Sunday, October 31, 2010

Got the facts on Milk?

I absolutely hate milk. What it does to the body, the ridiculous beliefs that are held about it...the hype and propaganda is contrary to my common sense and what my body told me when I used to consume it. But what I hate even more is unchallenged claims and those who are adamant about something without doing their research. It's time we hear more about the other side of milk...

Check this out...

"Film maker Shira Lane takes a road-trip across America to get the truth on the unchallenged perceptions of milk. Addressing myth, truth and all in between, the film becomes a humorous yet shocking exposition that provokes serious thought about this everyday staple. A comical feature documentary that questions the much publicized health claims of milk."

Got the Facts on Milk? - The Milk Documentary

Saturday, October 30, 2010

5 Things a Vegan NEVER Wants to Hear

by: Aiya Abrihet

5. "It’s a delicacy in France, the aged mold spores give the cheese its unique flavor."

4. "I’m practically vegan myself...I mean, except for fish…and I love me some hamburgers every now and then…oooh and BACON!"

3. Two words: Steak...Tartare...

2. "It is cooked, it’s SUPPOSED to be bloody in the middle."

1. "Can’t you just pick the chicken pieces out of it?"

LOL

Friday, October 22, 2010

Moringa - The Miracle Tree



I was introduced to Moringa just recently and I can't stop talking about it. My mother and I started taking it around the same time and we both have reported more energy and an increased feeling of well being. Hear why others are calling it a "miracle tree."


Visit the link below to purchase:

www.nadra.allthingsmoringa.com

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Importance of Herbs

It's funny how in researching various herbs in-depth I always see the herb as having ancient Greek, Indian or Chinese origins but almost never African. LOL really?? This is where the importance of oral tradition comes in.

My great grandmother was schooled by both her black and native predecessors on which herbs to take for which condition. She was known for curing my family from any sickness they had just by walking out into the forest and coming back with a handful of freshly picked herbal remedies.

Let's take it back to the old school and reclaim our heritage fam. The drug companies don't have your back in case you didn't notice. But these herbal remedies are the truth! Every household should be equipped with an arsenal of herbs that you've either studied extensively, or have been advised by someone trustworthy to take.

Here's a few of my favorites...


(Everything is clearly labeled in case you're curious except for the little bags which are from left to right: hops, and irish sea moss in whole and powdered form).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Raw Vegan Goodness

Here's a meal that I had today at Quintessence restaurant in NYC. It just goes to show that eating raw doesn't have to be boring. Hope it motivates you all to get creative in your own kitchens! :)




Thursday, October 14, 2010

It has WHAT in it!?!


My son loves him some vegan treats so one day as we were looking for one at the local health food store, he picked up something with gelatin in it. I immediately told him to put it down, to which he responded, "whhhhhy!?!”

When I tried to explain to him what gelatin was, it seemed to go over his head and not understanding exactly what part of the animal it came from, he wasn't convinced that it should be off-limits.

"Why!?! Why can't I have it?"

"Honey, I already explained it to you."

"But it doesn't really have any animal parts in it! What part of the animal is it?"

Frustrated at this point, I gave into temptation.

"Look!!! It's pork butt ok! It's pork butt!!!"

A look of total disgust flashed over his face and he immediately put the package down and proceeded to go with my original request. Satisfied, I concluded that I would explain to him what gelatin really was at a later date, perhaps when he was a bit older.

Big mistake.

About a week later we were visiting another health food store and as we got to the checkout, he asked me if he could get a snack. I told him to hurry because I had already started to put the items we had picked up on the conveyor belt and people were beginning to line up behind me. I was almost finished checking out when he came sprinting towards me with a box of treats in hand. Knowing that I was almost done purchasing my items and not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to buy a snack, he decided to yell a question to me from across the store:

"Mom!!!!! Does this have pork butt in it!!!!?????!!!!"

LOL!

Next time I think I'll take the time to explain to him what the ingredients in food items really mean. For my benefit, as well as his!! LOL

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Indian Dhal (red lentils)

There's a new show on the Food Network hosted by an Indian woman named Aarti that has been featuring at least one vegan recipe each episode. And they're actually really really good ones. Here's something I made last week when I deviated away from raw. Most flavorful dhal I've ever had, if I do say so myself ;) Recipe below...


I jazzed it up a bit with some roasted geera and garam masala but here's the just of it. The tempering oil part took me 3 times to get right, I almost set off the smoke alarm lol.

Ingredients:

1 cup masoor dal red lentils, picked through for stones

2 cups water

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 serrano chile, sliced in 1/2, optional

Tempering oil (bagaar):

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

Generous 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika or bafaat powder

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

Put the lentils in a strainer and rinse them under running water. Add them to a bowl, cover with water and let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of water, the onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chile, if using, and the lentils. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim any scum from the surface. DO NOT ADD SALT YET; it will toughen the lentils, thereby lengthening their cooking time. Lower the heat, cover the pot with a lid and gently simmer until the lentils are tender, almost translucent, and almost falling apart, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Whisk the lentils, releasing its natural starch, and mash some them so the mixture becomes thick. Add salt, to taste.
Tempering oil (bagaar): In a small bowl, combine the cumin and mustard seeds. In another bowl, combine the spice powders. Have all the ingredients ready because this will move very fast!

In a small skillet, over a medium-high flame, warm 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add seeds and immediately cover so you don't get covered in spluttering oil and seeds! Add the spices. They should sizzle and bubble a little - that's the blooming and it's exactly what you want. Don't let them burn. The mixture should bloom for about 30 seconds, no more.

Pour the oil mixture into the lentils, standing back so you don't get hurt when the mixture splutters again. Stir to combine. Transfer the lentils to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Vegan Essentials

People often ask me about some of my raw vegan must-haves. So here's a collage I made of some essential vegan items I rarely go without. Can you name them all?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Walnut Pâté Stuffed Peppers

Just a sample of what you'll find in my upcoming cookbook. Stay tuned!!!!!


Raw Vegan Walnut Pâté stuffed peppers in a cilantro sauce. (Cilantro habanero sauce on top).

Green Juice


Green Juice by Aiya

Only one ingredient in this one folks. It's the juice from one large zucchini.

Raw Vegan Pizza


Raw Vegan Pizza by Aiya

Cashew cheese: 2 cups of cashews, 1 red bell pepper, 1/2 habanero pepper (add more or use less to your taste) 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt

Pizza sauce: 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, 1 cup of plum tomatoes, 1/2 half red onion, 2 deglet dates, 1/4 cup of fresh basil, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt

Top with onions, sun dried tomatoes, chopped plum tomatoes, olives, and your favorite chopped fresh herbs

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Journey Into Wellness


I was the kid whose mother always had to set up meetings with teachers in order to discuss my extensive list of allergies, because per doctor’s orders, I wasn’t allowed to go outside for recess…ever. Too risky they said. I used to live in the local hospital. I was severely asthmatic, had chronic sinusitis, frequent nose bleeds and had an upset stomach almost daily. I was allergic to every kind of food you could think of and was even allergic to being outside. Pollen, ragweed, trees, grass, animals, you name it. In terms of food, I couldn’t eat every type of nut, sunflower seeds, pineapples, all beans, chick peas, lentils, split peas, milk, eggs or soy.

In high school my friends would always crack jokes on me because I ALWAYS carried around tissues. My nose wouldn’t stop running. Still no one around me, myself included, made the connection that it was the food I was eating that was the culprit. Back then I thought there was no way I could ever become vegetarian (much less vegan), even though the thought had always appealed to me. “Where would I get my protein from?” I thought lol. Plus I was content to eat whatever junk food I could get my hands on. I was blessed with a high metabolism so it became very easy to ignore the warning signs.

In 1998 I saw Erykah Badu being interviewed on tv speaking on her vegan diet. I thought it was extreme to say the least. No chicken? No milk chocolate? None of my favorite candies? Lol.

In 2002 I met some folks who were close to Dead Prez. This was the second time I had heard people speaking so adamantly about veganism. They were the picture of health. Amazing skin, healthy glow and not at all emaciated like the mental picture I had of vegans. When I got home I cut out meat from my diet that same day. And slowly but surely to my surprise I actually found my health improving. Not a complete turnaround, but significant enough to catch my attention.

It wasn’t until 2006 that I became vegan. Again I noticed a shift in my health for the better. But I still was reliant upon my asthma medication from time to time and was still plagued by other issues, just not as much as before.

A year later in 2007 I learned about the raw food diet. Had never even heard of it before then. My best friend and I decided to try it out. I was really reluctant though. Being vegan with so many dietary exclusions was already difficult, but to limit my diet even more?? I didn’t think I could do it. But nonetheless, we initially aimed to at least try it for a month. The first few weeks were a nightmare. I went through a detox to end all detoxes. I was tired all the time and had to virtually camp out beside the toilet. This lasted 3 full weeks. I spoke to Dr. Baruch at the time and he told me not to give up now. He explained that the severe detox symptoms I was experiencing were the building blocks of disease (which I had been adding onto for years) finally being released into my system, on their way out. Stop now, he said, and they will remain within your body and eventually manifest into more undesirable health conditions or worse if I didn’t change my ways. It was a scary thought so I took his advice and stuck with it, paying close attention to how I felt so I would know whether or not it was worth it to continue. But after that first month passed something started to happen. I actually started to feel good. Not just kinda good, really really good! Like the best I’d ever felt in my life. I felt blissful and light, my nose finally stopped running, I stopped needing to take my asthma medicine. The occasional headaches I would experience disappeared. Menstrual cycles no longer were a problem. My overall energy increased. My stomach aches went away. Skin cleared up. My indoor and outdoor allergies became a thing of the past. And I became regular like nobody’s business (lmao, sorry had to go there lol).To me it was nothing short of a miracle. I started tripping out over the prospect. Food can do this!?! Why didn’t anyone tell me this before!?! Who else knows about this? Lol.

The raw vegan diet had completely changed my life so it became easier as time went on to commit to it. Around the 6th month of being raw I decided to run a test on some of the things I was allergic to because the last time I had done such a test (to no avail) was around the time that I had started eating raw. Being vegan I was always hoping that more food options would one day open up for me. So I periodically checked in the hopes that I would no longer be allergic to so many things, even though I knew in reality the chances were very low. Most people grow out of their allergies as children, but it’s very rare for adults to grow out of the allergies they’ve had all their lives. But I was stubborn, thankfully. I started out with a teeny tiny piece of a sprouted chick pea. I had heard that sprouting foods breaks down the enzyme inhibitors and makes it easier to digest and by not cooking our foods we’re able to reap the benefits of all those natural enzymes, normally altered or destroyed by the cooking process. I timidly swallowed that first bite of chick pea…..No reaction. Usually my lip would swell and if I continued eating them I would get an asthma attack. But nothing happened. A few days later I did the same thing with sprouted lentils. No reaction. Sunflower seeds, no issues. Soy, same thing. Walnuts, cashews, pecans, and every other nut (except peanuts) no problem whatsoever. Went down the list and sure enough I could eat each and everything I was previously allergic to.

Now I don’t recommend that people aim to eat things like soy or any of the other hybrid foods I mentioned. In researching the teachings of Dr. Sebi I’ve learned that many of these foods are unnatural in constitution anyways and are very mucus forming (the source of every dis-ease). However, I’m sharing this story to draw attention to my discovery of the most amazing medicine known to man. Raw alkaline food. Building with Dr. Baruch, I came up with this analogy to help explain my previous allergies. Your body is like a cup that can only hold so many toxins at one time without the cup spilling over. Most people have fluctuating toxin levels due to dietary and environmental factors. But when that cup spills over, the real manifestations of illness begin to present themselves. This is the very reason, he explained, that people develop food allergies not just from birth (due to your mother’s health while in the womb), but later on in life. Toxins, especially those from unnatural foods, keep building up within your system, until your cup finally spills over and a “mysterious” allergy appears, seemingly out of nowhere. But it isn’t a coincidence, the effects are cumulative. Cut out the unhealthy elements of your diet and your body will once again move into normalcy. Raw (alkaline) food helps your body to do just that.

Dr. Sebi’s approach can also be applied to this and every other bodily condition. He describes how mucus within the body is the root cause of every ailment. Remove the mucus forming food and experience healing in every affected area.

Looking back on my journey into wellness I realized that every health ailment I once had could be traced back to diet. Every time I had cut out dairy, my sinuses would clear up and every time I brought it back it would again become a problem. In more recent years every time I ate soy I would break out and eventually developed menstrual issues, but every time I cut it out I would be fine. Moving from cooked to raw food however, took my health to an entirely different level. At that point I began to realize that every disease and every cure was diet related. The answer for me was not only going vegan but becoming raw vegan (Dr. Sebi style). And though many people think it’s an extreme version of an already extreme diet, I say the only thing extreme is watching your health deteriorate and not doing something about it. As someone who was stricken with sickness my whole entire life, I have tried every so called cure or remedy out there, and can say that I haven’t come close to anything like this in my 30 plus years of life. There’s a reason why people who do it can’t stop talking about it.

But don’t take it from me, since words don’t teach, try it for yourself and let your own experience act as the proof you need.

GO RAW!

-Aiya Abrihet