Posts tagged no refined sugars

Q and A Series: People, Products and the Health of Our Planet – Interview with Sequoia Cheney, CEO of Wonderfully Raw

For the fourteenth interview, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Sequoia Cheney, CEO of Wonderfully Raw – makers of Coco-Roons, Brussel Bytes and Snip Chips

Even though Sequoia was unable to answer the questions I sent her, she provided me with a great article that tells her story.

HOW I FOUND MYSELF ON THE RAW ROAD
by SEQUOIA CHENEY

Sequoia Cheney in the kitchen with an abundance of fresh raw fruits and vegetables

Sequoia Cheney in the kitchen with an abundance of fresh raw fruits and vegetables

I find myself sitting here thinking about how grateful I am to be where I am right at this moment. I feel grounded, strong, healthy, vibrant and full of energy. I have to thank creator for making me choose health.

That has not always been the case. I was starting to believe that my days of being cute and attractive were over. I convinced myself that I had to accept being over weight, tired and old. That was what the rest of my life would look like. I was a grandmother and old people just don’t feel that good.

I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes about five years ago.

I think I was in shock and really didn’t understand how serious diabetes could be for the rest of my life. I did not even know what it really meant to be diabetic. I went through the diabetes education programs that my medical doctor recommended. I took my medication. I started to follow the dietary recommendations and realized that following these guidelines was not the answer. I was fooling my body and myself thinking I could eat just like everyone else, with a lot of packaged, preserved foods with lots of artificial sweeteners. This was not helping me cure my diabetes and or get to the core problem in my body. I decided to do my own research and started my own healing journey through diet and exercise and a spiritual practice. It has taken me five years of hard work, perseverance, and commitment, and many tears to heal myself.

As I said I started with the recommendations from the Diabetes Association of America. I also knew that loosing weight would also help tremendously with my blood sugar. I knew weight loss was essential. So I looked into and tried every single diet out there, the biggest looser, weight watchers, high protein, low fat, counting calories, carbs and fats. AM PM Fat loss program and I even went to a medical doctor for weight loss, gave me pills, shots and B12. None of those programs worked for me until I decided to carefully watch what I ate, exercised 3/4 times a week and checked my blood sugar before and after every meal to see how each food reacted in my body. Finally after many years I reached a good eating program that I was able to stop taking all my medication. I was eating very simply. Lots of Vegetables, Salad, 3 to 4 oz protein. The only grains I ate were Millet and Quinoa. Some beans, Good Fat olive oil, avocado, nuts. Special Bread from Julian Bakery “Mana Bread”. I did really well on this diet,I had lost a bunch of weight but I hit a plateau and I just was not losing even though I was eating perfectly and exercising. I just wanted to die, and I did shed a lot of tears. I couldn’t understand why my body was not responding. My husband Jack looked fabulous, was thin and doing exactly what I was even in larger amounts. Again I thought, well Sequoia you are just going to have to accept your body just the way it is…………. But I knew in my heart there was a way for me!

Well, Creator had a plan for me. I just love how he works in such mysterious ways. Before I knew it I was enrolled in a Raw Foods Chef program at the renowned “Living Light Culinary Institute” in Fort Bragg, California. A month prior I never imagined I would be a Chef, let alone a Raw Foods Chef. Although I have always loved to cook. I love to eat good food. I can not stick with anything if it does not taste good. Well, lo and behold I went to Ft. Bragg leaving my life behind to start this journey! Oh my god, it has been an answer to my prayers. My blood sugar is completely normal, and still without any medications.

I have learned to make the most wonderfully raw food. I never thought I would be eating lasagna, pizza,pasta,enchiladas, pies, cakes, soups, salads, quiche and so much more. I still can not believe what I am eating. I can literally feel the energy of the food. You feel healthy and full of energy. You will not be as tired because your body won’t have to use all your energy to digest the food you eat.

When we think of raw foods as I said before. We think of carrots, celery. The actual meaning of Raw means in its natural state. So the food we are putting into our bodies when raw means they are still alive, filled with enzymes and nutrients. This food supports every aspect of our physical body.

Sometimes it is really scary to make changes to ones habits I know!. So if you have a feeling that eating this way would be good for you. Good for your physical health, mental health and spiritual health. Start off in baby steps.

If you just do a few simple things like:

Have a smoothie in the morning
Have a green drink
Have a green salad before each meal

Just by doing those simple things you will be eating 50% RAW. I am so passionate about “Wonderfully Raw” foods that I can not wait to share what I have learned with you.

I am now a graduate of the “Living Light Culinary Institute Gourmet Chef/Teachers Program” and Jack is a certified teacher of ” The Science of Raw Foods” we will be offering a series of talks and un-cooking classes at Three Trees Retreat in Watsonville, CA.

I am also including a link from her site to find out more about this family run company
http://mycocoroons.com/pages/about-us

Mini Coco-Roons Flavors: Vanilla Maple, Brownie and Apple Pie

Mini Coco-Roons
Flavors: Vanilla Maple, Brownie and Apple Pie

Coco-Roons Flavors: Lemon Pie, Vanilla Maple and Brownie

Coco-Roons
Flavors: Lemon Pie, Vanilla Maple and Brownie

Coco-Roons Flavors: Apple Pie, Cacao Nib and Almond & Strawberry "PB & J"

Coco-Roons
Flavors: Apple Pie, Cacao Nib and Almond & Strawberry “PB & J”

Snip Chips- Parsnip-Coconut Snack Mix Flavors: Dill Pickle, Chipotle Cilantro and Cheezy  Herb Truffle

Snip Chips – Parsnip-Coconut Snack Mix
Flavors: Dill Pickle, Chipotle Cilantro and Cheezy Herb Truffle

Brussel Bytes- Brussels-Coconut Snack Mix Flavors: Chili Pumpkin Seed Crunch and Tamarind Apple Crunch

Brussel Bytes – Brussels-Coconut Snack Mix
Flavors: Chili Pumpkin Seed Crunch and Tamarind Apple Crunch

Back of package  Apple Pie Coco-Roons

Back of package
Apple Pie Coco-Roons

Back of package Organic Brussel Bytes - Tamarind Apple Flavor

Back of package
Organic Brussel Bytes – Tamarind Apple Flavor

Back of package  Snip Chips - Chipotle Lime Cilantro Flavor

Back of package
Snip Chips – Chipotle Lime Cilantro Flavor

Flyer with more info about Snip Chips and Brussel Bytes

Flyer with more info about Snip Chips and Brussel Bytes

Flyer with more information about Coco-Roons

Flyer with more information about Coco-Roons

Also check out my youtube channel for a video review of all their products: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

To find out more about all the great products from Wonderfully Raw go to:

http://www.wonderfullyrawgourmet.com
http://www.mycocoroons.com
http://www.mysnipchips.com
http://www.mybrusselbytes.com

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Company Review: Food On Purpose – Organic Raw Vegan Snacks Part 2

Food On Purpose – Organic Raw Vegan Snacks Part 2 in business since 2007 Their motto is: “Intentional Choices, Powerful Foods”

To read part one of my review of these company’s savory raw snacks click on this link:
https://rawsomegal.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/company-review-food-on-purpose-organic-raw-vegan-snacks-and-treats-part-1/

I am reviewing the sweet raw snacks from this company. I am not a “fan” of using agave nectar, as it is equated to HFCS – high fructose corn syrup and is not recommended. I did sample these products, anyway, as GK was kind enough to send them to me for review.

I would say a better option is date syrup or coconut nectar, if a thick liquid syrup is necessary. I actually prefer using the green stevia leaf or powder as it is not sugar and merely a sweet leaf discovered in South America and it is antibacterial, helps regulate blood sugar, etc. To read more about this amazing sweet leaf, read the book, “The Miracle of Stevia,” by James A. May.

I emailed GK about the use of agave sweetener and received this response from him. In an email from GK (National Sales Manager), he says: “We do use agave in our Roonies. They are tasty (especially Choco Roonies) but we are looking at other sweeteners.”

Here is a review of the products: They are all dehydrated, dairy free, gluten free, certified organic and raw.

Granola In The Raw
This is a really nice granola and uses sprouted buckwheat, nuts and seeds. It is tasty and mildly sweet (even though it uses agave, but to me did not seem like a lot of it). The ingredients do not stick today, as in other raw granolas that use dates, but remain separated. I tasted it right out of the bag as a snack and also used it with some coconut water, as a cereal (or you can make a seed or nut milk yourself that is vegan, as I don’t recommend any dairy consumption).

Roonies (as in Macaroons) – 3 varieties
Overall, these are moist and chewy with each one having a different flavor, depending on the ingredients used. One thing I found unnecessary was the use of coconut oil as they are actually soaking in the oil at the bottom of the package (I did not find that “oil pool” in the Choco Roonies) I took them out and used a couple of paper towels to absorb the oil. The would still be delicious without the oil and with another sweetener (as I mentioned above).

Sunny Roonies
These macaroons use mostly coconut and lemon. I like the lemony flavor. It is sweeter then the cereal, as more agave is used and it is the first ingredient listed.

Ginger Roonies
These macaroons have ginger and maca powder. The taste is not strong or overly sweet as the previous one I mentioned. The ginger taste kicks in later and is not overpowering.

Choco Roonies
These macaroons use Peruvian organic cacao, maca powder and vanilla flavor. These has a sweet flavor, but are not overly sweet. I may try and make them myself and use carob instead of cacao or a mix of both of them for a different flavor.

Birds In The Nest
First, I like the name, it is very unique and clever. This is made mostly with cashews and has a raspberry jam scoop in the center of it. I love the color contrast between the macaroon and the fruit. Perhaps other berries can be used such as strawberries, goji berries, blackberries, yellow raspberries, etc (I am salivating, just things about the possibilities, as I am always creating recipes in my head, as I am a chef). This product is flakier, dry and mildly sweet.

To find out more about these products and the company, go to http://www.foodonpurpose.com
I also have a link on the right hand column of this page under the title Blogroll.

Check out my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal for a video review of these products and for many more product reviews, healthy living topics and recipe ideas.

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to write this, but I did receive a sample of the product(s). These are strictly my opinions. I only review products that I, myself would use and purchase.

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Company Review: Food on Purpose – Organic Raw Vegan Snacks Part 1

Food on Purpose – Organic Raw Vegan Snacks Part 1 in business since 2007

I was doing a search on Amazon.com (now they get a free “plug” from me and I do shop there and love the site, but they really don’t need me to help market them, as they are doing very well, on their own:-) for companies that sell raw food products for me to review. I found this company and did my own search and found their website. I liked what I saw there and decided to contact the company, myself. I heard back from the owner and he was gracious enough to send me samples of all their products. Thank you GK for your generosity and for sharing with me the abundance and also the heartfelt connection and energy that permeates from you (as funny/weird as this may sound, there is energetics in the foods we consume and I can most certainly sense the loving intention put into these products when I consumed them). First I am reviewing the savory snacks and later on I will follow up with the sweet ones. I will also be sharing with you the “RVG (Rawsome Vegan Gal) Rating” to let you know which ones I liked the best (I liked them all, they are all yummy and there is simply an order of which is #1, #2 and so on).

The company, Food On Purpose, has a motto, “Intentional Choices, Powerful Foods.” Your choices matter, including the food you eat. On the back of the packaging, they not only have the nutritional information, but also great words of wisdom. Make sure when you buy these products that you read what it says and get inspired! I also like the bright colored packaging and each one is a different color. All the products are USDA certified organic, dairy free, gluten-free, raw, vegan and nutrient dense.

From an email, GK (National Sales Manager) says: We sprout many of our raws before we use them. That is time consuming but healthy. We are a small company but work hard to make the best small batched, raw, vegan, gluten free organic snacks that we possibly can. Enjoy!

Now, I will talk about each product individually. Here I am reviewing the savory raw snacks.

Nutty Nori Chips
This is a great snack and is very light, crunchy and high in minerals. The nut mixture on each cut piece of nori is the right flavor and consistency (made with brazil nuts, maca root, garlic, etc). They are addictive, in a good way and I could eat the whole bag in one sitting. The only constructive criticism I have, it that the nut mixture does not stick well to the nori and maybe need to add some other ingredient that will help it to stay attached.

Organic Raw Flax Seed Crackers – 4 varieties
I like the way the crackers are shaped in a long rectangle and they are all thin (except for one of them) and great for dipping, on hummus or guacamole. Lots of great fresh ingredients are used in the products including garlic, onion, cilantro, parsley, etc (each variety has some or all of these ingredients in them).

Garlic Flaxies
I am not the “biggest fan” of garlic, per se, but I did not get the overpowering garlic taste to these crackers. They are crunchy, tasty and love the sun-dried tomatoes and fresh cilantro,that is in there – you can actually see the long pieces of the stem in there.

Santa Fe Flaxies
These crackers are a little spicy (from the jalapeños) for me and still have a nice flavor and made me cough a little because I do not use spicy chili peppers in my food consumption (I also never grew up with hot and spicy food, so my palate is not adjusted to it).

Savory Sunflower Sprouts Flaxies
These crackers are thicker because they are other seeds in there, including black sesame, pumpkin and sunflower, besides flax, which is the main ingredient. There is also fresh sunflower sprouts, parsley, cilantro and basil. This is a very flavorful cracker.

Green Chili Raw Flaxies
Even though there are green chilies used in these crackers, I did not find these to be too spicy/strong flavor for me. They have a good flavor and use sun-dried tomatoes, fresh onion, garlic and cilantro.

The RVG Rating

Now for my rating of all the products I reviewed.
#1 Overall is the Nutty Nori Chips – in one word – Yummy!
For the 4 varieties of Flax Crackers:
# 1 is Savory Sunflower Seed – mostly for the combination of seeds and not being very spicy
# 2 is Green Chili – the chili did not overpower the flavor and again, not spicy for me
# 3 is Garlic – I am not a huge garlic fan, but this was nice and had a balanced flavor
# 4 is Santa Fe – because of the jalapenos, was a bit spicier for me, but not to the point where I could not eat them

I liked everything I tried overall and some more then others depending on the flavor/seasonings. Everybody’s palate has an affinity for different tastes and I simply give my honest opinions here as to the products I sampled.

To find out more about these great products and the company, go to http://www.foodonpurpose.com
I also have a link on the right hand column of this page as you scroll down to the title Blogroll.

Check out my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal for a video review of these products and for many more product reviews, healthy living topics and recipe ideas.

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to write this, but I did receive a sample of the product(s). These are strictly my opinions. I only review products that I, myself would use and purchase.

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