Pre-cleanse lovin' and the Ashleyx2 Bucket List show

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's been a really long time since I've blogged a day of meals, but it's about to happen thanks to day 3 of the pre-cleanse for the Fab Uplift Detox!

One of the things I've really been looking forward to for this round of Fab goodness has been to incorporate more superfoods into my diet. I found myself getting out of bed late on Tuesday night to go rinse and soak some Irish Moss so that I could make it into paste in the morning. What the heck is Irish Moss? Well, it's a sea vegetable that is super source of vitamins and minerals, it's fantastic for your thyroid and is also good for the tummy, thanks to its mucilaginous qualities. We had lots of sea moss in St. Lucia, and I was a big fan. It is awesome for giving smoothies, soups and desserts a creamy texture. I prepared my Irish moss and made it into a gel this morning, and into my smoothie it went!

Also in the mix: blueberries, cacao, hemp, ground chia, hemp, maca, avocado & honey.
aka heaven in a glass 
and a whole lotta superfoods!

I was a busy bee in the kitchen the other night, which meant that I packed a fantastic lunch for an Ashleyx2 planning meeting (more on what we're planning in just a sec)

A collard wrap filled with some cashew cheese, kale pesto & cucumbers, with some carrot sticks, a blueberry muffin (and one for Ashley) along with a green juice (celery, cucumber, collards, kale, broccoli stalk, pear & ginger)

what's not to love about a blueberry muffin? or awesome owl stickers
Collard wrap goodness
I fully spilled my juice on my notebook... 
I actually said something along the lines of "I am just fantastic" over the course of consuming my lunch - I couldn't help myself! It was all so tasty and easy to make and so much better than anything I could have bought. In addition to the superfoods and green stuff, I think the detox is reminding me how much I love to cook and how much cheaper and more awesome it is to make my own food. I fall into habits of buying food often because I'm on the go so much and yesterday made me realize that that doesn't need to be the case. It took me 10 minutes to make green juice and pack my lunch from yummy things that were in the fridge. I just need to get back into that habit!

Dinner was a modified version of an old favourite recipe - coconut curried chickpeas, cauliflower & spinach kale.
everything is better in an owl bowl (yes I love owls)
This recipe is so easy and makes a HUGE batch. I used kale instead of spinach and added some irish moss gel to the mix to make the sauce even creamier. I was reminded of it during the live stream class when Meghan was talking about cabbage. You think, really? Cabbage? Yes, cabbage has a lot going for it, thanks to the L-Glutamine, which has great healing and repairing properties for our digestive tract and it also promotes detoxification in the liver. Let's give cabbage a chance, shall we?

Definitely lots of good things happening in my kitchen this week, and keeping me excited for the rest of the detox! Tomorrow's plan includes another smooothie in the morning and some chickpea falafel bread making.

So about our meeting... Ash and I were discussing the logistics and running order for our upcoming show, There's Just Something About Ashley - The Bucket List.

If you're in the city next weekend, I'd love for you to join us for the show on either Friday October 5 or Saturday October 6 at 7pm at the Flying Beaver Pubaret. We're thrilled that Tara Litvack has joined us once again as our wonderful musical director & piano player extraordinaire and that Patrick Power is back to rock out on guitar. It's going to be an amazing evening filled with fantastic music, giggles and stories of what's on our bucket lists. I love the songs and theme we've chosen and it's always a blast to be onstage with Ash. Tickets are available online or at the Pubaret and it would be BRILLIANT to have you in the audience.

What's on your bucket list?

So Much Love in the Kitchen

Monday, September 24, 2012

I was a happy happy gal on Saturday morning, as I got to be a part of the small live audience for Meghan Telpner's (very first!) live stream class to kick off the Fab Uplift Detox.

The kitchen was buzzing with excitement in the minutes leading up to the kick off, and the fabulous #fabdetox peeps were preparing themselves to watch from the comfort of their own homes with lots of twitter and facebook action. 

The show was so much fun, everything was positively DELICIOUS and Meghan was her adorable, positive, charming, fantastic self! I loved the falafel bread with kale pesto, tangerine blueberry cacao smoothie and ESPECIALLY the superfood truffles. With recipes like this, detox-ing is stupidly easy and tasty! 

Meghan emphasized that it was about choosing the superfoods that are right for you and your needs, and trying not to get overwhelmed by everything! She discussed how to amp up everyday recipes with a few superfoods here and there. I'm definitely looking forward to incorporating more superfoods and green stuff into my life this time around, and just getting back to habits that have fallen off, like dry brushing, and morning yoga and meditation. It was so great to meet some of the awesometown ladies also doing the detox and get to be a part of the big day!

As always, I left the Making Love in the Kitchen headquarters feeling super inspired and joyous.  Meghan tends to have that impact on me. I got kinda nostalgic thinking about how much meeting Meghan has changed my life, in all kinds of wonderful ways. After being diagnosed with Crohn's and learning about her story, then taking her cooking classeslending a helping hand and then finally St. Lucia, it's been a pretty amazing and very special journey. I picked up one of her brand new gorgeous creed necklaces 

A great reminder: Today is the day. Twinkle, sparkle and shine. I can't wait to wear it this week (there's a lot happening and I think it will be a great anchor!) I always like being the sparkliest me I can be, and I think doing the Fab Uplift Detox once again is going to help me feel even sparklier than usual. Hooray detox, here I come! 

Sorry folks, fall is coming

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Yell at me all you will, but I'm a transitional season gal, and I'm a big fan of fall.
And while the last few days have been beautiful outside, the chilly air at night makes me believe that autumn is just around the corner.

And I love it.

Reasons I love fall:

fall fashion
crisp air
tea in the sunroom
cozy blankets
soup (and it's new friend, socca)

homemade socca and squash/carrot soup

more tea
that 'back to school' feeling*
coloured tights
anything pumpkin
anything cinnamon

Brilliant cinnamon bun from Bunners at the Veg Food Fair
more excuses to snuggle
curries (and other warm and cozy food)
wearing boots
leaves changing colour

However, I don't like socks. 

Unless they have owls on them. And I'm wearing my polka-dotted cons. Then they're pretty okay.

All in all, fall is still wonderful. Remind me that I said this when it actually starts to get cold. 

What do you like about the fall?

*Speaking of that back to school feeling, I've been invited to check out the Green Jobs Forum on Monday September 17 at the Metro Convention Centre. There's a list of amazing speakers and some pretty cool stuff happening. They're also running a contest for bloggers, where you can win a bike - who wouldn't like a new bike?! I'm also stoked to pick up a Live Green membership card - I seriously don't know why I didn't have one of these before. Admission is free and you can register online. If you're unable to attend, I'll be tweeting away with the #GJF12 hashtag. Looking forward to meeting some interesting new people and learning lots! 

Friday Joy, Giveaway Winner and Veg Food Fair Anticipation

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy Friday!

First off - congratulations to Maya who won my giveaway for Meghan's Fab Uplift Detox! If you weren't lucky enough to win a spot, registration for the program is now open and the detox goodness starts very soon! Can't wait to play along once again.

Secondly, it's Friday! This week has been crazy with excitement and change and also recovery from my NYC weekend. 

It's easy to recover with this adorable face looking up at you (though he does make it a little challenging to look at your music). Ash and I were over at Tara's for our first rehearsal for the next Ashleyx2 cabaret. We're super stoked to have Tara on board once again for this show and if the first rehearsal was any indication, it's going to be a great show. Random(ish) question - what's on your bucket list?

I'm looking forward to the 28th Annual Vegetarian Food Fair this weekend! As always, there will be a whole lot of deliciousness to be found, but I'm especially looking forward to seeing my friends at Sweets from the Earth (who are launching new things!), Apiecalypse Now!, Bunners, Bloomers, Delicious Knowledge, and so many more. There's a lot of awesome stuff happening on all the stages including a demo by my sweet friends Lisa and Nicole (who just launched a new e-book!), appearances by some of my fav vegan cookbook authors (Isa Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero!) and a vegan Cupcake battle. I will be around on Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to check out my Twitter feed and say hello!

I am hoping that all of this kale is going to help counter-balance the treats I'll be enjoying. The detox is coming. I WILL remember moderation. 

There's so much happening in Toronto this weekend, with a lot of TIFF buzz and celebrities around town. What are you looking forward to this weekend?

An Empire State of Mind - Labor Day weekend highlights

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothing you can't do
Now you're in New York... these dreams will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you
Let's hear it for New York...

I was so lucky to spend Labor Day weekend in my favourite place. Here are some of my highlights

1. Babycakes 

Always a highlight, that place brings me such immense joy. The decor. The selection. The sweet music they have playing. The adorable plates they serve your donuts on. It's all so charming. I had a caramel coconut chocolate donut and a cookie sandwich. Food swoon. 

2. High Line at sunset

The High Line is wonderful at any time of day, but add sunset into the mix and it's pretty much all kinds of amazing. 

I had a very different experience this time around, but it was equally brilliant and inspiring and breathtaking. I saw things that I had seen the first time and saw a bunch of new things, corridors and rooms as well. It was awesome to experience the show with two people who had never seen it and spend time in the lounge afterward debriefing on what each of us had experienced. I had a beautiful moment at the end of the show with one of my favourite members of the cast, that made the experience that much more wonderful and intense. I must see it again. And so should you. 

4. Toronto friends who find you in your travels

So many of my Toronto friends were in and around NYC this weekend and I was delighted to be able to meet up with a couple of them. 

Rebecca and I are kindred spirits - redheaded, singing, gluten free, veg loving gals. We had a wonderful brunch in Brooklyn at one of my very favourite places and also got to experience Sleep No More on the same evening. She's a delight and it was awesome to spend more time with her. 

Also got to spend a very fun evening at Marie`s Crisis with my awesome friend (and musical director for the upcoming Ashleyx2 cabaret!) Tara. I got to meet her sister and her sister`s boyfriend (whose sister reads my blog - hi!) AND Jim Rash. Who is an Oscar winner who happens to be on Community. Just another night in New York with friends, new and old. 

5. Smiling, squealing and skipping, because you`re in your favourite city

Amazing eats. Coney Island. Grand piano concerts in parks. Epic wandering. Beautiful artwork. Awesome weather. Taking the subway. Central Park. Not getting lost. Until F trains turn into G trains. Fancy pants restaurants. Hunting for wifi. Getting excited about yellow tights and owl stickers. Times Square. Brooklyn. Wrinkly puppies. Belting out showtunes as the token soprano. Gushing to waitresses about how much you love the peanut butter cheesecake. Watching someone experience your favourite city for the first time. And that person being really awesome to share everything with. And only calling you a food picture Nazi once, when you forced him to take his cookie out of the wrapper so you could get a better photo. 

Absolutely feeling brand new and inspired. Gah, I love New York. 

I promise that more foodie details are on their way. I can't wait to post more pictures of deliciousness from some of my new favourite places! And what perfect timing that detox-ing is just around the corner. Have you entered the giveaway yet?

How was your Labo(u)r Day weekend?

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