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. 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 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" 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 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 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 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 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!"


Till tomorrow...