Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The End of Our 4-Week Raw Vegan Challenge

Yesterday was the last day of our 4-week Raw Vegan Challenge! And what a great day it was! Nick, my mom, and I all went to Blue Springs and spent the day there. We brought a delicious Kickass Kale Salad and some lovely mangoes! We drank coconut water, jumped off a high dock into the spring, and canoed lazily down the river. It was a beautiful day.

Nick and I both enjoyed our Raw Adventure so much! The foods were all incredible and the results were just amazing. We wanted to share how we felt about this whole raw vegan thing, so we documented our thoughts below.



So, where to begin? We have just completed our 4 week challenge of 100% raw foods...about halfway through we changed it to follow more of the 811 diet (80% of cals from carbs, 10% of cals from fat, 10% of cals from protein). Over the course of the month, I went from 202 lbs. to 186 lbs, a change of 16 lbs. My skin has cleared up on my face and back. I have felt clear headed at work and have had high energy. The foods we have eaten have been very good every day (except the second day, too many mushed up foods). There are many positives to this diet, and lifestyle. As far as I can tell there are almost no negatives to this diet at the same time. It just feels natural and right. For now I want to continue with these eating habits; I do not know if I am ready to 100% commit myself to a completely raw diet, but I will be taking it a week at a time. It feels like a huge change to me, but looking back over this month it hasn’t been hard at all. I don’t know why I am hesitant to commit myself to this permanently, I love the foods, the energy, and being so clearheaded. This feels biologically right to me. I suppose changing what you have known all your life is a difficult choice, coming into this I was happily an omnivore. Going from the Standard American Diet to completely raw and vegan feels like night and day… maybe it’s the change I need. Looking at my thoughts it seems like it should be plain which path I should take. I will give it some time. For now nothing is changing; I will stay with the 811 plan.

Missy's Thoughts

Alright, my turn. I’ll start with the physical stuff. During our Raw Vegan 30-Day Challenge, I lost a total of eleven pounds (going from 140 to 129 pounds). My skin has cleared up, but not quite as much as Nick’s (I still have some blackheads on my face). I have a lot more energy and motivation to get things done. My addiction to refined sugar is GONE. That is probably the best thing I could ever have done for myself…breaking my sugar addiction. Even though we have raw cacao in the house, my chocolate addiction seems to be gone, as well. When we go grocery shopping, chocolate bars, cookies, etc. don’t even really register as “food” anymore. Maybe that’s because they’re not.

As for the emotional stuff…well, it feels good to be vegan again. I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for about seven and a half years, but I was vegan for the first six months. When I started eating eggs and dairy again, I always bought free-range/organic eggs and always organic dairy as much as possible. But whenever we went out to eat, I didn’t concern myself with whether or not the eggs or dairy were organic. And there was always guilt. When I first went vegetarian all those years ago, I did it because I simply did not want to be responsible for the death of these intelligent animals. Yet, by continuing to consume eggs and dairy products, I felt quite the hypocrite. It is so freeing to know that no animals are dying for the food that I eat.

I also feel like Nick and I have gotten closer throughout this past month. It’s been so much fun to create and eat these new foods together. We have only gone out to eat once (and got big ol’ salads!) since beginning this adventure, so we spend more time together enjoying our meals at home. It feels meditative and intimate. He’s been my support person throughout this whole thing, and I’m not sure I could have done it without him. It’s just so nice to be with someone who is spontaneous and will try new things with you. I love that man.

So, I will be continuing a high-fruit low-fat raw vegan diet permanently (unless the Zombie Apocalypse happens…then I might eat cooked rice or possibly human brains). There is simply no way I could go back to eating the way I was before. I just feel too good, emotionally and physically. I’m really happy! This adventure has literally changed my life!


And so I don't end this post without including a bit of food porn, our dinner was an amazing mango salsa salad. The ingredients in the mango salsa were ripe champagne mangoes, tomatoes, red bell peppers, one jalapeno pepper, purple onion, garlic, celery, cilantro, and lemon juice...all mixed up in a big bowl. Then we mixed in the zucchini noodles and served it all over baby spinach. It was just incredible. Pure, simple food. It doesn't get any better than this, folks.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 24 and 25

I am so sleepy! It's been an absolutely crazy week filled with studying and final exams...hence the reason I'm behind on blogging again! Today is actually day 26, but I won't be able to blog about today until tomorrow. Ha!

So, firstly, I'd like to present to you...my first case of bananas. A 40 pound case of bananas. For only five bucks.


Nick and I have many, many smoothies in our future. :)

The Day Before Yesterday's Breakfast


The Day Before Yesterday's Lunch: Cherry Banana Ice Cream.


The Day Before Yesterday's Dinner: Sushi again! Our favorite!!


Nick and I went out to eat the day before yesterday, for the first time since starting our raw food adventure. Our friends Helen and Tommy invited us to Boca Fiesta, an awesome little bar/restaurant here in Gainesville. We were a little apprehensive when they invited us, mainly because we didn't know what we could eat there...and we were worried that we'd really miss their mojitos! But we went out, ordered their "Build Your Own Guacamole" and two veggie salads, and then put the guac on the salads. It was great! And we had a really awesome time with Helen and Tommy. So glad we went. :)

Yesterday's Breakfast: Sapote Mango Blueberry Pudding. OMG, yum. So it was our first time trying mamey sapote and although it was perfectly ripe and the flavor was fantastic, it is kind of a dry fruit, so we decided to whip it up into a pudding. It was just delicious.



Yesterday's Dinner: Vegetable Noodle Stew. My avocado was not ripe, so I used four tablespoons of tahini instead. Oh, and I used no salt or pepper...the celery and tomatoes were salty enough. This stew turned out great. We LOVE zucchini noodles!!


Oh, btw...Nick and I bought those crazy toe shoes today and we love them!! :D


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 22 and 23

Nick and I have been busy studying for finals, which are tomorrow, so although we're eating lots of raw yumminess, I haven't really been able to keep up with this blog as much as I'd like to. Hopefully once finals are over, I can document a lot of raw stuff that's been on my mind lately. I want to make some kind of post for those interested in going raw--kind of like an intro post. I am still totally a beginner, but I'm one of the lucky ones who learned after only two weeks of eating 100% raw that a high-fat raw food diet is not healthy...unfortunately, most of the raw information that's freely available on the intrawebz is all about high-fat raw foods (aka "gourmet" raw) because that's what those new to the raw lifestyle tend to gravitate towards (including myself until I did some more research and picked up "The 80-10-10 Diet" by Dr. Douglas Graham).

For those interested who cannot yet pick up a copy of the aforementioned book, an awesome website to check out is Raw Food Health. Great info there.

Anyway, gotta make this short because I need to do some more studying. Wish me luck on my finals! :)

Yesterday's Dinner: Raw Vegan Chili. I kinda combined two recipes for this; here and here. I added frozen corn (defrosted first), cayenne powder, cumin, two dates for sweetness, and blended a few chard leaves into the sauce. This chili turned out GREAT with a nice crunch, but next time, I will make it a bit less spicy...although Nick thought the amount of spice was just right.

Before adding the sauce:


All mixed up with some nutritional yeast sprinkled on top:


Yum. :)

Today's Breakfast: Deliciously fresh papaya, bananas, and local blueberries! Oh this was probably the best papaya I've ever had! We bought it early last week while it was still green and patiently (yeah right!) waited until TODAY to finally eat it. And it was so worth the wait!! So buttery and sweet, juicy and amazing. Truly, a fantastic papaya. The bananas and blueberries complemented it quite nicely.



Today's Dinner: Kickass Salad with Creamy Tomato Celery Dressing. I got the idea for the dressing out of the 80-10-10 book. I put two tomatoes, four large celery sticks, the juice of one lemon, a handful of fresh basil, one clove of garlic, and about four tablespoons of tahini in the blender and blended it all up into a delicious dressing that tasted great and salty, without adding any salt at all! Then I poured it over some romaine lettuce, sunflower sprouts, jicama, tomato, onions, bell pepper, and chopped celery. It was such a heart and filling salad. I'm excited to experiment with fresh, raw dressings that don't include salt or oil. Nick really liked it, too!


And now, back to the books!! Good night!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Week 4 Meal Plan and Grocery List

I can't believe this is the last week of our One-Month Raw Vegan Adventure! Nick and I have had a lot of fun discovering new recipes and eating so healthy. Our skin has cleared up exceptionally, our energy levels have really gone up, and we have lost a lot of weight. So far, in three weeks, Nick has released 12 pounds and I have released 10. IN ONLY THREE WEEKS...and that's been solely by stuffing our faces with fresh raw food. Nothing else has changed, not our lifestyles or exercise routine!! This is amazing, amazing stuff. I am very happy. :)

Here is Week 4's Meal Plan:


Lots and lots of fruit again this week! In fact, I'm hoping for almost an 80carb/10protein/10fat percentage ratio. It's not quite perfect yet, though, but it's getting there. Mmm...I am really full of mangos and bananas right now.

And here's the grocery lists for the week. I like how they're getting smaller as the quantity of fruit gets bigger. :)

Today's Grocery Shopping List:

2 or 3 Bunches of Bananas
2 bunches of grapes
3 large red bell peppers
2 zucchinis
4 large tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro
romaine lettuce
baby spinach
4 little cucumbers
one bunch chard
2 ripe pears
Portobello mushroom caps
sugar snap peas
green onions
one little parsnip
fruit to snack on (oranges, peaches, pluots, etc.)
2 packages dried dates
2 lemons
Oh, and dish soap. ;)

Wednesday's Grocery Shopping List:

Possibly more bananas
One case champagne mangos
One large watermelon
5 zucchinis
5 tomatoes
celery if needed
one pack fresh basil
4 lemons
one bunch chard
one large bunch grapes
kiwis if needed
sprouts if needed
2 red bell pepper
Portobello mushroom caps
fresh Thai coconut OR coconut manna
one small papaya
one bunch kale

Yay for raw food goodness!! ♥

Day 20 and 21 - Happy Easter, Happy Spring, Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone had a wonderful day today, no matter what holiday (or no) you celebrate! ♥

I'm going to combine days 20 and 21 for simplicity's sake, mostly because I'm behind on blogging again. Also, Nick had to work today, and I went to my mom's house for Easter, so I didn't get to make any intricate recipes. But I do have a few photos to share.

Hmm...and I also want to mention that while I am trying my best to document breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I am not documenting any snacks at all. Nick and I eat lots of fruit between meals, and Nick snacks on trailmix at work almost every night. Because we're eating so much fruit lately, and fruit kinda speaks for itself, I'm really only documenting and taking photos of the meals that took some time to put together and make.

As for caloric intake, I am consuming about 1600 calories per day at this point, while Nick is consuming 2000-2200. Some days, depending on if we eat a meal high in nuts/seeds, avocado, olive oil, or coconut, we might get a LOT more calories...but it's averaging out to be the numbers above. How are we getting this many calories by just eating fruit and veggies? We've been gradually increasing our portion sizes. When we have fruit, we don't just have an apple or an orange. For example, I ate three mangos and an orange for breakfast this morning while Nick ate a smoothie that contained three bananas, a cup of frozen strawberries, a cup of frozen blueberries, and two cups of chard leaves. It ended up being a full quart of smoothie! And when we eat salads, we don't just have a dinky little salad on a salad plate. We eat a MIXING BOWL full of salad EACH. Yum. :)

This is a prickly pear:


Nick and I bought it from our local grocery store a couple days ago, and tried to eat it for breakfast yesterday. Only, it tasted very bland, and I'm pretty sure I got an itty bitty cactus thorn stuck in the tip of my tongue. Also, it was full of very hard seeds, albeit edible. We didn't like the prickly pear, and so it went in the compost heap. We ate tons of mango for breakfast instead.


Yesterday's Lunch: Just Your Average Salad. Romaine, baby spinach, avocado, tomato, scallions, purple cabbage, sugar snap peas, lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper, nutritional yeast. Yum.


Yesterday's Dinner: Green Goddess Smoothie! We blended up four bananas, a cup of frozen strawberries, a few handfuls of baby spinach, and a little bit of cinnamon. We didn't get a photo, but it was tasty. :)


So today was Easter Sunday, and Nick had to work. I was very bummed that we couldn't spend the day together (probably not as bummed as Nick, though, since he's the one who had to work!), but I did have a wonderful time visiting my mom, her husband, my brother and his girlfriend, and my little nephew.


Before Nick went to work and I left for Mom's, though, we had breakfast. Nick's was that kickass smoothie I mentioned earlier in the post, and mine was the amazing three champagne mangos. Sooooo good!! Then, because Nick would be at work all day and wouldn't get a lunch break, I packed him lots of fruit to eat throughout the day: two peeled and segmented oranges, two sliced kiwis, two apples, two pluots (cross between plum and apricot), and a little baggie of trailmix. He later reported that the fruit was yummy and held him over til he got out of work!

Lunch: Kickass Kale and Chard Salad. I brought my own "Easter Dinner" to Mom's house because they were having a traditional dinner of meat and potatoes, and I knew I'd get hungry eventually. This is key, folks! Bring your own food to things like this and you won't have to worry about whether or not there will be food for you to eat! Anyway, the salad was kale, chard, one garlic clove pressed through the garlic press, the juice of a large lemon, and a little sea salt--all of it squished and mixed with my hands to help the lemon juice break down the cell wall of the greens. This salad was very yummy, and my mom loved it, too!! I also brought two oranges with me, and then Mom gave me an Easter basket filled with fresh fruit. I stayed full until dinner!

Dinner: Zucchini Pasta Pesto. Not much to say about this one other than the fact that it was AMAZING. The only thing Nick and I will do differently next time is make more of it!!


And off to plan the week's meals! Hope everyone had a great day! :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 19 and Still Loving It!

I can't believe tomorrow is already Saturday AGAIN and it will be time to make the week's meal plan and grocery lists AGAIN. Wow! Time is flying by!

Oh, and I was quite happy today when I saw a package in my mailbox! The book I ordered last week, "The 80-10-10 Diet" by Dr. Douglas Graham was finally here! I read it most of the evening and just keep finding myself nodding my head in agreement. His writing style is great, and I especially enjoyed chapter one. I will definitely keep everyone updated as I continue to read through the book. :)

Breakfast: Half of an approximately 10 lb watermelon. Yep, you read that right. I didn't weigh the watermelon, but it was pretty heavy, and Nick and I each ate half for breakfast this morning. It took me about an hour and a half to finish mine, but I did it! OMG, and it was the best watermelon I've had in so long! So sweet and juicy and dense. I wish I had bought two of them! Maybe I will go to the Asian grocery store tomorrow and pick up another one. That's how good this thing was.

(This photo makes them look flat. They weren't.)


Lunch: Zucchini Hummus and Veggies. Alright, so here's the deal. The consistency and texture of this zucchini hummus was GREAT! If I would have known you could make kickass hummus with zucchini instead of chickpeas, I would have done it long ago. Anyway, the recipe itself, in my opinion, needs a bit of tweaking. I normally love curry, but the flavor combo of this hummus was a little weird. Next time, I think I will make a more Mediterranean-flavored hummus by leaving out the curry and using some basil, oregano, and sundried tomatoes or something. I'll experiment with it a bit and see how it turns out next time.


Dinner: Spicy Ginger Springrolls. Hey, these were really good and they looked neat, too!! We used chard instead of collards because our local grocery store didn't have any good looking collards, and they came out great with the chard! Inside our springrolls were marinated shiitaki mushrooms, bell pepper, sugar snap peas, purple cabbage, avocado, and scallions/green onions. Fresh wasabi and tamari to dip them in and YUMMY!! Delicious.


I really hope our gazillion bananas are ripe tomorrow! I want bananas! And now it is after 3am and I'm going to bed. Night!

Day 18

Breakfast: Half a honeydew and a banana (two bananas for Nick). This was delicious but not enough food! However, we ran out of bananas! So there was nothing we could do. Poor hungry bellies. I think I may have eaten a couple Medjool dates to take the edge off, lol.


Later, I found an AWESOME website explaining how to make sure we never run out of ripe bananas again! Here it is: The Art of Fruit Ripening.

Lunch: Whatever Veggies Are in the Fridge Salad. This was a tasty salad!! Romaine lettuce, baby spinach, my own sprouted lentils, jicama, tomato, yellow bell pepper, soaked sunflower seeds, zucchini, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast, and a little bit of tamari. So good!!


Afternoon Activity: Saying good-bye to my kombucha. I made a couple great batches of kombucha, but haven't drank it in a long time. So my most recent attempt, a kava kava kombucha experiment, kinda just sat on the kitchen table for the past few months. The scoby did WONDERFUL and just grew and grew. But, because I don't anticipate drinking kombucha again, it was time to say good-bye, and so I gave my scoby to the earth in the backyard.

That thing was at least 2.5 inches thick.


Dinner: Whatever Fruit Is Left in the Fridge Salad. Yum! Strawberries, orange slices, kiwi, and grapes.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 17 -- Still a day behind!

Yesterday was day 17, but I was too exhausted to blog last night. And I didn't feel good. Wanna know why? Because I didn't listen to my body or my intuition.

So our local grocery store sells these shelled English Peas. And every time I see them, I'm like, "Wow! I bet those are crisp and sweet!" So I buy them. And then when I actually eat them, they are not crisp and sweet. They are hard and bitter. So I drown them in coconut vinegar (which you can get super cheap at your local Asian grocery store, btw), nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. And then, because I have a thing for vinegar, I eat a TON of them.

And so there I was...last night, bored, waiting for Nick to get home, hungry but not wanting to eat another banana because I knew Nick would want them when he got home and I was worried we'd run out before we could get more. So I went to the fridge and looked at the peas. Now, something inside me actually said, "Don't eat those. They are hard to digest. They don't actually taste very good. You're going to get a bellyache." And then what did I do? I rinsed the peas, put them in a mason jar, smothered them in the salt, vinegar, pepper, nutritional yeast, and then started eating them with a spoon right out of the jar. I gobbled down half the jar before I realized what I had done and immediately regretted it. I had heartburn from Hades and my stomach hurt.

No more English Peas for me.

Breakfast: Yesterday's breakfast was almost half of a golden, juicy, sweet pineapple and about two cups of purple grapes. It actually took Nick and I about an hour to get through all that delicious fruit, but I'll tell ya, it was AMAZING. I love pineapple. Ripe pineapple and mango are probably my two favorite fruits... after lychee, of course. We didn't get a photo because I was running a little late for school. I think I'm going to buy another pineapple today. Mmm! :)

Lunch: Strawberry Mango Salad. This was such a beautiful salad! And the jicama added amazing crisp flavor and some heartiness. The pumpkin seeds were a perfect touch. We didn't add the avocado because I wanted to save the only ripe one we had on hand for dinner. We will definitely make this salad again (maybe today because we still have half a jicama left!). Oh, I didn't use any agave in the dressing...Nick and I are finding agave to be too sweet for us lately.


Dinner: Mexi-Fiesta Soup. Sound familiar? That's because it was the first raw dinner we ever made! And it was so tasty that we decided to make it again. Only this time, we forgot the onions (which was fine because it was just as tasty without them) and used a bit more corn.


I am finding myself getting a little impatient with weight loss. I know I am steadily losing weight at a healthy rate (about 1.5 to 2 pounds per week), but I want to hurry and get to my body's healthy weight so I can stop worrying about weight loss and start getting my body to its optimal state of health. But see there? I'm making excuses. Why do I have to wait to lose more weight before I begin building strength in my body? I don't. If I want to build strength, I need to start now. It's so easy to say, "I'll start doing ______ when _______ happens." That is not the way to reach your goals. That is the way to drift further and further from them.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I'm going to go clean up the house, take a shower, go get the rest of the week's groceries, and then go walk my dog and get some exercise. I think I'll do some yoga and attempt push-ups today. That sounds like a good goal! :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 16

Yesterday was day 16 of our raw food challenge and day 2 of LFRV. I had a paper due for my breastfeeding class today, so I did not get a chance to blog yesterday. But there are definitely a few things I'd like to mention about living a low-fat raw vegan lifestyle.

Alright, remember how I said a few posts back that the main concept of LFRV was to get 80% of your calories from simple carbohydrates (fruits), 10% from fats (avocado, coconut, oils), and 10% from proteins (nuts and seeds)...? So, that's a TON of fruit. I've been using Fitday.com to track our caloric intake, temporarily, in order to make sure we are eating enough calories to prevent low energy and lethargy. And I've quickly realized that we need to eat a WHOLE BUNCH MORE fruit than we originally anticipated. We've bought the fruit...and we're eating it. But here's some things to note for those interested in going LFRV:

1) You will be ravenous shortly after eating your huge fruit meal (because fruit, when eaten by itself, will digest very quickly).

2) No problem, you'll just eat more fruit, right?

3) Well, yes you should, however, it's simply not that easy to eat all that fruit if you're not used to it!! Yesterday, I thought I'd die if I had to eat one more ounce of sweet fruit! I wanted salt, vinegar, and hot sauce to counteract my sugar-abused tastebuds.

4) Keep at it, though. Eat those giant fruit meals (following good food combining rules) and eventually your tastebuds will start craving all that delicious fruit sugar, your stomach will expand to fit all that bulk fiber and water, and your energy levels will soar. This is the theory of the 80-10-10 diet.

So how is it working for us so far? Like I said, it is difficult for us, at this moment, to consume such large amounts of sweet fruits. However, we are only on day 3 of our LFRV lifestyle, so we anticipate that this will get easier. Our energy levels are very good, though...and really, really stable. I was worried about this. I thought if I ate too much fruit, my blood sugar would crash (like it used to do when I ate candy, cookies, chocolate, brownies, or cake), but this has not proven to be the case at all! Also, Nick and I are still steadily losing weight and our skin looks fantastic (especially Nick's...he's always had pretty nice skin, but now he has virtually no blemishes/blackheads/pimples/etc. at all!). I am loving this so far! :)

Breakfast: Green Goddess Smoothie. Only, this smoothie turned out BROWN instead of green because we used rainbow (mostly red) chard. Haha! We blended about 7 rainbow chard leaves, 2 ripe bananas, 2 ripe pears, about one cup of blueberries, and some fresh mint leaves out of our garden. And we each drank a whole pint of it each! It was absolutely delicious, but I'm bummed because I didn't get a photo of the dark brownish purplish earthy color. Next time! :)

Lunch: Banana-Heavy Sweet Fruits. Mmm...the custard-like texture and flavor of banana mixed with the nectar-sweet flavor of the mango and the slight tartness of the fresh blueberries made this one amazing lunch! Nick and I had one and a half bananas each, split the honey mango, and split about a cup of blueberries. Halfway through, though, I had to force myself to keep eating. I was full and my tongue said, 'No more sweet stuff!', but I knew I needed to finish to get enough calories for the day. So I finished it all, and it truly was delicious, and I was proud of myself for finishing. This non-fruit-eater is learning to love her fruits, though it is taking time and patience.


Dinner: Mmm...SUSHI!! Lots of sushi!! So we've been experimenting with rice substitutes to put in our sushi. You may remember that when we first had sushi two weeks ago, we used parsnip rice (fresh parsnip processed in the food processor). It made a lovely sushi, but definitely had a parsnip taste. Then, last week, we made our sushi with Raw Pecan and Swiss Chard Pate. It was very yummy, but far too rich for a sushi, and the pate overpowered all the other tastes and textures. So last night, we tried raw daikon (an asian radish) processed in the food processor as a sort of rice. And it wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. When processed up, the daikon smells a little funky...slightly like old cabbage...and the taste once again overpowered the rest of the flavors in the sushi. So, we rolled one more sushi roll each, and used plain ol' sweet clover (you can totally use alfalfa) sprouts as the 'rice bed'. And that, my friends, was absolutely perfect!! It made a very light, crisp, tasty sushi, and all the flavors (plus the tamari and wasabi, mmm...) blended very nicely together. We will keep experimenting, but so far, the sprouts take the cake! (The photo below is the sushi with the daikon 'rice'.)


Speaking of sprouts, here is an update on our sprout-growing experiment. So half the quinoa sprouted, and the other half didn't. The raw sesame seeds did not sprout. Both the quinoa and sesame attracted FRUIT FLIES. Majorly. We keep our windows open most days, and the little suckers would crawl right through the window screen and then into our sprout jars! I had to keep opening the lids to get them out, and then washing the sprouts. But finally, I gave up. I just couldn't handle the fruit flies anymore. And I just got really wigged out by the fact that there were probably fruit fly eggs in our quinoa and sesame seeds. So both went into the compost heap. :(


However, the green lentil sprouts grew like CRAZY and did not attract even a single fruit fly! So I harvested them yesterday and have two more batches starting now, and one batch of red lentils (they are split like split-peas, so they may not sprout, but what the heck, I'm trying it anyway).


I'll be back later tonight with today's meals! Gonna try to make it to the farmer's market between classes to get some fresh, local, yummy produce. Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 15

Today was our first day experimenting with Low-Fat Raw Vegan (or 80-10-10).

Successes: Ate lots of sweet, juicy fruits. Felt great for most of the day. Took Panda for a nice, brisk walk.

Challenges: Did not eat enough of sweet, juicy fruits. Lost energy in the early evening and am really, really tired now.

The concept we're trying to follow is two big fruit meals, snack on fruit between meals, drink lots of water, and eat a big, green dinner that may or may not contain nuts, seeds, or fatty fruits (avocado, coconut).

We realized today that a couple bananas, an avocado, some berries, a pear, and an orange simply ain't gonna cut it. Both Nick and I were very hungry throughout the day, but either ran out of time to eat (before going to work) or ran out of ripe fruits!!

So, to solve these dilemmas:

1) We're going to keep three bunches of bananas in the house at all times, at different levels of ripeness. One bunch will have some brown spots and be totally ripe and ready to eat now. The second bunch will be completely yellow, ready to have some brown spots in a day or two. And the third bunch will be greenish-yellow. That way, we will never run out of bananas.

2) We're going to keep some dried Medjool dates in the cars, so we have something quick to snack on in case of lack-of-fruit emergencies. (I consider dates to be either once-in-a-while dessert food or emergency fare.)

3) We're going to buy twice or three times as much fruit as we bought this week. I solved this one today by going to a couple different grocery stores and buying another bunch of (ripe) bananas, another bunch of grapes, 6 navel oranges, and 2 ripe avocados. That, plus the other fruit we bought yesterday, should hold us off til Wednesday.

4) We're going to eat more fruit.

Breakfast: Nick's breakfast was one large mango, a banana, and a cup and a half of organic frozen mixed berries. My breakfast was a cucumber, a large ripe tomato, a cup of grapes, and the juice of one Valencia orange. (For the LFRV or 811 diet, neither of our breakfasts contained a sufficient amount of food. We'd need to double that.)



Lunch: Nick's lunch was a cucumber, tomato, onion salad with a tiny bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and also a pear, an orange, and about one and a half cups of grapes. My lunch was a banana, 2 cups of coconut water/juice, 2 Medjool dates, a Navel orange, and about half a cup of fresh blueberries. (No photos of lunch, oops.)

Nick bonsai'd another tree today! This one is a little azalea bush. I like the shape of it. :)


Snack: Nick brought about 3/4 cup of trailmix to work and ate it this evening. I snacked on another banana and a small handful of trailmix.

Dinner: Guacamole Salad. We were both absolutely ravenous by dinner time. I made the guacamole and then put it on top of romaine, baby spinach, and sunflower greens with a little bit of coconut vinegar. We had HUGE plates of it, and it was just delicious. Then Nick had an orange and a banana for dessert. I am too full from dinner to eat dessert.


Tomorrow, we're going to eat a lot more fruit! Good night! :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 14 -- Two Whole Weeks Raw!

Breakfast: Blueberry Maca Flax Smoothie. This morning's breakfast was a blended up delicious drink of 2 ripe bananas, 1 cup of frozen blueberries, 2 tablespoons of freshly ground flax seeds, 1 tablespoon of Skyfield Tropical's Gelatinized Maca Powder, 1 tablespoon of coconut manna/butter, a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach, a spoonful of honey, and a little bit of filtered water for blending. Talk about a power smoothie!! Maca does it for me every time, and I had lots of energy for hours! Next time, I think I will actually use 2 spoonfuls of honey, as maca has a strong (not unpleasant, but strong) flavor that goes really well with honey. This was a great breakfast!


Lunch: We forgot to eat lunch! We had a very busy afternoon looking at nurseries for little trees for Nick to bonsai, and then went to three different local grocery stores to get our first half of the week's shopping done. We discovered that the Asian grocery store has a million times better prices for fresh produce than our normal grocery store (which we love and would not stop going to for the rest of our groceries and some produce). We also discovered that we are simply not classy enough to shop at Fresh Market. Nick does not own a dress suit and I refuse to wear heels. Anyway, between the Asian grocery store and our little Ward's Supermarket, we got some delicious foods!!



I love opening the fridge and seeing such beautiful, colorful foods!! ♥

Dinner: Marinated Mushroom Salad. Another success from "Raw on $10 a Day or Less." We added some organic frozen sweet corn to the marinating veggies and reduced the Agave syrup from two tablespoons to one. It was a really filling, yummy salad that we will definitely make again.


Tomorrow starts our slightly modified version of Low-Fat Raw Vegan or 80-10-10, which is basically, lots and lots of sweet, yummy fruits!! Exciting! And now off to bed...can't believe I'm actually going to be in bed before midnight, for once. :P

Week 3 Meal Plan and Thoughts

I will tell you what...meal planning is time-consuming. I have been working on our Week 3 Meal Plan for a few hours now. Yes, hours!! But...in the long run, I end up spending less time planning our meals now that I get it all done in one day. Nick and I used to just stare inside the fridge and kitchen cupboards, trying to figure out what to eat for dinner. We'd do that before just about every single meal! And then, sometimes we'd just say, "Eff it, let's go out for dinner." That simply doesn't happen anymore now that we have a basic outline of our meals, and because I make our grocery shopping lists at the same time as the meal plans, we never have to worry that we won't have a particular ingredient. So honestly? I love meal planning. (Yes, I am aware of how nerdy that sounds.)

Oh! Before I share our meal plan, I want to mention something awesome! Today is Sunday, and Sunday is the day we go to our local Publix grocery store and weigh ourselves. Remember, last week Nick released 5 pounds and I released 3. Well, this week Nick released 4 pounds and I released 2!! That is 9 pounds total for Nick and 5 for me! In just two weeks!!! This is seriously unbelievable. We are not dieting at all! We eat three large meals per day, we snack between our meals, and we walk our dog 4-5 times per week. That is it. All we've done differently is changed out all our cooked foods for fresh, raw foods. And you all have seen how yummy these foods have been! We are both loving this way of living and eating, and can't wait to see what gifts the next couple weeks will bring.

Alright, here is Week 3's meal plan!


Do you see anything different with this meal plan versus the other two? That's right, there's WAY more fruit! And the reason is this: I have been researching what some people call the Low-Fat Raw Vegan Diet and others call the 80-10-10 Diet (they are a little different, but essentially the same core foundations). I am really not fond of labels, so I just call it Lotsa Fruits! Anyway, the concept is that primates, including humans, thrive best when they eat about 80% carbohydrates (from fruits), 10% fats (avocado, plant-based oils, coconut), and 10% proteins (nuts, seeds).

The 80-10-10 Diet is actually a book written by Douglas Graham, and is a much more strict version of what Nick and I will be trying to do next week. It encourages one to eat lots and lots of one type of fruit per meal (called "mono-meals" or "mono-eating") along with proper food combining. I have never heard of food combining until a couple days ago, and it really makes sense to me. Evidently, some foods digest much faster than other foods, and if you eat both foods at the same time, the faster-digesting foods will start to ferment in your stomach while the slower-digesting foods do their digesting thing. This leads to gas and bloating, stomach cramps, indigestion, and other stomach upsets.

Interesting stuff, eh?

So anyway, next week, Nick and I will be focusing much more on fruits and greens, and much less on nuts, seeds, and oils. Taking it one week at a time, ya know? We will see how we feel next week before deciding what to do during Week 4! :)

Sunday's Grocery Shopping List

Olive oil
balsamic vinegar
3 Avocados
1 onion
4 tomatoes
2 bunches cilantro
1 lemon
1 lime
1 head garlic
nori sheets
1 largish daikon root
3 sweet largish red peppers
Portobello mushroom cap
macadamia nuts
bee pollen?
BANANAS!!!! At least 2 bunches!
2 small papayas
baby spinach
swiss chard
purple grapes
kiwi for snacking
plums for snacking
2 ripe pears
2 avocados
2 mangos
fresh strawberries
1 small jicama

Wednesday's Grocery Shopping List

1 big yummy melon
sunflower sprouts
1 red bell pepper if necessary
baby spinach if necessary
6 little cucumbers
2 ripe avocados
collard greens
shiitaki mushrooms
snow peas
napa or purple cabbage
1 small fresh ginger root
Nama Shoyu
raw sesame oil
celery if necessary
2 large tomatoes
2 onions
2 mangos
3 kiwis
4 oranges
1 bunch kale
1 lemon if necessary
1 cup macadamia nuts
2 cups cashews if necessary
1 young green coconut
1 jar coconut butter (manna)
fresh strawberries & blueberries

My goodness, I love raw food! I'll tell ya...there's nothing like opening your fridge and seeing such amazing colors and all that fresh, beautiful food. At this point, I can't imagine any other way of eating. ♥

Day 13!!

You may be wondering why I post the day's entry at around one in the morning (which is technically the day after). Well, the reason is that Nick works a late shift and usually doesn't get home until around 11:30pm or midnight. Then we have dinner, then we clean up the kitchen, and only then do I have time to blog. I would post the next morning instead of so late at night, but I'm too afraid that I'll forget what I want to say. So until Nick no longer works late, this is how it works for us. :)

Nick's mom Lynn and her friend Whitney came over for brunch today! It was very nice to see them, and we had a lovely late morning/early afternoon meal of Raw Zucchini Spaghetti and Walnut Meatballs. You may remember that we also had this meal last week and it was such a success that we decided to make it again. And lo and behold, it was a success once again! Both Lynn and Whitney raved about how yummy and filling it was, and asked lots of questions about raw foods. Unfortunately, in the hustle and bustle of food preparation and hostessing, I forgot to take photos of the lovely meal! So you'll just have to trust me when I say it was pleasing to both the eye and the palate. ;)

Lunch: Fruit and Cream. Mmmm...something about this meal seriously reminded me of some sinful comfort food. It was soft, sweet, luscious. Ripe banana, ripe honey mango, ripe blueberries from the farmer's market, and topped with fresh cashew milk that we made yesterday. I find it so strange that this girl who used to commonly say, "I just don't like fruit. I prefer veggies." is now CHOWING DOWN on delicious ripe fruits and wanting more and more. I could seriously eat this stuff all day.


Snack: Trail Mix Part 2. I make this trail mix mainly for Nick, who takes a little baggie of it to work every night. This batch has almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, golden raisins, goji berries, chopped dates, chia seeds, and sea salt. This batch was really cool because the chia seeds all stuck to the sticky raisins, making it easier to eat them!


Dinner: Waldorf Salad. This was a delicious and unique salad! I've never had Waldorf Salad before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but this was really tasty. We used a lot of grapes and left the agave nectar out of the dressing. Also, I ran out of walnuts, so those weren't included, and also ran out of celery but used a small, crisp cucumber instead. We would definitely make this salad again!


Nick and I are going to be doing a little side experiment of raw living next week, so stay tuned for the menu and grocery list. I am exhausted tonight and didn't have time to do it, so it will be the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning. Then we're going for a bike ride! And then we'll be doing homework for the rest of the day. Oh joy. :P

P.S. I forgot to mention! My quinoa and green lentils have SPROUTED!!! Still waiting on the sesame seeds. I will take a picture tomorrow when the sprouts are a little bigger and easier to see. Good night!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 12 and Two Beginners Growing Sprouts

I am so excited to try my hand at growing sprouts!! In yesterday's blog post, you can see that I soaked three different seeds: quinoa, sesame, and green lentils. Today, Nick made a beautiful wooden sprout rack to hold our sprouting jars! And so the sprouting adventure officially begins!





Ta da!! Isn't it just lovely? Now my little sprout jars can hang out upside down to drain out all the moisture and gets lots of air circulation! (For a great video showing how you can grow your own sprouts, see "Sprout Growing How-To Video" over to the right of this page, underneath the title "RAW Links".)

Breakfast: StRAWberry Banana Ice Cream. After last week's Banana Soft Serve Deliciousness, we were very excited to try another raw version of ice cream. We followed the recipe exactly, even down to making the very creamy, very yummy cashew milk.


However, using the blender DID NOT MAKE ICE CREAM. It made a smoothie. A delicious, sweet, creamy smoothie, but a smoothie nonetheless. So next time, we will use the food processor (like we did last week) and hopefully get a fluffy, creamy, actual ice cream consistency.


Lunch: Cucumber Boats with Leftover Raw Pecan Chard Pate. That pate we had for dinner yesterday was so good, that we ate the leftovers on cucumber boats for lunch today. It was a savory and satisfying lunch, and I'm sad that there's no more pate left! We will definitely make it another time, though. It was just so tasty...and so green! Yay chard!


Dinner: Spinach, Banana, & Cashew Milk Smoothie. So simple and so good. We had this yummy green smoothie last week and wanted it again for dinner tonight. To make it, just blend frozen ripe bananas with a few handfuls of baby spinach, some nut milk (almond, cashew, whatever...you could even simply use a little water), and some cinnamon to taste. Definitely one of my favorite smoothies!

(This photo makes the smoothie look yellow, but it was a beautiful green color in real life.)


Nick's mom is coming over with a friend for lunch tomorrow, and we will be making Raw Zucchini Spaghetti with Walnut Meatballs! That meal was just so amazing when we made it last week, so we're both excited to share it with others. See you tomorrow! :)