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Kale Quinoa saladKale Quinoa salad The other night in the Phoenix airport, my girlfriend Sue and I went to Chelsea's kitchen for a quick bite before I caught my plane. The Phoenix airport by the way has some...

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Low fat Greek Mediteranian SaladLow fat Greek Mediteranian Salad [caption id="attachment_2127" align="alignright" width="300"] OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA[/caption] I love Greek salads, they are easy, tasty and healthy.  I often will...

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Delicious lentil soupDelicious lentil soup Today I am on cleanse day #2 of my Isagenix cleanse and my boyfriend comes into my office and announces to me that he is hungry and wonders what he can eat. How can you tell...

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Is Cleansing Bad for you?Is Cleansing Bad for you? I am a big proponent of cleansing and intermittent fasting.  It took me awhile to get to this point as I had a very negative idea about cleansing. The cleanses that I knew...

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Vegan lentil loafVegan lentil loaf I recently returned from a three-week wine tour covering California and Oregon. Being on the road for three weeks I was eating at restaurants all the time and enjoying...

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Is Cleansing Bad for you?

Posted by clstevens | Posted in cleansing, Uncategorized | Posted on 08-09-2015

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Drinking dirty waterI am a big proponent of cleansing and intermittent fasting.  It took me awhile to get to this point as I had a very negative idea about cleansing. The cleanses that I knew about were the ones that put the body into starvation, i.e. the Master Cleanse (cayenne pepper, maple syrup & lemon juice for weeks) or those that stripped the body of good bacteria as well as bad and those that re-circulated the toxins back into the bloodstream. Cleansing, when done properly can have amazing benefits for the body, such as: clarity of mind, improved sleep and mood, better digestion, fat loss, increased muscle tone & less body discomfort to name only a few.

Not all cleanses are equal which is why I promote and choose for myself the Isagenix program – www.cleanseenergy.com is a nutritionally sound program that floods the body with high quality absorbable nutrition and it incorporates intermittent fasting. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting may limit inflammation, protect against cardiovascular disease, reduce oxidative stress, blood pressure and total cholesterol levels and modulate levels of dangerous visceral fat.

To read a more indepth article about intermittent fasting, visit Dr. Mercola’s website.

If you are not ready to dive right in and want to make some small baby steps towards full cleansing here are some things you can change in your diet that over time will have a big impact:

  • Drink more water – work up to at least half your in ounces, in doing this you probably won’t have much room for sodas or juice.

  • Read labels on foods that you consume regularly and start to eliminate things with fake sugars – this includes aspartame, Equal, Sweet and Low and Splenda, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and food coloring.

  • Learn about genetically modified foods also know as GMO foods and start to avoid them or at least the most common ones that you eat.

  • Eat dark leafy vegetables and brightly colored ones and start dinner with a salad.

  • Buy organic food.  If you are budget conscious, then start with animal products first and move on to vegetables – see here for a top list of the Dirty Dozen.

Cari-Lee Stevens is an Executive with Isagenix. If you are ready to embark on a new health journey and would like some guidance in the purchase of your Isagenix products please be in touch with Cari-Lee, she will be able to tailor a program suited to your goals and needs. You may reach her at carilee@cleansegirl.com or by phone at 604 800 8300 (does not support texting) or her US cell number 480 684 2544.

Greek Parfait Recipe

Posted by Teri Broome | Posted in Recipes | Posted on 13-07-2015

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Greek Parfait

This dessert has me dreaming of sailing in the Greek Islands. When I was sailing a few years ago I was eating my fair share of Greek yogurt with honey and nuts. The other day I had a craving for something sweet and I realized that I could recreate this delicious tasting dessert with local fruits. I went to the Whistler farmer’s market and purchased some organic blueberries and cherries.  I had on hand some organic unsweetened shredded coconut, cranberries and pecans from Trader Joe’s and some maple syrup.  I created a couple of layers with organic greek yogurt, berries, a few cranberries, a little coconut and chopped pecans, then I drizzled a little maple syrup between the layers – probably no more than 1 TBSP in total. What I feel makes this really good is the different textures, the chewy cranberries, the crunch of the pecans and the pop of the fresh blueberries.  You may not even need any maple syrup depending on how sweet you like things as the berries and the cranberries give it a sweetness already. I have been making this treat again and again with different seasonal fruits, including raspberries, strawberries and apricots.  It tastes decadent and the calories are fairly low and the nutrition is high.  Serve it at your BBQ and wait for the rave reviews.

Vegan lentil loaf

Posted by clstevens | Posted in Recipes | Posted on 12-07-2015

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I recently returned from a three-week wine tour covering California and Oregon.

Being on the road for three weeks I was eating at restaurants all the time and enjoying lots of wine, so now it is time for a cleanse. I’m doing my trusty Isagenix program and have started to eat very cleanly. I like to think I eat this way all the time but when I am on vacation, all bets are off.

One of my favorite items to cook with are lentils.  I find them very versatile and they are an excellent source of fiber and protein, I came up with this recipe last night that actually had my boyfriend asking for second helpings. I loved it so much the next time I make it,  I’m going to double the batch and freeze some of it for later date.

Here’s what you need to make this recipe:

1 cup of dry lentils use green or brown

2 ½  cups of water (You may also use vegetable broth)

3 tablespoons of ground flax seeds

? cup of water

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

3 cloves of minced garlic

1 medium onion finely chopped

Vegetables of your choice; I used peppers and zucchini

¾  cup of sunflower seeds

½ cup of flour (I ground up a half a cup of chickpeas in my Vitamix and made chickpea flour) You may also use ground oats or any other flour you like

1 heaping teaspoon of dried thyme

½  heaping teaspoon of cumin

½  teaspoon of onion powder

½  teaspoon of pepper flakes

½  cup of minced cilantro

 

Glaze:

½ cup of organic ketchup – this part isn’t the healthiest but it does make it taste great and a little over top isn’t a bad thing.

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

Rinse lentils.

In a large pot add 2 ½ cups of water or broth to the lentils.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 35 to 40 minutes.  It’s okay if they get mushy, 3/4 of this mixture is going to be blended.

Once they are done, remove the lid and set them aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl combine the ground flaxseed and ? cup of water.  Mix it up well set it aside for at least 10 minutes.

Mix the onion, peppers, zucchini  and whatever other vegetables you like with the garlic and the spices then set them aside.

In a food processor, immersion blender or a Vitamix blender, mix three quarter of lentils until they become like a paste.

Pour all the lentils including the unmashed lentils into a large bowl,  add in the vegetables, the flaxseed, additional salt and pepper and mix well. I use my hands to mix it.

Grease a pan with coconut oil and press the mixture into the pan.

Mix the three items from the glaze; the ketchup the balsamic vinegar and the maple syrup together.   And drizzle it over the lentil loaf.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, let cool slightly and serve with a salad.  Let me know what you think by leaving your comments below.

2014 my year in review.

Posted by clstevens | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 28-01-2015

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My year in review.

The year 2013, ended with a bang, quite literally.  My plan was to spend 4 to 5 months in Mexico from December into the new year.  DSC04601

On December 18th I was woken to the sounds of what I thought was dumpsters rolling along the pavement.  I had rented a beautiful condo overlooking the ocean in a very quiet and peaceful area where there are really not that many tourists.  It ended up that it wasn’t a dumpster, it was a full on gun battle with grenades and machine guns that lasted from 5:30 am until about 9:30 am.  I truly thought I might die.  Next to the first sailing trip I took where we ended up in an epic storm, it was the scariest experience in my life.  Even though I was out of my comfort zone, I decided to stay for another 3 weeks until it was time for me to fly to my Isagenix convention in Dallas, Texas. I had to come up with Plan B for what to do for the next few months if it wasn’t going to be Mexico, so I decided that a project would be a good idea.  While I was in Mexico, I purchased a 4 bedroom, 2200 sq foot home in the McCormick Ranch area of Scottsdale.  I was looking for something that had some upside with the potential for a juicy fix and flip. I kept hearing that there was no money to be made in doing this and it was impossible to get a good deal, however I managed to successfully fix and flip it within a 5 month period. Click here to see some before and after photos.  This was my first time doing such a project and it was an amazing learning experience.

I spent a lot of my time while in Arizona, meeting new friends, hanging out in a different neighborhood and doing a lot of hiking.  In late May I was back in Whistler.  I am a sun seeker and this was a bit early in the year for me but I knew my time would be short there so it was something I was looking forward to. I had enjoyed the gorgeous transformation of the house in Scottsdale that I didn’t get the chance to live in, so I decided it was time for a once and for all overhaul of the Whistler residence.  Again I was very pleased with the results. Click here to see before and afters.

 

In June, I decided to go back to Mexico.  My friends Doug and Herb have a great little place in Puerta Vallarta with gorgeous views of the bay that they let us use.  We spent a wonderful week there and I was glad to be back in Mexico. I didn’t want to let one not so great incident to put a damper on it for me permanently.

In early July my parents came to spend some time with us which was great.  We took them on long hikes and we did a ton of outdoor activity.  I love and appreciate how active they are. Later in the month one of my new friends from Arizona flew to the Okanagan and I met her there. Sue and I had a blast wine tasting in this amazing region. It was so fun to see someone who doesn’t know anything about the region be so blown away by all that there was to offer. It is an undiscovered gem for most of the world still.

By the time August rolled around it was time to hit the road again.  The month was shaping up to be a big one.  My girlfriend Lucy invited us to her beach house on the Sunshine Coast to hang out with a big group of friends.
Being there is always such a treat.  View from the deck.

 

From there I drove to Vancouver and then flew to Edmonton for a family wedding.  The wedding was the same day as my big yearly Isagenix conference so I left early the next morning and managed to attend the last half of my event in San Diego. Always a fun and inspirational time.

From San Diego I flew to Ontario where my boyfriend picked me up in my new Prius and we drove across the country back to Whistler.  The Prius isn’t sexy but it holds a lot and it is good for the environment, so I am happy with it.  Joe on the other hand wishes I had opted for something else.  Stops were made in Detroit to see good friends who now live there and I finally got a chance to check out Chicago, what a great town!  I drove through Big Sky Montana and then finally ended up at my parent’s place in BC where we hung out for a couple of days.

In late September I went again to Phoenix for an Isagenix event with a few new friends, including my Phoenix Realtor Alison and my friend Sue.  While there I looked for my very first apartment building to purchase. I have been looking for a long time on and off and I finally made the plunge.  So on October 31st, I became the new owner of my first residential multiplex!  That was a goal I had for a long time and I was happy to see it come to fruition.

For our Thanksgiving In October, one of my good friends Ronnie came from Arizona to spend it  with us. I met Ronnie when I first moved to AZ, so it was nice to have a long term friend come and hang out.  It was his first Canadian Thanksgiving and he soaked it up.  We went on lots of hikes & had some good times with my friends Doug and Herb who also came up for the weekend.  

November and December were low key in Whistler which was fine by me. We hosted a few dinner parties and a highlight was that my brothers came up to visit.  It is rare to have all of us in the same country, nevermind the same place at once, but with a little planning and some effort on their end they made it.  For the rest of the time  I got to enjoy my newly renovated place, go to the gym a lot and basically chill out.  

What is awesome about this year, looking back on it was that I had totally different plans for 2014.  If I hadn’t experienced the gun battle, I would not have come back to Arizona when I did. I would not have met my amazing new friend and realtor Alison who sold my Scottsdale fix and flip and who sold me the multiplex.  I would not have met my amazingly talented friend Sue who I love to spend time with and there are so many other ripple effects that happened from that one incident.

As I always say, life is a gift, that is meant to be lived.  I hope you are enjoying a great start to 2015 with lots of love, good health and happiness.

Vegan, raw cashew caramel squares with nut crust & raw cacao ganache

Posted by clstevens | Posted in Recipes | Posted on 18-12-2014

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raw caramel squareThis recipe looks deeelicious!  And in keeping with some healthier recipe alternatives for the holidays I thought I would share this one.  In the past I have made raw salted caramel squares and they were so good, the ones I made had more dates and tahini in them.  So if you are looking for a new tasty desert and healthier alternative to the refined sugar and flour treats of the season, give these a try. This recipe comes from a new business in Whistler BC called Foodease.  You can find out more about them at www.foodeasemeals.ca

Nut Layer
1 cup of nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts or cashews) – I normally use almonds.
1 cup of medjool dates
Grind nuts in the food processor until coarse, then add dates and process until it becomes a sticky ball. Press firmly into a small baking dish approximately the size of two bread or loaf pans side by side.  Refrigerate to set and make caramel layer.

Caramel Layer
1/2 cup of cashew butter or 3/4 cups of cashews blended up in a vitamix to make your own butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup of medjool dates
Mix all ingredients in the food processor or a high powered blender until smooth.  This is important to get it smooth so it has a caramel like consistency.  Spread the caramel layer over the nut crust.

Chocolate ganache layer
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 heaping TBSP of raw cacao or if you don’t have it, use cocoa powder
1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup – to make it vegan, use maple syrup.

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