That's So RAW

Raw Vegan and Vegan Wellness Catering based in Little Rock, AR.

That's so Raw UPDATES!!

Sorry I haven't posted anything on my blog in a couple of months. As most of you probably know, I recently opened a store front a couple months ago at 423 Dupree Dr. in Jacksonville, Arkansas. I have been so busy and my life has drastically changed. I went from having free-time practically 24/7 to working 60+ hours a week. I don't get a chance to take all of the pretty pictures Of my creations like I used to. Now, I'm lucky to just get some good lighting! Haha.

The experience of opening my own store front has been a roller coaster. It seems like things are constantly changing and every single day brings a new challenge. At first, I was afraid we would get no customers. So many things were going through my head like "Our location is embarrassing. We don't have the proper set-up. What if people don't like the food? Will people appreciate this option in Jacksonville? I know we can't completely rely on our Little Rock fan-base to keep us in business. Will people be turned off and leave because we are inside of a thrift store? I'm out of money and I can't get things the exact way I want"...and so many other things!!! I decided to just let it go and think that whatever is meant for me is meant for me. *deep breath*
I am proud to say that not a single day has gone by that we haven't had a customer. And we recently received our first bad review on Yelp (amongst other great ones), which I'm quite proud of. It means people are coming to my establishment and taking the time to think about it and report to others. I believe in using negative feedback to make my services better. Every week that goes by, we get busier. More people are starting to hear about us and we are becoming known as a "hidden gem" with a "church kitchen window". The ribbon-cutting event took place a couple weeks ago and it was really heart-warming to see people appreciating samples of vegan cheese, gluten free cookies, and fresh juice. Since that event, we have gotten coverage in local publications and invited to teach cooking classes. I am so appreciative of that. With the opening of the storefront, I feel like I'm really able to have a more extensive impact on people's lives that I wasn't able to have before. I'm able to provide the ONLY raw vegan and kosher option in Arkansas and show those who are looking for healthier lifestyles that this one is not only attainable, but also TASTY.
I am happy that I've also been able to continue teaching cooking classes. I actually have a few coming up in the next couple of months. One in Jacksonville (at the community center May 7 6:30), one in Benton (this coming Monday at the Saline County Library at 6:30), and one in Little Rock (Whole Foods April 10 at 6:30). Being located in Jacksonville has definitely allowed me to meet some people that I probably wouldn't have met in Little Rock. I also think that in Little Rock we would have been more overwhelmed because there are only two of us, so I'm happy we are starting in Jacksonville. 

And for the biggest announcement yet ...!!!DRUM ROLL!!! I just purchased a juicing operation by the name of Garden Press. Garden Press is Little Rock's first and only cold pressed juice operation. Bo Bennett is the founder and he is now handing the operation over to That's so Raw. I've always wanted to have juice as well because it just makes sense with raw vegan food. To my business partner and I, it was the best next step to providing more health and wellness to our state. We plan on debuting the juice at the first Bernice Garden Farmer's Market on April 12 and hopefully providing wholesale to local businesses by the end of May just in time for summer break. So, you will be able to get That's so Raw flax crackers, kale chips, bottled goji Berry hot sauce, and fresh pack salsa + Garden Press juice every Sunday in SOMA starting April 12!

Another thing that is coming up is the release of the book "#BOSSLIVING" by G.C.Denwiddie. It is about becoming an entrepreneur and building your own business. I will be featured in the book and share my knowledge on maintaining momentum in the food industry as well as building a brand. This book will debut in May. There will be giveaways!

I am also looking for kitchen help and I'm just now announcing that first here. I mainly need help juicing and prepping. If you are reading this and want first dibs, please call me.

Smell Well

Do you suffer from strong body odor? I have since I was in middle school. I've always been the smelliest girl! It was very embarrassing, but in high school, I found that Old Spice for men worked very well to keep my pits smelling ok. Soon, that solution no longer worked, and My cousin in-law taught me the rubbing alcohol trick. Rub it under your arms before you apply your deodorant. That worked for a long time and it still does. But there are some more things I've learned along the way that I will share with you below.
Body odor depends largely on what you eat because it influences hormone levels, bowel movements regularity, and gut health. Everything begins in the gut. I also must add that eating one salad in the midst of a bunch of crappy meals won't do the trick. You have to commit yourself to eating well at least 85% of the time. It is not true that your body odor will completely vanish after following the few tips I provide below, but it will be better, and you will be able to transition to natural products if you haven't already. Some people just naturally have better body odor than others.
Transitioning to natural products was the hardest thing for me to do when taking on the holistic lifestyle. I would like to help others reach their natural state. If it's something you don't feel like you can do, this ones for you. You can do it! You may be asking, why is it important? 
1. Chemicals 2. It's Healthier 3. If you can't/wouldn't eat it, it should not go on your body. 
If you read the ingredients on your deodorant (if it is not natural or organic), you will probably find a lot of words you can't pronounce and you have no idea what they are. A few of the most common and are found in several other lab-made products are Propylene glycol, parabens, and aluminum. 
Aluminum is used as an antiperspirant and is also the cause of Alzheimer's. There are foods you can eat to pull aluminum out of your body. Cilantro and chlorella are two of them amongst many others.
Propylene glycol is used as a smoothing agent making deodorant more applicable to the skin. It can disrupt the function of the heart and liver. 
Parabens are synthetic preservatives. They can be found in most people's urine because the skin has absorbed them from skin care products (parabens are found in shampoos, conditioners, face creams, etc). The skin is the largest organ--it is full of holes. 

Natural deodorant Choices:
Rubbing Alcohol/paired with essential oil--I usually pair it with patchouli, cedar wood, or lemon. Watch out with the oils seeing as how if they're not diluted, they can burn your skin. Some sting more than others.

Witch hazel is a milder alternative to rubbing alcohol. It works in the same way. 

If you are a body misting kind of person, opt for water and essential oil put in a spray bottle. There are so many wonderful fragranced oils out there. People will love you for the great smells. I usually purchase my oils from Drug Emporium. Whole Foods is another good option. 

Main st. Apothecary--located in Little Rock, Arkansas. This place is great. They make plant based cosmetics such as lip balm and perfumes as well as terrific tea blends. I recently asked Liz if she had plans on making any deodorant. She said she was actually working on some different recipes and she wanted me to try them. One of the recipes was a definite success. It smells great, not too strong, and really keeps me fresh. I love it!

I believe Tom's deodorant is a natural choice but I have never used it. You can find natural pre-made deodorants in most health stores. Always check the ingredients label! If there are more than 8 ingredients and have words you can't pronounce, it's probably a no-go. 

What you can eat:
Chlorophyll (spinach, kale, chard, and other dark leafy greens)
Probiotics ( supplements, probiotic vegan cheese, kombucha). Stay away from antibiotics.
Herbs (parsley, cilantro, lavender, Rosemary)
Prebiotic foods (Raw fruits and vegetables)
Water (filtered room temperature water with lemon, lime, or organic apple cider vinegar with the mother can help your body remove toxins)
Tea (drinking warm tea can encourage a bowel movement-- a tea detox can help with body odor and halitosis (bad breath)
Diatomaceous earth (food grade shell flour)Can be purchased online from Taken 1-2 times/day (1tbs with 12 oz water). Will give energy and clean out digestive tract

Oil pulling:
I like to oil pull with coconut oil, though there are other options for oils. If you have never tried it, you must! Just put 1-2 tbs of coconut oil in your mouth. It will melt. Once it melts, swish it around in your mouth like mouth wash. You can also gargle.  Do this for 15-20 minutes. Yes, it seems like a long time but it is truly worth it. When you are done, just spit the oil out in the trash (to avoid a clogged sink). It will be cloudy white by the time you're done. This will brighten teeth, freshen mouth, freshen underarms and feet. 

There are several detox methods you can do. Smoothie detox. Juice detox. Raw detox. Tea detox. Go for it!

Colon cleanse:
This is something I have yet to do, but hope to do soon. A colon cleanse can be expensive but worth it, so I hear. You may even look different (younger and brighter) after having one! They will help with body odor as well.

Here are a couple detoxifying recipes for you to incorporate into your diet!

Shells: romaine leaves
1/2 c sunflower seeds
2 jalapeños diced
1 tomato seeded and diced (save seeds)
1 c. Finely chopped kale or chard
1 cucumber seeded and diced. (Save seeds)
1/2 red onion diced
1 tbs cumin
1tsp chili powder
Juice of one lemon
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 c sesame seeds
1/2 tbs sea salt
2 cloves garlic
Tomato seeds
Cucumber seeds
Blend well. combine sauce and filling in a bowl, stir. Fill your romaine shells and enjoy!

20 pitted dark tart cherries
2 tbs cacao powder
1-2 tbs molasses
2 c water
Blend. Stir in 1 tbs chia seeds. Let stand 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Staying Warm Raw/Vegan Style

How should raw vegans and vegans alike stay warm during the winter?

1. Mind the Thermal qualities of foods.
Foods can help to warm or cool the body. There is also a neutral classification (charts can be found online). You may wonder how raw vegans stay warm during the winter. Well, thanks to the Chinese, there is research about warming and cooling foods and their effects on the body. Warming foods include many iron-rich foods, which I will talk more about later.

Some warming foods (with suggestions) are: 
Fennel--you can roast the bulbs, juice them, or add to salads. They will keep you looking young, too!
basil-can't go wrong adding it to marinara, pesto, fruit smoothie, juices, detox waters, or basil lemonade 
carob--vegan chocolate powder. Great to add to smoothies or desserts for a chocolate flavor. You can also make hot chocolate with it!
cumin-- I love it on just about everything
chives--again, easy to add to soups and salads
cinnamon--smoothies, desserts, oatmeal, curry
cloves--pho, tea
coriander (cilantro)--guacamole, soup, rice dishes
dates and most dried fruits--snacks, smoothies, casseroles
dill--wonderful flavor addition to salads and dressings
garlic--curry, pesto, marinara, dressings. Garlic really makes everything taste awesome, but be careful to not consume too much because most garlic have pesticides and it also can break down the lining of the stomach with regular High levels of consumption. Good alternatives are shallots, red onion or yellow onion, and leeks
ginger--be sure to eat this raw! It takes some getting used to, but I simple peel a big piece, cut it into "fries" and eat them in the morning and at night
leeks--very easy to get in by incorporating into soups and salads.
mustard greens--blanched with shallots yum!
nuts--smoothies, salads. Be sure to always soak your nuts. This wakes them up and gets rid of extra toxins inside of them. Proper soaking times can be found online.
oats--oatmeal ideally should be consumed without sugar, but if you must have something, choose chopped bananas, dates, or dried fruit
onion--great in cooked and raw soups and salads. I go through several onions a week.
papaya--these are usually GMO. But if you can find a non-gmo one, great! I can't eat them alone, so I usually blend with bananas and/or pineapple.
parsley--great for Mediterranean style food. I also like it juiced in v8 type juice recipes
parsnips--love these roasted but also taste great raw & shredded
pepper (all types)-- you can even put cayenne pepper in your socks to warm up!
quinoa--stuffed peppers, soups, sprouted
Rosemary--great addition to roasted root veggies, pizza, and savory pies
Seeds (chia, mustard, hemp, sunflower)--these should be soaked as well like nuts. Very versatile in the kitchen.
horseradish--what wasabi is made of. Great for respiratory system. Ever tried horseradish mustard?
watercress--great addition to soup and salad. Flavor comparable to arugula.
wild rice--steamed or sprouted 
2. Eat Iron rich foods
Iron helps to produce oxygen for red blood cells, therefore, it helps regulate body temperature by allowing the metabolism to work properly. To make sure your body absorbs iron, you must eat it with vitamin C. Luckily, cruciferous vegetables have both iron and vitamin C, so you don't have to worry about vitamin C addition.

Vegan friendly iron-rich foods include:

Brussels sprouts--tastes great raw or cooked. You can shred them, lightly massage, and add cranberries and fresh mustard. I think it's pretty good.

raisins--great oatmeal topping

dried peaches & apricots--dried fruits have more iron because the water has been removed making them have a smaller mass, which means more iron can fit into a smaller space, making the iron quantity higher 

raw pumpkin seeds--when you're carving that pumpkin, stick the seeds in a dehydrator. I avoid roasting because it lowers iron content, though roasted pumpkin seeds still have some iron

non GMO soy beans & tofu--about 95% of the worlds tofu is gmo, so I avoid eating it. But some vegans and vegetarians are tofu lovers and it definitely will keep your iron high

pinto beans--love these and they are great alone or added to salads. Wonderful looking legumes (beans should also undergo the soaking process mentioned above)

arugula--delightful peppery flavor. Easy to blend into smoothies, add to soups, or base of salads 

collard greens--steam and season. Simple

tahini--this is blended sesame seeds. Typically an ingredient in hummus. Can also taste great drizzled on salad. Makes a nice quick salad dressing mixed with lemon juice and coconut nectar

thyme--love it on just about everything. Add onto pizza or pasta or roasted root veggies

black beans--goes great alone or with potatoes or make black bean quesadillas with lots of peppers if your up to it

brown rice--great source of fiber and good carbohydrates. Easy to have with all fruits and vegetables

juiced prunes--yes, you should invest in a juicer. You are able to have fresh untampered and raw juice in practically no time.  And when you do invest in one, know that less than 50% of the vitamins are actually in your juice--the rest is in the pulp. So, use the pulp in cooking. If you're not ready to use it right away, put it in a plastic bag in the freezer. You can add to stews,soups, sauces, and breads. It also makes a great treat for the compost if you're into gardening!

oatmeal--simple, quick, yummy, very warming. Love it with cinnamon and dark chocolate.

potatoes--steam and then bake to make crispy French fries. So delicious. Make sure you're buying vegan potatoes and preferably local. They are now shooting potatoes up with animal derived DNA to accomplish a longer shelf life. Watch out! Always have an eye open.

molasses--you can drizzle this over oranges to make sure you have vitamin c with it. You can also put it into fresh orange juice or lemonade. You can put it in oatmeal or on pancakes (have a glass of OJ!) Or take it straight!
cooked Lima beans--never eat these raw. They are actually quite toxic. 

black eyed peas--I love them with okra, onions, and tomatoes (tomatoes provide the vitamin c).

broccoli--broccoli has vitamin C and iron! Wham, bam, thank you, broccoli

raw kale--be sure to massage your kale with some vitamin c to help break it down. It can be a bit difficult for your body to break down. Try massaging with fresh lemon juice and sea salt to retain the nutrients.

dark chocolate--who could say no? I enjoy Green and Black's brand. You can also eat cacao powder in smoothies or make your own raw chocolate

sunflower seeds--great on salads, raw crackers, and breads. Try sprouting them :)

peas--anything goes. Try sprouting them :)

watercress--stated above. **Has more iron than spinach and more calcium than milk**

Lightly cooked spinach--cooked spinach has higher levels of iron than raw. Always remember to Eat optimally.

3. Eat for thyroid function.
A proper thyroid function is also pertinent to body temperature regulation. Your thyroid is responsible for your metabolic rate, therefore, it deals with energy levels, brain function, thermoregulation, and weight regulation.

Foods good for proper thyroid function: 
flax seeds (omega 3s)--most people have an omega 3:6 ratio imbalance. They consume way too many 6s and not enough 3s. It is very important to balance this ratio in order to have proper weight maintenance. Omega 6s are found in cereals, breads, chicken, and some nuts. 3s are found in flax seeds, walnuts, broccoli, and chia seeds.

nuts (selenium)--yes, nuts are high in fat, but should be eaten regularly by everyone. "Nuts make you fat" is a myth. I eat nuts every day, and I don't see fat. Nuts provide good fats for the brain and act as natural antidepressants. Your brain is 67% fat, replenish the fat!

whole grain foods (fiber)--rice, whole wheat if you're not gluten intolerant, oats, etc. there are so many gluten free pastas on the market. My favorite is Tinkyada brown rice pasta; if you can have gluten and live in the little rock area, Sophie's Stand of Hot Springs Vends at the Hillcrest Farmers Market on Saturdays 8-12--she now carries vegan pasta as well as gluten-free/vegan pasta! :)

Local fresh fruits and vegetables--come on, guys, they're great for everything! Usually all high in fiber, natural sugars, vitamin c, and metabolism boosters. Please try dates--they're great for everyone.
seaweed & watercress (iodine)--*iodine should only be consumed by those with a thyroid function at a low rate (hypothyroidism) or have had their thyroid removed. And only eat iodine high foods if you are not taking an iodine supplement* those with hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid, which is very rare in today's world, should not have high levels of iodine. 
beans (protein, antioxidants, complex carbs, vitamins, and minerals). 

**Side note and discussion**
It has been brought to my attention recently that some don't consider seaweed to be vegan. I am now rethinking my stance on this, but for the time being, I still have "seafood" in my pantry. The argument is: since the algae is a living food in the sea, it is meant for sea life to eat, not land life (humans). Does the act of harvesting sea vegetables throw off the natural ecosystem? Is it doing the least amount of harm! which is the key of veganism? Let me know your thoughts, please.

4. Mind these 4 tips:
-Know that drinking hot drinks will actually make you colder, not warmer. Go for room temp or slightly cold.
-Drinking alcohol does not actually make you warmer, it gives you the illusion of being warmer while weakening your immune system. 
-Don't eat processed sugar--it does nothing but spike blood sugar levels and distract your body from functioning properly
-And keep in mind that during the winter, you burn more calories because your body tries harder to warm itself. Eat more (and better)!

Natural Toothpaste Recommendation--making the switch

So, I was on a road trip to Tulsa this past weekend with one of my cohorts. We were discussing natural hygiene products. I told her that I was experiencing some serious teeth issues since I had been off of regular fluoride toothpaste. About a year ago, I began using a brush rinse from Whole Foods that basically contained hydrogen peroxide, essential oils, and water. It soon became too expensive to keep all of the time, so I began using straight hydrogen peroxide when I couldn't afford the rinse. My teeth began to change--I had never seen them like this before. They seemed to be becoming translucent. I was VERY disturbed by this as it got worse and worse. It got to the point where I didn't even recognize my teeth (I had always had whiter and healthier teeth than everyone I knew) and I considered going back to conventional toothpaste in belief it may have something to do with fluoride. I had read online that if you are using hydrogen peroxide for dental care, you should always dilute with water. So, I had been doing that wrong though, the diluted HP didn't seem to make a difference.

My friend suggested I look up the wellness mama remineralizing toothpaste recipe. We came to the conclusion that the HP was stripping the enamel off of my teeth because they were suffering severe staining. I don't eat anything terrible on the teeth--only greens, juices, smoothies, and coffee every once in a while. The only thing I had been doing differently was that I replaced regular toothpaste with hydrogen peroxide. I was on a mission to get my teeth back to normal.

As soon as I got back to town, I grabbed the ingredients of the recipe that I didn't already own, making one swap. I went home and made the DIY toothpaste. Recipe can be found here: under natural home. I used calcium citrate instead of calcium carbonate and excluded the xylitol. Human grade diatomaceous earth (DE) can be purchased at I chose peppermint oil.

I brushed my teeth with it immediately. It made a HUGE difference. I had begun to lose all hope, but Was extremely glad I had the conversation about swapping hygiene products and decided to actually give the toothpaste recipe a try. I used it twice for that day and the two following days. It removed almost all the staining from my teeth. I plan to continue using the natural, vegan, homemade paste and completely stop using HP. The taste wasn't much to get over after coming off of hydrogen peroxide. I hope this helps someone who is trying to transition to natural oral care or restore enamel on their teeth. I would love to make and package this paste for those who would rather simply buy it pre-made. The paste becomes stiff after 24 hours, but is still usable.

Here's some pictures of my teeth--

Since we are on the topic of oral health, I'd like to talk about another issue I have faced my whole life--TONSIL STONES.

If you've never struggled with them, you may have never heard of them. They are actually initially caused by an over active immune system. They are a sign your immune system is working! But they are also a message saying "stop eating crap!!!". If you didn't know, there are pockets in your tonsils. In these pockets, there is a build-up of pale yellow mass--a "stone" that smells seriously horrible. They can become dislodged during heavy physical activity and you cough them up. There are different way to get rid of them/lower their predominance.

1. Get your tonsils removed surgically (some people get their tonsils removed in their lifetime for different reasons)--I don't recommend this option.

2. Eat a better diet.
This is such a hard bit of advice to follow because "eating healthy" is so broad. Some people think they are eating healthy when in reality they are not. How healthy should one eat to ease stones?

3. Exercise more.
Exercise helps reduce the stones because exercise aids in helping the immune system. Exercise is natural medicine. Duh, right?

4. Remove them manually.
With a toothbrush, you can dig them out. This is NOT an excuse to not do the previous two recommendations. But in the meantime of lowering their appearance, you can dig them out so you aren't coughing them up all day. I know it can be quite embarrassing to be out with someone working out, eating, or in class, and have to cough up a stone. It can cause your tonsils to bleed, so take care in doing so. Once you start eating better, you will see that there aren't nearly as many to dig out. Eventually, you won't need to do this.

MY personal experience has been LONG. I used to cough them up every day because I was very active. I researched it and found out about eating better. Sad thing was, I thought I was eating healthier, but I wasn't and I had no guidance. No one suggested veganism. I wish they would have. I still get tonsil stones every once in a while since I have not had my tonsils removed, however, it's been a bit over a year since I've had to cough one up and I never have to manually remove them. Eating a diet that is low in dairy and meat WILL help you lower tonsil stones. Eating more vegetables and immune boosting foods will help your immune system to level back out.

Eat greens! Juice! Make smoothies! Eat less fried foods! Eat less processed foods! Do at least 30 mins of cardio every other day! They will practically go away. Your body will show you signs to what is going well and what is not.



On fluoride:
Removing fluoride from your oral care is so important to your pineal gland (which is related to IQ, self-worth, mood), bones, and fertility. The "mind control" hype was never a joke--it's called fluoride. It is already in your water, so try to take it out of everything else you use. It can be found in:

Baby formula
Processed foods (including chicken)
Pre-made fruit juices
Canned foods

Make the switch. Know better, do better. Be better.


Top 10 foods to eat as a mostly raw vegan runner

As runners, we have to make sure we keep our immune systems strong, sufficient calorie intake, and high energy levels. Being a raw vegan adds another challenge to these priorities. Here are my top 10 suggestions for foods to eat (and tips with recipes) while training for long distance running:



Though low in calories, I recommend this food because it is great for inflammation of bones and lungs. As a person who suffered from asthma from ages 10-18, I eat foods that aid in reversing asthma. Lungs feeling tight or are you feeling anxious during the first mile stretch? Celery is for you. High in magnesium, it is great for putting you in a feel-good mood.

Peanut sauce with soba:

2 stalks celery

1 tbs peanut butter

2 tbs liquid aminos

1-2 tbs red pepper flakes

1 tbs rice vinegar

1 tbs sesame oil

Blend well and pour over a couple bundles of cooked buckwheat soba noodles (if not gluten intolerant--if so. Opt for rice noodles)

You can also Eat a couple stalks blended into a smoothie, dipped in peanut butter, or dipped in hummus. Which leads me to the 2nd food--hummus!



Hummus is a great way to pack in healthy enzymes for the stomach, fats (if using olive oil, I recommend braggs cold-pressed), and protein. One of the most important things for a no-meat athlete to make sure of is that they are getting enough protein. Chickpeas have 246 calories per cup, so they will be able to keep you satiated and feeling happily full.

Hummus recipe:

1 c dry garbanzo beans, cooked

2-3 garlic cloves

1/2 c. Cold pressed olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1tbs cumin

Water to thin

Paprika for top if desired 

When paired with a whole grain, such a brown rice, they make a complete protein which contains all essential amino acids(the building blocks of proteins). This is VERY important for those who don't consume animal-based proteins. Hummus is one of those things that goes great on everything, so go ahead and make a whole tub :)



Great fuel for the runner. 2.2 lb of dates equals 3,000 calories, and keeping your calories up is important as a vegan runner. They are full of natural sugar that the body does appreciate and they are also great for the bones. As many runners know, the knees can get pretty worn out, to the point where it feels as if you're beating your knees into the pavement. These little brown babies are SO versatile, you can sneak them into savory meals, throw them in the blender with water, or use them to sweeten vegan desserts. What I recommend :

An hour or so before the run or within 30 minutes after the run, have a datorade. 

Datorade recipe: 

20 dates

40-60 oz filtered water

Blend VERY well. The end result should be frothy topped tan-ish semi-thick liquid that tastes like yummy sweet cream! Yummy runner's fuel that is easy, simple, and quick!



Providing 553 cals/cup, these are great to get in your calories quick! Yes, they are also great for making gourmet raw vegan food, but you can eat them as is! They taste just fine. They are full of antioxidants and will help rebuild your muscles after a long run. They are heart healthy and keep your blood pumping and also works from the inside out to protect the eyes from UV rays. Get in at least a cup/day. 

Cashew cheese:

1 c. Cashews soaked 4 hours

1/2 c. Nutritional yeast 

1tbs sea salt

1 tbs turmeric

1 tbs garlic powder

Make it spicy by adding a tbs of cayenne or a fresh jalapeño

This cheese recipe tastes great on brown rice pasta (elbows make great mac&cheese)! Pasta is a great source of carbs for quick energy to get through long runs. CARB UP!



Not only is cacao higher in antioxidants than green and black tea and wine, it can prevent bad cholesterol. It naturally stimulates the nervous system to provide energy to get you through your runs if you're feeling a little tired. 

You can add cacao powder to your datorade! Always does the trick for me.Tastes like chocolate milk!! Yes, it's heavenly!



Great  for inflammation of joints. If you're like me, sometimes your knees hurt while running. Eating pineapple will help prevent joint pain. It can also be used topically. Blend a cup of pineapple with 1/2 cup of water, pour onto a towel and wrap aching joint overnight. The pain should be alleviated (if not gone) in the morning! They  are also great sources of natural sugar and vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial to athletes. Runners should always be aware of the possibility of getting sick because it becomes harder to get in your miles while coughing up a lung or feeling too exhausted to leave bed. Vitamin C is depleted where stressed do and when eating unhealthy processed foods, so make sure to get in extra if you're ever very stressed, around cigarette smoke, or drinking alcohol. 


Baked potatoes

When choosing potatoes, always go for organic--preferably locally sourced. Conventional potatoes are very dirty wit) several chemicals and not good to consume. Even after you wash them, they still have chemical residueThis includes sweet, redskin, regular, and purple. Carbs help lower muscle damage! You can get your calcium from potatoes as well, which is essential to bone health. Potatoes have the perfect balance of phosphorous and calcium to avoid bone loss. They are also high in vitamin C and B-6. Carbohydrates are also known to help with getting adequate rest--so have them a few hours before bed time to help you drift away.



High levels of omega-3s and amino acids for cardiovascular health. They will help keep your blood sugar normal thus making your energy levels regular. Eat it in oatmeal, use as egg substitute, bake into breads, blend into smoothies--just get it in. 



High in vitaminK, potassium (more than bananas), and vitamin c. The most important thing about avocado to me is that is has 15 g of healthy fats/fruit. The fat helps you absorb nutrients from other plant foods. YES, it's important to have fats in the diet because some nutrients are fat soluble only! There is no cholesterol or sodium making it sinlessly delicious. They are also high in fiber which is great for metabolic health and maintaining or losing weight. Throw some on a salad, blend into fruit smoothies (great with pineapple) , or make guacamole!

Simple guac recipe: 

2 avocados

1/2 red onion diced

2 red tomatoes diced

2 jalapeños diced

2 garlic cloves minced

1 tbs cumin (opt.)

1 tbs paprika (opt.)

1 lemon juiced

This goes great as a dip with baked fries! Get all the good in!!!



Higher in iron than spinach, higher in calcium than milk, and higher in vitamin c than oranges. Inhibits carcinogens to keep immune system high. Also contains 2 g of protein/3 cups. Add into soups, smoothies, and you can also juice! It has a peppery flavor like arugula and is very versatile. Get your essential nutrient game right.



Three movies/documentaries to watch if you are sitting on the fence about veganism or need motivation to make the transition..

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (can be watched for free on hulu)

If you want a WHY IT'S GOOD FOR PERSONAL HEALTH message, start here.

This movie is about an Australian man who was working hard for wealth and forgot about his health. In the process, he became very overweight and developed an auto-immune disease in which he had to take many pills every single day. He literally was fat, sick, and nearly dead. He got the idea to take his health back by going on a 60-day juice fast while traveling around the world and speaking to people in the U.S. about their diets and eating habits. Many of the people he came across were overweight and developing diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or sorosis of the liver due to weight issues.

On his journey, he met a truck driver who was severely obese and needed a lot of help. Eventually the man took him up on his offer to help and he to went on a 60-day juice fast. Both men lost over 100lb and maintained a plant-based lifestyle. Want to understand nutrition a bit better and gain some inspiration? Watch this movie! And...For the love of yourself, go vegan!

Vegucated (can be watched for free on hulu)

This movie lays down all of the guidelines of veganism clearly and simply. If you aren't familiar with what vegan implies or don't know how to pronounce "VEGAN," this ones for you! This also teaches you good meat and dairy substitutes, which I like to say are for beginner-vegans. There is an avid meat-eating family who goes vegan under the supervision of the woman who created the documentary. They take a trip to the slaughterhouse and feel very inspired to stick to plant based foods. In addition to that, they lose weight and lower their blood pressure.

*I would like to note that many of the meat and dairy substitutes they show in the movie are not necessarily healthy to my standards, but they are much healthier than many things that are common for SAD (standard American diet) eaters. The principle of veganism is to suck less by doing the least harm to the earth and those who occupy it. Just because you are vegan doesn't mean you have to be a health nut! You too, can go vegan FOR THE ANIMALS! AND THE ENVIRONMENT! Did you know that 80% of deforestation is caused by factory farming and that the amount of CO2 gasses expended by factory farms adds up to more than that emitted from all cars in the world? Come on...that has to make you want to suck less, right?

Earthlings (can be watched for free on YouTube) <--click here to watch

Wanna know where your meat comes from? Probably not, but this ones for everyone! This will show you why you should GO VEGAN FOR THE ANIMALS! Making its argument around speciesism, this documentary covers dairy cows, slaughter for beef, slaughter for pork, debeaking of chicks, fur farms, circus performance animals, animal testing for science, Indian leather, seafood, and more. This is something everyone should watch to really rethink what you've been taught or raised to do. Exploited animals need a voice, so do your part and spread this awareness and if you haven't already stopped eating meat and dairy, hopefully this will make you find it easier to stop.

I cried and was upset the whole day and found it more difficult to walk into the grocery store than usual. If you watch this documentary and don't shed at least one tear, the government has succeeded in desensitizing you.

I challenge you to share this YouTube video link with at least 5 people by texting/tweeting or by posting to your Instagram/Facebook/tumblr pages. If you do, tell me this weekend at Harvest fest and you will get a special gift! (Only 3 are available)

Next we are watching Forks over Knives and Fed Up!

Go veganBe conscious


The upcoming blog entries will be centered around vegan food options in the central Arkansas area, vegan and raw vegan recipes, product reviews, and comments about recent events as well as upcoming exciting events for me at that's so RAW. I would like to allow myself to be more transparent to those who follow me on social media through creating this blog--every once in a while, there will be videos included--in order to provide motivation and inspiration for those who are desperately trying to lose weight or battle chronic illnesses. I can't wait to make some of my easy recipes available to all of you! Thank you for reading and being on this journey with me.

Cheers and be well!