Thursday, 30 July 2009

Logo Lingo

Logo fatigue is a phenomenon where consumers get so overwhelmed by the countless number of logos they are exposed to each day, that the true meaning of these logos become lost. With the recent addition of the new Canada Organic logo, I thought I should do a post on the most prevalent eco logos in order to clear things up.

As of June 30, 2009 new regulations regarding organic labelling came into effect in Canada. This regulation ensures that products using the term "organic" are certified according to Canadian organic standards. Remember my previous post on Nature's Baby Organics products - most of which are not actually organic? Well this new logo will help you avoid these types of companies. When you see this logo, you can rest assured that the product is genuinely organic. Seen On: I have yet to see this logo on any products, but I'm sure it's being printed into new product packaging as we speak.

This third party, non profit organization works all over the globe to ensure sustainable farming and forestry practises. Rainforest Alliance standards increase efficiency, reduce waste, minimize pesticide use and provide health care and education to workers and their families. This logo does not mean the product is organic or fairly traded. Seen On: bananas, coffee, chocolate, organ juice, maple syrup, paper, and flooring.

Founded in 1988 by the Government of Canada, the ecologo is now North America's most respected environmental logo (YAY Canada)! Products bearing this logo have met stringent environmental standards verified by a third party auditor. EcoLogo has certified thousands of products in a large variety of categories. Seen on: coffee, napkins, toilet paper, cosmetics, cleaning products, rechargeable batteries and paint.

The FSC is an international, non-profit organization that supports environmental forestry management. Founded in 1993 in Toronto, FSC certified products come from responsibly manged forests and/or recycled sources. Products with this logo help prevent deforestation, reduce CO2 gases, protect endangered species and prevent the planting of genetically modified (GM) trees. Seen On: lumber, flooring, panelling, doors, furniture and paper products.

Initially a US based program, the energy star logo is used throughout Canada, Europe, Japan, Taiwan Australia and New Zealand. Since 1992, products with the energy star logo are the most energy efficient appliances on the market. In order to display this logo products must use 10-50% less energy than their eco-unfriendly counterparts. Seen On: stoves, fridges, washer, dryers, household electronics, furnaces and air conditioners.

With lots of trading between Canada and the US, Canadians often see this USDA organic logo on products sold here - the true north strong and free. Products featuring this designation are certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture. This means that similarly to our newly released organic label, these products were grown without the use of artificial or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers were used. Genetic modification is also prohibited, so eat up! Seen On: fruit, vegetables, beverages, skin care products and clothing.

Still waiting for the new Canada Organic logo to start appearing on your favourite products? Well it might take some time for companies to print up their new packaging. In the meantime look for these logos of Canadian organic certifiers - when you see these logos you'll know it's 100% organic (food) or at least 95% organic (non-food, such as shampoo, moisturizers, etc ...).

(formerly OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada Inc.)

A non-profit, member owned certification agent.



 Administers certification for biodynamic farming.

What is biodynamic farming, you might ask after reading about this last certifier? Well stay tuned for next week's post when I visit my local biodynamic farm ...
For more information, click on the title of the logo or certifier.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Sweet Corn Chowder (raw & vegan)

Breakfast: Groovy Tangy Raw Smoothie (recipe adapted from a previous post)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • Small piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 cup filtered water
Combine everything in the blender.

I didn't have any raspberries today, so I used blueberries instead. The smoothie turned a dark purple colour and was delicious.

Lunch: Raw Sweet Corn and Cashew Chowder (recipe from Ani Phyo via Food & Wine)

  • 3 1/4 cups fresh yellow corn kernels (from 4 large ears)
  • 2 cups water (I only used 1)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (I used 1 teaspoon of sea salt)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped cilantro leaves (for garnish)
  • Freshly ground pepper
In a blender, combine 2 1/4 cups of the corn with the water, cashews, olive oil, garlic and salt and puree until smooth. Pour the soup into bowls. Garnish with the remaining 1 cup of corn kernels, the cilantro and a sprinkle of pepper, then serve.

Dinner: Smoothie repeat

I was feeling a bit under the weather today, so I didn't feel like eating the dinner I had planned (I'll save that recipe for next week). Instead I made myself another smoothie (similar to the one from this morning).

Dessert: Raw Peaches & "Cream" (recipe from 101 Cookbooks)
  • 3 peaches
  • 1/2 cup whole raw cashews
  • 2-4 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract (alcohol free)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of sea salt

Soak the cashews for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse. In a blender or food processor, blend cashews, honey, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt until smooth. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Peel the peaches and slice into thin slices. Fold the cashew sauce into the sliced peaches. Spoon the peach and cashew mixture into dessert cups. Allow to chill for an hour or two in the refrigerator.

I still managed to chow down this yummy dessert, despite feeling a bit sick today (LOL!). The cinnamon and nutmeg gives it a spicy flavour that was quite nice. Again this was originally a pie recipe, but I have omitted the pie. Next week I should be making my first raw pie when some visitors come. YAY! Until 'then ...

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Eco Wedding Gifts

It's wedding season! Of course you plan on giving your newlywed friends green gifts to celebrate their new life together. Here are some ideas:
  • Bamboo/organic cotton blend bedding. Don't let your friends and family sleep in pesticide laden bedding. These silky soft 250 thread-count sheets are an eco-friendly blend of 50% bamboo and 50% organic cotton. Made from all natural fibers, so it's breathable, lightweight and the bamboo helps to wick away the sweat, keeping you dry. Available online from Gaiam. Prices range from $36-229 USD.

  • Bamboo garment rack. Of course you don't use a dryer and neither should the newlyweds. Double up on your green impact by hanging your wet laundry (therefore saving energy) on this beautiful bamboo rack (made from sustainable materials). Available at Canadian Tire. $169.

  • EARTHchef bamboo kitchen accessories. No one wants to chop, serve and store their food in plastic that leaches BPA or wooden utensils made from trees that will take decades to grow back. So give the couple-to-be bamboo utensils instead. Bamboo grows super quick (3-5 years), and since the plant is anti-bacterial its perfect for use in the kitchen to minimize germs without harsh chemical cleaners. Available at The Bay, Zellers and Home Outfitters.

  • Counter top compost container. Collecting your kitchen waste in this chic container helps to save trips out to the compost while keeping the kitchen neat and odour free. Available at Canadian Tire. $19.99.

  • His & Hers organic cotton bathrobes. What could be better on a cold winter night than wrapping a plush, super soft organic cotton robe around you and your new spouse? These luxurious robes allow you to give a lavish gift while remaining true to your values. Not made in a sweat shop. Available online at $169-179.

  • Solar lanterns & garden decor. Widely popular, even outside green communities, solar powered lanterns, lights and garden accessories are super easy to install and available in many stylish designs. They collect power in the daytime and automatically turn on when it gets dark. Be careful not to buy the kind that requires batteries. Some of the more inexpensive lights use the solar panel to charge a rechargeable battery which powers the light. The battery usually only lasts one year, requiring you to buy new batteries every year. Widely available in a large selection of prices.

  • Simple Human recyclers. I LOVE this rectangular recycler. The removable dual bins inside make sorting waste easy, and the patented lid closes slowly preventing it from slamming shut like most petal garbage containers. Pair this gift with the counter top compost pail and the newlyweds have all their eco bases covered. Available at The Bay or online at $179.99.

  • Raw vegan uncooking classes for 2. Give the gift that keeps on giving - to the planet. Pay for raw food classes which will teach the couple how to prepare nutritious, delicious, live food that minimizes waste and environmental degradation. Pair this gift with a raw food accessory such as a spiralizer, or his & hers hemp aprons personalized with the couples' initials embroidered on the front is also a nice present.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Raw Raw Rasputin (recipes)

LOL! Can you tell I'm running out of clever titles!

Breakfast: Raw Pretty in Pink Smoothie

  • handful of fresh strawberries, hulled & quartered
  • 1 mango, peeled, cut into bite sized pieces and frozen overnight
  • 1 banana, peeled, sliced and frozen overnight
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • water (to make it blend)
Toss everything in the blender and whizz until smooth. The drink comes out a beautiful soft pink colour. YUM!

Lunch: Raw Tomato Soup
Leftovers from last week's lunch. This soup freezes well. I thawed it overnight and added 1 chopped tomato as garnish. I also had a small cabbage salad on the side (not pictured).

Dinner: Raw "Pasta" with Raw Basil Pesto (recipe from gone raw)
  • 1 zucchini per person, julienned or spiralized
  • 2 cups (packed) basil, de-stemmed
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 olive oil (cold-pressed)
  • water (to blend)
Throw everything (except the zucchini) into the blender until smooth. Serve over zucchini noodles. Garnish with more pine nuts and freshly ground black pepper. I used half a yellow zucchini and half a green one, as well as a few pieces of broccoli stem cut up with my julienne peeler.

Dessert: Raw Chocolate Pudding with Raw Chocolate Walnut Cookies
PUDDING - (recipe adapted from gone raw)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana (the riper the more sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol free)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons water (if needed to blend)
In a large bowl, mash the avocado and banana with a fork. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. If the mixture is too thick add some water and stir. Serve immediately or refrigerate to save for later. Alternatively you can mix everything together in a blender or food processor.

COOKIES - (recipe from Ani Phyo via Go Diary Free)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1⁄4 cup raw carob powder (I used cacao)
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
Combine the raisins, walnuts, carob powder, and salt in the food processor. Process until the dough begins sticking together. Press the dough into a pan in a thin even layer. Or you can roll into balls and flatten into a round shape. Freeze for 30 minutes. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for later.
I cut the cookies into triangles and placed them on the outside of the pudding cups as garnish. However the cookies are fantastic just own their own too!! Another gggggreat recipe courtesy of Ani. Chocolate and walnut is one of my favourite food combinations.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Raw Kitchen Tales

Breakfast: Groovy Tangy Raw Smoothie (recipe from Green Appetite)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • Small piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 cup filtered water
Combine everything in the blender.
Lunch: Raw Tomato Soup

Another repeat soup.

Dinner: Raw Veggie Bowl
Quick & easy supper tonight. I pretty much threw all the veggies that I needed to use up in a bowl and topped with olive oil and lemon. My bowl used: zucchini (julienned), broccoli, romaine lettuce, orange bell pepper, cucumber, carrots (julienned), mango, parsley and mint. Normally I would have put some tomato in there too, but I left it out today because I had tomato soup for lunch.

Dessert: Raw Raspberry Delight (my own creation)

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 3 hours
  • 1/4 cup raw coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2-4 tablespoons raw sweetener (depending on taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol free or use seeds from a vanilla bean)
  • 2 handfuls of raspberries
  • water
Combine everything in the blender. Add enough water to make it blend. Pour into dessert cups and chill for a few hours. Garnish with mint (if you want). This one is so delicious I couldn't stop eating it!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Post Yoga Snack

Here's a simple pudding that I whipped up in 5 minutes for after yoga:
  • several scoops of jelly out of a young coconut
  • handful of strawberries
  • pinch of sea salt

Combine everything in the blender until smooth. Depending on the strawberries, you may want to add some raw sweetener. Pour into dessert cups and chill for a few hours - or start chowing down right away.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Raw Menu Du Jour

Breakfast: Raw Blueberry Banana Mint Smoothie

The mint is in full bloom in our garden, so I made this smoothie yet again.

Lunch: Raw Spinach Soup
One of my fave's from May.

Dinner: Broccoli with "Cheese"

I used the leftover nacho "cheese" from last week to pour over cut broccoli.

Dessert: Raw Banana Pudding (recipe from gone raw)
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for several hours
  • 6 dates
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw sweetener
  • dash salt
  • dash allspice
Combine everything in a blender. Pour into dessert cups and chill.

Another day, another belly full of raw goodness!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Bamboo Yourself

So you already know that bamboo is a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to wood. But do you know the benefits of wearing bamboo? If not, then read on!
  • Bamboo is anti-bacterial, so clothing made from this plant is perfect to wear when exercising and as under garments (bamboo underwear and bras are sublime!).

  • Bamboo is also naturally very absorptive, thus bamboo fabrics quickly absorb and evaporate sweat and moisture. This makes bamboo great for towels, exercise clothing and summer wear.

  • Bamboo provides UV protection, so get out there on those sunny days. Consider buying bamboo blinds and curtains.

  • In contrast with the coarse grass, bamboo fabrics are soft and silky to the touch, and since it's a natural fiber it's breathable against your skin. Many people even find it cooler than cotton.

  • Bamboo is 100% biodegradable! This means when you throw out your bamboo clothing you can rest easy knowing you won't be polluting the earth during decomposition.

And don't forget about bamboo soap ... yes soap! I have just recently discovered bamboo soap myself and I haven't looked back since. I have very sensitive skin and have been known to break out when using soaps that are supposedly "all natural" from Lush or similar stores. But bamboo soap is very gentle. It's naturally mineral and nutrient rich, and since the bamboo plant is anti-bacterial the soap freshens my skin without any harsh chemicals (no thank you sodium laureth sulfate).

If you can get your hands on bamboo charcoal, it's great to use around the house for freshening and removing odours. Put some in the fridge and it will absorb food odours. Put a few pieces behind the toilet to remove bathroom odours (nice for those days when you over-do-it on the green juice). Ask your local health food store to order some food grade bamboo charcoal and use it to purify water. I haven't tried the water purification yet, but I've heard it's good for that too.

Happy bamboo'ing!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Yoga Asana of the Month (July)

This month's posture is one of my favs - pigeon pose (eka pada rajakapotasana). The video shows a seated initiation, but I like to start in downward facing dog, then bring one leg forward, bending it while bringing it forward onto the mat. Once in the pose, you can also place your hands on either side of you on the mat and arch your spine backwards for a nice back stretch.

Note: The above video is provided by YouTube. I have no control over the ads within this video. I am not affiliated with these advertisers, and do not endorse their products.

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