Are you a contender?

April 11th, 2010 · Lisa · book review, Review · Comments

For most of us change is a scary, challenging experience. We are creatures of habit, comforted by routine. But as circumstances in our lives flux we need to adapt in order to realize our resilience. Some of the best experiences occur when you’re pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone.

What motivates you to commit to important improvements (a kinder euphemism for change?)?

I’ve never been into team sports but I love a personal challenge. As you know, I’m working on expanding my diet in order to improve my health and whatever pushes me along is being celebrated. Today it is all about friendly competition. Last year I won a hummus-off and I’ve been participating in the Daring Baker challenges for years but today I decided to up the ante with a couple of online competitions.

This afternoon, I spent a few hours playing with raw vegan Moon Pie flavours to enter in Heathy’s contest. The deadline is on April 17th so there is still time to get involved if you need an excuse to play with raw chocolate, dates, walnuts and more.

I have also been working on a beet creation to enter in Ricki’s SOS Kitchen Challenge. She is accepting entries until April 20th. Glorious, beautiful beets often show up on my plate but I hope this friendly competition will encourage some more beet devotees.

Reviewing cookbooks online and for the Toronto Vegetarian Association has been an incredible impetus for trying new recipes, ingredients and techniques (and has posed challenge in time management and grocery bills more than anything). I often have a stack of books full of post-it notes on my coffee table ready for discovery. Becoming Raw, my current study, has already impacted my approach to particular ingredients and my passion for new ways of working in my kitchen. I have worked through many of the salads, soups, smoothies and breakfasts but today I hit dessserts…

Chocolate Cranberry Nut Balls

Most raw books include a recipes for raw nut balls but this sweet treat is a serious contender for my favourite flavour combination. I also love the little hazelnut hanging out right in the centre.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’d like to share one of the dessert recipes with you (I have been generously granted permission by the Book Publishing Co.), let me know which recipe you would like to share with friends this spring?

Just as a reminder, the options are:
Coconut Macaroons
Chocolate-Cranberry Nut Balls
Mango Pie with Coconut Crust
Tutti-Frutti Ice Cream

In case you missed it, Brenda Davis joined us on the Toronto Vegetarian Podcast yesterday to discuss Vitamin D, Becoming Raw and her current projects.

Training Update:
Recently I have been saving Sunday mornings for some downtime. I keep a few unscheduled hours to just sit, think, read and relax. This new routine has me enthusiastically rising on Sunday mornings, ready to savour those solitary hours. 

After enjoying this joyful practice, the sun was up and the blue sky was calling to me. I went out for a strong 12 km run. I have been noticing a bit of congestion this work – I know it is related to spring as this has become an annual experience since moving to Toronto. It hasn’t stopped me from running but I certainly notice that my breathing is more strained than usual. 

It was a beautiful day and I got to visit with a friend and her 11 month old at the park, wander around downtown, do laundry, clean the kitchen and get ready for a busy week.

Do you schedule special alone time? Do you look forward to any particular solitary activities?

Do you ever find yourself watching culinary competition shows on television? Have you ever wanted to be a contestant? 

What prize would make it all worthwhile? I always wanted to be on “Just Like Mom” when I was little – I had a whole strategy planned. I told my Mom to look for the cookies that tasted like “orange pop”.

Times have changed.


  1. Posted April 11, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    I vote Mango Pie with coconut crust!

  2. Posted April 11, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    These chocolate-cranberry balls are looking pretty good to me! I vote for them. 🙂

    So glad you're entering the SOS Challenge–am looking forward to your creation!

  3. Posted April 12, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Lindsay – I think you will get your wish 🙂

    Ricki – I hope you like what I've come up with. I should be ready to share it soon.

  4. Posted April 12, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    I love this post! I am a firm believer in the importance of downtime, including solo downtime and few people get nearly enough, myself included. I find it very difficult to schedule the time, because I'll tend to schedule the time to be my "downtime", and then end up creating a list of things I want to do with that downtime. Even though it is things I enjoy it still feels like a rush to get it done.

    BUT one piece of downtime I do have every week almost always for sure, is my early Saturday morning newspaper read with a mug of tea. My partner likes to sleep in on Saturdays which means I'm not allowed to do anything that will make any noise, so I always start the day by reading the Saturday paper with a mug of tea by my side. We only get the paper on Saturdays so I really look forward to it – almost every Friday I'll say at some point in the evening THE NEWSPAPER COMES TOMORROW!

    AND YES WE LOVE THE CULINARY COMPETITIONS! Me and Robby are both big top chef fans.

  5. Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    I love your downtime routine. It sounds like the perfect day to kick-off your weekend.

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