Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Detox Soup Recipe with step by step photos

Hi friends!
I hope everyone is surviving in this cold, cold weather.
Where the heck have I been? I have been busy busy busy in the kitchen! It's time I start sharing my recipes and successes with you my lovely readers again.
For Christmas I was given the "oh she glows" cook book by Angela Liddon.
I cannot tell you folks enough how much I truly love and adore this book. So much in fact that in less than a month, the pages are falling out because I have used and abused it so much.
I highly recommend purchasing her book!

I know after the holidays a lot of people tend to feel sluggish, whether it's from overindulging during the holidays, or simply because January is the month where the holiday bills come in and the weather is.. shall we say... uninspiring.

I tried a great recipe from the book I previously mentioned and I'd love to share it with you all.
I found this soup a great way to kickstart getting back into healthy habits and reboot your system. ( Not to mention in the cold Canadian weather I'm all about snuggling up with a warm bowl of soup!)
I hope you all enjoy!

It's easy peasy to make!

Eat Your Greens Detox Soup 

Ingredients :

1.5 teaspoons coconut oil or olive oil
1 sweet onion,diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups (750 ML) sliced cremini or white button mushrooms
1 cup (250 ml) chopped carrots
2 cups (500 ml) chopped broccoli florets
Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1.5 to 3 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1.5 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8th teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 cups (1.25 L) vegetable broth
2 large nori seaweed sheets, cut into 1-inch strips (optional)
2 cups torn kale leaves
Fresh lemon juice, for serving (optional)

This soup is packed with detoxifying and immunity boosting ingredients like broccoli, mushroom, ginger, kale, nori and garlic.  The prep time is said to be about 25 minutes and cook time is 20-30 mins.
It is vegan, gluten free, soy-free, nut free and grain free.

I found I had leftovers which was great and I found it simple to prepare the ingredients first and have them ready to toss in.

1.In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.

2. Add the mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli and stir to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes more.

3. Stir in the ginger, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon and saute for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

(don't mind my giant cozy socks heehee)

4. Add the broth and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 20 minutes.

5. Just before serving, stir in the nori (if using) and kale and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if desired.

and Voila!

Guys I want to express how empowering it is to get into your kitchen and nourish yourself! On a daily bases I see people buying over priced, pre packaged food that they don't even seem to enjoy! Making something from fresh whole ingredients and enjoying the fruits of your labour is so rewarding.

Let me know if you guys try out and enjoy this recipe, or if you were inspired to create something of your own!

Well friends that's it for now. I'm about to take a big step of my own. We know I love to be in the kitchen making healthy meals, but now it's time to get my buns back in the gym. I'll be meeting with a trainer to show me a routine and starting to work out 4 times a week to be the best version of myself I can be. Wish me luck friends.

until next time


Raw Mermaid

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

You're not over eating. You don't need will power!

How often have you heard or said " I ate way too much food... I was just so hungry! I wish I had better will power!"
Here's one way we've gotten way too mixed up in society. One common thing in the diet industry is that same old trend of counting your calories and eating less.
How many of those agonizing Special K commercials have you seen where they show the same overweight woman struggling with her conscience and having 5 or 6 illusions of herself saying " COME ON JUST EAT! MMMM CHOCOLATE" and eventually all of her sides agree that she can eat a Special K treat because it's ONLY 100 CALORIES!
And the world is good again!!! She got her chocolate treat and can stay on track of restricting calories and starving herself thinner!

What's wrong with this picture friends?
Why don't we ever stop and think "hmm.. maybe I just shouldn't be eating crap in the first place and instead of eating less crap... I should eat MORE of things that are good for me?"

This is why Rawtill4 is such a powerful lifestyle. There is nothing more liberating than knowing that I can get up every day of my life and eat until I'm completely full and there are no adverse side effects because I'm eating what my body was designed to eat.

All of these "diet" products are making the situation even worse. Someone with terrible eating habits can now purchase a few products that say "low fat" or "diet" and have the best intentions.. but sadly instead of saying " diet" or "low fat" it might as well say "Chemical shit storm".

What truly is a healthy option will grow straight out of the ground or off of a tree and have one ingredient.

Fad diets never work long term. ( Short term yes, long term no) and there is nothing wrong with you.
YOU are NOT a fat slob
YOU are NOT some glutton with no willpower
YOU ARE a fabulous and capable person who has been mislead by society into thinking that you need to eat less and survive on coffee and cigarettes to drop weight.

Eating in abundance is beautiful. I want you to have the power to wake up every day and love your life.  Fuel yourself with fresh fruits and you will not go wrong.
Fill up on fruit. Don't feel guilty if you want to eat a ton of potatoes at night. Just eliminate the oils, the salt, and the animal products.
You can and will be happy. You will not feel deprived.
Regardless of if you think this path is right for you remember that what is being recommended for the public isn't working. The food pyramid isn't working. (Clearly because it is designed to emphasize on food products that make the most money and not that which are most healthful)  . Calorie counting and restriction aren't working.
We need to fuel our bodies, not punish them.
There is nothing wrong with you. Make the choice that make you feel stronger and more healthy every day. Look at the long term results. Look at the founders of Rawtill4 :

Years into it.. healthy, fit, slim, with perfect blood test results..

Lets look at the founder of the Paleo diet.

He's not exactly a picture of health. "My diet ensures you become a lean, mean fitness machine" 
So what's his excuse?

Anyways.. I'm not trying to put anyone down but please look into the long term effects of these diets.
For now keep healthy, eat your fruits and veggies, love life and be kind to yourself, animals and the planet.


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Be a free thinker

We, as people are in a crisis.  Over the past 3 decades in Canada the obesity rate has tripled. The standard of weight has gotten so out of control that people who are actually lean and healthy are often ridiculed and instantly called anorexic or "too skinny". 
I myself, for example, am overweight. I am not obese, but I am overweight. 
I am working every day towards reversing the damage my previous careless lifestyle has done to my body.
I used to walk to work everyday with my head down. 
The next time you are walking down the street I urge you to look around. Really look. How many people are a true picture of health?
How many people do you see looking sick, slow, fatigued, lining up for the largest coffee they can get just to make it through their mornings? How many are hungover, overweight, in a general negative mood?
How many ads do you see for meat, dairy and alcohol?
Now how many do you see for spinach? How about bananas?
What we are doing in society clearly isn't working. So why do people continue to live this way? Because it is the norm in society. 
People aren't questioning what we should be eating, but rather how to keep eating everything but become stick thin. This usually results in en endless merry-go-round of calorie restriction followed by eventual binge eating which results in more weight gain.
You should never have to restrict calories, but rather eat what our bodies were designed to take in and digest.

There is so much more to life than an existence of self loathing. You should not feel exhausted every day. You should be able to list every ingredient you put into your mouth. 

Furthermore there should be no ignorance in our actions.
The truth is that as much as you may enjoy eating a burger or cheese, you owe it to the thousands of animals that were tortured and unnecessarily to actually research what goes on behind closed doors. 
There's a reason not many people have seen documentaries about slaughterhouses... we are compassionate beings and to see these images is heart wrenching. Many people are comforted by food labels such as  "free range". But how many people actually research what that means?

If I ask anyone what the health benefits of meat and dairy are I will hear : protein and calcium.
It will be recited instantly.  But does anyone research beyond that? What about the detriments? What about the massive increase in cancer and heart disease?

I say these things because I'm here writing on my personal blog. I am not forcing anyone to read this page, I'm not in your kitchen stuffing my views in your face. But I hope you will take into consideration dear readers that you have the power to educate yourself. 
The way we've been going there is a trend. More fat, more meat, more dairy, more alcohol, more more more. However we're not making the connection that these choices are in direct relation with more obesity, more diabetes, more heart disease, more obese children, depletion of the environment and resources.

Be your own guide. Educate yourself even if it means seeing something you don't want to see, find your inner strength.
Eating whole fruits and vegetables will not cause you harm, will not cause harm to others, and will not be a detriment to the environment. 

They will make you thrive. You will be well, your body will heal, you will find positivity in your life.
We don't have to continue this theme of illness and gluttony.
Today is a new day, and you have the power to be a compassionate, healthy, and happy human being. 

Be a free thinker. Do not be afraid to go against the grain.

If you are interested in learning more about the meat and dairy industry please check out the following documentaries :

-Food Inc.
which can be found here :
-Forks over knives

Until next time be happy, be healthy, nourish your body and soul.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

My first ever YouTube video.

Hey friends and followers!!
I've taken the plunge into the land of youtube. Please check out my first ever video! Now you can watch  my journey live one day at a time.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Where am I?

So how the heck have I been doing? It's been awhile since I've done a personal update. Lets recap. This past year I've gone fully vegan and I don't ever see myself going back. The previous year I've gone vegan for about 8 months but to be honest I wasn't fully educated enough to be successful. What I mean by that is I had the best intentions but 
a) I had no idea how to eat vegan. I knew becoming vegan was the best thing I could do for the animals and for our planet as I had researched enough in that sense, but I hadn't researched what foods I should eat, and how to maintain a healthy vegan lifestyle. I honestly ate nothing but veggie burgers 24/7 and felt such an attraction to cheese. ( i have no attraction to dairy now at all and actually find it repulsive.)

b) I didn't realize that everything vegan isn't automatically healthy. Many vegan foods are very high in fat. Eating vegan doesn't mean having meat and cheese substitutes in every meal. In fact, I don't often have veggie meat and cheese any more.

Now that i'm completely comfortable in a vegan lifestyle i'm not worries about that. I know that no one is going to walk by with a piece of cheese and have it affect me. It doesn't mean anything to me anymore. As far as alcohol goes I'm slowly starting to feel that way about it. As many of you know on my birthday I broke my sobriety and drank. It was a mistake which I learned from all of the terrible feelings I had afterwords and If I could take it back I would.  Shortly after I decided that maybe I was able to be in control. For a week following I experimented with drinking only 1 or 2 drinks an evening. I actually was pretty successful in limiting myself. However... after that one week my depression came back in full swing. I remember laying down in bed crying about how I would never be the person I wanted to be. I said I would never be a healthy body weight, I'd never make enough money, I'd never be a good enough artist, I'd never be a good enough girlfriend. My motivation for healthy eating was going out the window. Then I asked myself if it was all worth it. Was me having those 2 drinks  night worth the depression and self loathing, the money, and instant 6 pound weight gain it caused me? Of course not.

 After that week I swore off alcohol again and have remained sober since. It's simply not something that fits in with my life anymore. If this is something you struggle with and you want to quit, please don't be afraid to ask for support. If you don't want to quit, than that is your choice, but for me this is mine.
I've been living raw till 4, but If I'm being honest this past little while I have not been 100% as healthy as I could have been. During the day I've been 100% healthful, but at night time I've been eating too many high fat foods! This tells me I haven't been eating enough fruits and veg during the day to stay satiated.  I know I'm so close to achieving optimal health my dear readers. I'm almost there. And so starting tomorrow you will see a lot more updates on my personal progress. I was also considering doing "what I eat in a day" blogs to show you how I eat and live.

This is my journey. If I could be perfect in a day we'd all do it wouldn't we? I'm remaining positive because I know I've come from a place of eating disorders, alcohol abuse and depression. Just knowing I've tackled those demons tells me the rest should be a breeze!
Don't forget to leave any questions or comments below. Let me know you're reading friends!
Until next time
Stay vibrant,

Raw Mermaid

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Market shopping for success

Good morning fruit munching friends! Today I want to talk a little bit about market shopping for success. As you know I love my local market and usually get the largest amounts on Saturdays. I get a lot of people asking me how expensive it is to shop at a market, and so I though I'd share with you a few tips and tricks I follow to get the best bang for my buck.
My first tip is bring a strong pair of arms, and a car ( or if you're like me and don't have one a shopping cart) I have a medium sized shopping cart/bag ( you know those delightful ones that old ladies cart around their groceries in ) and I always bring Nick as an extra set of muscly arms. The reason is that you can get QUALITY and QUANTITY and it's way more affordable. Buying fruits and veggies by the case is always more economical than buying individually. You may notice this if you go to a grocery store and you pick up a few potatoes and then pass by a 10lb bag which is significantly less expensive than buying a few. Buying in larger quantities is always more affordable and if you are living a lifestyle like mine, or looking to add a lot more fruits and veggies into your diet they will not spoil and go to waste (also market produce tends to last longer as it is fresh as can be!). Secondly many farmers will offer you a deal on larger quantities which brings me to my second tip :

Get to know your local farmers! When you go to the grocery store and you pick up an orange from the stand, it means virtually nothing. The store could really care less that you purchased that orange. When you become a familiar face to farmers at your local market you can almost always expect a friendly face, a smile, and gratitude. My family owns a small business and what i've learned from them is they always encourage customer loyalty. When you build rapport with your local farmers they are often more than happy to offer you a deal. Usually when I purchase a case of fruit I am offered some sort of discount, even if at times it's only 2 dollars of here or there it really adds up! Especially when the markets are tax free! That's right, the local weekend markets are tax free in my neighbourhood, and probably in yours as well.

My third tip is to shop in season. If you are unsure of which fruits and veggies are in season currently do a little google search before heading to the market, or don't be afraid to ask the local farmers there, they are more than happy to tell you what's in season and usually you can tell by having a look around. When foods are in season they are usually very accessible and because farmer's have an abundance they usually will have great deals on them.

Those are my top three market tips. Don't forget to leave a comment if you have any topics you'd like to see covered in my blog, or if you have questions. I'm here for you!

My next post will be a personal progress post. How i'm doing with my lifestyle change, what has worked and what hasn't.

Stay healthy, stay positive, eat fruit!


Friday, 25 July 2014

Why am I binging?!?

We've all been there...
You're having a great week, You've gone to the gym 3 times since Monday, you've been very careful to strictly follow your diet all week and you were feeling light and proud of yourself and then *BOOM*! After your salad you feel like you need just a little something head to the fridge with good intentions... start with just a little nibble and then a full fledged binge ensues.
The next few days you'll blame yourself... feel like a piece of garbage and constantly ask yourself why you have no self control, and why you can't just let yourself lose 10 pounds and be happy...
What went wrong?
What always goes wrong?
Are you a pathetic idiot with no self control?

Diets Don't Work.

Every time this happens remember D.D.W

What really happened is your body isn't getting enough fruit.
The reason I live this lifestyle, and why so many people do is that our bodies need the fructose from fruit. It's not the sugar from fruit that makes you fat.
When we starve our bodies or restrict calories it can only last so long. Eventually we binge and our bodies send us immediately to those dense sugary carbs... only when we binge it's typically not fruit.. the immediate sources and easiest sources are the breads, the pizzas, the animal products... the quick fatty solution.

This is why we need to eat enough fruit during the day to be satiated and content.

In the Raw till 4/ banana girl lifestyle this is the typical food pyramid.

You're probably wondering why I'm saying "diets don't work!" and then posting a food pyramid of the banana girl diet.
This is not a temporary diet. This is not a diet in which you will participate for a week and drop weight. This is a lifelong commitment. Of course you don't have to be perfect you're entire life, but this is the guideline to being the healthiest you can be. There's no set time on weight loss, everyone is different, and you may even gain a few pounds in the very beginning but there are NO long term raw till 4, or fully raw, or fruitarians that are overweight or unhealthy.

(Tonight's dinner was amazing by the way! CTFU (Carb the fuck up!) )

This is my journey.  I'm no Freelee yet, I'm still overweight, I'm still learning and tweaking things and becoming accustomed to this lifestyle, but I'm in it for the long haul.
So I ask you friends to join me if you like, and if you don't wish to join me then I ask you to follow my adventure. Watch me find optimal health, watch me learn how to be the best person I can be and consider making changes in your own life style no matter how small to feel a little bit better each day.

Be kind, love yourself, love the planet, love all beings.

Raw Mermaid