Friday, March 29, 2013

CARROT CINNAMON APPLE CRUNCH

     I love carrot cake and decided to make a raw vegan version. The first recipe I saw on Youtube was from Megan Elizabeth's channel and it seemed to be exactly what I was looking for, simple and creative. I changed the ingredients slightly, adding more cinnamon and a couple tbsp's of water.  This recipe is probably the closest thing to carrot cake in the low-fat raw vegan world, and it is DELICIOUS! It is so simple to make and is a great snack or dessert.

INGREDIENTS
- 8 medjool dates
- 3/4 cup carrots
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 apples 

PREPARATION
1. Use food processor to mix the carrots, dates and cinnamon. I added a little water to help thin out the paste. 
2. Slice apples. 
3. Layer apples and date paste.



Sunday, March 24, 2013

COOKIE DOUGH SANDWICH

     Sometimes cookie dough and brownies are just not enough on their own.  I decided to pair two fabulous recipes to make one decadent dessert. This is indescribably DELICIOUS! 

BROWNIE
- 1 cup pecans
- 8 medjool dates, pitted and soaked for 15 mins
- 5 tbsp cacao powder
- 3 tbsp shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
* blend all ingredients in food processor

COOKIE DOUGH
- 1 cup walnuts
- 8 medjool dates
- 3 tbsp shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs
* blend all ingredients in food processor 

 
BROWNIE
 COOKIE DOUGH

COOKIE DOUGH & BROWNIE
COOKIE DOUGH SANDWICH & BANANA ICE CREAM

Saturday, March 23, 2013

*YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE*

     Yay for spring! Spring is technically here, but there is still snow on the ground and temperatures under 5 degrees. All that I care about is whether or not the sun is shinning and boy is it ever shinning! :D  Everything brightens up with sunshine! The world becomes more colourful and the sun rays seems to reflect off faces transforming frowns into smiles, if only for the simple reason that the sun is shinning! :) 
      Yes, the sun is beautiful and it is healthy to get a certain amount of sun exposure so that our bodies can naturally produce vitamin D. When the UVB rays from the sun hits our skin our body can get to work and make us some essential vitamins. Vitamin D is important for the maintenance of good health and helps keep our muscles and bones strong and healthy. Not everyone needs the same amount of sun exposure to produce the amount of vitamin D that they need for their body. The right amount of sun exposure for you depends on factors such as UV levels, skin colour and lifestyle.  An important fact is that prolonged sun exposure does not mean more vitamin D but rather it means damaged skin and an increased chance of skin cancer. Therefore it is important to protect yourself from getting too much sun either by staying out of it or covering up with clothes or sunscreen.
 Stay protected! --- "Light, hydrating formula with SPF 30 blocks out the sun's UVA (ultra violent aging) and UVB (ultra violet burning) rays, infused with nutrients such as Argan Oil, Rosehip Oil, Green Tea and herbal extracts to soften and nourish the skin. In addition to protecting against the sun's UV rays, antioxidants provide protection against environmental damage, skin cancer, fine lines, wrinkles and dark sun / age spots."
After much research I would have to say that this is the 'healthiest' tanning lotion on the market. This tanning lotion uses 100% natural ingredients and is certified organic. I would say no tanning lotion is obviously healthier than using tanning lotion but if you really want a summer glow and do not want to harm yourself with tanning beds, over sun exposure, or tanning creams full of chemicals then True Natural is the way to go :)

Check out 7 Suprising things you're not supposed to know about sunscreen...

Reference:
www.cancer.org

Sunday, March 17, 2013

PURE FOOD BAR

     Just got back from a wonderful few days away in Collingwood, Ontario. My boyfriend and I went boarding at Blue Mountain and had an awesome time :) The weather was perfect, and the boarding was so much fun!
 
 One of the best parts of our getaway was our experience at a raw vegan restaurant about 10 minutes from the slopes, Pure Food Bar. I was so excited to know that there was a place I could dine at on our little trip, a place that would add to our healthy, active lifestyle and feeling great! Pure Food Bar has been around a couple years and I highly recommend it :) Great service and incredible food! It was wonderful that we could still enjoy a burger with our boarding, except this burger left us feeling full of energy and ready to get back on the slopes :D
LIBERATOR: Classic mushroom and nut burger with all the fixings :)
 LEMON BAR
Check out more about PURE FOOD BAR

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

CREAMY RAW RED PEPPER SOUP

         This raw soup is creamy and delicious! It is so easy to make and is a great addition to any meal. I just downed it with a side of Spicy Thai Broccoli Salad. I also added some kelp noodles and chopped red pepper to add a crunch.

INGREDIENTS
- 1 red pepper, medium
- 1/3 cup cashews, soaked
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt

PREPARATION
1. Soak cashews for 3 hours, then drain.
2. Toss all ingredients in high speed blender and blend until smooth. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

BANANA CREAM CHOCOLATE PUDDING PIE

      I fell in love with the banana cream from the previous blog post and thought it would be delish to  pair it up with the #1 best chocolate pudding ever! Words cannot describe how well this turned out :D

PIE CRUST
INGREDIENTS
- 6 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup pecans

PREPARATION
1. Chop and blend pecans.
2. Add dates and blend. 
3. Press into pie plate or container of choice.


BANANA CREAM 
INGREDIENTS
- 2 bananas, medium
- 3/4 cup cashews, soaked
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 1/3 cup coconut oil 
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch sea salt

PREPARATION 
1. Soak cashew in water for 3 hours then drain.
2. Toss all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. 
3. Pour on top of pie crust. 
4. Put in freezer for 1 hour. 
CHOCOLATE PUDDING
INGREDIENTS
- 3 medjool dates, pitted (soaked for 15mins)
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 3/4 avocado
- 1/3 cup cacao powder

PREPARATION
1. Blend avocado until smooth. 
2. Add dates and blend. 
3. Add agave nectar and blend until smooth.
4. Add cacao powder and blend until all mixed together.   
5. Spread chocolate pudding on top of banana cream after the banana cream has been in the freezer for 1 hour. 
Put the pie in the freezer over night.  If you really cannot wait then at least put it in the freezer for 1 hour so that it will stay together when you cut it. 
  Finished pie after one our in the freezer
Still a little messy to cut. 
 
Delicious!
BANANA CREAM CHOCOLATE PUDDING PIE
Cuts very well after being in the freezer overnight :)  

Saturday, March 9, 2013

CREAMY BANANA CRUMBLE CUPS

     When your kitchen is overflowing with bananas and you do not have enough monkeys to eat them, make some Creamy Banana Crumble Cups :) This dessert is not too sweet and could definitely work as a breakfast parfait with some berries. Enjoy :)

CRUMBLE
INGREDIENTS
- 1 cup cashews
- 6 medjool dates
- 1/2 cup dried coconut

PREPARATION 
1. Take pits out of dates.
2. Toss all ingredients into food processor and chop. 

BANANA CREAM 
INGREDIENTS
- 2 bananas, medium
- 3/4 cup cashews, soaked
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 1/3 cup coconut oil 
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch sea salt

PREPARATION 
1. Soak cashew in water for 3 hours then drain.
2. Toss all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. 
NEXT...
1. Layer the banana cream with the crumble in a cup of choice. 
2. Refrigerate for 20 mins to chill or serve at room temperature.  

 CRUMBLE
BANANA CREAM
 DELICIOUS & NUTRITIOUS :D

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SWEET & SALTY SALAD DRESSING

    Many store bought salad dressings are filled with refined sugar, preservatives and/or other unnatural substances. Nothing tastes fresher than a homemade dressing on a homemade salad. The following dressing recipe is simple to make and tastes delicious! I enjoy this dressing tossed with 3-4 cups of freshly chopped and diced veggies. 

INGREDIENTS
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp umeboshi vinegar 
- 1 tsp agave nectar  

PREPARATION
1) Mix all ingredients in a bowl. 
2) Pour dressing on salad and toss! 


Sunday, March 3, 2013

SPICY THAI BROCCOLI SALAD

      This salad is AMAZING. This is a raw vegan dish that is a great appetizer or can also be used in addition to the main course. This salad is best eaten one day after making it because the sauce marinates and softens the broccoli, leaving a light crunch.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it, definitely one of my favourite raw vegan salads. Enjoy! 

INGREDIENTS
SALAD
- 4 cups broccoli, chopped small
- 2 green onions, chopped
- ½ cup red onion, diced
- ½ red pepper, long strips

DRESSING
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp Bragg’s Soy Sauce
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp ginger root powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper 


PREPARATION  
1. Blend all dressing ingredients in food processor.
2. Mix dressing in large bowl with salad ingredients.
3. Let it sit in the fridge overnight and enjoy the following day :)
 





*Recipe inspired by Robins Key

Friday, March 1, 2013

THE POWER OF POSTIVE THOUGHTS

     We are always thinking, whether we are paying attention to our thoughts or not. I have learned that it is important to pay attention to my thoughts as much as possible, and to make sure that they are positive.
     I was not aware of the power of my thoughts until I read  'The Secret' by Rhonda Byrne's a few years back. This book is based on the law of attraction; the power of our thoughts and how they can make or break our happiness. Our thoughts become actions and our actions have consequences that either bring us joy or misery. I remember reading this book and being so amazed at the insight within, but at the same time why did it take me reading a book to realize such a simple truth? Just think about it, if you are sitting there thinking that you are worthless, have no talents and have nothing to offer, then do you really think you are going to be confident and sincere at your job interview? Or on the other hand, if you are full of self-love and truly believe in yourself then it would only make sense that your strengths would shine during the interview. Our thoughts determine our paths in life, that is why it is so important to become aware of what is going on inside our heads. In other words if you are not happy right now then all you need to do is change your way of thinking and allow yourself to be happy. Only you (your negative thoughts) are standing in the way, move over and allow yourself to be happy.
     I think this all goes back to self-love. If we lack the basic need for happiness, self-love, then we are doomed to negative thoughts and crappy outcomes. When we love ourselves we do not hurt ourselves with our thoughts, but when we are lacking self-love then it is really easy to be cruel to ourselves without even noticing it at first. We begin to notice things are not right when we are miserable or depressed and that is a scary place. When we hit rock bottom it is very difficult to pick ourselves back up. The longer we are depressed the more difficult it is to change our thoughts from negative to positive.
      It all starts with our thoughts which lead to our actions and if they are self-loathing then they may very easily lead to addictions that we use to escape our lives because we feel so unworthy to be happy, or simply because we feel lost. Think of all the addictions in this world---shopping, eating, gambling, alcohol, smoking, drugs, sex, porn, working, exercise...the list goes on and on. When we truly love ourselves we find balance in healthy things, we do not do things in excess, which allows our minds to be clear and make it much easier to focus on positive thinking. 
     How do we change our negative thoughts to positive and self-loving thoughts? Yes, it can be very difficult, but in time it gets easier and in more time it becomes almost natural

Steps to a positive and healthy mind:

a) Pay attention to your thoughts a few times a day and determine whether they are positive (loving) or negative (hating). This may be easy to do when meditating because although while meditating we are to clear our minds, it is very easy to have thoughts passing through and that is a great time assess whether they are healthy or harmful thoughts. 

b) If they are negative thoughts then simply think the opposite. For example if you are thinking that you will not get to your goal of working out 3 times a week then stop that train of thought and think "I am working out a minimum of 3 times a week because it is my goal and I deserve to achieve it."  

c) Say different positive affirmations daily. Positive affirmations are used to program our subconscious minds to allow us to manifest change in our lives. You can repeat positive affirmations while meditating or looking in the mirror   
If she can do it then the rest of us have no excuse... Jessica's Daily Affirmations

d) Be patient. Patience is key with success in reaching any goal. If you try your best and never give up then you will progress and be much more likely to succeed. Do not be upset when you have negative thoughts, that is the best time to strengthen your ability to change them and train your mind to be more positive.

e) Be GRATEFUL. When we are grateful for our blessings and focus on what we have rather than what we want then our minds are without effort much more positive. 

Wishing you a day full of positive thoughts :)