Happy trails

Two years ago I posted my first blog on January 26, 2011. One hundred and seventeen posts later, it’s time to explore another direction. I have spent the last two months grieving, reflecting, considering options, letting go. It has been a process and one that I have yet to complete. I keep gaining clarity with each step I take that frees me from what no longer serves me. I’ve been peeling layers of my emotional onion and with each letting go, I’m finding the veneer of the past lifting and revealing a less encumbered me.

I’ve been reading, journaling, meditating, re-evaluating, re-connecting with my life partner, and re-creating some new possibilities. We still aren’t certain what some of the ‘new’ possibilities may be, but we do know what they won’t be.

The cafe was a remarkable experience and one that we will never regret. I learned so much about myself, about people, about food, about the community, and about the values that drive me. What I also learned is that running a business wore me out and no longer holds a place in my heart. A great learning.

I learned that without a place to go everyday, I found myself retreating, hibernating, and festering. Some of that was part of the healing process. Some of it was desperately needed. Some of it has placed me at a loss. And much of it confirmed for me that I am aching to be free of what was.

I began to look at what I have been trying to offer on these pages. Some of it resonated for others. I provided easy recipes to kickstart you into another plateau of food preparation. I offered some tidbits of info that confirms the benefits of live plant-based cuisine. But in truth, I really have been at a loss to keep saying the same things in new and refreshing ways. I have come to realize, you either are going to make a change or you won’t. What I write here really has no relevance unless it resonates for you personally. For many, a balance is what really has meaning, which may include both cooked and live options. What I hope my posts have introduced, are alternatives for consideration. But I no longer have any interest in reitterating the same message. One more layer of which I am letting go.

My coaching practice never took off. I believe it is because I was hesitant to charge for what I had to offer and to own my expertise in this area. I gave away much of my skills and knowledge. My focus may have been too narrow, nor something that people felt they needed to pay for, in order to make a change in their life. My attention has been multi-pronged and exploratory. Jim and I offered workshops initially, then retreats, an occasional cafe out of our home location, consultation, and products. Once we established a full blown live plant-based cafe in town, we focused entirely on what it meant to run a business. Formal coaching never entered the equation. All our interactions with the public were informal. That aspect of our connections with others will always remain. For now another professional layer has been let go.

Which leaves me with a fresh start. I enjoy writing. I enjoy sharing my observations. Jim and I will be taking a year to mostly travel. Jim wants to write a book. Perhaps we will collect our recipes and develop a more formal way to share them with you, rather than through blog posts. I hope to collect interviews with others in the countries we visit to learn of their experiences living healthily through alternative food practices within their cultural communities.

Rawsome on the Road, will become our next handle. We may write the occasional blog post. It will provide you with a way to connect with us. It will be our way to share the passions that bubble forth from us. As always, you can read or delete, remain on our distribution list or decide we no longer speak to your interests. It’s all good.

With deep gratitude, I thank you for being a loyal reader. It has been an honour and a humbling experience to reach out to you in such an intimate way. Your comments have nourished me. Your thoughtful appreciation has been illuminating. It has been a gratifying journey. I wish you all the most healthful year ahead. May you find joy in every moment. May you open your heart to possibilities and never shy away from those moments that speak to your heart. Happy trails to you, until we meet again.

For old times sake and in the spirit of the holiday season, here are four new recipes and two bonus recipes. Glad tidings and blessings to one and all.

Veggie Compote

Rough chop the following ingredients and stir in a bowl. Top your salad and use as a dressing, eat on its own, or use as a topping on a fresh pizza or with crackers.

  • 24 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 2 tsp wheat-free tamari
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 1 avocado
  • Sprinkle Italian Spices over top to taste

Sunny Salad Dressing

Rough chop all ingredients and place in a blender. Add water if required to thin to desired texture. Adjust flavours to taste.

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds (preferably soaked and dehydrated but you can get by with unsoaked and raw)
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (to taste)
  • Water as required

Sunny Taco Filling

Rough chop all ingredients. Place in food processor and pulse chop using the S blade until the texture of ground meat. Best to first pulse chop the sunflower seeds. Then pulse chop carrots next, followed by celery, with sundried tomatoes, garlic, onion, and mushrooms added last along with the spices. Use a lettuce leaf as a taco shell. Top with sprouts and a dollop of
‘rawcamole’ (bonus recipe).

  • 2 cups of sunflower seeds (preferably soaked and dehydrated but you can get by with unsoaked and raw)
  • 1 large carrots
  • 1 large celery stalk
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp wheat-free tamari

Rawcamole – Bonus
Mash the avocados in a large bowl with a potato masher or fork. Stir in lemon juice, tomatoes, and spices.

    • 2 avocados
    • 1 tomato chopped finely
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon – garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder (adjust to taste)
    • Salt to taste

Banana Almond Chews
With thanks to Lulu and Paisley for the inspiration

Place ingredients in a food processor using the S blade. You will be adding the bananas and dates first to provide you with the liquid. The remaining ingredients can be added one at a time and pulse chopped until you start to achieve a smooth or lumpy texture – depending on what you prefer. Once all mixed to your desired texture, roll into one inch balls, roll in flaked coconut, and freeze. Will last up to 3 months in the freezer.

    • 2 ripe bananas
    • 6-8 pitted Medjool dates
    • 1 cup almond pulp (bonus recipe for almond milk which will provide you with the required pulp)
    • 1/3 cup cacao powder
    • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/3 sunflower seeds (preferably soaked and dehydrated but you can get by with unsoaked and raw)
    • 1/3 pumpkin seeds (preferably soaked and dehydrated but you can get by with unsoaked and raw)
    • 1/3 cup flaked coconut
    • 1/3 cup gogi berries
    • 1/3 cup raisins

Almond Milk – Bonus
Makes 3 cups milk

  • 1 cup whole, raw almonds, soaked overnight (8-12 hours)
  • Next morning rinse and drain
  • 3 cups water

Blend rinsed and drained almonds with 3 cups of water until they are smooth and creamy. To separate the’milk from the almond skins and pulp, squeeze the blended mixture through a mesh nut milk bag or clean un-used paint strainer bag, catching the milk in a large container. What is left in the bag is the pulp, which you can use in cookies (see recipe above).

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53 Responses to Happy trails

  1. Thank you, we love you both. We feel blest to have found you when you were on Long Harbour, at the Cafe Rawsome & wherever in the in betweens. See you soon. Look forward to your on the road blog. Lots of love, love always, love is all you need, and the often (we hope) hugs at the PaLu

    • admin says:

      Thank you for always being there, supplying us with many of the magical ingredients to our loving creations, and bringing forth such selfless support. We’ve been blessed by many of the connections made over the years. Thank you for touching our hearts in such mindful and generous ways. Chris and Jim.

  2. Jean Stewart says:

    Thank you so much to both of you (and your staff and friends) for all you have given to the people on this island. Wherever your heart takes you may it be a safe and loving journey.

    • admin says:

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment and for appreciating our presence on the island. That means a lot to us. It is the rich connections we have made, especially during our time in the cafe, that we will miss the most. With gratitude, Chris and Jim.

  3. JTMAURICE says:

    Yes ! Freedom ! Bon voyage ! I read every blog ! Send me a postcard from Paris or wherever you end up ! Brother JT

    • admin says:

      Well Terry,
      Thank you for being a faithful reader and for all your encouragement from afar. Who knows, perhaps one day our travels will find us up in your part of the country – especially for your 70th and JP’s house concert. Much love, Chris and Jim.

  4. Jana says:

    Chris that was a wonderful posting.
    It was so full of honesty and I admire you for speaking your truth.
    You will be dearly missed.
    May you and Jim have a wonderful time discovering yourselves and eachother.

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much Jana. I am so touched by the number of people who have taken the time to read, but more importantly, have offered such kind and supportive words. It means a lot to us. All the best to you. In gratitude, Chris and Jim.

  5. Sandi McDonald says:

    Thanks for the explanation! I was worried about you and Jim when I heard about the vacation from island living!

    I know that you will step forth with a purpose and an open mind. I look forward to the ‘occasional blog post’ with anticipation. What an adventure!

    Thank you for the recipes, too. Some of them have become family favorites! You have made a bigger impact than you may realize.

    Happy holidays (and trails) to you two!

    • admin says:

      Sandi, it is so good to hear from you. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to write. I hope all is well with you and that your academic, musical, and professional lives continue to enrich and thrive. I’m thrilled that my posts and recipes have made their way into the fabric of your family life. I am touched. All the best to you and may you the year ahead be nothing short of magical. With blessings and thanks. Chris.

  6. This past while, every time I engaged in a conversation with some degree of intimacy, I hear about “letting go”. Something fabulous is going on.

    I respect the fact that Jim and you stayed in touch with the realities you were facing in serving this island’s small economic pool.

    I’ve been assessing a great deal as well. Once I began to take action to initiate changes, a shawl of steel began to slid off my shoulders. I hardly knew it was even there?!

    Enjoy your time to regroup, transform and amaze yourselves. Take whatever direction that calls you. i.e. – check out the card I saw…if I had it, it would be in the mail to you: http://www.ponderingpool.com/p_pool/newcards/card1.html

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much Amy for the wise and insightful musings you share through your blog and the intuitive blessings that result from your thoughtful reflections. I so love the card. What a brilliant encapsulation of all we are realizing as we journey through this life. It has been a rewarding adventure, and we both know that it will only continue to grow and inspire. Thanks for witnessing our journey and supporting us along the way. All the best as you travel through the year ahead. All is well. Chris and Jim.

  7. P.S. – It’s the card – the first one – labelled “Thing called Life”

  8. Shona says:

    Oh dear Chris. I knew this email would be coming to us shortly after receiving the one from Jim regarding your townhouse. I for one will miss your posts/emails greatly as I found them extremely enjoyable and useful on my path to a healthier plant based lifestyle. Life brings many changes that are often unexpected and sometimes painful to process but in the end always a great lesson that brings positive change. Your statement about being without somewhere to go and retreating, hibernating and festering hit me square in the heart this morning when I read it. It describes exactly how I am feeling at this time in my life but could not put into words. You have inspired me to look forward, let go and create new and gratifying experiences. I’d bet money that the adventure that you and Jim are embarking on will inspire many, many friends and followers to do something different with their life. You are a beautiful writer and Jim is a fantastic Raw Food Chef/teacher so I look forward to his book and to your writings during your travels. My family and I wish you both a safe, happy and healthy adventure. You are greatly appreciated and loved by all who know you close up and from afar. Warmest Regards, Shona

    • admin says:

      Shona, that is so touching and heartfelt. I am humbled by your honest reflections. We never know who we touch nor how we touch them. We can only hope that as we travel this journey of ours on the planet, we live with heart, integrity, passion, compassion, and honesty. I am so pleased to know that my words struck a chord for you and perhaps will provide you with some inspiration to trust in the process and know that there is light guiding you to a brighter place filled with heart and intention. Thank you for taking the time to read, to comment so eloquently, and for your well wishes. May our paths continue to touch, as we journey forward. With gratitude and blessings. Chris and Jim.

  9. Barbara H says:

    Dear Chris — i loved working with you, and have so enjoyed this blog full of truth, revelations, and such joy in your process. Hope the next phase of your journey continues to be full of wonder!

    • admin says:

      Oh Barbara, I so loved working with you. Your strong leadership style that was so encouraging, supportive, and liberating. It meant so much to me that you and Barbara would take the time to visit us this summer to see what we were all about. You looked rejuvenated and free. Now it is our turn to discover a different pace and to find moments of reflection and stimulation that are nurturing. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. It means a lot to me. All the best to you both. With gratitude, Chris.

  10. Kelly j. says:

    Hi Chris and Jim, I have really enjoyed watching you two journey through life these past few years, and all that you have decided to do, with such passion and grace. Thank you for sharing so candidly ALL, we wish you both a fantastic fulfilling and hopefully regenerating year ahead. Goddess speed!!! Love Kelly and Lionel

    • admin says:

      Thank you Kelly. Part of our journey has included such rich connections with people such as you and Lionel, traveling a unique and creative journey on this island, while offering loving support and nurturing healing arts. It truly is a blessed island and one where we all can discover ourselves with wild abandon. Wishing you all the best in the coming year. Chris and Jim.

  11. Hi
    You write so well & a heartfelt note. I tasted your wonder cake a few summers ago & am a raw food person 80% of the time. I drink Spring water (I call it SPIRIT water) from Canmore AB and do only organic. Thank you for sharing your heart.
    I visit SSI every summer and love it dearly. I may come for one year to be by the sea & find a new way to look at life.
    I will you and your partner all the very best of joy and love in your new journey & value your newsletter.

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much Norene. We never know who we are touching and where people may be from who make connections with us. It is so good to hear a bit of your story and to realize how close we all are on our healthful journeys. Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to share your comments. It means a lot to me. Trusting our paths will touch again one day on this lovely island. With gratitude, Chris.

  12. Kaia says:

    Thank you, Chris… for all of the support and experience and memories. I look forward to the next phase of Rawsomeness :)

    • admin says:

      Thank you Kaia for being with us on this journey and for being one of the remarkable kitchen goddesses at the cafe. You definitely introduced some amazing desserts onto the menu that people craved and cherished – the fudges, coconut cream pie, blissful cookies to name a few. We could never had done what we accomplished without your energy, commitment, heart, and passion. It was an incredible journey and one we will remember always. Your part in our accomplishments fill us with gratitude. Stay well dear heart. Chris.

  13. Lydia Riethmann says:

    Thank you Chris for your last blog and the honest comments about the pro’s and con’s of your live’s journey.
    We both wish you and Jim a very rewarding year travelling and exploring and hope you both will find what you are looking for.
    With our best wishes and love
    Lydia and Alois

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much Lydia. The day you both walked into our cafe, you brought a presence that filled us with awe and wonderment. You have both accomplished so much and have shared your story with such calm and enlightenment. It has been an inspiration to us. We know our paths will continue to touch. We look foward to seeing you again one day soon. Wishing you all the best. With gratitude, Chris and Jim.

  14. nathalie says:

    I will miss your blogs, and I want to wish a fabulous year that looks exciting and full of energy!!!! What a great idea…traveling…makes you younger!
    Wish you all the best and I really hope that sometimes we will have a little bit of news from you both.
    Good luck for this new adventure.

    • admin says:

      Thank you for the encouragement and always for reading and taking the time to share your kind thoughts. We’ve appreciated our connection and seeing you from time to time at the cafe. One of the many things we miss since closing the cafe. We know our travels will be an adventure and we will make sure to stay in touch with the occasional post. All the best to you. With gratitude. Chris and Jim.

  15. Judith Daylen says:

    Dear Chris,
    I am touched and inspired by your honesty, your searching, your probing, and your sharing this with us. What a journey! Breaking open…moving through….going wherever this leads….wholeness taking its own form…
    I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have so generously given and shared—all of these ripples moving forward–making an impact beyond what you can ever know.
    I wish you health, ease, and joy as you move forward into new territory, literally and figuratively, in 2014.
    Deep bows,

    • admin says:

      I am so touched and humbled by such thoughtful, generous, and inspired comments. One of the blessings with having the cafe, was gradually over time getting to know the intricacies, passions, challenges, and joys of our many customers. You always had such brave and wise words to share with us. Your writing reflects your sincerity and the richness of your connection with others. You are truly a gifted practitioner. Thank you for touching our world and may our paths reach out to each other, one day again. With gratitude, Chris and Jim.

  16. Gwen Hartland says:

    You have shared so much of your journey with all of us in such an honest manner with so much vulnerability. That takes so much courage. I have met few people who are willing to be so open and truthful. You are a natural coach and you are very generous with people. I have learned along with you as you have had new experiences and that has been such a gift. I wish for you a year ahead filled with a sense of intention that feels right for you at this time of life. I will look forward to getting updates from Rawsome on the on the Road! Safe Journey

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much Gwen. Words escape me. You write with such clarity and empathy. You always know exactly what I mean, even though at times I feel I have not been as obvious. But you sum up the emotions, the truth, and the intention behind the words. I so appreciate your insights. It was a wonderful call we had on the phone today. We caught up with our lives. We acknowledged our respective journeys. We were reminded why we are friends. Thank you for being in my life. I know we will connect again on a heart level that will send my heart soaring. Much love and blessings to you. Chris.

  17. Hannah Brown says:

    Hello you two…sending wishes of love, joy and appreciation as you start down a new pathway without me…it’s all about me!!! (smiles)
    I do wish you many adventures…I do hope that you write often…I know you will make every adventure meaningful and full…
    I want an autographed copy of the book…price is immaterial(!) I’m saving for it.
    You two are the best. I have a lovely place in my heart wherein you reside…you both made that place lovely, peaceful and full!
    In this moment my words are not adequate to send you forth, as I would…missing you already. but I am so happy for you…love Hannah

    • admin says:

      You would come into our cafe with such honesty and truth. You never failed to make me laugh, even on your darkest days. I feel that we went through so much together in those passing moments at the cafe. I was always struck by how much we could learn about each other if we just took the time to listen and to touch. We so miss your regular presence in our life. Thank you Hannah for being you, for trusting there will be a book and already saving up your pennies, and for believing in us. May our paths touch again soon. With gratitude, Chris and Jim.

  18. Lara Gossett says:

    Hi Chris, i just wanted to let you know how much i have appreciated you and Jim over the last year and a bit. Through Rawsome and your blog, as well as the occasional personal encounter. You are both unique and inspiring people and i feel blessed to have met you and you have touched mine and my family’s lives. All the best for your upcoming adventure! Lara

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. We so miss our regular contact with people through the cafe. Everyone we encountered enriched our lives and provided us with the fuel to keep on going. With thanks and blessings. Chris and Jim.

  19. Cindy Foster says:

    Thank you so much Chris for all the inspirational blogs that you have been sending. I took your raw foods course at Royal Roads and that started me on my journey into healthier eating. Just wanted you to know that you have impacted my life in a very positive way and I really appreciate it. Your journey through life is a very interesting one and I would love to receive an occasional update on your travels, as that seems to be the next direction my life will take as well. All the best to you and your family.

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing where we made a connection. I’m always touched by the fleeting though meaningful moments each one of us creates when we take the time to be curious, explore, and consider possibilities. I know your next path will be meaningful as long as you remain open and generous with your time and your heart. And considering where your journey has lead you up until now, I have no doubt all will be well. With thanks and blessings. Chris.

  20. Susi says:

    Thank you for your honesty in all your posts. All the best in your future adventures!! Change is good. :)

    • admin says:

      Thank you Susi for reading and taking the time to comment. Yes, change is good. May all be well for you in your future endeavours. Chris.

  21. jim says:

    thanks- you are nice

    • admin says:

      But I’m not as nice as you. Thanks for the journey. Life is never dull with you and always an adventure. One I would never miss. Much, much love. Me.

  22. cecile says:

    Thank you Chris and Jim for your nourishing contributions to this community, and all the best to you as you step into new adventures!

    • admin says:

      Thank you Cecile for reading and supporting us, acknowledging our contributions, and for taking the time to comment. We wish you all the best as you journey through this life. Kind regards and blessings. Chris and Jim.

  23. jane says:

    Thank you I love what you write x

  24. Lynda says:

    Thank you Chris for all your heartfelt and health-filled words. ‘New adventures await.

    XO Lynda

    • admin says:

      Thank you Lynda for reading and taking the time to share. Also thank you for introducing us to Bali and sharing your love for a remarkable land and people. It definitely is the beginning of a year of traveling filled with truth, integrity, and heart. Gratitude and blessings to you. Chris.

  25. Robin says:

    Love you both!! Wishing you a grand adventure and happiness in your hearts~ XOXOX

    • admin says:

      You walked into our cafe timidly sharing your latest dessert creation. It was a wonderful resume. We hired you, you worked diligently, creatively, with compassion and grace. You smiled at every corner. You were a gift and one that carried the load of many. Thank you for all your hard work, commitment, passion, care, and solid intentions. We couldn’t have done it without you on the team. Love and blessings to you. Chris and Jim.

  26. Sue Earle says:

    Thanks, Chris, for the eloquence of your honesty … and the creative, delicious inspiration you always offer.
    All the best of your journey, and i look forward to your postings. You will continue to inspire!

    • admin says:

      Thank you Sue for taking the time to read and share. It means a lot to me. May you have a blessed and joyous holiday season and wishing you peace and understanding for 2014.

  27. Rose Vasile says:

    Hi Chris and Jim,
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us, for hosting Raw on the Rawk, for providing fantastic advice and recipes. Your blogs were always interesting and well written! Making life changes is never easy….even good changes (e.g. opening the restaurant) have their challenges. Now you have the opportunity to do what resonates with you. You’ve figured out a lot of things you don’t want to do, which will make it easier to decide what you want to do for a while. How fortunate you are to be able to travel for a year…and with someone you love :) Looking forward to Rawsome On the Road. Happy Trails to you. Hugs, Rose

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much Rose and thank you for being an integral part of much of our journey. We first met you in the market on SSI when we were selling wheatgrass and recently returned from Optimum Health. I remember you telling us about what you were up to in Courtenay, your book, your workshops, and where you took your training. All that confirmed for Jim, he too must go to Living Lights and offer more about his passion to others. And of course, you were so kind to give so much of your time and expertise to Raw on the Rawk, as well as encourage many of those you knew to attend. It wouldn’t have been the success it was without your participation and support. We are both so fortunate in the choices we have made, the opportunities that have arisen, and the journey that continues to play out for us. Thank you for being there and for all you do to enrich and enliven the community of people desiring to live a live plant-based lifestyle. All the best to you in 2014. Chris and Jim.