Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bye Bye 2008

I can't believe I didn't even write one post in December. Well, it's been pretty hectic month. So much has been going on. The good news is that I've finally finished writing my Masters research paper and now it is in the hands of my professor to enjoy or destroy.  It took me four years to complete it. So exhausted. There has been some drama in my life and I'm not inviting drama this year. 

I had a great vegan/raw vegan Christmas. There was too much food. I'm working on my New Year's Goals. I don't want to say resolutions because resolutions are made to be broken. 
I'm getting a secondhand apartment-sized piano for my home and I'm sooo excited about it. It has been so long since I've played. I need to play. It's like breathing for me. 

New Year's will be quiet, just movies. I'm hoping that I'll be awake by midnight.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Rough Week

Woo! It has been a rough week. My little Tiago was sick with Gastroenteritis. He was coming out at both ends. We went to two different hospitals and a walk-in clinic. The cure was time and giving him fluids such as Pedialyte, which is Gatorade for babies. Deep down I didn't want to give it to him but I didn't have time to find natural alternatives that his stomach could handle. I did ask around but I decided in the end to stick with the pedialyte. Tiago managed not to vomit the stuff. My poor pumpkin lost some weight and was so weak. I'm glad he is now back to his old self and hungrier than ever.

To top off my week, Ernesto decided to plug the toilet and we've been without a functioning toilet for almost 5 days! Ugh. There is a quote that made me laugh when I read it the first time and now it rings so true. "The difference between 1st world nations and 3rd world nations is plumbing." I can't believe how expensive plumbers can be! I got quoted from $60/hr with a $50 transporte fee to $275. Ridiculous. I found reasonable plumber (we'll see when he gets to my house) who also has a side business in the juicing industry. Hahaha, how weird is that? This is his website and real passion, Mangosteen fruit. The company is called Xango. If the plumber fixes my toilet quickly, I may buy one bottle.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Running Raw: My time was 38:15 for the 5km

The Toronto Marathon was a blast!! I had such a rockin' time. The vibe was great and the atmosphere was wonderful. I ran without stopping and enjoyed the weather. I kept repeating that I was running for me and for the Lord, who has blessed my life so much. I'm able to walk--wait, RUN! There were djs along the route playing music to keep you pumping and people I didn't even know encouraged me. My hubs and children were there. It's great to see your family cheer you on. Running raw...I love it. I'm planning on the Mississauga marathon. I may do the 2km family run. My son loves to run and my hubs would like to participate. I'd like to do another 5km and then build up to a 10km. Eventually, the Boston Marathon. Fi Real!!


I'm the one in red (hahaha).



Dora the Explorer needed to get out of the way ASAP.



Keeping my eyes on the prize....free bananas and oranges for the raw vegan.



Crossed the finish line in 38:15. Next time will be under 30 minutes.



Check out my gold-ish medal.



Running raw!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Running Raw

I have exactly one more week before the 5km race and today was the first day I ran my 5km outside. I was quite nervous and didn't think I could do it. I've been so used to the gym/treadmil that it almost because a hinderance when I started to run outside. I need to run at least 2-3 more times outside before the race. It has made a great difference and I love the feel of the wind and my foot hitting the ground. It truly is a different kind of energy. 

There were moments I wanted to give up but people waiting at bus stops encouraged me. I heard a few whistles and sweet catcalls like "Bless, Empress" (Cuz of my dreadlocks, other rastas think I am a rasta *smile*). 

When I finally reached home, I was so elated and collapsed on a rock. It was such a beautiful and wonderful feeling to have completed my run. What a natural high!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Training for a 5 km running race

I used to run a lot and then when I became pregnant with my first son, my running was sporadic (even though I had bought a running stroller). Now that I feel I am fully recovered from my post-pregnancy injury, I am training for the October 19 Toronto Marathon. I won't be doing the marathon but the 5km race. I'm looking forward to it and I am using Runner's World magazine issues to help me train. I have no time to learn from a running club. 

Unfortunately I have to do most of my training indoors. It's better than nothing. I don't have a double stroller to push my 2 sons and my husband is taking night courses. This leaves me no other option but to go to a gym and train on the treadmills and my sons are having fun in the daycare centre there.

This will be my first time training on a 100% raw diet. Even when I was dabbling in raw in the past, I still ate oatmeal for my runs, thinking that fruits and vegetables would not be sufficient for me. Now, I know differently and it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be; I've been eating well. I just haven't been getting enough sleep in order to recover. 

I'm running raw!! Woo-hoo.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Simply Raw Festival Pics!!


Me (if you can see me) with Shantree and Lorenna.


I used to know John in Toronto. He now lives in a paradise in Nelson, British Columbia. I'm going to visit Nelson maybe next year. Apparently it is a raw vegan haven.



Paul Nison and me.


Natasha's husband introducing Paul Nison.



Paul got the crowd hooting and a hollering.



I like the sunflowers.



Angela speaks. Can you believe she was over 200lbs?



Me and Philip. Such a sweet guy. I was soaked and my shirt hung like a moomoo on me. Ugh!


Montreal raw food seller. Delicious pizza.


Kombucha seller from Montreal. Good stuff.



Karla (who was giving Matt a hard time), Matt Monarch and his fiancee, Angela.


The kiosks


Philip McClusky speaking. He was great.



Lalita Salas of the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico.



Natasha Kyssa of Simply Raw (on the left) and her friend.


Angela Stokes taking shelter from the rain.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I'm here in Ottawa!!

I like the city of Ottawa. The hotel is very family friendly. I'm staying at the Best Western. The weather is crap!! When we arrived Friday, it was hot and sunny. We took it easy and decided to go to a vegetarian/raw vegan cafe. They only had one raw vegan meal option: a delicious but greasy raw vegan pizza and some desserts. My hubs wasn't impressed with the cafe and I don't blame him. They mainly served omelettes on one side of the restaurant (he doesn't eat eggs) and the other side had a serve-yourself take out meal, which was empty and they weren't going to fill it up. It was only 6pm!

We ended up walking around trying to find a pizzeria for the kids and hubby. I ordered my raw pizza to go. My husband ordered a Mexican meal made by non-Mexicans who probably have never been to Mexico or know what true Mexican food is like. Then we found a pizzeria that seemed quite authentic and bought a small pizza for my son and hubby, in case the Mexican food was a failure. BTW, the burrito according to my husband was awful.

I wanted to see the Raw Film Festival but I was so tired from the train trip. It's a four hour trip from Toronto. That's pretty quick but we just wanted to relax.

Saturday. It was pouring rain and I didn't bring enough umbrellas. Luckily my son had his own and my hubby used the other one for himself and Santiago. I thought the rain wouldn't be so bad. I was drenched and I ran into a Shoppers to buy another umbrella. The festival still went on as planned and there was quite a few people. I got to see Philip McCluskey, yeah!!! He spoke on his raw transformation from 400lbs to half his weight. I liked his sincerity and I think he is really nice. He is inspiring and seems like he would be a cool friend.

I saw Angela Stokes and she is soooo beautiful. I don't know if she had a tan from a previous trip but her skin was flawless and golden. I'm looking forward to hearing her speak tomorrow. I also got to see Paul Nison. He is a Christian raw vegan and it's great to meet another Christian raw foodist. There is not a lot of us out there. When he spoke, he got the crowd laughing, clapping as if it were a church camp meeting. He is hilarious.

There were a lot of great kiosks. I enjoyed this couple Shantree and Lorenna. They are from London, Ontario and they spoke about eating locally, which is what I want to do. I don't want to depend too much on imported Durian and Jackfruit. Ontario has an abundance of fruit and vegetables. I should enjoy them more. I would like to go to there retreat one day. It's not too far from Toronto.

I am so inspired to maintain my raw path and to create a career out of it. I love it. I'm so glad I came to Ottawa. I found what I needed to hear to help me stay 100% raw at the festival and it is as if I've lost all cooked food cravings and desires that seemed to have plagued me before. It's amazing.

Speaking of Ottawa, Ottawans seem to be more healthy than Torontonians. There are a lot of people who ride bicycles and walk. There are no side-by-side restaurants and there is a lot of art. I'd like to come back another time to know more of the city. However, this weekend is for the festival.


The train station in my city.



Did you know a lot of Hollywood movies use this train station?


My son, Ernesto wearing the barf bag on his head.



My other son, Santiago is a big boy and wanted his own seat.



The bed in the hotel room was sooooo comfortable. My sons ended up sleeping with me and my hubby was relegated to the sofa. Hahaha.



Santiago's crib. He hated it. It was like a jail cell.



Downtown Ottawa.



Ottawa's Rideau Canal



Parliament Hill



As usual, I'm washing dishes even on vacation.



The attack of the gigantic spider at the National Gallery. We had to rush through the exposition because we didn't realize our train was going to leave in one hour. We were speedwalking through the gallery. When I asked my hubby what he liked about the exposition, he smiled and said, "I don't know, it was all a blur."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I'm going to the Simply Raw Festival in Ottawa!!

I can't wait to go to Ottawa and attend the festival. I'm sooo excited. My family and I will be taking the train and my son is sooo excited. I'm looking forward to meeting Angela Stokes, Paul Nilson, Philip McClusky and many other people. I will take lots of pics. The weather is not supposed to be that great on Saturday but I'm crossing my fingers. This will be my first time to Ottawa. Shame on me, I should be a better Canadian. Hahaha. I don't even know my nation's capital!

Gotta pack and wrap things up. Sooo excited.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Since when are fruits so bad?

I'm getting tired of people knocking down fruits as if there was something wrong with a banana or an apple. I just don't get it. I notice this more from people who are struggling with their diet or trying to lose weight. I hear things like "Oh, I can't eat fruits, I'll gain weight". What?! You don't have a problem with fat-free processed cheese or drinking cow's breastmilk or eating a "light" meal at McD's but heaven-forbid you eat a mango or a banana. Luscious fruits and vegetables have existed before mankind, before the invention of sliced bread and fat-free this and that. Why is there something unnatural about natural foods and something natural about processed, naturally unnatural food (usually with ingredients you can't even pronounce let alone understand)? Eat your fruits separately and alone (unless with other fruits or certain greens). Eat them in abundance and ease up on the processed crap or better yet, eliminate it. You will start to understand that fruits are best for your body.

The next time someone tells me, "Ooh, I can't eat this apple or grapes. It'll make me gain weight. Fruits aren't good me", I'll just turn to him/her and say, "So what you're telling me is that God made a mistake when creating fruits and veggies? Instead, Kraft and Maple Leaf foods got it right?"

This is my short rant.

Monday, August 11, 2008

No bones, No blood Inna Mi Kitchen

I stumbled upon this video and the singer makes a small reference to raw vegans! It is sung in Jamaican patois (a dialect). It's an ode to vegetarianism. The song is called "No bones, No blood" by Jah Sun feat. Ras Attitude and Lutan Fyah. Enjoy!

video

Here are the lyrics! Thanks to Loan.

No bones no blood inna mi kitchen
We nah go mix up in a dem vampire livin'
No bones no blood inna mi kitchen
I say Rastafari you're my greatest ambition
No bones no blood inna mi kitchen
Me synchronized with the most high's vision
No bones no blood inna mi kitchen
Please let the animal keep livin'

Mi see sey nuff a dem
No show no respect for life
Run! Here comes the butcher man
And he coming with his knife
More pain and more death
A pure murder
Life dem take fi dem steak and hamburger
Mi rather plant some seed in a di mud
Than to tear thru some flesh and go guzzle blood
Carnivore, stop fighting it, stop fighting it
Eh, give ital life a try
You just might gain some enlightenment
A this the one for love all of my vegetarians
Raw fooders and vegans and all the breathetarians
Yo, cuz I n I nah put no dead in a we temple
True humbleness we have fi live simple
To put some food upon the plate
Mi no need no hook, mi nah need no bait
I n I the roots mi food me nah fi shoot
A give me vegetable and some fruits, mi go so..

Chorus~

Dem a wonder why the rasta never age
Dem no stop from look up in a dem health book page
Vegetarians will aways live
Cuz everything we eat always positive
And everything we drink it never yet negative
You are what you eat
That's why you walk like pig
You are what you eat that's why you [snort] like a pig
You treat your body wrong your own a grave you dig
Yo don't panic, cuz i'm organic
Pure soy soup in a mi kitchen, yes mi got it
Yo don't panic, cuz i'm organic
Lentil peas in a mi soup, mi got it
Yo don't panic, cuz i'm organic
Vegan life mi live and nun a dem can stop it
Calabash, okra and squash yes mi got it
Ready fi go boil it and stop it!

Chorus~

Tell 'em natural herbs have fi we dinner
Ital is vital in a di pot dat we cookin'
Natural herbs have fi we dinner
Tell 'em no bones, no flesh
Yes, natural herbs have fi we dinner
Ital is vital in a di pot dat we cookin'
Natural herbs have fi we dinner
We gots some man a lutan Fyah
Tell 'em roots, strongback and sarsaparilla
Fruit, orange, mango and guava
Vegetable salad with peanut and cashew
With some clean drinking water
I got a bucket full of herbs
And some strong marijuana
Yes, you know that i'm a farmer
Eh, the food that i eat is my medicine
Tell you man, a real bush doctor
Cleanse dem wit garlic and bitters
I nah go jump pon rome filthy lickers
Go till the marijuana, mek mi slippers
No pork chops in a mi fritters

Chorus~

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I Heart Music

I am obsessed with music. I studied classical piano for over 20 years and I play other instruments as well. When I was younger I wanted to be a concert pianist but then changed my mind for reasons too long to explain. Lately I've been missing my piano. It's at my mother's house and I have no room for it in my small apartment. I only go there to play when I teach piano lessons. When I lived at home, I used to wake up in the middle of the night and compose songs. It was wonderful. It didn't bother my parents but it drove my younger sister crazy. I could write 3 songs a week. Now, pfft!

I have a guitar and some drums at home but it doesn't compare to my first instrument, the piano. I'm considering renting a keyboard for a couple of months. I think it will help me bring back my creativity again. Music helped me with my depression when I was younger. The piano especially. Last year I stopped playing the piano at my church (for personal reasons) and I still haven't gotten over it. It makes me very sad. I need music. It's my drug of choice (smile). I love all genres (classical, rock, reggae, heavy metal, jazz, blues, world music, techno, rap, pop, contemporary, zouk, soukouss, etc..with the exception of country but it is slowly growing on me thanks to the Dixie Chicks :).

I love it when groups from one genre create a unique version of a cover song like Alien Ant Farm's version of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal or this one, The Final Countdown covered by Melo-M. It rocks. I love how the young men just rock out on the cello. I want to teach my son to have that kind of passion, to not worry about others around him. To respond with gusto. What a way to love life. Hey, it's never too late for me. Hahaha. Man, I miss my piano.
video
There is just something sexy about the cello. I love the low, seductive sound. It's a little melancholic but beautiful.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Kale Chips

On many raw vegan websites and blogs, I've read about the hooplah of kale chips. I decided to make them this weekend, as well as sweet potato chips, to find out if they are as good as people say. For the most part I enjoy kale in my smoothies and juices. I marinated them in Braggs, olive oil, garlic and a dash of maple syrup. Then I dehydrated them for about 10 hours. Once they were ready, I tried a couple leaves and now I understand. They were fantastic! My husband loved them too. My son...well, for now he won't eat anything that is green except for green smoothies and juices. I packed some kale chips in my husband's lunch and he added it to his veggie empanadas. Last night I made him his favourite sandwich: a vegan burger on two slices of whole grain bread, with a nut butter spread, alfalfa sprouts, sliced tomatoes and kale chips. It may sound unappetizing but it is actually very good. My hubs raved about the sandwich and said it was even better with the kale chips inside.

I'm minimizing my intake of dehydrated foods to practically once or twice a month. I want to eat more fresh foods, however the kale chips rocked. I will add it to the family menu. The sweet potato chips....not so great. I should make them thinner next time.

Friday, July 25, 2008

80/10/10

My copy of Dr. Doug Graham's 80/10/10 diet finally came in the mail. I've read the first 2 chapters so far and it has been very interesting. I think he has really opened my eyes to my diet. This book couldn't have come at a better time.

Yesterday I had a craving for something sweet so I decided to have a slice of raw chocolate cake. It is made of walnuts, dates, raw cacao and carob, a little raw coconut butter and agave. It's blended and formed into a flat cake. I then top it off with sliced bananas and mango (sorry, no picture). I had a slice. It was delicious but then I felt terrible after. I was a bit agitated, my body felt irritable. I started to crave some comfort food. I was thinking about tofu or these Asian noodles I used to eat with oyster mushrooms. What the heck is going on? Luckily I went to the track and trained some more with my coach. During my training I couldn't stop thinking about comfort food and what I was going to eat. Once I was finished with the workout, the cravings subsided and I was craving for sweet mango and nothing else.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I looooooove my Breville Fountain Elite


I have an addiction for kitchen appliances. It's ridiculous. It doesn't help that my husband does as well. I can't even begin to calculate how much I may have spent on kitchen appliances in the last 5 years. The good thing is that I like to prepare foods and I only want the best. I see it as an investment. I've gone through 4 kinds of juicers to find the perfect one for me. Many years ago I had gotten a crappy plastic kind that didn't last when I tried to juice ginger (that was after the 4th time). Then when I started on the raw path, I had bought the Kempo. I used it for awhile but I didn't like how it took so long to juice and that I had to chop the vegetables and juices into tiny pieces. It is a good juicer but it wasn't for me. Then I got the L'Equip 110 and I enjoyed it but then I noticed that it wasn't extracting the maximum amount of juice from the greens but was great for fruits, other vegetables and ginger. Now I have recently caught my eye on the Breville Fountain Elite. A lot of other raw foodists use the Breville and I began to read up on it. I got that tingling feeling and I cracked down and bought one at a kitchen appliance factory that is 5 minutes from my house (I didn't know the factory was so close to my house! I'm in trouble now. I also bought a great mandoline there). Anyhoots, I convinced my hubs that it would be a great deal for us since we do a lot of juicing. Well, we got it and I just loooooooooooooove it. I noticed how easy it was to use and the colour of the juice is much brighter and richer than before. The taste bursts in my mouth. I have found my juicer!! The Breville! It has two settings, low for greens and low-juice-content fruits/vegetables and high for harder fruits and vegetables and high-juice-content fruits and vegetables. The pulp is nice and dry. It comes with a 1 litre container that has a froth separator. It's the best investment and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My article got published!

I did a raw restaurant review for Vitality magazine. Check it out.

Rawlicious Restaurant Review.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I have not disappeared, I have just eclipsed

I'm still here, still raw and loving it. A lot has happened in my life. I had some trying times personally and emotionally but I am now out of the darkness and back into the light. I have been completing my Masters and I'll be darned if I pay another semester. I have given my university too much money. I need to move on with my life.

Lately, I have been leaning towards what they call an 80/10/10 diet. That is 80% carbs, 10% maximum fat and 10% maximum protein. I have just naturally moved towards that kind of diet and found the results much better than before. The nuts were killing me. It's not that I have totally eliminated nuts but I rarely eat them. Another blogger, Going Bananas succinctly describes the types of raw diets; it's either high-fat or high in carbs. I choose to go the latter.
I've decided to order the Dr. Douglas Graham book on the 80/10/10 diet and see what it's all about. *chuckle* I think I've ordered any and every kind of raw food book out there. I've only had one regret buying a raw food book but I won't say which one because it is the man's livelihood and I'm not going to knock him down but the raw food book is high in nuts and fats and it is not that user friendly. Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't like his book but he may have a legion of fans. I wish him well but I'm going to have to try to get rid of it. Maybe I'll give it away. Hahaha.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I've been fired from the kitchen

Yesterday, my husband politely fired me from the kitchen after botching one of his favourite dishes. He advised that I need not cook anymore. He wants me to focus on my raw food preparation and anything to do with raw. At first I was offended and a bit angry. I am the wife and mother here and I should prepare meals for the family. He pretty much said that "you are making food that only I and Ernesto will eat. So, let me make the food because I will be eating it and Ernesto will too."

After thinking about it, I realized that that this was a release. I have been tired of juggling both cooked and raw, and both sides have suffered. I am so relieved. This is such a wonderful, selfless act on the part of my husband. Good thing he enjoys cooking. However, I will still wash the dishes (hahaha).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Favourite Ice Cream

I bought some frozen jackfruit because it's cheaper than Durian. One day I had such a craving for something sweet (I'm trying to avoid dried fruits) so I took a frozen banana, frozen jackfruit pieces, a mango and some strawberries and whipped up some ice cream in my Vita-Mix. Oooo-eee!! Let's just say that it has become the family's favourite ice cream.

If you don't know what a jackfruit is, I've attached the definition and some pics below. If you have the opportunity to try it, I encourage you to. It's low in fat.

JACKFRUIT

The jackfruit is a huge, spined, oval fruit that is believed to have been first cultivated in Indian rainforests. It is largely grown in tropical or close to tropical climates. It still is found in many parts of India, as well as in most of Southeast Asia. In the Americas, the jackfruit is largely grown in Brazil.

In the proper climate, the jackfruit tree is impressive in size and can grow to roughly 60 feet (18.29 m) tall. The fruit itself is the largest fruit in the world. It can weigh up to 80 pounds (36.29 kg) and be up to 3 feet (.91 m) long.

The exterior of the fruit is not edible, but the flesh and seeds are commonly eaten. When the fruit has turned from green to yellow, it is ready to be picked. Jackfruit tends to be an acquired taste and frequently does not appeal to those unfamiliar with it.

When the jackfruit is opened, numerous sweet, banana-like bulbs are revealed, and most people find them quite delicious. One variety of jackfruit has a crunchy, rather than mushy texture, and is generally preferred. The seeds can be roasted and are compared to chestnuts in flavor. Cutting and preparing the jackfruit is somewhat difficult because the fruit is very sticky and can actually be used as glue. Most people oil their hands to prevent some of the stickiness from transferring to their hands, but washing up afterwards is still a chore.

Bangladesh claims the jackfruit as its national fruit.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I cleaned my colon!

Well I went to Richmond Hill Natural Therapies and it was quite an experience. The place is located in a house. It had a relaxing and comforting feel, and they were very eco-friendly. My colon hydrotherapist, Nnandee was wonderful and it turned out that she is RAW VEGAN!! Yeah!! I can't say that I loved getting my butt cleaned out. It was uncomfortable at times but Nnandee was reassuring and gentle. She massaged my stomach with some essential oils during the process, which helped me relax. However, at one point I jumped off the bed and ran to the washroom with the sheet wrapped around my waist. It was a close call in terms of getting on the toilet in time because my body wanted to expel the matter quickly.
Since Nnandee is raw vegan (since 1994), she was able to give me great advice about my diet, about post-pregnancy raw vegan health and even juice feasting. She said I could do a modified juice feast that will not risk the health of my baby. I must not take the clay nor other cleansing products that are part of the juice feast. Basically she said I can drink juice but I need to continue to include raw flax seed oil and psyllium husk in my diet. I'm glad about that. She also said that she could tell by my fecal matter that I have been eating a lot of sugar (fruits, dates etc...). I need to incorporate more bitter greens like Dandelion. I have been easing off the dates and nuts like cashews.

The disappointing thing about my colonic is that I found it a bit too much for me near the end and I didn't complete the full 45 minutes. Not a problem, a lot already came out and I booked another appointment in 4 days.

Colonics are now a part of my life even though the discomfort seemed worse than when I gave birth to my sons. I'd rather have pain than discomfort. That being said, a colonic is not painful but just awkward feeling.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Colon Hydrotherapy

Tomorrow, I'm having my first colonic. I'm nervous but I have no intention of backing out. It's actually kind of exciting because I am back on the path to optimal health and I'm looking forward to a cleaner body. The place I'll be going to is north of the city. It's called Richmond Hill Natural Therapies. Their website is well put together and they seem to have a natural and holistic approach to health, which I like.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cancer

Life is too short and Life is precious. I'm actually quite disappointed in myself. I've been acting cowardly and lazy about finishing my Masters degree. It has been dragging on for four years (4 years and 2 children). I really hate academic writing and I've been doubting my abilities to write a proper research paper. I need to finish because it's getting expensive. This session is the last session.

Last week I went to see my advisor. We usually communicate via email or I just drop off copies in his mailbox at the university. When I arrived at his house, I was surprised to see him bald. It hit me that he was suffering from a severe illness. I hadn't known until that moment. My heart broke because his wife just gave birth to another beautiful daughter 2 months ago, who is a spitting image of him. I didn't want to be like those people who don't talk about the pink elephant in the room. I asked him what was going on and he was very matter of fact about it. My advisor is battling leukemia. The cancer has returned and he's trying to fight it again. Hearing that gave me a kick in the butt about my life and how I've been wasting certain areas of it. I know and everyone knows that life is precious and short but yet, we never seem to fulfill our dreams/goals. Fear holds us back, sometimes complacency and laziness, even selfishness. Guilty as charged.

I would gripe and whine to my advisor about how I can't finish this paper, I hate this paper, I don't know even know if it makes sense. What the heck is my thesis and blah blah blah. He would always encourage me and tell me to push on. I'm complaining about something that is of small significance in comparison to my real values and my advisor is fighting for his life. He must chuckle or roll his eyes at people like me.

So, I just want to say to my advisor thank you for every criticism and encouragement you've given me. You are the toughest advisor out there, a sock-it-to-'em-cuz-they-need-it kind of person. I thought you were stone cold but there is a warmth and generosity that has always been there and even you get tired. You never baby anyone and you never make excuses. I know you will beat this cancer and I will be praying for you night and day (no cliché).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Raw Carrot Cake

Happy Birthday, mi rey!


(Each candle is worth 10 years)

It was my hubs birthday and I worked hard on a raw carrot cake recipe. I got the recipe from Renee Loux Underkoffler's raw recipe book. It was soooooo time consuming but the cake was delicious. I wasn't too fond of the frosting only because I found it too lemony for my liking. I would have preferred a sweeter frosting since the cake already had lemon and orange bits. I should've cut the recipe in half. The cake could serve 10-12 people and we are just 3 (baby can't eat food yet). My favourite part of the cake was cardamom flavour; it gave the cake a more exotic taste.

My husband was griping over the fact that he's turned the big 3-0. Hahaha! He thinks he's old already. Oh, please. I turned the big 3-0 three years ago!! I think I look good for my age and so does he.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Calling on all Canadians!! Urgent Action

Calling all Canadians who are concerned about their personal choice about their health and well-being. The Canadian Minister of Health has recently introduced BillC-51into the House of Commons. For those of us who follow a more natural way of living, we will suffer greatly. We cannot let this bill pass. I urge you to sign the petition. Information is below.

BillC-51 will:

  • Remove democratic oversight, bypassing elected officials to vote in laws and allow bureaucrats to adopt laws from other countries without our consent.
  • Remove 60-70% of all Natural Health Products from Canadian stores. Many others will be available by prescription only.
  • Restrict research and development of safe and natural alternatives in favour of high risk drugs.
  • Punish Canadians with little or no opportunity for protection or recourse for simply speaking about or giving a natural product without the approval of government. More than 70% of people in Canada use a Natural Health Product. The new law goes so far as to warrant action against a person who would give another person an “unapproved” amount of garlic on the recommendation that it would improve that person’s health.
  • Allow inspectors to enter private property without consent, take your property at their discretion, dispose of your property at will, not reimburse you for your losses, seize your bank accounts, charge owners shipping and storage charges for seized property, be empowered to store your property indefinitely, and levy fines up to $5,000,000 and/or 2 years in jail per incident.

Sign the online petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/billc51

Monday, May 12, 2008

Training Day

I had a wonderful workout today. My coach was very proud. I'm actually running now. I did two laps and some sprints. Who would've thought that in 6 weeks after barely being able to walk, I'm running now. The last words my coach left me with was that he will take care of the workouts but I have to take care of the food. For awhile I was not eating enough calories and I would be so weak during workouts. I realized that I was not consuming enough calories. I need to make sure I have enough energy to expel the energy.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Post Pregnancy Weight Loss on Raw

I intend to start another temporary blog in order to chart my weight release success. I think it will help to keep me accountable and to have a visual perspective of what I put in my mouth and how much exercise I do.

I've been following the Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose but I think I need to include more calories in my diet. I find that when I'm training with my coach, I get tired very easily and I have no energy for the workout. It could also mean that I'm so distracted by my children that I forget to eat properly. It doesn't help that I don't get enough sleep. Having a 3 month old seems to do that to you. *smile*

Check out the blog at www.weightreleaseonraw.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Juice Feasting Postponed

I've decided to postpone my juice feasting on the advice of other raw foodists and raw mamas. As long as I am breastfeeding my child, it's best to wait until I stop so the baby is not exposed to any toxins. It's important that I don't deplete my body of nutrition so Santiago gets the best milk possible. I'm a little disappointed not to be starting right away but my baby is priority. I breastfed my first son for 18 months. It'll be at least that long before I do the juice feast. Oh well. It's not a competition and there is no rush. In the meantime, I continue to eat a raw diet.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ack! She's back!

After 2 1/2 months since the birth of Santiago, I woke up one day with severe cramps...I went to the washroom and then I noticed....she's baaaack! My period returned! I was hoping for a reprieve of at least 8 months (like the first birth). I was shocked and sad and moody!! The pain has been excruciating. I've been breastfeeding my son but I guess one never knows when menstruation returns. Some women are lucky enough for 8 months to a year or more. I should've known it was coming because I was PMS-ing. I had a craving for heavy foods such as raw cashews and pecans, Larabars, dates. The lemon in the green lemonade was irritating me a bit so I kept eating more heavy raw foods.

I've never had periods this painful and heavy before and I get the feeling it's because my body has so many toxins. I am not a doctor but when I was 100% raw, my periods were light and painless. I really need to have a cleanse and the return of my menstruation has only confirmed that I will try the juice feast. I think it will give me a fresh start.

In the meantime, I'm doubled over on the sofa, barking at everyone and everything. Ugh! Not a pretty sight. I can't wait till it's over.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Juice Feasting

I'm considering doing a juice feast that a lot of my fellow raw foodists have been doing or done. I decided to seriously consider it after my hubs and I celebrated our anniversary. I made a Renee Loux Underkoffler chocolate pie. It was sooo good and I soooo regret having eaten so much of it. My hubs loved it. I realize that the kind of raw diet I prefer is one that is very light and that the food can just pass through me. That delicious pie just sat in my stomach for days. It felt gluttonous on my part. I don't know what to do with the rest of it. A spoonful would have sufficed. I enjoy sweets but the next time I make a pie like that I need to invite friends over.



I am a bit nervous about the juice feast because I don't know what it entails and if I can do the whole 92 days. My life is so hectic and I don't want to lose any energy juggling family, school and personal projects etc... If I do the juice feast, I will start this Sunday. I love my juices and I have been living on Natalia Rose's green lemonade for the last couple of weeks. I will check out the juice feasting website and see how to do it. I need that kind of cleansing.


Green lemonade

3 large leaves of collard greens
2 stalks of celery
1 1/2 - 2 Fuji apples
1 lemon
3/4 inch of gingerroot

Place ingredients in the order I have listed in a juicer (I use the L'Equip 2000. I love it!) and serve immediately. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Healing

I am seeing the results of my labour. My coach has gotten me to run. I'll run for a bit and then walk, run then walk. I really enjoy these times with my trainer. It's my ME time, trying to take care of myself. My face has gotten slimmer and I think I've lost some weight. I am not weighing myself because I don't want to be depressed or disillusioned. My trainer said not to bother and just focus on how your clothes are fitting you. He also said that I can do all the crunches and running I like but if I'm not eating properly and consistently, it'll be all for nought. True true. I want to be able to show him how the raw diet along with his training has helped me. He believes the "grazing" method of eating is the best way and not to starve yourself. I just try to eat when I'm hungry. I just need to make sure I'm putting in the right food in my mouth. Like this salad of shreddred cucumbers, carrots, chopped green onion , dill and lime juice. Very refreshing and light.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Rawlicious

Yesterday Tiago and I went to a new rawfood restaurant called Rawlicious, owned by fellow blogger Robin aka RawketScience. It is a cute, small establishment. I love the various types of seating. I ordered the Nutty Wrap, which was delicious. However, my favourite is Mono Blanco, a vanilla milkshake. It is made of vanilla nutmilk, almond butter, a banana and I think vanilla extract. Fantastic. I'll probably be going there again soon. Robin also has a Choco Monkey shake that I'll try next time.


Mono Blanco and Choco Monkey

Checkout the RawketScience blog under My Favourite Blogs.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ups and Downs

I've been going through some weird emotional feelings lately. I've been a bit discouraged about my weight gain during pregnancy. I really let it get out of hand. It just makes me feel like a weak person. I know it will take time for me to take it off but I get impatient sometimes. My hubs is very supportive and hasn't said or done anything to make me feel bad. I just seem to be juggling a lot of things and not getting a good grasp on any one of them. I am so fed up with my Masters program and after 4 years and 2 babies, I'm still not done. Ernesto is going through his temper tantrums and I don't know what to do sometimes. A part of me just wants to escape to a tropical island and live on coconuts and pineapple. I feel such a sense of imbalance and I'm trying to find ways to re-establish and to reconnect my life. I would love to take an ashtanga yoga class. I do have DVDs but I prefer the classroom setting with the music and the instructor making sure my body is positioned correctly.

I haven't prayed in days and I also feel a disconnect spiritually. Last night my hubs noticed that and we read a Biblical scripture. It was from the book of Psalms about trusting in the Lord. We prayed afterwards and I led the prayer. It felt wonderful talking to God. That's how I see prayer...like a conversation. I just poured my heart out and I guess I carried on for a long time because my hubs was dozing off. *smile* I really need God's guidance to keep me moving and centered. I need to breathe, pray, move, eat raw and sleep. I need to organize my time to allow myself to enjoy my family and not be frustrated with them when in actuality I'm frustrated with myself.

Peace.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Blessings

Just wanted to share photos of my blessings, my family. I am so privileged to be a mother and a wife. It can be trying at times but it is so worth it. It's a vegetarian household with me being the only vegan/raw foodist....well, my newborn is a raw foodist for now by drinking only mama's milk.

My gorgeous hubby, pre-dreadlocks.


This was during our first date.


Our gorgeous boys: Ernesto and Santiago

Monday, April 14, 2008

Toronto Raw Food Potluck

It's been almost a year since I attended the Toronto Raw Food Potluck. I was so looking forward to it. I made a key lime pie made of avocados, lime juice and a coconut crust. I'm not a big avocado fan. The flavour of avocados make me want to vomit. I didn't taste it, my hubs did and said the pie was fantastic, especially the crust and there was no avocado taste. My hubs has supported my diet. At first, he wanted nothing to do with raw food. When we first met, he was a diehard carnivore, a typical Cuban that loves his pork. Slowly he began to change his diet when he was getting digestive problems. One day he told me that he was abandoning meat (with the exception of fish) and alcohol. He considers himself a vegetarian and he's not turning back. He enjoys the raw desserts I make but doesn't want to fully commit to a raw food diet. His concern is that the raw foodists are too skinny. He still thinks they may be lacking vitamins and other minerals.

We arrived at the potluck late and half the food was gone. I barely put down the pie when the people swarmed like vultures towards me. Hahaha. I managed to enjoy a salad of cabbage, cukes, dill and green onions. I will certainly be making this salad in the future. Another person brought a salad of marinated carrots, broccoli and something else. I wish they had written the ingredients as requested by the organizer. That salad was fantastic.

I enjoy the monthly raw food potlucks.

My key lime pie.


My hubs and Santiago

I am working with a track and field coach at my university 3 times a week and he has given me a diet plan. He is neither raw vegan nor vegan. I've basically thrown out his menu plan and worked around or replaced the dishes with raw vegan alternatives. I know protein is an important thing so I've included hemp seed powder in my smoothies. The results should be fantastic. I haven't started running yet but I am patient. My coach is excellent as he is aware of my post-pregnancy injury and has given me exercises to help strengthen my pelvic area. Once I've completed my training with my coach, I will show him an alternative menu plan for vegans and raw vegans. He'll be quite surprised and perhaps will incorporate it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Santiago and me

I realize that there are so many pictures of my newborn with other people and not with his mama. So I decided to lie on my bed and take a picture of just the two of us. I couldn't see his face so I was just crossing my fingers for at least one good picture. Tiago is so precious.