May 30, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday #2

It's Wednesday, which means it's time for me to post my 2nd edition of What I Ate Wednesday, hosted by the lovely miss Jenn over at Peas and Crayons.
If you'd like to see more deliciousness, click here to see what other bloggers have been eating.

This week, I decided to post what I ate on Sunday, when I participated in the 2nd Annual Ottawa Yogini Yogathon. This was an exciting day filled with yoga, exclusively for women! Together, we put yoga into action by coming together outside studio walls in order to support empowering women and girls throughout the world.

The Yoga community is one of the strongest in North America, and as a community of 101 like-minded powerful women, we collectively raised $20,000 for 3 amazing local, National, and International causes: CARE Canada, Off The Mat, Into The World and Pact Ottawa. How awesome is that?

That's me in the back row with the yellow flower around my wrist :)
I listened to my body and nourished it when I was hungry. This is a representation of what I ate that day:
Instead of starting my day on an empty stomach, I took a shot of E3 Live followed by a simple Green Juice made with a few handfuls of Spinach and 2 Apples. YUM!!

A healthy, light lunch catered by The Nourished Self consisted of a Sprouted Lentil & Quinoa Salad (quinoa, sprouted lentils, bell pepper, carrot, celery, sulfate free cranberries, parsnip, and coriander) with a chai infused orange dressing (apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, olive oil, Bragg's Liquid Amino, orange juice, maple syrup, ginger, cloves, cardamom & cinnamon), Raw Vegetable Balls (carrots, celery, beets, sunflower seeds, onions, flax seed, parsley, pepper, mustard, and umeboshi), with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (chickpeas, red peppers, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil).

The food was delicious and it kept me energized for the rest of the afternoon!

For dinner, I made some Freestyling Garden Chickpea Fritters, a wonderful recipe I found over at The Daily Raw Cafe. I guess they're similar to a falafel, however, I've only tried falafel once before, and I had to spit it out because I didn't like it at all! I also sliced, seasoned, and dehydrated a few Sweet Potatoes for a simple side dish. Scrumptious!
Dessert was this lovely mini Berry Cheezecake, topped with blueberries. It was adapted from a recipe for Raw Cashew Dreamcake posted by Sarah Britton at My New Roots. This was absolutely heavenly!

My final thoughts: Keep changing, keep learning, keep evolving, keep growing! Namaste ☼

May 23, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday #1

I've been following a strict raw vegan healthy eating plan now for 17 days and learning so much from people in the blogging world. Certain bloggers participate in something fun called What I Ate Wednesday, a concept that Jenn from Peas and Crayons came up with.
What I Ate Wednesday is a social event that happens each Wednesday in the wonderful world of blogging. Foodies photograph a day of meals from any day of the week and link up so other people can see what we ate.

Jenn mentions that it's not about comparison, judgement, restriction, or guilt but rather a way of "celebrating one of the glorious things we all have in common: We all eat!"
Since this is my first time participating in What I Ate Wednesday, I'm going to share a list of what I've been eating for the last 17 days.

Here's what I've been eating:
-Lots and lots of Lemon Water:
Lemons are one of the top alkalizing foods Drinking lemon water (I like it first thing in the morning) helps cleanse the liver and kidneys, aids in digestion, and digestion, it's a natural diuretic, and it makes my skin glow. Love love love my lemon water.
-Green Juice/Smoothies: I believe that fresh green juice/smoothies are a complete meal all on their own. They're delicious, nutritious, easy to digest, and oh so simple to make.
One of my very favorite recipes from Carmella at The Sunny Raw Kitchen.

1/2 avocado
2 to 3 bananas (fresh or frozen)
2 cups of fruits of choice (fresh or frozen)
2 to 3 cups greens (spinach, swiss chard, collard greens, kale)
Juice of 5 or 6 oranges (or 2 to 3 whole oranges, peeled and seeded)
1 lemon, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1 to 1 1/2 cups of water

Blend until smooth.
Add more or less water.
Makes 7-8 cups.

Another yummy smoothie that I made for me and "The Taste Tester"
I had a shot E3 Live (he refuses to try it) followed by a chaser smoothie made of spinach, celery, sunflower sprouts, pear, mango, berries, and bee pollen. Oh yeah!
I occasionally add a few teaspoons of bee pollen to my smoothie and I've also been using raw honey as a sweetener.
This morning I read this post by Gena at Choosing Raw and now I'm having second thoughts about using honey. I kinda like those little honeybees.
I'll have to do more research on this topic.

-Fruits and Vegetables: I try to buy fresh, organic produce when I can. With so many essential vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Plus, they give us loads of energy!

A Peek Inside My Fridge
Raw Pizza with Homemade Crust, Sauce, and Cheeze
Big Salads are a must!
Fresh Collard Greens Make an Excellent Sandwich Wrap
-Seeds & Nuts (Raw, Not Roasted/Unsalted): some of my favorites are almonds, pecans, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and walnuts.

I'm also in looooove with nut butters (almond/hazelnut butter and almond/cashew butter are two of my favorites).

I also loooove nut "mylks" (almond mylk especially). I've learned how to make it myself..and it's oh so simple and easy peasy!

Banana + Spoonful of Mystery Butter (Almond Cashew Butter)=Pure Goodness
Homemade Grawnola + Fresh Homemade Almond Mylk
-Raw Cacao:
According to this article posted on the RawFit Blog, "all the bad things commonly attributed to non-raw chocolate bars, such as cavities, weight gain and diabetes, are caused by the dairy, sugar and others fillers added to the dark chocolate."

The article also mentions that the "health benefits of chocolate when it is in the form of raw cacao beans, butter, nibs and/or the powder include; weight loss (because of its high chromium and coumarin content), prevention of cavities (theobromine actually kills streptococci mutants, one of the strains of bacteria that cause tooth decay) and regulation of blood sugar which is beneficial for diabetes (chromium can naturally regulate blood sugar).

Raw cacao also benefits the heart and the entire cardiovascular system as a whole."

Here are some of the scrumptious desserts I've made with raw cacao:
Chocolate Snowballs

Chocolate Mousse (made with Avocado)
-Sprouted Legumes: (I've learned how to sprout buckwheat, garbanzo beans/chickpeas, sunflower sprouts, alfalfa, and bean sprouts). They're easy to digest, and an excellent source of protein and fiber. Always rinse sprouts before eating them because according to Earth Mother "this helps to remove surface sugars that contribute to those musical toots."

Sunflower Sprouts make an excellent addition to salad, sandwiches, and wraps. They're great to eat all on their own too!
rawola, pizza crust, and sandwich bread for sandwiches.

My first What I Ate Wednesday as a raw vegan healthy eater has been successfully accomplished.

Cheers to that!

May 17, 2012

Fresh Tomato Chili with Taco Nut Meat

I've always loved tomatoes.  As a young girl, I remember eating fresh tomatoes from my mother's garden, much like the way you'd eat an apple.  I would just chomp right into it. The juices would come running down my chin, and I loved it! This was heaven.

Unfortunately, The Taste Tester doesn't share the same love for tomatoes as I do. He didn't want to have anything to do with ketchup until he was almost six years old. He actually tried his very first tomato-based spaghetti sauce a few months ago (but complained about it because he just doesn't like tomatoes). So I rarely buy tomatoes.

Last night, I decided to test him and his love hate for tomatoes. I've been craving fresh tomatoes for the past few days, so I decided to pick up some beautiful tomatoes from the Natural Food Pantry (my #1 health store in Ottawa).  I was pleasantly surprised to find an amazing recipe in Ani Phyo's Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. It was delicious! And....The Taste Tester LOVED it too!

This recipes is simple, quick, and easy to make. You'll love it.

Tomato Chili with Taco Nut Meat
(from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials)
Makes 4 servings

3 cup tomatoes, chop
1 cup red bell pepper, chop
1/4 cup celery, chop
1/4 cup yellow onion, chop
1/3 cup mushroom, chop
1/3 cup corn kernels (I omitted this)
1 tsp. garlic, mince
1–2 tsp. chili powder, to taste
1 tsp. cumin, powder
3/4 tsp oregano, fresh or dry
1/4 tsp sea salt, to taste

Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, toss to mix well.
Place half of your mixture into your food processor or blender and puree. 
Scoop back into bowl with mixture and toss to mix well.

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander, powder
  • 1 teaspoon Bragg’s or Nama Shoyu, or 1/4 tsp. sea salt, to taste
Place all ingredients into your food processor, and process into small pieces.
To serve, scoop raw Tomato Chili into bowls. Top with Taco Nut Meat

Tomato Chili will keep for 1-2 days in fridge. Taco Nut Meat will keep for a week or more.

May 14, 2012

Maria's Mini Mango Muffins

This recipe is adapted from ani's raw food kitchen book

           1 1/4 cup almonds
           1 vanilla bean, scraped
           1/2 tsp. sea salt
           1 cup Medjool dates, pitted    
           2 TBSP. coconut oil, or coconut butter

           4 cups ripe mango, pitted and diced
           1/4 cup raw honey, agave nectar, maple syrup

For the crust, process almonds, vanilla, and salt into a powder in your food processor. Add dates and coconut oil and process until mixed well. Pour into a bowl and set aside until later.

To make the filling, place the diced mango into a large mixing bowl and toss with your choice of honey, agave, or maple syrup (or use some of each).

To assemble, fill the bottom layer of a mini muffin tray with crust. Next, add a layer of the mango mixture. Then add another layer of the crust to top it off.

Place in the freezer until set, about 1/2 hour to 1 hour. Thaw slightly and enjoy. I keep mine in the freezer regardless. Takes only 5-10 minutes to thaw

These Mini Mango Muffins will blow your mind! They're simple, easy-to-make, and so very yummy! They taste so much better than they look :)

May 13, 2012

Choose Your Own Adventure

I am so excited to tell you about my fun, new food adventure.

Raw food is something I've been exploring all week.

I love discovering new foods and although I wasn't 100% sure on where to begin, I did some research and found tons of information.

In the blogging world, fellow Canadian gals Heather, a trained chef and yoga instructor at Sweetly Raw and Carmella at The Sunny Raw Kitchen have been my online mentors this week. I love Carmella's green smoothie recipe, which I have been sipping on daily.

Raw foods are simple, easy-to-find, fun, and enjoyable.

The Taste Tester certainly agrees:

2 days before this he wanted nothing to do with any of it!

This diagram pretty much sums it up:

Here's a look at what I've been eating:

1. Breakfast: 1-2 cups fresh Fruit and/or Vegetables-either whole, as a smoothie or freshly juiced.

2. Lunch: Salad Tornado with dark leafy greens like spinach, arugula, and watercress. They contain rich sources of the essential minerals calcium, iron and magnesium and provide plant based protein. Healthy raw fats: avocado, olives, coconut, flaxseed and hemp seed, to provide the EFA's necessary for proper brain and nerve functioning, and for that "satisfied" feeling.

3. Dinner: 1-2 cups of Vegetables (red/green cabbage, zucchini, or carrots). For an easy sandwich replace the bread with collard greens or romaine lettuce.

I'm really loving Ani Phyo's book Ani's Raw Food Kitchen for her interesting recipes that are quick, easy, and super delicious in every single way.

4. Snacks: Fresh fruit pieces, cut-up vegetables, guacamole with fresh jicamaraw nuts or seeds, raw granola, or some coconut. Nut butter with banana or with an apple and celery pieces. Seaweeds, raw carob/cacao powder, cold pressed olive oil and certain spices and seasonings.

Whole, ripe, raw, organic foods in their natural state are what help to keep us healthy, vibrant and free of sickness and disease.

5. Water: Drink lots of water. Water is always my #1 choice of beverage. I drink water even when I'm not thirsty because water is so good for you. Clean and fluoride free is key.

What are the Benefits of the Raw Food Diet?

Eating raw food has helped many people heal themselves of diabetes, fibromyalgia, acne, migraines, back pain, neck and joint pain, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypoglycemia, colitis, diverticulitis, Candida, arthritis, serious allergies, depression, anxiety, mood swings, heartburn, gas, bloating, skin diseases, obesity, chronic fatigue, cancers and many more.

Eating raw and living foods has helped many people feel better when nothing else has worked.
I've noticed that people who eat raw food have a natural glow to their skin, a shine to their hair, a sparkle in their eyes, a healthy, fit, body and they look younger than their age. They have a youthful energy and they feel good about themselves and happy to be alive!

People have noticed that their hair turns back to its natural color, their teeth get tighter and gums stop bleeding, wrinkles, deep creases and age spots disappear, dark circles, bags and eye puffiness vanish, acne and blemishes fade, looking better without make-up with a natural sunny blush. 

So if you're sick, tired, overweight or just want to feel better than you do right now, this way of eating could be the answer that you are looking for. The raw and living food diet has been one of the greatest miracles in many peoples lives.

Other health benefits include:
-Increased energy
-Better digestion
-Weight loss
-Reduced risk of heart disease

Raw foods are the cleanest burning fuel for the body so it's no surprise that, I've already noticed that I have more energy and mental clarity, brighter eyes, improved skin, better digestion, and slight weight loss too.

I have a wonderful warm feeling of positivity and I'm feeling inspired like I never have before. This is all brand new to me and it's an incredible feeling!
I didn’t experience many detoxing symptoms this week, other than a mild headache, slight nausea, and irritability (probably due to caffeine and sugar withdrawals).

My teeth and mouth started to feel weird too. I'm not sure how to describe the feeling but brushing them immediately helped alot.
I've already learned so much about eating raw and I'm so excited to learn more. All week I've been connecting with people who offer nothing but love, support, and encouragement.

I've noticed that the further I get into it, the more supportive people are: sharing recipes, and offering suggestions and wonderful advice to me. 

Thank you everyone! Your ideas are great!

May 5, 2012

May The Fourth Be With You!

Happy Star Wars Day!

May the 4th is not "officially" Star Wars Day, but The Taste Tester thinks it's a pretty special day.
We had a lightsaber battle. Darth Vader won.

We celebrated by watching Star Wars for the 347th time. 

When my Dad took me to the movie theater for the first time, we ate chocolate and popcorn and watched Star Wars on the big screen. has a bunch of cool stuff on their site: Special Deals, Events, a $2500 T-Shirt Contest, games, ecards, wallpapers, and more. 

Moviefone Star Wars celebrates its 35th anniversary and Moviefone has a list of 35 interesting ways to celebrate Star Wars Day. 

Check out what else I found:

Phantom Menace themed burgers a promotion at Quick, a chain of fast food restaurants. 

In France, Darth Vader is called Dark Vador. Notice the jet-black hamburger bun? No, thank you!

The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle who has waited all year to unveil her Star Wars Character Cookies. She's also linking other foodies, proudly showcasing their amazing Star Wars creations. So awesome!
Pinterest has hundreds of cool ideas for Star Wars foodies. 

Check out the homemade goods:

Ben & Jerry's Boba Fett's Carbonite Crunch Vanilla Ice Cream with a Salted Caramel Swirl & Chocolate Han Solos Frozen in Carbonite
Stoyn Ice-Cream Pop Culture Popsicles

Can I have an Ewoko Taco, please? 

Artist Rob Osbourne illustrates yoga poses in his Star Wars Yoga series of prints, available for purchase on Etsy

This looks like a really cool Star Wars Yoga Workout:

Followed by a deep breathing meditation:

The first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day, where comic book stores give away FREE comic books. Check your local comic book store for more information. 

Speaking of comics, Thor, Ironman, Captain America, and The Incredible Hulk are back as The Avengers.

May 2, 2012

April Foodie Penpals Reveal Day!

foodiepal stamp2 Foodie Penpals

This month, I participated in Foodie Penpals. Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean started Foodie Penpals with about 30 participants in September 2011. Now, there are over 600 participants in the US, Canada, and the UK.

I am a lover of all things food so when I read about this program, I had to sign up...and I'm so happy I did!

Suzi at Confessions of a Fitness Instructor sent me a box full of goodies and I sent Michelle at Push. Pump. Progress a box in return. If you're curious, head on over to Michelle's blog to see what I put in her package.

I asked Suzi to send me a few of her favorite things...and she certainly did!

Here's a peek inside:
Fundy Dulse: Suzi mentioned that she "actually doesn't like dulse very much but thought she should send some since it's a very Maritime kind of snack.

I never tried dulse before so I was curious. When I tasted it, I immediately wished I hadn't. I didn't like it all all! I wish I had captured my facial expression on camera.

I'm a big believer in second chances though so I decided to give it another try, just to be sure. Dulse is not as bad the second time around, but still intolerable.  

It's funny though because as I sit here, I am currently snacking on dulse. I don't know what happened but I wanted something salty (and fishy apparently). It's the perfect thing for me at this moment in time. 

Just Us! Midnight Mint Fine Chocolate: I'm not a fan of mint and chocolate but "My Little Taste Tester" is. Suzi wrote that "this chocolate is made just 20 minutes from where I live!" in Nova Scotia.

I'll bet their coffee is amazing?!

SunRype Fruit To Go: are fruit snacks that I've actually bought before. These were different from the ones I'm used to though. These had groovy strips on them instead of the typical smooth, flat texture I'm used to.  They're bursting with great flavor!

I shared them with The Taste Tester.  He loves them.

Covered Bridge Old Fashioned Kettle Cooked Potato Chips: these babies are all natural, no artificial colors or preservatives, no trans fats, and they're certified gluten free and cholesterol free.

I loooooove these chips. The first time I tried these chips was when I was with my Mom. I think the only reason she bought them was because my Dad built this bridge on our property when I was a little girl. I think they reminded  her of where home used to be. Now that my parents live in the city, we're no longer able to enjoy the bridge like we used to.
Our Little Old Covered Bridge

Suzi's Homemade Granola: Suzi thought it might not make the trip without being "smashed up into granola bits", but let me tell you, even though there were a few crumblies at the bottom of the bag, but it didn't matter. I ate those for breakfast, topped with banana, coconut, and almond milk. Yum!

Suzi gladly shared this recipe Tropical Granola Clusters with Brazil Nuts but also mentioned that "I normally put more oatmeal in than they call for, and use whatever I have laying around.  In this case I think I used pecans, sliced almonds and full almonds, sunflower seeds and shelled flax seed.  Along with the coconut of course." Thanks for sharing Suzi!

Fuze Shape Drink: I've never had one of these drinks before. 

I'm a water girl but I just had to give this drink a try. Sooooo tasty! Suzi was right when she said that "it's much less chemical-filled than other flavored water or juices." I've tried some other flavored drinks that don't sit so well in my tummy, but this one didn't upset my tummy one bit. Win!

Suzi also sent along this cute little card with a nice, long hand-written note which made everything just right:
I'm so happy I signed up to Foodie Penpals.

Thank you Suzi and Michelle for sharing my first Foodie Penpal experience with me.

Want to become a FOODIE PENPAL??

Click Here to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
If you’re in the UK, please contact  Carol Anne @ This Is Rock Salt.
I highly recommend Foodie Penpals to anyone who likes food :)  

It is all that and a spoonful of nut butter! YUM!

Welcome To My Blog!

Hello from Little Miss Cornucopia!

My name is Maria.

I'm a 30-something mom, daughter, sister, and friend living in Ottawa, Ontario CANADA.

Little Miss Cornucopia is a personal blog that I started in the hopes of encouraging myself and all of  you to make choices that benefit your body, animals, and the planet.

With any luck, you’ll be inspired to think harder about the food on your plate, to be respectful and compassionate of all the living things we share this planet with, and to get cooking!
Country Mouse

Born in Cornwall, Ontario but raised in the country, in a family with 7 brothers and sisters, I grew up with my Mama's home-cooking. Meals consisted of whole grains, breads, fruits and vegetables, milk products, and small amounts of meat a few times a week.

We rarely ever ate food at a restaurant or from a fast food outlet, however, we still ate a lot of canned soups, stews, fruits and vegetables, pasta and homemade sauce, peanut butter, and potatoes. My favorite meals included fresh vegetables, especially fresh ones that Mom pulled out of her annual garden. They were simply the best! As far back as I can remember, I always enjoyed and felt best when eating fresh and simple meals.

I never learned to cook (I didn't even know how to boil an egg) but I always loved to bake. I was only 12 years old when I bought The Joy of Cooking cookbook and fell in love. It explained everything I needed to know about the kitchen, including boiling an egg. I leaned how to make Peanut Butter Cookies and Scottish Shortbread, Chocolate Cake, Carrot Muffins, Apple Pie and Cranberry Scones from scratch, and they were perfect.

During my troublesome teenage years, I moved away from home and fell into a trap of eating processed foods. As a result, I became unhealthy, lethargic, and depressed. I soon developed disordered eating habits that I secretly struggled with for many years. Sometimes, I'd restrict my diet to the point where all I needed was coffee, cigarettes, energy bars, smoothies, and water. Other times, I would eat ALL day long, filling up my stomach to the max.

It was never really about my weight or shape, but rather a way of dealing with something deeper that was going on inside of me.

Helen Keller said that "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

I was in my second trimester of pregnancy when I started having major sugar cravings and I was baking non-stop. I had no problem polishing off an entire Lemon Meringue Pie. I gained so much weight (85 pounds to be exact) that I was considered a high-risk pregnancy.

Luckily, my little "Taste Tester" is healthy, happy, and loving.
"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new."

When "My Little Taste Tester" was born, it was so important for me to ensure that all food was natural, organic, hormone/chemical/pesticide free, with no additives, fillers, sugars, or salt.

I was facing my first major food challenge: homemade baby food. Fortunately, a book called The Baby's Table by Brenda Bradshaw saved me! Cooking, blending, processing, pureƩing, and storing homemade baby food became my specialty. It was ALOT of work...but it was DEFINITELY worth it!

I've been reading food blogs since "My Little Taste Tester" was born. Seven has always been my favorite/lucky number, and now that "My Little Taste Tester" is 7 years old, I figured it's the perfect time for me to start a blog.

To be completely honest though, I'm a little timid about sharing so I thought I'd start off by sharing something I found. In short, the article explains that sharing things about ourselves is important to our health. Holding things in and choosing not to share can actually "lead to poorer immune functioning, and increased health problems".

I realized that I'm only human, and that my thoughts and feelings are pretty normal. As humans, we can be our worst critics!

That being said, I started Little Miss Cornucopia as a personal blog where I can share the many magnificent things that fill up My Life; My Cornucopia: healthy living, nutritious foods, tasty treats, fun fitness ideas, healthy tips & advice, and other things that I love to help keep me motivated and inspired.
Please follow me as I fill up my cornucopia. 

I hope that my blog is worthwhile, and of some assistance in your own search into your own life.

Best wishes, and thanks so much for stopping by!
With Olive My Love,
XO Maria