Today is my birthday and it is one of the best ones I can remember.
There are many reasons why:
I am away from home.
I am near the ocean.
I am eating delicious vegan meals in warm and well decorated cafes.
Pumpkin Curry Bisque
Loved the decor of this vegan cafe!
And I tried something new.
I threw axes this afternoon! After watching Christine Baranski throw them on an episode of “The Good Fight”, I had to try it. I mentioned it a couple of times months ago but never thought much about it. Whey Hubby said he had a surprise for my birthday and it’s something I want to try, I racked my brain but came up with nothing.
I eventually guessed about a week ago and by that time, he already made the reservations. When we pulled up today, I was excited. Even if I didn’t hit the board, I knew it wouldn’t matter. The point was to ring in 39 not only with workouts, reading, eating and water but to usher it in with a Kristina who wouldn’t be too scared to wield an axe or anything else I never pictured for myself.
By the way, I not only ended up hitting the board but a couple of times, I hit the bullseye.
I think it’s fitting that today is the start of a new year because I devote Tuesdays to all aspects of health. Although I decided to ramp up my efforts at the end of November, like most people the holidays got to me and it is definitely time to recommit. I didn’t stop moving but the raw foods did take a backseat for a couple of weeks.
I began looking for a reset. A lot of people fast, diet and make all sorts of resolutions and promises on New Year’s Day. All I want to do is commit to more raw food. I can’t forget (nor do I want to forget) the way I felt throughout July when I was raw vegan for 30 days. It wasn’t just the increased energy. Anxiety and fatigue seemed like states of being that could never be attributed to me.
So my reset is to cling to what I know: walking, being a high raw vegan embracing juices and smoothies, yoga, dance classes, massages, prayer, therapy and letting go of fears and mindsets that no longer serve me.
I was feeling pretty tired and then just plain under the weather today (is summer almost here yet?). That was why I was especially happy that Hubby was off and felt like trying a new recipe: Mushroom Stroganoff (Vegan). He found the recipe on onegreenplanet.com.
Here is the recipe:
8 ounces uncooked ribbon noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour, divided
2 cups beefless beef broth or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (half Portobello and half White Button mushrooms), cut into large 2-inch chunks
I recently decided that I will spend from September 3rd-October 3rd eating raw foods and journaling everyday. On the 4th of October, I leave for the Digital Storytelling Workshop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. By that time, I want to feel mentally, spiritually and physically prepared as possible for the experience ahead of me.
Today, I was listening to a man who has been water fasting for over 40 days now speak about how he feels that we take on the characteristics of the things we eat. His statement was reminiscent of the age old saying “You are what you eat.” What struck me was the calmness in his tone as he recounted how he was reacting (or not reacting) to others in typically stressful situations. He feels like water–going with the flow without rising to anger or panic.
Even though I was raw throughout the month of July, I didn’t document how I was feeling each day. I want the next 30 days to stand out in my memory and the best way for me has always been to write it down.
I also want it as a record for all I have to be grateful for…the physical and the mental results.
Hubby and I spent the weekend in Baltimore. We had the pleasure of attending Vegan SoulFest 2018 and visiting with friends. Yesterday, they took us to a lively farmer’s market in the city where we purchased (among many other things), oyster mushrooms. I have had them in restaurants but never cooked them myself.
We ended up using a recipe from liveeatlearn com and I can’t wait to try it again.
Here’s the recipe:
4king oyster mushrooms*
2Tbspextra virgin olive oil30 mL, divided
Shred mushrooms.Preheat oven to 400 degrees (204 C). Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Using two forks, shred the stems and caps roughly into pieces. Set on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Bake: Drizzle with 1 Tbsp of the oil, paprika, salt, cayenne, and garlic. Toss around to evenly coat the mushrooms, then bake for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are a bit crispy and brown on the edges.
Sauté: Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in a large saute pan over medium high. Transfer cooked mushrooms to pan and add BBQ sauce. Stir and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until mixture is thick and fragrant. Serve warm on sandwiches, nachos, salads, tacos…or whenever you eat pulled pork!
We chose to serve it on a wheat bun with my husband’s version of deviled potaties. Definitely looking forward to eating this dish again.
For the next 5 days, I have decided to return to eating raw vegan. Let’s just say I went off the rails during vacation with my vegan cooked foods and kept it up for a few days afterwards.
I usually like to make huge salads for dinner while raw and seek a recipe from the internet or something store bought for the dressing but tonight, with inspiration from recipes I’ve seen online, I decided to go ahead and make my own.
Here’s the recipe:
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of raw cashews
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon of juice from olives (you can even throw in a couple if you choose).
1 tablespoon of spicy brown mustard
Blend together and enjoy this creamy dressing with your veggies!
It was about accepting how far I have come in my health journey with psoriasis. Even though I wasn’t thrilled about what happened to my face since being diagnosed, I had come to a point where I was happy with the progress I had already made.
And then I challenged myself to be a raw vegan for the month of July and with the exception of a few bites of hummus here and there, I succeeded.
Then something else happened. My skin started changing rapidly. The picture above is the transformation from June 3rd to August 3rd. The pink scales started to clear and my real skin appeared. My real brown started to emerge again. I walked out of the house several times without a stitch of makeup except for lip gloss. It has been years since I felt comfortable doing that.
Even though I indulged in cooked food a few times over last weekend, I know how key this is to my healing and I know I’ve written it many times now, but I am not letting it go. When I first looked at those pictures side by side, I was bowled over by the change. There is an answer for me that doesn’t look or sound like injections or pills or steroids.
How blessed am I for having access to fresh fruits and vegetables? How blessed am I that I have access to information about how they heal and how my body wants to heal itself? I am grateful that I was open to it.
This past Saturday was our 6th anniversary! One of the ways we celebrated was trying Nu Vegan Cafe. It did not disappoint. I hadn’t indulged in any cooked food since June 30th and this meal was well worth the wait.
I had “chicken drummies” with macaroni and cheese and broccoli and hubby had General Tso’s with rice, string beans and some of the most delicious cabbage I had ever tasted. I am so happy to report they knew how to season their food!
We even tried some of the vegan cornbread which is not to be missed! I had to slow down as my body was not used to eating cooked foods again. So while we did go back to try their brunch on Sunday (french toast was everything!) we will have to slow down as I am back on mostly raw foods. Make no mistake, we will be back. I still have so much more left to try!
I wrote a post months ago about having to say no in order to say yes to myself. Well, I am doing it again. I have been working extra hard lately and tonight, I will nourish myself and rest. I also thought about something special to share. I have made many vegan dishes–mostly cooked but several raw vegan. I had many favorites like African peanut stew, Raw No Bake Brownies, Vegan Shepherd’s Pie, Sweet Potato Enchilada Bake, Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo and Raw Taco with Cashew Sour Cream.
I look back and think how proud I am that I pushed myself to find and cook these recipes. I didn’t just rely on salads (but I have made plenty of those!). I can’t believe it took this long to become more creative with my cooking but mostly I am grateful that I used this as a way to take better control of my health.
I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings as I start to prepare more raw meals and watch food play a much bigger role in my healing.
Tonight, I made raw vegan tacos using walnut “meat” and used Romaine hearts as the shell. I have used walnut before but never made fresh pico de gallo and cashew sour cream. The recipe came from mydarlingvegan.com. Everything came out well but I needed to add a bit more sea salt to the cashew sour cream and let it sit in the refrigerator a bit longer. I also added more cumin and hot sauce to the walnut mix. We fell in love with the pico!
To make the walnut meat, blessings d all taco meat ingredients in a food processor until walnuts break down into small crumbs. Do not over mix, they will quickly form a paste. Remove from processor and set aside.
Combine the ingredients for pico de gallo and refrigerate until ready to use.
If making cashew sour cream, drain and rinse the cashews. Transfer to a high-speed blender with remaining sour cream ingredients. Blend until completely smooth. Transfer to small container and refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble tacos, place 2-3 tablespoons walnut meat on the bottom of a leaf of romain lettuce. Top with pico de gallo, avocado, fresh cilantro, and cashew sour cream. Once assembled, serve immediately.