Creamsicle/Dreamsicle

I have a bunch of happy childhood memories that involve me running around on hot, sunny, Ontario summer days with a bright orange creamsicle melting in my hand. And the other day as I was perusing one of my fave food blogs, I stumbled on a post about the blogger’s juice cleanse last winter. One recipe in particular made me drool. It was a juice called the dreamsicle.

Unfortunately I’m not really a juicer. I don’t own one, it seems really expensive to buy a bunch of fruit and veggies, get a tiny bit of juice and have a ton of pulp left behind. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love buying the occasional raw juice but would never invest in a juicer and try to make them at home regularly. But, this dreamsicle/creamsicle was calling my name….

So, I decided to transform the juice recipe into a smoothie version. Should work right? It did. I went a little crazy with the greens, so mine doesn’t have the brilliant orange hue that the juice version has but, damn, it tastes good and reminds me of those sunny, summer creamsicle days.

Creamsicle Smoothie

  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup pineapple, cubed
  • one orange, cubed
  • 1/2  sweet potato, shredded
  • 4 carrots, shredded
  • handful dark greens
  • scoop of Greek yogurt

Blend until smooth.

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I Like it Raw

 

So, I’ve been thinking quite a bit again about how much our society dreads the aging process and I’m doing everything I can to avoid joining that club.

We stick needles full of purified botulism in our faces to get rid of our life lines/wrinkles. I know it’s purified but, hello, it’s still botulism. We get laser treatment, face lifts, mini lifts, tummy tucks, lipo and fillers, all to try to turn back the proverbial clock. But why? Why are we so afraid to show, accept and even celebrate our age?

Looking back at my life in my 20’s & 30’s, um, it really wasn’t that great. I struggled with depression and anxiety and had a shaky sense of self at best. I wouldn’t go back there for the world and don’t particularly want to look that age again either. What I do want, however, is to look like the best 52 year old I possibly can.

Maybe a big part of our collective fear of aging is the thought that we’re going to fall apart as we get older. Less energy, more weight gain, less muscle tone, dull complexion etc. So what would happen if we could take those fears out of the aging equation? What if we knew we could stay fit and healthy and glowing as we got a little older? Sound good? Yes. How to achieve that? An easy-peasy 80% raw food eating plan.

I can’t say enough good things about eating this way. Whenever I drift away from it I sleep less soundly, my skin breaks out in annoying red bumps, my little tummy roll expands, and my energy drains away. And then, when I hop back on the raw food wagon, I feel and look better almost immediately. There are so many health and beauty benefits of raw food. Here are a few, taken from Mind, Body, Green:

1. Going raw got me back in the kitchen.

Eating out or ordering in every night was the first habit I had to break. Raw food restaurants in Jakarta (where I now live) are nonexistent, and the closest menu item I could find that was suitable to eat at most places was a very unsatisfying garden salad (which just doesn’t cut it for an evening meal!).

So I started going grocery shopping again, began making green smoothies for breakfast, packing my own salad for lunch at my office, and then experimenting in the kitchen at night.

This habit alone was one of the best things I could have gained from my year on raw. Eating home cooked meals is not only better energetically, but it means consuming better ingredients. It saves heaps of money, too.

2. The raw food diet helped me discover food intolerances.

Following a raw food diet means the common allergens in food are completely avoided: eggs, soy, wheat (gluten), sugar and dairy. These get cut out completely. By not including those items in my diet anymore, I started to feel amazing.

3. Eating raw made me more intuitive.

I started to eat such a clean diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, cutting out all the processed crap and the above-mentioned allergens, that something changed inside me spiritually. My clean body seemed to open the passage for my intuition to soar.

It’s like my mind was no longer hazy from drinking too much booze the night before, or my brain fogged up from eating gluten, that I could see things with clarity. I could tap into my intuitive side, and I started to notice the beauty in the world around me. I became more focused and started to see the world differently, noticing the small and beautiful things around me.

4. Going raw changed my taste buds.

I stopped craving coffee every morning, and no longer needed alcohol to end my night. Sugar cravings got replaced by more savory ones, and if I did crave sugar I’d feed myself a super indulgent yet still healthy raw dessert, which did not have the same negative effect as eating a whole roll of Mentos or Skittles, my former vices. I now miss it when I don’t have a green smoothie for a few days if I’m traveling, and junk foods don’t even factor into any of my decisions around food anymore.

5. Following a raw lifestyle meant cleaning my act up.

The raw food lifestyle changed all my former party girl ways. The thought of sitting in a smoky bar while drinking all night seemed absurd when everything else in my life was now so clean. I much preferred to stay at home experimenting in the kitchen on a new recipe, learning about raw foods and healthy living, and practicing yoga and meditation than going out partying on a Friday or Saturday night. I had found a new passion, and that really fueled me more than any of more former bad habits had.

6. Eating raw foods taught me about diet and nutrition.

As I started to change my diet and lifestyle, I began fielding questions from curious friends and colleagues. So I started writing a blog to share recipes and other aspects of my experience.

This led me to begin learning even more about food, nutrition and health. My thirst for this new knowledge was almost insatiable. Reading novels got replaced by reading nonfiction books on nutrition and diet, and I became obsessed with healthy, raw and vegan cookbooks as I devoured all the information I could get my hands on.

7. Going raw led me on a new career path.

I then discovered a new career I could have: health coaching. I never knew that this job even existed, but as soon as I found out about it, I just knew that I had to become one.

So I did my diploma, trained as a raw food chef and started teaching classes in my home. Then I started seeing clients and decided to take my career in a whole new direction.

These days I eat a mostly raw diet, but it’s actually a plant-based diet mixed in with raw and cooked food. But if it hadn’t been for raw foods I don’t think my overall well-being would be the way it is now, and I certainly wouldn’t be writing this article. It really is amazing how things can change by making one decision. All it takes is the first step, and it can lead you to just about anywhere! – Simone Samuels

So, if you’re curious about the benefits raw, trying “raw until dinner” is a good way to check it out without throwing your system into complete shock. Most raw eating plans are vegan but mine is more of a raw paleo plan, including fish and a bit of organic meat and dairy. It’s important to follow whatever plan is best for you and to listen to your intuition regarding what nutrients your body needs.

Breakfast can be a green smoothie, a bowl of fruit and/or raw nut butter for breakfast, a huge salad, raw sashimi, a raw veggie salad and/or a chilled soup (gazpacho, cucumber) for lunch. Warning: you will eat a lot of fruit and veggies on this plan, so definitely stock up. Then, eat whatever you like at dinner.  That’s really all it takes to see awesome health benefits. And I pretty much guarantee as time goes by you will see your dinners naturally and effortlessly get cleaner and healthier as your tastebuds change.

Throw a little fun exercise into the mix and, voila, you have the best, most kick-ass anti-aging plan ever! No botox or lipo necessary.

Coco Bliss Balls

Okay, Since I’m in love with raw food again, I thought I’d re-post one of my most popular raw-licious recipes. If you try these sweet bliss balls be prepared to become a little obsessed with them.

Oh, and they’re so good for you too with anti-aging cacao powder, hormone-balancing maca and yummy cinnamon to balance your blood sugar. Check them out!

COCO-BLISS BALLS

Ingredients:

1.5 tsp raw maca powder (optional)

1 tbsp organic ground cinnamon

1 tbsp raw organic 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.

And, in case you’re curious about the health benefits of this recipes, below I have 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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What Time is it?

cocktailIt’s Detox time again!

I’m happy with myself for limiting my sugary treats over the Holidays but, oops, I went a little over the top celebrating wine o’clock almost every day. Prosecco, beautiful BC whites, bourbon on the rocks and, of course, a delicious craft cocktail or two…

I discovered one of my fave holiday cocktails having Christmas dinner at Vancouver’s beautiful new restaurant, Boulevard. This drink is visually stunning. A gorgeous cherry red, garnished with a sprig of fresh thyme and named The Professor Suzuki, after one of my Canadian heroes. It’s an earthy, organic BC version of a Cosmopolitan. How could I resist?

Check out the recipe here: The Professor Suzuki

But now, the party is over. I’m back at work, back at school and looking to get my healthy glow back too.

My game plan for accomplishing this goal:

1) Lots of big, fresh, organic salads for dinner.

2) Taking fish oil every day. Good for our brain, our skin and our overall well being.

3) Getting my workout vibe back with a few yoga classes, and after work runs.

and, last but not least:

4) Drinking a big, delicious, detoxifying smoothie every morning.

The recipe I’m sharing with you is my current fave. It’s fresh and sweet and tastes like summer. A nice (and healthy) way to start a cold, rainy January day. I hope you enjoy and santé!

Berry Bliss Smoothieberry smoothie 022

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup pure pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds or chia
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup spinach or other dark greens
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Blend, pour, serve.

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