Sunday, January 19, 2014

GREEN ORANGE-CREAM CRUNCH SMOOTHIE

Finally!! I finally bought myself a young coconut and YUM! I put a hole in it with a hammer and managed to not lose any of the coconut water :) I am sure there are much easier and safer ways to open a young coconut, but the hammer thing worked for me :P 

To be completely honest, I have made better smoothies, but this tasted good and was loaded with super healthy ingredients so I downed it just fine :)

IF you want something truly amazing then just blend the coconut meat, coconut water, bananas and the orange, I tried that before I added the other ingredients and it was so delicious! It was super creamy with a nice orange-banana flavour.

INGREDIENTS
- 1 cup young coconut meat
- 1 cup coconut water
- 2 bananas
- 1 orange
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs

PREPARATION
1. Toss all ingredients in a high speed blender except for the cacao nibs.
2. Once smooth add the cacao nibs and blend for 10 seconds so that they are chopped smaller, but not too small that they don't allow for a little crunch :P
3. Top with a sprinkle of cacao nibs.
4. Drink and feel the energy!  

 YOUNG COCONUT
COCONUT WATER DRAINED - 1 1/4 cup from 1 coconut
COCONUT MEAT SCOOPED OUT- about 1 cup from 1 coconut
 UMMMM....YUM
 FOREVERGREEN :P

Thursday, January 9, 2014

OUR FOREVERGREEN WEDDING

January 4th, 2014 was by far the absolute best day of my life! I got married to my soul mate, a true angel, the most incredible man, the man of my dreams. I am grateful. 
I would first like to share about how things went while planning our vegan wedding, because at times it was not easy. When we got engaged I had been living the vegan lifestyle for about 10 months. I say lifestyle because I want to stress to new readers that vegan does not mean veggie diet, it means cruelty-free lifestyle. My fiance was vegetarian for only a few months and getting engaged meant planning a wedding, a celebration that incorporates food, lots of food. Let me tell you that I did not realize that to many people the food is the most important part of getting married, guests need to be fed what they love and they need to be satisfied. I learned that quickly when I had family members stress how it is wrong to serve vegan food to people who would never eat it. This experience made me stronger, it broke me at first, but when my wounds healed I gained a new strength and I felt great sticking to what I believe in despite going against the grain. 

My fiance made it clear that he wanted a vegan wedding even though he was eating vegetarian, he said that he was working his way to living a vegan lifestyle as well. His support gave me much needed strength and in time I realized that life is not about pleasing others, but rather being the best person you can be and holding true to your beliefs, no matter what. I had to send out an email to many family members letting them know that I was hurt about what I was hearing, their concerns about the food and being upset, judging and making accusations. I sent out an email to many family members trying to best explain the vegan lifestyle, I ended up getting many pleasant responses. My God Mother even threw me a vegan wedding shower (in previous blog posts), things started to turn around and my beliefs were being understood, but most importantly respected, just as I respect that others have their own beliefs. I wanted guests to be happily fed, but I could not have hundreds of animals killed in our name, for our special day, there would be nothing special about that.
We wanted our wedding at The Old Mill in Toronto and we were turned down at first, they said they could not throw us a vegan wedding. We persisted, spoke to another person and were so grateful that they changed their mind on one condition, the meal had to be a buffet. Could we have cared less about it being buffet? NO! We were so happy that they were going to help us host the first ever vegan wedding at The Old Mill! :D The food turned out to be phenomenal, people wanted recipes and some of the biggest meat eaters were raving about how great the food was. We had some people question us, asking if it really was vegan food because they couldn't believe how great it was. This made our day 1000x more perfect and precious to our hearts. Our goal was not to turn people into vegans, it was not to force people to eat one vegan meal, it was simply to stay true to our beliefs and in doing just that my husband and I were able to open many minds. We are grateful. Thank you to The Old Mill for taking on the challenge of a vegan wedding. Also, if you are interested in hosting a vegan wedding at the Old Mill, they now have a vegan buffet menu which you can see below.

Our wedding cake --- Sweets from the Earth
We chose a vanilla cake with vanilla icing, it was moist and delicious! We had guests asking us all night where we got our cake from :) 
Our cake toppers were hand made in Thailand. Our three girls, Miley, Clara and Kami (chameleon on Clara's head). Ryan, my husband, gave me these cake toppers in October for our two year anniversary :D

Our wedding favours 
--- PETA donations
--- Giddy Yoyo- raw vegan mint chocolates

Hair 
--- One Salon - This salon uses vegan products - no testing on animals 


Makeup --- I had a vegan company (Lush Brush) cancel on me at 2am, just a few hours before the bridal shower. I was devastated and upset because they were going to do our hair and makeup for the wedding too. My beautiful cousin saved the day and did our makeup with products that were not tested on animals, but not vegan companies. This I add only to point out that things cannot always be perfect, but you must always try your best.

VEGAN BUFFET AT THE OLD MILL

 SALADS
1. Spring Mix Compilation, Cherry Tomatoes, Shaved Cucumber, Assorted Dressings 
2. Orzo Pasta Salad, Artichokes, Red Peppers, Marinated Mushrooms, Shallot Vinaigrette
3. Wheat Berry, Golden Raisin, Pumpkin Seed & Sunflower Seed Salad, Cider Dressing
4. Fennel, Carrot, Pear Slaw, Apple Cider Vinaigrette
5. Tuscan White Bean Salad, Olives, Onions, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Parsley, Lemon Vinaigrette

DECORATIVE COLD PLATTERS
1. Roma Tomato & Cherry Tomato Platter with Fresh Basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2. Grilled Tofu & Pepper Skewers
HOT PLATTERS
1. Braised Vegan Tagine Tofu, Eggplant, Zucchini, Roasted Garlic, Tomato Sauce
2. Vegan Penne Pomodoro, Roasted Peppers, Garlic, Mushrooms, Leeks, Pomodoro Sauce
3. Sweet Potato Mash
4. Herb Roasted Mini Potatoes
5. Vegetable Medley
 
SWEETS
1. Chocolate Vegan Cake
2. Panna Cotta with Soy Milk
3. Poached Fruit in Red Wine
4. Seasonal Selection of Fruit
5. Wedding Cake - Vanilla - from Sweets From the Earth
Food --- The Old Mill - vegan buffet upon request 

VIDEO: My incredible husband and his surprise song to me at our wedding>>>COMING SOON<<<<<Check out VIDEO! :)
Thank you Ben & Star for the video :) 

Photography --- Laurin and Lovell Photography
* All photos on this blog post are from Laurin & Lovell our incredible photographers that are so very wonderful to work with :) Thank you Shari and Sandra for capturing our special day.


* We planned our own wedding from start to finish and we were thrilled with how it all turned out :)*

***FOREVERGREEN 1.4.14***
 
  Never feel like change cannot happen with small actions, each little action contributes to small changes which can create positive, beautiful and bountiful changes in this world. 
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
BE TRUE TO YOU!

 DEAR DAD

Roses can be red, 
and I brought one just for you.
You were there in my heart, 
you're still my hero, it's true.

Though I could not see, 
your winning smile,
I could feel your presence, 
walking with me down the aisle.

Your candle lit the room,  
for everyone to see, 
that even though you are gone, 
you will always be with me. 

I LOVE YOU DAD.

Love always, your KareBear. 




 My beautiful mom. I love you. 
My little sister, my maid of honour, I love you.
My big brother, thank you for walking me down the aisle. 
I love you. 
 My husband, thank you for being my best friend,
 my soul mate, my other half. I love you. 
Here are all our wedding videos :)

Video 1- Tough Mudder Proposal - A photographer was at the finish line because she was there taking photos of other teams but she caught our proposal and put it on Youtube for us to find! We had her as our photographer at our wedding only 8 months later :) THANK YOU SHARI!
TOUGH MUDDER PROPOSAL SLIDE SHOW

Video 2 - Tough Mudder Proposal - video random woman caught on her phone - clips of Ryan singing - she contacted the Tough Mudder and got us this clip :)
COMING SOON

Video 3- The song Ryan recorded himself for our first dance. He has a beautiful voice and he sang our song and changed the lyrics at the end into a proposal, which is the part he sang at the Tough Mudder. Our photographers put this together for us :)
PROPOSAL & WEDDING VIDEO

Video 4- Ryan singing his vows to me at our reception. HUGE surprise and it was by far the best moment of my life. Thank you Steve Orsini for this video.
COMING SOON

Video 5 - Ryan singing his vows to me at our reception. (video #2) Thank you Star Spider and Ben Badger for this video with unseen clips from the wedding :)
WHEN SHE SMILES- RYAN FLINT

Video 6 - Our official wedding video! Thank you Ben & Star!!! Your work is AMAZING!
FOREVERGREEN 1.4.14

UPDATE: May 7th 2016 - Our wedding has just been featured online at Mashable. 10 tips for planning a vegan wedding

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

FOREVERGREEN REHEARSAL DINNER

For our rehearsal dinner, my husband (ah still so new :P) and I wanted to try a new vegan restaurant in Toronto. We are so lucky to have such supportive family and feel blessed to have shared in our new experience with our closest family members. The night before our wedding we went to Vegetarian Haven for a great time and incredible food! 

Below are some pictures of the deliciousness we tried :) We will certainly go back again and must also mention that the service was wonderful. Our waitress taught us about the different ingredients in the dishes and loved answering all questions we had about the beautiful food. Our meat loving family had nothing but great things to say about the food and they were pleasantly surprised as to how great vegan food can be. :)

 Our very own set menu :)
 CALIFORNIA SUNSHINE JUICE
 BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
 MATCHA GREEN TEA SMOOTHIE
 HOT APPLE CIDER
 CHEF'S BISTRO SPECIAL*****
 SPICY MOROCCAN PAD THAI
 WARM KALE SALAD
COCONUT CURRY SUPERBOWL
CHOCOLATE CAKE
CARROT CAKE
 Last night as FiFi & FuFi <3

Please check out Vegetarian Haven and their fabulous fully vegan menu :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

MY SIX DAY JUICE CLEANSE

I have only attempted a juice cleanse once in my life and that was a few months ago at the cottage. My goal was 3 days and I made it to 2.5 days :P It was difficult, but I was also not educated in what I was doing and I certainly was not getting enough nutrients with the amount of juice I was having. 

I decided to do a 5 day juice cleanse before my wedding to help cleanse me physically, mentally, emotionally and in other great ways. I was just going to buy a bunch of organic juices from the company 'Raw Juice Guru" from Healthy Planet, but when I went they only had two juices left. I wanted to start the cleanse the following day so I needed to find another way. My fiance looked up the company online and told me some great news, they have juice feast packages that you can purchase and the juices will be delivered daily to your very own home. I was so excited to get started! There was also a promotion when we bought the package where you get an extra day of juice cleansing for free :) 

RAW JUICE GURU
This company sells it's products at Healthy Planet and a couple other health food stores. They deliver to various areas in and around Toronto. They have many other packages you can purchase and order such as corporate cleanses and raw food delivery.

Here I will share with you my 6 day juice feast journey.

PRE-CLEANSE
It is important to pre-cleanse your body before you being the juice feast so that you can really benefit from the juice feast. I eat a relatively clean diet as is, so I decided one day of pre-cleanse was enough especially since I wanted to finish the cleanse a day before the wedding.

What I ate:
- 4 watermelon (small)
- 4 mangoes
- 10 oranges 
*This was very difficult, especially at this time of year with all of the holiday leftovers and such. I was happy that I made it through because it allowed me to begin my cleanse on the day I wanted to begin it. 

DAY # 1


1- Spinach, parsley, cucumber, lemon, apple
2- Cucumber, celery, carrot, coconut water
3- Wheatgrass, pineapple
4- Beet, carrot, celery, lemon, ginger, apple
5- Orange, grapefruit, lemon
6- Aloe vera
7- Apple, beet, carrot, lemon, ginger
8- Spinach, parsley, cucumber,  lemon, apple‎

Day 1 was very difficult. I was told not to work out on day 1. I was tired, grumpy, craving everything I could think of and slept a lot. I did not even want to continue the cleanse and was angry I started it. I made it through the day with my juices and water. 
 
DAY # 2


1- Sunflower sprouts, pea sprouts, kale, parsley, cucumber, lemon, apple
2- Pear, cucumber, apple
3- Wheatgrass, pineapple
4- Apple, parsley, dandelion, collard, celery, lemon, ginger
5- Grapefruit, ginger
6- Wheatgrass, pineapple
7- Apple, parsley, dandelion, collard, celery, lemon, ginger
8- Sunflower sprouts, pea sprouts, kale, parsley, cucumber, lemon, apple

Day 2 I was told that it is important to workout to help detox my system. I had more energy in the morning and had an incredible sleep the night before. I did light exercise and started to feel as though my digestive system was emptying food that had been stuck there for a while. I was feeling cleaner and leaner already. The cravings were still there, but I was told to keep as busy as possible and being the holidays I really had to plan things to do to keep busy. Today it was difficult to drink all of the green juices, they were very strong in detoxifying flavours, but I loved what it is doing to my body, mind and soul so I sipped on. 

DAY # 3


1- Spinach, parsley, romaine, kale, lemon cucumber, apple
2- Carrot, orange, beet, ginger
3- Wheatgrass, pineappple
4- Collard, swiss chard, romaine, cucumber, ginger, carrot
5- Pineapple, kale, celery, ginger
6- Pineapple, wheatgrass
7- Sunflower sprouts, lemon, pear, celery, beet
8- Romaine, spinach, kale, parsley, cucumber, lemon, apple

Day 3 I woke up feeling incredible! I looked in the mirror and noticed my skin was clearly and starting to glow. I did a light workout and ran to the door to get my new juices :) It is like getting presents daily :P Cravings were very strong, especially since I went to a restaurant for lunch and visited candy stores in Niagara Falls all day :$ 

DAY # 4


1- Pea sprouts, parsley, cucumber, celery, lemon, apple
2- Celery, kale, lemon, beet, carrot
3- Wheatgrass, pineapple
4- Celery, cucumber, aloe vera, apple
5- Orange, Grapfruit, lemon
6- Pineapple, wheatgrass
7- Celery, parsley, lemon, beet, carrot, pineapple
8- Celery, lemon, pea sprouts, parsley, cucumber, apple

Day 4 I felt sluggish, tired and like I was going to get a cold. It was a big sign that I needed to rest more. I took the day off of exercise and drank lots of warm lemon-ginger water because I was freezing all day and the day before. Drinking cold juice all day everyday in the winter can be torturous so it is important to drink loads of warm herbal teas as well. Lesson learned.

DAY # 5


1- Swiss chard, parsley, pea sprouts, celery, cucumber, apple, lemon
2- Cranberry, beets, apple, celery, cucumber, beet, ginger
3- Lemon, ginger
‎‎
4- Spinach, cucumber, apple, lemon
5- Watermelon, lemon
6- Lemon, ginger
‎‎
7- Cranberry, beet, apple, cucumber, celery, lemon, ginger
8- Swiss chard, parsley, pea sprouts, apple, lemon, cucumber, celery, ginger

Day 5 I woke up feeling much better. I felt like the side effects of a cold coming on were reversed with a good nights sleep. I am starting to think I will do a juice cleanse a few times a year. It really does make me feel clean and lean and I am enjoying the benefits. I think the most important part of a cleanse is the before and after part. It is important not to 'let yourself go' before the cleanse as well as after the cleanse. Cleanses are meant to detox the body, but that does not mean the rest of our days should be spent putting as many toxins into our body as we can.

 On of my biggest fears during this cleanse is that I would go into a crazy food binge afterwards, binging on everything I couldn't eat during my cleanse. That fear disappeared this morning. Honestly, it hung over my like a dark cloud the past few days, but today I really feel like I am developing a new respect for my body and I do not want to destroy the benefits I am gaining during this cleanse. :)

DAY #6 


1- Swiss chard, dandelion, cucumber, lemon, romaine, kale, parsley, pea sprouts, ginger, pear
2- Lemon, filtered water, cayenne pepper, raw coc‎onut nectar
3- Wheatgrass, orange
4- Carrot, spinach, parsley, cucumber
5- Orange, grapefruit, lemon
6- Wheatgrass, orange
7- Carrot, spinach, parsley, cucumber
8- Swiss chard, dandelion, cucumber, romaine, kale, lemon, pea sprouts, parsley, ginger, pear
Day 6, I had the worst sleep of my life last night. I could not sleep and I felt like I was starving. I was full of anxiety and excitement with my fast approaching wedding (2days) and I was wide awake in bed for hours, it was torture. As for the rest of the day, aced it :)

I am beyond proud of myself for doing this cleanse and trust me when I say it, if I could do it, ANYONE could do it. Just make sure you have a goal that you can remind yourself of when you are craving food or feel like giving up. This is not a diet, it is not a weight loss plan, it is a cleanse- a detox for the body, mind and soul and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. It is recommended to do a juice cleanse a few times a year so this was just the beginning for me :)
For more information: RAW JUICE GURU


****NOTE**** It has been a month since my wedding. I did the juice cleanse for mental clarity before the wedding. I absolutely do not recommend anyone doing a juice cleanse. I do not believe it is healthy for various reasons. It is restricting calories and nutrients and I now see that it was actually very dangerous to do. It was an experience I do not regret, but I will not do it again. I urge you to do great research before embarking on any cleanses or diets, but I 100% believe that diets and cleanses are unnecessary and unhealthy.