Friday, October 23, 2009

The Kind Diet

Alicia Silverstone was in Portland this week at Powell's Books to present her just-released, fantastic, new book: The Kind Diet. I attended her talk and got an autographed book for myself. I have to say I was very impressed with her speech and, so far, her book (though I'm only 27 pages into it). When I first learned of her book, I was a bit skeptical. I thought she would just be another vegan presenting a book full of recipes utilizing rancid vegetable oils, tofu, and refined products -- recipes I would not be interested in. I was completely wrong.

Alicia presents a spectacular approach to veganism with which I can completely agree because she combines the pursuit of veganism along with the pursuit of health (body & planet). She also approaches it with compassion, not only for the animals whose lives she is saving, but also for herself. She does not deny herself dinners out or a bite of dessert (even one that contains a touch of dairy) because she does so consciously. She eats well before and after an indulgence and remains aware of how such an indulgence makes her feel physically.

The Kind Diet is fun and interesting to read. Alicia shares her personal story, the science supporting a vegan diet, meal plans, and delicious recipes that will make you never want for meat and dairy. It is inspirational and motivating even for myself who is already convinced. Of all the vegan/vegetarian books I have read thus far, this is my favorite!

I caught a glimpse of a few recipes while flipping through the book such as sweet potato-lentil stew, ginger pasta with zucchini, and chocolate peanut butter cups. Perhaps not all her ingredients will meet my standards, but I can always swap those out for something I prefer.

If you are battling with fatigue, weight gain, skin problems, low energy, inflammation, heart disease, allergies, asthma, cloudy thinking, or other health problems, a vegan diet may help eliminate those struggles. By adopting a vegan diet, Alicia eliminated allergies, achieved her ideal body weight, got rid of cystic acne, gained vibrant energy for living, and experiences greater self awareness.

If you would like to explore the vegan diet but still need some inspiration and direction for how to begin, Alicia's book is a fantastic starting point. It's all a journey. Allow yourself to take a step.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Raw Power Breakfast

My favorite mid-morning breakfast (after my green smoothie, of course) is a sprouted buckwheat cereal with Hazelnut milk. So good! This combo will stave off hunger all morning. Just yesterday I prepared for a long trek up Mount St. Helens by starting off with a coconut smoothie and the buckwhat cereal I'm going to share with you today. It did the trick and gave me the energy I needed for the climb.

Raw Sprouted Buckwheat Cereal


At least 8 hours beforehand, you will need to sprout some raw buckwheat groats, raw sunflower seeds, and raw pumpkin seeds. Amounts don't matter much here; you just make as much as you want and keep the ingredients in the refrigerator for the next day. I sprout each of these items overnight by soaking them in water. In the morning, I drain the water and rinse the seeds. I store the sprouted sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a jar in the refrigerator and continue to rinse the buckwheat for another 8-24 hours. I sprout the buckwheat just until I can see little tails poking out, but I do not want them to get too long.

Once you have your sprouted seeds and buckwheat, combine the ingredients in a bowl in the following approximate amounts:

  • 1/2 C. Buckwheat
  • 1/4 C. Sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C. Pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp. Chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/8 C. Raisins
  • 1 tsp. Slippery Elm Bark powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Licorice Root powder

Top the combo with homemade Hazelnut Milk made as follows:


  • 1/2 C. Raw Hazelnuts
  • 4 Dates
  • 1" Vanilla Bean
  • 3 C. Filtered water

  1. Sprout the Hazelnuts overnight by soaking them in filtered water.
  2. Rinse the nuts in the morning and put them in your blender.
  3. Add the dates, vanilla bean, and about half the water to the blender.
  4. Blend on high for approximately 3 minutes.
  5. Add what remains of the water.
  6. Adjust the sweetness with dates and consistency with water.


Sprouts are an energy-giving food. As Ann Wigmore states in her book, they are "biogenic--alive--and capable of transferring their life energy to your body." You should incorporate as many sprouts into your regular diet. Sprouting your nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes increases the vitamin and mineral content significantly as well as increases the digestibility. Check out Ann Wigmore's book The Sprouting Book to read about the amazing benefits of sprouts.

Pumpkin seeds and Sunflower seeds provide high quality proteins and fats, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, and vitamin E. By eating the seeds sprouted, those nutrients are ready and available to nourish your body.

Chia seeds provide amino acids for rebuilding tissues and Omega-3 oils to keep your brain and joints healthy and to assist in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.

The Slippery Elm/Licorice combination is a great addition to soothe, heal, lubricate, and nourish the entire digestive tract. Both act to calm inflamed mucous membranes and tissues.