Last week was a crazy one. You know the kind of week that leaves you with bags under your eyes and knots in your shoulders.
So I decided to treat my tired self to a rejuvenating, relaxing and nature-filled weekend. I dedicated myself to pampering, relaxing and re-balancing for two whole days.
This was on the agenda:
- A soothing Epsom salt bath
- Daily walks in a beautiful forest called Pacific Spirit near my home to do a little forest bathing and tree hugging.
- Leaving my smartphone in a drawer for most of the day
- Chilling out on the couch reading a really good book
- Playing with my dog
- Last, but not least, nourishing myself with yummy food like this:
- 1/2 fresh watermelon, cubed
- two sprigs fresh mint
Put ingredients in blender, blend until mint is pulverized. Serves two.
Banana Mango Smoothie Bowl
- 4 bananas
- 4 mangos
- splash unsweetened coconut milk
- shredded coconut
Blend all ingredients together. Top with shredded coconut. Serves two.
The other item on the table is a nut and seed vegan pate served with Mary’s organic, gluten free crackers.
A few weeks ago I found myself sitting in a raw food eatery in Calgary with my ex-boyfriend, his daughter and his son-in-law, celebrating father’s day. Don’t ask how this happened. It’s a long story.
The cool thing about this luncheon, though, was that the daughter and son-in-law had been sugar-free for a few months and they were singing the praises of this lifestyle like the truly converted.
They had more energy and more even energy throughout the day, balanced moods, their skin looked better and had both, effortlessly, lost weight, they said. And their eyes lit up when they talked about their new eating plan and how much it had improved their lives.
As they talked, I remembered feeling that way too when I gave up sugar. The only thing is that it’s hard and, invariably, I slink down the slippery slope that leads to sugar mountain.
But, what the heck, I’m feeling ready to take on the sugar demon one more time.
I’ll chronicle my experience (and recipes) here and start the journey with one of my sugar-free life savers. This pudding is rich, creamy and bursting with a deep, dark chocolate flavour. Here it is:
The Chocolate Avocado Raspberry Pudding
- four bananas
- 2 avocados
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- splash unsweetened coconut or almond milk
- 2 T raw cacao
Blend, garnish with fresh raspberries & unsweetened coconut and serve.
I’m loving the raw food recipes I’ve been sampling as I continue with my nutrition course.
You can’t be perfect though, and sometimes I just want to leave the uber-healthy green smoothies behind and indulge in a messy, gooey, rich and delicious dessert. But a dessert that won’t make me feel unhealthy and bloated and give me a sugar rush. Well, The raw food recipes I’ve been experimenting with have got that covered too.
Let me introduce you to Nice Cream.
- 3 frozen bananas cubed
- Splash of maple syrup
- One T coconut cream
- Two T raw cacao for chocolate (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc. for other flavours)
Blend all ingredients together and indulge in this rich, delicious ice cream-like dessert that is actually good for you!
Our unusually snowy Vancouver winter continues, giving me beautiful photo ops like this..
and also making me crave some good, wholesome, stick-to-your-ribs breakfasts to start the day before putting on my winter boots and trudging through the snow.
Luckily I’ve been Pinteresting and found out about soaked oats. Soaked oats are amazing! Tasty, healthy and wholesome. Top with fruit and nuts and you’ve got a hearty breakfast that will power you through the toughest Canadian winter morning.
Banana Pecan Soaked Oats
- 2 cups steel cut oats
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 T full fat yogurt
- 2 T shredded coconut flakes
Top with Sliced banana, pecans and drizzle with pure Canadian maple syrup.
Are you looking for something sweet, dark and delicious to serve your Valentine in a few days?
How about a delicious chia pudding to share?
This easy parfait consists of the following two recipes layered with frozen blueberries and a little dusting of coconut flakes to top things off. It’s a yummy, healthy and energizing dish. Perfect for Valentines.
Blueberry Chia Pudding
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1 bananas
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- ½ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
Chocolate Chia Pudding
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 bananas
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- ½ cup organic nut butter
- 3 T raw cacao
Here’s to a happy, healthy Valentine’s Day xo
This week, in my Raw Food Educator course, I’ve been learning how to transition healthfully and gently to a raw food diet. Im currently doing ‘Raw til 4’ which means you get to feast on Smoothies, juices, fruit, chia pudding, veggies and raw nuts until dinner, when you eat a ‘normal’ meal.
This is working out incredibly well and doesn’t shock the system the way going fully raw all at once might…As in ‘too much of a good thing’. In fact this might be the perfect ‘raw ratio’ for me. I completely believe in the health giving qualities of raw foods but I also believe in moderation..and the soul satifying qualities of some cooked food.
Anyway, back to the recipe. Here’s a recipe for one of my breakfast bowls. It’s easy, delicious and pretty lovely to look at too.
Berry Mandarin Smoothie Bowl
- 3 bananas
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
Blend ingredients together and top with your favourite fresh fruit. Bon appetite.
Did you know that fruit is the biggest player in a healthy, kick ass, anti-aging diet? And if you want to be your healthiest, happiest self you should be eating a few serving of this sweet, juicy goodness every single day.
Here are 5 reasons why it’s so amazing:
- Naturally low in fat Eating fruit can help keep you slender and keep your heart healthy too.
- Contain lots of water. Certain fruits like watermelon contain over 90% water. Even solid looking vegetables like carrots are made up of approximately 80% water. There isn’t a more hydrating food in the world and being hydrated means better body function and younger looking skin.
- Low in calories. Did you know that a 100g chocolate bar contains approximately 9 (yes – 9!) times more calories than a medium sized 100g apple. You could never become overweight from eating fruit.
- Contains soluble fibre. This fibre forms a jelly-like substance in your stomach and helps to make you feel full. It also lets food stay longer in the stomach, which has the effect of keeping your blood glucose nice and stable over time. When blood glucose fluctuates, it causes the ‘I need something to eat NOW’ state, which causes the not-so-good food choices we can make. Fibre also helps maintain a healthy gut and prevents constipation and other digestive problems.
- Vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Populations who have diets rich in fruits and vegetables have lower levels of certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Our immune system benefits as well from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
There you have it; five excellent reasons to fill up the fruit bowl.