Sunday, 24 February 2008

Seaweed Safety and Spices...

I’m writing from the southern tip of Lake Taupo in New Zealand today...what a STUNNING area – the lake is just vaaaaast :) We’ve been travelling quite a lot the last few days, LOVING the scenery here, marvelling at the myriad hues of green, the enormous stretches of land, land, land, sans human settlements, the gorgeous pristine waters...yummy…we also gave talks yesterday in Tauranga – thanks to ye’ all who came out to play – it was fun :) We’re on our way south fact, we’ve just confirmed we’ll be speaking in Wellington in a couple of months' time. We’ll be at the Crossways Community Centre, (Cnr Elizabeth & Brougham Streets) on Saturday 19 April from 3.30pm to 7.30pm, with a raw potluck after...hope to see you there if you’re in the area – you can see full details and book your place HERE:

on February the 22nd I had:

2 quarts water
juice of 3 mandarins juiced in the mouth ;)
20oz of celery/cucumber/parsley/spinach/lambs’ quarters/carrot juice
bowl of fruit salad with chia gel: papaya/dragon fruit/banana/peach/cherries/blueberries
1 quart water
1 tbsp green powders: wheatgrass and barley grass
bowl of homemade tahini/brazil nut butter mixed with mung bean sprouts, diced tomatoes/garlic, karengo seaweed, stuffed in lettuce leaves and nori sheets
1 quart water

This question came in recently about seaweed:

“I wonder about mercury in seaweed? If we must worry about mercury in fish, wouldn't it be in the seaweed also?”

Hmmmm, thanks for the Q...well, while personally I don’t feel that I ‘must’ worry about anything, I was intrigued about the content of this message and so asked our primary seaweed supplier - ‘Maine Coast Sea Veg’ for their feedback – here was what they had to say on the matter:

“Our mercury levels are so low that we actually stopped testing for several years. We started again in response to customer requests for the information.
The levels for mercury have been consistently
undetected at 0.04 ppm.

We do testing for heavy metals every year, at the end of the harvest season.
I have attached our Statement of Product Testing for 2007, which is the last year for which data is available. You can also check out the same document in our FAQ section online, at

I hope that this is helpful. If you have any questions, please do not
hesitate to contact me. Yours in Health,
Rae Urban”

Hmmmmm, interesting, eh? Hope that helps y’all feel even more yummy about munching on the ocean’s weedy wonders...I am SOOO into seaweeds at the moment, as you may have noticed in my daily food logs ;) Karengo, wakame, kelp, nori – LOVING it and it’s definitely nice to know I’m not massively stacking up my toxin load simultaneously... ;)
Ok, double-whammy food log now, due to being ex communicado on the road for a while there... ;)

on February the 23rd I had:

1.5 quarts water
3 mandarins
16oz carrot/cucumber/ginger/mint juice
bowl of cherries
2 cups carrot juice with Greener Grasses powder stirred in
3 cups water
bowl of fruit salad with chia gel: banana/blueberries/cherries/mulberries
1 quart water
2 cups carrot juice
bowl of avo mushed with diced tomatoes/garlic, mixed sprouts, karengo seaweed & cumin powder, served in lettuce leaves and nori rolls
1 quart water

on February the 24th I had:

2 quarts water
3 mandarins
24oz celery/cucumber/cabbage/parsley/spinach/lambs’ quarters/carrot juice
lettuce wraps stuffed with seed pate (soaked sunflower seeds/sundried tomatoes, blended with garlic), diced tomatoes, sprouts and seaweed
1 quart water
1 tbsp green powders
bowl of chia gel with fruit salad – blueberries, cherries, mulberries and apple
1.5 quarts water

Here’s another recent Q – from Ms. Amy...

“I'm wondering: do you use any kind of spices in your dishes (pepper, oregano, etc)? I'm just curious. I don't know if going without spices is for me, so I'll probably keep them personally, but I was just curious what "real" raw foodies do! Thanks. Making The Transition in Pennsylvania – Amy”

Thanks for the Q Amy :) Well...everyone’s different of course and some raw foodies will use herbs and spices, whereas others aren’t interested in them...I’ll certainly share with you what THIS ‘real raw foodie’ does though ;)
I rarely use spices anymore in foods I make myself – I do go through spates though where I might get REALLY into something – like cumin for example – some of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while might remember I got really into eating cumin with avocado and lime a while back – I was eating it literally every day, then I was just...done, not really interested anymore – though, coincidentally, I did get some out of the cupboard here yesterday in fact and enjoyed a bit with my meal ;) Sometimes I get interested in cayenne pepper and I think that may happen again soon...I feel it coming ;) Cayenne is an extraordinarily healing food – if you’ve never looked into the properties of it, I’d definitely recommend it – especially for anyone in cold, wintery places right now ;) I also absolutely LOOOOOOOVE cinnamon and just got a new bag of it a few days ago, so will start using that again soon, most likely…other than that, hmmmm...I don’t use much myself in the way of spices...
Herbs I enjoy include parsley, cilantro, mint and basil – the first two we use pretty often in juices and sometimes in salads/savoury meals, whereas basil and mint I tend to find more awkward to use in meals – it always seems like when you buy them, they come in huge bunches and unless I make pesto or ice cream or smthg, it just seems like way too much to deal with in one go, so I tend to just not even bother getting either of them ;) I’m not much into using dried herbs myself either... HOWEVER, if I eat some pre-prepared raw food like crackers or smthg that someone’s made, which contain herbs or spices, I usually feel fine about it. Mr Monarch on the other hand has been at this raw game longer than me and is not so enamoured of spices – he’s very sensitive to them and really feels the effect strongly when they’re in foods – he prefers to avoid them. A lot of raw foodists actually don’t feel good about eating herbs/spices – usually it’s people more into Natural Hygiene ideas who feel that way . Here’s a little blurb I wrote recently on spices that might help explain why, if this seems odd to you:

“Spices tend to be powdered forms of certain plants, in concentrations you would not easily come across in nature. Spices are made by powdering down a large amount of some bark, root, or other plant matter. You might even have a spice blend. The concentrated intensity of the spice can throw the body a bit out of balance, as you are getting a much bigger ‘hit’ of this food than you’d naturally be able to get hold of if you were just foraging things to eat in the wild. This can distort taste buds, block your ability to sense when you’ve eaten enough and so encourage eating in excess.”

As for the herbs, well, as mentioned above, some of them just don’t seem that easy to use – if you can’t imagine eating a whole bunch of mint or basil for a meal, some people question the idea of bothering to use them at all...;) Well...different courses for different horses – I hope that’s given you some ideas anyway about raw foodie herb/spice interactions...

One love,
Angela. xxx


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