Drying Food – The Basics

Part of living a healthy lifestyle is being concerned with your diet. Making your own dehydrated food is another way for you to know what is going into your body. There are so many recipes you can make, much more to dehydrating than just drying fruit!

Here’s a video on the basics of drying food that explains the difference between drying food in the oven vs a dehydrator as well as the principles behind a dehydrator.

After you master the basics, you can move onto making your own crackers, wraps, flat breads, tortillas, bread crumbs, nut cheese, SO many options! Eating well is possible on a raw diet, just like anything else, it takes some time and preparation.

We have a variety of dehydrators, guide book, and other items that can help you on your journey to health. We do recommend the Excalibur if you’re going to buy a dehydrator.

What is your favourite recipe? What’s the best raw dehydrated dish you’ve ever had?

Happy Holidays from Upaya Naturals!

As the year is coming to a close we’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for allowing us to be a part of your journey to health. Our wish for 2012 is for everyone to take a strong interest in their health and maintain a positive attitude. We look forward to being able to supply healthy products and keep an open dialogue with our customers.

Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your daily activities. Happy Holidays and a healthy 2012!

Tips for a Healthy 2012!

We all want to be healthy and most people take the New Year as a time to make a commitment. Usually people start off strong in January to February, but wane March and April. Here are a few tips on how to keep your health commitment going through the tough times where you don’t see the point and want to let your promise go.

1. Write it down

Start a diary, whether it be a few sentences, or paragraphs, start writing. The more you think about your goal, the more real the end results become. It’s hard to ignore a diary full of your own writing, that’s you talking to yourself to get through to where you want to be.

2. Visual cues

Make signs/notes for yourself in places that you are in every day with encouraging phrases and images. Cheer yourself on.

3. Pick a day and start a countdown

If you have a day that marks your milestones you can track your progress and see what you need to do to get towards your goal. Celebrate milestones and acknowledge you’ve set upon a healthy path.

4. Have a cheerleader

You don’t have to tell the world, but have at least one confidant, or a message board of supporters who know your goals. This way when you feel you want to give up you know you can count on support to get you through. If you need a trainer or guide, this is the best place to ask for help when you need it. Don’t feel alone in your journey.

Let us know what your 2012 goal is! How is the new year going to be different for you?

Gracious Holiday Hosting

The holiday season is fast arriving and we find ourselves rushing around, buying gifts, decorating, making the perfect meal, finding the perfect outfit; it adds up to a lot of time and effort. As much as we’d like to have everything go smoothly, there may be some hitches along the way.

There is a growing movement in healthy food/lifestyle choices today which can make the holiday meals somewhat tumultuous to say the least. Being a host/ess today can be confusing considering the myriad of diet choices – gluten free, vegan, organic, etc. Labelling people/diets is tricky – while it distinguishes us as free thinking individuals, it also brings up associated stereotypes, and judgements, that create further division from one another. It can leave a host/ess overwhelmed thinking ‘why can’t everyone just eat the same thing?’ An understanding that people are free to choose what they put into their bodies is a good way to begin answering that question, and remembering that some diets can be a life-saving choice helps us to be more open-minded when preparing dinner for guests.

If the importance of food choices becomes the catalyst for ‘making’ or ‘breaking’ an evening, what is the point of being together at all? Shouldn’t holiday gatherings be about each other, rather than just food choices? IF the point is to be with those we love, then make it about that.

Easier said than done? Not necessarily. Start by showing humility whether you are a host/ess or guest. Be willing to apologize if you offend someone, state your intentions of why you’re here together, and stick to them firmly. Your choices may get angry reactions simply because you may be shaking up their belief system of how they make sense of their world.

Be respectful, even if someone else forgets. Be an example of how you would like to be treated, even if you disagree. Facial expressions can hurt just as much as words. Be conscious of what you’re ‘saying’ non-verbally.

Be considerate and show sensitivity to other’s feelings and points of view. It may not be the best idea to put a whole intact cooked animal on the table with your meat-free guests. At the same time, if a host presents their meat dish, it may be wise to not discuss issues on their food choices either.

Keep communication open with guests. Discuss together how to make it work so they’ll feel comfortable. It could be as easy as the guest bringing their own dish. They won’t expect you to make them a separate meal and often welcome the chance to share their own food.

Whatever holiday you choose to celebrate during this time, don’t let food be the focus, merely an accessory to what is really important, and that is each other.

Upaya Sprout Event!

On November 25, 2011 we held an event we called Upaya Sprout in Toronto and our speaker was none other than Steve the “Sproutman”. He was his usual charming self and he presented information on how to live healthy by eating raw foods. It’s amazing how a little sprout can be so good for you and yield a large amount.

Sprouting is something anyone can do, there are many different items to sprout and here are two methods to do so.

1. Bag method

Here are instructions right from the Sproutman site:

  • Easy! Just Dip n’ Hang (or lay in a bowl)
  • Dip twice per day. Takes less than 1 min.
  • Watch them grow. Ready as soon as 4-5 days.
  • Grows mung, lentil, chick pea, green pea, adzuki, and more.
  • Grows wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, quinoa, sesame, millet.
  • Grows broccoli, alfalfa, clover, radish, chives.
  • Grows chia, arugula, flax, cress, psyllium.
  • Expands or contracts according to how much you wish to grow.
  • 1 lb of beans can yield 5 lbs of bean sprouts.
  • Size (dry) is 7 x 11 inches.
  • Hangs on any hook or knob.
  • Durable. Lasts for over 1000+ growing cycles.
  • Also makes Nut Milk and…
  • Stores produce. Breathable weave extends the life of produce.

 We will have these bags this weekend at the Raw Vegan Festival if you’d like to buy one, do so at the show for a great price, you might want a few to grow different sprouts at the same time.

2. Soil Free Wheatgrass Tray Grower Method

At only 13″ x 19″, this versatile, space-saving grower kit is small enough to sit on any kitchen counter. The 3-tray kit is stacked to preserve counter space. If you need more Wheatgrass – just add more trays. Stack your grower up to 10 trays high and yield up to 10 pounds of grass.

Each tray yields approximately 1 pound of wheatgrass. Results will vary depending on how densely you pack the seeds and how tall you harvest your grass. One pound of grass should yield about 12 ounces of juice.

2. Automatic Sprouter Method

Just add water. It’s automatic, easy to use and costs only pennies a day to run. After adding the seeds, the sprouter delivers a continuous supply of fresh water and air to provide a simple, convenient way of growing fresh, tender and live sprouts in the convenience of your own home. Sprouts have a high concentration of proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and maximum nutrition in a small package. The blue part in the middle of the sprouts at the top disperses the water as required and takes the guess work out of sprouting.

Click on any of the method titles to go directly to the sprouting products. Click here to find the Sproutman’s books.

Why not sprout? Give yourself the gift of health and in a cost effective way. Will you be sprouting this year? What method will you use?