Monday, January 31, 2011

Raw Potluck

My daughters and I attended a raw vegan potluck today at Ecopolitan raw food restaurant in Minneapolis. I made a zucchini noodle dish with an almond sauce. It was great to have a plate full of new kinds of raw dishes! My daughters stuck to the berries and grapes but also enjoyed a bunch of blueberry-cashew balls rolled in coconut flakes. They were awesome! There were a couple wonderful salad dishes as well. One was very much like a coleslaw, and the other was a kale salad that was surprisingly wonderful! I also tried a cup of green smoothie someone brought. I wasn't sure I'd like it since I always feel I need fruit to balance out a green smoothie and this one had none. It was, however, really tasty! I can't recall all the ingredients but I know there was cilantro and olive oil since those stuck out in my mind when the smoothie's creator rattled them off, among a list of other greens...
It was very quaint and a small group. I had expected a big enthusiastic group of energetic bouncy people for some reason, haha. But they were very laid back and it kind of felt like we were over at someone's house for dinner. I didn't get to stay all that long though because after they ate, my girls were running around and chasing each other and screaming too much! We decided it must be all the energy from the raw meal they just had.
I'll probably go again in the spring or summertime. I enjoyed meeting others who understand and make raw foods and holistic health part of their life. It was a great way to keep my enthusiasm going on my own raw eating!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

End Of Week Two

Two weeks in now!  I've been enjoying some of some raw bread I made in the dehydrator and my kale/banana/berry smoothie I've kept in the refrigerator. I have kale chips dehydrating as I type for later and almonds soaking, because it seems I always need soaked almonds for something!
I cannot claim the full 100% raw at this point as I've made a couple of exceptions. Most raw foodists aren't 100% but are usually closer to 80% which I'm fine with. Right now I probably am at about 95% or so. One exception I've consciously made, is Terra vegetable chips, which I'm using for all the raw salsa I've been making. Now I'm sure they aren't dehydrated at low temps but I figured they're as close as I'm going to get. I've tried several times to make my own chips with no success. I also used a bit of my vegan cold-pressed margarine on the dehydrated bread when my nut butter didn't turn out.
When I first made these exceptions I feared it might knock me off my raw foods lifestyle I so want to be committed to. And I thought about the reasons I was doing so and feared they were simply excuses. After all, becoming vegan, to me, was an all-or-nothing thing. However, it's actually feeling great to not be so hard on myself for once. Just knowing I'm not as restricted lifted my spirits. It feels more do-able to continue a raw food lifestyle now.
I think it's different for everyone and each individual should monitor how they feel at different percentages raw. I'm very glad I stuck to my guns the first two weeks though because I don't think I could have overcome my food addictions and cravings had I not been in it "all-or-nothing."

My typical day now, at two weeks, is a big glass of water in the morning. Then a bit later I have a green smoothie. Mid morning a banana and at this time I work on whatever I'm planning for an afternoon or evening meal. Whether it be soaking, or dehydrating, I start it early so that so it will be done later. Usually, I have something soaking and sometimes something dehydrating overnight if I think of it too.
Around lunch I use what I was soaking overnight or whip something up in the blender. Or perhaps more smoothies. I snack on fresh fruit and hand fulls of raw nuts throughout the day.
In the evening hours I make whatever I had planned and prepared for. If I haven't prepared anything, then I make a great spinach salad with raw cashews, tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil (and a creamy avocado mixed in if I have some).
If I get the urge later evening I'll have a banana or apple. I'm still working on not eating right before bed as I've heard late night eating isn't that great for digestion and health.
So that's where I'm at right now! Hoping to continue at a good 95% for a long period of time. I'm focusing on spring and summer being right around the corner. And how sweet it would be to be raw for the summer. When it's green and warm all around me. I'll feel so peaceful and healthy to be eating a living foods diet and be surrounded by green life and sunshine!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 9, Still Transitioning.

It's the end of day nine and today was long. I'm tired and feeling depressed today. What's with that? I'm waiting for more of this raw energy to kick in!!! The cravings have settled but today, being yet another cold cooped up Minnesota day, with John at work and me home with the kiddos, had me longing for some comfort food. I just wanted to order a pizza and pig out. I didn't. But it was really bumming me out today.
Yesterday went very smoothly. Few cravings and overall upbeat. So I guess there will be good days and bad days during this transition. Still managing to keep my head above water.
This is going to seem so much easier in the springtime I'm thinking...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Week 2

So I made it through the first week! Yesterday, day 6, was probably the hardest. I was getting tired of the few ingredients I had in the house. We were running out of bananas and zucchinis and I let myself get hungry so cravings were hitting. To make things more difficult, my kids (vegan, but not raw) were requesting all their favorites so I was making good smelling couscous and pastas and sandwiches. My daughter even was trying to talk John into ordering pizza, a huge weakness of mine! Luckily, we didn't order pizza and John was headed out to run errands anyways, so I sent him with a list. After everyone was asleep I forced myself to get some banana and zucchini chips started in the dehydrator so I'd be prepared with some snacks when I woke up and went to bed planning on those, smoothies, and carrot soup, for which I know had the ingredients, for the next day. Glad I did.
This morning I had a couple of glasses of water first thing. Then later  I munched down the zucchini chips and had a banana and a sip of smoothie. Then headed to the gym where I haven't been in a couple months (holiday break, haha). A good workout and some carrot soup has pulled me back on track.
Mornings are good. I love waking up and feeling different! I love looking in the mirror at how I'm changing. My face looks happier and calmer, and I'm not bloated anymore, and I've lost about 6 pounds this past week. It's a great start to the day to know you are doing something good for yourself!

Friday, January 14, 2011

First Week 100% Raw Vegan!

I started my raw vegan experience officially on Thursday.  I've been vegan for 14 years and had tried to go raw a few times before but it didn't last due to my sugar addictions. Now that I'm over them, this is starting out fabulously! I'm loving the food and the changes I'm feeling. I love that I can be creative and come up with new ideas and they almost always work! This is unusual to me since I've never been a great cook. But apparently, I CAN "uncook!"

Here are some Tips for the First Week I've come up with that have worked for me:

-Keep a blender full of green smoothie in the fridge at all times. My main mix is kale, apple, banana, and some lemon or lime.

-When a craving hits, IMMEDIATELY grab either a banana, apple or chug some green smoothie.

-Don't drink water with meals, but DO drink plenty of water, which will also help with cravings.

-Dehydrate stuff! It's nice to have the stable munchy things around, plus, as it's dehydrating you can steal some throughout the day (like warm chewy banana slices awaiting to be "chips!!")

-Check out That's become my favorite website this week. It has tons of recipes people send in and they are rated by those who try them.

-Find inspirational websites and books and dvds about raw food to keep you enthusiastic.

-Get at least one raw cook book to look up the basics and get ideas and recipes. The one I have is "Raw, The Uncook Book" by Juliano. I haven't made any specific meal from it yet this first week but have used it countless times to look up ingredients, ideas, and information. The entree pictures in it are great and there are some really cool recipes I can't wait to try once I have the hang of all this!

-Keep stocked. That's been the hardest for me so far. We've gotten groceries 3-4 times this week already. Go to the store as often as you need so you have food on hand. You don't want to run out of fresh fruits and veggies on a raw diet. And the first week, you don't want to run out of those specific favorites that are keeping you going!

-Make it pretty! Arrange your foods in a way that's pleasing to your eyes. Make it beautiful and a pleasure to eat!

-Be creative! Like I mentioned above, you can use your own ideas too with little risk of something failing when it's raw. If you use sea salt use it sparingly however. Nothing worse than a beautiful raw meal that's too salty to eat!

-I read on a forum once a post that said "Nothing cooked tastes as good as raw FEELS." I said that to myself over and over again this week.

-ENJOY all the amazing changes as your body detoxes and improves. You are becoming a new and healthier you! Embrace it. Make it part of your new identity! Some small and some huge new benefits pop up every day raw!