I am not a tofu fan, but last weekend I was officially converted to the team of people who talks about the tastiness of tofu. At Veganmania 2012 I had the opportunity to try some tasty spicy tofu. It was so tasty that I ate it with vegetable stir-fry & brown rice all week. I am officially out so I am on a mission to get more this week.
Who knew that I would have this new love for tofu!
Today is day 5 of 40 on my journey of eating a 75% raw plant-based diet. This process is quite humbly before because I LOVE cooked food. In fact, cooked food is an understatement – I like food that is very hot right out of the pot! This is truly an act of discipline that will carry over into many other areas of my life. Thus far, I have generally allowed myself to eat one “cooked” mean per day. Ironically, I am finding that I am getting full faster and my desire for “junk food” is decreasing. Over the last 2-3 months I’ve come to realize that I can be an emotional eater – I identify that as a person who consume certain foods depending on how that feel….not a good thing. I’ve decided that I WILL NOT LET MY STOMACH RULE OVER ME! Most importantly, this cannot be a temporary realization because I do not want temporary change. One of the hardest things for me to do some times is to eat breakfast. I know green meal smoothies/drinks are great in the morning, but I wanted to do something different that is raw. I found the solution….OATMEAL.
I am not an oatmeal fan, but I went to Chicago RAW and tried the Really Raw Oatmeal.
It was very flavorful, but even with my sweet tooth it was too sweet for me. I also found that while I liked the smooth texture, I like a little bite to my oatmeal. This is when I created my REALLY, REALLY RAW OATMEAL
I decided to use the Really Raw Oatmeal in my creation because I loved the flavor and it is one of the most economical raw food items that I’ve found. I took the flavors in the Really Raw Oatmeal and I make it my own. so here’s what I did:
1 cup of raw organic oats
1/2 c of organic apple juice
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 granny smith apple (chopped)
1/4 c of raisins
1/2 c of walnuts (crushed)
I soaked the raw oats in apple juice overnight to give it a dynamic fruity flavor. You can use more or less apple juice to obtain the texture that you like. The more liquid that you use the softer your oatmeal will be. I wanted mine soft enough to eat, but with a little texture. I added a few spoons of the Really Raw Oatmeal to my mixture (you don’t have to do this you can add some agave nectar or honey to sweeten to taste). I then added the remainder of the items listed above.
I mixed all of the items together and I was pleasantly surprised by how flavorful this is. In fact, it is so filling for me that I can only eat a small amount each morning. For the last 5 days I have been having about a 1/4 c of this raw oatmeal each morning to start my day. woo hoo! Many thanks to Chicago RAW for giving me the foundational flavors needed to make this morning meal. So, if you are looking for a flavorful raw breakfast try some raw oatmeal 🙂
I must admit that I have learned that I feel my best when I eat raw foods. I can honestly tell the difference within a few days!!! Well, I’ve been eating in a toxic manner lately and my body is telling me to STOP IT. So, after having a temper tantrum consisting of kicking & screaming all week I finally had to stand up and say (to myself) young lady you better get up and get it together. How do I do that??? GO RAW BABY!!!
Starting today, June 1st I’ve decided to eat 75% raw for the next 40 days. I will combine these days with fruit smoothies and green vegetable juices. I know that I am going to feel wonderful after this. I know this is not about diet it is a spiritual journey. Cleansing the body also includes cleansing the mind and spirit. This is a much need journey to get rid of my desire for sweets, processed foods and all other things that are not good for my temple (body). I know this is the best journey for me to restart my dietary regime and do a thorough cleansing. So, I will be blogging about my experience eating raw. I have eating raw before, but no more than a week at a time.
There are tons of benefits for eating raw. I will post a list of benefits of eating raw food. If you haven’t tried to eat mostly or completely raw for a few days, I encourage you to try it for a while and I’m positive you will feel the difference.
There are so many places popping up that offer vegan meal plans. Some of them are reasonable, while others are quite unreasonable. I’ve realized that following a vegan diet can be a real budget buster if you’re not careful. I recently realized that with a little time, creativity & patience I could create my own personal vegan meal plan. The great thing about creating my own dishes is that I can make any combination I choose each day.
My personal plan doesn’t cover three meals a day, but it’s definitely a sufficient start. I got some unbelievable inspiration & cooking creativity and decided to make a few dishes for the week that I thought I’d share with you guys. It really didn’t take me long at all so I am dedicating Sunday evenings to making a few dishes for the weeks.
Here are the ones I made for last week:
These were so easy to make and very economical. Some prepared meals are exactly what i need for my busy lifestyle. In fact, this was way too much food for me. It really didn’t seem like much food for a week, but i combine it a few other things like green smoothies & salads so i decided to freeze some of it. I think I need to find some special vegan friends to share my creations with….it’s time for me to start hosting some vegan dining events or something similar to share all of the food.
I have discovered a new entrée that has become one of my favorite vegan dishes – zucchini tacos!A fellow vegan discovered a mexican restaurant in Evanston, Austin Tacos, and we were excited to see VEGAN TACOS on the menu. Now unlike many places that use some type of faux meat product filled with soy or wheat gluten, this play used all veggies. Awesome! They were quite tasty. In fact, I went a few weeks later to taste and see how I can make them my on. My zucchini tacos were quite different from Austin Tacos, but I think they taste even better because I made with just the ingredients I like. Here are a list of ingredients I used:
- red & green peppers
- black beans
- smoked corn salsa (left over from the Baked Mexican Pasta Dish)
- green onions
- corn tortillas
- cabbage slaw
I made the corn tortillas in my new special pan that I bought just for this purpose – I admit that I love tacos!
I like this pan because I do not have to make one tortilla at a time. Oh yeah! I then grilled the zucchini in my cast iron grill skillet by adding a little EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). This is where the goodness really starts.
While the zucchini was grilling. I combined some left over black beans, grilled onions & peppers, corn salsa and brown rice to add as a topping with diced jalapeno.
I like spicy food so I added some fresh diced jalapeno, I tossed in some fresh cilantro, added a little cabbage slaw and guacamole on the side for crunch. I had never tried this before, but I think this is one of the tastiest creations that I have tried thus far while transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.
This was way too much food for me to eat in one sitting!!! I am pleasantly pleased by how I am eating less and less now that I am eating better. It’s amazing how satisfied you feel when you give your body what it needs. If I had participated in the VIRTUAL VEGAN POTLUCK on May 12th, this is the dish that I intended to include. Be creative when you are making vegan dishes…..I’m learning that this is part of the fun (and motivation) for continuing on my journey no matter how many ups and downs I experience.
While I was in Austin, TX I treated myself to a facial – and I deserved every second I must say! My consultant consistently told me how she loved my cocoa skin tone and how beautiful she thought my skin was. I begin to share with her that this “Emerging Vegan Sistah” is having a challenging time with my skin as I take this vegan journey. I wish I was a STRICT vegan, but I am not yet. I have come to realize that it’s not easy changing over 30 years of eating habits. I do realize, more importantly, is that as long as I continue down this path that I will follow the healthy lifestyle more and more. Ok, back to the matter at hand. I explained that I want to utilize better products and make-up for my face. Since I work in a corporate office I want to feel confident about my look and my presence when I have to facilitate meetings or give advice to my clients. She totally understood and exclaimed before you leave TX you must fo to W3LL PEOPLE!! Wonderful I thought, another special thing for me because I was not at my optimum when I left for my trip. So, I left one of my business seminars early and headed over to W3ll People and I made a great executive decision!!!
I truly enjoyed my experience at W3ll People. As soon as I walked in the door I was greeted with wonderful smell and an array of products. I was immediately escorted to the chair when I said I was looking for make-up products for my skin type. Who wouldn’t want a toxin-free on the spot makeover. It was simply a joy to be inside
I like my look and I like the concept of W3ll People and I really liked how the products enhanced my look since I decided to simply where my hair black! I already had the lip liner on, but its an all natural product from my local health store.
The W3ll People website explains the following about its products are free from the following ingredients:
- Artificial Preservatives
- Synthetic Dyes
- Synthetic Fragrance
- Propylene Glycol
- Mineral Oil
- Bismuth Oxychloride
- Bad Mojo
The concept is truly and extraordinary one. It is good for you, your body and the planet! It’s nice to feel beautiful and know that I am contributing to my personal well-being. What’s even better is that they ship their products so you can enjoy them even if you are not in Austin, TX. yeah! I encourage you to visit the W3ll People website: www.w3llpeople.com
Casa De Luz is a hidden vegan treasure of Austin, TX. It’s a very simple place, but very relaxing. Don’t walk in anticipating a list of items to select from for dinner. No sir! There’s ONE dinner menu and that’s what you eat for $12. Walking through the garden area was quite peaceful (though I’m not one for the institutional practices). I did find it nice to be around so much greenery after being in conference rooms all day.
It’s very simple: pay your $12, help yourself to soup & salad & then someone will bring you the entree for the evening. They had desserts, but I guess it was an additional cost or process – I honestly didn’t inquire. This process couldn’t be any easier – they only bring the entree to you – you do everything else. The food was tasty and I know my body was happy that I didn’t totally blow my new lifestyle while away from home (now if only I can get a handle on this craving fr sweets…..that’s another blog for another day 🙂
BTW: if you read my last blog you know who suggested this place…..let’s say it together – Daisy 🙂 How cool is that??
Here’s some more pics of Casa De Luz:
I am in Austin Texas having a nice time especially since everyone is so friendly! I am trying to stick to my new healthy vegan lifestyle so of course I was looking for placing close by to dine. I thought or going to the Clay Pot for Indian food, but it was further than I thought so I decided to inquire and that’s when I went to the concierge desk – ladies you ROCK!!
We had a great conversation about vegan and raw vegan eating. Then Daisy grabbed a map & gave me so many great options for healthy, organic vegan dining. She is on a raw diet now – stay strong Daisy you will be amazed by the results!!!! I think I am good hands for the remainder of my stay so if you are ever in Austin, TX consider staying at the Four Seasons Austin (I just checked in a few hours today and I am very happy thus far). If you do, stop by the concierge desk & say hi to Daisy! She plans to follow my blog so I know she’ll find some great motivation from my other followers – all of you are amazing!
Right now I am Mai Thai and the food is amazing. Check it out: