Tag Archives: vegan

How DID I lose weight?

Hello puppies!!

It has become quite apparent that I have “lost weight” in the recent months. I say it like that (“lost weight”) because don’t weight myself very often (couple times/year?), so I don’t have much concept of how much weight I have lost, but my body has definitely changed.

Bodies change over the years. My body used to always fluxuate up and down 10lbs or so, on a pretty regular basis. It really depended on what my lifestyle was like and how much consumption I was doing at the time. It wasn’t until I started competing in yoga competitions that my body started to actually CHANGE…not just FLUXTUATE. Fluxtuattion was really about weight. My weight would go up and down but my body was pretty well the same body all the time. When I started with the competitions is when I started with Raw Food and Veganism as well. It all went hand in hand for me, and my path was set (in stone) for several years…and it was like this new body emerged from underneath the old body.

Jump to the past couple years…I am no longer competing, I had been travelling more than ever, and still struggling to maintain a Raw Food diet…or at very least VEGAN diet…I relaxed about the cooking part. But I began feeling not quite right. In my last post, I wrote how I have been studying MY body for several years on a very serious level through my yoga practice, my teaching of others in a yoga practice as well as being (extremely) mindful of every single bite of food and drink of anything that went into my body. I knew exactly how things were going to feel in my body and then, in turn, knew how everything would treat me in the yoga room. 

Not gonna lie, it’s intense. It’s really really intense to think that deeply about every single thing that I ate or drank!! Whoa. For the years that I was competing, for the years that I was so committed to being vegan and raw, it was worth it to me. I was committed to the idea that this was the right thing for me at the time…and if someone is committed to it and believes it, then who are we to say it is wrong? It is through experience that we learn things…and what works at one time might not work forever (again, see last post…long live evolution!). 

OK, so again jump to the past few years….I was struggling to stay within the confines of something that I thought I needed. I felt like I was inside of someone else’s body, not my body. Not this body that I had gotten to know so well. The things I was eating and doing and the beliefs I had about food were creating the opposite results that I anticipated. I was gaining weight, I was feeling crappy, tired, low energy…etc. Jump now to a year ago and I went to see a naturopath. Bestest had gone to see her when things were going haywire in her body and everything turned around for her, so for my birthday, she bought me a slew of tests and bloodwork. Happy birthday to me!

I was not unhappy when I was doing all that raw food high maintenance thinking about my consumption every second of the day. (Haha, I make it sound so glamorous!) I enjoyed the time I took with my food. I enjoyed knowing what was in my food, where it came from, preparing it, making it pretty…etc. It was what I did. Just like you play with your kids or go golfing or like to garden…I liked to play with my food. There were definitely times that I didn’t really fit in (being out at restaurants was challenging at times), but I did always try to share my raw creations with my friends and family…so, I just made it work. 

Jump back to last year, I got my test results back. Turns out I spent the past several years creating this “perfect” working machine…my bloodwork for food allergies was….wait for it…..ZERO ZIP ZILCH. I have NO food allergies! Aye, here’s the rub…My adrenal glands were totally fucked up. Adrenal glands control your output of adreniline (flight or flight hormone) and cortisol (helps with blood sugar, immune system, metabolism and overall stress management). I was getting a hit of energy at about 6am and then again in the late afternoon. My body was out of whack, not sleeping, not able to handle the food I was bringing in and craving other things to try to balance it out. The stress on my body of my weird taxed adrenal glands was causing all the things I was experiencing…creating this body that was (seeming, at the time) out of my control…making me think that so many foods were bad for me and that I had such sensitivities. Ha! I spent several years thinking I couldn’t eat so many things and it turns out it’s completely the opposite!!

So, to make a long year of what I ate in my life story short, the catalysts were eating fish and garlic bread in Mexico in May, and then eating my way through Europe in September! Ever since then, I have been eating pretty well anything I like. 

And my body has changed. 

So…this am after class a couple women mentioned how I have lost weight and asked me what I had been doing. I said that I started taking a supplement at the beginning of last year because my adrenal glands were over worked and from there everything fell into place. The more I thought about it over the day I realised that it’s not fair to say it was just the supplement. It was the supplement that was the catalyst for my adrenal glands to start to function properly…which gave me more mental clarity, more energy, more oomph and more mental and physical gusto! From there I began making choices that fed my soul, not just what I thought my physical body needed. 

Now I only eat what tastes delicious. I don’t eat something just because I think I need to. 

That’s my not so secret, secret. Feed your soul with your life, yogis!! Food, yoga, family, friends, laughter, music, hiking, biking, walking, pets, kids….you get the idea. FILL YOUR BUCKET with every thing you do.

Love you, go eat something good!

~Ida xx

a few things I have learned from MY dog…

meeeeet FELIX!!

meeeeet FELIX!!

Hello everyone!! I got a dog!! Yup, I have never had a dog in my life and I am now the proud owner of a small rescue Chihuahua!! It’s the funniest thing, I never in a million years thought I would want a Chi…but after getting to know and fall in love with Bestest’s Chi, Lulu, it seemed a no-brainer that my breed of choice would be one as well.

A Few Things I Have Learned From MY Dog…

1). I spend more time and energy feeding my small tiny dog* than I do feeding myself. Apparently I think that I can go days without actually eating a meal, but if Felix looks the slightest bit hungry, I mix him up a gourmet (primarily MEAT*) meal…and it doesn’t bother me in the least.

2). I have no problem cooking and handling meat (*see #1 above) because I am now Felix’s guardian and that is what he needs so that is what he gets.

2). I am going to need to get a bigger purse or else start carrying my (very small) dog in a bag so I can carry the extra stuff I need for him when we go out!! (Bed, water, water dish, treat, blanky…seriously.)

3). I have to be very careful where I step and sit down now…my small dog is the colour of many many things, it turns out, so camouflages veeeeerrrrry easily…he ends up underfoot so often!

4). I now believe in love at first sight and believe true love can happen in an instant. I know it sounds ridiculous but I could sit and stare at him all day, he really is so amazing.

5). Pets heal the soul…ours and theirs…because they are self realized beings.


Felix and Lulu...new besties with T...so happy

Felix and Lulu…new besties with T…so happy

Ok, well time to have a cuddle with Fe…he needs about 100 kisses/day. OH! I almost forgot. I got Fe from the Chihuahua Rescue Truckee Meadows Inc.
They have lots of dogs who need homes…these little guys don’t take up much space…

Love and sweet dreams,

ps-don’t worry, I’m not really going to put him in a dog-purse…well, not yet, anyhow… 😉

Hello my loves!!

Last week I spent some time working on an email interview with a fab woman I know, and have known for some years now (she said since 2005!), Jennifer Lee, for (one of) her website, Peace and Hotness. Jen opened Bikram Yoga Whiterock (a studio that ranks up in my top 5 I’ve been to…it’s on the second floor, has an amazing view of the ocean in the distance, is almost all windows and catches some AH-MAZE-ING sun/sky shows!), back many years ago, but is constantly evolving (oh gosh I LOVE all the stuff Jen has been up to lately!! Go check out one of her OTHER projects…The Vegan Project) and now has so many other things on the go, she no longer owns the studio but has now given birth to some more relevant to her now passions!! Seriously, go check out her blog/action, she’s a total inspiration. Love you Jen xx

Jennifer Lee Boyle. Beauty.

Jennifer Lee Boyle. Beauty.

So, anyhow, here is the interview. Jennifer had been specific with me not to answer as the yoga teacher, not answering what my students need to hear but simply and from my heart. Well, I realised that my integrity is strong, the answers I gave happen to be the things I would (and do!) say to my students. I liked that I thought about it as I wrote my answers, and I like that I am who I am…with anyone and everyone.

Have a read, it’s a good one 😉
How Ida Ripley Lives With Pleasure + Ease – MuseDays

Love and giggles, have a wonderful day, yogis!!
-Ida xx

THREE delicious things I made…

Hellooooo Yogis!!

I got an urge to be in the kitchen over the past couple days…something about being “home” and the weather and….well, just feeling like I want to use some creativity and experiment a bit. I used to act, that was part of my creative outlet…but I’ve always enjoyed being in the kitchen and experimenting….so, I wanted to share the few things I made in the past couple days. (Sorry, no pictures, it all got eaten before I was smart enough to document!! sorry 😉 )

OK…it’s FALL, so I got a squash. I got an acorn squash. I decided to get an acorn squash instead of a pumpkin…for reasons unknown…but do the same things with the squash as I was going to do with a pumpkin.

Squash Ginger Spice Loaf. (Gluten Free, Vegan and Sugar Free!)

1/2 acorn squash (roasted)
2 1/2 tbs flax meal mixed with 3 ish tbs water (allow to sit in order to “egg up”)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup molasses

2 cups GF flour mix (I used the one from HERE at She Let Them Eat Cake)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
dash of salt (i used himalayan pink, of course!)
nutmeg (I used all of these spices quite liberally, I wanted it to be spicy yummy!)

Mix the dry, add the cooked squash and mash it all up, add the rest of the wet and mix until not lumpy. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake….I baked it 20 minutes, then put some coconut oil on the top (because the recipe I loosely used said to, but I’m not sure it’s necessary), and then baked another 30 or so minutes…but you should check it after the second 20 minutes just in case your oven is different or pan is different shape etc.

Now, listen…it’s a bit fall-apart-y…but it is sooooo delicious!! I will try it again, see about keeping it to hold together…and I promise to take a pic!

Next I made some veggie burgers.

1/2 roasted acorn squash
1 can cannellini beans
1/2 yellow onion
2 large leafs of kale
4-6 tbs tahini
1 ish cup cooked brown rice

Sautee the chopped onion and chopped kale in a bit of oil until soft. Add some tahini and mush it all around…add the cooked squash and mash it together with the other things…add more tahini if you like…then add the cannellini beans and mash them as you go, mixing it all together. I had the pan on a low-med heat. Add some salt and pepper and mash it all together until you like the flavour and consistency.
I let it cool enough so I could form it into patties, then I put it in the fridge to slightly harden up. When I was ready, I pan fried them a bit to heat them and get a little texture on the outside.
They were DELICIOUS!! I put some dijon mustard, hot sauce, avocado and sprouts on them and ate them with lettuce leaves as a bun. SERIOUSLY delicious.

Tonight I had the hankering for some lentils (I’ve been upping my protein the past while as an experiment…I will let you know how it goes), so I made a red lentil dal…

1 1/2-2 cups red lentils
1 box vegetable broth (organic with no extra crap in it)
1 onion chopped(I used a yellow)
1 large yam (I had a HUGE yam and used only half), chopped
a bunch of yellow curry powder
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper
a dash of rice vinegar
Several large handfuls of spinach

Sautee the onion and the yam until it softens, adding a bit of water as you go to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot (do it in a soup or other large pot). Add the curry powder and a bit of water or broth to get the flavour going. Add the lentils to the pot and start by adding a bit more broth. I cooked it like this-risotto style-for a bit to start to soften the lentils. (Risotto style is adding a bit of liquid and stirring and cooking and then adding a bit more liquid and repeat). I added the spices and the rest of the broth and then let it simmer for another 20 or so minutes until the lentils were cooked and the flavour was as I wanted it. Then I added the spinach-I tore it up with my hands and stirred it in to wilt.

That’s it! I ate it in a bowl and it was wonderful.

OK…that’s all I got for ya tonight. I had a busy day and I’m pooped. It’s been great being back in Victoria. I’ve already taught a couple classes at BYSaanich and seen so many of you yogis. I’m here for a couple more weeks before I’m off on my next adventure, so hope to see more of you!!

Nighty night.
Love and sweet unicorn kisses,
Ida x

Tuesday is mid week?

Good morning!!

I am about to dash off to teach a class in Sidney, but wanted to post a pic of my dinner from lastnight. Yes, that’s right, I’m posting a picture of my dinner. I had a huge green smoothie during the day (blueberries, peaches, half a banana and swiss chard) in between the beginners and advanced classes I did. So, I decided I wanted something a bit more substantial for dinner. I was craving quinoa, so made a “moroccan” quinoa salad. It was Moroccan inspired at least…

Cooked Quinoa
Grated beets and carrots
soaked dried figs, diced
hemp seeds
chopped swiss chard
raw black olives, sliced
olive oil
moroccan spices (google it, it was a mixture of many things!!)

Toss it all up, top with a little avocado and that’s it!

was super yummy…I think it needed a little lemon juice though, for the acid factor.

my version of a moroccan quinoa salad!

What the brain thinks and what the body wants…

Hello my loves! Another rainy day here on the Island…alas, I taught a class out in Sidney this morning and the rain brought in a big number of yogis and also brought in the humidity we all love so much…so, the rain isn’t all bad…not ALL.

I have something weird to tell you. I think about eating meat (mostly fish) all the time…but every time I’ve come close to doing it (and by “close” I really only mean I’ve seen other people eating it), I have no desire to do it…nope, not gonna happen. Yet, every few days I am back to thinking I’d like to eat some fish and then every time I get close to it I just cannot even fathom the idea.

So, for now I am staying vegan…

Does this happen to you? Been vegan/vegetarian and think about eating meat/seafood…any other things you’ve stopped eating and are considering bringing back into your diet…?

Let me know, I’m always interested in people’s food path…


blueberry mint…

running out the door but thought I’d post my smoothie this afternoon. I ate breakfast but am taking the 345 class today so needed a little something to carry me through…

Blueberries (frozen)-about a cup…maybe a cup and a half
Leaves of a large stem of mint FROM THE GARDEN IN THE BACKYARD!
Tbs Hemp hearts
Tbs ish of green powder (Vitamineral Green)
Cup of water.

Blend and enjoy. Yum….now I’m all minty 😉

Have a fab afternoon,

Apple Cafe (inside Ingredients HF Store)

Good rainy afternoon, Kittens…

It’s a rainy Friday here in Victoria…they said it was going to rain and when they say something it must be true ;). I headed out of the house this morning in sandals and rather summery clothes…and wasn’t I aghast when I came out of yoga and stepped into the downpour that was happening outside. Sheesh. I’ve resisted saying it as I don’t want to conform and be too trendy (as I like to add my own flair to everything!), but I’m going to say it…this really IS JUNEUARY!!!! Double sheesh. The reality of the situation is this…It’s almost always beautiful here in May and everyone gets all excited and overjoyed that summer is here early and then June is almost always cold and rainy…well, this year is no different…good news is, it’s the 22nd of June, which means July is just around the corner…get my drift…so, take this rainy time to get stuff done that you won’t want to do once the sun is shining and all you want to do is frolick outside!!

OK…onto my post for today. It’s a quickie…I just wanted to put a shout out to Apple Cafe inside the (relatively) new Ingredients Health Food Store. Ingredients opened…oh…gosh, maybe half a year ago and I’ve been in there several times now. I mostly have just done a little shopping…they have a HUGE bulk section-including a whole gluten free bulk section as well as herbs, powders, teas, and all sorts of other things that you don’t even know you need…! You can use the little bags they have there for your bulk, or you can bring in your own jars or containers and weigh them empty then fill ’em up and pay for the contents…brilliant. Course, I’m yet to take advantage of this as I’m not that organized, but the idea of it is fabulous! They also have a pretty substantial vitamin and supplement section with a huge variety protein powders and green powders etc., to satisfy any dietary need. As well as all these lovely food selections, they do lectures, events and other fun things there…I’ve yet to attend anything there as I’m always out of town, but I love that they are creating a community down there on top of the great healthy food supply!

So, inside of the store there is also a little cafe-the Apple Cafe. They make pretty well everything there, and have a large selection of things to choose from…you can go for an Yerba Mate latte with fresh almond milk and a gluten free vegan power cookie or you can have a raw kale and kelp noodle salad with Almond dressing and a kombucha…or if you’re craving breakfast, how about an organic free run egg fritatta or a bowl of chia seed porridge? As I said, I had been to the store a few times, and one time got a cookie and tea to go, but today was the first time I sat down and had a real lunch there. I met Wendy there and we both ordered a raw salad…she had the raw falafel salad and I had the kelp noodle bowl salad. I loved mine. It had some kind of almond sauce…kind of asian peanut sauce kind of flair to it…Wendy enjoyed hers as well (I tasted it and it was way too salty for me…she commented that it WAS salty but she LOVES salty so it was good…but we both wondered if there was an error and it wasn’t meant to be that salty…I am still wondering).

The dessert case at Apple Cafe

I’m looking forward to going and eating there again. They do gluten free vegan pizza which looks good as well as raw pizza that I’d like to try…and they really do have eggs and other cooked things…so if you are with non-vegan eaters or what have you, I’m sure everyone could get something they like…

OK…well, that’s all I got for today. I am going to enjoy being in my sweats this afternoon, drinking my tea and listening to the rain fall.

Happy Friday, Kittens…hope the weekend is full of love, sweat and tears of joy.
Ida x

Quickie Thai Coconut Soup for Dinner…

I usually have the same thing to eat…different variations, but the same idea. I have a big salad and add a cooked vegetable item…usually brussle sprouts (I was one of the only children in the world who actually looooved brussels growing up!) these days, but sometimes I cook some squash or yam if I feel like I need something more dense…lately I’ll add some quinoa if I want to go that way. I’ve been reading a bunch of posts of people on FB who are trying out vegan eating, or dabbling a bit in letting go of meat on occasion…I remember years ago I met a woman who was vegan and I thought “there is NO WAY I could be vegan…what would I eat?”…it’s been 6 1/2 years since I started eating vegan (varying degrees of raw and cooked) and I can’t believe I ever wondered what I would eat…the bigger question is what was I eating back then that I thought I could never live without??!!!

Anyhow, I seem to be craving spicy soup lately…specially today, 2nd day of double in the yoga room and I needed liquid and vegetables and spicy!! I was going to make a version of Korean Pho, but it ended up as a Thai coconut soup instead


Homemade Thai Coconut soup:

Sautee some onion and ginger with a little olive oil in a big pot (I used 1/2 an onion and about a half a thumb of ginger). (I start with olive oil but do most of the cooking (can you believe I’m posting about COOKING…? I’m going to write another post about this topic…me cooking) with water to keep it from burning…

Add whatever kind of spice you like here. I used Thai green curry paste…quite a bit of it…to my desired flavour.

I then added sliced mushrooms, a little more water, and cooked a bit more.

Then came the vegetable broth (just about a cup) and another cup and a half or so of water. Then came the coconut milk-about 3/4 of a can. I stirred it all together, let it simmer, added some Bragg’s for salt.

Then I popped the sliced veggies into it to cook a bit (sliced carrots, chopped baby bok choi, and big-ish pieces of green cabbage). I let it cook for as long as it took me to clean up the mess I made in preparing it. I had some brown rice vermicelli soup noodles that I had in hot water getting soft…put them in the bowl, added the soup, topped with hot sauce, chopped cilantro and basil and beansprouts. Fab. Maybe it needed a little squeeze of lime…next time.

New Family Traditions

Good morning, everyone! It’s Monday, a holiday, and I’m still nestled in my bed. It’s raining outside, I’ve got my pot of tea and I’m not really planning on moving any time soon! Some days you need that, don’t you think? (I’ve been learning a lot about balance and finding and creating time for everything in my life, not just work/yoga…but that’s a whole other post!).

This weekend we had a Passover Seder. This is the first year since I was a young child that we’ve done it. My mom was raised in the Jewish faith, so when I was young, we (her side of the family) had Passover dinners at my grandparents place. I did not grow up “religious” in any way, but knew about the seder. My experience of the seder was always that we got to drink yummy grape juice and hide the afikomen (matzo) and then get money as a ransom to bring it back.

This year, however, my mom decided that she wanted to do a Passover Seder (instead of just having a generic “easter dinner”). Now, I’m a raw foodie. My mom is now mostly vegan and quite raw as well. My brother and his wife are vegetarians, and the rest of my family (my sister-cousin and her family) are omnivores ;). So, you can see that the menu was going to pose a certain finesse if we were going to all be able to enjoy the food, as well as the company.

Traditionally, Passover fare is quite meat-heavy (chopped liver, lamb, fish, etc). However, what my mom was able to do (with a little help from yours truly) is take the essence of the traditional food and what it represents, and make “substitutions” (perhaps, “new incarnations” is a better term for it in this case).

Check out the bottom of this post for our version of the traditional Passover Seder Plate. (As well as a couple others).

After a bit of brain-storming, a bit of googling and web surfing, we came up with a fabulous menu, all vegan and mostly raw! It even included raw mock chopped liver, raw mock gefilte fish, raw tsimmis, raw matzo (that was un-edible, we had to throw it out!) and raw borscht. Some of the recipes were inspired from this site. Everyone loved all the food and enjoyed breaking matzo together…I think it was our best family dinner yet!

This weekend we were able to create some new traditions in my family. I cannot tell you how happy it made me that my family was willing to share in an “alternative” style meal as a whole (rather than me making one or two things to serve along side a large bird or something). Again, I am shown that forcing people into something that I believe will never make them believe it too…I have to live my life as I believe, and eventually hope to inspire the people around me by who I’m being…and allow them to find their own path.

Happy Passover, Eater and whatever else you may be celebrating at this time…maybe you’re just celebrating a day off, as I am!

Raw Tsimmis

Raw Borscht!

Raw Vegan Passover Seder Plate

Raw Passover Seder Plate