Lovely Lama Always lots of talk around protein at the mention of raw or vegan lifestyles. One thing I've been told and believe to be true is that animal protein is inefficient when it comes to building muscle. While it bulks you up, it doesn't necessarily provide more strength. If you doubt what I'm telling you check out this article about Venus Williams, there was word about her winning Wimbledon on a raw vegan diet, but little coverage to back up that claim. Well here it is people, a quick interview with Venus but I think the pictures alone prove my point above, she has leaned out, wow! And not only that but she healed herself and went on to win. How great is that, seriously food is magic. Thanks to my raw friend Tracy in AZ for sharing. xo

Sprouting is SO easy and super fun. If you have little ones this can be a great kitchen project for them to help with. Just a quick heads up, the directions below might seem a bit daunting but I promise if you try it once you'll realize it's really very little work especially when compared to the price of sprouts at the market. Materials 1L mason jar Cheese cloth and mason ring only 2-3 tbsp Mumm's sprouting seed mix OR organic dry mung beans, lentils, quinoa, etc Filtered water Rinse your seeds, beans or grains well and then fill the jar with water to soak, see soaking chart. Drain, rinse and drain again. Lay the jar on its side so the seeds have some breathing room. They will expand to at least 4x the volume once they get going so don't pack the jar. Store them in a cool, dark place overnight, I use my drying cupboard. In the morning rinse/drain and again in the evening.  Repeat this routine until the seeds have sprouted a tail about half their length or longer. Depending on the season it could take as little as 24 hours up to 5 days. And bless quinoa as it sprouts overnight! Sprouts are delicious, I love to have a bowl with some good quality, dry pressed olive oil and salt and pepper. Or you can put them in salads and sandwiches to add depth of flavour. They're an easy way to add diversity to your diet and fresh local foods in the winter.

I really like Lamb's Quarter, maybe cause it's a bit of an underdog on this side of the world. It is considered a weed in Canada and the US, which is crazy as it's highly nutritious, grows everywhere and tastes like spinach. Plus apparently you can eat the seeds like quinoa... which I haven't tried yet. Check this out, in just one cup 46% DV calcium, 5.8g protein!!! Plus lots of other minerals and vitamins. I just planted some on my patio. Now these percentages are based on steaming the greens, and I suspect that's where you're getting the high percentage of calcium. Similar to spinach the calcium content increases after lightly cooking (thanks for the tip Mom). Don't weed and trash, weed and eat!