Sunday, 5 December 2010

NEW BLOG ADDRESS



Bye bye Blogspot :(


I will no longer be using this page for my blog.


Please visit www.ifeelalivelifestyle.com for all of this blog plus whatever the future holds...







Love Is...

wanting to help others towards happiness.

Tea Time!

Carrot and Papaya Thai Salad



INGREDIENTS
Grated carrot
Grated papaya
Baby plum tomatoes, chopped small
Celery stalk, sliced thinly
Spring onion to top
Garlic
Ginger
Lemon juice
Medjool date
Red chilli

METHOD
Make the dressing by combining garlic, ginger, lemon juice
Medjool date, red chilli and some tomatoes to a blender
or coffee mill. Add enough of each item to your taste.
Add sauce to grated and chopped items and stir thoroughly.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Christmas is What YOU Make of it

My Christmases as a child, from the age of 8 onwards, were never anything special. My parents had many other things on their minds and Christmas developed into a day which made me sad because everyone else I knew was celebrating happily with their loved ones and I was not.

As a child there was little I could do to change my Christmases.

But when I became an adult I realised Christmas was what I made of it.
Especially as I got into my late twenties, I wanted to ensure I celebrated the way I wanted to.

Every year I decorate my tree whilst watching the film Home Alone. This year it included my fiance and his nephew and niece. It was an incredibly happy and delightful evening all round! So much fun. Log fire, Home Alone, fairy lights, decorating the tree, decorating the cats...

In a few weeks I will have my annual Christmas party for friends called Friendsmas. It really is the best day of the year.
We have an annual Christmas sweater competition, the winner winning the brass plaque with their name engraved onto it. We play board games, watch Christmas films and make Christmassey things all day long. Drink nog (no eggs), mulled wine and Snowballs and basically hang out together having fun.

So if you are in a position where you feel hard done by at Christmas, what can you do to change that?

Your life is whatever YOU want it to be! Make your Christmas something to smile about.

Nut Crunch Choco Cookies

These nut crunch choco cookies are very simple and quick to make. Ensuring you are munching on some chocolatey yumminess in super speedy time!

Melted cocoa butter, cocoa powder and agave nectar thoroughly mixed with ground up sunflower seeds and bashed up almonds.

Take a tablespoon of the mixture and place on a plate or other suitable dish in the shape of a cookie.

Place cookies in fridge to enable the cocoa butter to set.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Tea Time!


Sushi

This was very fun to make and very very tasty! The dark green taste of the nori goes perfectly with the tastes of nama shoyu and rice vinegar.

It did take some time to prepare but was fun and was totally worth it!


RICE
Chickpeas soaked in water for a couple of days. Placed in a food processor and processed until forming tiny rice-like pieces.
I made three flavours of rice for the sushi:
Nama shoyu
Nama shoyu, rice vinegar
Nama shoyu, rice vinegar, Medjool date, wasabi

FILLINGS
Thinly sliced cucumber, avocado, tomato, spring onion

DIPPING SAUCES
Medjool date, rice vinegar, chilli
Nama shoyu, rice vinegar, Medjool date


PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Wet both sides of a nori sheet and lay it out flat.
Firmly pack the chickpea rice in the middle of the sheet. Using your finger, make a small indentation in the middle of the packed chickpea rice.
Place fillings into the small indentation.
Firmly pack more chickpea rice on top of the fillings.
Take one side of the nori sheet and pull over the chickpea rice and fillings until it's quite tight.
Take the other side of the nori sheet and pull it over the chickpea rice, filling and nori bundle. Pull it so that it is tight
Carefully cut the sushi into sizes you want.
Serve on a plate with the dipping sauces.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Tea Time!


For tea tonight...

Spaghetti with pesto.

Very very easy and quick to make.

INGREDIENTS:
(for one person)
1 courgette
50g pine nuts
2 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic
Good handful fresh basil leaves
Small handful spinach leaves
Small amount water


METHOD:
Grate courgette longways to make "spaghetti".

Blend all other ingredients. Adding just a small amount of water to get things going.
Mix the pesto with the spaghetti and consume.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Orange Chocolate Macaroons

I made these for my boyfriend after he bought a packet 
of macaroons last week.

Very simple to make and require little dehydration time 
if you keep the size of them smallish and flat.


INGREDIENTS
100g pecan nuts
50g dessicated coconut
50g coconut meat
50g sesame seeds
4 Medjool dates
Vanilla
Bar of raw orange chocolate or your own chocolate

METHOD
Bash up the pecan nuts (I put mine in a bag and bashed them with a hammer!).
Grind seeds in a seed mill/ coffee grinder.
Blend the coconut meat in a coffee grinder or similar until smooth.
Blend Medjool dates with a little water to create a date syrup.
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix thoroughly (keep some dessicated coconut to one side to roll macaroons in prior to dehydrating)..
Keep mixing!
Take dollops of mixture and form into macaroon shapes.
Roll macaroons in dessicated coconut.
Place macaroons in dehydrator for around 2 hours or longer if you want them drier.
Either make your own chocolate or melt down a raw bar.
Dip macaroons in chocolate and leave in fridge to set.
Demolish macaroons.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Onion Bread


Delicious and so so tasty!

Can be used to make sandwiches or just to spread houmous and tomatoes over.

Easy recipe and does not take too long in the dehydrator.


 
INGREDIENTS
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup linseeds
1 small onion (or bigger if you like the taste!)
1 tbsp nama shoyu
Sea salt to taste (if you want it)
1 cup water

METHOD
Grind seeds into a flour. Place in a blender.
Chop up onion into small chunks. Place in blender.
Add nama shoyu, salt and water.
Blend.
Keep blending, and scraping down the sides if necessary.
Keep everything blending until the consistency is thick and almost non moving in the blender.
Using a tablespoon, place one spoonful of dough onto greaseproof paper.
Spread out dough into a slice about 8 inches by 4 inches in size.
Place slices in dehydrator.
Dehydrate for 1 hour 30 minutes then carefully peel greaseproof paper off slices.
Return to dehydrator for another 1 hour 30 minutes or until desired texture is achieved.

Sweet Chilli Kale Crisps


Again, like the wasabi kale crisps, incredibly easy to make.

INGREDIENTS
100g kale
1 vine tomato
1 Medjool date
1/2 red chilli (or as much as you would like)
2 tsp rice vinegar


METHOD
In a coffee grinder or coffee mill blend the tomato, Medjool date, chilli and rice vinegar.
If you would like a slightly runnier consistency add a touch of water.
Place kale in a large bowl.
Add sweet chilli sauce to kale and mix thoroughly.
Place sweet chilli kale on dehydrator trays.
Dehydrate for around 1 hour 30 minutes.


Since I am predominantly a low fat raw vegan I wanted to avoid using seeds in my kale crisps recipes. This works out very well with no added fats.


*For those of you reading who do not have access to a dehydrator, put your oven on its lowest setting and sit place the food on the bottom shelf, keeping the oven door open.*

Thursday, 18 November 2010

How to Take MSM

MSM (methyl-sulphony-methane, or dimethyl sulphone) is a form of sulphur that is safe and easy to take, although tasting a little yucky!


It is a pure organic sulphur, a naturally occurring compound in the human body. It is a biologically available form of sulphur that's naturally found in wild, untended food. In its purified form, it’s an odorless white crystal with a slightly bitter taste.
  • Maintains cell membrane flexibility and permeability, promoting an efficient exchange of nutrients and waste products. Ensures connective tissue health and the formation of collagen.
  • Provides the body with raw materials needed to create new cells, to repair and replace damaged tissues and organs.
  • Is involved in energy production, as a component of insulin and prerequisite for normal carbohydrate metabolism.
Sulphur deficiencies are associated with brittle nails and hair, scar tissue, slow healing wounds, arthritis, acne or other skin disorders, depression, memory loss, gastrointestinal problems, immune disorders.
It is the vital component in the formation of keratin, collagen and elastin, giving flexibility, tone and strength to our muscles, bones, joints, internal membranes, skin, hair and nails. It is also a free radical scavenger.

MSM can give a relief of swelling, inflammation and pain and symptoms of arthritis and research has shown that sufferers improved their symptoms.

My own personal experience of taking MSM has been extremely positive. My hair grows and shines more, my skin has a beautiful glow and is clear, my nails grow and become stronger and I notice that scars are less noticable.

Take MSM once a day in a mug of warm water and lemon. One teaspoon full.
You will notice changes within just a few weeks!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Love is...

... letting go of fear!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Wasabi Crisps



The easiest thing I've ever made in a dehydrator.

INGREDIENTS:
3 handfuls Kale leaves
30g pumpkin seeds
Wasabi powder (not raw. Add as much as you like)
Juice of half a lemon
Dash sea salt
Dash pepper

METHOD:
In a coffee grinder/ seed mill, grind the pumpkin seeds.
Add wasabi, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Grind everything together.
Add small amounts of water to get a fairly watery consistency.
Place kale in a large bowl.
Add wasabi mixture to bowl.
Mix everything thoroughly.
Place coated leaves evenly around dehydrator.
Dehydate for around 1 hour 30 minutes (or until leaves are crispy).

A very tasty and moreish snack!
Could be crushed up and deliciously sprinkled onto salads and soups too.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Vegetable Chow Mein

Raw sweet potato grated/ spiralised into noodles.

Combined with beautifully tasting and crunchy fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, sugarsnap peas, tiny pieces of broccoli, little gem lettuce, green beans, beansprouts, mung bean sprouts and anything else that you desire!

The chow mein dressing is made from a raw oil (any that you choose, sesame oil works well) mixed with garlic, ginger and soy sauce (not raw) blended together in my coffee grinder. The oil can be left out if you prefer.

Toss the noodles with the dressing and add the fresh vegetables.

A few words on raw sweet potato:
Sweet potato shows trypsin inhibitor activity. That means it contains an enzyme inhibitor that blocks the action of trypsin, an enzyme that digests proteins. This makes raw sweet potato difficult to digest. The trypsin inhibitor is deactivated by cooking. However, a small amount of sweet potato on the rare occasion is absolutely fine.


If eating sweet potato is not for you, try using squash or courgettes as noodles.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Do You Think For Yourself?

Who Thinks for YOU?
I bet you any amount of money that you think YOU do.
The majority of people who read this, however much they think they do, sadly do not think for themselves.


As John Donne noted in a 1628 sermon,
“The beast does but know, but the man knows that he knows”


When you speak, think or act are these YOUR consciously chosen words, thoughts or actions?
Most likely they are the response of your conditioned mind that has been conditioned, without you even realising it, by tv, magazines, celebrity behaviour, your friends' habits...


Sadly, the vast, vast, majority of people in our world are equal to the beast when it comes to being consciously aware and thinking for themselves.


Your mind has different levels of consciousness. The first level is your conscious mind. Behind your conscious mind is your subconscious mind. Then behind the sub conscious mind is your unconscious mind. The unconscious is who you really are, the essence of your very nature. Behind the unconscious is the collective unconscious which is the whole of humanity’s evolution until now.
In order to become more conscious and aware and rise above the unconscious state, you need to experience being alert and awake. This is something you cannot just simply understand intellectually, because it will only remain as an understanding of the unconscious. It has to be experienced, to be felt.


Question your actions and what you think.
Why do you wear your hair the way you do? Do you genuinely like it like that?
Why do you say the things you do? (A very common phrase that many people use is "you know". Just halt and listen to others speak, how many times do people say this? A lot! People say it without realising because they are not thinking).


When I became raw my conscious awareness increased dramatically. It was quite an eye-opener! I felt as though I was viewing the world through new eyes. I was looking at everything freshly. My perception of the world and of my thoughts on the world were changing... The world and my thoughts were becoming clearer.


After my first Vipassana meditation sit my mind was opened even more.


The clarity of mind I have gained from diet change and breaking down the conditioned habits of mind are lifechanging and I am basking in the results.


LIFE is the absolute most incredible gift we can give ourselves. And in this modern day we must really go back to basics, mind and body (meditation and diet/ exercise), to find that.
I thank myself every day for giving myself the tools to awaken my own mind and body and become, eventually, of higher mind. As a human I can think, and more to the point, I KNOW that I can think! Awareness of body and mind allows us to feel life.
The ultimate gift!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Easy Brown Bread

Very very simple to make brown bread.

Served here as a sandwich with cream cheese, spinach and coleslaw!




Ingredients
1 cup water
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup flaxseeds
1 apple


Method

Add sunflower seeds and water to a blender and blend.

Blend for some time.
Add chopped apple.
Continue blending.
Transfer contents to a large mixing bowl.
Add ground flaxseeds and mix together.
Mix very well.
Spoon onto greaseproof paper sizes of "dough" that are about as big as your hand. Make the slices thin, about 0.3cm thick.
Place slices in dehydrator.
Dehydrate for around 3 - 4 hours. Keep checking to see how the bread is doing as different dehydrators will achieve different results.
When the bread is dehydrated sufficiently, peel off the greaseproof paper and return to the dehydrator for another hour or so. Until you are happy with them!


I use mine for sandwiches, shown in the picture above with sunflower seed cream cheese and coleslaw.
All raw, all vegan, all incredibly fresh and tasty!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Peppermint Chocolate

Supremely easy peasy raw chocolates to make.

30g Cocoa butter
20g Cocoa powder
10g Lucuma powder
3 tbsp Agave nectar (or whatever amount you prefer)
1 tsp Organic peppermint flavouring (not raw)

Place a bowl inside a container of warm water.
Grate the cocoa butter and add to the bowl.
Stir in agave.
Mix in the cocoa powder and lucuma stirring continuously.
Keep stirring!
Add peppermint flavour.
Stir well.
Add to ice cube trays and place in fridge.

The Quickest Way to Feeling Good...

... do something for someone!

Helping others brings a profound feeling of self-satisfaction and joy. It fills you with love and sets a splendid smile on your face! It reminds us that we are human and there are other humans out there in need of help, it helps us to feel more attached to our fellow brothers and sisters, it connects us (something that is sorely lacking in our society today). It has the potential to improve another's life and your own from the satisfaction the act will bring.

Not only that, helping others spreads the happiness to them too, which may encourage them to go on and help another and on and on.

Sometimes it's very hard to make the effort to be nice and help another, we have our own problems and issues too. Stop and take a breath, bring yourself into the present moment, how does your body feel? Can you feel your breath moving in and out of your nose? What sounds can you hear? How does the sky look? Taking the time to relax gives you time to give to other people.

Spreading happiness starts with YOU.


Some easy ways to spread some happiness:

  • Give blood. So easy to do and costs nothing.
  • Give someone a compliment.
  • Buy a homeless person a meal. In the winter, buy them a warm cup of tea.
  • Help someone who looks like they are struggling with shopping/ pram/ changing a tyre.
  • Volunteer. Even if it's just for a few hours. Visit a local charity shop and ask if they need any help.
  • Clear out your clutter and give it all to charity.
  • Make a card/ gift for the people you love. Do it just because you can!
  • SMILE! A genuine smile to a stranger can create an epidemic of happiness!
  • Ask people "HOW ARE YOU?" Say it simply, patiently and honestly. And wait for their reply.
  • Contact someone you have not had contact with for a while. I like to send a text message or email to one person a week who I rarely have contact with.
  • Listen. Listen to what someone says to you without interruption.
  • Show your appreciation! Is someone a fabulous friend? Tell them! Was a waitress friendly and helpful? Tell the restaurant!
  • Donate money to charity.
  • Give someone TIME. Time is precious, in so many ways. Just giving someone TIME, from a salesperson in the street to your little nephew, goes such a long way. Giving time is noticed and almost always appreciated.
  • Just plain simple BE NICE. The response from being nice to others is astounding. We live in a society where people just do not have time to be nice. Do no have time to be nice?! Make time. And be nice. Being nice always wins in the end.


Foods That Confuse!

So many foods confuse us and disable the switches in our bodies that tell us we're full.

Foods high in fat, salt and refined sugar.
Very strong tasting foods such as garlic and onions.
Combinations of many different foods in one meal.

These types of meals leave me feeling hungry and unsatisfied. Craving something sweet (which in the past is when I would have found temporary satisfaction in refined sugars!) or just something more bulky in my belly.

It's difficult to avoid them sometimes but worth it so much when avoiding them leaves me in tune with what my body really wants. Not only does my digestive system feel calmer but my whole mental attitude towards food feels more at peace, I lose that "urgent" need to eat something and lose all cravings.

Foods that do not confuse include:
Mono meals.
Green smoothies.
High fruit meals.
No fat, no salt, no refined sugar meals.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Buddha's Thoughts On our Bodies





“Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.”
~Buddha