Tag Archives: vegan

Raw

24 May

Raw Vegan - Rebel with a Cause

“What is a raw vegan?” I get asked sometimes or why I choose to eat a raw vegan diet. So in this post I’m going to describe in my own terms what I consider my diet is.  First, I choose to do vegan diet first and foremost, before organic or before raw, I’m a VEGAN. That means no animal byproducts such as honey, eggs, cheese, etc. Raw means that I choose to eat all vegan foods uncooked or unheated.

Some people wonder what is left to eat if I don’t eat animals. Well, any vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouts and to eat them raw means no steaming, stir frying, boiling, roasting, or heating above 105 degrees.  While most people get to a supermarket and head for the frozen section, I head over to the produce and the bulk grains and nuts.

I was a vegan for about a year before I transition to 100% raw, but before I even knew what raw was, I was already eating about 70% raw for years. I started the raw vegan lifestyle inspired by a documentary by Kris Carr, Crazy Sexy Cancer, and haven’t turn to look back since then!

There are many types of raw diets, and what works best for me is a raw alkalarien diet. I use Dr. Robert Young’s pH scale and principles to do a raw alkalarian diet. He basically states that to stay balance and not create an acidic environment in one’s body, one must balance the pH in the body by consuming more alkaline foods and practicing more alkalarian ways of living. Denis and I learned about Dr. Young’s pH diet 7 years ago and before transitioning to raw, we had already been following the pH diet which made it very easy to transition to raw.

As I mentioned, I chose to eat a raw vegan diet for health reasons. However, I now see that this lifestyle fits my beliefs. For example, being raw helps the environment which as you all know I’ve been passionate for many years. I can write a whole new post about the different ways being raw contributes to the environment. It  has also helped me improve my spiritual practice and sculpting my body.

A raw vegan diet is not for everyone and it’s not the solution to one’s issues. As always, when making any changes in my lifestyle, I made sure I monitor my health by visiting my doctors and ensure that the changes I made were beneficial to my body and mind.

In part two of this blog, I will answer the most common questions I get asked about my raw vegan lifestyle. But the most important point I would like to get across in this blog is that everyone is different and while this lifestyle works for me, it may not work for other people at this point in their lives. That’s why is critical to do research and consult a doctor before making any changes.

Here are some tips on how to transition to a vegan diet. Enjoy!

Quinoa Tabouli & Raw Chickpea Hummus

15 April

I had typed this entire blog post and lost it with a click of a key! You’d have thought WordPress could have save it but now it didn’t. So my poor mouse took a hit… It was either the mouse or the laptop.

So here I am trying to make things better with the mouse, thank the gods, goddess, universe, God, and Ganesh, it survived! And now I’m starting from scratch.

I had some funny story about mediterrenean food, but who remembers! So here is the darn recipe for tabouli and raw chickpea hummus.

Tabouli

1 cup of quinoa to sprout

1 red pepper chopped

1 green pepper chopped

1 medium onion chopped (green or red is good)

1 tomato chopped

1 Tbs. of raw tahini

1 handful curly parsley

Olive oil, unpasteurized sesame oil, salt, cilantro, lemon juice to taste

Sprout the quinoa for two days or as long as you prefer them. Rinse and drain then place in a mixing bowl. Add the vegetables, olive oil, salt, lemon juice, tahini, parsley, and cilantro. Mix well and serve with hummus and cut vegetables.

Raw Chickpea Hummus

2 cups of sprouted chickpeas

2 Tbs. raw Tahini

2 cloves of garlic

1 handful of flat parsley

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/2 lemon’s juice

1/2 Tbs. Organic Cumin Seed powder

Salt to taste

Cayenne pepper and one olive to garnish

Rinse the sprouted chickpeas and put in food processor. Add all the other ingredients and mix until smooth.

Put in a bowl, add some olive oil on top, sprinkle some cayenne pepper, and add an olive.

Oh! and now that I’m finally in a good mood, enjoy!

No animals or husbands were harmed during the retyping of this post… Well I’m sure Denis would say different! 🙂

Raw Coconut Curry Kelp Noodles

22 March
kelp curry noodles

Kelp curry noodles

At my first Raw Spirit Festival in ’08, Sedona AZ, I came across Kelp Noodles. My friend John Schott from LifeFood Gourmet had a table at the festival and made an awesome tomato Italian sauce for these noodles. I got the last bowl he was selling and boy I’ve been hooked since then!

So when we got back to FL, Denis went online and looked them up… he ordered them and I’ve been making different sauces for them. My favorite is Coconut Curry sauce I created by accident trying to copy a red Thai chili sauce.

What  I enjoy most about this sauce and the noodles is that is easy to prepare and makes a great “fancy” meal when I’m tired and don’t want to send a lot of time in the kitchen.

Here is what you’ll need:

Kelp Noodles

Kelp Noodles

1 Pack of Kelp noodles

3 cloves of garlic (less if you can’t handle raw garlic)

Organic Cumin, organic curry powder, coriander, turmeric (all in powder form)

Ginger

1 Handful of cilantro

2 cups of coconut oil

Red chillies (Thai chillies)

Salt

Olive Oil

Lime or Lemon

Red Pepper strips

1  1/2 cup of almond or other white nut milk

Shredded lettuce & avocado

*Sweet peas, shredded celery & carrots optional

**To make it spicy (picante) add more chili peppers

First make the curry paste by putting the garlic, cumin, curry, coriander, turmeric, ginger, cilantro, chilies, salt, lemon, olive oil in the food processor and mixing until it becomes a paste. Add the nut milk and coconut oil and continue to mix.

Rinse the noodles well and put aside in a bowl to mix. Add sauce, red pepper strips, and optional vegetables (peas, carrots, celery). Mix well and let it sit for a few minutes.

Serve over a bed of lettuce with avocado.

Kelp curry noodles

Mixing the noodles, sauce, and vegetables

Moving to the Beach Salad

15 March
Seaweed Salad

Seaweed Salad

Denis and I moved from a small 3-bedroom house to a tiny beach apartment a few months back and during that stressful packing time, I made this recipe everyday.

I was making sure to empty my refrigerator so that I could clean it before returning the house, so we had very little fresh food left. I came up with this salad with different types of Seaweed to sort of keep the “ocean-sea” theme since we were moving to the beach. So I named it “Moving to the Beach Salad”!

Here is what you need:

Romaine lettuce

1 Tomato

Yellow/green beans

1 pack of Pacific Sea Vegetable Mix (wakame, funori, kiriboshi wakame, shiro kikurage, ito kanten, kizami hoshi kombu)*

Seaweed Dressing

1 Tbs. Namashoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce)

1/8 Raw sesame seed oil

1/8 Olive Oil

A few drops of Apple Cider vinegar (optional)

Pepper flakes

Real Salt to taste

*I’m able to buy a pack from Glaser market that is ready to prepare, but any seaweed salad mix will do.

Soak the seaweed salad for 10 minutes and drain water and add more water to soak for another 10 minutes. Or if you buy a particular brand of seaweed mix, simply follow the directions in the package. Some mixes require more or less time soaked in water.

In a separate bowl, mix the sesame oil, olive oil, namashoyu, pepper flakes, and apple cider vinegar if you are using it. We don’t use vinegar, but most seaweed salad dressings have vinegar and agave, but I believe apple cider vinegar replaces both. Depending on how big the package of seaweed is, you may have to increase the amounts of the oils and ingredients for the dressing.

After draining the seaweed water the second time, rinse the seaweed in a strainer or colander with more water. Shake the excess water off and add the salad to the bowl with the dressing. Mix well and let sit for about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, shred the lettuce or cut thinly to use a bed for the seaweed. Cut the beans as thin as you like and add to the lettuce. Cut tomatoes to complement the meal and finally add the seaweed on top of the lettuce and beans. I also serve this with avocado slices.

We eat seaweed at least once a week; it’s a good source of minerals and vitamins. We are fortunate that we can buy the seaweed mix at our local farm, but there are websites that sells amazing seaweed salads for a reasonable price. I recommend the Sea Tangle Noodle Company which also offers kelp noodles.

Hope you enjoy this recipe and stay tuned for my kelp noodle recipes!

Chubby Hubby Raw Brownies

10 March
Raw Brownies

Raw Brownies

Denis is supper addicted to chocolate and it has been a real challenge for him to stop eating chocolate (raw cacao). But once in awhile we both breakdown and make these brownies. I used to call them Midnight brownies because they would keep me up all night. But Denis prepares them and has perfected the recipe as time goes by and so now I call them Chubby Hubby Raw Brownies.

1 cup of almond flour
1 cup of chocolate powder

1/4 cup flax seeds meal* (powder)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup agave
2 Tbs. of Maca
1 Tbs. of Mesquite
Pinch of Salt
1 Tsp. of ashwagandha
1 Tsp. of shilajit
1 Tbs. of vanilla powder

Mix in food processor until you get the brownie consistency. Mold into squares or any shape wanted. Eat next to a love one and watch TV all night.

*Flax meal is made by grinding the seeds

Enjoy!

Full Moon Liquid Fast

27 February
Full Moon Liquid Fast

Full Moon in Sedona Arizona - 2007

About four months ago, Denis and I decided to challenge our diets and take it one step further. We decided to fast and only eat, or drink in this case, liquids once a month on the full moon.

We noticed that around the full moon it was hard to deal with everyone’s energy. At work, on the road, online, on TV, at the beach, everyone is more stressed than usual.

A liquid fast entails only consuming liquids such as soups, smoothies, juices, water, puddings; basically anything that doesn’t require chewing.

I am a huge fan of soups and smoothies… always been! And preparing only liquid foods was very easy for me.  I also had great help from several books with not only great raw vegan soup recipes but smoothies and juices.

We start our liquid fast about three days before the full moon and so far it has helped us deal with the “Full Moon” energy around us. I have set reminders in my calendars to let me know when the full moon starts so that we can start our fast.

Here are some of the recipes that I make during the liquid fast:

Miso Soup

Green Soup

Borsch

Green Juice Delight

Juices

Thank God, Orange Juice, & Grapefruit Juice

Happy Full Moon 2010!

5 Tips to Become a Vegan

25 February
vegan pie

Vegan Pie

Last year I wrote about beginning to transition to a vegetarian diet.  If you are ready to take the next step and have decided this is the right choice for you, here are five ways to get started with a vegan diet. These tips follow the steps from the previous post.

Start Fading Fish from Your Diet

Fish was hard to give up because I loved sushi! I started using mock meats and substitutes such as tofu & tempeh. I used the same formula for meats and other animals; I started eating fish only three times a week for a month and only if I prepared it at home. When I went out, I would order a vegetarian or vegan meal. After a few months, I was able to only eat fish once a week and soon stopped completely.

Substitute Milk and other Dairy for Soy or Almond Milk

There are many products out there to replace dairy. I started with almond and rice milk, cheeses, ice cream, butter, etc.

Soy CreamPhoto by:  Veganbaking.net

Tofu, Your New Best Transitional Choice!

Learning to prepare and enjoy tofu can be challenging. But with the right recipes or going to the right restaurants, one can soon enjoy tofu. I found that the best tofu recipes can be found at Asian restaurants like Japanese, Korean, Chinese, etc. I also learned that the trick to preparing tofu at home is marinating it for about 4 to 8 hours in your favorite sauce. I used to copy the recipes from my favorite restaurants and prepared them at home. It’s important to know the different textures tofu is sold and how it is used. Most brands have a picture of how to use tofu depending on its texture. Silken is most commonly used in puddings and smoothies, firm and extra form for frying baking, etc.

TofuPhoto by: avlxyz

Read it: No Animal Bi-Products

Once I found out that I was allergic to dairy, I stopped consuming dairy products. However, I was not aware that hundreds of packaged foods have dairy. For example, crackers and you good-old-plain saltines have dairy. It’s important to read the labels of packaged foods even if they are labeled vegetarian.

Learn to Order Vegan Dishes in Non-Vegan/Non-Vegetarian Restaurants

Vegan Potato Green BeansPhoto by: rusvaplauke

This is one of the tips that saved me, learning how to order a healthy meal at an unhealthy restaurant. Whenever I went out to eat, I would ask the waiter/waitress for any vegan or vegetarian dishes so that I wouldn’t have to read the entire menu. I have yet to find a restaurant that doesn’t have a vegetarian or vegan alternative. If they didn’t have a dish, I would make one on my own. For example, every restaurant offers side dishes, baked potatoes, side vegetables, fruit plates, etc. So I would order three sides and a house salad which usually didn’t include meats or dairy. Because I was allergic to dairy, I would always ask for no butter or cheese in any of the side dishes and would let them know of my allergies.

One of the biggest challenges is learning to change your habits, and enjoy the transition. If it is done right, it will be very rewarding. Any time I made changes to my diet and lifestyle, I made sure to visit my doctor to monitor my health.

It is important not to judge others and preach. We’re all different and what works for one person, may not work for someone else. So love your family and friends the way they are and don’t try to convert anyone. Just because you made a choice, doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for others.

Have fun & don’t stress!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

Recommended reading

  • Vegan with a Vengeance: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
  • The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health by Robert O. Young
  • Vegetarian Times Vegetarian Beginner’s Guide by the Editors of Vegetarians Times
  • Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman
  • Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World’s Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins

My Father’s Scramble Tomato, Onion, and Rice Eggs… Vegan Style

10 February
Raw Vegan "Eggs"

Raw Vegan “Eggs”

When someone doesn’t feel like making food or cooking, they order take out or go out to eat. And if budgets are tight, most of us have a recipe we make for those days when we just don’t feel creative about making food or are tired.

My dad’s recipe for those occasions was scramble eggs with rice, tomatoes, and onions. He would fry the chopped onions, tomatoes, and left over rice and throw a few whipped eggs and make a meal out of that. For many years before we became raw vegans, I would use my father’s recipe for when I felt tired and didn’t want order take out food.

I now have a raw vegan version of this recipe that is very quick to prepare and tastes amazing.

Here are the ingredients:

2 Handfuls of Almonds (hopefully sprouted)

¼ cup Flax Seed Powder

Turmeric

Organic Cumin Seed Powder

Real Salt

2 Tomatoes

½ Medium Onion

Cilantro

½ small jalapeno pepper (optional)

Olive Oil

Avocado and Shredded Romaine lettuce

Put the almonds in the food processor with the flax seed powder, turmeric, cumin, and salt. Process to a powder and set aside in a bowl.

Almond Powder and Tomatoes in Food Processor

Almond Powder and Tomatoes in Food Processor

Using the same food processor (no need to wash it), put cut tomatoes, onions, oil, cilantro, and salt to taste. Pulse to make a semi-chunky salsa and avoid making it too liquidy. If you are using the jalapeno pepper, add them to the salsa to make it as spicy as you can handle. Add the salsa to the powdered almonds and mix without making to mushy.

Mixing Powder and Salsa

Mixing Powder and Salsa

Serve over shredded lettuce, I use the lettuce to replace the rice in my father’s recipe. Slice the avocado and serve on the side. This serves two people, a tiny woman and a big Russian!

I recently added something else to this recipe; I’ve been using pumpkin seed oil and pour it over avocado. It’s delicious!

Enjoy!

5 Hard-Core Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

08 February

Plus Where to get Dinner, Chocolates, and Flowers

heart

Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday but who said you had to stick to the usual gifts that may not go with your green lifestyle? Here are five gifts ideas for your green significant other:

“No-one-died” Jewelry

Jewelry is the most common gift to give to your loved one on Valentine’s Day. So why not make it something eco-friendly that didn’t cause people’s lives? Here are gifts from recycled, reused, and/or natural materials that will go excellent with your “green” Valentine’s Day.

“Good-Cause” Accessories

There are many companies that make accessories that help a good cause. I’m choosing Hemp Sisters (Earth Divas) this time because they have a great variety of green gifts for your significant other.

Romantic Evening – Do a Home Spa

Gaiam is a great site with wonderful gifts for any occasion. I picked this “Healing Home Spa” set because it a great way to show your loved one that you care for their health and the earth.

When you are Ready to Commit

Compost buckets! Not your typical romantic gift, but it will make a statement that you both are ready to take the next step in your “green” path and commit to it.

Compost Bucket

Compost Bucket

Something Practical for All

This is a great gift if you know you significant other has everything and doesn’t need another necklace, ring, earrings, etc., or your family doesn’t exchange gifts. I picked Tonic, formerly Green Dimes, for this occasion because it’s a great way to stay green by eliminating unnecessary junk mailings that are cause trash. Not a typical romantic gift, but a very original idea!

So now that you picked the gift, all that is left are the card, the flowers, the chocolates, and dinner.

The Card

Picking a card that is green is easy. Most places sell now cards made or recycle paper etc. However, if you want to take one green step further, check out these cards that have wild flower seeds that can be planted to grow. Very original and will impress your “green” significant other.

The Flowers

Organic flower shop

If your honey is like me, they won’t want flowers and may prefer plants. However, if they do like flowers, here is an organic shop that has a great variety for this special occasion.

The Chocolates

Take this opportunity to try raw vegan chocolate. I have many raw favorites, but for Valentine’s Day I’m recommending Gnosis Chocolates.

The Dinner

If you are truly green, you will want to go to a vegetarian or vegan restaurant. To locate a local place to take your significant other for dinner, use Happy Cow. And if you are in South Florida and want an impressive restaurant, try Sublime.

Happy Green Valentine’s Day! Remember that the most important part of this holiday is LOVE!

Heart Photo by: qthomasbower

Saturday Morning Green Delight

31 January
Saturday Morning Juice & Ganesh

Saturday Morning Juice & Ganesh

One Saturday morning I woke up waiting a green juice. So I took everything green out of the refrigerator and juice it. I usually don’t juice greens because I get a fantastic green juice at Josh’s Organic Garden called the “Thank God” five days a week. Not only does Josh have the best greens ever, but also their juicing method is out of the world.

So I have gotten used to drinking green juices five days a week and Saturdays they are not open. I washed all my greens and juiced them including two apples because my juicer is not as great as the one at the Juice Bar. And now it has become a tradition to wake up Saturday mornings and juice the greens.

Here is what I juice:

3 types of Kale (dinosaur, red, and green)

3 types of chard (red, yellow, and white)

Florida Romaine lettuce

Dandelion, Spinach, Collard Greens

Celery, Carrots, Cucumber

2 apples (optional)

I juice everything and put it in a jar, mix in about 2/3 of water, and some pH drops. I save half of that for my sweetie and he adds a lime/lemon to his juice, and I add the two juiced apples to mine.

And that’s our Saturday morning delight!

Thank God at Josh's Organic Garden

Thank God at Josh's Organic Garden