Want to Eat More Raw Vegetables?

The Best Ways to Eat Raw Vegetables

article adapted from livestrong.com - a great source for health, nutrition and fitness!
The Best Ways to Eat Raw Vegetables

Raw vegetables offer fiber, antioxidants and numerous vitamins and minerals, but munching on them plain can make you feel like a rabbit. You can kick up the flavor by using them in creative ways and as a substitute for higher-calorie, nutrient-poor fare like chips and pretzels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who eat more generous amounts of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet reduce their risk of chronic diseases such as stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Salads

Salads are a natural for raw vegetables, but the salad often served up in restaurants or the American home consists of iceberg lettuce, a gassed tomato and a few slices of cucumber with a slathering of ranch or Italian-style dressing. Make your salads more appealing by focusing on richly colored greens such as romaine, spinach and baby arugula. Unlike iceberg, these lettuces impart flavor and contain significant antioxidants that help fight disease-causing free radicals in the body. Eat a spinach salad with dried cranberries, sliced raw onion and heart-healthy walnuts. Try arugula with shredded carrots, diced apple and pecans. Romaine may be the classic base for a Caesar salad, but you can add to its nutritional value by tossing it with avocado, salsa and black beans. Salads do not always have to include lettuce. Use celery as a base with diced bell pepper, jicama and walnuts, and dress it with a citrus vinaigrette. You may think of coleslaw as a cookout standby, but consider cabbage as a base for other salads. Shred raw Napa cabbage and add edamame, almonds and an Asian dressing. Thinly slice raw zucchini and yellow squash and toss with lemon, olive oil and basil as a pairing for simple roasted or grilled fish.

Smoothies!

a great way to get raw green vegetables into your body is by throwing a handful of spinach or kale into your blender! You won't even know it's in there judging by taste, so trust me when I say to give it a try! A quick and easy smoothie recipe with raw spinach or kale:

  • 8 oz almond, oat, hazelnut or coconut mylk
  • 1 handful spinach or kale, washed and de-stemmed
  • 1 banana or 1/2 cup mango
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp agave
  • 1 handful of ice

Partner with Dip

A crudite platter with the ubiquitous cup of mystery dressing often sits untouched at a party. Make it appealing by dressing up the dip and the vegetable offerings. Try jicama, endive, green onions or fennel as dippers, and serve them with hummus, baba ganoush or tahini. Instead of using tortilla chips to dip in salsa or melted cheese, try endive leaves, which are cupped and make a perfect scoop. Serve a classic cheese fondue and offer raw vegetables as dippers instead of cubes of bread. Experiment with bagna cauda, an Italian broth-based dip made with olive oil, anchovies and garlic, which pairs well with raw zucchini and bell peppers.

In Lieu of Bread

Instead of reaching for nutrient-poor white bread, try wrapping your next snack with a large leaf of romaine or butter lettuce. Use lettuce leaves in place of taco shells to provide crunch and a cooling contrast to the warm filling. Spread nut butter on celery sticks to save calories and obtain more fiber than you would if you used white toast. Make a raw hummus with sprouted chick peas, but instead of spreading it on a roll, eat it dip-style with carrots, bell peppers and grape tomatoes. Here's a great recipe for a raw sunflower seed dip in place of packaged dips!

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/83545-eat-raw-vegetables/#ixzz1A0QEwWY4

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Coconut Oil: Friend or Foe?

The wellness world was turned upside down this past month when the American Heart Association announced that coconut oil is a no-no for heart health. As we at Philosophie HQ have a love affair with coconut oil, I felt it was important to chime in on this debate. Like most issues today, every expert has a different opinion, and I wanted to share with you ours.

Bottom line: There are healthy fats and there are unhealthy fats. Coconut oil is abundant in medium chain triglycerides (called MCTs) that deliver immediate energy because the body quickly turns them into fuel, which means that this oil is NOT stored as fat. Coco oil is a fat that is MUCH easier for your body to digest, as well as anti-fungal and anti-microbial. There are so many benefits to consuming coconut oil, and they’re all backed by studies.

We all know the buzz word “anti-inflammatory,” but did you know that the start of almost all chronic disease stems from inflammation in the body? It’s so important to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet to protect your insides and your overall health, and consuming coconut oil on the reg helps you do just that!

The AHA also claimed that there were “no known offsetting favorable effects.” On the contrary, research shows that fats in coconut oil can actually decrease risk factors for heart attack and strokes! Coco oil PREVENTS the hardening and thickening that happens to your arteries when you are about to suffer from a heart attack or stroke. Obesity is another major issue in our country, and coconut oil actually helps speed up your metabolism, as well as reduces your appetite.

I think it's important to note that the AHA was basing their inaccurate conclusions about coconut oil on studies that were conducted 50 years ago! The wellness industry is constantly changing, but one thing that remains the same is the incredible benefits of coco oil when it’s used properly.

We love to cook and bake with coco oil, we use it as a hair mask, as an eye makeup remover, in smoothies, and in bulletproof coffee–most importantly, of course! I personally rely on it to help strengthen my weakened gut lining in my stomach, due to food sensitivities! It also acts as a moisturizer for your body, and helps heal wounds. What can this superfood NOT do?

Knowledge is power, Philosophie Tribe! Arming yourself with accurate and current information is key in staying on top of your wellness game!


We’re love to hear your thoughts on coconut oil–let us know if you’re still riding the coconut train with us on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie!

Watermelon Pizza Recipe

On a midsummer night that calls for a light, magical dessert, forego the traditional fruit salad for this bewitchingly beautiful treat. All it takes is a crisp watermelon cut into a lovely moon, topped with superfood-infused yogurt, a handful of berries, and walnuts for some added crunch! On top of being simply swoon-worthy, this luscious pie is also abundant in antioxidants, probiotics, and omega-3s...which means that summer dreams should definitely be made of watermelon pizza.

 

Gather This:

 

Do This:

Mix the yogurt with the Berry Bliss. Spread the supercharged yogurt onto the watermelon slice. Top with berries + nuts, and enjoy!

I would love to see your beautiful watermelon pizzas this summer! Share them with us on Instagram with #MyPhilosophie + #PhilosophieSuperfoods!

Heart of the Week: Klean LA

As a busy mama on the go, having clean prepared meals that come straight to my doorstep and are catered to exactly what my body needs, is nothing short of a miracle!

I have heard so many wonderful things about Klean LA that I couldn’t wait to try it. I’m especially stoked that they’re gluten-free, soy-free, preservative-free, as well as local AND sustainable (they have FANTASTIC eco-friendly packaging). I also feel that it’s important that I teach Kai + Leo to support local, small businesses!


I’m not someone who labels the way I eat, or how my family eats, so the fact that Klean La offers us plenty of paleo AND vegan options is super helpful. I practice intuitive eating, which means that I eat based off of how feel that day. Sometimes, I’m craving an animal protein, while other days I want a heaping plate of quinoa +  fresh veggies!

The convenience factor of Klean LA, along with their delish food, makes keeping my family healthy really easy. I can’t get enough of their roasted veggies and brown rice–and their housemade sauces are to die for! Kai couldn't stop sneaking their yummy quinoa, and Leo was OBSESSED with the roasted chicken.

On busier work days, I definitely don’t always have time to go out and purchase fresh food and then prepare a yummy, nourishing meal for my family that evening. Klean LA though helps me do just that (well, minus the shopping + cooking parts)! But that’s what life's about – finding a system that works for YOU, and this absolutely did the trick for The Jaffe Family!

What are healthy eating hacks do you use for you or your family? Share them with us on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie! 

5 Day Pre-Festival Cleanse

Festival season sparks those magical moments that you’ll be reminiscing about in decades from now – blissing out to artists on your favorite playlist performing only 10 feet in front of you, drinking dreamy cocktails, and spending dawn to well after dusk with your tribe dancing, laughing, and living wild and free.

To ensure that you begin your festival with open, radiant energy (not drained and desperate for a vacation), prepare your mind, body, and soul for your packed weekend of magic with a 5-day pre-festival cleanse.

This holistic, revitalizing cleanse will not only support you in detoxing from the taxing energies in your life, but will also make you feel rejuvenated, refreshed, lighter, and truly ready to celebrate all that’s to come.

To get started, integrate the three following practices into your week for 5 days before your big weekend:

1) Cultivate a morning ritual to promote a peaceful mind.

Create your ideal morning and fresh start by making your own altar space, a special place for you to find stillness, meditate, and dig deep. It helps to place your journal, crystals, essential oils, intention cards, and candles on a beautiful tray that you can bring to your favorite rug or sofa – or even take outside so that you can open your morning amongst soft sunlight and calming birdsongs.

In 5-10 minutes, light your candles, apply your oils, picks up your crystals, and then connect to your breath and meditate, allowing thoughts to come in without judgement and leave freely. Even if your neighbor’s dog barking starts barking, the mailman stops by, or a firetruck with a blaring siren passes your street, don’t get frustrated. While we don’t live on top of the Andes Mountains, we do live in a place that’s active, dynamic, and also beautiful – this is your home. Simply acknowledge the sounds and then get right back into it.

Once you’ve completed your meditation, pick one of your intention cards (like this Own Your Awesome Deck) – a card that feels good to you and feels right in that moment. Soak in the wisdom of the card and then take note of the love, joy, and inner tranquility you’ve just cultivated.

While this practice is a must in the 5 days leading up to your festival, it’s also a beautiful ritual to integrate into your everyday routine!

2) Do a 15-30 minute HIIT workout at home, the gym, or your local park.

Hard and fast HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts are a fitness staple – especially if you have a regularly packed schedule. The beauty in HIIT workouts is that they’re so short and sweet you can do them daily!

Whether you’re new to rapid cardio circuits or are a HIIT champ, the key to these workouts is giving it your all and really taking yourself to your edge.

Dive right in with this HIIT sweat sesh made up of 3 super intense circuits of high knees, air squats, burpees, and elevated leg crunches. In each of these exercises, you’ll only have one minute so make the most of that minute.

Your heart rate will be pumping by the end so make sure to drink a bunch of water and then cool down with some restorative yoga stretches.


3) Do the Philosophie 5-day food-based cleanse.

While festivals like Outside Lands and FYF now have an array of wholesome options, it’s likely that there might be some curly fries and craft beer in your weekend as well. You can give your body an energy boost going into the festival by doing a simple food-based cleanse in the days before. This type of cleanse is unique in that it doesn’t promote deprivation, but rather focuses on giving your digestive system a well-deserved break.

Since we all get busy and don’t always have time to shop for and prepare healthy, wholesome foods, we’ll often turn to picking up fast food or ordering the deep-fried item at dinner with friends. The issue with this is that we’ll be filling ourselves with foods that are much more likely higher in trans fats and high-glycemic sugar, possibly sprayed with pesticides, and lower in nutrients.

A food-based cleanse like this 5 Day DIY Philosophie Cleanse provides just the opposite and consists of protein-rich smoothies, nutrient-dense salads, whole food snacks, superfood energy bars, fresh juices and fiber-filled soups—all of which are gluten-free, vegan, low in sugar and high in plant-based proteins. Check out a typical menu of the yummy, nourishing foods you’d be eating during the cleanse or even get a jump start:

Breakfast:

Berry Mint Bling Smoothie

Gather This:

  • 1 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1 cup organic frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon Philosophie Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend
  • ½ banana
  • 1 tablespoon goji berries
  • 7-8 fresh sprigs of mint
  • ¾ cup fresh organic baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ice to taste

 

Do This:

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

 

AM Snack:

Coconut Water


Lunch:

Mermaid Salad

Gather This:

  • quinoa
  • wakeme
  • arame
  • hijiki
  • sesame oil
  • turmeric
  • cayenne
  • salt + pepper
  • avocado, sliced
  • lemon juice
  • sesame seeds

 

Do This:

Prepare quinoa as directed and set aside. Soak wakame, arame, and hijiki in 2 cups water for 20 minutes, drain well and add to cooled quinoa along with sesame oil, turmeric, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Slice avocado and bathe in lemon juice for several minutes. Add all the avocado and lemon juice to quinoa mixture and toss. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for garnish.


PM Snack:

Snap Peas + Hummus


Dinner:

Green Power Soup


Gather This:

  • 1/2 cup tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno pepper
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons flaxseed or olive oil
  • ½ avocado, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Philosophie Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend
  • 1/2 cup carrot juice


Do This:
Blend all ingredients in blender. Garnish with parsley leaves and avocado chunks.

Any questions about doing a pre-fest cleanse? Please ask away on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie! 

The Bee’s Knees: 5 Reasons Honey Makes the Perfect Sweetener

Raw honey is hands down one of my favorite ways to infuse sweetness into my smoothies, toast, yogurt, salad dressings, and savory cooking. This golden liquid comes straight from superfood heaven – after 2 MILLION flower blossoms are visited, 1 pound of honey is created! A bee also makes about 1/12 teaspoon in its LIFETIME, so this is a true delicacy. And when our superfood + protein blends are swirled into jars of raw honey, you have a low-glycemic, high-vibrational, nutritionally-dense nectar that is pure bliss. Read on for 5 more reasons why honey is the bee's knees! 

1) It's bursting with vitamins + minerals. 

Raw honey contains an assortment of vitamins including Vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid, along with minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium AND zinc! This definitely makes it one of the most nourishing ways to sweeten your eats + drinks.  

2) It's full of antioxidants. 

Micronutrients called polyphenols in honey contain antioxidants, which are SO essential for radiance + wellness. Antioxidants help combat free radicals, those bad atoms that contribute to cellular damage and can lead to disease.

3) It provides an all-natural energy boost! With 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon, it's a great way to support muscle recovery after you've had an intense workout. I like to add our Berry Bee Honey to this oh-so-yummy DIY Coconut Pineapple Sports Drink

4) It can enhance your shampoo + conditioner. With its humectant properties, honey makes a great addition to shampoo by helping your hair maintain moisture. The nutrients and enzymes in honey also give your hair a gorgeous shine without weighing it down. I like to mix a small spoonful of raw honey into my shampoo or conditioner! 

5) It makes a lovely face mask, especially after a day out in the sun. The healing benefits of raw honey have been recognized for centuries. Ancient Egyptians and Ayurvedic traditions used honey to treat skin infections, burns, and wounds since this sweet gift from nature possesses antibiotic properties. I love mixing it into this hydrating DIY mask with aloe and cucumber (video below) since it reduces both redness and swelling!  

What are your favorite ways to use our supercharged honeys? Tell us on Facebook with #PhilosophieSuperfoods on Facebook! 

Horned Melon Toast Recipe

Our latest Toast Tuesday recipe features horned melon, a fun spiky fruit that tastes like a fusion of cucumber, kiwi, banana, cantaloupe, and even zucchini! Created with vegan cream cheese, Berry Bee Honey, and horned melon (also known as kiwano), this toast is packed with antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A and C!

Horned melon, the star ingredient behind the recipe, is a fruit that's in the midst of a bit of an identity crisis. It is actually a member of both the melon family AND the cucumber family. If you splice it open, you'll see why–the insides look like cucumber with edible seeds surrounded by a green jelly, while the outside definitely looks like a melon.

As it's not too sharp or too sweet, it tastes super yummy when drizzled with superfood-infused honey and layered on top of cream cheese-covered toast! 

Gather This:

  • 1 slice of toast
  • 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
  • 1 horned melon, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Berry Bee Honey

Do This:

Once your toast is toasted, spread on the cream cheese, top with sliced melon, and add a drizzle of honey! 

Have you tried horned melon before? Do you love cooking with it? Tell me how you like to integrate this super fruit into meals or treats on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie!