Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sesame Ginger Sauce and Produce Bargins

I got all of this produce for SEVEN DOLLARS at a farm near my house. I've been touting the benefits of overripe produce, or seconds, as they are called, for some time now. I go to my county farms looking for seconds. You rarely find these at the grocery store, with the exception of overripe bananas, which I have seen marked down at regular stores in Maryland.

The price of everything is going up. Getting produce can be difficult. If you have any farmers markets or farms within a 10 to 20 mile radius of your home, find them. Most of them have websites. Call them regularly in the late morning after they've had time to go through their daily produce. They will mark down the seconds and display them prominently.

Yesterday, I got all of that produce because they know my face. I called around 10:00am and asked if they had any seconds. The apples were five dollars. The tomatoes were two dollars. They gave me everything else FOR FREE. Karen (that's the woman who helped me) said they couldn't sell the lemons, pears, tangerines, and bananas at regular price and she was happy to know the food was going to good use. They won't do that at your typical grocery store chain. And you'll be supporting local farmers while you're at it!

Collard Wrap
On May 25th, I had:
Matt Juice
2 apples
kale salad
lettuce, cilantro, tomato, avocado in nori roll
water w/ lemon

Broccoli and Snow Peas with Sesame-Ginger Sauce
On May 26th, I had:
water w/ lemon
tahini shake
collard wrap: lettuce, cilantro, tomato, and avocado
coconut, tangerine, pear, banana smoothie
Broccoli and snow peas with sesame ginger sauce

This Sesame-Ginger Sauce is adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
6 tablespoons sesame oil
6 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 to 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (this is hot!)
2 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
4 garlic cloves
Mix everything well. Pour over your vegetables. They can be whatever veggies you want. The longer they marinate, the better it will taste. People at work could smell the sauce. They all said it smelled great (even though I could not smell anything.)
That's it for tonight! See you all next time :-).


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Back on Raw

Back on raw! Today is Monday, May 25, and I'm running on 3 hours of sleep. Still mourning Adam Lambert's runner-up status on American Idol (yes, I know...but I've watched nearly episode from Season 2 to the present, and nobody like him has ever stepped on the Idol stage), I watched a few of his performances still had left on my DVR after Raymond watched Iron Chef. We went to bed at 10:30pm. Jona woke up at 1:25am, and still has not gone back to sleep. He's been singing and dancing since he woke up. Do I have an Adam Lambert on my hands?

I am doing better than I thought. I've been raw since I ended my juice feast. Forty-eight hours of raw is buffering the lack of sleep.

On May 23rd, I ate:
water w/ lemon and chili pepper flakes
apple/banana/collard/kale smoothie
cucumber/mint/parsley/collard/lettuce/apple juice
kale salad

On May 24th, I ate:
carrot juice
water w/lemon
peas and kale salad
salad w/sesame dressing
tahini shake

This is a juice I had this morning. It's from Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney.
2 cucumbers/2 carrots/ 1/2 cup parsley/ 2 apples/ 1/2 cup mint/ 1 rib celery/ 1/2 inch ginger/ 1 peeled lemon
It was surprisingly fantastic. I'm thinking about making another one. It tastes like lemon-ginger juice. It's not a combination I would have ever put together on my own. I gave it a go because I had everything, except celery, on hand. I'm calling it "Matt Juice." Matthew has some entrees in his book I'm going to try. I'll give a review after I do 5 recipes.

Until then, I've got to take a nap!...when Rom comes home :-(.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Juice Feast Days 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15

(no pictures today!)

Day 11:
mantra: I deserve financial wealth!
green pepper/cilantro/collard/celery/lemon
carrot/green pepper
green pepper/apple/lemon
mint tea

Day 12:
mantra: My mind is my greatest gift.
apple/collard/green pepper/lemon
apple/collard/green pepper/lemon
apple/collard/red pepper/lemon
apple/collard/yellow pepper/lemon
mint tea

Day 13:
mantra: The Universe loves me and supports me.
mint tea

Day 14:
mantra: The Universe loves me and supports me.
green pepper/collard/spinach/lemon
mint tea

Day 15:
mantra: I love and support myself.
mint tea

Lot's been going on. Here's the update:

I won a digital camera at the gym where I work. It was staff appreciation night. The kids ran relays and had big fun!

The worst day of the week. In short, I took LaVerne to get an MRI and carotid artery scan because of her seizures. She fought off the radiologist and the woman could not finish the exam. Today is Friday. I am still waiting to hear back from her doctor's office about a hospital that can sedate her in order to get the tests done. Believe or not, a very nice woman at LaVerne's doctor's office has called every single hospital in Baltimore. NONE of them can sedate her for both tests. Some will do it for the MRI, but not the carotid artery scan. Still waiting. But Monday stank. But I didn't emotionally eat!

When two different people tell you the same thing, the Universe is trying to tell you something. My friends Eleanor Justice and Sherry Tuegel both told me to get in touch with my inner warrior goddess. I was down Tuesday. I won't lie. Eleanor asked me if any of the warrior goddesses like Lilith resonated with me. I said I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alias. Those are archetypes, she said. Get it touch with them.

Then later, Sherry says to me, you need to get in touch with your anger. You're stuffing it down and it's turning into depression. She taught me "YogaBoxing." I really have to show it to you all in a video. (If you're interested, shoot me an email and I'll try to explain it. It's one of those things that needs to be demonstrated in person.) I introduced Sherry and Eleanor to each other afterward (this all happened at Mystickal Voyage).

I got in touch with my inner Buffy. Lots of anger released. I felt clearer and lighter. Like I had lost weight in an hour.

I did something a friend of mine did 2 years ago. Again, at Mystickal Voyage (magical things happen at this place...I'm so serious), Bunky Bartlett declared to whatever name you use for God, "If You want me to teach, I need to win the lottery." Two weeks later, he won $82 million dollars in the Mega Millions lottery.

I made a similar declaration. I just said, "If You want me to homeschool, write books, and do all of these wonderful things, I need an in-person community, financial support, and lots of love around me."

And guess what? I WON forty dollars in the Maryland Pick 3 Lottery. I saw the number 306 on a door in my dream. I played it. It fell 063. Whoo hoo! It's a start!

I also realized something about homeschooling my sons, especially Raymond, my six-year-old. I'm throwing out convention. I had been following my county's grade-appropriate reading list, using workbooks, and he was bored as snot. He hates reading. In my juicing clarity, I thought, go with what he's interested in. He likes cooking and science. He's been exploring science with library LEAP kits (Learn, Explore, and Play) which are for grades 3 and up. On Wednesday, I got him science books from the juvenile non-fiction section for grades 5 and up. Raymond is six and can't read fluently yet. But yesterday and today, he ASKED me to read to him. He never asks me. I just do it. But getting him subjects he's interested in will improve his reading skills, I believe.

I decided to end my juice feast tomorrow. I've had many breakthroughs and I'm breakthroughed out. I actually LIKE green juice. I'm ready to eat prunes and eat raw food. I'm going to start writing down what I eat to keep me honest. This has been an interesting 15 days! Thank you for coming along with me.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Guest Blogger: Carolyn Akens

Chef Carolyn Akens

Chef Carolyn Akens is a Certified Raw Food Chef/Instructor in Atlanta, GA. She owns Carolyn’s Raw Foods and Carolyn’s Raw Food Institute. Chef Carolyn’s culinary career began in 2001, as a personal chef preparing delicious and healthy meals for her clients.

Due to the devastating loss of her younger brother to obesity, Chef Carolyn knew a lifestyle change had to happen; and in her research discovered raw foods. Carolyn has always been passionate about healthy and nutritious food. Transitioning to eating raw and living food was a natural progression.

Since going raw, Chef Carolyn has lost over 40 pounds and is now a size 6 instead of a 12/14. Having dealt with high cholesterol, migraines, arthritis, and weight fluctuation, she made raw foods a standard of living and went through an amazing transformation. Her body and spirit are now healthy, revitalized, and energized.

Eating raw is not complicated and neither should the recipes. However you can go from simple fare to gourmet. Your goal for preparing raw food should be delicious, enjoyable, and easy. Raw food dishes should always appeal to us visually since we eat with our eyes before the first bite is taken.

The following recipes are three of my favorites, enjoy!

Corn Chowder

4 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen, plus 1/4 cup
2 cups almond milk
1 small avocado cut in chunks
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 cup corn kernels, garnish

In a blender, combine the corn (except for 1/4 cup), almond milk, avocado, cumin, chopped onion, nutritional yeast, and salt. Blend well. Pour the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with corn kernels.

Moroccan Couscous
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon onion, minced
1 Tablespoon oregano, dried
1 Tablespoon basil, dried
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 Tablespoons curry
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup broccoli, sliced thin
1/4 cup carrots, sliced thin
1-2 parsnips, small dice
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Goji berries
1/4 cup pine nuts

1. Using the grater blade of a Cuisinart, process cauliflower into grainy consistency.
2. Combine cut cauliflower with broccoli, carrots, sundried tomatoes, raisins,
parsnips, pine nuts, and Goji berries.
3. Combine ingredients for marinade and pour over vegetable mixture. Toss well.
4. Allow it to marinade for at least 2 hours (if you can wait that long).
5. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed in the dehydrator.

Mediterranean Kale Salad

2 small bunches dinosaur (Lacinato or any organic kale), stems removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup raisins, soaked 10 minutes, drained, and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Stack two of the kale leaves with the stem end facing you. Fold in half lengthwise and roll tightly like a cigar. Slice crosswise into thin strips. Repeat with the remaining kale leaves. Chop the kale strips crosswise a few times, so they aren't too long.
Place the kale in a mixing bowl along with the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Toss well with your hands, working the dressing into the greens. Add the pine nuts and raisins and toss gently. Season to taste with black pepper. Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, Mediterranean Kale Salad will keep for three days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Variation #1: Substitute 1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives for the raisins and add 1 diced red bell pepper.

Variation #2: Eliminate the raisins and the pine nuts. Add 1 seeded and diced tomato, 1 diced avocado, and a dash of cayenne pepper.

Variation #3: Add goji berries and Za'atar to the original recipe. (my personal favorite)

To learn more about Carolyn's Raw Food Classes, Raw Food Chef & Chef Instructor Certification, Weight Loss System, and to sign up for her newsletter, go to


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Juice Feast Days 9 and 10

On Day 9, I had:
Peppermint tea
Romaine/cilantro/tomato salad

Mantra: I earn a fantastic income doing work that I love.

I was gone most of the day, from 10: ooam to 8:00am working. I was at Mystickal Voyage doing readings, and then I had a private reading afterward. The person I read was an intuitive herself, and I swear she pushed me to be better. She asked so many questions that she already knew the answer to. Every time I verified what she knew. I was sweating afterward. It was an amazing experience.

I traveled with my salad and juice and water today. Energy-wise I felt great (probably because I didn't have to do any cooking or cleaning :-).

On Day 10, I had:
*Green pepper/cilantro/collard/celery/lemon*
(My first all veggie juice ever!)
Carrot/apple (twice)
Apple/green pepper/celery/lemon
Romaine/cilantro/tomato salad

Mantra: ALL of my relationships are harmonious.

I got super-clear today about one thing. ALL of my relationships, including the one with my in-laws can be harmonious. With my in-laws I must release my need to be right. With other people, I'm open to all points of view. I want to create only positive relationships in my life.



Friday, May 15, 2009

Juice Feast Days 7 and 8

On Day 7, I had:

Apple/carrot (twice)
mint tea
I love myself enough to heal.

Exercise: yoga, 15 minutes on bike, bicep curls, abs

I finally got to exercise! I teach yoga on Thursday mornings. Blessedly there is childcare at my gym. My sons love this place. Whenever I pick them up, they are happy to see me, but they're not exactly racing out the door either. I took a chance and worked out after yoga. It felt soooooo good. Day 8 was the first day in a long time I haven't woken up with a stiff back.

On Day 8, I had:

apple/kale/cabbage/green pepper/lemon
apple/kale/green pepper/lemon
mint tea

Mantra: I earn a fabulous income in a career I enjoy.

Exercise: Yoga in the morning

I'm moving into more green juices and cutting down the amount of fruit. I'm moving slowly toward my first all-green, all vegetable juice. The apple/kale/cabbage combo was surprisingly tasty. Cabbage gives it an unexpected "bite" in a good way.

Day 8 was a dragging day, energy-wise. I was far too tired. I just dragged and dragged. I didn't take the kids to the Mocha Moms support group meeting because I couldn't see myself driving. It was not a good feeling.

I had asked my Higher Guidance how long I should do this. I ask for the answer to be clear and understandable to me. In a dream, it came to me as 45 total days. The last day would be June 23. Then, last night in another dream the numbers 2 and 3 showed up together. Okay, June 23. But I also decided to add one huge, hunkin' salad for lunch everyday. My colon is not moving. The detoxification has slowed down. I feel like I need fiber.

And I get to play around with salads. I have admitted in the past that I've avoided salads. This way I focus on two of the biggest components of a raw food lifestyle: salads, homemade dressings, and juices.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Juice Feast Days 4, 5, and 6

On Day Four, I had:
4 carrots/2 apples
6 carrots/ 1 apple
2 apples/strawberries
Supplements: MSM, probiotics
Mantra: My house is a loving, peaceful place to live.

Okay, I didn't sit down much on Day four. I cleaned my living room, in the spirit of the mantra. It only took forty minutes. I learned from the Fly Lady yahoo group to clean in 15 minute spurts and to get the kids involved. Even though it didn't take long, because I was already exhausted, that was it for the day.

On Day 5, I had:
Lemon/pepper tea
Mint tea
Supplements: MSM, probiotics
Mantra: The Universe loves me and supports me.

By Day 5, I wasn't feeling well. My throat was sore. My head hurt, and was really tired. I had to go work at
Mystickal Voyage, and I was happy that I got through all my readings intact. I was also almost fully booked. That hasn't happened in over a year. So again, evidence of The Universe loves me and supports me. I was too through physically, but emotionally I appreciated all the readings.

A theme kept popping up all night: folks who had done what they were "supposed" to do in life, but now wanted to do what they wanted to do in life. It's a theme I explored in my first novel, and I'm exploring it again in my current one. It's something I've struggled with in my thirties. This is not a knock against my parents. I've already talked to my mother about this.

If I could have done ages sixteen through twenty-nine all over again, I would have written for The Red and Black, the University of Georgia student newspaper, not dated a single person, gone to graduate school to get an MFA in Creative Writing, and traveled the world. My mom worked for Delta Airlines for over a decade, so my air travel was deeply discounted. Instead, I fell for the okey-doke, did the corporate thing, got into debt, got married, got divorced, and tried to figure out why I was on this Earth.

Doing a juice feast brings crazy clarity. I think I'm on the right track.

On Day 6, I had:
Apple/lemon/green pepper
Lemon/pepper tea
Mint tea
Mantra: I love myself enough to heal.

I finally took a "nap" today. After dinner and Oprah, I napped for two hours in between Jona coming in my room to see what I was doing :-). Maybe it was just rest, but I needed it regardless. Lying there, I realized how dysfunctional my in-laws are. My job is to become functional. Does that make sense?

Not perfect, but someone who is always kind to herself and others. Someone who has coping skills to deal with life so that I don't keep falling into a pit of episodic chaos. Someone who understands the power of thought so I don't cave into fear. Someone who realizes that she is writing her own story. She creates a supporting cast of loving, positive, compassionate, honest, trustworthy people. Someone who carves a positive place in this world.

Why did I wait to do this?



Monday, May 11, 2009

Juice Feast Days 2 and 3

Good Morning, Family! It's been a rough, yet inspirational forty-eight hours for me. Let me tell you what I drank on Day 2:

Personal Mantra: My house is a loving, peaceful, inviting place to live.
Jay's Lemonade: apples and lemon
lemon/agave/water/pepper tea
water (lots)
Blood (beets/apple/ginger/lemon)

My mantra on Day 1 was The Universe loves and supports me. I truly felt that on Saturday. I was at the grocery store getting food for Rom and the boys. After I paid for the food, I got my receipt as usual, AND, surprise, I got a coupon for TEN DOLLARS off my next visit. You know what I did? I turned around and bought some fruit and vegetables. I bought two bags of apples, one bag of carrots, a lemon, and cabbage. That came to $12.54. With my coupon, I only paid $2.54. That is a clear example of The Universe loves and supports me.

Jona took his nap while I was gone. I was sleep-deprived and never napped on Saturday. Then, around 8:00pm, I started cramping and I knew my menstrual cycle was about to start. With my peri-menopause symptoms, I knew it was coming. And I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I had a tubal ligation in August 2006. My cramps have been off-the-charts painful ever since. I know my organs are pliable, but Saturday night it felt like some was trying break my fallopian tubes in half...with a saw. Rom got me a heating pad, and I was able to fall asleep.

On Day 3, Mother's Day I awoke to my gifts: FRUIT! (The Universe loves and supports me...those mantras really do work). Rom supports me on this juice feast and his actions followed. I was thrilled!

He cut up the fruit for me to save me time preparing the juice. Here's what I had on Day 3:
Personal Mantra: My house is a loving, peaceful, inviting place to live (I chose to repeat the mantra from Day 2)
2 apples/4 kiwi
2 apples/6 strawberries
mint tea twice
Detox symptom: runny nose
After three years of living in this house, we finally figured out that we have fresh mint growing in our backyard.

The mint about five feet wide and 2 feet high. I'll be drinking a lot of mint tea, which is my favorite! What a blessing!

On to the other good things that happened yesterday:
- At the grocery store, I let the woman in front of me use my discount card. Her bill instantly dropped twenty-two dollars! She hugged me like she'd known me forever. I thought that was cool.
- My friend Victoria has dubbed my juices "Althea's Magic Elixirs." LOL!

Today is the morning of Day 4. I am exhausted. Jona had tummy trouble and was feverish last night and didn't fall asleep until 10:00pm. He woke up again around midnight. I'm tired, but Jona is running around playing with his brother. My major goal for the day is to SIT DOWN. Wish me luck on that one. :-)



Friday, May 8, 2009

Juice Feast Day 1

Here we go! Rom took this picture of me last night on Day 1. I might go the whole 92 days for this feast. My mom said to take it one day at a time, and that is what I am going to do. I got the kids all excited about the juice feast yesterday. I explained that mommy will only drink juice, water, tea, and a few supplements for a while.

This was a self-portrait of me and Raymond yesterday morning. Raymond looks so excited. I was just trying to take a decent picture of the two of us!
Day One:
My personal mantra: The Universe loves and supports me.
Water (didn't measure, just drank a lot constantly)
Blood (2 apples, ginger, lemon, beets)
Ambrosia Cocktail (2 apples, 1 orange)
Jay's Secret (from Juiceman's Power of Juicing: 6 carrots, 2 celery ribs, parsley, 2 garlic cloves)
3 apples, 3 carrots
2 apples, cilantro, collard, spinach, parsley, lemon
4 apples, parsley, spinach, lemon
3 apples, celery, spinach, lemon, ginger
Supplements: probiotic, MSM

I'm supposed to drink at least a gallon a juice a day. I exceeded that. My energy level was good until I drank Jay's Secret around 4:00pm. I got an instant head rush, and subsequent headache. I told Rom I had to lay down. I took a nap for an hour.

Other detox symptoms:
chalky teeth
chalky tongue
runny nose
sleep in eyes (this morning)

Today is the morning of Day Two. It has not gone as expected. Jona didn't sleep well, so you know I didn't sleep well either. And he woke up at 5:36am. I'm a little cranky, so when he naps today, I will nap with him. But I can honestly say I'm not hungry.

My registration at the Juice Feasters website was accepted last night, so I have more reading to do. I'm supposed to get an enema bag and a dry skin brush. I will look for both today.

It's around 9:15am, and I only have one bottle of juice ready. So I've got to run and begin my day.



Thursday, May 7, 2009

Beginning a Juice Feast

Hi Family:

After reading your comments in my survey, I'm going to start calling my readers "The Keep It Real Crew." Some of you cracked me up. (To the lady leery of recipe ebooks, PLEASE email me. You can be part of my "test kitchen" if you're interested.) All of your comments touched me. I sincerely appreciate the time you all took to answer the survey. I took everything you all said to heart.

My blog has grown far larger than I ever expected. I received the same amount of new subscribers between January-April 2009 as I did in the entire year of 2008. Woah! Thank you!

And since I've been eating more "green" food, I've been contemplating a juice feast. If you've been reading The Raw Mocha Angel for a while, you know about my home life and responsibilities. It can be off the chain sometimes. I realized a few days ago that I have not had a comfortable living space/situation in nine years. From June 2000 to now, I've either lived in places that I could never relax in or, as I am now, in a house that needs a LOT of TLC and I've got the dysfunctional relatives as a bonus.

But I do not believe in accidents. I believe that we are co-creators of our lives. How and where we live is a reflection of how we see ourselves. That's a tough thing to admit.

I have been pushed by my Higher Guidance/Angels/God/Universe/whatever you'd like to call it/ to "fast and pray." I did a two-day fast a few weeks ago, but I just wasn't that into it. I've been resisting the call. I've done three fasts before: a three-day, a fourteen-day, and a twenty-one day. The fourteen day juice fast was the best of them all.

So why my resistance this time around? Things are going to change. Now, for my long-time readers and friends, ya'll know my home life needs to change, for real. I will admit to a certain level of fear of massive change. Intellectually, I know everything will change for the better. But an intense detox, like a juice feast, will shake things up internally and externally. It's like Spring Cleaning: the entire house is a mess before it's beautiful.

So the feast starts tomorrow, Friday, May 8th. It will last at least 30 days.
I'm joining the Juice Feasting website, and I have been re-reading A Juice Feaster's Handbook by Angela Stokes. I'm armed with The Juiceman's Power of Juicing by Jay Kordich, Juicing for Life by Cherie Calbom, and Heal Thyself by Queen Afua.

Even before I finalized this decision, I had invited raw chefs to be guest bloggers for The Raw Mocha Angel. They will post once a month to share their favorite raw food recipes for you all. I am really excited about that!

And I'm excited, and nervous, about taking this major step toward healing. Thank you for coming along!



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