Healthy ‘fried pickles’

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*Vegan and Gluten Free

Healthy ‘fried’ pickles:

1. bread and butter pickle’s (or any)
2. batter: in a food processor blend Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, chia seeds and shredded coconut. Add oregano, oat flour, almond flour & salt. (add intuitively. This recipe is primarily nuts and oat flour, but have fun with it and add how you feel called!)
3. transfer to a bowl and mix gently w small amounts of water and pickle juice
4. bake 400° aprx 6-8 min

Enjoy!

#healthyoptiontounhealthyfood #vegan #glutenfree #flavorful #nutritious #friedpickles #bakedpickles #cravings #improv

Cabuya, Costa Rica

Walking with Faith

*Inspired by BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love

When you feel inspired are you able to hold space for the idea to come into fruition? Are you able to walk with fear and see the idea through?

I am feeling called to write about my relationship with Faith as this has been coming up for me a lot lately and I am feeling empowered and incredibly inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book. The way she talks about ideas as their own energetic life-forms resonates with me in a real way. When we work with inspiration and use what moves us to create something, magic happens. And if we let an idea slip by us for whatever reason, not to worry. I however, feel that due to oftentimes paralyzing fear I have let too many ideas slip by and this time I am allowing fear to sit with me but not steer the direction of my words.

I’ve always loved to write, but sharing with others is another story. Blogging only came into my life as a means to share health-related information by the request of a few friends who were looking for more information on healthy living and recipes to support their new life styles. I believe I’ve had my blog about 3 years now and I’ve accumulated a number of recipes I’ve been able to share, but I’d like to go deeper and share more intimately on some of the spiritual aspects of my being. There’s a lot going on and for fear of judgement I’ve held so much back.

While reading ‘Big Magic’ I was inspired and rather than let this idea slip by me I’ve decided to stop in my tracks and take time to put pen to paper and share from my heart a bit about my relationship with faith. I’m choosing to see this idea through and share in an authentic and vulnerable way, unlike I’ve ever been able to do before. Of course you’re reading this online but I’ve first had to write with pen and paper, because for me this has always been the easiest way for me to express myself. I am fully embracing my creative process and am enjoying seeing the way this unfolds.

A definition of Faith I really like: Complete trust or confidence in someone or something. 

My faith first and foremost resides in the Divine to support me and in all ways. While leaning into faith I am learning to trust not only the Divine to meet me half way but I am also learning to trust myself. I am learning to trust that intuitively I know what’s best for me, intuition being my direct connection with the Divine. It’s as though I have a direct phone line to the Divine and we are able to work together.

A dear friend and teacher of mine, James Keeley of LiveRUH uses a wonderful metaphor to represent this relationship. If I am standing on the edge of a branch of a tree wanting to make a decision and take a chance then the Divine can’t push me off but it can certainly catch me, and it has. I must have FAITH and complete trust in the Universe to indeed catch me when I take that leap of faith and step off the branch into the unknown.

I’ve spent a number of years establishing and nurturing my relationship with the Divine and experiencing what it means to me. Perhaps I’ve got some trust issues but with time my ability to trust is getting easier.

With utmost grace, I have been patiently guided and encouraged to trust in the Divine and I feel so beautifully supported. In order to establish a more personal relationship with my readers (for which I am incredibly grateful you care enough about me to support me) I’d like to share a really cool and recent example with mystical qualities in which the Universe has completely and totally supported me with some recent endeavors.

This blog post for one. Inspiration came and rather than put it off or create negative self-talk, I took action and have sat down to write. I can sit back a bit and watch as the words that follow simply flow through me the way they only can when inspiration is present.

Secondly, I have been able to make my way to Costa Rica, which is where I am now, when originally I didn’t think I would be able to pull it off and make it here this year. I am staying in my home away from home with my dear friends of Gentle Earth Retreats, juice fasting, and I’ve even got the pleasure of being here with my beloved mom! The opportunity to travel here to cleanse and to heal, to relax and to rejuvenate before my wedding in just a few weeks has presented itself and is such an incredible opportunity. Knowing that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, I sat with the numbers, addressed the pros and cons and naturally there were more pros, so here I am. Faith was my biggest ally in making the decision and I trust that I am exactly where I am meant to me.

The opportunity presented itself to travel to Costa Rica and rather than turn it down with a sense of lack, I decided to consciously make the decision and find the means to get on a plane and go. I was careful not to act impulsively, working in that space of inner knowing and decided it wasn’t only possible but that it’s actually the best thing for me right now. Scary as it was to spend so much money and to make a last-minute decision, it has proven over and over to be the best thing for me and the Universe has continued to support me, ceaselessly! From a discounted retreat rate, affordable and perfectly timed plane tickets and then…

When all was said and done, plane tickets booked, reservations made, I kid you not, the very same day I received a check in the mail from a beloved family member, as an early wedding gift for the exact amount I needed to cover the costs. I stepped with Faith to make a decision that I knew would best serve me and my body and the Universe rewarded me in a truly magical way. Having an amazing family helped too.🙂

My faith has been renewed, yet again, as indeed the Universe has provided exactly what I needed. My relationship with the Divine has strengthened and I’ve been able to continue experiencing the incredible magic and wonder that the world has to offer.

“Let your faith be bigger than your fear.” -unknown

Thank you for your continued support and taking the time to read this post.

Cheers to a healthy life and faithful living!

Spiritual Foodie

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Hearty Veggie Soup

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This soup is a complete meal unto itself and has delighted us for days! It’s hearty and full of flavor, and the flavors continue to develop with time, making for wonderful leftovers!

We enjoyed it with our own Seeded Baguette.

Veggie Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 roasted butternut squash, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, sautéed
  •  1 large eggplant, cubed and sautéed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 kohlrabi, peeled and thinly sliced

After prepping the first 3 items on the ingredients list, transfer to a large pot and add remaining ingredients. Fill with filtered water until vegetables are completely submerged.

Add:

  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • s & p

Bring to a boil and let simmer until everything is cooked thoroughly. Approximately 30-45 min.

While soup is cooking:

  1. Prepare brown rice and season it with olive oil, garlic powder and sea salt.
  2. Roast pecans in ghee, stovetop.

Once vegetables in soup are cooked to desired consistency (you want them to be soft)

Add:

  • an abundance of fresh dill
  • 1 can of light coconut milk

Blend with a hand blender until soup thickens, leaving large chunks. Add the prepared brown rice and top with ghee roasted pecans when serving.

Enjoy!

Cheers to good health,

Spiritual Foodie

 

Seeded Baguette, gluten free & vegan

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Gluten Free Dough

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 3 cups tapioca flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 2 tbsp guar guar (or xantham gum)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 and 2/3 cups of lukewarm water
  • 4 large egg substitue: (1 egg = 1 tbsp ground chia or flax or combo of both mixed with 3 tbsp of water)
  • 1/3 cup neutral flavor oil, i.e. avocado or olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey

*makes enough for about 4 loaves (1 lb each) — I made two small baguettes with 1/2 of this recipe

  1. Combine ingredients for dough, dry ingredients first, then wet.
  2. Cover mixing bowl and let sit for 2 hours.
  3. Careful not to disturb the bubbles, shape dough, on wax paper, to desired shape with WET hands (not flour like when baking glutenous breads) and cover with plastic wrap, loosely, let sit for 90 min. (Refrigerate any remaining dough)
  4. Pre-heat oven with baking stone to 475 for at least 30 min
  5. Remove plastic wrap and cover with your choice of seeds, I used sesame and pumpkin, and make 3 diagonal slits.
  6. Bake at 475 for 30 min and let cool on a rack for 15-30 min.

With little experience baking I was grateful for the awesome guidelines provided by: www.artisanbreadinfive.com 

The recipe I followed and modified: Artisan Bread in Five, Baguette

 

 

 

Coconut Kale Chips

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Coconut Kale chips

1. Massage kale leaves with melted coconut oil (1-2 tbsp), coconut aminos (drizzled), salt (1/4 tsp)
2. Spread evenly on non stick flat cooking tray and top w shredded coconut and coconut flakes.
3. Bake 350 for 10-15 min

A real treat!

*Inspired by a recipe (crispy kale chips) in ‘Heal Your Gut cookbook’ by Hilary Boynton & Mary G. Brackett

Oat Milk, raw & vegan

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Simple as can be:

1. Soak 1.5 cups gluten free rolled oats in a nut milk bag overnight (8-12 hrs) with 4 cups of filtered water.
2. Squeeze all the liquid from bag, refrigerate and enjoy!

(Can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.)

*Heads up, the consistency is very gooey. If you have kids, this is a wonderful sensory activity for them to help out with. The gooey oats that remain afterwards can also be a lot of fun to play with. Hint: try adding natural food coloring and toys to the mix as well.

 

 

Ithaca, NY

Juice Feasting and how it saved my life.

I’d like to use this outlet (SpiritualFoodie.org) to speak not as an expert, but to share some information I’ve gathered from my experiences as someone who frequently Juice Feasts and offer some insight into why I or anyone for that matter might want to participate in a fast. I’ll also share some of the things I struggle with when aiming to live a healthy lifestyle and what I do to overcome those hurdles. I’m doing this with the realization that there are so many people who are actively trying to live a healthy lifestyle but who, like myself, tend to fall off course and return to a path less desired, you are not alone. There are also those of you who have heard of juice fasting, but wouldn’t actually know what to expect from one or where to begin and I am also speaking to you. When referring to the practice of juice fasting I use the word Feast intentionally because I find it’s not a fast, a word that has the intonations of being rather depriving but instead I feel as though it is a feast indeed, feasting on compacted nutrition rather than for gluttonous satisfaction.

How my Journey Began:

Several years ago my mother discovered juice fasting as a way to possibly help me alleviate pain I experience on occasion from Crohn’s disease, which includes acute arthritis and serious digestive issues. She tried it out first for herself and then sent me on my way. My life took a turn for the best and has never been the same since.

That being said, the Journey for health is a continuous Journey, one in which offers endless opportunities to make decisions that will affect us either positively or negatively. i.e. to eat the piece of cake or to choose a healthy alternative.  (but more on that at towards the end)

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What to expect:

I highly recommend attending a retreat and immersing yourself in a relaxing and supportive environment especially if you are preparing to fast for the first time. And although there are an abundance of places that offer such an experience the only one I will recommend is Gentle Earth Retreats because it is Heaven on Earth and the best place worth visiting.

My mom and I each attended our first retreat here at Gentle Earth Retreats in the Finger Lakes region of New York and have returned yearly either to the beautiful upstate NY location or to the blissful grounds in Cabuya, Costa Rica (a personal favorite of mine). I cannot recommend it highly enough, because the experience is so much more enjoyable then trying to prepare all juices, soups etc for myself while also trying to do my daily activities. Best to get away for awhile!

We return year after year in order to relax, rejuvenate and restart our digestive systems so to speak while in the most supportive of environments. The juices are prepared fresh daily for us with some of the tastiest recipes available with only the freshest ingredients and the highest quality of produce.

Here is a sample meal schedule (day):

9:00  Melon Juice

11:00 Vegetable Broth

noon: Gentle Yoga

1:15 Fruit Blend

3:15 Red Drink

5:45 Dinner as a group, Soup with Rejeuvelac and shot of Wheat Grass

7:00 Sorbet

9:00 Green Drink

(With plenty of water and tea throughout the day!)

*Retreat organizers are happy to pack cold lunch bags with juices in order to accommodate any excursions either alone or with the group.

The retreat itself and the evening gatherings are led by Katherine Croll, who is both a biologist and a nutritionist. She and her husband provide invaluable information regarding health and nutrition and do so in a casual and comfortable evening space which creates room to chat openly and to ask any questions that may and will inevitably arise. Katherine is a dear friend, a wonderful inspiration and truly an encyclopedia of information. She has opened my eyes to a world of information I didn’t have access to previously and she continues to inspire me daily by living life as a positive example and a wonderful role model.

Following retreats, I always return home energized and encouraged to continue making healthy lifestyle choices. I do feast on my own periodically throughout the year, although usually only for 2-5 day periods as opposed to 10-14 days while on a retreat.

My saving grace is being able to return year after year to Gentle Earth Retreats, to the loving arms of Katherine, her wonderful husband Jeff and their mighty dog Pedro. The community of health conscious individuals that attend these workshops and retreats also draw support from one another in their efforts to regain and maintain health themselves. Close friendships have been formed and huge strides towards health have been made!

Some of the benefits of juicing for long periods of time are:

  • encourages deeper detox
  • increases energy levels
  • reduces painful symptoms
  • regulates digestive system
  • changes tastebuds to appreciate healthy food.
  • more positive outlook on life
  • sheds excess pounds of unnecessary weight
  • deeply nourishes with nutrients and minerals
  • deepens appreciation for food, healthy food in particular
  • inspires creative ideas and interest in cooking/raw food prep
  • deeper, more sound sleep
  • vivid dreams
  • brighter skin, stronger nails & hair
  • detox, detox, detox

Last summer I had the pleasure of traveling with my mom to NY for our first retreat together.

My mom is a natural explorer, so here are just a few places we visited together:

 

The struggle is real:

Now with all these wonderfully positive things I’ve had to say, here’s where I’d also like to be forward and forthright in sharing my experience of what it’s like trying to stay on a healthy path. To begin, there is no such thing as ‘Perfect Health’. Someone recently explained health to me in a way that really resonated: Health can be viewed on a spectrum, and since there is no such thing as perfect health you are either dead or somewhere in between. I know I sound frank and possibly morbid, but death is inevitable so we may as well live as best we can while we are here. With this new information my goals have dramatically shifted and rather than aiming for a state of perfect health I can now aim my efforts to place me swinging on the spectrum of good health and leave the state of perfection out of the equation. With the realization that perfect health is no longer my goal, but rather a pain free and enjoyable active lifestyle is, the reins that held me in a negative and judgmental state towards myself anytime I slipped off course have been released. The expectation of perfection is too heavy a burden. It’s a tremendous amount of pressure to place on one’s self that we ‘must’ be raw, vegan, gluten-free, whatever the case me be ALL the time. I’ve given all these things a try, and they all hold a very important role on my quality of life. That being said I would much rather identify with ‘mostly vegan’ rather than to rigidly attempt to box myself into a mere category that feels limiting.

I feel called to share this aspect of my journey ‘the struggle’ because I know I am not alone in feeling that a healthy lifestyle can resemble at times a box, or one of lack. Wether it’s a sense of limited options being available or that taste must be lacking in order to be healthy, these are misconceptions. A healthy diet can feel both limitless and can be delightful to the tastebuds! I do fall victim to food cravings and sugar addiction but rather than beat myself up over any poor choices I may have made, I remind myself that every moment of every day we are always faced with more decisions and the opportunity to make positive choices is always available. There are infinite resources available and it’s really a matter of finding out what’s most important to you and what your goals are in order to find the information and answers that best suit your needs. I have turned to juicing pure fruits and vegetables in order to overcome some pretty trying health complications, as many people have. However the benefits are endless and extend to those in good health as well as in poor. The benefits or juicing and a healthy lifestyle are extraordinary and worth checking out for yourself. Do you have any experiences with juicing you’d be willing to share? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!

If you’ve gotten this far, THANK YOU for taking the time to read this blog post. I began my blogging journey by sharing a number of dishes that I’ve created and enjoyed and now I’ve really had to step into the space of  sharing some deeper content, writing from my heart and sharing more in depth about myself and my Journey.

I hope you are feeling inspired to try juice feasting for yourself or at least to prepare something healthy to eat today. Let’s take our health into our own hands and see the world and it’s inhabitants as our allies, here to support  us and be supported by each other.

Much LOVE & Cheers to Good Health!

-Spiritual Foodie :0)

 

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Product Review: Bhakti Chai Tea

Bhakti Chai Tea

Thank you Bhakti Chai for the wonderful tea and opportunity to write my first ever product review!

I originally reached out to someone from the company asking if they would like to support my efforts in blogging by offering me something to review and they were kind enough to send me several coupons. The company has a beautiful array of products available, however options are limited here in stores on the East Coast, although hopefully not for long! I gave their Ready to drink Iced Chai a try and LOVED it! It’s incredibly flavorful and has a pretty strong fresh ginger taste that I really enjoyed. Unfortunately it was made with soy milk and I would have preferred to be able to try their almond milk variation.

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I reached out again, asking if they knew of any locations near me currently carrying their almond milk option and although unfortunately there are not, they were increasingly generous to send me two beautiful canisters from their Dry Tea Collection as inspiration for some flavorful drinks/dishes of my own: Rooibos Chai (caffein free) & Green Tea Tulsi Chai (Naturally Occurring Caffeine).

My creativity is going to have to take over because I’d really like to create something unique and I’d also like to go all out and make something like this Bhakti Chai Vegan Cheesecake or this Bhakti Coconut Rice with Mangoes and Pistachios listed among many other recipes on their website. Everything looks delicious!

A lot of people I have over actually gravitate towards Bhakti Chai Tea whenever offered a cup. The gorgeous packaging really stands out and the container is filled with beautiful little pyramid bags. Both flavors smell and taste absolutely heavenly, they’re a real treat for the senses!

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I recently shared a pot of tea with a Goddess Sister of mine. We used the Naturally Caffeine Free Rooibos Chai and simmered it with grated ginger, orange zest, candied ginger and dehydrated blueberries. We were delighted with the combination of flavors and felt soothed from the inside out.

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Lemon and Blueberry Almond Cookies- RAW

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*Inspired by the book ‘Raw Food Made Easy‘ by Jennifer Cornbleet, pg 164

I used approximately:

  • 1/2 cup of raw almonds & 1/4 cup of raw pecans, rinsed and soaked briefly
  • add a dash of salt, blend in a food processor briefly, maintain a chunky consistency
  • add 4 chopped dates, some cinnamon and a small amount of maple sugar (optional)
  • add a drop or two of lemon essential oil (doTerra) and continue to blend in food processor (keep chunky consistency for texture)
  • transfer to a bowl and mix in dried blueberries before forming into small balls

Cheers to good health!

Banana Bread – Vegan and Gluten-Free

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In the hopes of being able to salvage bananas that had over ripened I successfully found a recipe online and created one of the tastiest breads I’ve ever had. This was actually my first attempt at banana bread, baking in general is very new for me. Learning which substitutes to use and when makes my life a lot easier. I really enjoy trying new things, going outside of my comfort zone and discovering that I am capable of more than I realized. The original recipe I found online calls for sugar, which is tried and true. I plan however, to experiment and modify this recipe to get the same satisfactory results without the added sugar. In the meantime, I am very pleased with this vegan and gluten free banana bread and encourage you to give it a try, especially if you already have bananas that have over ripened and might just otherwise get thrown away.

*Black bananas actually work great, they may look bad from the outside, but inside they are packed with flavor!

*If you want to speed up the process of ripening bananas try leaving them in a paper bag for a day or two or even leaving them in the fridge overnight.

Here’s a link to the original recipe (be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page): http://minimalistbaker.com/one-bowl-gluten-free-banana-bread/

The substitutions I made:

  • Coconut milk instead of dairy milk.
  • Substituted 1 egg with 1 tbsp (50% golden flax seed 50% chia seeds) ground in a coffee grinder and mixed with 2.5 tbsp water.