Friday, August 28, 2009

My Raw Food Class for Mocha Moms

From left: (front) Monica (Southern DC Chapter President), Renee, Maisha, Mama Ayo
From left: (back) Teresa, Allison, Donne (Silver Spring Chapter President), Me, Najla

I taught a raw food class on Wednesday to members of the Southern DC, Northern DC, and Silver Spring Chapters of Mocha Moms.
I was so happy everyone loved the food. The class surpassed my expectations. It was a blast.

On the menu was:
Green Goddess Juice
Spinach Salad
Tacos w/ salsa & cheese
Kale salad
coconut ice cream w/ strawberry sauce

Allison and Donne eating the coconut ice cream. Donne's quotes: "I love you, Althea." "You are my new best friend."

She cracked me up. She kept saying, "My grandma would eat this food!"

Another picture of the ladies!

Renee and Monica
I won't be able make the Raw Spirit Fest that's happening near me, but I will get to meet Karen Ranzi, author of Creating Super Healthy Children, on Sunday. I'm looking forward to that. When my life settles down on Monday, I'll get back to taking pictures of food. I'm off to put the finishing touches on Raymond's birthday party :-).


Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Winner of the Goddess of Raw Foods is....

Cheris Courtney

of Georgia!

Congratulations!!!! Your copy of the book is on it's way!

Thank you to everyone who entered. The entries were hilarious.

It's been quiet on my blog for a week becuase I've been working hard! I taught a raw food class last night to the Southern DC Chapter of Mocha Moms. Pictures coming soon :-).




Sunday, August 16, 2009

Interview with Nwenna Kai + Giveaway!

On July 7, I announced that Nwenna Kai was coming to Maryland. Although I couldn't make it to Roots Market that day, I was still able to interview her. Nwenna is best known as the creator, founder, and culinary designer of Taste of the Goddess Cafe, one of LA's pioneering organic raw foods cafe, catering companies, and product lines in the Los Angeles area. She has designed the raw vegan product line for the company Foodology, Inc. Her raw food creations are available in over 30 Whole Foods Markets in the southern California area. Below is our interview:

What was the catalyst that brought you to raw food?
About ten years ago while I was grad student studying creative writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I was eating a mostly cooked vegan diet full of tofu, tempeh, and other meat substitute processed foods and I kept getting sick. My most annoying problem was constipation so I intuitively thought that if I ate more salads and fresh juices, I would go to the bathroom, so that’s what I did in the dead of winter in Chicago, I ate only salads and fresh juices. I felt crazy inside. I didn't know what I was doing but it relieved my constipation. Months later a friend of mine took me to Karyn’s Fresh Corner in Chicago and my jaw dropped! I was amazed at all the wonderful foods that you could eat. So I started buying books and equipment and I just experimented in my kitchen at home.

Why did you decide to open a restaurant?
I moved to LA in 2003 as a raw foodist and so I naturally surrounded myself with people who ate like me. After making food in my home kitchen for the local gourmet health food stores, I looked to do more catering and products and needed a commercial kitchen. After driving along Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, I spotted the small coffee shop that I turned into my restaurant. Years later we moved to a bigger location. I didn’t have any restaurant experience and very little capital but something inside wanted to do this.

What is your advice to someone who wants to start her own business?
Whoah. Eat your greens because you are going to need them. To start a business and to continue to run a business takes passion, drive, a willingness to step out of your comfort zone, a willingness to transform your spiritual life, and a sincere effort to solve a problem. I think the path of being an entrepreneur is a spiritual path designed to teach you how to master your life. Now that’s sexy. Coming in on a mission, living out your mission, helping others and at the same time fulfilling your desires and if you allow yourself to be expansive enough, making millions and perhaps billions of dollars from it.

What is your absolute favorite food to eat?
Kale and portobello mushrooms.

What do you eat on a daily basis?
I keep it simple. I drink a grapefruit juice or a green juice or a berry smoothie in the morning. In the summertime, I live off of coconuts. I graze all day. I eat simply, watermelon for dinner, a kale salad with olive oil and salt, some sliced tomatoes with olive oil and salt, a peach after dinner, celery sticks and nut butter, maybe some banana ice cream at night. Eating like this requires a different way to think. Who would think about eating watermelon for dinner but I will tell you I’m full and feeling good afterwards.

What are your top two pieces of advice for someone just starting out in his/her raw food journey?
Take it slow and listen to your body and to your taste buds. Too often we listen to what other people tell us what to eat and how to eat. If you look at what I eat all day, people ask where is your protein, where is this, where is that. I tell them I haven’t been sick in nine years, case closed. My body isn’t missing anything. We have to understand that our bodies are needing and wanting different things at a different time. We don’t need as much protein as we think. What we need on a daily basis is oxygen.If your body is craving salt, eat salt, but grab some Himalayan salt. If your body is craving sugar, grab for some agave nectar or make a fruit smoothie. Your cravings are telling you exactly what your body is needing.

What is your life's philosophy?
Keep it simple and easy and don’t waste anything. That includes food, money, time, resources, energy, and emotions. We waste so much and then we complain that we don’t have enough of something. I’m convinced that that is the reason why so many of us are always financially challenged. We waste too much.

Any parting words you'd like to share with Raw Mocha Angel readers?
I really hope that black people really make a breakthrough with our health soon. I hear too many times from our people, "I would buy your book but I like my fried chicken too much" or when I had my restaurant people would say to me, "I would come to your restaurant but I gotta have my pork chops." You don’t have to be 100% raw in order to enjoy raw foods. I don’t know where that thinking comes from. It's why I don’t like to label myself a raw foodist. It sets you up to always have to fit into a category or some sort of group. Just because you eat fried chicken doesn’t mean you can’t have wheatgrass the next day.

There is absolutely nothing that we cannot heal, nothing. And I mean the big diseases like cancer, HIV, diabetes, obesity, anger, poverty (yes, poverty is a disease), constipation, headaches. But we have to change our diets which means we have to change our lifestyles.

Thank you so much, Nwenna!


Nwenna was kind enough to offer one lucky Raw Mocha Angel reader a copy of her new book The Goddess of Raw Foods. All you have to do to win is answer one question:

- "What's the funniest comment you've ever heard when you told someone that you're a raw vegan, or even interested in becoming one, or even said the term "raw vegan" in a sentence?"
- Leave a workable email address you check regularly at the end of your post so I can contact you if you win.

- You have until Monday, August 24 by 11:59pm to post your comment
- I will randomly pick and announce a winner on Tuesday, August 25 by 11:59pm. I will also email the winner by that time.

That's it! Good luck to everyone!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Light Eating for Survival

"Light Eating for Survival" Blog Project a la the movie Julie & Julia.
1 Year. 481 Recipes. 1 ambitious mama.
Days 1, 2, and 3.

I've been saying for months that I need to eat more green, healing food. I've been downing salads and green juice, which has been good. The problem is that I've lacked focus on what to make. I have so many raw food books that sometimes it gets overwhelming. I'd said before I would focus on my favorite foods. I quickly realized that I am a foodie. I love trying new food. Sticking with the same stuff all the time was boring me.

When the movie Julie and Julia came out last week (I will see it soon), I was inspired. I thought, "huh, sticking with one book will keep my focus. I have a hundred things to do everyday. Maybe this will make preparing my raw meals easier." Rather than make all the recipes in a current raw food book, I was drawn to an undeservedly obscure and out-of-print book called Light Eating for Survival which I have owned for over a year.

Written by a then 21-year-old Marcia Madhuri Acciardo, in 1977, this is a true classic. With cover art and inside the book art by Peter Max, a book that originally sold for $6.00, now goes for $144.47 (the highest price I found) on

I tracked down Marcia to get her permission to do this, and she graciously said yes.

I want this book to get more publicity. I don't know if it was the first raw vegan recipe book published, but it has to be one of the first. In the era of celebrity raw food chefs who push the most outrageously expensive ingredients and appliances, this book is unpretentious. No Vita-Mixes, no dehydrators, no drama. The ingredients that you can't find at your local grocery store: nutritional yeast, miso, slippery elm, comfrey, and other herbs, you can find in a health food store.

With 481 recipes packed into a slim, spiral bound 105 pages, I thought, "I'm up for a challenge. Why not? Life is good (way good). Let's make it better."

Presenting the first three days of my Light Eating for Survival Project: Lemonade

1 lemon juiced (I used 2)
3-4 cups of water (I used 3)
honey to taste (I didn't measure, but used enough until it was sweet to me)

I put everything in a mason jar and shook it. The only thing I did wrong was that I juiced the lemons with the rind on. Duh! It tasted great, but the longer it sat, I could feel the bitterness rising. Perhaps I should peel the lemons first! :-)

Heaven and Earth
1/2 carrot
1/2 apple

I juiced 2 carrots and 2 apples. I've always loved this combination. Sweet and simple.

Kid Friendly Smoothies:
Raymond loved these. When your child says, "Can I have some more?" you know it tastes good.

Date Shake
1 cup apple juice
1 banana
1/4 cup pitted dates

Carob Date Shake
1 cup apple juice
1 banana
1/4 cup soaked pitted dates or raisins
1 oz. soaked walnuts
1 tablespoon carob powder
I already had soaked dates in the fridge. Soak them until they are soft. I soaked the walnuts for an hour.

Pie Crust #4
2 cups mashed pitted dates

1 cup ground walnuts

1/4 shredded coconut

I mixed everything in my food processor until it formed a ball. Then I pressed it into a pie plate. Apple Pie Filling

8 grated Pipin or Cortland apples

2 chopped apples

1 tablespoon Cinnamon

2 tablespoon chopped walnuts (optional. I did use them)

1 lemon sliced

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoon


Mix everything together. Spread on the crust. Sprinkle coconut on the top. Refrigerate.

I completely forgot to put shredded coconut on this pie! That is my bad. The only change I made was that I juiced one lemon and added it to the mix to my taste. I also ate it with a cashew cream sauce (2 cups cashews, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, agave to taste. Add water, just to the top. Blend.) This was melt in your mouth good. Me and my husband fought over the last piece. We like apple anything in my house, so making this was a no-brainer.

Until next time!




Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Winner of Ani's Raw Food Desserts is....

Rhonda Waller, Ph.d!!!!
Rhonda is also the co-owner of Rhonda's Cupcakery.
Rhonda offers scrumptious vegan cupcakes too! And you can order online.
Might she start offering raw vegan cupcakes after reading Ani's book? Hmmmm...

Congratulations, Rhonda. And thank you to the other ladies who entered the contest.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mocha Angels Book Ready for Pre-Orders!!

Hi Everyone:

After four years, my second book, Mocha Angels: 365 Days of Angelic Wisdom and Affirmations is ready to be published. Rom and I are self-publishing the book, as we have done before, via our new company Miracle House Publishing. I’m using the pre-orders to help raise money for the printing costs. We’d like to publish this Fall 2009.

If you’re wondering why I’m not taking the traditional route to publish a book, it’s because we want to build an empire. We are DIY sort-of-folks, and I would like to hand-sell my book to as many people as possible.

If you haven’t seen the Mocha Angel messages, I have them on the side panel of this blog, Facebook, Give It to Me Raw, and The messages in the book are different than what I’ve posted. But they are in the same spirit of healing, self-empowerment, and love as the Facebook messages.

The past 5-6 years have been very rough, but the Mocha Angel messages were borne out of that tragedy and drama. I am happy to say that by heeding the messages, my life is fantastically better.

The cost of the book is $20.00. If you’d like to do PayPal, You can go right here: The PayPal link is at the very top on the right.
If you need my address, email me at, and I will send it to you.
And if you’d like to see the first few pages of the manuscript, which includes the introduction and a few messages for January, just let me know, and I’ll send it to you.

Thanks and love,


Friday, August 7, 2009

Guest Blogger: Elaine Rice-Fells

Elaine and Ron Fells

Elaine Rice-Fells, and her husband Ron Fells, are legends in the metro DC raw food community. Elaine co-founded the RawSoul yahoogroup, which is a fantastic resource of information for anyone interested in the raw vegan lifestyle. Elaine and Ron hosted potlucks at their home, and always made themselves available to anyone who had questions. I met them five years ago, and they have watched me grow from a woman who knew bupkus about raw, to someone who now has a blog! Elaine and Ron gave me reading materials, resources, and are loving, incredible people. They are passionate advocates of raw, and are wonderful people to know. When I considered who I wanted to guest blog for the Raw Mocha Angel, Elaine was the first person to come to mind. Here is her post about the benefits of juicing:

When you’re asked “Do you drink fresh fruit and green or vegetable juice (go here for clarification ( ) is your response “NO, it’s too laborious even for fruit or UGH, maybe V-8?” Then my friend, allow me to extend some tasty, beneficial insight.

Processed juices, be in boxes, cans, or bottles are a true waste of your time and energy. Though they may tantalize your taste buds, they provide you with dead nutrients, false calories, and a variety of sugar substitutes that confuse your digestive system and worse, increases major health risks and cancer.

Let’s ponder for a moment or two . . . what is enabling the color and taste to remain intact until purchased, and what’s really the significance of the “expiration date” found on the label? Well my friend, the answer is an oxidized and chemically treated juice containing additives for shelf life until you purchase and consume them. Let’s ponder a little longer. The definition of “fresh” couldn’t be any clearer: recently made or harvested, imparting vitality and energy, not canned or otherwise preserved, not containing or composed of salt water, original.

Visualize your favorite fruit, let’s say watermelon, juiced right before your eyes then poured into a clear glass showing off its’ natural splendor, nice and cool, bursting with flavor, nutrients intact and sweet aroma. Can you really imagine this kind of goodness truly coming from a bottle? NOT! So, let’s talk fresh organic juicing.

First, you’ll need a decent juicer. Make it simple, purchase the first one you see, ask around or do your own homework by comparing brand names, appearance, prices or ratings. Take it home, try it out and remember one important thing, you can always return it if you’re not completely satisfied.

Select your fruit, greens or vegetables. Go for what you’d prefer or pick up one or two of the many juicing books available (suggested list at end of article) containing recipes or keep it simple and go to Google or YouTube and search the words " juicing recipes."

Always or whenever possible, go organic. Step outside the box and create your own recipes. Keep fresh organic ginger on hand as a staple. Peel it by scraping the skin off with a teaspoon in lieu of a knife, this saves more ginger meat. Juice a good size knot (about the size of your thumb and middle finger circled or more) of it along with other ingredients. It’s a good blood purifier that helps with circulation and a regulator of high blood pressure among other illnesses as well as lemon and lime.

As a rule and in my own opinion, it’s best to eat your vegetables and drink your greens. Additionally, although fruit juices are simply fantastic and additively refreshing, they should mostly be eaten. Whatever your mode of consumption may be, remember that fiber is most important. Once you begin juicing and enjoying your creativity you’ll never purchased processed juice again.

Any amount of fresh juice you consume in a day will be a great beginning. It doesn’t have to be 16 ounces each time. It depends upon what type you’re drinking and how available it is to you. Two to four ounces of fresh organic leafy greens can work wonders! Too green or not palatable you say? Simple, add juice of an apple, celery or cucumber along with some ginger or you may be a trooper and take it in a shot glass chased with fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice. You’ll feel the difference nearly immediately.

For folks on the go who would like to have their juice throughout the day but obviously cannot carry your juicer, no excuse. I have an answer for you. At the grocery store look for glass bottled items like Capers (the skinny bottle), various size jars and bottles of jams, spices, sauces and juices. Give the contents away or dump them and keep the bottles. Ask friends and family to save bottles for you. Now you have glass containers for your fresh juice any time of the day. Fill the containers all the way to overflow then cap it tightly. This prevents oxidation. Later, when you open you must drink it all else oxidation will diminish the nutrient values. Juices are to be consumed not more than 2 minutes after extraction.

I could go on for hours about the benefits and fun I have with juicing but I must end here. Go now and rediscover the joy in your kitchen and by all means. . . Happy Juicing!

Suggested reading:
Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices – Dr. N. W. Walker
Green for Life – Victoria Boutenko
Joy of Juicing – Gary Null
Juice Fasting, How to Keep Slim Healthy and Young with – Dr. Paavo Airola
Juicing For Health – Julie Stafford
Power Juices, Super Drinks – Steve Meyerowitz
The Juiceman’s Power of Juicing – Jay Kordich
Wheatgrass, Nature’s Finest Medicine – Steve Meyerowitz

Some of my favorites:
Be sure to wash all of the produce thoroughly before juicing.

Cantaloupe (rind may be included if organic)
Watermelon with seeds (rind may be included if organic)
Grapes including seeds with ginger
Pineapple with ginger
Carrots with ginger
Lemon aid: 4 Gala Apples and juice of one medium to large lemon
Ginger Ale: 4 Granny Smith Apples, 1 bunch White Grapes, 2 Stalks Celery, 4 inches of Ginger or more
Kale chased with lemon or lime juice
Kale with apple, orange and ginger
Collards with apple, orange and ginger
Spinach with apple, orange and ginger
Romaine with frozen banana

Thanks Elaine!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Three Yummy Desserts

Coconut Ice Kream with Strawberry Sauce

This is a luscious ice creamy dessert from Ani Phyo's Raw Desserts book. Even if you don't have a favorite "raw" dessert, go ahead a post your favorite dessert anyway! It's like they say with the lottery: you can't win if you don't play :-).

And the strawberry sauce is mine. It's just strawberries and agave blended in a food processor. That's all you need for a heavenly sauce.

Chocolate Cake with Non-Dairy/Gluten-Free Icing
This is a vegan chocolate cake I made for my family. I'm still playing with the recipe, and I would prefer to post a gluten-free option that tastes not gluten-free. But the icing I came up with seriously rocked the house.

Non-Dairy Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup non-dairy margarine, softened, but not melted
1 cup powdered confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 -1/4 teaspoon sea salt, start with 1/8
Beat the margarine in a food processor until creamy. Add all the other ingredients and beat until mixed and smooth. Makes enough for one 8x8 cake. Double or triple the recipe to frost a two-layer cake.

Raw Apple Crisp Redux 2
From my Raw Mocha Angel Class:
Apple Crisp
8 apples cubed & peeled
½ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch to ¼ teaspoon cardamom
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mix the spices together and pour over the apples. Let marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.

4 cups of cashews
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons agave nectar
Water JUST TO THE TOP of the cashews.

Blend until smooth. You want it creamy and THICK.

Top the apples with your favorite raw granola. Put the icing on top of that and you've got one heck of a dessert.



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