Sunday, February 27, 2011

Registered for the Food Blog Forum in April!

This week I registered for the Food Blog Forum, a 1-day food blogging seminar held at UCF Rosen College of Hospitality near the Orlando Convention Center on April 9, 2011.

This will be my first ever seminar on the topic of Food Blogging, so I'm looking forward to networking with other local bloggers and really learning how to improve my blog.  I'm not so sure I want to be a big time blogger but let's see what new opportunities arise from this conference!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Garden Goodness: New Harvest

We are now harvesting lots of potatoes, broccoli and finally cabbage!  I can't wait to make curried cabbage this weekend.  Look for the recipe in an upcoming post this week. 

I'm behind on the posting at least 4 kale recipes, though I will catch up as soon as the final class of my Plant Based Nutrition Bootcamp is wrapped up at the Florida School of Holistic Living.  I will be teaching some vegan cooking classes in the next few months following the bootcamp.  I will be announcing the classes on March 5th!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Juice Plus+, is it worth it?

I started my family on Juice Plus back in 2005, after attending a presentation in my friend Jessica's home about Standard American Diet nutrition and how Juice Plus helps to foster healthy eating habits.  At the time I was having health issues and I was looking for ways to add more fruits, vegetables and antioxidants to my diet. Besides improving the nutrition in our home I decided to get at least myself and the kids on Juice Plus.

Well, here we are in 2011 and we are still on Juice Plus.  We eat a high amount of raw food thanks to our garden and the Vitamix, but I like being on the product as an added layer of protection, especially in the winter when colds and flu are circulating.  We like the capsules and the Gummies now that they are both vegan.

The product contains the nutrition from 17 different raw fruits, vegetables and grains.  It is not a multivitamin, rather a "whole food supplement".

So my opinion is yes, it is worth the investment.  If you are interested in finding out more about the product you can contact me or anyone you know personally who sells Juice Plus. 

Garden Goodness: "The Manly Salad"

As I posted earlier this month, we are harvesting tons of salad every week.  Now my husband is taking salad to work every day and having salad for lunch on the weekend!

This is a photo of what he calls "The Manly Salad" because let's face it, salad has the reputation of being "girly" and that's why most men are opposed to eating it.  He added the low sodium SprouTofu, organic raw salsa, carrots from the garden and baked corn chips. The dressing is an Asian Pineapple dressing I made from the Moosewood Lowfat cookbook.  It was super tasty.  I will be posting the recipe this week.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day to my Blog Subscribers!

I want to thank all of my Blog Subscribers for supporting my blog and spreading the word to friends.  I want to hear from you!  If there is something you have a question about or have ideas about something that would make a good blog post here, please let me know!

Have a great day and do something healthy for your heart today like take walk or a jog.  If you must indulge have a piece of Fair Trade Dark Chocolate!  My favorite brands are Theo Chocolate, Endangered Species Rainforest, and Scharffen Berger.  You can get them at Whole Foods!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mitch Spinach, a Book Review

Last month I blogged about discovering the Mitch Spinach books, well now that we have purchased a copy I can give you my honest review.  And actually any book or product I review on my blog will always be purchased, that way you know I am not saying something nice just because I was given that item for free!

The book has been a hit with my older daughter, and I think it is more appropriate for ages 7 to 12 because there is a lot of text and big words that would probably go over the heads of younger kids. But, if your child is younger than 7 and is reading chapter books give it a shot!

The illustrations are really nice and the characters (besides Mitch Spinach) include: Ms. Radicchio, Principle Lycopene and Mr. Habanero!  The setting takes place at Sunchoke Elementary (though the kids look middle to high school age in the illustrations) and Mitch Spinach is using his blender to make a spinach smoothie in the beginning of the book!  The other kids are eating pizza, french fries and chicken wings and surprisingly none of them make fun of Mitch for being different?!

Mitch has a really cool backpack called a "NutriPak". It holds a variety of fruits and vegetables in compartments. I can see this becoming a real live product, along with the battery powered blender.

I won't give the rest of the story away, only to say it is a mystery and Mitch Spinach is the "hero" at the end.

There is also a recipe for the Mitch Spinach Super Smoothie.  I haven't tried it yet, but it has broccoli, carrots, kiwi, mango, banana, goji berries, and chia seeds.  As soon as we try it I'll be blogging about the results.  I've not tried this particular combination but it sounds interesting.

To order your copy go to the Mitch Spinach Website.

I'm wondering how we can we get this book into the hands of Public School parents?

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's All In the Presentation!

So you say your kids won't eat salad?  Try getting creative with how you present a salad and I promise you will have great results.  My 5 year old devoured this one for lunch.

I bought 6 of these plate sets at IKEA back in October originally thinking I'd only use it for when we make vegan sushi...well, I have gotten so much use out of these, I need to buy more!  Not only are they great for sushi, they work great as a salad plate before meals, and also for separating cooked veggies and rice.  My youngest daughter likes to mix the sauce and veggies with the rice herself, so these plates keep the two from touching until she's ready.

The little square "dip holders" have also been used for used tea bag holders, a place to put supplements in so they don't roll off the table when I distribute them out, and for a place to put a little taste of what I'm making for dinner.

These plates were on clearance, so if you think you'd like to have them you might want to visit your local IKEA store soon.  

Garden Goodness: Baby Carrots

These were picked fresh this weekend from our garden!  We've just been eating them straight up with the roots and dirt and everything...and they are good!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

And the Winner is....

"Tara" from Altamonte Springs!  Tara has won a FREE ticket to my Plant Based Nutrition and Wellness Bootcamp starting this coming Wednesday at the Florida School of Holistic Living!  All she did was subscribe to my blog and post a few comments!

Stay tuned for future giveaways like this one.  The next giveaway will happen when my blog reaches 65 followers.  I'll be announcing the prize by the end of this month :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Favorite Indulgences: Artisana Raw Tahini

I'm all about eating low fat, but I really do love nuts and nut butters!  I especially love this Raw Tahini by Artisana.  It is AMAZING!  It adds a wonderful creaminess to any sauce, salad dressing, dip or hummus.

You can also make some really tasty simple raw desserts- like stuffing a date with it or mixing it with oats and agave nectar and rolling it into balls.  My kids like to spread it on a Seaweed Rice Cake for an afternoon snack. I plan to experiment with it to make a raw icing for my youngest daughter's birthday in May.

Artisana Raw Tahini is high in Calcium and Iron and contains 3 grams of dietary fiber and 6 grams of protein!  And now for the fat grams...18 grams of fat per 2 tbsp serving!  So be conservative when using it, a little goes a long way:)  Of course this is definitely better than using oil.  When you consume fat that is in it's natural package with fiber and other nutrients, it is a much healthier source than oils which have been extracted and concentrated. 

On the Eat for Health program we get our fats from whole food sources like nuts, nut butters, grains, avocado, and nut milks.  We don't cook with oils, we use vegan broth, coconut water, carrot juice or pineapple juice to start meals on a non-stick pan.

I'll talk more about oil free cooking and baking in an upcoming post!

In the meantime, please leave a comment and let me know what your favorite (somewhat healthy) indulgence is!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Eat for Health Lectures in Clearwater, FL and Online

Arnell Burghorn is a Nutritional Education Trainer certified by Dr. Fuhrman's Nutritional Education Institute.

She has been educating people about the benefits of a nutrient dense diet for more than a decade! She has some wonderful educational offerings I wanted to let everyone know about...
Free Introductory Lecture: On Thursday, February 10 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, a free introductory lecture about the Eat For Health Program at the Family Life Health Center, 129 Garden Avenue North, Clearwater, Florida, 33755. Join the hundreds of people who have completed this program and achieved their goals to lose weight, reverse disease and gain youthful vitality! Call 727-595-7597 to reserve your seat.

Free Lecture at Nature’s Food Patch: On Thursday, February 17 at 6:30pm, a lecture on "Conquering Food Addictions and Overeating". There will also be cooking classes beginning in April!

Eat For Health Program: Every Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Arnell gives an Eat For Health Program PowerPoint presentation at the Family Life Health Center, 129 Garden Avenue North, Clearwater, Florida, 33755. Upcoming presentations:

• February 2: Nobody Needs to Have Heart Disease

• February 9: Exercising, Fitness, Osteoporosis

• February 16: The Skinny About Fats

• February 23: Protecting Our Children from Cradle to Grave

Eat For Health Online Program: If you can’t make it to the Family Life Health Center on Wednesday evenings, you can do the Eat For Health Program online. There is a live PowerPoint webinar every Tuesday evening from 8:30 to 10:30 pm Eastern time (5:30 to 7:30 pm Pacific time). Upcoming presentations:

• February 1: Dr. Fuhrman’s Weight Loss Program

• February 8: Stopping the Epidemic of Diabetes

• February 15: Preventing Cancer with Diet

• February 22: Nutritarian Cooking Secrets

You are welcome to join one of the online webinars for no charge. Call Arnell at 727-595-7597 or email her at

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Local Happenings: Cafe 118 Offers Special Valentine's Day Menu

Valentine's Day is approaching and Cafe 118, Orlando's only raw food restaurant, will be offering some delicious specials all day for $58 per person.

Four delicious courses of "blissful indulgence" awaits at Cafe 118 Degrees.

First Course:
Wilted greens tossed in a hand crafted Almond 'Cheese' layered over crispy, Sweet Peppers topped with a spicy Red Pepper Cream, Pomegranate

Second Course:
Roasted Tomato Bisque

Third Course:
Zucchini Noodles inter-twined with a creamy Macadamia Nut Pesto, zesty Pine Nut Parmesan

Fourth Course:
Cacao truffles dipped in White Chocolate or Cacao Raspberry Tart

For the most romantic experience, Cafe 118 will be including some "titillating botanical extractions" infused into the dishes. Their herbal ingredients are as follows:

Damiana (tunera aphrodisiaca) as noted in its botanical name, damiana has a reputation for arousing sexual desire. Herb of choice to strengthen hormone balance in both men and women.

Holy Basil (ocimum sanctum) Known to elevate mood and spirit. Prevents and treats stress.

Well all that makes me want to say "Ooo la la" and "Count me there"...I just wonder if I can convince my husband to go with me :)

LAST CHANCE TO ENTER! Win a Seat to My Plant Based Nutrition Bootcamp

TODAY is the last day to subscribe and enter to win my Plant Based Nutrition and Wellness Bootcamp at the Holistic Living School in downtown Orlando. This is an 8 hour class valued at $75!

The way to subscribe to my blog is to find the button on the right hand side that says "Follow". It is located above of photos of subscribers to my blog.

Here is the class outline:
Class 1: The ABC’s of Plant Based Nutrition

  • How to easily meet your nutritional needs with out deprivation, calorie counting, or portion control
  • Why dieting doesn’t work, especially high protein diets
  • Why processed foods and animal foods are addictive
  • How Plant Based Nutrition impacts the environment, animal rights and human rights
  • The Eat for Health model for Plant Based Nutrition
  • UnCooking Demo- Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Chocolate Green Smoothie.
Class 2: Shopping and Meal Planning on a Plant Based Diet
  • How to shop on a budget
  • Where to find the foods you will need
  • How to read food labels and how manufacturers get away with certain labeling
  • How to substitute for meat, eggs, and cheese
  • How to create delicious meal plans
  • How to improve recipes from your existing cookbooks
  • Eating at Restaurants
  • Cooking Demo- Fat Free Vegan Easy Lentil and Vegetable Stew

Class 3: Making Changes in other areas of your life.
  • In this class we will find out how to make more informed choices when it comes to
  • Determining your health care philosophy and finding a Doctor who supports it
  • Prevention vs Early Detection
  • Making appointments to Exercise as important as Doctor Visits
  • All about Water
  • Sleep- changes you can make to your daily habits that will help you get quality rst at night
  • All about Supplements
  • Reducing your exposure to chemicals
  • Cooking demo and DOOR PRIZE DRAWING!

Class 4: Potluck Dinner
  • Group Coaching Session
  • Bring your friends and family and share your best vegan whole food dish

Weekly Support Group Meetings will be offered following the Bootcamp.

Wednesdays, 7-9 pm

Feb. 9th, 2011, 7:00pm - Mar. 2nd, 2011, 9:00pm

Here are the rules:
1. You must be a NEW subscriber to the blog as of January 26th, 2011.
2. You must be living in the Orlando area (or willing to drive to Orlando for the class).
3. You must post at least one comment, multiple posts will increase your chances of winning.
4. If you win and cannot attend you can give the ticket to someone who can attend, but that person must also join my blog :)
5. If for some reason the class is cancelled, you will instead receive 4 hours of one on one coaching!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Vegan Soul Kitchen: Straightforward Coleslaw

We had coleslaw at Ethos Vegan Restaurant a couple of weeks ago and my kids have been asking for coleslaw ever since.  I've never been a big fan of the stuff, but if it means my kids will eat more cabbage, I'm game!  I made some over the weekend and added it to my veggie wrap and it was really tasty.

Luckily I found a recipe in a cookbook I already have on loan from the library, Vegan Soul Kitchen!

It's pretty simple and straightforward, as the title suggests!  I changed it up a little. I used Apple Cider Vinegar in place of Red Wine Vinegar, omitted the olive oil and added a sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper on top.

1 small green cabbage head, cored, quartered, and sliced thinly
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Silken Tofu
2 tbsp Applecider Vinegar
1 tsp Agave Nectar
1 tsp Coarse Sea Salt
Cayenne Pepper (Optional)

Quarter the cabbage and shred in a food processor. In a small blender like a Magic Bullet add mustard, tofu, vinegar, agave and salt.  Add dressing to the green cabbage and massage until is shrinks down, about 3 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Garden Goodness: Mixed Greens

We are harvesting this amount of greens on a daily basis!  Hubby did a good job of planting lots of green stuff in our garden this year.  He is also eating more salad because of it!  There's nothing like fresh greens from the garden in your salad every day :)

Dr. Sears Nibble Tray is Great for Picky Toddlers

Thanks to my friend Jill at Vegan In The Kitchen for her post about the Dr. Sears Nibble Tray!

Dr. Sears is a nationally recognized pediatrician and has authored The Family Nutrition Book and many other titles related to Pregnancy, Birth, and Nutrition.  In The Family Nutrition Book he says to offer toddlers a "nibble tray", which really does work to introduce kids to variety!  I used it with my own kids by offering foods they liked alongside new foods and it really helped them to try new foods. Now that they are older, they have no problem with trying new things!

You can use an ice cube tray or a muffin tin to create a nice display of healthy fruits and veggies...or you can get this really cute Pineapple Nibble Tray!

Here are some ideas for what you can put in the nibble tray at snack time...

  • Sliced Apples
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Sliced Bananas
  • Baby Carrots
  • Berries
  • Cucumbers
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Soy Yogurt
  • Soy Pudding
  • Nut Butters like Cashew, Tahini or Almond Butter
Dr. Sears says you should "Raise a Grazer" and allow the child to nibble on the tray throughout the day... but I disagree.  I think this tray should be set out at snack time and then put away.  Allowing a child to nibble throughout the day may cause them to nibble at meal times.