Saturday, April 30, 2011

My First Successful Recipe Experiment WOOT! Spicy Cilantro Ranch Dressing

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I have been enjoying a change in lifestyle that includes eliminating animal-based foods and adding more raw foods. has become one of my daily staples for recipe inspiration, and so far 99% of Gena's recipes have been outstanding and only needed a little tweaking to suit my tastes for heat mostly. My current staples are the Quinoa Protein Bowl (sans squash if not available and topped with loads of Sriracha), the Banana Breakfast Sushi (substituting peanut butter and honey for almond butter and agave), the Blueberry Pancakes (adding a tsp of Nutmeg.)

I've come to the realization that eating a raw diet, not unlike any other diet, is all about sauces, only with a raw diet rather than a sauce pan, you are whooshing ingredients together in a blender including sauces, smoothies, and most of all dressings. Last night I decided to branch out and try to re-invent one of my old favorites and it turned out great!. Here's what you'll need to make it:

Spicy Cilantro Avocado Ranch Dressing
  • 1 Cup cashews (soaked at least one hour)
  • Juice of 3 limes and 1 lemon
  • 1/2 Cup cold water
  • 1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 bunch Cilantro - stems removed
  • 1 JalapeƱo
  • 1 Avocado
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and drench leafy greens with this stuff! I tossed mine with julienned carrots, cucumber slices, romaine, swiss chard and sprouts served alongside swiss chard stuffed with curried cauliflower rice (the jury's still out on that recipe, but the raw marinara sauce on top was divine.) Slurp!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung, or at least it did for a few days last week. Here we are April 8 and it is snowy and shitty outside. You will notice I've changed to the ready-made grassy spring theme to try and will the sun to to come out. C'mon spring! What gives?!

My cats like to crawl on my head all night and all morning these days, so today rather than mumbling and batting them away, I decided to get out of bed and start writing. Not physically out of bed of course, this is more of an awake in bed type deal. Aah, sure do love the feeling of being wide awake at 6am with lots of blankets and no where to go but the internet.

Since my last thrilling post on how to make chicken stock, I have undergone some spring cleaning life changes. Towards the end of Feb, I decided to try out the Master Cleanse again. If you recall, my first attempt at the Master Cleanse was my original reason for starting this bloggy blog two years ago so it seems appropriate that I should give a full report seeing as how I actually finished ten days without solid food. Woo!

This time around I was in a much better place mentally. I have completed several 3-day juice cleanses over the last nine years or so, and felt like it was time to take it to the next level. First off I have to say how amazed I was at how easy it was this time compared to my last attempt. The first three days were like a breeze due to the relative lack of work it takes to make the lemonade compared to the three day juice fast which mostly consists of juicing, cleaning the juicer, juicing, cleaning the juicer, juicing, and so on for a good 12  hours.

My body is already accustomed to a three-day liquid diet, which made days four and five were a bit harder for me. Once I hit day six however, I was feeling amazing. I had more energy than I knew what to do with. I would jump out of bed each morning and I wouldn't stop until the end of the day. I was more focused than normal, more present, and more aware of the world.

I am a believer in the cleanse, and I strongly feel that everyone should try it at least once in their lives to realize the benefits and true power and energy that we all have within us.

Along with the Master Cleanse, I have recently discovered several things that I love and will continue to have in my life.
1. Saunas are the new (old) steam room. I have always been a fan of heat. Sun bathing, sitting in hot cars without rolling the windows down, sitting on heater vents with my shirt pulled over my knees, hot showers that go for way too long, and of course steam rooms. I worship all of these like the gods they are. During my time on the Master Cleanse, I discovered that I have access to a dry sauna  free of charge at school so I headed over to give it a try and I was smitten. It feels so fucking good to relax, soak up the heat and sweat your brains out the way you do when you sit in a sauna for an hour. You come out feeling refreshed, your skin is soft, and your head is clear. I can't recommend it enough, which leads me to my next favorite thing..
2. Bikram is my new yoga. By the time I eased out of the cleanse, I felt so energized and unstoppable I decided I was ready to try out Bikram which I have been interested in trying but putting off for a few years. For those of you who haven't tried it, there are three things I would like to note about Bikram:
- Bikram is stinky. When you walk into the studio, you are hit by a thick pungent wave of sweaty sock smell. I am not sure whether you ever get used to this smell.
- Bikram is sweaty. The rooms are heated to 105 degrees with 45% humidity so you are sweating before you even begin moving your body, and you will sweat buckets while in class.
- Bikram is the source. Through the sweating and powering through the difficulty of Bikram I have found the source to some kind of higher power. I purchased a year membership after practicing for only one week, because I can tell I am going to need this in my life on the regular.
3. Cutting out animal-based foods from my diet. I have been trying to introduce as many raw fruits and vegetables as possible into my diet, and have all but eliminated animal-based foods. It has been so much fun discovering new recipes that are delicious and 100% healthy. Who knew?  If you haven't checked it out, I highly recommend choosingraw (thank you Ruby for the link!) for some delicious recipes, thoughts and ideas on plant-based nutrition. The vegan ceasar salad dressing and millet yam veggie burgers can't be beat!

I'm pretty sure that's all I have for now. I have a list of lessons learned from the Master Cleanse and some photos of my first yarn-bombing project, but I will save that for next time my lovelies. <3

Until then, I will be worshiping the Gods of heat.