Saturday, May 30, 2009

Aloha Friday

It's funny how easy it is to start out a day with such great intentions and spontaneously veer the other way...oh well...what can I say, it was Friday:-)

FOOD LOG

* 2 Cups fresh Ulapalakula Strawberries
* 16 oz Super Green Smoothie
* handful of Cashews
* Odwalla Bar-chocolate flavor...these are pretty great!

THEN- After work I did a quick surf check in Lahaina and it was looking pretty good so I went home to wait for Carlos and to get the surfboards. When he finally got home around 5pm he said that a few of our friends were down at Maui Brewing Co. watching a basketball game and wanting us to join. Well, one glass of Sav. Blanc later and we were ordering nachos! hahaha. Luckily the Brewing Co. makes a fairly healthful nacho ( if that is possible? ) light on cheese and heavy on Black Beans and Salsa Fresca. I ordered Guac on the side as well ( that's RAW food right? ) Anyways, another glass of wine later I knew I was not going to be going to the gym that evening....Oh, well...Hanging out with that crew is way more fun anyways:-)
We ended up renting "The Wrestler" ( pretty sad movie...) and crashing early.
Oh....I had a Blow Pop from the movie store too:-)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Quick Update

I want to apologize in advance but I'm having some issues placing photo's on my blog and adding color fonts?? I'm not sure what happened and I'm hardly computer savvy so I need to wait until Carlos can look at it for me ( he's the techie not me )....However, I want to post my Food and Exercise log so that they don't get backed up.
First of all, I'm still dealing with some heavy VOG, heat and humidity over here so I haven't had much of an appetite ( not normal ) but here you go anyways

FOOD LOG

* "Almost Raw Homemade Granola Bar" I got this recipe from the blog-"Eat Live Run" but added some extra ingredients of my own. So good!! see below
* "Carlos's Favorite Banana Chocolate Smoothie" see early post from today
* Cheeze-Its ( ummmm totally processed but freaking great!), green olives and a Berry Vodka Martini at my girlfriends house ( had to go see her new kitten!! )
* 5 "Indian Dim Sum" potstickers from 5/24 post

EXERCISE LOG

40 min. Stand Up Paddle from Puamana Beach Park to Shark Pit and back
30 min. Elliptical Machine level 7
4 sets of 50 Abdominal crunches
3 sets of 10 chest presses
3 sets of 12 triceps pull downs
STRETCH!

RECIPE OF THE DAY

*Almost Raw Granola Bars* VEGAN
2 Cups Steel Cut Oats
1/4 Cup dried unsweetened Coconut Flakes
1/4 Cup Golden Flax seeds ( ground in a coffee grinder )
1/4 Cup White Sesame Seeds
1/4 Cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 Cup Golden Raisins
1/4 Cup Cacao Nibs ( totally optional )
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Raw Honey
1/4 Cup Coconut Butter
1/4 Cup Peanut or Almond Butter
Mix all the dry ingredients in a med bowl then add the wet ingredients. Use hands if need be. Press mixture into a 9" x 9" non stick pan and place in Freezer for 1 hr. Remove from Freezer and cut into granola bar size sticks with a large sharp knife. Wrap in individually in plastic wrap but keep in freezer. FYI-These fall apart very quickly but they are sooooooo good!! Keeping them in the freezer will help but eat them immediately once removed.
I think this would make a killer crumbled topping for Yogurt or Coconut Sorbet as well!

Carlos's Post



I just wanted to make a quick post to talk a little bit about my lucky guy...First of all, like I've mentioned before, Carlos LOVES his vegetables! Whew! This was a huge hurdle that I'm so happy I didn't have to deal with. However Carlos also LOVES to EAT!!! And he'll eat anything! He LOVES his creamy pastas, red meat and Taco Bell as much as he loves his salads and Green Juice. He also has a major sweet tooth and no matter how stuffed we are he always orders dessert and coffee. We went to Australia about a year and a half ago and Carlos put on about 20 lbs in one month! Now granted, he also quit chewing tobacco on the trip ( a 17 yr old habit! )so, the combination of that, all the dining, drinking and lack of physical exercise added up fast!
At the time, we were not living together so most of our meals were either eaten out or on our own and over the next year he put on another 10 lbs. Back in October of '08 we headed down to his native Argentina for 3 weeks and when we returned we decided that it was time to get our own place. So, we did and started the garden right away. We also started shopping at Costco, Farmer's Markets and Mana Foods and cooking 90% of our food at home. The biggest change for him was the complete lack of snack food in the house. I just don't have it around and I always felt that this was a huge key in weight maintenance. I also don't buy anything processed. I have NO white sugars or packaged frozen foods and if I buy chips/crackers it is almost always gluten free or organic blue corn chips.
Over the last 3 months Carlos has made a huge attempt to slim down. He drinks Green Smoothies with me, eats my non dairy frozen desserts ( sometimes all of it!! Growl! ), he eats at lease one salad a day and loves things like quinoa in place of rice and things like filling bean salads and firm tofu. Actually, the only time Carlos eats red meat these days is when we go out ( which is never ) and he goes many days in a row strictly vegetarian! Who would have ever thought!
Carlos's heaviest was 236 lbs in February ( he's large framed and 6'2". But, he got on the scale yesterday and clocked in at 215! I'm so proud of him!! He looks amazing too! He's a gorgeous sexy guy anyways but he's getting even better with age. We've both been making a big effort to change our workouts as well. We hike ALL THE TIME now and we both paddle board several times a week now. He has also really gotten into Carve Boarding with his buddies ( skate boarding on a long boards down hills )and we are surfing anytime there is swell. He still would like to lose about 5-10 more pounds and add some strength and flexibility. His goal is to be in tip top shape by his 40th birthday ( he is 38 ) and I think this will happen for him!
We have some exciting news too. We just booked tickets for another trip to Australia in September! We will be going for a little over 3 weeks. I am so stoked and hopefully we will catch some surf this time around. The difference this time will be that we plan on making most of our meals at home. Australia has spectacular fresh produce! I love going to their supermarkets and delis and checking everything out. Everything seems so much more natural and unprocessed. I think this will keep any major weight gain for him at bay this time around. Can't wait!!
*CARLOS'S FAVORITE CHOCOLATE BANANA RAW SMOOTHIE* RAW VEGAN
2 Cups Coconut water
2 Cups frozen Banana chunks
2 heaping TB Raw Cocao Powder
1 TB Raw Cocao Nibs
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 TB Coconut Butter
3 packets of Stevia
Blend all in high speed blender until smooth
This is so great for before or after a workout. The Cocao gives you a great caffeine rush and Coconut water is like drinking natural Gatorade. This is very high in Potassium and Fiber as well as good fats to tide you over:-)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Garden continued........

Aloha, It's been a crazy two days for me and my family ( I'll get into that at another time ) but I really wanted to get my mind off of the current sadness and get back to my garden post! So here we go....



HERBS- Very important category for us because we use them almost daily. I've had amazing luck with my herb garden. I've even been successful with cilantro ( the most challenging of them all! ) So, currently I have Rosemary, Sage, Mexican and Greek Oregano, Italian flat leaf parsley, Mint, Spearmint and Creeping Thyme. The only herb that seems to give me trouble is Thyme. I love Thyme and I'm bummed about this but I'm going to try another variety ( lemon, lime, coconut thyme?? ) and see if I have any luck. The trick with Cilantro ( Coriander ) is this....It really only last about a month so use it while you can! Nothing taste better than baby Cilantro with tender stems so cut it while it's young ( it grows back quick! ) then in about 3 weeks you will notice the leaves getting really wispy. This is the best part! It means it is about to "bolt" or send up it's flower ( then die ). This wispy Cilantro is the most fragrant Cilantro you can find. I've learn that either people LOVE Cilantro or HATE it. I happen to LOVE it and so does the big guy so we use it in everything. I even include it in my Super Green Smoothies when I have it available. FYI- tests have shown that Cilantro kills the Ecoli bacteria too! So being the Germaphobe/Emetaphobe (sp??) that I am it gives me even more reason to use it!
CITRUS!! We are growing Citrus. Yes! and we have our trees in pots ( 11 gallon and 15 ) I currently have 2 Tangelo trees, 1 Meyer Lemon ( pictured ) and a Kaffir Lime. I LOVE my Kaffir Lime tree. I use her leaves all the time in my Asian creations. I HIGHLY recommend getting one of these if you love Asian Food. They are super cute and grow very well in a small pot. FYI-Asian food is the easiest way to slip into being a Vegan/Raw Vegan because Dairy is RARELY used and most dishes can easily be meat/fish free! If you really want to get into this way of eating I suggest going this route. Please check out my favorite book list. The Okinawan Diet is very eye opening.
GARLIC! Woo Hoo!! I decided to try a little experiment. I always wondered what would happen if I just stuck a clove of garlic in soil since they seem to sprout no problem without soil in my kitchen. So, I grabbed a long pot and stuck 5 garlic cloves in the soil 2" deep( pointed side up ) then walked away. Well, it's been about a month and my garlic stalks are about 1 ft long! Now, if you do not live on a tropical island you might have better luck than I because garlic really needs a cold season to really develop properly. So, I'm aiming for Taiwanese "Green Garlic". Basically. Green Garlic looks a lot like Green Onions. I think mine are about ready to harvest. I need to pull them out and make a great dip or stir fry with them. They have a garlic flavor/smell but they are way less intense than mature Garlic. I can't wait THAT long for mature garlic anyways so Green Garlic is perfect!
NASTURTIUMS-The famous edible flower. This picture must be about 3 weeks old now because at the moment my nasturtium plant is bursting with red and orange flowers! I'm eating them almost everyday with my raw salads but new flowers show up every morning. The leaves are edible too! This plant is super low maintenance and grows like a vine. Bees love it and it attracts geckos for my cat Taj to drool over.
Like I mentioned before I've been eating pretty high raw vegan again. I've also been surfing a lot and even dragged out my short board 3 times last week:-) I also decided to head back to the gym today in spite of my fear of MRSA Staph. I've been thinking about getting back into running lately so I decided to hit the tread mill after work....probably should have saved this for tomorrow a.m.
First of all, I am NOT a afternoon or evening runner ( mornings only! ) so I had a feeling my booty would be dragging. Second, I had NO music to keep my mind occupied ( yes, I'm the only person in the world who has yet to buy an I Pod and my Walkman had a crash landing in the Atlanta airport a while back.) So instead I was trying to concentrate on the TV in front of me. Unfortunately, I have no idea who "Jon and Kate" are . But, They seemed to be getting quite a bit of airtime this afternoon during my strained run... ( BTW-what's up with that haircut? ). Third, We here in Maui County ( and Hawaii Island for sure ) are suffering from an extreme case of VOG. If you live here in the islands there is no need to explain what VOG is but for those who don't know... VOG is basically the volcanic ash that is spewing out of Kilauea at the moment. We are having a long case of Kona ( south )winds so the volcanic sulfur dioxide is sitting right on top of us now. Try to image good 'ol L.A. on a bad smog day when the Hollywood Hills disappear and the sky turns dark brown. Now, add heavy humidity.....That's my world right now. I'm hoping that Molokai has not sunk because I have not seen it for 3 days behind the brown veil of ash. The point of all this is....bad day to start running since my gyms idea of AC is opening all the windows. So, I did something I never do....I took it easy. I would run 2 min then walk 2 min, run 3 min and then walk 3 min until I hit 30 minutes total. I was a voggy sweaty mess at this point so I jumped on the elliptical for 20 more minutes ( level 7 ). I finished off with 3 sets of 12 shoulder presses and 3 sets of 12 Lat Pull Downs. I wanted to do my crunches and other Ab work but this huge dude was jump roping in the space I needed for my sit ups and a large puddle of sweat was encircling him.....no thanks I'm pau.
So back to logging my food......
Food Log
*Super Green Smoothie 24 oz ( Kale, Cilantro, Coconut water, stevia, juice of a lemon, 1"ginger and 1/2 green apple all into the Vita Mix until juiced )
*Raw Salad-mixed greens and flowers, yellow pear tomatoes, 1 whole avocado, shredded carrots and sesame seeds. Dressing was 3 TB of Seasoned ( sushi ) Rice Wine Vinegar, pinch of sea salt and 1 TB Canola oil
*Salad inspired from Flatbread Restaurant in Paia, Maui, 1/2 cup of plain Quinoa and Nama Shoyu. See Below
*Flatbread's House Salad* VEGAN
4 Cups Red Leafed lettuce, Mesculn mix or baby Romaine ( Cos ) chopped
1 Cup Shreaded Carrots
1/2 Cup Hijiki seaweed ( dried but soaked in water for 20 min ) and drained
1/2 Cup chopped celery
1 TB white roasted Sesame seeds
Dressing-1/4 cup Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar, pinch of sea salt, 1 1/2 TB of Canola oil .
I added a small scoop of goat cheese to my portion ( like Flatbread offers ) and Carlos added Huli Huli chicken, avocado and Goat Cheese. We shared about 1/2 bottle of Monkey Bay Sauv Blanc from New Zealand. $8.99 a bottle. Score! Dinner was awesome and the boy was stoked!
<>
Carlos's >

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Garden Update

I've NEVER had any luck growing tomatoes in Hawaii. However, I found some seeds at the Kihana Nursery in Kihei that came from Italy ( Brand is "Franchi") that were highly recommended so I figured for $2.49... what the hell.
Oh my gosh! Every single seed I threw in the soil grew a plant. I had so many that I had to actually thin them out and toss some. I would say I planted them mid March?? I really wish I had written that down now.....Anyways, they are doing awesome. I planted 2 varieties, Cherry and Yellow Pear Tomatoes. I figured that small tomatoes would be faster to harvest.
In the past I bought my tomatoes as small plants from a nursery. Usually with in a month the leaves looked half dead and if any tomatoes actually fruited the bottoms would turn black?? Well, so far so good this year. I used organic potting soil and used a little bit of Organic Blood Meal as fertilizer.
The next plant I have that seems to be super happy is my Anaheim Chili Plant. I purchased 2 small plants from Home Depot in April and in about a months time they are getting pretty heavy with chilies! I'm planning on making some Chili Rellanos in the not too distant future:-)

Basil Anyone??? Mine is out of control and I can't make pesto fast enough.....I'm growing quite a few varieties, Italian, Thai, Opal, Cinnamon and Lemon. Basil takes a lot of sun and water. Luckily I have both in West Maui!







Next up: Passion Fruit ( Lilikoi ) I have two types going at the moment. One is the sweet Orange Jamaican Variety and the other is the Australian Purple Passion. Our Australia Passion Fruit Vine came from a very small clipping that we kept alive in a Mason Jar full of water in the Fall. Suddenly in December it sprouted roots and we planted it. It stayed in a dormant state ( about 4" tall ) until March. It is now growing about a foot a week!

I have a few other chili plants to brag about as well right now. First of all I'm going into my second year with my Thai Dragon. I love this plant. In spite of our careless first year together it produce about 50 chilies for me to enjoy:-) This year it has grown another foot and at the moment it is loaded with about 20, 3"-6" green chilies about to turn cherry red! I harvest them when they are red and use as many as I can fresh ( salsa and Thai soups ). Then, whatever I have left over gets washed and bagged in the freezer. My man loves to chop up these frozen chilies and add them to spicy marinades all year long. FYI-Thai Dragon are freaking HOT!
In march I also added, Serranos, Cayenne and Hawaiian Chilies to my pepper collection and today I picked up a Jalapeno.

Next up: Rainbow Chard "Bright Lights"-Easy, beautiful and constant producer! I've been pruning the outer leaves and using them in pot stickers or I use them raw, cut up with salad greens or as a base for a Raw Vegan wrap!

More to come!! To be continued.......

Indian Dim Sum


I've been playing around quite a bit lately with wonton/pot sticker wrappers. Most of my creations have been Asian inspired but I recently picked up a killer Indian cookbook from Amazon.com by Monica Bhide ( "Modern Spice" ) I was introduced to this amazing book through Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks blog. I came across the "Chili Pea Puff" recipe that Heidi recommended and had to give it a go. Now, Monica uses Indian Paneer cheese and bakes her puffs ( which sounds awesome by the way ) however, I felt like making a vegan version and steaming them instead. Here's my version.....
*INDIAN DIM SUM*-VEGAN
1 Cup of Organic Frozen Peas ( thawed )
1/2 Cup Organic Extra Firm Tofu
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Fresh Red Cayenne Peppers ( from my garden ). You can use Serranos but I really wanted the red to stand out against the green peas
1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 pkg round Pot Sticker Wrappers ( 24 )
water to seal the wrappers
First, take a Cuisinart and pulse the tofu with the garlic, salt and peppers. Place in bowl. Then pulse the thawed peas. Add to the tofu mixture.
Layout pot sticker wrappers and place about 1 heaping tsp of pea/tofu mixture onto wrapper. Moisten pot sticker wrapper edges and fold over in a half moon. Pinch to seal ( or use a fork ). Place pot stickers in a bamboo steamer and steam until cooked through (about 5 minutes fresh ) or 10 minutes frozen. Serve with Mango Chutney.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Taste Test


Just wanted to make a quick post about some new food items I tasted this week. Ever since I made pot stickers about 2 weeks ago I have been craving them like crazy! I was feeling lazy and went to the health food store and found these, Ohana House Organic Gyoza. They are made with tofu and shiitake mushrooms and were a pretty great substitute to my version ( which are still better )
I must admit $6.19 for 11 pot stickers is a little too pricey for me these days but I ate the entire bag in one sitting ( 340 calories ) and I was totally satisfied. I cooked them a little bit differently than the recipe recommended. Instead of stir frying them, I added a tiny bit of canola oil to a large pan and browned the bottoms. I then added about 1/4 cup of water to the pan, covered and steamed them for about 5 min over low heat. I also made a yummy dipping sauce as a compliment, 1 part soy sauce 1 part rice wine vinegar.
I 've also been eager to find a whole wheat sprouted tortilla to use when I'm craving something starchy. I think I found a good brand, The Alvarado Street Bakery. These were thin and soft and just how I like my tortillas. I filled them yesterday with bunch of greens, fresh salsa, guacamole and raw corn. This was a nice fix to kill my "real" barrito craving:-) Aloha xoxo

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Starting to Consider Running Again!

First I want to say that I want to apologize for my lack of pictures ( bad bad blogger ) but hopefully that will change VERY soon. Secondly, I also want to comment that I am suffering from what seems to be a nagging head cold. I've been sneezing profusely and I've a had a nasty sinus headache for about two days now. It might be allergies but who cares...I still feel like crap.


Anyways, what I really want to mention is this....I'm thinking I might want to take up running again. I've been making such a point of "not" going to the gym these days and finding outdoor alternatives. So, I'm thinking that running would be an awesome compliment to my surfing/paddling and SUP boarding routine.


I NEVER liked running. In fact running for 5 min straight seemed very challenging to me at one point. Then, ( about 4 yrs ago ) I decided that I wanted to give it a go to see if I could do it for REAL. Maui has a huge marathon every September and I had decided that I wanted to try for the half marathon ( 13 miles ) So about 8 mos prior to September I started "training". By June I was running about 25 miles a week! I couldn't believe it!! I was also eating pretty high RAW vegan and feeling awesome. I even gained about 6 lbs as well ( topped out at 114lbs ) Crazy! Then, I did the dumbest thing....I broke 2 of my toes :-( !!! I stubbed them....in my house....running for the phone....WTF:-( This was the end of my running career......


Well, here I am....a few years older now and thinking i want to give it a go again. It's so funny, every time I get sick I tend to think about exercise. It's like I can't wait to feel better so I can start again. I have to admit...my new Stand Up Paddle board has been a God send. I am so happy I finally decided to make that purchase! It's amazing that in just 4 short weeks I'm seeing such a difference in my body! My shoulders and arms are feeling VERY tight! My abs are getting very lean and defined. My legs and butt feeling hard and STRONG! I've also noticed an improvement in my regular surfing too! Paddling for waves takes a lot less effort now! Today I did a short SUP paddle ( about 30 min because I didn't feel so hot ) I paddled off Olowalu. It's so cool to be on the water in a standing position! You can see EVERYTHING! I was about 100 yards off shore and the water was a deep green, very clear with a surprising sandy vs a reefy bottom. Pretty cool!


I also mentioned that a few days back I decided to go back to High Raw Vegan ( this means 75% raw vegan foods to me ) My digestion feels better already. Over the last few days I've been drinking a lot of my Super Green Smoothies ( Coconut water, Kale, cilantro, green apple, stevia and ginger ) I made my Herb Cashew "Cheese" again (April 28th post ) but added a 1/4 cup organic sun dried tomatoes, 1 extra garlic clove and extra miso ( 1 more tsp ). It was awesome and now it tastes more like a "hummus" than a "cheese". I've been taking that to work with some large romaine leaves and sunflower sprouts and making some killer RAW wraps. I've also been making some RAW tacos with the romaine leaves for dinner. See Recipe below:-)

*Raw Taco*-RAW VEGAN

3 washed Romain leaves

Guacamole

Salsa Roja ( March 31st post )

RAW white corn cut from cob

Cilantro ( Coriander )

Sunflower Sprouts

Layer all ingredients in a large Romaine leaf and eat like a taco. Yummy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Heavy Vegetaran Diet vs. High Raw Vegan


I'm not really sure why I decided to do this ( maybe I was feeling too good and needed to shake things up? hahaha! ) But, I decided to go back to a heavy vegetarian diet over the last 2 weeks to see if I noticed much of a difference. Well, I sure did! So, as of yesterday I have been high raw vegan once again.

So what is "Heavy Vegetarian"? According to my way of thinking this is a diet heavy in dairy, starches, eggs, cooked foods and sugar. Now, I'm not going to lie and tell you that I didn't LOVE the warm sourdough rolls and greasy Pad Thai that I was eating. However, I think that high raw vegan foods can be just as addicting. I'm not kidding! You really do start to crave crunchy cold salads and nut pate over french fries. This is true and I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't experienced it. It's similar to how I feel about meat/fish and poultry (Out of sight out of mind). I can't tell you how many times I get asked, "Don't you miss it (meat )?" That answer is a confident NO! I have not eaten a bite of red meat/pork since 1990 and I can still remember the last meal I had with it too. I was in Maui on vacation from California. ( too funny....at a hotel about 1 block from my current residence ) and I was sitting on the lanai having a "Hawaiian" breakfast with my mother and sister ( 1/2 Papaya, lime, guava juice, Hawaiian sweet bread, guava jelly and Portuguese sausage ). I remember eating the sausage and thinking how yummy it was but at the same time I was thinking that the sausage "case" was made out of an intestine of a pig. And THAT was it.....I knew about the "intestines" before but it didn't hit me until then. I was also an extremely curvy 13 year old and starting to get concerned about the food I was ingesting. I was at full D Cup and probably about 20 lbs heavier than I am now and I was only 5 feet tall (I'm 5'5" 1/2 now.). I thought that if I stopped eating meat that I would not gain anymore weight ( puberty sucks doesn't it? ). So, I decided right there and then that I was going to be a vegetarian.

It was pretty easy to be honest. The foods I craved were not flesh anyways. I wanted sticky rice, bread, pasta, cakes and ice cream anyways. So, going veg was no big thing. However, you can be a vegetarian and be REALLY unhealthy too ( ummmm...I think I LIVED on fat free frozen yogurt for about 5 yrs...no joke!!! No wonder I'm lactose intolerant now! ) But, seriously, I didn't eat a lot of vegetables and fruit over the next 10 years. It has only been in the last 5-6 years that I started to re-think my diet. I tried the Raw Food lifestyle for a bit but my ex husband at the time thought it was crazy!! There was a time that I actually hide it from him! Fast forward a few years ( and a divorce ) I feel like I'm in a MUCH healthier place ( mentally and physically ). Not only am I gardening and shopping almost exclusively at farmer's market and health food stores but I'm in a new relationship with someone who supports my food choices 100%.

When I first met my new sexy man, I was a bit nervous to let him know about my diet. He was after all..... big...athletic and Argentine! ( FYI-Argentina is the red meat capital of the world!! ) but to my surprise... he was totally enthusiastic about me being vegetarian and trying to go vegan. Now, thanks to his support during the last few years my diet has shifted from heavy vegetarian to more vegan and even raw vegan! ( xoxo, Carlos ) I can't explain enough how thankful I am for this! Just experiencing how difficult it was just to be vegetarian with my ex and comparing to now is a 180 degree difference! So, I sympathize for people out there that struggle with this problem! It can definitely be a issue!

Now, on to my "Heavy Vegetarian" experiment!

I was feeling very light, strong and energized all throughout April ( going high raw vegan ). I didn't know if it was my diet or if I was just happy:-) So, I let myself slide back into my old ways and here's what I experienced....

1) extreme fullness- especially after dinner

2) bloating

3) a potential MRSA staph outbreak around May 3rd ( but tamed with tumeric and honey ).... probably has nothing to do with my diet but I want to mention it

4) a slight head cold??? ( which I still have! yuck!! )

5) the worst case of PMS ever! I swear I've had cramps and fatigue for the last 2 weeks straight and I am over it !!! )

6) Fatigue.....and this was pronounced for sure!

7) I have not weighed myself in over 2 weeks so I'm not sure if I gained any weight. I feel like I might have but I think it's from my PMS symptoms. I did "work out" a lot over the last 14 days. I've been stand up paddle boarding and/or surfing for a couple hours almost daily. So, I do feel pretty strong ( and obnoxiously tan ) in that sense.

So, there you go.....I have no real idea if this had anything to do with my dairy/bread/Tim Tam cookie intake over the last 2 weeks but I don't care....I think I'm becoming a vegan/raw vegan for real this time. I seriously couldn't feel better about it too:-) I'm ready..finally! Aloha:-)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What's in my Fridge and Freezer




Now that you know what is in my pantry here is the rest of the kitchen "staples"

REFRIGERATOR
Mirin
Nama Shoyu ( for RAW dishes )
Organic light Soy Sauce ( for cooking )
RAW Tahini
Paul Newman's Oil and Vinegar Salad dressing
Dijon Mustard
Boxes of Coconut Water
Tortillas ( corn and flour )
Extra Firm organic Tofu
Goat Cheese
Pecorino Romano Cheese
A large variety of greens ( must haves are.....Kale, Romaine, Sun flower Sprouts, Spinach, Cilantro and Chard )
Apples
Ginger root
mixed veggies ( depends what is looking good in the store....but I usually have several on hand )zucchini, cucumbers, white corn, carrots and peppers ( hot and sweet )
I refrigerate all my nuts and pasta ( in humid tropical climates pasta will sprout weebles at room temp! yew! So will flours! ) I learned the hard way

ON THE COUNTER TOP
Citrus
Tomatoes ( never put in fridge )
Avocados
Onions
Garlic
Uncut tropical fruits and Pears ( FYI-you refrigerate apples but leave pears at room temp )
Potatoes-( never put in Fridge )
Cut Herbs- in Mason jar with water

FREEZER
Cut fruits for smoothies ( Bananas, Mango, Blueberries, a bag of mixed berries, guava and passion fruit seeds )
Veggies ( corn, peas, edamame, spinach and kale )
Whole Grain Bread and French baguettes ( pre-sliced and bagged )
Salmon or Mahi Mahi ( individually wrapped ) for the man
bags of homemade ravioli, pot stickers and won tons
Purely Delicious non dairy frozen dessert

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Why I am a Slacker....

Aloha, I know I have been slacking on my blogging so far in May. BUT, I have a few reasons for this and I want to explain......#1. I think I broke my small Nikon camera. I still have my larger Nikon D50 but it does not fit conveniently in my purse like my smaller Nikon. Hence, I don't have my camera on me at all times like the last few months. I'm going to send my camera in for repair soon ( I got sand in it ) so until then, I will be taking pics with the larger one. I like to blog with pictures (obviously) so this is a huge reason for my lack of entries lately. #2. My boss blocked EVERYTHING from the Internet at work ( including blogspot.com ) I'm the director of a Fine Art Gallery ( aka- The Boss Lady ) but I don't own the place so I get no say on this. Unfortunately, some of my staff was abusing the gallery PC.... like watching movies.... hahaha! (I'm sorry but it has been really sloooowwww these days so I can hardly blame them ) but now we all are paying for it. So, I can only blog at home. #3. I've been purposely eating dairy and heavier cooked foods for the last 2 weeks for an experiment. I really wanted to see if it changed how I've been feeling. I had been eating high raw vegan for most of the month of April and I was feeling really good. So, to shake things up I went back to my old diet to see if I noticed a change. Well, I did and I have lots to report about it. I've decided that not only is going vegan a must so is high raw. I plan to revert back to my April diet this Monday and I'm pretty stoked about it! I'll will write a post soon about the experience.....To be continued xoxo

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What's In My Pantry?


I'm big on having "staples" in the kitchen. I think that a lack of ingredients on hand is the #1 problem people run into when it comes to cooking at home. I make a point at least once a week to take a quick inventory of my pantry, refrigerator and freezer before I go on a big grocery trip ( usually on Sundays ).
First of all, I love Mason Jars for storing things like dried fruit, nuts, lentils and grains। I also, recycle my spice, salsa and pasta sauce jars so I have an abundance of sizes. Having clear jars in your pantry and fridge make life a lot easier. Secondly, I love the bulk sections in health food stores. This is usually where I get my quinoa, rice, dried fruits, nuts etc.
So, here's my list ( Pantry )... name brands excluded ( but all organic ). I do prefer some brands over others and if anyone is interested I would love to share:-)
CANNED GOODS
White kidney beans
Garbanzo beans
Black beans
Pinto beans
Chopped tomatoes
Corn
Pumpkin puree
Hearts of Palm ( my man LOVES these! )
Vegan Greek Dolmas
GRAINS/LEGUMES/ PASTA/SEA VEGGIES
Quinoa
Jasmine Rice
Sushi Rice
Green French Lentils
Cous Cous ( I love the Israeli "pearl" version too! But hard to find on Maui )
Rice paper wrappers
Blue Corn tortilla chips
A few different types of Pasta ( Penne and Linguine is my fave )
Nori sheets
Wakame
PRESERVES
Salsa
Red Curry Paste
Red Pasta Sauce
Pesto
Capers
Olives ( usually kalamata )
Miso ( mellow yellow...put in fridge once opened )
NUTS ( usually store in Fridge because they can go rancid fast)
RAW cashews
RAW almonds
Macadamia nuts or Pine nuts
Walnuts
Peanuts
RAW Almond Butter ( This is $$$ )
Peanut Butter ( I always buy unsweetened but I stir in my own local honey! YUM!! )
SEEDS
Pumpkin
Black and White Sesame
Hemp ( usually in fridge )
Flax ( dark and golden )
DRIED FRUIT ** try and buy unsweetened/unsufferated
Cranberries
Golden raisins ( Saltanas )
Mangoes ( these make an awesome snack )
Ginger
SWEETENERS
Local Hawaiian RAW honey
Manuka Honey ( for my staph infections ) This is $$$
Stevia
Yacon
SPICES/TEAS/VINEGAR/MISC
Vanilla extract
Peppermint extract
Vegan Bouillon cubes

Dulse Granules
RAW Cacao Powder
Dried Coconut flakes
Panko flakes ( instead of bread crumbs )
Lacuma Powder
Rice Wine Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
White Wine Vinegar
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Reduce Balsamic Vinegar ( like a syrup )
Turmeric, Cinnamon, Cumin, Whole Nutmeg, Curry, Cloves, Coriander, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Saffron, Madras Curry and Fennel
Chili Pepper Flakes
Habenero Pepper flakes
Diablo Chile Pepper flakes
Chipolte Pepper flakes
Black and white Pepper Corns ( in a grinder )
Peppermint, Chai and Lemongrass Lavender Teas
FATS/OILS
GOOD Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( This can be $$$ but it's always worth it )
White Truffle Oil ( I usually grab a bottle when I'm in California )
Dark Sesame Oil
Canola Oil ( when I'm making Asian food )
RAW Coconut Butter ( This can be $$$ )
SALT
This is a very important category for me.......I love it and these are my "must haves"
Cypress ( BIG flakes! Great on crostinis and heirloom tomatoes )
Murray Valley ( light peachy pink salt from Australia....my favorite salt ever )
Red Sea Salt ( Alea ) from Maui ( sea salt mixed with our famous red dirt )
Black Kilauea salt from the Big Island ( smoky )
"Big Tree" Salt ( Big Tree is a brand- hollow triangular salt from Bali )
Smoky Cinnamon Sea Salt from Dean and Deluca
Black Sanchel Sea Salt ( sort of sulfuric/eggy flavor) Also know as Black Salt ( used a lot in Indian cooking )
Maldon Salt ( perfect all around flaky salt )

Fleur De Sel ( because no salt collection is complete without )
Okay, I think that covers the pantry ( don't worry, it's the biggest section ). I will post my Freezer and Fridge later.
Now... I have a lot of extra "things" that are not necessary ingredients. I love hot spices, vinegars and salts so I have several different options on hand. This might not be that important to you so obviously there is no need. However, every well stocked pantry has a little bit of everything so try and search out the best. It's really worth it. I promise :-)