Holiday Recipes

This year, we started to incorporate a few more raw food dishes into our regular holiday traditions …. Here are a few that we tried, loved and will be using again in the years to come.

Enjoy!
-xo
E

Cranberry Sauce (recipe from http://www.choosingraw.com):

1 cup apple juice (freshly squeezed)
1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Dash allspice
Dash cloves
1/2 cup agave (you can also substitute honey)

1 tbsp grated orange zest
1 cup cranberries, whole

1/2 cup cranberries, halved
1 cup pecans or walnuts
1 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp orange zest

Blend together the juices, spices, whole cranberries and agave. Adjust the sweetness if needed.

Add the remaining ingredients and let soak overnight until the cranberries sweeten and soften up.

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Fully Raw Holiday Salad (recipe from fully raw Kristina – http://www.fullyraw.com):

Salad:
2 large cauliflower heads
2-3 zuchinni
1 head of celery
green onions (to taste)
chives (to taste)
4-5 radishes (I omitted these)
1/2 red onion
1 jicama
3 bell peppers, assorted colors (I omitted these)
2 cups cherry tomatoes

Dressing:
2-3 zuchinni
2 avocados
1/4 cup pine nuts
fresh dill (to taste)
pinch of cumin
2-3 lemons
1 garlic clove

Chop and pulse one large cauliflower in a food processor until it reaches a very fine consistency. Place this into a bowl and begin to chop all additional salad ingredients into very small chunks. Mix thoroughly.

Blend all dressing ingredients until smooth and pour on top of the salad. Mix until all ingredients are well coated and serve immediately.

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Upside Down Cake (www.followthefruitfly.com):

Equal parts dates and shredded unsweetened coconut (quantity will depend on the size of your cake)
Bananas and other fresh, ripe fruit (I used blueberries, pineapple and kiwis in mine)

Line a glass dish with saran wrap and place thinly sliced banana pieces around the bottom and corners of the dish.

Pulse the dates and coconut in a food processor until they form a sticky dough-like consistency. Press half of the dough into the glass dish in between and on top of the banana pieces to form a crust.

Layer sliced fruit of your choosing in the dish until you have almost completely filled the crust. Take the remaining half of the dough and press it into the top of the cake, sealing the fruit inside.

Place the cake in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to set.

When your cake is set and you are ready to serve, gently place it upside-down on a plate and guide the cake out. Remove the plastic wrap, cut and serve.

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My 60 Days of Raw Food and the Future of this Blog ….

If you’ve been following my blog in the past, you may be wondering what happened to my 60 day raw foods experiment.  If you’re new to my site, welcome!

This is the re-cap of that experiment and the turning point in the direction of content on my blog.

First off, I have to admit that my experiment did not go perfectly as planned.  During the 60 days I had 4 cooked vegan meals, 2 coffees, and 1 iced tea.  I was not entirely alcohol free during those two months either …. However, for my two month attempt at eating entirely raw foods and cutting out caffeine and alcohol, I would say that I did pretty darn good.  Each and every time I cheated on my own rules, the effects were immediate.  You could see the evidence all over my face in the form of tired eyes, dry, splotchy skin and at times, acne.  And no, it was never worth it.

So, what were some of the changes that I experienced on this diet?

Pros:

  • I began sleeping like a rock – there was nothing that could wake me up once I was out.
  • My memory improved – both short and long term.  I started to remember things that I had long forgotten, things that I had tried to remember before only to become frustrated for being unable to recall them when I wanted to.
  • My energy and ability to be creative improved.
  • My focus became much sharper.
  • My skin cleared up, including breakouts and eczema.
  • My vision improved slightly – colors became crisper and more vibrant.

 Cons:

  • The first 5 days left me exhausted with a low grade headache that I couldn’t shake.
  • My skin initially broke out in a very itchy rash for about two weeks.
  • I was slightly more emotional and moody the first two weeks.  I am normally pretty even keeled, so this was extremely frustrating for me.

I attribute all of these negative side-effects to detox.  Remember, I have been eating a high-raw diet for several years now.  I believe that this really helped to limit the severity and length of time of the cons I experienced during these 60 days.

I expected to feel great eating all raw.  What I didn’t expect was that through this experiment, I would discover another way to eat raw.  Regardless of my passion for raw foods, my years of research and experimentation, it took my internet search for a local Houston Co-op (Rawfully Organic) for a friend to discover the 80/10/10 or Low Fat,/High Carb Raw Vegan (LFRV/HCRV) way of eating.

The first thing that I noticed of every single person involved in promoting this way of eating was that they looked beyond healthy.  In addition to that, they were all extremely athletic.  The diet involves a MINIMUM of 30 minutes of VIGOROUS exercise per day.  I LOVE that!  Our bodies were meant to move.

One of the first things that I did was to compare the appearance of the raw foods chefs and speakers that I had been following previously to those in the low fat raw vegan realm.  There was absolutely no comparison.  Although the gourmet raw foodies (primary calories from healthy fats – nuts, seeds and oils – rather than carbs – primarily from fruit) looked extremely healthy compared to the norm, they didn’t have quite the same vibrance and physically fit appearance of the LFRV mentors I had discovered.  I was sold.

I still love many things about the raw food diet that I was consuming prior to discovering a high carb, low fat raw diet, but my body tells me that this is how I was meant to eat.  I have so many things to share with you based on what I have been discovering and learning lately.  And although my 60 days of raw foods experiment may be over, what it truly did for me was launch me into a whole new level of health and discovery.

Going forward, this blog will be dedicated to recipes and information on how to thrive on a low fat raw foods diet while keeping fit and living green.

I hope you will continue with me on this new path that I’ve found through the process of writing this blog….  Expect to hear much more from me very soon!

-xo

E

Fruit Make-Up

Towards the end of my 60 day experiment with an all Raw diet (Tuesday October 23rd was day 60), I discovered another type of Raw diet called 80-10-10.  I will address what that means in my next post which will be on the topic of how the 60 days went for me.  I’m writing this very brief post first because I haven’t quite had the time to organize my thoughts on the 60 day experiment just yet.  That post is coming though, I PROMISE!

So, back to fruit make-up.  While I was learning as much as I possibly could about 80-10-10, I discovered several amazing Raw foodists both on you-tube and the web and came across Megan Elizabeth, one of the leaders in this diet movement …. She had this great video on how to make and apply fruit make-up.  I am going to let you visit her video for the demo and explanation:

If you’re chemically sensitive, want something TRULY natural, or don’t like wearing a whole lot of make-up on your face but still want a teeny bit of color, I definitely recommend trying this out!  The picture of me below is after applying a frozen blackberry to lips, cheeks and lashes (it’s VERY subtle).  In her video she uses spirulina powder as an additional color enhancer and it looks great!  So, check it out and learn how to REALLY play with your food!

-xo

E

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Pecan Date Salad Dressing

I had to get creative this weekend when Chris forgot to pick up the main ingredient for the salad dressing that I was really craving …. What could have been a disaster turned in to a dressing that he and I both ended up loving!  I hope you enjoy this simple recipe as much as we did!

Pecan Date Dressing

  • 1/3 Cup of Pecans (soaked in filtered water for 2 hours or more)
  • 4 Pitted Medjool Dates (soak them for 30 min. in filtered water  if yours aren’t already soft)
  • Lime Juice from 1/2 a Lime
  • Filtered Water (to desired consistency)

Salad 

**** You can use anything you like for your salad, but this is what was in each of ours …. (yes, we eat BIG salads)

  • 1 Head of Leafy Green Lettuce
  • 1/2 of a Large Cucumber
  • 12 Cherry Tomatoes
  • Fresh Corn off the Cob (2 Cobs)

Blend all of the dressing ingredients together in a high speed blender until you reach a creamy consistency.

Chop all salad ingredients into bit size pieces and pour the dressing over the salad.  Mix to combine well and enjoy!

Get Up! Get Moving! YES, I’m Talking to YOU!……

Let me begin this post with an explanation as to why I haven’t written in over a week.  I have had lots to say, but no motivation to sit down at my computer because my neck was out for about two weeks after a weekend trip to the lake.  Thanks to multiple chiropractic adjustments, and continued, regular care, I am finally feeling good again!

A little tip for you …. NEVER get pulled by a boat on a tube in choppy water, no matter how fun it looks!  And while we’re on the subject of tips, never compromise your form in a workout.  Learn your limits and do not exceed them.  Whether it be with your own body weight, or the heavy weights, don’t risk injury by pushing too far.

Due to my own lack of motivation during this period of injury, I decided that my first post back needed to address the subject of getting motivated to go out and get your butt in gear with exercise.

I had to really think about what it is that makes me want to hit the gym several times a week.  There are multiple factors as to why I workout.  I do it to be healthy and to maintain health, to get stronger and faster, and to clear my head of any negative thoughts so that I can be a more productive, happier, better me.

There are two tips I have for anyone that is struggling to just get up and get out there and DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING!

The first may seem obvious and simple, but many people struggle with it.

Figure out what you like to do for physical activity.

Working out doesn’t have to be, nor should it be, a chore.  Choose something that you LIKE to do.  This could be as simple as playing a game of frisbee, walking the dog, chasing your kids around the park, or riding your bike.  The object of this game is to start somewhere.  Put down the cell phones, iPads, laptops and video games.  Put down the beer, the chips and the pizza and get off the couch!  Do something that will benefit you for life by getting into the habit of regular physical activity.

For me, the gym is my go to place for my workouts.  I feel totally and completely at home surrounded by machines, equipment, the pool,  and people of various levels of fitness.  When I’m in this place, I know I’m there only for me.  It is the only time of my day that I can honestly say I do something that is just for myself.  I love to blast my music, sweat, and totally clear my head of everything.  I also get inspired by other people working out near me.  It always reminds me of the vast array of things that one can do to workout.  By observing others in their workouts, I often learn a new move to add into my own routine, or to include when planning a workout for a client.  Being around others that are working towards similar goals (whether they are total strangers or not) totally motivates me to keep going.

What motivates you?  What do you like to do?  What will get YOU off the couch????

The second tip I have for getting started and sticking with it is this:

Find a person that motivates you and that you aspire to be like.  When you don’t feel like doing whatever it is that you have chosen for physical activity, think of that person and let their accomplishments drive you towards your own goals.

For me, I have three people that immediately come to mind on days where I dread the gym (yes, I have them too!)…..

First, is one of my best friends from college.  At nine months pregnant with her second baby, and a child under 2 years of age at home, she is still attending crossfit classes regularly.  If you don’t know what crossfit is, look it up!  It’s TOUGH!  Although we no longer live in the same state, knowing that she’s out there continuing to keep up with her workouts makes me know that if she can do it, so can I.

Second is a client of mine from Portland.  “G” was in medical school finishing up her residency at the time I met her.  She could only afford two half hour sessions a month, so during those two sessions, I showed her four routines that she could complete in rotation for thirty days until we met next.  Despite getting off work at 5am and having to attend class as well, I still saw her four days a week, in the gym, with a smile, diligently doing everything I showed her.  I know, that if she could do it, so can I.

Lastly is the most influential person on my motivation to keep moving.  It’s my Dad 🙂  I am so proud of him and so lucky to have someone to look up to that has continued to maintain amazing physical shape and capability.  At 65 years old, he just won the title of “OLDEST GUY EVER” to win the La Jolla Shores Beach Volleyball Tournament.  Entrants in the tournament ranged in age from sub-20’s to my Dad at 65.  This was the 52nd annual tournament and prior to my Dad, the “OLDEST GUY EVER” was in his 50’s!  Thanks Dad, for being someone who shows me that despite aches and pains and stress at work you will continue to get down to the beach and do what you love to do while keeping up with kids more than half your age!  I know I want to continue being physically active until the day I die, and because I have such a great role model in this realm, I know that IF HE CAN DO IT, SO CAN I!

Choose your motivator, or feel free to use one of mine!  Use their successes to create you own.

I heard a great statement the other day from “fully raw Kristina.” (check her out on You Tube)  She said something to the effect of, “If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?”  Think about that.

Start today!  Move, get motivated, get out there and do something for you!  Regular physical activity is something that will benefit you for the rest of your life.  Go out there and get started!

-xo

E

Mock Caesar Salad

I am not usually much of a dressing kind of girl.  In general, I think a salad is just perfect with a little bit of fresh squeezed lemon and some sea salt.  This weekend, however, I wanted to try something different….  This mock caesar salad is what I came up with.  I hope you like it as much as we did!

Mock Caesar Salad

  • 2-3 Heads of romaine lettuce (I used the crunchy parts of my red leaf lettuce because that’s what came in our CSA this week….)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3/4 Tsp. of sea salt
  • 2-3 Cloves of garlic (less if you aren’t much of a garlic lover)
  • 1 Tsp. of honey
  • 1 Tbsp. of unpasteurized white miso
  • 2-5 Tbsp. filtered water (to desired consistency)
  • 1/3 Cup of raw tahini
  • 1/3 Cup of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Handful of ground flax seeds

Chop the lettuce into bite sized pieces and set aside.  Thoroughly blend all remaining ingredients except for the flax seeds.  Toss lettuce with dressing and sprinkle flax seeds on top.

Enjoy!

-xo

E

My Favorite Full Body Cardio Strength Training Move

Workouts using your own body weight are my absolute favorite.  You can perform them just about anywhere and they tend to target the entire body.

Mountain Climbers are no exception.  They make a great warmup exercise to get your body moving and your heart pumping.  Try incorporating them into your next workout!

Mountain Climbers

In a full pushup position (or with your elbows on the ground and palms down if you aren’t quite strong enough to hold your self up yet), take one knee and pull it into your chest so that you are balancing on your hands and one foot.  Quickly switch the position of your legs by straightening your first leg and driving the opposite leg into your chest.  You should always have one foot off the ground during this exercise.  Try to go for 30 seconds and work your way up to 2 minute intervals.

To intensify this move, try using a pair of valslides http://www.valslide.com/ (or furniture slides for a cheaper alternative) under your feet and quickly slide your leg up to the point that your knee meets your chest.  Change the position by straightening your first leg and sliding the opposite knee into your chest.

Give it a shot!

-xo

E