Tag Archives: organic

Green Tips for Your Bathroom

14 July

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.

Cleaners

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.

Toilet Paper

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.

Water

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.

Electronics

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!

Green Series

22 June

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.

Raw Vegans

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!

Parents

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.

Blessings,

Lina

RAW FAQs

27 May

Raw Food Party

I’ve summarized the questions I get all the time from family, friends, strangers on the beach, at work, in a plane, etc.

What do you eat normally on a daily basis?

For breakfast I eat one of these: fruit smoothie, green smoothie, fruit, oatmeal, ALT (Avocado, Lettuce, Tomato) salad, or a green juice.

For lunch it depends, weekdays a salad because is the easiest to take to work than some fancy raw gourmet dish. Weekends I get fancy or go out to lunch at one of my favorite raw food restaurants.

Dinner is always different. Most times it will be a new recipe or one or favorite meals like hummus, nori rolls, kelp noodles, cucumber noodles, tabouli, and all meals always accompanied by avocado and a bed of romaine lettuce.

Indian Dish

Raw Indian Food

Do you miss cooked food?

Not eating the cooked food so much but cooking it. I have been cooking food since I was 11 years old and that way my only creative outlet. The first 6 months I missed eating cooked lentils the way I made them and some vegan spicy Indian foods.

Do you get tempted to eat cooked foods?

No, I may enjoy the smell of cook food I see other people eat or at the beach while I ride my bicycle and the smell all the fried food, but when I imagine putting something cooked in my mouth and eating, I know it’s not for me.


What is the biggest challenge of being raw vegan?

For every person is different. For me the biggest bump on the road was not being able to prepare food and be creative. With cooked food, I was able to go to a restaurant and copy the recipe at home and make it ten times better. With raw food it was hard at the beginning, it was like learning a new language. I had to start from my ABCs and then make sentences until I was able to speak, write, and read fluently! So for me the biggest struggle was in preparing the food, not eating it because I was so attached to working in the kitchen and making from delicious exotic gourmet dishes to your regular fast food favorites.

What do you drink?

Juices

Thank God, Orange Juice, & Grapefruit Juice

Well this is tough one because most people struggle with things I gave up years ago. I stopped drinking sodas when I was 11 cause my basketball coach said he would throw us out of the team if  he saw us drinking sodas! When I turned 18, I was drinking a lot of coffee and water all day long, about 8 cups of coffee and 1 bottle of water per coffee cup. And I did it for years until I turned 21. At 21, I started drinking teas cause of the Russian and so I replaced my coffee habit for tea. So I stopped caffeine 9 years ago, and when we started on Dr. Young’s diet, we began drinking a green powder in our water. So now I drink my “greens” from Alkavision or Dr. Broc’s from Dr. Young, fresh non-heated non processed juices made at home or from Josh’s Organic Garden Juice Bar or Glaser. So drinks were not an issue for me when I transition to raw because I had started it years ago.

What do you use to replace sugar or artificial sweeteners?

This is also a hard question to answer for me because I haven’t had regular bleached sugar since I was 12, unless it was sugar included in processed foods that  I consumed. And once I switched to Dr. Young’s diet, I had no sugar at all, not even from fruits and if I wanted to sweetened my tea I would use stevia. I only starting eating fruits again when I became raw, but they bother me, so I avoid most fruits. We also used agave for the first year we were raw, but now agave make us sick too. So what’s left that works for us? Stevia or lucuma powder. Some raw foodists will use honey, but I’m a vegan and I believe honey farms are a form of slavery and therefore I don’t support them.

What about Kombucha?

I love Kombucha! Yeah it’s fermented and it’s not good for me. So I’ve had it for “recreational” purposes, but now I avoid it.

What supplements do you take?

I don’t take any, I started fading them away about 3 years now. But there are other people who may need them, so again, I would recommend to consult a doctor about that. I know a lot of raw foodists that are against supplements or doctors, but one’s gotta do what is good for the body. I let my body guide me and if it needs something, I’ll go directly to the source. For example, if I need iron, I’ll eat foods that have iron and so forth. Lately, I’ve been eating raw tahini by the gallon (JK) so I can guess that I probably need the calcium.

If you have any questions, please send us an email.

Raw Cashew Tofu Salad

Raw Cashew Tofu Salad

Raw

24 May

Raw Vegan - Rebel with a Cause

“What is a raw vegan?” I get asked sometimes or why I choose to eat a raw vegan diet. So in this post I’m going to describe in my own terms what I consider my diet is.  First, I choose to do vegan diet first and foremost, before organic or before raw, I’m a VEGAN. That means no animal byproducts such as honey, eggs, cheese, etc. Raw means that I choose to eat all vegan foods uncooked or unheated.

Some people wonder what is left to eat if I don’t eat animals. Well, any vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouts and to eat them raw means no steaming, stir frying, boiling, roasting, or heating above 105 degrees.  While most people get to a supermarket and head for the frozen section, I head over to the produce and the bulk grains and nuts.

I was a vegan for about a year before I transition to 100% raw, but before I even knew what raw was, I was already eating about 70% raw for years. I started the raw vegan lifestyle inspired by a documentary by Kris Carr, Crazy Sexy Cancer, and haven’t turn to look back since then!

There are many types of raw diets, and what works best for me is a raw alkalarien diet. I use Dr. Robert Young’s pH scale and principles to do a raw alkalarian diet. He basically states that to stay balance and not create an acidic environment in one’s body, one must balance the pH in the body by consuming more alkaline foods and practicing more alkalarian ways of living. Denis and I learned about Dr. Young’s pH diet 7 years ago and before transitioning to raw, we had already been following the pH diet which made it very easy to transition to raw.

As I mentioned, I chose to eat a raw vegan diet for health reasons. However, I now see that this lifestyle fits my beliefs. For example, being raw helps the environment which as you all know I’ve been passionate for many years. I can write a whole new post about the different ways being raw contributes to the environment. It  has also helped me improve my spiritual practice and sculpting my body.

A raw vegan diet is not for everyone and it’s not the solution to one’s issues. As always, when making any changes in my lifestyle, I made sure I monitor my health by visiting my doctors and ensure that the changes I made were beneficial to my body and mind.

In part two of this blog, I will answer the most common questions I get asked about my raw vegan lifestyle. But the most important point I would like to get across in this blog is that everyone is different and while this lifestyle works for me, it may not work for other people at this point in their lives. That’s why is critical to do research and consult a doctor before making any changes.

Here are some tips on how to transition to a vegan diet. Enjoy!

It’s Not All about the Food

13 May

My Aunt and I

After over 8 years in the path to health, I can safely say it’s not all about the food. The more I learn, the more I understand that one thing alone is not going to make a difference. It can start the way to a healthier lifestyle, but it’s not the ticket for sure.

My favorite Aunt passed away last year. She was a happy woman who drank coffee and smoke for a very long time and yet she was in good physical health. She was surrounded by friends and family who loved her. She also kept herself very active and had a great memory and would tell me great stories about her family and friends. She worked hard and enjoyed her life very much.

I was lucky to spend a few summers with her and was able to learn so much from her. In fact, my love for romaine lettuce started because my aunt would eat them for dinner everyday. I didn’t know there were different kinds of lettuce back then, but she taught me and inspired me to eat them. We also eat a lot of candy and coffee, but we had a great time!

She taught me to reuse and not create garbage before it was trendy. She was creative and the first marketing guru I learned from. She taught me how to count money backwards and how to clean windows the right way. She took me for my driving test when I first got my license and helped me pass the test. She was very charming and polite to even the hardest people and customers ever and that’s something I apply in my life everyday. She always smiled and kept herself busy and up to date with news and trends.

She was 90 years old when she passed away a year ago, and that’s how I know it’s not all about the food. She was happy with what she had, her work, her daughter, her dogs, and friends, and of course her favorite niece, ME! 🙂

I miss her very much, but I know that she’s with me in my heart and that what I learned from her will stay with me forever. I want to honor her memory with this blog but also share that there is more to life than food. We all need love, purpose, exercise, food, happiness, friends, pets, plants, air, ocean, candy, and more to live a healthy life.

I’m not endorsing smoking or drinking coffee or eating candy, not did I changed my believes about raw vegan organic food. I simply believe that food alone is not the key to a healthy long lifestyle. So today, I encourage you to see what is missing in your life to make it complete, and to remember that one thing alone is not enough. Healthy food is not the only solution!

Green Tips to Decorate Your Home

04 May

It’s always fun to redecorate you living space especially after a nice spring cleaning! I wanted to share some tips to decorate your home without spending a lot of money and contributing to the environment at the same time.

Reuse

The best way to stay in budget and help the environment is to reuse. Even if you don’t like everything you have at home, there are always items that can be salvaged. For example, an old curtain can be reused to make new pillow covers.  Another way to reuse is to switch things around the house. I do this with a lot of my decorations, frames, candles, and statues. I move things from one room to another or take what I don’t like to my office and stuff from my office can go back into the house. I also switch outdoor decorations or even plants around the house too.

By giving things a second chance in your home, you are also helping to conserve and prevent production of brand new things. Therefore saving resources like logging, mining, and manufacturing.  

Recycle

If you want to buy new items, try recycled items. For example, recycled glass and “downcycled” wood items. However, if your budget for decorating consists of whatever people are giving away, try Freecycle.org. There is a local chapter in almost every city and many people give away great items in good condition.

Renewable & Natural

Most people are not aware that the best renewable sources make beautiful furnishings and decorations for a home. For example, bamboo, wheat, cork, or wool are easy to produce and grown and require much less resources than say wood or stone.

What to Look For? – Read the Labels

Yes, not only I’m asking you to read your food labels, but also anything that you bring into your home. Here is a quick checklist to keep handy when shopping:

  • Look for locally harvested or made: you will be supporting local businesses that require less transportation and therefore using less fossil fuels. Not to mention that you would be supporting American made products!
  • Non-Toxic substances: Paint is the first one that comes to mind, but also any cleaning supplies and candles or even incense
  • Organic or Non-Genetically Modified: yes there are organic materials and fabrics! For example, organic cotton sheets, pillows, covers, towels, kitchen towels, etc. Hemp and bamboo are also a great fabric to buy. Even Target carries organic cotton bedding and kitchen linens nowdays and not just online, but also in their stores
  • Reusable: I mentioned reusing items from your home, but if you are shopping for new furnishings or decorations, go for items that can be used later with little or no manufacturing

Out with the Old

I wrote a blog about Clearing your Clutter, which I recommend reading before redecorating your home. So after you decide to get rid of things that no longer serve a purpose in your life, what are you going to do with them? NOT THE TRASH!

Recycle and Reuse is always the answer! Sign up for Freecycle.org and OFFER your items to other people that might be interested in them. You can also try to sell them, but that may require more time and effort and if you have a hard time letting things go, you may change your mind and put it back into your life. Donations to organizations are also great. I’ve become familiar with all the local organizations that take donations of furniture, clothes, etc. Most known are Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, and Salvation Army. These are also great place to shop for furniture.

I don’t believe in making money of things I’m getting rid of, so I donate everything or offer it in Freecycle.org. I believe in making space for good things in my life. I also believe in manifesting for things. For example, I recently had a purple purse that a friend gave after I helped her clean her cluttered closet, but I had to retire it (to GoodWill), and the next day my boss gave a brand new purple purse that she found while clearing her clutter and that was her closet sitting for a year not being used.

I hope these tips help you in clearing your sacred space and redecorating it while contributing to the environment.

Reusable Picture Frame Photo by Foxtongue

Bamboo Photo by caseyyee

Bicycle Depot Photo by Peter Blanchard

Quinoa Tabouli & Raw Chickpea Hummus

15 April

I had typed this entire blog post and lost it with a click of a key! You’d have thought WordPress could have save it but now it didn’t. So my poor mouse took a hit… It was either the mouse or the laptop.

So here I am trying to make things better with the mouse, thank the gods, goddess, universe, God, and Ganesh, it survived! And now I’m starting from scratch.

I had some funny story about mediterrenean food, but who remembers! So here is the darn recipe for tabouli and raw chickpea hummus.

Tabouli

1 cup of quinoa to sprout

1 red pepper chopped

1 green pepper chopped

1 medium onion chopped (green or red is good)

1 tomato chopped

1 Tbs. of raw tahini

1 handful curly parsley

Olive oil, unpasteurized sesame oil, salt, cilantro, lemon juice to taste

Sprout the quinoa for two days or as long as you prefer them. Rinse and drain then place in a mixing bowl. Add the vegetables, olive oil, salt, lemon juice, tahini, parsley, and cilantro. Mix well and serve with hummus and cut vegetables.

Raw Chickpea Hummus

2 cups of sprouted chickpeas

2 Tbs. raw Tahini

2 cloves of garlic

1 handful of flat parsley

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/2 lemon’s juice

1/2 Tbs. Organic Cumin Seed powder

Salt to taste

Cayenne pepper and one olive to garnish

Rinse the sprouted chickpeas and put in food processor. Add all the other ingredients and mix until smooth.

Put in a bowl, add some olive oil on top, sprinkle some cayenne pepper, and add an olive.

Oh! and now that I’m finally in a good mood, enjoy!

No animals or husbands were harmed during the retyping of this post… Well I’m sure Denis would say different! 🙂

Raw Coconut Curry Kelp Noodles

22 March
kelp curry noodles

Kelp curry noodles

At my first Raw Spirit Festival in ’08, Sedona AZ, I came across Kelp Noodles. My friend John Schott from LifeFood Gourmet had a table at the festival and made an awesome tomato Italian sauce for these noodles. I got the last bowl he was selling and boy I’ve been hooked since then!

So when we got back to FL, Denis went online and looked them up… he ordered them and I’ve been making different sauces for them. My favorite is Coconut Curry sauce I created by accident trying to copy a red Thai chili sauce.

What  I enjoy most about this sauce and the noodles is that is easy to prepare and makes a great “fancy” meal when I’m tired and don’t want to send a lot of time in the kitchen.

Here is what you’ll need:

Kelp Noodles

Kelp Noodles

1 Pack of Kelp noodles

3 cloves of garlic (less if you can’t handle raw garlic)

Organic Cumin, organic curry powder, coriander, turmeric (all in powder form)

Ginger

1 Handful of cilantro

2 cups of coconut oil

Red chillies (Thai chillies)

Salt

Olive Oil

Lime or Lemon

Red Pepper strips

1  1/2 cup of almond or other white nut milk

Shredded lettuce & avocado

*Sweet peas, shredded celery & carrots optional

**To make it spicy (picante) add more chili peppers

First make the curry paste by putting the garlic, cumin, curry, coriander, turmeric, ginger, cilantro, chilies, salt, lemon, olive oil in the food processor and mixing until it becomes a paste. Add the nut milk and coconut oil and continue to mix.

Rinse the noodles well and put aside in a bowl to mix. Add sauce, red pepper strips, and optional vegetables (peas, carrots, celery). Mix well and let it sit for a few minutes.

Serve over a bed of lettuce with avocado.

Kelp curry noodles

Mixing the noodles, sauce, and vegetables

Moving to the Beach Salad

15 March
Seaweed Salad

Seaweed Salad

Denis and I moved from a small 3-bedroom house to a tiny beach apartment a few months back and during that stressful packing time, I made this recipe everyday.

I was making sure to empty my refrigerator so that I could clean it before returning the house, so we had very little fresh food left. I came up with this salad with different types of Seaweed to sort of keep the “ocean-sea” theme since we were moving to the beach. So I named it “Moving to the Beach Salad”!

Here is what you need:

Romaine lettuce

1 Tomato

Yellow/green beans

1 pack of Pacific Sea Vegetable Mix (wakame, funori, kiriboshi wakame, shiro kikurage, ito kanten, kizami hoshi kombu)*

Seaweed Dressing

1 Tbs. Namashoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce)

1/8 Raw sesame seed oil

1/8 Olive Oil

A few drops of Apple Cider vinegar (optional)

Pepper flakes

Real Salt to taste

*I’m able to buy a pack from Glaser market that is ready to prepare, but any seaweed salad mix will do.

Soak the seaweed salad for 10 minutes and drain water and add more water to soak for another 10 minutes. Or if you buy a particular brand of seaweed mix, simply follow the directions in the package. Some mixes require more or less time soaked in water.

In a separate bowl, mix the sesame oil, olive oil, namashoyu, pepper flakes, and apple cider vinegar if you are using it. We don’t use vinegar, but most seaweed salad dressings have vinegar and agave, but I believe apple cider vinegar replaces both. Depending on how big the package of seaweed is, you may have to increase the amounts of the oils and ingredients for the dressing.

After draining the seaweed water the second time, rinse the seaweed in a strainer or colander with more water. Shake the excess water off and add the salad to the bowl with the dressing. Mix well and let sit for about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, shred the lettuce or cut thinly to use a bed for the seaweed. Cut the beans as thin as you like and add to the lettuce. Cut tomatoes to complement the meal and finally add the seaweed on top of the lettuce and beans. I also serve this with avocado slices.

We eat seaweed at least once a week; it’s a good source of minerals and vitamins. We are fortunate that we can buy the seaweed mix at our local farm, but there are websites that sells amazing seaweed salads for a reasonable price. I recommend the Sea Tangle Noodle Company which also offers kelp noodles.

Hope you enjoy this recipe and stay tuned for my kelp noodle recipes!

Raw Borsch – Beet Soup

05 December
Russian Raw Borsch

Russian Raw Borsch

One of my favorite cooked dishes was Russian borsch. It was my favorite soup to make for Denis and when we became vegetarians I stopped using beef to make it. However, when we became raw, I had a hard time finding a recipe for borsch that I liked. Finally, I invented my own and liked how it came out.  The almond milk gives it a “sour cream” feeling to it.  I have actually made this soup with golden beets as well.  So I hope you enjoy it as well!

1/2 cup of raw almonds & water (or 1 cup of raw almond milk)
1 medium size tomato
2 medium size beet
2 carrots
3/4 cup shredded cabbage
Garlic and onion to taste
Salt to taste
Olive Oil
Chopped dill

Blend the almonds and water to make almond milk. Strain the milk in a nut bag or if you want to keep the pulp, don’t strain. Poor the milk back into the blender and add one beet, one carrot, and the tomato. Add some salt, garlic, onion, and olive oil and blend until smooth. Put aside in a bowl.

Shred the other carrot and beet and add to the soup base.  I use my food processor with a shredding blade to save time. Add cabbage and dill.

Pour in serving bowls and add some olive oil on the top.

Serves two hungry adults 🙂

Making the Almond Milk/Base for Borsch

Making the Almond Milk/Base for Borsch