Secret Revealed

>> Sunday, August 31, 2008

So remember that secret or surprise I mentioned a few days ago? Well, today is the big reveal!

presents.jpg
more animals

You can check out the unveiling here at Pure Jeevan's blog.

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Mmmm....chocolate....

>> Friday, August 29, 2008

Hubby picked up this chocolate bar for me from a local raw vegan store so I thought I'd share my thoughts. I'm sharing this mainly for those unaware of these types of treats.

Normally, a dark chocolate bar with that high of a percentage of cacao (88%!!) would taste so bitter to me but believe me, the raw versions, including this one, are not bitter at all. I had one bite of this d-lish chocolate bar and I was in heaven. Smooth, perfectly sweet, ORGANIC and RAW. A bit pricey just like most decadent goodies but it was worth it to me. For those unfamiliar with raw chocolate, if you had tasted this without knowing it was raw and/or vegan you would never have guessed.

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The (Sweet) Taste of Success

See that? That merlot lettuce, fancy green leaf lettuce (no idea what it's called or the variety but it sure is pretty!), and spinach all came from our garden. We grew that. As frustrating as the weather has been this year and the problems associated with gardening, especially as first time gardeners, we're really proud of our latest harvest.

These are OUR carrots. So wonderfully sweet and perfect looking. Those look that way after only a simple scrub. No peeling. Try to get carrots like that at any store.

The end result: a delicious homegrown salad. Okay, not all the ingredients here are homegrown obviously. I'm just so amazed at how wonderfully tasty this salad was. It was infused with love and life that is indescribable. And with the added finishing touches to the salad it was worthy for royalty. Me. Z:-D

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Stay Tuned!

>> Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I can't believe I haven't mentioned this earlier but just to toss out a little teaser to you raw foodies something big and exciting is coming your on August 31st.

If you're a member of Raw Fu and watched Bunny Berry's recent video she also eludes to this something. hee hee! Don't ya just love the suspense?!

Dun dun dun!

You will have to stayed tuned as to what it is but you will definitely LOVE it!

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Cheeze-itz

I finally made these crackers found on Gone Raw; Heathy also featured them here and made some changes, which I followed. Or some of them anyway (I followed her notes on the nuts and seeds but forgot to add in any additional spices and sun-dried tomatoes like she did). One thing I did have to do was add in some water in order to get the stuff moving. I don't recommend doing this unless you have to. I should've mixed this in stages. With the batter being more wet than desired it didn't give the crackers a very nice look. Still tasted good but weird looking. If you check out Heathy's page you'll see how they should look. Like appetizing crackers. :)

Now, whenever I come across a raw recipe that's titled after something found in the conventional world I find that most of the time it doesn't taste much like the original. That isn't to say that the raw version isn't any good; most of the time it's delicious. It's just the names of some of these recipes can be deceiving and may lead to disappointment or make a non-raw fooder feeling tricked.

Anyway, these cheeze-itz I do have to say taste a lot like the stuff you'd find in a box on a store shelf. Not exactly the same but very close. And yes, I still have a memory of the actual cracker. :) These, however, are healthier! I have to admit as I was making this that I had very little hope that these would take on any sort of "cheesy" flavor when done. I was shockingly surprised and pleasantly so.

Next time I make these I plan on adding in some cayenne pepper. Mmmm....

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Happy B-day to SB!

>> Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Okay, it was Sara Beth's birthday on Sunday but it's never too late to wish someone happy birthday in their birthday month right?!

In honor of her birthday she had a
dessert party last night, which you can catch up on here. I thought I'd add a few pics of my own from the evening.

The dessert spread (all raw desserts people! In the center of the pic are blackberry shortcake and blackberry cheesecake. You non-raw foodies are missin' out!):


Blanche patiently waiting her turn in the chair:

My sample plate, which I had already begun sampling (from l to r: mango pudding, German chocolate cake, chocolate and vanilla ice creams drizzled with chocolate sauce with a side of cashew whip cream, and mint ice cream - again, ALL RAW and not made from any dairy):

YUM!

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Pint-Sized Love

I did it! Woo hoo! I did it! I did it! I did it!

I donated blood today.

Why is this so exciting? Well, the last time I tried to donate it wasn't a good day but today I passed the iron test with flying colors of red! Red as in my blood.

This also means I received my one gallon pin. I'll add a picture of it when I have my camera. My phone takes horrible pictures as witnessed by my arm pic above.

Did you know that with each pint of blood it can help up to three lives? So those eight pints, or one gallon, that I donated means I could've potentially helped 24 people. Gets me emotional thinking about it that way. I admire those who can donate regularly.

Curious about more blood facts? If so, click here. Although, for #39, which states there is no substitute for human blood, however it is a fact that coconut water, in cases of emergencies, can be used as a sub for blood plasma. Here's more info on blood plasma.

I had a good feeling about today; actually, I just really wanted to be able to donate so when I was told I passed I pumped my fists into the air! The minimum iron level is 12.5 or something like that and mine was 14 point something. Really good. And NO RED MEAT was involved.

The lady liked me I think because I was so happy to have passed. Of course, this makes her happy too. Not sure what the average donation time is when you're on the gurney pumping your arm but I filled my pint bag in five minutes, which also impressed her and everyone else. I had a vein that was ready to go I suppose.

This was probably more info that you cared to know but for me I'm just so glad I was finally able to donate blood today. That gallon pin took a long time for me to earn. Now we'll see how I do in 56 days.

And now my lovely pin:

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Mr. Bumble Bee and Me

>> Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mr. Bumble Bee
Created by Yellowss

Hey there Mr. Bumble Bee, how are you today?

Do you enjoy sitting on that flower?

Where are all your friends? Don't they like to fly?
Where do you live?
Why are you so fuzzy?
Is yellow your favorite color?
Are you a boy, or a girl?

I Know I'm asking a lot of questions, but what's that behind you?

OUCH!


by David Lyne-Gordon

if i were a bumblebee and you a scented rose,
i'd invite myself to tea and nibble your toes.
i'd nibble you all over and make you squeak and trill,
lying in a bed of clover, keeping out the chill.
when morning came i'd serve you tea to keep you satisfied.
and make you feel you wanted to be with a bumblebee by your side.


Okay it's me now. This bumble bee would not leave me alone! I think he was first drawn to me by my new purple garden gloves and then just hung around for awhile. Head to toe. Total stalker! Hubby would have nothing of it when the bee tried to land on him. I guess for me I have a new garden friend.

I now debut my first video:

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Just for Fun Friday

>> Friday, August 22, 2008

Got this email from both my aunt and my dad - I thought it was a fun quiz so decided to share.

Click on the link below.

15 pictures will come up with a category noted at the top. (Such as most appealing drink, landscape, etc.)

Click on a photo in that category that appeals to you most. It will then show you 15 different pictures. Click the one for you and move on.

Just continue to keep picking and it will automatically go to the profile. (After you answer a couple of questions.)

It will give you a profile of yourself. It's called a visual DNA. Your choices dictate your profile.

Just click on the tabs to see the next area of the profile.

It isn't complicated........ Give it a try........


Here are my results:
http://youniverse.com/personality/feedback/6d9a0f620810c6cf50a151c0d638e57a

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For the Non-Raw Foodist

>> Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Aimee recently posted on her blog some basic info found on the Raw Network of Washington's website about the raw food diet. I thought it was helpful that I thought I'd share too. Here are a couple of links which I'll also post in my sidebar.

What is a raw food diet?
Why raw food?

chart created by Bob McCauley

I understand that the raw food lifestyle isn't for everyone but there are many things about it that EVERYONE can benefit from in some way; hopefully these links will help answer a few questions.

One of the standard questions raw foodists hear is where do you get your protein? I still plan on doing a separate post about this but haven't had a whole lot of time lately so in the meantime, for those interested, here is a
9+ minute video that talks about protein. Update: yes, I do have spirulina from time to time in my smoothies. Only small amounts though as it does take some getting used to. :)

And speaking of not a lot of time lately, I'm a bit behind in my visits to many of your blogs (raw and non-raw friends). Don't worry I will be by and catch up. I'm also behind in my own posting but I'll get to both soon enough.

Have a good day!

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Going International

>> Sunday, August 17, 2008

Recently we went to the international market; for WA people: this is a different market from Uwajimaya. While we were there we could hear a guy over the PA going on and on about something. Since we don't speak or understand Korean we had no idea what. As we were leaving Sam asked the cashier about it (joked is he reading a book? She laughed...uh no.); she said he's conducting flash sales, basically going around the store and selecting an item to feature and marking it down to ridiculous prices! She didn't say it like that but it's pretty much what it is. She did tell us that we should find the moms and grandmas when he's doing this as they're the ones usually following him on his crazy sale trail.

We went to the market yesterday and when the sales started we looked around to where the guy with the mic was. Hee hee! He was surrounded by all the smiling and giggling Korean moms and grandmas! No lie. And yay, he was in the produce section
. I joined the crowd and everyone was so nice to me because I'm clearly in the minority here. Is it that obvious I don't understand Korean??

The mic guy told me they were selling (whatever) 8 for $1. I was confused as to what he w
as selling since all I'm seeing are hands and bags flying in every direction. Was it the purple plums? Or the white things? Thankfully someone handed me a bag since they were out of reach and someone else pointed out it was the white plums (at least that's what I think they are) on sale 8/$1. Once you've got your bag o'fruit mic guy uses his sticker gun to slap on the price. Phew! I made it just in time before he moved onto the next item, which was mushroom water. I'll pass thank you.

We followed him around a bit more but since he was out of the produce section our opportunity for more screamin' deals was pretty much over. That's okay, it was fun being part of the chaos. And hey, I got white plums out of the deal. They're really good.

At our garden we talked with a Chinese couple who are growing Japanese sweet potatoes. At least we think. They didn't speak much English but we did clearly hear "Japanese" and "potato" so after googling this we came up with Japanese sweet potato. They start out as ivy-looking vines which they had growing up some sort of pea trellis. It just looked really pretty and it made the woman really happy that we were admiring their garden so she gave us some crazy looking huge radishes. Ah, that's sweet. Since they were so nice to us and always smiling we gave them some romaine. The woman nodded in excitement and said, "I like!"

Take a look at the radish she gave us.

Hee hee...of course, I'm kidding.

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Anti-Pesto (ha ha!)

>> Saturday, August 16, 2008

This super yummy dish was named and created by Yardsnacker just for me. It has all the makings of pesto on top of tomatoes but not blended in the traditional pesto way. The basil is fresh from our herb garden unfortunately the tomatoes were bought while we wait for ours to ripen.

Yardsnacker's Anti-Pesto
1 large tomato, sliced into wedges
slivered sweet onion slices, optional
small handful of pine nuts, coarsely chopped
fresh basil, chopped or torn into shreds
drizzle EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
drizzle balsamic vinegar
S&P to taste

Toss and eat!

P.S. If interested, I added a slide show of my meet up with other raw bloggers to an earlier post.

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100 and Ramblings

>> Friday, August 15, 2008

Hey, this is my 100th post! I can't believe it. Who knew my lowly ol' blog would've made it this far? I've come a long way from the days of saying I would never have a blog. Sigh, I remember when I first saw my name listed on someone's blogroll. I felt like a STAR! Thanks to my hubby and my sis for their support and encouraging words when I first started and thank you all for coming along for the ride and enduring my many rambles. Your support and encouragement is also greatly appreciated. I mean you're my friends now! That means a lot to me.

In the few days since my last post, where I bragged about losing 5 pounds, yeah, well two of those pounds are back. :( I don't believe it's all due to the Korean food I ate but maybe partly? Could it just be water retention? I dunno but I'm not exactly pleased but I'm also not going to obsess over it.

As I've said in prior posts my challenge over the 100 days is to be vegan and mostly raw so I was happy to read over at Debbie's blog about how she got to meet Matt Monarch recently and he said we don't have to be 100% raw all the time. Of course that is one's choice to make - I believe whatever makes you happy. For me, high raw with the occasional cooked food (I can't give up my beans!) is perfect for me. Yippee! See Debbie's post here. This is not to imply I wasn't happy doing all raw but I like having flexibility with my food.

Now, I hope everyone knew I was teasing about my hubby ratting me out. I wasn't upset or anything over it. I actually would've written about the Korean meal whether he said anything or not. I'm just having fun teasing him about it. :)

We're having record breaking temperatures today. In fact, as I'm writing this I'm at work (shame on me!). The city of Seattle (downtown anyway) has been asked by the power company to reduce power usage. I guess they lost several transformers and are afraid there's not enough power to go around so due to that request I'm sitting here with only emergency lighting. I suppose I could go home, that'd be green of me. Having the regular lights going off and on is getting annoying but I am glad they turned down the a/c. It was too darn cold!

This girl's gotta work now. Happy weekend everyone!

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Raw Fu Challenge Update - First 10 Days

>> Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The first 10 days of the 100 day Raw Fu challenge has been a success for me. I managed to lose five whole pounds. Yippee! And I was relatively all raw except I did have a couple spoonfuls of organic peanut butter and if you have read Yardsnacker's recent post he rats on me, er, I mean he merely mentions that I had some cooked food brought down by a neighbor (he included a pic of my leftovers). If you haven't read it, go ahead and then come back here and read the rest of my post. Hurry.

Okay, so our neighbor knows we eat "healthy" but doesn't know the full extent of it so when he offered us this meal he wasn't sure if Sam would eat it because it had some fish cake in it (I wasn't sure I'd eat it either - fish cake sounds wrong). He and his family are so nice and generous that I had to accept the meal (they're always giving Sam stuff, I'm a lucky recipient by default - guess they like him better then me. boo hoo!). It was a rice cake dish (they're noodle shaped, kinda spongey-like and are very sticky on the teeth) with a spicy sauce and some fish cake, which to me was like fish-flavored tofu, and of course the green onions we gave him. Cool!

I'm not familiar with Korean food but thought this was pretty good. Very different. I wasn't sure what I expected it to taste like but it was surprisingly tasty. Not something I would have often though. I didn't really dig the fish cake but the rice cake thingeys were kinda fun. And it could've been spicier! I guess they toned it down a bit knowing they were going to give us some and didn't want to have to call an ambulance.

Maybe it wasn't necessary to share all that but doesn't your life feel enriched now that you know something about Korean rice cakes? hee hee!

If you caught Sam's theory in his post you'll understand why I ate it. So while I wasn't all raw all the time I don't feel an ounce of guilt over eating something that was given to us in thanks.


I'm not even going to discuss my exercise challenge. That sentence alone should tell ya.

Last night I made the sunflower seed cheese Bunny Berry featured in one of her videos.



Here's the recipe from the video:

Sunflower Seed Cheese
1 cup sunflower seeds
3 cloves garlic
Juice of half a lemon
Salt to taste

My notes: I used a whole lemon but it was small and a pinch of celery salt. Also, I soaked the seeds for an hour but I'm sure you're supposed to soak longer. I'm too lazy to look that up. It might also make a difference to let this chill for awhile (mine was overnight) before eating. It was good as I was making this but was way better the next day. JMO.

Mmm mmm good! I had this for my lunch today with some zucchini crackers and it was so good. I also had it on romaine leaves. No matter how you consume this it's going to be good...unless it was on ice cream then maybe not so much. :D

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Garden Gone Wild!

>> Sunday, August 10, 2008

I’m a bit tardy in posting about our lovely garden but you know how it goes sometimes. It was pretty wild when we went to the garden last weekend and did our usual stuff but then I went with Sam to the garden for a mid-week visit and HOLY MOLEY! Our garden, everybody’s garden had EXPLODED! And yes, those caps are deserved. Yesterday we went and saw even more growth. It's just crazy how quickly this has all grown when we've wondered if and when this would happen.

Btw, that's our merlot lettuce pictured.

Things had been coming along pretty nicely up to that point but over a few days it was almost like they had doubled in size. None of us are complaining. We’re all happy to finally see our gardens grow so much. It’s amazing what a little bit of sun can do.

We don’t really have anything yet to harvest except for romaine (and lots of it) but there is a whole lotta promise in store for us.

First our carrots. Peek a boo!

Tomatoes (don’t ask me what variety these are as we had so many that didn’t make it and others that took their places so I’m not sure what’s what anymore).

Of course I’ve got to have some animal pics. Here’s a very naughty squirrel being squirrely in our neighbor’s strawberry patch. He’s acting as though I don’t see him with his back turned to me. Yah, really fooled me Mr. Squirrel.

We’ve got squash, beets and radishes growing but I'll spare you photos of each.

Here's our corn! It's way behind everyone else's (thanks voles!) but it's coming along nicely now.

This sunflower (it’s called a chocolate cherry sunflower) is the only one that survived the first go-round when a vole or something ate all the others. Isn’t it gorgeous? Before it bloomed we usually found it covered in orangey winged bugs who kept very busy! We haven’t figured out if they’re good or not but they’re interesting. You can see in Yardsnacker’s video posted below the bugs I’m talking about. And if any of you know anything about them let me know. Sam planted more sunflowers of a different variety to replace the ones eaten so it’ll be awhile before we see what they look like. We’re way far behind on these compared to the other gardeners but that’s okay, it’s still fun to see the progress.

Also, note in this video our first picked purple radish and scallion. We were quite proud.

These are OUR dahlias. So beautiful!

Now we have this nasturtium growing among our strawberry patch (not our doing – just appeared one day). Actually we have a few that have taken root in our garden but this one is by far the largest and is producing yellow and orange flowers. So while this plant is a good plant for any garden (bad insect repellent) and has edible leaves and flowers it is taking over everything! It’s starting to encroach on the neighboring bed of carrots. I want to yank it out but maybe we’ll just trim it back. I like things tidy and this nasturtium is not following the rules.

Check out this busy bumblebee with two large pollen sacks on his legs. I bet that must get heavy for the little guy. He should get an award from the Queen for his valuable contribution.

A rogue sunflower in someone’s garden, I think among potatoes.

More sunflowers in all their glory around the garden. None of which are ours. Yet.

I have more pics from around the rest of the community garden which I’ll post separately, possibly in slide form to make it easier.

Was I bored or just sleepy? Ha ha!


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Friends

>> Saturday, August 9, 2008

This past Thursday, Yardsnacker and I met our internet friends LolaBloom, Aimee, her husband Chris and Sara Beth. I have to say these are some of the nicest people! It was refreshing to talk with others who understand the raw food lifestyle. That is in no way meant to be insulting to anyone else but I think we can all relate to that to some degree. I value the love and support I get from my friends and family who aren’t raw and I know that I can comfortably talk with them about what I’m doing however it is nice to meet up with people who are into the same lifestyle.

So our new friends are as real as they come across in their own blogs and each one is so fun and witty and beautiful and intelligent – it just made for a memorable evening.

We met at Chaco Canyon for dinner and dessert. Sam was a real trooper sticking with juices while we ate. Must be hard. But the food/juices and company were great and we talked until the restaurant closed and then hung outside and talked some more.

When I started my blog I never thought I’d make friends doing it let alone meeting any in person. Definitely makes it all worth it. Challenge? What challenge?


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So Far So Good

>> Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A couple of you have asked me how I'm doing on the challenge so far. Well, since this gives me a chance to talk about myself (b/c I never do - ha ha!) I'd like to share with you all on how I'm doing.


As the title states, so far so good! We're on day six of the Raw Fu challenge and am still going strong at 100% raw vegan. I feel great, nothing significant to note except that I have lost 3.5 pounds so far (bye-bye!). My first weight goal is within reach.

I should point out that I started cleaning out my closet and getting rid of clothes that just plain ol' don't fit anymore. You know how sometimes you can get away with wearing some of the bigger clothes but not so much anymore. It felt really good to get rid of clothes, just like with the microwave.

What is my deal?! :-D

My meals are still really simple so I'm sure that has helped a lot and I'm only having to be concerned about what I eat since hubby is juicing. So I've been eating a lot of fruit and avocados, which I know is a fruit also but I'm pointing out the fact that I've been eating plenty of those. Mmm...fat....I'll have to post about that separately.

The exercise challenge I have in place for myself isn't going as well. Whoops! I started off okay and then got lazy. I do count walking to and from my bus stop but that's not much (a combined mile and a half tops). I just need to get my rear in gear (budge the pudge!). It'll happen. In fact, the carpet cleaners are coming tomorrow so we have lots o'stuff to move and I'll count that as exercise for sure.

Bike update: we picked up my not-so-shiny-and-new RED bicycle from my boss. It's definitely been around with some chipped paint here and there. I haven't ridden it yet but hubby took it out for a spin and found that some of the gears slip. I'll have to look into getting that thing tuned up possibly.

Tomorrow hubby and I are going to meet for the first time zee ladies from blogging and Raw Fu (Sara Beth, LolaBloom and Aimee) over at Chaco Canyon. I just hope that when we show up it doesn't turn out to be that all three are the same person, a hairy big guy named Gary. ha ha! Actually, I am looking forward to meeting them in person so this should be fun.

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Love Is...

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Monumental

>> Monday, August 4, 2008

Yesterday, I asked Sam to take the microwave out of the kitchen. His jaw dropped. Of course, he had to remind me what I told him last year that I would NEVER get rid of it. ha ha! Times have certainly changed. But since he's not ever going to use it and I rarely use it and won't be using it for the next 96 days I figure move it out and free up some space. Maybe we'll keep it in storage for a bit or just give it away. Haven't decided on that yet but for now, my kitchen is microwave-free.

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Wow, I Didn't Know...

...that title is said with a sarcastic tone. I read this article today and thought well, duh. If the adult portions are unhealthy then what makes anyone think the kids' options are any healthier? Because they serve apples slices made to look like fries? Kids are still eating a fatty salty burger or chicken nubbins. We need FAST RAW FOOD restaurants (a dream) for those looking for convenience and healthy options because McDonald's and Wendy's aren't the type of places that come to mind when looking for good eats. Kudos to those trying to make a change but we're a loooooooooong ways away from seeing any real change.

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