Our Lasagna featured on ABC 7’s Suncoast View!

How exciting to be voted as one of the suncoast’s BEST LASAGNAS, even up against the usual heavy cheese-laden standard Italian style dish. As you can see, once our lasagna is tasted, it’s hard to put your fork down until every last bite is enjoyed.  Delicious!


Published on February 16, 2017. Filed under: GeneralNo Comments

A 5 Step Protocol for a Healthier Gut


1. Remove the Possible Offenders
Some common foods that many people have problems digesting are: gluten, eggs, yeast (such as  breads, alcohol, or brewer’s yeast), dairy, genetically modified soy or soy isolates, corn, peanuts or even grains. It’s also important to remember that processed foods and sugar both deplete your good bacteria. Also do your best to avoid taking antibiotics! Removing them are good measure for all forms of health, especially for digestion and your mood.
2. Replace With Healthy Foods
After you remove potential inflammatory foods, processed foods, and refined 
sugar, you should be sure to fill your kitchen up with foods that heal and sustain 

you without making your stomach hurt in the meantime. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, easy to digest grains if you tolerate them (gluten-
free oats, quinoa, millet, amaranth), and healthy fats from avocados, chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin seeds, almonds, raw coconut, and walnuts  (or raw nut butters). These foods will reduce inflammation,support your hormones that affect digestion, and are relatively easy to digestfor most people. If you need a sweetener for your meals, the lowest sugar or more natural sources are: liquid or pure stevia (no sugar), yacon syrup, coconut nectar or maple syrup. It’s best to use minimal sweeteners aside from fruit, but these are some better options than some other options with less nutrients, more sugar, or artificial ingredients. Herbs and spices, certain teas and essential oils can also all help tremendously.
3. Innoculate Good Bacteria
We sell Premier Vegan Probiotics that undergo a fermentation process that uses 95 different natural herbs and barks, cultured for 3 years to produce healthy, mature flora and highly bioavailable nutrients. $40
Most people think they need dairy to build a healthy digestive
system because many dairy products like yogurt and kefir contain probiotics. Since
dairy can cause digestive upset, it’s better to choose some plant-based
sources. Options include: coconut yogurt (choose one without added sugar or make your own), miso (choose a brand not made with yeast or sugar), sauerkraut or kimchi (fermented veggies), and vegan probiotic supplements. Food and supplement forms of probiotics should lessen bloating, gas, irregularity, digestive-related stress and indigestion during meals. Consume these daily or multiple times a day with your meals. Many plant-based foods are also good sources ofprebiotics, which will feed good bacteria to improve your digestive system even further.
4. Get Enough Rest
Believe it or not, sleep has a major impact on your digestive system. Your digestive organs are replenished and restored as you sleep. They also “clean house” and detoxify your body to get rid of wastes from the day before as you rest. If you don’t get enough sleep and have gurgling, gas, bloating, poor digestion during meals, or just feel “off”, it could be because you’re not getting enough rest. Sleep is also important to maintain healthy hormones that affect digestion. Try getting 7-8 hours, or even 9 hours if you can swing it.
5. Practice Calming Exercises and Manage Stress
Exercise can help “massage” the digestive organs to get things moving along better, and it also helps improve your lymphatic system that can affects your body’s natural detoxifying abilities. Practice calming exercises when possible, such as walking, yoga, meditation, and try to manage stress as much as possible. Also, be sure you don’t eat when you’re stressed, which can affect digestion and decrease enzyme production. Your body likes to do one thing at a time, not scarf down your food as you try to meet a deadline or (worse) drive down the road. Set aside 15 minutes to eat, or better yet 30, and you’ll see a major improvement in how your digestion as a result.
Other Important Considerations:
You may also want to consider if your body is producing enough stomach acid.Most people are surprised to find they actually don’t have enough HCL (hydrochloric acid) that helps with the digestive process. You can eat foods that increase HCL or take a supplement.
If you have a digestive disorder such as leaky gut syndrome, reducing inflammation and healing the gut lining should be top priority. A plant-based dietis naturally alkaline to help assist with this, along with consuming probiotics and eating foods that agree with your body. Other things that may help include supplementing with the amino acid L Glutamine (as a powder or supplement) that has been shown to alleviate digestive distress, and consuming plant-based sources of Omega 3 fatty acids (walnuts, hemp, chia, flax).
Take care of your digestion so it can help you feel your best, and so you can get the most nutrition from the foods you eat.  Poor digestion affect 60-70 million people daily, whether due to serious digestive disorders, stress, dietary choices, health issues, or a mixture of all of the above. Digestive issues can be hard to diagnose because many of the same symptoms occur in different gastrointestinal disorders. Some people may deal with IBS, Crohn’s, a food intolerance, hormone disruptions, chronic stress, may not get enough exercise, or may be eating an unhealthy diet. Ongoing health issues, supplements, or even prescription drugs can also cause digestive upset. It is also common for many women to experience digestive upset during their menstrual cycle when hormones fluctuate, which directly affect digestion as a result.

Though diagnosing a serious digestive disorder or dealing with the cause of minor general digestive problems can be tough, we should strive to maintain a healthy gut however possible. The digestive tract is referred to as our “second brain” due to the way approximately 70-80 percent of our nerves run through the digestive system. This is largely why stress-related issues can upset a person’s stomach, or lead to stress-related IBS. We should also consider how the good bacteria in our digestive system affects our immunity and brain health as well.

Serotonin (one of the body’s feel good hormones) is produced in our digestive tracts, but only if our digestive tracts are well-taken care of. This is one reason when our digestive system isn’t working at top notch, our mood usually suffers. It’s also one reason people who suffer depression usually have accompanying digestive issues or poor appetites. Probiotics are being studied for their ability to raise serotonin, largely because of the way they improve a person’s digestive health and in turn, improve mood/brain health as a result. A healthy amount of good bacteria in our bodies also help us maintain a strong immune system. Why? Because our immune systems are also mostly found within the gastrointestinal tract. This makes optimizing beneficial bacteria in the digestive system (referred to as our microbiome) incredibly important. But probiotics are not the only part of the puzzle, even though they do play a major role.

Additional Premier Supplements available for purchase at ionie’s Body and Mind Retreat:
Premier Digest
This formula contains a broad spectrum profile of vegetarian digestive enzymes that support the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber and dairy. This formula offers two types of protease enzymes that facilitate the normal breakdown of proteins, dipeptides and tripeptides as well as promoting optimal protease activity across a wide pH range. Especially important for when we eat cooked food. $25
Premier HCL
This formula features betaine hydrochloride which assists the body’s natural stomach acids in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, especially protein, vitamin B12, calcium, iron and other minerals.
As we age, we typically produce less hydrochloric acid (HCl) which reduces our ability to efficiently absorb nutrients from food. Reduced HCl production affects the amount of protein and calcium we can absorb and can interfere with bone metabolism. Incomplete protein metabolism can imbalance intestinal flora. Betaine hydrochloride promotes absorption of nutrients. $20

Published on May 27, 2016. Filed under: GeneralNo Comments

ionie Raw Food Cafe Featured on ABC7 News!

We are so pleased! Our delicious, organic raw food was featured on an airing of “Suncoast View: Chef Judi’s Foodie Finds” for the “Light and Healthy segment.” Here is Chef Judi talking about our spread.
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Chef Judi’s Foodie Finds presented ionie raw food cafe as one of the “Best Healthy Restaurants” in the area last week -check out the video here and please share it with all of your family and friends! Here is an image of the full spread presented — just look at this vibrant, raw, organic food!

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Finally, here is the full video of the segment.

We hope you come to visit us soon and try all of these delicious foods for yourself.

Published on January 21, 2015. Filed under: GeneralNo Comments

Why Organic Matters: Health, the Environment, and Ethics

Ionishi Roll

What if there was a way to make sure you were putting only the cleanest, most nutritionally-dense food in your body? And what if this way also meant you were doing the right thing for other people and the earth – meaning by making this small switch, you’d be doing the best thing for
yourself, for others, and for the entire world – sounds like a winning method, right?

This way is the organic way, and it matters on multiple levels. While organic foods tend to be slightly pricier than their conventional counterparts, they are well worth the cost – hands down. Also consider that conventional foods are often less expensive because these farmers get financial help from the government, while organic farmers have to spend lots of money to keep up with legal practices. Consider this: “Production-oriented government subsidies reduce the overall cost of crops. In 2008, mandatory spending on farm subsidies was $7.5 billion while programs for organic and local foods only received $15 million, according to the House Appropriations Committee.” With this in mind, we need to support the organic farmers, as they are doing what is best for us and the environment with a whole lot less support. Beyond this point, why else does choosing organic matter so much?

Organic is Better For Your Health

When you choose organic foods, you are opting for foods that have significantly less levels of many scary ingredients and chemicals. Organic crops must be produced “without conventional pesticides (including herbicides), synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation,” WebMD explains. This means that when you opt for organic, you’re not exposing yourself to any of these potentially harmful additions often found in conventional crops. While the long-term effects of many of these chemicals/processes on humans are still inconclusive, John Reganold, professor of soil science at Washington State University, states, “…we’re the guinea pigs.” Do you really want to be a guinea pig when it comes to your health?

In addition, it’s been found that organic foods can be even more nutritious than their conventional counterparts. In a study published by the Journal of Applied Nutrition, it was found that “On a per-weight basis, average levels of essential minerals were much higher in the organically grown than in the conventionally grown food. The organically grown food averaged 63% higher in calcium, 78% higher in chromium, 73% higher in iron, 118% higher in magnesium, 178% higher in molybdenum, 91% higher in phosphorus, 125% higher in potassium and 60% higher in zinc.”

Also, consider the use of GMOs – while GMOs are allowed in conventional products, they are not allowed in organics: “The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t use any GMO ingredients. To meet the USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.” With all of these points in mind, it’s easy to see why organic is the better choice for your health!

Organic is Better for the Environment

As stated by the Mayo Clinic, “Organic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality.” This means we better preserve the integrity of the planet we live on. With reduced pollution and water use as well as better soil quality, everything about organic farming is better for the earth.  And when the soil of our earth is consistently better, then all of the food produced as a result is also better over the long run.

“Toxic and persistent pesticides do accumulate. They accumulate in the soil; they accumulate in the water; they accumulate in our bodies,” says DiMatteo of the Organic Trade Association. “So by eliminating the use of these pesticides and fertilizers in the organic production system, we are not contributing any further to this pollution.”

In other words, when you choose organic, you are taking one more step towards less pollution. We only have one Earth, and we need to take good care of it. Organic farming is a better way to do this!

Organic is Better Ethics

Conventional farming harms workers and any people living near these farms within wind of toxic chemicals applied to crops. Animals on such farms are also often hurt during the process of conventional farming due to various toxic exposures. “Potential health hazards are tied to sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics in animal production, and pesticide and nitrate contamination of water and food. Farm workers are poisoned in fields, toxic residues are found on foods, and certain human and animal diseases have developed resistance to currently used antibiotics,” writes LEAF Certified.  Organic farming requires fewer chemicals of any kind and makes for a safer working environment for farm workers and reduces any risks associated with those animals living on farms or people living near farms. When you choose organic, you encourage more of this kind of farming and therefore are contributing to a better sense of ethics for all of those associated with getting the food to your plate.

When you choose organic, you’re simply doing the right thing on so many levels. Here at ionie retreat and raw food café, our food is 100 percent organic – so you can be assured you are eating food that comes with a conscious – and is better for you in every way!

Published on December 9, 2014. Filed under: GeneralNo Comments

Eating Raw in the Colder Months Ahead: 7 Tips and Tricks for Success

By ionie retreat and raw food cafe

Photo by Pixabay

Photo by Pixabay

With the weather dipping to cooler levels more frequently and the start of winter quickly approaching, it seems like warmer, heated foods often become the meal of choice, even for those who are trying to incorporate more raw foods in their diet. But, whether you’re a seasoned raw eater or just dabbling in all of the amazing benefits raw food eating has to offer our bodies, it is still possible – and even preferable – to consume even more raw foods in the cooler months.

Why is this so? Well, keep in mind that the cooler months also bring on the advent of the sniffles for so many. Consuming even more raw, plant-based foods during these trying months can boost your immune system and help shield you from all of the various sicknesses circulating.  In addition, it is in the late fall and winter months that so many of us feel a draw of our energy, leaving many of us feeling sluggish and even slightly depressed as we hibernate more and interact with the outdoors less. Raw, vegan foods, then, can keep our digestions flowing and enhance our energy and mood when we need it the most!

So, for those of you who want to keep your raw food eating up, here are some tips to keep you on target:

  1. Consider that most raw foods can be served warm. As long as you do not heat foods beyond 118 degrees, you are still eating raw! So, even if you warm up your soups, veggie burgers, noodles, desserts, or anything else for just a few moments to get a little bit of added warmth to your meal, you’re likely to retain all of those original nutrients. Most opting to do this will pop items in the oven at 150 degrees for 10 minutes maximum – and, voila! You have slightly warmed (yet still raw) dishes! Or, if you do not wish to heat up your raw foods, try not to eat your food straight from the refrigerator so it’s not as cold. Eating raw foods at room temperature is just fine – and may leave you feeling warmer!
  2. Think about your heated metabolism. Although it may not feel like from the outside immediately, keep in mind that clean, organic, raw foods stimulate your metabolism like none other, therefore heating the body in way that’s simply not possible with cooked foods. When you’re eating raw, think about how you’re heating up from the inside out, and you’ll feel toastier in no time!
  3. Add warming spices to your raw dishes. Spices such as cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger, and black pepper can all do wonders for heating your digestive fire from within. Try adding these to your raw dishes and drinks for a feeling that will add both flavor and warmth to you raw food meals.
  4. Load up on plant-based carbohydrates. Adding some carb-rich fruits to your juices/smoothies or a fruit-based raw dressing to your salads will give your body the carbohydrates it craves more in the cooler months without sacrificing your endeavor to eat raw. Plus, fruits, in moderation, are a great way to add some extra zing to your raw dishes and can help invoke memories of sunny beach days – putting you in a “warmer” mood from a mental standpoint!
  5. Warm up in other ways. The winter months are the perfect time to get in some well-deserved pampering, so consider taking some warm bathes, getting a massage, heading to Rolfing session, drinking some warm, organic tea, and/or cuddling with your loved ones! There are so many lifestyle-based ways to warm yourself from within, and if you can spend some time on them, you may find you have less of a need for hot foods every day.
  6. Join a group. The winter is the perfect time to find some like-minded raw foodists to help get some support and camaraderie. Find a group on Meetup.com and find yourself surrounded by new ideas and friends, and you’ll likely having no problems keeping your raw food quest up.
  7. Find a great new book. While you’re going to be more cooped up inside, why not work yourself through some recipes in that shiny new raw vegan cookbook you’ve been wanting to try some recipes from? Now is the perfect time to try out new dishes and keep yourself excited about raw foods.

Bonus tip: Visit ionie retreat and raw food café. Our menu is 100 percent organic, vegan, and raw – and we have everything you need to keep your healthy, life-giving lifestyle up through the winter months and beyond! We also offer infra red and oxygen saunas. What a wonderful healthy way to get warm! These treatments also help to strengthen immunity and reduce weight.

With these tips, you may find yourself adapting better to eating raw in the winter months. Your body has an amazing way of adapting, so be patient with yourself and give your body the time it needs to get used to craving raw instead of cooked in the cold months ahead. You may find, over time, that it becomes much easier, and all of us at ionie retreat and raw food café are here to support you all fall and winter long if you have any questions or concerns. We hope to see you soon!

Published on November 29, 2014. Filed under: Eating RawNo Comments

Rolfing Demonstration

This Rolfing demonstration was filmed at the Harvard Medical School during the Fascia Congress, which took place in Boston, MA. on October 4 & 5, 2007.

Click here to see video

Published on January 20, 2012. Filed under: RolfingNo Comments

Introduction to Rolfing

Published on January 20, 2012. Filed under: RolfingNo Comments

Rolfing® Structural Integration and Sports (the Vikings)

Published on January 20, 2012. Filed under: RolfingNo Comments

How to Use Food Dehydrators

How to Use Food Dehydrators — powered by ehow
Published on January 20, 2012. Filed under: Eating RawNo Comments

Video on Dehydrating for Eating Raw

Dehydrating Food Tips — powered by ehow
Published on January 20, 2012. Filed under: Eating RawNo Comments