Tag Archives: Transitioning

My Father’s Scramble Tomato, Onion, and Rice Eggs… Vegan Style

10 February
Raw Vegan "Eggs"

Raw Vegan “Eggs”

When someone doesn’t feel like making food or cooking, they order take out or go out to eat. And if budgets are tight, most of us have a recipe we make for those days when we just don’t feel creative about making food or are tired.

My dad’s recipe for those occasions was scramble eggs with rice, tomatoes, and onions. He would fry the chopped onions, tomatoes, and left over rice and throw a few whipped eggs and make a meal out of that. For many years before we became raw vegans, I would use my father’s recipe for when I felt tired and didn’t want order take out food.

I now have a raw vegan version of this recipe that is very quick to prepare and tastes amazing.

Here are the ingredients:

2 Handfuls of Almonds (hopefully sprouted)

¼ cup Flax Seed Powder

Turmeric

Organic Cumin Seed Powder

Real Salt

2 Tomatoes

½ Medium Onion

Cilantro

½ small jalapeno pepper (optional)

Olive Oil

Avocado and Shredded Romaine lettuce

Put the almonds in the food processor with the flax seed powder, turmeric, cumin, and salt. Process to a powder and set aside in a bowl.

Almond Powder and Tomatoes in Food Processor

Almond Powder and Tomatoes in Food Processor

Using the same food processor (no need to wash it), put cut tomatoes, onions, oil, cilantro, and salt to taste. Pulse to make a semi-chunky salsa and avoid making it too liquidy. If you are using the jalapeno pepper, add them to the salsa to make it as spicy as you can handle. Add the salsa to the powdered almonds and mix without making to mushy.

Mixing Powder and Salsa

Mixing Powder and Salsa

Serve over shredded lettuce, I use the lettuce to replace the rice in my father’s recipe. Slice the avocado and serve on the side. This serves two people, a tiny woman and a big Russian!

I recently added something else to this recipe; I’ve been using pumpkin seed oil and pour it over avocado. It’s delicious!

Enjoy!

Natural Hair

02 February
My Hair

My Hair

Anyone that has met me in the last 11 years knows how much fun I had changing my hair… color, cuts, and styles. Every month was something different, a different shade of red too.  And I loved every color I tried! My hair stylist loved it when I showed up because she knew she got to do whatever she wanted, and I would have loved it no matter what.

I had been coloring my hair since I turned 18 and after 10 years I decided to stop.

It started when I went to my first Raw Spirit Fest in Sedona about two years ago. I heard Victoria and Valya Boutenko talk about all these products we all use in our bodies and we think we are healthy ‘cause we have a raw vegan diet. Well I was sitting there all proud ‘cause I used organic and/or natural creams, shampoos, soaps, makeup, tooth paste, oils, etc. My ego was going “yeah suckas! gotta go all natural!” nodding my head to their words.

Until they talked about hair dyes; “Oops!” The ego said, “Well I use vegetable dyes from whole foods. That’s not bad!” I knew I was lying to myself. I had only starting using vegetable dyes two years previous to that, but I had about 8 years worth of chemicals in my body for sure. So about a year ago I decided to stop dying it and had to cut most of it out.

It’s been a year and finally all the color is completely out! I can say I’m all natural now!

I wake up and look at my new REAL hair color and it’s not bad and it makes me proud to say it was a big step for me and I’m happy with my decision. I do miss my red-colored hair every now and then. But if I’m going to talk the talk, I gotta walk the walk. Plus there are always wigs… natural ones of course!

More Styles & Colors

More Styles & Colors

Saturday Morning Green Delight

31 January
Saturday Morning Juice & Ganesh

Saturday Morning Juice & Ganesh

One Saturday morning I woke up waiting a green juice. So I took everything green out of the refrigerator and juice it. I usually don’t juice greens because I get a fantastic green juice at Josh’s Organic Garden called the “Thank God” five days a week. Not only does Josh have the best greens ever, but also their juicing method is out of the world.

So I have gotten used to drinking green juices five days a week and Saturdays they are not open. I washed all my greens and juiced them including two apples because my juicer is not as great as the one at the Juice Bar. And now it has become a tradition to wake up Saturday mornings and juice the greens.

Here is what I juice:

3 types of Kale (dinosaur, red, and green)

3 types of chard (red, yellow, and white)

Florida Romaine lettuce

Dandelion, Spinach, Collard Greens

Celery, Carrots, Cucumber

2 apples (optional)

I juice everything and put it in a jar, mix in about 2/3 of water, and some pH drops. I save half of that for my sweetie and he adds a lime/lemon to his juice, and I add the two juiced apples to mine.

And that’s our Saturday morning delight!

Thank God at Josh's Organic Garden

Thank God at Josh's Organic Garden

Raw Vegan Kimchi

29 September
Raw Vegan Kimchi

Raw Vegan Kimchi

Kimchi is one of my favorite dishes ever! I think I can eat it almost everyday. Here is my way of making raw vegan kimchi.

1 Napa cabbage or Chinese cabbage

Real Salt (first to salt the cabbage and then to salt the whole recipe)

5 to 7 cloves of garlic

Peeled Ginger to taste (I use about 1 inch square of a ginger root)

1 red pepper

1 jalapeño pepper or cayenne pepper (not powder)

1 yellow onion

1/4 cup Bariani Olive oil

Chili flakes and pepper flakes to taste

10 Scallions julienned or cut in long strips (lots of scallions is what makes this recipe)

Wash the cabbage and separate the leaves. Let the water drip off the cabbage and get a container ready to place the cabbage for the salting part of the recipe and another container to press down the cabbage. Line up some leaves on the container put salt all over. Add another layer of leaves on top and add more salt and repeat until you use all the leaves and salt every layer. Use the other container to press down the cabbage. Let sit for 8 hours or overnight until all the cabbage is soaked in the salty water. You can let it sit more time to ferment more, but it won’t probably be raw at that point. You can also choose to let it sit less time, but I find that 8 hours is just perfect. Taste the cabbage and if it’s too salty for your taste, rinse it, but if it’s fine, just dumped the residual water.

Cabbage and salt in layers

Cabbage and salt in layers

To make the paste, I like to use my juicer to mince all the ingredients for the red paste. However, you can use a vegetable chopper or a food processor for this part. So mince or chop or process the garlic, ginger, red pepper, onion, and some of the red pepper flakes or jalapeño pepper or cayenne pepper. When I put this thru my juicer using the mince blades, there is also some juice that comes out which will make the paste a bit more liquidly and that’s why I don’t have to add water to this recipe. If you use a food processor or a chopper you may have to add a few spoons of water and the olive oil. Mix this paste and taste it for flavor. Depending on the saltiness of the cabbage and of the paste, you may want to make sure they will balance each other.

Peppers and Garlic for Kimchi

Peppers and Garlic for Kimchi

Using the same washed container, spread some of the paste at the bottom of the dish and take some of the scallions and spread them over the paste… you are going to layer the cabbage and paste like a lasagna. Take some cabbage and cover the first layer of the paste, and then add some more paste and scallions over the cabbage and keep layering in that order. Once you used all the cabbage and paste, cover the container and refrigerate for a few hours (4 to 6 hours). If you have cabbage or paste left over, just add it to the sides or try to fill in every space in the container.

I get about 6 to 8 servings out of this because I use a lot of it in different salads. I like to take a cucumber and chop it small cubes to add to the kimchi.

Cucumber Kimchi Salad

Cucumber Kimchi Salad

5 Tips to Become a Vegetarian

22 August
Tuna Fish Salad w/ Organic Dressing and Vegetarian Taquitos

Tuna Fish Salad w/ Organic Dressing and Vegetarian Taquitos

When we began our transition to health, we started taking small steps. I strongly believe in transitioning slowly is the best way to achieve being a vegetarian because it eases the body into your new lifestyle. I’m not a believer in changes overnight… or cold turkey! At least, it didn’t work for us! So here are five easy ways to begin the transition to a healthy vegetarian lifestyle.

Start fading red meat and pork from your diet

One easy way to accomplish this is to find how many times do you eat red meat and pork and fade both gradually. For example, if you eat red meats 2 times a day 5 days a week, start by eating it once a day for three weeks. After three weeks, eat red meat 3 times a week only and so forth. Calculate how many times a week you eat pork and apply the same principle. In addition, after the first two months, stop buying pork and red meat at restaurants. Only eat it if you buy it to prepare at home. If you go out very often, order poultry only, chicken and turkey. After six months, eat meat and pork only once a week, and after that every other week. Very soon your body won’t even remember what flesh tastes like! After a year, say goodbye to flesh!

Increase amount of vegetables and whole grains

As you eliminate the amount of red meat and pork you eat, begin to increase the amount of vegetables and whole grains in your meals. For example, if you eat two hamburgers a day, eat one and replace the rest with your favorite vegetable or whole grains such beans, chick peas, lentils, quinoa, or buckwheat to name a few. I suggest experimenting with frozen vegetables because they are less expensive and that way you can begin to identify what you like. Vegetable and wjole grains have lots of protein and vitamins that your body will need to begin the transition. Once you know what your favorite vegetable and grains are, buy them fresh and experiment with different seasoning, etc.

Decrease the amount of dairy and eggs you consume

I became allergic to dairy at 21, so it was very easy for me to give up dairy. You may find that you may be allergic to dairy too. The problem became learning to read labels. A lot of “vegan” and “vegetarian” products such mock cheeses and even crackers have dairy in them, so I had to learn to read labels when shopping.  I was also allergic to eggs since I was 14, every time I ate more than one egg a week, I would get chest pains.

Apply the same rule as in eliminating meats, find how many times you consume dairy and eggs, and begin decreasing the amount slowly. Eggs have high amount of cholesterol. One easy way to start is by buying a carton of 6 eggs as supposed to 12 and make them last for two weeks. After a few months, make them last for three weeks until you reach a point in which you can eat one egg a week. In addition, start buying less milk, cheese, butter, and other dairy products. If you are able, replace milk with soy or almond milk. Start with small amounts, for example instead of buying a gallon of milk, buy a small jug, a smaller pack of cheese, and replace your butter with a vegetarian option that doesn’t contain hydrogenated oil.

Fish, your new best transitional choice!

I loved fish! This was the hardest thing to give up when I became a vegan especially because I loved sushi (don’t worry; we won’t go there in this list). But we didn’t always like fish until we started giving up meat, pork, and chicken. I come from a country where is very hard to buy fresh fish and what you get smells very bad… which as we all know, if the fish smells, it’s not good to eat anymore! So as we began eliminating meat, we began ordering fish at restaurants and buying to make at home. We started with salmon which was our favorite and later incorporated trout as well which is a great source of omega 3. I don’t recommend canned fish, but if that’s what it takes to begin eating fish, I’d say do it for the first two or three months until your body learns to like fish. Anything canned has tons of sodium and preservatives that the body doesn’t need.

Go to a vegetarian restaurant

This is a very easy step towards health. Going to vegetarian restaurants or even preparing vegetarian dishes is the best way to begin. Apply the same rule as eliminating meat, calculate how many times a week you eat out and begin replacing one restaurant with a vegetarian choice. For example, if you eat out 5 times a week, 1 time a week choose a vegetarian or vegan restaurant. Lots of restaurants have vegetarian meals nowadays, if you think you can resist from choosing the steak over the vegetarian meal of the day, then go ahead. But it may be hard to watch everyone else eat the steak while you eat a plate of grains and vegetables. In addition, vegetarian restaurants are more creative with their meals and they tend to taste much better than the “veggie” plate at the local steak house that usually serves canned veggies with only salt and pepper.

To find a vegetarian restaurant near you, visit Happy Cow, a directory of vegetarian restaurants in the country and even outside the U.S.

Fish Paella w/ Brown Rice and Romaine Lettuce and Tomatoes

Fish Paella w/ Brown Rice and Romaine Lettuce and Tomatoes

Any transition takes time and consistency. After the first year we stop eating meat and pork completely, we lost between 20 to 25 lbs each without doing anything else. That was the most “visible” change we had in our lifestyle, but there were other changes as well. I also recommend visiting a doctor and get your blood tested before making any changes to your lifestyle. Some people may want to add vitamins and even a B-complex vitamin as they eliminate red meat and dairy. After you fade out red meat and pork, get your blood tested again and compare it with the previous test. Most likely, your health will have improved!

Recommended reading

  • Vegetarian Times Vegetarian Beginner’s Guide by the Editors of Vegetarians Times
  • Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman
  • Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World’s Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins
  • The Newman’s Own Organics Guide to a Good Life: Simple Measures That benefit You and the Place You Live by Nell Newman
  • The Great American Detox Diet: Feel Better, Look Better, and Lose Weight by Cleaning Up Your Diet by Alex Jamieson
  • The Healthy Kitchen by Andrew Weil (Andrew T. Weil, Rosie Daley)
  • The Chopra Center Cookbook: A Nutritional Guide to Renewal / Nourishing Body and Soul by Deepak Chopra M.D. (Deepak Chopra, David Simon, Leanne Backer)
  • If the Buddha Came to Dinner: How to Nourish Your Body to Awaken Your Spirit by Hale Sofia Schatz (Halé Sofia Schatz, Shira Shaiman)

10 Tips to Begin Transitioning to a Healthier Lifestyle

16 August
Fruits

Fruits

I believe health has many meanings and we all have a different definition of what being healthy is. At every stage of my journey I felt I was healthier than before. I believe that being healthy is a cycle of different parts of one’s lifestyle. I believe it’s not just about food and exercise, but also about state of mind and the environment we live in. However, food and exercise have a huge impact on the other elements of one’s lifestyle.

Therefore, I will start with answering one of the most common questions I get asked, what are some of the things a person can begin to do to change their lifestyle to a healthier one? I’ve summarized what I believe are the top 10 first steps to start transitioning.

Eliminate

I read and did tons of research when I started my journey. I began by eliminating the following from my diet and lifestyle.

High Fructose corn Syrup

It’s almost in everything! Reading labels is very important and you will find that high fructose corn syrup is in everything you are used to eating and drinking. Why is it bad for you? Well I will need almost another page to write about that, but instead, I would suggest to read Dr. Andrew Weil’s explanation

Trans Fats and Hydrogenated Oils

Once again, reading labels is very important. Even though some packaged foods may say “No Trans Fats,” they may have hydrogenated oils. They are not the same, and I will let Dr. Weil explain that in his article.

Coffee

I loved coffee! It took me two weeks to quit. I replaced it with black tea, green tea, and white tea. These teas have caffeine but lack the toxins that coffee has and will help you begin the transition from coffee. How is that something so tasty can be bad for you? Well the studies conducted recently contradict each other leaving us with only the side effects to judge. Side effects according to Dr. Weil may include “anxiety, insomnia, tremor, irregular heartbeat, irritate the digestive system, bladder and prostate.”

Junk and Fast Food

Have you ever wondered why fast food is so inexpensive? Why junk food is so addicting? Well if you read the labels you can see the answers to those questions. Most contain trans fats, hydrogenated oil, and high fructose corn syrup. If you eat it everyday, start small by cutting any fast and junk food two days a week the first week, three days the next week and so forth.

TV

Why is TV bad for you? Well not all shows are bad, but the more time we spend on the couch watching TV, the more time we loose on other activities that can contribute to a healthier lifestyle. I would suggest cutting down the amount of time spent on the couch watching TV and playing games to 30 to 45 minutes a day and begin replacing that with other activities. This is one addiction I’m still battling.

Add to your Lifestyle

So we remove bad things and replace them with good things. Here is a list of things one can begin to add to help the transition.

Whole Grains and Foods

Replace white rice, white bread, white pasta, with whole grains and foods such as brown rice, whole wheat breads and pasta. I developed a love for Soba noodles, rice noodles and past as well as long brown rice and whole grains.  Most grocery stores carry these nowadays and have reasonable prices.

Vegetables and Fruits

Organic Vegetables

Organic Vegetables

Probably one of the most important things to add to one’s new healthier lifestyle. At the beginning I would recommend to start with frozen vegetables that way you can experiment and find what you like and then replace them with fresh vegetables. Many times, if one is not used to eating certain veggies, buying fresh and not using them in time can be discouraging. Replace the afternoon snack-machine-candy-bar for a fruit or the morning on-the-go frozen-breakfast for a fresh fruit smoothie. You will be adding tons of vitamins to your diet without having to spend money on additional vitamins.

Water

Drinking Delicious Ionized Water from Reusable Bottle

Drinking Delicious Ionized Water from Reusable Bottle

Drinking water is very important to help the body eliminate toxins. Start small if you are not used to drinking water. Replace two of your preferred drinks with a bottle of water everyday until you are able to drink water without thinking. I prefer Essentia water because it has the highest pH available in bottled water, but I also rather carry my reusable bottle and fill it up with water from my own filtered kitchen sink. I later bought a water Ionizer which I prefer.

Spending Time with Nature and Doing Outdoor Activities

So even though I’m a TV addict and can spend up to 6 hours straight in front of the TV without even blinking, I feel much better when I go outside and spend time with nature. I don’t pay for being outdoors; I find activities or recreational sites that are free. For example, going to the beach, taking a walk in a park, hiking in local parks, going for a car ride, riding a bicycle around the block, or simply sitting in my backyard reading. Even if you live in a city, there are parks and sites. If not, use your balcony or roof to spend time outside your living area away from the TV.

Exercise for 30 minutes three times a week

I know… I know… this is the hardest thing to do! I love and hate exercise. I love it when I’m doing it, and I hate it before I begin. I can come up with all sorts of excuses to getting out of exercising. So I’ve decided now that as creative as I get with the excuses, I can be creative on how I get my 30 minutes of exercise a week. I recently started going to the beach and swimming in the ocean three times a week after work and swimming for 30 to 45 minutes a day. I also have a rebounder that I moved near my computer and started to jump for 15 minutes before I begin to check my email or go on Facebook, etc. While Denis works on the computer I may do some yoga poses while I wait for the computer or lift some weights. I belonged to a gym and loved it, but we had to cut out our budget for the gym to save money. Now, I look for ways to exercise for free.

Walk on the Beach

Walk on the Beach

Every person is different and I suggest beginning very small. Pick one thing from each list to begin with and see how it works for you. It also helps to have the support of others or people who can do it with you. I’ve read many books and done research before I started. I also do a general check up every year and get my blood work done too.

It’s important to have the help of a doctor before making any changes to your lifestyle.

Here are some of the books I would recommend reading before getting started:

8 Weeks to Optimum Health: A Proven Program for Taking Full Advantage of Your Body’s Natural Healing Power by Dr. Andrew Weil

Eating Well For Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Bringing Health and Pleasure Back to Eating By Dr. Andrew Weil

The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health by Robert O. Young
The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins
Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World’s Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins
The Newman’s Own Organics Guide to a Good Life: Simple Measures That benefit You and the Place You Live by Nell Newman

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman

For more books on health, food, and exercise, visit the Books Tab.