Thursday, April 29, 2010

Haste Makes Waste, and Waste makes... Raw Snacks!

As I've said countless times by now, my initial fear of the juicer was that I would be wasting all this lovely fruit and veggie fiber to make myself a little glass of juice. As you know, juicing separates the 'liquid'/nutrient substrate of a fruit or veggie from its pulp/fiber content. While drinking juice makes nutrients much more absorbable by your body, I can't help but sigh at all that lovely fiber-y goodness that stays in the juicer. I do love increasing my nutrient intake, but at what cost?

The suggestion I always got was compost the pulp, it makes great compost whether you do it directly in your yard or have a home vermicomposter. Though that might be a great solution for a lot of other people, on a raw diet, Andrew and I already produce LOTS of compost for our garden wormies. So, I wanted another option. Once again, raw food was the answer. Since I started making juice on a raw diet, I've had a purpose for all that pulp: crackers, and now yummy carrot cake snack bars.

I present to you, my latest creation made from the pulp of my favourite juice combination: carrot, apple, ginger.

Carrot-Cake Bars
1/2 C Ground oats/spelt*
1 C Carrot-apple-ginger juice pulp
1 1/2 Tbsp of pumpkin pie spices**
1/4 C + 1 Tbsp of maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Salt to taste
3/4 C Sweet nuts***
1/2 C of dried fruits (dried currants, raisins, etc.)

1. Mix pulp and ground oats/spelt together in a bowl
2. Add spices, salt, and then blend in maple syrup and vanilla
3. Mix in sweet nuts and dried fruit
4. Shape into bars on Teflex sheet and dehydrate at 115 for 4-6 hours

(No-dehydrator option: I'm sure you could chill these in the fridge and have them still work; another option would be to shape them into balls and chill them... I think I'll try that next time! Be creative!)

*see my recent cookie recipe for a raw and less-raw option
**a blend of cinnamon, and smaller amounts of nutmeg, allspice, cloves, mace... I like a lot of spice
***I made about 1 C of a walnut-pecan blend mixed with 1 Tbsp of flax (or olive) oil, 1 1/2 T maple syrup, salt, and pumpkin pie spices, dehydrated about 4 hours (they're good in everything or just as a snack of their own)

If anyone has a yummy raw icing recipe, I think it would go fabulously on these bars (especially if you over-dehydrate them and they become a little too dry!). Plus, everyone knows carrot cake just isn't the same without that cream cheese icing! And remember your 3 Rs: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle! I'm doing my part, and it's pretty tasty!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Man Wednesdays: The next step forward...backward

I am a creature of habit. Anyone who knows me would probably say that that is one of my true "man-isms". I can eat the same thing, at the same time and do the same things for months and be perfectly content. If Chantal asks me what flavor ice cream I want her to make next, I'm most likely to want the exact same one that I just finished. If she "borrows" my keys out of my right front pocket, then I want them put back in my right. front. pocket.

This can be an inconvenience when you move a lot. Had a favorite brand of chocolate? Maybe the stores here don't sell it. Finally made friends with every staff member at your gym? Well now you're a stranger.

So, whereas I approach most moves with a degree of reluctance, our next move holds an exciting change for me, something I've never done before: We're moving back to a city that I spent over fifteen years of my life in, but that I haven't lived in for almost a decade. We're even moving into the exact same neighbourhood. It's like the best of both worlds. I get to go back to many of the aspects of my life that I left behind when I moved to Kingston. At the same time, I have changed enough, and Ottawa has changed enough, that it will be like discovering a whole new city.

I can return to my old martial arts school to study under the one man who is my longest enduring friendship, and yet he teaches a different style now and all his students have changed. Many of my old friends are there, but we will have all new stories to tell each other. Even the city itself has changed, but the Glebe retains it's old world charm.

And, yes: I can even get my favorite brand of chocolate.

The biggest thing for me will be that, although I love DC and will miss it like a dear friend, we have always been the only Raw Foodists that we know of in this whole city. In Ottawa we have already found a wider community of people who are on, or have already taken, the same journey. Best thing is, they're all based right in our neighbourhood. Love to my girl for again finding us the perfect home, in the perfect location.

Shows how good I am with birthdays...

We are interrupting Man Wednesdays, for this special announcement: I can't believed I missed my blog's one year birthday five days ago! Mostly, I can't believe that on April 23rd, my humble little blog turned 1.

To celebrate my blog birthday, here's an absurdly non-raw cake I made for a friend's little girl in 2007. Yes, those are all cookies, and yes, I did use an organic hazelnut chocolate spread (aka. an organic version of Nutella) as mortar for my castle. P.S. It was filled with M&Ms.

Happy Birthday, Eat Dance Live!

But like anyone on their birthday, this makes me think about what I have achieved or how far I've come since I began writing this blog. What was my intention when I started writing this blog? How much have I 'Eaten, Danced, and Lived' since April 23, 2009?

Eat: I think anyone who reads this blog knows that I have done my share of amazing eating since last year, but I never would have imagined that within a few weeks of my starting a blog, I would embark on one of the greatest food journeys of my life: Raw Food. Again, I have to thank the wonderful luck I had of stumbling across Meredith's blog as well as a bunch of other resources that got me thinking about the concept in the first place. A lover of new things, I didn't take on raw food as some sort of challenge, but as a way to be even healthier and happier than before. At that point, I just knew it was the right thing to do. To prove how amazing a raw diet is to you yet again, that pizza was our dinner, made up of Alissa Cohen's Easy Pizza Crust, an amended version of her Tomato Sauce recipe, Meredith's Fermented Nut Cheese, and a bunch of amazing toppings.

Dance: Because of school and life, I definitely haven't gotten as much dance in this year as I would have liked. But dwelling on the positive, within the past blog year, I was able to take a two day workshop with my tribal belly dance idol, Rachel Brice. I also got some serious dance-time in at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. And thanks to Rachel's workshop, I was able to get in contact with a couple awesome girls I was able to get together and dance with once a week for a little while. Now heading back to Canada in a matter of months, I'll be back in the same area as my first ATS teacher and mentor, as well as a friend from my dance tribe back there, who I'll be living in the same city as us. We've already decided that we'll be taking it by tribal dance storm! I can't wait!

Live: How I have lived! This year brought on so many things that I've been able to share with you: my work with the OCA, an amazing trip to Mexico, raw food, the completion of my MA, travels back to my second home of France, Boston, Salem, NY, Pennsylvania, and of course all the little things like more love, more family, more happiness, and things I can't even begin to have time to write about, like finally collecting all the pottery we wanted to have the most beautiful kitchenware ever. Oh wait, one more: one day after my blog's birthday, I found the PERFECT house for us to move into once we're in Ottawa this June. We've been super excited about moving into our first house together sine the day we met, and now, we are! And most of all, I think I've found a more specific purpose for this blog. Not only do I want to primarily share all my culinary adventures with you, I hope to get across all the health, positivity, and happiness that radiates from it and my life in general. I don't believe any aspect of ones life is disconnect from their food and lifestyle choices. If you choose to be healthy through diet and exercise, it will show in everything you do from your daily interactions with people to how well you can sleep at night. And, we still have the cutest cat ever:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Raw Chocolate-Chip Pecan Cookies

There's something beautiful about the union between nuts and chocolate. Here's my contribution to the wonders of that happy marriage:

Chocolate-Chip Pecan Cookies
1 1/2 C ground cashews
1 C mix of ground oats & spelt*
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 C maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 heaping tbsp of melted cacao butter
cinnamon to taste (I use a lot)
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/2 C chocolate chips

*the easy and less raw way: grind oat and spelt flakes into flour with your food processor
the more time-consuming but raw-er way: soak oat groats and spelt berries for 12-24 hours, dehydrate them, then grind them into flour

1. Mix ground oats and spelt, ground cashews, salt, and cinnamon til evened out
2. Pour in maple syrup, vanilla, and cacao butter, blend well
3. Mix in chopped pecans and chocolate chips
4. Form cookies with your hands (it will be sticky) or dollop one heaping tablespoon of cookie dough onto Teflex sheet and place in dehydrator at 115 for 3-4 hours

Monday, April 26, 2010


So I had intended on blogging about one hundred different foodie things today (and I may still yet), whether it was the raw key lime pie I made on Saturday or the awesome Middle-Eastern food themed meal I made for dinner last night. Instead, my faith in humanity was totally renewed this morning, and I feel like I just had to share it with you:

Walking towards my bus stop today on one of the biggest and busiest streets in downtown DC, I fell across a scene that renewed my faith in humanity, that there is good in the world, that people can still connect to one another, that we still have an inherent love for nature and a desire to protect it, and that humans can be pretty awesome sometimes. To start off, Pennsylvania Avenue is a pretty scary street to cross even when you're a human!

So imagine being a mother duck with almost a dozen little duckling trying to cross it. Not fun. What I saw from a block away was a mother duck and her babies in the middle of tall buildings and never-ending concrete streets, trying to cross the street to get to what I can only assume was the greenery around the National Mall or the tidal basin or something. The cars were whizzing by, the buses droning along... there was no way mommy duck and her babies were going to make it safely across 8 lanes of traffic. Before I could think about what I would do about it when I reached them, three people from what were obviously totally different racial and social walks of life came together out of nowhere and single-handedly stopped traffic to let the ducks cross. They first tried to shoo the mother and her babies back onto the sidewalk, but she wouldn't have it. She had to cross. So, picture this: a small elderly Indian woman in a gorgeously coloured sari, a stereotypical A-type middle-aged Caucasian business woman, and a laid back looking younger Hispanic man in serviceman's uniform from the store across the street, all formed a little barricade to let them pass. One of the them was trying to stop traffic, the other was following the ducklings to make sure they all stayed together, and the last was simply standing with her arms outspread in the middle of the street, risking the danger of speeding cars for these nine little ducks. Needless to say, with the help of these three people, the ducks made it safely across.

It was funny, it was hilarious, it was cute... but above all, it was beautiful and so heart-warming I couldn't help but smile all the way home. I was filled with such love for these people, for humanity when it works together to serve others, and for when life is filled with these little moments of beauty and love and companionship. I know DC has all sorts of people from all over the world, but it was such an awesome coincidence to see these three people, dressed so differently, with such different life experiences, all uniting for one simple reason. It really comes to show what matters at the day of the day: compassion and love. Nothing else matters. It didn't matter who these people were, what else they were going to do today or what they had done yesterday. They were and are all the same: They are good people trying to do good things. That is humanity to me. It seems silly, but it made my day.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Workout Recap

P90X Plyometrics Cardio (I was somewhat disappointed...)
150 crunches

20 minutes HIIT cardio on the elliptical
3x12 ab rotation machine
3x12 of 2 ab exercises

Gina's Summer Shape Week 1 Day 2 workout

20 minutes HIIT cardio on elliptical
10 minutes incline level 10, resistance 4.0 on elliptical

20 minutes of Yoga (Yoga Download's Morning Flow)
30 minutes of swimming laps

20 minutes of Gentle Hatha Yoga (from Yoga Download)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chakra Juice Feast #1: Feeding my Root Chakra

In the spirit of my most recent physical/emotional/spiritual journey, I've decided to incorporate a weekly Chakra Juice Feast into my weekly rituals. The reasons behind this are as superficial as giving me fun motivation to have one day of juicing every week, and as complex as making sure my energy system is all properly aligned!

To do this, I'll be juicing foods that are best suited to each chakra. Today, I'm starting with the base of it all, the Root Chakra or Muladhara in Sanskrit.

Located at the base of the spine, the Root Chakra serves as the solid foundation of our whole energy system. It links us to the physical world, it keeps us grounded. When it is balanced, it allows us to bring solidarity and support to those around us. It allows us to feel grounded, secure, empowered, centered, and have high self-esteem. In doing so, it gives us physical energy, controls our fears, and maintains our overall health. This chakra stores all our learned or inherited beliefs, our survival instincts, our feelings of security and primal urges.

Any physical activity helps us keep our Root Chakra open. If you're a Yoga practitioner, Hatha Yoga and warrior poses that keep us firmly grounded and balanced are key to opening your Root Chakra. Any other 'grounding' type activity might help, for some it might be something as mundane as cooking or cleaning, for others, going outside and taking a walk.

If you're feeling lost, alienated, lacking energy, insecure, or feel like you don't have purpose, you're root chakra might be out of balance. Physically, imbalance can be noted by lower back pain, anemia. depression, and immune system issues among other symptoms. An overly strong Root Chakra is noted if you are particularly egoistic, domineering, greedy, and/or overly judgmental.

To start off my Root Chakra honoring day, I began it with some Hatha Yoga (from Yoga Download). After that I had, a glass of apple, carrot, ginger juice. I had planned on following this up with lunch and dinner juices based on other ground foods like a beet juice, and more, but my sister called me to check out the Eastern Market in DC and we ended up hopping on a bus straight away and spending the day with her! With only a couple months left in DC, we want to get as much out of this city as possible :)

Also, I have to say this day has gone wonderfully. I don't know if it was an amazing coincidence or a sign that I should keep doing these chakra juice feasts, but within one hour of me starting my grounding day, we found the perfect place to move into once we get to Ottawa (we'd been looking and the perfect place just wasn't coming to us and I was starting to lose faith! I was so excited, I think we spent about 10 minutes jumping around the living room. Not only did we find a perfect house right in the best neighbourhood in Ottawa, it's also right beside a grocery store that has a super organic section (we currently live across the street from a WH, so we are kind of spoiled). And icing on our raw vegan cake: we will also be living within a ten minute walk of my favourite vegan restaurant in the whole world: The Green Door, which is also right next to a small natural health food store, The Wheat Berry. What more could I ask for? It's like it was meant to be!

To finish off my day, Andrew is about to give me one of his super Reiki sessions. I've asked him to concentrate on making sure my Root Chakra is up and running. And helping with grounding, self-confidence, and any Muladhara-related issues.

Finally, here are my positive Root Chakra-based affirmations for the day:

My body supports me fully to live a creative, happy, healthy, and optimal life.

My choices are all based on what I know to be right for me.

I am grateful for the opportunities for growth I am offered every day.

I am also grateful for all the challenges that have taught me who I truly am.

Have an awesome weekend!

Friday, April 23, 2010

"I'm just a little black rain cloud, hovering over the honey tree..."

That was a Pooh quote of course :)

Today's topic is honey. Raw honey, wild honey, local honey... you name it, I love it! I'm a honey fanatic! Honey is antibacterial, antiseptic, antibiotic, and antifungal. It never goes bad, and does a world of good both when ingested and topically! Move over Purell, why use you when honey is your more eco-friendly and yummy alternative?

Honey is by far the best sweetener for you, especially if it's raw. The enzymes in raw honey have strong antioxidant properties. They help promote your digestive system, and boost your general health and energy. Just one teaspoon a day and you don't ever have to get sick! It's cleansing, it's a tonic, it's a miracle cure! Great thing is, it's not hard to get some every day. Put in your tea, your raw crackers, cookies, cakes, the possibilities are endless!

When used topically, it can cure skin rashes, burns, and scars. It works as a great moisturizing mask, and because it's antibacterial, it could even be used as soap! It's also great against blemishes and acne if you dab it on the affected area overnight. It's good for your teeth, gums, and general oral health when ingested.

My favourite kind of honey by far is Really Raw Honey. Because it's unprocessed, it has all the good stuff combined into one convenient jar: the honey, the pollen, the propolis, and even pieces of honeycomb and all of their wonderful enzymes! Raw honey has the most wonderfully rich taste and the most perfect creamy and smooth texture.

Great thing is, everyone knows I love honey, so everyone who loves me always bring me honey back from their travels. Currently in my cupboard are Moroccan thyme honey and rosemary honey, and acacia, white heather, wildflower honey, lime, and lavender honey from the South of France, and a HUGE jar of Really Raw Honey. We also recently finished blueberry honey from my best friend, who bought it locally during a trip to NJ. Why a need for so many different kinds of honey? Because my pantry is my medicine cabinet:

You can become quite the honey connoisseur if you want to. Every different type of honey has different properties, tastes, and textures. I have acquired some honey knowledge thanks to my raw uncooking adventures. Sometimes a stronger honey like wildflower honey works better if you're trying to kick up the flavors in your recipe. If you want something more gentle and mellow use lavender honey. If you want something more zesty use herbal honeys like thyme or rosemary... My mom brought me back a wonderful brochure from France with the properties of every different kind of honey I currently have in stock. I didn't even know that some honeys are more stimulating than others, and therefore should not be used before going to sleep. Here's are some examples so you get the gist of what I'm saying:

Lavender Honey: Good for fatigue, migraines, burns, scars, insect bites, cuts
Acacia Honey: Best honey for diabetics because it's lowest in fructose
Lime Honey: Calming on the nervous system, helps against insomnia, the best honey for bed time teas
Thyme Honey: One of the strongest antiseptics, great for lung, urinary or intestinal distress, also a stimulant
Wild Heather Honey: best to prevent or cure urinary tract infections, and helps keep the prostate healthy, also a diuretic

... and the list goes one, isn't that fascinating? I thought it was, and can't wait to learn more! And don't even get me started on bee pollen! Now go out there and pick yourself up some raw honey, the expense is always worth it when you know you won't ever need pharmaceuticals again!

P.S. For another healthy treat that can be used both externally and internally, check out Avery's latest Virgin Coconut Oil giveaway from Tropical Traditions!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Power Breakfast

What?! A non-smoothie breakfast?! Yes, I do recognize the importance of a good hearty breakfast every once in a while... okay, you caught my bluff. I have smoothies every day. I actually make these for Andrew on the days I have my weird spirulina banana whips (those are kind of smoothie like). Also to clarify, some of you have wondered if Andrew ever cooks (or uncooks), and why I'm always the one making all the food. First off, yes he can. He makes the meanest jambalaya you've ever had, is the pancake master of his (and now my) family, is (or was) a vegan cheesecake master, wooed me with the most amazing breakfast in bed in the early days of our relationship, and that's only the beginning.

To tell you the truth, I'm kind of a kitchen hog. If I had been born in the 1950s, I think I could have been very content as a happy housewife. There's something I find absolutely fulfilling about feeding my man, and keeping him happy through food. I love winning people over by presenting them with beautiful, tasty food. It's my way of saying "I love you."Also, don't get me wrong, we also love cooking together. Right now though, our kitchen is the size of the smallest closet in our last place (that's not an exaggeration). When we move to a new place with a hopefully bigger kitchen in the next few months, joint-uncooking will definitely make a comeback.

That was a very roundabout way of saying, "I made oatmeal for breakfast," but there you have it.

Power Breakfast Oatmeal
1 C (or just enough to get the flakes mushy after a few minutes) boiled water
1/2 C oat flakes + 1/2 C spelt flakes
1/3 C raisins
1/4 C dried currants
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp each of ground cardamom and allspice
1/4 tsp each of ground cloves and ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1/2 an apple, grated
handful of blueberries
(extra protein option: 1 heaping tbsp hemp protein)

1. Mix all ingredients except water, honey, hemp seeds, and apples (and protein powder) in bowl
2. Pour enough hot water into bowl and stir until the water is more or less soaked up to make the consistency of regular oatmeal
3. Stir in honey, then hemp seeds, (and hemp protein) and mix
4. Top with grated apples and blueberries

And of course:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Man Wednesdays: "Shedding your old snake skin"

It's Mansday again! Tune in today, for your weekly words of wisdom by my one and only:

"My life is blessed in so many ways.

This last weekend was my first time teaching a Reiki course. My mentor and friend David Gleekal allowed me to assist him in teaching his Level I Reiki course to a group of six wondrous individuals. Of course, professional ethics forestalls me giving any specific details, but let me just say that each of them went on an incredible journey; no one leaves one of David's classes as the same person who entered. I felt deeply honored to have been able to witness, facilitate and take part in those journeys.

Both teaching and Reiki share a common aspect (other than "things Andrew intends to spend the rest of his life doing"). Reiki healing calls upon the practitioner to remove their ego from the equation. You're not making anyone well. Reiki energy flows to where it is most needed and it does the healing, you're just the conduit through which it moves. The recipient is healing themselves, you're just helping to create an environment that is most conducive to that healing.

The same goes for teaching. You can never make someone learn anything. You are just a conduit for the knowledge, and what truths are heard and understood by which students is just not up to you. The student is the one that makes the true effort of learning, of changing their way of thinking, perceiving and being, you're just helping to create an environment that is most conducive to it.

David has many skills as a teacher that I wish to develop in myself. One of them is the ability to not resist resistance. Invariably each class will have one or more students that come to the class with some sort of barrier up, whether they give off a "prove to me that this works" attitude or a reluctance to be there at all. When I encounter this there is a programmed response in me to meet that resistance. (Once again the ego rears its ugly head...) But David seems to have defeated that response in himself. Not that he doesn't care, he cares profoundly, he just knows that it won't serve anyone to do so.

I suspect that he also knows that if someone is paying good money to come to a course, and then shows up giving emotional resistance to it, that is a pretty big indicator of their need for some serious spiritual or emotional healing. Surprisingly, these are the lucky ones. These are the students who have the opportunity to go through the greatest and most beautiful of transformations. When they finally get that healing of something so deep that they might not be able to ever voice it, or so old that sometimes it predates their own birth, they can transform right in front of your eyes. They get on the table as one person and they get off of it as another. Not a different person, just a truly, purer version of themselves. It's like a snake shedding it's old, tired skin and emerging younger, refreshed and new."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Green Tea Ice Cream

Have I already touted the benefits of green tea? and more specifically matcha green tea? While I've always been a fan of green tea in general, I was first introduced to matcha the way most Asian people are... through green tea ice cream! Of course now, you can find it all over the place, but I remember when it was just something you could find in our local asian grocery store.

Matcha is a higher quality green tea. It's covered before it's picked, making its leaves turn a deeper green than other tea leaves. It also tastes much stronger than other types of tea, so you'll always recognize it once you've had it once. Because of its strong taste, you only need to use a little bit (usually about one teaspoon or so) to get the full range of its taste, colour, and health benefits.

According to Dr. Weil, it has the nutritional value and antioxidant content of 10 glasses of 'regular' green tea, and has a much higher antioxidant count that both blueberries and spinach. Because of its antioxidants, matcha helps you stay young and healthy! It's also high in chlorophyll, fiber, vitamin C, zinc, manganese, selenium, chronium, and tocopherols, amongst other scientific sounding things. It will also keep your skin aglow.

How do I use it when I'm not drinking it? I used to love making vegan cookies and cupcakes out of them. You can find dozens of recipes for those online. They're delicious. Otherwise, I still use them in Andrew's post-workout Raw Rebound Balls, and now... in raw ice cream! I'd been meaning to try raw green tea ice cream for a while, and finally got around to it. Since I've already made Meredith's ice cream recipe by the book, it was time to tweak it :) I'm sorry, I can't help myself! I used less sweetener, and halved the coconut butter, and added one beautiful tablespoon of matcha green powder (I could have probably used a little less, but I got carried away). The result was a strong but fabulous green tea ice cream. If you have your own favourite raw ice cream recipe or want to try Meredith's, definitely try the green tea version!

Where can you find it? As always, I get mine from Nuts Online, but you can find it on most raw food website or in health food stores.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Raw Banana-Raisin Tempeh Curry

Tempeh is one of those foods that's still okay on my list. I make it for Andrew every week, and of course, if I make something, I'm bound to taste if it's okay. Unlike other foods that I don't even allow to pass my lips anymore, tempeh still has benefits I don't mind getting a couple tablespoons of every once in a while.

Tempeh has been a staple in Indonesia for over 2000 years. I've tasted all sorts of tempeh, both yummy and totally nasty (Australia, I don't know what's up with you, but you've got to do something about your tempeh). Of course, being made up of soybeans, it's a great meat substitute in terms of protein, and also has a heavier meaty texture that's great for mock dishes. It's made by cooking hulled soybeans, adding in a culturing agent, and incubating them to let them ferment over night until they form a cake.

Tempeh is one of the few soy-based foods that actually uses the whole soybean. Fermentation also makes it extra healthy (again, because of those healthy probiotics that keep your tummy gremlins happy!). Because of fermentation enzymes, tempeh contains B12, has a higher fiber content than tofu, and is easier to digest. The enzymes responsible for fermentation already digest and break down a portion of the nutrients for you (yum...). Doing that actually increases your capacity to absorb a lot of soybean's minerals like zinc, iron, and calcium. Obviously, because of the probiotics, tempeh is also great for you GI tract and contains natural antibiotics.

This raw tempeh curry recipe is based of one of my very first vegan recipes. I made it up for a fundraising event (a Curry Festival!) during my undergrad years. It actually holds a special place in my heart because it's a recipe I made up on the same night Andrew and I got together (that part was after the event) :) Back in the day, I used regular tofu rather than tempeh and cooked the whole thing, but over the years, I've made it as raw as it can be! Of course if you wish, you can do it the old fashion way. All you'd have to do is cube tofu and simmer it until the flavors get soaked up (add the bananas last because they get too soggy).

Raw Banana-Raisin Tempeh Curry
1/3 C of shredded coconut + 1 C water (or 1 C coconut milk)
6 oz. tempeh (about 3/4 of a pack, but you could probably use the whole thing)
1 1/2 tablespoon of curry
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of raw honey
1/2 tablespoon of salt
1/2 C raisins
1 1/2 bananas (mine were small so 1 large one would probably do)

1. Blend 1/3 C shredded coconut with water in a high speed blender to make coconut milk
2. Add curry, cumin, raw honey, and salt to coconut milk and blend
3. Dice the tempeh into small cubes (I actually chop it until it crumbles)
4. Dice bananas into cubes
5. Gently mix tempeh, bananas, and raisins in a bowl (be careful not to mush all the bananas)
6. Pour liquid curry blend into the bowl and mix everything. It will seem really liquidy but if you leave it overnight, the tempeh will soak up all the liquid and make a nice saucy tempeh (not saucy like a wench, but like a flavorful Indian dish of course!)
7. Eat! The longer you leave it, the more the flavors blend with one another. This keeps at least 1 week in the fridge, but it usually doesn't last that long!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Workout Recap

30 minutes of Body for Life style HIIT cardio on elliptical
10 minutes of hills on treadmill
5 minute stretch

3x15 db press on stability ball
3x12 seated db press
3x15 db flyes on stability ball
3x15 lateral raises
3x15 bicep curls
3x15 bent over rows
3x15 tricep kickbacks
3x15 lat pulldowns
Ab cycle on stability ball (4 exercises 4x12 + 20 stability ball roll outs)
5 minute 'sprint' on stationary bike
5 minute stretch

30 minute endurance running on treadmill
10 minute hills on treadmill
5 minute stretch

10 minute cardio sprints on elliptical
Ab routine on floor mat (4 exercises 4x12)
3z12 Barbell Squats
3x15 lying side leg raises
1.5 minute plank
3x12 lying side inner leg raises
3x12 calf raises on step
1 minte jump rope
5 minute stretch

1 hour of kayaking!
2.5 mile walk

20 minutes of HIIT on treadmill
10 minutes of hills on treadmill

Friday, April 16, 2010

Little Bundles of Sunshine

... why, they're sunflower seeds of course! And don't just put them in your bird feeders, they're great for you too! Sunflower seeds a packed with proteins, fiber, healthy fats, minerals, loads of vitamin E and magnesium! Vitamin E is anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, and thus protects you from asthma, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular issues, cancers. It also helps maintain the proper functioning of your noggin', especially with memory and cognitive functions. Magnesium helps maintain bone health and energy, and its needed to process calcium.

I've been loving sunflowers recently, especially when soaked. I find them the most easily digestible seed/nut (pumpkin seeds are a close second). I've been eating them in Meredith's sunflower rye crackers, in mock tuna, and most recently in Matt Amsden's Veggie Cakes, from Rawvolution. They're excellent! Who knew beets, sunflower, and just a few more ingredients would make such a wonderful patty! This is the first recipe I've tried from this book, and so far I'm loving it. Matt also just looks like a really cool guy to hang out with.

This recipe was one of those ones that are really not what they seem until they're done. I've found that the most important thing when trying recipes that need to go through the dehydrator is that the 'mixture' you make pre-dehydration does not taste like its final product. Dehydration gives food a much stronger (and sometimes more nuanced) flavor. What might seem like a little bit of onion pre-dehydration will taste a lot like onion when it's done.

Case in point, in one of my most recent recipe failures, I invented what I like to call "trash crackers"... in other words, I waited too long to use veggie pulp from juicing. Pre-dehydration, yeah, I noticed they were a little off, but it wasn't that bad. But post-dehydration, well my crackers came out tasting like, well... old veggie compost. Not so good.

But these veggie cakes and sunflowers, now those are yummy! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Show me yours, and I'll show you mine!

Sorry for the lack of post last night. I got caught up preparing for my thesis presentation this weekend. I get to make a powerpoint with fun anti-GMO protest pictures like this:

Gotta love Greenpeace.

Also, 'Man Wednesday' was put on hold, because said 'Man' was out :) But let's keep the ball rolling!

I was inspired by Gina's post last night, asking her readers to show her their smoothies! Considering I eat them every morning (or at least, every other morning), I figured I'd be the perfect candidate for the challenge. So here are my smoothies! Over the past couple years, my breakfast has pretty much consisted in one of these two smoothies (the recipes are for two people):

'Tropical' Smoothie

3 C papaya/pineapple/mango (or any combination)
1 teaspoon of maca powder
1 heaping teaspoon of mesquite
1/3 to 1/2 C water (I like my smoothies thick)

(The man version you also see featured has an extra scoop of hemp protein and one scoop of brown rice protein, sometimes I put a teaspoon of each in mine too. And don't mind the coloring, it's deceptive!)

All the ingredients simply go through the blender!

Berry Smoothie

3 C of mixed berries (I usually defrost the frozen kind over night so I don't get sorbet in the morning)
1 teaspoon of maca
1 teaspoon of mesquite
1 heaping teaspoon of spirulina

(Same deal as above for the man version)

(picture courtesy of here, because I don't have one and this was the photo I found with the closest coloring to mine!)

Thanks to Meredith's green smoothie recipe, I've also been adding spinach to my berry smoothie whenever I have some on hand. It really works!

Both of these smoothie recipes go great with raw granola!

And as you know, I've more recently added my infamous, strawberry-banana-spirulina whip of love to my breakfast repertoire. (Recipe here)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Electrolytes, they're what our bodies crave!"

If anyone didn't get that quote, it's from the movie, Idiocracy, which was simultaneously one of the scariest and funniest movies ever (mainly because it touched on social truths we don't want to acknowledge).

Why am I mentioning electrolytes? Because they ARE what our body craves. They're a key component of our health, and we athletes/dancers/ people-who-move really need to make sure we replenish them! Proper electrolyte balance affects healthy hydration of the body, blood pH levels, and is essential to nerve and muscle function. The most common cause of an electrolyte imbalance is through dehydration, whether through exercise or because you don't drink enough water. Other causes of electrolyte imbalance include diarrhea, vomiting, intoxication, extreme hunger, and even female ejaculation.

I never did thank Shannon-Marie for her recent Zico coconut water giveaway, which I won! Within a couple days of the giveaway, I received three flavors: mango, passion fruit, and the natural kind. I've been using them in my breakfast smoothies and after my workouts since then! Zico writes that one of its 11 oz packs of coconut water has more potassium than a banana, zero fat, no sugar, 5 essential electrolytes (K, Na, Mg, Ca and P), and low acidity levels (which is NOT the case with other 'sports drinks' which are also high in sodium). Not bad!

Coconut water is a natural isotonic beverage. It has the same level of electrolyte balance as we have. It maintains proper muscle performance, energy, and promotes weight-loss, heart health, stress reduction, skin, hair, and nail health, alkaline balance, mental acuity, and serves as a kidney cleanser. All in all, coconut water is nature's cure to a good sweaty workout, or just to maintain your overall health! Thanks for keeping me healthy, Shannon Marie!