Beauty Starts Within

Twenty three + two flights of stairs= Winded, right? Wrong! After having to pause for two to three minutes, slowly attempting to get my heart rate back on track, I realized, “Gosh girl, you cannot be cute in your cocktail dress and sweaty! Take action! You shouldn’t be having heart attack scare at twenty three.”
I was already dating a European Rasta environmentalist, on the verge of saving the world. Slowly becoming a rabbit, he was through only consuming organic raw vegetables and quickly becoming a tree hugger, conserving on toilet paper by not using it and jumping into the shower every time he used the rest room. Hard core, I know. Anyhow, he always wanted me to get on the grind with him. Nagging me “But my love, it will only do you good, no harm.” “You shouldn’t knock it till you’ve tried it”. “I thought you said you love me?” After trying to make me feel like the worst girlfriend in the world, I finally gave in.
As I gradually transitioned from carnivore, to pescatarian to complete vegan, I couldn’t help but think about meat. Old Luther Ingram kept playing in my head,” If loving meat is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.” I was dying. One would have thought I was pregnant with the hard core cravings I had. But in a matter of months my thirst for flesh went away, and I never felt better. After my fourth year of being a vegetarian, I realized that I haven’t hand an asthma attack, taken any allergy medicine, and my eczema completely went away. I was amazed. These three things I lived with all my life that hampered me from running around as a kid and wearing certain clothing as an adult were completely obsolete. And I owe it to nothing more than my diet.
As women we tend to be very judgmental of ourselves and whether wanting to acknowledge it or not. Our physical image is a big part of our persona. We spend hours on our hair, makeup, and clothing. Forgetting that a healthy diet contributes to our beautiful exterior and we must invest time into that as well.  Beauty starts within; literally. So here’s a quick recipe for those ready to begin their journey on the road to overall beauty. It’s Raw, Its Vegan! But most importantly it SWEET! EnjoyBlueberry Raw Cheese CakeIngredients/Tools
Raw Cheese Cake
2 1/2 cups raw cashews soaked for an hour
1 tbsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 cup raw Agave
1/4 cup of melted virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
Food processor or high speed blender
9” Spingform PanInstructions
Raw Cheesecake Recipe: In a cereal bowl, cover the cashews with water and let soak 8 hours or overnight. (If using the raw crust recipe below, you can make that while you wait.) Drain and pat completely dry. Combine all ingredients adding  a couple of blueberries into the mixture. (Trust a couple is more than enough.) including the 1/4 cup water in a high-quality food processor or Vitamix and process for 5-7 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.

The Crust.
Just over 1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
1/16 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
up to 1 tbsp water, if needed
1 tea spoon of olive oilLine a round 9-inch spring form pan with light coconut oil, and set aside. Combine all crust ingredients, except water, in a high-quality food processor (not a blender as it will make it too smooth; we still need some texture) until fine crumbles form. If the mixture is too dry, add the water. Press the crust mixture into the prepared pan, and then pour the cheese cake mixture on top of the crust. Now, place in the freezer for two hours. After the two hours are up, take it out and decorate it with any leftover ingredients as you wish. For syrup like topping, take all of the left over blueberries place into food processor or blender, with some agave and light coconut oil and sweeten as desired. Pour on top just before serving and you will have an authentic vegan pastry café right at home! Enjoy! It’s your first step on the rough, yet easy road of healthy choices.
Written by Tabrine Chester
Edited by Pranesh Rao
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