Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Amaranth failure = recipe success + article published

Happy Wednesday everyone,

How is everyone doing this humpday? Well, depending on your job, it might only be one more day until the weekend. To be honest I don't even know which day I get off LOL, I guess I should ask hey? That's what happens when you work from are out of the loop!

Moving on to more exciting article on aloe vera got published in Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo's newsletter! Wahoo, I'm so excited that I could contribute to her newsletter. I'm very passionate about health issues and so sharing my article with her and her audience really is an honor. I hope to write more for her newsletter in the stay tuned. I talked about the article in an earlier post. Have your ever had an article or recipe published on a site? Congrats if you have:)

Now onto some food stuffs! I have been receiving videos and articles from Vega for their Thrive in 30 program. All of the 12 segments were awesome and I learned a lot. Especially about what to eat before and after working out to maximize results. This was always a blurry area for me so I'm glad I have some ideas to work with. I highly suggest you check it matter if you eat a plant-based diet or not. I bet you will learn something:) Anywho, during one of the episodes (episode 6 in fact) Brendan talked about pseudograins. Pseudograins are actually not grains, they are seeds and therefore gluten free. These alkaline-forming superfoods include buckwheat, quinoa, wild rice, and amaranth. I had tried all of these seeds except for amaranth. So on my grocery trip this week I picked up some and the coop even had a little blurb about it on a card that I could take home. Why I was interested in trying amaranth was due to its micronutrient content and because it has 3 times the calcium of milk. Also it is very rich in the amino acid lysine which is often hard to get on a plant-based diet. Lysine helps calcium absorption in the gut. Isn't it cool that it contains all the necessary components for it to be highly absorbed? Cool stuff I must say.

So off I go to the kitchen to get this amaranth a cookin' and I'm ready at the stove and without even thinking I poured the amaranth into the cold water. Mistake #1- you are supposed to add it to boiling water and then simmer it for 20 minutes. I'm so used to making quinoa that my brain took over and thought it was doing me a favor! I didn't think to strain it out so I basically cooked it like you would do quinoa (brain taking over again). Mistake #2- I cooked it for way too long and as my little handy dandy info card said it will turn to mush. Yes, yes it did. I really wanted to try it and so I was no happy that I had to throw it away. Or would I? I hate wasting food so I hunkered down and searched the net to see if I could salvage some of my mistake into a recipe. I had quite a bit of the amaranth so I decided to use two recipes that sounded yummy. You know I love my lentil loaf ! So when I found a recipe for amaranth load that used lentils AND amaranth, I knew I had to try it! The recipe is really simple and easy to whip up. I used onions, zucch, celery, and carrots in my version but this recipe is versatile and would be great for a pantry dinner, wouldn't you say? I found that it wasn't as solid as my other lentil loaf go-to recipe so it was shockingly similar to regular meat loaf. I think when I make this again I will add in a bit more almond meal. All in all, an awesome, flavorful recipe that used up 1 cup of my 2.5 cup mistake. Give it a try if you want an easy meal even your meat-lover family members will love:) Take a look at my dinner that featured a big, dirty salad and a piece of the amaranth loaf. Yum!

I used a very basic Olive-oil balsamic vinaigrette for the salad which contained zucch, romaine lettuce, collards, parsley, sunflower seed sprouts, and lentil sprouts.

Here's a little cross section of the amaranth loaf. See all the celery in there? good!

After I made the amaranth loaf I opted for a muffin recipe that sounded soo good. I know that regular flour and sugar is just awful stuff and it literally puts me to sleep after I eat it. Who wants that? Not me, sister! So, I went to the co-op and picked up some quinoa flour. I love cooked quinoa and it is a staple in our house. As it is one of the most nutritious and least allergenic pseudograins, I thought I would try it for my baked goodies. I learned after the fact that the flour has a higher fat content than wheat flours so it will make your baked goodies moister. Just remember that if you go ahead and use it in a recipe:) I went with a blueberry-amaranth muffin recipe that I veganized. I used an egg replacer for the eggs from Kingsmill Foods and for the first time I used coconut oil for the fat. On the Omega Nutrition website they suggested that you use 3/4 of whatever the amount of fat is in the recipe. I also used frozen blueberries from my mix-berry stash even though they asked for fresh berries. They turned out AWESOME! The flour and the coconut oil worked out perfectly. I was a little scared because sometimes when you start subbing ingredients the end product suffers. I even love the slight crunch that all that amaranth adds...yumm!

Here's the mix ready to be put in muffin tins! Blueberries, walnuts, amaranth, oh my!

Here they are right out of the oven! mmmm..Love the big pieces of blueberry!

So that used up all but a couple of tablespoons of the amaranth, not bad hey? So, my mistake was actually awesome because I got to try out a few new recipes!

PS Marisa is having a chia seed giveaway! So head on over to her great blog and enter before April 2nd at Midnight!

Have a great rest of your Wednesday and stay tuned to hear about my foraging adventures!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pantry Dinner: two ways!

Happy Sunday!

Hope you are enjoying the last of your weekend! I had a great day which started out with some more stair climbing and then a trip to the gym. I was pretty lazy after that workout and so we hung around the house for a bit and then we rushed to Oso Negro for a cup of java as they were closing in an hour. The hubby and I like to sit and talk for at least that long so it was good we got there when we did. Not like its a far walk from our place...ten steps maybe? BONUS! I tried something kind of new this time. I stuck with the dandelion tea but I had steamed rice milk added. I really loved it and the flavors blended really well together. This is definitely a new favorite for me...yum!

I wanted to tell you about this amazing new salad I made. It was inspired by the lentil salad we picked up from the co-op on Friday night. I really wasn't in the mood to prepare anything so off to my favorite store it was! I usually just make your typical salad with greens, maybe some carrot, sprouts, and sometime avocado. Pretty much like this salad....

Yet, after eating the maple balsamic lentil from the coop I decided I needed to try a cooked bean/grain salad. So, as it was the end of the week my fridge and pantry were pretty bare but I gave it shot with what I had on hand. I used a half a cup of quinoa and some left over chickpeas. Then carrots, red cabbage, and broccoli were chopped in the food processor. I added about 2 cups worth of homemade sprouts, a half a cup of raisins, and a handful of nuts and seeds.

Now the dressing was the more experimental part. I went with some sesame oil, tahini, hoisen sauce, mustard, S&P. You are probably thinking that this combo would not go well at all.... I beg to differ:) I learned something from Russell James this week about how to combine flavors. You need sweet, acid, sour, and fat or F.A.S.S. So I went with this new knowledge and tried to make a dressing that would be close to the flavors we loved from the store-bought version. I came pretty close:)

Here it is all ready for the dressing! I used the red case you were wondering what those red, circle things were. I also added turmeric but it was a bit strong so I wouldn't recommend it as the flavors in my dressing were just right and so it threw it off just a touch.

All coated and ready to be devoured! Really loved crunch of all the veggies and how they blended with the soft, cooked grains.

I know this was supposed to be a Saturday pantry dinner but I cheated a little bit:) Because we loved this salad so much, we decided to pick up some maple syrup and balsamic vinegar during our shopping trip today to try the salad with the same ingredients they used in the store! Sunday afternoon I cooked up 1 cup of lentils I had on hand. For the veggies this time I added more greens and different types of veggies than Saturday's version. I added some of my favorite green of the week, swiss chard along with carrots, celery, beets, and green pepper.

Again I had to experiment with the dressing. I came up with something that was AWESOME! It was a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh lemon juice, mustard, S&P, and Italian herbs. We made a huge bowl worth so that Ry could take it to school tomorrow:)

Here is everything ready for some dressing! Sorry the last pict isn't too scrumptious but take a look at the finish product...
This salad needs a close-up!

The hubby loved this salad so much he decided he would help me make it. Yep, I think all this foodie stuff is rubbing off...just a! It was really nice having an extra pair of hands in the kitchie:)

I hope you will give this salad a try. I'm sure you and your family will love it!

Chilled bean/grain salad

I Cup (or more) of your favorite beans or grains (lentils, chick peas, quinoa, or you could keep it raw and use the sprouted versions)
Chop up enough veggies and greens that will satisfy the amount you are serving. I used the food processor for the carrots and beets and I just roughly chopped the pepper and celery.
Add in 1/2 Cup raisins, cranberries, or currrents
Handful of pecans or seeds ( we used a handful of trail mix)
Add in your favorite sprouts, the more the better:)

Hoisin tahini dressing

Mix equal portions of the tahini and hoisin sauce. Add in a few tablespoons of oil ( I used sesame) then add some mustard to taste. This is one of those recipes that you will have to adjust the ingredients in order to satisfy your taste. You may like a more sweeter taste ( more hoisen sauce) or maybe a little more tang (more mustard). I found the tahini added some complexity as only tahini can:) Finish it off with some salt and pepper.

Maple balsamic dressing

Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil along with the juice of half a lemon. Then add in equal parts balsamic and maple syrup. Taste the dressing and adjust to your taste. Again, depending on how you like your dressings, you will want to add more of the vinegar or the sweetener. Then add in the mustard slowly, tasting after each addition to get the right taste for you. Add in some italian seasonings and S&P to taste.

Have a great rest of your evening! I'm off to watch some True Blood..quite the crazy show I might add but I'm wondering where its all going??? I'm going to be doing some of this as well....

PS Averie is having a Tazo tea giveaway on her blog:) Go check it out, its an awesome prize:)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Averie's protein bars, hemp-esan, and pink celery?

Happy Friday everyone!

The weekend is finally upon us:) I just got back from running some stairs. Holy, talk about a cardio challenge. I did variations every set from taking every 2nd step, every 2nd step with hands behind the head, cross overs, and jogging. My heart was literally pumping out of my chest after each rep. Love that feeling! If you want a FREE cardio and strength workout I highly recommend it. I'm sure you have some stairs nearby so no excuses, right?

So onto the food of my week. I have been eying Averie's coconut oil protein bars for awhile. I rarely buy protein bars unless I'm travelling or working and I didn't bring a suitable lunch. Yet, now that its spring I'll be out hiking, walking, camping etc and so having a great protein source would be handy. I made her bars with almond butter and unfortunately I ran out of chocolate chips. Don't tell the hubby there is chocolate around because it will be! I also added half raisins, half cranberries. I used Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer for the protein and nutrient PUNCH. It was the chocolate flavor so that made up for not having the chippies in there.
Check out that almond butter goodness....mmm. I put a little more in than she did...hehe!

All ready for the freezer. I followed Averie's advice and put the mixture on some plastic wrap for easy clean-up.
All cut-up and ready to be devoured! These are awesome and cheaper than store bought protein bars.
A little cross-section of one bar. I made mine a bit thick and so next time I would lay them a bit thinner.
One last picture to entice you if you weren't already in the kitchen making these:) See the one with the cranberry..that's all mine, baby!

A second recipe that is floating around the raw foodie blogosphere is hemp-esan. I never was a huge fan of parmesan but I love a recipe that provides a substitute to something that is loved in the non-vegan world. I think it is really helpful to those entering into a new lifestyle, vegan or raw to have something with similar flavor or texture. I know it was important for me to find recipes that would be similar to meat or dairy in the beginning of making the switch. So thank you Gena for posting this recipe! It really isn't a recipe pe se as it is so easy. Just put 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds and 3 tablespoons of nooch (nutritional yeast) into your food processor and pulse until you reach the consistency of parmesan.

Ta-da! There you have it hemp-esan on my dinner salad. I've seen it used on pasta as in Gena and Kelli's blog. I found the salad hid it's flavor too much so pasta will be the next adventure:)

Check out the tower of hemp-esan! Yum! Definitely try it on your next salad (Cesar salad anyone?) or pasta dish!

For today's lunch I had another wicked salad and this time it had some pink celery in it. Check it out....
Pretty cool huh? Well its not some crazy GMO product (luckily)..its actually the stem of this beauty....
Isnt' that the most beautiful piece of organic chard that you have seen? For me it was and I was really excited to find this in the grocery store. Usually I only find limp or dried up bunches.

Check out that plant blood! The veins on swiss chard are always crazy and the color is so cool!

Here is the final product with my lentil and sunflower seed sprouts, avocado, lettuce, parsley, basil. A hole hodge-podge really! I topped it with a tahini-orange dressing inspired by Russell James. PS if you want a great tutorial on sprouting, head on over to Bitt's blog. She did an awesome job explaining the whole process.

Have a great weekend everyone! Get your sprouts ready for next week:)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What is Prolo Therapy and PRP?

Happy Thursday everyone!

It's downhill to the weekend..wahoo! I'm sipping on my green smoothie lunch...mmm. Todays concoction was frozen fruit (bananas, peaches, strawberries, blueberries), 10 romaine lettuce leaves, cinnamon, 1 scoop Vega Sport powder. I see these smoothie recipes that are 10 ingredients plus long and I just don't see myself going there. I like a few ingredients and simple foods. One smoothie that has been on my radar is Kristen's cherry chocolate bomb shake..yumm!

Today I wanted to talk about some of the therapies that I have been using to treat the issues with the ligaments in my knees. Let me give you a little bit of history to my health issue. Ever since I was 8 years old I experienced random dislocations of my patella. I would be walking and all of a sudden I would be on the ground in crazy pain. Most events took place after I wore flip-flops or heels, excercised strenuously, or moved in the opposite direction too quickly. And sometimes I had no explanation for the events. Luckily, the patella would re-locate itself and I didn't have the gross experience of popping it back into place. Obviously these are scary events and I would have to sit on the sidelines for many sports because the risk of it going out was too high. Now that I'm older, my biggest fear is to be holding someone's baby (or my own one day) and have it pop out when I would be walking and the child would fall. Seriously, that gives me the shivers. So, a little over a year ago Ryan's best friend, Shawn told us about this amazing naturopath that him and his wife Erica were seeing. He told us about how he was using a therapy called Prolotherapy. Let me explain a little bit about this treatment method. The word prolo is short for proliferation because the treatment causes growth of of new ligament tissues in areas where there is damage. Historically, a similar procedure was first documented by Hippocrates. He used a hot poker and stuck it into the joint of the dislocated shoulder in soldiers and he discovered that they healed normally. Sorry, I know that was kind of gross. Okay so how does it work? Dextrose or sugar water is injected into the ligament or tendon where it attaches to the bone. This causes inflammation in that area which triggers great blood flow into that area (AKA nutrients) and stimulate the tissue repair. The main reason why we have injuries that last years and years is because there is little to no blood flow to the region and therefore, the tissue is starved of the nutrients it needs to heal. Yes, it can be painful as there are many nerve endings located on the ligaments. Yet, the procedure only takes a few minutes once the problem area is pinpointed exactly. Also, if your injury is many years old like mine was, the body will have built a bunch of "scar tissue" or calcium deposits around the area so the doctor doing to procedure will break it up with the needle so the body can dissolve of it. It is recommended to have the treatment done when you won't have to go to work for a few days afterwards. Yet, I always did have to go to work and I would be limping around for the first day but then the inflammation would settle down drastically. Of course every person will react differently depending on the severity of the injury. I found out that I had micro tears all along my ACL and some other tears in some tendons and ligaments that I can't remember the name of. I took about 6-10 treatments and then we moved up to Nelson. My knees have not caused me problems since having the treatment but I didn't know if they had healed enough to stop treatment. So, we decided to take the next step and use PRP.

During one of our many visits to the naturopath, our doctor told us about a different treatment that was basically 5 prolo treatments wrapped into one. This treatment was called Platelet-rich plasma therapy or PRP. This state-of-the-art therapy involves taking a blood sample and spinning it at very high speeds in a centrifuge. This causes the red blood cells to seperate from the platelets. The "liquid gold" or the platelets along with the plasma is scooped up and injected into the site of injury. Platelets are amazing due to the fact that they release growth factors. In essence, those platelets that were injected have no identity...they will turn into whatever tissue you inject it into. I know this might sound crazy and sci-fi-ish but I'm telling you BIG names are getting this procedure done from hockey players and NFL players to MMA fighters to famous golfers. When I was waiting for Ryan to finish his treatment ( he got his back and shoulders done), I looked through one folder that was study after study of the effects of PRP on a variety of conditions. This stuff is around but I bet your family doctor won't be recommending it any time soon. I really believe this therapy will be huge in the near-future. In fact, this therapy is now being looked at as a replacement to botox as it actually stimulates collagen growth and you would only have to take it once every 10 years. I found the treatment to be awesome and the feeling immediately after the treatment was quite different. I found with the PRP my body reacted immediately and I'll be honest, I couldn't walk for 1/2 hour. It was literally that immediate. I found the rest of the week it was a bit sore but nothing crazy. I definitely think having a few days off or doing it on a friday when you have the weekend to recover is a necessity. The other cool thing about this treatment is that because you are using your own blood, there is a very low chance that you will have any repercutions from having this therapy. No side effects? Yeppers ( at least with me). Of course everyone is different but its definitely not like taking a new drug which has a page of possible side effects.

I only got one knee done because he said my other knee was really strong and would just need a touch-up. Yes, the prolo worked and now my ligaments are strong in the left knee! 18 years having this problem and having it be resolved in a little over a year is so amazing to me. The technology that is out there in the natural field is far-surpassing that of big pharm (in my opinion).

I highly, highly recommend this natural, non-invasive treatment and if you want to investigate this further you can contact my naturopath, Dr. Sarge Sandhu. He is located in BC, Canada but he would be able to help you find someone in your area too. If you go tell him Melissa sent! I have sent quite a few people his way!

Below is a video from The Doctors show that shows a little more about PRP

Have a great Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lunch buddies!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

How is everyone's week going? I'm moving pretty slowly, to be honest..haha. I'm finally making it to the gym today. Although I did put in 20 minutes on my mini-tramp yesterday, I'm still feeling a bit sluggish and by 3pm it feels like a need a nap. I haven't had that feeling since I ate pasta or heavy carbs for lunch many, many months ago. I'm eating tons of greens and fruits so I'm wondering if I could possible be doing a little detoxing from my take-out stint last week. Is that possible? Maybe its just straight up I'm-back-from-vacation fatigue...we've all been there:)
As I mentioned in a previous post, I think getting outside is really important to your health. So, as today was simply gorgeous, I took my salad bowl and New Moon outside and soaked up a few rays. Man, does it feel good to be warm outside in a t-shirt again. I'm by no means putting away my vitamin D supplement, but it does a body good to have those rays on it for a short while. How can you not be happy when the sun is smiling down at you:)

My lovely salad with romaine lettuce, red cabbage, collard greens, fresh basil...........and

Pea Shoots! I love these crunchy, hydrating sprouts. I picked them up at my favorite market when I was at the coast. According to the package, they are water!

I intended to have my lunch alone but there were a few curious onlookers who decided that my side of the street was warmer than their side and decided to join me! This is Nemo's buddy that he hangs out with when exploring outside. He's got an interesting name...flopsu! They are really funny to watch as they tackle each other all the time. Typical boys eh?

Nemo on his back in a pile of sand...awesome! My salad bowl looks bigger than him!

I must have looked like the neighborhood cat lady out there LOL!

Anyways, here's to the simple things in reading a book in the glorious sunshine. Do something simple will love it!

Have a great rest of your week!

PS: Heidi is having a giveaway on her blog. Unfortunately its for US residents only, but I thought I would put the word out anyways:)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Back home and new do!

Happy Monday everyone!

Phew..lots of traveling yesterday. Started at 9AM and got home at 9PM so I'm pretty mellow today....trying to get back into the routine. The trip itself went super smooth and Nemo was awesome (slept for most of the trip)! He was out of his cage for about 5 minutes here and loved looking out the! We drove through some towns I haven't visited before so that was a nice change of scenery. We listened to some wacky music and I got a good chunk of New Moon read. Yes, I got sucked in to the saga! I realize how much more intense the books are compared to the movie and how much they really leave out! But I'm really enjoying the easy read...its a nice change from heavy nutrition or health books I have been reading lately.

The visit with family and friends was really awesome! We got to see most of the peeps we wanted too but wish we had more time to spend with each of them. I just had to keep telling myself that we will be back in 2 months and so that made it easier to say good-bye. On the whole health front I'm going to be honest..I didn't go to the gym once and like I said in one of my recent posts, I ate out a lot too so my body wasn't its usual chipper self. Also the cold or flu that knocked me out had my body sluggish for most of the week. Yet, I had some plans to hit up my favorite running trail and I was pretty disappointed that it didn't happen. This place is my little sanctuary and I truly love running there. We also were involved with a very special wedding. Ryan's mom got married to her prince charming Les on Saturday. I won't go into too much detail, but they both have been through a lot in their lives and so their love and marriage couldn't have happened to two better people. Congrats you two!

Another big event took place while I was away...I cut off half of my hair. Yep, it was super long and I was tired of it. I was really scared to get it cut shorter though as I had a bad experience in my teens. I took advice from my sister-in-law and went to a place in the mall nearby. I found some pictures in a mag that I liked and the hairdresser worked from there. She kept saying "wow half your hair is gone." I usually let out a nervous laugh at this comment..totally crossing my fingers under the black sheet they tie around your neck. But...I totally love it. I'm still getting used to it but its fun and nice to have side bangs! I got it cut right before the wedding (dangerous I know!) and a lot of people didn't recognize! You know its drastic when! I really felt like the long hair just wasn't "me" right now and the new do totally fits the bill! Have you changed your style because it just didn't feel right? I don't know if it was just me but I really felt a tug to change..and I'm really glad I did!

That's the gist of my trip but I'll do a bigger post later! I'll leave you with a few picts of the wedding:) Have a great week!

Another big event- The hubby cut his hair. Seriously, this took a lot of persuasion and the length you see in this pict is the shortest he's had it since we have been together. I love it! And that's my new do!!
My beautiful second mom and her new husband! Yep, he sported the kilt and I totally love Terri's dress.

Mom and me! She was very happy to make it to the wedding. She really loves Ryan's mom and they are on the same page for a lot of things!

Me with my sister-in-laws! Aren't they stunning? Their hairdo's were so beautiful and the shoes..oh the shoes. They had it all going on!

The bouquets were so amazing...orchids and lilies and some other greenery. It looked so awesome against their black dresses.

PS Bitt is having a fabulous giveaway of some Vivapura products - olives, coconut oil, and trail mix. I'm sooo in! Get on over to her awesome site and enter.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm in bed:(

Happy Thursday everyone!

I got the most exciting news at 2AM this morning! My best friend in the whole world gave birth to a baby girl! She is the closest person to a sister I I get to be called aunty! Wahoo! Her beautiful girl is named it! Congrats to kylee and Jason..hope to see your beautiful girl soon!

Hope you all are having a fantastic week. My week has been busy but the last few days have slowed down drastically as I have a cold. This bug hit me like a sack of bricks. I was feeling a bit off Tuesday afternoon and by 8pm I was half way through the Kleenex and my head felt like it was going to pop! I know why I got diet changed. Since being at the coast we have eaten out every joke. So, my huge salads and quinoa with steamed squash were not happening. I was eating vegetarian but crappy, non-vegetarian restaurant vegetarian , if you get my gist! I also wasn't taken my supplements that I usually take daily so my system was pretty vulnerable. I am forever amazed at how quickly the body responds to food, good or bad!

So yes, I'm supposed to be doing a million things this week (including working) and that has all but halted in its tracks. Thank goodness the hubby is feeling good so he can do the running around for me. I have yet to make it to my favorite foodie stores down here to stock up on some eats that I don't have in! Yet, there is a bonus to my sickness, I've had a chance to listen to a lot of the WISH interviews. They have all been awesome and I've already bookmarked a few new people that I never knew. Today's topic is about $$$$$ so if you need some help in that department head on over to their site and have a listen. I mean who couldn't better their relationship with money?

I wish I could say that I caught up on all the blogs too but the brain can only take in a few lines and then the fog rolls in. I hit up a few today but there are a lot I know I've missed...there's always tomorrow!

So as I'm sitting here in bed on this beautiful day ...sigh... and I thought I would tell you how I'm tackling this cold.

  • I'm cutting out the crappy eats - I have been eating more salads with garlic and cayenne pepper (ya the fam is so loving me right now:), citrus fruits, and nuts and seeds. I know those veggie burgers and stirfry's I had were OK but not nutritionally supportive enough. I had Whole Food Energy Bar too...yum!
  • I'm drinking ginger tea - It has an array of benefits from killing off viruses to increasing circulation , and increasing sweating.
  • I'm taking Organic Oregano Oil- The phenols in the oregano oil called carvacrol and thymol are the main constituents that provide antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiparasistic properties.
  • I'm taking a tincture of echinachea, Astragalus, and Reishi - A crazy powerful immune boosting concoction.

So there you have it! That's my protocol for this cold. What is your method of attack? I hope that tomorrow I'll be able to go to work and get some things done.

Have a great rest of your day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Smooth Ride and painful birthday presents!

Hey Everyone!

How has your weekend been? I'm having a great time socializing with family and friends. Yesterday we went to downtown Vancouver and it was great. I love the vibe on West 4th and Kits. My favorite restaurant is The Naam. It is an all vegetarian, 24 hour restaurant of awesomness! We had the dragon bowl with tofu and miso gravy...beyond delicious! We hung out with some great friends and our godson. I'll post some picts soon! We love hanging out with them and talking and dreaming. We really missed them.

Let me step back a minute and talk about the ride down. It went really well. Nemo was great and we had no potty problems which was a relief. We spent the night in Penticton with my Mom and then headed out to the coast in the morning. The roads were fantastic and Nemo kept up his good behaviour and the ride went smoothly!

We just got back from our Naturopathic doctor who performed a procedure called PRP which stands for Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy. The gist of this therapy is that they take some of your blood and spin it down in a centrafuge. The blood is then split into platelets and the more dense red blood cells. They take the platelets and inject them in an area that you have an injury in. For me, the injury occured in my knees. I have micro-tears in my ACL. These platelets then proliferate into whatever cell they are injected into. For me the platelets are becoming ligament cells. This therapy is really popular with athletes and the sports scene due to the fast recovery time. I'm pretty sore right now and the pain during the therapy is pretty intense pain, no gain! PS this was my birthday present to myself...funny hey?

Sorry for the cheapie post but I will be posting more later when I have some time! Have a great rest of your week! I'm off to enjoy a birthday dinner!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Road Eats

Happy Thursday!

Today is actually my friday..wahoo! I've been insanely busy today but I'm totally loving the adrenaline. Before I get into what I'm taking along for the big trip tomorrow, I wanted to share a big moment that happened today!

Yep, I finally got to cut that bad boy up! Man, did it feel good. But then after a couple of minutes the reality of not having it in my purse kind of stung as I guess I did like the security of knowing that it was there. I didn't have too much left on it and I haven't used it in months but its funny how some little bit of plastic can have a psychological effect on you.

Now onto the goods...When I travel I like to nibble and snack on this and that so I ended up making a variety of stuff not only to last the trip, but hopefully a couple of days down at the coast.

First up were the muffins. I decided to try a banana zucchini muffin recipe that I found on Vegweb. These came together in a flash and I only needed to buy the zucch which was nice. I added in some oatbran and wheatbran to give it some extra uumph. I decided that you NEEDED to see what the inside of these muffins looked like so I ate half just for you:) I took one for the! They are really delicious.

And why not one more picture...everyone loves pictures, right?

Next I went for the classic vegan chocolate chip cookie. I absolutely love the Happy Vegan Chocolate Chip cookies from Vegweb. They are Awesome with a capital A. Yet, the one thing I just haven't figured out with cookie making is how to keep the cookies soft. Any insights? Maybe I just bake them for too long?

Then I made some of my almost raw protein cookies. Ry and I are really loving these right now! They really speak for themselves:) This time I used Medjool dates so we will see if I notice the difference.

Last but definitely not least, I tried making some kale chips. I used Averie's recipe for 1 bunch of kale. It tasted so good right out of the blender..I could barely wait. I don't have a dehydrator so I had to use my oven which is gas. I opted to turn it on to 200 and leave the door open. Let's just say my kitchen was a boilin' lol!

Don't you just love that color...WOW!

And there is the final product! These seriously are addicting. I love the flavor and texture of them. A real winner! I think my oven may be a bit too hot so I had a lot of little pieces that stuck to my parchment paper. But I can not wait to try making some more of these. Now I know what everyone is raving about:)

I'm also going to be bringing a lot of leftovers as I had to cook up a lot of veggies that would have gone bad before I could have reached a kitchen! Trail mix is also coming along as well as some raw cut up veggies. I'm hoping that I will keep with these and eat less of the other sugary stuff, but like I said, I love to nibble on stuff on the road:)

And I can't not let Nemo have a treat so I picked up these treatsies from the co-op and he loves them so hopefully it will keep him quiet in the car:)

So, I better run as I still have a million things to do including preparing a dish for a potluck..eek!

I hope you like my little menu for the road and whatever you are doing this weekend, have a good one!

I'm not sure how often I'll be posting this next week as we have a pretty busy schedule , but I'll try to update you when I have a spare minute. Maybe a 2AM post will be in!