Spring flowers and chia pudding 

Vancouver is blooming and I just can’t get enough of all of the beautiful blossoms and their scents.

My current favourite activity is leashing up my dog, hitting the beach and breathing in the floral wonderland around me. Nature’s aromatherapy has opened up shop in my hood. The light pink cherry blossoms that were lining our streets have loosened from their stems this week and glided down to cover the ground in sweet little pink petals. Luckily fushia Azaleas have taken their place, as well as a plethora of other blooms.

And what to snack on during a walk through the flower lined streets? Banana chia pudding. This treat is raw, healthy and chock full of omega 3’s.

Banana Chia Pudding

  • One cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • one banana
  • sprinkle of raw cacao
  • 1 T hemp seeds
  • 1 T flax seeds

Blend all ingredients together and pour into mason jars for a snack on the run!

“Always look up; there are treats beyond your wildest dreams waiting!" ~ Pawsh Magazine

“Always look up; there are treats beyond your wildest dreams waiting!” ~ Pawsh Magazine

 

Snowfall & Soaked Oats

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.

soaked oats with banana

Snowy Days and Smoothies

Vancouver has had an uncharacteristically cold, snowy and sunny winter so far this year. 


The temperatures even dipped below zero a few times, making our usually rainy city feel oddly like the rest of Canada. 


My inner Ontario girl is loving this weather but it is a little chillier than I’m used to, so I’ve been drinking a warming smoothie instead of my usual frozen fruit concoctions. Here it is..

Warm smoothie latte 

  • One scoop Vega chai protein powder
  • One tsp turmeric
  • One tsp cinnamon 
  • One cup coconut milk 

Blend all ingredients then Gently heat in a saucepan until warm. Pour into a cup or glass and warm up from Winter in Canada. Eh.

Delicious Chocolates and a New Path

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re not living the life you’re supposed to be living? And, when you get this feeling, is it so uncomfortable that you try to push it down and ignore it until it goes away? That’s what I do but, this time, it didn’t go away.

A bunch of bad things have happened to me recently. It started with my dog getting really, really sick (see here), then I had some dental work that went sideways and kept me in chronic pain for about a month until it was resolved. Then water started dripping out of my bedroom ceiling at an alarming rate on Jan. 30th (my upsatirs neighbor’s washer in her closet had sprung a leak), necessitating a couple of big, ugly, noisy blowers in my bedroom, my track lighting being trashed and my ceiling dotted with drilled holes and water stains. Oh, and then I broke up with my boyfriend the next day. You’d think that would be enough, right? But, no, about a week later a bunch of binders fell off a top shelf at work and the sharp edges hit me in the face, causing angry, red, stripy cuts across my nose. And that’s when I hit rock bottom emotionally. I was sad, angry, resentful, in grief over my relationship, in fear over my dog’s health and underneath it all was that niggling feeling that I wasn’t living the life I was suppose to be living.

chocolateAt the same time I cut my nose, I was hit with the flu so had to take a couple of days off of work. I was in healing/hideout mode so all I wanted to do was put on oversize sunglasses and walk along a secluded beach with my dog and think about all of these unpleasant things that have been happening and also think about that little voice telling me to change the path of my life. As, I thought about the future, the expression “It hit me in the face” kept going through my mind. Then I thought how maybe that feeling of the past few months, that I haven’t been living my best life, finally hit me in the face, both literally and metaphorically. This led me to think about my passions – psychology and nutrition. The ones I’ve been pretty much either ignoring or downplaying. Now, I love psych but I also know that I don’t have what it takes to be a full-time counsellor. I love nutrition just as much, especially raw food nutrition and I’m always making raw goodies and coming up with eating plans for people who want to lose weight or get healthier. The brambles cleared (both metaphorically and physically) and I started to see a path.

Not one to waste time when something feels right, I quickly walked home, found a local raw food nutrition institute and signed myself up. So I am now on my way to becoming a Raw Food Educator and then continuing with more nutrition and wellness courses.

To get myself in the swing of things, I made these little goodies last night. The healthiest, and maybe most delicious, chocolate you’ll ever taste.

Raw Dark Chocolates

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup organic raw cacao
  • 4 T pure maple syrup

raw-chocolatePlace all ingredients in saucepan over low heat. Stir together until melted, place in empty ice cube trays. Freeze.

These are total people pleasers. They’re a hit with healthy folks and junk food junkies too.

 

 

Hike. Eat. Drink.

What makes you feel on top of the world? For me it’s overlooking stunning views like this..


You’re probably wondering where I was to see a view like this, so let me fill you in. I was at the lookout point of St. Mark’s Summit, a gorgeous hike on Cypress Mountain.

St. Mark’s is a 5.5k trek up the mountain and takes about 4 hours round trip. It’s trail goes through a misty, magical forest and, as a grande finale, ends up overlooking the stunning seascape of Howe Sound.


It’s a hike that will also have you working up an appetite. So, I’ve created a yummy, vegan, apres hike dinner that features one of my all-time favorite dishes, Pan Fried Tofu Cakes. These cakes are smoky, onion-y pieces of foodie heaven and are served with a yummy spicy mayo. They are seriously one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.

Here’s the recipe:

Pan Fried Tofu Cakes

  • 400 grams soft tofu, drained for 3 hours
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T Worchester sauce
  • 6 drops of sesame oil
  • 3 shakes of chili spice
  • 2 T julienned green onions
  • 1 package Asian seasoning mix
  • 1 cup panko flakes.

Directions

Place tofu in colander and break apart let stand for 3 hours to completely remove water.  If this isn’t done cakes will not form.

Next beat eggs, Worchester and chili oil.

In a separate bowl combine the seasoning mix, green onions and add wet ingredients with 1 cup of panko and mix by hand.   The mix is ready when a ball can be formed and hold its shape like a meatball.  If mix is too wet add more panko until achieved.  Scoop enough to form a 3 inch diameter cake.  Don’t go too big or they will be mushy. Pre-heat cast iron pan and add olive oil. Place patties in pan for a few minutes to make them crisp on each side.  Finish in a 350 oven for 10 minutes.  Serve hot.

Spicy Mayo

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

tofu cakes

Finish the meal with a big bowl of blackberries or cherries and a lovely Okanagan wine and you have all of the ingredients you need for a healthy, delicious (and sugar free) feast.

Beach Days & Chunky Monkeys

Last Sunday I felt the need to unplug from the city so my pup and I headed to a sweet stretch of beaches a little west of my home and spent the day soaking up West Coast nature.

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We ran through the slippery, slimy (but therapeutic) mud of low tide.

low tideAnd then came home covered in salt and sand with a bit of an appetite.

The answer to that? A yummy Chunky Monkey smoothie..

Chunky Monkey

2 bananas

1 scoop chocolate protein powder of your choice

1 T cacao (organic raw is most delicious)

1.5 cups almond milk

1 scoop ice cubes for a milkshake consistency