Friday, February 29, 2008

Was the night before Juice Feast

and all through the house, lots of fruits and veggies were juicing...

Tomorrow is the beginning of a Global Juice Feast for many people. Tonight, I am sure that there are lots of people who are getting mentally, physically and mason-jar ready.

I have gotten my journal, my msm lotion, mason jars, hot water bottle, fruits and veggies galore (although I'm sure I will be stopping by the local grocery store over the weekend). I hope that I have prepared myself enough physically and mentally for this amazing journey. I'm not sure entirely what that requires; but that is the nice thing about adventures, you never know where they will lead or what they will entail.

One of the best mini-vacations that I have ever been on was last summer. Chris and I jumped into his jeep and drove. I'm not sure if he was entirely sure where we were going, or if he planned exactly where we ended up, but the whole trip was a total surprise to me. We went to the farmers market to get vine rippened strawberries for the drive, a winery, an ice cream store (oops), a craft market (while we enjoyed the ice cream), enjoyed a nice lunch in a small town, drove to the Lake on the Mountain, and ended up in Belleville for the night. I think this was the most romantic trip that I have ever been on. What I enjoyed the most about this trip was the unknown. It was all unplanned and spontaneous and we didn't know what was around the next corner.

It a way I hope my Juice Feast will be the same...It will be an adventure and I hope that there is excitement and wonder at every turn. Just as my weekend away, this Juice Feast will lead me on a new path of awareness.

I don't know how long this feast will last. I'm sure a lot of other people preparing for a similar journey tonight are thinking the same thoughts, preparing the same things and anticipating the same things. I only hope I can see my way past the next three days.

In my fridge, sits a litre mason jar filled with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 1 tsp msm powder and another mason jar filled with juiced kale, lemon, green apples and lime. Let the adventure begin...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

In Anticipation and Preparation

In just a few more days, Elizabeth and I will be partaking in the Global Juice Feast. Elizabeth is my "raw buddy" that I have referred to in previous posts. I am very excited about this new journey that she and I will be embarking on.

There is a lot of preparation and work that is involved in preparing for a juice feast. I am glad that it is starting on a Saturday, then I can be fully prepared for how much Juice I will need to prepare for the day, before Monday comes around and I have to tote my juice to work. I will be loading up Mason Jar after Mason Jar after Mason Jar in order to consume a Gallon of Juice (or as close to it as I can) for the feast.

I first thought that I would have to consume 4 GALLONS! That is between 15 and 16 one litre Mason Jars (had to call on Dad to add to my supply). I will tote my juice to work in a cooler (which I have to look for tonight when I go shopping). The girls in the office will really be wondering what the heck I’m up to next week! I am really glad that I won't be toting 10 Mason Jars, just possible two or three.

My initial plan is to hopefully feast for one week; if I get farther, I will be really excited; I have no intention to carry this feast over 30 days. As this is my first feast, I will be very pleased if I make it past the first three days, which are the hardest to get through on any new adventure.
The next few days will be filled with more reading from the Juice Feasting website, stocking up on produce and supplements, as well as trying to schedule a new routine to accommodate this new feast.

I will be contacting my Naturopath to schedule an appointment. I like her to be informed of what I am doing, as well, I will look to her for guidance on any supplements that I may need for my feast. I will hopefully visit her on a weekly basis as long as my feast continues; for moral support, but also because I love my naturopath!

So, the next few days will be full of preparation and anticipation, and I look forward to giving you my update next week.... wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

LIVE, Organic Food Bar

Okay, without further delay, here is my review of LIVE, Organic Food Bar:

I have to admit, this was something that I have been anticipating for a very long time. Chris and I used to eat out at a lot of different restaurants, but since going raw, it makes it a bit more difficult; not to mention that I hate paying restaurant prices for a salad.

When I first learned about a raw lifestyle last spring, I looked up "Raw Food Restaurants" on the Internet for my area. There aren’t too many. Live was listed, which is in Toronto, approximately an hour drive from my house. So, now I had a restaurant to attend, and I would somehow have to make it a special trip to try the "raw cuisine". This didn’t stop me, and I looked to the future to pick a date to attend.

I originally thought that it would be great to go for valentines day, but of course, that plan didn’t work out (too many kids!)... so, the next plan was for a weekend stay in Toronto to celebrate our Anniversary...

We arrived in Toronto on Friday night, and stayed at the Sheridan Hotel, which overlooks Nathan Phillip Square. It was perfect. We had dinner at a nice Italian restaurant on Friday (I forget the name of it - of course I had a salad). Saturday morning, we had nice freshly squeezed juice for breakfast, and I toted my lemon-water in my Raw Diva Smoothie Jug, and we hit the streets of Toronto. We had lots of fun shopping and sight-seeing... then the best thing happened!!!! Chris got hungry - actually, I got hungry sooner than Chris, guess my juice didn’t last as long as his hot-cakes! It isn’t very often that I’m hungry and have to wait for him, but Saturday was one of those days. We jumped in the jeep, and made the drive to Dupont and Spadina.

The restaurant is very quaint, and decorated in bright cheery colours. They even have cute sayings on the bathroom walls! If anyone knows me, they know that I can’t go too many places without checking out the bathrooms - especially after drinking my lemon water all morning!!

It was pretty crowded in the restaurant, but we managed to find a table close to the back, which was more romantic in my opinion; however, there was no "romance" to speak of going on at our table, unless you count my love affair and excitement over the food - it was more of a infatuation any ways, you know, the guidy excitement you feel, you can’t wait, and then before long, its over!

The staff were very friendly and courteous, and before long, we had our menus in front of us. Have to say, the decision was tough. The one REALLY GREAT thing about LIVE is that I could choose a NUT FREE OPTION! I was concerned about going to a raw food restaurant, when so many of the gourmet raw foods contain nuts, and having to miss out on some great food because of it. THIS WAS NOT THE CASE AT ALL, I didn’t miss out on a thing due to my tree nut allergy.

It was early afternoon, and I was really hungry. I think I have that condition known as "eyes are bigger than your tummy", because I ordered the Spreads N’ ‘Breads’ for Chris and I to share as an appetizer, and I ordered the Nachos Fiesta, Chris had the Pizza Pandemonium.

The food was absolutely incredible. The Spreads N’ Breads was a sample of the humus and pate for the day and sample of their different flat breads. Wish I knew what the spreads were, one spreads tasted just like tuna salad! I was very impressed. The samples of the flat bread was also amazing and has renewed my interest in a dehydrator! They even had some flatbread at the front to purchase on your way out of the restaurant! The Nacho dips were also some of the best that I have ever tasted. The Nacho chips were absolutely incredible. I don’t know how the Pizza Pandemonium tasted, must have been good because Chris didn’t share! This was the first time, eating raw food, that I stuffed myself! My eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach. Good thing that we had an afternoon of skating planned so that I could "work off" my lunch.

I do have one complaint about my visit. This complaint has nothing to do with the restaurant, and more to do with the author. Seems that I filled my belly so full, that I didn’t have any room for dessert. I don’t think that has ever happened in all my days as restaurant connoisseur. I could have purchased a piece of chocolate mint pie, or raw rice crispies or cheesecake to take with me back to the hotel; but I opted to save that for my next trip to Toronto, which I will have to plan very soon!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Okay, I lied....

Work is a little crazy this week, so I am a busy, busy girl... I will update you with my full report on Live soon, but for today, I will just tease you with a picture of our leftovers (soon to be "doggie bag"). I wish I would have thought to take a picture before I gobbled down all the delicious food that we ordered, but I was too excited (and maybe a bit hungry)!
Have a great Tuesday!!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Raw Food, Skating and a New Pair of Shoes!

I had a wonderful weekend in Toronto; full of fun, raw food, shopping, exercise and fresh air. What could be better than that!

I was like a kid in a candy store when we went to Live. It was a real treat - I’ll give you my full review tomorrow. I also got my raweo cookies as well as other products from upayanaturals.

While shopping at the Eaton Center, I bought the girls all a new lululemon headband, Ani’s Raw Kitchen and real cute pair of red heels! I came across Ani’s Raw Kitchen at the Indigo store there. I was so excited, I started reading it right then and there, while Chris continued to browse the store (we like to go to bookstores together). I love the fact that the recipes are so simple. Sometimes raw recipe books contain ingredients that I have never heard of, or equipment that I don’t yet possess. Not in this case. This morning, I enjoyed a wonderful mug of almond mylk (although I think I am going to have to invest in a nut milk bag). The book is also full of wonderful ideas and life tips. I like her idea of trying to keep the raw food intake to 1/3 nuts/seeds/oils, 1/3 green veggies and 1/3 fruit. Think I’m going to try and follow that for the next week.

The Global Juice Feast starts this Saturday, I still need to create the perfect green juice :0(

Wish me luck... Here Chris and I are skating at Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday! It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and our tummies were full of raw! Oh, and I forgot to mention, my new juicer travels well!

PPS - have to say, Chris was pretty talented with this picture!!! It is a "self-portrait", he held out his arm and snapped the photo with one hand, while holding me up with the other, as we were skating around the rink. Trust me, this was no easy task as skating isn't one of my finer skills!

Friday, February 22, 2008

When I grow up, I want to drink Green Juice

So, when I grow up, I want to drink Green Juice: When you first start drinking coffee, very often you need to have three cream and three sugars to be able to drink it; and then you slowly wean off the sugar and cream until you can tolerate a more "grown up" coffee (even at the end of my coffee drinking days, I only got as far as two creams and one sugar).

When a person switches to raw food (at least in my case), there is a love affair with fruit. The natural sweetness of the fruit is very satisfying. Another blogger, Darice Michelle is pursuing a "14-day no fruit" diet right now. She too is a fairly new rawbie, and seems to have fallen in the fruit path, much like me. I wish her luck, not sure if I could have a salad for breakfast every day! Heidi, from Raw Food Right Now, also eluded to enjoying the fruit juice over the green juice at the beginning of her Juice Feast.

There are days when I find myself only consuming fruit. Not only is it delicious, I find that it is very easy to "take and go" when I am leaving the house for work in the morning. I know that I have to add more greens to my diet and I also know that my body starts to crave the greens if I have gone without them for very long. It is amazing to me, since becoming raw, how easy it is to "listen" to your body. The food cravings seem to melt away (well, maybe not the chocolate), and you are left having your body tell you what you need. I find that there are times when I love nuts, and can eat them by the handful, then there are other times, when the same nuts taste awful. This is my bodies way of telling me "enough"!

I am TOTALLY LOVING my juicer! Every morning since its arrival, the kids and I have been enjoying a fresh glass of juice in the morning. Experimenting is one of the exciting aspects of a juicer. I will be incorporating more greens into my juices for the Global Juice Feast, but for now, I am being a child, and enjoying all of the excitement and pleasure in a simple fruit juice.

Today, I made a small mason jar of naval oranges, blood oranges and clementines, to take to work with me. I juiced a glass of a naval orange, clementines and an apple for me to enjoy while soaking in the tub this morning (I’m not much of a shower person - I enjoy a nice soak much more). The kids all had a professional activity day, so I had the juice, the kitchen and the bathroom to myself this morning! APPLES AND ORANGES: surprised that the juice makers haven’t come up with that combination yet. It was truly amazing and so simple!

I will be spending the weekend in Toronto. I have packed my ice skates (for Nathan Phillip Square) and my juicer (glad it’s a portable one) to treat Chris to a nice glass of juice tomorrow morning (think I’ll save the zucchini pasta for another time). I’m also very excited because at some point over the weekend, we will be visiting the Live Food Bar, my first trip to a Raw Restaurant. This is a very special Anniversary for us, and I look forward to what the weekend has in store....
Hope your weekend is off to a great start! (Pretty neat colour for Blood Orange Juice!) Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Blood and Chocolates

There is nothing in this world better than raw chocolate. I have to admit that a high percentage cacao chocolate bar, takes a bit of getting used to. However, add some raw cacao powder, raw carob, or raw cacao nibs to any recipe and you have a taste sensation. Nutritionally, raw chocolate is very good for you, much unlike its evil twin "processed chocolate".

If you have a sweet tooth like me, and are in desperate need of a chocolate childhood memory, be sure to check out Rawdorable. Shannon has her own blog site, as well as weekly blog for We Like it Raw. Believe it or not, this week she has rawified "sex in a pan" (at least that is what we call it). She also has raw girl guide cookies and Mallomars to her credit. I know from personal experience, that if you are having problems with one of her recipes, you can contact her via Give it to me Raw, or her blog and she will be more than willing to help.

A favorite recipe of mine when I need a chocolate hit is as follows:

Smooth Chocolate Avocado Pudding (pictured above)
3 regular sized avocados
3/4 - 1 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (adjust to taste)
1/4 cup carob powder
½ cup cocoa powder or raw chocolate powder
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
splash of salt
First blend the avocados in a food processor. Then add half the maple syrup. Then add the powder while its running. Add sweetener to taste. Add the extract at the end. Keep blending until smooth. Best served chilled.
Recipe by Heidi & Justin S. Ohlander
Raw Food, Right Now!

Okay, so to tie in my blog title, besides being a werewolf movie that my oldest daughter and I have yet to see, I am referring to my breakfast this morning: I am rather enjoying my juicer! It came this week. Juicing is definitely experimental and time consuming, and definitely worth every effort!!! This morning, I enjoyed freshly squeezed blood oranges for breakfast, all I need is some raw chocolate to make this day (and blog title) complete!

I LOVE getting new kitchen appliance almost as much as a new pair of heels! Jaclyn even commented on our kitchen accessories last night - on my kitchen counter, I have my smoothie maker, this week I have also brought out my food processor, and now there is a juicer. Good thing my new house has a lot of counter space!

And for all of you Ontario Chocoholics, check out my new favorite Canadian Site: Upayanaturals. Customer service is great, and I'm gonna be sampling Raweo Cookies this weekend! If you stop by, let Dennis know I sent you.

Happy Thursday!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Skin brushing is exactly what it sounds like, you "dry" brush your skin, starting from the soles of your feet, working your way up, brushing towards your heart.

I think that, for me, skin brushing is more invigorating than exercising in the morning. Skin brushing is a good way to help your body detox, it helps to get rid of unwanted toxins from your skin. All I know is that I just love how good it makes me feel!

I have been skin brushing for the past week in preparation of the Global Juice Feast on March 1, 2008, where they recommend that you skin brush daily. I had the chance to go out of town this weekend, and of course, I left my skin brush at home. I was surprized at how much I missed this addition to my morning routine. I will make sure that my Natural Bristle Brush (a must for skin brushing) is packed in my suitcase for any trip that I go on in the future.

Speaking of the Global Juice Feast, I have ordered my juicer... can't wait for it to come in... should be this week. I saw this juicer when I read Shannonmarie's article on We Like it Raw about using the "pulp" from the juicer to make snack crackers. Figured if it works for Shannon, it was good for me... (and the price was right!)

So, in anticipation for March 1st, which is just around the corner, I have my skin brushing routine in place, and my juicer on order... now, just to figure out where I am going to store all those fruits and veggies... good thing I have an "all fridge"!

And just a note regarding yesterday's basement activities: I forgot how comfortable yoga clothes can be! I'll have to make a trip to Lululemon soon! They have a free yoga class every Sunday Morning at the store closest to me! Think this is going to become a "weekly event" - can't wait to tell the girls. (lets see if they read my post today!)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Family Day

Today is the first ever "Family Day" in Ontario. I am anxiously awaiting a fun day with my kids. We are going to turn our basement into "Yoga Central" and spend the day dressed in our yoga gear, doing yoga and pilates, eating healthy and maybe a "spa" activity or two!

Speaking of Yoga, the girls and I had a chance to stop by a Lululemon store this weekend. I was very impressed that the store DOES NOT give out shopping bags! For every purchase, they give you a reusable bag. Of course, the girls needed to buy something so that they could have a "lululemon bag". Think I will have to add this store to my "favorite store" list too! (Its been Jaclyn's favorite for awhile - that is Jaclyn at the top of the blog with her new bag!)

Kristen once again helped me in the kitchen. She reminds me of another Kristen with her headband on. This week we made an "Asian Pear and Cashew Salad" My mom emailed me the recipe, she's the best, she emailed it because "it looks raw to me".

She found it somewhere on the "Oprah and Bob's Best Life Challenge 2008" site. Now, although I didn't sign up for the challenge, I can never turn down a good recipe, and this one was pretty yummy!
Okay, have to go and get ready for "Family Day"...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, HE LOVES ME!!!

The kids woke up to dipped strawberries and pineapple/banana smoothies for breakfast today. They also got a "treat" for their lunches. I do LOVE Valentines Day.

It is a chance to have fun, express yourself, get creative and its not as commercialized as some of the other holidays. I have to admit, it has been awhile since I have really enjoyed this holiday. But this year, with so much new on the horizon and a new outlook on life, I am enjoying every moment of this blissful day.

I got the best RAWBIE valentines day gift, as you can see above! It is an edible bouquet - perfect and unique! I got it early, so Chris and I enjoyed a fun weekend munching on fruit. The thought put into this "perfect gift" was the best part. It is nice to have someone in your life who accepts your life choices. Whether I am vegan/raw/vegetarian/psycho I know that I have someone with me along for the ride, willing to partake in all the fun and adventure that goes along with it (okay, I just threw that last one in to see if anyone was listening!!). His only request is to have a pasta dinner once in awhile - poor guy, doesn’t realize that I can make a pasta dinner out of zucchini, boy is he in for a shock!

It was what inspired me to dip the strawberries for the kids! Oh, and my Dad doesn't like chocolate dipped strawberries (hmm, think the kids gave him some about 5 years ago), so I only have to make some for Vicky!!! Better make sure the kids and I do that tonight.

But kidding aside, on this wonderful day, I am thankful and fortunate to have all the love and caring that a person can have in this world... Sometimes I don’t always realize it, especially when life gets hard, but I know I always have someone to hold my hand.

Valentines Day is a time express our thanks to the people who love us...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Will you be mine, Valentine?

Kristen and I made a nice batch of chocolate covered strawberries for the family to enjoy for breakfast Valentines day morning. I have to confess, the chocolate isn't raw, but it is organic and 85% cacao.

Two of the kids were at a sleep-over at their dad's, the other two were home. My two had a hard time "keeping out" of the treats. I can't wait til tomorrow morning, to enjoy this yummy breakfast with the family! (Hope the girls haven't gotten into them!)

And what do you give a RAWBIE for VALENTINES?!?! Check back tomorrow, and I'll share my Valentines day gift with you - I'm a lucky one, I get mine early too, just like shannonmarie!

Oh, and I can't believe it took me 40 years to figure out what parchment paper is used for, my strawberries had chocolate on all sides - no more chocolate blobs left over on the plate!!!


PS- My dad and mom took the time to read my blog!!!! [blush], seems they think I have "raw" writing talent [hahaha], maybe I missed my true calling!!!! Hmm, better invite them for strawberries, or at least make some for them too, now that they know I have them!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

I bought a new house!

Okay, here it is, my new home....

Funny how things fall into place the way they should in life. I sold my home, with no place to live in mind. I stumble across, almost by accident, the perfect house for my family! It is truly stunnng!

The original farm house (which is now the back of the house) was built in 1845. The addition to the front of the house has a great room and loft. It is so cute, and big enough for me and the four kids! Closing isn't until the end of April, so I have lots of time to pack and prepare (and it won't interfere with my Juice Feast on March 1st)

Only hiccup in the deal, the house is in the next town. It is only 15 minutes down the road, but the kids will have to change schools. They are all at an age where their friends are very important to them and they don't want to leave them.

However, to every Yin there is a Yan; my parents live in that same small town. They will be there to help me with the kids, be that "extra hand", the "escape to papa's house" and the "extra key" when they are locked out. I'm not sure who is more excited about my move (them or I), so you know there is lots of happy dancing going on today! (Did I ever tell you how important my parents are? I just hope that someday, I can be that strong of a support for my children)

It will be an adventure for us all. It has been a long couple of years, and this new adventure and new life is just what the doctor ordered. I am a REALLY HAPPY girl today! This is where you can imagine the HAPPY DANCE going on!!!!

Still looking for that juicer - actually, been a little busy with offers and conditions, but now that I can put this baby to rest, I can tackle other things on the horizon!

PS - check out the great room and loft!

Friday, February 8, 2008

More Snow and More Greens in the Forecast!

We have been hit with snow storm after snow storm this past week. Last friday we got over a foot of snow; together with school closures for lots of happy kids! This week, wednesday and thursday brought school closures again due to ice and snow storms. My children had school yesterday, but a downed powerline caused the schools to close early due to lack of power.

Its hard to tell by the photo, but this tree is actually covered in a thin layer of ice. After an ice-storm, when the sun shines, it is one of the prettiest sights ever. The whole world looks like glass. I have tried to take pictures of this, but it never turns out as beautiful as the actual sight.

Therefore, this week I have been neglectful of a few things; namely my blog and the mountain climb. I am hoping to get back on track, weather permitting, very soon.

Another thing that I have noticed lately, is that my body is on more of a fruit kick than a veggie kick. After reading "Green for Life" I know that lack of greens in a diet is often where raw foodists and vegans/vegetarians often fail. Therefore, I do listen to my body and eat what I crave, but when my green intake is down, I supplement with my "Raw Greens". I also purchased some for the kids, cause we all know that (most) kids don't eat enough greens!

And guess what, they are even made in my home town, Ancaster, Ontario.

Also, I have committed to March 1, 2008 to start (or at least attempt) a juice feast. It is Global Juice Feast day and there will be a lot of people starting (and I'm sure attempting) a juice feast at that time. Tigerlily and I will be among them. So, between now and then, I have some more research to do, I have to purchase a good juicer, and I have to get prepared (stock up on lots and lots and lots of fruits and veggies)! I am looking forward to it.

Busy weekend in store... lots to do when you are buying and selling your home.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Papaya Boats

This is one of my family's favorite breakfasts lately. It is REALLY simple, and that is key when you are rushing around trying to get four little people out the door (some of which are taller than I am, but I guess children will always be little in their mother's eyes!).

For the kids, I cut the papaya in half, clean it out, fill the cavity with vanilla yogurt and top with a sliced strawberry. For my "raw" creation, I do the same, but instead of vanilla yogurt, I use a cashew based "cream" that is really yummy!

The weather has been pretty nasty in Southern Ontario as of late, so I haven't been too good about my "mountain climbing". I hope to start that routine again today. Funny thing about exercise; you dread it, then you get use to it, then you miss it. I just keep thinking about how great my legs will look in a pair of shorts this summer if I keep that up! :0)

Well, its a new week, with new possibilities and new adventures... I anticipate much excitement around the corner (gee, I sound like a fortune cookie). One of my adventures this week will be to hunt for a "juicer" to help in my next adventure.... if you have any good brand name suggestions, let me know.