Tag Archives: food

Detachment From Food

I have been feeling low energy and very tired, even when I sleep 10 hours a night. I saw my Ayurvedic doctor and she recommended I do a detox to balance out my kapha dosha, which is very high right now and shouldn’t be.

The detox’s total length is 5 days, plus another month during which I have to avoid certain foods. On the first day, I was getting familiar with the supplements I needed to take, and doing groceries (which was hard when you can’t eat most of it and your husband wants everything in the store!). I also started cooking the basic recipes I was sent. The first day went well overall. I had a few moments when I would open the fridge and see the beautiful, red strawberries right in my face and had to avoid them (ahaha).

On the second day however, after certain morning rituals (regular ones and also others appointed by my doctor), I made the second pancake recipe I was given. The maca pancakes were absolutely horrible, I literally spat out the pancake and couldn’t eat it. I felt bad throwing the batter out, but even after trying to “fix” the recipe, it just didn’t come out right.

And so, on this second day, I started thinking a lot about food, and my relationship with it. I made 3 salads for my husband, and some mashed potatoes, and took out some meat (which I don’t care about because I don’t eat it anyway). It was weird not tasting the potato mash to make sure that the salt and pepper were ok, or to make a salad and not grab a small bite of tomato or cucumber.

Then I started thinking… about how much of my day revolves around food. Maybe this is because I work from home, so it is always around me: I always have a cup of coffee or tea with me, and enjoy baking between translations or editions I am working on. So I started calculating and realised that I spend so much time looking for (or at) food recipes online, grocery shopping, organising food for the week, making new recipes, adjusting old ones, changing ingredients to make healthier versions of everything, taking photos to post on Instagram or on my blog, having meetings at coffee shops, post-workout smoothies in between meals… I mean, the list just goes on and on.

DETACHMENT
So my second day, is all about detachment: opening up the fridge and seeing the strawberries right in front of me, not being able to have one, and not letting it affect me or my mood whatsoever. Detachment is also what yoga teaches us after all, is it not? The practice of acknowledging certain thoughts and feelings, but not going deeper into them, and being able to let them go. Maintaining our state of inner peace, or of inner contentment no matter what external events.

I normally get into a bad mood when I am hungry, I sometimes cannot control it. On another day, those horrible pancakes I tried to make this morning would have made me angry or frustrated. I had been up for over an hour (doing my other rituals such as tongue scraping, cleaning my sinus, oil body massage, pranayama exercises, my daily meditation practice etc, etc). But no, I did not get mad at the pancakes, or at myself, for tasting horrible. I did not get desperate when I saw the bananas on the counter and couldn’t have one to just calm myself and the hungry down. Instead, I made the other pancake recipe I am allowed to have this week, it took me double the time to make breakfast, and in the end, I enjoyed it.

So far, not being able to have the food in the kitchen (it does help that I am avoiding opening up the huge cabinet will all the delicious stuff I can’t have), or not being able to prepare and eat food I make, or just the fact that I am on a mono-diet and eat the same thing every day, has made me appreciate the simplicity in what I am eating, as well as the extra time I have to do other things (like writing this long blog article).

We will see how things go on my third day. My craving for cooking is kicking in, but I do get to cook a new recipe for the last days of my detox.

I will keep you posted and follow my Instagram stories for more insights on my day-to-day detox experience @lacholaahabibii

Anyone else ever done an Ayurvedic detox? Any tips, thoughts, or comments you would like to share?

Thank you for reading

Namaste

Advertisements

What to eat/drink in Northern Spain

Pintxos
The Northern version of traditional tapas. These are actually double or triple the size than the ones I remember having in Andalusia. You can get wide varieties, from fish or seafood to cured ham. In San Sebastian, most restaurants offer pintxos, it is their way to have dinner.

Txakoli
This slightly sparkling, dry white wine is from the Basque region. Traditionally, this wine is served before meals, in a regular glass, and you only pour half an inch of it in everyone’s glass.

Jamón ibérico de bellota
The absolute finest cured ham available on the market. It is made from free range pigs that are on an acorn diet. This type of cured ham has been prized for its smoothness and rich, savoury flavour. 

Traditional sheep cheese
Known as Idiazabal, this pressed cheese is made from unpasteurised sheep milk. The cheese is aged for several months and you can try the smoked and un-smoked versions. It has a nut/buttery flavour and is typically served with quince jam.

Maple-Almond-Coco Granola

It’s funny because people seem to think that making your own granola is much more complicated than it actually is.

However, it is healthier than any store bought granola and you can add in whatever you like!

So here is an easy granola you can make at home:

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup flaxseed
1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 350F/176C.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  3. Melt the coconut oil and then mix in the maple syrup an almond extract.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and combine well.
  5. Place the granola on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes, then mix the granola and cook it for another 5 minutes.
  7. Remove and let cool.
  8. Enjoy with your favourite fruits, yogurt, milk, pancakes, etc!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

As a kid, when I would bake with my mom, she would always tell me: “Take out all the ingredients before you start baking. That way you know if there is anything missing and you can go buy it”.

Well… even if I always hear her telling me this… I don’t have enough counter space. So I usually do the dry ingredients first and then the wet ingredients.

This time, I was missing most of the ingredients for my recipe. I definitely did not feel like going to the store, and so I started using the alternatives I already knew.

I am really happy with the turnout of this vegan, gluten-free cake. The texture came out great and the taste was heavenly ehehe. Just a warning: it is pretty filling because of the quinoa, flaxseeds and avocado!

So here it is for you to make as well!

Recipe modified from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe:  http://www.melskitchencafe.com/decadent-chocolate-cake/

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
  • 12 tablespoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup avocado, puree
  • 1 1/4 cups panela (raw, unprocessed sugar)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Chocolate, passion fruit and mango jam (bought at the Choco Museo in Peru)
  • Chopped almonds (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook the quinoa in water and let it cool. 1/2 cup dried quinoa will make about 2 cups cooked. Make a little extra just in case.
  2. Preheat the oven at 350F or 176C. Lightly grease two round cake pans (I used coconut oil for this).
  3. In a measuring cup, combine the flaxseeds and water together. Mix well.
  4. Using a blender or food processor, combine the milk, flaxseeds, and vanilla. Then add the cooked quinoa and avocado and blend until the mixture is smooth (and it will be slightly green!).
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Pour the mixture from then blender into the large bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the cake pans.
  8. Cook for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out smooth.
  9. Remove the cake from the over and after about 20 minutes, take it out of the pans and let it cool completely.
  10. Cover with chocolate, passion fruit, and mango jam and with chopped almonds if desired.
  11. Enjoy!

img_3671

Chai Spice Bread with Ginger Icing

So. Eating healthy does not necessarily mean you cannot have anything sweet, because sweets can be healthy AND delicious (without that intense coconut oil taste, or without having a grainy texture). When winter comes along in Canada, this usually this means spicy desserts, hot chocolate, tea, coffee and anything that can give you that warm feeling.

Although Christmas celebrations aren’t my favourite, anything with chai spices (ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, etc) are good at any time of the year.

Inspired by Feasting on Fruit’s recipe, here is my version of Chai Spice Bread.

P.S. I absolutely loved using the dates infused with the chai tea and will definitely apply this to other breads I make in the future, thank you!

Ingredients

12 pitted medjool dates
1 cup prepared chai tea 
1/2 cup almond or chestnut flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup nondairy milk
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 cup of chopped almonds, pecans, chestnuts, etc. (Optional)

Chai Tea
1.5-2 cups water
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 inches fresh ginger
5 peppercorns
5-7 cardamom buds
8 cloves
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1.5 tbsp black tea

Ginger Icing
1 tbsp butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
A few drops of vanilla
1 1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp almond milk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/176C
  2. To prepare your own chai tea, infuse the following ingredients together: fresh ginger, cardamom, cloves, peppercorn, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, black tea. You can also add star anis, but I am not a fan and omitted it.
  3. Pour the chai tea over the dates and soak for 10 minutes
  4. Blend the chai tea, dates, lemon juice, non-dairy milk, and vanilla until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix lightly.
  6. Add the date mixture to the dry ingredients and combine.
  7. Grease a bread pan or line it with parchment paper.
  8. Pour the mixture into the pan.
  9. Bake at 350F for 30-35minutes, or until a toothpick comes out dry.
  10. Combine all the icing ingredients and adjust according to the desired taste and texture. Depending on the ginger powder you have, you might want to add less (if it has a very strong flavour) or more (if the powder you have is not very spicy)
  11. Remove from the oven, let the bread cool about 15minutes and remove it from the pan.
  12. Let the bread cool completely before adding the icing and the chopped almonds.

Enjoy!!

Open-Faced Strawberry Pie With Almond Coconut Crust

So, this was my first try at a gluten-free/vegan dessert and I must say, it was Amazing. I actually searched for a recipe to make and got a sudden urge for pie. But… baking a pie involves so much flour and usually a little bit of a mess. So I found this recipe which looks really delicious, but I didn’t have the coconut cream to make it nor the pecans, and I also had so many strawberries I needed to use. So I did what I usually do best, I modified and adapted.

This pie is not really quite like the pies North Americans are used to, but it has a crunchy (and super healthy) crust. We absolutely loved it and will definitely make it again.

I thought of mixing the strawberries with chia seeds rather than cornstarch, has anyone every done this before?

Leave any comments below if you make this recipe 🙂

Ingredients:

For the pie crust:
– Coconut oil (to grease your pie dish)
– 1 cup raw almonds
– 1 cup dates, pitted (microwave in a bit of water to soften them)
– 3/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
– 2 tsp raw honey (or maple syrup).

For the strawberries:
– 4 cups fresh strawberries, diced
– 3 tbsp cornstarch
– 3/4 cup of raw sugar (unprocessed)

Instructions:

  1. Grease a regular sized pie dish or pan (9.5inch diameter)
  2. In a bowl, combine the strawberries, cornstarch, and sugar together until the fruits are evenly coated. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. To make the crust, blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. (A blender can also do, but I would suggested blending almonds first and add other ingredients one at the time).
  4. Press the mixture/dough into the bottom and sides of the pan as evenly as possible.
  5. Pour the strawberries over the crust
  6. Bake at 350F/176C for about 15 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

Very Berry Bars

As active people, it is important we get our proteins. Well, let’s be honest, there is nothing healthier (and tastier) than making your own granola bars!

So, as a berry lover who doesn’t get enough berries here in Peru, I inspired myself from SallysBakingAddiction recipe and made these bars from dried cranberries and blueberries. There is really nothing easier to make, no baking required either!

Ingredients:

1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup chopped cashews
3/4 cup oats
2 tablespoons+2 teaspoons dried cranberries
2 tablespoons+2 teaspoons dried blueberries
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons chia seeds
3 tablespoons shredded coconut
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter

Directions:

Place a parchment paper in a baking pan (I used a round one but square or rectangle is definitely better!). Leave extra paper so you can remove the bars easily.

Chop the nuts the size you want (or use a processor). Combine all  dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Warm the peanut butter, and mix it with the honey. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until everything is well coated. Scoop the mix into the baking pan and evenly flat it out. I used a spatula to really press it down and tighly into the pan.

Place the bars in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Remove from the pan and cut into the size you want. You can keep them at room temperature,  in the fridge or in the freezer.

Enjoy!