Monday, April 27, 2009

The Beauty of Simplicity!















The thought of simplicity sounded so wonderful to me that I decided to embrace it and give it a try. I decluttered the top of my desk, and I decided to prepare a really simple dinner. I made this really wonderful hummus with cashews.

Here are the simple ingredients:

Cashews (raw, organic)
Tahini
Fresh lemon juice
Olive oil
A tiny bit of water

I then grabbed a handful of baby spinach and a small piece of zuchini. I peeled the zuchini and sliced it up with the vegetable peeler to make little slices. I then put the delightful hummus on top, and sprinkled some avocado slices on top...so simple and in my opinion, magnificent! I drizzled just a little bit more lemon juice and olive oil and...YUM!!!

Eating and living simply

I noticed that I've been getting caught up in trying to make theses elaborate raw gourmet meals. I see all these amazing raw recipe books, and the pictures are gorgeous and appetizing...

But I don't think my body is reacting well to it these days! Like yesterday, I had a raw pizza (which I bought) with this weird guacamole that I threw together, topped with marinated mushrooms. There must have been about 25 different ingredients! That's a lot for my body to deal with! I felt a bit bloated, heavy, and restless.

I feel like my body is crying out for simple meals, with just three or four ingredients, like a simple tomato salad with basil, lemon juice, and olive oil. Or a breakfast that consists of an apple and a mango. Or a simple snack of sliced avocado and tomato, with some sea salt and olive oil...that sounds good :)

I realized that I usually complicate things in general, and I'm even doing it with my food!

I think this week I'll simplify.

Raw Chocolate Pudding...sort of :)

On Saturday, I went to Chef Adam Sobel's Raw foods class and it was such a wonderful experience! I learned a lot and it was very inspiring.

I bought a cup of Adam's Live Chocolate Pudding...it was divine! I felt like my soul was being nourished! Every single spoonful was utterly delightful.

I searched online and in my raw recipe books for a recipe, and I found so many. This morning, I tried to recreate it and it came out really gross! I was so disappointed and I couldn't imagine wasting all those amazing ingredients (including avocado, raw cacao powder, raw honey, etc) I looked in the fridge and I remembered I bought organic strawberries the other day. So I put some in my mini food processor, and I also threw in some frozen blueberries, and mixed it all together, and it turned out to be delicious!

So here's the recipe:

1/2 an avocado
3/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup raw cacao powder (I used a blend of cacao, maca, and hemp)
1 T almond butter
1 T raw honey
a small handful of cashews
6 organic strawberries
2 T frozen blueberries
1 tsp raw cacao nibs

It's fun to experiment and try new things! I'm learning it's ok to adapt and rearrange the recipes I find :) Next time I'm going to try it with out the almond butter, and maybe I'll just use cacao powder by itself, instead of the blend. I also want to try agave nectar, and David Wolfe talks about yukon root syrup and that sounds interesting!

Happy experimenting!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Refreshing, Delightful, Easy lunch!



I threw a bunch of lovely ingredients into the food processor, and I'm not even sure what to call it...but it's good! It has the consistency of tuna salad, but the flavor of salsa.

Baby spinach
some sun dried tomatoes
1 fresh tomato
3 small carrots
Celery
lemon juice

On top, I chopped up some avocado and sprinkled some tahini and olive oil.

I also made "french fries!" I chopped up a jicama into sticks that look like french fries, and I sprinkled lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar on top...delightful! (I got the idea from a video clip of Alissa Cohen on this Boston news show!)

This is so simple, quick, fresh, nutritious, and absolutely delicious!

Yay!

Refreshing Yummy Mango Green Smoothie!

I made an awesome green smoothie today!

Here is the recipe:

3 collard leaves
1 handful of Basil
Romaine leaves
1 Mango
Mango-flavored coconut water
1 kiwi
1 apple
some water

Delightful!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spinach-Guacamole on Romaine leaves with Marinated Portabella Mushrooms...

I just made the most amazing meal: Spinach-Avocado Guacamole on romaine leaves with marinated portabella mushrooms! I was completely inspired by Alissa Cohen's DVD. She made this really fast and easy guacamole, so I decided to whip up something similar!

For the guacamole:

4 or 5 handfuls of baby spinach
1/2 an avocado
1 handful sun dried tomatoes
1 carrot
fresh lemon juice
fresh basil
a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper

For the marinated mushrooms:

2 large portabella caps
vinegar, oil, and less than 1 tsp of maple syrup

I chopped the mushrooms and marinated them for only about 20 minutes, simply because it was a spur of the moment thing! They can be marinated for up to 2 days. (I adapted the recipe for the marinade from Natalia Rose's book, The Raw Food Detox Diet.)

I put the guacamole onto the romaine leaves and topped them off with the mushrooms...Absolutely delicious!!!

It was so easy to make, it didn't take that much time, and it came out sooo good!

Blessings...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Pizza that turned into a Bruschetta!

Since discovering my allergy to gluten, I've been experimenting in the kitchen with other options. I decided to try making a pizza with gluten-free dough.

I didn't read the instructions, and I ended up making a mess! It was a fun mess, though. While the pizza crust was baking, I was making the sauce and toppings.

Since I didn't read the instructions, the crust was way too thick. It was crispy on the outside and really mushy and doughy on the inside. My mom saw what was going on. She had a brilliant idea: to trim the crispy part off, and then put the crust back in the oven.

It was a great idea. We then took the pieces we trimmed off and decided to use them as pita crisps!

So here's my recipe for what I call "Abstract Bruschetta."

For the marinara sauce, that turned out to be bruschetta:*

3 tomatoes
1 handful of sundried tomatoes (dry)
1 carrot
1 handful of basil leaves
1 pinch of parsley (or a handful of fresh parsley)
1 handful of fresh spinach
1 or 2 Tablespoons of olive oil

Put everything into a food processor and blend until it's a nice, slightly chunky consistency.

(*This sauce is NOT cooked. The ingredients are all raw...and delicious!)

For the toppings, I used sauteed broccoli, sauteed portabello mushrooms, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. (You can use raw broccoli, and perhaps marinate the mushrooms if you don't like them raw.)

I then took the lovely, abstract pita crisps, and piled on the bruschetta, and the other toppings. I also drizzled some olive oil and a little bit of sea salt on top. It was absolutely delicious and refreshing...and totally satisfying!

For the pita crisps...next time I'm going to take the dough, and spread it into really thin layers on a pan, and see what happens!

This is a great transition food for someone who is trying to transition into a raw or living foods lifestyle. An alternative for the dough would be...maybe putting the bruschetta onto romaine leaves, or cabbage leaves, or another hearty green, leafy vegetable. Many raw foodists like to use a dehydrator, so you can make a raw-version of pita crisps, or even crackers, using nuts and seeds, instead of the pizza dough. I'm going to try that when I get a dehydrator! There are tons of great recipes available online and in the endless "un-cook books" out there :)

To me, this is the perfect example of when you plan something and you end up doing something completely different, and the end result ends up being a million times better than what you originally planned!

Experimenting in the kitchen is fun! I didn't realize how creative I could be with food! And I'm really good at it :)

Lots of love and blessings...

The reality of this food allergy

I had some ginger sauce the other day, and I didn't realize it contained soy sauce; a double-whammy for me, since I'm allergic to soy and wheat (there is wheat in soy sauce).

It hit me right away. I started feeling really dehydrated, and I felt like I could drink a gallon of water right there! When I went to bed, I couldn't fall asleep. My thoughts were racing and I couldn't relax. My body was aching, and I was restless. My nose was getting congested, too.

I basically didn't really sleep that night. At 5 am, I was still tossing and turning. I finally fell asleep at some point, because I woke up with the memory of some weird dreams!

The next day, I had a delicious green smoothie, and drank lots of water, which made me feel like I was detoxing.

This experience made me realize that this food allergy is real. It's not just in my mind. And I never want to do this to my body ever again!

I'm more committed to my health now, more than ever. I realize how my body is affected by what I eat. I want to treat my body well and nourish it with the best food possible!

Love and blessings...

My Second Smoothie!

I made my second smoothie today, which was really a variation on the first one. All the ingredients were the same except: I used 3 kale leaves and 3 collard leaves, instead of the handfuls of romaine and spinach. I also added a starfruit, and I used a lot more lemon juice. I read somewhere that lemon juice cuts down the bitterness of the greens.

It was still kind of bitter, but I enjoyed it! Next time, I'm going to use either one or two types of greens, instead of three!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My First Green Smoothie!


I made my first Green Smoothie today! It took forever, and I made a mess...but it was fun!

Here's what I used:

A handful of spinach*
A handful of romaine leaves
A handful of basil leaves
3 small stalks of celery
One apple
One pear
About 5 inches of an Aloe leaf*
About 5 squirts of lemon
A cup of water*

*You can alternate and use all different kinds of greens, including kale, red leaf lettuce, collards, chard...endless possibilities!

*This was my first time working with a fresh Aloe leaf. It was messy and slimy, but now I know how to work with it. I did a search on youtoube, which was helpful.

*Instead of plain water, you might want to try coconut water, cucumber juice, or any other liquid you feel inspired to use!

I used organic apples and pears, so I washed them and left the skin on.

The lemon juice gives it a really refreshing and exciting flavor.

This quantity is about 2 servings (2 large glasses), which is good if you're busy. Just keep it in an airtight container in the fridge :)

It's so delicious and so good for you in so many ways...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I feel so alive!

It's amazing: the more I'm eating fresh, live foods, the more the world seems to come alive! Music sounds better, colors seem brighter, and of course, food tastes better! I went to the bookstore today, and things just felt different. I sat down to skim through some interesting books, and this little girl came right over to me and said hello, and started showing me her book! People were randomly making eye contact with me, too, which was interesting to me...

I'm not obsessing about food anymore. Now, I'm excited about it, and I'm more focused on other things like my major life goals. Also, my old physical symptoms are starting to disappear: digestion issues, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression...it's miraculous, and I'm so thankful!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Phone Call that Changed My Life

I love when people follow their bliss because it leads me to my bliss and the bliss just continues! Christina Merkley is a Life Coach who decided to follow her bliss and have Sheila and Marcus Gilette on her radio show.

I had the privilege and honor of calling in and asking a question, which has led me to some major improvements in my life. And it’s only been ten days! I can just imagine how many more wonderful changes are going to take place in the upcoming weeks and months.

I asked about the depression that keeps coming up in my life. I was told I have a hypersensitivity to gluten, and other allergens including dairy and sugar, and that the depression was physiological. All this time, I thought it was because of some unresolved issues from my past!

I immediately started avoiding these foods, and I noticed a difference right away. Suddenly, I had energy. I wasn’t tired. I wanted to do things and go places! I also noticed how much my body was craving fresh, live foods. I started doing research online for gluten-free books and recipes, and I found lots of great information.

I went to the health food store for some gluten-free snacks, and as I was waiting in line, a book caught my attention. It was a book by Victoria Boutenko, an author I was familiar with. I went to see Victoria live at a Health Expo about 4 or 5 years ago. I remember her talking about how her family suffered with major health problems, which all went away after they began eating fresh, raw foods.

My interest in the raw food movement (and nutrition in general) was reignited. I’ve been interested in this idea for years, but I’ve lacked the support and motivation to actually go for it. Now I’m excited and grateful for the abundance of information on raw foods on the internet. There are meet-up groups you can join, tons of free recipes, extremely informative websites and discussion boards…it’s amazing!

I am so excited and enthusiastic about this new discovery because I am already noticing a difference in the way I feel physically and emotionally. It’s a great feeling to treat my body well and I’m starting to really love myself in every way!

I have started this new endeavor with what I feel is the perfect book. It’s called “The Raw Food Detox Diet” by Natalia Rose. It’s perfect because it is not rigid or limiting in any way. It is filled with tons of valuable information and wonderful recipes.

I'm so glad I made that call, and I'm so grateful for this new phase of my life. I truly hope this will inspire some of you to make some positive changes!

Lots of love and blessings!

For more information on Sheila and Marcus Gilette, check out asktheo.com
For more information on Christina Merkley, check out shift-it-coach.com