Raw sweet potato plantain banana ‘gel’

I work with many endurance athletes – ultra runners, cyclists, Ironman triathletes, etc. Nutrition is key to their success or failure. I have helped countless of athletes go from an almost dismal finish feeling deflated, despondent, depressed and wondering why they even decided to do this crazy activity. It is never about being under or over trained, it always comes down to nutrition. Always.

I am also about using real food as often as possible, too. Many of my clients benefit from eating dates with raw cashews over store bought bars. I also have looked for ways to use more real foods when I cycle and swim. Yes, I juice almost daily and love my beets, greens, lemon, ginger, turmeric and pineapple blend best and it really is awesome before my workout sessions. But not an easy thing to carry with you. And if you miss your mouth….well, people will think you are bleeding….oops.

My latest concoction has been to try using raw ingredients and make my own gel but without the dates. So I took my previous flatbreads recipe and decided to try that. It was awesome and fits into a flask very nicely to make it very transportable. Here is what is in it:

Raw sweet potato plantain gel:

2 raw organic medium sized sweet potatoes, diced
2 very ripe plantains, peeled and sliced
1-2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup soaked flax seeds. Soaked in 3/4 cup water for 1-2 hours
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2- 1 tsp pumpkin spice (or combo of ground cloves, allspic, nutmeg and cinnamon)
sea salt to taste (forgot this last batch so it is optional)
1-2 tablespoons of water to help with consistency

I basically put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until it is a paste. If I add more water, I think I could get this to be more liquidy but then it might also be too runny. If I had a Vitamix blender, I could put it in there and it would blend better but I really don’t feel like taking this blended concoction and putting it into a blender. That would be two containers to clean! But maybe it would work in the blender??? That will be my experiment this week!!

Enjoy! and let me know if you made this Sweet potato plantain gel and how it worked for you. I usually fill a couple of flasks with this gel, and then spoon out the rest onto the teflon sheets of my dehydrator and make flatbreads. These are also a great portable snack when riding! Or a quick pre-exercise or recovery snack. So versatile…who knew?? And all real food, easy to digest and good for an even energy boost.

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Are Athletes Inflamed?

I just did a sports nutrition talk at a local cycling shop, and the question about inflammation came up. What is inflammation? How do we athletes or non athletes know we are inflammed? Are there other symptoms we can look for? I know from my own experience with hip replacement surgery, pain is a huge sign.  But you can lessen inflammation by changing the foods you eat. You can eliminate it with the right food combinations.

The definition of inflammation is
in·flam·ma·tion
ˌinfləˈmāSHən/
noun
1. a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, esp. as a reaction to injury or infection.
“chronic inflammation of the nasal cavities”
synonyms: swelling, puffiness; redness; rawness, soreness, tenderness; infection, festering, suppuration, septicity
“apply ice to the inflammation”

inflammation /in·flam·ma·tion/ (in″flah-ma´shun) a protective tissue response to injury or destruction of tissues, which serves to destroy, dilute, or wall off both the injurious agent and the injured tissues. The classical signs of acute inflammation are pain (dolor), heat (calor), redness (rubor), swelling (tumor), and loss of function (functio laesa).inflam´matoryathletes inflammation

As an athlete, or non-athlete, inflammation is really the cause of most our pain and ailments in health. Inflammation is what causes heart disease, arthritis pain, eczema, and a host of other issues. I truly believe that if everyone adopted an anti-inflammatory diet, they would no longer need health care as we know it. Athletes would recover faster from training and from injuries. People with pain, would soon be pain free and off their medications that also cause liver toxicity. Some people have inflammation in the GI tract, some it appears as blotchy red skin or bumps on the skin. If you cut your finger, typically it will swell and become red and hurt- that is our most common sign of inflammation. It just hurts. If you have IBS, or have to run to the bathroom soon after eating certain foods, your GI may be inflammed.  When you have sinus infection, the sinuses are inflammed and they hurt.  Easy way to identify.  Are athletes inflammed?  We probably all are to some extent.

How do we ‘fix’ this?  you may ask.  Start eating an Anti-Inflammatory diet!   This plan is not just about eliminating hard to digest pro-inflammatory foods, it is about alkalizing the body and adding anti-inflammatory foods more often then pro-inflammatory foods.  For some it means complete avoidance of certain inflammatory foods.  Foods that most commonly cause inflammation are sugar, wheat, dairy, soy, corn and any GMO food. This list also includes hydrogenated fats, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, colors and preservatives. If you just stop consuming white processed table sugar, this would be a huge leap in lessening your inflammation. Next try avoiding dairy. Then wheat. After those, you can keep going and try to eliminate others.  There really is not a specific order, but you do want to try doing it one food group at a time.   I found that Nutrition Response Testing was my biggest help in identifying some of my inflammatory foods. Any time I ate them, I had crazy hip pain and couldn’t sleep well.  Now after surgery, I don’t have the pain, but if I do eat these, I sleep longer, I have stiffness when I wake up and sometimes just feel off. If it were inflammatory before the surgery, it is obviously still inflammatory after it. I just don’t get the ache or the human barometer effect with changes in weather. Yes, that went away once I really did this anti-inflammatory plan in earnest. Part way was not enough. I had to do it whole heatedly and then some. Get rid of all the pain, and then introduce small amounts to see how I would react. Yes, there is a happy medium to be found. But you need to be vigilant at 110% until the pain subsides.

Now we get to ADD anti-inflammatory foods vs just eliminating common problem foods. We add cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and bok choy), ginger, parsley, alkalizing vegetables, alkalizing grains like wild rice, quinoa or buckwheat. We also look to rot vegetables as a source of carbohydrates instead of grains. We also add healthy fats including the cold water fish (sardines, mackerel, salmon, herring, etc), flax seeds, avocado and coconut oil.

The Detox Plan is a great way to start an anti-inflammatory diet. Then to make it more anti-inflammtory, we add more ginger, parsley, turmeric root (preferably fresh vs spice), pineapple (bromelain) and cold water fish.  When I work with clients, I not only help them with a road map of how to start the Anti-Inflammatory plan, but i am always offering new replacement foods and expanding your food options.  Most clients never heard of half the foods I suggest, but once they start making them, they find it so much easier than having to guess on their own.  Wheat free does not have to cost a fortune – there are tons of alternatives beyond rice based pasta and bread.

Switching from roasted nuts to raw helps, too as well as adding other healthy fats including flax seed and oil, avocado, virgin coconut oil and grass fed ghee. I offer and Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition package that will customize the process for you. I also offer Nutrition Response Testing to help the body heal faster and identify where inflammatory items might be ingested or being exposed to. I found that I needed a combination of all of those to really make it work. It being the AI diet.

If you are ready to feel better, be less tired, have no aches or pains, please explore the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. It will change your life! And what do you have to lose but the pain, health issues or years off your appearance!

Joanna Chodorowska is a sports nutrition coach using real foods to help athletes perform better. It is not about using one plan for everyone, it about finding the right plan for you. Joanna helps you be the master of your body and how it reacts to foods you eat. For more information, visit her website at http://www.nutrition-in-motion.net

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I Can Eat Anything

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Is a hoagie really the best food choice we can make? regardless of athlete?

I work with athletes.  Athletes like to eat.  They like to eat a lot.  They like to think that ‘I can eat anything…I just trained for an hour”.  Or whatever the time or distance is.  In reality, as an athlete, you cannot eat anything you want whenever you want if you want optimal performance.  It is not just calories in vs calories out, but the quality of calories and the type of calories in the right combination that is more important.

I had a client a few years back when I first started my sports nutrition practice who was overweight and was training for a 10K running event for charity.  While we made some strides with the overall eating, training and racing threw her eating habits into a tail spin.  She thought “i just ran for 45 minutes, I can eat anything I want” and so would eat a buffet breakfast consisting of some 1200 calories in that meal.  She would eat a stack of chocolate chip pancakes with syrup and butter, add a couple of eggs.  Oh, and why not, split a sundae.

I do applaud training, but eating too many calories afterwards will not be much benefit down the road to reaching your race day goals or your race weight.  You will not reach your ideal racing weight if you think you can eat anything just because you have trained.  I honestly used to train so I could eat more!  I was always fighting my weight.  Always.  The more I trained, the more I justified what I could eat.  Oh, I just trained, I can eat that cookie (or 3 or 4).  I can have that second beer.  I can eat anything!  I just worked out!

I was wrong.  For many years I fought my weight until I realized that I needed to change what I was eating, and how much I was eating.  I needed to start paying attention to the quality of foods I was eating, not just eat anything I could get my hands on.  I could not go eat a hoagie and think I would be lean and mean, ready to go the next day (well, unless I took a 2 hour nap).  I learned over the years, that I needed to start paying attention to eating real foods.  I needed to start paying attention to how I really felt after eating certain foods and certain food combinations.  It is not rocket science, but everybody reacts to various food combinations differently.

For me, wheat and bread makes me tired.  It makes me gain weight.  It makes me want to eat more wheat about 2 hours later.  I just feel constantly hungry eating wheat based products.  But I loved my bread!  Now I have no trouble staying away from it as I did not want to feel sleepy.  I did not want my joints to be achy the next day and hips stiffer than a board.

I learned that I needed to eat a recovery meal that consisted of a high quality animal protein, a high quality carbohydrate like red or sweet potatoes vs a bagel, and lots and lots of green vegetables.  When I last trained for a marathon, I met a client for breakfast after an 18 miler.  He was shocked that I was only eating half of the 4 egg omelet with spinach and goat cheese.  I was only eating half of my roasted potatoes.  “I mean, come on, if I just ran 18 miles – I can eat anything right?”  Nope.  I ate the smaller recovery meal, and saved the other half for 3 or so hours later, when my body could process the food again and I would be hungry. I did not need 1500 calories and a full plate of food, even if healthy, to fill me up and make me feel bloated.  My body would have gotten too much food, and I would store the extra calories rather than use them to gain muscle and recover.

Many of my clients come to me to lose weight.  Most are athletes.  And most are surprised that when they stop eating so many processed foods, and converting more to real food, higher vegetables, less grains, more healthy fats, they have more energy.  They attain their healthy weight and lose the excess body fat without feeling deprived or feeling starved.  They also lose the cravings for sugar as they are able to better balance the blood sugar and eat when they are hungry vs waiting til they are starving.

 

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Do you train to eat?

if you struggle with losing body fat, or with looking like an athlete despite all the training you are doing, it might be the foods you are consuming.  You might need to change the mindset from ‘I can eat anything” to “I can eat foods that make my body feel good and perform better”.  Eating foods that make you feel and perform better is not about putting restrictions on the diet.  It is more about helping you learn which foods work with your body, and which are actually making you tired, lethargic, sluggish and recovering poorly with achy, tired muscles and joints.  There are plenty of food options out there.  Pasta might not be as good to you as a baked red or sweet potato. Quinoa might be a better option than wheat pasta.  Buckwheat might be even better? 

When I work with my clients, it is more about expanding the options of foods to eat.  I am like the professor (mad some might say), and you are doing lab in between sessions to find out which foods work better for your body.  I help you eat anything you want that makes your body feel better.  I help you determine how to get in touch with feeling better based on the foods you eat.  You will be the one to decide if a hoagie really is worth it, or if a slice of pizza with extra cheese makes you feel terrible, sluggish or full of life.  If it sits like a brick in your stomach, it might not be such a great choice.  We can add things to that meal to make it better, like a side salad, or broccoli slaw or some other steamed green vegetable.  Or we can find something completely different you can eat that makes you feel great after you eat it.

Changing the mindset from ‘I can eat anything because I am training (for an Ironman, marathon or century)’ to ‘I am eating to improve how I feel and how I perform’ can be the reason why you have not been able to get to your healthy race weight in the past.  It might be the reason you feel like you are not making strides in getting leaner despite all the training and exercising you do.  A change in food choice and the amount, can be they way to help balance the blood sugar, improve recovery and improve your lean body mass.  To learn more on how to do this, please contact Joanna Chodorowska at Nutrition In Motion.  http://www.n-im.net or 215-272-6774.  She has a Race Day Nutrition Plan that can help you achieve your healthy race day weight without starving yourself.  Eat real food.  Get real results.

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I Feel Fat

I work with triathletes, cyclists, runners, non-athletes, and I can assure you that ‘I feel fat!’ is a real feeling. It is not ‘all in your head’. I used to have that feeling all the time, even though I was training for my first Ironman in 1999. I was lean, but I was always feeling fat.

Years later I became a nutrition coach to help others overcome food issues like the ‘I feel fat’ issue. Once I learned to balance my blood sugar, that ‘I feel fat’ feeling went away. No, it really did. I just had a client yesterday who said those very words to me. ‘I feel fat even though I do all this training.’ ‘ [I should be leaner and look more like an athlete than I do!']

When I learned more about balancing the blood sugar, I was able to get my body into a fat burning state rather than a fat storing state. I used to live on Clif bars and coffee as an afternoon snack before my second workout. i used to have a salad with grilled chicken on it, then 2 hours later snack on pretzel nuggets. Then 2 hours later, the Clif bar and coffee. Although I was eating relatively ‘healthy’ meals, they were not balanced meals. I had all sorts of trouble losing weight. I had mood swings – yes, I could get angry quickly and over silly stuff. I had PMS. I trained a ton (3 hours per day and longer on weekends) and I still felt like I was fighting my weight constantly. I felt fat all the time. All the time.

I help clients learn how to make meals more balanced, eat regularly spaced meals, and understand which food combinations work best for them. I have some clients who are vegan, some who are lacto and ovo vegetarian and others who are carnivores like me. But this issue of balancing the blood sugar remains the same no matter how you eat.

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That chicken on salad greens with lowfat dressing can be balanced by using regular vinaigrette dressing with olive oil. You also want to add the carbohydrates which can be either a grain, or root vegetable like a baked red or small sweet potato. You just need 1/2 cup of your protein, h
1/2 cup of your starchy carb, about 1-1 1/2 cups of greens and a bit of fat from either your dressing or raw nuts and seeds. You can also use the plate theory to load up half your plate with green vegetables, 1/4 of plate with your lean protein, and 1/4 plate with your starch. Here is a photo of what it may look like, altho I will admit, this one has a wee bit too much salmon, and not enough root vegetable. But better than most meals I see :)

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A vegetarian option may look more like this photo with a bean soup, kale or chard and raw nuts. Either works. You just want to find your best combinations!

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If you feel fat, and are tired of feeling that way, try balancing your blood sugar. This will help you burn fat, not store fat. It will help reduce stress and cravings for sweets and ‘carbs’. You will be less hungry through the day and will reach your optimum weight relatively easily without being on a diet. It requires some planning, so you have meals with you, or know where you will stop and choose at a restaurant or grocery or convenience store. It is not as hard as you think. I can help make it easier.

I had three clients the past few weeks who all feel leaner, stronger and had really good energy. Each of them lost 6-10 pounds in just a couple of weeks without feeling hungry. Their workouts were getting easier, their clothes fit better and they recovered better all with balancing the blood sugar. it really does work :)

For more information about nutrition plans to help you lose the ‘I feel fat’ feeling, please visit Joanna Chodorowska at Nutrition In Motion. Or call Joanna, sports nutrition coach, at 215-272-6774. She can help you balance the blood sugar, eat real food and feel leaner, stronger and more energized eating real foods.
Real athletes, Real foo, Real results!
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Embracing The Healing Process

As an athlete, I am very accustomed to moving a lot. After hip replacement surgery, well, that moving, although seemingly nothing, was too much for my body to handle. In the 2 weeks post surgery, I have had to embrace the healing process and find joy and solace in allowing it to happen on my body’s time, not the timeline in my head. I think this is actually harder than the anti-inflammatory diet!

This is my post op X-ray of the hip replacement surgery.  Healing well!

This is my post op X-ray of the hip replacement surgery. Healing well!

I have learned to listen to what the body is trying to tell me. I am trying to be patient and not push too hard (not normal mindset of an athlete….) and embrace this healing process. It IS a process. Each day I have gotten new aches, pains or muscle spasms. Some days I get woken up in the middle of the night, my body telling me I over did it in some way. ‘But I didn’t do anything!’ I would think…..oh, wait. you get up, brush teeth, do normal bathroom routine, go down stairs, make coffee, try to vacuum floor with dust buster, sit for 5 minutes checking email, more coffee, more emails….then juice. Before I realized it days later, I was on my feet and moving for over an hour each morning!! No wonder I had aches later in day by 1-2 pm.

I learned to break up my mornings into smaller chunks of time, with longer breaks in between my activities. If I got tired, I would take a nap. My body needed sleep in order to heal! It needed rest when it needed it, not when I could schedule it. Each day was different, but each day I scheduled only a few clients to keep the stress to a minimum. But it felt great to be working with clients again, helping them with their health, pain management and weight goals.

No one can tell you how fast you will or will. to recover. No one has written down the ‘what to expect’ guide for after surgery. You have to learn it on you own.   I had to also learn how to embrace the healing process as it was unfolding for me and not rush it. The more I do trying to train my way to recovery, the more I was actually delaying the process.   I am a competitive athlete, and now I am making this recovery competitive – let the body heal.  The fitness will come back later.  ‘Baby steps’ takes on a whole new meaning after surgery!  It is like learning how to walk again, how to move again.  Even 5 minutes can be a strain of a new activity.

Hard for any athlete to slow down this much, surgery or no surgery. But I am learning where that fine line of balancing a bit of a new activity and motion is vs over doing it. Yes, it took me almost a full week to 10 days to find that line, and each day I find myself a little stronger. Each day I find a movement that no longer hurts. I find myself pulling back on the reigns to keep me from doing something too soon, like biking on the trainer for 30 minutes. Maybe I should try 6-8 minutes or wait another day…..And when I did add it back, I started with 2 minutes, then 6, then 12, and worked up to 30 minutes.  Each ride I added 15 seconds more of harder efforts while maintaining 1 minute easy.  Each day, I felt good doing it.  But I had waited 10-14 days to even try riding.

Now, almost 4 weeks later, I can ride the bike trainer for 45 minutes with longer intervals of harder efforts, but still 1 minute rest.  I added single leg drills the past 2 days which is enough of a new motion, that I did not add more time to my session.  Funny thing is, I am still riding in whatever I am wearing rather than cycling clothes – that should give you an idea of how hard I am pushing.  Not that hard, as I am still sometimes in my pj’s!  But it feels good to be active again.  I also added Physical Therapy last week which also is taking up some extra energy, training the muscles to engage and help stabilize my left hip.  During my last trainer ride, that was the added focus.  Reason enough  NOT to add more time to the ride time.  I needed a later in the day, as that new way of moving is still tiring 4 weeks later.  Embracing the healing process is still a daily activity for me.  If I need to turn off the alarm so I can get a full night of sleep, I do.

I am continuing with the anti-inflammatory plan as I want my body to heal as well as it can, without wasting energy on the foods I eat.  Last night, I woke up feeling a bit groggy and lethargic – oh, that was from that muenster cheese I ate yesterday!  I won’t be doing that regularly.  This is an example of eating an inflammatory food and how it affects you the next day.  During the healing process, these inflammatory foods need to be avoided as much as possible to allow the body to use its energy to heal and repair.  Once in awhile, dairy can be okay.  But on a daily basis, maybe that cheese should not be included into the diet.

Embracing the healing process can be challenging for anyone, but more so for an athlete.  We want to move, we want to run, we want to ride…..now.  But we have to embrace the healing process as it is.  You cannot speed up Mother Nature’s healing process.  If you try, you will be in pain and actually delay healing.  Surgery is traumatic to the body.  We need to allow that trauma to subside before we start to push again.

For more information about the Anti-Inflammatory Diet Plan or package, please contact Joanna at http://www.n-im.net and schedule a time for your pain-free plan.  What do you have to lose but the pain?

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The Body Doesn’t Always Respond As You Expect

A week after my hip replacement surgery and I have learned quite a bit about inflammation, swelling, healing and how you think you are taking it easy, but the body doesn’t always respond as you expect.

Last week, on January 21, 2014, I went in for my anterior entry total hip replacement surgery. I went into the surgery probably in the best ‘shape’ possible having done the hyper anti-inflammatory diet the two weeks prior. I wanted to go into surgery pain-free and medication free. I did it as an experiment to see,
Does the anti-inflammatory diet really work??

I have been on a mostly anti-inflammatory diet already for over a year or more, or what I also call a modified detox diet. But with the 2 weeks before surgery being sans supplements or NSAIDs like Advil, I was really motivated to try the hyper anti-inflammatory diet to relieve my pain. I was happy to find out that within those two weeks, I was able to be pain free!

The anti-inflammatory diet DOES work!! I even went walking through the mall the evening before surgery with my sister who flew into town to help me. And after 2 hours, I had some fatigue but not the aches I used to have. I also lost the ‘human barometer’ pain where the hip would ache when temperatures dropped significantly. No one would believe me except I have done it and I felt it. Or rather, I didn’t feel the pain, just discomfort of my condition.

After surgery, I have maintained my morning juicing with the added turmeric root, daikon radish, parsley, pineapple and cabbage to my regular mix. And I do believe it helped me get over anesthesia quicker. Although I did have extensive swelling of that left leg, I was sleeping thru the night within 4 days which surprised the nurses following up on me. I have had my fair share of aches and muscle spasms post surgery as my hip, leg and glute muscles learn to engage again. On this end of surgery, I am taking my pain meds. I would be even more miserable without the continuation of the hyper anti-inflammatory diet. I believe it is also helping my liver from being toxified from the medication. That is a word, toxified, right??

So you probably wonder, what is this Hyper Anti-Inflammatory diet?? It is mainly real food, no processed food at all, no wheat, no dairy, alkalizing animal proteins only, no sugar and no use of petroleum based products. I used the general 2 Week Detox Plan as my guide. Then avoided all the foods and chemicals that had been identified by 6-8 months of monthly Nutrition Response Testing. For me, my inflammatory foods were sugar, dairy, wheat, and brown rice. The only chemical that came up was petroleum, so I switched to using shea butter and using a bee wax or shea butter based lip balm, too! Once I eliminated all of those items one by one based on testing, I had the pain drop significantly. I went from taking 2 Advil every 4-6 hours, to 1 Advil maybe 2 every other day.

But I was also taking my anti inflammatory supplements and fish oils. But still hard to achieve when you have bone-on-bone rubbing!

To make the detox plan Hyper Anti-inflammtory, I was diligent with my plan and avoided the inflammatory foods. I did find I could eat a couple of pieces of dark chocolate though, and had a small glass of red wine a couple of times with no ill effect (meaning no pain). Phew! I added the turmeric root, more ginger, handful of parsley, wedge of cabbage, wedge of pineapple and 1-2 inch chunk of daikon radish to my morning juice, and within 30-40 minutes of drinking it, I could feel those first few days the pain would melt away. By the end of the week, I was waking up with less pain and less stiffness so the melting effect was not as drastic. By the end of the second week, I had no pain, but wanted to keep it that way!

The pains and aches post surgery are expected. But I had no idea how my body would respond to surgery. The body doesn’t always respond as I expected with muscle aches or spasms coming later in the day or mainly at night…waking me up from a peaceful sleep. I do know that the journey ahead is still unknown. nAnd I still have no idea how my body will react when the swelling goes away. But I do know, the anti-inflammatory diet has been the one constant that has helped me along the way to be in less pain than I could be. It is helping me think more clearly sooner after surgery.

If you have pain, and have not tried an anti-inflammatory diet or Nutrition Response Testing, I suggest you try both. What do you have to lose but pain?? You have you life of fun and activity to look forward to.

For more information about Joanna and how to get started on an anti-inflammatory diet, please visit www. n-im.net and click on the sports nutrition page. The Anti-inflammatory Plan is a series of 4 sessions to help you become pain free within 2-4 months. It is perfect for those who want to minimize pain going into surgery, recovering after surgery, or have inflammatory issues including arthritis, fractures, or fibromyalgia.

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Raw Cheesy Sauce or Dip

Although I don’t eat a completely raw food diet, I do use some raw food recipes to replace some of foods. The best sauces and dips I have made come from using raw cashews instead of milk. Here is my recipe that I created that can be made into a non-dairy cheesy raw spread or a dip depending on how much water you put in.

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Raw Cashew Cheesy Spread

Ingredients:
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in purified water for 4-6 hours, then drained
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp Bragg’s amino acids, or other gluten free soy sauce
- 2-5 tbsp nutritional yeast powder ( I use Now brand)
- 1/2 cup filtered water or more for texture
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or flax seed oil

Optional ingredients:
- tsp rosemary, dried or fresh
- 1 small shallot
- 1 inch turmeric root (for added anti-inflammatory benefits)
- 1 clove garlic

Preparation:
- place drained cashews into blender and turn on to make a paste
- add the amino acids, nutritional yeast and optional flavors from list. I usually do rosemary and sometime rosemary and shallot. Blend again while streaming water in. you can also add the water first, then blend. Either way, the mixture should be pourable at this point. If you want it more like a dressing, add more water. If you want it as a spread, then use less.
Note: This mixture will thicken overnight while in refrigerator. If still too thick the next day, add more water.
This should last at least a week in a sealed glass container (this is where those glass jars from nut butters come in handy!)
Enjoy!

I have found this makes a great sauce for making kale chips! It also goes well with steamed broccoli, and as a dressing over various greens. I have enjoyed it spread on a baked red potato or sweet potato as well as the vegetable flatbreads I make.

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