Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sushi... RAWvisions, even better than last time!

The raw vegan sushi I made the other night was so good, I found myself craving more, but wanting to tweak a few things. Main adjustment: I threw the cauliflower in the food processor with some Bragg Liquid Aminos (like soy sauce, but SO much better for you!), and I worked on my technique to make some artful, tiny, tightly rolled sushi this time around. They came out MUCH better, and prettier too! I was a little nervous to throw a raw asparagus spear in there, but it was quite yum! I also made some yummy seaweed salad from some dried wakame seaweed (soak for about 5 minutes and rinse thoroughly to bring back to life). It had some sesame oil, salt, pepper, cumin, a smidge of curry, and of course... sesame seeds. It was a delicious meal!
Raw Asian Inspired Meal, yum!

I can't believe I'm already five days in! I haven't noticed any detox side effects yet, although I have been tired... could easily be that I haven't been getting enough sleep. Other than that, I am finally starting to feel full and satisfied faster and with less food, which is great because I tend to overeat otherwise. It's going so well, and I'm not having any food craving devils on my shoulder!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Raw Vegan Sushi Anyone? YESSS Please!!!

I've always wondered how I would go about making yummy sushi without fish, and especially without rice! Last night we decided to try making some incredible raw vegan sushi and it came out even better than expected! I managed to find some Raw (untoasted) Nori sheets to roll the sushi in (rolling mat a must!), and we filled it with some sliced cucumber, mushroom, carrots, some clover sprouts and lettuce. As the "rice" I had some cauliflower that I ran through the food processor with a little oil, it was perfect! SO good! I always figured sushi making would be difficult, but what could be easier than throwing a bunch of stuff out on a wrap and rolling it up! Ok, granted, slight learning curve to getting a tightly wrapped sushi roll as you have to be careful not to overfill it, but it was so much fun to make! If these first couple days of fruit smoothies, awesome salads and sushi is an indication of how yummy this month is going to be, consider me excited!!! Today is day three in my 30 days, and I feel pretty much the same as I did when I started with the exception of knowing I am doing so much better for my body by eating this way than I was previous. Today was a difficult one from the temptations of deliciousness around the workplace, but I powered through it!

Raw Veg Sushi!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Here it Goes - Round TWO of Living in the Raw! WOO!

What could be a yummier breakfast?
So I know it's been a while (quite a while indeed!) since I've been on here, but I'm back, and more determined than ever. Today marks day 1 of another 30 days of a 100% raw foods diet, and this time I'm not in it alone! It's something I've been wanting to start back up again, however, plans and social calendars have held me back... but no more! So with a dehydrator now in my arsenal of raw food prep equipment, and a better stocked raw foods pantry, I'm expecting to try out many, many more exciting recipes and will of course share some with you all! I suppose a large motivating factor in starting this back up again is readying myself for a cruise to Bermuda in 2 months, but an overall optimum level of health is the other large chunk to that. This time around I am lucky enough be joined in this effort by my incredible boyfriend, whose support will make this much easier and more enjoyable than it was the first time for sure. Thank you Jon for your devotion and enthusiasm as we make this journey together, I love you so much! So I'm one day in, and loving it already!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I Did It! 30 Days of 100% RAW Foods!

Sorry guys, I've left you all hanging for a little bit there! My 30 days of all raw foods is complete, and it was a wonderful experience! By week 4 I was trying out all sorts of new recipes and trying tons of new stuff. I am also addicted to seaweed salad found in Asian restaurants! So by the end of my challenge, I had lost a whopping ELEVEN pounds! WOO! My energy levels were up, and I was feeling great, although a little excited to have my first dish of pasta in a month (my weakness food). Eating this way for a month gives you good insight into what your body actually needs to fuel itself every day. You eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full, and don't tend to snack as much inbetween. I know a lot of people keep saying that I must never really be full eating produce all day long, but I really felt satisfied!

After my 30 days were up, I went on a little carb-fest, which although it was a bad decision, was a great way to show me just how much of a difference eating pasta, bread, and rice again is to my body! Instantly, my cravings for EVERYTHING bad came back, I wanted pasta all day, crappy Chinese food, ice cream, popcorn, chocolate, and wasn't really satisfied having fruit still for dessert anymore. Energy slumped back down and my weight started to creep back up. One week of eating lots of carb heavy cooked meals, and I've already shot back up 4lbs :( So I've decided to make a new commitment for the way I want to eat, but not quite as strict as being 100% raw all of the time.

From this point forward, I am going to keep to being mainly raw, with an allowance of just 2 cooked carb meals per week (like a pasta or rice dish as a part of my meal). I will allow occasional cooked produce as a part to my meal, but that will pretty much just be light steaming of asparagus, broccoli, or artichokes because I'm not a fan of either of those raw. Also, 1 coffee max/week from Starbucks. I think if I limit the bad carbs this way, I'll get my weight loss back, and keep right on going! I hope the cravings will be knocked down, but if not I may re-evaluate and bring it down to 1 carb-y meal per week. I figure by allowing it sometimes, I won't go on a binge like I did after my 30 days!

I've stocked up my raw foods pantry now, and am ready to start getting really creative! I also just bought a 4-tray excalibur dehydrator, which I'm super excited about! I've already done tomatoes (amazing!), bananas, kale chips, and marinaded eggplant in it, goji berry cookies are next! I also made an incredible raw shiitake soup that was soooo good from the RawVolution cookbook I love by Matt Amsden. I was a little wary of a raw soup, but I didn't know what I was missing! YUM!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mmmm, SO many new Raw Dishes!

I'm closing in on the end of week 3 of being raw, I'm 8lbs down from when I started, and am feeling great! I'm getting even better at stepping outside of my recipe box and trying new things. I "blossomed" some wild rice by soaking it and rinsing twice a day for 5 days (it softens so you can eat it without cooking!), and made some fabulous "mashed potatoes" out of cauliflower! It was delicious and easy, you just process down a small head of cauliflower (about 2 1/2 cups) with about 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup raw cashews or macadamia nuts, a teaspoon of salt, and a little garlic. I would go easy on the garlic because I did half of a large clove, and felt it was a bit much. If you food process it for a while, it gets to have that same consistency as mashed potatoes! I got this recipe courtesy of Matt Amsden, author of RawVolution (my new favorite raw cookbook!).

I also toyed around with a seaweed salad, because I've been addicted to it when going out to restaurants. A couple weeks back when I went to the Asian Supermarket, I found a bag of dried seaweed, which only has to be soaked for about 10 minutes to be ready to go. I put some sesame oil, salt (because I rinsed all the natural salt out), a bit of ginger, and some tahini in, along with some sesame seeds... YUM!

I just started soaking some quinoa, which like the wild rice, will sprout and be soft enough to eat in a couple of days. I feel like I have so many options for delicious food now, and am getting really excited about all of my raw dishes. I do think that because I see myself sticking to being at least 80% raw after my 30 days, I may need to invest in a dehydrator. There are so, SO many things I could make if I had one. I'm debating it heavily, do you guys have one and find it to be a useful tool in your kitchen?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Some Rawsome Food for a Healthy Bod

I'm just about 2 weeks in (and halfway done with) my Raw foods challenge, yay! I'm feeling great and seeing some results already from being about 6lbs down! I've also recently joined a gym, so my exercise efforts have been even more consistent. Exercise is as important in attaining a healthy happy body as diet is, and I am addicted to ZUMBA! It's a latin dance class that is very high energy and makes the hour fly by. If I can find a way to exercise that doesn't feel like exercise, I'm a happy girl. Check it out and find a class near you! The DVDs are great too!

My first week of eating raw I wasn't quite so sure what to eat, there were mainly just lots and lots of salads. This week though, I am starting to experiment around more with different recipes, and have added a ton of variety to my diet. No boredom here! For my spiralized zucchini, I've made fabulous cashew cream sauce out of soaked cashews, a little bit of water, and some seasonings. I threw in mushrooms as well, and it really felt like I was having a rich alfredo type sauce! I also made a raw marinara sauce from a couple of tomatoes, 1/2 a red bell pepper, smidge of oil, and seasonings, yum!

Pictured is a fabulous kale salad I made the other day. If you massage rough greens like kale with a little bit of oil for a couple of minutes, they soften and are much more pleasant to eat. I added walnuts, red pepper, sprouts, and broccoli, but you could really add in anything you like. Also, did you know that if you marinade mushrooms for even a couple of minutes they soften and have the same texture they do when cooked? A product I LOVE and want to share is called Bragg Liquid Aminos. It tastes like soy sauce, but is not fermented or heated, and contains 16 essential and non-essential amino acids. It is certified Non-GMO, is gluten free, and has no chemicals, no artificial coloring, no preservatives, and much less sodium. You can find it now in most grocery stores. For more info visit

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sexy, Raw, Valentines Awesomeness!

Ahhh, Saint Valentines' Day, a true test to my staying raw when ALL I want is a box of chocolates to munch on! This year I decided to make a delicious, seductive raw dessert! Jennifer Cornbleet has a great cookbook, Raw Food Made Easy that had a recipe I would like to share with you guys! This delicious tart fulfilled all of my lovey dovey dessert needs, and it was so fast and easy to make! I'll admit, I was a little leery of using avocados in something that is supposed to be chocolatey, but it was SOOOOO good!

Chocolate Tart with Strawberries

Almond Crust:
2 1/4 c. ground raw almonds
3/4 c. pitted medjool dates, unsoaked
1/4 t. salt

Chocolate Mousse:
1/4 c. pitted medjool dates, soaked
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 c. pure maple syrup or agave nectar
3/4 c. mashed ripe avocados (about 1 1/2 avocados)
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa or carob powder
1/4 c. water

1 lb. fresh strawberries

To make crust, place all ingredients in a food processor and mix with the S blade until the ingredients begin to stick together. Scoop the crust into a 9" pie plate or tart pan. Spread the crumbs evenly along the bottom of the pan and up the sides of the pan. There should be a 3/4 inch lip of crumbs along the sides. After crumbs are evenly distributed, press the crust down using your fingers. Place the crust in the freezer for 15 minutes.

To make the chocolate mousse filling, mix the dates, syrup, and vanilla in a food processor with the S blade until smooth. Add the avocado and cocoa powder and process until creamy, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl down. Add the water and process briefly.

Remove crust from the freezer and spread the chocolate mousse over the bottom of the pan. Remove the stems from the strawberries and slice them, then arrange atop the mousse. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Cover tightly with plastic wrap in the refrigerator, this tart will keep for three days.

*Note: this recipe yields a fairly crumbly crust. Mine did not come out in solid pieces, but an addition of more dates would likely remedy this if you prefer a sturdier crust.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 5 of My RAWvolutionary New Diet!

So today is my 5th day of my 100% raw foods diet. I've been experimenting around with all kinds of new yummy recipes to keep things interesting, and have not at all felt deprived. I've posted some pictures of the yummy stuff I've made! Did you realize that if you put raw zucchini in a spiral slicer, it comes out like angel hair pasta? Pasta is one of my favorite foods, but really, it's mainly that yummy al dente texture that is so appealing, along with a sauce... pasta itself doesn't have much taste on it's own. So I made my own vegan pesto from fresh basil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and raw walnuts in my food processor and added it to the zucchini. The salt and lemon draws a little of the water out of the zucchini and softens it to be pasta like. *Note: Leftover "pasta" will end up with a lot of excess water if you put it away with any kind of sauce on it, it is best to have them saved separately.

SO excited! Today at a check-up, my BLOOD PRESSURE was 102/68! Usually, my blood pressure stays around the 120/80 mark, so this is awesome! Proof that this diet is doing good things for me :D I am also down a couple of lbs, which is always nice! I know that with eating this way, I will surely get to a point of having tons of extra energy, but I don't think I'm feeling it quite yet. Any time you switch from the Standard American Diet (SAD diet), or even a vegetarian or vegan one, over to a raw diet, there is bound to be a little bit of detoxing going on. Because I am eating in a way that doesn't take much from my body to process and metabolize, it can spend more time "cleaning house" and repairing some of the damage that our environment, and foods we've eaten, have caused. Drinking lots of water is important to help flush all that nasty stuff out, and the first days of having that going on can make you feel a little run down. I haven't felt like I've been too lacking on energy, so I'm happy with that! All is well so far! Woo!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Here's to hoping these next 30 days will be RAWarding! :P

If Morgan Spurlock can live on crappy yucky McDonalds for 30 days, I figure I can make it through a challenge of 30 days of the opposite, and even further improve my health and progress! I have been inspired by a Jenna Norwood's documentary called "Supercharge Me" ( and the success she had doing 30 days of raw vegan goodness!

Today is day #1 of my raw foods detox/cleanse! Raw foodism is one of the healthiest ways a vegan, or anyone really, can eat, and I'm ready to jump into it for a month to see what all the hoopla is about! When you eat a food cooked above 105', enzymes that are intended to aid in digestion and absorption of the nutrients in the food are destroyed, so you are able to get much more nutritional bang for your buck by eating a food in it's natural uncooked state. Also, when you cook a food, a lot of the nutrients escape from it in the process, so it is doubly as good to leave it raw! I'm ready for lots more energy, optimal health, and perhaps a boost to my weight loss, woo!

I'm going to have to do things differently for sure for the next 30 days, but I'll be here to share my experiences and recipes with you all. So I'll be trading my soy lattes in for a smoothie, my pasta for salads and zucchini "pasta", and my So Delicious Dairy Free ice cream in for fruit... I can't even imagine how much better this will be for me! I think that by committing to eat this way for a month will branch me out even further in regards to which fruits and veggies I use/like, and I am hoping to pick up some awesome recipes along the way! My goal here is a month of learning and health, learning/feeling the benefits, as well as making healthier meal choices in the long run. After this, I don't expect to stay 100% raw, but hope that it will be a much bigger part to my diet than ever before. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mmmmm... Pesticides and Genetically Modified Garbage. YUM!

What we choose to fuel our bodies every day is such an important decision, and is far too overlooked. I just finished a great film that has further cemented my belief that we need to buy produce and grains that are organic, and not genetically modified to enhance flavor/appearance/size/seedlessness, oh, and profit for the companies producing it. Products that have been genetically modified "GMO" have been mutated and manipulated, but aren't always packaged in a way that a consumer can recognize. Take produce for example, you can't pick up a tomato in the supermarket and tell if it has been modified to be larger, redder, or sweeter, unless it is Certified Organic (safe!). If that tomato had growth factors added in to make it bigger, and you ingest that, is it really all that good for you? I think not.

Ahhh, pesticides. Pesticides that are sprayed onto our produce end up in the air that we breathe, the water we drink, the soil our crops grow from, and ultimately, our and our animal friends' bodies. You can wash that fruit off all you want, but chances are, if it ended up in the water and soil that it grew from, you're ingesting it anyways. Ok, so switching over to "all organic", can seem daunting, and expensive, so if you aren't convinced yet, this list may help. From highest pesticide content to least, here are a couple of fruits and veggies you should try to buy organic whenever possible, courtesy of
  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines
  7. Grapes
  8. Sweet Bell Peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale
Here's another great resources for more info on the benefits of organic foods:

A fantastic film that I recommend to anyone who wants to improve their health is called "Food Matters", and is available to stream instantly on Netflix if you have it. It goes over some of the benefits of eating raw foods, benefits of vitamins, toxic prescription drugs, eating organically, and of course, how life changing a whole foods, plant based diet can be. Check it out at

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Girl With the Dragon... FRUIT! My Love for Asian Supermarkets

I only live about an hour away from Albany, NY, so when I was there last weekend and noticed an Asian supermarket, I had to go! I obviously love my fruits and veggies, so I was excited for the opportunity to get some exotic produce. I loaded up on my edamame (which you can find in most grocery stores), got some sea weed, kelp, thai eggplant, and a beautiful dragon fruit (amongst other yummy things). I had never had an actual dragon fruit before, and the medium sized one I got was about $8, so I was hoping it'd be good! *Note - ignore my silly photo, skin is inedible! Anyways, yum! The meat inside was was subtly sweet, and reminded me more of a kiwi fruit than anything else. You just peel all the skin back, slice, and enjoy! Could it be any easier? And it all looks so perrrrty!

So as I said, I bought some thai eggplants as well at this market. They are very different looking compared to the big long purple ones we usually see in the supermarket. They were about tennis ball size or smaller, and perfectly round, and green! So cute. Anyways, I decided to whip up a yummy masala with them in it, and it came out delicious! Granted, I put my Asian eggplant in an Indian dish, but oh well, I didn't know what else to do with them! So because it was scrumptious, I'll share the recipe that I used, courtesy of The Happy Herbivore ( by Lindsay S. Nixon (my fav vegan cookbook!).

Chana Palak Masala (Altered by me to include my awesome eggplant!)
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 12oz. can peeled whole tomatoes with juices
1 15oz. can chickpeas, drained
1 12oz. bag baby spinach, fresh or frozen
10 (or so) thai eggplants, unpeeled and quartered
1 c. water or vegetable broth (I bumped this up to 2-3 cups because of the amount of eggplant)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp mild curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground ginger
red pepper flakes, as desired
1/2 to 1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

  1. Sounds yummy already, doesn't it? Line large pot with a thin layer of water and saute onion and garlic over medium heat until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  2. If using eggplant: Add tomatoes with their juices, broth/water, and eggplant. Cook, covered over medium heat, for about 10 minutes until eggplant is soft and just about done. Then add chickpeas and spinach, cover, and cook for about 4 more minutes until spinach cooks down.
  3. If not using eggplant: Add tomatoes with their juices, chickpeas, spinach, and broth/water. Cover and cook over medium heat until spinach cooks down, about 4 minutes.
  4. Using wooden spoon or firm spatula, break tomatoes apart.
  5. Add remaining ingredients except garam masala, cover, and cook for 3 more minutes.
  6. Add garam masala, stirring to combine, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes, allowing for flavors to merge.
  8. ENJOY!

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Vegan Blog... WOO!

Hey guys, welcome to my sparkly new vegan blog! I'm hoping to use this blog to share my experiences, insight, recommendations, and recipes, and hope to hear back from you all as well! I've been a "just about vegan" since September of 2010, so almost a year and a half now! When I say "just about", I am not 100% crazy strict. I am not opposed to honey, while I avoid white sugar, it happens sometimes, and I will only very rarely make an exception for something with a smidge of dairy in it. And I do mean rarely. Also, the occasional Quorn burger or Boca burger usually has egg in it, but I allow it on occasion. My switch to a whole foods, plant based diet was one that came after being inspired by two films, Vegan Gal and Food Inc. I am a vegan for health reasons mainly, but ethically as well, I cannot justify eating animals just for the flavor of it, as it is not nutritionally necessary.

I'm 5'6", and at the point I watched those films, had just watched my weight hit the 200lb mark, a mark I had never wanted to, or saw myself getting to. I decided that something had to change! I had tried tons of crash diets in the past, like (ironically) the Adkins (meat based) diet, and various others with no success for lasting weight loss. I was at a point where I was getting migraines about 5 days a week and had two different prescription pills that were necessary if I wanted the pain to stop. Doctors wanted me to be on daily medication for prevention.... no way! Oh, and random dizzy spells, those were always fun. I felt sluggish, ugly, depressed because of my low self confidence, and was ALWAYS hungry, with intense cravings for junk food pretty much all the time. I gave up meat and dairy all together on that first day... I just quit, Cold Tofurkey, and was much better immediately!

Instantly, migraines gone! I started to lose weight, feel better, have more energy, and my skin cleared up as well! I have lost 58lbs so far, and hope to keep going on the weight loss! Now you guys know my story :) For any of those who haven't seen it, I HIGHLY recommend watching Food Inc. It was a very eye opening film, but be prepared, it's a little hard to watch. You can check out their website at Oh, and you can stream it on Netflix ;)