a different kind of challenge: 60-Days of RAW

so, on Tuesday, i had the ultimate NYC girl accident: while walking to the office after a press event, my high heel caught in a pothole and i totally bit it in the street.  unfortunately for me, i have an extra bone in my foot, to which i severely damaged the connective ligaments. OUTCOME: HP in crutches for the next 2 months.

another bummer: no yoga for 2 months. :(

so, rather than eating my feelings through this, i’ve decided to try and stay healthy and embark on a 60-day raw challenge: back to being 90-100% raw for 60 full days. considering i’ve fallen off the raw wagon because it was tiring being a social leper, i’m taking this gimpy opportunity to challenge myself and get back on track!

i’m only on Day 3, but already, i’m noticing a significant lift in my energy levels, my productivity and ability to focus.  it’s truly remarkable just how much of what you eat affects your body.

wish me luck — you’ll likely see more raw posts in the weeks to come!

Basic Kale Chips: an Addict’s Tips & Tricks

after seeing a tweet from my friend Felicia Sullivan today, i got inspired to come home and whip up a batch of Kale Chips.

Kale definitely lives up to its “super food” title:

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. (from WebMD)

 ←even my dog loves kale!

Kale Chips are a fantastic snack food – especially if you’re vegan/raw vegan and you’re missing that salty crunchy snack. not only is it nutritious, the recipe for basic Kale Chips seems SUPER easy:

  • kale, de-veined
  • salt
  • pepper

i mean, can’t beat simple ingredients. but after making a few batches at home, here are some helpful hints from a kale chip addict that will hopefully make your DIY Kale Chips easier:

  • Cleaning: kale has so many beautiful folds & curly-ness — but that just means you have to be SUPER thorough when you clean it. dirt/mold/bugs tend to get stuck in the folds.
  • De-veining:  they always tell you to “de-vein” the kale, which usually means you pull the stem/spine away from the leaf.  i don’t know about anyone else, but that always results in me tearing the kale leaf – not cute.  SO, rather than de-veining (pulling the spine away from the leaf)  — just de-leaf it instead (pull the leaves away from the stem).  this is far more manageable and this way, you have more control to make sure each “chip” piece is of equal size (see next tip)
  • basic cooking principle: make sure each piece is the same size to ensure even cooking. we should never forget basic principles of cooking – even when making something as simple as chips.  as best as possible – try to make sure each chip/leaf is of equal size so your batch cooks evenly
  • coat evenly:  whether you’re making a simple Olive Oil/S&P Kale Chip recipe, or you’re doing a more fancy version with a nut-mixture, you must make sure that each chip/leaf is evenly coated. this will also help ensure it cooks evenly

whether you bake or dehydrate your Kale Chips, the above tips should always apply.  personally, i prefer dehydrating — even though it takes longer, i feel it retains more of the green kale flavor in the chips.  but either will do!

  • for dehydrator: lay out on dehydrator trays, dehydrate for minimum of 8 hours at 115°F.
  • for oven: bake at 300°F for approximately 20 minutes (or until crisp). let cool

hope these tips are helpful for my fellow Kale Chip Addicts! :)

pulse check: my raw challenge….do-over, please?

so….12 days into my raw food challenge, and sadly, it hasn’t been too much of a success, unfortunately.  it appears that this super-girl’s kryptonite is….PIZZA after a drink or 5.  (i knew there was a reason i meant to cut out alcohol during this 30-day period).

don’t get me wrong — i’ve probably only slipped up…thrice? (ok, maybe 4 times)  the rest of the time, i’ve managed to keep it all-raw.  nonetheless, i’m still remarkably determined to win and DO a true 30-day challenge.

even from these past 12 days, i’ve learned a lot about my relationship with food.  i often joke on Twitter that i’m sitting at home “eating my feelings” — and it’s scarily true.  food is a numbing comfort to me when i’m tired, stressed, feeling low or feeling weak.  so my determination to truly do this 30-day challenge is less about losing weight, but more about setting my relationship with food straight.

SO, i’m going to reset – as of tomorrow, the 13th.  maybe 13 will be my lucky number? it’s the a prime number.  it’s the number of my apartment that i love.  hell – WHY NOT?

i am determined to reach my goal.  yes, there have been challenges, but i’m still going to persevere! :)   trying to live my life always with a fighting spirit!

let’s check in next week and see if i’m successful.  :P

my personal 30-Day Challenge: go hard or go home

as you know, i love setting little challenges for myself, whether it be juice cleansing, 30 or 60-day Bikram Yoga challenges, or changing to a raw lifestyle.  yes, that means my mom thinks i’m “eccentric” for the sake of being eccentric…but for me, these little challenges are a good way to keep pushing yourself and keep growing.

since starting my new job as a digital ninja, my personal life has turned upside-down. needless to say, i haven’t regained my balance back, but i’m starting to find my rhythm again, slowly but surely.  the new job, the new hours and the new abysmal office location has made it really challenging to be the OM-ing, happy raw foodie i once was.

but i’m tired of hearing my own excuses.  i’m taking back my life.

have started in small steps: waking up at 5am to do yoga at home (instead of the studio), making sure i order in as much raw during the day as i can (instead of making my own raw goodies at home)…but i need a kickstart.

enter my personal 30-day Challenge!  for the month of June:

  • 100% raw food diet
  • chanting every day: morning and night
originally i was also going to throw in being “alcohol-free” into that mix, but instead, i’ll adopt to the “raw” diet mandate, and will only drink wine very sparingly.
today is Day 1!
  • BREAKFAST: some fresh OJ and a fruit salad

  • MOOD:  optimistic, but SCURRED
will try to chronicle my daily progress…wish me luck!

Green Smoothie OTD: spinach + pineapple + strawberry + banana

honestly can’t remember if I posted this one already (i probably did – sorries). I realize I tend to gravitate towards the same types of fruits and flavors when I make my green smoothies.  I guess we all have our tendencies!

trying to back on my green groove…it’s nearly summertime, season of deliciousness — so no excuses NOT to revel in the raw!

this morning:

  • 1 pint spinach
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1/2 a pineapple, cubed
  • 1 banana
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 cup of water

YUM.

RESET, renew, re-commit: Organic Avenue Cleanse, take 2

Can’t hardly believe how quickly this year has gone by – it’s April, people!

So far this year: new job, new faith, new stress levels, new challenges…which means I have been drowning my sorrows in food.  (ain’t nothing quite like eating your feelings)

It’s not that I’ve fallen completely off the vegan wagon, but definitely have deviated from being raw.  So I’ve decided it’s time to press the RESET button on my life, and recommit myself to a lifestyle that makes me feel energized, refreshed, clear-headed and ALIVE.

Thus: Organic Avenue, Love Fast Cleanse – Take 2.

Unfortunately, the demons I have to overcome this time around are a bit more formidable:

  • Caffeine (up to 3 cups a day – scurred)
  • Refined sugar (I like my coffee to taste like Haagen Daz Coffee Ice Cream)
  • Salt (YUM)
  • Some cooked foods (nothing crazy, but have been eating steamed/sautéed veggies here & there)
  • Liquor (you name it, I’ve been drinking it)

Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to what Day 1 has in store.  I think it will probably be best for everyone’s general safety if they kept their distance.  But looking forward to feeling fab on the other side.  Pray for me!!!

 

it’s cold season! here’s an all-natural cough “syrup” recipe

after a grueling work week prepping for Thanksgiving, my parents were both feeling under the weather this past weekend.  both of them had a nasty cough that kept them up at night.
luckily for them, one of their customers Ruth Ann, provided them with a recipe for an all-natural cough “syrup”.
keep in mind, it may not look or taste pretty — but by the same token, do you really like how Robitussin tastes?

here’s the recipe:

  • thinly slice 1 red onion
  • layer each slice in a container, drizzle honey in between each layer
  • squeeze juice from 1 whole lemon

once you set aside this concoction in a container, what you end up getting is this juicy syrup.  pinch your nose, take a few swigs…and VOILA!  no more coughs!
once you’re done with the juice, you can munch on the onions (if you’re extra brave!)
if you’re looking for a homeopathic alternative to cough medicine, this might just do the trick!
this message is Momma & Poppa Park approved!


 
 

RECIPE: cacao latte made with hemp seed milk!

i bought a huge bag of raw organic hemp seeds a while back — i read a lot about people making hemp seed milk from it.  and the major appeal of hemp seeds: you don’t have to pre-soak them before you make milk!

this “lazy factor” was a huge draw for me.

unfortunately, when i made my first batch – i really didn’t like the taste.  it had this nutty, green, bitter flavor to the milkiness…something very unappealing to my palette. so i had this huge bag sitting in my pantry for a while.

this morning, i thought i’d try my hand at making my cacao latte with hemp seed milk instead of cashew nut milk (if there’s such a thing as cashew toxicity…i think i might have it! i OD on that stuff!)

i was SO pleasantly surprised to find that it was DELICIOUS!!  the cacao powder masked the weird flavor of the hemp seed, and if anything, the greeny/bitter flavor added more depth to the chocolate flavor! :)

  • 1/4 cup of raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup of raw organice hemp seeds
  • 3 TBS of raw agave nectar
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 cups of filtered water