Raving About Brad’s Raw Chips

Brad’s Raw Foods

Brads Raw Chips rock. End Of. When i first read about Brad’s inspiring life changing weight-loss story and the creation of unique raw chips I just knew i had to review them!!  Like many people after transitioning to a raw diet Brad found that he missed crunchy, crispy snacks to fill the gaps in between meals. Crunchy snacks are usually fried or baked and contain little nutritional value so how and what could a raw foodie do? The answer- to dehydrate the chips & crackers below 115′ thus preserving their active raw enzymes & super food nutrients.

                                 www.bradsrawchips.com

Brad’s box of raw love arrived on my UK door step and since then I have been munching my way through names such as ‘vampire killer‘ kale chips, ‘Nasty hot‘ kale chips, ‘Nacho vegan cheese‘ kale chips, Sun-dried tomato flax crackers, and ‘Hot red bell pepper’ buckwheat crackers.

I first investigated ‘Naked Kale‘ as I wanted to taste the pure kale chip flavours. The moorish air light chips pack a crunch far better than any corn chips. WARNING! Once opened you may loose control of your senses and it real hard to close that lid!  My computer keyboard bears the evidence of a kale chip feast and as I type this Im brushing off the remains of a kale party.But whats so nutritionally satisfying about kale?

The Nutritional Low Down On Kale 

  • Kale is very versatile and nutritious green leafy vegetable. It is widely recognized as an incredibly nutritious vegetable since ancient Greek and Roman times for its low fat, no cholesterol but health benefiting anti-oxidant properties.
  • Kale, like other members of the brassica family, contains health-promoting phytochemicals,sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol that are appears to protect against prostate and colon cancers.
  • Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol has been found to be an effective immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent through its action of potentiating “Interferon-Gamma” receptors.
  • Borecole is very rich source of ß-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. These flavonoids have strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activities. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body.
  • Zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. Thus, it helps prevent retinal detachment and offers protection against “age related macular degeneration disease” (ARMD) in the elderly.
  • It is very rich in vitamin A, 100 g leaves provide 512% of RDA. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Foods rich in this vitamin offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides about 700% of recommended intake. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet helps limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
  • 100 g of fresh leaves contain 120 mg or 200% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin C. Scottish curly leaf variety yet has more of this vitamin, 130 mg/100g. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen free radicals.
  • This leafy vegetable is notably good in many B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, vit.B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc that are essential for substrate metabolism in the body.
  • It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.

Kale provides rich nutrition ingredients that offer protection from vitamin A deficiency, osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and, colon and prostate cancers.

Dehydrating the kale keeps all the above in tact, Brad then adds crushed cashews, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, & Himalayan crystal salt. The chips are such a delicious light crispy texture I’ve never tasted anything like them. The nuts & seeds allow for a lovely flavoured coating and also increase protein content and add essential fats and vitamin e. The next flavourite of mine is ‘natural nacho vegan cheese’ kale chips that satisfies your cheesy cravings and is great sprinkled over  salads, raw pizza etc.  The ‘Nasty Hot’ is jalapeño fiery & has a very Mexican flavour but remember to wash your hands after eating or you could go blind. Within my generous sample box was also crackers of two varieties, ‘Red Bell Pepper buckwheat‘ & ‘Sun dried Tomato flax‘ crackers. These crackers are very filling and high in protein and super energy sustaining.  They are versatile and are excellent with dips, like hummus, raw salsa, mayo, etc…. You can also make mini bruchetta by adding veg on top.

chips n dips

There are other tantalising varieties such as sweet potato,Indian Spice and beet flavour crackers. All available to order on line at the company website.

Brad used his love of  local organic sustainable farming, raw foods,passion for health and new found raw energy to come up with an ingeniously health preserving way of making a crunchy snack. He has created two kinds of snack: kale chips & crackers. Flavoured by cashew nuts, flax seeds,garlic, lemon,buckwheat, sweet potato, beet,Indian spice, jalapeño chilli, red bell pepper and many other wonderful herbs he dehydrates the snacks below 115′ so that the healthy active  enzymes and digestive  nutrient are preserved in this crunchy raw snack.

What I particularly love is Brad’s approach. He uses local, fresh readily available ingredients dehydrates them without messin with nature and then presents them all in a clear re-sealable green pouch/tray box that has an easily readable label and a lovely personal Brad bio on the back. You are invited to join his facebook page and twitter and read the company blog theworldofraw.blogspot.com

By buying this product you will also be supporting a company that’s ethos is clean & green. Using local grown kale and other veg means that the carbon footprint is reduced, local farming business is supported and community is enriched. The ethos from seed to chip is ethical & beneficial.  How refreshing to have a company who’s soul is not simply money motivated but rather gives back on so many levels putting profit after peace n love.

Brad planting the seeds of creation

The company is based in Bucks County, PA, U.S.A and has become a social hub for the local eco-concious clean living locals. There are regular events, workshops, talks, community meetings and

Since 2011 Brad’s chips www.bradsrawchips.com   have  been making there way all over the globe including the U.K. They have been endorsed by super food experts such as David Wolfe, Amy Levin. Whole Foods stores around the world stock them &  Organic Avenue in the U.S is a big fan. They are also stocked by a large range of independent health shops.

As well as being MD of the company Brad is also a Lifestyle Coach and has raw retreats and workshops at the company’s community  space. For more info and to book go to the company website.

A true expert & pioneer of healthy raw living Brad Gruno gets the rawfood seal of approval and we thank-you for adding crunch to our health concious lives. I am so grateful for your help in making this review possible & want to spread the word in the U.K about these amazing products. One day I hope to visit the home of Brad’s Raw Foods and drink a green smoothie or two with Mr Gruno & his community.

Namaste.

Lucie Nutri Fit.

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‘What’s For Dinner’ a fab recipe book by Romilla Arber…

A familliar phrase ‘whats for dinner ?’ and often one parents groan to hear. Coming up with endless tasty treats and making sure they are nutritiously packed and sticking to a budget after a hard days 9-5 is not easy……….’Mc Donalds’ it is then.  Working parents who are on a budget concerning time and money have increasingly opted for  ready-meals and fast-food to-go.  Sold the ‘you can have it all’ dream women have found juggling career and house hold chores near impossible. Food manufactures have known this and fed into this manic fast-paced era by giving us fast-food-to-go and seducing us with their photo-shopped images of food. This mega recipe book that I was lucky enough to be sent as a press release is a a vital tool for busy people who dont want to sacrifice their health.

It seems people are stirring from their mono-sodium malaise and awakening to the fact that in reality we don’t ‘want it all’ just enough to stay healthy and simple seems to be the new buzz word. By trying to ‘have it all’ the baby-boomer generation have also realised-somethings gotta give-that something has been our health. Disease has never been so prevalent in the western world. But this seems ironic as today we are more technically,industrially and medically advanced than ever. So what’s failing our health? A lack of simple fresh organic produce, less relaxation time & non media stimulation (ie TV,internet,computer) and less community spirit are the main issues.
But things are comming full circle and people are demanding healthier food choices and getting down and dirty in their own kitchens. They are rejecting the capitalist food industries ethos of quantity over quality. Movements like  ‘Slow Food’ and farmers co-operatives, Fair trade and The Soil Association are all getting a stronger following. The book featured in this review encompasses this belief, its not simply a cookery book for busy mums, on an ideological level it represents a much deeper cause, a movement away from the processed and back to the humble family kitchen. This I believe is the root of improving the nations health.
The aptly named book by Romilla Arber ‘Whats for Dinner?’ is a reflection of our move towards a slower healthier life and a focus on quality simple food forms. The book offers you 365 days of fast-healthy-food.Recipes you can russle up in the time you can say ”Big Mac ‘n’ fries”. Fast food can be healthy food too.

What’s for Dinner?” is the essential cookery manual for 2012, divided into weekly sections with a menu and shopping list for each week of the year. Romilla felt that knowing what to cook is what puts off most people from going into the kitchen, rather than the actual act of cooking. She discovered that parents who relied on convenience food were less likely to pass on basic cookery skills to their children.

Each week starts with a time saving shopping list – a quick check list for everything needed from freezer, store cupboard or fridge. All recipes are easy to follow including tasty snacks and desserts. It makes pre-prepared meals a thing of the past and invites you to cook in your own home without the stress of endless planning and shopping. The key is the organized shopping lists that encourage you to buy multi-functional food types. Basically its about re-training our way of thinking and getting away from that modern tendency to always think things should be done for us. Yes shock of shocks you may have to wash and peel your own carrots ha ha ! But pardon the supermarket pun you will ‘taste the difference’ m! Romilla empowers you as a cook to really connect with food again and make you think about what you buy in the shops as opposed to shoving things mindlessly into the trolley and arriving home with nothing for a decent meal. Food needs a little planning, not hours slaving in the kitchen but with just a little pre-planning and thought you can make a healthy meal and save yourself a packet too!
Weekly menus are well balanced, healthy and nutritious. It is widely accepted that a diet combined with regular exercise is the key to a healthy existence. “What’s for Dinner?” reflects the wisdom that for a sustainable future we should not, as a nation, be eating meat everyday of the week. Consequently each week contains two  vegetarian vegetable-based meals and one fish meal, while the rest of the week includes different meat dishes including old favourites such as Spaghetti Bolognaise and Shepherd’s Pie to Maldivian Chicken Curry and Spicy Sliced Lamb. However you can pick and choose as you wish.
Whats more when you buy this book you can feel good doing it! All profits from the sale of “What’s for Dinner?” go to Romilla’s Food Education Trust. Romilla believes that as well as parents bearing a responsibility to introduce their children to the joy of home cooked food, schools could also be providing more old style home economic classes. The Food Education Trust will raise awareness of the importance of home cooking to families and educate both parents and children. Additional information can be found at www.whatsfordinner.org.uk
and you can purchase the book from amazon-Whats for Dinner? 
As a Nutritional Coach and Wellness writer I am always pursuing new avenues to promote healthy eating and since having a child this has become a mission! Since  discovering my son is  Autistic the link between diet and mood has become ever more apparent to me. Simply put the relationship between your gut and your brain is direct and unquestionable-you are what you eat.  The odd meal of fast-food wont kill you (though ethically it is usually produced in appalling conditions using the cheapest meat cuts) however people are now relying on processed foods as their main  food source and this is where the health problems have arisen.
Food habits start at a young age and simple home cooking skills are one of the best lessons you can learn in life. We need to go back to basics and re-discover the joys of food glorious food and have fun cooking at home.  Under this sub-text  I began researching on the subject of school dinners and if home economic still meant fairy cakes and flour fights….. Everyone remembers Jamie Oliver’s noble attempt to battle the suet loving dinner-ladies of the north, it was a great mission he set out upon but was like the nature of television fast,of the moment and gone in a flash. So what happened after he left? Did the schools return to there old ways and what about all the thousands of schools he didn’t visit?
Is there a national organisation that seeks to educate our young on healthy cooking?
The answer is yes, the http://www.foodeducationtrust.com/ set up in 2008 by Romilla Arber focuses on educating adults & children on healthy eating and does this via fun and practical cooking lessons given by the founder and mum of 4 Romilla. I found out about  Romilla after research led me to seek out an education outlet to help children learn about the joys of healthy eating and cooking. As a Nutritional Therapist I see children as the future of our new eating habits and want to educate them because they are our worlds hope. This research led me first to find the Food Education Trust and then discover the book ‘Whats For Dinner?’

Romilla is a woman after my own heart and  recognised that many people were relying on convenience foods to feed their kids as they found alot of recipes too time consuming to fit into their busy working lives. A community based project is the best way to reach a large cross section of society and Romilla with 4 children all of school age used her local  primary school as her starting point.

Press releases describe the Trusts mission statement as;
The Food Education Trust has devised a programme for children that ensures that they acquire as many useful skills as they can during their cooking sessions. This includes learning to follow recipes, learning about cooking terms, chopping, washing and preparing vegetables. The new kitchen facility means that the Moortown Primary children can now learn how to prepare and cook a nutritious meal, such as pasta with a fresh sauce, delicious stews and hearty soups. They will gain cookery skills for life, enabling them to cook healthy nutritious meals”.

As a Nutritional Therapist I have seen all too often the results of eating a diet made from a large proportion of ready meals and convenience frozen ‘food-stuffs’ ( I say food-stuffs’ because allot of this processed re-formed animal shaped eats are so far removed from their original natural form  and contain so little vitamin and mineral nutrients that they cant fully be designated as a food as such). With child-hood allergies on the rise, Autism and so called ‘Learning Difficulties at epidemic levels thinking about what we put into our children’s bellies has never been so important. I have wanted the government to set up a food-education curriculum for schools for some time and Romilla’s Food Trust does just this.  What we need now is her trust to be government backed and for them to invest and make her  lessons part of the national curriculum. This may in the climate of recession and economising seem frivolous but by educating the young on healthy eating you actually reduce the NHS bills of the future. It is said that 70% of illness and dis-ease is caused by  lifestyle choices. Scientists say 40% of cancers are lifestyle related and the biggest costs for the NHS are on diabetes, blood-pressure,heart-disease and osteoporosis medications in the UK and western world.
In our Grand-parents time things were more simple. GM crops were nothing but a science-fiction nightmare, Ready-meals were un-heard off and generally people didn’t mess with nature so much. Children were raised on local in-season produce and what’s more it has been scientifically recorded that fruits and vegetables had a higher vitamin/mineral content in the past because there were less pesticide residues in the soil, less air pollution, food travelled less and was consumed fresh and quicker. Meat was not injected with antibiotics and was sourced locally an eaten as a treat once/twice a week. With all this in mind Romilla made it her mission to feed her family  healthy, quick and easy to prepare meals on a budget. From this this came the book ‘Whats for Dinner?’
I am super excited by this book and loved the idea that the proceeds of her cookery book  go towards forming a trust that’s aim is to eductae children at an early age to be interested and enchanted by cooking healthy food.  Healthy eating and a persons relationship to food can start at any age but its best to teach the children, cause they are the future. Our babies will be running the country in 20 years time and they need the best nutritional defence against the on slaught of pollution and stress levels that exist in the modern industrialise world. Fact:Food can heal. Romilla’s trust visits schools all over the UK and delivers cookery lessons to primary school children who then re-educate their parents on healthy eating-genius!! Whats more is the kids learn skills for life so generation after generation will benefit, it really a fantastic concept. The children learn to think about where the food comes from, they get to feel it,smell it and are introduced to new tastes. They learn to follow instructions and skills in team-work and health and safety that are valuable to many situations in life.
Food education has as it were gone out of vougue with the schoold national curriculum.I remember my Home Economics lessons were about making scotch-eggs (fried) and fairy-cakes and the teacher how can I say this polity was obese. Not great food lessons for life me thinks.

But why have processed food been so successful? Cause their cheap n easy, they are like the one-night-stand of the food world and you will catch some nasties from them.Processed foods need high salt,fat and additive contents to make their lack lustre ingredients tasty. We as humans are hard-wird to enjoy salt and fat, this is a primevil desire and was essential when we were hunter gathers. We needed high fat meals to give us energy and we would sweat out excess salt as we used to live pysically active lives. Today we lead more sedentary lives but we consume triple the fat in take that a cave man would have.  Studies confirm it, people generally know what is good and bad food wise for them but why do a large proportion opt for the later? Money, time and convenience  all come into play in today’s fast paced lifestyle. Today we want food and we want it fast and brightly packaged with bows on it. The media bombards us with glossy adverts and super marketing campaigns that make that salty high fast food seem ooh so appealing. They rely on us never questioning the origins or content of this food stuff. The ingredients is listed and it appears to be the same as the well lit photo on the box so why question it? You cant go through a day now without hearing about the obesity epidemic in UK and world-wide, the complications and dis-eases that arise from bad food choices.

To this end The Food Education Trust has been working to educate adults and children in basic cooking skills since it was established in 2008, and has already had a huge impact on those it has helped. People like Romilla Arber should be saluted for their contribution to society and its a positive indication that we are finally going back to our food roots. We owe it to our own health, the environment and our children’s children to think locally, eat consciously and act globally concerning food.The Food Education Trust is wholly funded by sales of founder, Romilla Arber’s cookery manual –‘Whats for Dinner?’ For more information and the trusts latest  infomation go to www.foodeducationtrust.org