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Archive for the ‘On Becoming Raw’ Category

flower.jpgPhoto by Calamitylaine via Flickr.com

Please excuse me while I pat myself on the back, can you believe it (?), I have been going at this blog for over a year now! The first post was Feb. 6, 2007. How simple it was too…and fruitful!

In honor of the anniversary I have updated my profile and the “about this site” link. Here is the profile:
Enjoy the blog, the goal is for it to be informative and useful and fun. I am not a professional writer, I am just having fun and learning. The thing I have found is that writing this has inspired me to move forward, so I always encourage people who like to write, to start a blog on whatever trips their fancy and just see where it goes. I am very glad that people have found it useful, already myrawfoodblog has had nearly 15,000 views and many subscribers, I haven’t seen the number in a while (and I can’t find it right now). By the way that is spam free and anonymous, I never know who is subscribed, so if you find it interesting I encourage you to subscribe, you can unsubscribe anytime and this way you only get an email when I have a new post, which is once a month on average.

And wordpress I am grateful for this free application and service.

And to all the readers, it is a true honor for me, thank you.

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Setting our sights

daisy.jpg Photo by by Lumase via Flickr.com

When you are thinking you would like to incorporate more raw veggies into your daily routine, it can be helpful to narrow your goal. As in, pick a single veggie/fruit that you like and that you don’t eat often. Pick one that you think it might be reasonable for you to try eating once a day. Just think of that one vegetable or fruit. Just one. And maybe take a week or so occasionally imagining eating that beautiful production of nature, one time every day. Think about how that one fruit or vegetable grows from a tiny few cells into a complex creation. Think about all the thought, time and energy that went into that. It is pretty different from the way a boxed synthetic food gets mechanically pumped out of a dark factory.

If you don’t live on a farm I think it is real luxury (an honor) to get to sink your teeth into a part of a plant that sat outside all day in the hot sun. So see what happens with your idea and do yourself a favor, don’t play the shame blame game, if it happens it happens if it doesn’t move on, be kind and honest and open with yourself and then be kind again.

Apparently it is pretty common to shoot too high and have unapproachable goals that end up calling the whole deal off. It is much tougher to keep your brilliant sights to a smaller deal at least during implementation. That way you are not stuck: big hat and no plants. The nice thing that can happen is you can find your list of plants your addicted to eating growing and that is what you find yourself filling up on. Once a raw food guru I knew told me, your body chemistry will change so that iced espresso will just not work for you anymore, it will feel way too acidic (the way hot coffee already is too acidic for me). Well I am certain that has happened to me with many many foods, meanwhile so far iced espresso is still a staple. Still there are a lot of foods that just don’t attract me anymore the way they used to and I would rather eat guacamole, brazil nuts, walnuts, grapefruit, grapes, cherry tomatoes, a delicious kale/grapefruit smoothie, carrot juice, honeycrisp apples, etc.

When you are thinking of foods you might like out of your diet, think the same way. Just think of one. For example when I first started to think about white rice, it was easy one because I never noticed having strong feelings about it. I tried rice totally plain and surprise it had no flavor for me at all. No flavor, how can that be? Try it once, see what you think.

I started thinking the reason we like rice is because of what we piled on top of it, that is what we were really after. So can we get creative and pile that on something healthier and get a similar result? That’s sans bleach and added nutrients and maybe even less calories – blink, blink you mean rice has calories too?! Here I have been eating all this rice with no flavor and it has calories! Aye. It was helpful to see how plain and boring I thought this thing was that was adding to my waste line unnecessarily. Dropping rice was kind of a no-brainer. However maybe you love love love rice plain or with whatever, it is your experience that you are looking for, just pay attention to it and listen-in.

Of course rice is an important staple for people all over the world. While having options it is nice to see you can order a burrito no rice or a “naked” burrito no rice (then you don’t have to deal with the burrito shell (also for me a zero taste/no-brainer)) have them pile on the corn/tomato/green salsas, lettuce and guacamole and squeeze some fresh lime on that. In fact so many people have realized gluten problems that food preparers expect this more and more common request. It is your body, your own personal laboratory, feel free to experiment.

One way to get stuck, big hat and no plants, is to go to the grocery store, big hat and no plans. Recipes are the plan and raw recipes are ALL over the internet. I have a links on this blog to search or heck just google raw recipes or YouTube Ani Phyo (she has very clear recipe videos), there is great stuff out there, print one off and walk into the grocery store with it and just go for it. Open a new door and see what happens.

And remember be kind and patient with yourself, falling in love with a newish plant food can take time.

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sunrise.jpg
photo by Lyndon Firman via flickr

Life has been a rushed tangle the past 3 weeks of house buy/sale transactions, moving, a funeral, two lost cats and a grad class starting. I am still reading my favorite blog, Valerie’s GreenSmoothieExperiment and enjoying the addition of a morning green smoothie a day (~60% fruit + ~40% green leaves in a K-tech blender or Vitamix). Our dog, Gertrude, is also enjoying some left over green smoothie. This weekend we are going to a catpalooza at the Human Society so we may be able to add some cat bowls of smoothie soon.

The smoothies are still enjoying extreme simplicity and include no more than a couple fruits and a green (parsley, kale or lettuce). Eventually we will experiment more with soaked flax seeds, vegetable juices, peppers, mint leaves, kiwi, etc. Right now we are just settling into the routine and keeping it simple is just the way.

What a delicious passion this raw food blog has added to my life, I really encourage everyone to start a blog on anything that interests them and just see what happens.

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What do you bring on a trip?

Last week, I was missing my hand grater although I landed in a kitchen much more well equipped than mine and ended up discovering some cool stuff!

The Braun little food processor (MR430HC-Multiquick-Blender-Chopper) attaches to a handheld “blender”, it does all kinds of stuff and doesn’t take up all kinds of space. Also I found there were small pates we were making that really didn’t do as well in their LeEquip Food Processor. Apparently the Braun is new and improved according to an Amazon comment. It has an even stronger motor and deeper bowl and more flexibility. We were using their older model which they had for years and I was impressed with how finely it chopped the raddichio and pine nut mix into a delicious dish! WOW. Loved it so much I ordered one on amazon for about 27$.

They also had a mini electric grater, Presto Salad Shooter, which was loud and costs 30+, although not as loud as a food processor and it was quick…

Also I discovered the beauty of having large bowls with lids; make it, put the lid on and toss it into the fridge. And glass is so pleasing…although a little heavier…you can see what is in there and not eat plastic; they also live longer and are better for the environment than plastic. Pyrex makes great glass tupperware and mixing bowls all with lids. Cheaper than I thought!

Lastly I discovered the beauty of having four glass measuring cups in play at once.

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There are so many dishes to discover, ways to quench a particular hankering. Just getting familiar with how a new dish affects you…I am discovering that is taking quite a bit of time!
Even transitioning from a mostly vegan diet, going raw is a very big overhaul of habits of thought. It is obvious how important it is though…when I first went veggie it was move over meat hello pasta with cheese! Yeh, after a few years I discovered that doesn’t work.

The more I learn it seems like the more there is to learn. It is a little daunting. There are many dishes I have become so comfortable with making and that are so easy I can quickly either refer to a recipe or guestimate and voila there is my dish.

It is odd because really most raw dishes are pretty fast since there is no cooking (mix the amazing combo in a bowl and roll it in a leaf or put it in a processor or toss it on some greens or get a spoon, etc). It is thinking of the amazing combo and then knowing how that appeals to this hunger or that hunger that you are having. Think sweet tooth – oh yes my favorite – dates! MMmm. Ok go there. These days I crave raw brazil nuts. But when your hankering is more complex…it is funny I find myself standing there in the kitchen scratching my head sometimes. I am in this funny period of yeah I am sick of cooked foods I want to do some more of that raw stuff. Sometimes -gasp- I just don’t eat any snack if I can’t come up with a funky new raw dish. Here have some air. Maybe that is what I will have to answer next time I get one of those, “what Do you eat?”, “I eat air”.

Then I discover a completely new thing to do, grate a carrot into a nori, zucchini noodles, and I am wishing for that as my new comfort food. It is work to keep increasing the circle of comfort foods and the wider the circle gets, the less interested I am in cooked foods. It seems like the more time I put into discovering new dishes the more successful the attempt to increase raw foods into my life.

I just wonder how most people are inspired to walk into the work it takes to take the leap (many mini-leaps really) into raw. What inspires you?

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Compassionately raw

You don’t accidentally go raw, the way you can accidentally go vegetarian…I remember when I first quit eating dead cows in 1987 a few months later I discovered I couldn’t even digest it anymore. Turned out my body really never wanted it and that was an easy choice to never go back, almost like a good accident.

Anyway there is so much learning involved in going raw! To get it so that all kinds of new delicious foods have entered your comfort zone and are sitting around when you just want a snack seems like it really will take a year or two or more of research and experimentation to feel like you have arrived. Just dropping one food, seeing how that goes…adding a new one…see how that works…it takes time to build trust with new ways.

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Find the raw foods you love and eat them. Keep it simple for yourself and enjoyable. Find a Raw Recipe book you love. Experiment. Anyone finding some good pathways out there? I am anxious to find a new Raw Recipe book.

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