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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