Thursday, February 28, 2013

RAW CHOCOLATE PUDDING




One of the joys of having a 12 year old (and a dad) around is that I can make desserts and there is always someone there to eat them, and I knew they would love this one.

I think it's important to teach children that nutrition is important and to get them to develop healthy eating habits early - it totally helps if  healthy food is edible, even better if it has chocolate!

I made an almost raw vegan chocolate pudding (the almond milk wasn't raw - but everything else was). Not only is it healthy but it is really delicious -  Dad just came to ask for a second serving ;)

Okey so let's get to it:
                                                                                                                         Print recipe ✿
                                                                                                              
  RAW CHOCOLATE PUDDING RECIPE

  makes 4-5 servings  

  Ingredients:

  •  2 bananas cut into chunks
  • 1.5 avocados pealed, pitted and cut into chunks (yes avocados, I promise you wont taste them)
  • 1.5 cups of almond milk (you can use soy, coconut or rice milk instead - or if you're a raw foodist , just use raw nut milk)
  • 4 tablespoons of agave nectar (if you're not a strict vegan you can use honey)
  • 2 teaspoons of lime/lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa  

  Directions:
  1. Dropped all the ingredients into the blender and pureed until smooth
  2. Poured the mix into a container and put in the fridge for an hour or so
  3. Once chilled, I served it with granola, strawberries and topped it off with a vegan &gluten-free cookie chunks, and walnuts.
  4. Sat back and watched my dad and little brother enjoy!

PEAR & WALNUT SALAD

I made this salad to accompany the Zucchini pomodoro I served for dinner. The sweet taste of the pear balances the slight bitterness of the greens, while the walnuts give the whole experience a nice crunch. The salad is topped off with home made dressing. 


                                                                                                                         Print recipe ✿

CRUNCHY PEAR SALAD

makes 1 serving

   Ingredients:

       Salad
  • 2 cups of greens - I used Earth Green's organic Super-food Blend (baby kale, baby spinach & chard)
  • 1 pear
  • sprinkle of raw chopped walnuts (you can also use cashews)
       Dressing
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
     
   Process:
  1. Wash and slice pear in thin long pieces
  2. Serve over the bed of greens
  3. Mix all dressing ingredients in a separate small bowl
  4. Dress your salad up with nuts and dressing

ZUCCHINI POMODORO

Yesterday I made a chickpea & zucchini casserole and had some left overs so I decided to get creative and instead of serving the same thing over again , I made something new!

I give you Zuchinni Pomodoro - It's just yesterday's casserole with brown rice shells!
I served it with a Pear & Walnut salad and dinner was served!



LIQUID SALAD

I call this the Liquid Salad for a reason - just look at all the veggies that go into it!

If you're used to sweet juices (like I am), this kind of juice may take an adjustment of your taste buds, but once you embrace the veggie taste it tastes like soup! Super savory - definitely making this again many times during my fast.


You need:
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 tomatoes - I used kalamato tomatoes, they are sweet and delicious! (yes their color is a purple brown)
  • 10  broccoli florets 
  • optional: half a lime
  • a juicer
  • a small mason jar
Steps:
  1. Wash & cut veggies into small enough pieces to be juiced
  2. Juice veggies in this order (it helps my juicer to not get backed up)
  •  tomatoes
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • broccoli
  • celery
    3. Take in how pretty this juice is (when not mixed together)
    4. Stir, serve & store the rest in a small mason jar






CUCUMBER COOLER

I really like this juice because the cucumber balances out the sweetness of the apple, which is great! The final taste is smooth and refreshing - You'll love it!


What you need:
  • 3 apples
  • 1 cucumber
  • a good juicer
  • a mason jar
What I did:
  1. I washed and cut the apples and cucumbers small enough to fit through the juicer shoot
  2. I alternated between apples and cucumbers 
  3. Poured myself a glass and stored the rest in a mason jar

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

YUMMY APPLE PILE-UP





Quick, easy & healthy dessert option

How to make it:
  1. Julianne slice an apple (you can also use a food shreader)
  2. Pile up and top off with raw peanut butter
  3. Sprinkle with cinammon & top off with any topping of your choice ( I used a strawberry)

Preparation time: 4 -5 minutes max.
 

CHICKPEA & ZUCHINNI CASSEROLE



I got the idea for this recipe from my friend Sue - when I first became a vegan, she was so sweet and made this specially for me. It was delicious and I asked her for the recipe which she gave to me but I then lost.

 I remember it having chickpeas and tomatoes, so I started from there. I then found some zucchini in my fridge and decided to toss them in them as well. I served it on tomato & basil rice and viola, dinner is ready!

Here is what I used:
  • a can of diced tomatoes with herb & spices (you can make your own sauce, it's probably better)
  • two cans of chickpeas
  • 4 zuchinni
  •  a pinch oregano & parsley

 Here is how I mad it:
  1. First I drained the tomatoes to avoid too much liquid, and dropped them in a pan
  2. Then I cut the zucchini in four lengthwise, and then across into medium size pieces
  3. Drained the chickpeas, rinsed them and dropped them in with the tomato and zucchini
  4. Added the oregano & parsley
  5. Let it all simmer for a little bit
  6. Served it on top of rice and garnished with some sprouts
     

Preparation time: 10 minutes max
vegan & gluten-free

GRAPES OF HEALTH JUICE: CABBAGE & GRAPE

Hello! I've been looking forward to making this juice since the beginning of my fast and today I finally made it! Today's juice is a simple but awesome and power packed mix of purple cabbage and red grapes. I choose these two ingredients because they were both purple (I know, not very scientific) BUT also because I knew that they are really great sources of vitamins and minerals, here is a short overview of their goodness.


Cabbage
  • Not only is is gorgeous, it is very tasty and super good for you it has many antioxidants, carbs (the good kind) and dietary fiber (which I need now). Not only that, but the  vitamin and mineral content of raw purple cabbage is the most significant reason to have it!
  • A single serving of raw purple cabbage contains about 20 percent of our daily recommended intake for vitamin A
  •  80 percent of our daily recommended intake for vitamin C 
  • 1-cup serving include notable levels of folate and vitamin K; calcium, magnesium, and  potassium. (seeing that I juice half a head, I think I'm well covered!)
Grapes

  • Vitamin C grapes contain high levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that assists your body in ridding itself of free radicals within the body
  • Vitamin B1 If you're looking to get an energy boost - I am!
  • Flavanoids help reduce the body's chance of suffering from blood clots
  • Potassium helps lower high blood pressure and increase energy
  • Manganese helps the body build stronger bones and also builds the connective tissue throughout your body. It also assists the body in calcium absorption, which is very important for those looking to build healthy bones.

 Juice Recipe



What I used:
  • half a head of a medium purple cabbage
  • a bunch of grapes (I used red grapes, but you can use whichever kind you want)
  • a good juicer
  • a mason jar to store extra juice
* I am making a bout a liter of juice, so if you only want a cup or two cuts the ingredients by 4 or 2


Steps:
  1. I washed the cabbage and grapes
  2. I cut the cabbage in small pieces to make it easier for my juicer to juice them
  3. I juiced all the grapes first (my little brother wanted some grape juice so I had to do this twice)
  4. I then juiced the cabbage
  5. I mixed the both, poured myself a cup and stored the rest in an air-tight sealed mason jar.





Resources
Styles, Serena. "Nutrients in Purple Cabbage | Healthy Eating | SF Gate." Healthy Eating | SF Gate. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.

 "The Nutritional Food Value of Grapes / Nutrition / Healthy Eating." FitDay - Free Weight Loss and Diet Journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. .

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

MY 60 DAY JUICE FAST ADVENTURE: WEEK 1 DAY 3

I was dreading today - based on everything I've read and my previous experience, the third day is the toughest (not quite sure why).

I woke up feeling okey, a bit hungry but as soon as I got breakfast and lunches made for dad and David I made my juices.

First, I had to find a way to rescue the rest of the bitter nastiness from yesterday so I juiced tried to juice some pineapple - I learned that my juicer does not like pineapple and made a mess - I still managed to get some juice though :D

Pineapple juice anything is worth the work! I added the pineapple juice to the bitter nastiness and voilá, it was drinkable! Still bitter, but less nasty, I can deal with that.

I then proceeded to make my green juice and made enough to last me all day. It's interesting how its just juice but it totally fills you up!

As far as temptations, I was fine up until about 4 - I was making dinner and the Spanish rice I was simmering started smelling waaaaaaay too good! So what did I do? I went straight to the fridge and poured myself a tall one - not giving in. Can't you just see the excitement in my face? haha


As far as detox symptoms, I was okey until later in in the day - I started feeling very unfocused and my mind was foggy. I also found myself more irritable and less tolerant. These are normal detox side effects which is why I'm not concerned. I do however look forward to the second part of the process where my mind starts clearing up and my energy stats to soar - I can hardly wait!

Tonight I met with my mentor who got to see first hand just how unfocused I was and we had a few laughs about it. It was a great meeting, I am  blessed to have her in my life - she makes me think a lot and inspires me to be a better and godlier young woman. She is my spiritual mama and I love her - a great ending to my day.

Okey, I go to bed now - 3 days down!


MY 60 DAY JUICE FAST ADVENTURE: WEEK 1 DAY 2


I really thought this whole fast would be much worse than it actually is, last year it seemed so much harder! I guess it helps not coming into it blind the way I did last year - also there is a good chance that there is not as much to detoxify as last time, since that was my first hard core detox ever.

The one thing I seem to be having trouble with is making a good tasting juice, or at least one that is palatable!

This morning I thought to make a grapefruit/carrot/ginger juice, which in theory should taste amazing (the sweetness of the carrot mixing in with the slight tartness but also sweetness of the grapefruit and  mildly spicy ginger end notes...yum!)

However, yours truly decided that it would be a good idea to juice the entire grapefruit , peel and all - the result: a horrid bitter taste with and even worse after taste!!! It was bad and ... I made about two litters of it ... grrreat... I took this picture  right before having my first sip (if I only knew what I was in for...)

Now that I think about it, that is probably the reason I dint feel hungry all day - knowing that my giant mason jar full of bitterness waited for me in the fridge took all signs of hunger away.
I drank most of it anyways, can't be starving myself.

On a good note, I love love love the way my new juicer juices carrots!!! The pulp comes out so dry you just know that every bit of juicy goodness is getting squeezed out, and that makes me one happy juicer!

Overall, I am doing well, not nearly as bad as I thought, even the smell of cooking doesn't affect me much - my system seems to be taking it well. I am definitely happy that I took my time transitioning into it, I think that is helping as well - my body is not getting a shock from the lack of meat, dairy, wheat and processed food because I have taken those out of my diet slowly in the past 2 months.

Well that's all for today, two days down 58 more to go!







Sunday, February 24, 2013

MY 60 DAY JUICE FAST ADVENTURE: DAY 1 WEEK 1


Last night at about 10 pm I wrote a post saying that today I'd be stating the juice fast and because of that I would be needing to  head to bed early.

That did not happen.

Actually, sleep didn't happen... at all - I meant to  go to bed, heck I was dead tired, but I started playing with my blogs and next thing you know, it's 6 am. Productive night? Yes - smart choice? No, not at all.

I was tired, grumpy and I couldn't even eat carbs to make me feel better or "energized" - I knew that not staying committed to my 60 day goal was not an option, and that I was going to have to raise above my "feelings" and get through the day.

My day got much better after I changed my mindset - I spent sometime with mom and went produce shopping... can I just say WOW ... I don't think we've ever bought this much produce in our lives! The picture here is only a portion of it, I couldn't get the rest of it!


My little fridge is packed with greens and fruits from top to bottom - I feel giddy just thinking about it! :D

One really great piece of good news is that I've upgraded my juicer! I am now the proud owner of a second had Green Star Juicer - I read reviews on it which say that it is supposed to be the best of the best, as far a juicers go. The process of acquiring it was fairly easy (talk about provision), and although I spend about three hours trying to clean it before using it (the previous owners nearly ruined the poor machine by never cleaning it), all that work was totally worth it.

The quality of juice that this machine produces is unlike any Ive had before, you can just taste the health! The taste is just rich and the consistency robust! One thing mom and I noted was how little pulp it created compared to my previous juicer. I am excited about having my Green Start with me during the 60 day journey and am really grateful for being able to get my hands on one for a fraction of it's original price.

Anyhow, that's it for today - I really need some sleep... so tired
I think tomorrow I'll make some pretty an colorful juices for breakfast and lunch!

Juice Log:
breakfast: large apple/spinach juice
lunch: large carrot/ organge juice
dinner: large very green juice

I didn't drink as much water as I probably need to. I will try tomorrow to do better.

So..oo... tired...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

MY 60 DAY JUICE FAST ADVENTURE: THE NIGHT BEFORE

It is 10 pm and tomorrow I will be stating my 60 day juice fast adventure.

I had originally planned on starting it today but I couldn't because the guy from which I was buying a really great juicer from did not properly care for it and was disgustingly dirty.

For my last meal in two months I had a VEGA ONE bar and a big glass of water.

Tomorrow is church day and I will be away for a large part of the day and I will therefore need to wake up early and make enough juice for half a day. I also plan of going to shop for some fresh produce and stock up for the week.

As I mentioned before, I have juice fasted before but not for this length of time - this will definitely be a challenge, but I am up for it.

I am now going to bed - I have a long journey ahead of me!

MY 60 DAY JUICE FAST ADVENTURE: SCHEDULED UPDATES

I recently learned in school that interventions need to have a form of  formative evaluation to judge whether they are being effective or not.  I figure that the same principle can be used for my 60 day juice adventure, which is why every 10 days I will be weighing myself and documenting any noticeable changes in my system. 

Since I am off on reading week this week I will be documenting at least the first 7 days daily, maybe even 10 but after that I can make no promises aside of the 10 day progress checkpoints.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

WHY DO A JUICE FAST?


So I have decided to do another juice fast/detox - reading week is next week and it seemed like the most natural time to start!

Last spring when I did my last juice fast, I did it for 27 days and could have gone for longer but had to stop because of a hiking trip. The reaction of most people who saw me do it wasn't very positive - at first most were shocked, worried and some plain appalled at the fact that i was "starving" myself - even my parents were a bit worried at first.

And then as the days and weeks passed, many opinions and comments changed - all of a sudden "I was glowing" and my "skin was perfect" hahaha I had to chuckle and resist the "I told you so's"

I myself was amazed at the changes in my body, one that has been labeled "sickly and frail" (I think it's hilariously ironic how "frail" I am considering my build)  - the changes were dramatic though.

Here are some of the changes:

  • perfect skin, I'm talking FLAWLESS
  • a glow
  • release of extra weight
  • regular eliminations
  • NO CRAMPS, not even pressure - Nada (if you know me, you know just how HUGE this is)
  • Sky high levels of steady energy and endurance
  • Clarity of mind (it's crazy what chemicals in the food will do to your brain, don't let them fool ya, you don't have ADD you have "Too- Many-ADDitives")
  • Deep and restful sleep
  • Super fast healing times if I cut myself
  • an solid feeling of health an wellness
  • I was running everyday between 5-6 K and sometimes I did that twice
I know these may seem too good to be true, but I promise you, I wouldn't lie to ya! Ask my family and my close friends, they will testify to this. If you're interested in the science behind all of this I recommend that  you read this and this.

I am excited to start and at the same time pretty nervous about it as it is not an easy process - most worthwhile things never are

I think what I am dreading most is the detox side effects and the fact that the first week of it (which is where most of the nasty side effects happen) is the week mom is away and I have to make dinner (talk about temptation) - overall though, I am excited!

The reason for the 60 days (instead of any other random number) is that it is a long enough period for my body to reset or as Joe Cross (from "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead") would say"reboot" itself. I know that is is a long time to go without chewing food, but it is a sacrifice I am willing to do if it means giving my system a vacation and improving my health.

I think what I am dreading most is the detox side effects and the fact that the first week of it (which is where most of the nasty side effects happen) is the week mom is away and I have to make dinner (talk about temptation) - overall though, I am excited!

You can follow my journey HERE :D


-L



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

MORNING VEGGIE JUICE: TOTAL DETOX

This is probably my favorite veggie juice :)

Ingredients:
- 6-10 asparagus stalks
- 1 cucumber
- 1 lemon

Method: Run the ingredients through your juicer. I put asparagus first, then lemon then cucumber.

Makes: about 2 cups of juice, so you can halve the ingredients if you only want 1 cup - I love this juice so I make 2!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

She Reads Truth Devotional: So that You May Have Life

When I read the story of Jesus and the woman at the well, I see so much of myself in her. I wish the woman had a name in this story, but I think it’s intentional that she doesn’t. It is so easy to read these verses and have empathy for “this poor woman.”

But what if this woman was you.

What if the shame she wears, visible to all in her community, is your shame?

I often wonder if she chose her times at the well strategically: knowing when she would most likely be alone.

No judgment from a stranger
. No shame as she faces another.
No disgusted looks or rude comments.

What do you think went through her mind as she approached the well and saw Jesus sitting there?

I believe she wanted to continue hiding—hoping he wouldn’t take notice of her arrival at the well.

As we read on about her story, it’s clear that she is hiding, a prisoner of her shame.

Shame: a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety {source} There is a big lie that accompanies the feeling of shame: it is a lie that one must remain silent and keep the guilt inside.

Don’t let people close.

Stay silent.

But what I love about Jesus is that He doesn’t allow these lies to continue.

He not only notices the woman, but he asks a pointed question that forces the woman to speak truth to her shame—for her silence to be no more. [v. 16-17] He replaces her shame with a fresh start. He replaces her silence with truth. He takes the temporary fixes—the water that quenches our immediate thirst—and replaces it with living water.

Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." [V. 13-14, ESV]

Sisters, He wants to give you new life. He hurts when He sees you--His cherished daughter--locked in the chains of shame.

Take time today to end the silence of whatever you’re carrying. Speak truth and lay it at His feet: just as you are.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. [John 10:10, ESV]

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

RAW NOODLE VEGAN PASTA & CUCUMBER SALAD


Today I was home, feeling slightly tired and my tummy feeling heavy - I knew it would be better to take a break from wheat today. I am not needing to be on a complete gluten-free diet, but I do find I feel a lot better when I consume less wheat and so I  have transitioned into a limited-gluten diet. Today for lunch I decided to bring out my spiralizer and make a good yum raw noodle pasta. The recipe is quite easy, here it is:

You'll need:

- 1 large zucchini
- tomato sauce
- 1 or 2 mushrooms
- Yves "ground beef"
- parsley
- a spiralizer

Step 1:

Spiralize the zucchini


Step 2:

On a pan, warm the pasta sauce and add mushrooms and "ground beef" - try to not cook the mushrooms too much, vegetables loose the majority of their nutrients when cooked.

Step 3:

Serve sauce on top of noodles - top it off with parsley and enjoy!



While I had the spiralizer out, I figured I'd eat a cumber salad with a flare !


Add lemon and salt and I am one happy girl, my tummy will be thanking me as well! :)

God’s Chisel Remastered From The Skit Guys



When God chisels the dead weight out of our lives it can be quite painful. In this new high quality, remastered version of their most requested skit, Tommy and Eddie give a very creative look at a typical believer having to go through the process of discipline. The writer of Ephesians says “For we are God’s workmanship” (Eph. 2:10). Elsewhere we’re described as a “poem.” God views us as being his original masterpiece.
The Skit Guys

Saturday, February 09, 2013

When I Get Hung Up on My Past, He says:




"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past"
 Isaiah 43:18



Isaiah 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.



 Isaiah 65:17 "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.



Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.



Romans 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.



Ephesians 4:24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!    
    

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."



Revelation 21:5 He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."


Friday, February 08, 2013

Not Guilty Anymore - Aaron Keyes with Mark Driscoll and John Piper.

I know someone needs to hear this tonight ... In Christ we find not only freedom from our sins but also from guilt and shame. He makes us new!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"  - 2 Corinthians 5:17

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Bride's Special Dance

"I will wait for you" by Official P4CM Poet JANETTE...IKZ



All my single ladies, listen up!

The Call of Christ - Danita Estrella

She Reads Truth Devotional: God Redeems the Israelites, a People WhoWill Need a Continual Fresh Start

“Why, God? Why are you taking us here? We were better off before! Why can’t you just leave us alone?” [v. 11-12, my paraphrase]

The Israelites had to be weary. Can you imagine? Centuries of slavery. An entire history of bondage. In light of God’s dramatic rescue, the lament in verses 11-12 sounds ungrateful, even hateful. But I hear more in their voices. I hear fear. Fatigue. Confusion.

O, God, why? After all we’ve been through, why this?

Friends, is this not us?

Each of us lives in a specific brokenness today, a place from which we cannot fathom freedom. Eventually, we learn our way around the darkness. There are times it feels so familiar we’d just as soon stay as venture into freedom’s light.

Our weariness sighs, Lord. Can’t you leave good enough alone?

The Israelites were terrified. As my pastor points out, they hadn’t seen the movie. They didn’t know what was coming. And in the Moses moments of our own lives - when we are asked to believe what we cannot see, to walk in a way that seems beyond impossible - we don’t know either.

This is where Redemption’s work is done. Right here, in our fear and helplessness. Right here, among the broken and weary.

If Moses were in the middle of our impossible mess with us today, he might say something like this:

“Don’t be afraid. Stand up and look! The Lord, He will work out your rescue, you just watch. He will fight the battle for you, and he always wins. You don’t have to say a word.” [v. 13-14, my paraphrase]

The Israelites’ doubt and forgetfulness did not disqualify them from God’s redemption and promise. Neither did their past sin - even their future sin! - keep them from God’s rescue. God wrote the story. They had only to walk in it.

How is God redeeming you today? How has he paved the way for your fresh start? Let’s not sabotage our Moses moment by touting our goodness or cowering in darkness. Let us quiet our hearts and watch as God, full of grace, fights daily for our hearts. And wins.
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