Our idea of what constitutes "food" in American culture has become so skewed that it is almost unrecognizable. Our supermarkets are packed with products whose ingredients include unpronounceable chemicals, dyes, bacteria, and growth hormones. They are irradiated without our consent and contain GMOs.It's time to bring back FOOD. Pure unadulterated organic RAW food.This blog is a documentation of my continuing journey on a plant-based lifestyle.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fruit-a-loos, My Papaya, & A Coconut Secret..

My organic fruit consumption has reached unparalleled and staggering levels this summer. First, with watermelon. And now, with my two most favourite fruits of all time : cherries and figs!!! The pounds of fruit I eat could honestly feed a small country...whether this is a good thing or not remains to be seen.

Seems as though my body knows when I am good and done with a particular fruit though, so I'm not too worried about my fruity grubbing lifestyle. (See crisis of the watermelon below.)

 It's official - I am watermeloned out and I am pretty sure my tum is too. Unfortunately, my affair with the juicy deliciousness that is all things watermelon and watermelon juice has come to quite the early end. I was literally devouring an entire 12 lb. beast of a melon everyday after bikram; blending half into juice and eating the rest. After a while, I started to get this surging pain up my entire torso midst consumption everytime I ate it and it was constantly leaving me bloated...and not just watermelon baby belly bloated - like bloatedness that wouldn't go away...ever.  (Me + stomach flare-ups = bitchy, irritated, and extremely unpleasant to be around.) I was in a full scale watermelon-coma and it's honestly taken me up until today to feel normal again! 

In my quest to make my tum feel better and quell my watermelon hangover I discovered papaya. I've never been a big fan of papaya because well, let's be honest, most of the time it tastes like the smell of throw up! (Not to be graphic, but it really does!) I've only ever liked dried papaya spears for that very reason. However, on a trip to Mother's Market I sampled the most crazy, maple-syrup tasting papaya. Wha-wha-what?! I couldn't resist. I stocked up on that papaya and I've been eating it in both savory and sweet forms daily.

You'd be surprised all the things you can do with papaya - when it's ripe. Pretty sure that's been papayas problem all along. When it isn't that ripe it tastes gross. However, ripe papaya is sweet, juicy, and kid-you-not-tastes like maple syrup.  

In an effort to ease my belly flare-up I put papayas digestive-easing and belly-soothing properties to work and created this creamy, sweet, delicious pudding shake: 


This was:
  • Half a papaya peeled and de-seeded
  • Organic, ripe figs
  • 2 Organic ripe (spotted) bananas
  • Filtered water for blending
  • 1 T Organic, Coconut Secret Coconut Nectar (holy moly, I need to buy like 25 gallons of this stuff!)
Last week, I was invited to a rather new Raw Food store in Newport Beach. Chele and her crew have definitely tapped into something extraordinary within the raw food community -- they get that people don't want to spend their life savings on going raw! (As crazy as this sounds, it's true, I love the raw food community, but I often feel like they all live in some alternate universe where the economy isn't in the toilet and it's like they think people have got all this spare cash to spend $10 on four slivers of flax crackers.) Their mission: to bring raw to the masses in the most affordable way from those who are just 'raw-curious' to the long-time raw foodist. Everyone I met was incredibly friendly and so knowledgeable. I can't stress it enough: they get it! 

The highlights of this gem of a place: (there were so many more than this, but these were the ones that stood out in my mind because in all my years as a raw foodist I don't think I've paid less than $20 for a lb of cacao that apparently wasn't even raw...)
  • REAL raw Balinese cacao powder for $12 lb
  • Raw, Organic, Unpasterized almonds $7.50 lb
  • Sale items: Nut butters from Wilderness Poet $7-$9
And perhaps, my favourite: Coconut Secret. Yeah, pretty much the WHOLE line from the Coconut Aminos to the Coconut Nectar and Sugar Crystals. I've been eyeing this stuff up in the store for months now...seriously, Coconut Secret, where have you been all my life?!

Adios, Agave! Hellooooo, Coconut Nectars. This sap is outrageous. It makes my shakes taste like a cross between caramel and vanilla. Like most things coconut, it's just exploding with minerals and nutrients and it doesn't spike your blood sugar at all. I know, because usually after my nightly shakes which typically contain raw honey and in the old days, agave, I was always starving again within an hour. After using the coconut nectars, I am prefectly content. Not a stitch of returning hunger here!

The Aminos? Just as excellent. It almost has a bit of a smoky essence to it. And it doesn't over power your food with saltiness. This is the perfect replacement for Braggs which is made from soy and contains naturally occurring MSG. Yuck! Thought we were trying to avoid all that crap! I haven't used Braggs in ages for that very reason, opting to use wheat-free tamari or miso instead because it used to make me swell up like a ballon, give me a headache, and I could smell it come out my pores while exercising the next day. I'd be on the treadmill gagging because I smelled like soy sauce at 7 in the morning; not very pleasant way to start the day.

Chele has been working hard to really put Coconut Secret on the map to make it even more available, especially in bulk form. (Hurrah!) Trust me, one lick of this stuff and you're going to need more than just the 8oz bottle. Coconut Secret it where it's at.

Oh, btw. Eclipse was everything I hoped it would be and more. I still like the books better, but it seems las though they got rid of the guy who directed New Moon (thank god, that movie doesn't even pale in comparison to Twilight and Eclipse) and this new guy seems to understand what us Twi-fans want: more jacob/edward/bella/cullen relationship development and less action. Eclipse, does have a fair amount of action, but it fits in with the story. Oh, what I wouldn't give to be K.Stewart for just like TWO minutes.

Time to get moving on dinner!


  1. Can't wait to try your pudding shake! I am in love with all the Coconut Secret products, too! It is my 'ingredient of choice' in everything I make lately:)

  2. Never heard of Coconut Secret, but sounds amazing!!! Thanks for sharing ; )

    Pure2raw twins

  3. Mexicans papayas have a musky taste and smell, generally speaking. I say that because Mexican grow and eat more papayas than anyone else. That's how they like their papayas. If you look for papayas from other countries, most of the time you'll get a sweeter taste and smell. I prefer papayas from Belize aka Caribbean Red.

  4. i've tried the coconut secret products, but it's not organic, which makes me a little concerned. if it's not certified organic, i'm always a little weary. they claim that it's 82% inulin as well, which is very strange, since inulin doesn't naturally occur in coconut sap and would have to be added. yet, it's not in the ingredient list as an added ingredient. and at 82%, it would seem to me that being the primary ingredient, this would be an inulin product. also, inulin is only 10% as sweet as sucrose, so at 82% it would seem to me the coconut secret product wouldn't be that sweet.

    i also did a little research into the amino products, as i'm a big fan of Braggs. it seems that the coconut aminos actually have soy sauce as an additive.

    coconut secret seems to have some secrets alright...

  5. evergreen: on the pudding shake is to-die-for. hope you enjoy it!

    twins- coconut secret def. has a very unique flavor. hopefully you will be able to try it soon!

    caribbeanhottie: the first time i actually ever had papaya was in mexico and i HATED it. oddly enough, despite the fact that we are about 3 hours from mexico, the only papaya i have found is from brazil or costa rica. guess that is why they are so sweet and juicy vs. musky!

    diana: well, i guess they do have some secrets then! oye vey. thank you for all your information! seriously, it is really important for people to have all the info before them so they can make a solid, informed choice as to whether or not they choice to include certain food products to their diet. In my personal eating life, I don't use any of the aformentioned (braggs/aminos/tamarai) but, I do use it in my meal delivery service. And I usual sweeten with raw honey. the organic thing did bother me slightly but, it says it is herb/pest/chem free so i figured it couldn't be that bad. you are right coconut sap is not that sweet at all when you taste it alone, however, i think it enchances the natural sweetness of fruit when you include it say, smoothies, etc. i will be very disappointed if it actually does include soy because that would mean it contains wheat - even trace amounts- and then i would not be gluten free! buggers!

  6. Watermelon coma, oh my! I ODed on watermelon a bit and I am onto cantaloupe. It's easier to carry and cut up.

    I love the coconut aminos too! I have yet to try the nectar but you are the third person to mention it was good so I will have to try it out.

  7. Yeah, I have had so much watermelon lately! And there is still another one in my fridge! Ahh! So...coconut nectar huh? Sounds fabulous! I heard about it on the raw food world tv show yesterday. I'll have to try it out!

  8. Your shake recipe is awesome!!! I will be making it for breakfast again tomorrow with the other half of papaya :) Thanks, Alysha!

  9. evergreen- thank you!! glad you enjoyed it! doesn't the coconut nectar really round out the flavors? love that stuff.

    bitt- the thing i have found with the nectar and aminos is that by themselves they don't really have that great of a taste. like you wouldn't really taste the saltiness of the aminos like you would tamari or braggs. however, when you add them to food they really give it a boost and round everything out. ahh, the perfect food marriage. i find that cantalope has the same effect on me as watermelon...so strange..

    tricia- you're in a watermelon coma too? hard not to be when it's so hot out and watermelon, esp. cold watermelon is just soooo good. love raw food world tv show too! watch everyday!

  10. Low glycemic coconut nectar! Holy crap, where do I sign up!? I'm so sensitive to sugar, I really have to choose low glycemic sweeteners and I'd love to mix up my agave a little!

  11. Hey girl-girl!
    I'm still on the watermelon wagon...LOL! Yum! + we've got about some growing in the garden. I love papaya and totally agree on the smell...ewww! but yum! I've been dying to try out the coconut nectar products. Fun! Hope you're having a fantastic weekend! :)

  12. 我對自己的信心已超越別人對我的評價................................................

  13. Sorry about the watermelon overdose. ;( But mmm...papaya! I'll admit, I used to hate papaya. Thought it was kinda smelly and tasteless but after I started going raw my taste buds changed and voila! I loved it. And yeah, coconut crystals = yum! Coconut aminos = yum! I haven't tried the nectar but no doubt I'd love it too so next time I'll be picking some up.

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