Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Little Goals...Big Changes


I, among millions of others I'm sure, have written out my New Year's Resolutions tonight. But this year, I was a lot more specific than I'm usually. Really, I think that's so valuable. Instead of writing down the usual resolve like "I'm going to be more fit this year", I would write something more like this "I'm going to master my Intermediate Pilate's DVD by the end of this year". When you write down EXACTLY what you want to do, it's so much easier to carry out.

I broke down pretty much ALL my goals into very doable aspirations and I'm really hyped about carrying them out as much as I can.


Sometimes, I think, people that have such big aspirations often forget how to bring them to pass, which would be with small choices. I think of my Dad...he's such a lover of hot chocolate and iced tea, but now he's pretty much given them up entirely. Now he drinks 2-4 mugs of green tea a day. Truly, little changes make a big difference.


Here's some of my new year's goals for 2009...


Healthwise:



  • I'm challenging myself to an entire year without refined sugar...this is big for me, because whether or not I'm a health nut or not, there are a few bad foods I often find room for, like frozen yogurt (usually very sugary) or the standard chocolate bars...but NO! This year, I'm getting full of gumption and I'm going to forsake it, except for organic or very dark chocolate bars (because my quality of life would decrease dramatically without it, lol)



  • I'm going to replace my body products (like lotions, makeup, and nail polish) with more natural versions. Pretty near all my stuff already is very natural, but I want to step it up a bit more, especially with my makeup. I also want to learn more how to make my own products and creams (I'm aching to own the new "Green Beauty Guide" book ...Shannonmarie wrote a great review on it, even getting an interview with the author, check it out).



  • I want to work toward a more super-healthy, energy-charged diet...eating WAY more leafy greens and fruits than I do already.

Spiritually:



  • I’m going to be more “in the moment” with Jesus, always with Him in everything, depending and trusting in Him. He alone is wise and good…so when I can't see His hand, I’m going trust His heart.



  • I’m going to spend more time with the Lord…with my Bible, prayer notebook, fun pencils, and my tea. I want to know His heart better, deep down. I want Him to share everything with Him.



  • I’m going to love challenges and not let them beat me. I can do anything with God’s help. That doesn't leave much room for doubt or failure.

So what are you New Year's dreams and goals? Little and big? Comment below and tell me. Just writing something down can help make those goals much more attainable. Start small and see what happens.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pineapple Dreams


Despite the fact that the weather is acting like it's the dead of winter here, I'm finding that I'm craving a lot of "summery", light, and fruity drinks. I've been pretty consistent with my exercise lately, which I like to do as soon as wake up. After an hour or so of exercise, I'm very much ready for something refreshing. Maybe it's because I'm all sweaty and hot that I crave the cold, fruity drinks.
Here's one of my favorites...the famous Pina Colada, redone, raw style! Keep in mind my measurements are just a guideline for you, add whatever you wish, and dabble to your heart's content.
Aloha Pineapple Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 not-frozen banana
1/4 quarter of a ripe pineapple
2 mandarin oranges
3 T. shredded, unsweetened coconut (or skip this in the blending and add for a topping after)
1 tsp. raw coconut oil
1/2 c. ice
And have fresh coconut water (from a young coconut) for the liquid base. This tastes amazing. If you like it thicker, add some more banana, a frozen peach or nectarine, or half of an apple or pear. Add some coconut extract for a bit more of a coconut flare if you like. And as usual, I love topping my smoothies with bee pollen.
Right now I'm impatiently waiting another pineapple to ripen. Oh, I simply adore the flavour of the exotic pineapple!
I can't believe how quickly Christmas is coming up...only a few days really...I'm so stoked about the holidays...my sister and her new husband are coming down for it and I know we'll have a splendid time.
I just wanted to thank you all so much for the comments you left on my last post. They meant A LOT to me, and were SO encouraging, each and every one!!! I'm very grateful for loving people, whom I haven't even met, who truly care about one another. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Life means more...

A couple days ago my family and I were in a car accident...we were on our way to do a concert, so we had our trailer hooked up to our van.

We hit black ice, and our van and trailer went out of control, going 103 kms and we slid across 3 lanes and a median and landed backwards on the other side of the ditch. It was the wildest, most frightening ride of my life, especially since I didn't have my seatbelt on (I always will now). Our van stayed upright, which was an absolute miracle, but our trailer came off the hitch and flipped. The angels were sure working overtime, but I don't think any of us have ever been so scared. Everything happened so quickly and suddenly thoughts like "Is this when I die?" come racing through your head. The police, ambulance, and fire fighters were all there, and all of them could not believe we hadn't rolled going at such a speed. It could have been our last day on this earth, as well as others, as the highway was so busy, but there was only about a 5 second break when we crossed the meridian over to the other 2 (oncoming traffic) lanes when no one was there. God kept the traffic away for those few seconds...just enough for us to cross.

I feel like I can look at life a bit differently now...as soon as our van came to a halt and we looked around to see if everyone was alright, tears filled my eyes...I looked over at my family and thought to myself, "Why do I sweat the small stuff, why don't I just love instead?"

Life is short, so short. I feel like I know that better now and I want to make my life count even more than I did before...a brush with death gives you a new perspective...but oh, how much better it would be, if I could realize that without an accident! God kept me and my family safe, so He has purposes for us to live here a while longer...and I want to love Him back and love my family more because of it.

Just love...some things really just don't matter.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And Charge It Please...

Maybe I'm the only blogger that dotes on Eloise...but I can't help it. Kay Thompson's character is one of the most darling and endearing personalities you could ever read about. True, she is a bit of a mischief maker, but she "absolutely adores" her life, and so makes everything she does fun.

One of my sisters even collects Eloise books, which she then reads to her nieces. They love Eloise. In fact, one of my nieces, who is three, slept with the book, telling herself her own stories of Eloise as she fell asleep. I think collecting special children's books is a great thing to do...our nieces and nephews love my sister's book collection. I've started mine own since then...the children in my life love "book time" with me and if ever I have my own family, I can give them to my own children.

One of the big things that Eloise does, is charge everything she buys with a firm statement..."and charge it please".

I don't charge anything if I can help it, lol...but one thing I am wondering about is "charging water". Apparently, when you "charge" your water, the hydrogen molecules in the water are closer together, which makes the water more polar (electrical), giving your water better quality. I've always know that water was even better for you when you squeezed fresh lemon in your water, or added some mint, but I didn't realize that that is considered as "charging the water"...and frankly, I'm not sure if I believe it. A pinch of salt or MSM crystals are said to do it too. But...it's also said that putting your water under the moonlight or thinking loving thoughts to your water does it too...which I THINK IS TOTAL BALONEY AND STUPIDNESS, but anyway...what are your thoughts about it?

Anyway, whether or not, the "charging" theory with fruit juices and salts is true, squeezing lemon or lime or a pinch of pink salt in your drinking glass are always good, fun, little ways to keep cleansing your body and help you digest better...so drink up!

Today A-M and I are doing another all-raw day (except there was some good quality yogurt in our green smoothie this morning) so we plan on our favorite chocolate, young coconut pudding tonight. My Daddy is such an angel...in one week he brought me home 4 young coconuts and where I live, they ain't cheap. I have such a sweet family.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Toast to Life

Sometimes I get so hyper about just how wonderful life truly is...my life is full of such beauty, adventure, and fulfillment. Perhaps I'm not a nurse or figure skater with a promising future, or an inventor who'll change the world, but I'm who God made me and when I "bloom where I'm planted" I'm perfectly happy. I see every day is an amazing gift from my Heavenly Father, every minute full of potential and promise.

I certainly look forward to what life will bring, but there is a special joy in just living in the here and now, trying to make each moment count for something.

My former "guest blogger", my sister Anne-Marie just had a birthday yesterday...she is such a sweet heart! A classic example of loving life with passion and gusto! Just being with her makes you want to embrace every good thing that God has given us, live life with an inner joy that manifests itself with a smile and an easy laugh...she's such a dear.

My last post was about the virtues of juicing and blending...here's a juice recipe I adapted from "The Juicing Bible", perfect for this cold, fall weather. We have heaps and heaps of apples that are starting to "go" so this is the best way to use them up (as well, as dehydrating them into leather or apple coins, mmmm).

Apple Spice Cocktail

5 apples (mine were small)

1 carrot

2 stalks celery

1-inch piece ginger root

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Juice all but the nutmeg. Stir the nutmeg in your glass and add some ice, if you like it cold. Drink up!

We have lots of apples leftover that need something done to them...so comment below and tell me some of your creative, fresh apple juice recipes. I absolute ADORE trying new recipes. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Juices to Smoothies

One thing I like about raw foods is their versatility. Sometimes I just wanna fresh, vibrant juice and most other times I want a succulent smoothie...and the cool thing is, for either craving you can use the same recipe.

Take this drink (above) ... I blended it...whereas Heidi from HiHoRosie's Place, she juiced it. Either way, it was superb. (here's the recipe). have an amazing book called "The Juicing Bible". It has the most delicious recipes invented and I like the fact that if I want, I can use it for blending or juicing, though both have their benefits.

Smoothies are really incredible because they contain all the fibre from the plant ingredients and sweep and clean out our systems like a good broom. Juices are amazing because they swiftly go through your body delivering a host of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals immediately, without really any bother of digestion on the body's part...it's like a healing tonic.

Often, I've looked at juicing recipes, wanting the flavor of the drink, but not wanting to waste all that good fibre, so...what to do?. The simple solution. Blend it.

Question: What's your favorite topping for your smoothies? Mine is bee pollen and cacao nibs.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fruity Delights

For simply ages I have been wanting to make the famous Concord Grape Sorbet from "Raw Food, Real World", so when Dad brought home a box of them, I was absolutely buzzing. Just 'cuz summer is gone, doesn't mean we can't be transported to the tropics through a fantastical, creamy delight.

I didn't have any agave, so I used maple syrup...basically, I have discovered, if you want to make a smooth, silky fruit ice-cream or sorbet all you need is:

  • A fruit (I want to try not just berries, but banana, orange, apple, cantaloupe, pomegranate, and lemon)
  • A sweetener (Agave, honey, maple syrup, or perhaps dates)
  • Liquid base (water, nut milk, or a juice)

All you need to do is blend up your concoction, strain it through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag (I actually use a paint strainer bag that I got at a hardware store, works great) to get the seeds out (I don't think you need to, if you use bananas or cantaloupe). Then you just pop it into your ice-cream maker for 10-20 minutes or so.

Last night was my Mom's birthday...we went to the city, did some bowling (I lost royally, as usual), and then headed over to Montana's for supper. I ordered a blueberry balsamic salad and guess what I found in my salad? Purslane! I thought it was the coolest thing ever...that mainstream restaurants have put wild weeds in their menu. It was the first time I've ever eaten it in a salad actually and now I'm stoked about putting them in our own salads at home. Yay for Montana's!

And I'm so proud of my Dad...he's really gotten into green tea...replacing his usual ice-tea (sugary stuff) and hot cappachino or hot chocolate drinks with it. Granted, he still drinks the others, but not very often anymore. Yay Daddy!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy News

I'm so pumped about one of the most recent additions to our kitchen. We got (finally!) an Excalibur Dehydrator! I've been wanting one of these for years, always sighing over it when I saw a picture of one or people writing recipes that seemed to always include the famous Excalibur.

And I can see why it's so famous now. It's really amazing! We use to have a little round one, with the trays with holes in them. The heat was so hot, I was afraid that it was "cooking" rather than "un-cooking". When we made raw pizza rounds, they may have been round, but the hole in the middle was most inconvenient. And I always had to switching around the trays so that the heat was evenly distributed. Often in the night I'd get up to check on my raw creations (setting my alarm) because I had to make sure I didn't over dry things. And to top it all, I had to stop using down to basically nothing, because the electricity bill went up because of it.

Sigh...this one is a dream. Beautiful, huge square trays (9 of them, we got the biggest) that fit scads and scads of things, no hole in the middle. I don't have to switch trays because the heat of it is even distributed. I don't have to babysit the thing, because it has an adjustable timer. And hurrah! The Excalibur is really good on electricity and doesn't cost barely anything to run.

I love that thing! But despite my evident love for it, my Mom has been using it more than I have been. Lately, I've been wanting more fresh fruits and foods, or just not heaps of it...going more for the lighter stuff.

Last night she made fruit leather and has been drying apples. We've been doing pears, bananas, and all sorts of lovely fruits in there. I'm looking forward to culturing and making homemade yogurt in there too.

But there's more happy news, at least for me...yesterday I was SO SO SO tickled pink to find out that on Raw Epicurian's Blog I had won a book by Matthew Kenney! I've only won one other contest in my life, so I'm pretty excited. I just love the work that M.K. does, he's inspiring. Ingrid is such a sweetie to do all those contests.

Running is going okay too...I'm such a baby beginner and I feel like I'm gonna kill myself when I run, but afterwards...mwah! It's like a clean energy burning through you. Not like I should deserve that energetic feeling, now...the furthest I've run is 3 K. But I'm celebrating my victories and trying to make it fun. Maybe someday soon I'll be running 10 K...like my amazing older brothers (who are into running).

What's some of the most amazing things you like to make in the Dehydrator? (I want some more lovely ideas)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Running Aspirations

I've taken up running this summer, very casually. I'm just a beginner and I'm not sure I even like running too much (but I'm liking it better lately, thanks to my new Nike+ shoes), but oh! I love the feeling afterwards. I don't run very far yet, but even if it's just 2 k. I feel so good afterwards. Usually the rest of the day I feel very alert, energetic, and all "buzzy" inside (does that make sense?).

We had a bit of family reunion in the late summer, and nearly each morning I would run with my brother. That was a lot of fun...as he lives far away from us, I don't spend heaps of time with him (sniff!). He is such a dear, he took pity on my running in flip flops (yes! I did that...don't laugh) because I didn't have any runners. He helped me buy a pair of the dreamy Nike+ shoes. They're awesome! You have a sensor in your shoe and a connector to your i-pod. It tells you how far you go, your pace, calories burned, and as you listen to music with the i-pod, a voice will come through to tell you how far you've gone and how many minutes are remaining. It's the most amazing thing ever and I'm having fun with it.

I used to run my short little distances (I'm not very good yet, lol) with flip flops, no music, and it was not as much fun, to say the least. Now I'm enjoying myself much more.

After I do exercise (like running) in the morning I usually crave something hardier than juice, but yet light, cold, and refreshing...something like a smoothie. I did this one yesterday after a run. It's got lots of the needed things that your body wants after exertion.

Runner's Smoothie

1-2 pears

1 banana (frozen)

1/2 c. pitted dates (I used honey dates)

about 6 ice cubes

a liquid base of apple juice (preferably unpasteurized)

Blend up and guzzle down. I love, love, love the pear taste in this smoothie! It truly tastes oh-so-good!!!

What do you like doing for exercise?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Best Face Mask


....and though it's not a raw mask made from the usual honey, fruit, or veggie mask, I think it's truly the funnest thing ever. It's just Miracle Whip...or mayonnaise!
Here's the how-to:
Spread a teaspoon of MW on your face and leave on for 10 minutes. Then you rub your face for a couple minutes in circular motions. Lots of rubbery balls will come off your face...this is dead skin and MW. I know it's gross...but after you rub your face for a bit and then wash with your regular face wash, your skin is all pink, silky, and soft and it's definitely worth it.
Some people say that the reason it exfoliates so well is because of the vinegar in the MW. I don't know exactly what it is, even though I analyzed the bottle of MW, but I've heard of those people who don't want MW on their face trying olive oil mixed with ACV (apple cider vinegar). I haven't tried it yet, but that might be worth a shot too. I'm thinking homemade mayonnaise might work well too.
So have fun...sometimes just doing a pedicure or a mask can make you feel all spoiled and beautiful. Everyone needs that...
About a week or so ago, I got Disqus...faithfully obeying the call of duty that Drumhil suggested. I suggest all you other bloggers get it too....makes life so much easier for people who aren't on blogger to comment on your blog and you to comment on theirs. I'm going to see if I can convince my sister to get Disqus, I'm so happy with it.
Today I started off my day with Natalia Rose's famous Green Lemonade. Mmmmm!!! I love that stuff...so divine. You feel invincible when you drink green juice, like you're a superhero, infusing yourself with drinkable energy and power for adventures ahead. I always feel so good when I start my day with juices (and smoothies) and fruit till at least noon. I'm trying to make it a lifelong habit, not a rule (cuz' sometimes you do want something else). And I think it's one of the best things you can do if you're trying to be healthier. Juices and fruits till noon take little to no energy to digest, leaving your body (which has been cleansing all night) to detox several hours more. It does a body good. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We did it...I'm sick...and the best face mask in the world


How's that for a random, disjointed title? I need to learn more about "case and point".
Anywhoo, Anne-Marie and I finished our 25 day RAW challenge and had SO much fun. Now that we're done...I'm excited about eating more raw food in addition to what other food I eat. I'm not a 100% raw girl or an extreme-ist, but I certainly do love the beauty of raw and living foods.
The day that we finished our 25th day I got so, so sick...I barely ever, ever get sick and here I had been eating mostly all raw. I figure it was just a very tired me that was susceptible to germs...that day we were up almost 22 hours because we were doing a concert over 6 hours away. We drove up and back in one day, not to mention the actual concert, set up, and tear down. I think not getting much sleep lately, singing in the freezing cold (it was a tented concert for a children's home), and whatnot that made me feel so bad. Although Annie didn't have a problem...
I absolutely adore raw, but to be blunt, I often feel a lot better when I balance a lots and lotsa raw diet with other non-raw, healthy food such as brown rice, our organic wheat bread we grow on our property and then make ourselves, steamed veggies, eggs and tomatoes on sprouted toast, or yogurt with fruit. These 25 days have been so good for me...I loved them, but I've come to the conclusion that I could never be a raw fanatic (like so many amazing blogger friends who I love). It's just not me...I can do it a while...but in the long run, it's not my character. I love to make gourmet food, I love preparing healthy food for my family, I love helping out with menu planning, I love arranging things to make it look truly beautiful, and I love the smell of garlic gently simmering on the stove. And there's something great about awareness and balance that I really love...eating raw food and balancing it with other things you love too. I think it's all about where you feel your best at, where you love where you are and what you're doing.
These last few days I've been glad that I was done raw, because when I get sick...I love my herbal teas and my toast. That makes me feel good. I've also been downing water by buckets and fruit by the bushel (well, not quite). Young coconuts are amazing for you when you feel under the weather, as well as coconut oil. I ate one the other day and as well as drinking the water I ate the succulent, pudding-like meat. Oops...my family loves raw chocolate pudding and Mom was hoping we can make it with the meat. Today she's going to pick up another. I only have a few days left till our next concert, so I have to hurry and get better. My Daddy is such an angel...He went shopping for us and picked up heaps and heaps of fruit, so we could all keep healthy.
Here's Anne-Marie (my raw partner) with her closing thoughts for the time being:
"Well, I finished my 25 days of raw, and I'm sooo very glad I did it, even though at times, I was just dying for a piece of bread or a big bite of real chocolate. The discipline of it all was very beneficial for me and now that I'm off raw I kind of miss that structured style of eating. Nonetheless, I'll still be eating lots of raw (I love the light feeling it gives!) with my sister!!"
...Oh, and as for the face mask...well, you'll just have to wait till my next post. I'm serious though...I've tried LOTS of homemade face masks and have never seen such instant results as this one. It's amazing and I'm using it all the time now. It's the most surprising ingredient I have ever heard of as a mask and it's not very popular. Till then...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Avacado Dressing

DAY 19

And once again, things are going swimmingly. We were gone for the weekend singing, just got back home last night, and it was a fun challenge to eat raw while we were gone. Some cooked food did enter our system, but not very much...so I think we did jolly well.

I truly thought fall was here to stay, but I guess not. Today is so hot, so beautifully "summery"...so I'm soaking up any rays of bright sunshine however I can. Already I did some lawn mowing (probably the last of the season) and it felt so good to be outdoors, without bundling up. Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to the cozy-ness of autumn, wrapping up in warm blankets with tea in one hand and a good book in the other, to writing and reading a bit more, and getting caught up with preparations for Thanksgiving, which, for us Canadians, isn't very far off. I just love how the Lord changes the seasons just when you're ready for a change.

Anne-Marie ~ "Eating raw continues to go well, and I certainly am enjoying this time of feeling lighter, weighing less and eating live foods that enrich my body. We were gone during the weekend singing and consumed lots of fruit and salads while away. It can be harder to go raw while away from home, as your options are limited even more, but at least Charissa and I were in it together. Only 6 more days to go!!!"

Dill Dream

1 avocado

2 tsp. dried dill

1/3 c. olive oil

2 T. apple cider vinegar (I actually used Kombucha)

2 tsp. honey (or agave)

a few rounds of course sea salt

1/3 c. water

Blend all, but the oil together and then slowly add the oil in last. Use this as a dip for veggies or a dressing on salads.

I just ADORE avocados and just love their versatility. I've used them for not just dips and dressings, but puddings and shakes, adding them for their creaminess.

What do you like to do with your avocados?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Strawberry Cream Shake

As I promised...here is the shake that I fell in love with...mmmm! I know it's pretty basic, and maybe everyone in the raw world has made it, but it was just so amazing I have to write it down anyway, lol.

Strawberry Cream Shake

Almond Milk (as much as you want to drink)

4-5 big, frozen strawberries

1 tsp. honey (optional, depending if you like it sweeter)

the tiniest pinch of pink salt

2 TB. yogurt (I put some links to raw yogurt on the bottom of the page)

2-4 ice-cubes

Now blend and blend. Pour into a sparkling glass and garnish with a fat, juicy strawberry.

This is our 16th day...and it's going great. We've been having way too much fun picking out recipes that are special, as well as the daily things such as salads and smoothies. Some of the things we've been enjoying are raw oatmeal with almond milk (like this morning), chocolate pudding, ice-creams with chocolate sauce (we're hopeless chocoholics...never to be cured), caramel apple dip, cheesecake, and all sorts of amazing raw dressings.

Note from Anne-Marie:

"It's the 16th raw day for me and I continue to go on with the encouragement of my darling sis Charissa! Lately, I've been struggling with wanting to eat cooked food (the aromas from the kitchen can be so tantalizing) but I'm determined to do the 25 days raw and keep on. Charissa has made it such fun with special desserts she's made, smoothies, main dishes etc. Tonight we're going to have raw tacos and I'm quite excited about them. I do want to be good and hungry for them tonight, so I must not have too much for lunch. Going on raw has been so good for me in learning more self-control and even in just cleansing my body. I also am glad to have shed some pounds. Yay! Until next time..."

Yummy Yogurt

Pine Nut Yogurt

Coconut Yogurt

Cashew Yogurt

Monday, September 8, 2008

Strawberries Galore

If any of you have made the Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake, you'll probably realize that there is a little extra cheesecake filling. Besides the ample amount of taste testing (one of the best parts) needed...I used the extra for smothering onto fresh strawberries and then topped that with blueberries. It was a perfect dessert...light...yet rich tasting.

But I still had extra, despite even more taste testing...so I dipped whole strawberries into the cheesecake cream and ate them like that. I think of it as a more gourmet version of chocolate dipped strawberries.

And...guess what? I still had a little bit extra, so...I added chopped almonds into a little, tiny bowl and had the chocolate cheesecake cream over that. One of the nicest nibbles ever.

But you don't have to do that, with this specific recipe...find any cheesecake cream you like, perhaps a pudding you love, or even some gourmet-type, sweet smoothie and let your imagination fly! Check out Gone Raw and drift around for a good recipe that is adaptable to heaps of others. That's one of the fun things about raw food...there's SO much room for creativity!

It's Anne-Marie and I 12th day raw...and we're having fun. Tonight we're having a raw chili while the rest of the family has steak. Despite the fun of eating something as lovely as raw chili, I still hope our organic, home-grown steak doesn't smell too enticing, lol.

Next time...I'll post one of the most amazing recipes ever (I think) for a strawberry smoothie. Simple, but so deliciously complex in flavour. Till then...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake


...I'm in love with it...desperately. It's just SO decadent and divine! One bite and I'm in cheesecake heaven. It's Day 7 today, one week, and this dessert has made me perfectly and sublimely happy. So if you're craving the cheesecake of old...try this one, the raw way.

Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake

Chocolately Crust:

1 c. almond pulp (wet, leftover from making almond milk)

3 rounded TB. organic cocoa (or carob)

2 TB. maple syrup

3 TB. liquid honey

3 tsp. liquid coconut oil

Mix this all together in a bowl and then form a ball. Flatten and smooth it into a spring board pan.


Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake:

3 c. cashews (soaked for 1 hr. and then drained)

meat from 1 young coconut

1 and 1/2 c. almond milk

1/3 c. liquid honey

1/3 c. lemon juice

1/3 c. liquid coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla

1 TB. maple syrup

Blend together, adding the coconut oil last while the blender slowly turns for best mixing, reserving about 1/2 c. of the mixture in the blender. Pour over crust. With the remaining batter add 2 TB. of organic cocoa and blend. Now pour in straight lines over your cheesecake. Then take a table knife and gently swirl the cocoa part in. Garnish with sliced almonds around the sides. Freeze overnight. And when you have the deep pleasure of eating it...cut it while it still is thawing.


Cheesecake isn't the only thing that has made me excited...today I purchased a julienne. Wahoo! I'm very stoked about this. I've never been able to afford one of those gorgeous spiralizers, but a julienne...yes! It is amazing! Tonight we had zucchini spaghetti and it was just INCREDIBLE! The texture of the "noodles" was so wonderful, like the real thing. Thin enough to twirl on my fork! With the zucchini from our garden, I'm sure we'll making this as often as the zucchini will last. I have now decided that I'm an avid fan of raw pasta.

Once again, some thoughts from my temporary co-author and sister...Anne-Marie:

"Yes, it's me again, an amateur, temporary raw foodist and today marks my 7th day of being raw! Yahoo! Tonight I was making spaghetti for my non raw family members, as well as making this wonderful marinara sauce for those eating non cooked food. While checking to see if the regular noodles were done, without thinking, I popped one into my mouth and then realized I can't eat this. I got most of it out of my mouth before swallowing it all... Whew!! Sometimes I just don't think! I say "amen" to what Charissa said about the zucchini pasta! I absolutely loved it with that divine sauce!! What a treat to the palate! Oh yes, and my sister made the most awesome raw cheesecake ever! I couldn't wait to eat it to satisfy my very sweet tooth! Each bite was a delight to the senses!! I'm blessed to be related to such a talented non cook!! I'm looking forward to what tomorrow brings!

Want some???

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Green Gravitation

...is something that everyone always need a little more of. This morning I decided to make a different kind of green smoothie and I just loved the way it looked.

Garden n' Greens

In your blender mix:

3 ripe bananas

1 tsp. liquid soy lecithin (opt.)

1/2 c. carrots

1 tsp. honey (or agave)

6 ice cubes

1/2 c. - 1 c. water or nut milk

After you blend this, pour 2/3s of the mixture into sparkly glasses. With the rest of the drink, add a huge handful of spinach and give it a whirl.

Pour over the back of a spoon into to finish filling each glass.


It is officially Day 6 of raw for Anne-Marie and I and we're having heaps of fun. We just got back from singing yesterday evening and we were both glad that it wasn't that hard staying on track while away from home. That's when I find it the hardest to do raw...but we did good. Today I am making a raw cheesecake, so tomorrow you can expect a post about it. I've lost a couple pounds already and I feel really good. Sigh, I love raw food!

I asked Annie to write a bit about what she thinks of it all, so here she is...

"Wow, what a great experience this is for me to go raw for more than one day! It's hard to believe that I've been on the raw for almost a week now. When I did it for the one day a while back it was a stretch for me, and now I'm going to do it for 25 days! Perhaps I shouldn't have made the big leap, but here it goes. I am determined to stick it out, even when tempting smells and aromas from the kitchen try to entice me back to cooked food. It's such fun to do this with my sister, for she inspires me to go on. While we were away this past weekend, we went out to a restaurant and of course being on the raw your options are very limited. I ordered an ordinary house salad and when it was delivered to me, I noticed two pieces of very yummy looking garlic toast on top that I didn't realize came with the order. Well, I did stick my tongue on the garlic butter, (bad me) but other than that I folded the bread up in a napkin and did not give in to eat a bite of that sinful, non fiber, non raw food.

I've had fun looking at all sorts of scrumptious looking raw recipes in some of Charissa's amazing raw recipe books. It will be fun to try them out, as well as some my sister has already found tried and true. Well, bye for now and I applaud all of you out there who are presently eating raw!"

~Anne-Marie

Till tomorrow...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Two Sisters going on an Adventure...

...and not just any adventure...a raw adventure! Of course, I've always been "into" raw, but lately, ahem...well, our life has been the busiest that it ever has been, mostly because of singing and travelling, and I have just been eating what every one else is eating. And now I'm ready to feel that raw energy again SO I've enlisted my best friend and sister, Anne-Marie to join in. The agreed time is twenty-five days to do all raw. It should be easy for me to do, as I love raw and have gone long periods of time doing it, but the most Annie has done is 1 whole day, so like I said, it will be a fun adventure. And that's exactly what we'll make it. We're going to drool over raw recipe books and get more exercise in and devise new and delightful recipes of our own and have heaps and heaps of fun...

Today was Day 1 and Annie tells me it was easy. So that's good. But I'm not going to report everything that she says...she's going to tell ya'll herself. She'll co-host this blog for the next while with me and give her own ideas and opinions of what she thinks of it all.

So when I'm not busy, I will try to update this blog frequently (not like lately...I apologize for my slacking and beg your forgiveness more ardently). But I won't be able to post for a couple days because we're away singing for the weekend. Also, our family just got a sweet, new camera so I'm happy to report that I will have some better pictures here.

So inspire us on, folks! And please, if you have a moment, take the time to cheer my sis Annie on! She'd LOVE that and it would make her day!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wild To-Go

There is so much fun in going outside and harvesting your own lunch...whether it's from your garden, or from grabbing a few dandelions from your lawn and adding them to your salad, picking a few herbs from a pot, or getting fresh mushrooms from the grass (making sure you know them to be completely safe).

When we had beautiful, plump yellow roses this summer, the silky petals went into my salad (above)...and one of my last salads had bright marigold petals in it. Edible flowers look so pretty in whatever you add them too, giving your dish a snazzy flash of color. Pansies are another edible beauty.

Another thing I have discovered is wild grass. Ok, well, I have not discovered it...as it I already knew it existed, lol...but I have found out that is a very cool thing to put in green smoothies. It adds heaps and heaps of fibre, and is just another great source of greens. I'm not talking about cultivated lawn grass, but wild grass you find in the country.

All those things are great too in salads (even wild grass, cut up very small). One of my favorite ways to eat salad lately is simply massaged well with pure olive oil and salt, and then having fresh lemon wedges squeezed onto it. It is simply amazing and so fresh tasting!

So this week, make it your challenge to find some wild greens in your backyard and branch out. It's lots of fun and it's very easy and quick to do. And have buckets of fun!

Drop me a note in the comments below and tell me what wild edibles you like to get and how you use them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Better late than ever

...or so I'm told. I'm finally back into the blog sphere of things. Once we got back from our trip (that's my sister Anne-Marie to the left and myself, in our travels) we had several more singing things, a wedding and a weekend with family to attend, and truly...I've barely been home for too long and when I was, I was really quite busy. But now I'm back, ready to make amends, lol.

Here's the "recipe" I tweaked that a few of you wanted:

Metabolism Booster

1 gallon of strong green tea

Lightly sweeten with raw, liquid honey and add as much as organic cayenne pepper as you can handle (start with 1/2 tsp). You can add a few TB. of lemon or lime juice (then it will be similar to the MC lemonade)

You can brew your tea in the sun, if you like...or use a hot water kettle. I'd use about 5 to 6 teabags of green tea. Throw in a bag or two of peppermint tea for better digestion.

Thank you all so much for your kind comments on my last post. I'll try to post more regularly, when I have time. You guys are great!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Reason

Today is my 100th post here on Raw Royalty. Yay! Because of this momentous occasion, lol, (ok...maybe it's not that monumental) I'll just tell you why I call my blog what I do.

No. 1. I like the sound of it, don't you?

No. 2. RAW...Because I like trying to eat lots and lots of raw, and I think the more of it the better and more healthful a life you will live. ROYALTY...Because that's what I am! I'm an adopted daughter of the King, Jesus Christ. He's the reason I live and I'm so honored to be His Princess.

So there you have it...

Sometime I want to buy a plain purple or green shirt, take it to a shop, and then get the words RAW ROYALTY printed on it...I think that would be the funnest thing ever.

Today I'm doing the "cleanse" or "detox" for this month (and tomorrow). I've done one (short and long) every month since the beginning of this year. Now I've just been having fresh juices, tea, and a Metabolism Booster drink (my invention...it's lovely! I'll post the recipe sometime here) for two days (as well as blended citrus, if I want).

Breakfast~ Blended orange juice with honey

Lunch~ MB (metabolism booster drink)

Snacks today~ MB drinks and a lemon blended drink

Supper~ Carrot, celery, and apple juice

I have a gazillion things I want to write and post about, but once again, our life has gotten hectic...day after tomorrow we're going away for a weekend of singing and then away for two weeks on a trip...but once I'm back expect lots of fun things.

Till then...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pampering with Ice-Cream

...It's been quite a few days since my sister got married, so with all the busy-ness of company, cleaning up after the wedding, and whatnot, we've been trying to adjust to life without her...which in our case is more difficult than some. Not only are we an extremely close family, but as a lot of you know, we have a family music group. Elizabeth was what we call the "key pin" of our music. She played banjo, mandolin, guitar, harmonica, piano, and violin (not all at once, of course, lol). As you can imagine that leaves quite a gaping hole...but actually I've been very surprised at how quickly we're managing without her. I've taken up her banjo and a lot of her singing parts...and in the future, will work on some of the other things she has done.

We're singing the next two weekends and preparing for that and then going to my sister's 2nd reception where her new home is (which will take a couple weeks because it's 6 days travelling total), and then afterwards we'll have more singing engagements. So I'm afraid my blogging might be a bit sporadic, but I'm sure it will be very easy to find it in your heart to forgive me.

Now to the creamy, caramelly subject (which I hope you shall enjoy)...

Caramel Ice Cream with Chocolate Fudge Chunks

1 3/4 c. cashews (soaked for an hour or so)

1/4 c. tahina

1/2 c. maple syrup

1 c. young coconut meat

1 1/2 c. young coconut water (or nut milk or water)

1 tsp. pure vanilla

pinch of pink salt

Blend this in your high-speed blender and then process in your ice-cream maker with the manufacturer's instructions (they always say that in the recipes...thought I'd sound professional, lol)

Once in the ice-cream maker, you can add Chocolate Fudgey Chunks (just mix 1-2 TB. coconut oil, 2 T. organic cocoa, pinch of salt and a little vanilla and then refrigerate until hard...cut those into little chunks) as the ice-cream spins.

Hope you love it as much as I am! This recipe makes a lot, so I put most of it right in the freezer for whenever the ice-cream craving hits me...a girl's gotta be prepared.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

She's Married!

My sister Elizabeth is now on her honeymoon, the wedding over, and normal life is starting to become reality again. It was the most beautiful wedding that I've ever been to (and I'm not just saying that because she's my sister)...everything, even the tiniest detail, she had perfect...it was a magical, beautiful day where God was really honored in everything that happened.

She and her "now-husband" James shared in their first ever kiss, saved just for each other. I know that's a radical idea in this day and age, often scoffed at, but I think it's the most beautiful thing ever. They have kept themselves purely for each other, even all those small things, all those little "firsts" to share just for each other. They're such a beautiful couple, they just shine with God's joy!

This is a lot of my family......And the crazy bridal party, all siblings of both families (except one friend of the groom). We all had so much fun together.

I have to admit that after the wedding (and during) never in my life have I cared so little about healthy food or lifestyle. I was so tired from working...already missing my sister in my heart...that I didn't care, not even when I felt sick. Even my family was surprised at some of the things I nibbled on...but I honestly didn't care. But now, no need to worry, I'm more balanced...trying to get myself back on track, now that the wedding is actually over. I'm not perfect, and never will be, but at least I'm "caring" more. :)

I just want to thank you all for your sweet comments on my last post. You all are so sweet and your thoughts and "I understands" meant a lot! You keep me inspired...and for all you who subscribe, bless you, you know who you all are, and I hope you even halfway enjoy this rambling blog.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Three Unclaimed Treasures

... or so we jokingly called ourselves, our single sisterhood. But now, day after tomorrow, our sister Elizabeth (center) will be officially married and then moving 42 hours away (3 days straight driving). We've always been very close and already it's been so hard for Anne-Marie and I to be losing our best friend. But we know that this is what God wants for her and we're SO HAPPY for her...it's just hard, you know...having her go so far, into a new chapter of life that we can't follow. Most things will always be the same, but yet...many things change. And as much as I love all the new stages and seasons of life, change is always bittersweet for me and I think, always will be.

I can't believe how fast life has gone by...it seems like only weeks ago when Lizzy and I were little, making mud pie potatoes with smatterings of sawdust "cheese" dusted on top...and then onto other things more important than mud pies, like making supper together, or making miniature dollhouse furnishing together...and then late night talks and giggles, pedicures and manicures...friends and picnics...girl movie nights...and now...she's going to be someone's wife! James, my to-be brother-in-law, sure has a treasure (and she has one in return!) and I'm so happy for them and their new happily-ever-after life God has for them. He has been so good to bring the perfect, pure match for both of them. They're so in love...

...And so, with lots of tears and big hugs, I'll be saying goodbye to her this weekend...but just till next time I see her, when she'll be a Mrs. :) I'm thankful that we are able to attend her 2nd reception which will be by her new home, that will help us adjust...knowing we can see her again, not too soon after the wedding this Saturday. Next post will definitely be non-raw/health related and I'll post a few wedding pics.

I wuv you, Rabby! (my nickname for Lizzy) I'm so happy for you and what God has brought for you!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New life...

It's official...I'm an Auntie for the 12 the time...two of my two brother's wives have just had girls. Our 8th niece in a row, lol. They're such precious little ones...beautiful gifts from our Heavenly Father. Whenever I hold one of my nieces or nephews, I just cannot wait for when God allows me to be a wife and Mom. To me, that would be the highest call...raising little ones to grow up in character, virtue, and to love the things that are the most pure and wonderful in life.

In 3 days my sister Elizabeth is getting married...so terribly soon. How I'll miss her! Because of the busy-ness of it all, I'll have to keep this post super short...but because this happens to be a raw-ish blog I'll leave ya'll with a super tasty, scrummy smoothie. I am such an addict of orange smoothies. Mmmmmm...

Smooth Green

2 oranges, peeled with pith on

3 cups of spinach

2 TB. raw honey

Blend with a little water as a base and then add ice slowly.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Just Thoughts...


Yesterday was absolutely sublime...I broke the Master Cleanse with orange juice and a whole orange. My family had actually gotten me organic oranges...I didn't even ask for them. Mwah! My family is so sweet.
During the day I just ate small increments of different foods, lots of fruit...and that was good and my tummy was definitely happy with that. It's so happy to be eating again, lol.
I'm in a recipe mode right now...just wanting to make tons of different, fun things. I "bookmarked" tons of recipes off Gone Raw that I'm dying to make, as well as other fun, healthy recipes. I guess it's because I haven't had food for a while.
Today my family and I are going to have a long bike ride and then a picnic dinner where we end up. It'll be super special...my sister Lizzy is getting married in 6 days, so we're trying to make these last few days really memorable. How I'm going to miss her! My sisters are my best friends and it's really hard having Elizabeth leave, especially so far.
After completing the Master Cleanse I really want to incorporate more cayenne pepper into my diet (love the spice!). It's fun even just adding it to a hot drink because you're already drinking something hot, so you barely notice it and you get all the health and metabolism/circulation benefits from the cayenne.
It's lunch...so I better scramble.

Friday, May 30, 2008

End of the Line


...the finish line, that is. Today was my 10th day and the final day of the Master Cleanse. YAY! I'm so excited to be done, but SO grateful that I did it. It was the best cleanse that I've ever done and I feel really good about it...now I'm excited food...real food. Bring it on!
This afternoon was really hard...I was super hungry and too busy painting to stop and prepare myself a drink. Oops...I got super weak and felt seriously sick. Then I went in and made supper for my family (they were all busy painting as well) before I got a drink. Thankfully I didn't fall over (altho' I certainly felt like it), lol. Anyway, I'm great now. :)
The first 5 days were easier than I thought, and the last 5 days were way harder. If and when I do this again, I think I would shorten it somewhat and definitely not do it in a time when we're super busy. It's only 8 more days till my sister's wedding and we've been working all day preparing for it and all the guests that will be coming here. I'm looking forward to when our life will slow down a bit...if it ever does, lol.
Tonight we have to practise music...so this is short tonight.
Tomorrow...orange juice and fruit! Yay!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How to make lemons fun...

Today is DAY 8 and I am happy to report that I'm still alive. I feel great when I'm doing things that aren't strenuous, but felt stupidly silly when hoeing the garden was exhausting me...but in a couple days I'll feel up to full strength again. I'm having this dreadful craving for popcorn...the kind that has lots of olive oil on it and salt...But really, any food sounds particularly nice right now, like juicy salads with one of my favorite dressings and my raw chocolate milk and my raw cereal bars and my...

Ok, I better stop now. I have purposed at this very moment NOT to think about food...

Anyway, here's some tips and tricks that I've picked up these last 8 days to make the Master Cleanse bearable, and even fun...

  • Don't always drink your lemonade the same way. My favorite way to drink it lately, has been nice and hot, and then cuddle up in a quilt and a good book while I sip it. Pour your lemonade over ice and stick a fun straw in it. Break up the monotony.
  • If you have chosen to continue to eat meals with the family, involve yourself. Don't just sit there, wishing dinner over. Put hot lemonade in a bowl and eat it like your family eats soup, with a spoon, talk about your day, and keep your mind occupied (believe me, it can be hard watching others eat, lol)
  • When you feel tired of drinking lemonade, buy some good, herbal tea (preferably organic) and sip on that. If you don't want it hot, pour it over ice, or refrigerate it. I imagine it would be perfectly acceptable to sweeten it with a small amount of maple syrup, since it's used in the lemonade.
  • Exercise lightly, nothing hard or strenuous. This helps with the cleansing process, as well as aiding your breathing. I recommend a light Pilates workout, which is what I like.
  • Get lots of rest at nighttime, and have a nap in the afternoon if you feel the need for it.
  • Bathe or shower each day. I have been saving the lemon rinds from the lemonade and I just throw those in my bath water. It smells beautiful and I like to use them for a natural sponge sometimes.
  • Try to use a loofah or a dry brush every day, which is also stimulating and cleansing for the body.
  • Get involved in some of your favorite activities, whether it's a good book, going for a lap around the pool, bowling with friends, shopping, jump on the trampoline, going for a long walk, talking with a friend over herbal tea, or playing guitar.
  • Avoid recipe books with beautiful pictures of food...glorious food. This has been my biggest mistake, lol, I look forward to all the recipes I'm going to make. This makes it really hard to be content with good ole lemonade.
  • Pack your lemonade with you in a travel-friendly container or water bottle, so that you never get starved. Temptation is hardest to resist when you're hungry.
  • Take your blender and instead of making your lemonade the normal way, add ice and water, as well as your cayenne, peeled lemon (even the seeds), and maple syrup, and blend it into a frothy slushy.
  • Freeze your lemonade in freezer-friendly (plastic) cup. When I was little I used to do this all the time with ice-tea. I would watch a movie or read a book, while hammering away at my frozen concoction. It took a while to eat and made things that much more fun.
  • Read articles on detoxing or fasting...this is encouraging for me and also familiarizes me with the common detox symptoms and of what to expect.

Make your fast/detox fun in some way...and if that means playing tennis in bare feet or dressing up in your clothes backwards for a day...do it!

Have fun!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

One Week...


...is over. I've done seven days of this and I don't think I've ever gone this long with actual food, unless of course you call lemonade actual victuals.
DAY 6 went good, but I started feeling weak then and have ever since. I'm fine, as long as I don't do lots of exerting activities...perhaps my body is telling me to rest. I like that idea, lol...but with only 11 days until my sister's wedding, resting is the last thing I or anyone else around here can do. I've been saving all the lemon rinds from the lemonade and then I put them in my bath...it makes it smell really pretty and you can use the lemon rinds for a natural type of scented washcloth or sponge.
As for today, DAY 7...I'm tired. But that's Ok, only 3 more days of this and then I'm all done. Time goes by so fast lately, perhaps because I'm desperately trying to soak up and hang on to the minutes with my sister Elizabeth (the one who's getting married). She's moving about 42 hours away from us (which is 3 days of straight driving). We won't get to see her very often.
My beloved tongue is still white, but less, and my teeth have cast off their fuzzy sweaters and scarves (yay!). Tonight we're having company, the second time since I've started this MC. Goodness, it's hard to have company when you're doing this. Just like at lunch, Anne-Marie (my other sister) was making one of my favorite raw dressings for her salad. That was just sheer will power that kept me from licking it.
Yesterday I was desperately feeling the need to chew and I thought of my natural gum I got at a health food store...no food content, no calories, natural...definitely not a food. So that is my new vice and at the present moment, it's keeping me sane. :)
Till tomorrow...
the Master Cleanse Bear (I know, isn't that sappy? ...but sometimes I just am)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Master Cleanse Bear

...or so I have dubbed myself until Friday, when I'm all done. I'm definitely looking forward to food and drooling over lots of succulent recipes, but I'm fine without it and trying to keep this fun.

It is now DAY 5 and that truly is a comfort...time goes by fast...so 5 more days shouldn't be too much of a trial, lol.

DAY 4 was probably the hardest day (yesterday). I ended up doing the salt flush that morning instead of the day before, and that took a lot of my energy out of me. It was really disgusting drinking that warm salt water, but it definitely was cleansing.

Salt Flush~ Just like it's important to bathe the outside of our bodies, so it is with the inside. The Master Cleanse guide says that a salt flush cleansing of the colonic tract is without the sometimes harmful effects of the normal colonics and enemas. This method cleanses the entire digestive tract while the colonics and enemas will only reach the colon or a small part of it. Colonics can be expensive while the salt water method is not. I've never done an enema or a colonic, and have no desire to from all I've heard about it, but this salt flush, though unpleasant to drink, gave my insides a good ole bath very nicely. All the same, I don't really want to do it again. At first, I was concerned that all that salt in the water wouldn't be good for my body...but then I read that the salt water has the same specific gravity as the blood, hence the kidneys cannot pick up the water and the blood cannot pick up the salt, so the water just goes through, giving you a nice shower.

The rest of DAY 4 was fine, but I had more symptoms than before...I was cold, tired and a bit weak, had chapped lips, and still a white tongue (but considerably less). We had my sister Elizabeth's bridal shower last night, so I just toted my bottle of Lemonade along with me...of course, this was one of those showers that had healthy refreshments like guacamole and lots of fruit. I just stayed away from the table, trying not to imagine the guac. (one of my favourites!)

But today is DAY 5 and I feel much better. I felt a little sick this morning, but again, I'm good now. Today I'm just going to do some relaxing with the family, enjoying some of our last days with Elizabeth before she's married (13 days!). That will be nice. I don't feel as tired, my lips aren't as bad, my tongue is looking way better, just a bit of white gracing my tongue. (Ok, the gracing part was a joke), and I lost another pound. I did some dry brushing this morning...my skin has gotten really soft during this cleanse. I'm not sure if it's because of the cleanse or the dry brushing, or both. Anyway, I like that part. I'm finding that I'm a bit tired of the Lemonade, so it helps having it hot, as a tea, and I think it tastes a bit better that way currently. Besides, warm/hot tea is very cleansing through the system as opposed to a cold drink.

So it's going really well...

Signing off for today...the Master Cleanse Bear