Time to get your rowing skills in use effectively

There were times when everyone had done rowing as part of their school camps. But, as much as we detested them at the time, rowing machines have been proven to be the best exercise that you can do for your body. A rowing machine is not just for learning how to row a boat. But, it can also help you in getting your most amazing shape back. And the reason why many people are buying the best rowing machines is because they work up around 84% of your body.


We know that treadmills are also great, but rowing machine gives you the same result in lesser time and with lesser efforts.

People have had a lot of misconceptions about rowing machines and its effects on the body. One of the most common is that rowing machines will only work up your body. Nothing could be a bigger lie than this. Rowing machines work your entire body as you are pushing with your legs and there is specific amount of effect on your cores as well.

The thing about indoor rowing machines is that they not only give you the comfort of working from your home but you are also allowed to control the intensity of your workout. But, a person will only be able to do justice to their workout routine if they are following the routine perfectly and not taking it lightly.

If you are still not convinced about buying this perfect rowing machine, then you should also know that they would have no effect on your joints. It is perfect for patients who have just suffered from any kind of knee problem. Moreover, a rowing machine doesn’t work your body too much. Rowing at 5 miles per hour will help you burn the same amount of calories which you will be able to burn at 6.7 miles per hour on a treadmill.

Many people don’t go for the rowing machine because they have no idea how to work on it. and if you are facing the same problem, then you should know about the routine that will help you burn fat and increase your endurance levels as well.

How to use the rowing machine?

The first thing you need to learn is how to sit on the rowing machine. Ensure that your seating position and everything else is done properly so that you don’t slip. When you have stationed yourself on the machine, you will have to be straight and keep your core strong and firm. This will prevent any injuries on the machine. The best exercise to do on the rowing machines comes in intervals. Anything done in intervals has a good effect and is always fun.

First do the warm up exercise and then move on to the main exercises. There is a workout which involves isolations and pyramids and this can be done on the rowing machine only. Isolations are known as the alternate exercise that you do between pushing completely (full stroke) and pushing with your legs. Each of the exercises will be done in 5 reps and by alteration.

The first 10 minutes are for the isolations and then you move on to the pyramids. The pyramid workout starts with rowing at a rapid pace for the first 100 metres. After this you will have to do 5 air squats, 5 walk-outs, 5 shoulder tap push-ups and 5 tricep dips.

Again, you will have to row for 100 metres at fast pace and then carry out the above mentioned exercises. This is the pyramid exercise because each time the reps of the exercises will increase and the distance too.

Sour Kream & Onion Kale Chips

I realise that not everyone loves kale. “I love veggies, but I just don’t do kale,” is something I hear often when people talk veggie to me. And my partner sometimes asks me if we can “oh please have a break from the kale tonight” when I open the ‘fridge, ready to arm myself with veggies with which to cook dinner. I realise that kale, although a highly-nutritious green veggie super star, takes some getting used to. My parents were reluctant to include it in their diets, but with some prodding, have started to add kale to the dinner plate. Experimenting with kale is key. Maybe it doesn’t quite knock your socks off steamed atop a plate of brown rice, but there are thousands of delicious ways to prepare this veggie. Kale is excellent in soups, pestos, stews, pastas, and, as we see here, in chip form!

I love kale chips — they are delish and full of phytonutrients — but when I see the price tag on a 50g bag of them at a local natural foods store, I nearly have a heart attack. At $12-14 a bag, I most certainly hope that they are spun of gold. I get why they are this expensive: it takes hours and hours to dehydrate a batch of kale chips. So … yes, it takes some time, but it is still pretty easy to make them at home! And certainly much cheaper!

Dehydrating your kale chips is the most eco and the healthiest option (your veggies don’t lose all of their live enzymes in the dehydration process compared to the cooking process), but if you don’t have a dehydrator, that’s ok; you can set your oven to bake at its lowest temperature, leaving the oven door slightly open, and flipping the chips occasionally (this will take a few hours). You will have to check on your chips if you are using an oven, but you can mostly forget about them if you are using a dehydrator, so it’s not that time consuming. You can even dehydrate them overnight.

Cashews are a nice protein-packed stand-in for sour cream here, and I’ve chopped up (very fine) some other goodies with which to dress them (green onion, red pepper, dill) … you can add whatever herbs and veggies you have on hand. You can use any kind of kale (though I wouldn’t use dinosaur kale) here. I used purple kale.

A really easy (if slightly time-consuming), nutritious, and impressive snack! Make them for your friends … these puppies normally go for $12 a pop, remember!

Sour Kream & Onion Kale Chips – Yields one large bowl of chips

  • 1 large bunch of kale, de-veined and torn into large pieces (remember that they will shrink slightly in the dehydrator)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, pre-soaked, with enough water to cover them in the blender or food processor
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
  • dash black pepper
  • 1/2 red pepper, very finely diced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced and halved
  • 1 bunch dill, chopped (or any other herb of your choice)

Tear the kale into large chip-sized pieces. Set aside. Process your cashews, water, garlic, salt, and pepper into a smooth cashew kream. Add water / cashews as needed to reach desired consistency. Chop up your veggies and herbs, and toss everything together in a large mixing bowl. Line your dehydrator trays with an Excalibur sheet, if you have one, and if not, parchment paper works well. If you are using an oven, set it to Bake at its lowest setting and leave the door slightly ajar. Dehydrate your kale chips at 105 degrees, for about 7-8 hours (you can do this overnight). Dehydrate for extra time, if needed (they should be decidedly crispy and not moist at all). If you are baking, check in with your chips every 20 minutes or so, flipping them each time. They should be fully “dehydrated” in about 2-3 hours. And if you are in a rush, you can just bake your chips at 300 for about 20-25 minutes — just make sure to check in on them and turn them every 5-10 minutes so that they do not burn.

Enjoy … and if you are thinking of purchasing a food dehydrator (a purchase which I have never regretted … you can make your own sun-dried tomatoes or apple rings, and you’ll never need to buy any of those over-priced dehydrated camping foods again each time you go backpack camping!), I highly recommend the Excalibur! You too can make your own kale chips spun-of gold!

Muffins, Part Deux: Blueberry -Thimbleberry Muffins

I must apologise for my absence. Apparently, building a house is a full-time job. No — scratch that: building a house is more than a full-time job. And thinking that your house could be built by the fall is naive.

We have spent most of the summer building a small cabin up the hill on our property. Thanks to loads of help from Robin’s family, it is nearly finished (all but the insulation, wiring, and panelling). We intend to live in the cabin until the house construction is completed, and then it will become a guest cabin. In the cabin: limited electricity, a small wood stove for heat, one sink, and a galvanised tin bath tub which we will fill and empty for baths (a huge step up from our current living situation, and running water in the kitchen for me!). We’re not pencil peddling tax evaders, but still, Thoreau would be proud.

My mother came out for a visit, as well. My mother and Robin’s mother and sister and I took Auden, our doggie, out for a walk one morning down Wildhorse Creek Road and off to the creek, and picked a bunch of thimbleberries along the way. I like thimbleberries, but many people do not. They are a bit tart, and though they look quite like raspberries and have similar canes, they are much mushier. They taste slightly like rhubarb, to me. Native Americans used them for medicinal purposes, though I am not sure exactly which. Anyway, again, I like them. And we all agreed that they made excellent muffin berries.

Thimbleberries often grow along trails and roadsides, and in heavily forested areas, so if you do not have access to thimbleberries, of course any other berry will do (raspberries would be an obvious stand-in). So there you have it … thimbleberries: many people don’t like them, hard to find, good for something, but I am not sure quite what … sold? I swear that they are good in muffins.

I’ve added blueberries, as well. The blueberry is one of my most favourite berries. Many of us know that are high in anti-oxidants (phytonutrients called anthocyanidins). They are also pretty high in vitamin C, and, like cranberries, promote a healthy urinary tract. Blueberries contain the flavanoid kaempferol, which was shown, in some studies, to be useful in preventing ovarian cancer.

I decided to use some nice organic Canadian maple syrup to sweeten these muffins, but brown rice syrup, date purée, or agave nectar would would work just as well.

Blueberry-Thimbleberry Muffins : Makes 6 large or 12 small muffins

  • 2 1/2 cups spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or brown rice syrup, agave nectar, etc.)
  • 3/4-1 cup non-dairy milk (soy, rice, hemp, etc.) — adjust, depending on how moist you prefer your muffins
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (homemade is best!) OR 1 mashed banana
  • 1/3 cup almond or sunflower oil
  • 2 cups mixed berries (thimbleberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.)

Preheat your oven to 375 F. If you don’t have muffin liners, lightly oil or grease your muffin tray with vegan margarine.

Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in three parts, mixing everything together until the flour has been absorbed. Gently fold in the berries (thimbleberries and raspberries are delicate, so try not to mush them), and once mixed, pour your muffin batter into your muffin tray — about 2/3 full. If you desire large muffin tops, pour batter to the top of each muffin tin. Bake for 23-25 minutes (check with a toothpick).

Sweet Potato-Apple-Date Good Morning Muffins

I decided to make these muffins at approximately 11pm on the eve of my 8am flight back to BC. Not exactly the most ingenious of insomnia antidotes, but it seemed like a fine idea at the time. I love muffins … I practically lived on them as an undergrad. They are carby and delicious. But they’re not exactly the healthiest of breakfast foods.

These muffins are pretty close to a healthy breakfast food. Spread a little raw almond butter on them, or eat them with a side of probiotic yogurt (soygurt?), and you’ll have a pretty nutritious start to your day. Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A, and the flax provides some much-needed healthy omega 3s … something of which most of us don’t get nearly enough. Finally, these muffins are sweetened with medjool dates, rather than sugar. I love using date puree in place of sugar, because dates are an excellent dessert sweetener, and they are also packed with fiber, potassium, and B vitamins. Consumption of dates has also been associated with reduced heart disease and cancer rates. A win-win, really!

Sweet Potato-Apple-Date Good Morning Muffins : Makes about 12 medium-sized muffins

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped, pitted dates (I used medjool, but you can use any kind, so long as they are soft)
  • 1 1/4 cups boiled water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (omit if you are using vanilla-flavoured soy milk)
  • 2 tbsp soy milk (optional; if you like your muffins extra-moist)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 cup chopped apples
  • 1 cup chopped, pre-cooked sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup sunflower or almond oil
  • 1/2 cup flax seed

Pre-heat oven to 350. Begin by chopping and pre-cooking (I boiled them) your sweet potato. Set aside. Chop your apple and set aside. Boil water and chop up dates. Pour freshly-boiled water over dates, cover, and set aside for about 10-15 minutes, or until most of the water has been soaked-up, and then mash dates with a potato masher or fork (but leave some chunks in there, if you want the dates to make an appearance in your muffins as well). Sift all of your dry ingredients and the flax into a mixing boil (or whisk well, making sure that there are no clumps). Add wet ingredients, sweet potatoes, apples, and date puree, and mix well. Fill non-stick muffin tin or muffin liners with muffin batter — almost to the top. Bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes.

Short and sweet … just like breakfast!

Raw Shepherdess’s Pie With Almond Gravy

Welcome to Vegan Hootenanny! I’ve had this recipe in my head for weeks now, so I thought I would begin with it, as cauliflower is going to disappear soon (April is technically the end of cauliflower season … I am not growing cauliflower yet, but I will. Or I will try to, at least.). I keep seeing nice heads of it at the local grocery co-op, and making a mental note to try my hand at a raw shepherd’s pie … and then I get distracted by a really nice bunch of kale, and I forget all about my almost-out-of-season cruciferous friend.

I love cauliflower, and I think it’s definitely an underrated veggie. Cauliflower is most often consumed in the winter months, and either cooked or pickled, so, the occasional appearance on a veggie & dip platter aside, rarely do we eat it raw — which is too bad, because raw cauliflower is packed full of nutrients and live enzymes, some of which are lost through cooking. Cauliflower is full of fiber and vitamin C, and regular consumption of it has been proven to prevent or slow the growth of some tumours (in particular, in estrogen-sensitive cancers; e.g. breast cancer). Like broccoli, cauliflower also contains sulphoraphane, an anti-cancer compound that is released when we chew it (it’s the sulfur compound that is also responsible for the, umm … less-than-flowery-smelling odors that we sometimes release after consuming the cruciferous veggie).

Raw cauliflower mashes are, in addition to being highly nutritious, a great raw alternative to mashed potatoes when the weather starts to get warmer, and our bodies are more in need of cooling foods. A cauliflower mash is also a fantastic dish for patients undergoing chemo or radiation who may have limited appetites, and mouth ulcers or thrush, as it is easy-to-digest, not acidic or spicy, and full of essential nutrients — an important factor to a person whose body is quickly being depleted of vitamins and minerals.

This recipe also calls for walnuts. I love walnuts; they’re yummy in baking or sprinkled over muesli — and in raw food prep, they are a great substitute for ground “meat.” In traditional Chinese Medicine, walnuts are considered an herb — one that is often used for healing, including in the treatment of asthma. Whether you consider them an herb or a nut, it’s hard to deny that these kernels of goodness offer many health benefits; as far as nuts go, they’re pretty close to the top. For vegans and vegetarians, walnuts are one of the best sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids (flax is one of the only other plant-based sources). And like cauliflower, walnuts play a role in cancer prevention: they contain the antioxidant ellagic acid, which is known to have anti-carginogenic effects.

The ingredients list below is long; don’t be deterred. Despite the lengthy list of ingredients, this is an easy-peasy dish to make. There’s no cooking, and almost no prep. Well, ok; if your food processor lid is not secured, and you end up with a walnut meat explosion in your teeny tiny trailer kitchen that does not offer running water … well, then you might encounter some challenges. But otherwise, this is a simple enough dish for anyone to pull off, and I promise that you will not miss your mashed potatoes, and you especially will not miss the ground beef!

I’ve called this “Shepherdess’s Pie” … just cos the ladies need some cred too, you know?

Raw Shepherdess’s Pie : Serves 6

  • Walnut Ground Round Layer
  • 2 cups walnuts, pre-soaked
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (pre-soaked in water for 1 hour)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp white shiro miso
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed oil (olive, flax, hemp seed, etc.)
  • 3 tsp fresh sage
  • 2 tsp dried or fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • dash cayenne (optional)
  • 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce* (optional)

*Annie’s makes a great version, or you can make your own:

  • Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (makes one small batch)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water (or more, as needed to emulsify)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Braggs or wheat-free tamari
  • 1 tbsp molasses, agave, or brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • dash cayenne (optional)
  • dash ground pepper

Veggie Layer :-

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup sprouted pea-lentil-chickpea mix

Cauliflower Mash Layer

  • 1 medium-sized head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp white shiro miso
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cold-pressed oil
  • 2 tsp ground flax
  • dash ground pepper

Shiitake-Almond Gravy (optional)

  • 1 cup raw shiitake mushrooms (marinated for 1 hour in 1/4 cup olive oil,
  • 1/4 water, 1 tbsp Braggs or tamari, and 1 tsp dried thyme)
    mushroom marinade + more water as needed
  • 2 tbsp raw almond butter
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp brown rice syrup or agave nectar

To prepare your first layer, place walnuts, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, water in a food processor or high-speed blender, and pulse a few times until the walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes are more finely chopped. Add remaining ground round ingredients and process until well-blended (but do not over-process into a “paste”).

Layer the walnut ground round mixture into an 8 X 8 inch baking pan. Spread veggie mixture into a nice layer over the walnut mixture. Set aside.

To prepare your cauliflower mash, pulse the garlic and half of the chopped cauliflower. Add the rest of the cauliflower and the remaining ingredients. Process until smooth. Layer the cauliflower mash over the veggie mixture.

Refrigerate for 1-2 hours (until firm). In the meantime, throw all gravy ingredients in blender or food processor, and process until smooth.

Serve with shiitake-almond gravy and garnish with your favourite sprouts.

Soy-Free Creamy Mac ‘n Cheeze, With Greens (and soya the bear strikes back)

Ah, Mac ‘n Cheese / Cheeze / Sheese! This is an ode to mac ‘n cheese. There are hundreds of vegan mac ‘n cheese recipes out there, and each with a different name / variation of the word “cheese” … and they’re all great, and they’re all yummy, and they all satisfy the comfort food cravings of herbivores.

Most vegans will say that the thing they miss most after giving up dairy is a good bowl of creamy mac ‘n cheese. There is a reason Kraft Dinner is every university student’s staple. Sure, it’s easy to make, but it’s also comforting. When I was undergoing chemotherapy, I had almost no appetite. The nausea was pretty pronounced, I couldn’t tolerate acidic and spicy food, because of mouth ulcers, and, ironically, I had no desire to eat vegetables — specifically, cooked vegetables made my stomach churn. There were about three dishes that I rotated during the course of my treatment: rice, toast with jam, and mac ‘n cheese (cheeze).

I have been trying to come up with an easy stove-top mac ‘n cheese recipe for vegans that is also nutritious and not just full of soy and margarine. This recipe calls for raw cashews (note: the mac ‘n cheeze sauce could easily be done raw, if you decide not to heat it up on the stove — and you could also serve it over kelp or zucchini noodles, if you wish to go 100% raw). The cashews provide a nice creamy base for the “cheeze” (in place of soy cheese and / or margarine). I have already gone on about raw cashews, and how heart-healthy they are. They are also a good source of magnesium, and offer a modest amount of iron (1 small serving = 10% of your daily value). But the turmeric and nutritional yeast are real superstars in this dish. In recent years, there has been much research involving the cancer-preventing effects of curcumin, one of the polyphenols (that which lends it its yellow colour) of turmeric. Turmeric, a member of the ginger family (fresh turmeric root looks exactly like ginger root, but is a darker, orangey colour) has long been used in Ayurvedic Medicine, but recently, many clinical trials have used turmeric in order to study its anti-tumour effects.

Nutritional yeast is a favourite of vegans, because it is an inactive yeast (often grown on molasses) that has a naturally “cheesy” flavour. When I finally discovered nutritional yeast, as a vegetarian, it was a happy and momentous day. It’s a great popcorn topping, an excellent stand-in for parmesan cheese, and, of course, a necessary ingredient in any “cheezy” sauce. But a less-known thing about nutritional yeast, or “nooch,” as some call it, is that it is also a complete protein, and is packed with B vitamins. It is a good source of B12 — something which vegetarians and vegans do not obtain without supplementation — though the yeast is fortified with the B12 (it is produced separately and added later), so it is important, before purchasing “nooch” to make sure that it contains some B12. [NB One caution with nutritional yeast: too much (and I mean, a pretty excessive amount) can produce a niacin (vitamin B3) flush … which basically means that you might start blushing excessively, and feel, well, a hot flush to your face. Sort of like being really, really embarrassed. But some are of the opinion that a niacin flush once in awhile is relatively therapeutic. Niacin is a B vitamin, and thus a water-soluble vitamin, so it does not have the dangerous toxicity level that a fat soluble vitamin such as D would. Of course, too much of anything is no good, but you’d really have to consume an excessive amount of this vitamin to do yourself any harm. Niacin flushing is also unlikely if B3 is consumed with meals. So … Hmm. Up for debate.]

Finally, my bear update is that, while I was in Toronto for two weeks, Soya and Edamame (aka Mama and Baby Bear, who had broken into our home) struck back. Unfortunately, they got into our storage space (we have most of our possessions in Rubbermaid containers, since there is nowhere to store them right now), and into our shed. The casualties: some oil intended for power tools, a bottle of shampoo which we did not realise had been packed away, and … my books! Not so happy about the books, but there was not much damage. Since then, no word from Soya and Edamame, thankfully. Guess they are busy catching up on summer reading.

Soy-Free Creamy Mac ‘n Cheeze, With Greens : Serves 3-4

You can skip the greens, if you’re in the sort of “cooked veggies are just not doing it for me at this moment”-type situation that I found myself in, and it’s still a nutritious dish. The mustard greens in my garden were just looking so lovely and plentiful that I had to steam a few and stick them on the side. A note to any fellow beginner gardeners: try mustard greens! They will grow quickly!

  • 1 1/2 cups rice pasta or quinoa macaroni
  • 1 cup raw cashews, pre-soaked in water (enough water to cover them)
  • 2 small cloves (or 1 large) garlic (optional)
  • 1 cup rice or hemp milk
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth or additional water (optional; if needed to thin to desired consistency)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or more, if you want it even “cheezier”)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Steamed greens, such as mustard greens, broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.

Drain and toss half of your pre-soaked cashews into a food processor or high-speed blender, along with the garlic. Pulse a few times, until cashews and garlic are chopped (but not processed into a paste). Add remaining cashews, as well as enough water to reach about one inch below the cashews in your processor or blender. Process or blend until smooth. You now have a cashew “cream,” which will be the base for your “cheeze.” Boil water for pasta, and in the meantime, whisk cashew cream and remaining “cheeze” ingredients in a small saucepan, on medium heat. When your “cheeze” has thickened, turn heat down to low. Add broth or water if it gets too thick. Drain pasta, add “cheeze” and greens (if desired), and serve!

Soya The Bear’s Edamame & Sea Veggie Salad

I never thought I’d get to say this, but: I had planned to make this salad weeks ago, but the bears ate my edamame. Really.

We are currently living in a trailer on site while we build an eco house on our rural property in Ymir, BC, just outside of Nelson. I’m from Toronto, so I was not aware that bears are “on the move” around this time of year. We live in what is called the Wildhorse Creek Valley. In late spring, black and brown bears make their way up into the mountains, where they will then subsist on berries and clover and such. That is, unless they find better food first. And they did. Oh yes. They found an entire ‘fridge full of it:

Now, the big mistake that we made was keeping the ‘fridge outside.  It didn’t matter that we had built a mud room with a door around it.  We thought that we were being careful with our garbage and our compost, but bears have incredible noses.  They could break into anything that they wanted to.  They can smell through ‘fridge doors or trailer doors.  Lesson learned.  No food whatsoever.  This is going to make VH a tricky endeavour indeed.

The other lesson I learned: bears love vegan food. You’ll notice in this photo some of what has been consumed: Soy Delicious Coconut Ice Cream bars (I was particularly peeved about that), an entire bag of flax meal, a block of tofu, an entire bag of egg replacer (ew), left over veggie spelt pasta (bears can open glass tupperware, apparently).  Notice  what was left untouched: frozen meat (Robin’s father’s; in the freezer), and — you can’t see them, but — three bags of frozen berries.  Aren’t bears supposed to go after the berries and meat?  Have I converted the local bears to veganism?  We caught them red-handed, as we pulled up the driveway.  Mama bear (I have named her Soya) had her head in the ‘fridge, and a block of tofu in her hand.  Baby bear (I will call him Miso) was standing guard.  Mama bear bolted as soon as she saw us, but with the tofu in tow.  So for all of you tofu-phobes, the moral of this story is that, when given the option, even the bears will go with the soy!

We haven’t seen Soya and Miso in since then, and are currently taking brief refuge at a friend’s house while she is away. Our site has been bear-proofed. Rest assured, we shall not shoot the bears!

In honour of Mama Bear, I have put together a seaweed and edamame salad. True, salads are quite simple, but this one has so many yummy ingredients and is packed with phytonutrients that it deserves a place on the list.

I used three different kinds of seaweed here: arame, bull kelp, and dulse (plus a sprinkle of kelp granules, for garnish), but you can use any kind of sea veggie that you wish. A concern with sea veggies is that they not be derived from contaminated waters. It is important that your seaweed is derived from a clean water source (farmed seaweed is best), but otherwise, seaweeds like arame, kelp, and dulse are incredible superfoods. Sea vegetables are natural detoxifyers, and not only are they great for your energy level, hair, skin (they promote cell regeneration and are full of anti-aging properties), bones (high magnesium content helps to increase the production of calcium in bones) and eyesight (thanks to a high beta-carotene content) — sea veggies play an important role in cancer prevention, as well.

Sea vegetables are full of antioxidants, which act as soldiers against roaming free radicals in our bodies. Sea veggies are also extremely high in iodine. Just 1/4 teaspoon of kelp offers 20 times over the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for iodine. Most natural health practitioners, however, argue that excess iodine is excreted through the urine, and is not harmful. I would tend to agree with that, since the consumption of seafood and sea veggies in most Asian cultures is even higher — and they have much longer life expectancies than we do. At any rate, the iodine (and amino acids) in sea veggies have proved helpful in arresting the development of tumours, particularly in tumours of the breast and in tumours and fibroids of the uterus. (A good source for further reading on this topic is Iodine: Why You Need It; Why You Can’t Live Without It, by David Brownstein, MD.

What makes this salad a dinner salad is the inclusion of mung bean vermicelli noodles and half an avocado. This recipe yields enough for two, but you could serve it in quarters, as an appetizer, as well.

Soya the Bear’s Edamame & Sea Veggie Salad : Serves 2-4

  • 1/4 cup marinated dulse
  • 1/4 cup marinated arame
  • 1/4 cup marinated bull kelp (marinate in equal parts water and rice vinegar plus two tbsp Braggs or tamari, for at least ten minutes, or until soft)
  • 1/4 bag of shelled edamame beans, cooked
  • 1/2 large or 1 small black (or red, as black is strong) radish, sliced paper-thin
  • 1 large bunch spinach, steamed and then chilled
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 cup mung bean vermicelli or glass noodles, soaked in hot water for 3-5 minutes, and then drained and rinsed with cold water
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Dash gomashio
  • Dash kelp granules


  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Braggs or low-sodium tamari
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp agave nectar (or raw sugar, if you prefer)

Prepare salad ingredients and arrange in sections around plate. Dress with rice vinegar-sesame dressing, and garnish with gomashio, kelp granules, and cilantro. Serve at room temperature, and refrigerate leftovers. Keeps for 2-3 days. Enjoy!

Big shout out to Mlle. Prudence for letting me prepare this in her kitchen, while we were post-bear invasion. xo

good morning womans with cup of fragrant coffee

11 Things That Happen To Your Body After You Stop Drinking Coffee

A regular cup of coffee contains around 200Mg of caffeine. You can brew your coffee with the best espresso machine easily. Coffeemakersadvisor has recommended best espresso machines for home which would simplyfy your task of choosing right coffee maker for you. If you are an active coffee drinker and consume 4-5 cups of coffee a day or even more then you must research about harmful effects of drinking coffee. After knowing some of the harms that coffee might do to your body if you have decided to quit drinking coffee that it may affect your body positively. Let us learn how?

11 Things that happen to Body after you stop drinking Coffee


Check out 11 things that are sure to happen to your body after you quit drinking coffee. It is going to benefit your health.

Weight Loss

Weight loss is one of the sure things to happen after you quit coffee. The sugar blended coffee drinks are the weight gainers. A cup of coffee with sugar in it can add 200 calories and enhance the body mass. Now just imagine you have skipped the coffee from your routine for some time. The weight loss is for sure.

You will Feel Calmer

Caffeine acts like a stimulant. It releases adrenaline and makes you anxious by enhancing your blood pressure. After you have stopped coffee, you will definitely feel much calmer than before.

You will have a Happier Tummy

Caffeine also enhances the digestive activity. Coffee is acidic and removing it from your routine will save a lot of trips to the bathroom.

Better Mood

Most of you might feel lethargic when the caffeine reaction after morning coffee start ending. You have mood swings. Skipping coffee will definitely make your mood better.

You will Sleep More and Get More Energy

The caffeine boost to body even 6 hours before your sleep can disturb your sleep. It acts on the central nervous system and alert our brain. It also removes the fatigue. This is the reason why you may feel low on energy after the caffeine effect is over. Quitting coffee will surely improve your sleep time and you will feel energized after you wake up.

Fewer Headaches

Caffeine is one of the major reasons of headaches and even migraine. No coffee means no headache due to caffeine.

Healthier Teeth

Coffee is acidic and can cause stain on teeth if you are an active drinker. It can also cause tooth decay by eroding the tooth enamel and can also make your teeth yellow. Eliminating the coffee from your routine can result in healthy and whiter teeth.

No More Jitters

Jitters or shaky hands are one of the leading harmful effects of drinking too much coffee. It can depend from person to person and range from annoying to debilitating. Quitting the coffee can give back the steady hands to you.

Low Risk of Cardiac Failures

Caffeine often stimulates the heart muscles making them to contract faster. In this process it may tear the muscles and may lead to heart disorder. Leaving coffee will surely reduce the risk of cardiac disorders/failures.

Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Caffeine in coffee also affects the way our body uses the sugar. This may enhance the blood sugar level and affects the organs adversely. Active coffee drinkers are often found suffering from Type 2 diabetes. So quitting coffee will significantly reduce the risk of having Type 2 diabetes.

Improve Overall Health

Many studies have claimed that coffee is beneficial in enhancing the health of humans. But these studies are only true for people who drink one or two cups of coffee or similar beverages in a day. The active coffee drinkers consuming 4-5 mugs of coffee in a day may suffer from heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many other disorders. If you stop drinking coffee, you will surely prevent heath disorders and enhance your health.

Final Words

‘Excess of Everything Bad’ is one of the renowned proverbs. The same is very true in case of coffee. Limited quantity of coffee when consumed has resulted in enhancement of health, but if you consume too much coffee in a day, you are certainly at risk to build too many diseases/disorders. This may affect your health adversely and the situations may go worse. So stop consuming too much coffee today and read above to know about some of the health benefits for the same.