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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Rainy Day Blues – And Sweet Potato Fries

Rain rain go away come again another day!!

It has been so dreary the past few days and I am so not a fan!  I truly cannot wait to move over to the west coast with all the bright warm sun!!!!!

Anyway, so to brighten things up a bit I will continue with sharing the recipes from my fabulous dinner menu last night.

Garlic Basil Sweet Potato Fries (serves 1-2 people)

– 1 Garnet Yam (about the size of a light bulb)

– 1 large garlic clove

– 1 heaping Tbsp coconut oil

– 1/2 Tbsp Basil

– 1/2 Tbsp Oregano

– 1/4 tsp Paprika

– 1 Tbsp Juice from Lemon

– 1/4 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds, roughly chopped

– Celtic Course Sea Salt to taste

– Ground Black Pepper to Taste

* Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

* Peel and wash Yam

* Cut into 1 inch thick slices, then slice those in half (basically cut to look like fries)

* put into bowl, along with the rest of ingredients and mix with rubber spatula until coconut oil is fully incorporated and coated on yam slices

* Lay out onto parchment paper covered cookie sheet, and place in oven

* Cook for about 35 minutes  – enjoy with some fresh veggies!!

So with that delicious recipe posted, I am now going to let you all know that starting tomorrow I am going to be starting a juice cleanse.  I am going to be doing lots and lots of juicing as well as raw soups until Sunday.

I have been wanting to do this for a while but now I have the motivation to do so.  Two people at work at doing a fast, however I find fasts to be just dumb unless they are for religious purposes.  I feel that you can still cleanse your body while nourishing it properly so that you don’t pass out.

This is going to be incredibly hard for sure! I’ve never done a whole body cleanse before, but the health benefits of it, from what I have read out beat the hard work.  So I am determined to do this!! Plus since I have two co-workers also going in on this, it should be much easier to get through.  I very well may be going through a pack of gum a day! Lol (hey its much better then a pack of lung cancer inducing sticks a day right?)

I will detail my journey starting tomorrow!!

And the Oscar goes to…..

Ohhh how I love award shows! Especially the Oscars.  I love seeing all of the celebrity’s, the fashion, the fact that it’s live and anyone could say anything!

I am totally celeb obsessed! And yes, it has also been my life long dream to become famous.

I’d be great at it don’t you think??  Lol

So I’ve been hemming and hawing over what to make for tonight’s special occasion, and finally came up with a nice menu for two, my roommate and I.  I was deathly ill yesterday… let’s just say that I had a lapse in judgment, more rather, was having a fantastic time out with friends and did not stop to think that after having a couple glasses of red wine, drinking a long island iced tea might not be the bestest of ideas….. yea noooo bueno.  However, I treated myself with extra sleep, coconut water then made a lentil vegetable soup and today I feel as good as new!!  Again, the powers of whole foods strike again! Lol

Oscar Night Menu

– True Cilantro Cheesy Grits

– The Fighter Garlic Basil Sweet Potato Fries

– Black Swan Grapefruit Avocado Sprout Salad

– The Kings Speech Peppermint Tea

– Toy Story 3 Chocolate Cake with a Lemon Mint Blueberry Glaze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the Oscar goes to…….

Me!!! Lol

Yes, that is a real Oscar!!  About 4 years ago I went to LA for a wedding and it was right around Oscars time so they had this whole display with all of the real oscars in cases, and then one that was attached to a cord that you could hold and take a picture with!  You can only imagine my sheer excitement!!!

I won’t post all of the recipes here as that is a tad overwhelming!  So I’ll start with the Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cake!!

Gluten Free Vegan Brownies with a Lemon Mint Blueberry Glaze

– 3 tsp Ener-g Egg Replacer

– 6 Tbsp Warm Water

– 1 3/4 Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour

– 1/3 cup Carob Powder

– 1 tsp Baking Powder

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 1/3 cup melted Coconut Oil

– 1/3 cup chopped Green & Black 86% Chocolate Baking Bar

–   1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

– 1 ripe banana mashed

– 1 cup Vegan Sugar

* Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

– Whisk together the EnerG Egg Replacer and warm water and set aside.

– Add the flour, carob, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until they’re thoroughly blended.

– Chop the chocolate bar and place in a medium-sized microwavable bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave another 30 seconds and stir again. Whisk in the melted coconut oil until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla, mashed banana, and egg replacer and blend well. Stir in the sugar.

– Add the wet mixture to the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Gently mix together with a large spoon or curved silicone-type spatula until the batter is just blended.

– Line an 8” x 11 ½” pan with parchment paper. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread out to the edges.  Place in the middle of the pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes. They’re done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.

– Cool in the pan, remove, and cut into squares. (Best stored in the fridge.)

Lemon Mint Blueberry Glaze

– 1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries

– Small bunch mint roughly chopped

– Juice from 1 inch of lemon

– 1/4 – 1/3 cup vegan sugar

– 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

*  Place all ingredients (minus the chia seeds) into small sauce pan and heat (stirring constantly) on medium heat.  Heat for about 2-3 minutes until it comes to a rolling boil.

* Add in the Chia seeds and keep stirring constantly until the sauce becomes a slightly thick jam like consistency.

* Pour onto the chocolate cake and enjoy with a nice cup of peppermint tea!!

My Story

So this entry has taken me a while to write.  It is a rather intimate and personal entry, but given the content of my blog and my need to both help myself and hopefully help others I want to share.  Also, since it is Eating Disorders Awareness Week, I feel that this is the right time to begin to share my story.

Over time I will break up my story into parts and share more about my struggles and my recovery, since I don’t want this blog post to be too long.  But for now I am going to tell you an abridged version of my story.

I know there are quite a few blogs out there which are based around the same concepts as mine; health, body image etc…  And I know for me when I stumbled across a particular blog back in January (2010) it honestly had a HUGE impact on me.  It was almost like an “ah-ha” moment.  Reading someones own personal story which was just like mine made me feel not quiet so alone.  It gave me comfort to know that its ok to still have these struggles from time to time, that there is no such thing as being “perfectly recovered.”   I guess that’s also part of the whole mindset that goes along with having an Eating Disorder, the constant need for own self perfection and control.   There is only so much one can do, but whats more is how you deal with the struggles.  I can choose to sulk and think I’m doomed for life with this disease or I can choose to accept who I am and use that pain to motivate me to work that much harder and use my own experience as an educational tool to help others.

Ironically my Eating Disorder manifested itself right after I decided to quit dance.  I grew up dancing, starting at the age of 3 with ballet, then I moved over to Jazz, then Modern and stuck with that through my first year of college.  After my first year of college I decided to quit dance.  My life long dream was to dance in New York.  I finally made it to New York for a summer dance intensive in 2002.   Finally! the dream I had, had throughout all my years of dance, there I was! But I was still unhappy.  I began to notice that I was quite different from everyone else there, meaning that everyone else had this drive and passion for dance.  Whereas I did not.  Don’t get me wrong I love dance, but there was a major difference between my love for it and everyone else’s.  I didn’t want to fight my way to the top, I just wanted to dance, perform, and have fun.  So I quit.  Now after years away from that world I can now finally appreciate it and go back and take classes and be in love with it in a whole new way which makes me happy.

After I stepped away from that world I moved onto a few other trial and errors as a major.  I tried photography, that was just too much work and I was way behind where everyone else was with all the art classes, I felt so lost!!  A few months into this new semester at college I grew into a deep depression and decided the best thing for me to do at that time was to move home and take some time off to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  So I moved home and back into my moms house.  I got a job at a gym as well as a serving position at a coffee bar/cafe at night.  Over that next year I spiraled downward very quickly.  I got sucked into the party scene that comes with working at bar/restaurants.  I had no idea who I really was at the time so of course I followed what everyone else was doing just for the need to feel accepted.   Even though I had lots of so called “friends” I ultimately felt very alone, and the further I went into my disease.  It’s difficult to truly explain just how isolated one can get while deep into the disease.  But like any other addiction, the deeper and lower one gets with the depression and obsessive acts the bigger the blinders become.  You stop caring or noticing the people around you, and the more you become focused on “getting your next fix” or “perfecting yourself”.  I say “perfecting yourself” in quotes because often the major misconception of eating disorders is that it is all about vanity.  It soooo is not.  Granted yes part of it is, but that is not the overall driving force that gets you to the disease part.  It ultimately has to do with control.  It all begins when something in your life is out of balance and the person feels like they have no control over their life, or that something isn’t good enough.  Or if they have suffered from physical, sexual or verbal abuse as a child making them feel as though they are not good enough or that they are worthless.  This ends up making the person feel that the only way for them to regain any control is by what they put in or don’t put into their own body.  You have the control with what you do or do not eat.  The same can go with any addiction.  All of this has now grown to my major fascination with psychology and addiction (another passion of mine along with nutrition).

Moving onto the present time.  Stemming from all of this has of course led to me having to re-learn how to love myself and the body I was born with.  I have been recovered now from the depths of my eating disorder for quite some time thankfully.  But the “evil thoughts” aka negative self image bashing that goes on in my head, are still around.   For the most part I am able to keep them quiet, but I am only capable of so much and every so often, like when I am tired, or had a bad day or something to that effect they creep up on me and they can be oh so relentless.

That’s the thing with the disease of an eating disorder.  With all other addictions, you can step away from the thing that harms you; alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping etc…. but an eating disorder you can’t really abstain from food…. you need food to live!! So that makes it just that much harder to fully recover.  The thoughts and obsession will forever be there.  It’s needing to get to that point of learning how to accept yourself and how to manage your thoughts about how you view food.  For me, as I stated before, I still struggle.  I consider myself midway recovered.  For a while I thought I was fully recovered, but realized I was more in denial.  I slipped back a bit about a year ago when I had a rude awakening about where I really truly was in my recovery.  So for the past year I have been doing a really deep internal look into myself and have been trying new healing methods to get myself to a point of full acceptance.

It is really brutal work, but in order to get to where I want to be, which is happy with myself, like really TRULY happy.  I know that I need to do some hard work before I can get to that point and STAY at the point.

What I am doing now, is lots of honest journaling, this blog, changing my diet (which is HARD!!!) by eating whole foods which nourish my body and provide it with lots of amazing nutrients that do wonderful things for every single part of me – especially the brain!.  I also do a lot of positive self talk.   And the hardest thing of all, is getting myself to take these steps S-L-O-W-L-Y.  I had gotten myself so accustomed to jumping head first into things and thinking I had to do them all at full blast and perfectly (that would be the competitive part of the disease) that I’d totally brainwashed myself.  In order to get something to really stick and become a habit, I need to take it slow.  So while I love to exercise and I know it’s good for me and keeps me level, I am making myself do things one step at a time.  Right now I am focusing on my diet, because ultimately, that is the key that is going to keep my body and mind strong.  The rest will just fall into place after that.

I recently had an epiphany – in order to achieve happiness with myself I have to treat it right.  It’s like being in a relationship, if you want a positive outcome with your partner you have to put into it what you want out of it.  Meaning, if you treat your partner like crap or skimp on loving them then the relationship will soon fall apart.  The same goes for you and you.  If you want yourself to be happy and strong you need to feed it right and treat it right, otherwise you will get sick, become unhappy and fall apart.

So that is my story in a nutshell.  Thank you for reading and allowing me to share with you some very personal intimate stuff.  I truly hope that with my story, and future stories, that I can help some other people out there who may be struggling themselves.   There is hope out there, and you CAN do it.

If anyone is in need of talking please do not hesitate to contact me and share your own struggles, story or concerns.  Elw.brown@gmail.com or if you need professional help please contact the National Eating Disorders Association for hotlines or information.

Tattoo on my left foot of the National Eating Disorders Association recovery symbol. Surrounded by butterfly's to symbolize "stomping out my eating disorder and being set free"


I Heart Alfredo!!

Ok, so I have a confession to make, I have become OBSESSED with making this Pasta with Alfredo sauce.  Like literally, I cannot seem to get enough of it!!  I may need an intervention.

“Hi, my name is Erin, and I am a Pasta Alfredo-holic”

It’s just soooo delicious and creamy and…. delicious!!!

Creamy Alfredo Sauce

1 cup unsweetened original coconut milk (or any other plain unsweetened milk)

1 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp Tahini

1 Tbsp ground mustard

2 large cloves garlic

2 large pinches dried Thyme

1 tsp Paprika

Juice from a 1 inch lemon slice

Salt and pepper to taste

* Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on high.  (Depending on your blender and its power, you may need to add a bit more milk in to make sure it blends well.)  The sauce will be a nice thick consistency.

* Pour sauce into pot with drained pasta, put on low heat and stir until pasta is fully mixed with sauce.

* Put into favorite bowl with any of your fav veggies, or just add scallions (my fav) and some basil and enjoy the delicious decadence slooowly!!! (I made the mistake of inhaling it too fast the first time because it was so good!! then got sad when it was gone too fast)

The good news is that I have admitted that I have a problem with this amazing vegan cheesy goodness.  The bad news is that I really don’t want to let this go!! Lol

This dish is a bit on the decadent side, and definitely not one that should be consumed as much as I have been consuming it in the past few weeks.  However, it is most certainly WAAAAYYY better then the real tushy stuff (tushy is the new term which I have picked up from Kris Carr, when referring to anything regarding dairy or cow).

I am finally just about cleared of my cold thank god!! I’m tellin  you all, those cold buster smoothies and juices worked!! Along with my Samubucus lozenges.  Those lozenges tasted horrible! but they work! A major perk of working at a holistic pharmacy, I am surrounded by awesome remedies all day long that can make me better!

I hate that this blog today wasn’t filled with interesting knowledge Lol but I find that after I get home from work in the evenings, I don’t have a ton of time to write.  But I’d rather post something rather then nothing 🙂  All for the love of my growing crowd of readers 🙂

Here is my question for you all today:

Are there any topics or questions you would like me to cover in any up coming blog postings?  I have a few up my sleeve which I would like to cover when I have a bit more time to go more in depth.

Freshly Squeezed Nutrients

I shared with you a few weeks ago my newest pride and joy which is that of my Juicer!  Allow me to re-introduce you all to “Juicietta”

She is amazing, so easy to clean and provides me with tons of nutrient packed green juices and cold-busting vitamin C juices!  (I added her to my store so you can get one of your very own!! so go check it out!  Only $45!!!)

So…. you keep hearing about green juice these days and how amazing it is.   Well let me just say that they indeed are!!! Juicing in general has so many fantastic and amazing benefits for you.  I’ve been reading a lot about juicing lately and the top 5 things I have been taking away from it is this:

1)  It reverses the aging process

2) It reduces inflammation

3) Cleanses the body

4) Regulates the bowels

5) Can help to peel off the pounds

A few things I learned about juicing that are rather important is that enzymes when juiced don’t last too long, therefore you need to drink your juice soon after it is juiced.  It certainly can be saved for a later use, but for optimal nutrient absorption you need to fairly soon after being juiced.   Also, it is best to drink your juice on an empty stomach.  Mixing liquids and solids slows down the digestive process.  So drink your juice, then eat solids about 30 minutes later.

Another good rule of thumb when juicing is 3:1 ratio, 3 veggies to one piece of fruit.

So my fresh sprouts, are you ready for some inspiration?? Lol

Green Elixir

3-4 Kale Leaves

Fresh Mint (about a handful)

1 Cucumber (peeled)

1 Pear (or green apple)

1 inch Ginger

1-2 Carrots

*Shove into Juicer, then pour into wine glass and enjoy as if it were a glass of wine but know that you are nourishing your body!!

 

I also have another bonus recipe for ya!!

Cold Busting Zinger!

2 Carrots (peeled)

1 Grapefruit (peeled and sectioned into 3 parts)

1 inch Ginger

This will knock your socks off!!  It’s got lots a zing and vitamin C! And it’ll help to reduce any inflammation you got going on in your sinuses 🙂

 

I am so in love with my Juicer, I seriously and highly recommend getting yourself one.  They are amaaazing lil machines (well not so little actually Lol).

Can’t wait to have my green juice in the morning! I think I may choose tomorrow to be my juice fast day.   I read that it is good to give yourself one day a week to do a mild detox day and just drink green juices all day long, and end with perhaps a raw soup.  This helps to clean out your body from the week before.

*** For any more information on today’s post you can pick up a copy of Kris Carr’s book “Crazy Sexy Diet” which I also have in my store.  Yes I am promoting my store a bit today, but it’s more a convenience factor for all of your readers to have all the items I recommend or talk about posted in one place right?!   🙂

Mission Possible – California Bound

My theme song these days:

I have had this long life dream of ending up in California.  I have always felt that I was really supposed to have been born there.  Everything about my personality and interests are oh so California.

In any case, I made the decision this week that this would be the year I made the big move.  I set an official date of September 1st to set “sail” for the sunny beaches of California!!! annnnnd then I preceded to get sick Lol  I’m thinking that I got sick because my body finally let go of all the stress it’s been holding in of living in this area.   That’s my theory and I’m stickin to it! hahah

Anyway, I am so beyond ecstatic about this news.  I plan to do a whole road trip over there and the theme of this road trip is going to be checking out all of the famous vegan/raw restaurants and sites along the way!!! How cool is that going to be!?!?

So here is my request to you all out there.  Any awesome places you know along the way from here to California let me know!!  I have not picked a route yet, but I do know that I want to hit up Graceland and New Orleans.  Ironically both of those are so not known for their vegan fare, but you never know.  There are some places that you wouldn’t ever expect to be vegan friendly which in fact are!

So please to all of you out there who may read but never comment, please share your suggestions!  I can’t wait to document my trip to you all and share with you all of my vegan/raw experiences!  I honestly think that the best road trips are those that are focused on finding the best food in each state you hit.  My older brother and his now wife did that a few years ago, however they did an all BBQ trip, clearly I will not be going that route Lol but same basic idea.

Thank you in advance for all of your wonderful suggestions!! 🙂

#2 of 100% Guilt Free Desserts

A little while back I promised to post some delicious guilt free desserts.  Well as usual things got a bit busy and didn’t get a chance to post any more.

So here it is, as promised #2 of my set of delicious desserts!   Oh and I apologize in advance to my photos.  When I went to get my camera it was dead 😦  so I had to use my phone to take the photos.

The thing I love about Banana soft serve is that you can have soooo many awesome variations!! It’s like the raw version of vanilla ice cream.    I always have some frozen bananas in my freezer so that when I get a craving for some ice cream I can grab them and whip up whatever flavor I’m craving 🙂

Banana Soft Serve (Coconut Strawberry)

– 1 peeled and frozen banana

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– Dried sliced strawberries

– 1-2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

– 1 piece pure dark chocolate for topping

* Slice banana and put in food processor, process (stopping to scrape down sides) until chopped.

* Add vanilla and coconut, process until smooth soft serve consistency

* Put into nice ice cream dish, top with dried strawberries and chocolate

Enjoy!!


Variations you could do:

– Peanut Butter Soft Serve

1 Frozen banana chopped

1 Tbsp nut butter of choice

1 tsp vanilla extract (or almond would be good too if using Almond butter)

1 Tbsp non dairy milk  (ration it out though until desired consistency is reached.  You may not need it all, or you may even need a bit more)

Top with chocolate chips, or chocolate sauce or berries!

– Almond Berry Soft Serve

1 Frozen banana chopped

1 tsp Almond extract

1 Tbsp chopped almonds

Fresh mixed berries of choice for topping

** Drizzle with lemon glaze for a slightly more decadent dessert!! (put fresh lemon juice and organic powdered sugar in a sauce pan and heat on low until sugar has melted and it becomes a thick syrupy consistency)

Citrus Coconut Soft Serve

– 1 frozen banana chopped

– 1/2 tsp lemon extract + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

– Finely shredded coconut (however much you desire, I’d probably use about 1/4 cup)

– 1-2 tsp zest of an orange and lemon

– 1 tsp Agave

I am so on a citrus kick right now to hopefully knock out this darn sinus cold I’ve developed.  It seems to be a tradition for me at exactly this time of year, every year.

I’ll be sure to share some of my juicing recipes with you in the next day or two.   I am going out to a comedy show tomorrow night, so I may not have time to post anything.  If not, then I’ll be sure to maybe do a double post on Friday! We’ll see just how daring I am feeling hahah