Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Lean


My friend Karen has been easing into the raw/v thing over the past few weeks. We were talking today about how even those days when the scale reads the same, our bodies are looking different. We hypothesized that in addition to losing some weight, because we're not having all of the salt and sugar of the Standard American Diet, it is making us leaner, in a different way. Whatever it is, I'll take it.

Still feeling lots of extra energy even on these days when the temperatures are in the high 90s.
Still feeling like I have secret super powers and it's fantastic.


What I ate today:

• coffee, and plenty of it
• water with lemon
• yellow vegetable curry - I made a clean out the fridge curry for the guys and I had a little too. (vegan not raw)
• juice - kale, spinach, carrot
• 8 raw Manzanilla olives
• green grapes
• salad - romaine, tomatoes, avocado, onions, bell pepper
• iced tea



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Packing Snax

Guess what these don't taste like?

I'm traveling to Atlanta on Thursday for a conference. I understand that Atlanta is not a wilderness, but I don't see myself straying far from the hotel. I thought I'd take a couple of raw/v things with me. This is how I ended up purchasing pizza flavored "Flax Snax." They do have a faintly Italian spice mix working for them but I won't go so far as to say they taste like pizza. They taste a little more like... flax.

Eating on this trip should prove interesting.

What I ate today:

•coffee
• 1 banana
• 1 small avocado
• 1 goji maca coconut macaroon
• salad - red leaf lettuce, onion, avocado, sprouted sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, a little olive oil
• 3 carrots with cashew peppercorn spread (natural foods store)
• green juice - apple, banana, mango,pineapple, kiwi, spirulina, broccoli, spinach, garlic, ginger, parsley
• Go Raw Pizza Flax Snax (Fresh n Easy Market)
• coconut water with pineapple
• green grapes


Monday, April 28, 2014

Maybe Not So Warm

That big beautiful thing I barely use anymore.

I've been reading up on how one goes about making their own almond milk. I've heard the homemade stuff is better for lots of reasons (taste, price, health-stuff). Apparently the hardcore almond milk people (you know who you are) use something in the process called a "Nut Milk Bag." The name ginches me out a little. I don't think I can go there yet. But never say never.

For dinner we went out to a vegan place. I got a green vegetable curry as my "warm" vegan meal of the week. It tasted good but I didn't feel great after I ate. I might be able to attribute that to the couple of bites I took of my son's faux-chicken parmesan. I'm usually not good with textured vegetable protein. I've been doing this one warm vegan meal a week thing because I thought I would miss warm food so much, but I really don't. I'm starting to think I can live without it and be just as happy.

What I ate today:

• coffee
• 1 banana
• smoothie made by my husband - mixed berries, mango, almond milk, and Sun Warrior raw vegan protein powder (protein powder courtesy of my friend Jerry)
• leftover cauliflower rice from last night
• wrap (WrawP) with avocado, lettuce, and paprika cashew cheese
• Evolution Fresh Sweet Greens and Lemon drink - celery, apple, cucumber, spinach, romaine, kale, lime, lemon, parsley, wheat grass, clover sprouts (Bristol Farms Market)
• handful raw organic white mulberries
• 8 raw Manzanilla olives
• 1 summer roll - jicama, carrot, lettuce, avocado
• green vegetable curry - eggplant, broccoli, onion, bell pepper, brown rice
• iced tea



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Inadvertant Mexican Theme Day



I was back at Kind Kreme today, this time with my husband, Jeff. I tried the raw tacos. These were pretty good. The taco stuff was served inside two red cabbage cups. It was a lot of intense cabbage-ness. I couldn't do all the cabbage so I mostly ate the filling which was kale, carrots, cashew cheese, cucumber, avocado, and something called "Almondrizo." (Really?) Almondrizo is an almond dust that has chorizo spices. It came with raw crackers that I dipped in a raw cashew paprika spread that I got at the natural food store yesterday. It was fantastic. I could eat that spread on everything.

Every other month, my friend Jennifer hosts a Girl Night at her place, for four of us lady-pals. We recently figured out that we have been doing some version of this get-together for the past nineteen years. Jennifer is an excellent, creative and thoughtful chef. Two of us at Girl Night are doing the raw/v and the other two are adventurous. She came up with some excellent things we could all enjoy.

No PMS symptoms this month (I attribute this to the raw/v) and I lost another pound today, you guys. High five.

What I ate today:

• coffee (Make that COFFEE)
• 1 banana
• 1 pear
• 1 loquat
• 2 raw tacos
• 8 raw crackers with Lick Cafe (seriously) raw paprika cashew spread
• 1 green juice - kale, spinach, cucumber, lemon, ginger
• handful of sprouted sunflower seeds
• jicama
• Mexican cauliflower "rice" - tiny cauliflower pieces mixed with tomato, onion, cilantro, garlic, fresh corn, and avocado
• green apple and tomatillo salad
• mango and raspberry granita




Saturday, April 26, 2014

Superfood


Today, while at the natural foods store, I purchased a Rawvolution "Big Matt." Get it? Like Big Mac? Again with the weird word-play, Vegans? Big Matt? I can't even. But I bought it anyway. It was two brown seed-y looking patty shaped things on a slice of tomato and a piece of lettuce that I think was supposed to act as the "bun." Wrapped separately were two pieces of brown "cheese." It was a lot of brown. It tasted good, as these things go, but I think it would be better if it wasn't pretending to be the raw/v of something familiar with the expectations that go with it. Just call it what it is: raw/v brown piles that taste pretty all right.

After school Bob and I were back at Kind Kreme, the raw and vegan place sort of close to the house. He had the Superfood ice cream. (Tastes like chocolate.) I had the Green Colada smoothie. I got a Raw Bowl to-go to eat later. I also had a juice that I bought last night at the Farmer's Market. It had six ingredients but one of the ingredients was beets so that was all I could taste. Mmm. Delicious beets. (No, really. I like beets.)

What I ate today:

• 1 banana
• strawberries
• 1 pear
• coffee
• Rawvolution "Big Matt" - walnuts, almonds, cabbage, carrots, dairy free "cheese" (sunflower seeds, coconut aminos, garlic), lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, flax seeds, mushrooms, parsley, olive oil, mustard, apple cider vinegar, ginger, lemon juice, and pink salt
• Green Colada - Coconut milk, banana, pineapple, spinach, and kale
• Raw Bowl - pickled vegetables, garlic, almond pesto, cashew cheese, "alfredo sauce," and kale
• raw juice - carrot, pear, beet (BEET), lemon, beet greens, and ginger



Friday, April 25, 2014

Trial and Error-ish


Today I was on the westside at lunchtime. I tried a place called "Lyfe Kitchen." I figured if they had the new age nads to spell life with a Y, they had to have some raw/v there. As it turned out, they had a pretty good sized vegan menu but not one raw selection. It was suggested by the woman helping me that I could get the Kale Caesar with no dressing and no croutons and no parmesan which would make it a bowl of raw kale. No thanks, I do that enough at home.

I picked a vegan tofu taco - so it was vegan but not raw. It was really good, but I actually didn't feel that great afterwards. I can't be sure, I think it was the tortillas. I also got a smoothie which was green but didn't taste very "green" and I can't believe I'm saying this but that was actually a let down. I know. It's weird.

What I ate today:

• coffee
• 1 pear
• 2 goji, maca, coconut macaroons
• pineapple coconut water
• 1 banana
• 2 tofu tacos - tofu, chayote slaw, avocado, cilantro, green onion, chipotle salsa, corn tortillas
• kale banana smoothie - kale, ginger banana, cucumber, apple, lemon
• green juice - cucumber, celery, kale, arugula, cilantro, lemon, ginger (This was REAL green juice.)
• curtido - Salvadoran spicy, pickled cabbage

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Is It Still "Cooking" If You Don't Cook It?


I bought my first Raw Cookbook so I can... um... make raw things you don't really cook. Whatever. The pictures are pretty and the stuff looks interesting. I chose Raw & Simple by Judita Wignall. There is a "Basics" section I like with lists of how to stock your raw pantry. I can tell the list is going to be good for me when I start running out of inspiration. She has raisins on the list. I've read that there is a raw foodist controversy about whether or not raisins are raw. I find this hilarious.

Dear Lord,
Let my biggest controversy today be about raisins.
Thank you.

Today I ate:

• strawberries with banana
• coffee
• cold lentil and carrot salad, cold barley and tomato salad - I was out for lunch so these were my "close enough" choices. (And they were delightful.)
• coconut water with pineapple juice
• salad - red leaf lettuce, avocado, beets, fennel, onion

* This is not a sponsored post.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Beaver Butt, Anyone?

My friend turned me on to Food Babe. She calls herself a "food investigator" and makes it her job to find out the truth about what's really in the food we eat. This video explains where some of the "natural flavorings" on food labels are really coming from. Yeah, It's about how we're eating "castoreum," the castor sacks and anal fluid of the North American beaver. You heard me.




One thing I know, since doing the raw/v thing, I haven't ingested any beaver butt in the last six weeks.
*Shudder.*

What I ate today:

• coffee
• one pear
• raw wrap with mushrooms, avocado, hummus, and spinach - The wrap was one of those "WrawPs."
• 4 raw Botija black Peruvian olives
• green juice - spinach, ginger, pineapple, apple, mango

Over time, I'm noticing I get happily full on a lot less food. High five.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Cardboard Box of Goodness


Every Wednesday, around 4am, a box of local, organic fruits and vegetables is left on our doorstep. We signed up for this service a few years back and I always felt like I was racing against the clock every week to try and use everything up before the next box came. Often I didn't and then I had food-waste guilt. Now that I'm raw/vegan, Wednesday mornings, when I open that box, it's like Christmas.

I'm eating beet greens and fennel and leeks and sweet little onions and a bunch of lovely stuff I never took the time to figure out what to do with but should have been eating anyway.

Here's what I ate today:

• coffee
• mixed berries
• Go Raw Live Pumpkin Bar (Whole Foods) A thin seed bar, these aren't great but if you're out and all you've got in your purse is one of these...
• Go Raw Spirulina Energy Bar  - See above
• kale, spinach, apple, ginger juice - From the natural foods store by my house.
• carrot celery sticks, jicama
• 6 raw Botija black Peruvian olives  - These are super good - brined not in a lye mixture like many other olives, but brined only in sea salt - or so they say in a YouTube video I found when I googled "Botija."
• a big salad - Bob and his friend Felix and I went out for dinner. At the neighborhood coffee shop we went to, I went rogue. I asked for something that was no longer on their menu as of a couple of months ago, the Southwest Chicken Salad. I asked for it with no chicken, extra avocado, hold the sour cream. (So now I'm that pain in the ass customer.) It also had onions and peppers and tomatoes. I enjoyed.



Monday, April 21, 2014

Some Cute Easter Things I Didn't Eat and What I Did


Easter was a success. I was not drawn to what I thought would be my raw/v kryptonite: Mashed potatoes. All right, maybe I was drawn for a second, but I did not eat them.

Today was very full. We went to visit friends and then had more friends over for Easter dinner. I cooked some stuff. Things I served but did not eat: ham, mashed potatoes, carrots with butter, almond torte, chocolate bunnies, deviled eggs and when we were out - some amazing looking duck salad that my friend Amy made.

What I did eat today:

• coffee
• more of that terrible raw granola that I should have thrown away after I first tried it. It was not better the second time. Had it with almond milk. Then threw the rest away.
• 1 pear
• 1 raw coconut macaroon
• herb salad with olive oil and lemon juice and a little pink salt
• asparagus sauteed (warmed) with olive oil, sliced radishes, and onion. Dressed with lemon juice and pink salt
• mixed berries
• raw vegan fudge



Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Hots


Part of my deal with myself is that is if I want to have hot (vegan) food once a week or so, that's cool. I'm committed to raw, but I don't want my new way of eating to keep me from having a social life either. My goal is to eat the best way I can in any situation. Dinner tonight came from a vegan Thai place that is really close to our house. (How lucky am I?)

And I lost another pound. That's now 13 pounds total in 5 - 1/2 weeks.  Thanks, Kale.

Today I ate:
• coffee
• strawberries
• 1 banana
• cranberry raw bar (Two Mom's In the Raw)
• leftover Raw Bowl from yesterday (this was a big bowl of kale)
• mandarin orange
• "Jungle Curry" red curry with bamboo shoots, mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini, green beans and eggplant
• a little brown rice
• thai tea



Saturday, April 19, 2014

On the Menu


Today after my son, Bob was out of school, we went to a raw and vegan restaurant that's pretty close to our house. They have juices and smoothies and lots of quinoa stuff and raw tacos and vegan pizza, but the thing they're known for is their raw/v ice cream. Bob is starting to really be into a flavor called "Superfood." I'm not sure what's in it but it tastes like chocolate and that's good enough for Bob. I was older than the majority of the clientele by about two careers, three marriages, and a kid. I was also not carrying a yoga mat, which seemed to be mandatory. The people behind the counter were really nice to us anyway. I got the "Raw Bowl." It was a lot of raw and I could only finish half. I liked it.

What I ate today:
• coffee
• 1 banana
• 1 mandarin orange
• Raw Bowl - This included pickled vegetables, garlic (make that, GARLIC), almond pesto, cashew cheese, something they had the nerve to call "alfredo sauce," (false advertising but it was still good), and a whole lot of kale.
• The Alkalizer - This fresh squeezed juice included apple, cucumber, ginger, kale, and grapefruit. Again, it seemed kale heavy but I'm getting used to that.
• Another banana
• Raw granola with almond milk - I bought this at Whole Foods. It had the consistency of gravel even after I let it soak in the almond milk for awhile. I think if I want cereal, I stick with the oatmeal.




Friday, April 18, 2014

The Honeybaked


Yes, that is a ham in my kitchen. This is not because I have given up raw/vegan, it is because I am a delightful hostess. Easter dinner is at our house on Sunday and not everyone there will be a vegetarian. So, I got the traditional ham. There will also be mashed potatoes and a few other things that I won't be eating. There will definitely be a large salad and some fruit and that ridiculously good raw/v fudge I told you guys about. Who knows? Maybe by next Easter, my people will all be raw/v but that isn't the case right now.

Some readers have mentioned to me that they worry about being able to do the raw/v thing on holidays. I was fortunate to go to two different seders this Passover where my hosts were kind enough to be especially sure I would have raw/v choices. I'll let you know how it goes this weekend, but so far it seems like my tastes are really changing and what sounds good to me has changed too. Also, I'm no scientist, but I suspect that at this point in the game, if I tried to put back a ham steak the digestive results would not be pleasant. Just keeping it real, folks.

What I ate today:
• coffee
• oatmeal with berries - I soaked raw oatmeal overnight in almond milk with a few teaspoons full of chia seeds. In the morning it was soft and delightful. I added mixed berries.
• 1 big bowl of kale with avocado and an assload of nutritional yeast
• 2 Laughing Giraffe Organics Goji Maca Snakaroons - fancy name for a raw coconut macaroon. We'll talk about, raw food favorites, goji and maca another time. I got these cookies at the natural foods store.
• 6 raw Manzanilla olives - I don't want this to become some weird thing where I'm counting my food but, you know, I had six.

Okay. I didn't forget to eat dinner. I am not the type of person to "forget" a meal, but we had homework and then a late baseball practice. I didn't have dinner and by the time we got home all I wanted was bed.



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bob Loblaw and Fudge


When it came time to name this blog, every name I could come up with either sounded porn-y or tongue -twisterish. Even the name I finally chose, My Raw Blog, reminds me of the "Bob Loblaw Law Blog" from Arrested Development.




Meanwhile there's this raw/v fudge. (Yes, I'm trying to make raw/v a thing.) Oh my God you guys, this fudge is super easy and tastes like real dessert not just "pretty good for vegan food." It is really fast and easy to make. I blended the ingredients by hand, didn't need a blender. I've done it a few times now and I'm thinking I should just have some in the freezer for always in the event of chocolate emergencies. It's really rich so you won't feel like eating a lot. Eat it right out of the freezer or it gets all melty and messy.
You can find the recipe at The Culinary Life.

Here's what I ate today:
• 1 banana
• coffee
• tomatoes/snap peas/carrots/jicama - This was from one of those little Trader Joe's boxes that's divided into quarters. You find them in the refrigerated vegetable section.
• cranberry nut bar - The brand is Two Moms in the Raw (more porn titles) and I got it at Whole Foods where it was hilariously overpriced.
• one small raw mixed green juice from Whole Foods - I can't remember everything that was in it but I know that kale and spinach were involved. It tasted like the smell of fresh cut lawn but after a few sips, I got used to it.
• 1 avocado with Himalayan pink salt - the pink salt is a thing with the vegans and the raw people. It's supposed to be better for you than regular table salt somehow and it tastes great. I got mine at the grocery store. (Von's)
• mixed berries and pineapple







Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Raw People Love Their Puns



Yeah. It's called a "WrawP." (Yes, WrawP people, very clever, we get it.) I bought this flatbread at the natural food place awhile ago. I was feeling sandwich-y today so I made a wrap (WrawP). I'll be honest, I didn't have high hopes for the flat bread. When I took it out of the bag, it looked packing container-ish and tasted the way it smells inside a health food store. Nevertheless, I put avocado, pea sprouts (Trader Joe's), mushrooms, tomatoes, and a little hummus on one of these guys and wrapped it up. It was actually really good. I swear.

What I ate today:
coffee
2 Bananas
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
the wrap
kale salad with strawberries and oranges
mixed berries
raw vegan fudge (This is so good, you guys. I will tell you about the recipe tomorrow.)




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What It Was Like and What I Ate


If you haven't taken a selfie with your favorite condiment, then what are you doing with your life, really? 
(Also these Bragg's yeast people aren't paying me to talk about their magic flakes. I just like them.)

The stuff I'm holding in the picture is Nutritional Yeast Seasoning. If you haven't tried it before (and really why would you?) it's good stuff. It has a cheesey-ish nutty flavor, sort of. Raw kale has never been my idea of a party but with a little olive oil and some of this stuff on it, its actually all right. After week one, I even started (gasp!) looking forward to it.

In my first week of raw/vegan, I missed my bread. My solution was to eat a truck-load of guacamole with raw crackers. I found the crackers at the natural foods place by my house. They're in the shape of crackers but it's a stretch to call them "crackers." They were more seeds and nuts held together by I'm not sure what. I ate a lot of bananas and kale.

After the first week, I stepped down the guacamole and really tried to stick to organic produce. I've also heard that fermented vegetables are important to eat when you're doing the raw/v thing. (Was that gross to shorten it to "raw/v?" Whatever, I'm doing it.) I got some kimchee and had a little of that everyday. 

My goal here is to stick to raw foods most of the time, with a cooked vegan meal maybe once a week or so.

The biggest question I get is, what do you EAT? 

So, here's what I ate today:
• water with lemon
• 2 bananas and strawberries
• 1 raw coconut macaroon (from the natural foods place)
• black coffee
• big salad with romaine, spinach, avocado, onion, fennel, grapefruit, and raw sprouted sunflower seeds
olive oil, Himalayan pink salt
• 1/2 cup kimchee
• bowl of kale with olive oil and nutritional yeast
• apple slices and celery with raw almond butter
• 2 more of those macaroons (I still like my desserts.)

I eat until I'm full but the full feeling is different than the full I was used to before. I can only describe it as a less stuffed, lighter full. It's full instead of FULL. The main thing is that I'm not hungry or HUNGRY.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Decision

So, this happened. And no, they won't get you high. Just "high on life." Sweet Mary, who am I?


You guys? I decided to try the raw vegan thing a month ago. I talked about that over in a post on Smacksy.com. I initially decided to try it out for a week. One week led to two to three to now.

First, please know that I am in no way an expert on the raw vegan lifestyle. What I will share here is my own experience. Please check with your doctor before attempting any kind of (disclaimer-don't-sue-me) diet or lifestyle change, etc. You know what I'm saying. Don't be a dick about it. 

My favorite foods have always been mashed potatoes and glazed old-fashioned doughnuts. And pancakes. And dulce de leche ice cream. And chicken fried steak. And pie. Oh, man, the pie. The decision to eat raw vegan was not something I came by naturally.

Last time I had my cholesterol checked it was a tad high. I'm saying "a tad" because I don't remember the actual numbers, but I will find out. My doctor told me then that the best thing I could do to avoid cholesterol medication would be to lose the twenty pounds I had put on over the last few years. Instead, I gained ten more. I have always had digestive problems and food sensitivities. I have low energy problems and drink buckets of coffee - with cream, heavy cream.

I heard that eating raw vegan would lower my cholesterol, help my body find its natural, most healthy weight, give me more energy, and make me feel great. (And animals are nice and maybe didn't want to be eaten?) First, I eliminated the cream in my coffee. It was a sad goodbye, but after a couple of weeks, I got used to it. Next, I cut way back on eating meat. Then, I took it down to just fish. On March 14 (2014) I dove in and went raw vegan. I could have made a slower transition but I was ready so I just woke up one day and did it. 

My people have had questions, so many questions. I will attempt to answer them on this blog. Most of the raw vegan-centric websites I have visited lay out somewhat complicated menus and recipes that require a lot of prep and a dehydrator, a Vitamix, and a Cuisinart. I'm not getting that fancy just yet, so I will let you know what I'm actually eating in a (lazy, small appliance-less) day. 

Just to kick start this thing I'll tell you that in a month, I have lost my cravings for sugar, have more energy and drink less coffee, and I have lost 11 pounds without ever being hungry. I feel like kind of a bad ass. And it wasn't hard.