’Tis the Season for—Chestnuts

December 4th, 2014 by Tonya Zavasta

ChestnutsWe all know Mel Torme’s The Christmas Song. It’s the biggest-selling song of the season, and the most-performed Christmas song ever. And we all know the opening line: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…I dig the seasonal produce—cranberries, persimmons, pomegranates. Those you’ll get in any decent supermarket. Less common, though: chestnuts. Read the rest of this entry »

Guide to an Ageless Face

August 23rd, 2014 by Tonya Zavasta

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In Celebration of Heirloom Tomatoes

July 20th, 2014 by Tonya Zavasta

Heirloom TomatoesMost of us know heirloom tomatoes as the tomato varieties with fancy names – Aunt Ginny, Black Plum, Cherokee Purple, Speckled Roman and what not. Little are we aware that these are not just some sort of fashionable upmarket tomatoes; they are tomatoes with stories of yesteryears to tell.

Heirloom tomatoes are special tomatoes. They are old-fashioned tomatoes grown from seeds handed down from generation to generation. Such seeds lead to distinct and consistent traits. These tomatoes are cultivated through open pollination, i.e. pollination by natural mechanisms such as wind, insects and birds. The term ‘heirloom tomato’ also refers to tomato varieties grown before World War II. Read the rest of this entry »

Chemical Peels: Why Would You Want One?

May 28th, 2014 by Tonya Zavasta

Chemical PeelChemical peels are the choice of thousands of women (and a few men) every year, a choice that promises to resolve all superficial skin problems, from sun damage to wrinkles to scars. Advertisements make it sound like it’s no big deal. Minimal side-effects. Speedy recovery. Fabulous results. So why am I not getting one? Read the rest of this entry »

Eating Raw Away From Home

May 11th, 2014 by Tonya Zavasta

The time for travel is just around the corner, but maintaining a healthy diet while traveling is always a challenge. The good news is that with some prior planning and research, it becomes much easier; and the more you travel, the easier it’ll be to maintain your raw food diet.

If traveling by air:

Regardless of your dietary needs — be it gluten-free, kosher, vegetarian/vegan, raw, or even fruitarian — these days most airlines can cater to your needs. The trick is to order your meals well in advance, otherwise you may have to rely on the standard fare offered by the airline. Reserve that special meal when purchasing your airline tickets – there is no extra cost! Read the rest of this entry »

The Weight Loss Magic Wands

May 9th, 2014 by Tonya Zavasta

ChopsticksAre there magic tools that can help you achieve an ideal weight? My recent trip to China for my son’s wedding showed me that indeed there are.

The sight of forks and spoons is such commonplace in our culture that it is only when we visit an Asian restaurant, or travel to the Far East, that it occurs to us that there are other utensils that predate our familiar flatware by hundreds of years. Originally intended for cooking and stirring fire and food, chopsticks slowly gained popularity as eating utensils, first among the nobility, and later among the common people, and today they are widely used by all classes in Asia. Chopsticks are commonly made from bamboo or wood, but they can also be formed from plastic, bone, metal and porcelain. Read the rest of this entry »

Glowing Complexion: How to Achieve It

April 20th, 2014 by Tonya Zavasta

Have you noticed how some peoples’ skin looks really clear and glows as if from within, while in others it appears to be dull and almost lifeless? For the most part, the difference in appearance is due to the different amount of light that reflects from the skin to the eyes. The more light is reflected, the more beautiful the skin tone appears to be.

The Glow Comes from Within

Therefore, if you think about it, the glow really does come from within. Consider the layers of your skin: you have the stratum corneum as the most outer layer, followed by the translucent epidermis and then the dermis, which contains collagen. When the skin is young and healthy, about 90% of white light penetrates the stratum corneum of the skin, hitting several light-absorbing molecules called chromophores, such as hemoglobin in the blood, melanin in the epidermis, and collagen. Collagen is responsible for reflecting the light back to the eyes, while melanin and hemoglobin modify the color of the light. The diffused light radiates off the surface of the stratum corneum, giving that coveted, luminous glow. Read the rest of this entry »

Cultured Foods: Give Assistance to Your Digestive System

March 29th, 2014 by Tonya Zavasta

Fermented CabbageIf you grew up in a traditional society, cultured food has probably always been a part of your diet. Korean kimchi, Polish sauerkraut, Bulgarian yogurt, Japanese miso, Middle Eastern kumis — the list is endless.  Russians, for example, feel a great affinity towards fermented green cabbage, since this vegetable is readily available and stores well in a cold cellar, while maintaining its original nutritional value. To this day, as has been the case for many generations, Russians prepare big crocks of fermented cabbage that will last them all winter and into the spring, a time when fresh vegetables and greens are hard to come by. The juice from fermented cabbage has gained a reputation as a hangover remedy and a morning sickness tonic for pregnant women. Read the rest of this entry »

Aging Skin: Fighting Back! (Updated)

March 10th, 2014 by Tonya Zavasta

Muscles of the FaceSkin belies aging like no other organ. It takes all the blame, while in fact it only reflects what it covers. The skin is the outermost organ of our body. Its purpose is to cover our deeper structures and first of all, the muscles.

Starting at about age 25, our muscles start to become measurably older…and smaller. By age 50, most of us have lost half or more of our muscle mass. Result: there is more skin to cover less muscle volume.

Muscles Do More than You Think

Muscles do more than help us to lift and jump and run. The heart is a muscle, as you well know, and its function is to pump blood. But did you know other muscles do the same thing? Not in the literal pumping sense of the heart. But consider… Arteries and veins are the conduits or “hoses” through which blood travels. Blood is pumped away from the heart and lungs through the arteries and it returns to the heart through the veins. It is muscle movement which gives the extra oomph your blood needs to flow fully. Read the rest of this entry »

Fruit and Drug Interactions: Darn That Grapefruit!

March 1st, 2014 by Tonya Zavasta

Pills and FruitsConsider this situation, a quite common one—downright usual in fact—for a person on a conventional diet who’s around fifty. They started taking some prescription med a couple of years back. Then the doc added another one. Then a third and a fourth. And now the theme rears its ugly (and scary) head: drug interactions.

Of course, none of this worries us raw foodists…Right? Read the rest of this entry »

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