Cook Book & Product Reviews, Blogger Meetup, Touchy Teachers


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I can’t believe it’s already Thursday afternoon!   That’s awesome because it means the weekend is just ’round the corner!  I’ve been a busy girl.  For starters, I taught a hot power yoga class Wednesday night and it was one of those classes where the energy of the students, the music, my very unplanned sequences (and really, I can’t plan what I teach because I never know what the student’s abilities are who may attend class.  What if a pregnant lady, an elderly person with a hip replacement, and a total yoga beginner along with an advanced student, all show up to the same class..lesson plans out the window so I don’t bother planning and ad lib based on the reality, not on a pre-planned sequence!)… but things all aligned just perfectly and it was a great classAnd everyone was a hot, sweaty, but recharged, mess!  Love it when that happens!

Today I had a Blogger Meetup with Madeline.  We met at our usual coffee shop and it was warm enough to sit outside, provided the sun was shining.  And for the first time in a week, the sun was indeed finally shining in “Sunny Arizona”.  ‘Bout Time because we’ve had some nasty dreary rain and clouds lately!

Outside street view of coffee shop

We caught up on life.  Madeline’s life is a lot more exciting than mine, trust me.  So for me it was great to hear about something other than what Barney did today.  And Skylar told Madeline that we had chocolate with mint last night.  We did, in addition to lots of veggies, but of course she didn’t mention the asparagus and sugar snap peas I fixed; only the chocolate with mint.  Hey, at least Skylar’s priorities are on track! haha!

Woman and young girl sitting at a table outside of coffee shop
Woman smiling with young girl sitting outside of coffee shop

A lady sitting next to us compared Skylar and I to Skylar’s Barbie.   That may sound like a complement unless you saw this Barbie: naked, raggy, with super ratty & frizzy Barbie-hair in that way that only Barbie hair can become.  Gosh, I felt so amazing after that “compliment”.

Woman kneeling beside seated child smiling outside coffee shop
Young child sitting at outdoor table playing with toys
Thanks Madeline for the chit chat sesh and can’t wait to see you soon….muah and hope your trip to the grocery store was a produce re-stashing success!

Judging from the past few posts, you’d think all I do is Blogger Meetups.  On Tuesday I met up with Maureen at Whole Foods with our kidlets in tow.  Hers sat nicely in her lap whereas mine bounced and sampled raw vegan crackers, vegetarian sushi, and overpriced protein and energy bars.  Hey at least WF’s is good for hooking up hungry high raw vegetarian toddlers with lots of free samples!

Woman and child sitting in overside chair in grocery storeYoung girl giving large smile while sitting on oversized chair
 Maureen and baby Ava
Woman holding baby chewing on carrot

And I showed you some of the Stash of Bars I found at WF’s.

Three Luna Protein bars on countertop
Two Jokerz candy bars on countertop

And discussed how expensive it can be to shop there, but that there are certain things I never skimp on. Thanks for your awesome comments about what you skimp on and what you spend on, no matter what.  Those comments were fun to read!

Yesterday I had a Comprehensive Post About Nooch 

Container of Nutritional Yeast on countertop
Inside container of Nutritional Yeast

What Is It?  Where Can You Buy It?  What Does It Taste Like?  Why Use It?  

And I Gave You Ten Recipes Using NoochYes, Ten.
Including my Raw Vegan Kale Chips Recipe among many others…

Hand holding Raw Vegan Kale Chip
Little Tree of Nooch
Sauce covered Raw Vegan Kale Chip on dehydrator tray

I mentioned other recipes like my Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Cups Recipe with Nooch!

Split Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Cup on paper liner
Close up of Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Cup showing filling

…And GF Vegan Mac-N-Cheeze.

Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

I hope you Check The Recipes Out and maybe the Nooch Post Will Get You on the Nooch Bandwagon.  I happen to love it, if you couldn’t tell from my ten recipes!

Moving On…
This week in the mail I was the lucky recipient of Cook Books!  The Publishing Gods were smiling down on me, I tell ya!

Bordeaux International PR Sent me two of Tosca Reno’s Books:
The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged 
the Eat Clean Cookbook

Eat-Clean Diet Recharged and Eat Clean Books
Close up of Eat Clean CookbookClose up of the Eat-Clean Diet Recharged book

What I like about the books, although not raw and not vegan, is that there is a focus on simple foods prepared in a healthful, “clean” and easy way, and the recipes are easy.  No dehydrators needed for these books and recipes. There are attractive, modern, appetizing food pictures as well.
Here’s a Couple Recipe & Food Shots
Vegetable Medley

Recipe page and photo inside one cookbook

 Meal in a Bowl Mexican Soup

Mexican Soup recipe inside cookbook

Maple Syrup Crockpot Beans

Maple Syrup Crockpot Beans inside cookbook

Green Bowl with Cucumbers That Are Similar….

Green Bowl with Cucumbers photo inside of cookbook

 to my Paper thin Cukes From This Cucumber Wrap Recipe

Sliced thin cucumber
Hand Holding Sliced Thin Cucumber

Used in the Cucumber Wraps I Made

Container full of Raw Cucumber Wraps
 Wraps On a bed of Lettuce
Cucumber Wraps over salad with dressing

And Tosca’s Got Power Balls.  I’d say she’s got power.  Check her out, all modest and demure in her swimsuit. 

Lady in bathing suit inside book
We’ll Leave This One Alone…
Power Ball Recipe Title inside Cookbook
Photo of Power Balls inside cookbook

She’s Got Power BallsI have Raw Balls.

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Fudge Balls on white plate
No Bake Vegan Rum Cake Balls stacked on top of one another
 Click Here for All my Ball Recipes

And she’s got tons of tips & advice in these books

Food Is Fuel article in book

All in all, I give the books two thumbs up.  Know going in that you’re going to have to make substitutions to the recipes if you are a vegetarian/vegan or high raw, but that if you have an open mind, the recipes are “clean”, healthy, and easy and use readily available ingredients.  Thanks again, Bordeaux International PR and Tosca Reno!

I also received 6 More Cook Books from Book Publishing Co:
Living in the Raw Desserts

Living in the Raw Desserts Cookbook

Two of Jennifer Cornbleet’s Books:
Raw Food Made Easy

Raw Food Made Easy Cookbook

Raw for Dessert

Raw for Dessert Cookbook

Becoming Raw

Becoming Raw Book

Raw Food Revolution Diet

Raw Food Revolution Diet Book

and Noni Shannon’s The Raw Gourmet

Noni Shannon's The Raw Gourmet Book

My Thoughts and Take Away Review Message:
All of these books are wonderful!  Books are knowledge, knowledge is power.  I look at cookbooks the way I look at food blogs:  There are always more, and even ones that you don’t think will be any good can surprise you and inspire you and if something doesn’t “fit” for you; that’s fine, leave what doesn’t work, take what does, and happy cooking!

I don’t ever look at recipes and follow them word for word without tweaking it.  And I am a big experimenter and risk-taker in the kitchen and much of the time, do my own thing, but all of these books will give you ideas for things to eat other than lettuce and carrot sticks, if your goal is to incorporate more raw vegan foods into your diet.

The recipes in these books, for the most part, are not “fussy” and most of them do not require a dehydrator or days on end of preparation time, as can be the case with some raw food recipes.   I mean who plans ahead in order to dehydrate something for 28 hours.  These books are not like that, I promise!

The caveats I must mention:  Some of the pictures are a bit lackluster in some of these books, ranging from scant amounts of photos to poor color quality to very dated looking food photos but I am very visual and like tons of pictures.  Ever look at how many pics I post on my blog posts…haha!

Also, don’t buy raw or even vegan cookbooks unless you have a food processor.  There is no point in trying to say you can “make due” by hand, and I doubt a Magic Bullet is even going to cut the mustard.  A basic food processor is essential.

See, I told you I love books!  Information and Knowledge is power and seeing how others make things inspires me to become a better cook, a better raw vegan un-cook, and keeps me creative, inspired and ready to make more things!   

Shelf Full of Various Raw Cookbooks and Books
Now if only I had as much time as I have books, I’d be all set!
Shelves of Raw Foods Cookbooks and Books

Time For some A Snacky Review….
Recently, I received a Betty Lou’s Sampler Pack

Betty Lou's Inc. : Healthy, all natural snack products, low carb, wheat free, all natural, dairy free, gluten free, health food, protein bars: Betty Lou's Inc. healthy, all natural snack products, low carb, wheat free, all natural, dairy free, gluten free, health food, protein bars 

Betty Lou’s is known for their Vegan, Gluten-Free, Organic, Dairy-Free, Wheat-Free, Soy-Free or Corn-Free snacks.   

Various Betty Lou's products on countertop

On their site they have it broken down which snacks are which, not every snack is all of the above, but there are tons of things to choose from and snack on: Bars, Balls, and SmackersTWSS!

Package of Gluten Free Fruit Bars
Box of various Nut Butter Balls
Package of Smackers Chocolate Spirulina Patties

Katharina told me I needed to check out the Krispy Bites right away, so I did!

Package of Krispy BitesIngredients on package of Krispy Bites
Hand holding Krispy Bite with bite taken out

I really enjoyed how the Krispy Bite was dense, chewy, and almost had a faint hint of peanut butter flavor, and was super soft and moist 

Hand holding Krispy Bite with bite taken out
Not a hint of dryness because as a former Rice Krispy Treats lover, soft and gooey is the name of the game.  

I also snagged a High Protein Almond Butter Ball from the stash

High Protein Almond Butter Ball package
Hand holding one High Protein Almond Butter BallHand holding one High Protein Almond Butter Ball showing side

And diced the Almond Butter Ball and plated it with a Vegan Chunks of Energy that I mentioned and reviewed in This Post for Someone’s Lunch….

Package of Vegan Chunks of EnergyVegan Chunks of Energy dumped out onto plate

…For Skylar’s Lunch, aka Jane “Pocahontas” Fonda with the headband and wristwarmers

Young child at table with low riding headband eating snacksYoung child showing off wristbands at table with snacks
Food always taste better in headbands!  
Close up photo of young girl wearing headband towards eyes

Toddler verdict: She loves both the Raw Vegan Chunks of Energy and the Betty Lou’s
Me too because both of them have great ingredients, no gluten, everything’s healthy, the whole vegan enchilada.  And added protein is a nice score.   

She’s Happy and Thriving on a plant-based diet!  Just Ask Madeline About Skylar’s engery…not lacking at all!

Young Girl sitting at outdoor table playing with toys



Green Food For me was: Brussels, Cukes, Sugar Snap Peas, Asparagus, Tomatoes on a bed of Romaine

Romaine topped with dressed mixed vegetables
Close up of Vegetables on Romaine

And I tossed all the Veggies with my sweet, light, and fast Holiday Orange Spice Vinaigrette

Romaine and Vegetable salad dressed with Holiday Orange Spice Vinaigrette

For Dessert, Scott Broke into one of the Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Centers and Mint Chocolate Frosting that I Made in This Post 

 Overhead of Brownie Cupcakes up paper liners in tins 
Click Here for the Additional Recipe & Baking Info

And you know I always have a few nibbles of Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

Chopped up Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

Yoga Today is Revolved Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana)
Drishti (gazing point) is the the fingertips or thumb of your extended hand.  Hand on the ground can be inside, on top of, or on the outside of the foot (listed in order of increasing difficulty).  Quadriceps engaged, kneecaps lifted, breathe.  Twist.  Lengthen on your inhales, deepen on the exhales.

Woman doing Revolved Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana) yoga pose

Tip of the Day:  Did You Remember to Check and See Who Won the Celestial Seasonings Tea Give Away?


Echinacea Complete Care™ Wellness Tea
Various Celestial Tea Giveaway Products on countertop
Click Here to See Who Won!  Maybe it was You!

1. For anyone who’s ever done a yoga or pilates class, or worked with a trainer who’s hands on, how do you feel about your teacher or trainer adjusting you, i.e. touching you?  When I first started doing yoga 10+ years ago (I’m getting old when I write things like that…plus my younger sister is celebrating her 30th birthday today!) but I hated being touched.  I thought it was weird, too personal, unnatural for a teacher just to walk up to me and lay hands on me.  But now, I relish, love, savor adjustments and assists.  And I know this sounds crazy, but I love deep adjustments and love it when a strong man adjusts me and I prefer going to male teachers’ classes because at least I know I’ll get a couple quality assists!  Get your mind outta the gutter kids! 

There’s just something about going really deep into a yoga pose that I love, especially when the room is in the high 80s and my body is extra loose and flexible and an adjustment, for me, facilitates that.

As a yoga teacher, I adjust all students when their alignment is way off in order to prevent an injury and then if I know the student or know her practice level I will give deeper assists.  And I also pay attention to someone’s vibe and energy and if it’s telling me to back off that particular day, I always respect that.  And, normally I mention before the start of class for students to tell me “no thanks” if they don’t want an adjustment.  
How do you feel about being touched in a yoga class or fitness class setting?

2. I’m Still Taking Requests of Mystery Foods You Need Help With: 
From Yesterday’s Post: Are there any other ingredients that you see tossed around in the ‘sphere that you are a bit clueless about and want some more info about or recipe suggestions using those ingredients because you’re intrigued but have no idea where to begin?  
Maca, Mesquite, Lucama, Coconut Oil, Cocao Butter, Tahini, Agave, Yacon Syrup, come to mind, but what else do you need help with?  Maybe I can do another post like this one discussing other ingredients/recipes that are a bit of a mystery to you!

For those of you who had Maca Questions, Please See This Post For A Cliff’s Notes Maca & Health Benefits Lesson 

And also This Post For How It Tastes and My Thoughts

Stay Tuned For Mailbox Finds, A Salsa Recipe, and another Give Away…

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.