VEGAN (& vegetarian) TRAVEL IN THE PHILIPPINES {2018: Exploring the Islands of Cebu, Palawan, Coron & Siquijor}

Let me start by saying that travelling as a Vegetarian or Vegan in the Philippines has its challenges, but it is definitely possible! Throughout my 6 weeks here, I have been blessed with finding some very delicious restaurants, colourful fruit and veggie markets/stands along with an abundance of fresh young coconuts!

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Do not let the lack of plant based menu items hold you back from travelling here. The Philippines is one of the least built up places I have travelled to and is home to some of the nicest people in the world. The islands I visited are so incredibly lush and abundant with waterfalls, beaches, secret lagoons and unique mountainous landscapes.  Plus, I can finally check this off my bucket list: staying in a waterfront cottage on private beach…for less than $50 CDN a night!

When my my partner Jack and I decided to take this trip, there were not many online resources on vegan travel in the Philippines. Trusting this inspires you and guides you during a happy, healthy and holistic trip through these incredible Islands.

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My first tip: Eat a lot more fruit than your used to! For most of our trip we’d wake up and drink a coconut water (mixed with spirulina we brought from Canada) followed by some fresh hydrating fruit like watermelon. In the afternoon, we had a mix of seasonal and local fruit like mangos, bananas, pineapple, papaya, jackfruit,  or chicos (similar to sweet bosc pear, also known as nispero in Central America) or coconut meat! Dinner would be time for the restaurant (and some times a home cooked meal at our airbnb’s). This is such a nourishing and hydrating way of eating. The tropical fruit here are fresh, local and therefore high in nutrients. With the hot weather, it feels so good to eat a more cooling diet. And if you plan to do lots of activity during the day, especially swimming, it’s  nice to feel a bit lighter.


CEBU ISLAND

MOALBOAL

Moalboal Fruit Stand

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You can’t miss it. It’s right on the national highway soon as you turn into the city, next to city hall and the round about. There is also a much larger fruit and veggie market just behind the stores on the main road (national highway), but we were quite happy with what we found at the main fruit stand. Epic yellow watermelon (and red too), mango, pineapple, pomelo, jackfruit, soursop, coconuts, you can also find apples and oranges.

Ven’z Kitchen

Known as one of the best restaurants in Moalboal, and it has about 8 vegan menu options featuring local veggies like eggplant, carrots, purple sweet potato, okra, pumpkin, peppers and green beans.

What we ordered… Yellow Vegetable Curry w/ rice; Veggies in Peanut Sauce;  the vegan eggplant dish dish.

Tip: portions are small so you may want to order 3 dishes for two people if its for dinner.

+ We absolutely enjoyed playing with all the available board games like scrabble, uno, connect four and jenga while waiting for our meal!

Lantaw

What we ordered...Thai Red Vegetable Curry, Indonesian Yellow Curry, Vegetable Tempura.

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Insider’s scoop:  Great portion sizes! The red curry was very tasty and a perfect balance between sweet and spicy- definitely more flavourful than the yellow. I wouldn’t recommend the tempura it was very oil and was battered really thick, not like the traditional style.

Free-Diving Planet (hostel + free dive training center)

What we ordered...Sweet potato fries and greek inspired quinoa salad, Teriyaki Veggie Noodle Bowl, Superfood Soup with moringa leaves, carrots and pumpkin.

Insider’s scoop: Pretty Plain, but was happy to be eating quinoa. The noodles were delicious. A bit more expensive than other restaurants.


PALAWAN

PUERTO PRINCESA

Lale Indian  & Thai Restaurant 

This was one of the best meals we enjoyed during the trip, we’re probably biased because we LOVE Indian food and hadn’t had any during our trip yet. But really, this was authentic, tasty, Indian Cuisine and very well received by our bellies! It’s a must for any vegan or vegetarian travelling through or to Puerto.

 

Tip: Definitely order the naan with chutney. Great price, good portions. nice decor and they do take out! A must for vegans and vegetarians visiting puerto princesa. 

Ima’s Vegetarian Restaurant

What we ordered… Tempeh Fries, Veggie & Rice Jambalaya, Vegan Burritos

Insider’s Scoop: The best thing was the tempeh fries! The rest of the meal was decent, but nothing remarkable. I was a bit uninspired by the menu that seemed to use a lot of canned veggies.

Fruit Stands

You can find these pretty much everywhere on the side of the street and they are always abundant. There is also a bigger town market as well. During our time near Puerto Princesa, we did a 6 day self guided silent retreat and fruit cleanse. We had so much fun transporting  our giant fruit haul in the tricycle!

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PORT BARTON

 We found 2 incredible restaurants and stuck to them… Gorgonzola and Mabuti!
#1 Top Restaurant of our trip:… Gorgonzola
This mainly vegetarian restaurant was an incredible treat for us! We enjoyed many vegan, Italian/Spanish inspired dishes, which is not so easy to do when travelling. The taste of a thin crust pizza, cooked in a wood fire oven is priceless, especially with homemade dough, yummy sauce and amazing toppings to choose from. It smells divine in here and the open concept kitchen is so beautifully designed. They are in the middle of expanding so I am sure you can only expect it to get better from here!
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What we ordered…
Wood fire oven, thin crust, vegan pizza with cashew cheese and all our favourite toppings like artichokes, olives, peppers, arugula, avocado, zucchini and eggplant.
Full Protein Salad with leafy green lettuce, shredded carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, mung beans, boiled egg/hummus, turmeric cashew dressing accompanied by homemade bread!
All types of toasts served on that delicious bread. We tried the humus and sautéed mushroom.
Oven baked focaccia bread with your choice of dip: hummus, pesto, eggplant, tapenade, or go for the bruschetta.
We didn’t have any, but they also make fresh homemade pasta in house which you can order with your choice of sauce, including pesto, tomato, creamy mushroom and a few others.
Insider’s Scoop: Each table comes with three kinds of homemade, infused olive oils : oregano, garlic and spicy! They are awesome to put on top of the pizza, salad or even the toasts. Its not always easy to come buy quality olive oil while travelling, so we took advantage of it and upped our healthy fat intake!
Tip: Try the ginger-mint lemonade, it’s super refreshing. Made with fresh mint, ginger root and blended in a vitamix with homemade lemonade!
 A sweet, modern, chic yet chill hang out space, with an almost completely vegetarian menu.
What we ordered…Mango-cashew salad with fresh spinach, Mixed greens salad (greek inspired), The best ever Veggie Burger (curry flavoured and served on a homemade bun) which comes with tasty & crispy baked potato wedges, Homemade Quiche with mixed veggie Salad.
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Tip: You’ll love the vegan burger, that’s all we need to say. Order any drink, we recommend the fresh calamansi juice and it comes with  a free bamboo straw.
Yoske’s 
What we ordered … Falafal plate comes with 6 falafels, small Israeli salad,  tahini dip and pita, Hummus and Pita.
Tip: This was quite delicious, although a bit pricey for the portion size. We were okay with it as the owner literally orders so much of his products in from Israel so that they are the most authentic version!
Enjoy a 1km walk from town to this very big outdoor restaurant all with bamboo furniture. This places is more of a bar, and not so much our style. To be honest, they have so many signs posted, we needed to go check it out. The food was perfect for an afternoon snack.
What we ordered… sweet potato fries, tempura olives. They have also have noodle bowls with tahini sauce or peanut sauce, but we were just there to snack and check it out.
note: Our accommodation (EVIO front beach cottage on airbnb) was on a private beach, in a cute little cottage, 30 minutes walking distance from Port Barton, in Pamuyan. The owner, Rosemary, prepared us delicious vegan meals like pumpkin curry, stewed mung beans, vegetable curry, spring rolls, mashed purple sweet potato, coconut rice  and desserts like fried banana! So don’t worry…we didn’t eat Italian every night!
EL NIDO
The only full vegan/veggie place in El Nido which is hard to believe for the number of tourists. This was a fun experience. We got to meet the owner, who is also the chef. He is so inspired by plant based cooking, especially inventing new kinds of burgers. He makes everything from scratch, including the bun which is made with whole wheat. You eat on a little bench in this mini snack bar. The power was out (very common!) when we were there so we enjoyed our burgers with candlelight.
What we ordered…Double decker falafel burger, Sweet potato burger, Fresh Cut Fries
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Tip: If you’re really hungry go for the double decker, other go for the other burger patti choices: sweet potato, eggplant, mushroom and corn or potato, all made from a chickpea based + he even does a banana burger!
Happiness Express
 This is more of a bar rather than a restaurant, and a very popular one indeed.  It has a cool vibe and funky decor and seems to be the place to go if you want to have some drinks after a day of touring. We went for the food!
What we ordered… Mediterranean sharing plate with hummus, best ever falafels, spicy tomato dip, tahini, eggplant dip pitas and spicy sauce, The Falafel and Hummus Plate.
Insider’s Scoop: Other delicious items on the menu (and what we saw being ordered around us!) were the home made fries and the shakshuka!
Athena Greek Restaurant 
What we ordered…

Greek Salad (with or without feta cheese), and a lot of other salads to choose from.

…and of course, more mediterranean sharing plates with hummus and babaganoush.
Insider’s Scoop: Very nice location, right on the beach. It gets busy so you may have to make a reservation. They also serve fresh veggies juices here.
On the island hopping tours, as a vegan you can always expect the same cuisine: fresh fruit like bananas, melon and pineapple; the classic marinated vegetable salad with cabbage, carrots and green beans; eggplant salad; rice; and a fresh tomato, cucumber and shredded carrot plate.

CORON (BUSUANGA)

CORON (town proper)

Fruit and Veggie Stands

Walk down to the waterfront, at the end of Don Pedro Street, 2 block to the left, to find lots of fruit and veggie stands and fresh coconuts.

Food Court in the local market (down by the water at the end of Don Pedro Street)

Buzz Express

You have no idea how blessed and lucky we feel to have found “The Harvest Bowl.” This is one of our favourite meals in Canada where we make many versions of this “Buddha Bowl.” This restaurant is probably one of the pricier ones of our trip, but so worth it. We also enjoyed a garden salad that actually included an abundance of fresh leafy lettuce (a rare find that was most welcomed!).

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What we ordered…The Harvest Bowl: Served on a bed of brown rice and topped with sprouted mung beans, thinly sliced cucumber and coconut meat, homemade marinated slaw, crunchy chickpeas, cashews and the best ever creamy coconut thai curry sauce; Garden Salad with honey mustard dressing; Calamansi juice with honey.

Insider’s Scoop: The bill adds on an additional, mandatory, 10 % service charge, so be sure to keep this in mind based on your budget.  See the full menu 

Brujita 

This was one of the first restaurants we found online with veggie and vegan options. It offers a variety of choices like curries, pesto pastas, salads, fried rice and canton noodles.

What we ordered (went went here twice!)… Canton Veggie Noodles; Creamy Pumpkin Soup with coconut milk served with a delicious homemade grainy rye bread; Sweet potato chips with homemade salsa and homemade mustard (the best!); Mung Bean and Chickpea Curry with Garlic Rice (our favourite dish).

 

Tip: #1. Order the homemade mustard, it will be the best one of your life! #2 Go for an early dinner. There are only a few tables and it gets busy, so to avoid waiting in line go around 5 pm.

Insider’s Scoop: The Canton noodles are quite good and the portion size is massive, but we later found out by reading some packaging in the store that the noodles are made with yellow food colouring, so we avoided them during our 2nd visit.

Muslim Halal Food Stall

What a gem of spicy, flavourful, homemade, cheap food! We seriously spent 150 PHP on dinner for both of us. That is a record, and so was the taste. How lucky we were to find this place. We have been wanting to eat street food our entire trip, but couldn’t find anything vegan other than fried food. We were so pleased to find this delicious jack fruit inspired coconut curry (I still can’t believe it wasn’t meat!)
What we ordered…Jackfruit and coconut Stew (40 php), Vegetable Curry (40 php), and Rice (15 php)

SIQUIJOR ISLAND

*This was our first Island visit, and I wasn’t take food photos at the time..sorry!*

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Mini Fruit Stand 

Where to find it: At the town square (you will see a public pool), Turn right off the main road, at the health clinic, drive along the water for less than a minute – you will pass people doing laundry in a small river, and then you will find the market where you can buy local watermelon, mangoes, pineapple, bananas and veggies.

Restaurants

Baha Bar

This was our go to place on Siquijor….we must have gone at least 6 times during our 10 day stay. They had so many choices, the food is incredible, good portions, above average prices for Siquijor but comparable with the rest of the places we visited, live music, comfy couches, fire dancing night and more!

What we ordered… Singaporian Red Vegetable Curry (daily special), Fresh Rolls, Green Sala, Roasted eggplant in coconut cream, Grilled Veggie Burger (they were out of banana bloom as indicated on the menu), Sweet Potato Wedges.

Tip: Do yourself a favour and order a fresh Pineapple Juice – Probably the only ‘not watered down or blended with ice’ juice/shake we had during our entire trip.

+ You can find a shop, owned by baha bar, across the street selling some fruit and veggies and other staples if you want to cook at your place.

The Mediterranean Restaurant (yep that is what its called)

What we ordered…Hummus, fresh veggies and homemade pita, Absolutely Divine Sautéed Okra served with quality sea salt.

Tip: Super small portions for these 2 dishes, think of them  as appetisers or order one per person.

Saki (part of Hillside Village)

This place is a gem. We came across it when we spent one afternoon driving around most of the island and up into the mountains toward the forest. We absolutely loved doing this and highly recommend it. We found Sake, just past Infinite Heights resort, at the top of a hill with an epic view. This authentic Japanese restaurant had an extensive menu, and quite a few vegetarian options- with the option to make them vegan.

What we ordered…Vegetable Tempura with Moringa, Pumpkin, Jump Oregano Leaves and Eggplant, Green Tea Soba Noodle Soup

Tip: Go for the the panoramic view and the beauty of driving up the mountains! 

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Jumbo Vegan Pecan Pumpkin Muffins

IMG_0502To be honest, I actually found a variation of this recipe on the Taste of Home website. At a first glance, I thought this is not the recipe for me with its bleached white flour, white sugar, canola oil, buttermilk, etc…reminding me of some of my grandmother’s recipes (which is beautiful and nostalgic, but not how I want to nourish my body temple.)

And in that moment, I remembered how much I love taking any recipe and transforming it into a healthier version by substituting the types of flours, oils, sugars and for this muffin, even using flax “eggs” for a vegan version. I feel so grateful to have this knowledge and am looking forward to sharing this recipe with you!

Here are 2 tips for you: #1 – you can use spelt flour the same way you’d using any other kind of flour in a recipe without any need to change the measurements. #2- You can use less oil in a baking recipe by substituting half the oil for apple sauce (and it even makes the recipes more moist!)

This muffin is really tasty! …and it is jumbo! If you’re not much of a breakfast person, this may feel a bit heavy for you first thing in the morning so enjoy it mid morning with a tea, or in the afternoon.

 

Makes 16 delicious, moist, abundant muffins (with the most perfect crunchy topping!)

Ingredients

4 Flax Eggs (4 Tbsp of organic ground flax mixed with 8 Tbsp warm water)

5 cups Organic Light Spelt Flour

1 Cup Organic Raw Sugar

1 Tbsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice (or mix mostly cinnamon with ground ginger and a pinch of all spice and nutmeg.)

1.5 tsp Baking Powder

1.5 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Local Maple Syrup

2 cups Organic Canned Pumpkin Puree

1/4 cup Organic Almond Milk, or any non-dairy substitute that you have on hand

1/4 cup Organic Coconut Oil, melted

1/4 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 cup Chopped Pecans

Topping

1/2 cup Organic Coconut Sugar

2/3 cup Pecans

1/4 cup Organic Rolled Oats

2 Tbsp Organic Virgin Coconut oil, cold or room temperature

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine ground flax and warm water, stir and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, raw sugar, spices, baking powder and soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, combine maple syrup, pumpkin, almond milk, coconut oil, apple sauce, vanilla. Mix in flax eggs.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until almost mixed and then fold in the pecans.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. In a food processor, add all the ingredients for the topping and pulse for 5 seconds. Otherwise, finely chop the pecans and mix in a bowl with remaining ingredients.
  7. Prepare muffins tins by greasing with additional coconut oil.
  8. Scoops muffin batter into the tins (I use the silicone ones!), filling half way, and top each one evenly with the crunchy-sweet oat topping. Warning… these do get a little messy 🙂 
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Let cool on a drying rack for 5 minutes before removing from muffin cups.

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Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies {vegan}

These are simply the best! They started as a way to use up the extra garden abidance of zucchini this season, but now they have turned into a regular favourite! Essentially they are like a healthy and homemade granola bar (which means you can have it any time of day!)

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yield: 2 1/2 DOZEN COOKIES

cook time: 10-12 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup organic light spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic raw cane sugar
  • 1 flax egg ( 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 2 tbsp water, mix and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (and drained)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, prepare flax egg.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut oil and sugars, mix until smooth. Add flax egg and vanilla extract. Next, add the shredded zucchini. Be sure to squeeze out any extra liquid with your hands. Mix until combined.
  5. Slowly add flour mixture until just combined. Stir in oats, coconut, and chocolate chips.
  6. Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden around the edges and set. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Olive & Fig Tapenade

Olive & Fig Tapenade

Try this recipe for your next Italian inspired dinner! Make some extra and bring it in your lunch. Tastes great with your favourite crackers, pita bread, veggie sticks, or as in the photo, with homemade sunflower seed paleo bread!

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Ingredients

1.5 cups pitted kalamata olives

6 large dried figs, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

2 small garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 cup packed mint leaves

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper

Method

In a food processor, pulse the olives, figs, capers, garlic, mint, and olive oil until the tapenade is thick and somewhat chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the tapenade to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Makes 1.5 cups

One Day SELF RENEWAL Retreat with Lacey Budge

Saturday October 28th, 2017

8:30 am – 9 pm

Anishnabe Spiriutal Center, Espanola


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The focus of this autumn retreat is one of renewal and relaxation. This one day getaway is an invitation to look inward, to recharge and to fill up your own cup. From this place of deep rejuvenation, you will feel more revitalised and present for yourself, your family, your purpose, your job and everyone who graces your path.

Throughout the day, you will be gently guided into restoration, softening and letting go, through the practice of hatha yoga {for all levels}, meditation, nature walks, and personal time in silence {mauna} for Self care and Self reflection.

The retreat also includes an inspiring afternoon workshop which will offer pointings to inner Truth. Remember how to sit in the company of your own splendour, and how to “tap in” to the stillness, joy, love and infinite energy that already dwells within. The intention of this workshop is to remind you that you are much more than your body, thoughts, emotions, reactions, roles and story. “Do not feel lonely. The entire Universe lives inside of you.” ~Rumi 

Your body, mind and spirit will be nourished and enlivened with a whole foods, organic (when possible) vegan brunch and dinner, infused water, herbal teas, as well as an afternoon superfood bliss ball snack!

Our day together will close with an evening practice of yoga nidra- the yoga of deep relaxation. Through this practice and the relaxing energy of the entire day, you will leave feeling in harmony and balance.

May we all rest in our natural state of Sat.Chit.Ananda {Truth. Consciousness.Bliss Absolute}

Namaste,
Lacey
Self Renewal Retreat Flow 

8:30 am – 9:00 am Arrival and Tea Time

9:00 – 11:00 am Morning Practice: Awakening Hatha Yoga and Meditation

11:00 am Nourishing Brunch

12:00- 2:00 pm Inspiring Workshop + Silent Walking Meditation
2:00 – 4:00  pm Personal Self Care Practice {… in sacred silence}
…time in nature, relaxation, journalling, creative expression, reading, resting, etc
3:00 pm Chocolate Bliss Ball Snack!…Andrea’s famous peanut butter chocolate balls! 
4:00 – 6:00 pm Gentle Hatha Yoga & Meditation
6:15 pm Nourishing Dinner
7:45 pm Yoga Nidra- the yoga of deep sleep and relaxation
8:45 pm departure

 

Rates

$150 per person

To confirm your space and register, please:

Send an interac e transfer to lacey.budge@gmail.com in the full retreat amount see options below), an email with the password, as well as fill out the form below.

 

Cancellation Policy 

The retreat payment is non-refundable. However, in the case of a cancellation, your spot can be filled by another retreat participant by your consent.

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting 

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup organic light spelt flour, or buckwheat for gluten free option.
  • 1/3 cup raw cocao powder
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 cup finely shredded zucchini, by hand or with a food processor 
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces or pumpkin seeds for a nut free version

FROSTING:

  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Place the dates in a small bowl and pour the hot water over them. Allow to soak until the dates are soft, about 1/2 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish by lining it with parchment paper or oiling lightly.
  3. Put the dates and the soaking water in the blender with the applesauce and vanilla. Blend at high speed until completely smooth. Set aside.
  4. Combine the flour, cacao, coconut sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the zucchini and walnuts, if using. Add the blended date mixture and stir until all the flour is moistened. The batter will be thick. Spoon it into the prepared pan and smooth over the top.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until brownies are no longer liquid in the middle and edges are firm but not drying out. Allow to cool.
  6. You can eat them plain or add the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Frosting:
  7. Combine the chocolate chips, non-dairy milk, and nut butter in a double boiler, cook and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Frost brownies immediately. Allow to stand about 20 minutes to firm up. Enjoy!

Inspired by Fat Free Vegan.com

ReWild and ReConnect: A Self Care Retreat for Women with Lacey Budge in Costa Rica, March 2018

ReWild and ReConnect: A Self Care Retreat for Women with Lacey Budge

A 9 Day Journey to Rediscover Inner Strength, Wisdom, Courage, Divinity & Connection to Mother Earth.

March 30th – April 7th, 2018

Farm of Life, Costa Rica

Will you join me on this journey of Self Discovery?


Hi Beautiful! Thank you for taking the first step on our journey together.

The ReWild & ReConnect Self Care Retreat is specifically created to honour, empower and celebrate you as a woman. Together, we will embark on a nourishing 9 day journey back to Inner Strength, Wisdom, Courage, Divinity & Connection to Mother Earth. It is my path, passion and purpose to bring women together, to share wisdom and teachings which have been revealed to me and to act as a sacred mirror to remind you of who you truly are.

“Women are the most powerful untapped natural resource.” ~ Achintya Devi

As a woman, I feel how easy it is for us to get caught up in the roles we play and the masks we wear with daily responsibilities and duties. I truly understand how we can simply forget who we are in our essence when the busy-ness of life consumes every moment.

I can relate how simple it can be to become imbalanced, stressed, sick and burned out in a world filled with unhealthy food and drink choices; chemicals and unnatural fabrics; toxins in the air, water and food; relief of symptoms with synthetic poisonous drugs; work days spent under artificial lights or diving in a car; self worth determined from media’s images, and a continuous feeling like there are not enough hours in a day, or not enough ideas for lunch boxes!

Who would you be without all of the doing and distractions? Who would you re-discover if you sat with yourself in stillness, simply Being, and asked the question Who Am I? What would you re-awaken when you surround yourself with a group of like minded women who lift up your vibration and accept you as your are? And when you found her, How would you honour and celebrate her? How would you bow down to Her inner wisdom?

From my own experience, the greatest way to truly nourish myself holistically {body, mind and spirit} is to connect with nature through the elements, plants and animals. I want to remind you of the magic, healing and wisdom that is always available to us in the natural world.

It is my absolute honour to extend this invitation to reconnect you with the Greatest Mother: Mother Nature, and I could not think of a more magnificent place than my “winter home,” the Farm of Life, in Costa Rica. This serene sanctuary, a place of peace and beauty, is where we will relax, restore, rejuvenate and come back into harmony with nature.

Will you join me in the Costa Rican jungle, Blessed One? In gratitude, Lacey Theresa Margaret Budge

Download Retreat Welcome Package 

which includes a personal invitation to you, retreat & excursion description, rates & registration, a sample schedule & menu, about the Farm of Life and so much more!

…more information…

Vegan Chocolate Pudding for Dinner! {made with sweet potato and black beans} {free of refined sugars}

…So this started off as making sweet potato brownies, but didn’t end that way!  After trying what was supposed to be my batter, I turned off the oven and decided this was absolutely amazing as it was… no need to turn it into anything else. So here you are, a healthy, nutrient dense, chocolate pudding that is filled with plant based protein, fibre, and antioxidants, magnesium rich raw cacao, and healthy fats like almond butter and coconut oil. This recipe is free of refined sugars and only sweetened with local maple syrup. Enjoy!

This recipe makes about 4 portions, depending on who is making it and doing the “quality control” 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Ingredients

1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and cubed.

1/2 cup black beans, cooked or canned (I like Eden Organics)

3 T organic coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/4 maple syrup (you could also use Medjool dates, but would have to add more water)

1 Tbsp almond butter, smooth or crunchy

1-2 Tbsp filtered water

Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Dash of vanilla extract or a pinch of powder

Your favourite berries and superfoods for topping

1/2 cup almonds, ground, or nuts of choice (optional…add for crunch!)

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Method

This recipe can be prepared in a blender or food processor. For a Vitamix use the damper stick, for any other blender (and perhaps the food pro), continue to stop the blender and scrape down the sides with a baking spatula, as you add more ingredients.

  1. Steam cubed sweet potatoes until soft, about 20 minutes. I like to use a bamboo steamer. In the mean time, take out the other ingredients, melt the coconut oil, grind the almonds, etc.
  2. To your blender or food processor, add sweet potatoes, black beans and coconut oil. Pulse/blend until they start to combine well.
  3. Add cacao powder, maple syrup, almond butter, salt, vanilla and 1 tbsp of water. Blend well.
  4. Add additional water until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Remove the pudding from your blender, place in a bowl and stir in the ground almonds or nuts of choice.
  6. When ready to serve, you can top the pudding with fresh berries, additional almonds or any of your superfood toppings like bee pollen, chia, cacao nibs, spirulina or goji berries.

Looking for something lighter? Replace the sweet potato and black beans with 1/2 a papaya.

All in One: Women’s SUPERfood Elixir RECIPE

Hail to being a woman… to fully feeling, embracing and honouring our emotions… ..to celebrating our ecstatic highs and witnessing our lows. Let’s set a collective intuition to thrive, rejoice and feel optimal and balanced in our body, mind, heart and spirit.

This drink is inspired by:

❤ the gratitude I feel for being a woman

❤ my love for superfoods (especially chocolate) and super health!

❤ my intention to live with a wide open heart

❤ my yearning feel fully alive and to thrive

❤  the inherent place of joy, stillness, love and freedom that dwells within my heart.

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It is so easy to collect a cupboard full of superfoods and not know how or why to use them, so I decided to make one drink withe everything in…that actually tastes amazing!

This drink has everything in one heart opening-balancing-nourishing-calming,-immunity strengthening- revitalising- detoxifying – chocolate bursting- delicious ELIXIR (a.k.a tonic, superfood tea, glorified hot chocolate, hot beverage).

Ingredients

2 cups brewed tea of choice. I like to use Tulsi (holy basil) Chai, lemongrass-ginger, chaga or gynostemma tea for the medicinal properties.

2 heaping Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder

1/4 tsp (up  to 1t) Ashwagandha

1/2 tsp (up to 1t) Maca powder

1/4 tsp (up to 1/2 t) Spirulina

1 ml reishi tincture (or your favourite mushroom tinctures/powders)

1 Tbsp Coconut or MCT oil

1 Tbsp Hemp seeds

2-3 tsp Maple syrup or local honey

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Pinch of Cayenne

Toppings: Bee Pollen, Goji Berries, cacao nibs, additional hemp seeds and cinnamon

Blend all ingredients together in blender. Makes one very enjoyable serving! 

Read more about these superfoods in the article top-10-superfoods, also featuring aloe vera, camu camu, chlorella, fo-ti and more!

More superfood recipes you may like to try:

Raw Cacao Superfood Truffles 

Maca Cacao SuperMylk 

Chewy Chocolate MACAroons (ps. you can bake with maca … I did the research!)

 

 

The Essentials: Your Morning Coffee {Sugar Free September}

The Essentials is a series of recipes and tips that will inspire you to stay sugar free without changing your daily routine. Ok, you have decided to take on the challenge of going sugar free for the month of September. You committed to yourself that you could 1) avoid store bought sugary baked goods, 2) that you are going to replace soda pop with hydrating herb and fruit infused water and 3) you are going to attempt making your own sauces, condiments and dressings at home…

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BUT.. then you remember… you favourite morning ritual… your coffee (w/sugar!) No need to worry, I got you covered with this creamy, silky and sweet morning brew… I can assure you, you will not be missing your double double!

Directions

After brewing your morning cup (or 2) of coffee, add it to your blender with 1 tbsp of virgin coconut oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and optional 1 tsp of cacao.  Blending the coffee with coconut oil turns it into a creamy latte, while giving you a dose of your healthy fats. The added cinnamon helps to balance blood sugar levels and the cacao is a great magnesium and energy boost.

Not a coffee drinker? Try one of my Superfood Latte Teas (click for free e-book with 5 recipes!) for a morning boost like Maple Chaga, Matcha-Maca, or Turmeric Chai!  They are all dairy free and prepared with your choice of coconut or almond milk. You could also experiment with using an all natural coffee replacement such as Dandy Blend.

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Turmeric Chai Superfood Tea