Wakame Salad

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My new obsession! As someone who has always had trouble with iron I’m always on the lookout for new sources.  I read about seaweed salad and headed to my local sushi joint.  I liked it so much I ordered a second one (they were appetizer portions).  Now I have one every time I hit a sushi joint.  Of course there are things to watch out for. Make sure you’re getting fresh.  Those pre frozen ones can often  contain added sugar.  Also contains healthy iodine and tons of calcium and an array of vitamins and minerals.  An added bonus is its not usually expensive!

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An Experiment in Soup

Coconut Carrot Soup

I’ve been trying to make my own way along this food journey of mine.  I follow instructions as best I can, but sometimes there are a bunch of ingredients I don’t have and I don’t really want to buy.  I’m not the worst cook in the world, so I’m pretty comfortable with throwing things together.  Tonight I have a very near success!

I’m calling it Coconut Carrot and Bean soup.

I’ve never been a big coconut fan, but I’m learning that it’s not the flavour, it’s the texture I don’t like.  I don’t like coconut flesh.  My new foray into the world of natural eating has led me to coconut time and time again, and I’ve slowly begun to incorporate it into my life.  First on my face, second in smoothies and now in soup!

Here are the ingredients…

2 carrots

2 stalks celery

1 sweet potato

Leeks – to taste

2 Garlic cloves

1 Can Cannellini beans

Chili flakes

And a big helping of coconut milk (not coconut water)

I bought the really good organic coconut milk (only a few dollars a can) and it was ridiculously creamy.  I was confused at first because I thought I’d bought a faulty can.  Turns out coconut milk can be quite runny or very thick.  The solid stuff is cream and it can be super fatty.

I steamed all the veggies together and then put it all in a blender with the coconut milk, beans, chili flakes and blended until smooth.  Holy crap the mixture turned out smooth!!!  I added a little salt and pepper to taste, and voila!

It was a pretty good thick soup.  It wasn’t my best, could have used a bit more flavour, maybe some onions next time, but all in all it was a nice warm, mild meal to keep the belly full!

A Night Off

Almost four days I was exceptionally healthy.  I mean full on plant based gluten free amazing diet.  It was strangely easy because I was making amazing recipes that I loved and it was carrying over to lunch the next day.  Suddenly I was waking up in the morning feeling fresh and awake, and I was looking forward to the next healthy meal because I knew it would make me feel amazing.  I started having pure green smoothies in the morning and holy crap, what a difference!  I mean I don’t love them, but the way they make me feel is super charged and ready to go.

And then Tuesday evening came.  I knew I was going out to dinner with friends and I knew I wasn’t going to watch what I eat because I was having too much fun.  I had a healthy day and then headed out with them.  We went to a greek restaurant and I ate roast lamb, potatoes, greek salad, some break and then dessert.  I’m sure it was the dessert that was too much, but it was a really heavy meal.

One thing happened right away.  I felt sluggish and heavy, and my stomach wasn’t super happy about life.  I knew it wasn’t a big deal because it was one meal, but I still didn’t feel great.

The next morning was when the real difference started.  Only one heavy meal and my morning reverted back to being sluggish, kind of groggy, slow and my green smoothie looked like mush.  I felt like I had to force myself to drink it.  But afterwards, when the green goodness started working, I felt amazing!

It really made me realize just how much food can affect my body.  Everyone says it can, and I always nod and say yes, and yes I do feel kind of crappy after eating a whole pizza to myself, but I kind of always just shrugged it off as something I ‘knew’ that didn’t need further attention.  Now, I’m completely re-thinking my morning problems. Continue reading

Green Smoothie

Let me put this straight.  I’m not a fan of green smoothies.  I find that I end up choking them down most of the time.  Sure I feel great afterwards, but it’s not a meal I enjoy.  Until lately.

The addition of the magic bullet into my life has changed things drastically for me.  The single serving little blender makes my mornings so much more pure and my health has heaved a big ‘thank you’ sigh to the universe.  Until recently, my morning smoothies are mostly berries, spinach, chia seeds and oats.  Certainly a good filled start to the morning without a doubt.  But I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the benefits of veggies in the morning and I’m determined to give my body the biggest boost possible.  So started green smoothies.

The first one I made was… will lets just say it tasted like I mashed a bunch of veggies together.  Who wants that in the morning!  But slowly I took in a couple different recipes, mostly from deliciouslyella.com, and I think I’ve made one that tastes… well like veggies but at least in a good way!

Here’s the ingredients.   Almond milk, coconut water, lime, ginger, spinach, avocado, celery, cucumber, a few chilli flakes, vitamin D, chia seeds and oats.  With the ginger and chilli flakes you get this amazing punch in the morning the wakes up ever single one of your senses.  The chia seeds, almond milk and avocado smooth everything out so it’s not a chunky mess, and the lime adds a nice sour tang.  I throw in the vitamin D because I live in a normally rainy city and sneaking it into anything I can helps.  This is not going to be for everyone so be prepared!  I’m usually a mild person in the morning.  I like things like porridge that has little to no taste.  But I’ve discovered awakening the senses and it’s drastically improved my day!

Struggling with Food

I go up and down.  Usually my downs are not so bad anymore, but lately… To say I’ve been yo-yo-ing is a totally understatement.  I start off every morning super healthy with a nutrient infused smoothie.  Lunch can be hit or miss, bur normally I don’t go unhealthy.  And then dinner… oh dear.  I can’t seem to keep the healthy eating going throughout the day which is so weird because normally if I start good, I naturally end good.

Stress is a factor for sure.  For some reason I’m totally loosing faith in myself at work.  I’m doing really well so there’s no reason to be so hard on myself, but I can’t help lying in bed worrying about what I’m going to accomplish the next day.  Every morning I get up stressed, and then I get to work and I just start working without looking back.  Normally at the end of the day I feel okay, but I drown my day of anxiety with a pizza or a bag of chips, which adds guilt to the anxiety.  Oh dear, what am I doing to myself?  I feel bad, so I eat, which makes me feel bad, so I eat… I hate this game.

Being healthy is a chore.  It’s always and it’s constant.  I’m hitting a point where I’m giving up the war, and I feel awful that I am, which adds to the anxiety.  Have you ever felt anxious about being guilty about eating bad because of anxiety?

So here’s the plan.  Tonight I’m going to go for a run.  I don’t care what I feel like when I get there, I’m just going to do it.  And I’m going to eat veggies no matter what.  That’s it.  Tonight I’m taking care of myself.  It will be the first step to dealing with this anxiety and finding my confidence again. Continue reading

Restaurant Review: The Foundation

The foundationI went the The Foundation for the first time about eight years ago.  A friend of mine got some people together and we shared one of the big appetizer trays.  I remember liking some of it but not being overly impressed, especially with the service.  They’re sort of known for mediocre service at best.  But recently I’ve gone back a couple of times and I have to say, first impressions didn’t do it justice.

This place is know for being vegetarian.  Everything on the menu is plant based, except for a few things like the cheese on the nachos.  I took my mom there a few weeks ago.  She loves anything healthy, so I figured it was a good choice.  The Foundation is known for it’s nachos, so we ordered a big plate and… it was okay.  But the yam dip was fricken amazing!! I ate almost the entire plate myself, even though it was way too much for one person.  They had a good, but small, selection of beer which was just enough.

Tonight I went back and ordered the Quinoa, Chickpea and spicy peanut burger with the ‘loving side’.  I still don’t now what the lovely side, but it was some kind of seed salad in a creamy dressing that I ate fast enough that I can’t really remember how it tastes.  It was that good.  The burger was perfectly good, but when you have spicy in the menu, I expect it to almost burn my mouth off.  It was delicious, but there was no spice.

If you love healthy, plant based food, this is a must go!!  It’s completely hipster and the own that, with graffiti on the walls, thrift store furniture and waiters who are… unique.  The music was a little loud, but it made the atmosphere super casual.  I came out of there tonight feeling full without being stuffed, and like I’d just absorbed enough nutrients to make my skin glow and hair shine for the entire week!!

Yam Fritters

Tonight I experimented.  I had a craving for Yams and came across a Quinoa fritter.  I didn’t have Quinoa but I did have oats, yams and all kinds of other delicious stuff, so I improvised and this is what I ended up with.

I soaked the oats for a short few minutes, just to make them easier to work with.  I steamed a few yams, chopped onion, picked herbs from the garden and mixed it all with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Then I quick fried them with coconut oil.  They turned out a little moist so next time I would add some buckwheat flour, or drain everything better to take away some of the moisture.  But it was sure yummy!

For the green dip I used the spring roll dip recipe from Deliciously Ella.  It wasn’t the best combination, but it was sure tasty!  Because the yam is sweet and the dip was suite, it might have worked better with some a little more tart.  But that dip is incredibly taste!  It’s made with mango, avocado, ginger, tahini, chilli peppers, olive oil and lemon.  I could eat it as a desert out of the bowl!!

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I don’t usually experiment.  I sort of cook exactly what I know how.  This turned out pretty well so I’m going to continue experimenting and see what I come up with!!