Tag Archives: vegetarianism

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.

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!

What Kind of Issues Can a Juice Fast bring?

30 August

Denis and I had wanted to do a green juice fast for the longest time. We do a monthly liquid fast during the full moon and it feels great. So we wanted to know what it was like to just do a green juice fast. We decided this full moon was good time to do it and planned to get all our juices from Josh’s Organic Garden.
We started on Monday and finished it on Saturday. Initially we wanted to do seven days, but I had the feeling I wouldn’t last more than two days. I thought for sure by Tuesday I would quit and go back to eating. Sure enough by day two I was ready to quit, but decided to stick with it because a lot of emotions were surfacing and I wanted to see what else would come up.
Instead of describing how each day went, I wanted to share some insights I had during my fast, not about how my body responded or all the benefits I enjoyed, but the emotions I had to deal with during the green juice fast. We followed Dr. Young’s pH Miracle Cleanse in case you’re wondering.

Empty Refrigerator

Since we decided to get all the juices already made at the Josh’s Juice bar, we didn’t shop and our refrigerator was empty. I hid the truffles we had purchased during our trip to Naples and any other “goodies” I would cheat with.
Seeing the refrigerator with no greens, no food made me sad. I felt like I had nothing in life. Empty. Without a home, without love, without money. I felt like my world was ending because my refrigerator was empty. I immediately told Denis about this and he hugged me and laughed. So I started laughing too. This happened the second day of the fast and it was the reason I decided to keep going.
I don’t know exactly how my brain/mind believes that food equal the meaning of life (apparently). All I can say is that it may go back all the way to childhood but I’m not sure yet.

Not Having to Make Food

The second thing that surfaced in my mind was this. I had extra time in my hands by not having to prepare food and not going to yoga class so I was able to take time for blogging. While I was working on my blog, I kept thinking: “Oh I have to go make food, I better stop typing” and then I would remember: Oh I’m fasting no need to make food. Ten minutes later I would start panicking cause I hadn’t make food yet and it was getting late, but then I would remember I’m fasting, no need to make food. And that continue the whole night.
One of the first reasons I got sold on the “Raw” idea was cause it took less time to prepare food. I’m constantly looking to cut things out so that I can have more time to do other things. And I always feel stressed out about making food. Once this issue came right in front of me, I realized that I think making food is all I do and live for. To feed people. I don’t know exactly how to handle this information, but it was very interesting to find that deep inside I feel food is my ONLY job and purpose in life.

Variety of Food

I’ve always known this about me: I get bored with the same thing over and over. And that’s just not food. Everything. Well except for my partner in life (9 years and still not bored one bit!)… Anyways, so going into the fast I knew that having the same juice everyday wasn’t going to work for me and would probably quit by day two. But this time was worse than ever. I didn’t want to see the green juice even as hungry as I would get, I didn’t want it. Instead I wanted to keep drinking water but not the green juice. I believe one of the reasons why I’m creative in the kitchen is because I have to have variety. Even my lunch salad is different everyday.

Sticking with the green juice fast help me see that my issue with food variety is deeper than I imagined.

Dreams about Food

Going in I had the feeling I would be dreaming about food every night and eating all sorts of junk in my dreams. I actually thought that in the dreams I would want to stop my raw diet. But I was wrong.  One night I had a dream about a carnival, possibly Renaissance fest, where I had to drop off something for work. I walked through the food to where I was going, but no I didn’t stop for any food even thought I was offered a donut. That was one of the two dreams about food I had.

During the fast, I wasn’t even attracted to junk food. I didn’t even for a minute think I would run and start eating a SAD diet again, even a vegan junk cooked diet for that matter. But I did want and was tempted to eat the sun dried olives in my refrigerator, my avocados and some oil. So all doubts that I had about ever “cheating” or going back to a cooked vegan diet are no longer there. I now know that I love my raw food, even under stressful circumstances, I only want raw food.

In conclusion, and now a day after we broke the fast, I’ve got work to do with all this information I collected during this fast. I do have to say that compared to the first fast I ever did (6 years ago, water fast for three days while I was still on a vegetarian SAD diet), I did excellent. But compared to my monthly liquid fast, I did not do well at all. I complained the whole time and didn’t want to drink my juice.

Physically my body felt great, happy, healthy and grateful. I’m going to try it again, possibly the next full moon or the one after. Not having any fruits this week was amazing for my body and it let me know so.

So what’s next? Meditate on all these issues that came up.

30 Coconuts a Week

27 August

About 4 weeks ago, Denis bought 30 coconuts and we had a feast! From drinking the water to making creams, salad dressings, smoothies, soups, etc. The following week he bought 20 coconuts, and the week after that 15 coconuts.

By the end of the third week I couldn’t come up with any more coconut dishes, and Denis had made coconut cream and stored it in the refrigerator. I didn’t want to waste it, and I needed breakfast but was tired of coconut smoothies, so I made cereal!

I soaked some nuts, seeds, goji berries, and raisins in water overnight. The next morning I mixed in the coconut cream with cinnamon powder, maca, mesquite, salt, and palm sugar to taste.

I took it to work and when I got to the office all the flavors had come together rather nicely. So that night I soaked the nuts, seeds, etc but only for a short time. After I rinsed everything, I mixed them in the coconut cream with the same powders, etc and stored overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning I had an amazing breakfast! The flavors of all the nuts, seeds, dried fruit and powders had blended and made an amazing cereal!

The coconut cream was made by blending the coconut meat and water from a young fresh local coconut. You can add extra water or more coconut butter to make as smooth as desired. The water from young coconuts is very energizing and mildly alkaline.

Enjoy!

5 Kale Salad Dressings

25 August

I don’t know about you guys, but I love eating greens. However when it comes to kale, it’s a little bit difficult to just pop in my mouth and chew it without anything on it.
One Sunday, I was being lazy and enjoying my day at the beach when I got a call that there was no green left at Josh’s market.
So Denis and I ran to the market but it was true, no lettuce was left! There was only two buckets of kale left. So I packed almost all the kale left and bought it. When I got home, I made a nice kale salad but I remembered it was always hard for me to eat it without anything. So I came up with a nice dressing for it. The next day I had the same issue, so I whipped up another dressing!

I came up with actually 5 kale salad dressings that I thought I MUST shared with the world. Spicy Sun Dried Tomato Tahini, Avocado Tahini, Ginger Miso, Sunflower Dill, and Almond Butter Coconut. They all have pretty much the same ingredients and are made the same way.

Spicy Sun Dried Tomato Tahini

5-6 sun dried tomatoes (soak for 10 to 15 minutes)
1 TBS Raw Organic Tahini (you can also switch for raw almond butter instead)
1 Red Chillie Pepper or any spicy pepper to taste
1/2 Tsp organic or natural Mexican seasoning
Salt, garlic, and olive Oil to taste

Mix in personal blender until smooth adding water if needed. Pour over kale salad and add chopped cilantro.

Avocado Tahini

1/2 ripe organic avocado
1 Tbs of Raw Organic Tahani
the juice of 1/2 grapefruit
1 Handful of cilantro
Olive Oil and salt to taste

Put all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth.  Pour over Kale salad and sprinkle some black and white sesame seeds.

Ginger Miso

1 inch (cube) fresh ginger peeled
1 Tbs unpasteurized miso (I prefer brown or red)
1/2 carrot
1 Tbs raw tahini or raw almond butter
1 Date
Salt and Olive Oil to taste
(you can also add chillie peppers to make it spicy)

Put in blender and mix until smooth. If needed, add water to blend. Pour over kale and mix well.

Sunflower Dill

1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dill loosely fit or to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
the juice of 1/2 grapefruit (or lemon)
1/2 Tbs raw organic tahini
Salt and organic cumin seed powder to taste

Mix in blender until smooth. Add more grapefruit juice if needed. Pour over kale salad and massage. Sprinkle sunflower seeds and any other seasonings.

Almond Butter Coconut

1/4 cup raw almond butter
2 teaspoon namashoyu
1 Date
1 Tbs fresh lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup raw coconut milk
1/2 chillie pepper or spicy pepper of choice
Garlic, Salt, Olive Oil, and Curry powder to taste

Mix in blender or personal blender. Add water for desired consistency and pour over kale salad. Mix red cabbage with kale for a “Pad Thai” feel. I use this recipe for my kelp noodles to make raw Pad Thai.

ENJOY!

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

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)

ÂĽ 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!