Tag Archives: vegetarian lifestyle

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

 

10 Acidic Foods to Avoid

02 October

I have talked about alkaline foods but many of you have asked what are acidic foods that can be eliminated from your diet for anyone, not just those with disease or transitioning to the alkaline lifestyle.

Acidic Foods

What are Acidic Foods?

In the Alkaline lifestyle, foods that are not alkaline are considered acidic and are below 7 in the pH scale. These are the foods that cause disease and allergic reactions to the body yielding an unhealthy environment for disease to grow and bacteria to thrive. These foods have been linked to cancer and heart disease.

Acidic Foods to Avoid

Here is a list of the top ten most acidic foods that should be avoided at all times:

  • Dairy products
  • Meat and shellfish
  • All forms of sugar (including fruits)
  • Vinegar
  • Mushrooms and algae
  • Peanut and peanut oil
  • Corn
  • Fermented foods (including soy sauce and miso)
  • Eggs
  • Alcohol

Anyone who wants to improve their general health can start avoiding these gradually and adding more alkaline foods to their diet to see results. From loosing weight to improving heart disease, these changes to your lifestyle will make a difference. Many doctors are starting to recommend a vegan lifestyle for heart disease patients. But it’s important to understand that a vegan diet can also be acidic or unhealthy. I was a raw vegan junk food eater and a vegan junk food years ago too. Before the decision to be a vegan became an energy/spiritual path reason, I would not mind eating french fries at a fast food joint, or eating a mushroom burger with fake cheese and drinking a sake bottle. I could still be a vegan, but the choices I was making were not healthy and highly acidic.

The same can be said about eating a raw vegan diet. There are those that eat 30 bananas a day believing that’s healthy because it’s fruit that fell from a tree. The truth is that tropical fruit is acidic and creates a terrible environment for the body. You might as well eat a steak!

Making healthy choices can be difficult but making small steps can be beneficial to your health.

Acidic Foods cheese and wine

Photo of steak, bacon, and eggs by missvancamp

Photo of wine and cheese by wendyness

The Spiritual Vegan Diet

21 August

Ahimsa The Spiritual Vegan Diet

Last year at Bhakti Fest, one of the MCs talked about a lifestyle challenge he entered as a way to improve his health. As he started the new vegan raw diet, he realized that his new diet is part of what Ahimsa in the yoga world means: Non-violence towards animals. I connected to that because being a vegan for me now is more of a choice-of-energy that enters my body than non-cruelty towards animals. But I knew Ahimsa meant much more beyond food. I was inspired by this topic and wrote about it on my post for MentalBlox.com. Here is a copy of the post:

 

Ahimsa | The Non-Violent Spiritual Diet

If you are a student of Yoga, whether it’s the asana practice only or all the other parts of yoga, you have heard the term Ahimsa. It means non-violence and avoiding harming ourselves and others including animals. Many yogis and yoginis are vegetarian or vegan, because, a true practitioner of yoga will take a vow of non-violence. Eating animals is part of Ahimsa because of the suffering and the violence animals are submitted before they died to become food on a plate. Vegetarism is a start, but Ahimsa is much more beyond being a vegetarian.

You Are What You Eat

I chose to become a vegan many years ago, at the beginning for health reasons, but now I choose to stay vegan for energy reasons. I don’t want the energy of another being in my body; I feel it affects my spiritual path, especially if the animal was hurt and tortured during the dying process to become food for humans. I’m fortunate to be allergic to eggs and dairy and therefore I’m not able to eat those either. Many of my friends have been able to get deeper once they adjust their diets to the principal of Ahimsa. And it’s no surprise that many religions avoid eating certain animals because they might not be as “pure” as others or because some animals are sacred and cannot be consumed.

Walking The Walk

When I started learning more about yoga, deepening my practice thru my teacher training, I became more aware of the term Ahimsa and why it was important in order to advance in my spiritual path. I felt great I was a vegan and thought that was all to it. Ahimsa doesn’t just refer to food and the killing of animals for food. It refers to everything in our lives, not having harmful thoughts about ourselves or others and other violent actions that lead to negative emotions like anger, frustration, fear, rage, and anxiety. So I had to stop wishing people on the road traffic tickets for bad driving, getting angry at my cat for spitting hairballs on my white couch, or killing roaches that come in to my house after a rainy day.

But the most difficult part has been not wounding and hurting me with my thoughts. Every time we judge ourselves and say mean things, we hurt our souls and self-esteem. I know it sounds corny but it’s true. Saying “I’m fat and ugly, nothing fits me”, or “I have a horrible hair day”, or “I’m so stupid”. Even not saying it out loud but thinking it, we are hurting ourselves. And if you have children or siblings that look up to you, they are learning from you to say those things about themselves too.

The Process

It may take a while for us to get used to being more loving towards ourselves and others. I started moving to the middle lane when I see a car coming fast behind me on the left lane, so instead of wishing them a ticket, I let them pass me. I stop telling myself how “fat I feel” when clothes don’t fit or calling myself “stupid” for closing a drawer on my fingers. One might be clumsy at times but it doesn’t mean we have to call ourselves a name or attach a negative feeling to that. Love your clumsy curvy self and the roaches or other animals that share this earth with us. That is the first step to Ahimsa.

Are there other ways you have come to realized Ahimsa applies in your life? Share with us!

3 Farmers Markets in South Florida

26 September

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

Josh’s Organic Garden & Juice Bar – Hollywood

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

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

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

 

Glaser Farms – Coconut Grove

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

 

Marando Farms – Fort Lauderdale

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

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

 

Other places for Organic Produce

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

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

 

 

 

Before and Way Before

26 June

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

Denis lost a total of 93 Lbs

I lost over 50 lbs.

 

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

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

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

Arugula Dandelion Dip

14 June

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

Here is what you’ll need:

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

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

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

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

Serve with other veggies or raw crackers.

Almond Ginger Kelp Noodles

12 June

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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!

Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Raw Anniversary!

25 November

Thanksgiving Lunch Nov. 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raw Thanksgiving Dinner in Islamorada, Nov. 2007

Road Trip to ECHO Farms

01 September

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!