We plan on homeschooling Kamea so we’re starting to get involved with local homeschooling groups. Greg went to our first meeting recently, and I sent these Sticky Chocolate Coconut Squares with him to share with the group. I don’t normally use as much sweetener as I used in these, when I make desserts like this for home, but since I didn’t know the group, I thought I’d bump up the sweetness a bit. ;)
Here’s another recipe that we can all enjoy whether we’re raw, vegan, or paleo, and it’s perfect during the summer because of strawberries being in season.
This recipe’s gorgeous pink color, creamy texture, and bright flavor take fruit to the next level. Serve this salad for breakfast, as a side to lunch, or as your next dessert. And, although I often make it with apples and bananas, you’ll love the cream with any fresh fruit, especially if it’s in season.
The other day I was hungry for lunch but my house was pretty empty of food. Gasp! I have no idea how that happened. So, I looked in the refrigerator and saw cucumber, pastured eggs, and a few other things. So, it was time to get somewhat creative and it worked out well. I gently scrambled the eggs in organic grass fed ghee, and made the following side dish salad.
Cucumber Mustard Salad
I’m so pleased with it that I plan on making it for a quickie appetizer salad for future dinners.
Another awesome giveaway? Already? YES! I’m selecting one winner for this fabulous prize, and if it’s YOU, then get ready for some delicious, healthy, spunky salads in your future! Zukay has been kind enough to offer one of my readers the generous prize of a “1 of each dressing” sampler pack (6 total dressings). And let me tell you…. they are good. I love that they’re living, low calorie, vegan, and fermented – I’m way into fermenting. I previously wrote about Zukay’s dressings in a post here, check it out.
WANT THE CHANCE TO WIN?
It’s simple to participate! All you have to do is answer the following question in this post’s comment section. The contest will end Monday night, February 15th @ 11:59pm. I’ll enter everyone’s name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winner on my blog Tuesday, February 16th. *Please note: While I would love to hear from everyone around the world in answering this question, I have to limit the winner to a person living in the United States.
QUESTION: What product(s) or flavor(s) would you like to see Zukay offer?
Want another chance to win? Tweet a link to this blog post and come back to let me know in a separate comment. Want another chance to win?Facebook a link to this blog post and come back to let me know in a separate comment.
I recently had someone email me through facebook asking the following:
Hi Kristen. I am ready to do some kind of detox at the first of the year, but I can’t spend a ton of money on a “program.” I know there are natural ways that don’t cost an arm and a leg, but wanted to know if you could recommend one that you may have done before you were pregnant. I’m a big fan of yours and trust your opinions. Thank you so much.
As the new year approaches, I suspect this is something on many minds. The new year is a great time to start over, try something new, or intensify what you already do, and take your health to new levels.
So, I’ll get straight to my answer… There are many ways – for free (other than the cost of organic produce and equipment needed such as a juicer or blender). I’m only touching on them briefly in this post, but if you have specific questions about any of them, then feel free to post the question in the comments section. For great tools, books, and resources to help your health journey, visit here for links to my favorite products. Note* I’m not a doctor or nurse or medical professional of any type, so I have to tell you that you should consult one before embarking on any major diet changes… okay, now that that is out of the way… here are some ideas:
1) Go Vegan Cleanse
If you’re not already, then adhering to a delicious all vegan diet is a great place to start. By eschewing all animal products and by-products you’ll not only do your body a heap of good, but you’ll also make animals very happy, and help save our earth. Be careful though, it’s possible to eat a junk food vegan diet, and while that might help animals and the earth, it’s not going to do much for your health. Keep it clean, organic, and fresh! If you want tips and ideas for foods, let me know in the comments section. You can do this for 3 days, 5 days, a month, or the whole year. Just get started, take it day by day, and enjoy the awesome journey.
2) Go Raw Cleanse
If you’re already vegetarian or vegan, then step it up a notch and go RAW! Whoo hoo! Get ready for some major energy when you do that, too. By eating all of your vegan food fresh, and uncooked, you’re getting the most out of your food by way of nutrients and enzymes. As I wrote in the vegan section above, you can do this 3 days a week, or a week at a time, or heck, set yourself a goal for one month of all Raw. Don’t be surprised if you want to make a long term lifestyle out of it, most people do. You’ll be amazed at how awesome you feel.
3) Smoothie (Greens and Fruit) Cleanse
Want to go a little more hard core? Consume all of your meals in a liquid form with smoothies. This is a nice, gentle, and fun approach to cleaning our your digestive tract with blended foods. Basically you drink green smoothies all day (this can include blended salads, green smoothies, and even all fruit smoothies). Green smoothies are great because they’re EASY to make, you can store them for a couple of days at a time if you can only prep them a few days a week, they’re satiating with plenty of diverse options, and they’re totally delicious! You could start with going for 3 days and then seeing how you feel. Or, you could do it every other day, and eat raw vegan the opposite days to get started. You’ll need a blender (regular or high powered will work) for this plan – I’ve written about my favorite blenders here.
4) Green Juice Cleanse
This is for the more ninja folks out there who want to go all the way with cleansing and renewal at an accelerated pace. Essentially, you only consume green juices all day (once in a while you can do an all fruit blend, but it’s recommended that you primarily guzzle down the green goodness). This is harder than a green smoothie fast so maybe you would want to start with just a couple of days and see how you feel. You can set up a program for yourself where you juice 3 days a week. Or, you can go truly hardcore and juice fast for a week or more at a time. Or, you could drink green juices one day, green smoothies the next and go back and forth, too. Keep in mind that on days where you only juice, you should aim for 4-5 quarts of juice a day. You’ll need a juicer for this plan, and I’ve written about my favorite juicers here.
You can do a mix of all of the above plans day by day, or you can go vegan for one week, then raw another week, then green smoothies another week, then graduate to green juices the final week. It’s important to: Be flexible. Have fun. Enjoy the journey. Give it a chance. Remember to watch how you’re body responds and make sure you get enough calories so you don’t lose your energy. Also(!), you might get a little sick in the form of detox (headache, flu like feelings with a snotty nose, skin eruptions, etc), so it’s really important to carve out some resting time for yourself.
5) You can try a program that my friend, Gena, is part of leading (it’s not free, but the price seems reasonable). The program has three levels. I’m not a huge fan of the first two levels, because they include animal products, but for the third level (Gena’s), she’s doing it all vegan! I have not gone through her program or seen specifics/results, so I can’t write about how good it is. But, Gena is an awesome coach, so I have high expectations. You can get more information here.
During our last trip to New York (in June 2009), we stayed at the Excelsior hotel in the Upper West Side. As a result, our room was quite small (I like to remember it as “quaint”) and there was no refrigeration. So, we ate all of our meals out and we referred to the meal part of our trip as a “vegan food safari.”
This trip is a little different. Since we’re staying in a nice apartment with a kitchen (and a huge refrigerator), we’ve been having at least one of our meals “home” everyday. We stocked up once at Whole Foods Market (I was not impressed with their organic produce, or their Raw section, at this location) and another time we shopped at Westerly Natural Market (they have a nice Raw section of goodies and ingredients, and the produce section is OK… what’s with all the fruit flies in these small NY markets???). Both times we walked from the UWS to Midtown for the shopping to get plenty of exercise (I love to walk every chance I get). My legs and butt are definitely getting a workout. Between walking to New Hope Fertility on the Upper East Side and the markets in Midtown, we’re clocking about 4-7 miles a day. It feels awesome!
Here is a picture of a delicious organic salad I made the other night that we gobbled up while watching The Daily Show. It had 2 avocados, 1 red bell pepper, 1 orange bell pepper, 2 stalks celery, 1/4 bunch cilantro, lime juice, and sea salt. It was so damn good!
I’ve been making organic green smoothies almost daily to make sure we still get plenty of greens in our diet. Most of them have been banana, dinosaur kale, and lime juice (the vitamin C in the lime helps the iron in the kale get assimilated). But, for the next couple of days, I’m going to make apple, curly kale, and lime juice. We’ve also been having almond butter / banana sandwiches, Raw cereal (GoRaw) and nut milk, and we’ve snacked on fresh fruit, dates, prunes, sprouted / dehydrated sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and coconut yogurt.
Of course, we’ve been eating some meals at one of our favorite restaurants, Blossom Cafe. It was so fun walking in there the first time. Everyone immediately recognized and welcomed us, as if we hadn’t been gone for even a day. We had lunch there and I enjoyed their Raw Autumn Sweet Potato Rolls and one of their huge green salads. I should’ve taken pictures but I was famished and dove in head first. Even the server marveled at how fast the Raw sweet potato rolls disappeared. My husband gobbled up their soy bacon cheeseburger, and we found out that they are using a new cheese by the company Daiya. Check it out. It’s pretty awesome. It melts great and is dairy free, soy free, and gluten free. I was impressed.
Last but not least, here is a picture of the view from our apartment at sunset. With a view like this, it makes it hard to leave the apartment.
In my next post, I’ll update you on the progress of our fertility adventure.
I’m not one to waste organic food… ever. So, when I’m done juicing, I make crackers with the leftover pulp, or I stir some into my dog’s food, or I give it to the bunny’s in my neighborhood.
Here’s a little quick video showing you the batch I made the other day.
I used my Breville to make the green juice (like only $99 bucks for this machine – so worth it). I spread the pulp mixture with an offset spatula (one of my other favorite tools in the kitchen, other than the fruit scoopers). And, I used my Excalibur Dehydrator to dry the Raw crackers (they’re the BEST on the market – hands down).
You can use any spices you have on hand. Be creative and try different combinations. And, use the juice pulp from any green juice you make.
The recipe I used below is:
For the Juice
2 cucumbers, 1 bunch Italian parsley, 5 leaves medium kale
This gives about 2 cups of pulp when using the Breville juicer.
For the pulp
1/2 cup flax* seed, 1 tablespoon tamari, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1 tablespoon mesquite powder, and 3/4 cup water (as needed) *The lovely flax I used was from a sample sent to me by Flax Matters.
This is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets (available here). What can I say? I’m a gadget girl. It makes scooping out avocado so effortless and FUN! They make GREAT gifts, too! (Holidays aren’t that far off.) :)
And, it comes in a pack of three. I use the red for avocado, the green for getting the greatest, longest pieces of coconut meat from young Thai coconuts, and the orange is supposed to be great for mango.
Now… some of you might say, “Oh, I can use a spoon for that.” Well, let me tell ya. The beauty of this scooper is that it (like practically every time) takes out the avocado in one lovely perfect avocado half. And, that makes it easy for dicing up when serving the avocado in other kinds of dishes. So, for example, when I dice avocado for a salad or a noodle dish, I need the avocado in as perfect a piece as I can get. Then, I slice horizontally in half (across) while keeping the avocado in place. Then, I slice vertically through in 3-4 slices. Voila, it’s like perfect little cubes. If you used to a spoon to get the avocado out, odds are, it comes out in pieces, making the dicing process not as nice and uniform.
All organic (except the coconut milk, but it’s non-gmo). :)
1 cup raspberries, 1 sliced banana, 1/4 cup coconut milk (not raw)
I started the day with this awesome recipe before heading to the farmers’ market for my weekly CSA of locally grown, organic produce. Yum Yum!!! I’m so proud to support our local farmer. It means the world to me.
1 tablespoon sprouted dehydrated sunflower seeds
These have lots of vitamin E in them… vitamin E is revered as the birth/fertility vitamin.
2 cups dehydrated, seasoned Kale Crispies
I love snacking on these. My mom and I had some in the car, thankfully, while we were running lots of errands this morning. We started at the farmers’ market at 7am. Then, we went to Whole Foods to do some shopping damage for foods we couldn’t find at the farmers’ market, and then we went to Sunflower Market because I refuse to pay $3 each for organic avocado at Whole Foods Market, I refuse to buy apples from across the world in New Zealand when there should be perfectly yummy apples from CA or WA (but Whole Foods doesn’t seem to carry hardly any of these and the very few ones they had were mushy feeling), and the final reason for Sunflower Market was that the coconut milk and coconut milk yogurt I like are much cheaper there! Unfortunately, Sunflower Market didn’t have good avocados so we hit up Trader Joe’s on the way home and found a bag of them there. So, as you can see, we were hitting a few different places and had to snack on something so we didn’t pass out from starvation! ;) Kale Crispies to the rescue!!!
1 quart Cucumber Carrot Vega EFA Green Juice
This was a delightfully refreshing juice made from 2 cucumbers, 4-5 carrots, 1/3 bunch of celery, 6 leaves dandelion, 1 tablespoon Vega EFA oil. I used my Breville to make this lickity-split.
2 Brazil Nuts
Dark Green Pretty Good Smoothie
I’m calling it this because it was pretty good – LOL. The recipe made about 5 cups. I drank 3 cups and gave the other two to my mommy. :) She really liked it. I used my mom’s BlendTec to make it (1 cup water, 1 head Romaine, 1 granny smith apple (cored), 1 lime (peeled), 10 strawberries, 2 large leaves kale)
Quinoa Protein Vegetable Mix (part Raw, part cooked vegan)
I made a big batch of plain red quinoa last night. Today and tomorrow, I’ll use it in a couple of different recipes. As you know, I’m upping my protein and fat a little to help prep my body for getting pregnant and having my next embryo transfer (hopefully later this month!) The recipe isn’t yet finalized. When I have it done, I’ll post it.
Hi! I'm a chef, author, homeschooling mom, and I love to eat and cook super healthy food. I'm a former vegan, now real-food omnivore, who enjoys coffee(!), dark chocolate, rebounding, and researching the latest tips for optimal living.