Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rawlicious Yorkville

Hilary and I visited Toronto today with the intention of going to the Tim Burton exhibition. There was a 2 hour wait in the cold so we decided to do some window shopping and then have lunch. 


Rawlicious is a living food restaurant in Toronto. Living foods are not cooked above 118 degrees- but often dehydrated at or below this temperature. Preparing food this way keeps nutrients and enzymes in tact and present. I have tried a living food diet a few times but have found that I do like to have cooked foods in my diet. I am so happy to have learned so much about preparing food in this manner because living foods are whole foods free of harmful ingredients, processing and preservatives. I enjoy raw food meals in my life fairly often and especially love raw desserts. 




This particular restaurant was located in Yorkville. It was a beautiful spot- open, colourful and generally just positive feeling.
















Beautiful ingredients in the open kitchen 
Lovely and helpful staff! 
Delicious Hot Chocolate

Hilary enjoys a chocomint smoothie

Absolutely delish caesar salad with onion bread croutons
and pine nut parmesan.


Hilary had zucchini pasta with pesto, tomato sauce
and 'neat balls'. Yum!!!


Strawberry ice cream! Made with cashews
strawberries and maple! Wow!


I would highly recommend Rawlicious to meat-eaters, vegans and raw foodies alike. This place is a real treat and it feels 
good to eat
here.

www.rawlicious.ca 
 



A Labor of Love

This Saturday was Chris' brother Paul, and their son Cohen's birthdays. We celebrated Paul's birthday on Friday at Montanas. Surprisingly, I was able to eat there on my 'diet'. Emily and I have been noting which restaurants seem eager to help accommodate and those who will not. It has surprised me a bit that the chain restaurants have been more accommodating than some of the local restaurants. 


                                      The birthday boys!


Cohen's first birthday party was on Saturday. I was faced with another test of my strength and willpower as I was surrounded by cake, crackers, chips and chocolate. I have to admit- it wasn't so bad. I brought a smoothie (that disgusted everyone) and a raw pumpkin cheesecake so I could enjoy cake with everyone. It's getting easier by the day! 


I have called this post "a labor of love" because making the peanut butter chocolate cheesecake that I brought for the adults at the party was just that. 


 It took every ounce of strength in my body not to stick my my finger in that bowl or to not lick the beater clean. Everything was covered in soapy water immediately after use (including my dirty fingers) to help prevent me from doing so. 

My favourite part? Watching people enjoy the cake at the party. Chocolate peanut butter is a favourite of Paul's and it was nice to make something he really enjoyed. I'd have to say that people's enjoyment of the food I prepare is probably my fav part. 


PS. I would like to include a recipe- this recipe comes from a Nigella Lawson cookbook. I have changed a few things and I'm wondering if that is enough for copyright purposes- any insights? 


Happy Long Weekend! 




Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentimes 2011

I have mixed feelings about Valentines. Part of me doesn't want to buy into the commercial aspect of it. I definitely feel like I should be feeling cared for all the time- not just that one day of the year. But on the other hand- I'm a girl...and dinner and a card or flowers go a long way.

Chris and I had great dinner on Friday as he was away on Monday, and I was lucky enough to have two of my lovely friends over for dinner in my new place.

And thus the challenge of creating a delicious meal that even non-cleansers would enjoy.


                                        Organic greens with pine nuts, avocado and a balsamic
                                        olive oil dressing (skimpy on the greens but I ran out)

        
                                                   Talapia steamed in coconut milk, sesame
                                                   oil, lemon juice and ginger topped with
                                                   toasted coconut and fresh mango. Roasted
                                                   beets on the side. Delish!


                                          A rich chocolate cake for dessert: almond, date and
                                          cocao crust with a cacao, agave and coconut oil filling.


In the end, it was an amazing night. All I can say is that I'm endlessly grateful for the wonderful food I'm able to eat, but even more so, for the beautiful friends I get to share it with.

Love Yourself (with food!)

My room mate Emily and I have just embarked on a 6-8 week long 'elimination diet'. We both have had issues with our tummies in the past so we decided to give this a try to see how food impacts how we feel. I think we all know it can impact us a lot and this experience is definitely showing us how much.

The idea of the cleanse is that you eliminate all potential food sensitivities from your diet for the first three weeks. We have eliminated sugar, caffeine, wheat/gluten, dairy, red meat, alcohol, all processed foods and certain fruits and vegetables. After the three week period we will be introducing each food back one at a time (with 48 hours in between each food) and recording our body's response. If our body does not react at all we can continue to eat this food. Emily and I both suspect dairy will elicit a negative response.

We are now on day 7! It has been an interesting experience so far. Eating this way definitely requires one to be very prepared. We always have to have food ready to eat and snacks ready to go. We learned the "bring the snacks lesson" on a trip to Ikea just a few days ago. We had both eaten dinner before leaving (me a little before), and by the end of our visit I was absolutely starving. We were lucky enough to find some raw sunflower seeds for the trip back but I was surprised by how affected I was by the hunger. I could barely muster up the energy to talk, or to laugh. I felt weak and light headed and couldn't focus on anything else. Trying to get the heavy furniture in the house afterwards was quite the scene. Let's just say we will never leave the house again without snacks and water!

The first few days of the cleanse I felt quite tired throughout the day. I can't say I have had any major 'detox' symptoms except fatigue, a bit of mental fog and a couple of headaches. I can also say that I definitely have way less bloating. I feel lighter and my energy is definitely starting to increase towards the end of this week. I also notice I'm much hungrier than I have ever been and am eating snacks very often. I have also lost 5 pounds in the past 7 days which is pretty incredible!

I might say the most difficult aspect of this process for me is the mental aspect. I love food and eating so much that I have had a few moments longing the food I can not have. There have also been several conversations between Emily and I that begin with, "When this is done I'm going to eat/drink...". On the other hand- it is a challenge and an opportunity to create new recipes and eat in a way that is still satisfying and delicious. I am having fun thinking of new things for Emily and I to enjoy! In the end I hope this to be a rest for my body and a chance to truly get to know what foods effect me and how. It will be empowering in the end to be able to choose.

I told Emily today that it feels good to be putting so many amazing things into my body. We will see where this journey takes us!

  
                                         With a breakfast like this we're not doing too bad...
                                       Brazil nuts, water, cacao, coconut oil, maca, goji berry
                                          powder, cinnamon, agave and fresh bee pollen.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog! This being my second or third blog, I am committing to giving it a more serious effort this time around.

I have always loved to share. My parents and friends know they can expect a good mouthful from me as I excitedly share with them stories about my day or a fabulous new recipe or restaurant. Many of you may have also been subjected to me talking to myself in the kitchen (well not myself- my 'audience'). I guess what I'm getting at is that a blog is a good fit for me. I look forward to sharing and connecting with others. 

Anyone who knows me knows I'm passionate about food inside and out. I often fall asleep surrounded by cookbooks and have spent countless hours looking at food blogs, recipes and restaurant websites. I have been seduced by all aspects of food from growing food to going to local markets and specialty food stores, as well as food preparation and restaurant dining. I also am very much interested in organics, local food and healthy alternatives. 

I anticipate this blog will not only be a place for me to share creations but also non-food related experiences and thoughts. I look forward to what this experience may bring...Welcome and enjoy! 

Food is love!