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3 Farmers Markets in South Florida

26 September

One of the most important parts of planning your vacation or traveling is to know where to find food and restaurants. Some people plan ahead, specially if they have specific requests for food or if they love food traveling as much as I do. As a raw vegan and eco-activist, I always plan ahead my food stops before I head out in to my destination. One of my favorites sites to help me plan is Happycow.net where I can find all the local vegetarian and vegan places to eat and shop. As a full time South Florida resident, there are several places here for my fellow vegetarians/vegans to eat and shop. So here is a list of my favorite South Florida places to shop for healthy food:

Josh’s Organic Garden & Juice Bar – Hollywood

Josh’s is probably one of the best, if not THE best, farmers market in the country. Most of the produce is organically grown locally and in Pennsylvania and treated with the utmost care. You can hear Josh scream and see him run every Sunday as he tries to keep the veggies and fruits in the best condition possible. Josh’s greens in the winter beat any store in the county. Once you eat his greens, you cannot accept anything less.

The juice bar is out of this world too! Even though you may feel the prices are high, other supermarkets charge way more for less. Josh’s Juice bar uses their own greens, veggies, and fruits right from the market to make the juices and smoothies. Nothing is processed or pasteurized.

Josh’s Organic Garden is open on Sundays from 9:30 to 5:31 pm and it’s located on Hollywood Beach’s Boardwalk on Harrison street. The Juice Bar is open Sundays 9:30am to 5:31pm, Monday to Thursday 7pm to 9pm.

 

Glaser Farms – Coconut Grove

The actual farm is located way south in Homestead, but on Saturdays Stan and Tracy bring the farm to Coconut Grove from 11am to 7pm. Located just west of the main Coco Walk center on Grand avenue, Glaser Farmer’s Market is a great place to hang out and enjoy delicious organic, vegetarian, raw food including ice cream and pies! Other vendors set up tents around the market making locals and visitors feel at home.

 

Marando Farms – Fort Lauderdale

Fairly new, Marando Farms offers great prices for mostly non-organic produce. Some are locally grown from other farmers and some from their own farm. They also offer eggs from their own chickens and sometimes you can see the chickens running around. Great for the kids! They recently open another “wing” for high quality pet foods, so now you can get your food and your pet’s food in the same place!

Marando Farms is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10am to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm; Closed on Wednesdays.

 

Other places for Organic Produce

Other places in South Florida where you can find great prices for organic produce include Green Wave Cafe in Plantation, a raw vegan restaurant. On Mondays Green Wave opens for their “Organic Market” from 8am to 2pm.

Thrive Restaurant in Miami Beach and LifeFood Gourmet in Coral Way also have Farmer’s Market days. You can visit their sites to see more information on when they offer organic produce for sale.

 

 

 

Before and Way Before

26 June

Many friends have been asking me to post pictures of Denis and I when we first began our journey in the health food path. But first, here is one of my favorite clips from the Sopranos that kinda reminds me of the pictures you will see below. I call these pictures, the pictures of when we were over weight: the Sopranos… you’ll see why.

Denis lost a total of 93 Lbs

I lost over 50 lbs.

 

Most of the weight loss came after we switched to raw vegan, but the first weight we lost was after we switched from red meat to only poultry and fish. After a few years on just fish, we lost more weight again.

I do have to confess that being only raw vegan, can also add weight. I’ve been able to keep my weight stable for 2 years and continue to stay on that weight. I have also been able to build muscle on just raw by adding vegan protein. However, the minute I stop exercising to build muscle and didn’t change my way of eating, my weight changed.

Each person is different as I always say, so we all must find what works for us.

Arugula Dandelion Dip

14 June

On the way back from the market Saturday, we were having a discussion in the car about creamy sweet dishes vs. creamy salty dishes. We all agreed we liked both. And that brought a memory of spinach dip. So I went to Josh’s Market Sunday but wasn’t able to find spinach to make it. Instead, I decided to change the recipe and get dandelions and arugula, which I very often don’t buy because I’m not a fan of them even though I know they are good for you.

Here is what you’ll need:

Arugula (abut a handful or two)
Red and Green Dandelions (about a handful)
6 leaves of basil
6 shitake mushrooms cut (as big as wanted)
4 mini sweet peppers (red and orange) chopped
4 green scallions chopped
6 stalks of broccolini chopped

For the sauce:
1/2 cup of cashews
1 TBS unpasteurized white miso paste
1 Tea spoon olive oil
1 Tea spoon sesame oil
Italian seasoning to taste
Salt to taste
water (as needed)

I like to start with the sauce so that I can let the veggies soak the flavor, so blend all the ingredients from the sauce until smooth. In a mixing bowl, add the mushrooms, peppers, broccolini and scallions and mix with some salt and oil.

Take the dandelion, basil and arugula in the food processor and pulse until obtaining the desired consistency for the dip. Ensure that the leaves do not become liquid but chopped enough for the dip. Mix in with the vegetables and pour the sauce and mix well. I let it sit there for a few minutes to soak the flavors. You can also add garlic to the sauce before mixing.

Serve with other veggies or raw crackers.

Almond Ginger Kelp Noodles

12 June

I love kelp noodles! I have them at least once a week, and this past week I made the best ones so far. So I felt I should share with the world. Plus a few friends on Facebook wanted the recipe as well. So here it is.

1 bag of kelp noodles (16oz bag I believe)
1 cup of red shredded cabbage
6 mini sweet peppers (red and orange)
1 cup of Kale sliced or shredded
4 Scallions chopped
Olive oil to taste
Salt to taste
Cilantro

For the Sauce:
2 Tbs almond butter
1 Tbs unpasteurized white miso
1 clove of garlic
1 cube of ginger (about 1 inch)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs coconut oil
1 Tea spoon sesame oil
Thai seasoning
Salt

 

Rinse the noodles and soaked for about 10 or 15 minutes. Mixed the onions, peppers, cabbage, and cilantro in a mixing bowl and sprinkle some salt, olive oil and Thai seasoning to taste and mixed well. Leave aside and prepare the sauce.

Put the sauce ingredients in the blender and mix well until smooth. Pour about half on the mixed vegetables and let is soak in the sauce while you rinse out the noodles again. Strain the noodles and put in mixing bowl. I like to cut the noodles so that they are shorter than how they are packaged. Mix well and add remaining sauce.

Sprinkle some black sesame seeds when serving. You can also add a jalapeno pepper or any spicy pepper to the sauce to make it hot. This serves about 2 big people like Denis and I… but if you love kelp noodles, you can have it all and not share it 😉

Taking a Break

09 May

I used to hear older people say that once you turn 18 life goes fast. I turned 18 and, well it went fast but not too fast.

I started hearing that it would get worse when you turn 30. Well I just turn 30 and yes life still going fast, but not because I got older. I believe it is because I took on too much since the beginning of 2010.

It all started with going to Bhakti Fest and “preparing” for it. And when I came back from Joshua Tree, I decided to go get certified to teach yoga immediately. It was 20 weekends, and with a full time job, it was extremely busy for me. I also  turned 30 and threw a party to celebrate, then it was thanksgiving, the holidays, and I got married.

Then came New Year’s, still in school, and lots of projects at work. So blogging went out the window and so did reading. I even open a new website/blog that hasn’t taken off yet, but will soon. With all the work and homework and reading and attending yoga classes, I was absolutely ready to quit everything.

In March, I Finally  graduated from Yoga Teacher School and had a breather. But not by much. Friends from out of town came to visit, other friends turned 30 and there were parties to attend, and then at work we decided to move another building. Yey, fun for me!

So instead of drinking heavily, I took on reading fiction series until the next Anita Blake novel is out June 🙂

Taking a break has been great, but I’m ready to blog again and have many ideas for not just this blog but also my new yoga blog.  So stay tuned for more to come here at panyvinito! I think I may actually finish the post with all the “Before & After” pictures… yes! Long over due!

Blessings,

Lina

Raw Tomato Bisque Soup

14 February

I was on my way from work to home while Denis was driving and we were talking about food. Whenever I get bored of the same thing over and over and I believe I’m done with raw food, I come up with an amazing recipe!

Tonight, I came up with a delicious and simple tomato bisque recipe. I love soups, specially for dinner on a cold night.

Here is what I used (makes enough soup for 2 people):

4 Skinny carrots
1 Medium red tomato
1/2 Medium red pepper
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional to make it creamy)
2 Celery stalks (cut is smaller pieces for easier blending)
1/2 cup sun dried tomato flakes (you can also use whole sun dried tomatoes)
1 Tbs miso paste
2 Tbs coconut oil
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1 tea spoon garlic powder
Pinch of organic cumin seed powder (optional)
Sesame oil, flax seed oil, and salt to taste
1/2 cup Water

I like to put the nuts in the blender first for any recipe but you can just drop all the ingredients in your blender and blend.

Since tonight was a cold night, I wanted my soup a little warm. My vitamix is able to warm up my soup without cooking it.

You can add any herbs like cilantro, parsley, or dill to decorate when serving.

It was so good that I decided to share the recipe immediately. Enjoy!

If I was Having a Wedding – Green Wedding

08 January

Miami Beach Courthouse Wedding

We eloped to the Miami Beach Courthouse

I wrote this post last year when Denis and I were thinking of getting married but somehow it got lost in the shuffle and I never actually published it.

Most wedding aren’t environmental friendly. Unless both the bride and the groom are very conscious, they will make more than an effort to keep it  “green” in every aspect.

Denis and I are very true to our beliefs, and we have been for the last nine years we have been together. We also are just not the wedding kinda people.  While most young girls plan their weddings their entire lives, I was never interested in marriage. I strongly believed that if someone loved me, there wasn’t a document they could sign to prove it.

BUT, unfortunately living partners do not have the benefits that married partners do. Not even heterosexual couples… (don’t even get me started on how unfair I believe it is not allowing homosexual couples to get married!!).

Anyways, and unfo rtunately, in order to prevent a Stig Larsson case, (not that I’m a writer), we wanted to ensure Denis could visit me in the hospital and make decisions if ever came up to that. Why me in hospital and not Denis? Cause I’m most likely to get into a car accident than he is… long story and not for this blog post 🙂

Anyways, so I came up with this thought about  “If we had the money to spend, what kind of wedding ceremony would we have?” And here is what I came up with:

If I was having a wedding, I would….

  • Host it at the beach: Of course, we love the ocean and it’s a great place for a party and “legalizing” an union.
  • Ask an Shaman to do the ceremony.
  • Wear a bikini, not white for sure! And Denis would wear swimming trunks. Guests would wear beach gear and no one would be allowed speedos or thongs!
  • Have my friends play music & do a drumming circle with the sage and all.
  • Serve all local seasonal raw vegan organic food catered by a friend or prepared by me. All the food left would be composted of course. The plates and utensils etc would all be re-usable of course.
  • Send email invitations, not paper.
  • Register at non-profit organizations like 350.org, PETA,J/P RHO, Humane Society, and have people donate money instead of gifts.
  • Have everyone that is coming farther than 30 miles be picked up in a hybrid vehicle. And anyone who was flying in, their trip would be offset.
  • Offset any carbon footprint left because of the party.

I think that’s all… I’m not familiar with what else happens at weddings so these are as much as I would do.

We certainly cannot afford something like this anyways at this time in our lives and anything else would not be true to our beliefs. Therefore, please know that as much as we would love to have you all be part of this moment, we are going to have to do what we can that meets our standards.

So yes, consider this post as your “Save the Date” email (sorry it’s now late though!). But who knows, maybe in 10 years we will be able to do something as such again, one never knows.

Much love,

Lina

As I mentioned in the beginning, I wrote this in October or November and somehow it got lost with all the other drafts.
So here are pictures of our actually wedding ceremony.

Wedding Miami Beach Courthouse

We are officially Mr. & Mrs. Gonzalez

Recycle Wedding Rings - Green Wedding Rings

The rings are recycled silver coins. They read "Liberty" 🙂

After the ceremony at the courthouse, we went to a new raw vegan restaurant that opened in SoBe, T.H.R.I.V.E.

Wedding Raw Vegan Food at T.H.R.I.V.E.

I had called ahead and asked the owner Sheryn, to make a nontraditional “wedding” cake for Denis and I that would have chocolate and berries. And this is the result:

Raw Vegan Wedding Cake

Raw Vegan Wedding Cake by T.H.R.I.V.E.

Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Raw Anniversary!

25 November

Thanksgiving Lunch Nov. 2010

Today Denis and I celebrated Thanksgiving and our 3 year anniversary of being 100% raw vegans.  I didn’t want to put a big production as I usually do every year so we kept it to just the two of us today.

Last week, I got asked: “What are you guys doing for Thanksgiving?” and it’s been so overwhelming for us in the last month that I realized I was not planning ahead for this weekend. I answered back: “I’m just trying to get thru today!” Which was true! I’ve been so busy with my school and work and life that I’ve been just taking it one day at the time.

Oh and no, I’m still not ready to share what I’m going to school for… in case you were hoping I spilled the beans here 🙂 .

So I woke up this morning and I asked Denis what he wanted to eat. His response was: “Nori rolls!”  I smiled and got my phone to show him pictures of last year’s Thanksgiving food and even what I made for Christmas last year to see if it would inspire him to ask for something other than nori rolls. But he still wanted nori rolls and instead he said: “If you feel inspired to make something, go ahead.” And I did.

After all, I was grateful that I didn’t have to stress about having people over, clean the house, and roll out the “big carpet” as I always do for my guests. I LOVE having people over, but with all the weekends I’ve had to give up, I haven’t been able to rest. So these four days were strictly for me and Denis to rest, spend time alone, and beach! And that’s what we did!

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Three Year Anniversary to Denis and I! Here is what I wind up “putting together” for today’s holiday:

Avocado Steaks with Sun-dried tomato gravy, cranberry sauce,  stuffing, and salad with hearts of palm and olives on the side and pumpkin pie for dessert.

Raw Thanksgiving Dinner in Islamorada, Nov. 2007

30 Things I’m Grateful For

14 November

In celebration of my 30th birthday, I decided to share 30 things I’m grateful for and some of the best things I’ve done, encounter, experience so far. They are in no particular order, the list was done in the way I was inspired to write it.

Beach

Moving to the beach is one of the best things Denis and I have done in our lives. It has been a spiritual experience for me. Being so close to the ocean has been life changing for me. There is no bullshit here, just you and your true self. That’s what the ocean has done for me and I’m very grateful for it.

Denis

Yes, he’s been THE BEST thing in my very short life. He’s been there for me when I’m down or up, put up with my drama, and has supported me in my spiritual journey. He’s my universe, my guru, my roomate, my lover, my friend, and partner in everything. I’m grateful the universe put us in the same computer lab back in college.

Shasta

Experiencing Mt. Shasta has been one of the most peaceful and adventures journeys I’ve had. I love that beautiful sacred mountain and I’m thankful for all the experiences I had there.

Sedona

Many milestones happened in Sedona for me. Getting lost in the dessert, discovering truth, dropping my heaviest baggage, drumming circles in the night, and my first Blue Moon experience was there too. I’m only sorry I’m boycotting Arizona for what they’ve done to my people there, but as soon as they get real people back into place, I’m sure I’ll be back to my beloved Sedona.

Kitty

I never had pets, but always considered myself a dog person. We rescued Kitty after hurricane Wilma and she’s been really happy with us and loving. When I’m sick or alone in the house, she stays with me all the time. She’s unlike many cats and has taught me that you can’t have two controlling people trying to do one thing. I’m glad she’s off the streets and she enjoys being home in a warm bed with fresh food everyday.

Anita Blake

Anita has taught me so much, specially things I already knew but had forgotten. She inspires me to be brave and not be ashamed. She taught me to never ask someone to do something you would never do yourself. She reminded me that sometimes the monsters are better than humans. She’s now one of my best friends and I’m so grateful to have her in my life.

Raw

Eating raw food has been an incredible journey and learning experience. I have been able to accomplish so many things thanks to being raw. I can’t say I’ll be raw my entire life because life is uncertain, but if I can, I’ll stay raw forever and ever.

Kirtan and Yoga

Discovering Kirtan and yoga 9 years ago was life changing for me. It jump start my heart to the right path and continues to guide me in my amazing spiritual journey.

Blogging

When I first started blogging, it was hard for me to break away from my usual way of writing college papers or office reports. It took a long time to feel comfortable in here. Blogging how now become another tool in my way of healing. I blog for 7 blogs now where I can express my knowledge or feelings in all different aspects of my life. It’s so great to be able to share content with different audiences.

Moving to USA

I always knew I had to go somewhere far and when the opportunity came I took it. I’m grateful I was able to come here and start my spiritual journey which otherwise would not had happened in Colombia.

My Prius

I’m all about making a statement, voting with my money, and walk the walk. Even though the prius may not be the best car for the environment, it makes a stand and it shows people they can afford to be green. The prius is one of the best things I’ve purchased, and if I can afford one, anyone can too!

Kids

I’m extremely grateful for not having children. I’ve been able to be a mother to others that needed one. I’ve been able to experience things that otherwise would be difficult to do if I had children. I’ve been able to experience unconditional love without having to bring another human being to this overcrowded world. And someday I hope to repay this experience by helping children who don’t have parents or are alone in the world just like I was.

Volunteering

I’ve volunteered in different projects, charities, organizations, etc. It’s always an amazing experience to give back without expecting anything in return. To be able to give from your heart and not because someone expects you but because your body, your heart, your soul, your mind wants to. I’m grateful to give back every time I can.

The 2001 Omega Yoga Conference in Miami

This is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my very short life. Denis dragged me to volunteer at this conference 9 years ago and it was life changing for me. I discovered Yoga Trance Dance and haven’t been the same since then. I’m so grateful for having attended this conference because it was one of the milestones in my life.

Shiva Rea

She’s a Goddess and absolutely loving. Shiva has inspired me to take a leap of faith and jump in to something I would not have the courage to do without the love.

Ganesh

My favorite Elephant God! He’s with me at all times either on my neck, my arm, my purse, my bag, my car, my office, every room in my house. Ganesh helps me remove obstacles and protects me. I’m thankful he’s with me every minute.

Manifesting

Learning to perfect manifestation techniques is one of the best things I’ve accomplished. I’m very grateful for knowing how to do it, and for everything I have manifested.

Clearing Clutter

My favorite hobby is clearing clutter. I first discover clearing clutter on my way back from my first trip to Sedona and it’s now one of my favorite spiritual practices. Creating sacred space in your own space by clearing clutter is something I strongly recommend to anyone. I’m thankful for respecting my own space by clearing clutter and creating a sacred space.

Oprah

Yeah ok, she’s in the list. But not because of her show or her “women power” spirit (which yes, I love), but for teaching me to forgive myself and for sharing her story. I’m very thankful for her openness because that contribute to my spiritual journey and healing process.

Mayhem Fest

I wrote an entire post about this, and I’m grateful for that experience.

Bhakti Fest

Experiencing Bhakti for 6 days was amazing. I wrote about and my journey to preparing for it. I’m grateful to myself for allowing this to happen for me.

Suzanne Sterling and C.C. White

Discovering Suzanne and C.C. was like finding a jackpot at the end of the rainbow. No other two women have inspired me so greatly to explore my spiritual musicality. Their voices are filled with so much love and devotion that is intoxicating! They are Goddesses and I will never forget them!

David Deida

Mr. Deida opened my mind to love and healing. His teachings, work, concepts are mind blowing and extremely accurate. He’s contribute to my journey and I’m very grateful I was introduced to his work.

Laurell K. Hamilton

Laurell is my newest role model. She is very honest and open to sharing her love for writing and caring for her fans. She’s helped me heal wounds with her own personal stories of healing and I’m extremely grateful have found her, her work, and her blog.

Becoming a Vegan

Becoming a vegan has been one of the best things I’ve done. Nothing teaches you more compassion and freedom than being a vegan. Not only has it improved my health, but it opened my mind to a new world that connect my spiritual path with every other aspect of my life. I’m grateful I changed my lifestyle and eating habits to create an environment for compassion and love to help me heal.

Belly Dance

One of the best things I’ve done for my body and my belly. Nothing encourages femininity and freedom like Belly Dance does. My belly and I are very happy and thankful for Belly Dance.

Osho Zen Tarot Cards

I pull a card every week and that’s the meditation or subject I work on for the week. Many times things I don’t want to “fix” or heal come up, but I’m grateful they do so that I can stay honest and work on those issues.

Music

Music has always been there for me. It was the first way I knew how to heal. It keeps my mind and heart open to new things. To not judge and to listen. To really listen to what’s there. It’s the only way I can successfully meditate, to get lost in the sounds. I’m grateful for the music in my life.

Me

I’m thankful for me. For all the work I’ve put into my healing and spiritual path. For everything I’ve accomplished and for being here today to write this blog. For forgiven myself and loving myself even though it was the hardest to do. As I celebrate 30 years of pain, love, happiness, sadness, madness, misery, joy,  passion, accomplishments, blessings, etc, I’m thankful for being here today and sharing these 30 things I’m grateful for.

~ Blessings

Best Gazpacho Ever

17 October

Last Full Moon, I made the best gazpacho soup ever! We fast every Full Moon and this is one of my favorite soups to make at the end of the fast since it’s liquid but has some “chunks” of veggies that are easy to eat to break the fast.

These are the ingredients needed:
4 Heirloom tomatoes (soft ones, medium size)
2 Stalks of celery
1 Clove of garlic
1/4 of a medium sweet onion
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
1 Date (soaked for 10 to 15 minutes)
Cilantro and basil to taste
Salt and olive oil to taste
1/2 medium avocado cut in cubes

In the food processor, add 2 of the tomatoes, celery, garlic onion, lime/lemon juice, date, cilantro, basil, and salt. Pulse as many times as needed to make chunks that will be added to the base. Take everything out of the food processor into a bowl and set aside.

Take the remaining tomatoes and put them in the food processor or blender, add salt and make into the base of the soup. You can also add water if desired. I prefer mine with no water.

Pour the tomato juice into the bowl with the chunks, add olive oil, and mix with a spoon.

To make it spicy, you can add a chilli pepper or any hot pepper you can handle and blend with the base. Another option is to add cayenne pepper powder on each bowl.

Add the avocado cubes to each soup bowl and serve! It’s simple and delicious!