Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I ate a bagel with cream cheese on Saturday. I never suspected how ill I would get! My sister is convinced that most of my family is gluten intolerant... this could definitely be possible. I loves the noodles... but maybe they are not so great actually!

So far, the social events have gone quite well. I only made it to one potluck (the other was held when I was at work-- minor technicality) but the pizza I brought went over very well. So well that I was sworn to post the recipe here. And I will do this, but I want to do it when I can post the photo as well, so be patient my good friends.

The birthday party at the brewery would have been tricky, but we just didn't eat. We didn't explain why we weren't eating, he just had out drinks (I had wine, Jesse had beer) and hung out. Then we went to an oyster bar. Oysters are raw, but not vegan. I used to adore them, so we had a few. They were OK. I wish I still felt the same way about them. I am becoming increasingly attached to the idea of veganism. I am such an animal lover, and the way that animals are treated on this planet... well, I'm just not OK with it. So I don't want to participate in it. And eating a live animal... well, that's definitely participating.

Tonight is the St. Patrick's day party. Jesse's parents already know about the raw thing, and I'm sure they will be fine with me just eating salad (and the AMAZING raw mint cheesecake I brought) but if his uncle is there, I may have to explain it, which could get... tricky. People just don't instinctively understand. Quite the opposite. People can become quite aggressive about food. I don't really understand this, but it's definitely a fact. People DEFINITELY care what other people eat.

I remember visiting Montana when I was a kid (I am deeply blessed that my family decided NOT to move there) and seeing this postcard with a picture of people at a barbecue. I forget exactly what the caption read, but the implication was that if you are a vegetarian in Montana, you will be eaten. I found this deeply disturbing, as my entire family was vegetarian at the time (they are not anymore.)

I do hope they enjoy the cheesecake I made! It's a cashew/macadamia cheese base with a brownie crust, vanilla and mint layers, and topped with chocolate ganache. I KNOW! So I'm not in the least bit worried about having enough to eat tonight!

Plus, I had a great lunch today at Ananda Fuara. It's on Market at Larkin/9th, and is a vegetarian restaurant. Most of the food qualifies as "junk" food... soy chicken/burgers, ice cream, samosas, etc. But I had a fruit smoothie which they made for me with fruit and fresh squeezed OJ (they charged extra for that) and a HUGE salad with shredded red cabbage, zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, RAW sunflower seeds (they are usually toasted... I had to pay $3.75t extra for that, more than I was expecting to pay, considering it was just a substitution from toasted sunflower seeds) and a lemon tahini dressing. I'm not certain the dressing was 100% raw, but everything else was, and I think the dressing might have been too! SO delicious, and way too much food. Next time I'll either get the smaller salad or skip the smoothie.

But I would definitely recommend the place. It's very cute inside, painted blue with fresh tulips at every little white table. The servers where all older ladies with long hair in a single braid wearing Indian Saris. There are rumors there is a cult involved. Hey, whatever keeps the kitchen clean, I'm fine with it.

Next week we go out of town, and I'm guessing the raw % could slip down to 70 or so. Hopefully nothing I eat will make me ill, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing my wonderful friend in her fair city.

I am in training for the next two days at work, so I won't have free time to post blogs for you, but I'll be posting recipes at some point this week, so definitely stay tuned!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Party Animal

I have lots and lots of social events coming up. Some are raw potlucks, which are exciting, but a little competetive, because I want to bring the best raw dish. One is a family dinner at my in-laws, where again, I want to bring something amazing, so they know I'm not starving myself (or my husband!) Some are parties for friends, at which I know the food options will be limited. In these cases, I plan to eat beforehand, and just have a glass of wine and maybe a small green salad at the event.

I finally did some strength training at the gym today, I've been going during lunch and spending 30-40 minutes on an elliptical trainer or a recumbent bike. I have a shoulder injury, so I get nervous about strength training, but I just used light weight with more reps, which I think will be safer. I noticed that the strength training seems to make me much more hungry for lunch than cardio does, so I ate 2 larabars, 2 oranges and a salad. I could still eat, but I thin I'll be fine until I get home. One of the best things about going raw is that my blood sugar seems to have stabilized, so I can now be hungry and functional at the same time! Amazing!

I'll be working on some pies for potlucks, so once I come up with an amazing recipe I'll post it here. But the recipe will be a 3 layer mint chocolate cheesecake pie! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post... where does the time go? I hope you missed me...

Well, I've been very much enjoying the raw life! I've eaten very small amounts of cooked food only twice, and it didn't particularly agree with me. I also ate some raw fish, which may have been the real culprit. Tough to say. Anyway, this was only two occasions where I ate small portions of cooked food. I don't feel guilty about it, and I don't claim it won't happen again, but it wasn't as exciting as I might think it would be.

Exciting would be today's lunch from the Alive farmer's market cart! Collard wrapped, um, stuff (I honestly don't know what was in there except that it was delicious and vegetables) and raspberry lemon cheescake! So delicious that I picked up a couple pieces of pomegranate lavender cheescake for tonight. Shhh... don't tell Jesse, it's a surprise.

I've been reading about the diet of chimpanzees recently. They are our closest relative, and until i researched it, I believed them to have a vegan diet, aside from the termites they eat. Oddly, they hunt, and even more disturbingly they hunt monkeys. And when they hunt monkeys, they kill lots and lots at a time. The meat still makes up less than 5% of their total diet, with over 70% coming from fruit. However, they also seem to use the meat as a social tool, particularly to gain favor with reproductive females. I can't make this stuff up. I read most of it on this study out of Stanford.

I'm not sure what to make of it. I also haven't read Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko, but from what I read in the Amazon preview (I know, I kind of roll like that) I understand that it is largely based on the idea that chimps eat greens primarily. From what I can tell, not only do they eat primarily fruit, but they also hunt.

Not that I would argue with her on the nutrient value of greens. Greens are clearly the best source of nutrients on the planet. Calorie for calorie, spinach has nearly as much protein as lean chicken breast. Greens are loaded with calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, all those vitamins and minerals that people claim are absent from a raw vegan diet. I will tell you that I believe firmly that raw veganism is the most mineral rich, nourishing, satisfying, beautifying and ethical way to live. I would never criticize anyone else on the way they choose to live their life, provided they don't hurt other human beings (or dogs or cats, actually) because I don't consider it my place to mess with other people's lives. I just want to share the lightness and creativity that my new path has brought to my life. When I walk through my city and the sun is shining and my hunger is satiated from living cuisine, I can't help but smile.

I just wanted to share that fact with you today. So please accept this slightly bumbling and disjointed, thoroughly disjointed post, and be grateful for this moment, this moment is your life.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Hi All,

This is a quick blog, but I wanted to let you know that the site is not going away now that the trial is over. I'm in this thing now. I did eat a little cooked food today, just to remember what it was like. My dad has been on a big soup making kick, so it was some of his braised lamb shanks. It was delicious, although I have a bit of gas in my chest, which I don't care for. However for the time being, when I visit my parents, I may be inclined to eat a little bit of their food. I'm cool with this.

I have other things to talk about, like my attempt to eat a durian (there will have to be a real blog about this) and my friend from Chicago's visit to Cafe Gratitude. But right now I'm spending a good deal of time on this. The sort of thing that reminds you that some things are much, much more important than what I eat on any given day.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Oh yeah... the trial...

So lots of people have been asking me if I've eaten cooked food yet. Well, no, I haven't. I've gone raw, and it was hard, so I'm not going to give it up because the thirty days are up. I've stopped fantasizing about pasta and bread, and now fantasize about mangoes and macadamia nuts. I look great, I feel great, I don't feel the need to change anything.

Oh, except this one thing: the anxiety. I've been to non raw restaurants two times this month, and each time I was biting my nails, wondering what non raw ingredients might be added to the salad dressing. This is very silly. When I go out, twice a month, once a week, whatever, and have a salad for dinner, I shouldn't worry about the details. Just get the closest thing the restaurant has to offer, and be done with it.

I have a friend visiting from Chicago tomorrow, and although he agreed to try out Cafe Gratitude, I imagine I may need to visit another restaurant. I will order what suits me best, and not fret about the details. I like this plan.

I also want to have some raw fish. I'm not that interested in the rice, but I miss my sashimi salmon. I will be having some.

I don't make any promises that this is my new permanent lifestyle. I want to see how it plays out over the next few months. But I'm enjoying it. I like to hang out in my kitchen, eating mangoes, coconuts, avocados and oranges with no more than a knife and a cutting board. I like having smoothies for dinner, juice for lunch, salad for breakfast. I like loading up my dehydrator and making the whole house smell like granola. I like making nut pate and eating it in a lettuce leaf. And I like that my PMS symptoms were cut by half or more this month.

It's good stuff, all that. Good stuff.