Thursday, 23 October 2008

Raw Food Experiments

Kids, you gotta love 'em!

Last weekend, I catered for about 20 parents and kiddies at my sister's activity centre (Teeny Tiny Tapir... check out tinytapir.com too!). I made a completely raw spread which had mixed results but overall the kids were the ones who were into it. Unfortunately there were some kids who were allergic to nuts (interesting how they are usually of caucasian descent) so they didn't get to try a lot of the dishes.

The awesome thing is that I worried about budgeting (about RM10 per person) especially since I wanted to use organic food, but I was UNDER budget!

Here's what I made: (all Organic)
- Chocolate Banana Pie (Cacao, Banana, Avocado, Dates, Sunflower Seeds, Ground Flax)
- Green Cauliflower Raw "Popcorn" (Cauliflower, Wheatgrass + Barley Grass Powder, Nutritional Yeast, Olive Oil)
- Zucchini Based No Bean Hummus (Zucchini, Tahini, Thyme, Salt, Olive Oil + Garlic)
- Raw Toona (Walnuts, Salt, Olive Oil, Carrots, Onions, Celery)
- Eggless Egg Salad (Cashews, Salt, Turmeric, Olive Oil)
- Carrot, Cucumber + Celery Sticks
- Ants on a Log (Celery Sticks, Raw Brazil Nut Butter, Raisins)
- Big Green Salad with Olive Oil + Apple Cider Dressing
- Creamed Corn (Corn, Mustard, Coconut Juice, Chives, Celery, Parsley, Agave)
- Raw Chili (so awesome, from Matt Kenney's "Everyday Raw") in Red Cabbage Leaves

All done in 1.5 hours with no dehydrator. Lots of fun, though I was worried because I didn't want anyone to get sick (lots of people are not used to eating lots of raw foods). The funniest thing was that the kids LOVED it! Of course the Choc Banana pie was the biggest success all round, but there was a little indian 2 year old who insisted on lots of Raw Chili, and a lovely 3 year old chinese boy who was gunning for the Green Cauliflower (which for lots of adults was way too green tasting). I was surprised! Just shows you how kids know what their bodies need.

I will be catering a few more events for my sisters, which should be fun! Experimentation...

Might be going to India in November! And I have secured my spots on the permaculture course and sustainability tour in Thailand starting January (panyaproject.org), then hopefully I can go to my good friend Holly's wedding in Feb (Melbourne) and perhaps visit the states when Tricia gets back so we can do a true Cali Raw Food Tour!

:) Things are heating up. Raw food is on the way. I have met (online) some amazing raw foodies in Singapore, and have received emails from other Malaysians who are interested in the concept. I just need to work on how I'm going to market this, because even lots of the vegetarian restaurants that were open when I was here a year ago are closed.

Rawk on!

PS Yes I will post some photos of the food later :)

Sunday, 12 October 2008

We're Gonna Have A Revolution...

Life is constantly changing.

Here I am back in KL after a crazy year in Taiwan, which included making awesome lifelong friends, learning Chinese beyond what I ever thought I could, rescuing dogs, eating smelly tofu, learning to surf (badly), riding around on the backs of people's scooters/ motorbikes, falling in love, working for free at a friend's wonderful veggie cafe, having my heart broken, finding an incredible job in Taipei only to have it fall through last minute, writing music and much much more. Thank you Taiwan for one of the best, most unforgettable years of my life.

So again I am at a new turning point on this adventure we call life. I am both excited and scared, because I don't want to get stuck in any kind of rut, like I have before. The choice to come home to KL wasn't completely my own, but in the end, I decided that it was the best choice when all was taken into account.

My plans for now are to help my sisters out with some of their great projects and then next year head off to Tree of Life in Arizona for their Live Food Instructor course and Spiritual Veganic Farming course. Of course I'd love to do their Mastery Program but 2 years is a little too long :) After that, back to Malaysia to start the Raw Food Revolution here.. via a raw food gourmet restaurant, perhaps a catering service, raw food education and workshops, some ready made raw food products etc.. which I would love to eventually expand into some kind of franchise so that others in SEA can take on the framework and develop their own successful restaurants. Sounds like a big call but hey, dream big right?

My parents also have a fruit orchard which has been lying pretty idle for a while, so I am aiming to turn it into a fully functional organic farm using permaculture and veganic farming principles. It will be interesting to see what this black thumbed gal comes up with ;) Hopefully something will survive!

So yes, big plans. I am determined to make it all happen. I often dream big but then things get in the way and I can't get to where I've been trying to get.. but I do believe if I keep working hard, it will all work out how it is meant to.

On a personal level, I am starting up 100% raw tomorrow, Monday 13/10. I've bought a few new raw books to get me interested again and have been reading Victoria Boutenko's great books! Also, I am using my brother's new computer which means I should be able to upload photos more!! I am so going to read veganyumyum's post on taking great food photos (because hers are amazing!).

Raw it up darlings! The revolution is upon us.

Peace

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Master Cleanse Taiwan Style

Oh man, I really shouldn't read veganyumyum.com when I'm on a detox fast. Bad idea times a zillion!

Started the Sugarcane Juice/ Cayenne Pepper/ Lime juice/ Green Powder fast yesterday and besides a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, I'm feeling great! Much better than the last time I attempted this fast.. which is a surprise because I think I was eating a better diet then. I am a little tired but that is more from lack of sleep than not eating, I think ;). I have enough energy to not need a nap during the day and stay awake in class!! Which is something I have trouble with when I'm eating sometimes.. of course if I'm doing high raw, it's no problems!!

I'm doing this fast with a friend, N, who had a big big weekend of alcohol, cigarettes and some naughty bad pills (but he's vegetarian at least!) and is now really regretting it.. he's got headaches, pains in his liver, some chills up his spine now and then.. but no nausea so I'm not overly worried. I think he'll be fine by tomorrow, it's just going to take a little time for his body to adjust. He's never done a fast before either but I keep promising him it's going to be worth it.

I know there is a lot of literature for and against these type of "detox" fasts.. but I felt great last time and even if the sugarcane mixture doesn't have the nutrients it is said to have, I'm not overly worried.. a bit of caloric restriction is not a bad thing. At least it gives my body a rest and my gut a much needed holiday. I'm going to try to stick it out for 10 days but that really depends on travel plans (which are always pretty spontaneous!). It's a blessing to be able to get fresh raw sugarcane juice here.

I'm also hoping this kickstarts a bit of a good-eating habit that'll stick. It's been great working at Ben's cafe and eating his awesome healthy food, as well as contributing some raw dishes.. it's terrific to have a healthy place to eat and prepare food. When I get back to KL in 5 weeks, it'll be even easier to stick to being raw.. and when I get to Australia in October.. besides a bit of indulgence I'm sure working in a raw cafe will keep pushing me in the right raw direction.

Loved Dhru's post on wlir recently.. all of you, go read.. it's very true and inspiring (Nature Love, you rock too!) welikeitraw.com. Thank goodness for the internet.

See you all next time!

Monday, 28 July 2008

Peace, Love and Creation

Hello Lovahs!
In the middle of a mild typhoon here in Yilan, which just meant no classes for the day, some wind, some rain and lots of lazing around in good company.

A good mate of mine, Ben, is opening his new veggie cafe in the next town over this week. So on Saturday, me and a couple of friends went over and I made dinner for everyone.. actually, it wasn't planned, it just evolved into a bit of a party! Which is always the best way right.. :)

I made mostly raw food... Here's the "menu":
- Raw "Mashed Potatoes" with Mushroom Gravy
- Lovely Green Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Butterhead Lettuce and Japanese Cucumbers, with a Dijon mustard dressing
- Chinese Cream of Cucumber Soup with Star Anise and Fennel
- Quickly Boiled Greens (Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Peas, Young Soy Beans, Okra) with a Raw Pine Nut Garlic Cream
- Mango Pineapple Coconut Cream Smoothies (it's really hot at the moment)

A lovely S.A. friend of mine also made a yummy Thai stir fry and we had some wild rice.

It was a total hit! Everyone always gets interested when they see you making raw food, and are always intrigued to try it. Which is the best way to get people into it, I think. When you show them how easy it is to create and how good it tastes, they know that it is possible to increase the amount of raw food in their diet. However, that is rarely my aim.. I just love making food for people and seeing their happy well fed faces! Feeding people is such a privilege.

Otherwise, I've been trying to be better at eating more raw food.. the supermarkets in my town are not so great with the veggies, and this typhoon is going to drive up prices big time, but I do try to have green smoothies and lots of salads with dips etc. I would love to refine my raw diet according to Ayurvedic principles, but I don't think my life is settled enough to do that yet. Slow but steady!

Next week, am starting the fast! Am sort of excited.. :)

Life is wonderful, but I know I have some big challenges up ahead....
Till next time..
Peace and Love!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Hiding Away

It's been a while. Again.
Dear June, thank you for your kind words. It truly gives me great pleasure to know that people read and appreciate my blog, and reminds me that I should really make more of an effort to update it.

I'm still in Taiwan, until Mid September, trying to cram in as much Chinese as possible before I leave this place, this place that has charmed me in so many ways, this place that has drawn me to some wonderful, life long friends, this place that has been so generous to me, but still.. it is not the place that I want to put my roots into. I know, and have always known, that it is a stepping stone to other endeavours.

It's been abundantly clear to me this year that the universe has a relationship with us that involves two way communication. Yet, the energy that pervades all existence (the universe) has its own formless way of creating paths and destroying them, when the time is ripe. Sometimes we humans find it difficult to do the right things or the wrong things at the right times, and to also get right and wrong mixed up, so the universe is there to guide us, silently, without needing praise, an unsung hero. So I wake each morning and that the universe for knowing what needs to be done, and when. And being happy in each waking (and sleeping) moment that I am on this earth. It can be difficult sometimes, but like anything, practice makes perfect.

Spirituality is very tied into raw foods, and this is not something that only I believe. I do think it helps to create clarity of mind, to make the path clearer and to allow us to listen to our internal Selves without the distraction of toxins which cooked foods (and even some raw ones) contain.

Lately though, I have had a lot of trouble sticking to eating a healthy amount of raw foods. There are a combination of factors but they are simply excuses.. If one wants to achieve anything, all the obstacles will melt away with a little effort. I think I've been distracted by a few things and haven't been putting myself first (which, contrary to popular belief, is very important!). The main issue is that the novelty has worn off and I have no way of motivating myself.

SO, since it is finally summer here, and I promised myself that I would eat raw as possible in summer, I am going to slowly reduce my cooked food intake this week, and start a sugarcane juice/ paprika/ lime juice fast next week, then do a gall bladder flush (with the lovely epson salts I brought over from a recent trip home). I think I really need a clean out and a fresh start. Lately, since a trip to Kenting (South Taiwan) where I spent two whole days in the sun, surfing, I developed itchy skin which sometimes breaks out in hives for no reason. I've had problems with body heat before (my constitution is naturally quite hot, rather than cold or damp) so I assume it's to do with the sun exposure, but it's been a month and it is spreading and getting worse. I do think my diet has something to do with it, and the weather (which is now extremely hot and humid). I also have a cough which is unusual for me, as I rarely get sick.

I have also been rushing around alot lately, what with holiday travels, going back to KL, seeing friends around the island and sending Little River (a gorgeous puppy who I have been fostering and losing hope for) off to her new happy home in California!! Now I have to find a home for Afu..

Therefore, I am putting my foot down. My body is telling me very clearly that this is not acceptable! I must resist eating all the lovely Taiwanese food I've grown to love.. and just clean myself out as I work on the next part of my journey. I'm going to be making some huge life decisions very soon and carrying them out will be a challenge. I need all the help I can get.

Reading: Gabriel Cousen's Rainbow Live Food book, which I may not completely agree with but is interesting all the same.

Highly recommended reading: "The Ethics of What We Eat" by Peter Singer, "Animal Vegetable Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver and "The World Without Us" by Alan Weisman. "The Third Eye" by T. Lobsang is fabulous as well..

That's it from me for today. I still have a lot of homework to do!

Love, Light and Peace

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Updateration!

Hello Lovahs!

I think it's about time I actually wrote something on this blog, so here goes.

Living in Taiwan has made eating a high raw diet quite difficult, for me anyway! This is going to sound ridiculous, but it is way too easy to access great Chinese vegan food here.. temptation is too great. And also, living in a new place and not trying the food is still something difficult for me.. especially since this is the land of stinky tofu and dumplings!

It is made a little more difficult because the fruit in the town where I live is:
1) mostly imported
2) very expensive and
3) not very good quality.

The typhoons and crazy weather has not helped, but I'm hoping things will improve as summer approaches.

The upsides are that it's really easy to get freshly made sugar cane juice, there are heaps of juice places (well, bubble tea, but you can get them to make juice for you), even though they are more expensive than buying a "bian dang" (lunchbox).. and occasionally you just hit the Jackpot and find amazing pink guavas and great custard apples. Mango season is coming up too.. can't wait!

I finally met up with the amazing Tricia who lives on the other side of the island, and I just love how the universe organises these things! We recently did a Master Cleanse together, with sugar cane juice, and it was pretty awesome, although I stopped at day 7 when I had aimed for 10 days. I think it was more of a mental thing though, wanting to socialise and go out with friends without having weirdness. I suppose it's all a balance.

Lately Tricia and I have been encouraging each other to eat more raw at home at least, so we've been making things like Raw Mashed Potatoes and Durian Cacao Pudding and Thai Soups... I've also been making stuff to share with friends and they always love it to bits.. Which helps with the motivation. You can also get amazing raw seaweed, freshly harvested, at all the markets here and so those long green seaweedy noodles are also making up for not having real noodles!

I'm determined to have a raw summer, because I am feeling a little crap lately, energy is low and I know this is simply because I'm not doing the raw thing properly. My dog is eating more raw than I am!

I ate raw young soybeans yesterday but apparently this is not a good idea, as they are pretty toxic.. any comments on this? There are a few differing accounts.

Have some books to recommend too...
- The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer
- In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
- The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
and of course ... all the Anastasia books (thanks Angela and Anthony!!)

I've decided I"m moving back to Australia in October so I can live there for a year and apply for citizenship. It's a big decision but I feel like my future is there. I'm going to try to get a job in a raw food catering company, otherwise it's either music management or retail (health food shops or enviro shops). Next year, in March, I'm hoping to get into a four month intensive Eco Village Design course at Crystal Waters Ecovillage in NSW.. Crossing my fingers. I know this ecovillage is going to happen, it's just a matter of time!

Much love to everyone.. I promise I'll try to update more, I'm sure it will help me motivate myself!
xo
M

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Time..

Yeah I've been really bad with the updating!

So for the moment, read these blogs. Because these people are RAWSOME and actually post regularly. Hehe! LOVE!

rawreform.blogspot.com- the Lovely Angela Stokes who I am dying to meet!

rawmodel.com- Anthony, who is a model in more than one way! Another Rawie I'd love to meet in person

wyldeandraw.blogspot.com- the incomparably Jenny!! HECK I just want to meet all of you!

Enjoy darlings!
xoxox