Nutritional craziness: Kitchen transitions – Coeur d’Alene Press

To live in this day and time of nutrition is crazy making! What ever happened to the days of simplicity? You ate what you grew or raised, exchanged some food with neighbors, cooked it at home, and that was about it. Of course you also dealt with times of famine that most of us have never experienced. But today, we have such a tremendous variety of food that comes from all over the world, that it boggles the mind.

But, along with that, comes the relatively new field of “nutrition”. Becoming a matter of subject, nutrition has only been delineated, then controversial, for about 100 years. Fraught with inconsistencies, exaggerations, either a “miracle” food or supplement or just plain bad for you. Some “foods” and “drinks” today don’t deserve to even be classified as a food/drink! What’s more, I don’t think there is a single food that someone hasn’t found something bad about and recommends the consumer not to eat.

If that weren’t enough, how food is grown, processed, prepared in our kitchens and preserved has all come under scrutiny by the public (for good reason!).

So how do we sort through the quagmire of special interests, marketing hype, diets and fanatical dogmas to get down to what you should really eat and drink?

There are some nutritional fundamentals that have been solid during most of the past few generations, at least. The most solid of all is vegetables. I don’t believe there is any dietary regime that is against the lowly vegetable. Packed with an array of nutrients essential to running our organism, universally available to all areas of the world, relatively cheap to grow, vegetables take the prize. But even here, controversy abounds. Raw food proponents believe all vegetables should be consumed raw. While the enzymes/nutrients are undoubtedly essential, too much raw can create problems in the body. Therefore, the field of macrobiotics believes that no vegetable should be eaten raw, all should be cooked. While there is value in cooked vegetables as well, breaking down some components otherwise tough on our sensitive digestive systems, I still believe we need both. So here is the point: nutrition is not black or white.

We, as a society, tend to be extremists. It’s all or nothing, black or white. It is as true with our diets as it is with our health. As with all aspects of life, there needs to be a balance. I prefer to look at things, especially diet-wise as a gradient. There are “bad” foods, on the bottom of the list, and “clean” or “super” foods at the top of the list. Every time you can move it up on the gradient scale, even if for just a few meals a week, the better.

In an upcoming class, Kitchen Transitions, tonight 7 p.m. at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene we will be discussing these “gradients” for foods such as fats, sugar, grains, meats, fruits, veggies, etc. and how to create good, simple meals, free of nutritional craziness for yourself and your family. Fee: $10. RSVP: (208) 765-1994.


Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. She is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit to learn more about her, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at (208) 765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

Home-Made Dog Food – Make High Quality Dog-Food At Home – Part 2

According to Donald R. Strombeck (DVM, PhD.) in the book, Dog and Cat Diets; The Healthful Alternative – most commercial foods wrongly contain carbohydrates as their PRIMARY energy source.

He also says that while dogs can digest some carbohydrates, an estimated 20% pass through undigested.

The excessive levels of carbohydrates in some commercial foods are there mainly to add bulk, and since they are not entirely digested are just wasted space in the can or bag!

The beauty in homemade dog food is that you control the amount of carbohydrates and can vary it according to your individual dogs needs!

Several home recipes for dog food feature a rice component because it is one of the best assimilated sources of carbohydrates for dogs.

White rice digests the fastest, while brown is much more slowly digested, due to the protective rice husk. Diabetic dogs benefit from the slower energy release of brown rice or a mixture of the two.

I have also used pasta, either white or whole meal, depending on what I am making. But you WILL find that dogs, like us – prefer white pasta?

Try using both fresh vegetables and frozen mixed vegetables – the frozen home brand vegetables are convenient and very cost effective. Studies I have read for humans, show that frozen vegetables are almost as nutritious as fresh.

These days we choose to cook our dog food, and the dogs LOVE it – but if you prefer the concept of a BARF diet (bones and raw food) you can also leave it raw, especially if you are using human grade meat sources!

One of the main reasons many vets recommend cooked meat over raw is that of food safety. Cooking meat kills many harmful bacteria – however if you start with quality human grade meat or verified fresh pet meat, the risk is greatly reduced.

On page 26 of his book Stromberg says “Dogs and cats in the wild select diets containing negligible fiber. Thus, dogs and cats have low requirements for fiber.”

Most recipes for homemade dog food have small amounts of vegetable fibre, this will be more than sufficient for your dog.

It has recently been discovered that Omega 3 & Omega 6 are helpful with human health – so too with dogs. Dogs need more Omega 6 than Omega 3.Recipes for homemade dog food should always contain good sources of both Omega 3 & 6 in LSA (linseed, sunflower, almond).

I also supplement with fish, olive and additional sunflower oil, to provide extra sources and to assist in keeping skin and coat condition. Our Staffordshire Bull Terriers are known to be prone to some skin conditions and grass allergies, the use of these oils can help to reduce these problems.

When using my recipes for homemade dog food – you can use pretty well any herbs you like in moderation – BUT do be careful with pepper and chili in large quantity – it may cause irritation to some dogs an especially puppies.

I use curry powder, additive free stock powder and tomato paste in my recipes, these are added for flavouring only.

NEVER add any sort of onion to dog food, they lack the ability to digest it and can make them ill. Onion in sufficient quantity can kill your dog!

If you are ready to give your dog the absolute BEST food that you possibly can; while still SAVING REAL $$$ compared to the putrid stuff they pack into cans and bags – then visit my site for more information!

Thanks for your interest!


My dog’s raw diet

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The Quest For Fitness

Vegan Cooking School Options

So you’re vegan and have this passionate love of food. You would like to pursue this passion further, but you’re not sure what the vegan cooking school options are out there. Happily, there are plenty! There are quite a few schools that focus on plant-based meals, and many that aren’t exclusively vegan can be geared toward you, so you won’t find yourself chopping chickens and preparing fish if you’re not into that.

There are many casual plant-based cooking classes around the world if you’re looking for something just for fun without any fancy certification. In this article, though, I focus more on professional programs that have varying degrees of intensity. Some require only a little time and money if you don’t want to be a professional chef; others will take you the full distance to running your own kitchen.

Without further ado and in no particular order, here’s a list of some popular schools around the world, with some information about each.

Living Light Culinary Arts Institute
Where is it? Fort Bragg, California
What do they offer? 100% vegan and raw food instruction
When do the programs run? Multiple times a year, depending on the program

The Living Light Culinary Arts Institute is located in a small coastal community on the Mendocino coast. If you love the ocean, temperate weather, and raw vegan cuisine, you’ll love this school. Run by Cherie Soria, the “mother of raw food”, this is THE raw foods institute. This is the one that draws people in from all around the world and produces top-of-the-line celebrity chefs of all kinds.

There are several types of courses, including a Gourmet Chef Certification Series (6 weeks), Advanced Instructor Training Certification Series (4 weeks), Raw Food Nutrition Educator Series, and the full-out Professional Chef Series, which runs almost an entire year, including a 250-day internship at the school.

Many of the well-known raw food chefs around the world went to Living Light for their training, including Chad Sarno and Jennifer Cornbleet.

The Natural Gourmet Institute
Where is it? New York, NY
What do they offer? Public classes and professional chef training that are plant-based and vegan-friendly
When do the programs run? Inquire by e-mail on their website

The Chef’s Training program they offer is an intensive, professional course which can be taken part-time or full-time, but runs 619 hours. This school does teach people how to prepare seafood, chicken and eggs, but if you’re vegan you can opt out of that. This school teaches a wide range of cooking styles, including how to ferment, prepare raw foods and macrobiotic foods, and even Chinese medicine and medicinal cooking. The emphasis is on whole, plant foods.

The Natural Gourmet Institute offers a fun Friday night dinner, where the people enrolled in the school prepare a fine-dining experience for the general public at big, communal tables (with candlelight!), so if you’re in the area, you could swing by and see what it’s all about.

The Matthew Kenney Academyformerly the 105 Degrees Academy
Where is it? Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
What do they offer? Chef certification program in raw foods
When do the programs run? Monthly, or several times a year for the more advanced classes

Matthew Kenney offers very small and personal raw food chef’s training classes (typically 4-8 people). It’s designed for beginners and chefs alike.

There are two 4-week training sessions – Level 1: Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine, and Level 2: Advanced Raw Cuisine. The Level 1 courses run every month and is Monday to Friday, 9am – 3pm. The Level 2 course runs 4 times a year and is the same hours as the Level 1 classes.

Cordon Vert School
Where is it? Altrincham, Cheshire, UK
What do they offer? Vegetarian leisure classes and workshops, a diploma program for professional chefs only
When do the programs run? Several times throughout the year; programs are short

The Cordon Vert School offers classes at their Vegetarian Society headquarters, and they even have rooms for lodging. They have a variety of vegetarian courses, ranging from 1 to 2 day workshops, classes for leisure, and professional classes. Their professional diploma class, a week in duration, is only available to professional chefs. However, their workshops and leisure courses are open to the general public, and occur frequently throughout the year.

Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts
Where is it? Austin, Texas
What do they offer? Full professional chef program that is vegan-friendly, public classes
When do the programs run? Begins every August and February

This school specializes in vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, ayurvedic and raw food preparation and cuisine. They offer a full 900-hour professional chef training program. All of the training takes approximately a third of a year, if you jump straight from training into internship. This is an intensive course that will fully prepare you to work in a natural kitchen.

They also offer public classes, though they’re sparse and seldom due to the emphasis on the professional chef training program.

The School of Natural Cookery
Where is it? Boulder, Colorado
What do they offer? Professional training as a foundation course, with the option to go further
When do the programs run? Most are in the Fall and Spring

The foundation course at the School of Natural Cookery is a 16-week diploma course where you learn fundamentals, bread making, gastronomy, nutrition and more. If you achieve a very high mark in this course, you may take a 4-week personal chef course or teacher training course. However, in order to pursue the teacher training course, you must have finished their classes as well as have five years experience with natural food.

Courses are typically offered for a spring semester and a fall semester and run the duration of a typical school semester.

Vegan Culinary Academy
Where is it? Anguin, California
What do they offer? Online courses and a 1000 hour professional apprenticeship
When do the programs run? Anytime

There are two major highlights of this school – first, someone who is looking for a professional apprenticeship opportunity will find it here, and it can be completed in six months to two years depending on how much you work, and second, they offer a distance learning program. The online program requires only that you have a camera and a computer with internet, and each student gets personal attention from the instructors in addition to all of the class materials and lessons. The apprenticeship is geared toward those who are already chefs, dietitians or food service directors.

Heaven on Earth Vegetarian Institute
Where is it? Hamilton-Stoney Creek, Ontario
What do they offer? A vegan, macrobiotic and ayurvedic 3-module program
When do the programs run? Mid-October to mid-March for all 3 modules

This institute offers a Holistic Health Consultant & Cooking Certification program that runs in 3 modules and goes far beyond cooking. It delves into many aspects of holistic health, including yoga, pranayama, diet and lifestyle changes for preventing diseases, and of course healthy food preparation. All of the cooking is vegan with the exception of one class, where fish is included.

Natural Kitchen Cooking School
Where is it? Mercerfield, New Jersey, Haddonfield, New Jersey and New York City
What do they offer? A natural chef training program
When do the programs run? October to May, one weekend each month

This school has several locations and occurs during weekends, making it more accessible. The class sizes are kept small (12 or less) so personal attention and assistance can be given.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it does cover the major vegan-friendly cooking schools out there. Every year, more and more small classes pop up in different cities, so if you’re just looking for some basic instruction and have no interest in pursuing a career in cooking, check out what your city (or nearby city) has to offer. If you are looking to get serious with preparing that awesome vegan food, there are a few great choices on this list that could help you achieve your dreams.



This video includes what I ate (raw vegan) today!
**Disclaimer: I am 4’10” and weigh 91lbs therefore I eat less than the average sized person would eat on a raw vegan diet. I have also been eating this way for over 2 years which means that my eating habits have changed and adjusted as my experience and comfort has grown with this diet and lifestyle. If you want to start eating raw but are confused about how much food to eat, I highly recommend tracking your caloric & nutrient intake on an app/website like Chronometer, LifeSum or My Fitness Pal until you are well versed on how much you are consuming and feeling great!

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Tomatoes and the Candida Diet

Tomatoes, once thought to be poisonous and grown only for decorative purposes, are today one of the world’s leading vegetable crops. Tomatoes have always been a part of my diet as I am huge fan of marinara sauce and salsa. Fortunately, tomatoes are permitted on the candida diet which I currently follow. The candida diet also known the anti-candida or yeast free diet is the cornerstone of treatment for a medical condition known as candidiasis. Candidiasis is an overgrowth of yeast in the body which causes a wide variety of seemingly unrelated health problems. Research suggests that a variety of foods and ingredients can exacerbate this condition. The candida diet seeks to eliminate or greatly reduce the intake of such foods.

Tomatoes seem to be pretty well tolerated by most candidiasis sufferers. I believe the use of tomatoes allow you to create a variety of tasty meals which is extremely helpful on a diet that restricts so many foods. Tomatoes are delicious both raw and cooked which is another reason that they are the main ingredient in so many dishes. Tomatoes are the main ingredient in many of my favorite Italian and Spanish dishes. The taste of a tomato depends on ripeness and variety. Commercially available types of tomatoes include vine, beefsteak, cherry and plum. In addition to their great taste tomatoes are a great source of vitamins A and C, folate and potassium. They are also a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant which protects against certain types of cancers, most notably prostate cancer. It is thought that cooking tomatoes may actually increase the level of lycopene.

So how do you incorporate tomatoes into the candida diet? Incorporating tomatoes into your candida diet plan is easy. You can use fresh tomatoes in your recipes freely. I use fresh tomatoes in salads, as toppings for yeast free sandwiches and to make yeast free salsa and sofrito. Occasionally a recipe will call for canned tomatoes or tomato paste and substituting fresh tomatoes will not work. When you are choosing canned tomatoes be sure to choose varieties that do not contain citric acid or other additives which may pose problems to candidiasis sufferers. Look for canned tomato products that contain tomatoes only. Although tomatoes are extremely tasty and they have additional health benefits they may not be right for everyone. Tomatoes are a common cause of allergies. Many people who suffer from candidiasis have developed allergies and sensitivities to foods over the years and tomatoes may be one of them. All in all I believe that tomatoes are a good choice for the candida diet.

3 Days to Lose 10 Pounds – A Real 3-Day Diet to Slim Down and Look Sexy Fast!

Need to lose 10 pounds in 3 days? Well I've got good news and bad news for you. The good news: it actually is possible to lose up to ten lbs in just three short days. The bad news: it's certainly not as easy as many people make it out to be. In this article I'll show you a realistic way to lose several pounds and a few inches very quickly … including a simple and healthy "3 day diet" anyone can follow.

5 Steps to Losing 10 Lbs in Only 3 Days

If you really want to burn some fat, lose some weight, and get a bit leaner really fast you must stick to these 5 rules …

1. Get motivated – Do whatever you need to do to get and stay motivated. The more motivated and focused you are on losing weight quickly, the easier and more effective the process will be.

2. Get energized – Boost your energy by getting plenty of sleep, avoiding alcohol, getting some sunlight every day, and following the next step closely.

3. Water = weight loss – One of the simplest and most-proven techniques for losing 10 pounds fast is to drink large amounts of water every day. Shoot for a gallon or more. You'll cleanse your system and force your body to drop several pounds almost effortlessly.

4. Cut the carbs – You must cut out all sugars and starchy carbs if you want to lose weight quickly. That means no grains or potatoes!

5. Sweat for fast success – Exercise is a must for fast, effective weight loss. Do some form of higher-intensity exercise every day and results will come quickly.

A Simple 3-Day Diet

Day 1: Do a simple fast based around pure water, water with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and low-calorie vegetable broth. Consume no whole foods or sugar (including honey).

Day 2: Eat a raw diet based around raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Eat as much as you want. Try to eat at least every 2-3 hours. The fiber will fill you up but also continue to cleanse your body, helping you to lose a couple pounds of waste matter.

Day 3: Eat 5-6 small low-carb meals and snacks based around lean meats, whole eggs, fish (not fried!), Lightly cooked vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Eat just enough at each sitting to feel slightly satiated. Continue to drink lots of water throughout the day.

There you go, a simple and "real" method for losing 10 pounds in 3 days. If you want to learn even more about how to go about losing pounds quickly check out the link below …

A return to the taste of raw food –

FROM pastry chef to raw food addict, the journey has been a long and fulfilling one for Julie Mitsios.

The owner of the very hip raw food cafe, Earth to Table, switched from traditional baking methods to raw food when her sister was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Mitsios says changing her diet improved her health.

“Raw food is about eating food exactly how it occurs in nature — without cooking and over-processing,’’ she says.

media_cameraJulie Mitsios is a raw food addict. Picture: John Appleyard

“It’s nature’s medicine, not just a fad … Eating food in its natural state was normal before we started processing.”

Mitsios studied raw food preparation techniques in the US before opening her own cafe in 2002.

Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are the foundation of the dishes she serves up.

Mitsios says a raw foodie’s kitchen is likely to contain a food dehydrator, graters and other gadgets designed to turn raw ingredients into colourful works of art.

media_cameraBlue majik mousse cake is raw, organic, wheat, gluten, dairy and sugar free. The dessert is coconut and cashew based; pink dragon fruit is used for the pink layer and blue majik from blue spirulina for the blue layer.

And if you consider the many ways food can be prepared without cooking — such as sprouting, blending, dehydrating, soaking, juicing, fermenting and pickling, raw food is far from uninspiring, she adds.

At Earth to Table, nothing is cooked.

“We use a dehydrator to warm dishes (make breads, wraps, doughnuts) and this can be set accordingly so that it doesn’t go above 44C. This way we can preserve the natural enzymes and vitality in the food,” Mitsios says.

The cafe specialises in vegetarian plant-based food and does not use eggs.

media_cameraAlfredo pasta of zucchini fettuccine with wilted spinach, peas and mushrooms in a fine creamy cashew based sauce. Picture: John Appleyard

media_cameraEarth to Table’s Shepherd’s pie is a mix of ten different vegetables topped off with a cauliflower mash, sweet potato chips and zucchini gravy. Picture: John Appleyard

“We replicate the texture and taste of eggs in unique ways using nutritious ingredients such as Irish moss and psyllium husks,” Mitsios says.

“We have a dish on our menu, an Irish moss creation called the “vegetable scramble”. People are amazed at the texture and taste.”

Another favourite, Shepherd’s Pie, is a mix of 10 vegetables.

Julie Mitsios says raw food is the purest form of eating and nutrient-rich. To try this at home:

Use lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables;

Sprouted and activated nuts and seeds are great in salads;

Try fermented foods.

Make zucchini pasta: Using just a peeler, or better still a spirooli slicer, you can get the pasta look-alike, top this off with a pesto sauce (you can an amazing guilt-free, gluten-free and low carbohydrate dish).


Day 711 Raw Vegan/Fruitarian/Whatever


~ 52 To a New You Guide to help you go raw vegan here:

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Fruit on!! xo Lissa