Thursday, September 27, 2012

Acid/Alkaline - how do you know what your PH is?

So, we've got our Acid/Alkaline chart, we've gone to the store to pick up all the awesome alkaline foods we can find - now how do we know it is working,  what our PH is to begin with? or do you want proof positive that food can affect your PH - your Acid and Alkalinity of your body?! YEA - me too - and if we want to be as Alkaline as possible give me the tools to check - RIGHT?!. 

Well check out these little gems - 160 OF THEM FOR JUST 12 BUCKS.... You can get them anywhere - even Walmart but for me Amazon is the most convenient. 

Get a pack and stay on track. EAT YOUR LEAFY GREENS!


This tells the story...Living Food vs Dead FoodWhich do you think should be in your body?

Dr Craig Brown/ Debra Cornell , Expansive Medicine 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

THE SKINNY ON THE SEVEN most alkaline foods -

What Are The Most High Alkaline Foods?

1. Spinach
alkaline food one: spinachALL leafy greens should be eaten in abundance but spinach is my absolute favourite because it’s easy to buy, easy to use in recipes and salads and is delicious. Baby spinach or fully grown spinach are nutritional powerhouses and are incredibly alkaline.
As with all green foods, spinach is rich in chlorophyll (see more about the health benefits of chlorophyll here), a potent alkaliser and blood builder.
It is also super high in vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin c, vitamin b2, calcium, potassium, vitamin e, dietary fiber….need I go on?
I doubt there is a more all round healthy food on earth and I highly encourage you to eat spinach throughout the day, every day.
Nutrients per 1 Cup
Vitamin K – 1110% RDA
Vitamin A – 337.3% RDA
Manganese – 84% RDA
Folate – 65.7% RDA
Magnesium – 38% RDA
Iron – 35% RDA
Vitamin C – 31% RDA
Vitamin B2 – 27% RDA
Calcium – 25% RDA
Potassium – 23% RDA
Vitamin E – 21% RDA
Fiber – 19% RDA

Energise Alkaline Recipe Containing Spinach
Warm Red Pepper & Spinach Salad
Spinach, Garlic & Tofu Burgers
Alkaline Avo Power Smoothie

Alkaline Raw Soup

Research on Spinach
  • Spinach as a powerful antioxidant: Manach C, Scalbert A, Morand C, Rémésy C, Jiménez L. Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 May;79(5):727-47. 2004. PMID:15113710.
  • Spinach intake and ovarian cancer reduction: Gates MA, Tworoger SS, Hecht JL, De Vivo I, Rosner B, Hankinson SE. A prospective study of dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of epithelial ovarian cancer. Int J Cancer. 2007 Apr 30; [Epub ahead of print] 2007. PMID:17471564.
  • Spinach intake and breast cancer: M P Longnecker, P A Newcomb, R Mittendorf, E R Greenberg and W C Willett. Intake of carrots, spinach, and supplements containing vitamin A in relation to risk of breast cancer. 1997. American Association for Cancer Research.
  • Spinach and reversing motor and neuronal aging: James A. Joseph1, Barbara Shukitt-Hale1, Natalia A. Denisova1,Donna Bielinski1, Antonio Martin1, John J. McEwen1, and Paula C. Bickford. Reversals of Age-Related Declines in Neuronal Signal Transduction, Cognitive, and Motor Behavioral Deficits with Blueberry, Spinach, or Strawberry Dietary Supplementation. 1999. The Journal of Neuroscience.
2. Kale
alkaline food 2: kaleKale is another leafy green beauty that is widely known for its cancer-fighting, cholesterol-lowering, antioxidant-rich, detoxifying goodness.
Less popular than spinach, but only because it has a history of being cooked poorly (like cabbage) – when done right it is absolutely delicious (see recipes below, you’ll thank me).
If you eat kale 2-3 times per week you’ll know it. Like spinach it is massively high in vitamin k, vitamin a and vitamin c and being leafy green it also has a huge chlorophyll content.
The reason it is so powerful against the cancer fight is that kale contains at least four glucosinolates. I don’t want to lose you here by using words like glucosinolates – all you need to know is that as soon as you eat and digest kale, these glucosinolates are really easily converted by the body into cancer fighting compounds.
Also quite amazing for lowering cholesterol, it should be noted that steamed kale is more effective for cholesterol lowering than raw.
Nutrients Per 1 Cup:

Vitamin K: 1327% RDA
Vitamin A: 354% RDA
Vitamin C: 88.8% RDA
Manganese: 27% RDA
Fiber: 12% RDA
Calcium: 11% RDA
Magnesium: 11% RDA
Iron: 9% RDA
Omgega 3: 7% RDA

Energise Alkaline Recipes Containing Kale:

Chickpea & Kale Rolls with Tomato Salsa

Kale & Chickpea Mash

Super Alkaline Kale Salad
Alkaline Chilli Spring Greens
Research on Kale:

  • Ambrosone CB, Tang L. Cruciferous vegetable intake and cancer prevention: role of nutrigenetics. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa). 2009 Apr;2(4):298-300. 2009.
  • Angeloni C, Leoncini E, Malaguti M, et al. Modulation of phase II enzymes by sulforaphane: implications for its cardioprotective potential. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jun 24;57(12):5615-22. 2009.
  • Bhattacharya A, Tang L, Li Y, et al. Inhibition of bladder cancer development by allyl isothiocyanate. Carcinogenesis. 2010 Feb;31(2):281-6. 2010
  • Higdon JV, Delage B, Williams DE, et al. Cruciferous Vegetables and Human Cancer Risk: Epidemiologic Evidence and Mechanistic Basis. Pharmacol Res. 2007 March; 55(3): 224-236. 2007.
  • Zhang Y. Allyl isothiocyanate as a cancer chemopreventive phytochemical. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Jan;54(1):127-35. 2010.
3. Cucumber
alkaline food number three: cucumberThe beauty of cucumber is it’s water content – 95%. That is phenomenal and you won’t find that anywhere else. It’s the daddy of water-content. This of course makes it an incredibly hydrating food to consume, that ALSO contains superb amounts of antioxidants, including the super-important lignans. These highly beneficial polyphenols have more commonly been associated with the cruciferous vegetables, but their content in other veggies such as cucumbers is gaining more and more attention.
Cucumbers contain a right load of lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol (don’t try to pronounce), three lignans that have a huge and very strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as several cancer types, including breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
The best thing about cucumber is that they provide the base for practically every alkaline soup, smoothie and juice – giving you a very alkaline, very nutritious base that also tastes great.
In terms of the actual nutrient RDA per serve, cucumbers contain fair amounts of vitamins K and C, and slightly less of vitamin A and the B vitamins. Cucumbers also contain the following alkaline minerals: calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, selenium, copper, manganese, iron and zinc.
Nutrients per 1 Cup (RDA)

Vitamin K: 23%
Molybdenum: 8%
Vitamin C: 6%
Potassium: 5%
Manganese: 5%
Magnesium: 4%

Energise Recipes Containing Cucumber:

Alkaline Cucumber & Watercress Soup

Alkaline Sushi
Antioxidant Super-Meal
Sweet Chunky Alkaline Shake
pH Boosting Protein Shake
Almond Gazpacho
Research on Cucumber:
  • Kumar D, Kumar S, Singh J, et al. Free Radical Scavenging and Analgesic Activities of Cucumis sativus L. Fruit Extract. J Young Pharm. 2010 Oct;2(4):365-8. 2010.
  • Milder IEJ, Arts ICW, van de Putte B et al. Lignan contents of Dutch plant foods: a database including lariciresinol, pinoresinol, secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol. Br J Nutr 2005, 93:393-402. 2005.
  • Rios JL, Recio MC, Escandell JM, et al. Inhibition of transcription factors by plant-derived compounds and their implications in inflammation and cancer. Curr Pharm Des. 2009;15(11):1212-37. Review. 2009.
  • Tang J, Meng X, Liu H et al. Antimicrobial activity of sphingolipids isolated from the stems of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Molecules. 2010 Dec 15;15(12):9288-97. 2010.
4. Broccoli
alkaline food four: broccoliBroccoli is just a must. If you are serious about living with health, energy and vitality you simply have to eat broccoli, if not on a daily basis, then at least 4 times per week.
Broccoli has been proven over and over and over again to be incredibly powerful in inhibiting cancers, supporting the digestive system, the cardiovascular system, the detoxification processes in the body and also supporting the skin, metabolism, immune system, being an anti-inflammatory and providing ample antioxidants.
Sound good?
Eaten steamed or raw its a hugely alkaline, hugely nutritious food. Please, please, please eat lots and lots of it. Put it in salads, juices, smoothies, soups…steam it with other veggies – you can even roast it if you’re having sunday lunch.
Don’t let a meal go past without thinking to yourself “how could I get some broccoli in here?”
Nutrients Per 1 Cup (as an RDA):

Vitamin C: 135%
Vitamin K: 115%
Folate: 16%
Vitamin A: 14%
Manganese: 10%
Dietary Fiber: 10%
Potassium: 8%
VItamin B6: 8%
Vitamin B2: 7%
Molybdenum: 6%
Phosphorus: 6%
Vitamin B5: 5%
Protein: 5%
Magnesium: 5%
Calcium: 4%
Selenium: 4%
Vitamin E: 4%

Energise Alkaline Recipes Containing Broccoli:

Broccoli & Vegetable Coconut Curry

Spelt Pasta with Broccoli & ALmonds
Mixed Sesame Veggies
Gareth’s Green Smoothie
Spicy Alkaline Summer Soup
Research on Broccoli:

  • Broccoli and Cancer Prevention: John W. Finley, Clement Ip, Donald J. Lisk, Cindy D. Davis, Korry J. Hintze, and Phil D. Whanger. Cancer-Protective Properties of High-Selenium Broccoli. Cancer-Protective Properties of High-Selenium Broccoli. 2001. American Chemical Society
  • Broccoli and Cardiovascular Disease: Lingyun Wu, M. Hossein Noyan Ashraf, Marina Facci, Rui Wang,Phyllis G. Paterson, Alison Ferrie, and Bernhard H. J. Juurlink. 2004. Dietary approach to attenuate oxidative stress, hypertension, and inflammation in the cardiovascular system. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Broccoli and Cancer Prevention: Ambrosone CB, Tang L. Cruciferous vegetable intake and cancer prevention: role of nutrigenetics. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa). 2009 Apr;2(4):298-300. 2009.
  • Broccoli and Cancer Prevention: Clarke JD, Dashwood RH, Ho E. Multi-targeted prevention of cancer by sulforaphane. Cancer Lett. 2008 Oct
  • Chemo-protection and Broccoli: Konsue N, Ioannides C. Modulation of carcinogen-metabolising cytochromes P450 in human liver by the chemopreventive phytochemical phenethyl isothiocyanate, a constituent of cruciferous vegetables. Toxicology. 2010 Feb 9;268(3):184-90. 2010.
5. Avocado
Alkaline food five: avocadoI eat a LOT of avocado. Not a salad, smoothie or soup goes by without me adding at least 1/2 an avocado per person. I probably eat at least five-seven per week, myself.
Now, I know a lot of people give avocado a bad rep because it is a high-fat food (85% of it’s calories come from fats) – but this is totally insane. These are good fats that will not make you gain weight. If anything, due to the high content of oleic acid (making it an omega 9 fat and very similar to olive oil), it can lower total cholesterol level and raise levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) while lowering low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), also known as the “bad” cholesterol. Oleic acid also slows the development of heart disease, and promotes the production of antioxidants.
These beneficial omega oils also help speed the metabolism, actually leading to weight loss rather than gain.
So now we’re over the fat issue, avocado also contains a wide range of other nutrients that have serious anti-inflammatory, heart health, cardiovascular health, anti-cancer, and blood sugar benefits.
Containing key antioxidants such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, selenium and more – it is a powerful, alkaline, nutrient-dense superfood.
Nutrients Per 1 Cup (as an RDA):

Dietary Fiber: 40%
Vitamin K: 38%
Folate: 30%
Vitamin C: 24%
Vitamin B5: 20%
Potassium: 20%
Vitamin B6: 19%

Energise Alkaline Recipes Containing Avocado:

Alkaline Avocado Power Shake

Raw Avocado Soup
Smooth Avocado & Tofu Dip
Alkaline Quinoa Salad
Spicy Alkaline Summer Soup
Research on Avocado:

  • Avocado & Adult Health: Fulgoni V, Dreher M, Davenport A. Avocado consumption associated with better nutrient intake and better health indices in U.S. adults (19+ years): NHANES 2001-2006. Abstract #8514. Experimental Biology, Anaheim, CA. April 28, 2010. 2010.
  • Avocado & Cancer: Ding H, Han C, Guo D et al. Selective induction of apoptosis of human oral cancer cell lines by avocado extracts via a ROS-mediated mechanism. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(3):348-56. 2009.
  • Avocado & Cancer: Ding H, Chin YW, Kinghorn AD et al. Chemopreventive characteristics of avocado fruit. Semin Cancer Biol. 2007 May 17; [Epub ahead of print] 2007. 2007.
  • Avocado & Inflammation: Rosenblat G, Meretski S, Segal J et al. Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols derived from avocado suppress inflammatory response and provide non-sunscreen protection against UV-induced damage in skin cells. Arch Dermatol Res. 2010 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print]. 2010.
6. Celery
alkaline food six: celeryCelery, like cucumber is a favourite because it’s alkaline AND really high water content, so is used very frequently as a base in juices and soups (not so much smoothies as you have to juice it first…and then you have double the washing up).
One of celery’s big benefits is it’s vitamin C level, which has the well known benefits – but two of it’s lesser known nutrients are phthalides which have been shown to lower cholesterol and coumarins which have been shown to inhibit several cancers.
The beauty of vitamin C rich foods are that they help with the most common and most challenging health concerns – they support the immune system, inflammation (so helps with arthritis, osteoporosis, asthma etc), and vitamin C also helps significantly with cardiovascular health.
If you are on a weight loss journey, you’ll also be happy to hear that this alkaline staple contains plenty of potassium and sodium and so is a diuretic – meaning it helps rid the body of excess fluids.
Nutrients Per 1 Cup (as an RDA):

Vitamin K: 37%
Folate: 9%
Vitamin A: 9%
Potassium: 8%
Molybdenum: 7%
Dietary Fiber: 6%
Vitamin C: 5%
Manganese: 5%
Calcium: 4%
Vitamin B2: 3.5%
Vitamin B6: 4%
Magnesium: 3%
Vitamin B5: 3%

Energise Alkaline Diet Recipes Containing Celery:

Vegetable Bean Soup

Bright & Breezy Salad
Alkaline Green Drink
Delicious Refresher Juice
Alkaline Chilli Greens
Research on Celery:
  • Celery and Hypertension: Kurl S, Tuomainen TP, Laukkanen JA et al. Plasma vitamin C modifies the association between hypertension and risk of stroke. Stroke 2002 Jun;33(6):1568-73 2002.
  • Celery & Cholesterol: Tsi D, Tan BK. The mechanism underlying the hypocholesterolaemic activity of aqueous celery extract, its butanol and aqueous fractions in genetically hypercholesterolaemic RICO rats. Life Sci 2000 Jan 14;66(8):755-67 2000.
7. Capsicum / Bell Pepper / Pepper
alkaline food seven: capsicumThe antioxidant superpower, bell pepper is one of my all-time-favourites because it is sweet, crunchy and refreshingly delicious. You can use it in almost any meal raw, grilled, fried, roasted and it is always a winner.
Here are just SOME of the antioxidants bell pepper contains:
• Flavonoids
– luteolin
– quercetin
– hesperidin
• Carotenoids
– alpha-carotene
– beta-carotene
– cryptoxanthin
– lutein
– zeaxanthin
• Hydroxycinnamic Acids
– ferulic acid
– cinnamic acid

Of these, the cartenoids are the most interesting. Impressively beneficial to our health cartenoids are highly researched and get a lot of attention in the health field…and bell peppers contain over 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family. The only other food that is close to this is tomato…and all other foods are also-rans.
Bell peppers have shown up in research relating to decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, macular degeneration, cancer, inflammation and more.
Alongside these lesser known or more complex-named antioxidants, bell pepper is one of, if not the best food source of the more common antioxidants: vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E.
In fact, bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as oranges.
Nutrients Per 1 Cup (as an RDA):
Vitamin C: 195.8%
Vitamin A: 58%
Vitamin B6: 14%
Folate: 11%
Dietary Fiber: 7%
Vitamin E: 7%
Molybdenum: 6%
Vitamin K: 6%
Potassium: 6%
Manganese: 5%
Vitamin B2: 5%
Vitamin B3: 5%
Vitamin B1: 3%
Vitamin B5: 3%
Magnesium: 2%

Energise Alkaline Recipes Containing Bell Pepper:

Sweet Chunky Alkaline Shake

Red Lentils with Bell Pepper
Stuffed Tomatoes with Pepper
Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
Antioxidant Rich Smoothie
Research on Bell Pepper:
  • Pepper and Dementia: Devore EE, Grodstein F, van Rooij FJA et al. Dietary antioxidants and long-term risk of dementia. Arch Neurol. 2010 July; 67(7): 819-825. 2010.
  • Peppers and Antioxidants: O’Sullivan L, Jiwan MA, Daly T, O’Brien NM et al. Bioaccessibility, uptake, and transport of carotenoids from peppers (Capsicum spp.) using the coupled in vitro digestion and human intestinal Caco-2 cell model. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 May 12;58(9):5374-9. 2010.
  • Pepper and Cancer: Ambrosini GL, de Klerk NH, Fritschi L et al. Fruit, vegetable, vitamin A intakes, and prostate cancer risk. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2008;11(1):61-6. 2008.


I really want you to think about this: If you made a smoothie or juice containing just 1/2 a cup of each of these seven ingredients it would give you:
Vitamin K – 1326% RDA
Molybdenum – 13.5% RDA
Vitamin C – 243% RDA
Potassium – 35% RDA
Manganese – 68% RDA
Magnesium – 32% RDA
Vitamin A – 386% RDA
Fiber – 47% RDA
Calcium – 22% RDA
Iron – 22% RDA
Folate – 66% RDA
Vitamin B2 – 21.5% RDA
Vitamin E – 16% RDA
Vitamin B6 – 22.5% RDA
Vitamin B5 – 15.5% RDA

Can you imagine this? Leaving the house every morning having already consumed 243% of your vitamin c intake, 47% of your daily fiber needs, 68% of you manganese and 32% of your magnesium, over 22% of you vitamin B2 – imagine all of the incredible antioxidants? Before you’ve left the house?!
This really is giving you not only huge antioxidants, huge alkalinity, huge chlorophyll, huge detoxification nutrients – but if you want to go really mainstream – its giving you the recommended 5 Veg a Day before 9am!
Please give it a try – have a fresh vegetable juice or smoothie every morning for a week and let me know the effect this has!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What does it mean to be alkaline anyway? and why is it so important...

So this has been the buzz around me lately and well - what actually does alkaline mean, how do I get my body to be that way and why is it so important anyway??? - read on crouton and then get your green on!

Alkaline Body Balance: The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Yourself

What many people don’t know is that many of the foods they regularly consume negatively affect their alkaline body balance. The human body is a naturally alkaline environment. When an individual consumes an overly acidic diet, they throw off their body’s healthy pH balance, which makes them susceptible for illness and disease. In fact, when the body’s pH balance is too acidic, an individual is at an elevated risk of suffering from heart disease, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.
Another reason why an individual should work to promote a healthy alkaline balance is because cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment. On the pH scale, which ranges from one to fourteen, fourteen being highly alkaline, the human body should be about an 7.4 to 7.6 naturally. At a pH of 8.5, cancer cells can no longer survive. Therefore, a high alkaline diet can potentially decrease one’s risk of cancer or even help fight the disease.

How to Control the Body’s PH Levels Through Diet:
The best way to support a healthy acidic-alkaline balance within the body is to consume diet that is composed of 50% to 80% alkaline foods. For proper nutrition, it is still necessary to consume some acidic foods. These foods should just be limited to less than half of one’s diet.
Therefore, one’s diet should consist mostly of alkaline foods, including:
● Dried fruit, such as raisins, apricots, dates and bananas
● Potatoes
● Salad greens, including lettuce, spinach, and both red and green cabbage
● Leafy, green vegetables
● Assorted vegetables, like beets, peppers, garlic, squash, zucchini, and cucumber
● Natural fats, like nuts and black olives
● Certain grains, like buckwheat and corn
● Dairy products, including fresh butter, unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses, and whey protein
● Herbal teas and fresh vegetable juices

While alkaline foods are extremely healthy, it can be very difficult to maintain a high alkaline diet. A dieter must limit highly processed foods, sugary foods, fruits, meat, alcohol, and soda, as these foods are acidic.
Unfortunately, these foods can be difficult to cut back on, since they make up the majority of many people’s diets. However, it is important to remember that people who consume a great deal of acidic foods are generally those that are constantly ill or suffer from disease. Dieters must also remember that they do not have to avoid acidic foods completely, but simply limit them to around 20% to 40% of their diet.

What Can a Dieter Expect From a High Alkaline Diet?
Consuming a high alkaline diet can do wonders for one’s health. People that are frequently lethargic, anxious, irritable, and/or suffer from frequently colds or nasal congestion can benefit from a high alkaline diet. An alkaline diet can help prevent against the flu and even help the body produce less mucous.
Women that suffer from benign breast cysts or ovarian cysts can also benefit from a high alkaline diet. This diet can also protect the bones from osteoporosis, the muscles from losing mass, and help to prevent kidney stones. These are so many benefits from a high alkaline diet that many people never stop to consider. Even those concerned with losing weight will be happy to see what this diet can do for their body. Eating to support a healthy alkaline body balance will help dieters lose weight, prevent disease, and support great overall health.


Monday, September 24, 2012

"Thanks to YOU for sharing your knowledge and experience! Every retreat I learn something more about the practice and myself. Don't know how I managed all this time without it but I know I can't imagine my life without these retreats. Simply superb."
-September 2012 retreat guest 

THANK YOU - each and every one of you, that made this past retreat so special....
-Liz & Lynn

Monday, September 17, 2012

Almost Bikram Rereat time...

Sprouts , sprouts, sprouts...

So after taking a moment to pause at the sheer awesomeness of where we will be this week, I got my head back in the Sprouts and made sure my little babies were coming along nicely....Sprouts are the most powerful little plant.

Sprouts are one of the most complete and nutritional of all foods that exist. Sprouts are rich with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and enzymes. Their nutritional value was discovered by the Chinese thousands of years ago. Over the past several years, in the U.S., numerous scientific studies have shown the importance of sprouts in a healthy diet. 

Have you ever heard of a vegetable which continues to gain vitamins after you harvest it? Sprouts do this!!! Sprouts are LIVING foods. Even after you harvest your sprouts and refrigerate them, they will continue to grow slowly and their vitamin content will actually increase. Compare this with store-bought vegetables and fruits, which start losing their vitamin content as soon as they’re picked and often have to be shipped a thousand miles or more in the winter...and you will start sprouting too! Wow!

Setting up for a great week...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bikram doesn't sell cheesecakes but we do!

 Yes, you will be enjoying this....
right after you do this....
Yoga that will help melt it off raw cheesecake that won't put it back on!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sweet treats for my yogis ----


I’ve been pondering the kind of snack that the yogis coming to the retreat next week will eat up.. something that  is calorie-packed for a quick hit after a long day of enjoying class, hiking and the fresh clean air of The Green Mountains. Flipping through my recipe stack I came up with a snack that fits the bill, and is both tasty and uber-healthy.  These little raw bombs of goodness -

The great thing about raw foods is that they contain far more nutrition than their cooked counterparts. Raw foods also contain enzymes, the substances necessary to digest and absorb the nutrients inside them. When we don’t eat raw foods, our bodies must work hard to produce our own digestive enzymes, and after years of doing so, our ability to digest properly declines. 

Listen to this great little interview by Dr. Fred Bici on raw foods and health.....

You probably eat a lot of raw foods already: fruits, salads, smoothies – but here is a recipe for a raw food snack that will hopefully inspire you to include more raw foods in your diet – it’s easy!

The base for this snack comes from dates. I am a huge fan of these delicious, dried fruits because they taste just like brown sugar, but with tons of health benefits! They are power-packed energy nuggets, filled with nourishing carbohydrates, fiber and naturally occurring sugars, which are quickly assimilated in the body. They are also an excellent source of potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral your body needs to maintain muscle contractions including the vital heart muscle. Potassium is needed to maintain a healthy nervous system and to balance the body’s metabolism as well. In addition, dates are an excellent source of B-complex vitamins for energy, and magnesium to metabolize that energy. 

These snacks also contain nuts and seeds, which are excellent sources of healthy fats to satisfy hunger in a hurry, and vegetarian protein for non-meat eaters like me. You can mix and match the nuts and seeds to suit your dietary, nutritional, and flavour preferences. Just make sure you maintain the nut-to-fruit ratio for proper consistency.

Raw bombs

2 cups dates, chopped (or you can also use some raisins, cranberries, prunes, apricots)
2 cups nuts (I used walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds, but pecans, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias also work well.)

1. Set out a few sheets of parchment paper and a Tupperware container (you will have very sticky hands when you’ll need this)

2. Place the dates and /or other dried fruits in a food processor. Pulse until processed to a paste. Transfer paste to a medium bowl (don’t clean processor).

3. Add the nuts ( or your choice of seeds - add a little chia in there too - get creative!) to the processor and pulse until finely chopped (see photo above). Add the nuts, along with the cinnamon, to the bowl with the fruit paste. Use your fingers to knead the nuts into the paste (this is the fun part – kids love it too!)

4. Taking small amounts at a time, shape the kneaded fruit dough into small balls. You can roll the balls in sesame seeds, ( cacao, coconut, cinnamon, nuts etc.. get creative!)  which will prevent the balls from sticking together, but this is optional. I like the crunch it gives and the extra boost of calcium never hurts!

5. Store in layers, in parchment-lined containers in the refrigerator until you set off on your next energy-intense adventure, or simply come to one of our retreats and we will make them for you ;) !

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ah... the smell of coffee in the morning!

Most coffee lovers would agree (Including myself a native of Seattle - coffee central!), there’s nothing better than the smell of a fresh cup of coffee in the morning. As the aroma permeates the room, the senses are awakened. There’s nothing wrong with that first cuppa, but sadly the novelty and benefits start to disappear; as more cups are poured throughout the day attempting to recreate that first stimulating hit many of us have become addicted to.

Many people these days are making the switch to coffee alternatives, these people are attempting to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle. As with most drinks besides our precious water, coffee is only beneficial or acceptable when taken in moderation.

What are coffee alternatives?

Alternatives to coffee can provide the same pick me up benefits without as many negative side effects of excessive caffeine intake. We know that there will never be no substitute for the distinct character, taste and aroma provided by our loving coffee beans. Below I've categorized several coffee alternatives. This list will hopefully be a good start to help you break the cycle - or at least give you a switch up every once in a while when you feel the coffee running a little thick in your veins.

Energizing alternatives to coffee:

Reasons to drink coffee alternatives:

  • Bad breath – coffee leaves a residue that clings to the plaque in your mouth and infiltrates your digestive system. Traces of this residue are expelled back into the air every time you breathe out.
  • False sense of energy – the pick me up benefits are only short term. The energizing effect usually ends after the first one or two cups. Continuing to drink throughout the day makes you feel as though you have more energy but you don’t really – it does not help fatigue.
  • Hot coffee brings on hot flushes. It’s the combination of heat and the caffeine which causes the trigger. For example, having a chilled cola or hot herbal tea is fine.
  • Excessive coffee intake can aggravate the symptoms of incontinence (involuntary loss of urine). As a diuretic, caffeine irritates the bladder and stimulates muscle contractions. Coffee also contains other substances which irritate the bladder.
  • Caffeine disrupts sleep patterns.
  • Causes discomfort for people with irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Overuse increases the risk of heart palpitations.
  • Whilst unlikely to cause stomach ulcers, drinking coffee increases discomfort of peptic ulcers, since there is an increase in levels of stomach acids.
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – caffeine intake contributes to anxiety, irritability and breast tenderness.
  • Exacerbates the symptoms of Raynaud’s Syndrome by constricting blood vessels.
  • Giving up coffee has been shown to relieve restless leg syndrome.
  • Stress – large amounts of caffeine aggravates physical symptoms of anxiety and irritability.
  • Avoiding caffeine can help reduce tinnitus. The irritating noise can be worsened by blood vessels being constricted and temporarily raised blood pressure caused by coffee intake.
  • Stay away from coffee whilst you have a urinary tract infection. The caffeine can make peeing more painful. It can also increase the urinary urges by stimulating the muscular walls of the bladder.
  • Studies have shown that abstaining from caffeine (all caffeine & not just coffee) improves breast pain and other symptoms of benign breast changes.
  • Caffeine irritates the colon.
  • Dry mouth is worsened by caffeine.
  • Heartburn – caffeine and very hot drinks can irritate an already inflamed oesophagus.
  • Caffeine, not just hot coffee, can speed up dehydration and make you sweat more.
  • Impotence – since caffeine is a stimulant, it tends to constrict the smooth muscle that needs to dilate before an erection can occur.
  • Insomnia – caffeine should be avoided after 4pm to avoid disrupting your sleep.
  • Anxiety and panic attacks can be perpetuated with caffeine, because it recreates some of the symptoms experienced during panic attacks.
  • Caffeine is a drug and it’s addictive.
The news isn’t all bad.
Coffee does have benefits.
There’s no need to be stuck drinking just coffee alternatives. The recommended daily intake is two cups or one mug of coffee a day. So, unless your doctor advises otherwise, you can still enjoy that morning hit. Here are some incentives to take the guilt away:
  • Being a vasoconstrictor, coffee reduces the swelling of blood vessels that causes headaches. Drinking one to two cups of coffee can help reduce headaches and can also aid with a hangover. Keep your intake moderate to avoid jitters in addition to the hangover.
  • Studies have shown a lower risk of liver cirrhosis (particularly alcoholic cirrhosis) associated with properties found in coffee.
  • Reduces the risk of gallstone formation.
  • May help liver function by lowering levels of liver enzymes in the blood.
  • Reduces the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, Parkinson’s, diabetes type 2 and gout.
  • Coffee contains antioxidants which have been shown to prevent free radicals from causing cell damage.
  • A study has shown that people who drink four cups of coffee or more per day have a lower risk of irregular heartbeat and other heart-rhythm conditions than non-coffee drinkers or people who drink one or two cups a day.


Switching to coffee alternatives

If you consume coffee regularly and suddenly withhold your daily dose of caffeine, your blood vessels will dilate. This will possible give you a headache as well as other withdrawal symptoms. If you wish to completely cut coffee out of your diet, going cold turkey will most likely cause withdrawal headaches and other symptoms like tiredness and mild depression for the first few days. To ease the situation, try gradually cutting down before taking the plunge into your coffee-free or coffee-a-day lifestyle.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Did you know that raw cacao benefits human longevity and health without negative side effects?

Unlike processed dark chocolate, antioxidants are preserved in raw cacao. Benefits from keeping organic chocolate unheated include; much higher levels of the famous chocolate antioxidants (oligomeric procynanidins, resveratrol and the polyphenols: catechin and epicatechin) as well as the preservation of vitamin C, phenethylamine (PEA, the feel good neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of love!), Omega 6 fatty acids (which when heated become rancid and cause inflammation), tryptophan (a commonly deficient amino acid in those who consume a diet of mostly cooked food) and serotonin. The cool facts about chocolate in this article reveal how this fun and amazing superfood is actually healthy for you!
It turns out that all the bad things commonly attributed to non-raw chocolate bars, such as cavities, weight gain and diabetes, are actually caused by the dairy, sugar and others fillers added to the dark chocolate. Health benefits of chocolate when it is in the form of raw cacao beans, butter, nibs and/or the powder include; weight loss (because of its high chromium and coumarin content), prevention of cavities (theobromine actually kills streptococci mutans one of the strains of bacteria that cause tooth decay) and regulation of blood sugar which is beneficial for diabetes (chromium can naturally regulate blood sugar). Also raw cacao benefits the heart and the entire cardiovascular system as a whole.
Cacao is the highest whole food source of magnesium, which also happens to be the most deficient mineral in the diet of modern cultures. Magnesium relaxes muscles, improves peristalsis in the bowels and relaxes the heart and cardiovascular system. The dark chocolate antioxidants have been clinically proven to literally dissolve plaque built up in the arteries which helps in reversing heart disease and causes naturally lower blood pressure. Also, various other vitamins and minerals in raw cacao benefits the cardiovascular system

Now where to get it? Here is just one of many great resources out there!:

How do I make things with it? Here is just one of my favorite ideas - a smoothie that is are real meal!


Ingredients:• ¼ cup hemp seeds (or use soaked almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds etc.)
• 2 heaping Tbsp. raw cacao powder
• 1/2 Avocado
• 1 very large frozen banana (or 2 small)
• 2 Tbsp. raw honey, agave, or maple syrup
• dash sea salt
• 1 cup water
• 4 ice cubes

Directions:1. Blend all the ingredients together; add water to thin if desired. It’s a thick one, folks!
**And although the urge to chug may take over, don’t forget to “chew” your milkshake for better digestion! Very important.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Veggie McDonald's?

12 hours ago – McDonald's Corp. (MCD) will swap its trademark burgers for potato sandwiches when it....McDonald's Plans First Vegetarian Restaurants in India ... ...



So when you come to one of our retreats you are basically floating in cucumber juice - why? Keep reading - then go out and get your juice on! The Cucumber is one of the best things in the world for you!
Cucumber is a vegetable belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family of plants along with other members such as pumpkin, bottle guard and zucchinis. Cucumbers contain large quantities of water, which is naturally pure and thus superior to normal water. The skin of cucumber contains high amounts of vitamin A and must not be wasted by peeling it off. Cucumber contains vitamin B complex in low quantities and high amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A. Both vitamins, A and C are antioxidants and protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. It also contains alkaline-forming minerals like manganese, potassium, molybdenum, sulfur, silica, sodium, calcium, chlorine and phosphorus. The many benefits of consuming cucumber are:
1.Helps in curing acidity.
The presence of alkaline minerals makes cucumber very effective in treating problem of acidity. Cucumber juice is alkaline in nature and helps in effective regulation of pH levels of the human blood pH.
2.Aids in maintaining blood pressure.
Due to the presence of high amounts of many minerals and low quantity of sodium, cucumber helps to regulate blood pressure.
3.Helps in building connective tissues.
Cucumbers are excellent sources of silica a mineral that
contributes in the proper building of connective tissues in human body. This connective tissue helps in the formation of bones, cartilage, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
4.Acts as a diuretic.
Cucumber acts as a diuretic and encourages the removal of waste products from the body through urination. Regular intake of cucumber helps to dissolve stones in the kidneys.
Cucumber taken in the form of juice helps to regulate body temperature during summers. It is also used for reducing high fever.
6.Helps in curing inflammation.
Cucumber helps to remove toxic deposition of uric acid, which is responsible for causing inflammation and pain in joints. Thus, intake of cucumber helps to treat inflammatory conditions like gout, arthritis and asthma
7.Beneficial for the skin.
Due to the presence of anti-oxidants like vitamin C and other cucumber is very beneficial for the skin. It is an important ingredient of many beauty lotions and creams used for treating skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and acne.
8.Beneficial for the teeth.
Cucumber is quite beneficial for people suffering from problems of teeth and gums. It is especially used by patients suffering from pyorrhea.
**When buying cucumbers, choose the ones that are firm to touch and dark green in color. Store them in the refrigerator so that they retain their freshness untill you consume them.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Shake-Out The Fake-Out : Parmela Vegan Parmesan

While I love my raw pine nut Parmesan all over fresh tomatoes, a garlic - y vegan caesar, or some kale or zucchini noodles,  I realize that not everyone has a dehydrator - or the time to whip up a batch of that cheeze goodness or resources to that - unless they are on retreat with us SO... here is an excellent alternative to get your vegan cheeze on from Parmela Foods

Parmela is like the Cinderella story of vegan cheese. With a lovely base of nutritional yeast, cashews and almonds, our parm princess just needed the fairy godmother of fermentation to make her believe(able). Seriously, this product has a truly cheesy profile..the closest we've tasted to the 'real thing.'  Enclosed in an elegant glass container, Parmela is the true belle of any vegan ball.

Locate Parmela here:

Bikram in Boston?...

Bikram Yoga founder stretches out at Legal Harborside...

Word up! Start your day with a big cup o' juice!

The Gerson Therapy : Gerson Institute

Sep 16, 2011 – The Gerson Therapy is a natural treatment that activates the body's extraordinary ability ...

Monday, September 3, 2012


Do you Twitter Too? If you like what you see here, sign up to follow us and get up to the minute updates about what is hot what is not. SEARCH AND FOLLOW: BIKRAM RETREAT

Sacramento yoga studios offer free classes for Labor Day

This Labor Day, yoga studios around Sacramento and in cities around the country will offer free yoga classes as part of a loosely organized event called Free Day of Yoga.... READ ON, THEN GET YOUR STRETCH ON!

Read more here:

Bikram Yoga shapes Ironman Triathletes --

TRIATHLON trainings are composed of strenuous routines aimed at developing a tough body that can withstand long hours worth of swimming, biking and running. But a key to stronger endurance lies not only in such intensive workouts, but also in 90 focused minutes of stretching poses.... READ MORE HERE:

Sunday, September 2, 2012



What you knew:
Packed with antioxidants and other photochemicals, kale supports immunity and cancer prevention

What you didn't know:
It is one of the best dietary sources of Vitamin A & K, both important to bone health.

Try this dressing.
With it you can eat literally pounds of kale without even realizing it.

1/2C    Raw Almond butter
1/8C    Lime juice + to taste
1/4C    Organic Olive Oil (optional: + 1 T roasted peanut oil)
1/4C    Filtered water + to desired consistency
1 1/2T Pressed ginger
1 1/2t  Sea Salt
dash    Nama Shoyu(wheat fr ee)
4         Garlic cloves minced
7         Soaked dates ( reserve soak water to help blend)
           Rooster chili sauce
1/4C    Chopped Cilantro
  1. Using a powerful blender add all liquids, seasonings, garlic, ginger and soaked dates; blend. Slowly add the almond butter and blend to desired consistency using soak & filtered water to thin..
  2. Add cilantro last and pulse to blend
  3. Adjust seasonings, garlic, ginger, lime and chili sauce to taste