Sunday, May 31, 2009

Gonna Make You Sweat!!!

Oh..My...WORD People!!!!  Have any of you tried Bikram Yoga?????

Today Preston and I went to the 4:00 class and it was out of this world INSANE!  Like seriously insane.  I would say that I am a pretty physically fit individual.  I go to the gym every morning, run, lift weights, very active, etc... but this 1 1/2 hours in EXTREME heat kicked my tail like no tomorrow.

I seriously thought I was going to lose my cookies about 20 times throughout the session and sheepishly looked over at my husband with eyes saying "HELP!!!!" as he sweated thru the poses himself, trying to remain upright and not planted face first on the floor!

For those who are familiar with Bikram yoga, the class consists of 26 Hatha Yoga postures and 2 breathing exercises. Half of the postures are performed while standing, half are performed on the floor, and all are repeated twice during each 90 minute session. The classes are conducted in a heated facility under the direction of a certified Bikram Yoga instructor.

Everything about it was HARD!  But once we got to the floor exercises I thought "halleluia we are home free!" HAAAA  I couldn't have been more wrong.  It got harder and harder, and hotter and hotter!  It was easily about 95 degrees in the room!

When the class was over we had a two minute cool down on our back doing some pose that I have no clue the name, but I closed my eyes and started to say some prayers, thanking God for helping me to get thru this! :) And just the blessing of health and the ability to do this.  I got all weepy!!!!  I guess sweating your battookies off will make a girl weep.  I was amazed at my emotions!

When we first got there I was overwhelmed with the STENCH of the place.  Think about it, 45+ sweaty stinky students sweating and dripping everywhere, with no circulation.  THAT can't help but permeate the walls, the floors.  Gross!  But once I grew accustomed to it I didn't notice it any longer.  When the torture was finally over we went outside in the summer heat and was chilled to the bone by the temperature outside...amazing!

But for all my moaning over how hard it was...it was equally as awesome.  I love a challenge, and love the fact that I burned 600 CALORIES!!!!  Can I get an amen???!!!!

The instructor said to receive the most benefits from the class you should return within 24 hours....ummmm yeah....not sure if I'll be back THAT soon...but I'll definitely be back!

So tell me...have any of you done Bikram Yoga???  Please tell me about it.  I'd love to hear your experiences too!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Whole Foods Raw Class!!!!

I just got back from the Raw Class at Wholefoods and it was so much fun and enlightening!!!  Plus, it was extra nice since my husband went along with me, as well as one of my very best friends...double bonus!!!

Chef Olive treated us to A LOT of various recipes and had us laughing and talking the entire time.  The class was supposed to only last 1 1/2 hours, but she laughed that there was no way she could squeeze everything she wanted to say in that little amount of time! :)  Fine by me...lets get the most out of the $5.00 I spent!!!  Which by the way was SOOOO CHEAP compared to the information we learned, and all the food and drinks we got to enjoy.  Apparently she has these classes once a month, and even has a pot luck support group/get together outside of Wholefoods on the 2nd Sunday of every month for everyone to come with some of their favorite raw dishes to share and commune together!

She is a pretty remarkable woman...funny too!  She started eating raw because of the VAST amount of health issues she was dealing with.  I don't remember them all, but a few that stuck out in my mind was that she lost 60 lbs. within 3 months, completely got off all high blood pressure medication, insulin injections for her diabetes, off all thyroid medications she was, currently has dreadlocks down to her waist where she used to be going bald, moles that covered her body in various places fell off completely, was deaf in her right ear and now has 60 % hearing, had very poor vision and wore tri-fold glasses where she now only uses regular glasses for night time driving on occasion!  She has been raw for 7 years now and has lost a total of 116 lbs.  It wasn't that she doesn't like cooked food...she does...it just doesn't like her and was wrecking havoc on her body!

We all took our seats in this room that was all set up with overhead cameras so that we could see what she was mixing up in her bowls.  There was probably 45 people in attendance...several you could tell were repeat guests, some new like us!
Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of everything we ate (DOH!!!) but I did manage to snap a few before I scarfed them down.  They were all wonderful and really shows that eating raw doesn't have to be bland and boring... I'll share some of the recipes we learned about today...

Upon arrival she had some freshly made flavored water, and made several different kinds throughout the time we were there.  The first was a Vanilla/Rosemary water.  It simply consisted of two vanilla beans and a large batch of fresh rosemary and filtered water.  She allows it to steep outside in the sun to really bring out the flavors.  This one was "okay", especially not compared to the plum water we had next...this was by far every one's favorite!

The Plum water consisted of about 15 small plums steeped with about 8 tea bags (she used green tea) in about 1 gallon of water.  The plums provide a natural sweetness in itself, but you can also add some raw honey to make it even sweeter.  This was delicious.

Another water that she made, which wasn't my favorite, I believe she called Green Water...my girlfriend said that it tasted like we were drinking gum water due to it's peppermint flavor.  Again, 1 gallon of water, with 3 T of chlorophyll and 1 dropper of peppermint.

Now onto the foods....

First she made "pasta" out of zucchini using a spiroli...oh my word...I want one of these things.  Seriously...it made the most perfect looking pasta out of a vegetable!  They had such lovely curves and curls...it was great!  Unfortunately I scarfed it all down before I took a picture of it...but here is the recipe for Zucchini Pasta...

5 zucchinis - sliced into pasta using the spiroli
Add 2 T EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil) to the noodles right away so they don't weep
3 cloves of garlic (she put the garlic into this contraption called the Rev'n Chef...it has a string that you pull...kinda like the old speak and say toys you had as a child...and it was wind this thing up and pulverize the garlic!)
1 2/3 tsp. of umboshi paste (which is basically fermented plums)
1 T. raw honey
3 T. Nama Shoyu
1/2 tsp. five spice
2 scallions finely chopped
1 T tamarind paste
handful of fresh snow peas, field peas and flat leaf parsley

Mix all this up and then top with sesame seeds

The next recipe we got to enjoy was a Carrot, Zucchini & Pesto dish!

She had a large bowl full of carrots and zucchini that she sliced up using a peeler.
Add 3 T EVOO
Borsari spices - sprinkled heavily over top
Mix all of this with your hands, really work these ingredients in.
Add 2 T of arugula/basil pesto
Add a handful of pine nuts

Mix all this together and serve along with the Everyday Tomato Sauce

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked then drained, leaving 1/3 cup of the water
3 plum tomatoes
1 cup of raw cashews
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 cloves of garlic (again she pulverized it first)
1/2 tsp. paprika
handful fresh cilantro
1 tsp. celtic sea salt
2 T honey
2 T lime juice

Blend all of this together.  To make a "meatier sauce" add the following:
2 cup of raw walnuts...pulse them in a food processor...don't over pulse - you want a thicker consistency.  Once pulsed just right add to blender and mix gently.

Serve sauce and carrot dish together.  This was one of our favorites for sure.  Here is a picture of it...Chef Olive put it on the side so that we could taste the carrot mix with or without the sauce...it was so good though...I wanted to lick the plate! ;)

The next dish that she made was raw RICE!  I was excited to see how this was going to turn out!!  

Head of cauliflower and pulsed it in the food processor.  Again, you don't want to pulse it so much that it gets all mushy, but just enough.
Add couple sprigs of fresh dill (chopped)
Sprinkle lemon pepper
EVOO (I didn't right down the amount dang it...I'm thinking no more than 2 T!)

Separately pulse the following nuts:
Handful of raw pinenuts
Handful of raw cashews (she prefers macadamia nuts but didn't have these today)

Blend all the ingredients together by mashing a bit with a spoon.

Upon eating the first bite I was disappointed.  Not in the taste, but I guess I was expecting it to really be LIKE rice.  But it wasn't, and it can't...it's raw, not cooked.  But it only took a nano second to get over my disappointment because it tasted out of this world.  My husband was also VERY into this dish.  As you can see below...I wolfed it down before I realized I hadn't taken a picture so this is just a few crumbs I had left to photograph!

Another big hit was a Papaya Sorbet of sorts:  The ingredient list is short and super easy to make!

1 papaya, split and de-seeded (which you can use the seeds, once dehydrated, as pepper!!)
Freeze the papaya
Once frozen, then take out of the freezer and defrost in the fridge for one hour
Using a cheese grader, grate the papaya and place in bowl

On the side, mix up the syrup you will use: equal parts agave syrup & fresh lime juice.  I believe she used 1 cup agave & 1 cup lime juice.  

Serve the papaya in individual bowls and then drizzle the syrup over the top.

She gave us a tip on a syrup that she often uses, and licks the bowl over, for her raw pancakes is orange juice, agave nectar and a pinch of cinnamon!

Here's the recipe for Mohitos

honey and lime juice syrup (equal parts) - I "think" she used 1 cup of each...
3 cups of crushed ice
fresh mint - pound with bottom of bowl to release flavors, then placed into mixture and gently pound again
2 Kombucha bottled drinks (of your choice, she used #7 today)...this makes the "sparkling flavor" of the drink.

This was good, had a definite KICK to it!

One recipe that she did not get to, but gave us the recipe anyways was for

Tomato and Fennel Soup
4-5 tomatoes cut
1 med fennel bulb
1 sm. yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of rejuvelac
1/2 cup of sunflower seed
2 tsp thyme
1/4 cup EVOO

Mixed all up in blender.  If you prefer it warm...put it on stove top and just warm until WARM to the touch...don't want to cook it and kill all those great enzymes!

As you can see...today was a plethora of information.  It was so fun and something we will most definitely do again and again!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

EATS!!!

I found a new protein shake that Preston and I have been drinking!  I fill the blender up with spinach of course, add either Hemp protein for me, or whey protein Vanilla for him, about 1 cup of almond breeze and 1 frozen banana....I usually blend everything except the banana first to get it all liquified, then add the frozen banana so that it turns out to be more slushy.  If you throw the banana in there with the rest, by the time the spinach is all pulverized the banana losses all of it's frozen consistency!

It turns into another lovely green shake!
Today I also made the Chia Pudding from Kristen Suzanne's raw cookbook!  It was very easy to make...

Combine Chia seeds and raw coconut
In blender you basically mix raw cashews, clover, vanilla, ginger, water and medjool dates...then pour it over coconut/chia mix
Then you begin to stir...then wait...
And stir it again...and wait...and it becomes very gelatinous!
This particular recipe was a bit too strong for me, spice-wise.  I think next time I'll forgo the clover!  It was pretty good though with some fresh strawberries over the top!

For those of you that are unfamiliar with chia seeds (remember Cha Cha Cha Chia...the growing "hair" plant on tv????)  Well Chia is a nutrient dense super seed with remarkable levels of nutrition.  In addition to its high fiber content, chia is the richest known vegetable source of Omega-3 fatty acids.  It has a nutty flavor and can be added to smoothies, soups, sauces and desserts.  It can even be sprinkled on cereal, yogurt or salads.  I happened to taste it right out of the can and was surprised that it wasn't half bad.  If you need a fiber jolt, take a scoop...10 g of fiber per each tablespoon!!!

Now it's Ani time!!!  I decided to make two recipes of hers today for lunch and then for mid-afternoon snack time. :)  I made the Summer Berry Cobbler first!  It was so super easy to follow and I was pleasantly pleased with my Raw Chef self...

First I added a bunch of raw pumpkin seeds and almonds to my food processor, along with some dates, sea salt and olive oil.  This is to make the pie's crust.

As you can see...I'm in desperate need for a MUCH bigger food processor!
Once it's all done, and mixed together really well, you press it down into a small pie pan!  Oh...and I managed to taste a sample off my fingers...DELICIOUS!
Then you make the Berrylicious Syrup which basically consists of fresh blueberries, some more dates and a bit of water.  It makes this beautiful thick syrup!
That gets poured over the pie crust...
And then you arrange blackberries and/or blueberries to the top!
VOILA!!!  Raw Summer Berry Cobbler!!!
The second recipe I made was for my raw lunch today...Wilted Spinach Salad with Marinated Onions in Mustard Seed Dressing!  This was most definitely awesome! 
And since yesterday I talked about lunch foods...I used some of yesterdays left over veggie burger and chopped it up to make the boys some quesadillas!  I used a Whole grain (this particular beauty is made of stone ground whole wheat, barley, oats and mullet), chopped veggie bean burger, sliced fresh tomatoes and then I added what I had left of some mozerella cheese and a few slices of the raw cheddar cheese...simply because the taste is out of this world!)
Then folded it over and grilled them on the skillet, both sides until brown!
I took a sample bite and WOZERS ... so good!
Kid tested...mom approved!!!

Ani's Raw Food Recipes

I ordered these two books and they finally arrived yesterday.  I'm so excited!!!  They are LOADED with some pretty awesome recipes.  What I'm most excited is that all, except just a few, do NOT require a dehydrator that so many other raw cookbooks require.  Her most used, and beloved kitchen appliances, are a food processor and blender.  Of course she uses a Vita-Mix...sigh...how I long for one of these...but with a hefty price tag around $400 I don't see one in my near distant future! :)

Anyways, there are SEVERAL recipes that I actually have the ingredients on hand, so I plan on making these right away...check back later and I'll give you some tantalizing visuals! :)


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lunch Ideas...

I've been asked to give some ideas for lunch recipes.  I typically am a HUGE salad kinda gal, but there are occasions when I make something other than that, or I have to pack our lunch and a salad is not convenient.

Here are a few ideas I have used in the past:

1.  I LOVE French Meadow's Hemp Seed Bagels.  These babies are LOADED with protein and fiber which will ensure you stay full for a LONG TIME!!!  I usually add some almond butter and natural Strawberry jelly for a filling and tasty sandwich!  If Almond butter/jelly isn't your thing, you could always add some fresh avocado, tomato, onion, lettuce to make a delish veggie sandwich.  And if you're a meat eater...add some turkey!

2.  We also eat a lot of left overs from dinner (so be sure to make extra!!!).  One of the dishes that comes to mind is brown rice and black beans.  I always add chopped onion and a bit of vinegar to my black beans.  Could even throw some salsa over the top, and chicken too.  Grill a bunch of chicken at the beginning of the week, chop it up, and it's ready to go!  

3.  One of my boy's favorites are chicken quesadillas.  These are super easy to make and store very nicely so you can make up a bunch and eat on them all week! :)  Chop up raw chicken, pour into saute pan with a bottle of salsa.  Cook completely.  Take Whole Wheat tortillas and fill half with chicken mixture and a bit of mozzerella cheese, fold other side of tortilla over on itself.  Heat quesadilla on skillet.  

4.  Taco salad:  Buy whole wheat tortillas and cup them up into chip sized pieces.  Place on baking sheet and cook on 375 degrees until chips are toasty!  Build your taco salad with ground turkey meat that was sauteed and some taco seasoning thrown in there.  Add lots of lettuce and as many fresh veggies as you like!  Salsa too.  Enjoy with the tortilla chips!

5.  Hummus wraps!  I'm also a big fan of hummus...so I'll often eat a whole wheat tortilla wrap with hummus, cucumbers and bellpeppers together.  Or I'll add some hummus with tabouli.  Hummus is pretty much good on EVERYTHING in my opinion! ;)  My favorite is the Sabra brand!  Can be found at most grocery stores!!!

6.  Speaking of wraps...there are occasions when I want something extra delish, even feels naughty :) and I'll use a whole wheat wrap, almond butter and banana.... now THAT's good!!!

I think the main thing when trying to figure out how to eat more whole foods in your diet is to begin by ADDING, not taking away.  Just start adding more fresh vegetables (salads, veggies dipped in hummus, etc..) and more fresh fruits to your diet.  Then take a look at the things you truly love eating and figure out the way you can eat them without being processed with a bunch of names you cannot pronounce on the box!  You'll find that the more you feed your body all the nutrients that it needs, your hunger mechanism will not go off as often and your body will start to crave these better foods.

Yes...it does take work.  It's definitely not as easy as cracking open a box and throwing some nuggets in the microwave.  But at the same time it doesn't have to be complicated.  More of your whole foods are used during dinner time, when everyone is gathered around the family table....just start getting in the habit of making more food and eating some of it as leftovers.  And try to throw in a salad at each meal too.  If you have a large salad at lunchtime, then at dinner just make a side salad.  Or if you forgo the salad at lunch then have one on the side and eat a larger portion of salad at dinner.  It's the raw vegetables that will energize your body and help with digestion because they contain live enzymes that haven't been killed during the cooking process.

I'd love to hear from you all...do you have any healthy lunch recipes that others would really enjoy hearing about???  Please do share!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Raw Foods Class at Wholefoods!!!

My girlfriend, Rebecca, told me about a class that Whole Foods is offering this weekend. All about Raw, with a real raw chef!

Saturday, May 30th at 12pm!! The cost is $5 - Join Chef Olive as she showcases quick seasonal delights, a couple of easy recipes to get you in and out of the kitchen in a flash. Pre-register at customer service; space is limited. This event will be held in the Lifestyle Center Dr. Phillips store. The number to register is 407-355-7100.

I just signed up for it...anyone want to join me???

These are a few of my favorite things!!!

I am a creature of habit.  I get to eating one thing and I stick to that one thing until I've completely worn out its welcome and I can't eat it any more.  HOWEVER...one "dish" I've been eating over time lately (although I hadn't had this in a few weeks while I was busy whipping up various smoothie concoctions) is this Flax Cereal Goodness! :)


Unfortunately I was completely out of strawberries that I like to pile on with any other fresh berries I have on hand.  This morning I cleaned out the blueberry and blackberry stash!  Then I top it with Almond Breeze Vanilla "milk"!  Oh my word.  Have you EVER tried Almond Milk????  Seriously...it may just be the next best thing to bread!  I've only tried the sweetened version, but I did buy the unsweetened Vanilla flavor and am waiting to crack it open once the other container is empty!
By the way...another one of my new favorites now...the homemade granola bars that I made last week!  Seriously folks...these are out of this world!  I think maybe next time though, I'm only going to use 1 stick of butter, not 1 1/2 sticks...perhaps THATs why they tasted more like a rich dessert than a "on-the-go" granola bar.  My youngest wants me to forgo the dried fruit for chocolate chips...I told him we'd check out the Ghiradelli Dark chocolate chips.  


Monday, May 25, 2009

New Favorite Salad Dressing

I now have a new favorite raw and healthy salad dressing I thought I would share with you all!

Balsamic Vinagrette!

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 T Agave Nectar (more or less depending on how sweet you want it, but at least SOME is essential to the overall flavor of this dressing!)
1 small garlic
1 tsp. dijon mustard

Blend all of this in the blender, then add 3 T of olive oil while blender is going.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

It's really really good!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Outta here...

Bye folks....I've got my car loaded up and my bags all packed!  I'm headed out to the FPEA homeschool convention!  YEAH!!  Look forward to this every year!

I've been in a serious quandry over what to have on hand while there.  They only have serious nasty artery clogging food on hand in the convention hall.  So...I've loaded myself down with apples, carrot sticks, Superfood Bars and a Hemp Seed bagel with Almond butter and strawberry jelly.  Oh...and lots of bottle waters.  I need a rolling cart to just lug my eats around!

Anyways...wanted to tell ya where I will be all weekend so you're not expecting an update! :)

I'll be back Sunday night...have a great holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Busy Bee!

This morning I woke up determined to fix the various ingredients I've had sitting on my counter all week waiting to be used!  I started off with the Homemade Granola bars that I blogged about a few days ago.  I had never tried them personally and they looked really yummy and easy to do!

First I blended the almonds, wheat germ and oats and then toasted
them on 400 degrees, stirring them often to prevent burning
While the oats were getting toasty in the oven, I heated the butter, 
agave nectar (used this instead of honey) and vanilla.  Once the oats
were toasted I pulled them out of the oven and mixed in the agave butter blend.
Once it was thoroughly mixed I put it in a baking dish (with wax paper)
and with another sheet of wax paper over the top I 
pressed down REALLY hard so that after it sets it 
won't fall apart later!
Doesn't that look just yummy!!!  In about 2 hours I'll pull
it out of the fridge and slice them up!  YUM!!!
This weekend is my "girls weekend" at the Homeschool Convention that is coming to town!  This year I'm spending two nights away instead of commuting back and forth everyday with three other girlfriends and I am uber excited!!!  Of course when us girls get together there is always food and munchies involved.  I decided to make a couple treats that would be full of nutritious ingredients, even raw to boot!  I first made the Raw Donut Holes...always a hit.

I got this idea originally from Foods That Fit  Abbie refers to these as Snicker Bars, but after doing them myself, and trying them too, I definitely think they should be called Almond Joys because of the slight coconut flavor you can detect from the coconut butter/oil that goes into the chocolate sauce!

Use Medjool dates, de-pitted, and then I used 2 raw cashews
I've seen almonds or macadamia nuts used as well
Then I pinched the date closed again
And then dipped it into a raw mixture of chocolate (didn't
even need to heat it to get the right consistency!)
The chocolate was just equal parts cocoa powder, agave
nectar, and coconut oil.  Plus 2 tsp. of vanilla.  Mix together
and dip date.  Place on wax paper and put in fridge until
chocolate sets.  Be careful...these are delicious!!!
Of course the entire time I was baking this morning Ashton was by my side...this morning though he was definitely contributing to the mess that mommy was already making on her own!  He had dubbed him King of the Kitchen and this was his thrown!!!  I even had to find him a scepter!


Thoughts on Yesterday's Raw Challenge

Yesterday I ate 100% raw.  I felt really good and actually sensed a lightness to my body, internally and externally.  I really never craved anything and actually didn't even WANT food for dinner, so I opted for this little beauty...The Hot Pink Lady!

1 medium beet, fresh strawberries and fresh pineapple
You should have seen my sink as I was cleaning the juicer...it looked
like I had murdered someone!!!!  This was definitely not one
of the cleanest juices I have made!

I'm always on a path of discovery...I like to learn new things, read about new ideas, practice and implement solutions.  About 8 weeks ago is when I truly started trying to look at food thru a different set of eyes and eat intuitively.  To see food as God intended, as a source of nutrition - something to be enjoyed for sure, but not abused.  As I started implementing these ideas and began to eat more intuitively I definitely started seeing and feeling a difference.  I ate what my body craved, when it was hungry and stopped when I was full.  There was variety and it was satisfying.

Which brings me to the point of my post.  I have mentioned many times over that since introducing A LOT more raw foods into my diet, while completely eliminating all things processed, the normal cravings for certain foods has all but disappeared.  I feel so much better since changing my diet this way.  My skin feels better, I sleep VERY soundly but wake up refreshed, I'm losing weight and inches!  But what I think yesterday showed me is that, for me...FOR NOW...I don't think I want to be 100% raw.  While there are an amazing amount of resources for "cooking" the raw way with a TON of variety, I just don't have the time, nor the money to be whipping up these exotic dishes that satisfy a diverse palette.  Like with all other "diets" of the past where you feel limited in your food choices, I don't want to feel that way with this either.  If I want a baked sweet potato then by golly I want to eat one.  I think eating intuitively is the way to go, and that includes a variety of foods, raw and cooked a like.  I can see myself doing as I've been doing for a few weeks now, about 70% raw, the rest cooked.  That seems to be a good balance, and quite satisfying.

I do think, however, it is VERY good for the body to have these periodic times to eat ONLY raw.  It allows your digestive system to have a break (especially when you are only juicing) to help your body with the elimination process more, riding your body of built up toxins.

With that being said, however, I still completely agree with the Whole Foods (not the grocery store) approach to eating.  Not processed or synthetic ingredients, but rich whole foods...the way God intended our bodies to be nourished.

I'm so enjoying learning more about intuitive eating, whole foods, superfoods, raw foods, and antioxidants.  There is such a plethora of information out there...I would highly encourage you to check out some books from the library yourself and become better informed on what you feed your own engine! :)  Be sure it's top grade...not sludge!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Raw Wednesday Challenge!!

If you follow any other foodie blogs around, Wednesday seems to be the day where most will try and do a completely raw foods day, even if they aren't raw foodists any other day.  Raw foods are incredibly good for your body.  Juicing is EXCELLENT for your body since it brings nutrients quickly into your body, ready to enter the bloodstream, and gives your digestive system a break!  For those that are even remotely interested in upping your nutrition, tapping into more raw foods, join me, even if for only once per week, on Wednesdays...for RAW WEDNESDAY CHALLENGE!!  Try it, if only for your meals until dinner...that's a start and your body will thank you!

If you don't have a juicer, that's okay to get started.  Try whipping up your favorite raw smoothie.  Let your tastebuds be your guide.  Don't worry about counting calories, weighing or measuring...just pick your favorite produce and go to town!  Mid morning, eat some more fruit...perhaps whole this time.  Then for lunch make a gigantic salad...throw on some nuts, avocados...real filling foods that will stick to your ribs!  And let me know how you feel....I'm curious!

So to begin my Raw Food day I decided to juice instead of my typical smoothie.  

Included 3 carrots, 1 apple, 4 pieces of kale
After juicing it, I decided it needed 1/2 lemon juice.

It was actually fabulous!  I pour most of it into my glass, but kept some aside to add 2 scoops of my Greens N' Things.  I chugged that down separately so that it would alter the taste of my entire drink.

It's now mid morning and I'm eating my new favorite fruit, two Pixie Seedless Tangerines!  These tangerines ROCK!  So sweet, NO SEEDS, comes off the peel so easy...just divine!!!

For lunch I hate a big salad (for some reason in this picture the salad portion looks rather small while the hummus looks HUGE....I promise I had more greens than chick peas!)

Salad consisted of mixed baby greens, sprouted mung beans and various other sprouts,
red pepper, tomatoes, 1/2 avocado, green onion, fresh lemon & lime juice
and of course the dallop of hummus 
When I was at the store the other day I picked up this RAW sharp cheddar cheese and wanted to try it (although I've elminated dairy from my diet with the exception of special occassions, etc.)  But it was actually really really good!  I probably only had about 1/2 oz.
It's now time for a midday snack and I've got a hankering for another Amazing Grass Superfood Chocolate RAW Bar...so that's what I'm going to have!  These are the bomb!



I haven't gotten a real hankering for any type of sweet in quite a while.  I still really don't feel the CRAVE I so often used to feel for anything sugar/chocolate laden...however, while reading this new book I got from the library, Raw Food Real Food, they have some pretty AWESOME food ideas that I'm just dying to try...including, but not limited to, Chewy Chocolate Freezer Fudge!  Last night I decided to whip some up...

Got my ingredients out and went to town!!
Mix 1 jar of Almond Butter, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, 1/2 cup of maple syrup,
1 T coconut oil (butter-like texture), 2 tsp. vanilla extract & 1 tsp. sea salt.
Pat it out into a baking dish (or you could put them in cute candy molds) using wax paper.  Place in freezer for one hour.
Take it out of freezer, flip it onto a flat surface and cut into bite-sized squares (Makes about 50 1 inch bite sized squares).  You need to keep it in the freezer or else it will melt at room temperature.

I ate several of these last nigh...they were GREAT!  Again...I don't crave this type of stuff that much anymore (which is sooo crazy considering the power sugar had over me not too long ago) but this will definitely "hit the spot" should I desire something sweet after dinner or such!

Protein packed Bagels

For a while now I've been turned onto French Meadows Bakery and their awesome breads.  These bagels have 19 g of PROTEIN and 13g of FIBER!!!  So incredibly filling and a complete meal in itself!!!  You can usually find these breads and bagels in the frozen bread section.  I know some Publix's carry them, mine doesn't happen to, so I get mine at Whole Foods!


Some new yummy things

I have been BUSY lately.  I've been reading some great books, as well as great RAW cookbooks and am amazed by the abundance of food options there are out there.  I'm currently salivating over the possibilities and varieties of foods I can try if I was to get a dehydrator.  A dehydrator heats foods at a low enough heat that the live enzymes are not destroyed, thus protecting the integrity of the whole food!!!  I've got my eye on an Excalibur..we'll see.

The other night I got a hankering for a "dessert".  We had some left over medjool dates from the Raw Donut Holes I made the other day so I decided to slice on in half, pit it, and put a dallop of raw almond butter and a 1/2 piece of dark chocolate in the middle.  It was heavenly. How have I lived my entire life until now without dates???  Seriously, these are so awesome.  They looked too close to a prune so I've always quickly passed right by them in the past.  Not any longer....

Another new recipe that I tried recently is one that is circulating the internet quite a bit...

The Raw Kale "Massaged" Salad

It's basically a bunch of Kale, washed and cut off the stem, then chopped.  In a bowl you pour 2 T of olive oil and massage it thoroughly until all the leaves are coated.  The Kale will begin to soften quite a bit.  Then scoop one fresh avocado into the bowl (de-pitted and skinned) and massage that into the leaves as well.  Add diced cucumbers and tomatoes and the juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon.  ENJOY!

Although this salad is HIGHLY PRAISED on many chat boards and blogs across the internet, it was just "okay" for me.  Perhaps because I am a big salad eater and I like to really unload the produce bin into my salads...this just seemed to be lacking something.  Hubby wasn't all that impressed with it either.  I did like the Kale though and was pleasently surprised how soft it became from all that massaging! :)

As I mentioned in a previous post...I love these Raw Organic Bars that several companies distribute.  They are GREAT for midday snacks, or on the go.  They are packed with awesome nutrients without all the junk that comes in so many of them.  Amazing Grass was the very first one I tried, and loved, but I think I've found a replica of it, but cheaper, packed with MORE protein and actually a bit better tasting (if that was even possible!)  Whole Foods has a generic brand with almost identical ingredients, but it tastes so much more "peanut-ty" and has 11g of protein!!!  And at 1.99 it makes it that much more appealing!
Today I came across a yummy new salad dressing recipe which I'm all over since I eat salads quite a bit.  I'm typically just a olive oil and splash of lemon kinda gal, but I'm always up for something to make my salad even that much more enticing!!!  While I was juicing my oranges for the base of the recipe the boys asked for some freshly made lemonade with their lunch...ABSOLUTELY.  I peeled one lemon, juiced it and added it to a shaker, poured 1 T of agave nectar, ice and bottled water...shake, shake, shake and VOILA - two incredible good, and healthy glasses on lemonade coming up!

Okay...back to the salad!  Here is the recipe:  Creamy Citrus Dressing

1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice

1 small avocado, peeled and pitted

1/4 cup + 2 T fresh squeezed lime juice

1 handful of cilantro

1 green onion, white and 1 inch of green, coarsely chopped

1 T chopped shallot

1/2 small jalapeno

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

In a blender, add the avocado, orange and lime juices, cilantro, green onion, shallot, jalapeno, and salt and blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly pour in the olive oil, allowing it to emulsify for a thick, creamy consistency.  Season to taste with pepper.  Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Here is the dressing a top my salad consisting of lots of baby greens, 2 strawberries, 1 Pixie seedless tangerine, handful of chopped raw cashews.  Delish!
By the way...Pixie Tangerines...oh my word!  The produce manager opened one up for me on my last trip to Whole Foods and it's been love at first sight since then.  They peel right off the rind with practically no effort whatsoever.  There are no seeds and they are oh so juicy!  My new favorite fruit to go!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Will work for produce!



I feel like that is the sign I need in order to continue with this new, fresh, organic, raw way of eating that I have embarked on.  Good grief!!!

I'm still no where near completely raw, but the amounts of raw food that I do eat takes A LOT of produce...plus frequent trips to Whole Foods, which doesn't happen to be right down the street.

No wonder that so many Americans are obese...eating Cheeseburger, french fries and a coke is a SUPER DUPER CHEAP MEAL!!!  However, I wouldn't trade how I feel with eating the way I do  compared to the way you eat at McDonalds!

I did buy a lot of first time ingredients for some new, yummy recipes I want to try.  Unfortunately a lot of these recipes call for ingredients that I don't have, but will have plenty on hand for the next time it's needed.

Check back soon. I've gotten a few new recipes and want to tell you all about them!!!