Promise Yourself

P1110692

With Love

Promise Yourself:

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but great deeds.

To live in faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”

― Christian D. Larson

 

With love from the city of light,

Suzanne Eden

Master The Green! (smoothie that is)

This is one “fad” I want everyone to hop on! It’s hard to get enough greens into our diets and smoothies are the perfect solution. To those of you who don’t know what a green smoothie is and just the thought of it makes you turn the colour of a green smoothie: I assure you, they can be made to taste delicious! Trust me. But first, here’s why green smoothies are such a super food:

1) An Energizing Zap Of Nutrients: When food is blended, digestive processes are eased allowing the food to pass through your system much quicker and for the nutrients to be absorbed more readily.
2) Skip The Metamucil: By blending (as opposed to juicing), the integrity of the whole food is maintained, thus making these drinks a fantastic source of fiber. Fiber not only helps to keep you feeling full longer, it also helps to push toxins out of your system, a beautiful thing indeed.
3) Green Machine: That is what you will become when having these, as so many more servings of greens can be incorporated into your diet when you compact them into a smoothie. That means more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for you!

green machine

That sounds good and all but this still means you’re drinking greens right? Yes, yes, and as promised, this can taste delicious! Take a moment to notice McGreggor (the bee) in the photo above. He’s wanting in on the action too 😉 Here are my best tips:

  1. Spinach, cucumber, and celery are great starting points as they have a very mild taste. You can add copious amounts of spinach without hardly even tasting it.
  2. Start with a half and half ratio of fruit to vegetables. As you ease your way into them, you’ll start to enjoy a more “green taste,” and can incorporate more greens into your smoothies.
  3. Use coconut water instead of regular water. I have found this to make a world of difference. I’m not even sure why this is so big. If you don’t have coconut water, plain water is fine but I would give it a shot. Plus with coconut water being so packed with potassium and electrolytes, how could you go wrong?
  4. Don’t monkey around with the banana, this is critical. A smoothie without a banana is no smoothie at all in my books! Perhaps it’s the inner year of the monkey in me talking..
  5. Liquid stevia and vanilla are two additions I’ve found to make my smoothie just that much more delicious. The stevia is a plant-based sweetener that you can now find in most supermarkets (but supporting local health food stores is always best).
  6. Adding a few tablespoons of fat to your smoothie in the way of avocado, chia seeds, coconut oil, flax seeds or flax-seed oil, will help you absorb the carotenoids in the greens. (learned this one from the book “Nourishing meals”, a fantastic read which I highly recommend)
  7. Lemon! Trust me, it goes a long way giving a little bit of tart to your smoothie and helping preserve the colour.
  8. A good blender. I love my Vitamix dearly but you don’t need to invest in one just yet. You do, however, want a decent one that makes your smoothies, well, smooth and breaks down the fibres of the greens.

Now before your run out of your seat to dust off your blender, here’s a few cautionary words of advice:

  • Switch up your greens. This is important as a build up of alkaloids can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as belly bloating etc. Doing a switch up every couple of days or so should do the trick.
  • Not all good things should find their way into your blender at once. I see a lot of instagrams with complex drinks. Keep it simple. Don’t add oats and chia seeds and too many heavy foods all at once because it will take longer for your body to digest it. At least for your morning green smoothies, keep it to fruits, greens and water based veggies like crisp celery or cucumber.
  • Remember that green smoothies are not food. You cannot just live off of green smoothies all day, once or twice a day is plenty. As well, chewing signals your body to begin the digestive process and this is lost when drinking a green smoothie. To counteract this, I usually eat a little something prior to drinking it. Sneak a few bites of that juicy apple! Or I “chew” the smoothie to signal my body that I’m eating. Simple way to get those juices flowing!

So there you have it. The 101 of green smoothies. Now for actually creating them, here’s a few recipes/guidelines:

The starter smoothie:

  • 1 banana
  •  1 1/2- 2+ cups greens of your choice
  • ½ cup berries (organic, frozen berries work as well) (more if needed)
  • 1/2 organic Cucumber
  • 1 crisp stalk of celery
  • 1 apple
  • 1 whole lemon (seeds and all if you have a powerful blender) (minus the rind)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3+ drops liquid Stevia
  • 1/4 coconut water or until you have your desired consistency

The “I aint here to mess around” smoothie guideline (I add all this goodness in at once, go big or go home right? But you can do what appeals to you and experiment with proportions):

  • 1 banana
  • 2+ Cups greens/water based vegetables
  • 1 tbsp spirulina
  • 1 tbsp chorella
  • coconut water
  • freshly grated ginger
  • fresh mint leaves
  • parsley or nearly any other herb
  • cayenne pepper
  •  1 whole lemon (peeled and coarsely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • cinnamon
  • stevia
  • vanilla extract

Starburst smoothie

 Starburst Smoothie

The starburst smoothie guideline:

Green smoothie on bottom. It should be thick so that the top smoothie won’t fall, this means using less liquid.
The top is a blend of frozen banana, fruit and some coconut milk.
Top With some cinnamon, raw cacao nibs, and unsweetened coconut flakes and you’ve got yourself a beautiful smoothie!

NOTE: I have made my fair share of nasty smoothies here and there, but there is nothing that can’t be fixed with a little fruit (another banana if you have it or lemon). Be playful and get drinking!

Apple Cinnamon Oat Bake With Cinnamon Ginger Swirl Cream

Warm, comforting food is the one thing I’ve really been missing during my weekly travels.

I don’t have a kitchen up at my place (just a mini fridge) so the only warmth I recieve is from what turn into very expensive trips to Whole Foods. I’m one of those people you may find wrapped in a wool sweater on a cool (in my opinion) summer night while the rest of my family boils just looking at me. To me, there is nothing better than the sunrise, a steaming cup of tea, an enticing hard cover and a cozy warm breakfast on a crisp Autumns day! Next time you feel the same, snuggle up and let this be your toasty, feel good breakfast treat.

oat bake

 

Apple Cinnamon Oat Bake With Cinnamon Ginger Swirl Cream

Adventure Level : 3/5

Apple cinnamon oat bake:

  • 1/4 Cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 Cup water

Soak overnight and drain most of the extra water out in the morning.

  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 Cup coconut milk

Soak about 5 mins, or until the chia seeds gel. Mix oats and chia seeds together, adding coconut milk as needed until it is moist but not too runny.  Then add:

  • 1/2 – 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 diced apple, skins and all
  • 5 drops Sweet Leaf stevia

Pour mixture into a ramekin and bake in the oven at 395 (farenheit) for approximately 15-20 mins, or until top is crisp and slightly browned. In the meantime prepare your cream (it just isn’t the same without it).

Cinnamon ginger swirl cream:

  • 1 medium banana, frozen overnight
  • 3-5 drops Sweet Leaf stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Separate your recipe in half. To one half, add ginger (I like about a tbsp) and in the second half add cinnamon. Adjust flavours to your liking and swirl them together to create a marble effect.

Note:

  • You may want to stick the half you’re not working on, back in the freezer until you are ready for it so that it doesn’t melt.
  • I suggest Sweet Leaf stevia because it doesn’t have the same bitter after taste that some stevia brands have. If using another brand you may need to adjust the amount of stevia you use.

When your steaming oat bake is done, simply top it off with your cream and let it melt over your delicious breakfast!

cream

The smell wafting through the kitchen is heavenly, the top is crispy and the center moist. Soft, sweet apples, cinnamon oats, and a cool banana cream softening against this steaming dish is absolute bliss. Enjoy! 🙂

Much cinnamon spiced love!
Suzanne

When Fruit Becomes Toxic: The One Time To NEVER Eat Fruit

Fruit, in my biased opinion, is one of the most wonderful foods nature has to offer. If I could eat it all day, everyday, believe me, I would! Not only is it delicious but fruit is incredibly nutritious offering a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals, fibre and hydrating water. It is easy for your body to digest, freeing lots of your body’s energy for other functions. Fruit is alkaline and is a fantastic detoxifier. So you can imagine my surprise to find out that when you eat fruit is critical. There is, in fact, a time when this wonder food becomes toxic and very harmful to your body! It’s true, and this is the culprit for that uncomfortable gas, bloating, and other digestive issues after eating fruit. What I am about to share may shock you as it did me. So enjoy the slight jaw dropping experience and reap the benefits, not the toxins, of nature’s vibrant candy!

melon
What time should you avoid fruit?

The truth is, there is really only one time you should be eating fruit: on an empty stomach. This usually means first thing in the morning.

NOTE: If you feel discomfort from eating fruit even on an empty stomach, this is a sign of something more than poor food combining.

Why?
Fruit travels through your system so quickly that if trapped behind other food it will ferment in the high heat if your body. By the time it reaches your digestive tract (where you absorb the nutrients), the fruit will have become a rotting, toxic mess, devoid of nutrients. You won’t get all the good properties of fruit and instead get a whole lot of toxins, exactly what we are trying to avoid!


What does this mean for you?

This means that fruit should only be eaten on an empty stomach. And I know what you may be thinking; what about fruit as a healthy dessert? Turns out that isn’t such a healthy idea after all! But what better way to start your day than with a nice big bowl of delicious fruit? 🙂

fruit

The exceptions!

1) MELONS ARE AN EAT ALONE OR LEAVE ALONE: melons are mostly water and should be eaten away from other fruit. They pass through your system even faster and so they will also become toxic if caught behind other fruit.

2) Bananas, apples, coconut and dried fruit: these are heartier fruits which take a little longer to digest and are therefore typically okay to pair with other food (just not animal protein).
NOTE: dried fruit should be consumed in moderation. It has different properties than most fruit and will easily spike your blood sugar. Make it a special date for those dates 😉

So the order of eating fruit ranks like this:

  • Empty stomach
  • Melons
  • Most other fruit
  • Bananas, apples, coconut, dried fruit

I am still a self confessed fruit-aholic, just refined. Is it any wonder why I’m such a morning person? 😉

Chocolate Chia Pudding and Ginger Cream Parfait

Layers of rich chocolate chia and creamy banana ice-cream topped with crunchy cacaonibs. Sugar free, dairy free, soy free, and absolutely heavenly!

chia parfait

Chia as a superfood:

  • Just 2 TBS has 24% of your daily recommended fibre causing you to feel full longer and helping to cleanse your body
  • Packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, just 2 TBS provides you with 10% of your daily calcium, and 8% of your daily iron
  • These tiny beauties are a good source of omega 3s and complete protein

NOTE: to reap the benefits of this beautifying and cleansing seed, you need to soak them first until they gel. otherwise, they will go in one end and out the other without being digested and absorbed. And on that lovely note…

Recipe:

Chia Pudding:

  • 3 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 Cup coconut or almond milk
    • 2 Tsp cacao powder

(the minimally processed form of cocoa. Can be found at your local health food store)

  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 5 drops stevia

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined. For a smooth consistency, blend the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Place your mixture in the fridge for at least 5 hours or allow it to sit overnight.

Ginger Cream:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 TBSP freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-5 drops of liquid stevia

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until combined. Adjust flavours as needed. Note: the higher the speed and the longer you blend, the more your banana will soften and the less “ice cream” consistency you will have.

From here, simply layer your pudding and cream in a fancy glass (too pretty not to display), top with raw cacao nibs, and enjoy!
P.S. with a dessert like this, I don’t think anyone would judge you if a picture just so happened to slip onto instagram 😉

Liver Detox Salad

I am entirely serious when I say that I have to stop myself from eating this salad multiple times a day and I’ve got my mom hooked too. It’s that good and so simple!

Beet salad.jpg

~ HOLISTIC HIGHLIGHTS ~

BEETS

  • Beets contain pectin, a fibre that helps to eliminate toxins from your liver (note: this is lost when juicing)
  • They also contain betaine to help your cells eliminate toxins and protect your liver
  • Stimulate the production and repair of skin cells for beautiful skin
  • Gets your brain juices flowing! (Stimulates blood flow to your brain)
  • Anti-inflammatory and packed with anti-oxidents

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

  • Abundant in enzymes, vitamins and minerals so powerful that it has been used widely used in eastern medicine for years
  • Helps to eliminate toxins from the body
  • Anti-bacterial, anti-fuungal and helps to aid digestion

beets.jpg

LIVER DETOX SALAD

Adventure Level : 1/5

  • 1 large beet
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 a fresh lemon (or any citrus fruit. I’ve been loving grapefruit)

Grate beet, carrots, and apple. Add 1-2 (or more) TBSP of apple cider vinegar and fresh citrus juice to taste (I am slightly obsessed and have it pooling in the bottom but I would suggest going easy on it at first). Stir and allow for the salad to soak up some of the vinegar and acid. This is a great one to get playful with! Perhaps some parsley, throw in some sprouts… I would love to hear what you create 🙂

WHERE TO BEGIN: BECOME WHOLE

The burning question: “how should I eat?” This usually translates to “what diet should I follow?” Which is usually code for “tell me exactly what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat it, where to eat it…” you get the idea. As nice as it would be to have a precise diet, the “holy grail” of lifestyle diets if you will, one does not exist. You are unique and your body will require different things. Your dietary needs can range based on age, sex, activity level, stress level, the physical health of your body and so forth. I do not encourage any one “diet” and, in fact, always see these to be flawed. Even ones that at first blush seem very promising and “healthy.” Having said that, however, there are some key dietary guidelines that everyone should follow. This article will address some of those basics. The rest of my posts are intended to help you experiment, and educate yourself so that you can build on these basics and begin to design a lifestyle diet that is right for you. So without further adieu, the basics of a holistic diet!

What To Strive For:

1. Become Whole:

  • To become truly whole means to align the mind, body, and spirit. Living a holistic lifestyle embodies all these components. But for now, begin by eating whole. This means cutting out any processed, refined, manufactured products, chemical additives, soy, dairy and minimising your consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Welcome to the outer isles of the supermarket, your new smorgasburg of fresh, vibrant fruits and vegetables! This may already be a huge change for you, as it is for most of us. It means eliminating right down to the dressing you may laden your salad with (would you like some veggies with that dressing? Dont worry, we’ve all been there). If you do not recognise an ingredient as a true “food,” it is not good enough for you. But before you get discouraged let me reassure that this is not an elimination diet. It may take some getting used to at first but trust me, once you’ve experienced full body flavour, feel and look amazing and reap all the benefits that only real food can supply, there is no going back.

2. 80% Alkaline (mainly raw fruits and veggies):

  • Eat 80% alkalizing foods and 20% acidic food. The only true alkaline foods are ripe fruits, raw greens and non-starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables include sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, and the like. The other twenty percent is attributed to whole grains, starchy vegetables and protein. I like to think of these as my “accessories” to the main attraction: vegetables, which should be consumed at every meal. At least three quarters of every meal of mine is raw fruit or vegetable based. But wait, what about fat? Good, healthy fats are essential to your health. incorporating high quality fats (avocados, raw nuts and seeds, virgin coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and extra virgin olive oil) is essential.  My discretion here is to not cook the fats. If needed, use coconut oil which has a much higher smoking point and is therefore much safer. As well, I consider anything lightly steamed or lightly sautéed to be classified as raw.

3. Bottoms up:

  • Your body is around 66% water! It is no wonder then that water is a vital component to nearly every function of the body. The amount of times you have heard this is not a coincidence, water is vital, it is a necessity. Eating an abundance of raw fruits and vegetables will help to increase your hydration but it is recommended you drink anywhere from 6-8 glasses of water per day. To increase your intake (if you don’t like water) begin by incorporating more herbal tea into your diet or jazzing it up with a little lemon, cucumber and/or mint leaves. A very important note here: it is a common misconception that drinking water with meals will aid in weight loss. The fact is; drinking water dilutes your digestive enzymes. Refrain from drinking 30 minutes before meals and do not resume until about an hour after meals.


4. Eat the way you were designed to eat
:

  • We were not made to consume synthetic, chemical laden, nutrient lacking products. We were meant to eat an abundance of high nutrient rich foods in their natural form. It is critical to make the switch to organic. If you only go organic some of the time, be sure it is with the “dirty bakers dozen:”  Apples, celery, bell pepper, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers,  blueberries, potatoes, green beans, kale/collard greens. Eat locally and in season as best you can. Support your local farmers and businesses. Educate yourself on the treatment of animals where you are buying your meat products. Eating the way you were designed to eat also means that you may have a different “design” than your friend or than that person who lost 100 pounds on any particular diet. Your body is different. It would be like saying “you must eat nuts in order to be healthy” to a person who is allergic. The best way to know is to listen to your body. Pay attention to how you feel. Along with this point I highly recommended keeping a food journal for a while to chart your progress and keep yourself accountable. At the very least, write down right now how you feel the majority of the day. High or low energy, skin troubles, bloating, anything and everything. Be detailed. When progress is gradual it can be easy to forget the way you felt before and is fantastic to look back and see how far you’ve come.

5. Love Thyself!

  • I cannot tell you how essential this is. Love is the foundation of all things and self-love is absolutely critical. There have been studies conducted on water molecules that have found that when exposed to negative talk, the molecule forms contorted. When exposed to positive talk, it forms in beautiful, symmetrical patterns. Positive self talk can affect you right down to the molecules you are composed of! In order for your body to be in true health you MUST be fully aligned mind, body and spirit. Tell yourself how wonderful you are. Be proud of yourself for beginning a transformation to better health and know that whatever step you make is progress. Tell yourself you are beautiful and healthy and becoming healthier every day. A support system is very important. Surround yourself with those who encourage and bring you joy. But you need to be your own best supporter. Holistic health is not yet mainstream and some may try to discourage you. I have faced this a lot in my own  journey but I know what is right for me. You deserve full health, full vitality and beauty. Give your body only that which is deserving of you: food in its purest form! Don’t let anybody stand in your way. Nobody can deny you that right. Health is your birthright!

Where to go from here? One step at a time…

Secret Garden

Your Holistic Journey Step One!

I am so very excited for you to begin!! I am absolutely convinced in the miracles of this lifestyle! Here is a small change to make a world of difference: start your transformation by getting the most bang for your buck! Nutrients are essential to your well-being and raw fruits and vegetables are the cornucopia of nutrients. This week, reconnect to mother earth and make at least half of every meal raw vegetable based (fruit based if eaten only on an empty stomach).

Helpful hint: raw nut butters make for the perfect dip and opt for making your own salad dressings. I make a delicious one with stone ground mustard and apple cider vinegar. Hopefully I’ll be able to bring some recipes to you soon!

How to eat: Before eating anything this week, think of its source (where it came from), and how it is nurturing your body. Be grateful for the beautiful, wholesome food you are nourishing yourself with.

Welcome to a new adventure! Have a lovely week and enjoy the fresh, vibrant colours and flavours of truly live food!