Easy Garlic and Dill Picklesinspired by Grace Parisi in Food and Wine
Recipe fills a one quart jar of pickles
What You Need1 quart mason jar with lid12 ounces of kirby cucumbers (about 6 small cucumbers)3 cloves garlic8 sprigs fresh dill1 tablespoon coriander seeds1 tablespoon sugar1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt2/3 cup white vinegar1 cup water
What To Do
1  Wash the mason jar and lid in hot soapy water, rinse, and let air dry.
2  Quarter the cucumbers into four slices each, lengthwise. Cut the garlic cloves in half.
3  In an extra mason jar or covered container, combine 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt and 2/3 cup white vinegar. Tightly close the lid and shake vigorously until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add 1 cup water to the mixture.
4  In the clean mason jar, tightly pack the sliced cucumbers, sliced garlic, and 8 sprigs of fresh dill.
5  Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers. Tap the jar on the counter to release any air bubbles and top off the jar with extra water if any cucumbers are exposed.
6  Place the lid on the jar and screw on the ring until it is tight. Leave the jar in the fridge for 24 hours before tasting. The pickles last up to one month refrigerated 

Easy Garlic and Dill Pickles
inspired by Grace Parisi in Food and Wine

Recipe fills a one quart jar of pickles

What You Need
1 quart mason jar with lid
12 ounces of kirby cucumbers (about 6 small cucumbers)
3 cloves garlic
8 sprigs fresh dill
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2/3 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

What To Do

1  Wash the mason jar and lid in hot soapy water, rinse, and let air dry.

2  Quarter the cucumbers into four slices each, lengthwise. Cut the garlic cloves in half.

3  In an extra mason jar or covered container, combine 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt and 2/3 cup white vinegar. Tightly close the lid and shake vigorously until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add 1 cup water to the mixture.

4  In the clean mason jar, tightly pack the sliced cucumbers, sliced garlic, and 8 sprigs of fresh dill.

5  Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers. Tap the jar on the counter to release any air bubbles and top off the jar with extra water if any cucumbers are exposed.

6  Place the lid on the jar and screw on the ring until it is tight. Leave the jar in the fridge for 24 hours before tasting. The pickles last up to one month refrigerated 

Tags: vegan

Taking raw food to the next level
I’ve owned a lot of raw recipe books before, and the most frustrating thing is that they usually all start out at the beginner level. What I’m enjoying so much about Mimi Kirk’s book Live Raw is that it’s focused on taking your raw food preparation to the next level, so that you can stay on this lifestyle long-term.
There are so many recipes from this book I want to try! One thing that’s holding me back is that I don’t have a dehydrator. I’ve always wanted one, and I know it would make a difference with my ability to stay raw, but there are a few problems. 
It’s expensive. I know the dehydrator I would get and it’s around $500. Not cheep. 
It takes up a lot of counter space. I don’t live alone, I live with a family who eats a standard american diet. So counter space is limited and I’ve already brought a juicer and a vita-mix into the kitchen. 
So while I’m hoping I can get a dehydrator soon, for now I’ll just have to keep looking at these recipes and wishing. 
Do you have a dehydrator? Does it help you with staying raw?

Taking raw food to the next level

I’ve owned a lot of raw recipe books before, and the most frustrating thing is that they usually all start out at the beginner level. What I’m enjoying so much about Mimi Kirk’s book Live Raw is that it’s focused on taking your raw food preparation to the next level, so that you can stay on this lifestyle long-term.

There are so many recipes from this book I want to try! One thing that’s holding me back is that I don’t have a dehydrator. I’ve always wanted one, and I know it would make a difference with my ability to stay raw, but there are a few problems. 

  1. It’s expensive. I know the dehydrator I would get and it’s around $500. Not cheep. 
  2. It takes up a lot of counter space. I don’t live alone, I live with a family who eats a standard american diet. So counter space is limited and I’ve already brought a juicer and a vita-mix into the kitchen. 

So while I’m hoping I can get a dehydrator soon, for now I’ll just have to keep looking at these recipes and wishing. 

Do you have a dehydrator? Does it help you with staying raw?

This first week back to raw I did a lot of eating out. I didn’t want to feel like I was giving up anything by going back to eating raw, and since I haven’t gotten back into the swing of making my own lunch every day to bring to work I just had to hit of some of my favorite raw spots, and try some new places. 

I’m lucky that I work in the East Village of Manhattan, which is very close to a number of raw vegan spots. I had a few lunches at Pure Food and Wine (raw food mecca) and I occasionally got a smoothie in the morning at Liquiteria (great juice bar). I also tried a new place Gingersnap Organic (which I really enjoyed). 

However you can’t always eat this way, so over the weekend I did my best to get back into the habit of making raw food. I made a lot of green juice and a few raw cacao smoothies, also a simple cucumber dill salad. And I experimented making cauliflower rice for the first time and used it in a yummy salad with mexican flavors. 

Slowly but surely, I’m getting back into the swing of things. 

An update

I wanted to thank each and everyone one of you for the support I’ve received over the past week from my family, friends, and even strangers. This first week back on raw has been mostly enjoyable. The first few days I was experiencing some detox symtoms but that’s mostly over now and the clarity is starting to be more present. 

However, now that I’ve decided on a high raw diet for the long term, I’m finding very conflicting information about what the best way to eat raw is. It seems to break down to basically 2 schools of thought:

  1. Raw foods with a focus on greens with healthy fats. This means a lot of green juice and salads, but also a lot of avocado, nuts, and seeds to make sure you are consuming enough calories in your day. This school of thought also tends to eat fruits in moderation because of the high glycemic index. 
  2. 80/10/10 or the Low Fat Raw Vegan diet. This school of thought focuses on eating 80% of your daily calories from fruits (yes tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and all other seed containing “vegetables” are considered fruits in this case), 10% of your calories from protein, and the last 10% from nuts, seed, and other fats (avocados, olives, etc). This diet also tries to eliminate salt and added oils. 

Since these two views on the raw foods diet are in such opposition to one another, it’s sure to make a person confused. In the past when I’ve got raw before I would usually eat similar to #1. Trying to drink and eat lots of greens (chlorophyll reduces inflammation), but that would usually leave me hungry so avocados or nuts would help me get enough calories so I was full. 

I haven’t yet decided which way I’m going this round, but I’d love to hear from you all if you’ve had experiences with either. Which diet is better for reducing inflammation?

An open letter to my family and friends.

Many of you have seen me eat different variations of a vegetarian diet for years now. You’ve seen my weight go up and down, my moods go up and down, and I’m sure it’s difficult for you to understand or remember what I can and can’t eat and I really do apologize for that. 

One thing I don’t usually talk about is why I started eating this way, yes I had a goal to lose weight, but underneath all that I was in pain. Some of you know that 5 years ago I was diagnosed with costochondritis. 

Costochondritis (kos-toe-KHON-dri-tis) is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum) — a junction known as the costosternal joint. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.

Most cases of costochondritis have no apparent cause. In these cases, treatment focuses on easing your pain while you wait for costochondritis to improve on its own.

While my doctors wanted to give me pain medications, I resisted and waited for my condition to improve. The pain only spread to my upper back and upper arms. After 5 years it’s clear to me that I have chronic costochondritis that is very painful and is made worse by stress and a diet that causes inflammation. 

The only time that I haven’t been in physical pain in the past 5 years is when I am eating raw foods. Sure I have good days and bad days, but the pain is always there, a constant state of pressure. Only when I’ve been eating a raw foods diet has my pain level gone away completely. Even recently when I did go on prescription pain medication it still wasn’t the same kind of relief as eating raw. 

With the pain comes depression and stress, which causes me to eat poorly, which causes me to gain weight, which causes me to be more depressed, which causes me to eat more, which causes more pain, which causes stress….you can see how this cycle will continue. 

But for some reason stopped eating raw, because I was convinced that it was not sustainable long term (even though I had done a lot of research to tell me otherwise). People would tell me that what I was doing was unhealthy, or not natural, that I wasn’t getting enough protein, or calories. So to please everyone I started to move towards a more mainstream healthy vegetarian lifestyle, trying to eat more protein and including fish and dairy back into my diet. But nothing changed, and the past few months I’ve been in more pain than I can remember in a long time. Very similar to the kind of pain when I was first diagnosed. But I hide it better, I manage the pain by suppressing the feeling of pain. But this just led to a deeper depression that I couldn’t really find the cause of until now. 

So to end this long story, I am going back to eating a raw foods diet, sure sometimes I will make exceptions, and I’m not perfect, but what I need most from all of you is your support, emotionally and spiritually. This isn’t easy for me and while I do enjoy eating this way, it can be especially hard in social situations and when you are with people you love and you just want to eat “normal” food. So I hope you all understand my reasons for doing this, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask. I am also going to be re-educating myself about this lifestyle, and making sure I have the knowledge to be sure that what I am doing is the best for my body. 

I might not eat this way forever, but for right now I need to do what I know works to get rid of the pain.

Love,

Sarah