A book???…

Since I started writing this blog about our ‘adventures’ in Bessie the caravan I have had many people asking me if I am going to make this into a book!!??

I do enjoy writing but the thought of putting together a book is a little daunting…..or is it?? See that’s the trouble with me, throw me a challenge and I’m all over it like a hot rash.

So, lets just say I am pondering on the idea and mulling it over a little. I wouldn’t do it until we have our first year under our belt and I would have to make it a bit more interesting than just the posts on here but what do you think???

I’d love some feedback and comments – preferably on here and not facebook (because that helps my ratings and then more people get to see this!!)

I have also just started another blog (I know) called 365 Raw. If you have been reading this blog from the start then a/thank you so much for sticking with it and b/you will know that this blog started its life as a place to document my journey with raw food. That journey has now stepped up a notch and you can find out all about what is going on if you go across there.

In other news, well life has now calmed down a bit since my return from the UK. The cats and Oscar in particular; who had got himself in quite a tissy over my absence (lots of meowing and keeping hubby up at night pining for me) has recovered his composure and is now happy again. Baby John seems to be doing well and is getting stronger by the day (I’ll get some more pictures soon). Days are hot and sticky but you can’t beat the sunshine so you won’t see me complaining.

Life is sweet…..and I’m a happy bunny. 🙂

 

Super Raw Life

When I first started this blog it was all about my journey with raw food; then it morphed into tales of our travels and my/our attempts to live a simple life. I have now written an article that has been published in Super Raw Life magazine about how I combine raw food and exercise with life on ‘the road’.

You can download the current issue of Super Raw Life (issue 2) by following the link here. You will need to sign in as a member and then you can download your copy – all free of charge. The magazine is full of lots of interesting and useful articles about living a raw food life.

The next issue is due out end of April/early May and you can read about my continuing attempts at living a simple life then so keep your eyes peeled.

Oooh, my article entitled ‘Living the Simple Life’ is on page 55 as per the index. Happy reading and let me know what ya think????

 

 

Food for thought…..

As you all know I am a big fan of raw food – I mean that is what I set this blog up for, to document my journey with raw foods. Several people have emailed me this week asking me for advice on going raw and where to find information about it.

When I first went raw I didn’t know anyone personally that ate in this way and so I looked to the internet for information and advice, and then got very confused. Everyone seemed to be saying something different and they all seemed to disagree with each other. Some ate just fruits and swore off nuts and fats, some disagreed with eating lots of fruit and said nuts and fats were where it was at. Some took supplements, some didn’t, some ate raw gourmet, some balked at the mere thought of it. There were and still are some very ‘militant’ raw foodies out there who aggressively defend their way of eating and flat-out crucify anyone who doesn’t agree with them. That I didn’t and still don’t like.

Over the course of time I began to work out that if I was going to have raw foods in my life on a permanent basis then I had to do it my way and stop listening to anyone else. I had to start listening to what my body was telling me about the foods I was putting into it.

And so, over the last 4 years I have learnt so much about the way I like to eat. In no particular order this is what I have discovered so far:-

  • Eating my food raw gives me an energy and buzz that I get from nothing else.
  • I love fruits.
  • I love salt!!
  • Cacao makes my heart race in a not good way.
  • Carob doesn’t make my heart race and tastes just as good as cacao.
  • I LOVE coconut butter – so does one of my cats.
  • Too many nuts give me wind and cramps – sorry if that’s too much information!!
  • Avocados – yum, yum, yum
  • I like gourmet raw food but as much of it is nut based I can’t eat too much without feeling – well see above
  • I enjoy eating very simply.
  • I still enjoy eating light cooked food on occasion anything too heavy is still nice but leaves me feeling bloated, overfull and just plain uncomfortable.

I don’t know what is around the corner with this way of eating. My main priority is having A1 health and so far so good. I will continue to eat this way for as long as I feel the best that I know I can. As soon as that changes I will change the way I eat.

Today I was catching up with a fellow raw foodies blog. She has been a vegetarian for 13 years and a raw foodie for about 4 years and yet health problems have meant she is now eating meat and dairy again. Apparently a lot of long-term raw foodies are now including some animal products back into their diet because of similar health problems. These problems include low thyroid function and adrenal fatigue. My ears pricked up at this as, of course, these are health problems that hubby suffers from too and the reason why he went from being a vegetarian of 15 years to eating meat again. Emmmm…..there is something there for sure and confirms what I have long thought and that is what is right for one person is not necessarily what is right for everyone. I have been a vegetarian for 24 years and don’t suffer any of these problems – we are all different and have different needs so how can one diet fit all????

That is why I would and never will advocate that the raw food diet is something that everyone should be doing. Sure I think everyone will benefit by including more raw food into their diet but perhaps 100% is not for everyone.

So, if I had to give one piece of advice to any raw food newbie out there it would be to take it slowly and to listen to you and your body and not what everyone else tells you should be doing.

At last a post about raw food…..

This blog started its life as a place for me to document my journey into raw foods. It has kind of broadened its horizon’s since then and become a general blog about my day-to-day life and just lately our road trip through Europe.

However, my raw food journey continues and I thought today might be a good opportunity to bring you up to speed with where I am at.

Living on the road means that most areas of our life have become simpler – out of necessity as well as desire. Raw food is as simple as it gets right – well yes for the most part that’s true, but some raw food uncooking does take a lot of time and effort to create. I no longer have the luxury of having a big prep area for my creating and so simple is very definitely the flavour of the day for me now.

I did bring my dehydrator with me but I haven’t used it yet as making foods that take 24 hours plus to dehydrate doesn’t seem to fall into the category of ‘simple’ anymore. I’m sure I will use it for special occasions but for me the onus is now on creating quick, simple and delicious raw meals. (Did I mention simple!)

So, today I spent some time doing just that. I experimented with making two versions of ‘protein power balls’ – sound intriguing don’t they?? I made both a sweet and a savoury version as follows:-

The sweet version was ‘Blueberry and Carob’ and for these I simply mixed the following ingredients in a food processor until I had a dough like mixture.

  • Pecan nuts
  • Dates
  • Carob Powder
  • Fresh Blueberries
  • Pinch of Himalayan rock salt

Once mixed I made small balls which I then rolled in either shredded coconut or a finely milled mix of sunflower, pumpkin and flaxseed. Yummy.

The savoury version was ‘Garlic and Spirulina and the ingredients were:-

  • Walnuts
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Spirulina powder
  • Himalayan rock salt

Same process to make and I also rolled these in the fine seed mix.

The third and final thing I made today was ‘Coconut and Goji Berry Muesli’. The ingredients for this were:-

  • Pecans and hazelnuts
  • Shredded coconut
  • Oat Grouts
  • Goji Berries
  • Pinch of Himalayan rock salt.

I whizzed all the ingredients together in the food processor until broken down but not finely ground. Then I simply stored in an airtight mason jar. I will either have this for breakfast with fresh fruit and a nut milk or use as a crumble topping.

So, there you have three quick and easy recipes that meet my criteria for simplicity and more importantly taste. Pictures of the power balls below……

Blueberry and Carob Power Balls

Garlic and Spirulina Power Balls

Now I know that both versions look pretty much the same but there was a difference in colour. The garlic and Spirulina balls actually came out a sort of ‘Shrek’ green colour – emmmmm……nice!!! (actually they taste delicious)

Post note: Hubby seems very taken with the sweet version of the power balls and has already chomped his way through four of them. At this rate they won’t be lasting very long…….

 

Avocados and cats

Those of you who know me and my raw food tendancies will know how much I love avocados. I think I have done a previous post about their creamy deliciousness.

Anyway, you can imagine my delight when we arrived in Iznate to discover that we were surrounded by avocado groves and even better than that we even had our own two personal trees on our pitch.

Although I know technically that they aren’t my own personal trees I can’t see the owners of the campsite worrying too much if a few of their avocados find their way into my lunch, not when they have hundreds of trees on their farm in the hillsides around us.

So, I am now happily munching on avocados morning, noon and night and have even managed to sneak some past hubby who is not usually overly interested in my raw food – unless its biscuits, cakes or some sort of raw bread that is. You could say I am in avocado heaven!!

Other news – earlier this morning whilst walking around the site looking for one of my cats (she did eventually reappear) I discovered two feral cats. One black and one white and tortoiseshell. They are very timid and not very old so don’t think they will be a problem to our three. Of course the animal lover in me kicked in and I couldn’t ignore them as every time I called for my cat they meowed at me and looked as though they really wanted a fuss but were just too nervous to attempt it. Later after finding my madam I went back with some biscuits which were devoured with much gusto. I am aware by feeding them that I may very well be creating a rod for my own back but they were just so sweet and they seemed so grateful to be getting some food, although I am also only too aware that cats will have you thinking exactly what they want you to think so I may very well have  just been played!!! oh well won’t be the first time and I’m sure I’ll be back tomorrow with some more biscuits. They aren’t having my avocados though……..

38 days and counting

There are 38 days before we are due to drive of to sunny Spain with our new home hooked up to the back of our new shiny car. Too bad we have neither car nor caravan at this point in time – he he……

What I do have though is a house that looks like an atomic bomb has exploded in it, 3 cats who are getting more and more anxious by the day and a hubby who declared this morning that ‘why don’t we just throw of the whole **** lot away as it would save a lot of **** time and ****effort’ – I’ll let you add your own expletives in there for good measure and trust me there were many!!

Despite all the chaos around me at the moment I am actually feeling rather calm and confident that all will prevail and we will be happily trundling off down to the channel tunnel in just over 5 weeks time – when I book it of course!!

Tomorrow we are hopefully going to look at some suitable vehicles (fingers crossed) and at the weekend we are doing a big car boot sale to get rid of the smaller items that aren’t worth putting in the paper. There is so much to do that it can get a bit overwhelming but I am trying hard to look at the bigger picture and breath deeply…….

Glasses of rose wine are helping greatly along with glasses of white wine of course. Happily though my raw journey of which this blog is supposed to be about – not much of that lately – is going remarkably well under the circumstances and it is actually proving quite easy to be raw as I have so many other things to think about that eating any other way is not even entering my head – if I knew that all I had to do to stay raw was orchestrate a move abroad in less than two months – well lets just say that we would have been in Spain three years ago……

Adios for now ………..     emmmmm where did I leave that wine……………..

Packing

We have had visitors with us all over the bank holiday weekend but now they have gone it is back to the task in hand and sorting through our possessions with a view to:- storing, selling or taking.

It is an enormous task as we slowly realise just how little ‘stuff’ we are going to be able to take with us. Once you take clothes, work and kitchen equipment and all other essential items out of the equation there isn’t much room for anything else.

It is a liberating feeling getting rid of material possessions that we really don’t use. They are just clutter around the house – ‘dust catchers’ – and it feels right to be consigning them to a life without us. I have surprised myself by having minimal emotional attachment to much of what I own. Obviously things like my grandmothers’ crystal will be carefull stored away but other ornaments that I have collected along the way no longer have the same ‘oh I can’t get rid of this’ like they once used to.

So, as I am decluttering and detoxing my life from all unnecessary paraphernalia I decided that I may as well declutter and detox my body as well. I am going to start a juice feast tomorrow and continue until I feel otherwise.

It is going to be a very busy few weeks and it will be good to deal with it all on the clear head that juice feasting usually gives me. I have been shopping and stocked up on all my favourite fruits and veggies so that I can start bright and early with the juice in the morning.

For now its back to the sorting………………

Moonie pies to chase the winter skies away…..

The last few mornings have seen me scurrying outside dressed in wellies and waterproofs to pick the spinach for my morning juice before hurrying back into the warm again – although without the heating on its actually not that warm inside either. Its way too early to justify putting the oil heating back on and frankly to darn expensive. So, the extra duvet is back on the bed and for the past two nights the hot water bottles have been gratefully received by my feet. Oh the joys of an English summer……..

Thankfully I am still churning out lots of goodies in the kitchen which is going a long way towards comforting us against the bleak elements. There is nothing quite like a steaming cup of tea and something scrumptious and chocolatey on a plate to lift the weather blues away and leave a warm and fuzzy feeling behind.

This weekend I finally went on a raw potluck. I have been waiting since June to go on one of these but the dates always clashed with something that I already had planned. But this weekend was it. I had marked the day aside for some time and I thought about what I dishes I would prepare and take with me. Trouble was life threw us a curve ball this week and as it rampaged through our little house all my plans of making exotic gourmet dishes went out the window. More about the pesky ball in a later post.

In the end I managed to throw together some almond and tomato bread – I literally just threw some random ingredients into the food processor, whizzed them together, spread the mix out onto a sheet and dehydrated it over night. Thankfully it came out ok and was actually really tasty. I then knocked up some guacamole to go with it which is always an easy and safe fall back recipe. Luckily I had made some Moonie Pies earlier in the week and so I threw them in as well and off I went.

I had a great time meeting new people and actually sitting down and eating the same food with a group of people who share my views was something of a revelation. I took my camera along but predictably for me forgot all about it when I got there and so I came away without any pictures of all the yummy dishes that I got to try. I did manage to find a picture of a moonie pie though. I got the recipe care of Heather Pace at Sweetly Raw although I did replace her filling with one of my own. I have recently been able to get small coconuts at our local supermarket and so am having fun using fresh coconut in as many different recipes as I can. Using it in the moonie pies made them taste reminiscent of ‘Bounty bars’ and I must say they went down very well with myself, hubby and all at the raw potluck. I have another couple of coconuts in the kitchen and some visitors coming on Thursday so I feel another batch coming on. 

Look lovely don’t they and take my word for it they taste lovely as well……..

Green juices

Most of you know how much I love my green juices, well for the last few weeks I have been berefit of them in the mornings. Back in June my main L’Equip juicer blew up on me after only 6 months of use. So I then had to resort to my back up juicer that doesn’t work nearly as well whilst we sorted the warranty details out and arranged to get the L’Equip repaired or replaced. My backup juicer then broke on me as well and so for the last few weeks I haven’t been having any juices at all……I miss them.

Well the good news is that after some discussion with the manufacturer over who should pay the courier fees of returning the juicer for repair – err that wont be me then!! the juicer was collected last week and we received a phonecall on monday to say that a new juicer would be dispatched that day. It was and I am very happy to say that it a brand new shiny (grey!) juicer arrived yesterday and so this mornings menu will consist of juice, juice and more juice. Woo hoo……..

Just as well as I have lots of spinach ready for picking in the garden

Everything in the garden seems to be doing really well, we have had plenty of cucumbers, spinach and red onions. The courgettes are finally beginning to flourish after a slow start – although even with fencing around them something is managing to get in for a nibble – I suspect a little mouse or maybe the mole who is merrily digging holes on the lawn as if he is auditioning for the ‘Great Escape’. The tomatoes have benefitted from the few weeks of sunshine and we have plenty of green and pale red tomatoes that will hopefully will ripen up even in the overcast weather we are now having. Look at one of the tomato plants below – is this possibly the smallest tomato plant you have ever seen?? he he

I didn’t even get to sample the tomato as something got to it before me!! Other successes in the garden this year have been the raspberries although I have been fighting the wasps over them for the last few weeks. I had a good crop of them initially though and they were gorgeous. The hedgerows around us and some in our garden are now weighed down by ripening blackberries. They seem to be a bit early this year – due to the hotter weather I suspect so I plan to start picking and freezing soon so we have plenty in the freezer for the winter. Potatoes should be ready to be pulled soon and we have plenty of herbs dotted around the garden so all in all a good year for our veggie gardens!!

Tuesday – rain and raw food delights

Well into our summer now and its raining cats and dogs this morning!! My furry babies are tucked up on the bed as there is no way they are getting their paws wet and I can’t say as I blame them. Just made plans to have visitors over the bank holiday weekend at the end of the month so can guarantee that it will rain then as well……..hey ho, at least I have been having fun in the kitchen and creating some scrummy raw delights.

Since deciding to start running raw food and yoga retreats – details to come soon on the website, I’ll keep you posted! – I have been in the kitchen a lot honing my raw food skills. I must say that the results so far have been good and my confidence is high that I can pull off the cooking part of the retreat. I have a friend and great yoga teacher facilitating the yoga part for me.

This weekend I made the following dishes…..

Tacos with sunflower seed pate, tomato salsa, pineapple salsa and guacomole

Side view

Coconut and Blueberry pie

Lasagne

All were delicious and very scrummy and will definately be part of the menu for the retreat. Who said raw food was all about the salads………………….happy days even with the rain.