Walnut Coconut Power Balls

If you like these as much as we do, you may want to plan a heavy workout before you make them!  Since they are sweetened using dates, each ball has approximately 6g of sugar, making them perfect post-soccer snacks, but not something you would want to take to the couch as you pound back a 6-pack!

Speaking of sugar, I don’t know about you, but I would rather eat my treats any day than drink them. One can of soda has approximately 33g of sugar! I can’t even fathom how I used to drink that stuff regularly. It makes me cringe now. The next time you feel the need for a soda, try adding the juice of half a lemon and a tbsp of apple cider vinegar to a glass of Perrier. It’s the best invention ever. I’m pretty sure I learned about that drink from Food Matters, so props to them for that one!

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Walnut Coconut Power Balls

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup Medjool dates (about 12, pitted)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Shredded coconut for covering.

Place walnuts in a food processor and pulse until fine.

Add the dates, almond flour, shredded coconut, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and sea salt. Pulse until thoroughly combined.

Roll into golf ball sized balls and roll in shredded coconut.

Store in the fridge.

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!

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!

Raw Enchiladas!

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Last night we had the best dinner, and in spite of what you may think it was incredibly easy to put together – but, a dehydrator is a necessity. So if you don’t have one…it’s time to invest in one!  Honestly though, if you don’t have a dehydrator you could just throw the ingredients (plus some fresh corn kernels) in a bowl and have an enchilada salad! 

Easy Raw Corn Tortillas

  • 3 cups of fresh corn kernels
  • 1 cup milled flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined.  Then mix until smooth.

Spread thin on a dehydrator sheet in whatever shape you desire and dehydrate at 110 F for 4-5 hours or until no longer doughy on top.  Flip and dehydrate another 3-4 hours.

Guacamole

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 small red onion, minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 avocados, mashed with a fork
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • optional: 1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped

Mash avocados with a fork and then add the rest of the ingredients.  If it doesn’t taste amazing, then there are 2 things you have to play with: the amount of sea salt and the amount of lime juice.  Play with these until this is the best guacamole you’ve ever tasted.

Easy Raw Tomato Sauce

  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • dash cayenne

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached.

Raw Cashew Cheese Sauce – Seriously the best ever!

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 2 tbsp wheat-free tamari
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined, slowly adding water until the consistency you desire is reached, keeping in mind that it will get thicker as it sits and the cashews have a chance to absorb the water.  Alternatively you can also blend in a high speed blender to get a velvet smooth consistency.

 

To assemble the enchilada I just chopped up some lettuce and tossed it on the corn tortilla, layered it with guacamole and rolled it up.  We splashed on the tomato and cheese sauces and quickly took a picture (which is obviously not too artistic) just before our ravenous stomachs got a hold of it!

Creamy Coconut Cashew Nut Milk and a Creamy Strawberry Shake

Creamy Coconut Cashew Nut Milk

2 cups filtered water
1 cup cashews
2 tbsp coconut butter
4 dates
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/4 of a vanilla bean, seeds only)

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.  If you don’t have a high speed blender like the vitamix, you can place all ingredients in a blender and let them sit for a couple of hours until the cashews and dates soften.

I HIGHLY recommend investing in a vita-mix.  It’s so powerful that it can turn an ipod into dust – I’m sure you can find some interesting videos on youtube.  I use my vita-mix at least 4 times a day.  You can make nut milks without having to use a strainer, and make the smoothest raw cheesecake you’ve ever tasted.

And since I happened to have fresh strawberries in the fridge – voila!  Instant strawberry shake.

Silky Strawberry Smoothie

Creamy Strawberry Shake

1 batch Creamy Coconut Cashew Nut Milk
1 cup fresh strawberries

Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth.

The funny thing about strawberries is that when you pick them yourself, their size range from that of a raspberry to…a slightly larger raspberry! They taste so sweet and just downright incredible.  When you buy them imported from who knows where, they’re the size of peaches and they taste sour and just gross!  If you missed them this time around, don’t miss out on picking your own (or buying, although picking your own can be fun) local berries next season!

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!

 

Raw Food Praise – I WANT to exercise!


It’s amazing the effect that eating raw has on my desire to exercise.  Last night I took the dog for a 5 k run.  Today after work I went to a hot yoga class, and after I biked home I went for another run with a friend.  It’s really nice to have a running partner because you have that little bit of added motivation.  When you have someone calling you and asking if you want to go running, it’s like an alarm going off and motivation calling you!  If you get several running partners, there’s a guarantee you’ll be running a few times a week!

I haven’t had much to eat today, which is kinda weird considering the amount of exercise I’ve had, but I don’t feel much like eating anything right now.  When you eat raw, natural, good quality foods, you are more in touch with your nutritional needs, wheras when I eat cooked foods, I think I need food all the time!  I’d eat late at night all the time when I was on cooked food. 

When I eat raw, I only go into the kitchen when I am truly hungry…or if I can’t wait to try a new raw recipe!  Also, on cooked I always cleaned my plate, but on a raw food diet, I just stop eating when I’ve had enough.  I eat raw dessert for breakfast if I feel the desire!  And when I have dishes that are rich in nuts or other heavy raw ingredients, my body steers me clear of them for a few days.  Never, ever on a cooked diet did my body tell me anything!  I remember years ago when I didn’t have any idea the effects that food had on my mood or energy level.  Now, I know the second I have eaten something that doesn’t agree with me.  I can just feel it. 

And since you only eat when you’re hungry on raw, there is no breakfast, lunch, dinner schedule…you eat on your own hunger schedule…that being said, I think my hunger level just rose…so apparently “dinner” tonight is going to be around 11pm!

Marinara Salad

Marinara Salad

Dinner: Marinara Salad

Time To Make: About 3 minutes

Would I Make It Again: Yes!

Ingredients: 1 cup leftover Marinara Sauce, (recipe in Eating for Energy) an avocado, 6 stalks asparagus, 1 yellow pepper, 3 green onions, and 1/2 a cucumber.  Variations:  Whatever you have in the fridge!

My Return to Raw: Day Two

Today started with a:

Green Super Smoothie

1 tbsp spirulina
1 mango
1 tbsp bee polin
1 cup strawberries
few cubes ice
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 dates
1 tbsp sesame seeds
water to desired consistency

Then it was off to pick berries at Whittamores Farm on Steeles Ave.  So many delicious berries!  I think we picked for a couple of hours, and I got sunburnt 🙁 but it was worth it.

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