ThanksGiving Weekend 2012

Happy ThanksGiving Canada!!!!

This year was to be our 2nd Vegan Thanksgiving. Last year was my first & I had so much fun preparing it. See here for my recipes & more!

This time around I found myself scheduled to work all weekend. Whaaat? That has NEVER happened!!!! I was extremely upset.😦 It took me a while to get over the fact that I wouldn’t be able to hangout with my boys all weekend! In fact, this was going to make everything seemed rushed…. I hate being rushed……

But Sunday Morning I was able to get in my 8k race with Callym. It was amazing to say the LEAST. We booted it to the starting line (only half a dozen blocks from home) & sipped on our Pumpkin Spice Latte’s while waking & warming up.

7:15 start is brutal! (But Beautiful)!

We enjoyed the run a lot. So many great & amazing people running & cheering. The energy on Race day is something else!

We made it in under 45 minutes. That little man didn’t stop once!Β 

And for that (& a Million other reasons) He deserved this medal!

Now…. Back to the ThanksGiving Feast!

Seeing as I had to work at all the moments made for cooking. I enlisted the help of my Beautiful, Sexy Husband. I made a small list of things that we could have & let him loose!

I must say, as upset as I was about not being the one to make all the food, I was also a bit excited to have such a wonderful dinner made for me!

The boys did a fantastic job of setting the table

including individual place settings (with Sugar Cookies as the APPETIZERS!!!)πŸ™‚

And the Food was AMAZING!

(here I have Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus, Roasted Veggies, Roasted Squash, Tofurky & Gravy). YUM

Chris even made home~made Pumpkin~Turtle Pie with Vegan Whip~Cream. (don’t you wish you were here with us!)

All in all I would have to say that this Thanksgiving was amazing. There are so SO many reasons that we are Tremendously Thankful (& we shared a bunch of them during dinner). I hope that you had a chance to spend time with Family & Friends this weekend! And thank you for being a part of the You.Naturally Family!

Eating to Live or Living to Eat. Why can’t you have Both?

Food. Eating. Balance. Treats. Healthy. Indulge. Binge. Diet. Starve. Raw. 80~20. Oil. Low Fat. Carbs. Plants. Protein. Animals. Paleo. Obesity. Skinny Fat.

Many people find this to be a constant struggle. It’s OK to love food, but do you

Live to Eat ~ or Eat to Live.

Many of you know that I have a love affair with Dr.J Fuhrman’s Eat to Live book, it’s truly one of the most amazing~must~read~health~conscious books of forever! This saying above (care of Socrates) is also October’s Monthly Mantra….

So do you Eat to Live or Live to Eat?

If you haven’t already read (& re~read this book). Stop what you’re doing & go get a copy. Come back to this post when you are done. My book is dog~eared to death, underlined everywhere, highlighted in yellow & pink, & has stars all over the place. This is THE book to read if you are Over~Weight, have an Illness (Diabetes, Inflammation, Heart~Burn, etc). As you should know, any serious illness needs a serious book!

Some insights from the book are:

They should move Refined Grains like White Bread, up to the Sweets Category because Metabolically they’re basically the same.

Keep in mind that most of the calories in meat come from fat, green veggies are mostly protein.

Trying is definitely not good enough

When the fats you consume are from whole foods rather than oils, you gain nature’s protective package; a balance of vitamins, minerals, fiber & phytonutrients.

He shows us the truth about many things we thought we knew….

And surprising ways to get sufficient Nutrients (like Calcium & Protein) from Whole Foods.

I even found this Incredible “Quote” in his book (a few times actually). & you know I had to share!!!πŸ™‚

I’m assuming that you are on your way out the door to pick up this book. So I’m keeping this post short & sweet. If you want to be healthy, pick up this book. It’s like a Bible for Great Health & a Better Life.

Something important to keep in mind. The Eat to Live book doesn’t teach you yet another ‘Die~T’ that may fail. It teaches you a sustainable way to live, eat & be healthy.

Here is Dr. Fuhrman in his own words sharing some of his incredible wisdom!

Now. Have you changed your mind about the way you Live to Eat & Eat to Live?

Warm & Fuzzy Feeling Autumn Stew

Fall is here, it’s finally here!πŸ™‚

I love summer don’t get me wrong, but there is something so comforting & cozy about fall that you just have to fall in love! When the weather gets cooler & the wind starts blowing the leaves around, I suprise my family with their favorite stew to warm them up from head to toe & keep them super happy & healthy.

Filled with delish & healthy seasonal Root Veggies, the amazing Anti~Inflammatory & Anti~Microbal; Garlic, Your Digestive systems best friend; Miso & one of my Top Ten Protein’s; Lentils you really can’t go wrong.

**I will warn you all in advance, Please Please Please make a double Recipe. I 100% Guarentte there will be no left~overs, & you will want some for lunch the next day.**

Start with Cutting everything up, the Veggies are up to you. Some Wonderful Ideas are:

2 Large Carrots

2 Medium Potatoes (Red, Blue, Sweet or Yams)

3-5 Large Garlic Cloves

1/2 Medium Squash Organic with the skin (Any type but Spaghetti will work)

2 Large Celery Sticks

1 Medium Onion

And anything else you love!

Once everything is Chopped. Start to slowly saute the Garlic & Onions in some Coconut Oil. When they are done beautifully throw in all your Root Veggies (Squash, Carrots, Potatoes, Celery, Yams, etc). Toss them around together & coat them with

1 TBsp of Tamarin or Soy Sauce &

1Tsp of both Cumin & Paprika (or Cayenne if you can handle it)!

Once coated thru, & you smell the gorgeous aroma’s you need to add in your Vegan (or Vegetarian) Broth.

Put this on to Boil for about 15~20 minutes.

Now add in 1 cup of Red Lentils (if adding Green Lentils, add them in before the boil).

Also add in another 1TBsp of Tamarin or Soy Sauce & 1Tsp of both Cumin & Paprika (againπŸ™‚ )

Once it’s simmered for around 20~30 minutes & the Root Veggies are soft. (or you just can’t handle the incredible scents any longer) Grab your bowl, add a heaping TBsp of Miso to it & pour a small spoonful of Broth over top to mix. Once done add in your soup/stew!

Top off with Fresh Basil & some Healthy 3~6~9 oil & you’re totally good to go!

Like I mentioned, this is a Family Fav in our house. The kids (& hubby) can smell it out in the hall when I’m cooking & usually run to the table with Hands washed & ready to go. Try it out next time the wind is blowing the leaves around & you feel a chill in the air. Heck, try it out today & let me know in the comments how you liked it! (& what you’r choice ingredients were!)

*to give credit where credit is due, the orignal recipe is from the ever beautiful Alicia Silverstone & her book ‘The Kind Diet’. Find her here on FaceBook & tell her where you found itπŸ™‚

Roll into Lunch with these 2 new Rolls!

Getting bored of the same old Sandwiches & Salads? My kids sure are! Here’s an easy & yummy way of getting unstuck & still keep it Healthy!

ROLL #1.

This works best if you make extra Brown Rice the night before & have it cold & ready in the Fridge. I know most people say you need ‘sushi’ rice to make sushi, but it’s just not the case! When you’re ready grab your Nori sheet & Roller & add a bunch of Brown Rice. (mines a little yellow because I cooked it with Turmeric)

Make sure you get it all the way to the end or it won’t stay closed when you roll it.

Now there are a million ways to fill your Sushi. Cucumbers, Salsa, Lettuce, Hummus, Chard, Olives, Beans,Carrots, ANYTHING! Today I really wanted to just keep it SUPER SIMPLE! All I added was a bunch of Roasted RedPepper Miso.

I rolled this baby up, cut & ate it faster then a bat~outta~hell!!!πŸ™‚

Because this Brown Rice wasn’t ‘sushi’ rice, it wasn’t as sticky. But that didn’t bother me one bit. These babies are SO fast & easy to make, plus they taste delish & are healthy (depending on what you put in them).


These Rolls were inspired by my Aunt who brought over some really cool Wraps (& some delish Trader Joe’s Almond Butter over on a trip here a few weeks ago)

These wraps are even simpler then the Sushi ones above.

Simply take your favorite Sandwich fillings (here we have Almond butter & Raspberry Jam). And….

You guessed itπŸ™‚


Pop these babies into your lunch (or your kids lunch). And away you go! Easy, Simple, Healthy! Add a Banana in there if you’re keen. Or make a salad wrap, Bean wrap, Hummus & Salsa wrap, the possiblilites are Endless!

What are your favorite Rolls to make? Have I inspired you to make anything yummy today?

Remember, It’s still May, & May’s Mantra is:

Everytime u eat it’s an opportunity to make yourself healthier or more ill. What will you Choose?

& Race Day Came!

Saturday night finally came, (the night before my FIRST EVER 10K) & I was filled with Running thoughts in my Brain (haha, pun intended), Butterflies in my Stomach (excited ones not nervous ones), Visions of an under 60 minute finish with my kids & hubby cheering me on, as well as a seriously horrid case of Sciatica in both legs.😦 (the Sciatica hit me on Friday with a crazy vengeance & I had resorted to taking a few Advil’s a day to keep from crying my eyes out & ripping my legs offπŸ˜‰ )

Anyways. Onto Race Day!

We were going to wake up early (early for a Sunday) & make the 8am Ferry over to the Mainland, ease our way North to Parksville & stop in LadySmith for the best in the world Cinnamon Buns. But…. as it turned out there was no 8am ferry on Sundays! (there was a 9am ferry ~making us late for the start of the race, or a 7am ferry ~making us wake up extremely early). We had to wake up extra early (6am, Seriously???) Oh, & the Ladysmith Bakery was closed on Sunday…. Whaaaat??? My kids were not impressed!

But they were still SO supportive of me doing this & being able to be there to cheer me on! So 6am came & we all woke up with near the excitement of Christmas Morning (maybe that was just me?). Actually, little Ozzie was up before 6 with a big proud smile onπŸ™‚ Love my Boys!!

We all piled into the car & made it safely across to the Big Island.

The drive up was uneventful, the boys played their iPod & DS & I think I was in & out of a strange kind of high, still sleepy but so excited…. is there such a land? We made it to Nanaimo & stopped by Starbuck’s. (It’s a weird guilty pleasure). We had a small very un~healthy breakfast & I had a latte. A latte? Wtf? So weird!!

haha! (that little cup was a sample of their ‘blonde’ roast that we wanted to try). Having to take such an early Ferry gave us a lot (A LOT) of time to just hang out & chill.

Once we got to Parksville the boys dropped me off to get ready & they headed back a few blocks to check out a Car Show. Oh boys :)!! I still had over an hour to wait, so I headed to the Beach to sit & Meditate a little. It was a gorgeous day & so peaceful there. A great way to start Race Day.

Once I got my bib & changed into some shorts, it was time. The boys walked me to the Start/Finish line & had such big proud smiles even before I started! They were saying how much they loved me, how proud they were, & that they knew that I was going to ‘win’.πŸ™‚ (again, love my boys, all 3 of them *especially the one hiding behind the camera!).

I have to add, I was worried about my Sciatica acting up during the run, I had brought some Advil with me just in case, but after having that Coffee at Starbuck’s it didn’t seem to be bothering meπŸ™‚ Was coffee the Majikal answer?

I’m pretty sure I was all smiles too. I still wasn’t nervous, I was just waiting to have a ton of fun! That was my #1 goal, number 2 goal was to finish in under an hour. I’ve been running 8.5k on Salt Spring & was coming in around 56 minutes, but I knew the Messed~Up Crazy hills were slowing me down. I was confidentπŸ˜‰

Count down. T minus 1 minute.



Once we got settled into a few groups, I saw a girl with a Green shirt that seemed to have a great pace. I thought I would try to keep up with her. It was comfortable enough & I was happy. I wanted to stay between 5.2 & 5.6 minutes per km. Around the same time another girl with Bright Pink Shorts came around that seemed to have the same pace as me. I had to options now. Back & forth we went, all the while I’m sure I had a dorky smileπŸ™‚ haha!

I had heard a rumor that there was a hill near the beginning of the course. I saw it coming, but it was nothing like the Hills I was use to. I did fine! But just around that time I lost Pink shorts behind me & noticed that Green Shirt had taken off. I was on my own. No matter. The lovely lady on my MapMyRUN app was telling me that my desired pace was going fine. 1km. 2km. 3km. 4km. 5km. (I took my Vega Gel Pack).

When running at home, I usually stop by now for a little walk. I wanted to rest for a moment, but I didn’t want to get ‘stuck’ walking. 30 seconds seemed reasonable. I walked as fast as I could for half a minute. Took another gulp of my Vega Drink & took off again. I seemed to have more energy. Love! (I did this 30sec walk 3 or 4 times during the race & think I love it)

6km. 7km. 7.5km. 8km. 8.5km. This is now the longest I’ve EVER run. EVER. In my LIFE! I was beaming. (I was also HOT, the sun was out in full force & there was nearly no shade to be found)

By this time I had a crazy ‘runners high’ & was not listening to the MapMyRUN lady, & could barely hear Adele blaring what was now Running in the Deep. I had no idea how far I had yet to go. After the 8km point we had turned around & were on the same street just going the other way. I was pretty sure that there was just 1km left. That excited me so much that I started to sprint. Not sprint sprint, but I sure picked up the pace. I thought running faster for the last km would be fine. I had the energy stillπŸ˜‰ . I ran & ran & ran. It felt great to push it, I was feeling it. It was hard, I was hot.

Then I saw it.

There it was.


The 9km sign.


I think I actually screeched my runners a bit. haha. Sure I slowed down a bit, but I didn’t stop.

I was out of water. I was hot. I knew it was almost over. I wanted to see my boys. For a split second I thought of texting Chris to tell him I was almost there.

Then I really saw it. The finish line. I was there! This time I really started to sprint, but by then my legs were pretty done so my sprint was kind of patheticπŸ™‚

Tamara Lukie at 57:44

I did it!!!!

#1~ have fun


#2~ finish under 1 hour


My kids were so proud of me! Callym even said he’d like to run a 10k with me next time! Gosh that little man makes me wanna push myself more & more each & every day!

After a cool down we had a little bite to eat. I had some Vega Restore Drink & small Bar, some Oranges & Snap Peas. I did not feel hungry. What I really wanted was the Vega Restore Smoothie (but I forgot to pick one up). We waited around for a while to see the times. I came forth in my age group, something to strive for next time for sure! We even watched some of the presentations afterwards, but I think we waited too long. I was starting to get hungry, & going from hot to chilled & back again wasn’t too fun either. We finally left & I picked up some Vega. YUM.

I need to add again, after the Run I was kind of waiting for the Sciatica to kick in again. To my Wonder & Amazement, it didn’t. Was it the Coffee? Had I run the Sciatica right outta my legs? I don’t know, but I am so SO grateful that it’s goneπŸ™‚

Being on the Big Island was a treat for us, so we hit the Mall, the boys had some Toys R Us cash & I wanted to see if Winners had Chia & Flax on saleπŸ™‚ . I was still feeling pretty fuzzy in the head & maybe a bit nauseous.😦 Boo, Where was that runners high I had earlier?

It was now around 3pm. The race had finished 2 hours ago & the boys were getting hungry! We hit a place called Delicado’s in Nanaimo. It’s the BOMB for Mexican. I ordered my usual Spinach Burrito, but really felt like sleeping instead. I felt like I just couldn’t eat. It was at this time that I noticed Sukhi Muker’s status on FaceBook about getting 2 pizza’s after his Ironman. Hmmm, I thought. Maybe I should eat something substantial? So I took a bite. I could always bring it home if it really wasn’t what I needed. (thank you Sukhi!!)

Oh Dear Buddha……. This Burrito was making me feel AMAZING!!! Every Bite I took was filled with Energy & Love! I should have ordered twoπŸ™‚ That was it, that was the problem. My body was slowly shutting down after all that heat & exhurtion because I wasn’t feeding it anything! duh! So I finished up & felt great. In fact, before we left town we stopped & got some SuperGreen Salad & Pasta Salad for me too. (A good lesson to remember for me here: Even though I had all the Vega Prepare, Sustain & Recover stuff, Eating Real Food to Help your Body Recover is way beyond anything else you can do!) Here you can see how Hungry I truly was, I took a bite of the plateπŸ˜‰

The rest of our trip was pretty un~eventful. We stopped by our old stomping grounds in SaltAir. The tide was low & the boys wanted to find some baby crabs.

We made it home & relaxed & cleaned up. I had a small glass of wine to celebrate & took some time to think about this 1/2 that I’m signed up for in June. I was really having second thoughts about it. 10k is great. It’s long enough to push but short enough to still be a lot of fun. 1/2 a Marathon is far. I mean A LOT further then 10, that’s for sure. I was thinking that I would switch my registration from the 1/2 to a 10. But after checking out the site I found out that my only options are a 5k or a 1/2……….

So I have to start practicing running further. But still having fun. I will do the 1/2, & I will finish it, but I will have fun. That is still my number 1 goal. FUN. (& this time I won’t wait so long to chow down on that Burrito!)

What have you learnt in your Runs that you can share with us newbies? Did you Relax or ‘Go Hard’ this weekend?

Yummy Beet Craving turns into Salad over Rice!

Hey all You.Naturally Healthy Peeps!!! How are you? Have you been eating well? I’ve been craving Beets. Do you get cravings? I must admit that Craving Beets is much better then craving chips or other ‘junky’ foods.

I finally gave into my craving, but I didn’t want just a regular ‘beet~ish’ dinner~ so after checking out a few of my Fav Recipe Sites, I decided to make something similar to Angela’s Citrus Beet Salad. I had everything but a Grapefruit so this was great! As I was picking up the GrapeFruit, I thought that I would make this meal over Rice. We are on a rice kick right now & just can’t get enough of this Sprouted Rice I bought at Costco. Anyways, I pretty much made this the way Angela says, only I put some lettuce on a plate then topped it with Rice & the Citrus & Beet Salad. The Avocado Lime (I only had Lemons) Dressing was AMAZING!!!! I could have eaten it by itself (in fact, Chris & I did it a lot of it with our fingersπŸ˜‰ )

This totally hit the spot for us. It was light enough for the warmer weather but filling enough with the rice to be an entire meal. I hope you try it, & I hope you enjoy it!

What kind of cravings do you get? Do you indulge in them?