Health Basics

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Our first piece of equipment

After officially launching Basic Healthy Living I am pleased to announce that my first piece of kitchen equipment has arrived. I already have what I call the "Chapman Family Nutrition Center" which consists of a Vitamix blender, A Breville Juice Fountain, A Big Berkey Water Filtration System and a food Processor.
Chapman Family Nutrition Center
Excalibur 9-tray food dehydrator
(Wow I'm starting to sound like a product junkie.) But now, I can add an Excalibur 9-tray dehydration system to the collection. It's still in the box as I was busy today with consultations, a run to the farmer's market, (which in case you didn't know can take me anywhere from 2-4 hours especially if I have to take the kids) return phone calls and emails along with preparing dinner. Phew, I'm tired just typing it all. Nonetheless, I am grateful as I am doing what I love so it's not really work right? 

So you may ask, what is a dehydrator and why on earth does your business need that?  It's pretty self explanatory, duh? But seriously, under the Basic Healthy Living Lifestyle (that's a new phrase that I've coined, you'll hear a lot more about it soon)  I support the belief that the best way to obtain the maximum amount of nutrition from the foods we eat is to eat it in it's uncooked state. This does not mean that one should never eat cooked food, but what is means is that a consorted effort should be made to consume as many raw vegetables and fruit as you can daily. Why is this important? Its important because vegetables and fruit contain some pretty serious vitamins, minerals and enzymes that when cooked, are destroyed. By eating more raw foods, your body does not have to work as hard to digest the foods which gives your body more energy to spend in other areas. This in turn can make you feel younger, healthier and happier. 

Have you ever had a pot of dead collard greens? Sure you have. Grandma or your mom (depending on how old you are) washed each collard green leaf carefully, rolled it up real tight, sliced it up nice and thin, threw it in a pot, slathered it in bacon grease, fat back and perhaps a ham hock or two, threw in some vinegar, hot sauce and if she was really jazzy, a green pepper. The greens then get boiled to death, simmered until they were nice and limp, then subsequently served on a plate or in a bowl with a side of corn bread if you have true southern roots. These "greens" are no longer the life-giving, nutrient-dense, healing leaf that God intended it to be. Do they taste good? Perhaps. But how much of a deposit is it making into your "health savings account?" 

Okay okay okay so getting back to the dehydrator. Dehydrated foods can date back to the days of ancient Egyptian civilization where the sun was used to preserve freshly harvested food. Even Christopher Columbus on his voyage to America carried dried fruit & vegetables. When you dehydrate foods at a temperature below 118 degrees, you are able to preserve and retain the vital nutrients in the food. You can dehydrate practically anything. From apples and pineapples, to okra and asparagus. (If you haven't had okra chips, you don't know what you are missing!) Dehydrated foods can be reconstituted and re-hydrated practically back to their original state. This is great for making soups, sauces or for when you travel. 

I am so excited about my dehydrator. If you are ever in the Atlanta area you'll be able to see the dehydrator in action at one of our seminars or at a Basic Healthy Living Lifestyle cooking class. I'll be sure to bring plenty of raw food snacks such as flax crackers, onion rings, and Kale Chips (yum!) for you to enjoy.  I cannot wait to make the kids some real "fruit roll ups" tomorrow. 

Happy Drying! 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Jerk Chickpeas...and it's VEGAN!!!!

So I was in my kitchen today and I had an amazing craving for Jerk Chicken. Well, as a vegan/raw foodist, I can't go chomping down on some chicken so I have a recipe that will make any Jamaican fall in love with me...I mean it. The flavors are perfect and I must say, I KILLED IT!

I licked the bowl.  Don't judge me.

Vegan Jerk Chickpeas & Coconut Brown Rice

3 tablespoons Fresh squeezed Lime Juice
2 tablespoons Tamari or Nama Shoyu (vegan soy sauce)
2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 small tomato chopped (squeeze it some to make it really juicy and sloppy)
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes (crushed red pepper, more or less depending on HOT tolerance
1 can of chickpeas or 2 cups of fresh cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup of chopped onions
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder. 

For Rice:
1 Cup brown rice
pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Garnish (optional)
Sliced avocado
cilantro leaves
lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the rice: Add the rice to the water with the sea salt and coconut oil. Bring to a boil. Once it boils, put the lid on the pot, turn to low and LEAVE THE POT ALONE. DO NOT OPEN IT AT ALL. (Yes, I am yelling. When you open the pot, you let the steam out and this is what causes brown rice to be hard. It will take forever to cook if you do this.

While the rice is cooking, mix all ingredients together except the chickpeas, cilantro, and onions and arrowroot powder. Stir really well. Add chickpeas, onions, and cilantro.

Bake in oven covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Take foil off and bake for another 5-7 minutes. Stir in arrowroot powder and the "sauce" will thicken.

Check on your rice. (YOU CAN OPEN THE POT NOW.) Give it a stir. Most if not all of the liquid should be absorbed. If there is a little left, you can turn off the stove and let the steam do the work or let it cook just a wee bit longer. 

Serve the chickpeas over the brown rice with slices of fresh avocado, a squeeze of lime juice and a few cilantro leaves.

Leave a comment and let me know how you like it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Green Smoothie? But it's Green

I decided to write about green smoothies today because I didn't realize just how many people have never heard of it. So what is a green smoothie? A green smoothie is a drink that contains 1 or more fruits of  your choice with a designated amount of greens added to it. A typical green smoothie recipe goes a little something like this:

{Water} +{ Banana + Peach + Mango}+{ handful of Spinach, Kale, Parsley, or Romaine}+ Ice

 = Health is a glass. 

Green smoothies are a perfect way to get more greens into your diet. Green are Alkaline and help raise your body's pH. Sickness and disease cannot live in an Alkaline environment. Most of us are not eating the amount of greens that we should, so having a green smoothie daily is another way to overcome this deficiency.

Green smoothies taste amazing. The taste of the greens are masked by the blend of fruits you choose. The key to making a good green smoothie is to K.I.S.-keep it simple. Use no more than 3 or 4 different fruits and only add 1 type of greens. Be sure to rotate your greens as well. By this I mean don't make a green smoothie with only spinach for weeks and weeks on end. Switch it up.  When starting out on a green smoothie journey, your smoothie ratio should be 60% fruit and 40% greens. Once you've been drinking green smoothies for awhile you will be able to tolerate having a higher ratio of greens.

Feel free to use berries and other fruits. Experiment. There are so many possibilities. Green smoothies are excellent meal replacements. Due to the decreased burden on your digestive system, you will find that you have more energy, including the energy needed to exercise.

Here are some of the benefits you can expect from drinking green smoothies:

  • Improved digestion
  • Increased energy
  • Improved Vision
  • Weight Loss
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Fewer cravings for sugar and processed foods
  • Stabilized blood sugar
Don't be afraid of the color green. Green represents balance and harmony. It can also signify ambition, prosperity, peace, safety. Green is life.

Have you ever had a green smoothie? If not, do you think you'd be willing to try one? If you've had one, what was your experience? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I just have to share this

My new friend and client, Tyeisha Hilbert from Journaling Through Healing has completed the Full Body Detox followed by a Blood Cleanse regimen that I placed her on. I suggested she complete this regimen after completing the Full Body Detox since she was dealing with an autoimmune disorder that manifested itself through the skin and joints. I cannot and will not take credit for that which belongs to God. God created and designed the human body to heal. It does so when we get out of the way and give it what it needs to thrive. When we get rid of the junk that's been holding us back (toxins, negative emotions, etc) great things happen. I wanted to share an update with all of you regarding how she is doing. Better yet, let me just show you.
Before Detox

Before Detox

After Detox

After Detox
There isn't much left for me to say. Tye is learning how to nourish herself and is walking in her healing. I commend her on her discipline and willingness to embrace something different. She didn't allow fear to hold her back. She could have listened to the doctors who tried to put her back on a regimen of toxic drugs after they failed to figure out exactly what was wrong with her. But she made a decision, a leap of faith, based on having consciousness of who her creator is and what he promised her. No matter what the disease or pathology you are suffering from, healing CAN be yours.