Friday, March 30, 2012

On to happier things

I really did abandon this poor blog, and what a depressing two final posts to end it on! Well, I just wanted to drop in and assure the few people who may be stumbling upon this blog, that my life really did return to balance. I'm not exactly a raw foodist or vegan, but I am eating well and loving my life. I am currently blogging at There I write about my current adventures, mostly revolving around being a new mommy. But there are also things for you foodies, too! At this moment, I am on a gluten and dairy free elimination diet to see if it clears up my five month old daughter's skin problems. In the future, I may link up the recipe posts here, but for now, check out that blog, especially the 'recipes' tab!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Woah, new post finally! Green smoothie goodness!!!

Hey hey hey there, long time no write! I have abandoned my poor food blogs, but the weirdest thing happened today: I made something healthy that I was EXCITED about and had the urge to share! Wow!

Anyhow, my life has been wild. I don't really want to go into details, but let me just say I am not exactly the healthiest right now in terms of diet. I've been drinking a bit (ok, a lot...more than I'd like to be), I'm not currently vegan OR vegetarian (but I DO still enjoy vegan meals, and many of my meals are vegetarian), a lot of my meals are eaten on the run/for convenience, and a lot of my dinners come from the freezer aisle.

I am, however, aware of what is and isn't good for me. Does that make it better? I don't know. All I know is that I haven't been sick since November (and that was brought on by nothing else but stress), and I'd like to keep it that way. So there are a few principles I like to maintain consistently. And the easiest health principle I've been able to keep over the past few crazy newly-single months is this: eat yo greens!!!

Greens are soooo good for you. Green plants in general contain a lot of good shit. I'm not about to get into any specifics, just trust me or go do some research. Anyhow, you should enjoy rich leafy greens like spinach, kale, romaine, or other power packed greenies like broccoli and asparagus. Personally, I like to have a daily salad. Yeah, the rest of my diet is kinda partying in the shitter but at least I feel good about those daily salads.

I used to concoct these amazing, giant, overflowing salads with homemade dressings and blah blah blah but for some reason, at this time of my life, I like to keep it simple. Usually I'll just throw together salad greens, pomegranate seeds (pre-packaged, of course, from my job at Trader Joe's), crumbled goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar. I change it up a bit, but not for long.

Unfortunately, I get BORED of salads in general on occasion. But I know they are good for me. So how do I get my greens?

Green smoothies, fool! They are sooo easy and are actually super delicious. And cheap! You can pretty much make magic out of any combination of leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard, romaine), fruit, and water or juice. Here's what I had today:

Big handfuls of spinach (filled about 3/4 of the blender)
About one cup of frozen berry mix
One banana
Water (filled after the above is already in the blender, until it reaches the 1 cup line)

BLEND! Add more water if necessary!

And for an extra treat, I topped it off with some soy whipped cream. Necessary? No. Delicious? Yes!

Now go make your own!

P.S. Wanna see what I've currently been working on? Visit my horrible, mopey, depressing yet thoughtful 'words' blog:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

abandoning my poor blog

So it is apparent I am currently abandoning my food blogs for the time being. My life has taken a complete 360 and I am just not focused on making food or even thinking about food like I used to. Much is due to the many life changes I have gone through in the past few months.

Most influential was the ending of a near-7 year relationship with my boyfriend. I left the relationship for many, many reasons and will not get too far into it here. It was a good choice that probably should have been made a lot sooner, and I am really happy with my decision. This event did, however, turn my life on its head. Being with someone that long can really make you lose a part of yourself, or at least repress it. There are so many complicated elements that make up who I am. The person I was becoming with him was great, for the most part; I was a good, accepting girlfriend, I was interested in health, I was eating well, vegan for two years, non-drinker for two years.

I started to feel other parts of myself coming out, though. First I broke being vegan (again and again), then I started drinking again. I broke up with the boyfriend and just...well, I can't really explained what happened. Everything I knew about my life just exploded, and I was the one who detonated the bomb. And it was great.

Where does this leave me now? Honestly, I am not interested in health and diet the way I was a few months ago. This sounds terrible, I know, but I'm just being honest. Haha, not that many people read this, or anything. Anyhow, detaching myself from the situation, I would say that I am destroying everything that I was for the past 7 years, starting new, figuring out who I am, who I want to be. I'm being reckless, I am having fun, I am eating like a 21 year old frat boy, I am staying up late. It may not be the best 'cleansing' but it is what I am doing nonetheless and I feel good about it.

I spent a lot of time cooking for the ex over the past few years, and now that it's over, and I am no longer a devoted little 'housewife' my desire to cook for myself has come to a complete standstill, in fact, I despise cooking these days. It's odd, because I used to find such joy in creating delicious meals, even when I was just cooking vegan stuff for me. Hmm, not quite sure what that's all about. I hope my joy of cooking returns eventually because I do still want to be healthy. My current diet consists of soup, salad, coffee, mac n cheese, or pizza for the most part. Oh, and beer. And mexican food and margaritas.

So my raw food journey has come to an end, at least for now. Maybe it will continue again if the desire returns.

I do, however, still have the passion to blog...I find something exciting or thrilling or therapeutic about sharing part of my life in a semi-public I will be expressing my current interests: words. I've written a lot of poetry in my life, although not so much during my last relationship. And I've been writing again, in addition to going through my old poems. I'm not very good or talented, but there's something about it that I like. So my new blog will share poems and short essays, old and new. I feel a little nervous and vulnerable about it, but drawn to it at the same time. We'll see how it goes...

new blog: Words

bye for now!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Holy Crap it's been awile...

I don't exactly have good or exciting news...I haven't been cooking or creating anything fun lately so no tasty recipes or anything. It's been a weird end of the year. But here's an update on my food journey since I last posted...

I could have predicted that I would fail at my last attempt at "cleansing." I wanted to cleanse so badly, but I just couldn't stick to it as long as I thought I could. It seems that my "cleanses" are getting shorter and shorter; it's like the more often I do them, and the stricter they become, the less I can stick to them for any lengthy amount of time. I just get to a certain day where I say "screw it" and binge. I was so disappointed in myself last time, that I didn't write about it here...that explains my long absence from posting! And because of this avoidance, I can't remember exactly what happened or what I ate that triggered my fall. All I know is that I just didn't last. The foods I was restricting became enticing and unavoidable.

I was so confused! I asked, in anguish, why am I always binging? Why can't I stick to cleanses? Why am I finding it so much harder to stick to restrictive diets after two years of being a successful vegan? To find answers I read a couple books, to help ease anxiety. These were all very interesting and gave me a great deal of insight into my habits and relationship with food. The best books were: "The End of Overeating" by David Kessler, "Mindful Eating" by Jan Chozen Bays (not finished with it quite yet), and "Intuitive Eating" by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resche. These books basically had the same things to say: the more you yo-yo diet, the worse your metabolism gets, and the harder it is to keep off weight. And the more you "restrict" foods, the more your body craves them. You binge when you think you will never eat a certain food again. Foods that are restricted seem magical and alluring.

While none of these books promise a magical and immediate cure, they did help me understand the workings of my mind and how I can work towards establishing a healthier relationship with food. I heartily recommend all these books to anyone struggling with overeating, binging, and eating disorders. Each had something different to offer: The End of Overeating provided a look into our psychology around food, the hidden food triggers, and why we are compelled to binge on certain foods; Mindful Eating provided some helpful tips based on Buddhist mindfulness practices teaching how you can be more present when you eat (this is a wonderful way to eat, although it is SUPER difficult for me to follow consistently! But change is a long, winding road); And Intuitive Eating taught me something very, very valuable: that I need to STOP dieting now and STOP restricting foods, if I want to return to a healthy relationship with food.

I have learned that from my many years of dieting, obsessing over food, obsessing over weight, obsessing over nutrition, and then later becoming vegan specifically for weight loss (and less about the health and ethics) has made my relationship with food a very unhealthy one. Right now, seeing my weight, my strongest urge is to cleanse, to stick to a strict and healthy diet, to go raw again, and/or to go vegan again. And while these lifestyles are all wonderful, if desired as a means to purity, true cleanliness, true joy, and true health, my desires are for a quick fix to weight loss. Period. I'm not saying that weight loss is ALL I've wanted in the past when I have made these lifestyle changes for myself, but I am realizing that these wonderful desires to be healthier have been tainted by an obsession over weight loss.

So where am I now? Over the past couple months I have been taking tips from Intuitive Eating and taking the first step toward re-establishing a healthy relationship with food by restricting nothing. It was a relief at first, although it was hard to fully let my guard down and truly convince myself that I wasn't going to restrict a food/food group again. And I did gain some weight, as I read would likely happen. But now I am starting to feel the ease of having nothing restricted and the allure of certain foods is starting to fade. At first I ate a lot of cheese. Now, while I still love cheese, it's not quite as tempting as it was before. I no longer want cheese or a cheesy flavor on EVERYTHING I eat. In fact, sometimes it kinda grosses me out. Sweets, on the other hand, are taking me much longer to ease up from. It's hard to release the mindset that they are tasty morsels that I must savor before I restrict them again. But I am slowly learning that cookies aren't even that good; they're pretty dry. And cake is heavy. And some chocolates make me shaky. And sweets in general make me feel crappy when eaten in excess. Progress is painfully slow, but I'm learning the hard way that the effects of quick-fix diets, cleanses, and detoxes don't always last. Especially if you have an eating disorder of any kind. Everyday I still get the urge to just stop eating, do the master cleanse, exclude sugar completely, etc. which tells me I'm nowhere near close to regaining a healthy mindset with food. But I'll get there.

I can feel that I am coming closer to getting over the temptation of restricted foods, now that nothing is restricted (besides things I don't like, such as meat) and I am also getting better at the other steps toward Intuitive/Mindful eating such as actually listening to my true hunger, being present when I eat, eat while sitting down (not at my desk at work!), not snacking just because I'm bored but sitting down to a small snack if I'm really hungry.

And my weight? I'm not happy with it, but I know I am doing what is right for my body. I'm exercising a moderate amount, probably not as much as I could, but I am walking regularly and doing yoga occasionally (I REALLY want to get back into yoga again!). I'm still reading and absorbing knowledge. I've been fascinated by Ayurveda for some time, and I've been reading a few books such as "The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies" by Vasant Lad. While some of the Ayurvedic concepts don't resonate with me 100%, or just don't fit into my life at this time, there are a lot of things that I do find will improve MY life (remember, people; ONE book, concept, school of thought, author, etc. does NOT have ALL the answers for YOU. We are all different, so don't be afraid to accept the things that are true for you, and leave behind the things that don't suit you...I'm learning that myself, as it is hard for me to think for myself's easier to be told what to do, and assume it's for the best because some other author/person/book says so, and force myself to stick to it.) such as yoga and meditation when I get a quiet, private evening to myself, breathing deep, being mindful of how certain things affect the doshas and keeping them in balance. And in order to appreciate my body NOW since I have to love the one I've got no matter what shape it's in, I've been enjoying this cute book, "101 things to do before you diet" by Mimi Spencer. This is a very uplifting book that is obviously aimed at people like me; people who are done yo-yo dieting but still want to eventually reach their perfect weight and look good while doing so. There are little tips on both nutrition and fashion, in a way that makes you feel beautiful and accepted. I'm only about halfway through with the book, but it is very enjoyable. I like the fact that she offers a number of tips and urges you to chose the ones that work for you, without promoting one lifestyle/diet (for example, she offers a tip about eating raw, another about eating more soups, another about eating more greens, another about practicing the ayurvedic principle of eating your biggest meal during lunch, etc.) It helps me get out of my obsessive mentality of wanting to follow a strict diet and restrict foods, and helps me think for myself.

So here I am. I am building up a lot of knowledge and am creating my own beliefs. There are some things from my previous lifestyles that I agree with, and I am adopting other beliefs too: raw fruits, veggies, and nuts are wonderful for the body and make me feel so good; I still love vegan foods, although some are far lighter/less dense than others; mock meats and vegan cheeses are tasty on occasion but shouldn't be a daily staple for me; it's all about the basics- fruits, veggies, unrefined grains, whole foods, pure foods, organic foods; dairy is tasty on occasion but it is heavy and best eaten in small amounts, like a sprinkle on salads or on top of pasta; I like to enjoy the occasional junk food, such as nachos, pizza, popcorn, and quesadillas, but don't feel good when I eat these things daily; a daily salad is divine; I love soups for lunch; when I'm not hungry in the morning, I prefer to skip breakfast; when I am hungry in the morning I like cereal, oatmeal, or fruit; I still love chocolate and sweets, but I don't feel good when I eat them daily. I'm craving raw gourmet meals again, but I am aware that for me, it is best I eat them on occasion when they truly sound yummy, not just because I know how cleansing they are...that mentality just leads me to food/weight obsession once again.

Slowly but surely, I will learn what suits ME best. Certain foods are perfect daily staples; others are fun on weekends or when going out to eat on a date with the boyfriend. I feel like a child. I know I will keep learning. I know I will hit snags in the road. I know it will get easier. I know eventually, I won't be obsessed with certain foods. I know my body is beautiful now, even though it is plumper in places. I know I'll fall and then I'll get back up again.

I feel bad writing such uplifting posts about how good I've been doing, how I've mastered moderation, how I've lost weight only to alternate with posts about how I've binged, how I've crashed, how I've gained weight. But you know what? I'm human. I'm learning. I've got issues. We all do, don't we? I'm just me and that's all I can be. I will, however, work to become the best me that I can be, flaws and all included.

To the new year ahead! I was on a budget the last couple months so I could buy presents for my loved ones, but now I think I will be financially comfortable when it comes to buying food, so I anticipate some tasty recipe-making! I'm craving Carmellas Kelp Noodles in Peanut Sauce like crazy, so hopefully I'll be making that soon! And how about some raw desserts, to keep those heavier desserts away? We'll see...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Taking charge of my feminine body!

Well, it sure has been a busy month and a half since I last wrote. I had tons of fun making raw food during the first half of August. Then my diet got a little sloppy and I felt a slight inclination toward a cleanse. I wasn't really motivated to do anything too drastic, but I wanted something...something to test and strengthen my "discipline muscle." I picked up a book on a whim called "The Optimum Wellness Cleanse" by Kathy Freston. The principle behind it is that for 21 days you abstain from the "Big 5"; all animal products, alcohol, caffeine, sugar (except for stevia and agave nectar), and gluten. While this cleanse was obviously targeted at people who eat a heavy, meat-and-dairy laden diet, I was fascinated about trying to go completely sugar and gluten free for that length of time. I knew this cleanse wouldn't actually be very cleansing for me, considering it allowed unlimited amounts of foods I know to be less-than-life-force-generating, such as soy products, mock meats, mock-cheeses, nuts, etc, but I thought the sugar and gluten restriction would be enough to practice self-control with. I also knew it could help prepare me for a stricter cleanse afterward, if I decided I wanted to increase my level of cleansing.

The Optimum Wellness Cleanse was exactly what I expected; not very cleansing for someone already living a mostly vegan, alcohol-free, and caffeine-free lifestyle but definitely challenging in terms of living completely gluten and sugar free. I enjoyed the lack of sugar obsession that resulted from abstaining. Temptation was there at first, but then melted away. I just didn't crave it. I was, however, allowed to eat raw sweets since stevia and agave were considered cleanse-approved, so I wasn't completely lacking dessert. I did encounter a slight struggle overcoming the urge to eat my beloved dark chocolate which was NOT cleanse-approved, due to its sugar and caffeine content.

Once my 21 days were up, I felt good knowing I could live without sugar and gluten. But I did not feel great. I did not feel cleansed. Ever since my failed attempt at doing Natalia Rose's "Detox for Women" program, I've wanted to do it again. Well, actually, I wanted to want to do it again. I wanted to feel the motivation to do it. But over the past few months, I just haven't had the urge to give up my vices and take control of my finances enough to do it. But somewhere toward the end of the "Optimum Wellness Cleanse," I looked down at my body and realized it looked so unnatural. I just knew I was meant to be thin, lean, and toned with smooth, firm skin. Yes, I have hips and a butt, but I am not meant to have the "extra baggage" around them. So I was suddenly drawn to the "Detox for Women" program again, and decided I wanted to commit to it as much as possible for the entire month. I told myself I would just lean into it (a term I learned from "Optimum" which I like and can now understand better with the "Detox" cleanse) and could "cheat" if I really wanted to.

So I started Detox for Women. I re-read the book, bought plenty of produce for juicing, made a few glasses of the green juice all at once and froze them in individual cups to make my mornings easy (just grab, go to work, let defrost, and drink!), bought plenty of salad greens and veggies, and started eating according to the principles of the program. A few days in, I decided I wanted to eat raw goat cheese (and the also acceptable organic pasteurized goat cheese, sheep cheese, and raw cow cheese) but this time, closely monitoring how I reacted and felt; the last thing I wanted was to trigger a binge. The last time I chose to eat the raw goat cheese, I instantly wanted to eat less-cleansing cheeses, and then quickly moved on to eating all sorts of unhealthy, non-vegan and non-cleansing foods completely. But being very picky about my quality cheeses helped. Since I have always loved cheese, vegan and non-vegan cheeses alike, it really makes me feel satisfied when I allow myself to eat it in some form. And since soy products and processed foods are restricted on this program, I am going with the goat cheese. Another allowance that I love about this program, is the 70% cacao dark chocolate I can have for dessert. I LOVE dark chocolate. It's just so luscious and light. I'm also allowed a glass of wine. I'm not a drinker--in fact, I haven't drank in over two years, but something about this time in my life made me feel like a glass of wine with some dark chocolate was appropriate; this feeling definitely had a lot to do with the fact that my boyfriend is on tour for over a week right now, and I really want to have "woman-time" while he's away, and treat myself really loving and act feminine. I have had a few of these wonderful, peaceful "wine-and-chocolate" evenings and feel no feelings of addiction or binging. I don't even get anything more than a slight, warm, buzz. Sigh. What a perfect serenity I feel from being so in control of my body!

I'm on day six of this program and I already feel amazing. I've been drinking my juice every morning, eating two salads a day, and properly combining all my meals. I can already tell I've lost weight, even though I am still dedicated to avoiding the scale. I don't care how skinny I get; no good can come from becoming weight-obsessed again. I feel so beautiful and that is all that matters. I look forward to the remainder of this program and intend to incorporate many of these principles in my diet and lifestyle for good.

But it doesn't stop there; I have more news. For the past few months, if not longer, I have had this strong urge to quit birth control. At the very least, I have wanted to quit using it continuously. I have been on the pill since I was 18, which means I have been consuming synthetic hormones for 7 years straight. I have used it semi-continuously (which gives you 4 periods a year instead of one each month) for at least 4 or 5 years, and completely continuously (absolutely no periods) for about 2 of those years. I grew up with a lot of shame about my feminine body. I started puberty before any of my friends and was not ready or prepared for boobs and periods when they came. I was so embarrassed when my mom forced me to wear a bra when I was nine. And I was so disgusted when I got my period when I was 14. I was always really uncomfortable about having a period, so once I learned I could quit having one by manipulating my usage of "the pill" I was all for it. I didn't care what the risks were; I didn't even ask. I just asked if it was possible to end my period and gobbled up those pills every day.

But then I started learning about health and nutrition; about hormones and estrogen. And with "Detox for Women" I learned a little bit more about how birth control pills (and any medication or drugs) can interfere with cleansing and weight loss. So I've had this nagging feeling that I should quit birth control, but didn't know what else to do. My boyfriend and I have never had to use condoms in the six years we've been together and we are very determined to avoid pregnancy. But I had been using and abusing my body for our sexual convenience for too many years and just decided I was done. I wanted to be a natural, real woman for once. There's just been this sudden change in me, where I want to embrace my femininity, respect my body, and treat my self well. I want to have the most perfect and pure female body that I can have, inside and out. And that means, not only do I need to eat a pure, cleansing diet and quit eating shit-food, but I also need to quit pumping my body with fake hormones that could be really detrimental to my well-being. I've heard what an over-load of hormones can do. I just want to experiment with going off "the pill" and see what it feels like; I have never had that experience as an adult woman! For all I know, I might feel completely a good way! I am prepared that I could get sick and not feel so great while my body detoxes from the pills. But it will be worth it in the long run.

Anyhow, part one of the story: get off the pill. Part two? Well, I knew I needed some form of natural birth control, if there was a such thing. So I did an internet search and ended up: HERE. I was so fascinated by what I learned from this website about the "Fertility Awareness Method", so I bought the book that explains even more about it. Basically, "FAM" brings you completely in touch with your feminine body, helps you gain a deep understanding about your menstrual cycle, and ultimately teaches you to know when your fertile and infertile days are. This seems like it is exactly what I'm looking for: a way to embrace and understand my feminine body, live naturally and hormone-free while still avoiding pregnancy without a constant use of condoms! If done correctly and consistently, "FAM" is supposedly as effective as "the pill." Awesome. I can't wait to start reading this book. I have read so many positive reviews about it and one of my co-workers has read it and loves it also.

Yesterday I took my last birth control pill. If all goes well, I should be getting my first period (in at least two years) soon...hopefully this week, but who knows how long it will take for my cycle to become re-established. And for the first time EVER, I am looking forward to it! A period has brought me nothing but shame and disgust before; now I recognize it as a privilege and a miracle of the female body. Instead of mutilating and manipulating my body, I am going to learn how to work with nature and embrace who and what I really am on the physical level.

I can tell I am on a new path in this body of mine and I am greatly looking forward to it!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Busy in the kitchen with Ani's Raw Food Dessets Book!

Oh boy was yesterday a busy day in the kitchen for me! I hadn't expected to make so many delicious treats! I have tons of pictures to share but unfortunately, not many recipes as most came from Ani Phyo's newest book, "Ani's Raw Food Desserts." And while I'm sure it's not exactly illegal to post recipes from the book, I DO want to support this book as much as possible. So I will share my pictures in hoping that it will inspire you to get off your lazy ass and go buy this AWESOME book! After making these recipes, it is safe to say that this is my favorite raw foods book so far! (Can you tell I love sweets?) It's easy enough to live off of fresh fruit and creative salads without the use of a recipe book, but when you get that sweet tooth craving, it's good to have some amazing, simple, and totally out-of-this-world-I-can't-believe-this-is-raw-it's-so-good recipes. At first glance, these recipes looked too simple to be good; I thought they would be bland or mediocre. But no, these are so scrumptious, reminding me that sometimes simpler is better!

(As a side note, a few months ago I purchased "Just Desserts" Ebook by Heathy Pace and "The Best of Raw Freedom Community" and "The Best of The Sunny Raw Kitchen" both by Carmella. While I have yet to make anything from these books quite yet, the recipes look INCREDIBLE and from what yummy-ness I have experienced on the Raw Community Forum and on both these ladies' blogs, these books MUST be amazing, and might just take the lead. I'll have to get off MY lazy ass some day and make something from them!)
Let's get started.

First off, I made Lemon Cookies. I'm not sure where I first discovered this recipe, but here's a link to where I think it


These were tart and sweet! It could have used a little less lemon juice, but I think that's because I have very tart lemons. My work sells a big bag of at least 6 NON organic lemons for just over $1 so I used one of those. I find that organic lemons have a sweeter flavor for the most part. I did, however, use an organic lemon for the lemon zest and some of the juice needed in the recipe.

NEXT I discovered what quickly became an all-time favorite...Carmella's Kelp Noodles in Peanut Sauce! WOW! I didn't expect this to turn out so AMAZINGLY delicious! I just couldn't imagine how those ingredients were going to taste enough like a peanut sauce but holy crap, they did! The almond butter, tahini, lime, and coconut butter made the perfect combination to create a tasty Thai Peanut sauce! I let the noodles marinate in the sauce in the dehydrator for 30 minutes and then sat down to a delectable meal of soft noodles in a creamy sauce. The next day, I ate my leftovers. The noodles and veggies were much softer from marinating over night, but I still wanted the semi-warm taste from the dehydrator, so again I popped it in for 30 min. Even BETTER the next day! You gotta try this recipe, especially if you are curious about kelp noodles!


NEXT, after bumming around on the RFC, I came across a recipe for Ani Phyo's "Black Sesame Sunflower Bread" and was reading about the positive responses, and decided I should make it. I had made it before a few years ago, but it was right before I got really sick, which turned me off to EVERYTHING I was eating at the time. I couldn't even remember if I liked this bread. So I figured it was time to try it again. And another winner! You can dehydrate it in as little as 5 hours, which will give you a moist, soft bread, or you can leave it in longer for longer storage. I did a little of both. I'm not a fan of totally dry raw breads, so mine are all still relatively pliable.

I made mine with regular sesame seeds, as I couldn't find black ones. Black seeds look a lot prettier, I think, but I'm sure it tastes just as good! Also, I cut most of the pieces even smaller than the recipe calls for, as sometimes my appetite isn't big enough for a whole piece. Here is a slice with avocado, tomato, and sprouts:


NEXT I made "Breakfast Toast" out of Ani's Raw Food Desserts. I'm eating a piece as we speak! I kept mine on the slightly softer side. I like it topped with almond butter and bananas and then popped into the dehydrator to warm it up.


NEXT I made Ani Phyo's "Key Lime Kream Bars", "Carob Walnut Cookies", "Ice Kream Sandwiches" (made with key lime bars and the cookies), "Liquid Chocolate", "Bonbons" (made with key lime bars and liquid chocolate), and "Chocolate-Covered Bananas" (made with liquid chocolate.)

The Key Lime Kream Bars were sweet and tart and extremely versatile. They could easily be made into a cheesecake, by pouring the recipe over your favorite crust in a spring form pan. I poured my mixture in a spring form pan, imagining that would be the easiest to work with. I really just wanted to make the Ice Kream Sandwiches. While the mixture was in the freezer, I made the Carob Walnut Cookies. I flattened out the mixture with my hands, and then used a circular shape to cut out the cookies. Since I don't have cookie cutters, I took apart this metal frosting applier thingy...what's that thing called that you use to make piping with frosting on cakes? Whatever it is, I used that. It just shows that sometimes you gotta be really creative! Anyhow, once the Key Lime Kream was frozen, I used the same circle to cut out pieces of that. Since the shape was so small (maybe only 1 1/2 inches wide) the height of the Kream looked a little tall between the cookies, so I cut east piece in half, which gave me two circles of Kream! Once all the cookie sandwiches were assembled, I had a lot of Kream left. I cut the rest into bars, save for the oddly shapes scraps that came from around my circle cut-outs.


What should I do with all these scraps, I wondered? Make Bonbons, of course! I quickly whipped up some Liquid Chocolate which is just coconut oil and cacao powder, with mesquite powder and agave nectar being optional additions. Since I didn't think I needed much, I made only half the recipe and used a mixture of raw carob and non-raw cocoa powder. Here's my adaptation:

Liquid Chocolate
Adapted from Ani Phyo's Raw Food Desserts

1/2 cup liquid coconut oil (measure, and then place in bowl in dehydrator until liquid)
1/8 cup raw carob (I put both "chocolates" half-and-half together in a 1/4 cup measure)
1/8 cup cocoa powder (or cacao, or all carob, or whatever you want!
1/2 tbsp agave nectar

Sift your carob/cocoa mixture into the liquid coconut oil (I DID NOT sift when I made this, and it was VERY chunky. Lesson: SIFT!) and add the agave. Wisk together. Now you can cover up anything from Kream bars to fruit and beyond!

Once my liquid chocolate was made, I took the Kream scraps, let them soften on the counter for a couple minutes, pressed them into a rounded tablespoon (would have worked best with a small ice cream scoop) and then put them on a plate to freeze. Once re-frozen, I tossed them in the liquid chocolate, and then put them in the freezer again. After minute or two, I followed that with another coat of liquid chocolate since it was looking a little thin (the warmer the chocolate, the thinner the layer will be.)

I figured while I was making Bonbons, I might as well make Chocolate-Covered Bananas as well! I cut three bananas into thirds, skewered them (cut the long skewers in half), froze them for a few hours, and then dipped them in the liquid chocolate. Well, my method was more of spooning the chocolate over the bananas to get them evenly coated. I topped them with goji berries, and popped them back in the freezer. The liquid chocolate hardens within seconds, and is perfectly ready for eating after a minute or two in the freezer, so you can have your dessert in a flash!


Like I said, I didn't sift my cocoa, so the chocolate looks a little chunky. But it tastes amazing!

Wow, this feels like a VERY long post. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What's your internal weight?

Yep, I've been staying away from that scale and it feels good. I can tell I'm losing weight, and I feel amazing. Part of me wants to jump on that scale and see just how much weight I've lost and how much more I have to lose until I am at my perfect weight, but all this will do is: a.) boost my ego to an unnecessary degree or b.) crush my self esteem and attract self loathing. And both will encourage a weight obsession that is not healthy to my mind, body, or spirit. So what I'm working on, in the spirit of getting in touch with my "inner body" is asking myself, "What is my INTERNAL weight?" Not how much do my insides weigh, but how do I feel inside? Beyond my mind, beyond my does my higher self feel about my body? And my current answer is: cleansing. Yep, that is my internal weight. It may not be a number, but that doesn't make it any less valid. I can feel my body is detoxing and releasing fat. I'm not at my perfect weight quite yet (I'll know when I'm at my perfect weight because I'll feel light and strong and clean, and I'll feel like I have created a perfect vehicle for my spirit) but I'm definitely getting there. I like my body NOW, and that is what matters!

Also, I've been doing a lot more yoga at home lately. My minimum is usually about 10 minutes of sun salutes in the morning, but lately I've added a couple more poses and probably spend about 20 minutes every morning before I go to work. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but it's invigorating, and all the time I can spend on it without waking up earlier than 5 am! The other day I spent the longest time EVER on yoga poses at home: almost 1.5 hrs! I just did the poses out of "Happy Yoga" by Steve Ross (which I am still reading) and had myself an amazing evening. I lit candles, played calming music, and stretched my body. "Happy Yoga" is such a winner for so many reasons. It really sparked my commitment to return to a high raw diet, as well as opening me up to further lessons about the spiritual aspect of yoga AND the physical poses! I just LOVE the powerful sun salute I learned from the book! It's much more refreshing and more of a work out than the one I had been used to before, but I usually can only do about 3 repetitions.

In other news, I have stocked up on many raw essentials to get me going again: tahini, coconut butter, braggs (instead of nama's much cheaper and I was curious to try it), raw almond butter, agave nectar, and lots of nuts and seeds. This week I've made Ani's Tahini Lemon Dressing, More Almond Frangipane Kream from Ani's Raw Food Desserts book, lots of salads, tried Dulse in my salad for the first time, tried Braggs liquid aminos for the first time (in the tahini dressing), tried some yummy store-bought raw crackers to use with the rest of my pesto from last week, and tried a raw soup today that I totally LOVED!

I've never really been a big fan of raw soups; I was turned off of them early on because I tried a couple recipes that really weren't appetizing. Since then I've liked a couple raw soups, mostly from Natalia Rose's books, but nothing too incredible. Nevertheless, something inside told me to give raw soups another chance. So I went to the RFC to see what recipes were out there that others could recommend. I was surprised by the answer: Cream of Zucchini Soup. It doesn't sound very good, but there was so much positive response about he recipe. And even more surprising was the fact that the recipe came from a book I have had for years, "Raw Food Made Easy or 1 or 2 People" by Jennifer Cornbleet! I have flipped through this book and made a few recipes, but always half-heartedly flipped over the soup section. This soup never caught my eye. But I was determined to try it. Needless to say, it is absolutely delicious! I had it lightly heated over the stove. I set the stove to medium, letting it warm while stirring constantly. I have a helpful gadget that I rarely ever use, but came in handy in this: a thermometer with an alarm that goes off when the food has reached a pre-set temp. It let me warm my soup without cooking it past 110 degrees! The soup tasted great right out of the blender, but after tasting it lightly warmed, I realized that that's the key to my enjoyment of raw soups! There's something about my taste buds that just get a little bored or wierded out about eating a cold, thick (or thin), savory liquid for too long. It makes me feel like I'm eating a dip. It might taste good, but dips are meant to be eaten lightly, not an entire bowl plain. But now I realize I just need to warm the soup, so it really reminds me of...SOUP! (I'm not sure if anyone else has this preference, so just ignore this if you are fine with cold soup)

Anyhow, this soup will become a daily staple in my kitchen from now on :)

Cream of Zucchini Soup from Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People by Jennifer Cornbleet

Serves 2 (but I ate the entire recipe in one sitting, so you might wanna make extras!)

½ cup water
1 zucchini, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon mellow white miso (I used 1/2 tsp Braggs)
½ teaspoon crushed garlic (1 clove)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
dash cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ avocado, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh minced dill, or 1 tsp dried

Place all of the ingredients except the olive oil, avocado and dill in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Add the olive oil and avocado and blend until smooth. Add the dill and blend briefly just to mix.

Serve immediately, chill, or warm lightly on the stove.


I ate the ENTIRE recipe served alongside a salad and raw crackers topped with (non-raw) hummus. Geez, I need to get some smaller bowls so I don't eat this whole recipe each time I make it!

And to conclude today's blog, I would like to share the things I am making this week: Black Sesame Sunflower Bread from "Ani's Raw Food Kitchen"...I made these once before a couple years ago, but it was right before I got a massive kidney infection (which turned me off to what I had been recently eating; this bread being one of them) so I can't remember what it tasted like. I'm sure I loved it. But I'm gonna try it again! Next, I will make Breakfast Toast, Key Lime Kream Bars, and Carob Walnut Cookies (and combining the lime bars with the cookies to form ice cream sandwiches) all from "Ani's Raw Food Desserts" (that Ani Phyo sure is a raw-foods-hero!), Lemon Cookies, and Carmella's Kelp Noodles in Peanut Sauce! I am very excited to make all of these recipes!

What a great life :)