Only the BEST Chicken Salad...

When it comes to eating chicken salads, I tend to be quite picky. I'm a chicken-salad snob, you could say. I rarely ever eat it out because it just doesn't measure up... I know, I'm a snob. 

There are several things that make the perfect chicken salad for me and they are...

First, it has to be chunky. No shredded chicken for me! I love chewing into each bite of chicken and the chunkier, the better! Next, it can't be too wet with mayo. I don't want a soupy chicken salad on my hands... literally! Just enough to bring all the ingredients together is perfect-o! 

Last, but certainly not least... in a word: curry. It must have curry in it. Not the spicy green kind, but the sweet and mild yellow kind. My dear friend went to Uganda several years ago and had some meals prepared with a certain curry she loved. Time went by and she thought about how good that curry was and wished she could find what kind it was. {You could find us sitting in her kitchen talking for awhile about finding that curry, matter of fact.} Luckily for her AND me, she knew someone going back to Uganda and sure enough, they found the curry and brought her back some... pictured below. I now have a nice stash of it in my pantry and is by far my favorite spice on earth. 

 So without further adieu, my favorite chicken salad in the world... Curried Chicken Salad.
2 cups of cooked, roughly chopped chicken (breast, preferably)
2 stalks of celery (use fresh celery, by the way), sliced
3/4 cup Craisins
1/4 cup all natural, chopped walnuts
3 heaping tablespoons of mayo with olive oil
2 teaspoons of yellow curry powder
2 tablespoons of sweet pickle juice (no pickles, just the juice!)

Stir all together and serve on toast or over mixed greens. 

What does your chicken salad have to have in it??


Where to Go From Here: Post Raw Challenge

So the day has arrived. Day 10. I seriously didn't think this day would come, did you?

So how did you do? Did you survive? I hope so. But even more than that, I hope you thrived!

One thing I learned (from many things) during this challenge was how little food I actually need in a day. I do know that I go to food when I'm bored or stressed. It's definitely a comfort thing for me. But through this time, I realized how much life going on around me and during these 10 days I was more involved in life. Food was not my focus.

I am so happy with how my body responded to this challenge. Here are just a few things that changed over the last 10 days.
  • clearer skin
  • whiter sclera (white part of eye)
  • zero headaches (only on detox day!)
  • no brain fog; great ability to concentrate and finish tasks
  • zero moodiness 
  • slept like a baby
  • woke refreshed 
  • dropped some stubborn old pounds :) 
  • more energy
 So where do we go from here, my faithful raw foodies? Here are a few ideas for all of us.

1. Start slowly. Incorporate other foods in slowly very slowly. I can't stress this enough. For the first few days, keep raw foods in your diet. Maybe add in vegetable soup, salad with grilled chicken or yogurt with fresh fruit and granola on day one? I would not eat a lot of heavy foods (ie: high fat, sugary things... red meats, cakes, buttery things - I don't really recommend those at all, but particularly now). You digestive system will not respond well to junk, especially now. Seriously, we did this challenge to kick start us onto a better, vibrant you so don't throw that new you away! Your digestive system has been cleaned out more than likely during this challenge so don't dump garbage back into it!

2. Chew, chew chew! Digestion starts in the mouth. The more you chew the more nutrients will get absorbed before getting into your stomach. Make foods almost liquid before swallowing. This alleviates your body from working hard to digest and using energy you need for other things in your life. This is something all of us need to work on. We live in a super fast society. We need to learn to sit and slow down in many ways, eating is one!

3. Don't stop raw. Just because we're done does not mean we turn our backs on these glorious foods. They are full of life and nutrients and energy and so on. So try your best to keep them a constant thing in your daily lives. Even if it's an apple here, mango on a salad or a fun smoothie when you need a sweet thing.

4. Listen to your body. When you are satisfied NOT FULL, then stop. Who came up with the idea that we should stop eating when we're full? Can't we just be satisfied? Portions are one of my downfalls. I may be eating great things, but if I over indulge, what's the point? So eat to satisfy not to fill you up. Use small plates. Stop going back for more and don't use food as a crutch.

5. Don't beat yourself up if fall off the wagon! We are human. We have weaknesses and temptations. If you fall off the wagon, brush yourself off and start over and keep your goals in mind. Remember how great you felt during this challenge and move forward! Hey, if you survived this challenge, I know you have it in you!!!

6. Remember I'm here! That's why I started this blog, to encourage others to eat and live well. I'd love to help you figure out more of where to go from here if you need help! I'm just an email away!!

You did! I'm so proud of you! Thank you for taking this exciting journey with me. And meet me back, same place, same time next year!!!

I'd love to hear how your challenge went! Please leave me a comment with how this challenge was a help or positive thing for you! This will also help me as I prepare for another one next year :)


Apple Pie Smoothie

So today is Day 5 of my raw food challenge. I am amazed that I've made it this far. It hasn't been easy, but knowing I'm not alone makes this journey much easier. I love getting texts and messages from all of you. You have encouraged me and I couldn't have done this without all of you!!!

So this evening, I was going to make this yummy carrot and sweet potato soup... but when I opened my container of sweet potatoes, they were yucky. I was bummed so next on tap was to experiment with this smoothie and it worked... thankfully!!

This was quite filling with the almond butter and flax seeds.

Apple Pie Smoothie

2 large apples, any kind (I used my favorite, gala)
1 ripe banana
1 T almond butter
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1-2 T ground flax seeds
3 Medjool (pitted) dates
2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or any plant-based milk)
large glass of ice cubes
handful of spinach (optional)

Blend until smooth.


Raw Food Recipe Links...

Here is a list of recipe indexes from different sites. I hope this helps you while on the challenge.

The Rawtarian

This Rawsome Vegan Life

Julie's Raw Ambition

The Best of Raw Food

Really Raw Food

The Raw Chef

Ani Pyho

Sweetly Raw

Young on Raw Food


Raw Desserts by Karolina Eleonora

Raw Detox :: Ugh!

If you are joining me for the raw food challenge, we are now on day 2. Which means our bodies are just now figuring out what is going on. It's not getting that huge cup of coffee with left-over Christmas creamers and lots of sugar. For me, it's not getting my usual egg fried in coconut oil and gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread. Boo!

Detox happens when you stop giving something to your body that it's use to. Then a process occurs of toxins and bacteria getting pulled out of cells and dumped into the bloodstream. Usually symptoms are different for each body. If you eat a fairly healthy diet, your symptoms may not be as severe as someone who is hopping in the drive-thru lanes a few times a week.

So today on day 2 your body may be achy. Headaches may be on tap. You also may have low energy levels. There is a possibility you may have a slight fever and chills. But don't fret because this is actually normal and good. It is a sign that what you did yesterday is effective and the good is taking over the bad. This will probably only last a day and then you will start to feel incredible which amazing energy, clear thoughts and a great mood.

So in the mean time, here's what you need to do.
  • Drink plenty of water to further the process of your body detoxifying itself. Aim for at least 2 quarts. The more you drink, the more you will speed up the detoxification process.
  • If you're a coffee drinker like me, switch to a lot of warm herbal teas to help get your water intake while giving you a little something sweet (stevia) at the same time.
  • Continue to eat raw foods. You may not feel hungry today, but keep aiding the process of putting in good. Soon your body will soon recognize what you're up to and get with the program too. 
  • Rest when possible. Your body is going through quite a process. So if you can, lay low and rest. Doing activity won't hurt you, but listen to your body's signals and if you need to rest then do it!
  • Take a epsom salt bath. Magnesium sulfate is the main ingredient in epsom salt and there is research that proves that epsom salt bath's actually aid in the detoxification process. According to Discovery Fit and Health... Magnesium helps keep your bodily functions running smoothly, including some of the pathways that lead toxins right out of your body. Sulfate helps to strengthen the walls of your digestive tract so that it's easier to release toxins. As a compound, magnesium sulfate also raises the amount of digestive enzymes in the pancreas. The compound also helps in purifying and detoxifying your body of heavy metals. You can read more here
So keep doing what you are doing. Don't give up. Today might be a hard day, but once you get past it, we will start to feel amazing! Hang in there, good things are on their way!


Let's Raw'k n' Roll!

You will never achieve optimum health unless a portion of your diet comes from real, unadulterated food!

Today is the day! Are you ready to raw'k n' roll?

I enjoyed some ice cream and a pizza casserole (gluten-free, mind you) last night as my "last supper". My stomach's churning as I type... it's like it knows I'm about to embark on something better than what just entered it. 

I am so happy you decided to join me on this challenge. Let me just remind you of what you are about to do to your body or not going to be doing to your body during these next ten days. It's going to love you for it! 
  • Cooking food causes chemical changes that create acidic toxins, including the carcinogens, mutagens and free-radicals associated with diseases like diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Cooking also destroys the live enzymes that aid in digestion and health. 
  •  Enzymes are the power of life. They are living forces that conduct and direct every activity in your body. Enzymes digest or break down raw foods. Eating an enzyme-rich diet is thought to increase vitality and slow the aging process. Enzymes can even help repair our DNA.
  • One of the most important benefits of a raw food diet is that it is "alkaline forming." The standard American Diet (SAD) is an "acid-forming" diet, which leads to disease. Your body is actually sort of an alkaline battery, running on electrons. All life-giving chemical reactions only happen when electrons or energy flows between atoms. Raw foods contribute electrons/energy, and are called alkalizing.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables will increase the vitamins and micronutrients in your diet and you'll feel the difference immediately.
  • When you eat raw fruits and vegetables, you’re getting the benefits of their high water content, which helps to suppress appetite. People who switch to eating mostly raw foods often have an easier time controlling their weight.

Example shopping list for stocking a raw food kitchen: 

1. Seeds - Such as pumpkin, sunflower, or chia seeds (seeds are more affordable than nuts)
2. Basic nuts -  Such as almonds, walnuts or pecans (can usually substitute these for one another)
3. Creamy nuts - Such as cashews or macadamia nuts (creamy nuts are more expensive and should be used sparingly if you're on a budget)
4. Sea salt
5. Spices - Cinnamon, Italian spices, Cumin, Cayenne pepper, Curry powder (buy as needed)
6. Olive oil - Or another oil
7. Apple cider vinegar
8. Garlic
9. Flax seeds - Used as binding agents in many recipes to hold food together
10. A concentrated natural sweetener - Such as agave nectar or stevia
11. Nori rolls - Sheets of seaweed to make sushi-type rolls
12. Dates - Medjool are best, be sure to remove the pits (dates are used as natural sweeteners)
13. Bananas - Add creaminess and sweetness
14. Apples
15. Avocados
16. Lettuce
17. Tomatoes
18. Cucumbers
19. Onions
20. Your favourite fruits or vegetables - Such as fresh pineapple, kalamata olives, celery, kale, strawberries and/or grapes or whatever you like!

Ideas/recipes & videos:

Pineapple Strawberry Sorbet 

How to make a green smoothie with any blender

Blackberry Lime Sorbet

Carrot and Ginger Dressing

Raw Food Salad Dressings

5 Easy Raw Salad Dressing Recipes 

Fully Raw Kristina

What does it mean to be fully raw? FAQ

Enjoy this first day of the challenge. Don't let negative thoughts enter your mind. Don't let that little voice creep in and say, "You can't do this". You can do this even when your mind is saying you can't. It's a challenge because it's something that doesn't come natural. But I know you can do it, and down deep, you know you can do it too!

  "Every disciplined effort is met with multiple reward."