My Vegan Superpowers
CHAI TEA SQUASH SOUP October 21st, 2014 CHAI TEA SQUASH SOUP

Enjoy this sweet, flavour-filled warm soup as an autumn entree. It’s perfect for the season, and chai tea broth gives it a gourmet taste!

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 chai tea tea bags
  • 1 vegatable bullion cube
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. In a medium pot, add oil and sauté the onions.
  2. Peel squash, and cut into 3 inch chunks.
  3. Place bullion and chai tea bags in water, and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the squash and broth to the pot.
  5. Simmer for about 40 minutes until soft.
  6. Place in blender, add coconut milk, and blend until smooth.
  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
  8. Enjoy!

Dinner Favourites Lunch Recipes

MANGO MINT SMOOTHIE September 16th, 2014 MANGO MINT SMOOTHIE

Enjoy the last of the September sunshine with this mango mint smoothie. It’s sweet and refreshing, and the basil, mint, and lime give it a gourmet taste!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen mango
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:

  1. In blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!

Beverages Breakfast Recipes

GARDEN GREEN GAZPACHO September 10th, 2014 GARDEN GREEN GAZPACHO

This gazpacho is fresh and delicious. It’s low in fat, high in nutrients, and packed with flavour! It’s a great way to get your daily dose of greens!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups spinach
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 2 field cucumbers
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. In blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!

Dinner Lunch Recipes

TABEA MATHERN: SUPERPOWER BAR PHOTOGRAPHER September 3rd, 2014 TABEA MATHERN: SUPERPOWER BAR PHOTOGRAPHER

Find out more about who’s behind the amazing Superpower Bar food photography!!!

Tabea Mathern styled and shot the photos for the Superpower Bar campaign! Tabea is an extremely talented artist, and she follows a vegan diet too! Check out our interview with her below! Thanks for sharing your talents and time Tabea!

What inspired you to starting working with food?
Food is all around us, deeply embedded in our everyday life, yet so unappreciated sometimes. Working with food, capturing it the way I see it, enables me to share its value, to be grateful. I also love how it gives me the ability to produce beautiful images, using allegedly simple and accessible ingredients.

Is there any food in particular that you like to photograph?
Fruits and vegetables. Predictable but true. The variety nature offers us is just breathtaking, all those different textures, surfaces and colours really inspire me. Over and over again. I have a heart for the weirdly looking ones though. Root veggies are cute in their clumsy oddness and crooked cucumbers can really enlighten my day. When I moved to Canada I got really excited about candy-striped beets, I did not know they exist. Very trippy.

How long have you been following a vegan diet? And what inspired you to start eating this way?
After being a vegetarian for a long time I shifted into a vegan diet about 10 years ago. It just made sense to me and it still does, since it is better for our world and for myself. I also enjoy that a lot of people living like this seem to spend more thoughts and time on their food, which I think is important. Food is something that should never be taken for granted.

What have been your favorite projects that you’ve worked on and why?
I think there is a time and a right to exist for every creative idea and progress so I want to embrace all of them for what they were at that point. I really enjoy the longterm-stuff, that allows some more interaction and reflection, like my project about lost socks: http://www.tabeamathern.de/thelostsockproject/ or my most recent project, where I shoot one stilllife each week for a whole year: www.tabeamathern- stilllifestories.tumblr.com.

When you go to a restaurant and see something on the menu, do you think more about how it would taste or how it would look?
Seeing is tasting, tasting is seeing. It’s art. Both. I can get really inspired by a beautiful colour combination, but skillfully pairing different flavours and textures can get me me as excited as its visual beauty. And in the end I surely just enjoy a beautiful and delicious dinner.

Do you think photographing food is different than other objects?
For sure, since it deals with such vivid objects. It may sound weird but it feels more like a portrait to me.

What are your plans and goals for your future working in photography?
I hope I’ll be able to constantly develop my visual language and to work with even more inspiring people.

A silly question, but does photographing food make you want to eat it?!
Oh yes!

Local Ontario

CINNAMON CRISP CEREAL August 20th, 2014 CINNAMON CRISP CEREAL

A healthy version of a sweet breakfast cereal! This cereal is sweet, crunchy, and satisfying! It’s sweetened with dates, but if you’d like a sugar-free version, simply swap the dates for 1/2 an avocado, and add some more stevia!

Ingredients

  • 20 pitted dates
  • 2 cups sprouted buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean powder
  • Few drops stevia

Directions

  1. In blender, blend dates and almond milk together.
  2. Pour over buckwheat, and mix in sliced almonds, shredded coconut, and chia seeds.
  3. Spread mixture over dehydrator trays, and dehydrate at 110°F overnight.
  4. Break into bite-size pieces, and place in large mixing bowl.
  5. Add cinnamon, vanilla bean powder, and stevia, and mix well.
  6. Enjoy!

Breakfast Recipes

Superpower Bar with Ingredients August 14th, 2014 THE SUPERPOWER BAR

I’m really excited to announce the launch of the Superpower Bar!!!

This past year has been absolutely amazing, and I’d like to thank all of the My Vegan Superpowers followers for their support! I’d also like to thank the lovely Tabea Mathern for photographing the Superpower Bar! I’ll be posting an interview with her shortly!

Nutrition is extremely important for health and wellbeing, and My Vegan Superpowers was created to share this fact with the world and to inspire people to live their lives to the fullest. Over five years ago, I adopted a plant-based diet, and I couldn’t believe the drastic impact that proper nutrition had on my life! I suddenly had more energy, felt more confident, became more goal-oriented, and drastically improved my athletic performance. This increased energy honestly made me feel like I have SUPERPOWERS. And I believe that’s how everyone should feel!

I created myvegansuperpowers.com so you guys could have access to recipes, fitness tips, and info about local events. I soon realized that in order to promote healthy living, some of the signature My Vegan Superpowers recipes should be available as ready-made products! That’s when My Vegan Superpowers began supplying Toronto farmers markets and cafes with delicious, healthy snacks!

It’s important that you be able to get your superpowers wherever and whenever though, so I spent this past year formulating the Superpower Bar with you guys in mind! The Superpower Bar gives you easy access to proper nutrition that will keep you going all day long. It’s a delicious, convenient snack that is perfect for when you’re on-the-go or for after a workout. Each bar contains 14 grams of protein while being high in fiber and low in sugar. This proper nutrition will leave you feeling healthy, confident, energetic… and like you have superpowers!!!

Superpower Bars are now available at Stictly Bulk in Bloor West Village, and on our online store! So order, enjoy, and keep your superpowers strong!

Stay tuned for info about the Superpower Bar giveaway contest!

Cheers!

Alessandra Savoia
Founder of My Vegan Superpowers

Uncategorized

ZANGO NOODLES WITH GARDEN SAUCE August 12th, 2014 ZANGO NOODLES WITH GARDEN SAUCE

This is one of the most fresh and flavourful dishes, and it’s perfect for summer! There’s only a few more weeks of summer, so be sure to celebrate the season with this recipe!

Zango is simply zucchini and mango – the taste and texture is perfect together! Dressed with MVSP Garden Sauce, this dish is absolutely delicious! It has tons of health benefits too of course! Mango is extremely good for your eye and skin health, and the garden sauce is jam packed with greens!

Noodles:

  • 1 large zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 large mango, thinly sliced

Garden Sauce:

  • 3 sundried tomatoes
  • 2 medjool dates
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Toppings:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Dried figs, sliced
  • Raw pumpkin seeds

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, toss Noodle ingredients together.
  2. In blender, blend all Garden Sauce ingredients together until smooth.
  3. Dress Noodles with Garden Sauce, and top with dried figs and pumpkin seeds.
  4. Enjoy!

Dinner Lunch Recipes

RAW VEGAN STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE August 8th, 2014 RAW VEGAN STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

This sweet raw vegan dessert is the perfect treat for any special occasion!

Crust:

  • 1 cup dried figs
  • 1 cup dried mulberries
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean powder

Filling:

  • 4 ripe medium-sized bananas
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean powder

Toppings:

  • Thinly sliced fresh strawberries
  • Shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. In food processor, process all crust ingredients until finely ground.
  2. Press crust mixture into round pan.
  3. In food processor, process all filling ingredients until smooth.
  4. Pour filling mixture over crust, and let cool in refrigerator for an hour.
  5. Top with fresh strawberries and shredded coconut.
  6. Enjoy!

Dessert Favourites Recipes

BALANCE EXERCISES August 7th, 2014 BALANCE TRAINING EXERCISES

Do You Incorporate Balance Training Exercises in your Exercise Program?

Regardless if you recreationally train, are an avid runner, are a competitive athlete, or live a less active life, you should include balance exercises in your training program or weekly routine.

WHY?

  1. Prevent injuries, and decrease the frequency of injuries
  2. Increase the dynamic stability of your joints (knees, ankles, shoulders)
  3. Enhance performance in sport
  4. Help older adults in fall prevention

Incorporating balance exercises in your program will train your brain to know where your body segments are situated at any moment. This is due to the adaptations that occur to your prioprioceptors – these detect changes in joint angle, muscle length and tension.

Additionally, you will start developing your small stabilizer muscles around your joints that will help in preventing injuries. Strengthening your stabilizer muscles causes the joint to become stronger and therefore less prone to muscular fatigue and injury.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
Balance training works to disturb your balance and stability, which causes you to create adaptations to help resist these disturbances to your balance. Your balance can be challenged statically or dynamically and should be challenged in different directions.

Balance training can be very intense and mentally draining because it requires you to be thinking constantly about what your body is doing. It is beneficial to add 2-3 balance exercises to your strength-training program to start. Keep in mind that like with any exercises, balance-training exercises need to start easy and progress as a person improves. Do not progress to next level until you have mastered the previous with optimal technique.

Additional Equipment: balance boards, BUSU ball, stability ball, sitfit cushion, pilates disc, and harnesses (refer to equipment list if you are unsure of what these are).

EXERCISES TO TRY (These progress from easy to moderate):
1. Single Leg Stand (perform near a wall)
i. First balance on one foot, raise other leg up – try and hold for 20 seconds
ii. i. + slow head turns to the left and right – try for 6 reps on one leg
iii. i. + close your eyes – try for 10-20 seconds
iv. i. + standing on sitfit cushion – try to hold for 10-20 seconds

2. BUSU ball balance (have someone spotting you)
i. Two foot balance on the flat side of BUSU ball or on balance board
ii. Squat on BUSU ball (flat side)
iii. Hold a squat and push the BUSU very slowly forward, back, side to side
iv. Hold a squat and push the BUSU rotationally – CW and CCW
(Start at 0:50 seconds – video)

3. Pelvic Bridge
i. Perform a basic pelvic bridge
ii. Perform the pelvic bridge with one leg extension
iii. ii + a sitfit cushion or pilates disc underneath the foot that is on the ground
(I suggest that you use a smaller stability cushion – video)

4. Calf Raises
i. Perform a regular two foot calf raise
ii. Perform a single legged calf raise
iii. Perform a single legged calf raise with a lateral band pull
(Can do this on steeper – video)

Note: If you have any questions about these exercises or how to challenge yourself further contact me through my facebook page.

Fitness Fitness with Mel

GREEN TORTILLAS August 5th, 2014 GREEN TORTILLAS

These raw vegan tortillas are a great way to get your daily dose of greens! Try both versions: zucchini and spinach!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large zucchini or 300g baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp cup ground flax
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. In food processor, process all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Spread mixture over dehydrator trays to form rounds.
  3. Dehydrate at 110°F for 1 hour, flip and repeat.
  4. Enjoy!

Dinner Lunch Recipes Snacks

BOLT FRESH BAR July 24th, 2014 BOLT FRESH BAR

Bolt Fresh Bar is a takeout restaurant in Parkdale, just steps away from the Drake Hotel. The menu includes juices, smoothies, salads, and grain bowls. All of the ingredients used are fresh and local, and some of the best smoothies in the city are served here! Bolt’s unique smoothie recipes provide top nutrition, along with amazing flavour that your taste buds will love! The whole menu is filled with must-trys!

The restaurant has an up-beat, energetic atmosphere. There’s great art hanging on the walls, and a few high top tables so you can lounge-in and enjoy your smoothie at the restaurant!

1170 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON
http://www.boltfreshbar.com/

Local Ontario

FRUIT PIZZA July 22nd, 2014 FRUIT PIZZA

A refreshing summer dish! This raw vegan low fat “pizza” is perfect for 80/10/10-ers, or for fruit-lovers in general… and who doesn’t love fruit?!

Ingredients:

  • 1 slice of watermelon (full diameter)
  • 1 ripe mango, puréed
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

Directions:

  1. Spread the mango purée over watermelon.
  2. Top with banana, blueberries, and fresh mint.
  3. Enjoy!

Dessert Dinner Favourites Lunch Recipes Snacks Uncategorized

LAVENDER FIG COOKIES July 15th, 2014 LAVENDER FIG COOKIES

These cookies are a unique gourmet treat! Along with providing great taste, lavender has many health benefits. It is known to improve digestion, as it is soothing to the intestines. It is also beneficial to the nervous system, as its aromas are calming and uplifting.

Ingredients:

  • 10 dried figs
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean powder
  • 2 tsp dried lavender
  • 2 tsp lemon rind

Directions:

  1. In food processor, process all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Roll dough flat, and cut with cookie cutters.
  3. Dehydrate at at 110°F for 2 hours, flip and repeat.
  4. Enjoy!

Dessert Recipes Snacks

PINK SUNSHINE SMOOTHIE July 8th, 2014 PINK SUNSHINE SMOOTHIE

Bring that energy and glow into your life with this delicious pure fruit smoothie! It’s great beacuase it is loaded with vitamin C, A, and E! It will boost your immune system, benefit your skin and eye health, and give you energy for a fun-filled summer day.

For a snack size version, simply half the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas
  • 3 oranges
  • 1 cup frozen mangos
  • 1 cup pitted cherries

Directions:

  1. In blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!

Beverages Breakfast Favourites Recipes Snacks

RAW VEGAN LASAGNA June 30th, 2014 RAW VEGAN LASAGNA

A delicious gourmet entrée. This raw vegan buckwheat noodle lasagna is loaded with walnut meat, cashew cheese, tomato sauce, and spinach.

Your body and your taste buds will love you!

Ingredients:
Buckwheat Noodles

  • 1 1/2 cups sprouted buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Walnut Meat

  • 1 cup raw walnuts (soaked for four hours)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme

Cashew Cheese

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Tomato sauce

  • 15 grape tomatoes (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sweet red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme

Brazin Nut Parmesian

  • 1 1/2 cups brazil nuts (soaked for four hours)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. In food processor, process all Buckwheat Noodle ingredients until smooth.
  2. Spread mixture over dehydrator trays, and dehydrate at 110°F for 2 hours. Flip and repeat.
  3. Cut each square of noodle dough into 3 equal-sized strips.
  4. In food processor, process all Walnut Meat ingredients until smooth.
  5. In food processor, process all Cashew Cheese ingredients until smooth.
  6. In food processor, process all Tomato Sauce ingredients until smooth.
  7. In food processor, process all Brazil Nut Parmesan ingredients until finely ground.
  8. In pan, place a layer of Buckwheat Noodles, Walnut Meat, Cashew Cheese, Tomato Sauce, and spinach, and repeat.
  9. Add one more layer of Buckwheat Noodles, and top with Tomato sauce, Brazil Nut Parmesan, and fresh herbs.
  10. Enjoy!

Dinner Favourites Lunch Recipes

COCONUT YOGURT PARFAIT June 24th, 2014 COCONUT YOGURT PARFAIT

Try this delicious coconut-cashew yogurt with last week’s Goji-Fig Granola. Add some fresh or frozen raspberries, and you’ll have the tastiest superpower breakfast you could possibly imagine!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 dates
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean powder
  • 1/2 cup Goji-Fig Granola
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries

Directions:

  1. In food processor, process cashews, coconut milk, dates, and vanilla bean powder together until smooth.
  2. Let mixture set in fridge for a few hours.
  3. In tall glass, assemble parfait by layering coconut yogurt, granola, and fresh berries.
  4. Enjoy!

Breakfast Recipes Uncategorized

GOJI-FIG GRANOLA June 16th, 2014 GOJI-FIG GRANOLA

A bowl of this delicious raw vegan granola is the perfect way to start the day! Packed with health-benefits, buckwheat is high in fiber, manganese, magnesium, copper, and zinc, and it contains all eight essential amino acids!

Pseudo grains are foods that resemble grains, but are not members of the same biological group. Cereal grains are the seeds of grasses, whereas pseudo grains are the seeds of broadleaf plants. Buckwheat is a pseudo grain, and therefore a great gluten-free alternative!

Ingredients:

  • 20 figs
  • 4 cups sprouted buckwheat
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup goji berries
  • 1/4 cup tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

  1. In food processor, process figs and maple syrup until smooth.
  2. Place in a bowl, and mix in all other ingredients.
  3. Spread mixture over dehydrator trays, and dehydrate at 110°F overnight.
  4. Once completely dehydrated, break into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Enjoy!

Breakfast Recipes

CHOCOLATE ALMOND LAYER CAKE June 9th, 2014 CHOCOLATE ALMOND LAYER CAKE

A coconut-almond wafer, rich coconut-date cake, and layer of delicious chocolate mousse; all topped with shredded coconut and fresh berries. Indulge in this heavenly raw vegan dessert!

Ingredients:
Layer 1:

  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm syrup
  • 3 tbsp sprouted buckwheat

Layer 2:

  • 12 Dates
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 cups coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp vanilla bean powder

Layer 3:

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean powder

Toppings: Shredded coconut, strawberries

Directions:

  1. In food processor, process all Layer 1 ingredients until finely chopped.
  2. Press mixture into pan, and cool in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. In food processor, process all Layer 2 ingredients until smooth.
  4. Press mixture overtop Layer 1, and cool in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  5. In food processor, process all layer 3 ingredients until smooth.
  6. Pour mixture into a bowl, and cool in refrigerator for 4 hours (until hardened into mousse consistency).
  7. Press Layer 3 mixture overtop layer 2.
  8. Top with shredded coconut and strawberries.
  9. Enjoy!

Dessert Favourites Recipes

RAW VEGAN PIEROGIES June 2nd, 2014 RAW VEGAN PIEROGIES

These buckwheat dough raw vegan pierogies are loaded cashew “cheese” and cauliflower “potatoes”. A healthy spin on the traditional dish, this one of the tastiest raw vegan meal ideas ever!

Ingredients:
Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups sprouted buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp flax oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Filling
“Cheese”

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

“Potatoes”

  • 1 cup cauliflower

Toppings
“Sour Cream”

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salts

“Sautéed” Onions

  • 1/2 a yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp flax oil

Directions:

  1. In food processor, process all dough ingredients until smooth.
  2. On dehydrator trays, spread dough mixture into 6″ rounds (1/8″ thick).
  3. Dehydrate at 110°F for 2 hours.
  4. In food processor, process all “cheese” ingredients until smooth.
  5. In food processor, process cauliflower until finely chopped.
  6. Once dehydrated for 2 hours, flip each round, drop 1 tbsp of “cheese” and 1 tbsp of “potatoes” onto one half of round, and fold the other half over.
  7. Dehydrate pierogies at 110°F for 1 hour.
  8. In food processor, process all “sour cream” ingredients until smooth.
  9. Finely chop onion, massage with flax oil, and dehydrate at 110°F for 2 hours.
  10. Top pierogies with “sour cream” and “sautéed” onions.
  11. Enjoy!

Dinner Favourites Lunch Recipes

YOGA INSTRUCTOR KATIE YOUNG May 28th, 2014 YOGA INSTRUCTOR KATIE YOUNG

MVSP was lucky enough to score an interview with the lovely Katie Young, a Toronto yoga instructor. With her warm personality, positive energy, and knowledge of yoga, Katie makes Cabbage Town the place to be on Thursday evenings.

Be sure to come practice with her! You will feel rejuvenated and relaxed, guaranteed.

When: Thursdays from 6:30-8:00pm
Where: 80 Winchester St, Toronto, ON

To hear her story and be inspired, check out the interview below!

When did you start practicing yoga and why?
I was studying dance at college and I wasn’t at my best physically. All the warm ups we did in class just felt unreasonably difficult. I would imagine myself as Gandhi, smoking a cigarette on a beach. That almost got me through it.

When we were instructed to dance across the floor individually I did everything short of sew a camouflage body suit together out of the curtains in order to get out of it. I’d become a tad uncomfortable in my body. Quickly, though, I started to see improvements in my health and this inspired me to join a gym. I began taking yoga classes there. The more I practiced syncing movement with breath in yoga class, the more I was able to become relaxed and present, not only in dance but in everything I did. So I continued practicing.

What inspired you to begin teaching yoga?
The summer before last I took a contemporary dance intensive at Toronto Dance Theatre while I was also taking several yoga classes a week. It was all I wanted to do and I was witnessing these positive and profound changes within myself. It got me thinking of yoga and dance as a healing modality. A close friend of mine had just taken her yoga teacher training and encouraged me to look into it. I knew that I wanted to deepen my knowledge of this practice and so after doing my research I enrolled.

Where did you do your training?
I trained at Downward Dog Yoga Center at Queen and Bathurst in Toronto. Downward Dog has hosted thousands of students and trained hundreds of incredibly skilled teachers. It has been and continues to be a source of deep inspiration and support. I hope to enroll in Advanced Teacher Training there this summer!

In your opinion, what are the greatest health benefits of practicing yoga?
I think the best thing about practicing yoga is the relaxation, clarity and empowerment it can bring to your life.

Yoga has been seen as both an exercise and a spiritual practice. What is your opinion on this? Is it one or the other? Is it both?
For me, it’s both. What you get out of your practice is going to differ day to day and will and be evolving all the time. What’s most important to me, is feeling good in my body. If that’s happening, we’re cool yoga.

What advice would you give someone who is trying yoga for the first time?
Don’t worry about how your practice looks. Stay with it, let it be uncomfortable and sticky at times. Gradually, you will begin to see big improvements in the fitness and flexibility of your mind and body.

Do you practice with music? What is on your yoga playlist?
I do practice with music. Last week we had electronic musician Blunt Chunks come in to play a set while we were practicing which was great! In my personal practice, or if I was teaching an advanced class I might use selections from Kings of Leon, Alabama Shakes, Little Dragon, Xxyyxx, The Smiths, Mac Demarco, maybe even some 90’s jams. Who knows, I’m a wild woman.

What are some dreams, goals, and aspirations of yours?
My aim is to share the fundamentals of this practice with as many people as possible so that we can empower ourselves to gain clarity, be more present and together in our daily lives, so that we can have more fun, be happier and make healthier choices as a whole, for the whole.

What is your favorite live-by affirmation, mantra, or quote?
“Run from what is comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.” Rumi

What is your favorite vegan meal or snack?
My Vegan Superpowers delicious Vegan Superpower bars!!! Nom, nom nom.

Thanks so much to Katie for sharing her story with us, and I hope to see all of you on Thursday evening!

Fitness Local More Fitness Ontario

May 26th, 2014 WELCOME TO THE NEW SITE!

Welcome to the new MVSP website!

Recipes are now accessible through the side bar, so you can easily refuel your superpowers with any of the signature MVSP recipes!

Stay tuned for more recipes, fitness tips from MVSP Fitness Expert Mel Cundari, and tons of exciting SURPRISES and GIVEAWAYS!!!

Uncategorized

FLAXSEED FLATBREAD April 16th, 2014 FLAXSEED FLATBREAD

This gluten-free, raw vegan flatbread is great for making sandwiches or simply enjoying with one of your favourite spreads. Flax is an extremely rich source of omega-3. These essential fatty acids play an important role in the anti-inflammatory system of our bodies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup ground flax
  • 1/2 cup carrot pulp
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. In food processor, process all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Spread mixture over dehydrator trays, and cut into desired flatbread shape.
  3. Dehydrate at 115°F for 4 hours, flip and repeat.
  4. Enjoy!

Lunch Recipes Snacks

RAW VEGAN BROWNIE BITES April 8th, 2014 RAW VEGAN BROWNIE BITES

Raw vegan walnut, date, cacao brownies topped banana frosting. This guilt-free dessert is a healthy, heavenly treat.

Makes ten brownie bites.

Ingredients:

Brownies:
  • 10 medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup whole walnuts
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean powder

Frosting

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter
  • Stevia to taste (optional)

Topping ideas:

  • Blueberries
  • Pumpkin seeds

Directions:

  1. In food processor, process walnuts and dates until smooth.
  2. Add in ground almonds, cacao, coconut oil, and vanilla, and blend.
  3. Place mixture in bowl, and fold in chopped walnuts.
  4. Roll into one-inch balls, and press down to form brownie-bite shape.
  5. In blender, blend banana, coconut butter, and stevia, and spread over brownie bites.
  6. Top with blueberries and pumpkin seeds.
  7. Enjoy!

Dessert Favourites Recipes

ULTIMATE GREEN April 3rd, 2014 ULTIMATE GREEN

This green smoothie has the ultimate colour, flavour, and nutritional benefits! Spinach and spirulina give it a rich deep green colour and a great amount of iron. Blueberries and bananas complement the greens, giving it a sweet and satisfying taste, along with antioxidants and potassium!

Ingredients:
Smoothie:

  • 1 banana (frozen, if thicker texture is desired)
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp spirulina
  • 1 tbsp chia Seeds
  • 1 tbsp hemp Seeds (or 1 scoop hemp protein powder for higher protein content)
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Toppings:

  • Goji berreis
  • Cacao nibs
  • Coconut chips
  • Sprouted or toasted buckwheat

Directions:

  1. In blender, blend all smoothie ingredients until smooth.
  2. Top with goji berries, cacao nibs, coconut chips, and buckwheat.
  3. Enjoy!

Beverages Breakfast Recipes Snacks

SUPERPOWER PAD THAI April 1st, 2014 SUPERPOWER PAD THAI

Zucchini noodles and fresh veggies mixed in a tasty thai sauce. This raw vegan take on Pad Thai makes a delicious, vibrant, fresh entrée.

Makes two servings.

Ingredients:
Base:

  • 1 large zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 large carrot, spiralized
  • 2 leaves kale, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dulse
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

Sauce:

  • 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh thai basil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • Chili flakes to taste
  • Optional: garlic

Toppings:

  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Directions:

  1. In bowl, toss all base ingredients.
  2. In blender, blend all sauce ingredients.
  3. Pour sauce over base, and top with hemp and chia.
  4. Enjoy!

Dinner Favourites Lunch Recipes

APPLE DULSE SALAD March 30th, 2014 APPLE DULSE SALAD

Dulse is a sea vegetable that contains iodine, which works to produce thyroid hormones; potassium and vitamin B6, which are vital for a healthy nervous system; and iron, which allows blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Along with providing great nutritional benefits, dulse adds a tangy taste, and rich colour to this delicious raw vegan salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 green apple, spiralized (or thinly sliced)
  • 1/3 cup raw dulse
  • 1 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tsp raw sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Directions

  1. In bowl, mix all ingredients together.
  2. Enjoy!

Dinner Lunch Recipes