Tag Archives: glutenfree

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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Blackberry Jam and Cream Smoothie

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Even though it is winter, I still need my frozen fruit meals. This reminds me of my childhood.
For the base:
Blend 1 cup of frozen blackberries
1 ripe banana
200 mls of filtered water

For the top:
Blend 1 ripe banana
1-2 frozen bananas
1 vanilla pod
1 tablespoon of cacao nibs

Pour blackberry jam into a suitable vessel and place a huge dollop of banana cream on top.  Stick your spoon in and push your ice cream top down into your jam. Revisit your childhood 😀

Under the Microscope – Maca.

Under the Microscope - Maca.

Superfood Maca is native to the mountains of Peru and is cultivated as high as 4300 meters above sea level. It has been used for over 3500 years and legend claims that during the peak of the Incan empire, the warriors consumed maca before going into battle to ensure super strength and stamina.  On return from battle however, Incan soldiers were prohibited from using maca in order to protect the women from their insatiable sexual desires. Maca is renowned for providing strength, endurance and enhanced libido.

So what is maca?

A member of the cruciferous  tribe  such as kale and cabbage, maca is abundant in potassium, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, iron, sodium and phosphorous and also contains trace minerals which includes iodine, zinc, selenium, bismuth, copper, magnese, tin and silicon. It is also rich in vitamins B1, B2, C and E.

Maca has the ability to stabilise and balance the body’s glandular – hormonal system, nervous system, cardiovascular system and musculature. This makes it great for managing hormones, stress, thyroid and your mood in general.
According to David Wolfe, maca is great if you suffer from:
Anaemia
Chronic fatigue
Depression
Infertility and sterility
Lack of libido
Malnutrition
Menopausal symptoms
Menstrual discomfort and disorders
Poor memory
Stomach cancer
Stress tension
Tuberculosis

How to use it and where to get it?

Seeing as maca is a superfood it can be used in greater quantities than other medicinal herbs.  It has also found to be safe to use long term. You can purchase it online or at most health food stores in dried, raw, organic food. Look for the real deal and only buying from the root, not other parts of the plant.

Use a tablespoon in smoothies, juices, nut milks, tea or coffee, or add to your raw chocolate treats.

Here’s a recipe to get you started:

Blend 2 frozen bananas

2 fresh bananas

3 medjool dates

200mls of filtered water (or your favourite nut milk)

1 heaped teaspoon of maca root powder

Sprinkle with cacao nibs.

David Woolfe also claims that maca has a special relationship with cacao so use them together regularly to experience the culinary sensation 🙂

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Reference: Woolfe, D. (2009). Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future.  

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.

 

Top:                                                                                                                             tumblr_n5n7mbmbtJ1s77sf0o1_500

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mango and Turmeric Smoothie

Mango and Turmeric Smoothie

I love turmeric in juices and I love to cook with it. It makes me feel invincible over the winter months. Now that it is back in season, I thought I’d try it in a smoothie. Thankfully I wasn’t disappointed.

Recipe:

1 cup of coconut water (you could just use water or almond milk)
1 – 2 inches of fresh turmeric
2 cups of mango (frozen if that is all you have)
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla essence
3 bananas

Peel and chop your turmeric before blending it on medium with your coconut water. If you don’t have a high speed blender,  juice your turmeric first. Add the rest of your ingredients and blend well. If you find you’ve used too much turmeric then add some coconut palm sugar. This yields 4 average servings. Adding frozen bananas will give you a creamier smoothie.

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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