It’s that time of year again when seeing the sun come out from behind the clouds makes me want to be outside. I want to play, and I want to get fit!
The question that’s always asked of me though, especially because I’m active and vegan, is how I have enough energy to get through my days and my workouts? Well, I simply say that I have the perfect solution: plant-based foods. Not only are they filled with the most highly nutritious and bio-available vitamins and minerals, but they taste great too.
Plant based foods provide all of the macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) essential in maintaining optimal energy. Since working out causes physical stress, it creates acidity in the body. In order to regain a state of alkalinity, it’s essential to neutralize the body by consuming a plant-based diet filled with neutralizing plant-based foods.
My top sources of energy foods:
- Hemp Seeds – contains omega 3 fats and provides long sustaining energy. I love to put them on salads, in smoothies and cereal.
- Chia seeds – are loaded with fiber and expand when soaked. Chia makes the most delicious morning porridge. Amazing for before my workouts.
- Kale - is a green leafy powerhouse veggie. It is loaded with magnesium and is alkaline forming. Chopped up in a raw salad or steamed on the side of quinoa, kale completes any plate.
- Sea vegetables – storing a wide range of trace minerals and nutrients, sea vegetables provide natural sodium to the diet. My favourite sea vegetable is arame or nori – they give me mental clarity and focus.
- Tempeh – one of the highest sources of plant protein, is fermented, and is easy to digest. I love marinating tempeh with cider vinegar, lemon juice and coconut oil for a boost to my salads and wraps.
- Coconut water and coconut oil – coconut water replenishes the body with much needed electrolytes. So when I am working out, this is my go to beverage. Coconut oil – is loaded with medium chain fats, so they are a quick source of energy and nourishment before and after activity.
- Quinoa - contains all of the essential amino acids which are crucial building blocks for protein. Protein builds muscle, so it is important to consume protein especially after a workout.
- Goji berries – are a natural source of antioxidants, protein and fiber. They are perfect in a trail mix before a workout or great tossed in a smoothie after a workout.
- Cacao – one of nature’s richest sources of magnesium. Gives me a natural boost of energy. Cacao gives me the perfect excuse to have chocolate for breakfast. Tossed in a smoothie or cereal it adds the perfect crunch and kick!
- Honey – loaded with enzymes, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties honey is soothing and easy to take down. It is a natural source of sugar and calories so it makes a perfect addition to my pre workout snack and it also gives me that extra boost of energy.
These are the foods that I reach to when I want to get moving, and I highly suggest them to anyone who hasn’t tried them yet. I know my body’s going to use them well and efficiently, and give me that boost of energy without causing me to crash and burn out. They are sustaining, nourishing, and versatile enough that I can consume them daily in multiple ways without ever getting bored of them.
To learn more ways to fuel your workouts, join us for our Fit and Fabulous cooking class on May 21st where we will be making homemade energy bars, happy hemp loaves and liquid nutrition smoothies that will help take your body and fitness goals to the next level!
Delight your palette with this late summer treat!
With summer coming to a close (sorry to say that out loud)- I am getting in my last bits of creativity for summer raw, frozen desserts. When it comes to desserts, it’s all about something refreshing, dense, slightly sweet – and overall delicious. You don’t want to overwhelm your palette with too many things – and no one likes a filmy, sugary residue on their teeth!
The inspiration for this recipe came from tasting a tart similar to these years ago at a raw food demo I attended. I just haven’t been able to get them out or my mind. And if you can believe, it has taken me until yesterday to finally re-create what I could remember of them.
All I remember is the filling being super creamy, moist and tart. The crust being crumbly, chewy and rich. So I gathered my most favourite of raw ingredients and started creating.
Instead of doing a large pie, I opted for mini tarts. That way I could freeze them, and grab them. As oppose to trying to cut a “healthy portion” each time I wanted a slice. This way I could also decorate them individually… and they are just so cute!
They are bite size and easy to eat for a quick snack or dessert. Take them to a friends for a potluck or stash them in your freezer and keep them for yourself
Creamy Mango Delight
2 cups dried coconut
1/2 cup raw cashews
3 tablespoons coconut nectar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons dried coconut
2 tablespoons dried goji berries and/or cacao nibs
2 cups dried mango, soaked for 3 hours in 2 cups water with half a lemon wedge
1/4 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup raw macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon coconut butter or coconut manna
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. In food processor – add the coconut, lemon zest, coconut nectar and salt until mixture forms a ball and is fully blended.
2. Press into a tart pan or mini tart pan and set aside.
3. In a high speed blender or Vita Mix - blend the soaked mango (set the soaking water aside) dates, macadamia nuts, coconut butter and lemon juice.
4. Blend until creamy, may need to fold with a rubber spatula for optimum consistency. Pour mixture into pie tart crusts and garnish with coconut and goji berries!
5. Place in fridge or freezer for a few hours so that it sets.
Share with us!
What’s your favourite raw dessert?
Do you love Mango?
When are you going to make these?
Grab a spot on my Raw Urban One Day Detox Retreat!
Adding more raw foods into to your diet is a great way to boost your health. This means making sure the bulk of what you eat focuses on fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts. With these foods as the foundation of your diet you will have more energy, lose weight and feel great. Raw foods are loaded with enzymes, vitamin and nutrients.
I am not suggesting you become a 100 percent raw foodie or adhere to strict guidelines, but rather simply incorporate more fresh foods into your diet. Even if half your meals each day consist of raw food, you are on the right track.
Five easy ways to add more raw to your diet:
1. Have at least a serving or more of fresh fruit every day: This can include an apple, pear, orange, berries or a fresh fruit smoothie.
2. Have multiple servings of fresh vegetables every day: Cut up carrots, celery, peppers, make a large dark leafy green salad or a fresh pressed green juice.
3. Enjoy a handful (or two) of raw organic nuts and seeds. Put them into a trail mix with raisins, goji berries, apricots – and you can even add some pure raw dark chocolate (cacao) into the mix.
4. Grab a bag of fresh sunflower or pea sprouts from your local health food store or farmers market, these make a great addition to salads, sandwiches, soups, stirfrys and smoothies. Or order them directly from Giddy YoYo and have them delivered to your door!
5. Get creative and try to prepare a few new raw recipes each week (check out different books, websites or videos on how to prepare things like smoothies, raw nori rolls, cookies and nut based spreads).
For an informative and inspirational day on living well with raw concepts grab a spot for my Raw Urban One Day Detox Retreat!
Try this recipe – this is a delicious spread to enjoy with raw bread, flatbread, and crackers or served with crunchy raw veggies, kelp noodles or shredded zucchini
Almond basil pesto
2 tbsp torn fresh basil
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 cup whole almonds, soaked overnight or for eight hours
½ cup pine nuts
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove
¼ cup olive oil (or more) for a creamier consistency
1. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth
2. Place in a small bowl and refrigerate
3. Serve with cucumber slices, zucchini noodles, carrots, whole grain or raw crackers or brown rice pasta/kelp noodles or steamed vegetables
You can get more delicious knowledge by checking out Marni’s Cleansing with Superfoods e-book, available here: http://www.marniwasserman.com/ebooks/
I may not have fully expressed the full realm of what is taking place at the end of next week. I have known about it for nearly two years, you’ve probably heard bits and pieces but I have yet to give you the full story or my version of it!
My fiance Ryan, is headed to the North Pole in April. That’s right you heard me, the North Pole! I know this may sound a little extreme but if you know Ryan (or get to know him) you would very quickly learn that this is a boy who likes to do things that the average person just wouldn’t do. I mean, how many people would willingly choose to trek to the North Pole? I am not going to spend my time here explaining why he is doing this or what his race entails for those details you can look in his website Ryans Race.
What I will say though is this. He is doing this race for his own personal feat, but with a greater plan. When he gets back he not only wants to integrate this into his line of business, events and motivational speaking. But he also is passionate about raising awareness around childhood obesity and health. This is the ultimate goal!
There are a number of reasons why this race is so extreme. Its not only about the fact that he is going to be -40 degrees whether or that he will encounter a polar bear or fall through ice, I mean there are much worse things – like eating dehydrated food-like substances out of a package and snacking on broken pieces of refined candy and milk chocolate all day long. Yup, that’s right. That is what the other racers (all of 8 of them) will be consuming day in and out during the race. Ideally he needs foods that will dissolve easily in his mouth as he is going to be in below freezing temperatures. This is the rational for providing refined “junk” if you will, as the main source of energy as part of the race. But this was no roadblock for me as I was determined to find the equivalent amount of nutrients for Ryan using wholesome alternatives!
There was no way that the man I am about to marry is going to sabotage his body (after building it up for 5 years) for one month on junk food. So we made sure to get in touch with the race organizer and confirm that Ryan can provide his own food and fuel for the days of the race. Luckily this wish was granted – not that I would have it any other way!
My full wish would actually be that everyone on this race would be on these very same foods. If only there was full comprehension of the immense super powers of the foods Ryan will be consuming, I am positive the others would want to be on the same stuff. As Ryan will be building up and nourishing his body with living, pure, wholesome plant based energy. This will not only provide what he needs while he treks through this race, but will also ensure that he will recover and adapt sufficiently to the extreme measures he is about to endure. I can’t say the same thing for all the dehydrated, over-salted, highly sugared processed food that is actually supplied on this race.
Ryan is going to be burning approximately 12,000-14,000 calories, and this needs to be replaced by quick, easy to burn high energy foods and needs to consume approximately 10,000-12,000 per day to replenish his body. With these sources of incredible slow burning carbohydrates, essential fats and plant protein sources, Ryan will be nourishing his cells, organs and brain all at the same time.
It’s too bad there is no prize for winning this race. It is just about accomplishing getting to the North Pole, which as you can imagine is a feat in itself. But as the winner of this race, (which I know Ryan is striving for and won’t accept anything less), I will be thrilled to say that he did it on the world’s best superfoods!
On that note, I want to deeply thank all of these companies for supporting, sponsoring and supplying Ryan with the best foods I could have imagined for him to be consuming on this crazy amazing adventure of a lifetime!
Here is the menu of what Ryan will be eating during the race.
Goji Berries: the goji berry is one of the most nutrient rich food on hearth, packed with protein, essential amino acids, vitamins A and C and trace minerals.
Cacao Nibs: cacao contains a rich supply of antioxidants, magnesium and is pure energy!
Chia: chia is incredibly rich in omega fatty acids and are an excellent source of dietry fiber. It is bioavailable and provides long lasting energy.
Maca: maca root is a stress fighting adaptogen to increase stamina and combat fatigue. It is packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Ryan will be munching on this all day as a trail mix. He will also add it into his morning breakfast for a super fueled start to the day!
Sha Sha Bread Co:
Special high-energy bread: ShaSha himself is formulating a special sprouted high energy grainy bread for Ryan to consume.
Sprouted Buckwheat Snacks: delicious bites of high energy nutrients, fiber and protein.
Ryan will eat this throughout the day as snacks or in the morning as breakfast.
Sun Warrior Protein:
You didn’t think I would let Ryan leave town with out a bag or two of this now, did you?
This pure, raw, sprouted plant based protein will supply Ryan with his essential protein for the day. He will put this into his morning vegan cereal with water.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying these incredible high energy snacks you must get your hands on some. They can be found at most health food stores if not order directly from their website.
They are dried shredded strands of coconut covered with cinnamon and organic cane sugar (or tamarind or sea salt). This will be Ryan’s main source of fuel as it is loaded with calories. Just so you have an idea 1 pound of coconut will provide Ryan with 3000 of calories! This is when coconut functions at it’s best!
These little packets of contain an array of nutrients, including 1,000 mg of immune supporting vitamin C,* 7 B vitamins to enhance energy naturally, loaded with electrolytes to refuel and replenish the body during any and every workout.
These will be added to Ryan’s water to sip on throughout the day. Keeping him hydrated and keeping his immune system strong!
Endangered Species dark chocolate
This is one of the creamiest most delicious organic dark chocolate bars I have ever tried. It is pure chocolate at least 72% of goodness. So instead of broken pieces of Kit Kat and Crunch Bars, little bits of Endangered Chocolate will be mixed into his daily goodie bag. It will be easy enough to melt in Ryan’s mouth on demand, to provide a good source of sugar along with much needed antioxidants.
This is one of Ryan’s absolute favourite snacks. I don’t even think he would last the month without them. He can pretty much stuff the entire bar into his mouth. Halvah is made from pure sesame seeds which are loaded full of calcium, healthy fats and protein. These will be broken up to munch on through out the day.
Ryan of course needs GREENS on this race and Amazing Grass has offered to supply Ryan with Superfood Greens. This will give Ryan energy, antioxidants, boost his immunity, keep his mind clear and infuse his cells with pure green goodness.
Manitoba Harvest will be kindly giving Ryan Hemp Pro 70 which is their only water soluble protein concentrate. This will fuel his body to enhance muscle development, speed up recovery and optimize his overall well being. It is also loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and all 10 amino acids. Ryan can add this directly into water to shake it up on the go!
Big Tree Farms
This company will be supplying Ryan with dehydrated coconut water. He can add this directly into his water as well for an incredible boost of electrolytes and nutrients.
So there you have it, the array of amazing treats and snacks that will be infused into Ryan’s body everyday for 1 month. I just hope he doesn’t come home sick of chocolate, goji berries and coconut as these are staple ingredient in our everyday life!
I will surely be letting you know how his trek goes when he gets back. There will be lots of stories to share! But if you want to track Ryan while he is on his race, please check into
RYANSRACE every couple of days to see where he is in the great north! Feel free to contact me to wish me luck as well, as this race is just as much about me as it is Ryan!
On the topic of healthy snacks this week (and just in time for school), it is within my knowledge to show you what is out there. Snacks that you can get your hands on that I approve of. We all need snacks, they are available, but we have a choice to make. If you have a guideline to follow of what to choose, how to choose, then you are taking one step closer to wellness and a healthy body! In a another post you will learn how to make your own snacks at home.
As a general rule, you want to look for whole foods that are packaged. Pure ingredients made from whole grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruits and natural sweeteners. You should be able to read all of the ingredients on the label (and there shouldn’t be more than 5 unless it is jam-packed super bar) and feel confident that you are putting a good product into your body even though it is packaged!
So here is a my approved guideline for healthy packaged snacks (most of which are in my home):
Rice Cakes with Almond Butter
Pita Break Spelt Crackers with Hummus
Sheep Yogurt with Granola
Whole Grain Bread with Almond Butter
Trail Mixes made from Navitas Naturals Products
Did I miss anything? I am sure I did. What are some of your amazing, wonderful and healthy snacks that you like to buy ?
Please do share, we all want to hear them!
Superfoods are the super-powered heroes of the plant world and they have magical properties. They are healing, rejuvenating and immune boosting. They are loaded with nutrients that truly make you super happy and super healthy. I promise! If you have never tried them you may just have a chance to win one of them free…read on!
I have written many a blog post on superfoods. There are various recipes and articles on these foods right here on my blog. That way I can provide you with as much information and ideas of how to use and consume these foods. Superfoods is such a buzz word these days, and it is important to understand why, when and how to use these foods. But the bottom line is to just get them in!
In David Wolfe’s Superfoods book he goes into detail on each of these superfoods (and so much more). So I encourage you to pick up a copy! It is a really comprehensive book as it gives you a detailed outline of how to use these foods, which are “the most nutritious foods on the planet!” David Wolfe.
Here is a mini outline of some of the top ones…
Goji Berries: Goji berries are the most nutritionally rich berry fruit on the planet. They taste delicious and are well balanced for nearly all body types. They are a complete protein source and contain nineteen different amino acids, trace minerals and vitamins. (also great for vision, libido, hormones and an incredible source of antioxidants)
Cacao: The best natural source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, omega 6 – and chocolate just tastes good!
Spirulina: ancient blue-green algae that is power packed with protein and chlorophyll.
Hempseed: contain all the essential amino acids and fatty acids to maintain human life. Enough said!
Coconuts: The health benefits of coconuts is immense, that I can’t even begin to list them all in one line – but in one sentence as quoted by David Wolfe “Coconut water is the breast milk of mother earth”. That should give you an idea! (Click here for More info!)
Honey: unprocessed honey is natures richest source of live healing enzymes and one of natures sweetest treats!
Superfoods may be new to you, or they may already be a staple in your diet….either way:
Tell me which Superfoods you use, how you use them and why you love them!
If I like what you write, you may just WIN! The best answer will get a pack of Goji Berries – compliments of me!
1. Please Post A Comment Below
2. Post it in on Twitter and Link To this Blog Post
3. Share it on Facebook and Link this Blog Post
4. Share on Your Blog and Link Back to My Blog
RAW WALDORF SALAD
1-4 cups of arugula or mixed greens
¼ cup peeled jicama
3 stalks celery diced or cucumber chunks
1 apple, diced – I like granny smiths
1 cup sunflower sprouts
½ cup walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp goji berries
1/4 avocado, sliced
Waldorf Dressing – makes over 1 cup
¼ cup hemp oil
2 tbsp raw tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon raw honey
2 tablespoon tamari
2 tbsp – ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Filtered water (add slowly only if needed without hemp oil)
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour over salad ingredients and toss until well coated.
These are the wise words of David Wolfe – a renown guru in the world of raw foods. I had the opportunity last night to go and see him speak in Orangeville Ontario. Even though he racaps on so much of what I know – he always has a way of taking nutrition to a whole other level beyond most people’s consciousness.
The emphasis last night was on Superfoods. This term has been coined to emphasize food from nature which has superior health benefits. The best part is that these foods are so widely available to us – literally they are all around us in nature. Unfortunately most people don’t even know what true superfoods are or better yet what they can do for our body, our mind and of course our health. Superfoods are foods that have unique properties that have the ability to nourish our body in more than one way. For instance on single food item (such as goji berries) may contain not only protein, but also immune properties, antioxidants and trace minerals. So in one single tiny berry you are getting an array of health benefits. Other superfoods – according to David Wolfe include Cacao (yes this is chocolate), maca, bee products, blue green algae, marine phytoplankton, aloe vera, hemp seed and coconuts.
So last night I went with a friend to watch and be inspired by David Wolfe’s magnetic energy about superfoods. You can’t help but feel his buzz and become pumped about all the benefits that these foods have to offer. Before I had arrived at the lecture, I was feeling a little tired from the long day I had, luckily there was a chocolate elixir available for me to drink and this perked me right up and made me feel amazing. I mean, who wouldn’t want to drink a cup full of chocolate goodness? I am talking about chocolate in it’s purest sense- no dairy and no unnatural sugars, only filled with herbal extracts and other super healthy goodies. This was followed by a slice of heavenly cheesecake made from cashews and coconut butter…I was in heaven!
David Wolfe with a Bag of Goji Berries on his head! – sorry for the poor quality pictures, I only had my phone available!
Since I already have been including superfoods in my diet for a long time – I thought I would share my favourite super smoothie recipe with you!
Chocolaty Super Food Smoothie!
1-2 cups almond milk
1-2 scoops of sunwarrior chocolate rice protein powder
2 tablespoons goji berries
1 tablespoon raw cacao or cacao nibs
1 tablespoon hempseeds
1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
1 frozen banana
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Place all ingredients in blender or vita-mix and blend until smooth and creamy!