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.
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!
When I found out that I was going to Bhakti Fest 2010, I was extremely excited but realized I had to get in shape. Why you may ask? Well, the festival is 4 days of Kirtan, yoga, and speakers. Kirtan is almost happening 24/7, so I knew I’ll be sitting for a long time.
To prepare for Bhakti fest, I did what I usually do for any concert or event I go to. I practiced all the songs and studied all the musicians and learned everything I needed about the event. I don’t need to memorize the mantras for kirtan, because we know most of them already from all other kirtan events we have attended over the last 9 years.
For Yoga though, I actually started by registering for yoga classes early this year. But then I quit for awhile and then panicked that time was running out and I was still not ready for 4 days of yoga. So I signed up for an unlimited class pass for vinyasa flow yoga and have been attending three times a week. I guess you may think I’m nuts preparing like I was running a marathon, but if you think about it, I’m doing a “yoga marathon”.
To add more pressure, Denis actually registered me for an all-day-intensive with my FAVORITE yoga teacher/master/goddess ever! Shiva Rea! If there were yoga groupies (I’m sure there are), I would be her groupie. I absolutely adore her and have taken every class she has taught in South Florida. My favorite class is her Yoga Trance Dance.
One year, she invited Denis and I as special guests to one of her classes and it was awesome. I don’t know if she’ll remember me this time because I have lost a lot of weight since the last I was in her class, but I always keep her in my heart. So I gotta be ready for her class.
About a week ago, Denis, my new BFF, and I drove to Fort Myers to ECHO Farms to check out their edible plants and trees and see what we could get. After a quick stop in Naples for lunch, we headed north on I-75 to Bayshore Rd and arrived at the farm.
ECHO stands for Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization, they are a non-profit organization that educates and trains people that work or volunteer around the world to help communities in need.
It was getting ready to rain so we had to hurry. But the staff at the farms was very friendly and spent time with us showing us all the greens and fruits available.
The prices were reasonable and they had a nice variety of edible greens. So here are some of the trees and plants they had at ECHO farms:
Avocado Trees! This made me want to have a yeard to plant some of these!
Grapefruits! Our favorites! Once again I caught myself staring at it and wondering how I can grow a grapefruit tree on the beach! LOL
Neem: We bought this little tree and I hope I won’t kill it. Don’t know exactly what I’ll use it for, but I’m sure I be making something!
Tropical fruit trees: As most of you know, Denis and I stay away from tropical fruit as most is acidic. But ECHO had a good variety of tropical fruit trees if anyone is interested.
Jaboticaba Tree: This is one we love, but won’t be growing in our yard anytime soon for sure. But at least now I know where I can get one.
Katuk: This one will be on my salads this week for sure! We got it and it was about $5 bucks! You can get any better than that!
We also purchased two varieties of hot peppers, a moringa plant, spinach plant, and cilantro seeds for next season and worm manure. It was a great trip to the West coast!
Denis and I had wanted to do a green juice fast for the longest time. We do a monthly liquid fast during the full moon and it feels great. So we wanted to know what it was like to just do a green juice fast. We decided this full moon was good time to do it and planned to get all our juices from Josh’s Organic Garden.
We started on Monday and finished it on Saturday. Initially we wanted to do seven days, but I had the feeling I wouldn’t last more than two days. I thought for sure by Tuesday I would quit and go back to eating. Sure enough by day two I was ready to quit, but decided to stick with it because a lot of emotions were surfacing and I wanted to see what else would come up.
Instead of describing how each day went, I wanted to share some insights I had during my fast, not about how my body responded or all the benefits I enjoyed, but the emotions I had to deal with during the green juice fast. We followed Dr. Young’s pH Miracle Cleanse in case you’re wondering.
Since we decided to get all the juices already made at the Josh’s Juice bar, we didn’t shop and our refrigerator was empty. I hid the truffles we had purchased during our trip to Naples and any other “goodies” I would cheat with.
Seeing the refrigerator with no greens, no food made me sad. I felt like I had nothing in life. Empty. Without a home, without love, without money. I felt like my world was ending because my refrigerator was empty. I immediately told Denis about this and he hugged me and laughed. So I started laughing too. This happened the second day of the fast and it was the reason I decided to keep going.
I don’t know exactly how my brain/mind believes that food equal the meaning of life (apparently). All I can say is that it may go back all the way to childhood but I’m not sure yet.
Not Having to Make Food
The second thing that surfaced in my mind was this. I had extra time in my hands by not having to prepare food and not going to yoga class so I was able to take time for blogging. While I was working on my blog, I kept thinking: “Oh I have to go make food, I better stop typing” and then I would remember: Oh I’m fasting no need to make food. Ten minutes later I would start panicking cause I hadn’t make food yet and it was getting late, but then I would remember I’m fasting, no need to make food. And that continue the whole night.
One of the first reasons I got sold on the “Raw” idea was cause it took less time to prepare food. I’m constantly looking to cut things out so that I can have more time to do other things. And I always feel stressed out about making food. Once this issue came right in front of me, I realized that I think making food is all I do and live for. To feed people. I don’t know exactly how to handle this information, but it was very interesting to find that deep inside I feel food is my ONLY job and purpose in life.
Variety of Food
I’ve always known this about me: I get bored with the same thing over and over. And that’s just not food. Everything. Well except for my partner in life (9 years and still not bored one bit!)… Anyways, so going into the fast I knew that having the same juice everyday wasn’t going to work for me and would probably quit by day two. But this time was worse than ever. I didn’t want to see the green juice even as hungry as I would get, I didn’t want it. Instead I wanted to keep drinking water but not the green juice. I believe one of the reasons why I’m creative in the kitchen is because I have to have variety. Even my lunch salad is different everyday.
Sticking with the green juice fast help me see that my issue with food variety is deeper than I imagined.
Dreams about Food
Going in I had the feeling I would be dreaming about food every night and eating all sorts of junk in my dreams. I actually thought that in the dreams I would want to stop my raw diet. But I was wrong. One night I had a dream about a carnival, possibly Renaissance fest, where I had to drop off something for work. I walked through the food to where I was going, but no I didn’t stop for any food even thought I was offered a donut. That was one of the two dreams about food I had.
During the fast, I wasn’t even attracted to junk food. I didn’t even for a minute think I would run and start eating a SAD diet again, even a vegan junk cooked diet for that matter. But I did want and was tempted to eat the sun dried olives in my refrigerator, my avocados and some oil. So all doubts that I had about ever “cheating” or going back to a cooked vegan diet are no longer there. I now know that I love my raw food, even under stressful circumstances, I only want raw food.
In conclusion, and now a day after we broke the fast, I’ve got work to do with all this information I collected during this fast. I do have to say that compared to the first fast I ever did (6 years ago, water fast for three days while I was still on a vegetarian SAD diet), I did excellent. But compared to my monthly liquid fast, I did not do well at all. I complained the whole time and didn’t want to drink my juice.
Physically my body felt great, happy, healthy and grateful. I’m going to try it again, possibly the next full moon or the one after. Not having any fruits this week was amazing for my body and it let me know so.
So what’s next? Meditate on all these issues that came up.
About 4 weeks ago, Denis bought 30 coconuts and we had a feast! From drinking the water to making creams, salad dressings, smoothies, soups, etc. The following week he bought 20 coconuts, and the week after that 15 coconuts.
By the end of the third week I couldn’t come up with any more coconut dishes, and Denis had made coconut cream and stored it in the refrigerator. I didn’t want to waste it, and I needed breakfast but was tired of coconut smoothies, so I made cereal!
I soaked some nuts, seeds, goji berries, and raisins in water overnight. The next morning I mixed in the coconut cream with cinnamon powder, maca, mesquite, salt, and palm sugar to taste.
I took it to work and when I got to the office all the flavors had come together rather nicely. So that night I soaked the nuts, seeds, etc but only for a short time. After I rinsed everything, I mixed them in the coconut cream with the same powders, etc and stored overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning I had an amazing breakfast! The flavors of all the nuts, seeds, dried fruit and powders had blended and made an amazing cereal!
The coconut cream was made by blending the coconut meat and water from a young fresh local coconut. You can add extra water or more coconut butter to make as smooth as desired. The water from young coconuts is very energizing and mildly alkaline.
I don’t know about you guys, but I love eating greens. However when it comes to kale, it’s a little bit difficult to just pop in my mouth and chew it without anything on it.
One Sunday, I was being lazy and enjoying my day at the beach when I got a call that there was no green left at Josh’s market.
So Denis and I ran to the market but it was true, no lettuce was left! There was only two buckets of kale left. So I packed almost all the kale left and bought it. When I got home, I made a nice kale salad but I remembered it was always hard for me to eat it without anything. So I came up with a nice dressing for it. The next day I had the same issue, so I whipped up another dressing!
I came up with actually 5 kale salad dressings that I thought I MUST shared with the world. Spicy Sun Dried Tomato Tahini, Avocado Tahini, Ginger Miso, Sunflower Dill, and Almond Butter Coconut. They all have pretty much the same ingredients and are made the same way.
Spicy Sun Dried Tomato Tahini
5-6 sun dried tomatoes (soak for 10 to 15 minutes)
1 TBS Raw Organic Tahini (you can also switch for raw almond butter instead)
1 Red Chillie Pepper or any spicy pepper to taste
1/2 Tsp organic or natural Mexican seasoning
Salt, garlic, and olive Oil to taste
Mix in personal blender until smooth adding water if needed. Pour over kale salad and add chopped cilantro.
1/2 ripe organic avocado
1 Tbs of Raw Organic Tahani
the juice of 1/2 grapefruit
1 Handful of cilantro
Olive Oil and salt to taste
Put all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth. Pour over Kale salad and sprinkle some black and white sesame seeds.
1 inch (cube) fresh ginger peeled
1 Tbs unpasteurized miso (I prefer brown or red)
1 Tbs raw tahini or raw almond butter
Salt and Olive Oil to taste
(you can also add chillie peppers to make it spicy)
Put in blender and mix until smooth. If needed, add water to blend. Pour over kale and mix well.
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dill loosely fit or to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
the juice of 1/2 grapefruit (or lemon)
1/2 Tbs raw organic tahini
Salt and organic cumin seed powder to taste
Mix in blender until smooth. Add more grapefruit juice if needed. Pour over kale salad and massage. Sprinkle sunflower seeds and any other seasonings.
Almond Butter Coconut
1/4 cup raw almond butter
2 teaspoon namashoyu
1 Tbs fresh lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup raw coconut milk
1/2 chillie pepper or spicy pepper of choice
Garlic, Salt, Olive Oil, and Curry powder to taste
Mix in blender or personal blender. Add water for desired consistency and pour over kale salad. Mix red cabbage with kale for a “Pad Thai” feel. I use this recipe for my kelp noodles to make raw Pad Thai.
Following with my Green Series, here are some tips to start transitioning to an environmental friendly kitchen.
Cleaners & Paper
As I mentioned in my post about green tips for your bathroom, I recommend using more natural cleaners. I make my own cleaning spray using vinegar, water, and soap. I also use baking soda and vinegar to clean my kitchen sink or my vitamix after many green smoothies which usually leave a “yellowish” coat on my vitamix. I avoid using paper towels to clean; instead I have a nice supply of organic cotton kitchen towels that I purchased at Target for a reasonable price. I don’t purchase paper napkins either, instead I use the small kitchen towel or cloth napkins when I have guests over. I love using cloth/cotton towels because they are reusable and very inexpensive in the long run.
One of my favorite things I do everyday is saving my kitchen scraps for my compost. Not only I avoid creating more trash, but also I use vegetable scraps for my compost which eventually go to my edible garden. In fact, since we started composting, our weekly trash is about a 3 gallon bag! Mainly the trash I have left over is the corn cups I get from Josh’s Organic Garden from my daily juice because most of the rest is recycle paper or some (very minimal) plastic containers. This is one of the biggest advantages of being a raw foodist, there is very little trash if you compost.
However, if you are still eating microwavable food and take out, please look for recycle containers and avoid using new plastic containers when you order food. Bring your own containers so that you can avoid making more trash. For more information on composting, there is tons of sites that are very easy to use. Also, for trash bags, I recommend bags made of corn that will biodegrade instead of your regular plastic bags that will outlive humanity.
Yes, food is a way to green your kitchen! Buy organic food and hopefully from local growers. Buy more vegetables and fruits instead of pre-packaged foods that create trash and are not healthy for you. See it all leads to being healthy… yeah you catch my drift now. I write a lot about this, so here are some posts on food and environment.
Also, start buying organic herbs and seasonings, star transitioning everything in your pantry to healthier organic foods. For example, if you eat tons of pepper, next time you run out, purchase an organic pepper (most likely) in a reusable container that you can later refill. You don’t have to invest tons of money all at once on switching to healthier foods if you start slowly as they run out.
Energy & Kitchen Appliances
Using the same principle in replacing your food, start replacing your appliances to energy saving ones or better yet, get rid of them. Starting with the microwave! Are you still using it? I mean really? Get rid of it instead of replacing it, and if you still need something to heat up snacks and food, get a small toaster oven. In addition, consider using your regular oven less times a week or use it more efficiently; for example, prepare 3 or more meals that you can save for later days all at once.
Change the settings in your refrigerator to a lower temperature. Most times they are set too high when you don’t use most of the space. Unplug your appliances when not using them everyday. I have two surge protectors where all my appliances are plugged and before I leave for work, I turn the surge protectors off that way I don’t have to unplug each appliance. Avoid using the dishwasher if you have one, and please don’t tell me you do cause I’ll cry!
One of the biggest (my top 5) advantages of being a raw foodist is that our energy bill decreased immensely since we stopped using our stove, and now in our new apartment, we don’t even have a stove!
Utensils & Kitchen Containers
Organic Fruits & Bamboo Bowl
Avoid buying plastic; please really, I mean it! Plastic is the worst thing ever! It’s made of oil and can’t be recycled most of the times. So no more Glad, instead buy glass and bamboo for your utensils. Again, you don’t have to give away all 100 Tupperware pieces you have (that don’t even match anymore) all at once, but as things get lost (and wind up in the ocean), replace them for more environmental friendly choices like glass and bamboo. Unless you really want to get rid of it all after reading this very inspiring post, but please don’t throw it away (there is really no throwing away, it means burying in and hoping it will decompose after 200 years), so donate it to a poor college student, goodwill, or a relative. You can post it in FreeCycle.org and someone will take it.
Ok so those are more than 5 tips for sure, but hopefully one will stay with you today and forever! If you have other “Green Kitchen” tips, please share them with us.
It took longer that a week to write this post. But here it is: I would like to share some of the things I do on a daily basis to keep contributing to conserving resources in my daily routine. So let’s start with the bathroom! Why there? well it’s the first thing I do in the morning when I wake up, and these are easy tips to start changing your lifestyle.
I know you clean your bathroom… At least I hope you do. So this is an easy way to get started. Next time you run out of your regular chemical cleaners, instead of buying the same toxic spray or poisoned cleaner for your bathroom, consider purchasing vinegar and baking soda instead. Odds are you already have vinegar and baking soda in your kitchen. There are also other products that are more natural and are ready to use. One of the most popular brands is Seventh Generation. I also recently started using Method and it works great because there is no smell.
Soaps, Shampoo, and Tooth Care
These are easy to replace and you will be saving a money as well. I recommend Dr. Bronner’s soaps for hands and body. They last a long time because you can dilute them in water. Shampoo and tooth paste are also important since they go on your skin and mouth. I recommend using Aubrey Organics for hair care, and Tooth Soap for brushing your teeth.
If I could replace toilet paper for something reusable or that didn’t come from a tree, I would. But so far I haven’t found anything I’m comfortable replacing toilet paper so instead, I purchase brands such 365 or Seventh Generation. Here is a guide to Toilet Paper from the Grist.
Reducing the amount of water you use in the shower and toilet is one of the best things you can do. For example, start by replacing your shower head for a more efficient one and possibly a filter as well. There are many tips to save water in the toilet and the bathroom and many blogs written about the matter, so I won’t reinvent the wheel, instead I’ll invite you to read these tips on how to save water.
I went thru my bathroom drawers and found many electronics we use. An electric tooth cleaner, hair dryer, hair iron, beard trimmer, foot massage/spa, etc. For the most part, all of them are rechargeable or plug into the wall. There is only one “device” that uses batteries, the beard trimmer. So in this case, we use rechargeable batteries instead of one-time use batteries. In addition, I have stopped using the hair dryer and iron and not only I saved money by not using these two, but also I’m not damaging my hair from all the heat.
So I hope that with these tips I have shared, I’m inspiring you to take a look at your bathroom and possibly start replacing and changing things in your house one room at the time.
Next week: How to Green your Kitchen!
If you have other tips for “greening” bathrooms, please share with us. Blessings!
When I started this blog, I decided I didn’t want to rant and be negative. However, lately I’ve been feeling absolutely fed up about people not awakening to what is happening and taking action. I know that part of my frustration is because I don’t want to “convert” people and preach, so I stay quiet and don’t express how much other people hurt me by not participating in conserving resources or protecting the environment. So in this blog I’m actually going to complain and rant about this situation, and then offer my suggestions as to what people should be doing to contribute to the planet. Specially raw vegans and people with children!
Warning: If this is the first blog you are reading in my site, please stop now and read everything else cause in this one I have nothing positive to say!… well maybe at the end.
Ok, so first let me start by complaining about the people who are raw vegans, and I’m referring specifically to the ones that don’t recycle, don’t re-use, don’t compost, don’t drive fuel efficient cars, and don’t simply care. I go to a farmer’s market on Saturdays and noticed that they don’t recycle at the market. So EVERYTHING becomes trash! Everyone that eats there, uses the plastic containers and utensils provided that later wind up in the trash. Every juice at the market is bottled in plastic as well, which winds up in the trash. I’ve been observing the customers of the market, and they don’t even care, and since I live in my own little “green” world, where everyone recycles and reuses, and doesn’t waste, I didn’t realize how much trash they wind up with at the end of the day.
I brought back all my glass containers for them to reuse and another customer asked me why I did that. My answer is: if they can reuse it and don’t have to purchase more glass containers, they may be able to reduce the price of the butters, olives, etc that are packaged in these glass containers. He was looking at me like I had giving him the best news of his life.
When I sit at the market to eat my food, for which I bring my own containers, utensils, and reusable towels for, I see people drinking juice after juice and throwing away the plastic bottles. Then these same people eat their food and throw away the utensils. Then, they order a dessert or ice cream and take a BRAND NEW PLASTIC utensil which they then throw away again! Oh and if they have another ice cream, then they get a brand new spoon and repeat!
What’s the point in being a raw vegan (of any flavor) if you still an aware ridiculous person that doesn’t care for the environment? This is why I say that food is not all that matters!
So now for the people with kids! One of the reasons why I choose not to have kids is because there is not much to leave them. Water is going to run out in a few years, if we are lucky maybe two decades. And that’s just one very important resource that I’m using as an example. So why have kids? So that they can suffer for my peers’ and my ancestors’ mistakes and laziness and greed? No thank you!
But if I was a parent, I would certainly be doing EVERYTHING in my power to leave something of substance to my children. And I don’t mean a car, a house, a trust fund; I mean clean water, clean air, stable fauna and flora, a world to live in.
How is it possible to bring a person into this world and be so unconscious and irresponsible? Driving an SUV, living in big house that waste resources, eating shitty food and feeding kids that same shitty food, not being conscious of the impact of every action. Every piece of trash, napkin, paper towel, diaper, toy, clothes, hamburgers, soda, designer coffee, bottle of water you use and consume came from somewhere possibly a natural resource, an animal, or an underpaid person/child in China or Bangladesh. How will you explain that to your children?
Now that I’ve complained enough and probably got many people (and possibly friends) pissed off, I’m starting a “Green” series of blog posts that can help all of you zombies out there to contribute in your daily actions little by little to wake up and smell the trash you are making. So I’ll post them as I write.
This is How YOU Make Me Feel
Your actions hurt me and the world. I cry when….
I see you grab paper towels, paper napkins, printer paper, anything paper and forget that was once a tree.
I hear you letting water run and be wasted.
I see you throwing away a recycle or reusable plastic/glass bottle.
I see you uses plastic bag for your shopping and then throwing them away in the trash.
I see you purchase a brand new plastic tupperware instead of reusing containers from other foods.
I see you feed yourself and your children garbage.
I see you contribute to companies that abuse children and workers.
I see you feel up your stupid useless hummer, your porsche cayenne, or your vw toureg‘s gas tank.
I see you water your useless lawn instead of planting food.
I see you vote for people like Sara Palin that kill animals for fun.
If you care about me, your children, your family, and your friends, please take a moment to think about how you can change one thing in your life TODAY and contribute to save resources.
This website is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information provided in Panyvinito.com is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. Please contact your primary care physician before making changes to your diet or lifestyle.
What is Pan y Vinito?
Pan y Vinito is my nickname. When I was born, a movie was released called "Marcelino Pan Y Vino." My grandfather saw the movie and named me after the movie. So from then on he called me "Marcelita Pan Y Vino." Years later the name became "Pan y Vinito."
The words Pan y Vino actually mean "bread and wine."