Sunday, February 28, 2010

Manduka: Off the Mat and Into the World

If there were such a thing as luxury yoga items--it's Manduka.  Check out this SEVA package for Off The Mat Into The World.  This is everything you need for your yoga practice put together in a beautiful package.  This is quality stuff.  Everything is extremely well made with great attention to detail.  

The eKo Lite Yoga Mat is entirely non toxic and made with Manduka's proprietary natural rubber and sea grass texture.  It's the brainchild of yoga teachers who wanted to come up with a green performance mat.  It's light weight and great for travel.  The mat comes with a mat sized shipping bag and a prepaid UPS shipping label for convenient recycling, and a percentage of the proceeds from eKo mats go to support Off the Mat, Into the World, a program to help inspiring yogis to share their experience and help better the world.

The MatSak is probably the nicest yoga mat bag I've ever seen.  It's soft cotton canvas and recycled PET mesh with three compartments and air holes.  The shoulder strap is padded and I love the handles at either end.  All that and it's very good looking too.

The Bolster has a soft removable cover for washing, a core made from recyceled PET and cotton and a handle on one end--nice touch.  There's a micor fiber towel, a cork block and a cotton yoga strap.  This is exceptionally nice yoga gear, find it HERE.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I tried a new food today, sunchokes.  Also known as Jerusalem Artichokes, they are not from Jerusalem but a native of North America.  Apparently, a French explorer brought some back to Europe and gave them to his Italian friend who gave them the name girasole articicco, which means "sunflower artichoke." Americans misunderstood that for Jeruselum Artichoke, and the name stuck.  Sunchokes are related to sunflowers and contain potassium, vitamin C,  B6, riboflavin, phosphorus, and iron.

They are curious looking, like the children of ginger and potatoes with a little galangal thrown in,  and they taste like a cross between potatoes and artichoke hearts.  I cut them into chunks, put them in a skillet with a little salt, pepper and coconut oil and roasted them for almost an hour and they turned out pretty good.  I'm not rushing out the door to buy more, but they are quite enjoyable and it's always fun to try a new vegetable.  I'm looking forward to trying them again roasted with garlic and other root veggies.

image credit: FootoosVanRobin

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sunshine Award

Aimee over at A Bitt of Raw gave me this Sunshine Award--Thank you Aimee!  If you receive this award, feel free to pass it on to 12 other bloggers who bring you sunshine and link back to the person who gave it to you.  There are so many bloggers who bring me sunshine, here are just a few:

* Elena aka The Eco Diva, my dear friend who blogs about green fashion and body care.
* Mary at MittenMachen, creative, artful, yummy gluten free vegan food and great writing.
*  Susan at Rawmazing, best raw food photography around.
*  Jennie at Copenhagen Follies, smart, funny, artful and looks a little like Anais Nin!
*  Hannah at Bittersweet, incredible vegan food photos with a focus on goodies and recipes.
*  Antony In London, sweet guy sharing his adventures with raw foods.
*  Going Down Swinging, kind and beautiful person, inspirational proactive blog.
* Aimee at A Bitt Of Raw, intelligent, sweet, wonderful raw food info and support, always creative.
* Sly at Granola Tendencies, witty, fun, smart, very creative single city girl doing green, now back from hiatus!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Microplane Box Grater and Protective Glove

I'm always on the lookout for ways to enhance vegetable prep, the more variety and texture, the better.  This Microplane Box Grater is a wonderful tool and is not your average grater, not by a long shot.  This is all you need to make an exciting salad with texture rich variations.

I love the chunky ergonomic handle and the protective cover.  This is a smart design keeping fingers safe when reaching for it, everything with blades should come with covers, but they don't, so this is a great feature.

These blades are super sharp and grating is effortless--so be careful because it goes very fast!  Each side has a different blade with one side being a mini mandoline and one side is removable for easy clean up.  The grater has rubber feet for stability, just place the grater on your cutting board or into a work bowl and go. Awesome grater!  You can find worthy seconds at a discounted price on their website, HERE.

And if you sometimes get distracted like I do, it wouldn't hurt to wear this protective cut resistant glove.  I've sliced my fingers before on mandolines and this is just a way to have some peace of mind.  I have small hands and was afraid it might be too big, but it was fine.  Find it HERE. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Off and back On the Wagon

Hi Everybody.  The last week has been hectic.  I had some construction work done on my house (more on that later) which is wonderful but I didn't have any real access to my kitchen for a few days.  This made it hard/impossible to juice, prep salads, etc.  So I did the best I could and fell a little bit off the wagon.  But I didn't fall too far off.  I want to share with you my "cheats."  I'm actually kind of proud of them, they showed me that I've made some lasting changes.

I had some raw blueberry granola, some sprouted whole grain toast with avocado, arugula pear salad with fig vinaigrette and maple caramelized pecans, a Thai red coconut curry with veggies (no rice, just curry).  Oh, and two mangos.  Those are my indiscretions, the rest of my food intake has been the salads with avocado and sweet potatoes.

As of right now I'm back on completely, I have my kitchen back and things have settled down.  It was just a crazy week.  The food I ate was attainable, and there was an element of comfort involved on a couple of things, like the mango, salad and curry.  Those are pretty healthy comfort food choices, I think, so I don't feel bad about it but happy that I've had a paradigm shift, and that's good to know.

The day after I ate the bread I got a migraine.  Not sure if there is a connection since there were several other migraine-causers present but it certainly raised an eyebrow.  I'm happy and grateful to be back on my detox and realize just how much I need it.  Onward!

(image credit: slack12)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Charlie and Lola Recycle

Charlie and Lola are my favorite animated characters of my son's generation.  They are funny and intelligent and interesting to look at with their multi textured multi media graphics and unique appearance.  They are also excellent role models.  We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers is a great example.

Charlie teaches his little sister Lola why and how to recycle after she sees a friend's room who's a bit of a hoarder and vows never to have such a messy room.  The whole thing evolves into a school project and recycling competition to earn a tree for the school.

This books makes recycling fun and explains why it's necessary.  Kids love to feel they're doing something worthwhile and this message empowers them to be proactive and make a difference. Find it HERE.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

High Raw Detox Day 11-13 and Fridge Audit

I have not posted my detox diary for a couple of days but I am still going strong.  How many times can I show you pictures of sweet potatoes and salad with avocado??
This is what I am eating.  Every day.  Green juice, salads with avo and lemon, and sweet potatoes with coconut oil.  Surprisingly, I'm not getting bored with it, it's actually quite satisfying.  I am still having moments of fogginess and weakness but it's getting better each day.  To avoid repetition, I think I will report my detox food weekly as opposed to daily so that you can see more of a variety of food, how's that?
One last picture of my new mainstay and check out this tiny avocado, it's so cute (hopefully you can tell the scale here, it would fit in the palm of my hand).
And for something different,  here is a fridge audit--it's always fun to see inside other people's refrigerators, right?  Organic delivery came today, so it's pretty well stocked.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kyocera Ceramic Knife

One of my recent discoveries has been ceramic knives, specifically, Kyocera.  How have I missed out on this all these years?  Ceramic knives rule.  I thought I had really nice knives, a fabulous Santouku from Crate and Barrel and a Henckel I've had for years.  Well, enter this Kyocera Chef's Knife and I no longer even want to use my other knives.

A knife is something I use multiple times a day and I really appreciate quality.  Ceramic knives stay sharp and don't oxidize and turn your food brown (something that easily happens to lettuce). This knife feels good in my hand and makes chopping easy and pleasurable.  After using this, I wouldn't even consider buying another metal knife.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

High Raw Detox Day 10 ♥and happy valentines day♥

Mid Morning:  Green juice consisting of cabbage, parsley, kale, cilantro, cuke, ginger, carrot.
Lunch:  Big Salad, steamed broccoli, raw tortilla chips.
Chocolate Tea--more on this stuff later, it's made by East Bluff Trading Co. and tastes wonderful.  My son said, "It tastes like brownies!"
Dinner:  Big salad with avocado, orange peppers (see the heart?). Two squares dark mint chocolate.  Happy Valentine's Day everybody, thank you for your support on my detox!  ♥xo♥

Saturday, February 13, 2010

High Raw Detox Day 9

Today was kind of mixed up food wise.  Woke up hungry and instead of having my green juice mid morning, I had the zucchini noodles again, flash sauted with veggies--spinach, basil, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and a salad with avo.
A few hours later I had a green smoothie with black kale, maca, very ripe banana, and camu.
Dinner:  Salad w/cuke and avo, 1/2 sweet potato with coconut oil, steamed broccoli w/coconut oil and lemon.  Four pieces dark chocolate.

Zulugrass Friendship Bracelets for Valentine's Day

Here is something you can find locally in time for Valentine's Day, these are cute little zulugrass bead friendship bracelets perfect for the little girls or teenagers in your life.  The great thing about these is that a portion of the proceeds go to support women in Kenya.

Founded in 2002 by Katy and Philip Leaky (son of well known anthropologists Drs. Louis and Mary Leaky), to create business opportunities for rural Kenyan women, the Leaky Collection utilizes found natural objects to create contemporary designs for the global market place.  It's a win win--helpful for the environment, local communities, and global connection.  Learn more at their website HERE.

Friday, February 12, 2010

High Raw Detox Day 8

Mid Morning:  Carrot, cabbage, lemon, parsley, broccoli green juice.

 Ran out of avocados--not into lemon juice with stevia for my dressing!  (have since replenished in time for tomorrow.  Really missed my salad with avocado, it's becoming a nice healthy habit.

Lunch:  Steamed Romanesco with coconut oil, s&p.  Sweet potato with--this time I tried coconut butter (LOVE coconut butter).  It was rich and okay but I think I actually like the coconut oil better on sweet potatoes.

Dinner:  Very lightly-flash sauted zucchini noodles, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, red peppers, shallot, garlic.  Yummy!

Treat:  Four squares Endangered Species dark chocolate mint.  These are so yummy, they remind me of thin mint girl scout cookies.

Treat 2:  Green Smoothie--black kale, banana, ice, stevia, maca powder and camu.  Yum!  Haven't had one of these in a while because of the fruit, but I'm allowed an occasional very ripe banana in my smoothie.  I CRAVE greens.  By missing out on my salads today, even though I had the juice, I was just jonesing for greens!  This did the trick.  Green Smoothies rule.

Acorn Slippers and the EARTHROAMER boot

Do you take your shoes off in the house?  I am more comfortable in socks or barefooted, but never thought too much of other people wearing shoes in my house.  Now that I know that pesticides and all sorts of nasties come in on the bottom of soles, having an impact on the health of people living in the house, I follow Japan's shoes off rule.  And now that I tend to spend a lot on socks, I really appreciate a good pair of slippers, even in warmer weather.

Acorn offers a ton of options including vegan and eco friendly slippers.  I tried these Earth Roamer slippers (shoes, actually, but I've been wearing them as house shoes) made with recycled PET, and they are warm and cozy and very supportive.  Warm house shoes are imperative for me to keep the thermostat turned down and for supporting my feet while spending hours in the kitchen on a hard floor.

Slippers make a thoughtful and practical gift and Acorn slippers are available online and locally at quality stores like REI.  Check them out HERE.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

High Raw Detox Day 7

Morning:  Green Drink w/cabbage, carrot, kale, lemon.  

Lunch:  Salad, Avocado, Raw Tortilla Chips.  (no picture--I was ravenous and scarfed it down so fast there was no time for a photo!)

Dinner:  Steamed Broccoli w/coconut oil, s&p, Big Salad w/red peppers, avo, carrot, lemon.
Check out this fabulous bounty from my organic delivery service.  Every time I get a delivery (once a week), I feel so Lucky!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

High Raw Detox Day 6

Morning:  Green Juice on the go!
Cabbage, cuke, celery, kale,
lemon, carrot.

Lunch:  Big Salad with red pepper, cucumber, avo, red leaf, lemon, etc.

Dinner:  Repeat of lunch.

Treat:  Four squares Endangered Species Mint Chocolate.  Look at the cute little trees!

Eco Friendly Valentine Find: Lori Bonn Jewelry

Lori Bonn left the corporate world to follow her creative passions.  Now she owns one of the few eco friendly jewelry companies out there and produces some wonderfully unique designs.  She tries to keep it as green as possible with ethically sourced gemstones, responsible manufacturing practices, and some recycled metals.  There are several different collections to choose from, each with its own theme and feel and some collections feature stones exclusive to Lori Bonn.
I am especially fond of this Cluster ring from the Windsor collection.  It's a lovely mosaic featuring Amethyst, Alexandrite, Peacock Quartz and Sapphire.  It's very comfortable--not always the case with large rings, and heftier than it appears in the photo.  This is just one example of her imaginative designs.

Lori Bonn can be found online or at Nordstrom.  I think her jewelry would make a great Valentine's Day gift or--treat yourself!

High Raw Detox Day 5

Mid Morning:  Green Juice consisting of celery, lemon, carrots, cabbage, kale.
Lunch:  Big Salad with avocado, lemon, etc., sweet potato with coconut better.   
Dinner:  Repeat of lunch.
* I actually started this post yesterday and needed to add today you will see two food diaries.  Yesterday was difficult, I felt like a limp wet rag with no energy at all.  
* Salad portions might look small in photos, but those white bowls are the size of Serving bowls and Huge.  I feel like I am eating enough...maybe the listlessness is symptomatic of detox?  Whatever it is I hope it fades away soon.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sweet Gratitude. Sweets for Your Sweet.

Sweet Gratitude by Rogers and Tamborra, is an apt title for February.  Written by chefs from Cafe Gratitude, it's filled with a zillion options for Valentine festivities, or any other occasion.

What I love:  The authors are completely sincere.  It's an uplifting book with a holistic approach to well being and food.  I love what they say about guilt and sweet indulgences and that foods like this are important and are soul food.  One need never feel guilty over anything provided in this book and can allow themselves to be nourished by the otherwise forbidden.  Having said that, I wouldn't sit down and eat a half of raw pie (if you are eating mindfully, you wouldn't want to anyway, it's safe).

There is a great variety and the recipes are laid out very simply.  I am on a cleanse at the moment and have not had a chance to try one of the many recipes I've bookmarked, but Aimee over at A Bitt of Raw makes mouthwatering desserts all the time from this book and frequently posts wonderful photos of her creations. 

What I don't love:  This book has the feel of a much older book, like a book from the 70's.  That doesn't do the content justice in my opinion.  I felt that way about I Am Grateful, the other Cafe Gratitude cookbook as well.  Also,  some recipe ingredients are listed by weight.  I found this cumbersome and don't like having to sort out conversions (which are listed in the front of the book).  It would have been nice if that had been done for the reader.

As for the difficulty, I don't think the recipes are any more difficult than conventional baked goods, they're probably easier, there's just a learning curve to be addressed for the uninitiated which is  fine. 

Overall, I do recommend this book without reservation.  I think anyone interested in healthy eating should have this in their collection and I think it would make a great gift for Valentine's Day or a great purchase prior to Valentines Day so you can prepare some sweets for your sweet.  Find it HERE. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

High Raw Detox Day 4

Mid Morning:  Green Juice consisting of carrot, kale, celery, ginger, lemon.

 Big Salad w/red leaf, tomato, avocado, cilantro.  Raw tortilla chips.  Made extra to eat a little later when I get those low blood sugary feelings.

Treat:  Three pieces dark chocolate.

Today I scheduled an appointment with a hydrotherapist.  Ana recommended three weeks from now to assist with optimum detox.  This will be a first for me, a new experience!  A little hungry but have my eye on the ball---detoxed and full of energy.  

Valentine's Chocolate Roundup

Chocolate is the ideal gift for Valentine's Day.  It works in a variety of circumstances--and almost everyone loves it and it's affordable and good for you!  Great for your sweetheart, your child, your Mother, friends, anybody.  Chocolate speaks to something deep within, something primal.  There is nothing else like it.  Below are just a few chocolates that I have tried and liked.  Some are raw, all are organic and all but one is vegan (the Equal Exchange gift includes milk chocolate).

Endangered Species makes a wonderful vegan dark chocolate cherry that is smooth, organic, and supports endangered wildlife--yaay!  The cherry is my pick for Valentine's gifts but they have a bi selection to choose from.

For raw chocolate, UliMana has a great selection of organic raw vegan chocolates and treats.  I liked the cacao truffle and the lemon fig bars myself.  UliMana is an uber positive company whose namesake is the serenity goddess Uli which combined with Mana (life force energy) is a prayer to the goddess Uli asking for vibrant health and energy.

Equal Exchange has a gift set they are promoting for Valentine's Day pairing coffee and chocolate.  It contains two dark chocolate bars, two milk chocolate bars, and two different types of coffee.  The bag and tissue paper is recycled and Equal Exchange is a Fair Trade Organic company.  I Love the Equal Exchange vegan dark chocolate bars--this one is Extra Dark and they are not kidding.  Equal Exchange is eco friendly and fair trade, always a nice company to support.

For something sexy, try Lulu's Chocolate Alchemy.  Their chocolates are raw, organic, and unique.  Their Velvet comes in a lovely glass jar and is dark chocolate infused with maca root, vanilla bean, and orchid.  This would make a very attractive presentation for a gift to your sweetie.  Lulu is definitely taking chocolate to new heights.

And speaking of sexy, I think Alter Eco's packaging is sexy and masculine, great for guy gifts.  The chcolate is deep and dark.

For the adventurous who like to make their own treats, how about making your own raw chocolates for your valentine?  East Bluff Trading Co. is a company comprised of two brothers passionate about chocolate bringing the first ever Venezuelan organic cacao to the US.  They offer organic raw cacao butter, cacao, nibs--everything you need to create your own sweet confections and keep them as pure as you like.