Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Pre-Game

So yesterday I ate pretty close to a raw diet all day, although there may have been an incident in the evening with some fresh mozzerella cheese... it's one of my favorites. I don't know why, because it's so bland, but the mild flavor and texture really appeal to me.

Fortunately, the official 30 day trial doesn't start until tomorrow, so I needn't worry until then. Today I need to plan my meals for the first week or so, until I get the hang of it, and even then, I might need quite a bit of planning. I've never been very good at planning, particulalry my meals, I usually just shop on the weekend, fill up the cart with stuff that looks good to me, and figure it out as the week goes by. This usually leads to a few things getting thrown out and a day or two at the end of the week where we either eat out or I make something like noodles with chickpeas.

So here's a few items I expect to add to the list:


Apple almond porridge (apples and almonds blended up with some honey)

Chia banana puddings (bananas & tahini with chia seeds to thicken)

Smoothies! Endless varieties... avocado, coconut or banana blended with other fruits and some tahini... I even have some raw protein powders in the fridge from ages ago... they should still be good!

Larabars (for sleep-in mornings)

Grab and go fruit and nut arrangements (i.e. some cashews and an apple, mac nuts and a mango, a kiwi and walnuts... you get the picture)

Leftover raw desserts (oh yes... there will be lovely cakes and pies that may have to get eaten for breakfast sometimes...)


Raw sushi rolls... a raw nori sheet with avocado or nuts and sliced veggies... carrots, cucumber, lettuces, etc. and maybe some tropical fruits like pineapple or mango... yum!)

Raw burritos ( lettuce or cabbage leaves stuffed with walnuts, avocado, salsa, and sprouts)

SALAD (you probably eat salad for lunch too!)

Sandwiches (either on raw bread or lettuce leaves with avocado and tomato)

Any incredible offerings from the Alive! booth at the farmer's market (like raw lasanga and enchiladas)

Leftover dinner (something else you probably eat for lunch)


Zuccini pasta (this is one of my favorites... you shave the zuccini into strips with a veggie peeler, then top it with pesto, tomato or creamy nut sauce... I already eat this...)

Big chopped/shredded veggie salads with creamy tahini dressings

Raw soups, very gently warmed, probably in a double boiler.

Experiements from raw recipe books (I have RAW by Juliano & a complilation by tons of people)

Anything from the other menus!


JUICE! This is already one of my favorite snacks. I like celery/apple spinach and pineapple/mint best (mixed with komucha! seriously, like the most amazing beverage you've ever had in your life)






So, looking over that, I'm pretty excited! I see lots of my favorite foods on there (fruit always has been, and probably always will be, one of my favorite foods.) I need to go to Rainbow Grocery tonight after work (actually, after the gym... I joined the gym...) to get nori sheets, avocadoes, lots of beautiful produce, and maybe some raw chocolates and bread... I don't have a dehydrator to make the bread... I got apples, oranges, spinach, lettuce, parsley and mint at the Farmer's market yesterday... it's almost all gone. I think I'll need a pretty detailed plan this week to make sure I don't fall off track immediately like last night with the cheese.

I'll also take some "before" photos and measurements tonight... I need to go to a drugstore to get pH strips and a blood sugar test kit... right now I tend towards hypoglycemia... if I allow myself to get belly rumbling hungry, I also get weak and shaky. I've never tested my pH before, so I have no idea if it's normal or not.

I am drinking some delicious Yerba Mate tea right now, and I can't decide if I should allow it on the trial. Coffee is definitely out, since I don't enjoy it without half and half anyway, and it definitely has a powerful effect on my body. I've been gradually weaning myself off it for about a month now, so caffeine withdawls shouldn't be affecting my symptoms.

Well, tomorrow's the big day! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Alive at the Farmer's Market

Just to remind me that I can do this, Alive! restaurant has a booth at the Civic Center farmer's market! That means that every wednesday, not only can I get beautiful, fresh produce, but also prepared elegant raw meals for less than $5!

I am a very happy gal.

Raw for 30 Days

I have decided to go raw for 30 days.

I realize this may come as a shock to many. Some of you may even feel betrayed. "Mandy! You cook so well! Why on earth would you ever stop cooking your food?"

You know, it's funny how much people seem to give a crap about what other people eat. But when I talk to people about raw food, they get as heated as when I talk about politics. I feel the same way about both... I think it's a line from a Ben Harper song, "If you're not hurting no one, then you're alright with me..." I don't really care very much about what people wear, who they marry or what kind of music they listen to either.

For those of you who have no idea how a raw food diet would even work, I'll quickly break it down: you eat vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and you don't heat them above 118 degrees F. This preserving the living enzymes in the food, leaving the enzymes in your body that would normally break down your food to do other nice healing stuff for the body. Cooking also frequently cuts down the nutrients in the food. Some nutrients may be increased by cooking, but mostly, they die. Oils, in particular, are altered in cooking and become much more difficult to digest. Most foods are cooked with oil. For this experiment, I have not decided whether I will allow any raw fish or dairy. I expect mostly not, although I definitely see a place for those things in my life long term.

I've been considering this lifestyle for about two years now, as my constant fascination with health and health food has evolved, but I've always felt a little overwhelmed by it. But I am also amazed by all the before and afters of people who were once fat, pimply and dull looking who now appear so fit, sparkling and vibrant.

So, here comes the DBA section (you may have heard of an FAQ, but this one steps it up to Don't Bother Asking, because you haven't asked yet, but I know you will...)

Remember when you were going to write a book in 30 days? How did that turn out?

OK, not so great. But trust me, that was way harder than this. Trust me, I am obsessed with health and food matters. I went on a very restrictive diet once before and stayed on it for two months... maybe even three. I can totally stick to a diet for 30 days. Plus, once the raw food makes my thinking clearer, as its advocates claim, I may just write a book in March.

But how will you get protein?

From nuts, seeds, vegetables, spirulina and bee pollen. These proteins are much easier to digest and assimilate than animal based proteins. Also, people forget that the building blocks of muscle are amino acids, not protein. These foods are all packed with amino acids. I was vegetarian for 13 years, never died. I think I'll manage.

So, how strict is this thing going to be?

Great question! The plan is 100% raw, with a few "questionable" ingredients. Nama Shoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce) and or Bragg's Amino acids, maple syrup, honey, bee pollen, dried spices, dried fruits and vegetables, wine (a little wine!) dehydrated items that don't get above 113 degrees, sun dried olives... there's probably a few other things that some may not believe to be truly "raw" that I will be eating. Part of the idea is for a significant portion of calories to come from green vegetables, which is difficult, even if you eat two salads a day (most of those calories are coming from add-ins and dressing, not lettuce.) Juicing green vegetables helps with this, and I plan to do it often.

But what about brunch! Happy hour! WHAT ABOUT YOUR BIRTHDAY!

Whoa, settle down. I'm still the same human, just eating slightly different foods. We can still be friends! This doesn't change the way I feel about you! I think I should still be just fine in restaurants. And I can still drink wine. I'm not sure how much I'll want to, but I can. It will be ok, I promise.

Hey, I don't see my question here!

Please, go ahead and ask me questions I'll answer them in the blog, or in email, unless I start to get waaaay too many questions.

This blog will be to document the next 30 days. Although I've been 100% raw today, we're going to start on February 1st, and end March 1st. That means if I still want a steak, I'll have it March 2nd. This blog will include daily food logs, photos, musings, recipies, notes on how I feel, smell and think. There may be TMI moments. I'll try to warn you in advance.

It should be fun. Like Supersize me, only in reverse.