Low Carb Chocolate Shake

I joined Yuri’s beta testing group for the new book that he’s writing, and it all kicked off yesterday.  Since then I’ve been trying to come up with new recipes for old favourites, bringing the carbohydrate levels way down for those low carb days.  Since the diet doesn’t include my daily stress management tool – chocolate – I’ve been looking for alternatives.

So today being a low carb day, I changed up my favourite chocolate shake to stifle a craving.  Not only is it low in carbs but it is very high in protein due to the peanut butter, spinach, and protein powder. My taste testers agreed that it was a fantastic alternative, both returning for seconds.

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Low Carb Chocolate Shake

  • 1 cup coconut milk (canned, full fat)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 3-4 cups baby spinach
  • 3 tbsp protein powder
  • 3 tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • 20 drops stevia (Now’s French Vanilla flavour is my favourite!)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend well.

Serves 2 (each serving has approximately 4g of sugar)

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Luca got chocolate on his face, shirt, the floor, and couch pillows!  Just a normal day with 3 boys!

Fresh Tomato Soup

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Fresh Tomato Soup

  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or butter)
  • 5 organic tomatoes
  • 2 cups organic chicken broth
  • 28 oz can organic tomatoes (796ml)
  • 14 oz can coconut milk (398ml)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Chop up onion, carrots, celery, garlic.  Cook in coconut oil over medium heat until soft.

Chop up tomatoes and add to the pot along with the rest of the ingredients.

Bring to a boil and turn down to medium heat.  Leave the soup on medium for approx. 20 minutes to boil off some of the excess water.

Place soup in a blender and puree.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve.

tomato3Proof that the kids loved it!

 

Green Juice Feast Day

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Well I certainly didn’t plan on a juice feasting day, but that is what seems to be what’s happened.  It’s time to kick this fight against my sinus infection into high gear anyway.  Bring on the greens!

This morning, Yuri made over 2 L of green juice to take to U of T Soccer Training Camp.  However, the green juice didn’t make it to training camp.  I ended up drinking at least 1 L and it was so good that I just made another Liter!  It is just amazing how much nutrition you can pack into your day when you include green juices.

To top off my efforts to kill this sinus infection, I finally bought some apple cider vinegar (organic, unpasteurized, with the Mother).  If you’ve got sinus issues, get some apple cider vinegar and add 2 TBSP  to a glass of water, several times a day. You will instantly enjoy some nasal draining!  I am contemplating adding some ACV to water and throwing the mixture into my Neti pot, but I’m still working up some bravery to run vinegar through my nose!  I made the mistake of trying hydrogen peroxide in the neti pot…DON”T DO THAT IT BURNS and apparently can do some damage!  Rookie move on my part.

Today alone, I have personally consumed the juice of:

1 bunch of dill

1 bunch of parsley

1 1/2 apples

5 carrots

1 1/2 bunches of swiss chard

2 heads of celery

1 lemon

2 inches of ginger root

1/2 a cucumber

Shocking, isn’t it?  I bet I have eaten more vegetables today than most North Americans get in a week or even a month!  I am officially back on the green juice train.  This baby is going to come out green!

Here is the recipe for my new favourite juice.  Let’s call it the…

Dill-Inspired Green Juice

1 bunch dill

3 carrots

1 apple

1 bunch swiss chard

1 head of celery

2 inches of ginger root

Juice all ingredients and enjoy approx. 1L of amazing green goodness!

Oh, hello juicer. Long time no juice.

green juiceI don’t have anything against juicing, but I do have something against our juicer.  You see, our juicer is a runt. Whenever I juice I get 20% juice, 80% foam.  It may look like a juicer.  It may sound like a juicer.  But I assure you, the only gears that get properly ground in the process of “juicing” are mine.  I fantasize about going  “Office Space” on my juicer every time I use it.  Instead of it creating pulp I would gladly beat it to a pulp in the middle of a field 🙂

When you avoid your juicer for as long as I have, you forget how good green juices make you feel.  Focusing on the good, I suppose any green juice is good juice, even if it comes with a heaping side of foam.  So, I’ve decided to juice in bulk.  That way I can actually get enough juice to warrant having a go at the entire operation, and I can relish the days that I don’t have to clean it!

This week I have been juicing every other day, so every other day I drink about a liter of concentrated greens: kale, swiss chard, and celery are the norm.  My skin is glowing, and I’ve acquired an edge in yoga that I haven’t had in months. I feel so good right now that I can’t believe I ever stopped juicing, so foam or no foam I’m going to juice dammit.  Maybe I’ll just drink it out of a cappuccino mug and serve up a tall non-fat green juice with extra foam and stick it to Starbucks for good.

So Happy.

yammy1I am literally smiling all the time.  My skin looks better every day.  Tell me again why I went off raw?

Yesterday I spent about 4 hours cleaning the kitchen.  Now it’s so bright and inviting!  Today I cleaned out the pantry and I threw out so much crap – including some white flour we haven’t used in more than 2 years!!!  Gross.  I also managed to spill the flour all over the floor, and the dog didn’t even move, and if the dog won’t eat it – you know it can’t be categorized as food!

I just got in from a run and whipped up some nori wraps, but this time I made a raw almond dipping sauce that was out of this world!!!  I was so eager to eat that I didn’t take any pictures of it.  The dipping sauce kicks my lame almond paste’s butt!

 

Raw Almond Dipping Sauce

4 tbsp raw almond butter
2 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp tamari or Braggs
1 tbsp lime juice

I also picked up some E3Live at the health food store since we’re in-between wheat grass harvesting “seasons” (which last 10 days).  E3Live is a highly concentrated shot of greens.  It’s even darker than wheatgrass juice – and more bitter.  When you take greens as green and as bitter as E3Live (or spirulina, kale, collards, etc.) it means your liver is getting detoxified hard-core.  This also explains why I have had a pretty intense breakout of eczema on my right middle finger.  It’s so swollen that I can barely bend it!  I really hope the swelling goes down through the night because it is so uncomfortable.

If you’re going raw for the first time or starting to take concentrated greens like this, keep in mind that you could go into a healing crisis and feel a lot worse before you feel better.  This is because the liver has the tools it needs to release toxins into the bloodstream for elimination…and this can be extremely intense if you are higly toxic.  I have done my fair share of cleanses, and usually the nausea/sickness goes away 4-5 days after starting/modifying a cleansing program -for me, but all experiences are unique.  So hang in there if you find yourself in a healing crisis!

Spirulina: Why I Eat It Every Day.

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The question I get asked most often when I tell people that I eat raw, vegan food is: Where do you get your protein?  The simplest answer: spirulina.  “Spir-what?” They ask.  So rather than explain myself over and over again, I thought I’d just write about it and refer people to this website.Spirulina is an amazing superfood.

I guess you could say that spirulina is my preferred source of protein, although that isn’t my main objective in eating it.  To be honest, I am a firm believer that all foods in nature have the perfect amout of fats, carbohydrates, and protein, so I never strive to get any single macro-nutrient.  I just eat a wide variety of foods and listen to my body.  Society, on the other hand, seems to be obsessed with the protein question, and if you’re one who is protein obsessed, this may be your reason to include spirulina in your diet!

Spirulina is a complete protein, which means that is contains all of the essential amino acids.  It’s also rich in EFAs: GLA, ALA, LA, EPA, DHA, and AA.  If you don’t understand what those mean, don’t sweat it.  Just think Omega 3s!

Spirulina is also loaded with vitamins and minerals – just look at its colour.  Anything THAT green is golden for the body.  Everyone could use more greens in their diet, that’s for sure.  What I can say for certain is that spirulina gives me loads of energy every time I eat it.  And at the moment, my favourite way to eat spirulina is in a smoothie loaded with local, fresh berries!

 

Get Healthy – Detox!

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If you constantly feel tired, find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, are overweight, or suffer from headaches, migraines, digestive upset or constipation, you are in desperate need of some cleansing action. It’s time to reduce the digestive load on your body and cleanse!  Toxins are stored in fat, so if you’ve got a lot of it, you’ve got a lot of toxins just waiting to be released!  The good news is that our dietary plans are designed to both cleanse and slim your body!

You don’t have to be overweight to be in need of a detoxification program either – some of the unhealthiest people I know are quite slim!

Whenever it has the energy to do so, your body will repair damaged cells and get rid of unwanted toxins.  A toxin is anything that irritates and pollutes your body.  Internal organs are strained because they have to work hard to process and get rid of these threatening particles. We have little control of some toxins, so we must take special care to deal with the ones we can reduce.  If you live in a city, for example, you cannot control the quality of the air unless you wear a mask everywhere you go.  Not many people are willing to go that far, so by making you aware of the toxins in your environment, I hope to help you make better choices in your daily life. Toxicity in your body is created by contact with irritants.  This includes everything from the soap you use in the shower, toilet bowl cleaner, dish soap, fabric softener, and especially the food and drink you put inside your body. Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and other toxic chemicals used in food production are making people sick. Farmers have been hospitalized due to using these chemicals on their farms for heaven’s sake!  I don’t want these chemicals anywhere near my body!

Every night while you sleep, your body is hard at work putting nutrients where they belong and exiling anti-nutrients to areas where they can exit your body through urine and solid waste.  When you get up in the morning and eat breakfast or drink coffee, you put an end to this detoxification process (and incur a lot more toxins for your body to sort through). Most people do not allow their bodies the time it needs to detoxify.  They eat too much food too often and don’t drink enough water to flush out their systems. If you’re not hungry in the morning, don’t force yourself to eat, but be prepared for when hunger strikes by bringing food with you if you’re on the go.

Once you begin to decrease the digestive load on your body, you may feel worse before you feel better. This is a good thing! It means that your body is finally getting a chance to work through old toxins and get them out of your body. Symptoms of detoxification include dizziness, lack of appetite, fatigue, nausea, headaches, increased body odour, rashes, hives, skin outbreaks, increased allergic symptoms, and a general feeling of sickness.  It is important to drink plenty of water in order to flush out any toxins you may stir up.

So, how do you detox exactly?  Here are some steps you can take:

  • Eat as Organic as Possible
  • Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
  • Drink Fresh Smoothies and Juices Daily in Place of Solid Food
  • Limit Meat and Dairy Consumption During (AND After!) the Cleanse
  • Exercise on a Daily Basis
  • Eat Only When Hungry and Stop When You’re Full!
You can take it a step further and do a full detoxification protocol with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist to ensure that you detox safely and effectively.  I know an amazing practitioner who will take great care of you – ME! You will learn how to support your liver and safely bind and remove toxins from your body. The best part about a one-on-one detox program is the individual care, attention, and coaching that ensures you are healthier than ever before! I guarantee your friends will give you compliments daily on your radiant skin!

Increase Alkalinity to Increase Weight Loss!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASimply put – disease cannot exist in an alkaline environment. This alone can be great motivation to increase your body’s alkalinity by adding more alkaline foods to your diet while decreasing overall consumption of acidic foods. Try it for yourself – you can FEEL the difference.
Alkalizing your body can mean a dramatic increase in weight loss. This is because your body stores toxins in fat cells to keep them far away from your delicate organs.  The more toxic you are, the more fat you will need to store the toxins and keep the rest of your body relatively “safe”. The more alkaline you become, the less need you have for fat, and the body will safely release its fat stores, given you are not eating an outrageous amount of calories.
Highly Acidic Foods
  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Sugar
  • Refined Foods
  • Processed drinks: Coffee, Soda, Beer, and Alcohol
  • Bad Fats – Anything that is hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or heated.
  • Drugs and Chemicals : pesticides, herbicides, aspirin, and tobacco.
Highly Alkaline Foods
  • Green vegetables and fresh green juices.
  • Fruit: including citrus fruits!
  • Essential Fatty Acids: such as Omega 3 and 6.
  • Filtered water: at least 2L a day!
  • Exercise! Regular exercise promotes toxin removal through the lymphatic and digestive systems!
In my house, we live by 5 simple rules in addition to avoidance of the highly acidic foods above:
  1. Drink plenty of water.
  2. Sweat once a day.
  3. Drink 1 green juice per day.
  4. Eat 1 salad per day.
  5. Treat yourself!  If you really want that slice of carrot cake, eat it and be thankful for it.  Be happy and content with your decision to indulge ocassionally.  Live in the moment and above all: never feel guilty.  Guilt will only serve to stress you out, promote acidity, and keep you fat!

If you are searching for that illustrious glow, I encourage you to do your best to start eating more raw fruits and vegetables while, again, doing your best to remove some highly acidic foods.  Start out slowly and work to incorporate the 5 rules above.  It may be tough or it may be easy, but always remember where you started and have a clear vision of where you want to be.