiences. At the moment this uncertainty is a big factor in my life.
I am usually a positive person, often having that everything is going to be Ok in the end attitude. But this time, leaving thing till the last minute has backfired us. I have noticed though that it is making me anxious without myself knowing it. I have been waking up early ( I am an early raiser anyway but these days more so), and other physical sigh of anxiety such as digestive problems etc has been showing up.

Uncertainty is not a negative thing. When you embrace and trust that everything happen for a reason you live in a moment. understanding that it is moving as it is needed and meant to, you can let it go.
Sometimes I find myself dreaming and planning my life. It certainly helps me to find my inner self and my desire. And guide that I can work towards to in my life practically. But when I have too much of an attachment, I struggle with embracing a disappointment or instability of my life. I need to let go of trying to control and manipulating.
When I realise that I am powerless to control outer world and other people's decisions I can be in a more peace state of mind. Instead of looking around it forces me to look inside of me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

food and fitness event at RealFoods

Last night I went to an event at the the RealFoods (the RMIT University Student Union's organic, vegetarian cafe). An evening of food demos from raw food chef Ace Rosengarten and cutting edge sports nutrition advice, and fighting fit fitness tips with special guests: ‘Mr Natural Universe’ bodybuilding champ Billy Simmonds. there were also storeholders such as Pura Veda and Aclara Health with their coconut. The place was packed with people who are eager to learn from the event.
I love going to an event like this, where I get to talk to people and listen to people who are very passionate about what they do and what they believe in. The knowledge that they have is incredible, even though I or my body may not agree 100 percent with what they follow I can always learn somethings from their knowledge and apply to and also question my currant lifestyle and diet.

Also I was fortunate enough to be asked to supply some meals for them

Raw Bento boxes :

-semi-dried tomato steak with marinated spinach and butternut bits with mixed nut cream
cumin spiced fruit and nut carrot and sweet potato rice served with corn tortilla bread

-vegetable and kelp noodles with creamy satay sauce, served with a marinated vegetables skewer and chewy eggplant "bacon"

Raw salad :
wilted kale and grated beetroot and carrot salad with mildly spiced activated seed mix

Cooked salad :
slowly baked pumpkin and sprouted chickpea salad

Brown rice sushi :
- marinated tofu and tempeh with grated vegetables and sweet miso paste

- pumpkin and hummus loaf with tahini and salad

The RMIT University Student Union's student-volunteer run café full of delicious, REAL, ethical, animal-free, locally sourced, fairtrade, organic & biodynamic meals, snacks & drinks on campus

The cafe is managed by Lucy stegley (aka smoothie girl) who are so warm and generous all time with a lot of energy. there was a lot of preparation to be done to organise and run an event such as this. Well done and thank you, Lucy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

phytic acid, phytase in grains, seeds, nuts etc.

I have always been quite cautious about the amount of phytic acid or phytic acid salts in my diet. That is because my diet does not include any animal products and naturally I have more grains, beans, nuts and seeds, vegetables and fruits compare to many other people.
I have talked about this before but I wanted to put more information in depth after talking to someone about it. he did not believe that soaking brown rice was necessary and it questioned me again about my knowledge.

As we know phytic acid is usually found in many plant tissues, especially the bran part of grains and other seeds. It is found to bind with important minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, making them unavailable. It also inhibits enzymes needed to digest our foods. Anti- nutritional effects have been observed, including tooth decay, nutrient deficiencies, lack of appetite and digestive problems.

The amount of phytate in these foods is highly variable. It depends on growing conditions, harvesting techniques, processing methods, testing methods and even the age of the food being tested.

As a percentage of dry weight
Sesame seed flour 5.36 5.36
Brazil nuts 1.97 6.34
Almonds 1.35 3.22
Tofu 1.46 2.90
Linseed 2.15 2.78
Oat meal 0.89 2.40
Beans, pinto 2.38 2.38
Soy protein concentrate 1.24 2.17
Soybeans 1.00 2.22
Corn 0.75 2.22
Peanuts 1.05 1.76
Wheat flour 0.25 1.37
Wheat 0.39 1.35
Soy beverage 1.24 1.24
Oats 0.42 1.16
Wheat germ 0.08 1.14
Whole wheat bread 0.43 1.05
Brown rice 0.84 0.99
Polished rice 0.14 0.60
Chickpeas 0.56 0.56
Lentils 0.44 0.50

In milligrams per 100 grams of dry weight
Brazil nuts 1719
Cocoa powder 1684-1796
Brown rice 12509
Oat flakes 1174
Almond 1138 - 1400
Walnut 982
Peanut roasted 952
Peanut ungerminated 821
Lentils 779
Peanut germinated 610
Hazel nuts 648 – 1000
Wild rice flour 634 – 752.5
Yam meal 637
Refried beans 622
Corn tortillas 448
Coconut 357
Corn 367
Entire coconut meat 270
White flour 258
White flour tortillas 123
Polished rice 11.5 - 66
Strawberries 12

*1: Reddy NR and others. Food Phytates, CRC Press, 2001.
*2. Figures collected from various sources. Inhibitory effect of nuts on iron absoprtion. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1988 47:270-4; J Anal At Spectrum. 2004 19,1330 –1334; Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 1994, 42:2204-2209.

Like everything else it is not black and white. phytic acid is not a completely evil thing that we need to avoid. the advise is here to reduce the amount as much as possible because now we are eating more of these foods which are not prepared in a traditional way than before and the nutrients we get from our foods have decreased over the years.


Phytase is the enzyme that can help neutralize phytic acid. it can be founded in plant foods that contain phytic acid in variable amount.
In general, us humans do not produce enough phytase, unlike many animals with more than one stomach. However there is a study done suggesting that probiotic lactobacilli, and other species of the endogenous digestive microflora can produce phytase.
Wheat and rye contain high levels of phytase. That is why sourdough bread using wheat and rye are is a good idea. On the other hand corn, millet, oats and brown rice do not contain sufficient phytase to eliminate all the phytic acid they contain.
For these grains with low level of phytase soaking will not eliminate phytates effectively.
Nevertheless, even an eight-hour soak will eliminate some of the phytic acid, reducing the amount in a serving to something like 300 mg or less. Also you can add freshly milled rye grain to give phytase to increase the chance of eliminating the phytate level.

I can not find adequate information on nut preparation. Soaking in salt water does make the nuts more digestible and less likely to cause intestinal discomfort. But I am not sure about the reduction of phytic acid level by soaking them.
Eating nuts in large amounts, especially in an inactivated form, such as in a replacement for grains should be approached carefully.

interestingly potato and yams have a small amount of phytic acids. Cooking does not remove it but it is such small amount, when your diet is nutrient rich, i don't think it is too much of a concern. Sweet potatoes contain no phytate. Another reason to love them!

sometimes I forget that coconut is a nut. You can see from the list that coconut does contain some phytic acids. Fortunately there was a study done that the chelating effect of the phytates in corn, wheat, or soy are not the same as those in coconut.
The mineral-binding effect of the phytates in coconut is essentially nonexistent. Some still suggest soaking of coconut flour but I really don't think it works in a recipe, and the coconut meat from which the flour is made, is naturally soaked in water its entire life (12 months). I don't think it is necessary to repeat the process again.

I didn't write this to scare you into not having any grains, nuts, seeds and beans. They are wonderful foods if prepared in a way to maximise its digestibility and absorbability. Consume them with awareness like any other foods.

Monday, April 9, 2012

raw lettuce wrap and hemp and goji berry cookie

those little morsels are perfect for little snack.


and wrap around


lots of raw desserts are very calorie dense with nuts, especially with omega6 fats. they are healthy fat but when you have too much omega6 and not enough omega3 the healthy balance is not achieved. Hemp seed is a great ingredient to incorporate in your diet.

sweetened with natural sweetness of fruits and coconut
Dehydrate or eat straight away.

Friday, April 6, 2012

decadent and healthy raw chocolate and double berry parfait

Today is warm and it is easter. Even though I didn't grow up celebrating Easter like people here in Australia do I decide to join a bit of indulgence today...
The best parfait ever! and I am sharing the recipe with you...

1 avocado (I used reed but other variety will work too)
1/4 cup raw cocoa powder
1/4 date syrup (paste)
2 tsp raw coconut oil, melted
a few drops of stevia to sweeten to your liking

Blend all but coconut oil and stevia in a blender till smooth
add the oil and blend again.
adjust the sweetness with stevia

1 1/2 banana, frozen
1/8 cup coconut meat
1/4 cup blueberry, frozen
2 tbs pomegranate juice

Blend all the ingredient in a blender. Unfrozen Bananas and blueberry work as well. If you are using frozen fruits you can leave to soften before blending.

raw coconut oil (melted)
raw cocoa powder
maple syrup

Mix all together


place half of the chocolate layer in the bottom of a glass
top with blueberry layer
place in the freezer to harden a bit
garnish with the frozen raspberry and drizzle the chocolate sauce over the top. The sauce will harden as it touches the cold berries.

Then ENJOY the every mouthful!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

sweet potato and quinoa cake with dandelion salad from my garden

The price on sweet potato has been so good lately I have heaps of them at home. I love sweet potato especially the purple ones. I often use orange variety fro raw dishes creating cous cous to spaghetti to soups etc. However I find these purple ones are better eaten cooked. They become so creamy and soft, so comforting.

I have made them into patty and served with salad from my garden.

serves 2

300g sweet potato, roughly chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
4 mushrooms, diced
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp miso
salt and pepper to taste

1. steam or boil sweet potato for about 10 minutes or till they are cooked, roughly mash with back of a fork
2. water saute the onion and mushroom with a pinch of salt and rosemary
3. when the vegetables are done, stir in quinoa, miso and the mashed sweet potato.
4. form a patty
Serve as it is or panfry, grill or bake till they are a bit crispy and brown.

dandelion leaves
bok choy
carrot leaves
lemon peel

chop them to your liking and mix together.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

raw ice cream sandwich

this is heaven....
raw ice cream sandwich
smooth macadamia and chocolate cookie filled with strawberry and coconut ice cream,,,,