Posts tagged with raw:
We seem to have stumbled into a warm spell over the last few days. The weather keeps calling for rain and thunderstorms but we’ve yet to have more than a light morning drizzle to quench our thirst. And the humidity remains. I’m not really complaining; after all, this past winter in Ontario was one of the most brutal that I can recall in my 25 years and I’m happy to be back in the sunshine. My uncle from the Shillington area was around for a visit over the weekend and even he and my father - two cold-hardy Canadian men - were commenting on the brutality of this winter season; not so much the temperatures (though 20 or 30 below zero is nothing to scoff at in my opinion) but the length and darkness that can really affect your overall mood.
So to say the least, I’m soaking up the sun when I can and enjoying the perks of the season. I’ve been adventuring to the markets and local farms a lot more and this weekend I picked up a flat of some gorgeous strawberries from Heeman’s Strawberry Farm and have been putting the delicious lil suckers to good use!
Last night’s dinner spread was a light combination of a few local flavours and some personal favourites. On Saturday I picked up some local asparagus and onions from the market, and so I chopped and lightly sautéed those together with some lemon juice and pepper to pair with some organic brown rice. But the best part of the meal - in my humble opinion - was the Seasonal Strawberry Salad and Sweet Orange & Basil Tea!
Sweet Orange & Basil Tea
It’s like the nectar of the gods! You can have it chilled on ice to ease the humid effects of these hot summer days - or hot and freshly steeped for getting cozy by the camp-fire! The recipe is simple: just brew a fresh pot of your favourite organic tea - for this particular round I chose a hibiscus and blood orange blend - then toss the following ingredients into your cup for added zest and flavour!
- 1 valencia orange, thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1 handful of fresh mint
- 1 tsp of raw agave
I put one bottle in the fridge for an hour or so to cool and tossed in a few ice cubes before serving.
If you’re not a tea drinker or just simply want to switch it up in a healthy way - you can opt for water instead of tea and have a refreshing vitamin-infused glass of H2O!
Seasonal Strawberry Salad
This is why I love eating seasonal foods! By narrowing the distance between the farm and your plate you’re not only helping the environment by reducing the carbon-emissions via the transportation of the food, but the freshness of flavour is undeniably superior! I mean, who in their right mind can say no to fresh local spinach and strawberries picked the morning of?!
Thanks to the spinach and strawberries, this meal is packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits! As with all my recipes, feel free to opt in or out any particular ingredients you wish - food is meant to be thoroughly enjoyed after all! ;)
- 4-6 cups of red stemmed spinach
- 1 cup of romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1-2 cups of strawberries, halved
- handful of cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup of diced dried apricots
You can blend up some cherries and lemon juice for a simple, light and refreshing dressing. Or top it off with your own house favourite.
What are some of your favourite seasonal, summery meals? Do you like to venture to your local farms or farmer’s markets? Let me know what you think in the comments below! <3
Love is a lot like a green smoothie. You bring all your raw ingredients to the table and hope that by somehow uniting it all together in a big blended mess you can create something amazing! Since the weather’s been warming up a little, Cam and I took a trip to my family’s cabin last weekend to dust and air the place out a bit. It was a nice little escape from the city life. We’re in the process of moving (more details on that HUGE adventure soon) and so with most of our belongings in boxes or stashed away, we took full advantage of the opportunity to stretch out and enjoy the open space and sunshine.
My boyfriend’s blender is unique in that it has the option for one big 2L jug or two removable and portable mini mugs. It’s a Hamilton Beach model and while I can’t say I have much experience with their other kitchen tools, this blender seriously packs a pulverizing punch! It has two power settings and a pulse option to reduce oxidization while you’re blending.
His Smoothie:Since my man enjoys a bit of a kick to his healthy meals, I like to add a bit of ginger into his smoothies and juices. You can increase the amount of ginger you throw in if you really want to sweat and detox. Ginger is great for clearing up the sinuses and eliminating mucous. It’s anti-inflammatory properties can also aid with joint pain.
- 2 cups of chopped pineapple
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1 cup of chopped cilantro
- 1 apple, chopped
- 1/4 inch nub of ginger
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
Hers:I’m a tropical soul at heart and I absolutely love mangos! My first time throwing a mango into my blender with some kale and it was love at first slurp! Mangoes are a great way to sweeten up a smoothie and add some Vitamin C, Vitamin A & skin cleansing power to your morning routine. The lemon also aids in elimination and flushing those unwanted toxins from your body.
- 2 cups of chopped mango
- 2 handfuls of kale
- 1 cup of chopped parsley
- 1 small orange, peeled
- 1 cup of chopped romaine lettuce
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
In my experience, the best way to prepare for the routine of morning smoothies is to clean, peel and chop your staple fruits ahead of time and pop them in the freezer. This saves you dishes and clean up time in the morning and makes it easy to keep all your favourites on hand. You don’t have to worry about having over-ripe or un-ripe fruit either because they’re always ready to go! I like to keep at least a few bags of frozen pineapple, mango, bananas and LOTS of berries in my freezer. You can also buy or store your own chopped frozen greens, like kale, spinach or herbs etc.
Get ‘Er Done
It’s always a good idea to put your leafy greens at the bottom of your blender to ensure they get pulverised first and foremost. In fact, if you have an older or weaker blender it might be best to blend up your greens and liquid base first. Sometimes the low-powered blenders have a hard time with greens and occasionally you might end up with small chunks of kale in your teeth. That’s okay. It happens to the best of us. ;) When in doubt about what ratios to add or how much of this or that, just follow the 60/40 rule: use 60% fruit and 40% greens to ensure a sweet and juicy green drink.
Play around with a few flavour combinations and see which ones really tantalize your taste-buds! For more info about making delicious & nutritious green smoothies check out the following links:
About a year ago I decided to join Instagram to see what all the buzz was about. I wanted to try to find and connect with other raw foodies, vegans and healthy peeps. At that point, none of my ‘real life’ friends cared much about nutrition or ethics in the way that I was exploring and so I was really searching for some like-minded folks who were passionate about the same things as me: I was looking for some cruelty-free conversation to fuel my creative fire. It turns out that taking lots of smoothie and juice pics was enough to draw out a few fellow fruit-fiends and veggie-lovers. So I started posting ‘smoothie selfies’ and the recipe combos to my favourite juice blends and before long I was developing great friendships with people all across the globe, who like me just wanted to chit chat and learn more about health!
Many of my friends and family members don’t really understand the ins and outs of social media, and while I definitely don’t claim to be any kind of expert on the subject, I thought I should give some sort of explanation for my curious camera habits and why I take time out of my daily life to like, comment and post about something so simple as food.
1. It helps spread the message. As a health activist, my biggest goal is to help people become more aware of the impact their food choices can make not only on their bodies and minds but on our world and environment as a whole. When you think about the amount of natural resources (not to mention suffering) required to sustain the Standard American Diet, compared to a plant-based diet it’s a no-brainer! A single picture on a social media feed might not directly cause any drastic change, but it can spark inspiration in someone to make small, little changes to their day-to-day life that, when you think about it, seriously add up!
2. Meal Inspiration! There is such a lively community of healthy foodies out there - if you’re ever in need of a meal ideas or searching for a plant-based alternatives to your junk-food favourites, browse through the popular hashtags to see what other people are coming up with! And what better way to show off your latest and greatest green-juice recipe than broadcasting to the world your creation? You can help inspire others to try something new and the seasoned foodies are more than willing to give feedback or suggestions for improvement.
3. Discover and review restaurants, clothing & products. Whenever I visit a vegan-friendly spot or find a cruelty-free product, I let my followers know. It’s a great way to connect with local vegan foodies and see where the best flavours in town are. If you’re visiting a new or unfamiliar city, you can ask around and get a feel for what restaurants to try out and what places to avoid. Many vegan-friendly companies are getting hooked on Instagram too - you can find and follow your favourites - more often than not they’ll offer exclusive sales, deals or discounts to their loyal followers! Some of my personal favourites to check out are Dr Bronners, Lush Cosmetics, Blood Tight Apparel & Simply Straws.
So, yes - it may be kinda silly to post a picture of my blended breakfast in a jar while grinning like a mad fool next to it, and some people may think I’m nuts - but I’m going to tell you a little secret: I don’t really care. I’m passionate about living foods and I’ve seen first-hand the amazing benefits that can come from getting a little goofy about greens! This is who I am. I’m not a photographer and I’m not a model. I’m just a girl who loves clean, wholesome food and sharing it with the world!
Let’s be foodie friends! If you’re someone who’s also interested in health and fitness - let’s connect! Feel free to add me on instagram or search for other people posting smoothie selfies like the fabulous ladies featured above (Kristina, Loni, Rawvana, Nina & Betty) - I guarantee you’ll find lots of delicious and nutritious recipes to try out AND you’ll meet some awesome folks along the way!
Hey guys! Apologies for the lack of updates recently, all I can really say for myself is that I’ve been busy! Life has thrown a lot of curve balls my way over the past few weeks and months and I’ve been spreading myself a little too thin trying to manage it all. There’s soo much to catch up on and share with you guys!
If you were to ask me a year ago what my ‘dream job’ might be, I would probably have told you something involving copious amounts of fruits and veggies, clean food and helping people get healthy! Somehow, through the power of intention and a little personal magic, I found a way to make that a reality. Without even realizing it! I found two amazing ways to fuel my passions; volunteering with a local organic food distribution company called Globally Local (more info coming in the next post!) and working at the brand new, 100% raw, organic & cold-pressed juice shop; Pulp & Press Juice Co.! Life is so juicy sweet and I am very thankful for these opportunities that are so in line with my passions and allow me to fuel my creative fire.
My studies, personal goals and relationships had taken a back-seat to the madness and excitement of it all for a while there, but things are settling into a new pattern of organization now, and it feels refreshing. This winter was especially long, hard and drawn-out and now that the warmer weather has finally started springing up here in London, Ontario, I’m excited to start fresh with my healthy habits.
And my writing habits for that matter! I began writing an ebook
several months ago, but have neglected it quite a lot since. So in a mild effort to get some work done on the project, I’m committing myself to writing a page a week - which should be easy enough to sneak in, even when I’m feeling lazy or uninspired. Slow progress is better than no progress, the way I see it. I also promise to post on the blog at least once a week from now on, even if it’s just a quick little blurb like this one letting you know what I’m up to. :)
Three links I love week:
- Be Social Media Savvy in Rural Ontario via Ruralist
- 50 Ways to Stop Letting Food Waste Happen in Your Kicthen via the Organic Authority
- Why You And Your Family Need to Avoid Chemicals by Megan Elizabeth
Hope the weather is clearing wherever you are in the world too! What are some fresh habits you’d like to start up now that Spring has sprung?
The two words that seem to be on everyone’s mind (and social media feed) this week are ‘Valentines Day’! And while I can’t say I’m a particularly big fan of the holiday per se; I believe that actions speak louder than Hallmark Cards, I still couldn’t help but throw together a simple but fun & romantically inspired dish - perfect for nutritionally spoiling your loved ones and your taste-buds! ;)
This is another example of my spiralizing skills gone wild in the kitchen! I can’t help but marvel at the veggie-noodles every time I use my spiralizer! It’s just fun to watch them thread their way through! This dish is a basic melody of:
- 3 rainbow carrots (purple, white & orange)
- 2 small red beets
The ends needed to be fairly flat to work with my spiralizer - but my arms appreciated the mini-workout and got the job done quick. There are a million different types of spirlaizers on the market - you can check out Amazon for a few cheap varieties - mine is the ‘Asian-Spiral Slicer’.
The sauce can be done raw with almost all the same ingredients*, but for this round I chose to include a couple cooked ingredients as well. It’s completely up to you how you wish to treat your taste-buds and your body. <3 And always know that you can throw in any flavours that you prefer over my suggestions at any time!
- 3 roma tomatoes
- 1 handful of fresh basil
- 1/2 a chopped red onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 spoonfuls of cinnamon
- 1 small chopped beet
- chilli flakes
- 3 spoonfuls of tomato paste*
- 1/4 cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes*
It makes for a rich, creamy and a little spicy dressing for your crunchy pasta! Alternatively, if you’re not catering to a raw foodie, you can bring a small pot of water to a boil, place your spiralized carrots and beets into a strainer and dip into the water for 15-30 seconds or until tender. Some folks who prefer cooked pasta dishes, or just want something hot in their belly will enjoy the warm and familiar texture.
Let me know what you think! I always love a hearty pasta dish and I think there’s something about beetroot that’s just deliciously romantic! ;) Whatever your plans are this Valentine’s Day, I hope you have a great love affair with yourself and with your food! <3
These days it seems like there’s a lot of different opinions as to what the term “healthy” means. If you browse through some tagged photos on instagram or briefly through your twitter feed, you can easily find some recipe that claims to be ‘healthy’ and ‘clean’, but contains overly processed and nutrient-deficient foods! I guess my definition of clean eating might be a little extreme for some people - and that’s fine, but I believe we simply need to set the bar higher when it comes to our health.
We’ve all had those moments of fried-food self-sabotage, where we re-learn the lesson: "you are what you eat". Our food is our fuel and what we eat can have such a drastic impact on not just our physical bodies, but our mental state as well - why WOULDN’T we want the best for ourselves?
Clean food is natural food; it comes in the perfectly designed package of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fibre. It is easily and readily digested and absorbed into the body with little to no effort. Intuitively we can already determine which foods are the best for us to consume: they’re usually brightly coloured, naturally attractive and easy to collect or harvest. Clean food leaves you feeling light, energized and vibrant.
- leafy greens
- whole grains
- nuts & seeds
It’s also important to keep in mind the source of your food. Organic is obviously preferred over conventional and local foods are generally higher in micro-nutrients.
I don’t really like to think of any foods as good or bad in such black and white terms, and limiting or eliminating all or any of these foods from your diet may or may not be right for you. But it is important to realize that there are many food items on our shelves that do not promote health in the body and many in fact cause dis-ease.These foods generally require a great effort to digest and are lacking in absorbable vitamins and minerals. They are difficult to obtain by natural means and require more natural resources from our planet to produce. These items may also cause a number of minor physical side effects including bloating, weight-gain, dehydration, fatigue, headaches, constipation, phlegm & mucous build up to name a few.
- oils & salts
- packaged & processed food items
- beige or bleached foods
- heavily fried foods
Balance is Key
I’m not about perfection, or restriction - I treat myself and thoroughly enjoy it and I encourage you do to the same. I just try to re-asses my idea of what a treat is for my body. Is it just about the temporary satisfaction of flavour or is there a pleasure in treating your body to a health buzz as well?
Personally, I chose a vegan lifestyle because of ethical reasons, but I eat a plant-based diet for health. I have seen and experienced first hand the benefits of a cleaner body and mind and for me, it’s just not worth it to go back. I think there’s a lot to be said for the type of satisfaction you get by treating yourself to a clean-conscience too! ;)
Wherever you are on your health journey, becoming more aware of your food and in-tune with your body is ALWAYS a positive thing. You don’t have to change anything overnight. I find it best to take it one meal at a time and seize the opportunity to create a healthy body with each and every bite! It makes for a very rewarding and exciting experience! Your taste-buds and your waist-line will thank you! <3
This week I was very fortunate to have been invited to not one, but TWO vegan pot-lucks here in London, Ontario! One was a raw holiday feast hosted by Jon from DoubleOrganic.ca and the other was a vegan get-together at James’ house, from the organic food co-op GloballyLocal.ca! It was so wonderful to meet up with other fruit & veggie lovers, talk about compassionate living, clean eating and delicious recipes! Not to mention the food was absolutely divine!! I brought bottled juices to both events, but one recipe blend really was a hit and I just have to share it with you guys!
- 2 tangerines
- 2 clementines
- 1 orange
- 1/2 a mango
- few chunks of pineapple
- 1/2 a red beet
- 2 apples
For this recipe I opted out of using my high-powered Breville juicer and used a hand powered citrus juicer for the orange, tangerines and clementines. I added them into the bottle first after straining the seeds and some of the pulp with a metal sieve. Then blended up the mango and pineapple, removed the pulp with a cheesecloth and poured it in with the citrus. Finally, I blended the apples with the beet, strained through a cheesecloth and very carefully and slowly added it to the top of the bottle.
Alternatively if you have to travel with your juices, to prevent the colors from mixing prematurely, put the citrus and pineapple mango blend in one bottle and the beets and apples in another, then you can colourfully display the sunrise as you pour them separately into a glass.
At a house full of vegans, two bottles was not nearly enough to satisfy so be sure to come prepared with ample supply in case you get a similar reaction! ;)
My family has always gathered at Christmas time, no matter what the weather; outside or in our hearts. We’re an interesting crew to say the least, having changed a lot over the years and though our eclectic attitudes may clash loudly at times, we always come back to that big wooden table to laugh it out and celebrate the season.
My family is very supportive of my dietary and lifestyle choices and they do extremely well at accommodating me and encouraging me to share with them my thoughts, ideas and recipes too! Especially now that they’ve witnessed the results unfolding in and around me on this crazy "healthy food kick". As a lot of my readers will know, I really believe that special occasions and holidays are the PERFECT opportunities for sharing healthy and clean food with friends and family! But I think there’s a lot to be said for healthy gift-giving mindset too!
Far too many of us get into a stressful whirl of shopping and budgeting that we forget what the season really is all about. Depending on your beliefs you might have specifics that differ from me or the next guy, but when you get down to the real nitty-gritty of it, under the packaging, decorating and frosting of it all, the real reason for the season is just simply: love. Gathering together with family and friends; giving, receiving and acknowledging the love that connects us.
Here are a few alternative holiday gift-giving ideas that can help us get back to the root of what Christmas is all about; so you can spend more time with your loved ones and less time in the malls!
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! A lot of people have hidden talents that even they might not immediately be aware of. If you stop and think about it for a minute, I bet you can think of at least two or three things that you’re really good at! If you get a little creative you can come up with all sorts of innovative ways to share your gifts with others over the holidays!
- If you’ve got a skill for web design, does a friend need help with their business?
- Can you crochet, knit, sew and/or stitch? I bet there’s a friend or family member who would seriously LOVE handmade warm mittens, a scarf or socks this season - my father’s face still lights up every time he gets a pair for Christmas!
- Handy in the kitchen? Try out some new recipes and find some cute box or bag to keep them in - people are always grateful for tasty treats this time of year.
- If you know your way up and down the piano keys or guitar strings, why not write a song to commemorate the occasion? Something funny about the family? Or a love-song for a sweetheart? There’s something about music that brings people together! Perfect for the holidays!
For more DIY inspiration check out www.instructables.com, especially their ‘Homemade Gifts' section. You can also look on handmade websites like my personal favorite: www.etsy.com for unique hand-crafted items AND you can use the ‘Shop Local' option to find sellers near you to keep the love close to home!
Experience vs Gifts
A great way to steer the focus away from senseless spending and back onto each other is to share memories! Instead of necessarily exchanging a bunch of gifts this year, you could ask your partner, friend or family if they’d want to go for a sleigh ride, a hiking trip, visit an animal sanctuary, or if you really want to be traditional: go caroling! There are so many ways to show you care that don’t have to be quite so material.
- Fill a photo album with a series of photos that tell a story and maybe write captions below. Parents and grandparents love gifts like this - especially if you can get children or pets involved, it really ups the cute-ness effect!
- Create a coupon book full of IOU’s and freebies that the receiver may exchange for various acts of kindness, favors or outings. This makes a great gift for lovers and spouses; we all know everyone could use a ‘get out of jail free’ card every now and again! ;) Use things that your partner might not expect: coupons for date nights, we-time or ‘Dishes Cleaned - No Questions Asked' usually get a positive response.
- Use money that might otherwise be spend on gifts and decorations to take a family trip or weekend away. Visit some relatives, friends, or just escape to the country for a few days!
Give To Others
Giving to others who might be less fortunate than we care can be so rewarding! Find ways in your area to help out where it’s needed or even make small gestures in your social community that help each other out.
- Donate your time and/or finances to a charity or organization of your choice.
- Ask a lonely friend over for your festive celebrations, make someone feel welcome and appreciated.
- Shovel snow for your elderly neighbors.
- Showcase your musical or theatrical talents at the local retirement home or hospital.
- Adopt an animal from your local shelter to save a life.
- Donate your blood to save more.
- Sponsor an animal or endangered species, or organization that preserves our natural lakes and parks.
Even just small acts of kindness; the simplest thing like re-connecting with an old friend over Facebook and wishing them the best in the new year can be enough to put a spark in someone’s day. And that little gesture, however so small, is a gift that truly keeps on giving. <3
Other Ways To Simplify The Season:
1. When it comes to home decor and lighting, go for the minimalist approach. Choose natural trimmings, like clippings from local evergreens and holly bushes. Use candles and incense scents like: pine, frankincense, myrrh, cedar, mug-wort, rosemary and lemongrass to create a cozy and festive atmosphere.
2. Cut back on paper by using alternative gift wrap and DIY Greeting Cards. Wrap gifts in reused paper and bags, newspaper comics (kids can color them in), old maps, or other used paper. Reuse magazine photos, old postcards and past holiday cards to make new ones!
3. Prepare and enjoy sustainably made meals. Use as many seasonal, locally grown and organic foods as possible.
However you choose to spend your holiday season, I wish you lots of love from my heart to yours! <3 Let me know what alternative Christmas ideas you’re getting into this year to keep the spirit in season! :)