Raw-licious

It has recently come to my attention that I’ve let my healthy eating plan go pretty much off the rails once again, and the last month has been particularly hedonistic.

First it was birthday week, bringing a plethora of wine, champagne and cake. Then it was Halloween week, bringing more wine and rich, dark chocolate treats. It’s also birthday season at work and there has been cake. Lots and lots of cake. Chocolate raspberry, pumpkin cheesecake and fluffy, white layer cake. I’m beginning to feel a little like Marie Antoinette.

So, what’s a girl to do? Go raw for a few days.

Delicious, fresh, green, raw foods will cure my sugar overload in no time. The rules are very flexible. Basically try to eat at least 80% raw each days for a week. A little wine can be included in the eating plan as well (wine is raw!).

A typical detox menu might look like this:

  • Salad of dark greens, sprouts, cashews, dried berries, pumpkin seeds and homemade dressing
  • Raw soup such as chilled cucumber or gazpacho
  • Chocolate “pudding” add link
  • Glass of organic wine

See! Healthy and yummy and cleansing.

There are so many delicious, raw foods that we probably already eat every day – fruit, salads, oysters, seeds, nuts, sprouts – adopting an 80% raw diet just means bumping these up by adding a bit more raw and leaving desserts and processed foods behind.

As usual, I’m inviting any blogging friends who are interested to join me. Imagine how great we’ll feel (and look) for the holiday season. Glowing skin, a few lumps and bumps gone and a ton of energy.

Ready? Well then let’s get started:

Sunshine smoothie 184

Liquid Sunshine Smoothie

  • one cup pineapple juice
  • handful wheatgrass
  • one cubed apple
  • one banana
  • splash of water
  • one T. chia seeds

Sunshine smoothie 193

The food you eat can either be the safest, most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. – Ann Wigmore

Good Morning Smoothie

Looking for a yummy, refreshing way to start your day? Then try this minty, peachy, mango goodness for breakfast. The ingredients may seem like an unusual combination but, trust me, they blend beautifully together.

Good Morning Smoothie

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 peaches
  • 1 mango
  • 1 small apple
  • small handful kale or spinach
  • 1 cup organic apple cider
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves

morning smoothie

 “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”  ~Jim Rohn

Raw Coco Bliss Balls

Eating a 70-80% raw diet is a really great goal to work towards for vibrant health. Raw food gives you tons of energy, keeps your weight under control effortlessly and makes your skin glow too. As much as I love the health benefits, I definitely have a sweet tooth to try to manage. One of the ways I manage my pesky craving for sweets is with the awesome recipe below. Coco Bliss balls satisfy my sugar craving without having any actual refined sugar in them. They also make you feel raw, healthy and fabulous while indulging in a sweet little something.

COCO-BLISS BALLS

Ingredients:

1.5 tsp raw maca powder (optional)

1 tbsp organic ground cinnamon

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

1/4 cup organic dark chocolate chips

8-10 soft medjool dates, pits removed

1/2 cup raw almonds

1 tsp pure organic vanilla extract

Place all ingredients into a high power food processor and blend until small pebbles form. Roll into balls and refrigerate. Makes approximately 10 cookie balls.

In case you are curious, below is a little info on two of the key super food, anti-oxidant ingredients:

MACA: This plant is known as the Peruvian “ginseng” even though it’s not ginseng at all. However, it is known to increase energy, stamina, libido and reduce stress. It is an adaptogen, meaning, it’s important to take over a longer period of time to notice the effects. Maca is also very nourishing to the pituitary and hypothalmus glands, making it great for helping to balance male and female hormones.

Raw Cacao: The purest form of chocolate on planet earth. This food’s effect on mood and libido is due to it’s natural chemicals including anandamide and PEA which are known to make you feel more “blissful” and “loving”. Additionally, it stimulates feel good hormones such as endorphins and may increase serotonin since it’s a source of tryptophan. Raw cacao is also an excellent source of antioxidants and, last but not least, it’s also bit of a libido-booster.

And, with these two loving, blissful and libido boosting ingredients, Coco Bliss Balls may be the perfect dessert to serve next time you have a romantic date on the agenda…

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Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

A couple of friends and I have been complaining bitterly to each other lately of a lack of energy, restless sleep, and love-handles that seem to be slowly but surely increasing in diameter. We are all pretty active and eat reasonably healthy but have noticed that as we get a bit older, keeping fit and healthy becomes a bit more of a high maintenance endeavor.

And, on that note, juicing seems to be all the rage these days. Everywhere I turn another friend is discussing the nutritional properties, flavours and/or extreme hunger pangs of their three to five day juice cleanse. I guess it’s a January thing… and a Vancouver thing. So we decided to join the crowd and do a three day raw juice/smoothie cleanse on a quest to feel healthier fast. We thought this would be a good way to re-boot our systems and recommit to an uber-healthy eating plan. Our juicy detox was inspired by the documentary and juicing classic, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead chronicles the journey of Joe Cross, from an obese, sedentary 41 year old, taking several types of medication (blood pressure, skin issues etc.) to a fit, lean, juicing advocate who runs daily along Australia’s Bondi Beach. During his life changing journey, Joe spreads the juicing gospel on a road trip across the US. An unbelievably inspiring film.

fat-sick-and-nearly-deadWe gathered together last Friday night to watch the documentary and to have one last magnificent, indulgent meal…

Salt Spring island goat cheese and locally caught salmon for appies, a salad of wild greens and avocado with homemade vinaigrette, seafood pasta with a homemade tomato sauce (recipe below) and a couple of bottles of light and fruity Joie Rose to wash it all down. Dessert was an organic blackberry port from Salt Spring Island. When you have Salt Spring port to finish a meal you seriously don’t need anything else. This sweet, organic, picked-from-the-side-of-the-Salt-Spring-road is the most delectable thing I have ever tasted.

Seafood Pasta Sauce Recipe

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. capers
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • chili flakes to taste
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 cups plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/4 cup spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup spot prawns or wild, organic prawns
  • 1/4 cup wild salmon, cubed
  • 1/4 cup smoked salmon, cubed
  • 2 T. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley and basil, chopped

Saute sauce ingredients together, add to pasta of your choice. Top with freshly ground pepper and freshly ground parmesan and devour.

Fully satiated with delicious, fresh, local cuisine that is to be my last solid food for three days, it looks like I’m ready to juice. I’m hoping the memory of this magnificent meal will keep me going when the going gets tough.