Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
Congratulations Ashley!!! Your name was drawn from the big bowl of names for participating in my first Awesome Giveaway. You get to pick out one of my ebooks as your gift for participating (view your choices here). Simply send me an email (or respond on this post) with the ebook of your choice and your email address.
Here is what Ashley had to say when asked where she first learned about Raw:
I first learned of raw when my friend and her husband went from hot dog addicted, junk food eaters to raw vegans overnight. They look fantastic and I was truly intrigued. =D
My next Awesome Giveaway is right around the corner in October. Check back for details! Ohhh, I’m already excited for the next one. This was so much fun!
Monday, September 29th, 2008
I had a great class this weekend… so much fun. I love teaching about Raw food and spreading the word. I get so many questions during my classes, which I love because it shows me that people are eager to learn more.
Next up… preparing for my October class (scheduled for 10/25), Raw Holidays. Last year, this class sold out EARLY, and it was so much fun. As many people reported, “The pumpkin pie alone is worth the price of admission.”
Today, I’m back to work, drinking organic plant blood and green smoothies, and gobbling up fresh salads and bananas. I’m all out of sprouts, so I need to soak some seeds tonight and get those growing again. I could eat sprouts by the mouthful. They’re so watery, fresh and crunchy.
I’m hoping to find time this week for movies. There are 4-5 out that I want to see over the next week and half! Oh, and of course, I’m stoked about this week’s VP debate. I think I’ll whip up an extra special Raw Vegan treat to munch on while we watch it.
Tomorrow, I’m going to post a delicious recipe for all of you Raw chocolate lovers out there!
Organic On A Budget
Daily Conversation Question:
What’s your favorite book?
Friday, September 26th, 2008
A great many things await you when you start eating a diet with Raw Vegan food. Common experiences include easy weight loss, increased energy, soft skin, clear and bright eyes, silky hair, better sleep, mental clarity, major health improvements, a peaceful mindset and much more.(Yay!) A common question I’m asked is, “How ‘Raw’ do I have to be to experience these things?”
As with many things in life, whether it’s diet, religion, etc., there are many different schools of thought as to which is the best plan when following a diet of Raw Vegan food. This can be confusing for people (I know it was for me when I first started). There are people on the far end of the Raw spectrum that are classified as “Natural Hygienists” and they lead a fairly strict lifestyle. Many of them don’t use salt, garlic or even ginger in their food. So, you can imagine that their position on something like agave nectar will not be favorable. On the other end of the Raw spectrum is where you find people eating anywhere from 75% to 99% of their diet as Raw and they classify themselves as “High Raw.” And, of course, there are people who call themselves “100% Raw” and they eat anything (plant-based) that is Raw (superfoods, agave nectar, raw cacao, raw nuts and seeds, etc). Really, that’s just to name a few of the categories of Raw.
For the most part, I think labels can be difficult unless you know hard and fast how you will eat and that you’ll stay that way. I find that many people evolve until they find what works best for themselves and their family. If you eat 100% Raw every day of the month except one or two days, does that suddenly mean you can’t classify yourself as 100% Raw? That would be harsh in my opinion. And, what if it changes over the years? Or, you might be like me. I enjoy eating a 100% Raw Vegan diet for weeks, months, or a season at a time and I’m happy following the HRAV (High Raw, All Vegan) lifestyle during other parts of the year. I also throw in a week here and there of just drinking green juice along with some weeks of eating fruitarian style. Oh yeah, and what about that period where I was chugging down green smoothies for days on end (was I a green smootharian?)? Hhhmmm… What the heck does all that make me?
There are a lot of books available with plenty of different opinions about Raw food and how you should go about it. My meta-position: I don’t take any one position all the way. Everyone is different and might react differently to certain foods and this might happen at different times of your life. My best advice is to “listen to your own body” because you’ll figure it out and notice what you like, what is easy for you, and what makes you feel the best. Being flexible will be one of the keys to your success with this lifestyle.
Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
Today is turning out to be one of my 100% Raw days. Here is what I’ve had so far:
1 quart plant blood (purple cabbage, green apples, celery)
1 quart green smoothie (spinach, bananas, hemp protein powder, camu powder, Fruits of the Earth, Vitamineral Green)
1 quart plant blood (cucumbers, zucchini, kale)
1 gigantic salad of spinach, broccoli sprouts, carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, and a delicious soy-free miso dressing I whipped up in less than 60 seconds.
Later tonight I’m sure I’ll have another quart of plant blood and maybe munch on some carrots in keeping with the all-Raw theme.
What have you eaten today?
Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
Living the Raw food lifestyle has made me a more effective person… in everything I do. I experience pure, sustainable energy and I require less sleep. My body is in perfect shape and I gain strength and endurance in my exercise routine frequently. Mentally, the benefits have blown me away. My focus is clear and concentrated. My memory is tack-sharp (my measurement for this – I now use fewer post-it notes – haha!). My relationships are the best they’ve ever been, because I’m happy and I love myself.
What’s so cool is that people all around me see the difference and comment on it. Frankly, raw is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
I’m a firm believer that whatever your passion is in life (family, business, exercise, meditation, hobbies, etc.), eating Raw will take it to unbelievable new heights. Raw food offers you the most amazing benefits – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It is the ideal choice for your food consumption to help you attain optimal health. Raw food is for people who want to live longer while feeling younger. It’s for people who want to feel vibrant and alive, and want to enjoy life like never before.
How has Raw improved your life?
***UPDATE! Many of my readers have responded to this question in the comments section and the details are SUPERB! Be sure to read all of the comments once you’re done reading the main post.
Saturday, September 20th, 2008
For fun, I’m sharing some of my favorite things. Do we have any favorites in common?
Kitchen Appliances: BlendTec Blender and Juicer
Movies: Iron Man and Good Will Hunting
Music Groups: Earth, Wind & Fire, Delerium and Christina Aguilera
Magazines: VegNews, Mothering and Plenty
Blogs: Nature Mom and Ecorazzi
Animals: Dogs, Horses and Lions
Fruits: Watermelon and Cucumbers
Veggies: Anything leafy and green (hold the kohlrabi)
Nuts/Seeds: Manitoba Harvest Hemp
Beverages: Plant Blood and Wine
Desserts: Raw Cobbler and Orange Blossom Chocolate Mousse
TV Shows: House, Prison Break, Top Chef, Hardball
Books: Diet For A New America, Food Revolution, Skinny Bitch, The China Study and The Alchemist
Spectator Sports: Basketball (Detroit Pistons) and Hockey (Detroit Red Wings)
Colors: Orange and Green
Restaurants: The Raven and LLCAI Cafe
Tech Toys: Nano and Blackberry Curve
Travel Spots: Bora Bora!
Non-Raw Foods: Ezekial toast with soy butter and Coconut Bliss Ice Cream
Kitchen Gadgets: Scoopers and Veggie Turning Slicer
Makeup: Lipstick and Blush
Musical Instruments: Piano and Cello
Thursday, September 18th, 2008
I love salads! And, who wouldn’t when you can have fresh salads that are topped with the most amazing dressings in the world… such as this one – Hemp Omega Caesar Dressing. For those of you who crave Caesar dressing but abstain because it’s not typically vegan, look out, because here is a tremendously healthy version that is Raw and Vegan and Awesome!
Most of you are familiar with my love affair of all food products hemp, so you won’t be surprised to learn that I’m presenting Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seeds (and oil, if desired) in this delicious recipe. Hemp is an amazing super-food because it’s loaded with nutrition, including essential fatty acids (omega-6 and omega-3, hence the name of the dressing). According to Manitoba Harvest (and the World Health Organization – ehem) these two essential fatty acids should be consumed in a balanced ratio of 4:1 which is found naturally in hemp foods. Additionally, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seed Oil also has the fatty acid Gamma-Linolenic (GLA) which helps maintain hormonal balance. But, hemp’s awesomeness doesn’t stop there… its amino acid profile dominates with 8 essential amino acids (10 if you’re elderly or a baby), making it a vegetarian source of “complete” protein!
I made this dressing for a special dinner event recently and it was a huge hit. Most of the guests were omnivores and they raved about how much they loved the dressing. You can imagine the surprise when I told them it was Raw and Vegan!
Hemp Omega Caesar Dressing
Yield 2 cups
1 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil, flax oil, or hemp oil
1/2 cup Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar
1 tablespoon dulse (or more!)
zest of 1/2 lemon
Blend all of the ingredients until creamy and enjoy over a crisp romaine salad with chopped tomatoes and cucumbers.
Sunday, September 14th, 2008
Today has been such a great day so far. I woke up and drank filtered water with fresh squeezed lemon in it. Then, I took off to the gym for a nice workout on the treadmill. After returning home, I made a refreshing plant blood recipe of cucumbers, zucchini and carrots (simple and delicious). Using my Breville, it took about five minutes total to make it, drink it, and clean the juicer. I followed that with an organic banana about 15-minutes later.
Next up… a terrific organic spinach salad complete with grape tomatoes, cucumber, dried (apple juice sweetened) cranberries, home grown sprouts, and a fabulously creamy tahini dressing that makes you want to lick the plate when you’re done!
Update: Oohh, that salad was scrumptious. A moment ago I chugged down some power green sludge (1/2 cup water, 1 heaping tablespoon Vitamineral Green powder, 1/4 tsp camu powder). Now, I’m updating my blog with these details with a wonderful green smoothie of spinach, lemon, and frozen peaches. Life is good!
I spent part of my weekend watching the first half of the 4th season of House on dvd, so today I need to catch up on work (lots to do!). I hope everyone is having a terrific day!
Daily Conversation Question:
If you believe in heaven, what do you think it will be like?
*For those who don’t know, I’m adding a “conversation question” to my blog posts. They’re from these cute “conversation starter” cards I found at a little boutique. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable when meeting new people, or if there is silence while around co-workers, or maybe you’re meeting your boyfriend/girlfriend’s parents for the first time and you want to ensure stimulating conversation. These are fun and made for just that!
Saturday, September 6th, 2008
Here it is everyone: my secret news that I’ve been dying to share with everyone! We went on the most romantic trip to French Polynesia, more specifically, the islands of Moorea and Bora Bora and got MARRIED!!! Whoo-hoo!!!! We’re so happy and excited.
Where to begin? I’m full of stories and fun memories of which I’m eager to blog. I’ll start with the most important – our wedding. Bora Bora is the most beautiful place on earth. It’s majestic, magnificent, warm, and full of natural beauty from the ocean to the full sky of stars at night to the people. It is, without a doubt, the perfect place for exchanging vows with your loved one.
On the day we were married, here was the sum total of required preparation and directions: “Be in your bungalow at 4:30pm.” That’s it! Talk about easy planning. So, at 4:30 we sat excitedly on the deck of our bungalow (pictures to come in future posts) and a Tahitian came to our dock paddling a white traditional outrigger canoe (each overwater bungalow has its own stairs stepping down into the lagoon). While the Tahitian in the canoe waited, two Tahitian girls and two boys knocked at our door. They came in and prepared us for our ceremony by dressing us in traditional Tahitian sarongs called “pareos.” I was taken to the outrigger canoe and seated at the front of it. From there, I was conveyed in the canoe like a princess to meet my groom at the shore. He was walking with the Tahitian girls and boys, one of whom blew into a conch shell making somber baritone sounds throughout the entire reverent procession. Nobody spoke and it was all very serious. But I was as giddy as a ten-year-old!
Once I arrived on shore, we joined hands and walked up a jungled footpath to the top of the motu (small islet), where we were greeted by a Tahitian priest, musicians and dancers. (It was so romantic!) The ceremony took place and the priest tied palm fronds on the groom’s right wrist and my left wrist and then we held hands as they poured ocean water from a conch shell over our joined hands (symbolizing our new life). We then placed leis and floral crowns atop each other’s heads (symbolizing responsibility). We exchanged vows and were married. We enjoyed a special island fruit and coconut beverage followed by dancing with the Tahitians. At the end of the ceremony, we were left alone to enjoy the romantic sunset over Bora Bora.
The celebrating didn’t stop there, however. We had special dinner by candle light and tiki torch on our own private tiny beach, under millions of stars and the Milky Way, resplendant in the South Pacific’s southern hemisphere view of the universe. It was the most romantic dinner I’ve ever had. The resort’s manager attended to us personally and made us feel like the most important people in the world.
We were gone about 9 days total. We spent the first half of our vacation on the island of Moorea and the second half on Bora Bora. Our amazing vacation included some of the most delicious fruit of my life (Raw heaven!), exciting adventures (I can’t wait to share those with you) and seeing the earth’s beauty in new ways.
So… that’s the big secret. I eloped to paradise! How many of you guessed THAT?
Saturday, September 6th, 2008
Just to let everyone know, I’ll be back to regular posting on my blog starting this weekend. It’s been a very busy couple of weeks (you’ll soon learn why!). Frankly, it’s been hard to post about “normal” stuff without giving it away… so stay tuned, not much longer and I’ll be sharing regularly again. Cheers!!!
Hint: I’M SO HAPPY!!!