Monthly Archives: January 2012

Viva mi Vida! Holistic Health Counseling


As an off-shoot of Viva la Vida! Live Foods for Life, I am excited to introduce now Viva mi Vida!, my holistic health counseling practice, that promotes sustainable, vibrant health, empowering self-reliance and nutritional sovereignty for all. As an advocate for individual and community autonomy, I’m committed to share my experience and partner in a cooperative inquiry with members of my Chican@/ Latin@ communities to facilitate the re-membering of healthy lifestyles.

This practice allows me to integrate so many different areas of interest and expertise that I have developed during my life! My twenty five years  in higher education have given me the skills for successful participatory teaching and learning, creative research and self-motivation. My experience as a community organizer and youth mentor has taught me how to communicate effectively with a population that is eager to start rethinking their nutritional habits and lifestyle in order to take charge of their bodies, minds and spirits. My ten years exploring a raw food diet, detoxifications and cleanses and the resulting vibrant activation of my being, and my life-long spiritual quest and practices offer me the understanding that, as energetic beings, transformative healing occurs only when we address our mind-body-spirit connection.

I offer bilingual private and group coaching programs, a variety of seminars and workshops on raw food preparation, community cleanses and detoxifications, and holistic health consultant services.


Sirenita del mar’s recycled recipes (or how to recycle left-overs)


I have to preface these recipes by saying that I truly believe in and practice sustainability by always recycling. I don’t buy packaged food (as much as I can, as I usually buy the veggies in their natural state and the beans, grains, dry fruit and others in bulk), and I compost religiously. I also use absolutely all of the plant, as I juice or blend stems and harder parts, and use the remaining pulp for preparing breads, crackers, pie crusts and patties. If a raw recipe doesn’t come out as I’d like, I follow the principle my guru Joannie from Practicing Raw always reminds us of: “raw food is forgiving,” and I rescue it by either re-hydrating it or re-processing it. Also, I really believe in the benefits of fermented food, so, if something starts to ferment, I just eat it, knowing that those darling enzymes are going to party in my gut (thank you, David, for being such a fan of my “soda beans!”). No waste here! Or rather, I support my body in the elimination of waste as efficiently as possible!

 Kale Salad (4 servings)

 1 bunch of curly kale (green or red or both, you can combine to make it more colorful)

1 tablespoon of organic, cold pressed, virgin olive oil.

½ cup of shitake mushrooms

3 chopped garlic cloves (I loooooveeee garlic!)

1 thinly sliced red onion

A handful of cranberries

2 spoonfuls of Braggs raw apple cider vinegar

Braggs liquid amino acids spray to taste

Cut the kale in very fine strips and place it/them in a bowl. Sprinkle the olive oil and massage thoroughly. Just be with the sensuality of this, as you are connecting with both the plant and the oil, it’s a beautiful experience (of course, wash your hands before doing this, the remaining oil can soothe your dry hands too!). This will help the kale to wilt a little bit. Remember that all raw food can be “cooked” in different ways, not only dehydrating it. We can also massage, marinate, cut, process, blend, place inside the oven with the pilot on, warm it up to room temperature on the stove, sprout it, air it in the sun, etc. Soak the mushrooms in the Nama Shoyu and push them down so that the liquid will be absorbed by the sponge-like constitution of the mushrooms. Thank you, Life! Add the chopped garlic, the sliced onion and the cranberries. Add the vinegar and spray Braggs aminoacids 10 times. Toss with your hands. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes, so that the ingredients “talk to each other,” as a sister used to say. Enjoy!

Dehydrated Onion bread (4 servings)

1 cup of fermented rye (left over from the preparation of Rejuvelac, recipe coming soon!)

1 cup of left over veggie pulp from juicing

1 cup of ground flax seeds

1 cup of ground sunflower seeds

1 very ripe banana

3 sliced large onions

½ cup of Nama Shoyu

½ cup of olive oil

Thinly slice the onions and purée the banana (I add this sweetness to counter the sourness of the fermented rye). Grind the flax and sunflower seeds and put them in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, including onions and banana. Mix well with your hands, massaging the mixture. Allow the mix to settle for 30 minutes. You will need a dehydrator for this. (Or maybe you could put the batter in a crock pot at very low temperature, experiment!) Spread the mix on the Teflex sheets of the dehydrator and dehydrate for 24 hours, then take out the Teflex sheets and flip over the bread and dehydrate for another 12 hours. Yummie!

Dehydrated Veggie Patties (4 servings)

1 cup of sprouted lentils

1 cup of left over veggie pulp from juicing

1 cup of ground flax seeds

2 chopped garlic cloves (or more!)

1 chopped onion

1 cup of chopped parsley

1 chopped red bell pepper

½ cup of olive oil

Braggs liquid amino acids spray to taste

Ground the flax seeds in the food processor or grinder and place in a bowl. Process the sprouted lentils in the food processor and add to the bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with your hands until it becomes a batter. Make little balls and tap them flat on the Teflex sheets of the dehydrator. Dehydrate for 6 hours and then take out the Teflex sheets and flip over. Dehydrate for another 2 hours. Place between two pieces of the onion bread, and add the following mustard sauce:

Mustard sauce (4 servings)

1 cup processed raw cashews

1 tablespoon of miso paste

Juice of one lemon

Juice of one orange

2 tbsp. Nama Shoyu

1 tablespoon of mustard seeds

½ cup of raw apple cider vinegar

Soak the mustard seeds in the raw apple cider vinegar. Process the raw cashews in the grinder or food processor. Add all the liquids, including the vinegar and mustard seeds to the processed cashews in the food processor. Add the miso paste and process well. Spread the sauce over the onion bread, add the patty, sliced tomatoes, lettuce and avocado slices. YUMMO!

A brief bibliography on healthy eating and detoxing


On Juice Fasting, Cleanses and Detoxifications

Anderson, Richard, ND, NMD. Cleanse & Purify Thyself. Book One: The Cleanse. Medford: Christobe Publishing, 2002.

Batmangheldidj, MD. Water: The Ultimate Cure. Summertown: Book Publishing Company, 2001.

—. Your Body’s Many Cries for Water: You’re Not Sick; You’re Thirsty; Don’t Treat Thirst With Medication. Global Health Solutions, 2008.

DeAndrea, Richard, MD, ND and John Wood, ND. Power Cleanse: Good for Every Body, mimeo, no date. (link to the electronic version in this site).

Fuhrman, Joel, MD. Fasting and Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor’s Program for Conquering Disease. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995.

Meyerowitz, Steve. Food Combination and Digestion: 101 Ways to Improve Digestion. Summertown: Sproutman Publications, 2002.

—. Juice Fasting & Detoxification. Summertown: Book Publishing Company, 2002.

—. Wheatgrass: Nature’s Finest Medicine. Summertown: Book Publishing Company, 1999.

Jensen, Bernard, Dr. Dr. Jenses’s Guide to Better Bowel Care: A Complete Program for Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management. New York: Avery, 1999.

Taylor Jordan, Loree, CCH, ID. Detox For Life: Your Bottom Line, It’s Your Colon or Your Life! Campbell, CA: Madison Publishing, 2002.

Walker, N.W., DSc. Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices: What’s Missing in Your Body? Prescott: Norwalk Press, 1970.

Wigmore, Anne. The Wheatgrass Book: How To Grow and Use Wheatgrass to Maximize Your Health and Vitality.

On Weight Loss and Healthy Eating

Campbell, T. Colin, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD. The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health. Dallas: Benbella Books, 2006.

Fuhrman, Joel, MD. Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weigh Loss. New York: Little, Brown and Company: 2011.

Hyman, Mark. Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight

Rosenthal, Joshua. Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness. New York: Integrative Nutrition Publishing, 2008.

Taylor Jordan, Loree, CCH, ID. Fat and Furious: Overcome Your Body’s Resistance to Weight Loss Now! Campbell, CA: Madison Publishing, 2004.

The Higher Taste: A Guide to Gourmet Vegeterian Cooking and Karma-Free Diet, based on the teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Los Angeles: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 2006.

On Live Foods

Boutenko, Victoria. 12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Food. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2007.

Cousens, Gabriel. Conscious Eating. North Atlantic Books, 2000.

—. Spiritual Nutrition and The Rainbow Diet.

Kulvinskas, Viktoras. Survival into the 21st Century: Planetary Healers

Maerin, Jordan. Raw Foods for Busy People: Simple and Machine Free
Recipes for Every Day. Author Publication, 2004.

Nees, Mary Helon, Nedra Carroll and Diane Louise Gallina. Optimal
Living Recipes: Cleansing and Transitional Recipes for Vibrant Healthful Living. San Diego: Optimum Health Institute, no date.

Rubin, Jordan. The Raw Truth: Transform Your Health With the Power of Living Nutrients. West Palm Beach: Garden of Life, 2010.

Soria, Cherie, Brenda Davis, RD and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD. The Raw Food Revolution Diet. Summertown: Book Publishing Company, 2008.

Wigmore, Ann. Recipes for Longer Life. New York: Avery, 1978.

Wolfe, David. Eating for Beauty. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2009.

—. The Longevity Now Program: The Most Precise and Comprehensive System for Achieving Total Health and Vital Longevity, 2010.

Wolfe, David and Shazzie. Naked Chocolate. San Diego: Maul Brothers Publishing, 2005.

On Alternative Modalities to Health and Healing

Bordeaux Szekely, Edmond, editor and translator. The Essene Gospel of Peace, Book One. Nelson: The International Biogenetic Society, 1981.

Chopra, Deepak, MD. Creating Health. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1991.

Jeffrey, H.B. The Principles of Healing. Fort Worth: Christ Truth League, 1994.

Keeney, Bradford. Shaking Medicine: The Healing Power of Ecstatic Movement. Rochester: Destiny Books, 2007.

Orloff, Judith. Intuitive Healing: 5 Steps to Physical, Emotional and
Sexual Wellness. New York: Three River Press, 2000.

Myss, Caroline. Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing. New York: Three River Press, 1996.

On Food Justice

Alkon, Alison and Julian Agyeman. Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability. London: The MIT Press, 2011.

Gottlieb, Robert and Anupama Joshi. Food Justice. London: The MIT Press, 2010.

Lappé, Anna and Bryant Terry. Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/ Penguin, 2006.

Lappé, Frances Moore and Anna Lappé. Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet.

Paget Clarke, Nic. …and the echo follows: an essay with photographs. San Diego: NPC Productions, 2010.

Terry, Bryant. The Inspired Vegan: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering Menus. Philadelphia: Da Capo Press, 2012.

Why do I cleanse periodically?


I have been experimenting with raw food and detoxing for the past ten years. This intentional practice has allowed me to reconnect with my body and food. In doing so, I have reconnected with the wisdom of nature and actually, Life. In addition to preparing my own food, green juices and smoothies daily, I cultivate my own wheatgrass, sprout grains, beans and nuts, ferment kombucha and rejuvelac and tend my little veggie garden. I detoxify my body, mind and spirit periodically because I believe in keeping autonomy over my body and physical, mental and spiritual aliveness. An empowering DIY health practice!

I understand that one of the most effective ways of control by this system is through our bodies: through the consumption of addictive commercial foods and the luring of the medical industrial complex to make us believe that we need “experts” and meds to regulate our wellbeing . We consume fast food because it’s cheaper and easier (is it really?). And, when we don’t feel well, we look for a quick fix and take a pill or whatever medicine we can lay hands on. This comes from a belief that, in order to feel better, we need to find external sources that will do the trick.

Actually, our bodies have the potential to heal themselves given the right conditions. Those are: the moderate ingestion of healthy, nutritious—hopefully– organic live foods, locally grown and prepared with love. Also, to make time for ourselves, to contemplate the wonders of the Universe and our role in it, to look within and remember that we are an irreplaceable particle of nature and Life, of the amazing beauty of our planet Earth, Pachamama, and indeed, of the Cosmos itself. Other healing practices are the daily movement of our bodies through exercise, dance, yoga, walking, swimming, running; to breathe deeply and consciously, to laugh and sing. And to seasonally detox from physical, mental and emotional toxins that clutter our awesome physical and energetic systems.

Practicing periodic cleanses helps us to release continually what is not in alignment with Life. It helps us to stay clean, clear, ready to do the work from a place of knowing that we are true to ourselves and the laws of Nature. Cleanses are more than eliminating the backed-up clutter that clog our digestive system, they are a way to become lighter, allowing us to be more in tune with an active intuition that channels continuous guidance from a universal intelligence whose signals  sometimes get blurred by the toxins of our addictions, distractions, fears.

2012 is such a perfect moment to really connect with ourselves as channels of cosmic downloads that are intensifying exponentially in these momentous times. Let’s get clear and operate from our epiphanies!