Monday, March 31, 2008

Earth Hour

How did you spend Earth Hour?

I originally thought a nice candle lit dinner would be nice, sitting around with the kids, talking, laughing; but one of them brought to my attention that 8:00 in the evening would be pretty late for dinner. Guess they had a point :0)

We went to get movies for the night and I dropped my oldest off at a friends house for a sleepover, and as we looked at the clock, it was 8:02 before we got home. To make it count, we celebrated our Earth Hour from 8:02 to 9:02. As we were driving home, Kristen had fun enjoying who had their lights out and who didn’t. In my neighbourhood it was about a 50-50 split. I wonder if it was because they didn’t want to participate, or because they hadn’t heard of Earth Hour, I will assume it was the latter.

We celebrated by making cheesecakes; one raw and one unraw. Kristen went by Grandma’s trusted recipe, and I went by Michael’s Famous Cheesecake . We couldn’t totally prepare them in the dark, so we did what we could by candle light, and then put the final touches on them and cleaned up after 9:02. I was so much fun. We enjoyed the cheesecakes at our Sunday night dinner, which wasn’t as "raw" as I originally planned. Think I might try a tea-party like Shannon’s next.

My son was at my sisters house, and he spend his earth hour in the hot tub looking at the stars!

Hope you had a fun "Earth Hour". My kids did ask me why Earth Hour wasn’t celebrated in April together with Earth Day. I wasn’t sure about that one. It’s a good question.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Juicing: A Family Affair

Last week, my daughter participated in a 30-hour famine that was organized by her high school. She went without eating from 11:00 on Wednesday evening, until 10:30 Friday morning when the school served the kids a continental breakfast. In order to participate in the famine, you had to raise $100 in pledges to donate to the cause. The kids would attend classes like normal on Thursday, but had to remain at the school until Friday morning (Good Friday).

So, on Thursday morning, I dropped her off, sleeping bag and mason jars in hand. See, the nice thing about this famine, was that the kids were aloud to bring water and juice to drink! Seeing as I had just ended my Juice Feast, and was still using my Juicer, it was just a "no-brainer". Last Thursday, I woke up early and made her some fresh juice. She was a little upset about the "mason jar" approach, but she went with a citrus juice and a carrot juice none-the-less. I think that when the hunger set in, she really didn't care too much about what the juice was in!

She had shown an interest in my Juice Feast, and wanted to participate in one herself. I told her that she would have to wait until she was older, but agreed to this "mini-feast" for a worthy cause.

Every day since, the juicer has made the familiar "varooom-chunk-chunk-crunch-varooom" noise. I have had the opportunity to hear this from another room in the house, as she is rather enjoying fresh juice every day and creating all the new flavours that come with experimenting.

I hate to admit this, but I think my Juicer has replaced my smoothie-maker as appliance of choice on my kitchen counter. It was the best $120.00 that I’ve ever spent!

I love when my children follow my lead (on healthy choices anyways!) and I am very proud of her for participating in this Famine!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm "Krauting"

Our Traditional Easter Dinner, coming from a Polish Family, consists of sticks, cabbage rolls, perogy and sauerkraut. Now, years ago, my favorites and my dinner plate would certainly consist of the first three, I was never much of a sauerkraut eater.

I have heard about, and toyed with the idea of "raw sauerkraut", and this years Easter Celebration was all I needed to attempt my own. Now of course, I didn't have it ready for Easter, in fact, it is sitting on my kitchen counter as we "speak", but I am "krauting" none the less!

I had a hard time finding a raw sauerkraut recipe on the web, but I ended up basically shredding the cabbage (boy, am I thankful for my food processor) and adding salt and caraway seeds, smashing the cabbage and placing it in a mason jar. From what I read, it will be ready in three to seven days.

I especially like the idea of making raw sauerkraut because of the health benefits. I hope this recipe works well, and if not, in three to seven days, I will be looking for another one!

And of course, with all that shredded cabbage around, I just had to have an Asian Pear and Cashew Salad for dinner!

If you haven't noticed, I've finally figured out how to add the "subscribe to" button on my site! Hope it works!!! (Sometimes I'm a bit computer challenged!)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Miss Teensie Weensie Bikini

I have been tagged.

The rules of the game are that you reveal 5 things about you that others may not know. Okay guys, I have been stressing over this one! Everyone that has been "tagged" that I have read, have really interesting and exciting things in their lives. So, what is there for me to write? Let's see...

1. On July 26, 1972 I was Miss Teensie Weensie Bikini. I still remember my mom making a kazillion tissue paper flowers, and I distinctly remember the one tie to my butt! I think that was one of the only times that I have been seen in public in a bikini! My mother, won the same prize that year (in her own age group) After two babies, I think that was quite an honour for her, and one I know she is still proud of.

2. I have one sister and three step-sisters! There where five of us girls growing up. I lived with my dad, my sister lived with my mom and her new husband and his three daughters. I think I have teenage hormones running around my house! Geez, I don't know how my mother did it!

3. I love Fall and Thanksgiving. I was a thanksgiving baby, born on thanksgiving day at 11:47 at night. My grandfather wouldn't eat his turkey until he new that my mother and I were safe and sound. That story always makes me smile. Every year for my birthday, I don't have the traditional birthday cake, I have always had Pumpkin Pie. My mother has the best recipe, and every year, makes me my very own! It made me smile when my youngest daughter was also born in early October. She isn't a thanksgiving baby, but I am thankful for her, and I now share my pumpkin pie. I'm hoping that Shannon has a raw version of a pumpkin pie on her site before Thanksgiving, and Shannon, our thanksgiving is about a month earlier than yours :o)

4. When I was pregnant with my twins, I was afraid to have a little boy. The thought of toilet training was too much for me (maybe hormones had something to do with that one). I can proudly say that my son gives me so much joy, and I honestly couldn't imagine the world without him. I will always remember driving down the highway, and him asking me what certain trucks where called, and I always referred to them as "Mighty Machines". He quickly began correcting his mother! The world is exciting through the eyes of another.

5. For my 40th birthday, I wanted a tattoo and I wanted to spend (the thanksgiving) weekend in New York City. Neither happened for my 40th... maybe for my 45th :0)

So, there it is, five things about me that you may not have known.

Hope everyone is enjoying this Easter Monday! And I have to admit... Raw dinner for Sunday Evening didn't happen as planned this week, understandably, but this week for sure! I loved Keely's idea to have the kids pick out a recipe and help with the preparation! I will ask Laurenne if she would like to be in charge of the menu plan for this weeks celebration (hopefully!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Green Juice for St. Patrick's Day

The Green Smoothie Queen has arrived and is in full green-mode! I celebrated yesterday with green smoothies and of course, a green juice of cucumber, celery and pears.

I love how Shannon has a "raw" food night once a week, and tries to get her family to enjoy the "fruits" of her labor, so I mentioned this to my kids.... the noses immediately went up, and the thought of a "raw food dinner" didn't get too many excited responses, until I brought out the fondue pot - I figured that I'd better start out with something good!

I immediately got two thumbs up at the thought of a raw chocolate fondue for dinner (but I had to make some good old KD for back up)... This was lots of fun and I was given the okay to create a totally raw meal once a week.

And of course, my "leftover" fondue ended up in my juicer Sunday Morning!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Green Smoothie Queen once more!

Okay, Keely, I’m in.... (not that you had to talk me into it too hard!)

I’ve re-signed up for The Raw Diva’s 3-Day Green Smoothie Challenge.

I won’t have to dust the dust off of my Raw Diva Jug though, this handy little jug accompanies me on most days, filled with water and slices of lemon. It will once again be filled with wonderful green smoothies come Monday.

The Green Smoothie Challenge is a wonderful way to add "greens" to your daily diet in their most natural form. According to Green for Life, they are more easily absorbed by the body when they are blended up; our bodies cannot chew and break down the greens as they once could, so when the greens are already broken down for us, our bodies can absorb all the wonderful nutrients in them.

Green Smoothies.... "does a body good!" (Sorry, have that catch phrase in my head)

The BEST part about the Green Smoothie Challenge is that you don’t even have to be "raw" to join! My dad joined me in the last challenge, and he has continued to add green smoothies to his diet every day! You can simply add one green smoothie to you day, or you could replace all your meals with green smoothies... choice is your’s! Once you sign up, you will get a letter and daily support emails from The Queen herself (trust me! Its true) filled with wonderful tips, encouragement and recipes!

So, if you want to "do your body good", hurry and sign up today... you can join me for the best St. Patrick’s day yet!

ps - if you have signed up, let me know how you are doing! I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Carrots and Celery

Every time I drink my carrot juice, I remember the Magic School Bus episode where Arnold turns orange from eating too many "seaweedies". Think you would have to be in your teens, or have kids in their teens to remember that one. My favorite combination for juice is carrots, celery with an apple thrown in. Wonder if I will turn orange, or at least look like I have a nice tan before the summer comes!

Do you have a "kindred spirit"? I think Elizabeth is mine. Even though we are worlds away, and have never met, we seem to experience the same things and go through or do the same things without knowing what the other is doing.

It seems that we both ended our juice feast over the weekend, for different reasons, without knowing what the other was doing. I enjoyed feasting for 7 days, and I would do it again in a moment, with the intentions of carrying it farther. It was an experience to remember, and one that my body thanks me for.

Even though I have technically stopped my Juice Feast, I guess I am doing a modified juice feast at this time. I have been juicing and bringing my juice to work with me, but I am enjoying a meal either at lunch time, or in the evening, depending on the day.

So, for those of you, who are continuing their juice feasting, I wish you luck and I send you good intentions for keeping it up! For those of you like me, who have chosen to end their feast, congratulations for juicing for as long as you did, for me at least, it was definitely worth every juice of it!

Michelle asks, "I might have to try that ginger tea. How did you make it?"

Well Michelle, I have to credit my friend Elizabeth with this one, but I ground fresh ginger (about 1 tsp), placed it into a mug and added boiling water, I let it steep, then I had to filter out the ginger (I used a coffee filter). I added about 1/2 tsp of raw honey. Just a word of caution - don't steep for too long, my daughter tried to make her own tea, but the ginger is really strong if left for too long!

And Shannon says that she makes her own ginger-ale by mixing the ginger with agave and sparkling water. Thanks Shannon, have to give that one a try! But first, think I might give her newest post a try this weekend!

I have to say, that I love Charissa's idea of a binder for all her favorite raw recipes. Sometimes simple ideas have to be shown to us before we think of it! I think I'll run out and get my pretty binder this week! Just like when Raw Food Right Now did an article on growing your own herbs inside! Still haven't started my pot... but my excuse is I'm waiting for my new house!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Day Seven: Ginger Tea

"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” Mark Twain. Have you caught my quote theme yet - its gonna get harder and harder!
Seven Days to Create the World, Seven Chakras, Seven Signs, Seven Sacraments, Seven Wonders of the World, Your Body Renews every Seven Years, Seven Interior Mansions to the Soul (can you tell I'm a Carolyn Myss fan).

In the Book of Revelations there are seven churches, seven spirits, seven stars, seven seals, and the list goes on from there. The Number seven is said to symbolizes Spiritual Perfection. Did I ever tell you that Seven was my favorite number?

I think there is something to be said for the number seven... exactly what, I’m not entirely sure, but it does seem to follow a spiritual path... I think there is something profound about making it to the seventh day on this Juice Feast. So for everyone out there, who has come this far, congratulations, and for those of you who have decided to end your feast earlier, congratulations for listening to your body. That is the most important thing you can do.

Thank you for all the well-wishes I received yesterday. I'm happy to report that I'm feeling better today, still a bit queasy, but better. My friend Elizabeth suggested that I brew myself some ginger tea to help with my stomach dilemma. It did wonders! I think ginger tea is something that I will have on a more regular basis, no pun intended.

Chris from Far Far Away asks "If you eat natural food, will you die a natural death?"

Well, Chris, not too sure about that, but I do know, if I eat natural food til the end, I'll look damn good in that coffin - no cakey makeup for this gal!

That's all for today folks! Off for a nice relaxing weekend... so until Monday... Happy Juicing!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Day Six: Water Water Water

“Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days when I was six and my biggest problem was what kind of dress to put on Barbie" Author unknown
Today I don't feel well. I was up all night long with a rather upset stomach and this morning it wasn't any better.

I woke up this morning, jumped in the bath (didn't juice prior), jumped out of the bath and right back into bed. I think this is the firt time I have called in sick in about 3 years. I spent half the day in bed, and I still felt a little queasy after I woke up.

It's a funny feeling in my tummy. It is upset, but I'm not sure what it wants. It doesn't want food, it doesn't want juice, I will just have to let it be and see what happens. I think it may be too many greens inflicted too fast, too much MSM or maybe a bit of a stomach flu.

Today's consumption: Water, Water and more Water.

Readers Question: (hmm, heres a new concept, think I like it...if this keeps up, may have to change my blog to "Dear Raw Abbey..."

Robin from Nantucket asks "What is MSM?"

Well Robin, (not that I'm a medical expert, or any expert for that matter) MSM stands for Methylsulfonylmethane (I can't even begin to pronounce that one, glad I'm blogging and not speaking!).

It is a Natural Source of Sulphur. It is one of the main components in our bodies. From what I gather (and again, I'm no expert), a diet high in fruits and veggies a person gets their MSM naturally, but by juicing, the pulp is removed and I am assuming we are either getting less or none at all, therefore the addition of MSM to the water in the morning. MSM is absorbed best with the addition of vitamin c, that is why the lemon and MSM are added to the water. It detoxifies and regenerates...

I have also purchased MSM lotion, which is said to be good for the skin and joints. I have noticed a significant difference on fine lines and wrinkles (boy, do I sound like a commercial) from using it everyday on my face. It is also suppose to help heal and repair scars and damaged skin (hmm, think about that one!).

Here is a link if you want a more medical answer, and here is a link if you want a more simpler answer.

This is where I get my MSM humor from:

Oh, and for something really exciting! Check out Raw Food Right Now today! I couldn't believe my eyes!

So, dear readers.... keep coming with your questions, and I will do my best to keep you entertained...

Okay, and today I guess I need a real disclaimer.... I'm not a doctor or medical professional. All of the posts are for informational and mostly entertainment purposes only. This site cannot be held responsible for any consequences regarding your use or intended use of any information provided. Always check with your medical professional before making any changes to your diet, especially if you are considering any type of juice fast or juice feast.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Day Five: Juicing 101 (written by a novice)

"The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses" Hanna Rion
****Disclaimer: What you are about to read is true and has been tested by a novice juicer. We do not recommend that you try this at home, and if you do, we cannot be held accountable for any thing that may or may not happen...

Top 10 Tips I have learned regarding Juicing:

10. If you want to sleep, don't drink green juice past 7:00 pm.

9. Always juice before your morning bath! You don't want to show up to work with Celery spatter in your hair!

8. White shirts are a must not when drinking carrot juice from mason jars.

7. Much to my disappointment, bananas don't juice :0( And I really did try!

6. You get more juice from a carrot than you do from an orange - go figure.

5. They include the plunger for a reason :0) The only trick is getting it in quicker than the fruit splattering on the ceiling!

4. Equal amounts of carrot juice and green juice in a mason jar turn your juice brown, which gets more crazy looks than green juice does!

3. Avoid using too much celery in your morning juice, it may cause accidents on the way to work (see yesterday's post)

2. Avoid using too much msm in your morning lemon water, it may cause accidents of a different kind :0)


1. Always make extra juice for the people that you reside with, it will ease the grumpies that are caused by being woken up at early hours of the morning by "varooooom-chunk-chunk-crunch-varooom"

If you want to see a real cute video, check out Terilynn's video! This is her first solid food after a 93 day Juice Feast!

Today's consumption:

6:00 am - 1 litre msm and lemon and water (still at 1/2 tsp)
8:00 am - 1/2 litre carrot, cucumber and nutmeg
11:00 am - 1/2 litre green apple and blood orange
2:00 pm - 1 litre of green apple, celery, cucumber and lime
4:00 pm - 1/2 litre of carrot and celery
6:30 pm - 1 litre of green apple, celery and cucumber

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Day Four: Celery Cucumber Apple

“One out of four people in this country is mentally unbalanced. Think of your three closes friends; if they seem OK, then you're the one" Ann Landers Today I woke up at six o'clock, figuring that I had 1/2 an hour to spare yesterday, but it made things a bit tight this morning. I was still out the door, 2 1/2 quarts (litres) of juice in hand, by 7:45 am.

HOWEVER, this morning, I had a full litre of lemon water and msm and 1/2 litre of carrot and celery juice before I left the house. I went pee right before I left, and then I had to pull off (during the 20 minute drive to work) to use a bathroom, and I still had to race to the bathroom when I got to work. Sheesh! Hope the bathroom trips calm down slightly!

Today's Consumption:
Today, I am taking Sonja's advice, and trying to cut down on the fruit intake to see if it helps with the headaches. So far today, I don't have one! However, I did juice 1/2 litre of apple/orange juice just in case I need it at work today!
6:00 am - 1 litre lemon juice and 1/2 tsp msm
7:00 am - 1/2 litre carrot and celery
10:00 am - 1/2 litre celery, cucumber and apple, this one was so good! Good thing I made 2 - 1/2 litre jars this morning, gave one away at work!
12:00 pm - 1/2 litre carrot and celery
3:00 pm - 1/2 litre carrot and celery
5:00 pm - 1/2 litre celery, cucumber and apple
(PS - Sonja, I didn't drink the fruit juice, and no headache today!)
7:00 pm - 1/2 litre celery cucumber and apple - shared with my dad!

And yes, you read that right! I had to share one of my mason jars at work today! Seems the girls at work are getting used to me toting along mason jars with "wonderful" concoctions in them. Ruth enjoyed a nice apple, celery, cucumber juice this morning!

It is so nice to know that Elizabeth is along side me for the ride. This is our third "venture" together. We have done The Raw Diva's 7-Day Detox, The Raw Diva's 3-Day Green Smoothie Challenge and now we are part of The Global Juice Feast.

It is funny, I have constant contact with Elizabeth through email, she is probably the only person I know personally who is Juice Feasting, or even knows what Juice Feasting is, but somehow I feel a part of something really big on this adventure.

For those of you who are not yet ready to attempt a Juice Feast, how about a 3-Day Green Smoothie Challenge: "This program is IDEAL for introducing new people to the Raw Food Diet and healthier eating habits. We strongly encourage you to sign up as 60% of the proceeds go to an organization promoting action and awareness in the name of environmental responsibility" The Raw Divas. Check it out! The next adventure starts March 17, 2008!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Day Three: Apple Lemonade

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see" Leonardo da Vinci
Today I feel as if I have an extra bounce in my step, I feel lighter somehow, even if only mentally.

This Juice Feasting is not at all how I pictured it. I anticipated feeling great hunger, at least for the first three days, until I got over the "hump". Well, today is "hump" day, and besides the normal hunger before meals (none of which is uncontrollable) and the headache yesterday (which is still slightly there today, but manageable), this Juice Feasting is relatively easy. I do find that I am really cold all the time. I think being in the middle of a long-cold winter in Southern Ontario doesn’t help this fact. I have begun adding Organic Chai Rooibos tea to my day to help warm me up.

I was up at 5:30 this morning, and had 4 litres of juice plus an extra ½ litre for the girls (the apple lemonade) juiced and cleaned up before 6:00 am. I had my bath, incorporated my new morning routines and was out the door, feeling great by 7:45 (most mornings I’m rushing out at 7:58). I toted two ½ litres of fruit juice and one 1 litre of carrot/celery/apple juice, together with my new tea box to work this morning. The cooler was a bit too much, so I wrapped my juices in tea-towels and carted them in my PC Green Bag until I got to work, then I placed them in the fridge.
Today’s consumption:
5:30 am - ½ litre water, juiced lemon and ½ tsp msm (cutting back on the msm a little)
6:30 am - ½ litre carrot and celery (no apple!!)
9:00 am - 1/4 litre Chai Rooibos Tea
10:00 am - ½ litre Blood Orange and Apple Juice
(boy do I have to pee, Its about 10:30 am and I’ve gone 4 times already)
12:00 pm - 1 litre of carrot/celery/apple
(and I thought a litre of water and lemon made me go... thats nothing compared to a bunch of celery! Its 12:48 and I've lost track of my bathroom visits!)
2:00 pm - 1/2 litre of Blood Orange and Apple Juice
2:30 pm -1 litre water
3:30 pm - 1/4 litre Chai Rooibos Tea
5:00 pm - 1 litre of Carrot, Celery and Apple
7:00 pm - 1 litre of water.

Boy, no wonder I spent half my day in the bathroom, thats a lot of liquid! Funny how it was easier to consume the required amount of juice while I was at work, I actually found my tummy rumbling today too!

Tonight, before I go to bed, I am going to journal about the things that I would like to see, or experience, or attempt during this juice feasting experience. I did weigh myself before my adventure began, but I’m not sure at this point, whether I am going to weigh myself on a regular basis like Heidi did, or whether I will resist the temptation of the scale like Terilynn did. I don’t have to make that decision until Friday, but knowing me, I think I might be tempted....

I hope that everyone that has embarked on this amazing journey, less than 72 hours ago, is finding this wonderful journey as easy and "fruitful" as I am....

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Day Two: Carrots Celery and Apples

“The world is divided into two classes, those who believe the incredible, and those who do the improbable.” Oscar Wilde
Day two was just as easy as the first, except for a major headache; fighting kids didn't exactly help matters.

My headache started around lunch, I drank some fruit juice and that seemed to help for awhile. It started coming back again before dinner, so I made myself a big mason jar full of carrot juice, celery and an apple. This is my juice of choice for today. I experimented this morning, and had this wonderful combination for lunch. When the headache returned, I knew that I had to make myself some more. My two vegetable juice combinations from yesterday were a bit yuck to try and get down. I drank approximately 1/2 a mason jar of each.

Today, I have consumed 1 mason jar of water and msm with lemon juice plus 2 1/2 litres of juice. It is really difficult to consume the 4 litres a day. Right now, I am satisfied, and I still have 1 1/2 mason jars to consume. I don't think that I will make it to 4 today.

Instead, I think that I am going to go to bed early, get some well deserved sleep, and hope that this headache goes away. Speaking of sleep, my dreams were very vivid last night as well as this afternoon, if that is what you can call them.... I'm going to go draw a nice hot bath, add some bath salts and call it a night.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Day One: Apple Blood Orange Feast

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go" T.S. Elliot

This is how we keep our juice cold in Southern Ontario... Good thing we got extra snow this year, after building my igloo, I was able to build this nice refrigerator....
Well the first day of juice feasting was relatively easy. My day was somewhat out of routine, so the juicing just seemed to go with the flow.

I drank my litre of lemon water and msm this morning, followed by 1/2 litre of apple/blood orange juice for lunch. I tried a few green juice combinations, but they didn't seem to satisfy me the same way that the fruit juice did. I made myself another 1/2 litre of apples and blood oranges early afternoon. I was surprised that I wasn't hungry for the most part. I did get hungry just before lunch and again just before dinner, but the (fruit) juice was quite satisfying.

The day isn't over yet, but I just had a nice relaxing soak in the tub, accompanied by a litre of watermelon/mint juice, and I'm planning to go to bed at a decent hour. I have so far consumed about 2 1/2 litres of juice, so I need to get a bit more into me before the end of the day...

Elizabeth, I hope your day was a good one too!
Okay, call me strange... here is my eye colour today... one of the things that I find amazing and incredible is the change that occurs in a juice feasters eyes. They change colours and get amazing clarity... Here are what mine look like today....