Sunday, January 31, 2010


Food for the Day
1. Warm lemon water w/ raw honey (my throat is feeling a little funny)
2. A very citrus-alicious Pink Grapefruit & Lemon Splash from Le Pain Quotiden and some stolen berries from Andrew's Berry Cup
3. 1/2 a clementine on the way to the gym
4. 1/2 an orgasmic gala apple (I go through phases where I'll obsess over one type of apple for a little while and then move on to another one)
5. Chef tastings (I know...) of a chocolate mint tofu pie I made for Andrew (made with chocolate crust, raw tofu, mint & mint extract, agave, sea salt, vanilla, and mint chocolate shavings... I'm experimenting with sprouting spelt rather than using oat groats for part of my crusts all the time)

The reason I love surfing around the blogosphere (yes, I still feel silly using that word) is that I often come across life-altering articles, amazing people, or more selfishly and egotistically, wonderful justifications for my own life choices. Tonight was one of those nights, when I found out about Peter Ragnar, who would appear to be one of the fittest, happiest and most vibrant and enlightened men I have ever heard of (and who just so happens to be on a raw diet and is somewhere in his 80s and does not look it at all). His conceptions of consciousness, self-love, intention, and the mind-body connection I constantly seek are--to use a totally inadequate word--beautiful. This was my favourite interview that I found of his, and here's a small sample:

"I'm probably out there by myself on this one, but I feel that we do have ultimate control of our body, because our body is a thought. It's filled with frozen memories—memories that are formed by our experiences that we have already reached conclusions about, and we've emotionalized those conclusions and frozen them into our flesh. Therefore, only when we thaw it out and release, and stop holding on for dear life, can we have dear life."

... And I know that this is true, I have seen first hand how much faster I heal when I know myself to be healthy, and conversely how quickly a virus can spread when I become angry, stressed, obsessive or afraid. I know that truly knowing and believing in that knowledge and intuition is what enabled me to find my soul mate so young, what helped me become healthier than I could have ever imagined to be, and what taught me to maintain a tranquil love for life I thought one only understood when they became 'older and wiser'.

My mind is so blown right now, I don't think I can construct a proper sentence about what I'm thinking. One thing I do recognize is that I still have a long way to go, but I think I'm really going to enjoy the journey (I usually do!)... I think one of the biggest problems I have is a constant struggle between true enlightenment and doing things for my ego. I'm a perfectionist, I'll admit it. Like most, I want enlightenment now. I want to be that person immediately. I recognize that I use my strong desire for perfection and occasionally fuel it into obsessing a little too much about my food, my workouts, my thoughts... These are not the kinds of behaviours that lead one to enlightenment. They drag you down and keep you there.

What I do recognize though is that I'm certain that I'm on my way to whatever is out there for me, whether it's enlightenment, full consciousness, living without an ego, or eternal life. What I came to understand at a Rachel Brice workshop I took months ago was to always honor where you are right now, know that it's only part of your journey and that it's not the be all and end all of who you are or what you are capable of. You have to respect the person you are now as much as the person you will be.

Taken off of his website, here are Peter Ragnar's 7 vows to live by:

1) I vow to respect, honor, and expand my conscious awareness of how precious life is to all creatures, and I will not knowingly bring pain, injury, or death to any of these, if it is within my power to refrain. However, I will protect the sanctity of the lives of others and my own as the nature of aggression dictates.

2) I vow that I will honor all human interrelationships as voluntary and will use no coercive behavior or action to the contrary. I know that the end is always reflected by the means, and I do not want my victories to be more disgraceful than my defeats.

3) I vow to consciously shun or eschew all organizations, clubs, political parties, and governments who are blind to the nature of cause and effect or the principle of how the means determine the ends.

4) I vow to live quietly, simply, and honestly, respecting the earth that shares its bounty with us all.

5) I vow to resist tyranny using nonviolent strategies and by the withdrawal of my cooperation.

6) I vow neither to be enslaved by anyone’s demands on my life nor to be robbed by their tears. My life is mine, and only I can choose how I want to live.

7) I vow not to pursue vain desires. I will use the razor of reason to cut away all things not in harmony with my major purpose in life.

I could get behind that any day... Just today's food for thought. Have a great week!

Workout of the Day
3 x 12 (x3) ab circuit
25 minutes of stair climber hills
1 minute plank
15 minutes of stretching

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Getting back on track...

Food for the Day
1. Woke up and had some hot lemon water
2. Papaya + Banana smoothie (just the fruits and water) with maca and mesquite powders
3. Green Juice (cucumber, celery, kale, parsley, ginger, carob powder)
4. 1 pear
5. Honeybush Tea

I feel like I have some 'splaining to do: My sudden desire to go on yet another mini-cleanse not only came from sudden inspiration by Heather's blog (as I mentioned yesterday), but largely from having dabbled with certain non-raw foods for half a day for the first time in the last little while and feeling absolutely gross because of it. Now, you might automatically label me as a purist thinking it's not that big a deal to have some non-raw food every once in a while, but the scary thing is, depending on what those foods are, it can be.

Now, when we visit my parents on most weekends, my mom often makes us these incredible vegan veggie dishes that I'll just eat up. They are almost always just veggies and tofu either wonderfully steamed, stewed, or stir fried. While there are always other options for the non-raw family members, like sides of bread, rice, etc. I always just opted for the yummy veggies. Though those meals still do make me feel a little draggy afterwards, a mere veggie stew (which my mom makes with nothing but water and veggies in her magic pot) is so tasty that it's not a big digestion problem. In fact, I might just feel a little heavier afterwards, but it quickly passes.

The more difficult thing is that I always make some baked good for my dad when I'm up there, usually in the form of chocolate goodness (brownies, cakes, you name it). While I usually use whole wheat/spelt or some healthier flour, the only thing I had on hand this week was organic unbleached all-purpose (which I haven't actually eaten in a couple years). BIG mistake.

Because I always taste test anything before I put it into the oven, just those couple tastes of white flour really took their toll on me. It seems really silly to anyone not on a raw diet to understand this, but my stomach felt like it ballooned like a wet sponge. I felt heavy, lethargic, and I still don't think I'm over it yet... I know it's probably as much in my head as anything else, but I definitely didn't feel good just getting that little bit of flour, and will certainly not repeat that mistake again!

Whenever something like that happens, or even after eating something as simple as steamed veggies, I feel so justified in having chosen to go raw. When I eat raw foods, I feel pure, clean, lighter, positive, happier. When I eat cooked foods, I feel more negative, tired, and generally just not so good. It's really something you have to experience for yourself. The great thing is, the longer I'm sticking with raw foods, the more exponential my health curve is becoming, and that's just great!

Tomorrow, Andrew and I are going to Le Pain Quotidien to sit at their lovely communal table to do some inspirational work/vision board-ing for our first house :) Can't wait!

Friday Confessional

"Hi my name is Chantal, and I have 'sticking-to-fasts' aversion..."

"Hi Chantal."

As a lead up to my post, here are my two shout-outs of the day: I have to say that Heather (and her blog, Adventures of Raw Goddess Heathy) has definitely been one of the biggest inspirations in my choice to go raw (the other one being Meredith Frantz and her awesome blog, the Raw Seed). In short, both of these women pretty much exemplified what I was looking for when I first wanted to turn to raw foods: emotional and physical health, fitness, happiness, all resulting in inner and outer beauty. Seeing them, I thought, hey, if they can do it and seem so wonderful, than I can too!

After reading Heather's post today, I decided that I too have a confession to make:

I've always been really enamored by the concept of fasting. Since my childhood, I had always conveniently been able to take the period of Lent very seriously, a seriousness those around me just saw as some kind of exemplary piety. I'd fast all day on Ash Wednesday and often maintaining a fast between breakfast and dinner for the entire 40 day period. And that was just me as a kid! Problem is, doing that led to some more negative and destructive behaviors, and while that's another topic completely and I have gotten over them now, I became very turned off by the whole fasting thing. I came to believe that I was not fasting for the rights reasons; doing it to justify something for my ego rather than doing it for the pure intention of my religious beliefs. I moved on to only fasting on Ash Wednesday and then seeking some other more spiritual way of observing Lent (trying harder to be a better person, not criticizing anyone, not eating sweets, saying only positive things, etc. for 40 days), and that worked out very well for me.

Attempt #1: Some time in the summer of 2007, I was re-introduced to fasting a few months after I made the decision to become truly healthy and fit for what probably was the first time in my life 'for real'. A friend of mine at work was on the Master Cleanse, and while she was a smoker/drinker like most college students are, she was getting serious positive detoxing results from it. By listening to her talk and given my current obsession with wanting to maximize my health, that itch for fasting that I had as a child came scratching at my door again. My friend had been on the Cleanse for about 10 days, and she told she wasn't working out during that period (she didn't really usually either) and didn't recommend doing both at the same time. I saw that as a somewhat significant downside since I was just getting off a 12 week Body for Life program, which had me in the gym about 6 days a week.

However, I decided to go for it anyway, thinking I could do it all. After just 48 hours, I realized how much I loved being in the kitchen, how it was slightly affecting my workouts, and how little I wanted to be on this fast which had me drinking nasty drinks all day, was too high in sugar (because of the maple syrup) and was having little detoxing effects on me though I had been promised transformative results (okay, it had only be 48 hours, but the only thing that did happen was that I think I detoxed all the hangovers I ever had in my life one night, and that was rough... I guess that was pretty much all I had to get rid of since I've always been a pretty healthy individual).

When I 'gave up' after 48 hours, the worst thing about getting off what I thought would be a 10 day cleanse was that I really beat myself up about in the way that I hadn't done since the times I broke some of my fasts during Lent when I was kid. I thought I was a loser, that I was weak, that I had failed, that I didn't have what it took... It was really negative behavior and it put me back into a very bad and very dark place. I figured I would try it again someday, knowing that I still had something to prove to myself, that I can move on from these negative ghosts of the past, and that I still craved the enlightenment so many people have told me they feel after a longer than 1 or 2 day fast.

Attempt #2, #3, #4, #5... Since then I've psyched myself up so many times to go on a prolonged fast, and I have tried, many times, but have never lasted longer than 24-48 hours. I get bored, restless, hungry, and really, I just love food too much to be able to stay out of the kitchen that long. Because one of the things I take the most joy in is cooking for Andrew, I think my inability to do that during a fast really takes my sense of femininity and/or desire to provide for my mate way past my comfort zones.

I've tried fasting at home, during road trips (which I have found to be a lot easier), away from home completely, but I can never stick with it for more than a couple days. It's like being able to see the light, but then just caving in. I feel that the only way I could do a real fast is to lock myself up somewhere far away, in place that isn't home, and where someone just make juices/soups for me so I don't ever have to deal with the reality of not being in the kitchen (and more specifically my kitchen), even though that's one of the places I'm happiest.

The silly thing is, given Heather's post today, I'm re-inspired to give fasting another go. For simplicity's sake, I'm going to follow her plan as closely as possible (allowing for minor changes of course), so I don't have to think about what to drink as much as planning something totally on my own. I'm reluctant to say I'm doing it 'for real' this time because that always seems to be what I say... but I guess, I'll say that yes, I'm going to try again, and I'm going to keep working out while I do it. This time, I hope it sticks. I've 'raw baked' (we really need a word for that...) and have gotten what I hope to be the bulk of my food making needs out of my system today. If I need to do something in the kitchen, I promise myself now that I'll make Andrew taste it and do that part myself (I'm almost certain he won't refuse)... and that's that.

I'm still not quite sure why I feel the need to do this. It makes me wonder who I'm doing this for: Is it for me? for others? for my ego? for my real self? to actually reach a level of clarity? or simply because I'm not feeling so great physically right now? we'll see, I guess, and with the worldwide web as my witness, I'll keep you posted!

Workout of the Day: Abs, legs, back & biceps
5 minutes of cardio warmup on stairclimber
3 x 12 raised arm crunches w/ stability ball
3 x 10 side crunches w/ stability ball (for each side)
3 x 12 barbell squats
3 x 10 lunges
3 x 12 one-armed db calf raises
3 x 12 pulldowns
3 x 12 db curls
3 x 10 leg raises (for each side)
10 minutes of stretching

Yesterday's Workout:
30 minutes of HIIT cardio on treadmill (including 5 minutes of cool down)
1 minute plank
1 minute of side planks
10 minutes of stretching

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I think the best thing on earth right now (aside from our Spirooli which produced another amazingly tasty raw spaghetti dinner) is avocado based chocolate pudding /frosting. Who knew that one avocado, cacao powder, agave nectar, a tiny bit of sea salt, and vanilla extract could produce something that other people only believe comes in one of those plastic Jello pudding containers or on a restaurant dessert menu!

Workout of the Day:
5 minutes of cardio warmup on stairclimber
4x12 leg raises (target area: lower abs)
4x12 crunches (target area: rectus abdominis)
4x12 torso rotation machine (target area: obliques)
3x12 db chest press on stability ball
3x12 shoulder shrugs
3x12 tricep extensions
10 minutes of stretching

Recipe of the Day:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


You don't notice things you do or say until you see them from a third person perspective. One part of the movie Julie & Julia that apparently stayed with me was when Julie first tastes one of the meals she made and says something along the lines of "I know you're not suppose to say yum when you're eating... but Yum!" I thought the comment was both cute but also so very 'American', especially when said as a contrast to the more ritualized table manners and etiquette of French cooking and dining you also see throughout the movie.

That one little comment made me think more generally about being able to express your joy when tasting new foods... and it's true! For some reason, in certain social situations, it is seen as being rude to be overly expressive or loud when your food tastes good. Why is that? Shouldn't we be allowed to let other people know when we find something particularly tasty? Shouldn't it be a compliment to the chef or the person who provided us with the experience?

Long story short, I have found myself saying "Yum!" all the time since I've started making raw food. It was a word that was barely in my vocabulary before (though I have had a lot of good food over my lifetime). I don't know if it's because everything just tastes that much better now, because I feel I don't have to control expressing my love for food in the privacy of my own home, or because I'm discovering all sorts of new tastes and textures as I experiment with raw food, but I find myself saying it out loud at least once a day now. It makes me feel good. It's very liberating! And as my dad says every time he makes his own "this tastes so good" noises when eating fruits when we go back to France: "What?! Can't I express my joy?"

So whether you're at a state dinner or just eating out with friends, if something tastes that good, let the world now! Say yum! Make your orgasmic eating noises! And enjoy the food that was made for you to its fullest!... okay maybe not so much at a state dinner... but love your food, because it was made with love for you too, and it's okay to express that!

Workout of the Day:
1.5 hours of ballet
60 crunches
1.5 hours of Bikram

Recipe of the Day:
The yum-inducing eggplant parmesan in Alissa Cohen's Living on Live Foods (featured above)
(because of the type of dehydrator I have, I just made a bunch of small versions in my tartlet trays and then piled them on top of each other like lasagna layers)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fun food

The great thing about raw and whole foods is that it's really easy to experiment with them when you're feeling creative. The even better thing is that attempts at culinary creativity rarely fail in the raw food world. If something doesn't taste so great, I find it's much easier to tweak back to normalcy than cooked food. After all, if something is burnt, it's burnt. If you over-bake something and it's dry and tasteless, it's pretty hard to save!

Here are a couple really simply examples of fun things I've been doing, when I get the urge to create!

Dessert Sushi
-Wrap your favourite sweets in a dehydrated banana!
-The ones in picture were a combination of strawberries, raw chocolate sauce, hemp seeds, coconut flakes, and raw almond
-Put them together like you would a regular sushi roll, placing all the ingredients at the top of the banana strip and rolling it up. They always turns out great!

Guava Rolls and Banana Stacks
-Cashew cream Rolls (dehydrated guavas from High Vibe, rolled into flutes)
-Banana stacks: I put the ingredients for raw macaroons together (agave, coconut butter, coconut flakes, salt, vanilla extract) and made banana sammies (some topped with choco-chips some not, another option would be to put raw almond butter in them too!)

All in all, keep on experimenting with raw food! The possibilities are endless, and the results nutrient-packed and always delicious!

Workout of the Day:
1.5 hours of Bikram
100 crunches

Recipe of the Day:
I'm trying out Alissa Cohen's Eggplant Parmesan (currently soaking and dehydrating various parts of it)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Power of Now

I just recently posted about one of my recent experiences doing Bikram and alluded to Eckhart Tolle's conception of consciousness and the importance of living in the present, or as he calls it, "The Power of Now". Recently, at the movies, they've been playing this Coke commercial, which I actually find to be the most tragic thing I've ever seen:

All I see when I watch this is a guy who is such a Coke junkie that he completely misses out on what's happening around him. He doesn't ever join the snowball fight. He never actually smiles until he gets his fix. There is such joy and fun and laughter happening all around him, and he misses it all completely. All he can think about is getting his bottle of Coke. When I saw it for the first time a couple weeks ago, it just made me so sad. To think that someone can have so much happiness and child-like glee around him and for him to be completely unaware of any of it. Dodging snowballs aside, he appears completely unaware of the fun happening around him. In fact, the fun is actually getting in the way of his fix. Am I the only one who sees this?

To make matters worse, Coke's tagline at the end of the commercial is "Open Happiness". What?! Wasn't there happiness going on all around this guy? Wasn't happiness exactly what he was missing out on to get his Coke? If you played the exact same ad with a guy needing to get a drug hit, with the tagline being "open happiness", everyone would be outraged. However, if it's a billion dollar making pop company, nobody bats an eye. Everyone thinks it's cute, it's normal, it's fun. This scares me, and outrages me, but like I said, above all, it makes me sad more than anything.

On the upside though, it reminded me of how much I love snowball fights.

Lesson of the day: Live in the present. The actual Now.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A good old Saturday

Not much to post today as we were out in the 'burbs. We had a nice stroll, making stops at looking Ten Thousand Villages (where I couldn't help but buy the pretty little condiment dish featured here, I'm thinking PB&J?), Tugooh toys (the coolest toy store EVER), and Barnes & Noble (where I drooled over some raw cookbooks) among other places before going to see Sherlock Holmes, which ended up being a very fun movie. (I now have an even stronger urge to wear a bustle...)

Workout of the Day:

25 minutes of sprint runs on the treadmill
(warming up for 3 minutes, then alternating between a level 10 intensity sprint for 1 minute followed by a 1 minute jog, at about a level 6 or 7 intensity, finishing off with a 3-5 minute cooldown)
10 minutes of stretching

Recipe of the Day:
We started the day with Brendan Brazier's Apple Cinnamon Cereal from his 'Thrive Diet' (you can find the non-raw version here). That was probably the most exciting food-related event of the day...
Tomorrow, I really want to make these protein bars from Averie's 'Love Veggies and Yoga' blog but with soaked oat groats instead of oat flakes to make it more raw... we'll see how that works!

Back to the basics

Recently, I've been craving foods I've never even really had an appetite for in the past, but I've been having the urge to sit down and eat a raw food version of your stereotypical 'meat and potatoes' kind of meal. I've almost had this desire for blandness (which just doesn't exist with raw food!). Luckily, the blog world provided me with just the right answers to this craving, through Choosing Raw's recent post for 'steak and potatoes', and Rawmazing's recipe for marinated mushrooms and cauliflower!

My own version ended up being a marinated couple tbsp of oil, a tbsp of braggs, a tbsp of balsamic vinegar, and a tbsp of maple syrup, which my portobello mushroom sat in for about 2 hours, cut into slices and dehydrated for about 30 minutes before serving.

The cauliflower mash more or less followed the Rawmazing version (but without the pinenuts). Too add to the 'All American' meal feeling, I added sliced carrots and broccoli marinated in the mushroom sauce leftovers and also added them to the dehydrator for about 30 minutes prior to serving. It was just what I needed!

Dessert was a sweet potato pie smoothie (roughly a blend of half a large sweet potato cut into small chunks, water, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom, topped with cacao nibs and a swirl of chocolate sauce). Wonderful day, wonderful meals, what more can a girl ask for?

Work out of the Day:
5 minute warmup on the stairclimber
100 crunches (3 ab target types)
1 minute of side planks
1 minute of plank
3x12 inclined chest flyes
1x12 barbell squats
3x12 shoulder raises
1x12 barbell squats
3x12 dumbbell bicep curl
1x12 barbell squats
5 minutes of cardio (jump rope + treadmill sprint)
10 minutes of stretching

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bikram, you'll be the death of me...

... and by "me", I mean little "me" or "i", my ego, my pain body, rather than who I actually am: "Me", the big "I", or my higher consciousness (check out Eckhart Tolle's works to give you incredible insight into that kind of vocabulary). Today's Bikram class was yet another experience in my personal path to Enlightenment... I get surprised every time it happens, even though it's happened every time I go. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around how much this is doing for me.

Today was an experience in letting go, letting go of a portion of my pain body that I still struggle with today: self-image. I woke up this morning feeling wonderful; physically, emotionally, I was just as happy as could be. Within 20 minutes of my Bikram practice, having taken in the heat, starting to release my usual toxins, I began to slip. I was getting progressively more upset, my thoughts were clouded, my attention unfocused, my positions were faltering. I was feeling terrible, I was feeling emotionally and physically polluted. I was hating myself, beating myself up about how I was messing everything up. Above all, I was feeling unattractive, fat, self-conscious, thinking of how I would go home and try not to eat all day to compensate, things that rarely ever cross my mind in such an unhealthy and destructive way. I was so overwhelmed by all these emotions and feelings that unfortunately plague most women but condensed into a 90 minute practice. I kept telling myself that I couldn't finish, that I should just stop and go home... I was practically in tears. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I didn't realize that these were more emotional toxins that were being released after years and years of slow build up, a compilation of all the small or larger insecurities I've had about myself over a life time. I was letting it consume me, I thought it was me. I couldn't see that it wasn't me at all...

Finally, during a savasana, I told myself this had to stop. I told myself that this wasn't me, but old pain and memories, lingering wounds, and current insecurities that were just being released. I told myself that I had let them take over me and become me, and I was bigger than that. I was struggling to see who 'I' actually was, and that 'i' was trying to mess with 'Me' . I was closing my eyes, shutting them tight to try to stop the noise, and it was barely working. Thankfully, our instructor told me to open my eyes, to keep my eyes open to take in the present moment and focus on being here now. And I did. In those few words, I remembered where I was suppose to be, and above all, who I really am. When I opened my eyes, it's as though I could see that negative part of me dissipate into the air, I could see that hateful/self-conscious spirit just rise above me and vanish like smoke... all of sudden, that heaviness, that hate, that negativity just lifted and unfurled into the air, and I felt light, happy, and focused again... I may have started laughing. Reconnecting with the present, it's like those feelings were never even there, and I continued my practice flawlessly.

At the end of 90 minutes, during our final savasana, our instructor told us that whatever we had managed to let go of during our practice, we should let go for good, not just during those 90 minutes only to let them creep back up again. I took that so personally, realizing what had happened to me in just 90 minutes. In that short amount of time, years and years worth of teenage and current angst and self-doubt completely took over me, a toxin fighting for survival, for its last breath before it's released from the body and dies... It was strange, but in the end, well worth it. I feel that a part of that is gone from me now. I feel like I've dealt with that. I know I probably still have a lot of work to do in the self-love department, but I think most women do, despite any claims we might make, but I'm working on it. As I've said, one finds enlightenment in the strangest places.

Workout of the day:
1.5 hours of bikram
100 crunches

Recipe of the day:
Used one of the lemon tartlet crusts I made the other day, and filled it with ginger paste (crystallized ginger put through the food processor), home-made thickened raw soymilk (courtesy of Andrew), lemon juice, ground cashews for thickening, raw honey, served with my strawberry ice cream. Yum!

We never change

So after a day of classes, I got caught up having a wonderful dinner out with my family at a vegan Chinese Restaurant, Yuan Fu, that has officially made my family's roster of 'restaurants we go out to on a regular basis'... love the healthy food changes happening within the household. We then proceeded to back to my parents' place to watch old home videos, and that proved to be much more entertaining than I thought it would already be.

It's funny how we all believe that, over the years, we really develop emotionally, physically, and spiritually as people. However, I think that a lot of our mannerisms and core emotional and/or spiritual beliefs actual develop from a very early age, that we keep them for a lifetime, and that we in fact change very little. I burst out laughing when we watched a video back from 1992 (when I was only 4 1/2) when I watched my child-self display behaviour identical to something I was doing just last night. It's also really entertaining to see yourself as a little person, trying to figure out how to interact and react to society around you, while also trying to define yourself as your own person. As kids, we really wear our hearts on our sleeves, so it's funny to get that third person perspective of being able to watch yourself go through some of those processes. You might be very surprised by what you end up seeing! Just through the 1 hour video we watched, here are some of the things that haven't changed for me that I have to come to terms with:

1. I've always kind of been a princess at heart... whether it's getting attention, wearing pretty dresses (or thinking that I am), having to always be putting on a show, or just generally wanting things around me to be beautiful
2. I've always kind of felt uneasy on anything with wheels (bicycles, roller skates/blades, you name it)
3. I've always like to verbalize the random imaginings that come out of my head to anyone who is willing to listen (or even if they aren't)
4. I make the same face when I'm uncomfortable or nervous about a given situation (and I make a lot of the same silly faces too apparently)
5. When I like you, I talk... A LOT.

Do you find you have a lot of those similarities between your childhood self and your current self?

Workout of the Day:
5 minutes cardio warmup on the stairclimber (moderate intensity hills)
3 x 12 of 3 different ab exercises
3 x 12 db chest press
3 x 12 shoulder press
3 x 12 bent-over row
3 x 12 kickbacks
3 x 12 bicep curls
5 minutes of jump rope
1 minute plank
30 seconds x 2 side plank
10 minutes of strecthing

Recipe of the Day: None really :( Remade yesterday's new green juice but with a banana instead of plantain. Also made a chia-chocolate filled tartlet for Andrew with a crust made out of my leftover choco-mint cookie dough used in my recent ice cream concoction.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's easy being green

My victory of the day: a new yummy green juice made up of kale, cucumber, ginger, carob, and plantain. The plantain and carob went very well together, giving a nice kick to the monotony that has become my green juices (even though I still love 'em!).

Workout of the Day:
1.5 hours ballet class
100 crunches

Recipe of the Day:
Yummy green juice mentioned above
I'm still toying with raw black bean brownies, but the outcome is still not satisfying...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream and its effects...

My day began and ended with mint in stranger ways than I could have ever imagined... Over a breakfast of green juice for breakfast (kale, cucumber, apple, celery, mesquite and maca), I created yet another raw ice cream. This time it was a variation on previously made mint chocolate-chip ice cream in what Andrew called my new raw 'mint oreo ice cream'. Here's the secret:

Raw Mint 'Oreo' Ice Cream

2 C cashews, soaked overnight
1 C water
2/3 C agave nectar (or maple syrup, I think I did half of each)
1 tsp vanilla (or 1 whole vanilla bean)
1/3-1/2 C crushed mint leaves
1/2 tsp (or to taste) of mint extract
dash of salt
pinch of spirulina for green color
raw oreo cookie dough (see below)
cacao nibs, optional

1. Blend everything in a Vitamix (or blender or food processor) until smooth
2. Pour into ice cream machine and follow directions!
3. In the middle of the ice cream machine process, or once the ice cream starts to get a solid enough ice cream consistency, blend in the raw oreo dough mix (as usual, I didn't measure out my recipe for the cookie dough, but it was a mix of ground oat groats, ground cashews, maple syrup, cacao powder, vanilla extract, salt to taste) to create either a cookie dough swirl or just mix in pieces/chunks of cookie dough. I also added cacao nibs for extra bitterness.
4. Let the ice cream machine finish doing its thang

I also made a batch of strawberry ice cream (same base but with less sweetener and about 8 big strawberries), and a lemon poppy seed tofu pie. The pie's crust was ground cashews & oat groats, couple dashes of salt, 3 soaked dates, 4 apricots, and 2 prunes (the fruits were blended in the food processor with some of their soaking liquid to form a paste), lemon zest and agave nectar because the mix was too dry. The pie plate doesn't fit in my dehydrator so it had to go into the oven at the lowest setting for a little bit just to dry it up (it takes about 30-45 minutes since the setting is so low). The filling was made out of 2 blocks of tofu, agave nectar, salt, vanilla, 2 whole peeled lemons, and 2 limequats. I blended all the filling ingredients in the Vitamix (I've used a food processor in the past) and the texture came out so much smoother! I mixed in poppy seeds and poured it into the crust. It definitely looked more like a lemon-meringue pie than anything I've ever done. It even had the little white meringue-like peaks!

But how did I end my day with mint you ask? Well, I finally had the chance to get back to the Bikram studio tonight, and wow did I detox again. The first time I went, I mentioned I could feel (and smell) the toxins just pouring out of me. The second time wasn't quite as drastic, but after one week it seems I have more to release. The weird thing was about 1/3 of the way through, sweating like there's no tomorrow and feeling the release of toxin build up, I was suddenly engulfed in the smell of peppermint, not just peppermint really, but the same smell as the mint extract I used in the ice cream this morning... strange, I know... It really comes to show what your body retains and how long it can keep it in (or how quickly it can release it!) Once again, the class was wonderful and was held by the most helpful instructor I've had yet. I'm definitely going to try to go back to her classes!

No emotional outbreaks this time though, unless you count my toxin release resulting in some internal mad hysterical laughter a couple times during the practice because I was just so happy... I guess I also release some serious endorphins when I do bikram! Yay, for minty happy sweat!

Workout of the Day:
1.5 hours of minty fresh Bikram

Recipes of the Day:
Yummy Ice Cream & Lemon Tofu Pie

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Brownies gone vegan (and flourless!)

So I know I don't usually post on Sundays, but I've created yet another wonder that I just have to share with the world. One of the non-vegan recipes I've always toyed with is variations of Heidi Swanson's Black Bean Brownies. I don't know that I've ever made the same recipe twice, but every time I've tried to make them, they've turned out wonderfully rich, fudgey and amazing. I've tried to make them as vegan as possible (and as healthy too) so I don't believe I've ever actually made them using eggs or butter, but the concept of black bean brownies so fascinated me it was something I've come back to over and over again. Tonight, I think I've nailed it for good.

It being Sunday, we took our usual trip up to my parents' place where it was time to make my dad some more vegan goodness. With no more flour in the house, and forgetting to bring my own ingredients, I had to throw together something with what I had available. Though I didn't really measure, here's roughly what came out:

Makeshift Vegan Black Bean Brownies
4 oz. of chocolate (I used Green & Black's 85%)
roughly 3 heaping tbsp. of Earth Balance Margarine
2 C black beans (soft-cooked or canned)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp coffee or coffee substitute (I think Teeccino would work great)
2 tbsp of apple sauce + 2 tbsp. of ground flax seed mixed with water as the egg replacers for 4 eggs
3/4 C mix of honey and maple syrup (the recipe calls for agave but I didn't have any, and ran out of maple syrup so used honey for the rest)
pinch of salt
1 tbsp of any flour
chopped walnuts, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Puree black beans until they makes a smooth paste
2. Melt chocolate and margarine
3. Mix everything but walnuts into the chocolate/margarine mixture
4. Add pureed black beans into the mix
5. Fold in walnuts
6. The batter should be thick-ish but not dry (if it's too wet, I would just add a little flour by the tsp until it feels right)
7. 'Pour' (or spoon in my case) into oiled pan (I used an 8'' round cake pan) and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until edges are crisp and knife comes out clean

Though not raw, I did taste it when I served it up to the family, and it was delicious. Like I said, it's a wonderful gluten-free and now vegan alternative to brownies, plus, black beans are good for you (see why here)! If I soak black beans and used the Vita-mix I'm SURE I can come up with a raw version, and will be testing that in the very near future. If making them just vegan again, I think I would also significantly cut down on the liquid sweetener which I didn't find that necessary in the end.

Up for tomorrow: some morning bikram followed by making 'raw' tofu pie for my protein man and raw chocolate chip-mint ice cream!