I love my Fridays…new movies typically start, everyone is in a good mood, life seems more relaxed and I’m more than happy to participate in all of that goodness! I’m hoping to see the movie 21 tonight and sneak in a tasty smoothie to enjoy at the same time. I made an especially delicious one for it:
Super Star Chocolate Vanilla Power
Yield 2 1/2 cups
1 cup water
1 cup Super Star Vanilla Sauce
2 tablespoons Navitas Raw chocolate powder
2 tablespoons Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder
Blend it all up, transfer to a glass mason jar and sneak into the movie with this amazing treat! (Oops, I just drank it all while writing this – it was so I delicious that I couldn’t help myself – haha – so I guess I won’t be taking it to the movies.)
Update! Great news – my neck is getting better, thanks to the fantastic treatment I’m receiving at Iron Care. I’ve been given the green light to get back into the gym – hooray!
Daily Conversation Question:
If you owned a boat, what name would you choose for it and why?
Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
I strive to live a life that is more Zen (mindful, non-judgmental, and in the moment), and believe me, I’m a work in progress – haha. That being said, I make a point to be particularly aware of my Zen-ness when I’m in the kitchen preparing Raw food. Why? Because it helps me create the most delicious food ever!
Here are seven things I do to get my Raw Zen Kitchen on. I adapted them from zenhabits.net. You’ll see I’ve changed them up a bit so they apply to my food prep.
1) Do things deliberately. Have patience and and take your time…feel yourself flow with your actions. Don’t be rushed when making your food. Before making a recipe, take the time to sit down and read the recipe. Read through the ingredients and picture them in your mind. Imagine the steps you’ll take as you review the directions. Then, when you’re ready, make the recipe and take your time with each step.
2) Don’t multi-task. Doing things in a Zen style also means doing them one at a time. For example, when you’re washing produce, simply wash your produce. When you’re in the kitchen, keep the phone and television turned off while you’re preparing your delicious Raw meals. Feel the fresh produce while you’re washing it, smell it as you cut into it, be mindful and observe it while it’s blending…these are all ways to be present while preparing your Raw food. Then, when you eat, just eat. Don’t do the mail, don’t talk on the phone and don’t turn on the TV. Simply eat your food. Taste each bite and experience all of the delicious flavors and textures exploding in your mouth. Raw food is full of exquisite flavors damn close to being worthy of worship, so appreciate it with every bite.
3) Do each task completely before moving on, and each step of the recipe, in the same way. Put your mind completely on the recipe. Don’t move on to the next task until you’re finished. When you finish the task of making the meal, don’t eat until you’ve cleaned up your kitchen (and practice your new Zen groove while you’re at it!).
4) Do less in the kitchen (and in life). For example, I don’t worry about making a bunch of different recipes all week. I take a little time every Sunday to select a few recipes for the week and I just make those. I’ll make enough so I have leftovers to last a couple of days each, thereby giving me more time to just enjoy my food. When I do less (in the kitchen and in life), then I can do those things with more focus and be more relaxed in the process.
5) Rituals Are Special. Having a ritual offers the activity a sense of appreciation and importance. I have a ritual for making my daily smoothie, my weekly recipes, etc. When I think of those activities in that way, they actually become even more exciting to do. In fact, I can’t wait to do them each day because I feel so lovely and relaxed in the process.
6) Timing can be everything. “There are certain times in the day of a Zen monk designated for certain activities. A time for bathing, a time for work, a time for cleaning, a time for eating. This ensures that those things get done regularly.” I designate time for my activities, such as a special time for selecting the recipes I’ll make for the week, as well as making my weekly shopping list. I also designate time to shop. When I get home from food shopping, I have a designated time where I prep my produce (washing some of it, proper storage, etc).
7) “Make cleaning and cooking become meditation” (boohyah!). “Cooking and cleaning are two of the most exalted parts of a Zen monk’s day. They are both great ways to practice mindfulness.” Put your whole self into those tasks, and do them mindfully with patience and passion. Be grateful you have food to prepare, a house to clean, and an able body to do both of those things.
Enjoy every moment (it’s all you truly have). Love your life and get your Raw Zen kitchen on!
I saw these questions posted at one of my favorite blogs and thought I’d follow suit. I’ve been tagged again to share the “5 things about me” so I think this also accomplishes that.
1. Favorite Raw Vegan milk? Chocolate Hemp Seed Milk is one of my favorites. Hemp is so nutritious that it’s an automatic winner every time for my entire family. Just blend Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seeds with water, raw chocolate, and a couple of pitted dates.
2. What are the top 3 recipes you are planning to make? I’m working on a new ebook (yep, another one!) and it’s top secret for now. But, let’s just say that one recipe will have raw chocolate in it, and another will have some raw chocolate in it and another will have…um, yep, raw chocolate.
3. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure? This was an expensive lesson learned here: I made cheesecake with a coconut oil that was bad even though the expiration date was fine. It had a horrible, weird “soapy” after-taste. I tried making it again (not knowing the coconut oil was the culprit) and the end result was still awful. I made it with a different jar of coconut oil, and it turned out wonderfully!
If you get that “soapy” taste and there is coconut oil in your Raw recipe, try it again with a different jar of coconut oil. Better yet, do this…I will now only buy coconut oil from Wilderness Family Naturals because it’s so deliciously fresh (the flavor and quality are unsurpassed – ALWAYS!). I’ve never had a problem since.
4. How do you organize your recipes? I’m an organization and color freak. My recipes are color coded, tabbed, flagged, highlighted, filed, alphabetized, labeled…you name it, I do it.
5. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal? None of the above. I toss it over my balcony to the bunnies running around my neighborhood. I love animals…they are one of my biggest passions and mission.
6. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be? Hemp, coconut water and Vitamineral Green powder all the way! If given the opportunity to bring a fourth, it might be raw chocolate powder.
7. Fondest food memory from your childhood? Grocery shopping with mom. Oh…those were the days. We’d spend 2-hours every Saturday at the grocery store. It was so fun.
8. Favorite raw ice cream? I haven’t been eating much ice cream lately, but in a couple of months, it’ll be my Summer Strawberry Ice Cream. Someone I know, who has a monkey for a pet, said this is the monkey’s favorite ice cream! How’s that for a testimonial?
9. Most loved kitchen appliance? Blend-tec blender all the way. The best high-powered blender on the market. I make green juices to smoothies to ice cream to dressings to mousse and so much more with it.
10. Spice/herb you can’t be without? Only one? Damn! Well, if you’ve been to any of my classes, you know I’m in a constant love affair with basil and will put it into almost everything I can.
11. Recipe (Cook) book you have owned for the longest time? I grew up with chefs and come from a family in the restaurant business, so I literally grew up with cookbooks. My mom and I have over 500 cookbooks between the two of us. I have no idea which I’ve had the longest…probably something that came with my Easy Bake Oven – LOL.
12. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly? I love strawberries with a touch of agave, dates to thicken, and accented with a smidge of cinnamon.
13. Favorite raw (vegan) recipe to serve to an omni-friend? The Chinese Hemp Noodles from my hemp ebook always wins the crowd over (the flavor is AMAZING), as well as my stuffed mushrooms (same ebook). The mushrooms resemble cooked food so well. In fact, I’m often asked to bring both of these dishes as “my dish to pass” at parties with omni-guests.
14. Favorite meal to make? I love to chop and use my knife in the kitchen. Therefore, I’m always making a big, fresh salad topped with an amazing dressing.
15. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Products, frozen bananas, raw cheesecake.
16. Favorite grocery store? Whole Foods
17. Food blog you read the most. There are way too many to name. But, I will say that when Sarma posts on her blog, I step back, make a chocolate smoothie and then settle in for a great read.
18. What is one ingredient that you’ve become familiar with that you can’t imagine you ever lived without? Anything related to hemp (oil, seeds, powder and butter). The nutritional profile is fantastic and I love the flavor.
19. Do you have a food inspiration in your life? Definitely! All of my food memories revolve around my mom. She’s brilliant and taught me so much. During my pre-vegan days, I remember going to some fancy restaurants…sometimes there was a food item on the menu that I didn’t know (and someone, usually my date!, was asking me what it was). I’d change the subject and then secretly text message my mom or excuse myself from the table and call her from the bathroom to get the answer – haha.
Saturday, March 22nd, 2008
Update on acupuncture: Yay! I’m feeling better. I hope it lasts. I don’t see my amazing chiropractor until next week – fingers crossed it keeps feeling better and better. I’m not in the gym yet because I’m trying to take as much time to heal as possible, but my spirits are VERY high.
I made a scrumptious smoothie that was so yummy I was smiling from ear to ear with every swig (yes, it’s a swigger, I tell ya!). Did you know that bananas are known to help fight bloating as a result of the potassium content in them? Ladies, if any of you are experiencing excess bloat from PMS, then bring on the bananas (and this smoothie does just that).
Yield 4 cups
1 cup water
3 frozen bananas, peeled
2 oranges, peeled
1/2 cup coconut, unsweetened, shredded and dried
2 tablespoons raw chocolate powder (I love Nutiva)
2 tablespoons Manitoba Harvest hemp protein powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend all of the ingredients thoroughly and smile with every swig :)
Vegan Diet Study – Keep ‘em coming! I love seeing vegan studies promoted in the news. If you know anyone suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, then send them here because the vegan diet comes to the rescue yet again.
Daily Conversation Question:
How would you like to spend your elder years?
*For those of you celebrating Easter this weekend…Happy Easter!
Wednesday, March 19th, 2008
Back in January I woke up one morning with such horrible neck pain that I literally couldn’t move. It was very scary. Fast forward to today…it got gradually better, but still bothered me enough that I’ve been taking it easy this whole time (some days better than others). Moreover, I have not been doing much in the way of physical fitness.
Last week I decided to seek help and found an amazing chiropractor in Scottsdale who specializes in Active Release Therapy as well as acupuncture (he works with athletes). He’s helped tremendously, but I’m still not 100% (patience, I know). What’s pretty bad is that he thinks it’s the result of a car accident I was in almost four years ago. Yikes!
As I continue therapy (acupuncture might start tomorrow – wish me luck! I’ve never had it done), I’m really bummed about not being physically active. Exercise is such a huge part of my life. The thought keeps running through my head that you don’t know what you got til it’s gone. Remember that friends…get out and move, stretch, exercise, run, jump, and don’t take for granted if you’re physically capable of all of those things.
I can feel it in my body – the lack of sweating and not getting my heart rate up, the limited range of motion and movement I’m confined to. Even though the accident wasn’t my fault, I still feel bad and decided to make some extra strength green juices today in an effort to help heal my body.
The thing about today’s juice is that I used a bunch of dandelion greens, and truth be told….I can’t stand them! They’re so bitter. When I’m drinking them, it feels like some sort of penance . Here’s what’s kind of funny – while reading about them in my copy of Food Lover’s Companion, it says, “they can add interest to salads.” hhmmm…Interest? I’d say that’s quite generous!
Daily conversation question:
What’s the most beautiful drive you’ve ever taken?
*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!
Tuesday, March 18th, 2008
Whew! I’m still addicted to Prison Break and just finished another mini-marathon streak of episodes. We’re into the second season and it’s keeping me on the edge of my seat.
Onto Raw things: To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I did what I suspect many with this lifestyle did…I had a green juice. As usual, it was delicious and energizing. I felt so many wonderful nutrients fueling my cells when I drank it down. It didn’t stop there however. I also had a green zucchini and parsley salad topped with chlorophyll-filled hemp oil and lime juice salad dressing alongside a granny smith apple dipped into hemp seed butter (this is green-ish, too). For dessert, well it wasn’t green, but it was so good. I blended a frozen banana with some water, raw chocolate, and a vanilla bean. I tell ya…Raw desserts ROCK!
For those of you asking about my soup recipe from the Mandala Dinner event last week (BTW – thank you to everyone emailing me to say how much you loved the dinner – all of your emails are so very much appreciated)…I think I’ll show the recipe in my next class. If you’re going to be in the Scottsdale area on April 26, you won’t want to miss this amazing special event.
Daily conversation question:
Would you rather be the best player on a losing team or the worst player on a winning team?
I suspect some of you know these about me already. I’ll keep it short and sweet since that is the style of blog I like to read…ohhhh, does that count as one? haha
1. I have an amazingly talented, brilliant older brother who is a musical genius, an engineer, and studies nanotechnology.
2. If I were on a deserted island and could only take three cds with me, I’d take something from: Earth, Wind & Fire, Christina Aguilera and Enigma.
3. I graduated from high school early and didn’t go to my senior prom, because they wouldn’t let me attend the senior prom as a junior.
4. When I was in the corporate world, I spent time working in Hong Kong. Also, I was licensed with Series 7 & 66 licenses.
5. One of my dreams is to have a farm with animals and my own huge organic garden.
I have some catching up to do with blogging. I’m hooked watching the dvd series of Prison Break (We watched eight straight episodes last night). Have you seen it? Pretty clever show.
Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
I’ve been so busy preparing for my big dinner event (it’s tonight!) that I haven’t been able to post. But, I’ll be back very soon. I’m due to tell 5 things about me that people don’t know…hhhmmmm
Today’s smoothie: Garden Freshness
Parsley, red bell peppers, cucumbers, apple, fresh orange juice, water
Daily conversation question:
If you had to spend one year living alone in a remote cabin, what would you spend your time doing?
Today I’m juicing all day. My body is craving the liquids, the nutrition, and my cells are asking me to do it…so I’m going to listen to them. I woke up and made some delicious juices. They taste so yummy!
parsley, lemon, cucumber, purple radishes, Vitamineral Green powder, celery, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne
celery, cucumber, apple, carrot, lemon, curry
I feel wonderful today, and I’m exceptionally happy about the class I’m teaching at Whole Foods tomorrow, Raw Around the World. We’re going to have a blast (as usual!). Later today, I’m taking my dog for a long walk (the weather is gorgeous – I just have to get outside and be in it).
Question of the Day:
I’ll be featuring a question of the day on my blog. I picked up these adorable cards where they have one question on each card and they’re used as conversation starters. So, the next time you find yourself meeting new people (whether you’re on a hot date, meeting the parents of your new boy/girlfriend, looking for something to chat about with a co-worker, or simply looking for stimulating and fun conversation with your significant other) these are perfect! (And, feel free to respond to the blog post right here with your own answers…I’d love to hear from you.)
Daily Conversation Question:
Where would you most like to travel?
Thursday, March 6th, 2008
So…are they? Are you filling your body with loads of fresh whole fruits and vegetables so that the cells in your body are happy and full of joy? How can you tell (some of you might be asking)? Well, you just can! And, if you’re eating a High Raw diet (or 100% Raw) then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
When you make your cells happy, life is so damn good! And, if you’re not doing it, then why not? This is what’s waiting for you when you make your cells happy…You feel the energy, you feel the vibe, you feel the electricity coursing through your body and making you happy. You feel the life inside you from head to toe.
I tell ya what…I KNOW mine are happy. I feel on top of the world! For happy and giggling cells, I started my day with Vitamineral Green powder mixed with water and lemon juice. Then, I gave my cells a health party with a fresh green smoothie of kale, pineapple and lemon juice. Tonight, I’m eating a delicious salad of cucumbers, carrots, raisins, and pineapple topped with a delicious homemade hemp dressing alongside a freshly made green juice (parsley, kale and apples). For dessert? I’ll enjoy a Master Cleanse beverage of water, lemon juice, Raw dark agave, and lots of cayenne (my cells are going to get HOT tonight!) – Whoo-hoo!!!
Go Make Your Cells HAPPY!