Saturday, 17 November 2012

Rawmazingly Good

So I haven't been posting a lot of raw recipes, but mostly it is because this time around I decided to keep it simple. Last time I tried to improve my health by going raw I ate a lot of nuts and seeds, and although I felt really good afterwards, I felt there was too much dehydrating, sprouting...waiting basically! I  also felt that I didn't really need all that stuff. So this time, I've been following a mostly fruitarian approach. Whoa! I hear you say. Is that safe? Is that sane? How can you possibly be full? How can you possibly get all that you need? 


I read a LOT about nutrition first. Yes, you can get enough nutrients, and yes you can get enough protein, if you eat enough. At the moment I can't quite eat that much, but I am increasing day by day. Calorie for calorie spinach has more protein than meat. Who knew?!For anyone interested in this approach I highly suggest doing research first and checking with a nutritionist if you can't work it out. If you are very overweight or have lots of health problems definitely check with a professional. That being said, many doctors will not approve of the approach (my doctor doesn't approve of vegans let alone raw vegans).  

The first few days were hard. I cut out sugar, soymilk, and tea as well. I did have some nut based meals such as the raw chilli burritos, becasue I was so hungry, and this filled me up longer. I only ate some nuts a couple of times the following week. All the smells from people heating up their lunches were driving my cravings into overdrive for toast and pasta and such. I also had some pretty bad headaches and felt ridiculously tired. Had a few mood swings too poor husband! I tried to workout a couple of times but in hindsight this was a really bad idea because I was going through detox. I can't imagine what it would feel like for someone who eats a lot of meat and dairy, and processed or fast foods. It would be hell! I was lucky my symptoms weren't too bad and disappeared after two days. 

This week I have been having juices, smoothies, and fruits. I am absolutely craving more and more fruit. Breakfast has typically been fruit salad with all fresh fruits of course. Mango, pineapple, watermelon, rockmelon, mixed berries, passionfruit, and bananas. I might eat another banana mid morning, and lunch is usually a smoothie - three or four fruit varieties, and some greens. I have at least a litre, if not more, and another one or two pieces of fruit. I have more smoothie in the afternoon. My boss bought a juicer for our kitchen at work this week and we've made a couple of juices this week as well. Woot!

Dinner has been salads, lots of fresh tomato, cucumber, carrot, celery, capsicum, and avocado with greens. I did have gluten free cooked meals twice, quinoa and sweet potato soup with heaps of chilli, and corn pasta with a fresh vegetable sauce. I actually didn't feel like I needed to eat cooked meals, so perhaps by next week I won't bother with them at all. 

By the second week I am typically eating on average 16 serves of fruit a day, plus another 6 serves of vegetables. That is triple the recommended minimum, and I am eating more and more all the time as my body is adapting! I feel pretty great, and this week I powered through my workouts. I increased the resistance on the bike and wasn't really huffing like the guy next to me.

Weekends I eat more freely, but with interesting consequences. We had Chinese take away last weekend and I felt really awful through the night and the next day. A kiwi fruit smoothie fixed the problem - apparently they are really great for stomach upsets! I made pizza last night and feel a bit sluggish this morning, all I want is some fruit. My cooked cravings are just about gone, and although I will continue to eat some cooked foods I feel I don't really need to. 

And what about the weight? A weigh in last night and I've lost almost 5kg. I know this will mostly likely from fluid retention but I feel very hydrated as my skin is lots better, so therefore the excess fluid is no longer needed. It has actually been harder eating ENOUGH rather than cutting down. I am so full from all this great fruit and veg, so I have been tracking what I eat with my fitness pal so I make sure I'm getting enough calories. The Beloved noticed I was smaller which was nice because as with a lot of men he often puts his foot in it without intending to e.g. "it's ok sweetie, there are plenty of people fatter than you." LOL

It will be interesting to see what my next blood test shows, as I'm hoping the thyroxin will be absorbing better and maybe the dose can be reduced for once. That would be nice! I do believe this is something I can sustain long term. It isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle, which is so important if you want to stay healthy!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Sarah's Super Smoothie Juice

Someone I know has been a little under the weather this week. If I could make her a batch and delver it I would, but since I can't I'll post a recipe and hope some kind soul can make it for her :) This should give anyone's immune system a boost,  and most importantly, keep you hydrated to flush out the baddies. It contains Vitamins A, C, E potassium, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium...just trust me, this is super juice. Because only the carrot and celery is juiced and everything else is pureed into a smoothie, the fibre slows the release of the sugars, and helps keep you full. And count the serves of fruit and veg in there! you got em all in a smoothie!

Makes about 2 litres of smoothie juice.
3 carrots juiced
2 large celery sticks juiced
1 cup watermelon pieces
1/2 cup dried apricots soaked
1 cup pineapple pieces
2 oranges
2 kiwi fruit, skinned and chopped

Soak apricots in water until soft - warm water for 15 minutes should be enough, you can chop up everything else while you wait.
Juice carrots and celery.
Put carrot and celery juice in blender with all other ingredients and blend until smooth.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Raw Vegan Kale Burritos with Mango Cucumber Salsa

This has to be one of my favourite raw meals simply because it's so tasty and easy to convert. There are lots of recipes for raw chilli, but this is mine.

1/2 cup walnuts soaked
1/2 cup pecans soaked
1 cup fine chopped button mushrooms
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes soaked
2 whole fresh tomatoes
1 shallot
1 small chilli
1 small clove garlic crushed
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
fresh coriander leaves

Pulse soaked nuts in food processor for a coarse grind, and add to chopped mushrooms.
Put fresh tomato, soaked tomato, chilli, ground coriander, garlic, and paprika in food processor and puree. Add to nut mixture. Finely chop shallot and coriander leaves, and mix through. If it is too dry add a little water.

For the salsa, I julienned a cucumber, diced a mango, and added some coriander leaves.

I had mine in kale leaves, but you could also have them it in lettuce cups.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Raw Vegan Chocolate Strawberries

Mmmmmm....Just because I'm eating raw doesn't mean a lack of delicious treats. These beauties were dipped in a mixture of raw coconut oil, and cacao, and then put in the freezer for 15 minutes to set. Because it was so warm today I didn't need to sit the coconut oil in warm water to liquify - it took me a minute to mix 1/4 cup oil with a couple of spoonfuls of cacao powder and beat until smooth. If you like it sweet, you could add some agave, but I like bitter chocolate and it went well with the juicy strawberries. Think of all those antioxidants humming around my body!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Raw Vegan : The Real V8 Smoothie Juice

I really dislike V8 juice you get in a bottle. I remember my Nan trying to give it to me as a kid. I tried later on but basically it tastes not very fresh to me, and a bit chemically and too salty. I suppose it's because its reconstituted juice. Anyway, this tastes a thousand times better. I also only juiced the carrot and celery because I think its important to get fibre from the flesh of the other ingredients to fill you up and slow down the release of the sugars.

juice of 4 carrots
juice of 2 celery sticks (leaves reserved)
three roma tomatoes
1 whole cucumber
1/2 avocado
1/4 red capsicum
1 small garlic clove
1 small wedge red onion
1 small chilli

I juiced the carrots and celery, and then put that in the blender with the celery leaves and everything else. I didn't have to add any water, the juice took care of smoothing everything out. It was fairly spicy, so if you aren't good with chilli I would suggest 1/2 or omitting it and adding a dash of cayenne pepper.

So what else did I eat today? Breakfast was my favourite green smoothie - banana, orange, and baby spinach, about 750ml. Lunch was a watermelon, kiwi, celery juice and spinach smoothie, a bit under a litre. I probably drank about  a litre of water during the day as well....I forgot that when you first start a week of smoothies you pee lot because you get super hydrated and all the fluid retention is flushed out. I also forgot how hard it was last time  - when you work in a food business and do nothing but talk about food all day! and my office is opposite the kitchen, so I smell EVERYONE's morning tea toast and lunch. Yikes! But I think if I can get through the week I'll sort myself out and will have got past many of the cravings. Cravings weren't that bad today, the only thing I really missed was a cup of tea. The lack of tea probably explains the headache I got mid morning, but that subsided after lunch. I'll have a chamomile tea before bed probably, but that's allowed being caffeine free!

When I think of how many serves of fruit and veg I've had today, that makes me feel pretty amazing.
For anyone that's doing anything similar or following along I'd love to hear how you are going!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

140 Pounds Plus 42 Mince Pies

You know that bit in Bridget Jones when she has Christmas with her Dad and she reports "Weight :140 pounds (plus 42 mince mince pies)..." I think after this last month I feel a bit like that -let all my good intentions out the window and ate and cooked  too much. Don't get me wrong, I love MoFo, but now I feel I need to have a really good detox. I won't tell you what I actually weigh - I won't even tell my husband and can barely look myself when I gingerly put a toe on the scales. With Christmas approaching there are so many yummy temptations out there, and I would like to get back on track a bit. Since it's spring and the weather is warmer (ha! snow anyone?) I feel it's time for a month of raw. And being World Vegan Month, what better way to celebrate than by eating as wholesome and nutritious as possible? So for 4 weeks, I will be eating only raw vegan. I know it is going to be hard the first week, I'll start craving all those bad comfort food carbs, but I know I'll feel a lot better by the end of it. So let's start with a week of juice and smoothies, call it a smoothie feast if you will!

I've been to the fruit shop and armed myself with an entire watermelon, plus an assortment of various fruits and vegetables I intend to juice or turn into a smoothie - the cupboard is rather bare of any treats and the Beloved will be under strict instructions to prevent me from caving and getting out dip and crackers. Although, truth be told, he probably wouldn't do this so I will have to rely on will power. Or if that doesn't work, I'll use my won't power. A fat picture on the fridge can also help any moment of weakness LOL.

In all seriousness, it's more about me eating properly, and hopefully eliminating foods that might be preventing me from absorbing some rather important medication. I don't believe in crash diets, living on water or any of that nonsense. I want nutrients that aren't in a pill! So, I'll be sharing my food journey, and any recipes I come up with along the way for a month of delicious raw food.