The Bestest Smoothie Ever…..


….at least, that’s what I call it when I’m hungry and in a rush.  I also take complete credit for this concoction as I’ve used so many smoothie recipes from other people, but have bended them slightly to fit my dietary needs.

This recipe is great first thing in the morning, but I’ve been enjoying it more for dinner these days as a way to eat light in the evening and give my body the nutrients it needs to recover from the day.

I’ve never been very good at food photos, mostly because I’m so eager to chow down that the plate or glass is a mess by the time I think about it.  Today was no different.  I came tearing into the house after the gym, threw the smoothie together, and threw half of it back before thinking of a photo….the glass was pretty grungy by then.  You’ll just have to use your imagination.

It’s very basic, but excellent on its own or as a base to whatever else you want to throw in.  So incredibly fast, just throw everything into the blender and blend until super smooth and creamy, Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you….

Darcie’s Bestest Smoothie Ever…….

425 Calories.

1 cup Almond Milk.  If you’re not strictly raw, then use any kind of non-dairy milk that you want.

1 cup leafy greens.  I prefer Kale, but will use spinach if it’s on-hand.

6 ice cubes    

1 scoop protein powder. Good quality raw protein powder is hard to come by: use whatever you prefer.

1 Cup of fruit du jour.  This can be an apple (cored, peeling not necessary), frozen wild blueberries are my favourite, but if I’m getting bored of them, I always have frozen pineapple, mango, or other fruits on hand.  I try not to use fruit with a lot of small seeds, like raspberries, blackberries, or pomegranate as I don’t have time to chew my smoothies…

1 Tblsp Chia Seeds    

1 Scoop Veggie Green Powder, or Sea Veg powder. (Optional) 

1 tsp or preferred measure of your daily Omega 3*6*9 – I use Udo Oil.

Add Ins:  Depending on your tastes or dietary needs, I sometimes throw a frozen or fresh banana in, or half an avocado, a Tablespoon of Nut Butter, and, especially in winter, a vitamin D drop.

If I’m planning to have this in the morning, I pre-prep the powders and chia, which helps “Zombie Darcie” when trying to find ingredients before my eyes are really open.

This recipe fills a 1 Quart mason jar almost 3/4 full.  Using the base recipe (no add-ins) and blueberries as the fruit du jour, here’s the Nutritional Content:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 425
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14 g 22 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 11 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 70 mg 23 %
Sodium 363 mg 15 %
Potassium 1039 mg 30 %
Total Carbohydrate 42 g 14 %
Dietary Fiber 14 g 56 %
Sugars 16 g
Protein 36 g 73 %
Vitamin A 319 %
Vitamin C 185 %
Calcium 81 %
Iron 37 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

So happy blending.

Advertisements

Improvise!


Sometimes I look in my fridge and try to figure out what to make based on what I have hanging about.  Today was no different.

I held the young coconut in my hand and said “OK, you are dinner.  What next….”

I googled ‘young coconut’ and ‘coconut noodle’ and other things, but always found I didn’t have some key ingredients for the recipes I found.  So today was ‘improvise’ day!

Sometimes “Improvise Day” turns out well, and other times I realize I shouldn’t quit my day job (which has more to do with computers than with food preparation).

Today was a good day.

I pulled the water and meat out of the young coconut, rinsed the meat, and cut into thin noodles.  Next, I shredded a carrot, and julienned about 1/4 of an orange sweet pepper.  After that, I meandered into the garden and brought in 5 large kale leaves, washed them and set them aside.

Next I scratched my head over the dressing.  Hmmmmm…….

Here was my base and, as you can tell by the measurements, this was also improvised:

Into the blender went…..

1/4 cup of the water from the coconut (the rest will go in my smoothie tomorrow morning! Yum!)

I had a dried red chili from last summer – I emptied it of seeds and threw it in

A handful of raw peanuts – probably about 1/4 cup

1 Tablespoon of coconut sugar (or whatever you prefer to use)

a clove of garlic

a little sea salt

1 Tblsp Miso

1 Tblsp Tamari

1 tsp of turmeric

1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

about 1/4 inch piece of ginger

about 1 Tblsp coconut oil

I blended this up, gave it a taste, decided it wasn’t sweet enough, so added maybe 2 tablespoons of agave, which mellowed it out nicely.

Next, I put the kale (leafy greens only, no stems), coconut noodles, carrots, and orange pepper into the food processor and pulsed a few times until the kale was minced and the mixture resembled a larger chunked tabouli.

Like this…

Pulsed kale, coconut, carrot and sweet orange pepper.

Pulsed kale, coconut, carrot and sweet orange pepper.

Then I stirred in enough dressing to lightly coat and ate dinner!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Healthy, filling, and convenient, with ingredients I had on hand, or growing in the back yard.  The flavour would be complemented by orange sections (if you don’t have a young coconut laying about) and also, after a couple of bites, realize it would also be delicious with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.  I had enough left over to refrigerate a second helping, so we’ll see how well this keeps for a day.

Happy health to you all!

 

 

KALE CHIPS! Om nom nom…


Yes, I really do love them. I’m not just telling myself that I love them because they’re healthy. That’s the truth.

A reader asked me quite a while back whether or not Kale Chips were as good as everyone says, and I told him that I would have to get back to him on it as the grocery store was actually out of kale the very weekend that the question was posed, and I hadn’t yet tried them otherwise.

Since then I have tried several commercially sold chips. And although I have tried several flavours that I loved, I do find them quite pricey.  $4 – $6 for a 100g bag makes them a bit of an extravagance.  However, this being said, they’re also worth it.  Packed full of wonderful nutrients and no chemicals or other crap, the store bought chips provide a wide variety of flavours, which is nice if you like to mix things up or get bored easily.  The store bought chips are also charging you for convenience, but if you’re going to impulse shop a snack, they’re the wiser choice.  I’ve tried a few kinds, from pineapple coconut, to spicy nacho, and cheesy flavour (which are not flavoured with cheese, but get their cheesy flavour from nutritional yeast), so I would say that there’s a flavour combination out there for everyone.

Kale is, itself, very mild in flavour.  It also doesn’t have a precise or overpowering aftertaste, like bitterness or sweetness.  Because of this, the kale takes on any flavour you throw at it and very little ‘leafy green’ taste comes through.  In short, it’s a great canvas for any taste you’re seeking.

If you’re interested in making a nice big batch at home, it’s pretty ‘effort-free’ and definitely less expensive than buying pre-made ones.  Making them with a dehydrator keeps them in the ‘raw’ category, but if this isn’t a pressing need for you, or if you don’t have a dehydrator, they can also be made in the oven.  There are a buh-zillion recipes for them available with a quick search online, so go look for one that may combine some of your favourite flavours.  I didn’t love the coconut pineapple, I wasn’t mad about the ranch flavours, but I was coo-coo for the nacho flavoured and the cheesy flavoured.  So I tried a batch of cheesy ones this weekend!

Provided below is a recipe I found on the WONDERFUL ‘RAW GURU” site.  Here’s a link to the recipe, which includes both dehydrator and oven methods.

Cheesy Chips at Raw Guru

I must report that I made 2 small modifications to this recipe, however….

1) because it’s just little ‘ole me, I used one bunch of Kale.  Two would have produced too many chips (and silly me…I now know that there’s no such thing after making this recipe, but hey…) but I didn’t reduce the coating at all because I’m BIG ON FLAVOUR and I didn’t find that there was too much.

2) I threw in about 3 TBLSP of nutritional yeast as well, because I love the flavour and wanted super cheesy chips.  I have no regrets for having done so…..   Nutritional yeast, if you are unaware, is a flaky yellowish deactivated food yeast.  It doesn’t have the same odour, uses, or flavour as bread yeast.  I buy mine in bulk at Kardish, but I see online that “Bob’s Red Mill” (which is available in many grocery stores) also produces it, so you may be able to find it where it is most convenient for you.

Making the chips was so very easy.  I washed the kale, and tore the leaves of one bunch into bite-sized pieces (discarding the tough stems) and put the leaves into a large bowl.  In a blender I combined all the ingredients, which (once blended) I poured over top the kale and started to massage the mixture into the leaves.  It took a whopping 3 minutes to perfectly coat them all, then I spread them out into a single layer onto my dehydrator trays.  On the whole, 10 minutes tops.

I put my coated kale in the dehydrator around 9pm, woke up at 9am the next day (hey…it was the weekend…) and they were PERFECT (and I don’t use that word very often) crunchy chips.

I now take them to work for a satisfying snack, and they’re my ‘go to’ when lurking about the kitchen, rooting for something to chow down on.  And they’re so wonderfully noisy, they’re the perfect revenge when watching a movie with that special someone who has been driving you bonkers with their nacho chips or popcorn chewing all those years….

Tasty AND revenge enabling?  What are you waiting for?!

Middle of winter…


It is the middle of January in Canada.  It’s dark, it’s cold, and it’s hard to keep a positive outlook.  All I really want to do is give in to the ‘hibernating bear’ impulse that overcomes me until March.  I must report, however, that my “winter blues” have been kept at-bay so far this year and I believe “juicing sunshine” (mango, papaya, pineapple) is helping a great deal.

I find it hard to believe that I’ve been at this blog for over a year already.  It has been such an incredible odyssey, restructuring my diet, which then led to reassessing so many other aspects of my life that related to my health and well-being.

It has been four months since my last post and I’m chagrined to admit that I’m very much in the same place as I was when I last wrote.  I’ve not YET had the success I had been looking for with integrating focused exercise into my daily routine.  I’m not giving up, I’m still working on it.  However, I could have written the forthcoming update earlier, but I also blame winter for my lack of motivation to write.  Sorry ’bout that, we do the best we can! 🙂

But describing my exercise challenges is not why I am here today.  I am here to report on the integration of ‘the raw food lifestyle’ into my existence.  Yes, I slip.  Yes, I sometimes revert to old habits when it comes to meal preparation.  Yes, sometimes I become too tired, sleep too late, run out of the house with no food, and then have to resort to the cafeteria food ‘with a side of fries’.  And lately I have discovered a new tendency that I haven’t had before:  comfort eating.  It usually takes the form of a chocolate bar.  I can now find myself eating 2 or 3 a week, where before I could go months without one and not notice.  I find this all incredibly interesting and I’ll tell you what I think is happening….

I think my move to primarily raw food and the good it does for my mind, body, and soul, has revealed a whole skein of personal challenges, or long held beliefs that are so well entrenched that I didn’t even recognize that I had them, that I am now unravelling.  This is good.  Really, really good.  I didn’t know that when I made the choice to evolve my diet that I would be healing so much more than my physical body but I’m happy to be going through it.  I’ve uncovered so much resistance to the change, a desperate need to retreat to the comfortable, and the more I persist with raw food/juice/smoothies, the better I feel, and the more I feel better, the more fear of feeling so good I experience.  It’s whacked! But my brain (whatever part of it that is resisting the change – maybe it’s the 10 year old, maybe it’s the Scorpio, maybe it’s the stubborn mule) tries to find a way to cope with that fear by offering me something that it hopes I’ll just love and give up feeling that unfamiliar “good” for, like a chocolate high.  The untangling can be very complex, but the path through the muck is so clear:  keep on eating raw food.  Eventually feeling so good is going to win my inner arguments and I’ll understand that this change is nothing to fear but something to be wholly embraced.

So all this being said, although I have my ‘I can’t believe I just ate that” moments, the integration of raw food into my daily diet has become so much simpler.  And I look forward to it:  sitting down and eating something so incredibly healthy fills me with so much joy, and where it used to taste a little blah at times, now a salad or a fresh juice or a smoothie tastes so luscious.  It is completely fulfilling.  I guess that scares part of me, being completely fulfilled.  Surely I’m not alone with having to deal with these contradictions that swirl within when making changes?  

I haven’t any photos of wild or complex recipes this time around because, truth be told, I am enjoying the simple form of all raw foods so much these days that I’ve had no impulse to try and dress it all up.  I’m just as happy now with a bag of raw nut mixes, a cucumber/celery/tomato salad with herbs and olive oil, ‘as is’ fruits, and fresh juices, raw crackers, seared tuna, spiralized sweet potato, marinated mushrooms, (and the list goes on and on and on) as I would be with a raw tartelette,  or a complex raw lasagna.  Although those recipes are wonderful for a change of pace, they aren’t essential to loving the presence of raw food in your everyday life.

I will leave you with a recommendation though.  I bought “Raw, Quick, and Delicious” by Douglas McNish (available on Amazon – I’d hyperlink it for you but for some reason WordPress says it’s a no-no to link to some commercial sites and I don’t want to get in trouble 🙂 ) and am mad for it.  His juicing recipes and salads are especially easy, balanced, and so incredibly flavourful.  I highly recommend this book for novices and experienced raw foodists alike as it’s good for changing up a few old standbys with some new ingredients that make them new again.  His mixing of spices and herbs are unique and quite lovely.

After living with a Hamilton Beach electric juicer and a manual juicer for wheatgrass and greens, I finally got rid of both and invested in an Omega.  It’s an electric auger style which is great for everything – fruits, greens, veggies – and doesn’t oxygenate the living daylights out of everything by whizzing it through a mesh screen, so the juice retains its nutritional value longer.  I can now ready my veggies and greens the night before, cut the fruit in the morning, as well as juice in the morning, and then take it to work for lunch time.  This pleases me greatly and I’ve found my propensity to become a zombie at 2:00pm has been eliminated.

So there we are then.  If you’ve been following this blog to learn about the raw food lifestyle and adoption thereof, I hope you are seeing that it can be easy, is a bit of an evolution and not an ‘overnight’ transition, and if you are mindful of all the changes it creates within you, you will encounter other opportunities to heal and grow.  Me, I’m back at another ‘kick of the cat’ (which I would never REALLY do, it’s just a saying…) tomorrow morning:  adding the physical fitness component that is sorely lacking from my “whole life” experience.  I deserve it, damnit!  I must succeed! Hopefully I’ll have some good news for you next time I post.  Until then, I wish you health and joy…

Pack it in…


…no, I’m not “PACKING it in” – I mean I have packed a lot in to the past 2.5 months since my last post!

First off:  YAY ME!  I made it to ONE YEAR SMOKE FREE on May 15th.  I had to claw my way there, but I made it.  It was amazing to me that, the closer I got to the anniversary, the more I craved a cigarette just because it was top-of-mind more often.  But I had also invested so much in my effort, diet, health, etc that there was no way that little demon was going to win.  I made it.

I’ll try to summarize the last couple of months and then grow those points that may be of more interest to readers of this Raw Food Blog.

As my health has improved, and I went off all my medications in February, I’ve been trying a few new things: wanting to mix it up so I don’t get bored.  I attempted an “Insanity Challenge” (Insanity by BeachBody, if you’re curious) with my son and a wonderful woman whom you should follow on FaceBook if you are looking for some new fitness goals and a really down-to-earth person to guide you there.  Her name is Jessica, and this is the link to her official FaceBook page: Eat. Sleep. Lift. INSPIRE.   Unfortunately, it seems my son and I are not compatible work-out partners and we both became rather grizzly bearish towards each other at 6am (when was the only time we both had in common) and found doing an Insanity workout along with the stress of constant arguing wasn’t too terribly motivating.  We blew it after 2 weeks.  It is an intense but totally-doable workout regime, however, and I’ll be getting back to it on my own with enthusiasm.

But everything was not for naught.  While planning for and going through the workout, my diet changed somewhat (again):  I needed more protein and my fall-back is animal meat or products, but I did start actively seeking plant-based and\or raw alternatives and, to be honest, vegan protein shakes have become a big part of my routine.  They are light, refreshing, and are quite sustaining, rather than heavy and sometimes a chore to digest (like cooked eggs or chicken in the mornings).  I do like Shakeologyfor how long it seems to sustain me and I do feel a nice, balanced energy level when drinking it.  The draw-back of Shakeology for me is that they only have one flavour without strawberries (I’m allergic), and it has to be ordered online.  I also really like Vega – they have more flavours that I can consume (4 of their 5 shakes, to be precise), is sustainable plant-based, is available in most local health stores, also makes me feel great, and the company started in Canada.  Go Canada! 🙂

I have also had some ups and downs with going off my medications.  I am a migraine sufferer and am getting them more often.  As an attempt to ‘reset’, I went on a 12 day cleanse and it helped immensely to get rid of a lot of issues:  serious joint aching, lethargy, bloating, puffiness, and just an over-all feeling of being bogged down with the crap of life.  I have tried several cleanses in my day, but I always go back to Wild Rose.  It is easy to take (morning, night = easy), the diet requirements are easy to follow, and it doesn’t upset my stomach like a lot of the other ones do.  This is the one I use, if you’re interested:  Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox.  It is available in most health food stores and I got mine at, you guessed it, Kardish!   As always.  🙂

So a coo-coo workout attempt, a cleanse, and I’m still dealing with some serious headaches.  I think this is where patience and persistence will come into play – not my strongest personality traits.  But I am getting quite serious about exercising, which is giving me so much more energy.  And, of course, when one is committed to exercising daily, there is less room in one’s life for those things that may undermine it, like excess alcohol, crap food, poor sleep habits (this is also a hard one for me), letting work be “Numero Uno” all the time, etc.  I am holding out hope that consistent exercise, a consistent approach to my raw diet, a lot of lemon water, and time will nip these headaches once and for all.  I’ll keep you posted.

When it comes to overcoming the things that get in the way of  daily exercise, good sleep is my biggest challenge now (which means, HEY! I’ve come a long way!  A year ago I had about 10 things that got in the way of daily exercise!)  Making myself go to bed between 9 – 10pm so I can get up around 5am and fit some good work-out and breakfast time in before I go to the office and let the day take over has been hard.  Like many of us, my evenings are the only me-time I have anymore, and I want it to last.  The longer I put off going to bed, the more of that day belongs to me.  I have to realize two important things in order to over-come this mind-set:  I am making quality me-time in the mornings now, and the more I exercise, the more energy I have, so there may come a time that I’ll be able to enjoy a bit more of my evenings without feeling like I’m constantly sleep-deprived and can’t haul my bum out of bed in the mornings.  Maybe.  But for now, it’s a SOLID 8 hours of sleep a night or I’m a zombie.  I have to be more consistent and then, maybe, someday I’ll be able to make it on 6 or 7 hours of sleep happily.  We’ll see.  I’ll keep telling my ‘I resent missing a long evening’ self that just to humour it.

Believe it or not, the above was the “Summary”!  I’ll get to some food-related stuff now.

Wheat Grass!  I’m not growing it all the time, but I will grow a tray once or twice a month and I do love it so.  I just don’t have it on hand all the time because I’m the only one juicing and drinking it and I don’t want it to go to waste.

Picked this up from rawnutrition.ca  and it was everything I needed to get started.

Picked this up from rawnutrition.ca and it was everything I needed to get started.  I am using the coconut-husk mats to grow the seed as I find it less messy indoors.  It can be grown in soil, however, and I may switch over as the husk mats are an itty bit over-priced IMHO.

IMG_0894

Here is my first tray, with the first growth peeking up its head. It was nice to have something green sprouting inside while there was still snow outside!

IMG_0895

Close-up of the wheat berries sprouting. This is approximately Day 4 since planting.

IMG_0901

Day 6 since planting! Ready to snip and juice. It takes about 1/3 of a tray to get 1 ounce of wheat grass juice (manual juicer).

IMG_0905

And here it is: 1 ounce of wheat grass with 1 apple. It was so sweet and made my whole body ping. I wouldn’t have been able to call it a juice – more like an elixir 🙂 This is about 50x better than any ‘wheat grass apple juice’ I’ve bought at a juice bar.

I made “Fragrant Vanilla Cake”‘s Key Lime Truffles too.  The recipe called for coconut butter, which I had never made, so had to get to that first.  If you’ve never made it, here is what you do…

Put raw unsweetened shredded coconut into a blender and blend....

Put raw unsweetened shredded coconut into a blender and blend….

Put more raw, unsweetened, shredded coconut into the blender, and blend some more....

Put more raw, unsweetened, shredded coconut into the blender, and blend some more….

And after much blending and pushing down and blending and general uncertainty about whether or not its going to work....VOILA!  Coconut butter.  Put in the fridge to harden up a little.

And after much blending and pushing down and blending and general uncertainty about whether or not its going to work….VOILA! Coconut butter. Put in the fridge to harden up a little.

Then I made the truffles!  (Link was above, with the mention of “Fragrant Vanilla Cake”)

The truffle filling:  lots of zesty lime, cashew, and spinach for the 'green', they were yummy enough to eat on their own....

The truffle filling: lots of zesty lime, cashew, and spinach for the ‘green’, they were yummy enough to eat on their own….

IMG_0930

…but I dipped them in the home-made raw chocolate anyway, and it was worth the extra step. These are little bursts of decadence that are good for you too. All food should be this rewarding.

It has been lovely to catch up with you!  My next couple of weeks will involve a concerted effort to exercise, hopefully more than once, every single day.  I’ve told myself that I am now an athlete.  I realized that a casual “Hey, give 30 minutes of exercise a try tomorrow, see how it goes” doesn’t get my butt out of bed at 5am.  I have to “Be Big” about it.  That’s what motivates me.

And on the other goal-front:  I believe I’m hitting 80% raw 90% of the time 🙂  Fact is, because it is becoming so much easier now to be preparing and eating a raw diet, I’m not keeping track as religiously as I had been at the start of the year.  Meals are raw, snacks are raw, and any non-raw food is organic, whole, non-GMO, healthy, healthy, healthy.  My downfall is grabbing something quick when I grab a take-out coffee in the mornings.  There is definitely room for improvement there.

Hope you are all well, healthy, happy, and moving towards something good for your well-being.  Happy Whole Life!  More soon.

A Change….


“A change is as good as a rest”  or so the saying goes.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve taken on a lot of changes in the past year, and one always seems to lead to another.  The key is to make sure the spiral is going upwards….

May 2012, I quit smoking after (gulp!) 30 years.  A cigarette hasn’t crossed these lips in 300 days tomorrow and I feel my restoration on so many levels, but none more than with my sense of self-esteem.

I actually started to get up really early to go to the gym to work with a personal trainer.  This is huge on a couple of fronts.  First, if they were to ever need a study subject for Night Owlism, no one is more genetically inclined to lurk about in the dark and fall into a deep sleep as soon as the birds start to sing than I am.  So using the early morning hours to work out isn’t completely out of character IF I was coming at it from being up all night…..but making myself go to bed at 9pm to get up at 5am was something I had only imagined myself doing if there were $1Million dollars involved.  It was big.  Working out in a gym, period, was even bigger.  I’m not a joiner, and I have seen the ‘sterotypical’ (laughable) people at a gym (that shall remain nameless) previously and I have no patience for the posturing.  So venturing into that subculture again was very brave of me and a test of my patience.  Luckily, a lot of those posturing people are not at the gym at 6am!  Yay.  So concentrating on my health and body image (really, I have to admit it is one of my motivators) is another change I have taken on.  Someone asked me the other day if I had lost weight, which I haven’t, but I believe I’m getting tighter.  Progress.

All of the above then led me to examine my diet.  I have always had a healthy diet and a healthy relationship with food.  The science of food is a life-long interest and one that I have been a student of for a long time.  But I wanted to take it to a new level or new direction.  I wanted to start to experiment with the benefits that food could provide, but in a healthy and safe way.  My motivators are different than others:  I wasn’t looking at “Vegan” or “Vegetarian” because although I am a huge lover of animals and advocate for animal rights, I also believe they have a place in our food chain.  I just don’t always approve of how they are treated as a part of our food chain.  I know there is lots of work to do there.  My motivations for a socially conscious diet revolve around the environment:  doing what I can to ensure my footprint is low, that I support family farms as much as I can (especially these days, when industrial farming gets all the breaks from government policy), and that my food is grown with as much consideration to the earth, the animal, and the health of the consumer as much as possible.  This led me to the raw diet.  As I have written in other posts (and will only quickly summarize here), the science of the raw diet and how it supports the body and over-all health really appealed to me, and the type of food that is eaten lets me do the research into the best places and people to buy from.  And I found all of this so fascinating and such a big deal that I started a blog!! Check!

And then the benefits of the raw diet led me to examine other aspects of my health – specifically, my relationship with Western Medicine, my doctor, and my prescriptions.  After consulting with my doctor, I went off all my prescriptions in January.  Disclaimer:  I wasn’t seriously ill!  My several prescriptions were meant to carry me through to a specific time in, uhem, a woman in her 40s or 50s life, with as little discomfort as possible.  I had started down the prescription path when I was a smoking, sedentary, person and I found the unpredictable sleep, overwhelming “flashes” of heat (which then inflamed my temper), the headaches, and finally the unpredictability of my cycle unmanageable and disruptive.  Now that I’m balancing my body with food, exercise, and consistent awareness of what I’m experiencing and how it makes me feel, I don’t need any medicinal aids anymore.  Taking off the dog collar of medicinal dependence feels wonderful.  Note:  I’ll still be taking my prescription for migraines, but I expect to be having them a lot less often.  I’m intrepid, not masochistic…. Again:  a boon to my self-esteem and sense of personal strength.

What’s next?  Wow.  Good question!  In our lives, we sometimes get spurts of that “anything is possible!” feeling.  When I used to get that feeling it would sometimes scare me.  YES!  Anything is possible!  Am I up for it……..????  No…going back to bed…pass the potato chips.

These days, I am becoming more aware that anything is possible all the time, not in spurts, and am more confident that I am up for it.  Now I’m just daring to let my imagination go, to stop stifling it, and am thanking the fears that bubble up for trying to protect me, but letting them go because I don’t need them anymore.

When they tell you that healthy diet and exercise are beneficial, they don’t tell you about where it can all lead, how BIG it can all really be if you want it to be.  They tell you you’ll live longer and, you know, when you feel like crap, living a crappy life longer isn’t a selling point!  They should tell you that your inner life will get bigger than the universe and you will be able to see to infinity when you look inside, and that the infinity is full of safety, possibility, and profound love for yourself and others.  No.  I’m not crazy or high.  I’m telling you the truth.  All this benefit from a few good choices.

I wish I had known it was this easy and this good 30 years ago.

As February comes to a close…


…I don’t like to wish my life away, but being so close to saying ‘Goodbye’ to February fills me with relief and anticipation.  I can hardly wait until Spring and Summer, at which time I’ll be able to grow some herbs and some potted vegetables in my tiny, dark patio out back, and go to markets that are simply over-flowing with affordable, fresh, locally grown produce.  Soon.

Last I left off, I believe I had a bit of a set-back.  I am happy to report that I have managed to stay within my 80% goal for almost a full three weeks now!  Yes, I’ve eaten some crap, but for the most part I have been making sure I do my food planning and/or preparation so I have the raw meals I need, when I need them.  It is getting easier.

I know we all know this, but sometimes a “reset” is required.  I don’t know where you are from…perhaps you have wild jungle birds cawing outside your window at this moment, but where I come from, it is winter.  Winter around here can be unpredictable:  we never know if it’s going to hover around -10C for a week, fly all the way up to a balmy -1C, or when a week or longer of -20C (feels like -35 with the windchill) will settle upon us.  And I don’t care what other winter dwellers report:  sunshine does not make my life any more bearable in January and February.  So I struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as SAD) and it is a real conscious effort to stay positive, to find energy, and to just give a crap in general.  Since I have moved away from the prairies, it hasn’t hit me as hard, but this year:  with the raw diet, although I have had low and negative times, I’m not a constant dweller in the cave of despair and frustration.

As a matter of fact, I’ve been able to consciously press my reset button a couple of times and have it be successful.  I’ve been able to choose to be positive, to continue to exercise, to make the effort to make sure I eat well, and these are wonderful, wonderful things for someone trapped in winter.

My week days have been better than my weekends.  My diet is only about 40% raw on weekends and I now INSTANTLY notice a difference when not eating enough raw.  I need naps because I’m a droopy, drooling mess, I feel puffy and bloated, I feel stupid and dull.  It is absolutely startling the difference a couple of cooked or junk food ‘meals’ can make and how quickly it shows in my physical feeling and mood.

I called it a controlled experiment: eating raw and well all week, and eating cooked or crap on weekends.  There is no way I can deny now how much my body and mind love the raw diet and how much good I am doing for myself when I stick to it.  I’m so pleased.

And, like I said, it is getting easier to prepare the foods and ensure I continue to eat this way, so this pleases me too.  I find I’m mostly smoothies or raw granola in the mornings, which I will have to diversify or I will get bored.  I always have raw snacks on hand, and raw lunches are mostly salads, but I try to mix it up from time-to-time with raw veggie burgers, guacamole and raw breads, and my dinners are often light raw soups, fruit salad, but I often try to get some meats in there, like seared beef tenderloin, prosciutto and raw cheese, and the like.  I haven’t yet ventured into the realm of seared tuna, or sashimi at home, mostly because the stores where I could get it are a distance away and I’m too busy.  This is another reason I’m waiting impatiently for Spring – easier trips to a market for produce where, nearby, there are both a fish monger and international cheese place where I’ll be able to pick up more foods that I can eat in one stop.

I’m also working hard to keep things diverse for my health, not just out of boredom.  I’m finding that, other than guacamole, I am not a big lover of avocado, so I have to diversify where I get my healthy fats from.  I also need to make sure I continue to pull in decent amounts of calcium, so I am eating non-raw cheese, drinking Keifer, and will occasionally make yogurt at home with organic (but not raw) milk.  I am also still eating eggs (cooked) as I need to make sure my protein intake stays up because of my strength training at the gym.  Unfortunately a lot of the protein powders for athletes (for “repair” – post-workout), although are vegan, are not raw.  So it really doesn’t make a difference to me whether I wolf back a hard boiled egg and a couple pieces of cheese, or throw back an expensive sport powder, and my appetite finds the egg and cheese more appealing and sustaining.

So I’m making progress!  I feel fantastic!  I believe my next steps will be to start trying more intricate recipes, and I certainly have a lot of resources to pick from.  I am THRILLED to have come to realize that I am able to find more recipes than I will ever live long enough to try, where I had initially been scared that I would find it hard to locate resources to take this lifestyle on.  The interweb is a bloody amazing place and I love it to pieces.  It is improving my life. Now if only I could stop myself from reading the ridiculous comments on the news sites, I could improve my state of mind as well!  Two steps forward….

My photos are sparse this week simply because I have forgotten to take them.  :-\  I will admit to a small cheat…or perhaps a better phrase is ‘pragmatic approach’ for someone as busy as I can be…for my lunch salads:  when I’m too tired in the evening to chop and slice and grate and dice, I use the pre-cut “broccoli slaw” or “carrot slaw” as the base for my salads (not a fan of lettuce, remember?).  Into the couple handfuls of pre-cut slaw, I throw my home grown sprouts and whatever else I’m in the mood for:  olives, peppers, chunks of cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, celery…and then I make a home made dressing.  One of my favourite salads to-date had cheddar and apples (in addition to a lot of what I just listed) and I made a wonderful dressing that I’ll list here:

1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 Tblsp raw honey (or less – to taste), juice from 1/2 a lemon, small chunk of ginger, and enough olive oil to make a decent base.  Blend well, pour into bottle, and there you go…ready for your salad when it is time to eat.  I’m finding that ‘winging’ new dressings are the funnest part of my evening these days!  So many choices…so many choices…

Lastly, I had wondered where I could find food-grade lavender now that it doesn’t seem like Epicure carries it anymore, and lo-and-behold, I found it at Kardish!  To the rescue again…..

In the next couple of weeks I hope the garden centres will start populating their shelves with growing trays and bags of soil….I see wheat grass in my future!

Here are my 2 lowly photos.  Be well and talk to you soon!

Sun burgers from the Raw Rose "uncook" book.  They are full of carrot, seeds, and flavour.  Their happy orange colour helped to make a dull winter day a little more bright as well.

Sun burgers from the Raw Rose “uncook” book. They are full of carrot, seeds,  buckwheat, flax, and flavour. Their happy orange colour helped to make a dull winter day a little more bright as well.

The raw chili from the Raw Rose 'uncook' book as well.  It looks a little muddy but tastes divine.  There is just the right amount of cumin and jalapeno to make this warm to your mouth, the sun-dried tomatoes make it rich, and the shredded carrot and zucchini made the texture crunchy rather than gooey.  This is a keeper recipe.

The raw chili from the Raw Rose ‘uncook’ book as well. It looks a little muddy but tastes divine. There is just the right amount of cumin and jalapeno to make this warm to your mouth, the sun-dried tomatoes make it rich, and the shredded carrot and zucchini made the texture crunchy rather than gooey. This is a keeper recipe.

 

The Numbers Game…


Here I am, at the end of my first week of my “80% Raw Commitment”  and I find it amazing how ‘80%’ can be translated to suit one’s needs….especially when one knows they’re faltering somewhat.  Is it 80% of a meal?  80% of a whole diet?  80% of all the meals in a day?  It all depends on how the day went, I guess!  Uhem…

Here’s an example:  7 days = 21 meals and approximately 10 snacks = 31.  80% would equal approximately 23.25 Meals/Snacks would have to be raw.  2 Breakfasts and 3 Dinners were not raw = 5.  31 – 5 = 26.  WHOOP! I made it!  But what if I know two of those dinners were not only ‘not raw’ but really not good for me either (tempura fish sticks and pizza, sigh).  I do have to consider the good I’m undoing by eating them.  I think I should give myself a few demerit points, but I hate losing, so…

And the good I’m undoing brings me to the next topic:  Detoxing.  I had a, hmmmm – what’s the right word….alarming? Surprising? Frightening?  Impressive? Explosive?!  couple of days in there.

(Fair Warning – a little Potty Talk ahead – but I’ll try to be dignified)

I promised a blog that gives you the warts and all of a raw diet conversion, right?  It’s wart time.

Never in my whole life have I had occasion to speak to a toilet, but this past week I found myself walking in to the bathroom and whispering an encouraging “Be Brave….” in the general direction of the porcelain bowl, and when (with a laboured but enthusiastic gulp) it handled everything I, um…, threw? at it, I actually gave it a thumbs up.  I went through this little routine several times in a day.

It was about this time that I started to Google “how the hell long will this last?!” in regards to my overt detoxing symptoms.  What I read made me cry…“FIVE MONTHS?!” one site proclaimed. Luckily, it looks like I got off pretty easy, because mine lasted two days…the worst of it, at least (I thank an accidental cleansing the weekend before:  Dandelion Greens in my smoothie caused some unplanned colon activity….lots of it) .  I fully anticipate minor to moderate detoxing/bathroom symptoms *forever* since there are always toxins to be expunged from the body.  Thank you Industrialization, you’re swell.

Potty Problems aside, I also felt like I had the flu with body aches, a couple of headaches (one of which was cured with a small cup of coffee and I have resolved that I will not withhold from myself a cup of coffee when that headache appears.  I have a demanding job and life and need to be able to function.  There was no functioning with that blinding caffeine headache (says she of the migraine headaches)).  I fought ‘quitting smoking-like’ food cravings for most of the week, and wailed once “Why, oh WHY can’t there be a french fry tree!!”  but I coped.  I also needed a little more sleep.

But (when I was awake) I also had more energy.  I felt a balance this past week that I haven’t felt for a long time.  My mind was clear, my ambitions renewed, my focus more precise.  And it’s only the beginning of this journey, so I am getting as excited as a chihuahua in a room full of fireworks.  And another interesting change I noticed was that, despite the cravings in my mind, my nose found the smell of cooked food to be strange and unappealing, especially all those instant nuker lunches full of ‘sauces’ and spices that everyone, and I mean everyone, seemed to be eating at the office last week.  Where they used to get my tummy rumbling with hunger, I am now starting to be able to smell the chemicals in them and they don’t smell like food, they smell like danger.

Pitfalls and Drawbacks:  My ‘non-raw’ meals this past week were as a result of a lack of planning or time.  Woke up late two mornings, didn’t have time for a smoothie and picked up a breakfast wrap on the way to work instead.  The dinners were due to being in a rush (plans, visitors, etc) and rather than making 2 meals (one for me, one for my son), I just ate what I was making for him, which was not raw.  So I have to get better at making sure I give myself the time I need to prepare the food that I need.  Because this diet is not yet my habit and I still have to really think about what I’m going to make, being short on time is not my friend.

To assist with the above issue, I also have to adjust how I view a meal.  Yes, dinner CAN be sitting at the table with a tomato, a cucumber, some raw crackers and a piece of fruit, small handful of nuts.  Seems so obvious now that I write it, but it seems strange to put this on the table, start eating, and feel like I’ve had “Dinner”.  Changing how I feel about it and what I think about it is just a matter of making a choice, but it wasn’t a choice that I saw when I was in a rush.  I know better now.

Last bit of house keeping:  I have decided not be dogmatic about all of this and to be kind to myself.  As you may be able to tell, I get a little obsessive about numbers, data, statistics and could drive myself crazy keeping track of everything and, rather than feeling really good about the things I do well, I can easily be negative and self-chastising if I don’t do everything right all the time.  So no dogma, damnit!  Just chillin, experimenting, enjoying, and loving the changes I have managed to make for the better.  I have enough stress in my life, this should be a thrilling awesome thing I’m doing for me!  Weeeeeee!

I contemplated posting a page with my one week meal plan, which I needed so I didn’t feel panicked AND would remember what recipes I bought ingredients for, but a lot of it went to pot as I made meals based on what I was in the mood for rather than how I plotted it.  Perhaps after a few weeks I’ll post a ‘sample’ one week meal plan instead.  I’ll see how it goes.

Finally, my 20% non-raw is going to include a dairy or coconut milk, some cheese, and eggs.  I’m still trying to figure out if I can dehydrate bacon.  I found some with no nitrates or nitrites, so hmmmmm 🙂

Some food highlights and links:

I’m loving raw miso soup.  I’m chopping up veggies into small pieces (cucumber, red or green pepper, mushrooms, scallions, spinach), putting it in the broth, and chowing down with a side of raw crackers.  I didn’t take any pictures.  It’s soup.

I have tried and failed twice to sprout chickpeas using chickpeas from two different sources.  By day 3 they smell horrible, despite diligent rinsing and covering up to keep bacteria off. So I haven’t managed raw hummus yet.  Wah!

I’m already tired of the dense raw bread, crackers, and pizza crusts I’ve made and am on the hunt for a thin, crispy cracker that doesn’t contain a single sliver of onion.  I think I’ve found a couple candidates – I’ll keep you posted.

I have made The Rawtarian’s Raw Brownies.  I’m madly in love with them!  I made a double batch and froze half.  I also made her raw burger and have found them perfect to freeze and/or take in my lunch to work.  Also good in my lunch this week at work was ‘sushi’ (sans fish) rolls.  I admit to using rice, but they can be made without….if you want to be dogmatic about it 😉

Tonight I’m trying to make my version of the perfect salt and vinegar potato chip, and I also have a batch of Fragrant Vanilla Cake’s raw Lemon and Lavender Macaroons in the dehydrator as well (I purchased my food-grade Lavender through Epicure.  A search of their site seems to indicate that they don’t have it anymore.  Let me know if you find it elsewhere).  Amy, who runs the site with the Macaroon recipe, has some eye-bulging recipes for raw foodists (key lime!  KEY LIME!!), and her blog is a lot of fun too.  Check it out!

This coming week, I’ll be playing with Butternut Squash, Pad Thai, Caesar Salads and I have a fridge full of avocados I have to put to good use.  Still no Maca, nudge nudge, wink wink…

Here are a couple pictures of my week…thanks for reading and I’ll ‘see’ you soon!!

Sprouting, but getting ultra stinky.  This was the 2nd batch of chickpeas I tossed this week.

Sprouting, but getting ultra stinky. This was the 2nd batch of chickpeas I tossed this week.

Raw dinner! Raw cheese, prosciutto, avocado, sprouts, olives.

Raw dinner! Raw cheese, prosciutto, avocado, sprouts, olives.

Rawtarian's Raw Burgers.

Rawtarian’s Raw Burgers.

My temporary answer to a craving for chips.  Crispy Snap Peas.  Good enough!

My temporary answer to a craving for potato chips. Crispy Snap Peas. Good enough!

Salad Dressing: Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 Garlic Clove, ground fennel seeds, and liberal amounts of Turmeric.  It was wonderful...

Salad Dressing: Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 Garlic Clove, ground fennel seeds, and liberal amounts of Turmeric. It was a wonderful dressing for…

Raw lunch! Spiral sweet potato, carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, orange pepper, tomato, pomegranate, cheese, olives, pretty much anything you could want!

…Raw lunch! Spiral sweet potato, carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, orange pepper, tomato, pomegranate, cheese, olives, pretty much anything you could want! Down-side: it took an hour to eat this with a plastic fork 🙂

All I want out of life is the perfect salt and vinegar chip!  Is that too much to ask?!

All I want out of life is the perfect salt and vinegar chip! Is that too much to ask?!

Lemon Lavender Macaroons headed to the dehydrator.  Once they're done, they get dipped in a raw chocolate.  Om nom nom......

Lemon Lavender Macaroons headed to the dehydrator. Once they’re done, they get dipped in a raw chocolate. Om nom nom……

2013 – The Year of Feeding the Whole


Happy New Year to you all.  With all the elation or low down dirty fights, peace or total discontent, balance and imbalance that a day, week, month or whole year can bring, sometimes staring down the barrel of a new year can be daunting!  But I do hope you and yours have more of the good, quality of good, noticeable good, supporting good than you do anything else.

And why not start with what we eat?  Whole, living food can help alleviate stress and illness while supporting our self esteem and inner peace.  Staying in touch with our whole selves can be challenging on a daily basis – consistently eating well removes one less detail to have to worry about, permitting us to move on to think about growing and supporting other parts of our whole being.

And here is it, January 1st, 2013 already.  The time that I pledged to myself to transition completely to a raw diet (or ‘lifestyle’ as it were).  I’m 97% ready.

As I’m sure you can imagine, and perhaps empathize, I did manage to collect some non-raw foodstuffs this holiday season that I’m still working on ‘eliminating’ (or eating).  But I’m so, so close to being ready, I can taste it (excuse the pun), and I’m excited.  I’m back to work and a regular schedule tomorrow.  I’ll start my days with smoothies, healthy (if not completely raw) lunches, then dinner will consist of what is handy.  Come Monday, January 7th, I’m aiming for a complete transition with my days being raw-by-design, and anything not raw will be a slip or what I consciously decide to make part of my 20% (aiming for 80, remember?)

In the meantime, I’m making pizza crusts to have handy in the freezer, sprouting some chickpeas for hummus and mung beans for crunchy fun.  I have made rosemary crackers, and have a freezer full of options that I have been stockpiling for about a month.  No excuses left.  🙂

So there it is.  Hope to see you back here as I kick this transition and period of discovery into the next gear!  Will post again soon.

Why raw?!


May 2014 Update: These days, I might amend this post to remove the comparison between cooked food and GMO food. Although cooking can alter the molecular structure of food, it isn’t engineered deception. Perhaps the better comparison is to simply state that cooked food has been changed from what it was intended to be and if we don’t have the tolerance to eat the food raw (like a fox can eat raw chicken…) perhaps we should reconsider eating it. All this being said, however, aiming for a higher amount of raw food in our daily lives is a reasonable goal. Not eating anything cooked is an unrealistic goal for many of us….

********

Original Post:

I’ve had a couple comments from friends recently that have surprised me:  that going to a raw diet is ‘extreme’ and also ‘I couldn’t give up meat’ and ‘what’s the deal with eating only raw food (said with an exaggerated eye roll for good measure)‘.  These comments surprised me because, geez, I thought EVERYONE knew what this was all about.  Guess not! 🙂

So I’d like to explain.  Going to a raw diet is not a ‘diet’ (as in, the goal is not weight loss), it is a life-style.  And like I said to my friend “Like all lifestyles, it may not be for everyone”.  But I think it is the opposite of ‘extreme’.

  • Stuffing a duck with stuffing, putting that duck in a turkey, and weaving the entire turkey in bacon, and cooking the living crap out of ALL for several hours = extreme.

  • Chopping some veggies and making a homemade salad dressing /= extreme.  Es claro? Si…

The purpose of a ‘raw’ diet is not to eat raw food, it is to eat ‘living’ food, or food that still has the capability to give you all the goodness that it can give.  And the goodness it has to give is outstanding; our bodies understand it, our bodies highly desire it, need it, love it.  This is one of the reasons we soak most nuts and seeds:  they have a natural enzyme inhibitor on the outside – soaking removes the enzyme inhibitor and brings the nut/seed back to life and also neutralizes ‘phytic acid’ which keeps our bodies from absorbing important stuff, like zinc, calcium, iron and other minerals.  But I don’t think you’re arguing with me that fresh fruits and veggies are good for us, right?  If you are arguing with me about that, go away.  Shoo.

Then there’s the flip side:  why not cook your food (which is what I think all the fuss is about, right?)?  Carol Alt‘s book has an excellent chapter on the science of  the changes our food undergoes when it is cooked.  I’m going to summarize her statements here, but if you have more questions, please pick up her book!

1. Cooking your food causes it to undergo molecular changes.  A number of examples are provided, such as the by-products of fuels used for cooking (i.e.: grilling/smoking) entering the food, changing the chemical composition and also being chemicals we consume, some of which are carcinogenic, but two examples stand out to me the most because they occur ‘naturally’ when cooking, and not as a result of an external factor, like fuel:

  • Much of the food we eat contains acrylamide, a chemical created by cooking food.  The chemical can cause gene mutations and was found to cause a range of cancers in rats.  Acrylamide is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in many plant based…foods after they are heated. It appears that the chemical, which is used in the treatment of sewage and to create…certain plastics and dyes, is also a byproduct of cooking food at high temperatures.”   Well, then why hasn’t there been some alert about it or something, you ask?  There has been, in 2002.  Click this sentence for more information about the chemical.

  • “Cooking foods bond objects together and they become more solid and stronger.  If your body is set up to read the molecular structure of food, and you change the molecular structure, the body has to change or work harder to get what nutrition it can out of that food.  What does this do to the body, especially since it can take about 1M years to fully adapt to a new diet?”  It is a question answered by the common sense response:  the body has to use energy (up to 70% of our energy, actually!) to both tolerate and extract nutrients from cooked food.  We’re supposed to be eating to FUEL our bodies, not deplete them of energy.

Bottom line on ‘changing the molecular structure’ is that it turns food into something that our bodies don’t naturally recognize.  Our bodies tolerate it, but don’t thrive on it.  A good comparison is this:  If you don’t want to eat GMO food, why would you think it’s OK to eat food that has had its molecules modified through over-heating (cooking)?

2. Cooking food alters the pH of our food.  The body needs to stay alkaline for our health.  “Cooking destroys a lot of the nutrients, disrupts the natural balance of biochemical elements, and makes food more acidic”.  Additionally, we make acid in our bodies lots of other ways:  stress, digestion, etc. but our bodies make nothing alkaline.  We receive all of the “Yin” through our diet, which we can receive through many foods, but mostly through raw fruits and vegetables.  What do you think it means when our bodies are too acidic?  Nothing good, especially over time.  Inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and ulcers just to name a couple off the top of my head.  Another example provided “Throw acid on a car, and it will eat the paint away and through the metal; likewise, acid in the blood, running through your systems will go through your organs and wear your body down.”

3. Cooking food destroys the enzymes: “What are enzymes, exactly?  Enzymes are the protein molecules that facilitate most of the body’s metabolic processes, such as digestion.”  Or, if we wanted to go back to Grade 10 Science class, enzymes are the building blocks of life!  LIFE!!  Enzymes are required for every single function of the human body and heat is the enemy of enzymes.  Anything that has been heated over 115F is either dead or dying, so in cooked food, the digestive enzymes food contains doesn’t stand a chance.  If the enzymes aren’t present in your food, the body has to use its own enzymes to help you digest, taking them away from other vital functions of your body.

4. Cooking food changes the bonds between vitamins and minerals.  “The bonds between vitamins and minerals are super-fragile, and heat affects them immediately.  While not all the nutrients in food are destroyed by cooking, your body faces the Herculean task of trying to absorb nutrients when they are not in the natural state that it recognizes….the best plan of action is to eat foods that are clean and that the body can recognize easily and utilize.”  And, as we all know because we are smart, vitamins and minerals seem to have ‘partners’ or some sort of symbiotic relationship with another vitamin or mineral.  When cooking destroys one, you could actually be losing out on the benefits of two or more because they cannot be as easily absorbed without their partner.  Lots of research has been done on this topic.  20 – 50% of the vitamins and minerals in food is destroyed through cooking.  That’s quite a bit!  (and for those of us who hate to waste time: you are now wasting time to cook and are only getting half the benefit from it.  ooooo, that ticks me off!)

So there it is.  The science of “why raw” summarized in 4 points….but that isn’t “it”…there are many other reasons, including how some of the molecular changes we can inflict on our food makes them not only ‘not healthy’ but even dangerous to our long-term health.

GENETICS ASIDE…yes, my Grandmother drank and smoked a pack a day and died in her 90’s too.  But she also had many years of cleaner country living on me, and quite a bit more fresh air and physical labour at home and at work too.  I don’t think we should rely on genetics to save us from the onslaught of chemicals, convenience, sedentary habits, etc. that we have either purposefully adopted or had thrust upon us in the past 30 years.  There are SOME changes we probably shouldn’t have accepted so readily, like packaged, processed, microwaved diets.

Housekeeping time.

I made this guacamole.  It was the best guacamole I have ever tasted!

Perfection in a bowl! Guacamole in da house!

Perfection in a bowl! Guacamole in da house!

I also made these cookies, but I don’t think my cashew ‘dough’ was as dense as it was supposed to be:  my cookies are gooey…but I’m still eating them because they taste super yummy 🙂  I will certainly be trying these again.

I had wondered if a person could convert to a raw diet on their own, and I can provide this update:  If they have a computer, ABSOLUTELY!  If they’re willing to buy books, YES!  Can you find the products you need?  I live in a city and I have to say I’m about 70% successful.  Can’t wait until summer!  Also: will be setting up my little greenhouse after Christmas and starting to grow in doors:  food, herbs, and will try wheat-grass once I can afford a decent wheat-grass juicer.

No luck yet on getting maca powder.  It’s constantly on order and seems to sell quickly once it arrives.  I’m starting to doubt its existence and think it is some sort of inside joke with ‘in the club’ raw foodists.

I’m starting to add more sites under “Resources” – fabulous sites with great recipes.  I’m on a mission to find the best raw food ‘bread‘ – one that isn’t onion paste….I need SOMETHING other than flax crackers to put all those amazing spreads on.  I’ll keep you posted.