Monday, March 25, 2013

Repost:Raw Strawberry Pie

Raw Strawberry Pie

I make this pie several times throughout strawberry season and it is yummy and would be a perfect addition to your Easter meal!!! 

Everyone will love it!!

32 oz. of fresh strawberries (4-5 cups)
2 cups of raw nuts (I used almonds and cashews)
3/4 cup of dates
Pinch of salt
6 dates soaked in warm water for about 10 minutes
1 tbsp. of agave nectar
1 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice *plus the zest from a small lemon*

Soak the 6 dates in a bowl of warm water for about ten minutes.  In the meantime put nuts, 3/4 cup of dates, and a pinch of salt in a food processor and pulse until broken down and sticky so it will stick together.  Press mixture along bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate.  Place crust in the refrigerator to cool down.

Wash and slice all of your berries.  Place 1 cup of strawberries, 6 dates removed from water, agave nectar, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, and zest from the lemon in your food processor and blend until smooth and set aside.

Remove crust from the refrigerator and layer strawberries in the crust and then pour the strawberry mixture over your layered berries.  Put in refrigerator and let sit for at least 2 hours or until set. It was even better the next day.

You can garnish with additional berries if you like!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Quinoa, Corn, and Mint Salad

Spring is in the air and salads and lighter foods here I come!!! 

I love quinoa and corn so if you do too you can't go wrong with this simple and light salad.


  • 2 cups quinoa
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (6 ears)
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
    3/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste


 Rinse quinoa in large sieve under cold running water. Cook quinoa in 4 cups boiling water with 2 teaspoons kosher salt 10 to 15 minutes or until almost tender. Drain; spread onto a large sheet pan, and cool 15 minutes.

 Combine quinoa and remaining ingredients; mix well. Season with sea salt.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Yoga-Teacher Secrets: What They Wish They Could Tell You

Being a yoga teacher I found some of this amusing and true.  So, teachers out there do you agree?

Yoga Teacher Yoga Teachers Yogis

The last thing a yogi wants to do is create stress -- or talk about it. But when we asked four top yoga teachers to tell us what they're really thinking behind that serene smile, they divulged a few pet peeves (as well as some secret tips for Zen seekers). Here's what kept coming up.

1. If you're more than 10 minutes late, please consider skipping the class -- even if we welcome you in.
"Coming in late can not only be distracting to the rest of the class, it can also lead to injury, especially if you've missed the warm-up and sun salutations. Peek into the room. If people are still sitting on the ground, then it's fine to join in. It's even better if you can wait until we're getting up, because then it's less disruptive for everyone to move over." --Kristin McGee, a New York–based instructor for more than 15 years, creator of over 15 yoga and Pilates DVDs and an iPhone app

2. Definitely bring your own mat ...
"Most studios are good about cleaning them, but sometimes they just use a Handi Wipe. Regardless, it’s bad enough putting your face where your feet were. When you borrow a public mat, you’re putting your face where other’s people’s feet were." -- Clio Manuelian, an LA-based yoga instructor who teaches at Equinox, InYoga Center and YogaWorks

3. ... But for the love of Buddha, please wash it regularly.
"So many people sweat all over their mat, then roll it up, throw it in their car and roll it out for the next class. If the mat's been living in your car for three months, we'll all smell it. Take it into the shower with you once a week or so and dry it in the sun." -- Annie Carpenter, Los Angeles-based instructor, originator of SmartFLOW yoga, a teacher's teacher, and a contributing editor at Yoga Journal

4. We notice your Mrs. Clooney underwear.
"We don't really want to see what you're unintentionally showing. As teachers, we like to think we’re beyond that, but it’s still distracting." -- Annie Carpenter

5. Teaching certification is essentially meaningless.
"It can be easy to get a certificate, and almost everyone who teaches in a health club or studio probably has one. A better way to find an instructor is to ask around. Good teachers have followings, and you hear about them. Also beware of teachers who, when you tell them you have a pulled muscle or a sore shoulder, just tell you to keep pushing and breathe through it. That's usually a sign they don't know how to deal with the problem." -- Barbara Benagh, owner of Yoga Studio in Boston and an instructor for more than 40 years.

6. The whole class heard you make that mortifying noise, but it didn't bother any of us.
"Passing gas is so common in yoga. You're doing twists and forward bends, you're moving around your internal organs and stimulating digestion. On one hand, it's a good thing to relieve some of that gas, but of course it can be quite embarrassing. I just ignore it and move on." -- Kristin McGee

7. The whole class can hear you breathing, and it bothers every one of us.
"You'll get these guys who breathe so heavily it sounds like they're in a porn movie. I'll tell them, 'It's not supposed to sound like gasping, but like you're enjoying the fragrance of an amazing wine.' When everyone does it together, it sounds like an ocean." -- Kristin McGee

8. We can tell when you're hungover.
"You can smell it on students: Their sweat gets that metallic scent. It's not my place to call them out on it, but I'll probably suggest that they should drink more water." -- Annie Carpenter

9. Please save the essential oils for your home practice.
"I've noticed that people become very attached to wearing essential oils during practice, and they're even stronger than perfume. Popular scents like bergamot, patchouli and lavender -- while some people love them, others hate them, and you don't want to overpower everyone in the class." -- Kristin McGee

10. We're sometimes appalled at your lack of consideration.
"I often see people leave the room to go to the bathroom by walking across other people's mats. If you need to leave the room, please walk on the wood floor. And please also open and close the door quietly. Being mindful in transitions starts from the time you park your car in the lot to the time you leave." -- Annie Carpenter


Monday, February 25, 2013

Veganism Saved My Life: Natalie Palmer

I wanted to share a story about a breast cancer survivor with you.  Check out VegNews for other Veganism Saved My Life stories.

Name: Natalie Palmer
Diagnosis: Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer
Prognosis: Not good
Year Diagnosed: 2005

What was your life like before your diagnosis?
My life was very hectic, stressful, and at times overwhelming. I was the sole parent of three children ages 17, 15, and 12 and had been on my own with them since my eldest was seven. I also worked full time for a nonprofit helping adults with mental illness and had recently stopped working at a weekend part-time job working with a DUI program for multiple-time offenders. There was always lots to do. I was constantly giving, doing, and working.

How did you find out about your diagnosis?
I had a lump, which hurt: the pain would wake me up at night. It felt like a corkscrew in my breast. I went for a mammogram, then an ultrasound in January of 2005. The tech told me it looked fine to her. Because this is what I wanted to hear, I didn’t pursue it any further. The lump kept hurting, and got larger. During my annual physical, I told her about the lump. She felt it, seemed alarmed, and said, “I never like lumps. You need to have this checked out. Go for a biopsy.” Not relishing the thought of being stuck by a needle, I said no. We agreed I would go to a different diagnostic imaging center quickly. The only person that knew about the lump was my partner, Roy, who’s an RN and was strongly encouraging me to have it checked out further. I went on a Saturday. The woman doing the exam seemed flustered and told me I’d need to come back on Monday because she wasn’t able to read the results. Still apparently in denial, I went back by myself during my lunch break. The results were not good. I heard the words breast cancer and surgery, and nothing else. Everything happened so quickly it gets a bit blurred. Silly as it seems to say now, I was still thinking everything was fine. Roy and I went together for the results. I remember Roy and I were sitting next to each other and the surgeon pulled up one of those twirly stools and sat down directly in front of me, really close, at eye level and picked up my hand. I heard the word cancer and everything seemed far away, hazy, and slow. Still to this day I have absolutely no idea what the surgeon—my surgeon now—said to us for more than an hour. I do know he never let go of my hand, and his sad, sincere eyes never left my face. It felt like a dream, not even a bad dream because it felt like it was happening to someone else, not me. Appointments were made, arrangements at work were put into place, and people were told. At this point, my diagnosis was breast cancer—early stage. That all changed about a week later, after the oncologist ordered a routine MRI. These results were delivered much differently. I was driving home from work when I got a call. I answered it to find the oncologist on the other end. She told me the MRI results were back, the cancer had spread to my liver.

What was your treatment plan laid out by your doctor?
My treatment plan involved dose-dense chemo—three weeks on, one week off—herceptin infusions for the rest of my life, surgeries, and aromatase inhibitors for five years. I did parts of what they wanted me to do. I did some chemotherapy and had a few surgeries. I did not take aromatase inhibitors or herceptin. Since my final surgery in 2006, I have taken no medications. My oncologist was not happy with this idea at all, but quality of life was always more important to me than living longer without it. Why bother?

How did you find out about a vegan diet?
I had known of vegan diet for many years. I’d gone the vegetarian route a few times when I was younger, but never stuck to it.

When did you decide to give it a try?
Immediately upon my first diagnosis. Roy was working with someone who was a Seventh Day Adventist and a vegan. This man’s exact words to me were, “Do you want to live? Stop eating meat and dairy!” I went cold turkey, so to speak.

What was it like to transition to a vegan diet?
I was completely motivated to change—the threat of death will have that effect, so my transition was relatively easy. It was more difficult for my family. My partner Roy made the change with me, as did my daughter Chelsea, but my sons did not. The hardest food to give up was, and still remains, cheese. I’ve never missed meat, but cheese is another story. Maybe it’s the Italian part of me that longs for a good stringy mozzarella cheese.

What was a normal day of eating like before you started eating vegan?
Before changing to a vegan diet I ate a lot of cheese and dairy products. Breakfast might be a bagel with cream cheese, eggs and bacon, or an omelet with lots of cheese, sausage, and home fries. Lunch could be pizza or a cheeseburger and a salad. Dinners were steak, chicken cutlets, or pork chops with some sort of potato and a vegetable at least two to three nights per week. I ate a lot of pasta dishes: lasagna, stuffed shells, ravioli, and fettuccine Alfredo. The cheesier the better—this was my motto. Desserts were rarely missed, and I would have ice cream or cookies. I also ate a lot of chocolate. My diet was the typical Standard American Diet, and it almost killed me. Just writing down everything I used to eat makes me feel a little sick!

What is a day of eating like now?
I start every morning with a glass of warm water and freshly squeezed lemon juice, followed half an hour later by two small handfuls of organic almonds, soy or coconut yogurt with shredded coconut, and a banana. I snack on raw veggies, organic raisins, seeds, organic tortilla chips, and guacamole. Lunch is my big meal of the day. I may eat fresh organic broccoli with garlic, sweet potatoes, and fried tofu. Sometimes I make vegetarian chili or fake BLT sandwiches on gluten-free bread, eggplant casserole, or a bean and potato soup. Dinner is usually something small like an organic mixed greens salad with beets, carrots, tomatoes, olives, avocado, onions, cucumber, and seeds, or rice pasta with marinara sauce. I always drink decaf green tea with freshly grated organic ginger root.

When did you start to see results? What did your doctor think?
My doctor did not support or encourage my vegan lifestyle. She never spoke about the power of food to heal and took no interest in what I was eating or doing to help myself outside of her prescribed “therapy.” For years, she referred to me as her “miracle child,” still never giving credit to positive changes I had embraced. I felt results within the first few weeks of changing my eating. I felt lighter, and even though I was still very ill, I began to have more energy. My immune system grew stronger and stronger—it’s why I am here today.

How are you doing today?
Today I am cancer-free. This has been my reality for six-and-a-half years now! I hardly ever get sick and I have more energy than ever. I get up at 4am and work at least 10-hour days (most days) without feeling fatigued. My weight has stayed around 115 pounds and I am 5’1” tall, so I am happy with my weight. This past August I saw a new oncologist after not having done so in a number of years. All my tests were excellent. She said, “I heard about your case. It’s amazing. All I can say is keep doing what you’re doing.”

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Alba Botanica Give-A-Way

Pamper yourself like the stars and show your kindness toward Mother Earth.
Brooke Burke-Charvet was spotted doing some skin-friendly shopping at Whole Foods in LA (Venice) forAlba Botanica® products. Taking a wholesome approach, she picked up Alba Botanica’s bestsellingVery Emollient Body Lotion – the entire Alba Botanica product range is free from Parabens, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Myreth Sulfate.
5 lucky people will win a product from Alba Botanica. 
Comment below on how you have made a difference in living a greener lifestyle.  Give-a-way ends February 8th, 2013.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Kumbh Mela

My teacher and friend is off to be part of the largest spiritual gathering on earth for the next 3 weeks. I can't wait to hear about her experience!!

Kumbh Mela is held only once every twelve years, the cleansing ritual of the Maha Kumbh Mela sees up to a hundred million Hindu devotees symbolically bathe away their sins in the holy Ganges River. It is thought to be the largest gathering of humanity on earth. For 55 days devotees wade into the river to bathe, and join other religious observations on the banks of the Triveni Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Orange Ginger Smoothie

So, it is winter and that means colds and flu's and all kinds of yucky stuff.  Here is a quick smoothie that has great things that boost your immune system like Vitamin C and ginger.  I have been drinking this all week and love it!

All you need is:

1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 banana
1/4 inch or more peeled and chopped ginger root (I like more to boost it up...but ginger is spicy)
2 ice cubes

Blend until smooth.  Enjoy and stay well!!!