No, it’s not anytime real soon – so don’t get too excited (although I must admit I’m very excited at the idea of it in the future!). However, here are some things I’m researching to get prepared.
1) Having the birth at home with a midwife
I was introduced to this idea after reading a phenomenal book by John Robbins, Reclaiming Our Health (I highly recommend this book, it’ll blow you away). Since then, I saw The Business of Being Born (also available through Netflix) and my resolve intensified greatly to give birth at home (or in the very least by using a birth center).
2) Insurance doesn’t cover maternity
WTF? This is something I didn’t know until recently. The good news is that having a home birth is supposed to be less expensive than a hospital.
Last year I saw a Penn & Teller: Bullshit show (it aired on Showtime, but I watched it online. It appears to have been taken down though). Their premiere episode, Circumcision, was a fascinating, yet comical at times, investigation into the controversial medical procedure that gets people asking, “to snip or not to snip?” It might not be so crazy to say “no” to this procedure anymore. Thus, the days of a boy feeling weird in the locker room are probably not going to be much of an issue in the future, if people continue to elect not to have the procedure done to their sons.
4) To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate
I saw an episode of Larry King Live with Jennifer McCarthy and she talked about her concern over the fact that in the recent years we’ve added so many new vaccinations and the speed to which we schedule them could be extremely harmful, with the possibility of being linked to autism.
5) Homeschooling – A Smart Microtrend
Homeschooling has become a microtrend in itself (just like veganism). It’s exciting to see this option gaining popularity with people taking their children’s education into their own hands to make it the best possible. In a time when… 1) more people are working from home, 2) amazing technology like the Internet makes this easy to do, and 3) families are growing tired of our shitty educational system…this is no longer a “fringe” lifestyle.
In fact, I was amazed a few months back, while teaching a Raw food class, when the topic came up and I had a handful of Scottsdale moms (all very normal, well-to-do ladies) who homeschool their kids – and they didn’t even know each other! I say “Scottsdale Moms” and describe them as such, because there was a time when homeschooling was associated with either bible-thumpers or granola-backpacking-barefoot-tree-huggers. On the contrary, these women, and their families, are far from that.
As far as our teaching skills…well, my man is wicked smart with an MBA from Wharton (he’s brilliant), a mind like a steel-trap (he remembers everything he reads and hears), and he has the patience of a monk (he’s going to be such a good dad). Me? Well, I’m college educated myself (University of Michigan), I’m resourceful and well-versed in many subjects, I’m super fun, I have the time to dedicate, and I can make a mean-green-smoothie! We feel like we’ll do a world of good for our kids if we homeschool.
6) Breastfeeding – I know I’ll do it…but for how long?
It’s my understanding that some women in the United States do this for the first 6-12 months typically. Yet, in other parts of the world, they breastfeed for at least a few years.
Check out this NEW study suggesting that breastfeeding is associated with increased intelligence!
7) The Diet!
Of course, my children will be living a High-Raw-All-Vegan lifestyle. The concern can be with letting other people babysit (family, friends). I’ve experienced, first hand, people making food for me, and thinking it follows along with my lifestyle, only to find out there was an ingredient included which wasn’t vegan. Oops.
I will end with one of my favorite quotes because, although some of the practices mentioned in this post can seem foreign to many, I can’t help but think that they feel very natural to me. I love what Gandhi said, Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Today, I’m sharing with you another great recipe – this time it’s a delicious cheese spread perfect for crunchy crackers, fresh veggies, or adding a tablespoon (or two) to your next salad dressing to sass it up with a delightful gourmet flavor. In my last email newsletter (sign up here), I gave you a fabulously popular soup recipe of mine featuring Garlic Red Pepper Miso (soy-free). Well, if you bought a jar to make the soup, I wanted to give you another recipe in which to use it. This is quick, delicious, and versatile. Enjoy!
Creamy Zinger Garlic Spread
Yield 1 1/2 cups
- 1 cup raw cashews, macadamia or pine nuts (or a mix)
- filtered water for soaking the nuts
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Red Pepper Miso
- 1 tablespoon light miso
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
- a little water, if needed to help blend
Place the nuts in a bowl with enough filtered water to cover by an inch. Let them soak like this for up to an hour. Strain off the water and rinse the nuts. Blend all of the ingredients until creamy in your blender (or food processor) and enjoy this gourmet-flavored deliciousness. Creamy Zinger Garlic Spread will stay fresh for up to five days in your refrigerator (stored in an airtight container). It also freezes well.
*TIP – For those watching your nut intake, here is a tip for reducing the fat in spreads such as this, without compromising the exquisite experience. Replace half of the nuts a peeled zucchini. Keep in mind that fat helps mellow flavors, so by reducing the fat, you might need to reduce a few of the more “flavorful” ingredients. For example, I’d start with 1/2 tablespoon of each of the miso(s) and look for a clove of garlic that isn’t too big. Start small because you can always add more, if desired.
Daily Conversation Question:
Which temptation do you try the hardest to resist?
I’m a blogging queen lately…you have to check in a couple of times a day just to keep up with me – haha :)
I just saw the movie, Iron Man, for the second time – yup, you could say I loved it! It’s received many (deserved!) rave reviews. If you haven’t seen it, then you’re missing out on a non-stop adventure of action, fun, and excitement. Both times the audience had moments of laughing out loud, clapping, or exclaimed “Yeah(s)!”
And, total kudos to Robert Downey, Jr., Iron Man, drinking a green smoothie. I was stoked when I saw that!
I’ve been doing extra running on the treadmill lately. In the past, a typical cardio session would include me switching back and forth between running on the zero incline and walking fast on a very high incline (not usually running for longer than a few minutes at a time). Basically, because I find it pretty damn hard to run. I always have.
Lately, however, I’m finding myself running for minutes and minutes on end. And, it was during one of these recent episodes of “continued” running, that I found myself totally blissed out, unaware of the time passing or the music flowing into my ears from the headphones connected to my nano. Interestingly, the trick was that I started looking at things as if I were seeing them for the first time. I pretended I was a child looking around the gym and experiencing simple objects and activities anew.
Can you imagine what it’s like looking at something as if you’d never seen it before…like the ceiling fan, the weights, someone working out, the mirrors on the wall, the cables coming down from the ceiling holding a platform suspended in the air that the TVs set on…it’s kind of weird and and cool at the same time. The first time I did this, I realized that about 15 minutes had gone by with me still running. My body was working hard, my breathing was labored, and I was starting to drip sweat, but I had this amazing level of sustained energy coursing through me, pushing me another step. I loved it!
You see, normally, I need to have some really great music on to keep me pumped up in the gym, or at the very least, I need be reading an intriguing magazine while doing some cardio (unless I’m on my rebounder!). But, it seems this isn’t the case anymore because I’m finding neat ways to engage my mind while getting my heart rate up in the gym.
Clearly, after such a superb workout (as described above), my body screams for fuel, and I’m happy to deliver (so easy to do when you live a High Raw, All Vegan Lifestyle such as mine). Here is my newest smoothie, Blissed Out Chocolate Runner’s Smoothie. I’ve been enjoying these post-workout…fantastic and delicious.
Blissed Out Chocolate Runner’s Smoothie
Yield approximately 4 cups
1-2 cups water
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cups spinach
3 tablespoons Chia Seeds
2 tablespoons Hemp Protein Powder
2 tablespoons Raw Chocolate Powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (of course!)
1-2 cups ice, optional, but especially refreshing after getting hot and sweaty!
Blend all of the ingredients until smooth and enjoy (preferably after a great workout)!
This is what I call my fresh green (or red!) juice. I feel like a Vegan Vampire when I’m drinking the blood from plants – mwe hee ha haa haha (that laugh is supposed to sound chilling and scary, although coming from me, yeah, whatever).
Today’s Plant Blood:
3 bunches parsley
4 green apples
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
GGRRRR!!!!! So, now I’m ready to take on the world with Plant Blood coursing through my veins! And, how could I not? My Plant Blood was loaded with parsley, which is filling me with phenomenal nutrition. It’s a powerful detoxifier (and deodorizer – nice!), with plenty of chlorophyll. But that’s not all…parsley contains vitamin C, iron, and many other minerals. And…that’s REALLY not all – According to Jonny Bowden, PhD., C.N.S., the Romans used to chew on parsley sprigs because it would allow them to drink more wine without becoming drunk. Wow. Hhhmmm, I’ll report back to you after I find out if that works.
On a side note…YAY for the Pistons! They are my former home team and I (always!) root for them. Maybe they’re consuming extra parsley too, because they’re rockin’ the house!
Daily Conversation Question:
If you were given money to remodel your house what would you change first?
When it comes to fitness, I’m the kind of gal who typically likes to just get into the gym and do my thing. I lift weights (pretty heavy) and I do my fair share of cardio to get a nice sweat going. I like to change it up though. As with food, variety is a key ingredient to staying motivated with exercise. I mean…who are we kidding? There are usually other things people would rather be doing than exercising – that is until NOW!
Here is one of my favorite ways to exercise while having FUN at the same time. Exercise-Fun? Oxymoron some of you are saying??? I think not! This is the perfect activity for all of you who regard exercise as a 4-letter word (you know who you are). It’s rebounding! This is one of my all-time favorite ways to get my lymph circulating, heart rate up and have FUN at the same time! Seriously.
Having a rebounder in your living room by the TV is a great way to get more exercise into your life without ever having to step foot in a gym if you don’t want to. It doesn’t matter what level of exercise you’re used to (or not used to, I should say – haha).
The proof is in the pudding…It even worked on my mom! She was one of those people who hated exercise (4-letter word is what she’d say to me in response when I would tell her she needs to do it more). True story here – She went to meet her husband at the gym to work out, but she didn’t feel like exercising because she hated it. So, here is what she did. She arrived at the gym a few minutes early, went to the water fountain and splashed water on her face. Then, when her husband arrived to work out, she said, “WHEW! I’ve been here for a while now, just had a great work out, sweatin’ my butt off, as you can tell. Well, I’m heading home now.”
So, you see…she has always hated exercise until now. Ever since she started jumping on her rebounder, she’s HOOKED! She loves it. It’s helping her lose weight, giving her confidence, and making her feel better than ever.
Here is what she does: Every day while she’s making her juice, she sets her kitchen timer in 15-minute increments. Every time it goes off during her time in the kitchen juicing, she jumps on her rebounder for 5-minutes (that’s all it takes to start getting a good workout). She’ll do this a few times a day and before you know it, she’s had some great physical activity to take her health to a whole new level. It’s quick, fun, and effective. Personally, I like to keep mine in front of the TV so I can jump on it during commercials.
Here’s a popular Rebounder. Have Fun!!!
This past weekend I enjoyed a super fun get together with friends, that I’m describing as a High-Raw Soiree. Here is what I brought as my dishes to pass (Raw, Vegan & Organic):
~Crispy Sprouted Chips (to dip in the aforementioned items)
~Chinese Hemp Noodles (one of the best dishes to take to pass at a party)
~Sweet Dreams Hemp Cookies
~Summer Fresh Lemon Cheesecake (a total hit! I can’t wait to share the recipe in my next class)
We did a little celebrating of Cinco de Mayo – complete with margaritas (not all Raw, but made with Raw agave, fresh lime and some other, shall I say, spirited ingredients). The hosts of the party had a delicious kale salad alongside some lovely steamed green beans for us. It was loads of fun…especially when we were singing along to Earth, Wind and Fire at the top of our lungs (many margaritas later).
Daily Conversation Question:
In which activity would you like a lesson from an expert?
*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!
Truthfully…it’s hard to have only one salad in the top spot, so I’m claiming that this salad has earned the right to be in the top 5 at least. It’s refreshing, gourmet, stylin’ and everyone will want seconds and thirds because the chewy, crunchy, savory and sweet will have you begging for more.
Spring and Summer are popular seasons for enjoying salads. This one is perfect for any occasion, whether you want to:
~ Make yourself a gorgeous salad. (It can be a “starter” for your meal or the whole meal itself.)
~ Serve it to your family. (Get many “oohs and ahhs” while you’re at it.)
~ Show it off to friends. (This salad gives you total bragging rights! It’ll make you very popular.)
I served this for the salad course at my last Mandala Dinner event, and probably received the same number of emails requesting this recipe as I did for the Spinach Thyme Soup Recipe (available in May’s email newsletter – sign up here).
Making the Salad: There are few components you’ll need to make in advance, so plan accordingly. I’m known for bragging that my ebooks and recipes are EASY and FAST! Even though this recipe involves a little more work than the typical chopping found in a salad, the work is acceptable for two reasons…1) the salad is a-freakin’-mazing and 2) the work you do for a couple of the items (seeds and leeks) is for making components to the salad that can be stored for future salads; hence, the second, third and maybe fourth time you make the salad, you’ll only toss together the dressing and leafy greens.
You’ll need the following for each small serving of salad:
2 cups spring mix lettuce
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1 tablespoon Sweet Vanilla Rain Sunflower Seeds (in my Sides-n-Snacks ebook)*
1 tablespoon Dried Leeks (recipe below)
2-3 tablespoons Olive Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe below)
*You can use any sweetened raw, sprouted and dehydrated seeds, but this simple recipe of mine is one of the main components that brings this salad together. (Special flavors!)
Dried Leeks: Slice 2-3 leeks very thinly, rinse well and place in a bowl of water to soak for about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Place the leeks in a shallow bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt. Let these marinate for about 15-minutes. Transfer them to a dehydrator tray (shaking off any excess oil over the bowl beforehand) and dehydrate until crispy – which is approximately 10-15 hours. Note: Make extra dried leeks so you have plenty on hand. Store them in a glass mason jar in your refrigerator for future salads and soups.
Olive Vinaigrette Dressing
Yield 1 1/4 cups
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons raw agave nectar
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives (or any olives of your choice)
Blend all of the ingredients for the dressing except for the basil and olives. Add the basil and olives, and pulse your blender to break them up, but not to blend them completely. This gives the dressing a lovely texture and color. Put your salads together with all of the ingredients above and enjoy!
If you’re in the Phoenix area during the weekend of May 17, you’ll want to register for our next class, Easy Raw Vegan Desserts.
It’s going to be sooooooo much delicious fun as I teach you how to make Easy, Wonderful, Mind-Blowing Raw Vegan Desserts. By the end of class, we’ll have our Raw Vegan Sweets Buzz going on and feel absolutely amazing! Seats are going fast so register today to guarantee yourself a seat.
Okay everyone! I’m ready to share my Spinach Thyme Soup Recipe. For those of you who don’t know, I served this for the soup course at the last Mandala Dinner event, and I’ve received email after email requesting the recipe. Everyone, including the non-raw foodies who attended the dinner, L-O-V-E-D it.
So, I’m ready to share it, and it’ll arrive in your email inbox soon, if you’re a subscriber of my email newsletter. If you’re not…what the hell are ya waiting for???…get to it by going to my website here. Oh, and by the way…I have also received MANY requests for the salad recipe I served that evening, so I’ll be sharing that soon, too! With food this delicious, it’s so dang EASY eating Raw Vegan!