Sunday, March 31, 2013

Venezuela

los roques



About seven years ago, my sister, our friend Shannon and I were in need of a girlfriend trip.  Venezuela sounded fun, and the round trip required only 35,000 Alaska Airlines miles.  Our three week vacation included zip-lining in Merida (following a treacherous bus trip through the mountains from Caracas), an expedition to Angel Falls (sleeping in jungle hammocks surrounded by giant black spiderwebs) and R&R on Isla Margarita (where we first experienced the magic of the caipirinha). Contrary to the naysayers at home, we felt safe and looked-after our entire trip.  We repeatedly ran into locals who went out of their way to help us with our travels.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Raw Desserts

raw vanilla moonie pie

Oh my.  If you ever want to impress company, download Sweetly Raw's Raw Chocolate Dream eBook and get busy in the kitchen! 

Sweetly Raw was one of the first websites that piqued my interest in raw foods.  While I no longer eat raw all the time, I still enjoy the occasional raw dessert (made of nuts and plant ingredients), as opposed to a processed junk food dessert (like those Samoas TH bought, which I had to hide deep in the freezer, underneath last season's freezer burned salmon).

Monday, March 25, 2013

Random Restaurant Review: Yelapa, Mexico

If you want to try Christina's upriver vegetarian restaurant, the best option is to  order on your way to the waterfall, and then come back to eat on the return trip.  Christina is a lovely lady, but she seems to get flustered if you decide to order and wait at the restaurant for your meal.  That said, Christina's locale is beautiful. The tables sit on the riverfront, and you can sun yourself on the warm rocks while you wait patiently for your food.  Or you can visit the interesting outdoor bathroom, grab the bar soap, and receive a spider?/ant? bite that will rock your world.  Either way, the refreshing river water will cool you off/ease your pain.


christina's restaurant yelapa


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sprouted Lentils

Sprouts make me happy.  I love waking up in the morning and skipping over to the colander to see how they've grown.  TH makes fun of me for conversing with my sprout babies, but I like to tell them how beautiful they are, complementing their expanding tails.

Ever since my friend Shannon sent me a Curried Lentil Sprout Salad and a bag of lentils I have been obsessed with lentil sprouts.  They are so easy to sprout and incredibly fresh and delicious.  Simply soak dry lentils in a large amount of water overnight.  The next day, rinse lentils and place in a sprouter, colander, or mason jar with cheesecloth over the top.  (I personally think a colander is the easiest.)  Rinse and gently toss three times daily.  By day four you should have delightful, crunchy sprouts.

lentil sprouts


Here is the delicious curry recipe from Shannon, with a few tweaks to make it raw:

Ingredients
1 cup lentil sprouts
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup raw mayo*
2 Tbs. raw ketchup (from RAWvolution by Matt Amsden)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 tsp dill week
1/2 red onion, diced
1 Tbs. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 tomato, diced
handful green onions, diced

Chop the veggies.  Mix all of the ingredients (except tomato and green onion) together by tossing gently.  Sprinkle tomato and green onions on top.

lentil curry salad



*Raw Mayo Ingredients (adapted from RAWvolution by Matt Amsden):
1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts 
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs. coconut water
juice of one lemon
2 Tbs. stone ground mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion powder
dash apple cider vinegar

Blend all ingredients in high speed blender. 

Do you have any fabulous lentil recipes to share?







Monday, March 4, 2013

Yogaglo

For the past three years my yoga practice has consisted of my DVD collection and the occasional class while vacationing.  After moving to our small town from Wasilla I missed my regular yoga classes, but I gradually learned to adore Shiva Rea. However,  when I could recite her cues on every DVD , word for word, I realized it was time for a change.

Coincidentally, right about that time my dear Texan friend, Bonnie, recommended Yogaglo.



Yogaglo is a subscription website that offers over one thousand yoga classes from a variety of instructors and in a wide range of styles and levels.  You can try Yogalo free for fifteen days.  If you decide you would like a subscription the cost is only $18 a month.  That is often the price of one Bikhram class!  What a I love about Yogaglo:

  • The amazing instructors.  My current fave is Kathryn Budig (I pretend we are BFFs), but I've learned something from every yogi whose class I've taken. 
  • There are classes ranging from five minutes to two hours.
  • The highest level I can do semi-successfully is 2/3.  That means I have so much to learn before I can even delve into the level 3 classes.  Very exciting. 
  • The site offers tutorials on several poses, a beginner center, a section specifically geared towards teens, and the ability to track your practice. 
I used to think about yoga as an obligation, something I needed to do to make my body feel better each evening.  Now I eagerly anticipate my practice every day.  I love every minute of it, especially when it is challenging. I am obsessed!

Anyone else tried Yogaglo? 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Stitch Fix Revisited

GD Stitch Fix!! Do I like everything in my box this time because it's super fun to have a "personal stylist" and a box of surprises, or do I really like it? 


How could Esther (my personal stylist, did I mention I have one?)  have known that I was lusting after a top covered in tiny animal prints (or fish prints, as the case may be)? 

The pink sheer blouse has adorable pin tuck details on the back...do I keep a blouse for the way it looks from behind?  Or do I buy the whole box because I will save 25% if I do?  

Also in the package was a set of silver bracelets, which I am iffy on. 

These questions can only be answered after a glass of wine.  To be continued....

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cardamom Almond Butter

I've been known to make it rain at The Raw Food World, the site at which I order my bulk coconut oil, hemp seeds, and Sun Warrior protein powder.  In addition to my staple goods, I always select a few new products to try, like this Coconut Cardamom Almond Butter. My first spoonful made my knees weak.  I knew the jar was not long for this world.

JEM coconut cardamom almond butter





Unfortunately, my next Raw Food World order is months out.  Looking at the rather succinct ingredient list I decided it couldn't be too hard to make my own coconut cardamom almond butter.   First, I needed to make raw almond butter.  This is a fairly simple process, but patience is necessary.  Three cups of raw almonds in the food processor, twenty minutes, and several side scrapings will eventually yield a smooth, creamy butter.  (Tip:  Just when you think your food processor is going to ignite the almonds will begin to break down enough to release their oil.  You are almost there!) 

For my experiment I mixed the following ingredients, by hand in a bowl:

1/2 cup almond butter
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp lucuma
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp coconut crystals
pinch of salt

This is incredibly decadent on apples, or by the spoonful, which is how I usually enjoy it. It's also a really nice gift to give a special friend.

coconut