Tag Archives: dairyfree

Interview with Kathy Divine: Author of Plant-Powered Women

 

 

Kathy Divine portrait - for web

Recently I had the pleasure to interview Kathy Divine, an inspiring vegan writer, about her new book Plant-Powered Women.  Kathy thanks very much for talking to us today.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a vegan author from Sydney, Australia. My mission in life is to share the benefits of the vegan lifestyle with others. I’ve published four books: Forever 21, Vegans Are Cool, Plant-powered Men and the soon-to-be-released Plant-Powered Women. I also enjoy blogging and run an interview-based blog at www.VegansAreCool.com.

I love being vegan because it’s a great feeling knowing my food choices don’t cause harm to animals and I feel healthier and happier as a vegan. The food is also super delicious!

 

What lead you to a plant-based lifestyle?

Initially, when I was at university, I lived with a flatmate who was studying to be a dietician. She shared the health benefits of being vegetarian with me, so I tried it. At the same time, I was reading spiritual books about the benefits of being vegetarian for meditation practice, so that also had an effect on me. Soon after that, I began to connect with the animal cruelty aspect of eating, and made the firm commitment to become a lacto-vegetarian. About ten years later, after learning about the cruelty within the dairy industry, I made the commitment to be vegan, and haven’t looked back since. I’ve been vegan for about eight years.

 

How did you find the transition to a plant-based diet?

I really enjoyed fast food when I was younger, so it was a bit hard giving that up. Fortunately, that is not an issue for people wanting to go vegan anymore, because there are businesses such as Lord of the Fries (in Sydney and Melbourne) that cater to the vegan fast food craving. I also loved chocolate and ice cream, but once I discovered the vegan versions, it was very easy to stick with my vegan commitment. These days there is a vegan version of everything you can imagine. It’s a simple transition once you discover the alternatives.

 

What benefits have you noticed?

The main benefit is that animals don’t suffer because of my food choices. Even if there were no personal benefits, I would still be vegan because I feel that it’s an ethical and cruelty-free way to live, and ultimately that’s the kind of person I want to be. Being vegan has brought me tremendous health benefits though. I experienced several years of suffering from fibromyalgia. Through seeking the assistance of a vegan naturopath, Robyn Chuter, I was able to eliminate the pain by following her whole food, vegan diet plan. Fibromyalgia is traditionally really hard to reverse, so my experience truly illustrates how powerful vegan food can be.

 

How long have you been a writer?

Well, I’ve been writing since I was about 5 years old, hehe… I published my first book in 2011 called Forever 21. I’ve always enjoyed expressing my thoughts through writing.

 

What inspired you to write Plant-Powered Women?

After publishing Plant-Powered Men last year, many people requested a similar book for women. Aside from that, the countless numbers of vegan women worldwide doing extraordinary things to bring veganism into the mainstream was my inspiration for doing this book and they will continue to be throughout my life. Vegan women are amazing!

 

Who is Plant-Powered Women targeted at?

Plant-Powered Women is the perfect book for anyone wanting inspiration to embark on a vegan lifestyle. It is a great gift to give to your mum, sister, aunt or best friend who has shown an interest in living a healthier lifestyle or a more compassionate one, and you can be reassured that the women in the book will take their hand and lovingly explain and describe what the vegan lifestyle is all about.

 

Where can people purchase your books?

My books are available from all major online bookstores and from selected retailers. To pre-order my new book Plant-Powered Women, click here:igg.me/at/ppwomen.

Thanks again Kathy and all the best with your new book.

 

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Breakfast Ice-cream

Breakfast Ice-cream

Ice-cream for breakfast? You can eat it all day long on a high raw, plant based diet

For the base blend: 3 frozen and 1 fresh banana with 1 tablespoon of almond butter and a heaped teaspoon of cacao powder

On the top blend 2 frozen bananas, 3 soft dates and 1 vanilla pod.

And for an extra health kick, drizzle some black strap molasses.

Black strap molasses will give you b vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, and great hair 🙂

Eat it guilt free 🙂

Note: Always make sure you use really ripe bananas (spotty skins) to ensure sweetness and optimal digestion.

Mini Chocolate Cakes

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One of the things that I love about this lifestyle is that you can eat chocolate, ice-cream and dessert at any time of the day, whilst losing weight and feeling healthy.  It is also nice to be able let your kids eat decadent foods that you know aren’t full of rubbish.

These chocolate mini cakes are easy to make.  No dehydrator required, just a food processor and/or high speed blender.

Base:

1 cup of almonds

1 cup of soft dates

1/4 of cup of shredded coconut

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture  holds together. (add a teaspoon of water if needed).  Press a tablespoon of mixture into muffin tins.

Middle:

1/4 cup coconut butter (not to be confused with coconut oil)

1/4 cup raw almond butter

1/4 cup coconut nectar.

In a clean food processor blend together the ingredients for the almond fudge until well blended. Add mixture to your bases and clean your food processor for the chocolate icing.

 

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1 cup of soft dates

1/4 of a cup of coconut oil

1/4 of a cup of cacao powder

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla.

Blend until smooth and spread icing over cupcakes.  Place in the freezer to set.

Licking the spoon is mandatory. photo

Yields 9

 

 

 

 

 

Nutrient dense

The easiest way to the get the good stuff into my kids is via smoothies.  Nut milks are a great way of balancing out the fruit and keeping their tummies full.  Chia seeds will give them fibre, protein, omega 3 EFA’s, calcium, iron and magnesium.  I have recently discovered the goodness of camu powder.  It is a Peruvian super food which is rich in vitamin C and amino acids.  You purchase it and many other super foods at http://www.iherb.com?rcode=ZNZ931.

Just be sure to make enough for yourself

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Homemade Almond Butter

Homemade Almond Butter

Not to be attempted when you are in a hurry.
You’ll need natural almonds, a little salt, a food processor, and time. It is a much longer process than making cashew nut or macadamia nut butters but well worth the amount of patience required. It’s cheaper than buying it so winning.

To begin:
Add 3 cups of almonds to your food processor with the S blade fitted.

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Start your processor and let it run for a couple of minutes at a time.  As it processes  the nuts will build up around the top, so be sure to keep pushing them down.

Your machine will start to get hot so you may want to rest it periodically – which in turn will add to your processing time.

At about the 15 minute mark you should start to see some changes.

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The almond mixture will start to form a ball and get quite warm, rest your machine if you like. Give it a mix up and keep going.

 

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By now it is starting to look like the real deal – but it’s not 🙂 Keep going. It was at this point I added a couple of pinches of sea salt.

Once it starts to look grainy, don’t stop.  Push through until it is soft and oily.  The first time I made this I stopped a few minutes short of perfection.  It is really worth going the extra mile.

 

At the 30-35 minute mark (not including the time it took to stop and mind children etc we had beautiful almond butter.

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Store in an glass jar and keep refrigerated for up to a month.  You can use it in raw treats, as a spread, in smoothies or as a dip. It is sensational spread on apple slices 🙂

Apple Pie Smoothie.

Apple Pie Smoothie.

This is something I just made for my son who has autism. He suffers from severe communication problems and for the past few days has been saying apple pie numerous times.
I found a great recipe from the raw chef but didn’t have all the ingredients, so I just adapted with what we had around the house.

Recipe:
2 peeled apples
1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons of coconut butter
1 cup of homemade almond milk
1 vanilla pod
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
A good pinch of nutmeg
A quarter of an avocado
1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
Blend it on medium in your high speed blender or similar.

It is quite heavy in fat, so not for everyday but it has made a young boy very happy 🙂

Mint Chocolate and Caramel Swirl

Mint Chocolate and Carmel Swirl

I’ve made a variation of this before which you can find here http://rawkiwi.org/2014/02/28/caramel-chocolate-bites/

For the chocolate section I used 1/2 teaspoon of alcohol free peppermint essence instead of vanilla. For a different effect I used a tooth pick to mix small spoonfuls of caramel through the chocolate base. The caramel is seriously good. Full of fat but really good.

 

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If you are looking to add even more sweetness to your day, this should hit the spot.

Juice

1 ripe pineapple.

3 celery sticks.

1 cucumber.

🙂

Life Changing.

If you are looking for motivation  to make a change for the better then read Livian’s story.  Having been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder and facing cancer twice she took control of her health by adopting a plant based diet. I am constantly inspired by those whom take control of their lives instead accepting another outcome, and Livian is truly one of these people.

 

 

“My name is Livian and I am a vegan”….geez those are words I never thought I would hear myself say!

My journey began when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2011. I was in the middle of my radiation treatment when I started paying more attention to what my friend Nicole was saying about listening to your body, and healthy eating.

My interest was piqued so I thought I would talk to her some more. She would often send me articles and written information about “eating clean”. I thought I would give it a go and convinced myself I could just try it slowly, and see what I thought. As hard as I tried, I would often “fall off the wagon” and I couldn’t understand why. I then realised I wasn’t ready. I mean really ready.

That was until October 2012. I had come home from a family holiday in Queensland. I felt bloated and tired. I was unhealthy, seriously overweight and very unhappy.

It was like a light bulb went off and I thought, ”I can’t do this anymore, what if the cancer comes back?” I wanted to be here for my kids!. That day on 4th October, 2012, I believe was when my life really began.

I started reading all I could on the internet and I started picking the brains of my friend Nicole. I can’t tell you how many texts were exchanged at all hours of the night and from there I started slowly withdrawing each of my vices. First to go was red meat; then fish; white meat; eggs; milk then cheese. With each food I withdrew from, I sought Nicole’s advice and added something in its place.

Instead of rice – I discovered the beauty of Quinoa! Instead of cheese in my salads, I got the same “creamy fix” from avocado! I discovered lentils (home made lentil patties are a great meat substitute) Nicole turned me onto the divine heaven that is medjool dates inside strawberries! Banana and spinach smoothies; blueberry and frozen bananas (as ice-cream) – the list goes on.

Nicole also put me onto the book “Skinny Bitch” which was a real “A – HA!!” moment. She promised me I would never look back after I read that book, and she was right. This book was pivotal to changing my attitude about what I was putting into my body. This book plus “Raw Kiwi” was a real “one two punch” a life saving partnership for me!!

I found that as a result of following the principles of “Raw Kiwi” and changing to a vegan lifestyle, not only have I been able to become more in tune with what my body needs, I am healthier. I have lost 23 kilos (50 pounds) and have lost 4 dress sizes.  When I last went for my oncology check ups in December 2013, my Oncologist  (apart from being amazed at how great I looked and she almost didn’t recognise me!) said that my bloodwork was the best since I first got Thyroid Cancer in 2007 (yeah I’ve been around the Cancer mulberry bush more than once).

I think another factor in the success of my health, is that I never felt like I was on a “diet”.  I never felt hungry (if anything – I felt so full!) and for me, this was more of a lifestyle change.  The winning prize being a healthy me!

I have a rare genetic syndrome which means that I will have a lifelong fight with cancer but by becoming a vegan, I feel like I am giving my body the best chance at fighting each cancer that dares crosses my path!

Thank you Nicole from the bottom of my heart. I feel like you have given me my health and my life back!  And for this, I will eternally be grateful.

 

Livian x

 

 

 

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May 2012                          June 2012

 

 

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October 2013

 

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March 2014

 

 

 

 

Green Smoothie – Protein Packed

Green Smoothie - Protein Packed

I finally purchased some Sun Warrior protein powder. I’ve never really been into protein powders but I needed the vanilla flavour for a chocolate recipe that I am making. In the past most of the powders I had used were soy based and left a really strong after taste.
Sun Warrior is raw whole grain brown rice protein powder. It is gluten free, soya free, dairy free and 80% protein.
The vanilla flavour is really lovely and makes for a filling smoothie.

For this smoothie:

Blend
1 scoop of protein powder
At least 1 cup of water
Baby spinach
1 tablespoon of grounded chia seeds
Bananas (frozen or unfrozen and as many as you care for)
1 probiotic capsule  (I used Truflora).

It helps to blend the water, protein powder and spinach until smooth and then slowly add the rest.

Don’t forget to share with any little people in the house. Kids love green smoothies and the sooner you can make them a regular part of their lives, the better 🙂

 

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