Raw Apple Bread

Do you LOVE bread?

Do you feel you can never let go of pasta, pastries and breads? Are processed carbs the reason all your diets fail?

Then you’ll love this recipe!

I too was challenged as I started eating raw, plant based. What do you use as a base for everything you want to pile on top? What do you do about bread?

Well, it’s an ongoing process that is continually improving but…the great news is I’m finding new recipes and learning to get creative. Woohoo! Who knew I was creative in the kitchen?! I sure didn’t. 😛 For example, Jicama slices make DELICIOUS taco shells, Romaine or Kale leaves make fabulous wraps and Onion Bread is without a doubt simply unforgettable while also making your whole house smell incredible for an entire day while it’s “baking”.

Actually, the end result is that I’m loving these new “breads” replacements even better than the bread itself! Yes, there is indeed hope! I get super excited every time I come across a new recipe, like this one ⬇️…

I had these apples that were too soft to eat that I’d been saving to find the perfect dish to make with them. Enter the simple Apple Bread from one of my favorite Raw books: The RAWvolution Continues.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups shredded, cored apples (I chopped mine up in the food processor to make it faster. It worked, minus a few chunks I pulled out and nibbled on. Lol)
  • 1/2 cup Flaxseeds, ground
  • 1/2 cup Sunflowers seeds, ground
  • 4 tsp Maple Syrup (coconut nectar was listed in the book but it’s not my preference.)
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon (I love cinnamon and don’t think you can really over do it LOL but you could use less)

Directions

  • Combine all the ingredients and mix by hand. It’s so fun!
  • Spread approx 2 cups of the mixture into a Teflex sheet lined dehydrator tray
  • Repeat until all mixture is used up. I’ll come back and update once I make it again and remember how many trays it uses. Lol. I’m thinking maybe 3.
  • Dehydrate at 105° for 6-8 hours, until it’s solid enough you can peel it off the Teflext sheet.
  • ‘Then flip it over onto a second dehydrator tray and carefully peel off the sheet.
  • Dehydrate an additional few hours until it’s the desired level of firmness. You want them to hold their shape, be firm enough they don’t tear but still flexible enough they don’t crack when you bend them. I did approx 4 more hours. They will firm up a little more after cooling. You can always put them back in if they are too soft.
  • I stored mine in the fridge in a ziplock and they lasted 2 weeks, no problem. The challenge was not eating in one sitting! You could also store them uncovered in the pantry.

They are yummy, not too sweet, with just the right amount of chew. Also great for travel, giving you lots of options of what to put on top that you might find locally on your travels and they really don’t require being in the fridge.

I did a how to video when I was making them for myself. Once I’ve edited it, I’ll come back and post the link here.

Enjoy!

My Gordons & Me | The China Study

It was a fun and enlightening time this morning as I was feeding the dogs.

I’ve been reading The China Study and today as I looked at their bowls I was struck by how very different they are from us humans.

The animal products (meat, diary, eggs) that create the “diseases of affluence” (heart disease, cancer, diabetes) in humans do the exact opposite for our dogs. A raw meat (whole animal) diet as they’d eat in the wild creates health, vitality, longevity and a zestful life in our dogs.

It’s easy to forget they were once wild animals that we domesticated to bring into our lives and homes. They may love being part of our pack (family), find fulfillment in doing work for us, and depend on us to feed and care for them but we certainly haven’t bred their internal animal design out of them. Left on their own, dogs would revert to the wild. That really hit home today for me.

So why do we, as the general population, feel it’s okay, appropriate and even healthy, to feed them a dead diet filled with ‘by products’ and filler ingredients (beet pulp, grains…) they would never eat in the wild and their digestive system can’t even process? And what about a vegan diet? Seriously?! No matter they live with people, they are still carnivores, not herbivores (deer, cattle), and to me respect for life means we honor their amazing design by feeding a species specific diet.

It makes me sad ? to see otherwise.

Wolves don’t get cancer. It’s only a human and domestic animal disease. Hmmm….rather curious, don’t you think? ??

Cancer is not a mutant gene ? we need to eradicate, it’s our bodies way of telling us we are not in balance and we need to get stronger. Same for our dogs.

How do we bring back balance?

Food. Exercise. Rest. Love. Surrounding, us and our dogs, with life force energy.

So as I prepared the meal for my pack today I was grateful for the life force I was giving to them. You know how they say never cook when you’re angry as you’ll transfer the negative energy to those who eat the food you’ve prepared? And how Ayurvedic medicine says to only touch your food with love?

That was me. I may personally find it difficult to handle raw meats and the thought of non-meat eating me actually having to prepare and eat it myself….?…

But when I take “me” out of equation and change my perception I can look at this food, this meat, as LIFE and everything I want to give my dogs. ? So yes, handling it brings me JOY! Compartmentalizing is a beautiful skill my brain is becoming adept at. ?

I love how a simple diet change for Nicklas, to feed him more Gounding & Cooling meats, has made SUCH a difference in his energy, happiness and peace. Still high energy and don’t even think about skipping morning play time with the balls ?? but there is a feeling of Ease in him now. ??

So as I added pork heart, beef liver, chicken, pork, eggs, beef, green tripe and the toppers of blended apples, Turmeric powder and fresh chopped garlic to their bowls I was thankful and yes, I was feeling Joy.

I have more changes still to make as I bring harmony and greater health to my gang but I’m seeing progress and feeling well on my way!

Make It Monday | Creamed Spinach

Talk about a simple dish. This is perfect when you’re hungry and want something fast that’s got a kick of rich flavor. And the dressing is Oil Free!

Enjoy!

All you need is…

  • Spinach
  • Creamy Garlic Dressing (recipe below)
  • Walnut Taco Meat (optional)
  • Toppings are optional. I used Black Sesame Seeds but sunflower seeds or buckwheat groats would be nice too.

The dressing recipe came from the book The RAWvolution Continues

My changes were to use ~

  • 1/8 cup Liquid Aminos (instead of 1/4 cup coconut aminos)
  • 1/4 cup water (Add more of less till the consistency is how you like it)
  • 1 cup of mixed white nuts – Cashews, Pine Nuts and Brazil Nuts (I didn’t have a whole cup of cashews lol)

  • You could also use this yummy spinach in a wrap with cauliflower rice, red bell peppers, dulse flakes, carrots and cucumbers. Sounds delicious doesn’t it?
  • In The Kitchen | Raw Walnut Taco Meat

        Recipe:
    • 1 cup Raw Walnuts (soaked in water 4 hours or overnight), rinsed and drained
    • 1 Tbl Soy Sauce, Liquid Aminos or Tamari
    • 1 tsp each Cumin, Chipotle and Garlic Powders
    Blend until nuts are broken down into a crumbly, meaty texture. Be careful not to blend too long and turn it into paste  Chew factor is important!  

    The most delicious Unpasteurized Soy Sauce, from Japan. 

    My Gordons & Me – Quiet Mealtime

    Ian Barn Hunting

    Tonight, for whatever crazy reason, I decided I would tackle Ian’s out of control excitement, crying and anxiety when it comes to meal times.

    I tried putting gates up so they were not underfoot by the food; I tried making him lay down; I tried a spray bottle; I tried saying “no”; I tried holding his face staring into his eyes to see if I could shake him out of it; I tried calmly praising him the brief moments when he was quiet; I ignored him; I put him in another room; I crated him; I tried to put snoods on before getting out the food bowls;…nothing worked.

    Mealtime is clearly where Ian has challenges and his poor energy spills over to Larkin who growls at him, Nicklas who starts to copy him and Elly who wakes up from her nap and runs out excitedly barking causing them all to bark. A madhouse!

    I’m so happy they all love their food now and have healthy appetites but OMG, the craziness needs to stop.

    Tonight, I fed everyone else one at a time as they were all happily calm, having listened to me and received praise for patiently waiting, sitting nicely and putting on their snoods with good manners. After they each finished eating, I sent them outside leaving only Ian who was running around, spinning circles and being loudly vocal, knowing it was finally his turn as there was only one bowl left. ??‍♀️ (sigh…)

    He finally quieted down a bit, although still anxiously breathing, but every time I reached for his snood he would lose it and start howling again.

    Nothing I was doing was working, I was getting frustrated and that’s not helpful. At my wit’s end with how to help him, I walked away and sat down in the library to meditate. I did it for me. I know it’s not the right time for the dogs to expect them to participate in a meditation when it’s mealtime, playtime or bio break times but goodness, I had nothing else left to try so as a last resort I wanted to calm ME down.

    Ian escalated his efforts, coming over to shrilly bark and cry right into my face, rattling my ears, all while I had my eyes closed and was “meditating”.

    Determined to ignore him (that was certainly a challenge!) I persisted and after finally starting to feel more centered and able to be kind, I stopped meditating, opened my eyes, gently grabbed Ian’s cheeks and firmly said No.

    He eventually laid down at my feet where I decided I was going to stay sitting and watch a documentary while I waited him out. He got quiet after some time passed but if I made a move to get up, he’d immediately start excitedly crying.

    At some point, now over 2 hours since I’d first started prepping their dinner, he moved to the couch and curled up.

    After a few minutes, I calmly and ever so slowly got up and walked to the kitchen, all the while not looking at him. He followed and calmly sat there looking at his food bowl on the counter. I looked at him then and when he looked back at me I wanted to jump for joy! My handsome boy was looking back at me, making a connection. The crazy man who was out of his mind was gone.

    We had a few tiny hiccups with the snood but he quickly got it this time, that he had to be quiet ?. He kept eye contact with me the whole time as I smiled and praised him for being quiet. Snood was on!!!

    I turned to grab the bowl, expecting the howling to start but though he followed the bowl, he kept his manners, was politely excited to see his bowl coming, sat down in ‘his spot’ and quietly waited for the “ok” after I had put the bowl down.

    What a shift! Hallelujah ?

    THIS was my handsome gentleman, Ian, that I love and the Ian I feel like I lose at every mealtime. A Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

    It was such a joy I felt inside and such a beautiful moment.

    2 1/2 hours later and dinner is finished! ?

    Was is the meditation? Ignoring him? Leaving the kitchen? Him being alone with me? My not giving in or giving up? All of the above?? I don’t know. All I can say, I’m documenting this for posterity so I can remind myself and I hope we had a breakthrough tonight as I’m not ready for another marathon at breakfast. ?

    Ian Eating Dinner

    Dill Nut Cheese | Plant Based Raw

    My Anniversary Month trip to Canada with my husband (of 19 years 💝) was a culinary experience to remember!

    One of the highlights from our time in Vancouver BC was the discovery and visit to this plant based cafe in North Van. It was also our very first time boarding the Sea Bus for a fun 20 minute ride over. We didn’t have to go far from the water, which was great since we were on foot. The ‘port’, or so it seemed to be one to me, had a buzzing with activity boardwalk and mall, jam packed with a wide variety of shops, cafes, including a Kombucha growler refilling hang out and a farmers market stand. The Plaza outside had great views over the water looking back out at Downtown Vancouver. 

    I got goosebumps as soon as we walked through the doors of Cafe by Tao. I was jumping out of my skin with excitement and sheer bliss looking at the products on the shelves and in the cooler, already dreaming of how much I could carry away with me.

    Not to mention reading the menu…Ahhhhhh.

    If you think I’m exaggerating, just ask Kerwin. He was right there watching me and laughing.
    Who knew 2 years ago that I’d be so excited over (non pasta, non pastry, non potato chips, non cheesecake) food?! I certainly didn’t.

    Here’s a video flashback to afterwards, as we were leaving.

    Now that the stage is set…the reason for ‘this’ blog LOL is to share a raw food win – I made the ‘to die for’ Dill Nut Cheese for the first time today and am in heaven!

    It tastes almost exactly as I remember it!

    I spread it, nice and thick, on the matching ‘to die for’ raw onion bread I had a freshly made batch of. Pictured ⬇️. Needing a tasty topping for the bread is what actually triggered me to finally pull up this recipe and give it a go.

    It’s food like this that makes me laugh when I tell people I eat raw and they say “oh. Don’t you get tired of eating salads?” Nope. lol. 

    Part of this life journey I’m on is about celebrating the joys, wins, and delicious food, so instead of simply sharing a picture on Facebook, I am choosing to savor this moment with an intentional post.

    For this Dill Cheese recipe and more check out Cafe by Tao!

    I promise I’ll share more about our day and incredible eating experience at Cafe by Tao in another post. 😊

    Looking back at Day 8 – Read The Labels

    2 years ago today I had just returned from a Barn Hunt extravaganza trip up to Reno, NV with my oldest boy Nicklas who got himself his Senior 🥳🌟😃 AND Crazy 8’s Bronze titles. Wow! What a incredible ride!

    I had just started my 87 Day Adventure and everything was uncharted territory. So of course a road trip far from home, with a cooler of healthier food and a hotel stay in an unfamiliar city was in order. Lol.

    This is what food on Day 3 looks like when it’s late at night, you’re starving, you need energy to keep driving and even if you wanted to stop and eat at a restaurant there was nowhere to go.

    A salad taste sensation. 🙂

    The transition had begun!

    The biggest challenge, right out of the starting gate, was Sugar. Surprised that I didn’t say Meat?

    Meat was obvious and easy to not select it to eat. I mean, it was easy to avoid in that its kind of hard to eat a cheeseburger and not know you’re eating meat. Haha. This was before I knew of the crazy, way too real, Beyond Burger.

    The other item I was eliminating was white/wheat processed flours. Bread is bread, pastries and pizza look like what they are too so I could ‘see’ to not choose items made out of flour.

    Sugar, on the other hand, is sneaky. It’s added to EVERYTHING! A jar, box, can, package, bag, processed foods, salad dressing, sauces, broths… you get the idea. To be clear, I mean the added kind of sugar, not the naturally occurring, delicious and important fuel for you body type of sugar found in oranges, honey or grapes. Avoiding this kind of sugar and ALL it’s numerous forms was giving me some trouble.

    I was in no way ready to stop eating out or make every single meal / ingredient from scratch.

    What’d I do?

    I started reading labels and let me tell you was it ever like going on a treasure hunt. When I found gold, a store bought item without added sugar, it was real cause for celebration!

    Here’s a peak into a time when I found gold, shortly after returning from Barn Hunting in Reno. 😃

    “Day 8 update:

    Wiped out today recovering from my road trip but I’m super happy to have completed my first travel of my 87 day eating adventure. 👍🏼😃

    I scored two finds today I’m excited about! Whole Foods’s no sugar added Sriracha Sauce (for tomorrow’s zucchini recipe) and Costco’s no sugar added marinara sauce, which tastes great by the way. 😉 I had it for dinner with edamame noodles, which aren’t my favorite but….they’ll do.

    It’s a great thing when all the ingredients on the label are recognizable, pronounceable and actual whole foods and spices!!”

    •Ok, side note…I’ll never eat edamame noodles again! They are way beyond ‘not my favorite’ and I actually eventually ended up disposing of the rest of that massive box of them I’d gotten from Costco. Which was something else I learned on this journey – there’s only so much food you can eat in a day, so make it count.

    When’s the last time you read the label on a jar of marinara sauce? Or any label for that matter.

    I challenge you to start reading labels! Make a choice for your health and buy the jar of spaghetti sauce that has only 6 ingredients in it, all pronounceable whole foods and tomatoes need to be right there at the top.

    Tomatoes do have naturally occurring sugar, so you can ignore the chart showing the list of %’s by nutrient. Look further down at the actual list of ingredients – (the most important section on the entire label!) anything listed there is considered “added sugar” and is what you want to avoid.

    Sprouts Market does also have an organic jar of marinara sauce that fits this criteria, mixed in among the 30 or so varieties 😲 they also have with sugar. Yup, I stood there one day and read them all. Ugh! On the bright side, I only had to do it once.

    Not sure about Trader Joe’s. 🤔 If you find one, take a picture and post it in a comment!

    To follow along as I continue to tell the story of my journey to greater health, energy and vitality make sure to subscribe here on my website.

    To join the FB community and see how I’m living and eating now, click here!

    My Gordons & Me Project – Doggy Doshas

    The wisdom of Ayurveda teaches that the highest levels of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being can be achieved through the application of ancient principles of healing to restore your body to it’s natural state of balance.
    Bringing balance to my pack is what this project is all about!
    How do you know if YOUR pack is balanced? Or maybe it’s you that is out of balance? Some questions for self/pack assessment can be found in this blog post.

    We, along with all of nature, are made up of the 5 elements – Earth, Water, Air, Space and Fire. The combinations are expressed in energies, or Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This article goes into more detail.

    What’s that got to do with my Gordons, you may be wondering? Dogs have Doshas too! The even cooler part is that you can bring balance to each type of dosha with nutrition.

    I have dreams of Ian and Larkin being like this ⬇️ all the time when they are together.

    To that end, I’m going to be testing out how their behavior is effected by adjusting their foods, based on what I learn about each of their doshas. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Identifying Doshas

    First, I needed to identify the dosha combinations for each of my dogs and then looking into their imbalances and the associated foods I can feed them.

    Using a Dog Quiz and Behavior Characteristics documents I got a copy of from animal relationship expert, Jamie Lee, I’ve arrived at these doshas:

    Nicklas –  Vata / Pitta

    Ian- Kapha / Pitta

    Larkin – Kapha / Pitta

    Elly – Vata / Pitta

    4 dogs with the secondary dosha of the Fire 🔥 element. 😱 Which is where Ian’s intensity, Elly’s spunk, Nicklas’ determination and Larkin’s strength all come from. Also makes sense why they push each other’s button, lol, especially the 2 boys whose doshas match – Ian & Larkin.

    I will probably look into this a little more to quadruple verify.😛 I get that first impressions are usually correct but this is all new to me so I want to be as sure as I can to know I can trust the results I get from my “experiment”. Up to this point it’s making a lot of sense but if anything changes, I’ll be sure to come back and update!

    Imbalances

    Because of having identified their doshas, I can next look at how each combination shows up with their characteristics and what those imbalanced behaviors look like. Here it is by dog:

    Nicklas – anxiety, worry and over active mind

    Ian – aggression and withdrawing when sad

    Larkin – aggression, needy

    Elly – Fear, confusion

    Wow, yup this still makes sense. I could easily identify which was the imbalanced behavior they have simply by looking at a list of them organized by dosha. Very interesting!

    Now what?

    Next I need to read up on those dosha combinations and the foods associated with bringing balance. For example, I know that meats are known as cold, warm or neutral. Which is which and which is for which imbalance? Lol. I’ll share what I discover in a future blog!

    The days of feeding 4 identical meals may be over….uh oh…

    Ayurvedic Herbs

    My Gordons & Me Project – Days 4 – 14

    The days run together when I let too much time go by between posting, oh well, I’m not losing sleep over it. 😂😉 That would defeat the purpose now wouldn’t it? 😜

    Here are some highlights:

    •I’ve proven that meditating IS helping as the days I haven’t done so, everyone has been a little out of sorts, me included. Regardless of the time of day I do it, a simple 10 minute time out works wonders. And we’re only inconsistently just getting started. Imagine when I get good at it and the gang learns the routine?!

    •I love the simplicity of the Joshin Kokyu Ho meditation but I’m ready to branch out and add a second one into my repertoire.

    •Larkin’s pattern of going out of his way to growl at the other 2 boys after eating makes meditating then a challenge. It works, IF I can get everyone settled but trying to sit down, get comfy and relaxed myself while also holding onto a squirming Larkin’s collar to stop him running off to stir up trouble…🤦🏼‍♀️ is not setting us up for success. I decided to try something new.

    Larkin most often (99.9% of the time) finishes eating first, though he gets his food after the two older boys. Always hopeful there is another bone or second helping waiting for them, as each boy finishes they race inside to the kitchen sink and lift their noses in the air – checking. Many times there IS indeed something else. 🙂

     As Larkin runs in first I quickly close the door behind him, wipe his face as I take off his snood and then I gently escort him over to the carpet, have him lay down and tell him to STAY.

    My new plan is to have him stay there and as Nicklas and Ian each came in I’ll do the same and have them join Larkin one at a time.

    The first time I lost track of how many times I returned Larkin to his spot, ugh! but nobody was perfect. They all “forgot” at least a few times and would try to go find another napping spot.

    I remained calm and patient, after pausing a few times to remind myself. I finally released them a while later when they were chill, relaxed and staying in place. One by one they slowly moved away after my “ok” and found cozy places apart from each other where they all immediately curled up again and went to sleep. My plan worked! Peace, quiet and no growling.

    I’m extremely pleased by the great response and plan to continue this new routine.

    •Exercise has been lacking but I did manage to get Ian out on a little adventure to exercise his brain.

    •Ball playing is now back on! I figure this is good practice for them too as it’s a ‘group’ play time. Well, except for Elly, as she doesn’t like to play ball. The boys get to experience lots of bodily contact and hopefully they will learn some manners and tolerance.

    •Need to ramp up the exercise plan, especially while the weather is not hot, and set up a rotation for taking them out on walks and adventures. Solo trips for now.

    Day 11 ~

    •While out in the backyard, Nicklas started staring at Ian all wrong so right there and then I stopped what I was doing (working on my new veggie bed), corrected both, sat down between them and had them lay right there by me on the grass. Ian immediately relaxed into the meditation energy ⬇️

    (hard to mistake the feeling in this face).

    Nicklas however was up and loudly protesting – “No mom, I don’t WANT to lay down. I want to play ball. Throw it for me, NOW!”

    Tough to stay focused to meditate when you can’t hear yourself think 🙄 but it at least changed the vibe – Ian was soaking it up, Larkin came over to hang out, note the leg in Ian’s face (smh), and Nicklas was back to his demanding self. Crisis averted 👍🏼

    •Manners update – sitting and having to hold it till released before going outside, one at a time, is in progress. Whew, more patience is needed on my part! It IS helping though. Nicklas is no longer harassing Ian when they first go out. Another win! 👍🏼

     

    I think that’s everything.

    Previous episodes can be found here: