Monday, August 31, 2009

The BEST night EVER!

These are the wise words of David Wolfe - a renown guru in the world of raw foods. I had the opportunity last night to go and see him speak in Orangeville Ontario. Even though he racaps on so much of what I know - he always has a way of taking nutrition to a whole other level beyond most people's consciousness.
The emphasis last night was on Superfoods. This term has been coined to emphasize food from nature which has superior health benefits. The best part is that these foods are so widely available to us - literally they are all around us in nature. Unfortunately most people don't even know what true superfoods are or better yet what they can do for our body, our mind and of course our health. Superfoods are foods that have unique properties that have the ability to nourish our body in more than one way. For instance on single food item (such as goji berries) may contain not only protein, but also immune properties, antioxidants and trace minerals. So in one single tiny berry you are getting an array of health benefits. Other superfoods - according to David Wolfe include Cacao (yes this is chocolate), maca, bee products, blue green algae, marine phytoplankton, aloe vera, hemp seed and coconuts.
So last night I went with a friend to watch and be inspired by David Wolfe's magnetic energy about superfoods. You can't help but feel his buzz and become pumped about all the benefits that these foods have to offer. Before I had arrived at the lecture, I was feeling a little tired from the long day I had, luckily there was a chocolate elixir available for me to drink and this perked me right up and made me feel amazing. I mean, who wouldn't want to drink a cup full of chocolate goodness? I am talking about chocolate in it's purest sense- no dairy and no unnatural sugars, only filled with herbal extracts and other super healthy goodies. This was followed by a slice of heavenly cheesecake made from cashews and coconut butter...I was in heaven!

David Wolfe with a Bag of Goji Berries on his head! - sorry for the poor quality pictures, I only had my phone available!

Since I already have been including superfoods in my diet for a long time - I thought I would share my favourite super smoothie recipe with you!

Chocolaty Super Food Smoothie!

1-2 cups almond milk
1-2 scoops of sunwarrior chocolate rice protein powder
2 tablespoons goji berries
1 tablespoon raw cacao or cacao nibs
1 tablespoon hempseeds
1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
1 frozen banana
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients in blender or vita-mix and blend until smooth and creamy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Organic Doggie Muffins

Yes, I make my dog super-powered organic, gluten free muffins. They are made from a base mix of- organic milled whole brown rice, organic whole chickpeas, organic whole quinoa, calcium, carob, 100% pure alfalfa, acadian sea kelp, oregano, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, ginger and garlic. This is a pre-made mix from Canine Life, a company that specializes in whole foods for dogs. They are an amazing company because they will cater to dogs that have ailments from food allergies, to skin disorders, cancer and arthritis. Dogs can suffer from the same things as humans and this can be a result of their diet, their environment or a genetic predisposition. Pet owners who take pride in their pets health will understand that they only want to feed their dog the best quality food. Why would you give your dog any less quality than you would give yourself? Why would you want to give your dog food that has no nutrients and is sometimes full of preservatives, chemicals and dead remnants of other animals that were not raised organically?

If you want to see your dog thrive and live a long healthy life - make sure to feed him or her the best quality organic foods. There are actually some great dried food mixes on the market that are made from 100% organic ingredients - so look out for them or ask at your local pet food store.
Or if you really want to take control and responsibility for your pet's diet - you can go the length and make them muffins!

Here is the recipe I make for my dog Casey

Casey's Organic Muffins

5 cups of Canine Life - gluten free flour mix
1 organic red apple, chopped
2 carrots, shredded
1 large handful of green beans, chopped
1 lb. organic ground chicken
1 organic egg
1/2 cup organic sunflower oil
1-2 cups filtered water
1 cup blueberries

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Stir well to combine everything.
3. Place in muffin tray and bake for 20-30 minutes until they have hardened up.
4. Take one muffin out to let it cool and give to your dog right away - because he will have been hovering around the oven for the last half hour licking his lips!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Nourished Traveler

It is so important to make sure you nourished when you are away. That may mean that you have to pack a yourself a whole bunch of goodies to take with you on the go just in case! It really is the worst thing when you are away somewhere with no access to healthy food. If you choose not to bring your own food for whatever reason, then it is important to make use of the internet and source out some of the healthy, vegetarian and organic restaurants and stores that may be nearby. There are some great resources for you to use like Happy Cow which is an amazing site with listings of health centered and vegetarian restaurants and health food stores located all over the world. I have used this resources many a time - in London, New York, Los Angeles, Florida, Vancouver - you name it!

After just coming back from vacation to Scottsdale Arizona, a common landing spot for the Wasserman family - I was more impressed this time than ever before. I have been travelling here with my family for years. The first few years - most meals were centered around your standard American chain restaurants ( Cheesecake Factory, Houston's, P.F Changs) as the years passed and as my palate became more refined (and discriminating) I have had a yearning for more sophisticated and health based options - which Arizona clearly lacked. Luckily we have a "place" ( or a second home) down there and I have the ability now to stock up on my favourite groceries from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's which usually takes care of breakfast and lunches for me but often dinner is out at a restaurant and now finally I had places to go! So after much research online and just merely keeping my eyes open my family and I have now found more places to eat here than I have ever imagined. An amazing restaurant called True Food Kitchen - has become a new favourite. It is a restaurant built on the foundation Dr. Andrew Weil's anti-inflammatory diet. "The dishes feature whole grains, omega-3 rich fish, organic fruits and vegetables, whole soy products and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices such as ginger and turmeric. The result: food that is delicious, satisfying, healthy and environmentally responsible." This makes me so happy and of course fully nourished! Then there were some other hidden gems along the way like Pizza Fusion a happy eco organic pizza place that has gluten free crust and goat cheese! So as you can see I was very well nourished while I was away!

So here are some quick tips to make sure you can be just as successful on your next vacation!

Things to bring with just in case you have limited resources:

- quick grab goodies like healthy snack bars (lara bars, pure bar etc..) trail mixes (raisins, almonds, goji berries, walnuts)
- organic whole grain crackers or spelt flatbread
- organic dark chocolate bar
- a loaf of spelt or kamut bread or gluten free bread or rice cakes
- a jar of almond butter or now you can get them in little squeeze packs
- dried fruit (mango, apple, pear slices)
- seaweed (nori, dulse)
- rolled oats so that you can make them anywhere ( you may want to bring some cinnamon too!)
- a bag or box of spelt, kamut or brown ricepasta (this can really come in handy)
*** For the record - if you know you are going to be somewhere where you don't have many options on the menu and you have the guts to do so, bring in your own pasta - ask the head chef to make it for you and just add some tomato sauce or olive oil, order some steamed veggies and voila you have your very own healthy pasta dish! ( I did this while in Scottsdale, at a family dinner at a hotel - the only options for me were cheese layered lasagna or white pasta with tomato sauce - neither would satisfy - so I worked a little magic and instead of sitting there starving - I had an amazing dinner!)

Or if you are in big city (Vancouver, Montreal, New York, L.A, Chicago, Miami) be sure to:

- check out web resources such as happy cow or you may find a local website that has listing of local restaurants
- go to any health food store (such as whole foods) and ask if they can recommend restaurants
- find areas in the city that cater to a healthy living lifestyle and you can ask there - also any yoga studio or spa may have some ideas for you

Don't be afraid to nourish yourself and ask questions as you may discover some amazing organic and friendly places where the food is delicious!

If you have any suggestions or other resources to share all readers please leave a comment below!