MAP Wellness

MAP Wellness
Spreading the Health

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It rains.

As I sit in my mountain top jungle casita this morning, I wonder if today will be another full day of hibernation, as mother nature unleashes her seasonal weeks of weeping over the Costa Rican coastline. Yes, October is considered to be one of the rainiest months here in Central America, and since my return here this past weekend, the skies have not disappointed. Lush, green, and clean, the tierra and vistas throughout this region (not to mention farmers crops) absorb this moist magic, and in return offer up the makings for some of the most magnificent months ahead; visiting The Rich Coast here in November and December is quite possibly the best time in my opinion, as the jungle is at it's most fertile, but the days begin to dry as the sun takes back the sky.

So as I sit here, sipping my spirulina smoothie this morning, I am grateful to be home.

And I am also thankful to all that helped make my recent three week tour to Canada and the US a joyful journey; as life in the North can be quite overwhelming after months spent living the pura vida.

Yes, looking back at my whirlwind trip that had stops in Ottawa, Toronto, Exeter, London, Milton, Newmarket, Atlanta, and LA, I am just happy to have survived! Planes, trains, and automobiles, plus noise and hurry, one raw food event, two TV appearances, and perhaps too much wine with dinner, made for one terribly exhausted yet exhilarated gal, when all was said and done!

As the summer is now ending, and the cooler air is inevitable (for most, not so much me her in CR), I know many of you will be planning air travel in the coming months for sweet refuge from things like "polar vortexes" (shudder).


And there are a few go-to tricks that I always adhere to when planning travel, and I want to share them here today. As I am vegan for the most part, some of these tips may sway towards my being a plant-based diet kind of gal; but don't brush this list off even if you are omnivorous! If you can adhere to a more veg-friendly diet whilst in transit, I promise you that YOUR transit will thank you....get me? Travel constipation much?

  1. Green Juice. This is the ultimate jet-lag preventative measure. I always juice 2 huge jars full; one that I will drink in the taxi en route to the airport, the other that I freeze solid, and can usually get past security in that state, to enjoy on the plane!
  2. Pack plane food. Do not succumb to the $8 corn nuts and colas. You must pack a bag of light, water-rich meals for the trip. My go-tos? A huge salad topped with raw and roasted veggies, lots of fresh fruit, vegan sushi, and a whole avocado. Sometimes you have to flirt with the border guards to get the produce through, but I am prepared to stoop to that in the name of wellness. You should be too.
  3. Got a stopover? Research your airports. Find out where there is WIFI, what restos offer light vegan fare, if see if there are there sleeping quarters available to grab a quick nap.
  4. Hydrate. Drink your weight in water. Gulp it pre-flight, during, and post. Who cares how many times you have to ask your aisle seat neighbour to move so that you can mosy on back to the restroom? At least your skin will remain soft, and your mouth moist and happy.
  5. Enlist the help of others to ease the transition once you arrive at your destination. Raw juice delivery companies like Raw Juice Guru in Toronto, and health and wellness gift basket delivery businesses like Jule's Baskets, can ease the stress of having to source your own local nutrient rich beverages and foods since they can deliver straight to your hotel! All you need to do is land, arrive, and imbibe!
So what are ya'll waiting for? Book those flights, as the longer you wait, you know the more expensive your getaway is gonna get!

Here comes the sun, much love, pura vida!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Kombucha-Aged Cheeze, Please!

(originally published for One Green Planet)

One of my fave ways to make my cheeze, and eat it too, is the following recipe. It uses a technique I learned while training as raw food un-cook, and I make it almost weekly these days. I have actually snuck this awesome spread onto a platter alongside brie, goat, and blue cheese, with no one the wiser that my contribution was in fact of the plant-based variety! So why not give it a go, and see if you and your loved ones can't taste the difference!

Gourmet Dairy Free Cheese


  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 raw Kombucha tea (I brew my own, learn how!)
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 2 T fresh herbs of choice (I like basil & rosemary)


  1. In high powered blender or food processor, add all ingredients and process until a smooth, ricotta-cheese like consistency is reached.
  2. Using a spatula, scoop mixture into a strainer bag/nut milk bag and tighten bag around the cheese, forming a solid ball.
  3. Place the ball & bag into a bowl, and drizzle a little more Kombucha over top.
  4. Cover with a towel and leave on the counter overnight, and up to 3 days to “ripen”.
  5. Check cheese often to test flavor and ferment. Once happy, eat it!


Store in the fridge up to 1 week.