Foods That Lift Depression

In my last article…(, I discussed what depression is and how doctors often over prescribe antidepressant pills for people who show mild signs of depression. What I advise as a chef and retreat organizer is using a natural method of preventing depression from happening using quality foods and changes in lifestyle.

Whole Grains

Are you a carbohydrate addict? It could mean that your brain is low in serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter produced in your brain that helps with regulating your mood, monitoring your sleep, and controlling your hunger. What’s important is getting the right kind of carbohydrates into your body so that you don’t increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other lifestyle diseases.

Many carb addicts stick to foods like enriched pastas, white rice, white potatoes, and white breads. What you want to focus on are complex carbohydrates that slowly release energy into your bloodstream. This will prevent the sugar high and subsequent crash you experience when eating pastas or white sugars. Some examples of whole grains include brown and black rice, oatmeal, and quinoa. In one of my last online cooking classes I made a delicious brown rice with black beans and a slammin’ spinach salad with papaya dressing. Eating whole grains doesn’t have to be boring at all!

Nuts and Seeds

Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium, a mineral that helps to lift your mood and prevent depression. The recommended amount of brazil nuts it takes to keep you happy is about 6 nuts! You can also eat other varieties of nuts like cashews, walnuts, and flaxseeds. They provide a vital vegan source of omega 3 fatty acids. I use nuts and seeds in the base of my raw vegan desserts like brownies and pies.

Dark, leafy green vegetables

Kale and other leafy greens like collards and mustard greens are high in folic acid which combats depression. Try and get a broad selection of greens that are seasonal and local to where you live. These will taste the best and cost less.

I feel so lucky because it is my job to provide the best foods Puerto Rico has to offer. I love my customers that come to my cafe and those that stay with me a little longer for retreats. I would love for you to visit me here at Paradise Wellness in Luquillo, Puerto Rico. You would have access to beautiful, gourmet raw and cooked food that will give you life, as opposed to rob you of your energy. However I know all of you can’t make it, so I’m still working on solutions to get my online classes going so that you can learn wherever you are on the planet!

To stay in touch with me and be the first to learn about my upcoming classes and retreats, sign up for my email list!



Is Your Food Making You Depressed?

The food we eat has such an intimate relationship with how we feel. And what conventional medicine wants you to believe is that popping a “happy pill” is the cure for what your blues with little to no investigation into how your food and lifestyle affects you.


A 2002 study by the Rand Corporation stated that in a survey of almost 700 adults who were prescribed antidepressants, only 20% had shown significant symptoms of depression when actually tested for the disease. This means that many doctors are giving out the pill even when there may be other more convenient and less expensive ways to treat your symptoms.


There’s no test for depression


Did you know that there really is no real test for depression? What doctors will do is ask a series of questions and perhaps do lab tests to rule out problems with anemia and thyroid function. What that means is that your diagnosis of depression is relative and may change depending upon what doctor you speak to. So why not examine your food and lifestyle choices before agreeing to take a pill?


What is depression and symptoms


Depression is much more than a feeling of sadness. Sadness can be characterized by low mood, particularly in the morning, a loss of interest in sex and other things you would normally enjoy, consistent indecisiveness, insomnia, weight loss or weight gain, etc. It’s important to note that if you have thoughts of suicide or hurting others, you should quickly seek the support of a medical professional rather than self medicate. However for many people the average signs and symptoms of depression can begin to be addressed with diet and lifestyle choices.


As a chef and retreat organizer here in Puerto Rico, I teach my customers how to change their diet so that change in mood is inevitable. I advocate for eating foods that are filled with life and will, in turn, give life back to you.


In my next article, we will discuss foods that can help you to lift depression naturally.


I want you to keep up with what I’m working on here in Puerto Rico. I’ve got lots of great online raw and cooked vegan classes coming up as well as retreats for those of you who want the full Chef Skai treatment here in beautiful Puerto Rico! Sign up for my email list!



Angelina Jolie: The REAL formula for cancer prevention

Have you recently heard the news that Angelina Jolie recently underwent a double mastectomy to do what she, and many doctors, are saying will prevent breast cancer? You heard me right, Angelina Jolie surgically removed her breasts so that she can prevent breast cancer.


Angelina Jolie made the decision to cut off her breasts because she is a carrier of the BRAC1 and BRAC2 genes which is said to increase her chances of getting cancer by about 80%. She had lost her own mother to breast cancer and did not want her own children to go through what she had been through.


You control your health destiny


While I can understand a mother wanting see her children grow up, getting a double mastectomy is a rather drastic decision. What you inherit in your genes from your parents does not mean that your own health destiny is outside of your own control.


According to Dr. Mercola, having a family history of breast cancer increases your risk for getting the disease as well. However only 20-30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer actually have a family history. Your genes are not what determines your health, it is the expression of your genes that matters. It is your lifestyle and spirituality that determine the state of your health.


Angelina may have decided to cut off her breasts to prevent cancer, but what if she develops cancer in other parts of her body? Cancer in the colon, thyroid, brain, and other vital parts of her body can show up, just like it could in her breasts. Should she have her colon removed too?


The best way to prevent cancer is with changes in diet, regular exercise, getting healthy doses of sunshine, and living a life that makes you happy. That’s real cancer prevention that makes sense. Wouldn’t you rather have an alkalyzing green juice as opposed to opting to have your breasts removed? Isn’t it easier to commit to 30 minutes a day of brisk walking in the sunshine? These are just a few of these things I teach here at Paradise Wellness in Luquillo, Puerto Rico.


Stay connected and learn more!


I would love to bring more of our classes to you around the world so that you can enjoy more information like this in the comfort of your own home. Have you checked out my new channel on UStream, Skai Juice TV? I recently taught a class where we made Black Beans with Brown Rice and Spinach Salad with a fresh Papaya Dressing. This is REAL cancer prevention right here — no painful or expensive surgery needed!


Have you signed up for my email list? You will get more blog posts like this and learn more about my online cooking classes before anybody else!



Skai Juice TV: Live from the Butterfly Kitchen – Luquillo, Puerto Rico

Did you catch my last cooking class on my very own UStream Channel, Skai Juice TV? I had so much fun creating some special, easy dishes just for you. What did I make? I made a combination of raw and cooked vegan food: Black Beans with Brown Rice and Spinach Salad with a fresh Papaya Dressing.  I walk you through each dish, step-by-step, so you can learn these simple recipes.


I am so happy I get the good fortune of living in Puerto Rico and creating beautiful, vegan food for my cafe as well as those who come down for a wellness retreat. However I know all of you may not be able to make it here, so I want to be able to bring Paradise Wellness to you.


In the very near future, I will be doing a lot more interactive classes where we can cook healthy, simple recipes together as well as learn how to live a more healthy lifestyle.


What You Learn in the Video


What I aim to do with my cooking instruction videos is teach you how to incorporate healthier eating habits into your day. Eating well does not have to be expensive, nor does it have to take a lot of time in the kitchen. The video is under an hour, although it should only take you 30 to 45 minutes to cook this entire meal.  Some of the things we talk about in this online cooking class are


  • Reduce your salt intake and lower your blood pressure

  • Make heart healthy meals with less fat

  • How eating more greens will improve your life

  • Tips that will help you save money and get the most out of your ingredients

  • Determine organic produce from conventional

  • Kitchen short cuts that will save you time


All of my tips are practical, fun, and easy to incorporate into your own kitchen.


I plan on doing a lot more of these classes, so please chime in and let me know if you liked this video.  What did you like best about the class? What do you want to see more of?


Here’s my recipe for the Papaya Dressing


¼ large papaya

½ sweet red pepper

1 garlic clove

10 pitted dates

1 tablespoon liquid aminos


Throw all the ingredients into the blender until well incorporated. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your taste. Add this papaya dressing to a bed of spinach topped with fresh papaya chunks.


This really is such a simple recipe!


I plan on doing a lot more of these videos and I want you to stay in the loop. Sign up for my email list and you’ll be the first to know about my next set of classes will air on Skai Juice TV!

Orange Spice Cake...all Chef Skai Juice
Orange Spice Cake…all raw…by Chef Skai Juice


Watch my first episode of Skai Juice TV!  The next class airs live on May 22, 8pm EST!!  We are going to be making delectable Raw Desserts!  SIGN UP TODAY!  Buy a ticket to Skai Juice TV:  RAW DESSERTS PPV show on Ustream!