Thank you for visiting! Walking the Walk is meant to be a source to assist you in your quest for a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Through my own lifestyle, I hope to give you creative ideas that make adopting a healthier, more holistic lifestyle as enjoyable and easy for you as possible!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sharing the Love

My super cool colleague M is one of the more fascinating people I know.  She lived in Montreal for 4 years and now she's in Toronto, studying to be a Naturopathic Doctor.  She also comes to school everyday with huge salads full of gorgeous organic produce and edible flowers from the farmer's market, where she volunteers.

But the most fascinating thing about M is her website, www.sharetheloveyoga.com.  If you love yoga and are fortunate enough to live in either Montreal or Toronto, going to M's site will enable you to find inexpensive yoga classes all around town!  M's site mission statement is as follows:
"Our mission is to show you where to find yoga classes that you can afford. Simply visit our site to view a weekly schedule which outlines when and where to find free, community, karma, and by donation yoga classes in your city."
As a student, I definitely appreciate being able to access inexpensive yoga classes near my school and home.  So, for all you yoga lovers or people who just want to give it a try without breaking the bank, I suggest sharing the love <3

On another note....

I absolutely love my friend's T-shirt (pictured below, with my other friend).  He made the mistake of telling me that he has a whole closet full of them, so now he has been dubbed "T-shirt guy" and he (and his famous T-shirts) will be making random appearances on my blog from now on!  In case you can't see it, the last word is "motivation".  Hope it makes you smile as much as I did!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This post is dedicated to my colleague, C.

C came to visit my blog the other day and had all sorts of wonderfully flattering things to say about it, but she also expressed a desire for more gluten-free recipes.  The story behind this is that I showed up to J's Birthday Brunch last year with this amazing vegan, gluten-free pancake batter and C (being sensitive to gluten) was finally able to enjoy fresh pancakes for the first time in many years.  I could quite literally see her childhood come flooding back to her and I think she wants me to share that joy with other gluten-intolerant people, who I know love finding good recipes.  The added bonus is that this recipe can be made the night before and be ready and waiting when you wake up for Sunday brunch :)

So, although this is not 'raw' it is still very tasty and, as always, quite healthful.
C's Banana Coconut Pancakes

1 cup brown or white rice flour
1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill coconut flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp potato starch
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 medium very ripe banana, mashed up
1 and 1/2 cup  vegan 'buttermilk' (same amount of almond milk mixed with 1 and 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar, stir and let sit for 5 min)

The night before: Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, then add banana, oil and buttermilk, mixing with a whisk until just blended.  Cover and put in fridge until the next morning (I usually put it into a glass container with a plastic lid).  Take it out the next morning and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes, while you warm up the griddle.  You may have to add some more almond milk to thin out the batter a bit (about 1/4 cup).  Fry on a griddle at medium heat and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Product Review: Nud Fud

I recently fell in love.  It was very easy to do because it was with something nourishing, pure and oh-so-incredibly tasty.  I'm talking about the fantastic organic, raw and gluten-free snacks that are made by NudFud (pronounced Nude Food)

I first met NudFud at the 1st annual Toronto Raw/Vegan Festival, where I purchased their best selling Green Energy 'chips' (pictured here).  Since I had not yet purchased a dehydrator, I craved that crunchy texture that is so rare in raw cuisine (unless you have all the fancy gadgets, that is).  These Nud 'chips' were so satisfyingly crunchy and, with only 5 ingredients that are all organic and undergo minimal processing, it's basically like eating the pure ingredients whole!
At the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival, I met the creator of this super food and was introduced to their newest flavour: Gogi Energy.  I actually preferred this over the Green Energy as it was slightly less sweet and I love the taste of Gogi berries, but I would strongly encourage you to try all of their flavours!
If you're in the market for a healthy snack that is perfect for bringing to school, work, or just on-the-go, NudFud is definitely a great pick.


Glorious GOOP

I never thought I'd say this, but...

Mad props to Gwyneth Paltrow

While searching for recipe ideas online, I discovered the personal website of Ms. Paltrow and learnt the following:

  • she is a foodie (read: she loves good food)
  • she practices a macrobiotic diet
  • she practices detoxification
  • she can throw together a superb tasting _______ (insert any healthy dish idea here)
Whenever a celebrity branches out into some other career or hobby, I am always extremely cautious.  It seems like everyone wants to diversify and most of them do, regardless if they are actually talented or not.

After making The Cucumber, Basil and Lime Juice from her Detox Newsletter, I am convinced that when it comes to food preparation and enjoyment, Gwyneth Paltrow is certainly qualified.  As you can see from the picture, I enjoyed almost an entire pilsner glass (M got them free from the Amsterdam Brewery) of this magical juice this morning and I was gastronomically blown away--so much so that I needed to post about it a.s.a.p.

Here is the phenomenal juice recipe I made this morning:

  1. a handful of fresh basil (I buy the PC brand basil in the little plastic containers when my own basil has been overgrazed and I found this was the perfect amount)
  2. 1 and a half organic cucumbers (depending on size and variety, this can be increased to add more volume to your juice, should you want to enjoy more)
  3. half a lime that has been peeled of the zest (green stuff) but try to leave on as much pith (white stuff) as possible
  4. 1 organic green apple, with the seeds removed
Juice all of the above ingredients in the order that they appear.  Give the mixture a quick stir with a chopstick and prepare for the tangy explosion of deliciousness that is about to rock your taste buds.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Water, water everywhere...

Lately, I have been intrigued by water.  After reading a book by Masaru Emoto, who is famous for his work studying water crystals in various conditions, I have begun to notice quite a few water-related phenomenons in my own life.

One involves my daily drinking water.  I have used only glass bottles to carry my daily drinking water ever since the PCB fears associated with plastic water bottles came to light and I have many that I rotate throughout the week.  I would usually select these bottles based on the sole criteria that they were clean and dry.  That's it.

This past summer, J was living in Copenhagen and brought me back an exquisite glass water bottle that is pictured here:
I adore this water bottle.  I not only appreciate its design and functionality, but it is also the lightest weight glass bottle I have ever encountered.  I also love the city it is from.  My love of Copenhagen was actually first kindled by this blog, that seems to capture the vibe of the city perfectly.  Most importantly, it was given to me with love and thoughtfulness from my very best friend, who I'm sure infused the bottle with her own positive energy.  I definitely spend at least a few moments of my day appreciating this unique bottle, when I happen to have it in the rotation.

In my humble opinion, I believe that this attention to this bottle (and subconsciously, it's contents) has had an effect on the taste of the water.  Although I fill all my water bottles (and jars) with the exact same filtered water from my Brita filter, whenever I enjoy it from this particular water bottle it tastes so incredible.  The best description I can give is that it is crisp and clear, like water from a pure mountain spring, with no smell and no aftertaste.  

Is it merely my mind playing tricks on me or are the very real theories of quantum physics in practice?

Why don't you try it for yourself and we'll compare notes? :)

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Keep It Simple, Salad!

When I first became a vegan, I hated salads.  Of course, the salads I was thinking of were the ones with iceberg lettuce and a single sliver of a sad, pale tomato.

My, how times have changed.

These days, my go-to meal is a salad.  Salads usually make an appearance as my lunches and as the first course of my dinners.  A colleague recently commented that although he always sees me eating a salad at lunch, no two salads are ever the same.  Variety is the key to enjoying salads and I've got a list of ingredients for you to mix and match in creating your perfect salad:

  • hemp seeds
  • dulse flakes
  • cherry tomatoes
  • mixed greens
  • romaine lettuce
  • basil leaves
  • spinach leaves
  • red/yellow/green peppers
  • apple slices
  • pear slices
  • avocado
  • mandarin orange slices
  • cucumbers
  • grated carrots
  • grated beets
  • candied or raw nuts (almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts etc.)

Any combination (or all) of the above ingredients tossed with an oil and vinegar dressing can make a quick and easy meal that is so not your everyday, boring salad.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Hurray for 2nd Year!

To become an accredited Naturopathic Doctor in Canada, one must participate in a rigorous 4 year, graduate-level course that is structured around practicals and time spent in the clinic.

At the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, ON there is an amazing clinic that is manned by 4th year interns of Naturopathic Medicine who are all overseen by a practicing Naturopathic Doctor who acts as their supervisor.  The Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic is open to the public and makes Naturopathic Medicine available for a fraction of the cost, due to generous donations from in and around the community.

As a 2nd year student, I have now begun to shadow an intern on weekly clinic shifts and I love spending time in the clinic.  Being in an environment where people are receiving effective alternative treatments is very uplifting for both the practitioners and the patients.

I strongly suggest paying a visit to the clinic, whether you are already well versed in Naturopathic Medicine or simply want to try it, as the passion and care our interns put into their patients are altogether incredible.

The Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic
1255 Sheppard Avenue East
North York, ON
M2K 1E2
(416) 498-9763

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Documentary Review: Forks Over Knives (2011)

As a future naturopathic doctor, I am very passionate about bringing health and healing through natural means like diet and lifestyle changes and I prefer to leave invasive procedures, like surgery, as an absolute last resort.

Recently, a documentary was made that follows people who successfully reversed diseases that their doctors deemed terminal by simply making changes to their diet and lifestyle.  Forks Over Knives is not only anecdotal, but it also follows the careers of 2 well known scientists, one of which executed the famous China Study and later wrote a book of the same name.

Overall, I found this documentary quite informative in terms of the evidence surrounding animal food sources and their encouragement of cancer formation in humans.  I also found it incredibly insightful into the history behind our cultural beliefs of "what is a healthy food" and the influence that industry has over our health care approach.  I really enjoyed this documentary, and it was easier to watch than a few others on the same topic as it seemed to come from a more positive viewpoint.

Watch the trailer and decide for yourself:

Another bonus about this film? Super clever title :)


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Restaurant Review: Karine's All Day Breakfast

The last time I ate in a food court, I'm pretty sure I was still in the single digits. I've since avoided them, as I'm not usually a fan of dining in prison-like cafeteria atmospheres and only something really great could ever tempt me to eat off of a plastic tray.

Enter greatness.

I discovered Karine's All Day Breakfast on happycow.net, a website that helps vegans and vegetarians find restaurants in various cities.  Unfortunately, I was unable to make it out to Karine's on that excursion and I forgot about it for a few years.  I rediscovered Karine's on a recent visit to the AGO, as looking at art always seems to make me hungry.  Since Karine's is located just across the street from the gallery, it seemed a perfect choice.

Upon arriving in the food court, I was pleasantly surprised at the warm, inviting atmosphere.  The kiosk was covered with a beautiful array of fresh fruit and the menu tablets were done up with artistic flare.  The staff all had wicked Santa Monica style and Karine herself was welcoming customers with her bubbly personality and huge smile! As for the food? Take a look at these pics:
Karine's All Day Breakfast was able to accomodate M's gluten intolerance (dish above)
I got the vegan tofu scramble, but the main draw of the dish was all the exotic fruits I got to try! Dragon fruit is a new favorite!

I'm definitely adding Karine's to my brunch rotation. 

Karine's All Day Breakfast
109 McCaul Street
Toronto, ON
(416) 591-0863

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The 27th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival!!!!

This past weekend was the 27th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival! Not only did they offer amazing food samples, vegetarian/vegan cooking and 'uncooking' demonstrations and great deals on foodstuffs, but the festival is completely free to attend every year!

Because I have a fondness for free food samples, I make it a point to always attend and I've noticed that each year the festival gets better and better.

One of the most memorable characters that I was privileged to meet at the festival was an amazing vegan chef named Alan Roettinger.  In addition to having written two vegan cookbooks and being a full time private vegan chef, Alan is also a bit of a blogger.  You can visit his blog site by clicking here.  I met Alan after his food demonstration in which he prepared two speedy yet delicious recipes from his new book "Speed Vegan" in front of a live audience and again at his book booth where he was giving away free samples of vegan truffles that were made with Udo's 3-6-9 Oil Blend (which were amazing, by the way).  Alan's passion for the vegan lifestyle is highly infectious and I encourage you all to check out his blog and books if you are looking for delicious vegan recipes that are also incredibly nutritious (and high in Omega 3 fatty acids, too)!

Alan Roettinger
(719) 499-2113