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Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

Starting August 1st I decided to embark on a raw food journey. Lately I’ve been feeling worn for no obvious reason so I decided it was time for a cleanse. Instead of doing a traditional fast I decided to try raw food for 30 days – all Indian-style!

This huge zucchini from our organic backyard garden will come in handy for the raw foods! It measured an astounding 13 inches long. There

About nine months ago, I became sensitive to some foods (including spices, my favourite!) and certain vegetables and lentils. It made me realize your health can change anytime and keeping the body in balance in optimal health is so important before any problem exacerbates.

After tweaking my diet for several months things are normalized and I feel I’m back on track. I’m hoping my 30 days of raw foods will help me feel even more energized! Proponents of raw food affirm foods in their natural, uncooked state contain higher nutritional value than foods that have been cooked.

According to Ayurveda, India’s ancient healthcare system (stay tuned for future blog posts explaining this in detail), a combination of cooked and uncooked foods are eaten, but for the most part food should be mostly cooked making it digestible and easy on the body’s digestive system. One of the pillars of Ayurveda is good digestion for optimal health, which is why spices are used in the cooking process.

Therefore, the exclusive raw foods approach to eating is a little exotic for me. With all the curries, grilled flatbreads and rice dishes, this will be a challenge! So what’s with the change of heart?

Chef Pedja's raw pizza ~ super mmmmm!

Last week I had the most delicious food moment and tasted something so good it got me more curious about raw foods. Chef Pedja Milosavljevic at Nature’s Emporium makes this raw food pizza topped with mango which is to die for. Really. After eating this tasty raw pizza I felt so good!

Since it’s August and there is so much fresh produce in the markets, this is the perfect month to try my 30 days of raw foods. I’ll keep you posted how my Indian raw foods are coming along and I’ll post some of my experimental recipes as well.

Most likely I won’t prescribe to all of the raw food “rules” as I won’t be going vegan. Dairy is also huge in Indian cuisine and so I will keep the yogurt and milk (but no cheese) in the diet. But I’ll stay away from all cooked food! And we’ll see how it goes…

It's 'bye-bye' to my breakfast oatmeal ritual. See you in September!

Cacao Barry's 72% Venezuela dark chocolate for the oatmeal also has to go too!

Do you typically eat more raw foods in the hotter, summer months?

A teaspoon of: Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johannson. Listening to: Wear and Tear.

Was skeptical about Hollywood’s entry into the music world, but Johannson has a great voice and they have a cool vibe – I’m hooked!

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All over the world, people will kill the lights tonight at 8:30pm in demand of a climate change solution for Earth Hour.

One great way to fight climate change is to support local (and preferably organic) food initiatives.

The Fresh Veggies in Brampton, Ontario

Arvinda’s is looking forward to being at the Harbourside Organic Farmers’ Market in downtown Oakville again for the fourth year. I’m excited about the delicious, fresh organic foods available at the market every week. Hopefully Bob, a farmer from The Fresh Veggies in Brampton will be there – he has a good selection of Indian herbs such as methi (fenugreek leaves) and cilantro, a variety of peppers, okra and Indian-style eggplants — all perfect for an Indian meal!

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As running season is upon us with the beautiful weather on its way (hopefully), I thought I would share with you my recipe for Arvinda’s Orange-Almond Chai Running Balls that appeared in the March/April 2010 issue of Canadian Running Magazine — perfect as a long-run power treat or as a post-workout recovery snack.

Arvinda's Orange-Almond Chai Running Balls

I’ve been a long-distance runner since 2003, with my favourite distance being the half-marathon (21.1 km). Any workout exceeding one hour in length, requires fuel recovery — usually in the form of sugar or glucose. Many runners use gels or syrups as an easy digestible way to raise energy levels. This was something I never enjoyed on those long runs as it often gave me a case of nausea. Pure sugar, often with additives and preservatives, how healthy is that? I realized bringing my own homemade running treat was a tastier and healthier option.

Although I don’t run the long distance road running as I did in the past (knee injuries!), I still enjoy getting onto the trails to enjoy the fresh air, beautiful weather and nature, for that matter. These little power balls are perfect for a run, hike or post-workout treat. Gluten-free and delicious too!

Now it’s time for a run. See you on the trails!

A teaspoon of: Sam Roberts Band. Listening to: Hard Road.

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I know everyone enjoys those canapés and savoury starters like samosas at a holiday party. I like them too, however as a hostess they can be labour-intensive to prepare, especially when guests are arriving on short notice.

Frustrated and frazzled party-throwers often run to their frozen food aisle for the many boxed-up savoury hors d’oeuvres available, which can be expensive and often contain additives too.

When I’m in a bind, my favourite party tip to feed a crowd is to make a soup, served up in a shot glass or espresso cup with a cool garnishing.

Soup makes a perfect presentation for a party

It’s a low-fuss preparation, something you can make in one big batch and you know your guests can fill up on something flavourful (and healthy too!).

For your next gathering, try Arvinda’s Curried Lentil Carrot Soup served in an espresso cup garnished with a pappadum wafers.
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Arvinda’s Curried Lentil Carrot Soup

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Do you love Chai but want it without the caffeine? Try making Chai with a rooibos tea (it’s really a tisane, not a tea). Milder than a black tea and having no bitterness, rooibos makes the perfect caffeine-free Chai — when boiled together, the spices can really be appreciated.

With the added health benefit of a dose of antioxidants, Rooibos Chai can be enjoyed at all times of the day and is suitable for both children and pregnant women (check with your doctor to be sure). Light and aromatic, it pairs nicely with a chocolatey decadent dessert.

Arvinda’s Maple Rooibos Chai Latte

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Indian-Style Hummus

At this time of year we’re in full swing festive mode. It’s getting busy and with all the holiday soirees and get togethers, we let down our guards and embrace the festivities with good food, sharing and of course a few extra indulgences. I myself have already started!

When I’m planning to attend a dinner party or event where there will be a plethora of delicious treats, I prefer to keep my preceding snacks and meals moderate and healthy so I can enjoy new foods and tastes at the party. This is what the holidays are all about, isn’t it!?

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samosa5
Samosas are one of India’s most loved appetizers and is probably the most known out of the immense variety of Indian snack foods available in the world.

Always a triangular shape, samosa filling ingredients and pastry type can vary greatly depending on which part of India you are in. With that in mind, the recipe below is not your typical samosa. Baked not fried, this recipe uses a simple and easy phyllo so you don’t have to fuss too much with the pastry — making it easy yet impressive for holiday entertaining season!

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