I Am Grateful and Sweet Gratitude: The Cookbooks of Cafe Gratitude by Terces Engelhart, Orchid, Matthew Rogers, and Tiziana Alipo Tamborra

I Am Grateful book coverSweet Gratitude coverNo two books fit the philosophy and focus of Spiritualitea quite so well as this pair from Café Gratitude.  Inherent within them is the idea that food is nourishment for both body and spirit.  Take, for example, the titles of each of the dishes, both at the café and in the book I Am Grateful:

The Café Gratitude menu gives you the opportunity to start practicing saying something new and affirming about yourself by simply placing your order.  All the items on our menu have self-affirming names like I Am Adoring, I am Loved, or I Am Fulfilled, which is how we encourage customers to order what they want.  Then when the servers bring them their food and drinks, they place them down saying, You Are Adoring, Your Are Loved, or You Are Fulfilled!

The recipes in I Am Grateful are fairly straightforward, though a good many of them require you to have a dehydrator. The recipes in Sweet Gratitude on the other hand can seem involved at first they may entail learning to use unfamiliar ingredients such as Irish Moss (a sea vegetable) or learning to create your own liquid vanilla but once youve learned the techniques, the recipes arent as complex as they first seemed and the results are oh so worth it.  In one taste test, non-raw friends sampled the Sweet Gratitude pecan pie side by side with one from Marie Callendars and deemed the former superior.  With regular desserts, you can expect only sin and guilt from your indulgence, but with these recipes you get living enzymes, protein, and healthy fats.    I can personally attest to the fact that even with desserts like these as a semi-regular part of my diet, my previously pre-diabetic glucose levels have remained stable and I continued to lose weight.  What more could you ask?

While of the two books I loved Sweet Gratitude more I’ve been blown away by every recipe Ive tried in it Id recommend getting I Am Grateful if you are deciding between the two rather than planning to purchase both. I Am Grateful not only includes a broad range of raw entrees, salads, sauces and drinks, but also includes some of my favorite desserts from Sweet Gratitude, such as the Pecan Pie and Banana Cream Pie.  I Am Grateful also includes the inspiring story of restaurant founder Terces Engelhart and a bit on the philosophy behind her creation.

I am so inspired by the food of the underlying philosophy of the restaurant, I hope to make a pilgrimage of sorts next time Im in the Bay Area of California where it is located.  Its no doubt a favorite destination of raw vegan pop star Jason Mraz he mentions it in his song Make It Mine (from the album We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things) and used a reference to the restaurant as the title for his recent tour.   Like Jason Mraz, I am grateful for many things, and among them are these two books.

Sample Recipes:

Nuts and Seeds (From I Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude)

It’s important to buy raw organic nuts and seeds, as toxins are stored iin fats.  Cashews are one of the harder nuts to find really raw.  Typically in processing and removing the skins they are steamed, but really raw cashews are hand-peeled.  We share with you an online source in our resource guide. 

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The Power of Enzymes: Best Detox Foods for Digestive Wellness

A typical steak dinner may take your body up to a week to digest.
Youre digestive system has to work hard to break down the components
of the meal. Fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, usually take 1-2
hours to digest.  Why?
The answer is enzymes. To understand why certain foods are digested
more easily than others, knowledge of how enzymes work is essential.
Enzymes are basically active proteins that act as catalysts for
biological chemical reactions. In the body, digestive enzymes are
responsible for breaking down molecules as part of the digestive


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Detox Myths Shattered: the Truth About Internal Cleansing

The media is abuzz lately with stories about detox. Oprah, Beyonce,
Gwenth Paltrow, and other celebs are drawing the attention of the
medical community, the press, and the public as the detox phenomenon
quickly picks up speed.  Doctors are frantically scurrying to annihilate detox out of the
sphere of influence, making claims that invalidate and attack internal
cleansing methods, labeling them dangerous, and ineffective. The
scare tactics being employed by M.D.s, however, can be demystified
with a little common sense. Allow me to explain why the medical
industry wants to boot detox off the radar screen by addressing the
three biggest myths told by doctors and spun by journalists:

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The Raw Food Diet

vegetablesThe raw food diet is as much a life-style as an eating plan; a naturalistic approach which excludes, in addition to cooked and animal foods, processed and refined ingredients.

In the ever-hungry quest for new fads and health panaceas, the raw food diet, with adherents such as Woody Harrelson and Donna Karan, is growing in mainstream popularity. Unlike many other bandwagons however, raw foods (also referred to as living foods’), offer unarguable health benefits and one can reap rewards even as a 50% dabbler. To be a 100% extremist takes commitment, discipline and education and is best introduced gradually to avoid the overwhelm of inevitable detoxification.

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Raw Food Recipe – Helen’s Best Blueberry or Blackberry Pie Raw Recipe

blueberryIf you’re looking for a healthy alternative to cooked berry pies or
even cooked desserts that are laden with unhealthy fats and sugars, why
not try my live-food, free, easy, raw berry pie recipe. Many people are
gradually making the switch from cooked desserts and cooked foods which
are causing so many of our health problems today. It doesn’t matter if
you’re a raw fooder or eat the standard American diet; you’ll love this
raw berry pie recipe and know that you’re doing your body good in the


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The biochemical and energetic nutrients which we digest, absorb, and metabolize from foodstuffs are the foundation of all cellular activity in the body, including growth, repair, reproduction, resistance to disease, and maintenance. Good nutrition is critically important to every form of life we know. Finding, growing, preparing, and storing food has been women’s work and women’s genius since time out of mind.


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