Tag Archives: local organic food

Zen Mystery | Spiritual Center, Tea Room, and Boutique

18 January

zen mystery spiritual center in Dania Beach

When I met Denis in 2001, he was going to school for a Bachelor in Liberal Arts. I laughed thinking, what is that? who studies Liberal Arts? Of course, that was me back then. I used to think that if someone was going to pay for college, they should major in either engineering, law, or medicine; anything else was a waste of money and time. So I asked him what Liberal Arts entail and what kind of job he would have. He replied that he wanted to open a spiritual school where he and other people could teach spirituality and an integral program similar to that of Ken Wilber’s.

When we started dating and things got serious, I worried for him because finding a job with that degree was going to be difficult and opening a business seemed horribly scary to me. I had always said that I didn’t want people to depend on me to earn a living, I had rather let someone else worry about my paycheck. So a business, to me what not an option. He went back to school and got a master’s degree in Educational Technology, and I was very proud of him and his new career.

Over the years though, as I worked on my spiritual journey, and opened my mind to trust the Universe, I realized that I liked Denis’ idea of a school. I didn’t like to call it a school, I called it a Center, an Integral Lifestyle Center.

Visualizing Zen Mystery

For a few year I dreamed about it, visualized it, and even made a vision board with everything I pictured having there. I had even picked the building where it was going to be. And two years ago, as a trial, Denis and I opened a consulting business in online marketing which is another area we were experts at. Inbound Den opened in August 2011 to help conscious businesses promote their companies online.

Last year, Denis quit his corporate job to work full time on Inbound Den. That gave us the opportunity to feel comfortable in owning and running a business.

Taking a Leap

I’m a big fan of Marie Forleo, Kris Carr, and Mastin Kipp, and I had been dying to go to RHH Live because I was ready to take the leap into our Spiritual Center. But the price, the time, everything wasn’t working out for me to go to NYC and learn how to run a business. Sad about this one day, I opened my email and saw a message from Omega Institute about a workshop on how to start your own business and taught by Stephan Rechtschaffen, founder of Omega and former CEO.  The price was right, the time was right, the topic was exactly what I needed, and who better than Stephan to learn from? WOW. I book that baby right away and went without a doubt.

I had told myself that I was going there just to take notes for Denis so that he could make his dream of a school come true. But the reality was, that I was the one that needed the hand holding. And boy, what a great place to shed the fears away! Omega in Rhinebeck was the perfect space to do just that. I learned a lot from Stephan and my classmates that weekend and was so inspired each minute I was there that I just couldn’t contain myself. I was ready to give birth to our baby: Zen Mystery.

Zen Mystery, Spiritual Center, Tea Room, and Boutique

We found the perfect place four our center. As of today, we are working very hard to open our doors in February 2013 and share with you all Denis’ vision that has been cooking in his heart from over a decade. We will be offering meditation classes, yoga, tai chi, dance, and more. In the tea room we will have vegan pastries and snacks like sandwiches, soups, and salads. In the boutique, we will have some clothing, accessories and other products that are aligned with the Integral Lifestyle. We also want to make the classroom available to anyone in the community that needs space for workshops or classes since it’s difficult to find a central location with plenty of parking.

You can go to our facebook page for Zen Mystery to stay tuned for updates on the opening day and what will be offered there.

We hope to see you soon in Zen Mystery in downtown Dania Beach!

Steamed Alkaline Food Recipe

05 October

I’ve been posting pictures of my steamed alkaline food on instagram and many have asked for recipes. I started steaming alkaline vegetables a few months ago because towards the end of last year I had been eating a lot of acidic foods and even though they were raw, it was acidic.

Steamed Alkaline Food Recipe

Steaming Alkaline Vegetables

The idea with eating steamed food was to reset my taste buds and help my body become more alkaline again. Denis and I just a conversation about how when we discovered the Alkaline principle that we stayed pretty alkaline until we went to our first raw food festivals in Sedona in 2008 ans we were told cashews, chocolate, mushrooms, and agave were good for you.

We knew better but didn’t listen.

Alkaline Food Recipe

The recipe for steaming alkaline food is simple. I take my list of alkaline food and throw any combination of these in the steamer. I don’t steam avocados or seeds or fruits. Everything else I steam and then add oils when the food is done ans on my plate.

Since it’s fall, I’m using a lot of fall organic local veggies and whatever else I see at Josh’s that fits the “highly alkaline” requirements. Here is one of my favorite combinations:

1 handful of Brussel Sprouts

1 handful cauliflower

1/4 cup of sprouted beans (including peas)

1/4 rep pepper

Garlic (as much as you like)

2 large collard leaves

2 large chard leaves

Kale, spinach, and other greens

Real Salt, cumin, and other spices

Hemp oil to taste

 

I use all my ingredients fresh from Josh’s Organic Garden, so I only have to steam them for less than 10 minutes. I don’t buy anything frozen because it’s not considered raw. My steamer has a timer, so I add all veggies but the greens and spices and oil and set the timer for 10 to 12 minutes.

When there is about 2 minutes left, I add the greens and cover until the steamer rings and shuts off.  I add hemp oil to all my meals that are cooked so I can get all the benefits from the hemp oil and not complain about the taste. A major reason I steam some food is to reset my taste bud and to learn to eat oils I did not like when I was only eating raw.

Serve warm with seasonings.This is enough food for me for dinner or sometimes I have leftovers for the next day. Do not microwave or warm up again! Anything good left in the food will be dead if you microwave it.

Steamed Alkaline Food Recipe

You can change the ingredients with any of the vegetables on the Alkaline list and add other seasoning or spices or even hot peppers and the seasons change and other veggies become available. Below is a picture of garbanzo sprouts, broccoli, and peas as as different mix.

Steamed garbanzo sprouts with veggies

 

Zen and Diet: Can Food Assist You on Your Spiritual Path?

22 July

denis sunduki

Denis and his friends started this project last week. It’s a documentary on whether a person with a strong spiritual practice can take their practice to a higher level with the introduction of a healthy diet. Here is some information on the current project as described by Denis below.

Outline for the Documentary

  • Carlos Londono as Director/Star, Frank Padron as Director of Photography, Denis Soukhanov as Producer/Expert
  • Daily spiritual practice should include: meditation, yoga, satsang, kirtan
  • Weekly recorded conversations
  • Expert Interviews
  • Daily Video Journal
  • Diet is based on pH Miracle by Robert Young

Phase 1: Yogic Diet (30 days)

  • End of First Week: coffee replaced with green tea
  • Whole Food Vegetarian Diet
  •  “Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed. Whole foods typically do not contain added ingredients, such as salt, carbohydrates, or fat.” – Wikipedia
  • Organic when possible
  • Avoid stimulants (coffee, alcohol, drugs)
  • Multi-vitamin whole foods supplement
  • “In the Ayurvedic tradition, foods that are considered sattvic include most vegetables, ghee (clarified butter), fruits, legumes, and whole grains.” – Yoga Journal
  • Learning Ahimsa
  • Fasting on Ekadashi days (11th lunar day, twice a month)

Phase 2: Beyond Ahimsa – Vegan Diet (30 days)

  • All of the above
  • Avoid all animal products (no dairy, no honey, no eggs)
  • At least one big salad a day
  • Learning about pH of the foods
  • Multi-vitamin whole foods supplement

Phase 3: Alkaline Diet  (30 days)

  • First week (Green Juice fast)
  • 80/20 pH balanced
  •  80/20 Raw Vegan
  • Green Juices and Green Smoothies for breakfast
  • Multi-vitamin whole foods supplement

 

My New Edible Beach Garden

10 July

Beach Organic Garden

Each Spring, Denis and I plant hot peppers and other foods to grow. Living on the beach hasn’t change that. We have been able to grow kale, collards, red peppers, figs, herbs, and more.

We buy supplies and the vegetables we are planning on growing at different places. One place we like a lot is the organic nursery at Food and Thought in Naples, FL. We also get edible plants, vegetables, and other small fruit trees from our local farmers in Homestead and Miami.

We make our own compost in two batches and then mix it with the existing soil as well as new organic soil to grow food.

Even though we are not great at gardening, we have been able to get a lot of food from our own tiny urban backyard. Our neighbors also grow many greens and herbs in a much bigger space than we do and often share with us their collards and kale. And since I recently started to eat a little steamed vegetables, I enjoy steaming collards for less than 10 minutes to stay alkaline all the time.

Organic Fig grown at the beach

Planting a edible garden is not that difficult even for busy people like Denis and I with no green thumbs! So I hope more of you get inspired to convert your backyards into a food source. Not only is a rewarding experience, but also a great family project!

Read more about Urban gardening at my favorite place to read about growing food in your own backyard.

organic grown vegetables at the beach

After planting all new vegetables including hot peppers and herbs.

 

 

My New Favorite Organic Market & Clothing Store | Food & Thought

08 July

Organic food market and cefeteria in Florida

Too bad is 111 miles away from where I live! Food& Thought is an awesome organic market, cafe, juice bar, clothing store, and nursery. It’s located in Naples, Fl and it has a great space where people can shop for food, prepared and groceries and enjoy their meals outside in the nice patio. After you meal, you can cross over the patio over to the organic nursery and shopped for plants and supplies for your garden including worm castings, seaweed fertilizer, and garden decorations.

Afterwards, you can walk next door to the organic clothing store where each item has been handpicked for the store. From organic jeans to underwear, bedding, towels, and children’s clothing and more.

organic clothes in Florida

Everything is organic! Whether you go to the nursery, the cafe, juice bar, or the clothing store, all items are organic.

Denis and I enjoy taking a drive there once in a while to shop. Not only do we get to cross alligator alley and enjoy the view, but also, we get to spend the day in Naples shopping for great organic products, and if we plan it right, watch the sunset on the west side of Florida!

Organic Nursery in Florida

The last time we were there, we bought a trunk load of supplies for our edible garden that included about 5 different types of hot peppers, kale, sweet peppers, and herbs. We also found an awesome seaweed fertilizer for both vegetable and plants.

Organic soil and organic plants in Florida

 

We then walked over the clothing store and found great items to replace in our wardrobe.

This is one of the greatest places we are lucky to have in Florida! If you are visiting Naples, it’s a great organic market, cafeteria, nursery, and clothing store to visit!

Eating More Alkaline Vegetables

23 February

Alkaline Vegetables

Until about 4 weeks ago, my diet consisted of raw junk food! Yes, I was eating tons of raw cashew ice cream, raw chocolate bars, and more cashew based foods. I had stopped drinking my Thank God from Josh’s Organic Garden and any other green leafy vegetables. I think the stress of having opened our new consulting firm and planning and traveling to Colombia made me go for easy raw meals that were not alkaline, drinking caffeinated tea with sugar, and tons of Kombucha. I even started to eat corn and mushrooms again! Yikes!

Many health issues I had before when I was on a regular SAD diet came back. Infections, weak immune system, migraines, sinus issues, and low energy. So I took my copy of the pH Miracle book and made a list of all the vegetables that were high int he Alkaline scale and went shopping. But the challenge was that I didn’t want to eat them raw. I didn’t want to eat anything raw that was healthy! Just the junk!

 

Alkaline Vegetables List including Oils and Nuts

  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion
  • Broccoli
  • Endive
  • Celery
  • Sorrel
  • Green Beans
  • Lemon
  • Lettuce
  • Dill, Parsley, and Cilantro
  • Carrots (not carrot juice)
  • Watercress
  • Cauliflower
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Lima Beans
  • Snow peas
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Onions
  • Kale, Collards, Chard, Sprouts, and Spinach
  • Black radish (the rockstar of pH!) I don’t eat this steamed, I eat it raw in salads
  • Hemp oil, Borage oil, Flax seed oil, evening Primrose oil, and Chia seed oil
  • Almonds & Hemp Seeds
  • Avocados too 🙂 Thank you to Lisa for reminding me!

 

I knew the reason why I couldn’t eat these veggies raw and oils was because I had been eating so bad the last 5 months that my taste buds would not allow anything healthy in.

Resetting my Taste Buds

Denis suggested I do a green juice fast but we all know what happened the last time I did that! hah hah! So instead I decided I would steam these veggies for 28 days until I was able to get used to an Alkaline diet again.

The next challenge was that I don’t have a stove in my kitchen. So I went and bought a vegetable steamer for two people. I decided I would eat about 20% of my dinner steamed. That way I would stay mainly raw and 100% Alkaline. That meant no sugar, no cashews, no caffeine, no alcohol, no mushrooms! The only fruit I allowed myself to have was grapefruit everyday and blueberries once a week.

The first few days I went thru sugar and caffeine withdrawals, and I was dreaming of cupcakes and pizza. But after 2 weeks, I was fine.

Results

I’m about 20 days in, just eating alkaline and can see the difference. I haven’t gained any weight even though I have not exercised, and I have been able to heal all health issues I had. I’m drinking/eating hemp and flax seed oil with no issues and feel great!

I’m very excited of returning to my healthy path on the Alkaline diet! I carry this list of vegetables everywhere with me so I don’t forget what is Alkaline.

 

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.

 

 

 

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 😉

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!