Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 24! Raw Update

corn/flax cracker with lettuce, pickle, walnut cheese and veggies

I have been such a bad blogger lately! I'm sorry.... It's been hard looking at all the yummy cooked foods, so I've been limiting my time looking at temptation!

I can't believe I'm almost half way through my challenge. I did go off my diet for two meals last weekend, but I'm totally OK with that. I learned a lot about myself in doing so... I jumped right back on and it's been easier. Much easier.

I was struggling so much with cravings and just feeling like my life was missing so much because I couldn't eat my favorite foods.. and I was really bitchy! I could barely stand myself... I was really stressed last week due to some major things in my personal life and a local tragedy and I finally just gave into comfort.

... but it didn't comfort me! I still felt just as anxious and sad and it didn't matter how what I was eating! In fact, I physically felt so much worse and I have NO doubt that I have a gluten intolerance now. I broke out in hives. I have been breaking out in hives whenever I made seitan... and used to break out now and again before the challenge... also, I got heartburn and bloated up like a balloon!

I'm not going to lie and say this is easy for me now.. but it is getting better.
Also, I've been making sure to stay VERY hydrated (I work in a hot kitchen, so I'm losing electrolytes all day long) and I'm adding a lot of potassium rich foods to my diet. My leg cramps have definitely gotten better and my hair isn't falling out as much. I think that was from the stress of last week. Also, I have noticed no new bruises...

.. but I did start logging my food more to make sure I am getting the nutrients I need.
This sprout salad is a nutritional powerhouse. I used lentil and alfalfa sprout, avocado, shallot, tomato, lime juice and some nutritional yeast (and lots of chiles and cayenne)

This serving weighed in at:
385 calories
15 g fat
51 g carbs
7 g fiber
23 g protein
It also contained 49% of the RDA of Iron and tons of more nutrition. Most people are afraid I'm not getting enough protein on this diet, but I am. Lentil sprouts and nutritional yeast are a great source.
I am so lucky to have been gifted some fabulous organic rainbow chard from a co-worker. Her garden is overflowing! I've come to enjoy using greens to wrap things and they are definitely satisfying me now. I've been eating a lot of this particular wrap. I spiralized daikon into angel hair noodles and tossed it with a soy/sesame/garlic sauce and just cut up some avocado, corn and of course siracha.

I'm trying to be more mindful while eating and I find if I really sit back and pay attention to what I'm eating I am satisfied much easier than I used to be.
.. and MANGOES!!!!! I've been eating at least one a day. Mangoes have almost as much potassium as a banana!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 15 RAW good and bad

I am such a major blogger slacker! I only have two pics to show you... but they do pretty much encompass a lot of what I've been eating. First, above is sun dried tomato marinara with fresh basil, garlic and kalamata olives.I drizzled a bit of olive oil over the top, but made the sauce fat free. I am not limiting my fats, but since I'm eating so many nuts I think it's better to chill a bit with the oil. I think I'd rather get my fats in whole foods than oil anyway.
Big ass salad. yeah.. I eat tons of these.This one had lentil and alfalfa sprouts, avocado, sun dried tomatoes, tomato, lettuce, cukes and a greek dressing.

I made some pretty tasty cashew cheese and then dehydrated it. I'll probably photograph that soon... I'm also still working on the perfect bread and cracker recipe. I haven't been happy with anything yet. It's all OK for a few bites, but then I hate it... and yes.. I said hate as in turns my stomach hate.


Soooo.... that's the good news I guess. Now the bad.

I HATE this diet! I am over my hunger issues and my cravings don't really bother me that much... but I am just bored and even more, I feel like crap!

I have serious leg cramps that wake me up.. charley horses...
My hair is falling out...
I have several big bruises and I don't usually bruise at all..

I'm also BITCHY!
My attention span has been shortened.. it's hard for me to sit and read a book..

I'm still going to do this.. I am 1/4 the way there!

I have learned a lot and I am breaking the cycle of eating for comfort which is HUGE! (no pun intended),..
I haven't weighed myself, but several people have said they think I may be losing. I'll weigh in on Aug. 1st.

I'll probably have a handful of almonds and some dates for dinner.

I( am VERY underwhelmed by my dehydrator. So far, it seems everything I make in it tastes the same and that is nasty.

I definitely don't think you need a dehydrator in order to go raw..

Vita Mix is a HUGE plus though.

I am still drinking at least a quart of green smoothies and they save my sanity.

Now.. I am hoping I can catch up with all your blogs!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Day 10.. back to good...

I am feeling SOOO much better! What a huge relief. Tuesday afternoon I started to feel human again and in my body. I was at work and even though it was super hot I managed to feel better as the day went on instead of worse. I had a beet/grapefruit/celery juice around 1pm and all of a sudden I felt in my body again. It was an amazing feeling! I am actually thinking of getting a good quality juicer...although that is extravagant.. Right now my vita mix is great with the paint straining bags for juicing. This winter I want to start growing wheatgrass though... so I'll guess I'll see...

I love feeling good again! Today is day 10 and really it's not that hard anymore. I had some intense cravings yesterday .. but I let myself get too hungry. I think it's important to carry foods or smoothies with you because it seems like you do have to eat more frequently..

Speaking of smoothies.. I could NOT do this without Green Smoothies. They are the best. I drink at least a quart a day.. and more often two quarts. I do make mine pretty thin so there is a lot of liquid in them... but I work in a hot kitchen and need those liquids...

My favorite smoothie is:

2 c organic greens.. baby spinach or kale
2 c water
1 frozen banana
1 T golden flax meal
1 c frozen fruit (strawberries, peaches, mango)

I feel so calm, cool and centered after enjoying one..

I love this salad.. obviously since you see it every time you come to this blog! My recipe is mostly RAW... I use condiments that aren't 100% raw and you can toast the nuts.. or not! Obviously I won't be toasting them..

Baby Arugula Salad with Pecans, Figs and a Tarragon Vinaigrette:

7 oz baby arugula
1 cup red seedless grapes
4 fresh figs, quartered
1 cup toasted pecans *
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 small shallot, finely diced

Place 1/4 bag of arugula, 1/4 cup grapes, 1 fig, 1/4 cup pecans, 2
tbsp carrots and 1-2 tsp of the shallots on each plate. Dress lightly
with the vinaigrette. This is a strong vinaigrette, so use about half
as much as you normally would, adding more as you wish.

*To toast the pecans, place them in a single layer in a dry skillet
over medium high heat for 2 minutes or until they are nice and

Tarragon Citrus Vinaigrette

½ cup white balsamic vinegar
6 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp umeboshi i vinegar *
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp dried tarragon (or 1 tbsp fresh tarragon)
1/4 tsp ground fennel seeds
1/4 cup fresh chives
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp flax meal **
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


In the order listed above, place ingredients in a blender and blend
until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Yield

*Umeboshi vinegar is usually found in your health food store. If you
can't find it, add 1 tsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp soy sauce instead.

**Make sure your flax meal is not rancid. Taste before making the
dressing if you aren't sure. I store my flax meal in the freezer.

I've been missing bread and tortillas a lot.. so created this raw zucchini/steel cut oat flatbread which has helped with the cravings and given me some substance... I smeared this with my cashew veggie cream cheese, avocado , home grown sprouts and tomato.. I can't wait to start dehydrating cashew cheese for real sandwiches!
I just love sprouting so much. It is such a great feeling to actually grow your own food.. and it's SOO cost efficient. As long as you get into the groove it is pretty easy. I use both jars and strainers (just wire mesh collanders) and so far have had no problems at all..

Work is getting easier. I have settled into the fact that I will be tasting around 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of cooked food a day. I try to keep it on the lower level, but sometimes it is very necessary to finish a dish off and tasting has to be done.... I don't think I've hit a 1/2 cup yet.. but that is my maximum amount I'm willing to taste.

I am so much more mindful with food.
This is a HUGE reason why I'm doing this.
I LOVE almond milk. It is so delicious. The best benefit of almond milk is the pulp it leaves behind! It reminds me so much of Okara, which I used to make burgers out of. You'll be seeing some RAW Pulp burgers in this blog soon.. but I couldn't help but turn the first batch of pulp into Coconut Lime Cookies! They are just delicious and so filling. I can actually only eat one at a time with a glass of almond milk...

I'm starting to get excited about creating recipes again. For the first 8 days I was just feeling so crappy and hungry and sick... Looking back I realize I barely remember ANYTHING about the week... how odd... or not.. maybe it's like the pain of childbirth! ... lol

I am amazed that I am feeling good now and I'm not really craving food...

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Raw Truth Day 7

Guacamole with Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Chips

It isn't easy. I am not enjoying it. I don't feel good. I don't know if it's detox or what.. but I just don't feel good. I am still VERY committed and doing it because I said I would. I am so lucky to have such a supportive environment at work (even though I'm around all my favorite foods and COOKING them daily!)... It helps to have the accountability and support through work and this blog!

I am learning some things about myself, which is a huge reason why I'm doing this. I want to take away the comfort of food for myself. I don't want to rely on external measures anymore and I've done more that my fair share of that!
I feel RAW.. in mind, body and soul. My emotions are all over the place. It is very uncomfortable.
That being said, I'm happy I'm doing this! I realize this is probably par for the course and I'm just trying to be in the moment and not get too caught up in the uncomfortable feelings and cravings and even hunger! Physically I've felt so hungry but when I eat I feel like I want to vomit. Very odd.
Today I think has been a little better than yesterday.. Last night I was very close to giving into temptation... I am not even close to feeling that way today.. and physically I may be doing better too...
I've been experimenting a bit with my dehydrator and that is great. Right now I have my first loaf of spelt essene bread in it! I think that will help... for dinner tonight I'm eating some zucchini/sesame flatbreads with cashew veggie cream cheese, mustard sprouts and tomato. No pic though.. its so dark in my apartment!
I was craving salty buffalo wing tofu so badly last night... so I had cauliflower with a cashew 1000 island and Pete's Wing Sauce... this is where my High Raw comes in... I would so much rather eat this than the tofu and wing sauce... so if using a bit of sugar free sauce allows me to stick to my guns, then so be it!

I had some leftover salad from work, so I added sprouted lentils and sprouted quinoa to it...
Can't say I'm a fan of sprouted quinoa... I LOVE the cooked grain so much that it seemed like a tease.. maybe I think of it as a separate protein and carb source I might like it more?

All in all, I don't think I could do this without Green Smoothies... I have been drinking 2 huge ones each day.. and they calm me and I can tell they are nourishing.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Days 3 & 4

I think today may be the most challenging day yet. I am HUNGRY and craving carbs really bad. Fortunately, this nori wrap really quelled the urge for a sandwich! Now, I have to preface this by saying, yes.. that is siracha! I am not giving that up. Maybe one day, but being able to have a little bit of siracha or pickles or olives is what makes this possible for me. The nori roll was filled with veggies and our sunflower pate from work. The avocado brought it all together and it was very satisfying.
I have a feeling I'll be eating a lot of various nori rolls. I have some bread like experiments in my dehydrator that I hope work out. The first is a zucchini/pesto/flax cracker. I made a lot of spinach pesto this morning and used the pesto leftover in the food processor to flavor the zukes. I also added sesame seeds. The second experiment is a corn bread like thing.. and then I had a little bit of each of the 'doughs' so I mixed them together and formed burger patties. We shall see if they come together!
Oh.... the spinach tortillla worked! I can't believe it. Just spinach, spices and a bit of flax meal...
Pasta two ways! I made the spinach pesto which I tossed with zucchini angel hair and the other was zucchini ribbons with some of the cashew veggie cream cheese, lentil sprouts and fresh thyme. The pesto made 5 cups and I only used 1/3 c nuts and 1 T EVOO in it.. I thinned it out with water and it's delicious. This was super filling.

Blueberry/Banana Ice Cream Shake.... It was delicious and very creamy. I added 1/4 c of cashews to the Vita-Mix....

Carrot Ginger Juice. I love my vita mix. I strained it through a paint bag...
Lovely broccoli sprouts greening up in the window... I am doing a lot of sprouting. Right now I have lentils, alfalfa, quinoa and spelt berries going. It's really such a blessing to sprout. Frugality and nutrition right in your kitchen!

I am really tired today. I'm so glad I have the day off of work. Hopefully, I can motivate myself to go and walk my dog! lol

Happy Fourth Everyone! Stay Safe and have fun!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

DAY 2 RAW and Weigh In....

I made some awesome Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Chips in the dehydrator.... I sliced 1 medium potato then tossed with a spray or two of olive oil, chipotle powder, garlic powder and lime juice. I dehydrated at 115 for around 8 hours. They didn't get crips, but were really great. They probably would have gotten nice and crisp had I allowed them to go longer, but I was hungry.
I served them with a delicious veggie cashew dip that is based on my vegan veggie cream cheese recipe.

So, today is day 2. So far it's been interesting. I have gone through highs and lows and have REALLY craved foods... mostly carbs like wheat and bread and rice and pasta.... oh and tofu and cooked beans. The sweet potatoes really helped quell those cravings and also made me feel a bit more grounded.

I've been kind of spacing out a bit.. and I think I allowed myself to get too hungry because I was shaking... but on the other hand, my appetite seems to have lessened. The thought of eating more than 1/4 of the potato chips at a time is just too much and my stomach turns over.

I had an intense headache last night, but that probably is because I've been spending way too much time on my cell phone rather than the raw foods because I've eaten all raw before with no side effects.
I started my day with a green smoothie, then several hours later had this huge salad. Baby spinach, avocado, carrots, red pepper and hot mustard sprouts were complimented with a ginger/flax dressing. It was very tasty.

I am NOT counting calories at all on this diet and for the first 30 days I am going to eat whatever I want that is raw. That being said, I am not going to use the oils and fats gratuitously either, hence the flax meal dressing. I'd rather get my fat/calories from an avocado than oils anyway.

This is/was my dinner. First of all, the flavors are completely based on a delicious salad of roasted veggies that our Head Chef at Blue Moon makes... omg, I LOVE that salad! Obviously I do since I created an entire raw dish around it. I am VERY happy with how it came out. The flavors are spot on and very satisfying. I am just not able to eat much of it at a time. Several bits are delicious, then I have to stop because my stomach starts to turn. I don't feel SICK at all.. more like I have to stop and digest the food between bits. It's very interesting.

I also had a handful of walnuts and raisins earlier in the day.

At this moment, I am not craving any food at all, but earlier the cravings were SOOO intense..

I feel like I am learning more to sit back and relax and not give into physical sensation so far.

My mind is not racing as much... so that's probably a good thing. In the past when I've tried to do the raw thing, my mind would race a lot and I never felt satisfied. I DO feel VERY satisfied right now. It was a relief to come home and eat the chips/zucchini/dip and realize that wow.. I am no longer craving a veggie burger!

So.. my weigh in.. last month I lost 4 lbs which is what I aim for. Slow and steady wins the race! I do have a feeling I might lose weight doing this, but that is not really WHY I'm doing it. There's SOOO much more that weight loss that has to do with this. I think if I was doing this with weight loss as the only goal it would not work.