Irish Moss

Don’t let the somewhat strange look of this amazing “superfood” stop you from enjoying its many many benefits.  Trust us it doesn’t look this way when used as a creamy filling to some of the most delicious raw desserts out there!!  If you’re like a lot of people ( often those just starting out in the raw world!) then you tend to stay away from things that don’t look familiar or that you just don’t know the purpose of.  We are sure this is often the case with poor dear old irish moss, given its rather unappealing look its likely passed over time and time again at the health food store simply because of its look ( or even its name).

 
Truth is Irish Moss, which is just that ( seaweed freshly picked from along the irish coast) is such a versatile ingredient that is quite popular among many on a raw food diet.  It is full of so many nutritious properties, loads of minerals and antioxidants.  
 
What’s so great about it as far as using it as an ingredient is that it contains a powerful gelling agent which is used as an emulsifier and really does take raw desserts to the next level.
It is almost tasteless, and once rinsed and soaked properly the salty taste that comes along with it( it is from the ocean after all) in pretty much gone and its takes on the flavour of whatever else it is mixed with.  Ahhhh the versatility!!
It contains quite a bit less fat than nuts and seeds, which is a primary source for sure in many raw desserts.  So that of course is always welcome.  
 
It get’s better though, the healthy benefits are a plenty!!  It is said that irish moss can help ease digestion, nausea, constipation etc.  It is like many powerful superfoods antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral.  So it can be used topically as well for things like eczema, burns, insect bites etc.
 
Irish Moss contains iron, calcium, zinc, b vitamins, amino acids, iodine ( thyroid health), potassium and so much more.  It contains several antiviral agents which not only prevent colds and flu’s in the first place but it may also eradicate a wide range of infections.
 
Starting to sound good yet??  It may look complicated at first, but really it is so easy to use and you can be used in so many ways.  Start by soaking the moss in cold water for a few minutes to rehydrate it and then sift through it as best you can to remove any larger pieces of things like shells etc that may be stuck to it.  If you find any hard pieces that don’t seem to soften up just cut them off.  Rinse the plant a second time and now you will want to soak it in warm water making sure it is completely covered.  Really anywhere from 1-24 hours.  Once you are all ready to go blend it up using some of the soak water with a powerful blender to make a smooth gel.  The great thing about it is that it will last weeks, if not months if sealed tight in your fridge.  Very useful for adding a tablespoon to your daily smoothie, it will keep you fuller longer while providing many healthy benefits. 
 
Though it is not just desserts that irish moss can be added to, as a salad dressing or dip, or really anything that you would like to thicken up.
 
Give it a try and reap the benefits!! Image
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Hurray for Earth Day!!

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The most celebrated environmental event worldwide will be taking place once again this weekend.  April 22nd marks the 22nd annual International Earth Day!!
 
What a great day for over 170 countries to take part in such an important event and stand united to address environmental issues.
We will all let our voices be heard in the name of our planet and its sustainability.
Worldwide people and organizations will be campaigning and demanding change, the idea of a better future will be at the forefront.
 
Canada and some 140 other nations joined the USA ( who started the idea in the 1970) in 1990 and thus the first annual International Earth Day was celebrated.
Nowadays in Canada Earth Day has grown and is now often celebrated as Earth week and even Earth Month.
So many great festivals and public community events geared towards “Earth Empowerment” are taking place everywhere, growing year after year and making serious changes for the better 🙂
It will be hard not to find something in your area, so what will you do?  Where will go? How will you celebrate this movement?
Along with attending “Eco” events this weekend why not take part in a “Green Pledge”.  Make a promise to yourself to do what you can be more eco friendly, lower your carbon footprint
and help in bettering our planet.
Be it for a day, or for the rest of your life people everywhere are committing to do small or large things in their daily lives to make a change.  Let’s all jump on board!
 
Try things like:
-Using reusable take out container and grocery bags
-Choosing one day a week to keep your t.v and computer turned off
-Eat more raw foods that require less appliances to be used
-Bike ,walk or take a bus!
-Use clothe diapers
-Unplug any appliances that are not being used
-Pick up garbage
-Buy local organic produce
– etc. etc. etc.
 
With so many options it will be hard not to adopt at least one, and who knows once we get started we just may not want to stop!!!
Change is possible.
Let’s stand united, proud and powerful for a sustainable, happy, healthy future for one and all!
Hip Hip Hurray for Earth Day!

ARE YOU PH BALANCED?

Looking for more energy?  Possibly better sleep and a better complexion?  Maybe less colds and flu’s?  How about potential weight loss and avoiding preventable disease?
Ahhhhhhh well don’t we all!!
These things and more can quite possibly be achievable, have you heard of the “alkaline diet”?
Basically this diet is all about healthy eating based on eating foods that metabolize to leave an alkaline ash residue of minerals.
The alkaline diet originated when it was noticed that underlying acidity ( found widely in the western diet) was commonly seen in people suffering from many auto immune and degenerative diseases.
The goal is to achieve a proper “PH” balance between acidity and alkalinity.  PH stands for Potential for Hydrogen and indicates whether a substance contains more acid or more alkaline molecules.
7 being neutral, below 7 being acidic and above 7 being alkaline.
It is optimum for ones blood to be slightly alkaline at about 7.4 on the PH scale.
When the body is too acidic it steals minerals from it’s own stores to attempt to”buffer”this acidity which then of course robs certain parts of the body of these such minerals.  Thus potentially leading to teeth and bone issues, amongst other things.
If we consume the proper food and monitor our PH levels ( which can be easily done at home with a set of alkaline testing strips often requiring only a persons saliva) we can achieve this balance on our own.
 
What should we include:
-Plenty of green leafy vegetables
-Healthy oils
-Lots of water
-Nuts/seeds( non roasted)
-Some fruits
-Getting adequate sunlight and sleep
-Stress reduction etc
 
What should we avoid:
-White flour
-Sugar
-Processed foods
-Coffee ( high amounts of caffeine)
-Alcohol
-Smoking
-Pollution
-Meat
-Stress etc.
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When we maintain the appropriate alkalinity through our good food choices we can and will improve the health of our entire body, inside and out.
Simple decisions to be conscience of what and how we eat can help those looking to seek long, healthy and happy lives.  🙂
 

Raw Cacao

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With Easter just around the corner and the store now for months being completely stocked with chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, chocolate this, chocolate that it is only natural to wonder what one might be able to do to enjoy a similar treat but of course without the guilt and possible negative health consequences.
Well problem solved!! All in the form of Raw Cacao, essentially raw chocolate.
Cacao is the seed of a fruit of an amazonian tree that was brought to Central America during or before the time of the Olmes.  A that time cacao beans were actually used by the Mayans and Aztecs as a form of currency.
A swedish scientist recognized the amazing properties of the bean and he named the cacao tree “Theobroma Cacao” which literally means ” Cacao, the food of gods”.  With a name like that how could this stuff not be superb!!
Cacao beans, unlike processed chocolate contain no sugar but do of course contain a huge list of wonderful health benefits, something to get us all smiling about for sure 🙂
Like we said the list is quite large so to name a few:
-Cacao is very highly rich in magnesium(quite possibly the #1 source of any food)
-Cacao actually seems to diminish appetite, imagine that!!
-Cacao contains MAO inhibitors which allow for more serotonin to circulate to the brain, thus being associated with more feelings of happiness.
-Vert high quantities of antioxidants, iron, zinc, vitamin C, tryptophan and fiber are also present.
Cacao does contain small amounts of caffeine but has been shown to be non stimulating but still energy boosting.
Anadamide known as “the bliss chemical” has also been isolated in cacao.
This list certainly goes on but with these few points now highlighted don’t you think its time you raced out ( or for that matter click away on your computer http://www.upayanaturals.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=cacao&Search.x=0&Search.y=0) and get your hands on some Raw Cacao not only for Easter but as an important addition to your daily regimen.  Especially with the knowledge that cacao is not only not unhealthy for us but actually highly beneficial and extremely recommended.
Cacao is fun for everyone!!  It is available in many forms including powder, which is great in smoothies, nibs- great in trail mixes etc. , bars and so so much more.
 
For a great energy boosting, non stimulating, highly nutritious start to your day ( or at anytime) please give this a try:
1 tbsp of raw cacao powder
1 tsp of maca powder
1 tsp of spirulina powder
1 tsp of lucuma powder
1.5 cups of frozen or fresh raspberries
1 cup of coconut water
 
Blend and enjoy!!!!!!!
 
Have a Happy Easter and don’t forget to enjoy some “food of the gods”!!