Apr 22, 2011

Carrot Juice with Chocolate

I could say I went slightly carrot-mad last week, but I felt like my body was craving the orange beauties so I kinda went along with it. I was having between 500ml and 1L of fresh carrot juice everyday as an experiement to see how my skin conditions would fare having read so much on carrot juice recently (check out a blog post I did for the Raw Divas here). My skin didn't turn orange but my acne looks better :)

And with left over pulp from juicing so much I also made a big batch my my favourite carrot soup, and my favourite carrot falafels of Gena's you can find here, but never got 'round to making these delicious individual carrot cakes here. Another week perhaps coz you can freeze vegie pulp until you've got enough for what you want - or until you've got time to get in the kitch again!

If I can tune in and listen to what my body wants I'll run with it - so when it was screaming CARROT JUICE, that's what I did. And I feel amazing from drinking it! The only problem I have is when my body feels like chocolate - alot of chocolate - then I'm not so sure if my body is telling me the truth or playing little white lies :)

So with Easter just around the corner I've spent the last 2 days mucking around in the kitchen trying to make some choccies. I had a couple of recipes to try and a whole load of different ingredients to experiment with I was like a little kid in a lolly shop full of exciement!

So what was the outcome? Well let's start with the question "What did I learn?"
To trust in my own abilities more that's what. To not put all your eggs in one basket (no pun intended), and to make sure whatever happens when you're in the kitchen, remember to LAUGH!

Why? Because even when I followed each recipe they both turned out horrible! One tasted disgusting. One wouldn't mix properly...

Then I had problems where my chocolate wouldn't come out of the moulds (more than once which really did my head in). I mixed the ingredients too much in the second lot which made my once glossy silky mixture turn kinda chewy and thick ...

and ontop of that going wrong I was thinking about the deadlines I had for other things going on in my life, college work, packing that I still had to do to go away, and the house was a mess... ARGH! I felt like I was wasting time TRYING to be the Easter Bunny and make yummy choccies but it wasn't working!

It's been a stressful last couple of days (with a head cold trying to rear its ugly head at the same time but I'm not letting it) but I have now made my choccies!

And you know what? It was the laughter that made the biggest difference! That and deciding to poo-poo the recipes I had and come up with my own. TRUSTING in my own abilities and you know what? The best tasting ones are the ones I came up with myself! They were the smoothest, silkiest, easiest to work with look amazing!

Easiest Tastiest Choccie Recipe Ever!

1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup cacao powder
25ml maple syrup
1/8 cup cacao butter, melted (you can omit this)

Melt the coconut oil and cacao butter down then slowly whisk in the cacao powder and maple syrup (or any other sweetener you like - by the time I got to this recipe after mucking up so many others, maple syrup was pretty much all I had left but it does give a beauiful depth to the flavour).

Pour your choccie into moulds or into a container to cut up into pieces or squares later on.

You can add anything you like to these too. Be creative! Nuts, seeds, goji berries, bee pollen, buckwheat crunchies... I also made a bunch with a few drops of peppermint oil for a minty surprise!
The hardest part of waiting for them to set!

(Another super easy recipe that also worked amazingly well and tasted sensational - if you can get your hands on CACAO LIQUER, melt that down and add sweetener to taste. That's it. And it sets at room temperature. The taste is incredible! I ran outta that stuff real quick!)

This recipe is so damn easy coz alot of people would have coconut oil in the panrty, but not alot of people have cacao butter lying around. And to be honest with you - as I am yet to perfect a chocolate recipe using predominantly cacao butter, coz I just don't like the taste of it! At all. So I need to find a ratio where I do. Where as coconut oil - now you're talking! The only down side is that they can't be kept at room temperature or they'll likely melt. Cacao butter wouldn't. But the health benefits of coconut oil versus those of cacao butter - ENDLESS (and you can read a little here) !!

So when my body craves choccies that I have made from my own recipes with lots of coconut oil, there's good reason and I will listen intently :)

But from tomorrow I'll be goingn away on retreat for 6 days and consuming nothing but GREEN SMOOTHIES which I am SO EXCITED about!! So I wont be doing any blogs for at least a week if not a few days more, but will be sure to SPILL ALL when I get back! Have an awesome long weekend!

And a Happy Happy Easter :)

Apr 17, 2011

My Lazy Sunday (recipe)

The weather is miserable in Sydney this morning I had loads of enthuastic energy (and a fresh supply of gooey fudgy balls, and now I feel alot more mellow yet still very positively upbeat with a vitality of what I am bringing into my life.

This morning I was up early to head over my beautiful friend Jess's place to hang out for half the day - in the kitchen! We loosely discussed what we wanted to try and create yesterday while at work together, and so we rolled our sleeves up and creativley got to playing...

After we made a big carrot, lemon and ginger juice first... and then a toxic-green-kale-apple-lemon juice (not something ud serve to a non-raw-foodie but we thought it was DE-LI-CIOUS!!).

So in concoting a few ideas in our heads and having our taste buds go WILD before we even had the first cup of dates in the blender... here's what we came up with -

Chewy, fudgy, sweet, and delicious Caramel Hazelnut Fudge Balls.

These were soo good. But before we made them we came up with these guys -

Some sort of  GREEN SUPERFOOD BARS! Jess and I both LOVE the green bars we can get at work and other health food stores so we though we'd try making one of our own.

2 cups dried bananas, chopped
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1 tsp spirulina
1 tsp barley grass
1/4 tsp chlorella
2 heaped tablespoons hemp protein powder
1/2 cup seeds (we used a mix of pepitas and sesame seeds)
1 tbsp carob powder
1 tbsp dark agave syrup
1 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 1/4 cup water (to make a gel)
pinch of salt

Throw it all in a food processor and whiz bang thank you mame!

Jess and I spread our mix into a small tin lined with baking paper, let it firm in the fridge, then cut it into slices and wrapped them so we have some yummy scrummy protein rich - super food - nutrient dense - high net gain raw food bars to throw in our bags and take with us wherever we go!

Or roll the mixture into balls and they are perfect with a cup of tea :)

Which is exactly what we did. We sat down and pondered our week ahead, wrote out the things we had on, what we needed to do, and made sure we had time to do the things we know we need in our daily lives - meditation, healing time, sessions with kinesiologists, journalling time, rest, exercise... Got clearer on where we both want to be heading, what we want to be doing, and how we want to be living. So it's no wonder I'm having such a great lazy Sunday!

Now I'm back at home listening to David Wolfe's Longevity Conference whilst I roll in and out of typing as I keep getting stuck into listening to it with such intent. I'm loving my lazy Sunday in my trakkies! Read bits n pieces of the paper, made a huge kale salad, blissed out of a couple caramel hazelnut fudge balls of course, and now chatting to you guys! Hope you're all having just a great a day!

Apr 11, 2011

Summer might 'technically' be gone...

So it's Monday morning, the sun is shining, the air is cool and crisp, and it seems to be a favourite time of year for alot of people I know. It is beautiful, but I'll be frank here, I much prefer Summer. Give me hot heat anyday! So when I got up and felt the hunger pangs for brekkie... this is what I made...

A Summer Smoothie (in a bowl of course)

1 small papaya
1 nashi pear
1 frozen banana
1/2 frozen mango cheek
2 slices pineapple
1/4 cup coconut water

Mmmm... brings back Summer memories doesn't it? Team it up with the morning sun on your skin eating it on the back deck, with papaya rubbed on your face for a morning exfoliation whilst slurping this deliciousness and you've got yourself a recipe for the best day ever!

This past week has FLOWN by I've only realised it's been almost a whole week since my last post! I had an awesome weekend tho - if you do care to know I will happily indulge you :)
I spent most of Saturday in the kitchen with my tunes on, dancing around making a mess, sun shining through the window and by the time I was done I had:

- carrot flat bread
- sweet potato crisps (althouth they're still in the dehydrator coz they were obviously too moist - Maya told me a trick I'm gonna try next time)
- 3 types of ice cream; Choc Chip Chai, Pineapple and Coconut (which had me singing "do you like pina coladas" all afternoon), and a Caramel Maple Maca...
- 2 type of a choc-orange slice; one "glued" together with chia gel which gives it a subtle lightness if you can even imagine that, and the other has tahini so it has a richer thicker flavour

These babies keep forever in the freezer, so when unexpected guests drop by I've always got something to offer them. Now they've got these and last week's brownies to choose from! People will be lining up at my door ;)

I also did some dehydrated walnuts and almonds, made some more seaweed rolls and a batch of Gena's amazing carrot falafels that i LOVE and have made time and time again

For a Monday lunch at home I don't think I'm doing too badly do you? I made a quick dressing simliar to Gena's but a bit different and teamed these babies with bok choy, tomatoes, mushies, sprouts and a biq squeeze of limone!

I've also sprouted buckwheat that I'll start dehydrating tomorrow coz I wanna make some granola full of seeds and fruit that I can share with some friends of mine :)

I did the Spit to Manly walk with Brock Saturday afternoon which was beautiful, but as the sun faded it became dark very quickly so the walk back through the bush turned into a run - bare foot trail running - and I managed to stub my big toe which kinda hurt but I figured it was nothing too bad, until yesterday at work it began turning purple and blue and primrose too! Not sure what I've done, I can walk but don't think I'll be on my rebounder or out running again too soon :(

Yesterday I was at work til mid-afternoon and met a guy that popped in who inspired me :)
He came in bubbly and energetic wanting to talk to me having heard I was the "raw girl" at the shop (he had already read my beautfiul little blog!) as he explained he is just starting the whole "raw vegan" thing. YAY!
I love it when people come to me telling me about what they're doing in their diet and lifestyle, changes they are making and the benefits they feel from even the smallest of changes. I love it love it love it!! I get goosebumps and shivers, my energy levels soar with enthusiasm and excitement and I walk away (usually after quite some time) on cloud 9. It's like my drug fix!
We were chatting for a while about differnt things and he is already doing fantastic, knows alot, has read alot, was asking me for some advice and suggestions which I gave him, and I really look forward to hearing more about his journey. Shout out to you if you're reading hun :)

An intersting trip home in the pouring rain carrying bags of fruit and veg with a purple busted toe unable to keep my thongs on, had my train ticket fall out of my pocket on the way... but had Maya offer to pick me up, then Brock surprised me and showed up instead, and the three of us sat around drinking tea and eating these brownies all afternoon at my place over amesome chit chats.

(I feel like writing "and these are the days of our lives") Coz I suppose they are. Each day is only as good as you make it to be. And I've been very aware of that recently. I've been throwing a mixed bag in each day as I've always been very structured and planned about everything. Now I'm not saying that's a bad thing coz I don't believe it is at all. But having always been like that, I've needed to see if I can be any other way... so I've been a bit looser... gotten on a different train to see a friend after college a few times instead of going straight home to study... went for a bike ride instead of a run... got a new hair cut last week...
I know they're all little things but in the end it's all about the little things I think. You never remember every detail about the trip to Italy you went on 5 years ago... but my god you do remember the best ever pizza you ate at the little pizzeria in Napoli... mmm... the little things

These are some of the little things that make me jump up and down!

- Talking to people on similar paths who are making positive changes in their lives and instantly reaping the benefits; physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally
- Hearing about people's health and lifestyle goals, progress, trials and tribulations, good, bad or indifferent; I LOVE this!
- Making love mess in the kitchen with my fav tunes blasting while shuffling about :)
- Spending time with Mother Nature (even if she does present me with lessons about my toes)
- Sun Sun and more Sun
- Working at the health food shop; chatting to customers, making changes, learning new things, whilst letting my inner perfectionist/organiser go WILD doing orders, writing signs, stocking shelves, and labelling things to a T ;)
- Educating myself and learning more and more and more about nutrition and lifestyle and health and fun and relationships and LOVE
- Having inspiring connecting motivating pure sharing conversations with people
- Jumping into bed after a long day and snuggling with my teddy
- Meditating on the cliff top at North Curl Curl beach
- Getting in the surf... it's pure food for my soul that one
- Getting big hugs from people I love, and from people I dont know :)
- Writing my blog :)

Have a beautifully sunny Monday wherever you may be :)

Apr 5, 2011

Blonde Brownies in a Blonde Moment

WARNING!! Damn good brownies ahead...

My adorable friend Jess made a quick recipe she found on the back of a coconut flour packet last week and OMG!

So on Sunday morning I got up early to make the same ones for my good friends Theresa and James visiting from America and Canberra respectively. We were meeting up for a late lunch under the Harbour Bridge and what goes better with a bunch of yummy salads than a good piece of chocolate brownie!

So I threw (what I thought was) all the ingredients in the food processor I was waiting to see the cacao mix in to chocolate-it-all-up… and then realized I left out that vital ingredient!

AHA MOMENT! I could do something very cool right here...

So I spilt the mixture in two, and added half the cacao to half the mixture so I could make a  Blondie-Brownie!

The verdict – OMG!

100g almond flour/meal
50g coconut flour
pinch sea salt
50g cacao butter
100g cacao powder
150g sultanas or raisins
30g desicated/shredded coconut
150g coconut oil
2 Tbsp agave/raw honey/maple syrup

Blend everything together in a food processor until it's all well mixed. Then press it into a tray, slice it into small squares, and refrigerate until set.

Indulge. Bliss out. Smile.  And share with loved ones :)

Apr 1, 2011

Feeling Raw Emotions

Ok finally I've got some time to myself to sit down, tea pot next to me, window wide open, my favourite vanilla caramel candle is lit and filling my sun room with a delicious smell that makes me close my eyes and just breathe...

I've had so many things on the past month (at least) that I've barely had proper time to really sit and put what I've wanted to into this little blog of mine. So to have all afternoon to do so today is my little piece of HEAVEN. And I couldn't be happier (bopping along to some John Butler always helps too).

I wanted to write about something that was mentioned to me last Saturday night. I was out for Earth Hour at a house party full of beautiful, loving, generous people I had never met before. There was only person I knew of that would be there - and it was she that mentioned my blog and how much she loved it. It was a beautiful comment she made that touched me. But what really got my thoughts in motion was when she said what she loved most was how I explained and wrote about the emotional roller coaster that you're thrown onto when you decide to start eating a raw food diet. She hadn't really read about this anywhere else and that's what she wanted and needed most.

But I couldn't remember the last time I wrote about that! Even though that's what I love to write about!

I started this blog when I started my raw journey. And I wrote alot more about it all back then, and recently it's been totally different. Sure it's great to throw in a recipe here and there (and who doesn't love to see a mouth watering piccie of chocolate cake that's totally free of all crap so you can digest it easily and your body just screams "yes please") but there is already plenty of that online (don't fear - I will still be doing loads with food). But as much as I LOVE my kitchen fun, to be honest, I'm so infrequently creative in there these days. All I'm doing is making salads. Do I want to be writing about salads every week (well... I'm sure I could coz I have a strange love affair with my salads but it could make for some boring reading, and end up being boring writing for me also)?

So where did I stray? Possibly trying to "fit in" with all the other blogs out there? Sure everyone wants to "fit in" and I know I've sure as hell had my fair share of those feelings... but with where I am right now, I don't really give a rats ass about that anymore. I'm now more than ever wanting to truly, totally, lovingly, beautifully BE ME! 100%. I'm not afraid of not fitting in because I've come to realise that people do infact love me as the real me. Wow. That's even huge for me to write.

I'm crazy! Emotional. Woman. Overly excited at times. A tendency for verbal diarrhoea (especially first thing in the morning). A bit of a dag (quite alot at times). Always that last one to get a joke... they're all me. Big parts of me, and ones I always tried to hide.

But I've come to a place like I said, where I no longer feel a need to hide parts of me. The past few months have been both the worst and the best of my life, and I've learnt more about myself in this time than ever before. It's been like "Soul Boot Camp" hardcore. Not for the faint hearted. You get out what you put in though. And I've been through one hell of an emotional roller coaster.

What does it all have to do with raw foods though? Um, can I say everything? Or at the very least, a hell of alot more than most people would realise.

I still get asked "why do you only eat raw foods?" which takes me back to my reasons. It's like a reminder for myself. A reminder that I choose to eat only raw foods first and foremost for the emotional and spiritual aspects. Only later did I find out and read about all the physical and nutritional benefits.

I got this in my inbox today actually - its from Jinjee who also writes her own blog you can check out here -

"Some people think it is dogmatic to adhere to a 100% raw vegan diet. For a healthy person who has a great relationship with food and their body, a 70% - 80% raw vegan diet may be just fine. This is also called a high raw diet. However, for a person like me with food addictions, and for compulsive over-eaters, and for people with other eating disorders, the 100% raw vegan diet can be a life-saver. In some cases, having a program such as the 100% raw diet prevents people like us from destroying ourselves with food. Also in the case of people with serious physical conditions, especially digestive and food related conditions, the 100% raw vegan diet can be not just appropriate but essential for life."

For me, I was ready and willing. I wanted to reach higher vibrations spiritually. I wanted to literally throw myself in the deep end. I had read about how a raw diet can bring up buried emotions of fear, sorrow, jealousy, inferiority and more, all to be dealt with. These all require healing and to do so requires awareness, direct attention and some truthful expression. But why on earth would you want to throw yourself in the deep end of all that? It all sounds ridiculously painful, hard, turbulent, upsetting, difficult... (I could go on)... and at times it is. But with great pain comes great reward (if you want to look at it as pain). A raw diet is hard. I know. I live it! But for me the rewards far FAR surpass any pain. It's the path I have chosen. And I love it.

I think that the number one reason someone would have trouble in sticking to a raw diet would hands down be the simple fact that they either cannot or will not deal with their emotional and psychological shit that is literally shoved in their face to look at. With good reason - it's hard to look at it! It's painful. It hurts. I know. Really I know. But I want more. I long for more. I know there's more I'm just yet to find it. And when people ask me why I'm raw that single question reminds me; and it almost instantly makes anything troubling seem not so bad. Because I'm reminded that I've chosen the harder path. It was my choice! I remember why I chose it. I can bail whenever I want too...

But here's the catch -

once you begin this path, it's very very hard to turn back. You know you can't just throw a blanket over your eyes and try to forget things. You've seen more. Felt more. Experienced more. Know what it's like. And regardless of how hard things can get at times, when things are good, they are so far beyond the good you once knew that nothing compares. And that is exactly where I am right now.

It's not the first time I've been here, but having had a roller coaster 2011 so far, to be here again... I feel AMAZING! Unbelievable! Alive! I feel the subtleties again - the shivers down my spine. I see the beauty all around me. The twinkle of sunlight on the cobweb outside my window. I sense the love all around me; emanating both to and from me in what I can only describe as connection, and it is between so many it's pure magic. The rush to DO is disappering and the pull to BE is stronger. I sit. I listen. I ponder. And wish. My body vibrates with increased spiritual energy. I know I'm higher. I've pushed myself to consider a more spiritual element to life, dropping the social mainstream, travelling my own path. And physically - I've always had more energy eating raw.

My transition from a meat eater, to a vego eating dairy and fish, to no dairy, then later no fish, to a vegan, and now a raw vegan has taken me up and down over the past 13years. But I can stand tall and say without a doubt that I have never felt any better in my life than the way I feel right now.

Eating a raw vegan diet.