whole foods and beyond....nourishing the body, spirit and soul

Monday, November 22, 2010

thanksgiving and raw vegan eggnog

with thanksgiving just a few days away i thought it might be time to give you some guidance for avoiding the inevitable food coma of the holidays. and this advice goes straight back to me too;)  through clever advertising and shows on food network, the thanksgiving we accept today is all about stuffing your face with waaaay too much food and then retiring on the couch for the rest of the evening watching parades and football, only to get up later to a table laden with sugary foods.  if your invested in your health, this could be a challenge to avoid, especially since the day is usually spent with your family members. so if everyone else is going blindly with the american trend of worshipping overeating, and being motionless the rest of the day.......what do you do?

well lets think about what thanksgiving is supposed to be about anyway. being thankful! this is a real day devoted to our gratefulness for all that our heavenly father does for us and how he continually loves us.  if your not sure about god, how about just being thankful that you have family and friends that love you.  now with that being said, is it still thanksgiving if you pass on the traditional holiday foods that are made of compromised ingredients? of course! it took me a long time to get to the point that it could still feel like a holiday for me, even if i didnt eat all day long. so dedicate this day to realizing how blessed you truly are.

if you really enjoy the fact that on a holiday you can be with people all day long, and never stop your nibbling, first consider what your eating.  if you need to be snacking all day, go for the lighter minimally processed foods available.  and if your at someones house who doesnt think of things like that, bring a nourishing dish you love that you can share with others.  when all else fails, just bring a baggie of nuts and dried fruits....and that gets you out of trouble all the other 364 days of the year too!

now if you wanted to take it another step further and decided before the festivities begin, that you will indeed be kind to your body, as you are every other day of the year, then why not be continually drinking through out the day. growing up greek, i thought i couldnt have a good time at family gatherings unless i was continually eating the huge spread in front of us.....and laid out on every table through out the whole house.  so for me i still like to enjoy the flavors of the holidays all day in celebration without overdoing it. que the delicious drink you've made to share with everyone. nothing says the holiday season more than eggnog....so make delicious RAW VEGAN EGGNOG and sip your way to that holiday feeling all day long!

raw vegan eggnog:
3 c almonds, soaked overnight
4 c water (not soak water)
1 1/2 tbs cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

if you have a small blender youll have to do this in two batches, but with a big high powered blender just toss all the ingredients in the blender at once.  blend untill smooth and white, then drain through a nutmylk bag or a never used panty hose. (panty hose works fantastic!) taste and do any adjustments that you may need to. your taste buds will dance as they taste this smooth, thick, creamy holiday drink! theyll aslo rejoice as it nourishes the rest of your body! this should keep in the fridge for up to five days, and the flavor will get smoother each day it sits.


Friday, November 12, 2010

boundaries

unfortunately for me, i looooove baking. obviously this is great for all my friends and family seeing as though they have yummy surprises to taste all the time. but for me this is almost tragic. i love the art of being in the kitchen whether im cooking, baking or rawing, using my talents and my love to create the physical form of nourishment. however, if i didnt stop myself i could probably be in the kitchen all day baking gluten free cookies, only for them to sit on the counter later and call my name. because i am one of those people who can never stop at one. i dont know why i have this quality, but ive learned to accept it and recognize that voice that tells me to "just have another..." and kindly tell her to be quiet.

that being said, i have to work really hard this time of year because so much comfort from the cold weather is intertwined with heavy meals and sweet baked goods. on top of that im working on creating my seasonal items for my baking business, project gluten freedom. no one knows you better than you do, so set up your boundaries where they need to be set. for me i like to make sure that other people are going to be around that i can give my baked goods to so theres no chance of me being tempted to eat the whole batch. i love surprising someone with some homemade baked goods that arent damaging to their bodies. i also know that if im going to eat something heavy or improperly combined that i tend to cope best by eating it later in the day, or being sure that i dont have any other plans after said meal is eaten. this way, when my clarity is inevitably blurred and i get really tired, the rest of my day isnt ruined. this isnt how it has to be, but on my journey, these things are still apart of my present. i know my body and my self, which makes it easier for me to determine which foods are best eaten at what times and which ones to only have on occasion. so lets all enjoy the ride were on....whether we love baking christmas cookies, roasting winter squashes, or enjoying coffee with a friend, and be conscious of what were doing as we do it. and tell that voice inside that keeps asking for one more to shut up!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

spontaneous travel

oh the enjoyment of a surprise trip..... for veteran's day, chaz decided to surprise me with a little get away to pittsburgh to visit our friends that live there. it was the greatest surprise and i could not have been more excited about it! especially when all i knew were my instructions to have overnight bags packed for us by the time he got done with class last night. i had a great day with my family and friends that are basically family and happily ate the abundance of food we had...even though it was completely out of balance today.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

the art of a raw latte

after eliminating processed food, who in their right mind doesnt miss the unmatched feeling of sipping on a brand name latte? yes thats right....im talking about how holding starbucks in your hand instantly makes you look and feel cool. i used to love coffee (and occasionally still enjoy it at greek events) and sweet creamy drinks. so my life suddenly got brighter when i accidentally made a raw latte this fall. the point of a raw latte is not a caffein/sugar rush, but rather a healthy drink, thats sweet, creamy and something that will make you feel as cool as mary kate olson and that venti thats never left her hand. so the texture is thinner than a smoothie yet thicker than an average drink. to achieve the right consistency i usually use either half a banana or a big spoonful of almond butter. the combinations for your lattes are infinite, making them as sweet, or as creamy as you desire and using any superfoods to boost you through your day. so heres my recipe for today:
a "latte" that's great for you

ALMOND BUTTER MACA LATTE
2 cups or so of sesame mylk
heaping tbs almond butter
1/2 tsp maca
3 dates
1 tbs bee pollen

blend all ingredients until smooth then taste and
make any adjustments.
add a handful of ice and blend again. now sip
your way to a world free of starbucks;)





Wednesday, November 3, 2010

resuming with revision

well im back! the last two weeks have been very busy with lots of travel, reading, playing with a certain cute baby and eating. just shortly after my decision to eat all raw some deciding events began to unfold. like digging up emotional connections to my food choices and letting them go.  although i proved to myself that its entirely possibly to stay completely raw even while travel by planning ahead and packing delicious food so that any time others are eating, i can eat and feel good too. however, as winters around here are particularly cold i decided to revise my plan.

after meeting up with my family for  my cousins wedding in nashville and then staying in florida for a week i ate many scrumptious things. some raw, some cooked, some healthy and some not so healthy. greek pastries at weddings are a major weakness for me;) so after having a great time on vacation with my family and occassionally straying off the narrow course, my modified food plan is to eat HIGH raw. high raw for me means ALMOST 100% raw. of course i will stick to my convictions of staying away from refined and packaged foods, but i will not feel guilty when i cook vegetables. afterall, i do love cooking and part of life is doing what you love. so now that im in the kitchen with a different attitude, i feel even more free to make better decisions for my body! (i also did some holistic therapy with my masouse for addictions that i felt release from almost immediately.) from now on with my daily food logs you can assume that the food items are raw unless specified as cooked. enjoy your journey as i am enjoying mine!