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:
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.
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?
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.
So, inspired by my friend Rachel, who has now been on a juice fast for over 2 weeks, I have started a fast.
This is day 4. I tried to start on monday, but I ended up eating something for dinner, so while it wasn’t a total failure, I still don’t consider it day 1.
The first 3 days were really hard, detoxing takes a lot of energy so there can be times when you feel really tired and worn out. Don’t worry, it’s just you body adjusting and detoxing. Once you get over that initial 3-day hump it isn’t that bad. This morning has been great, and I don’t feel hungry at all.
I’m not sure how long I will stay on the fast. I am hoping to keep on it until the end of this month, which would be a total of 22 days (maybe longer depending on how I feel). But I do know that I will need to break the fast at least a few times during that period for social reasons, but I’ve decided that I’m not going to stress about that. I don’t think that it will damage the effects too much as long as I’m careful about what I eat and don’t overdo it. As long as I go right back on juice I think I will be fine.
My friend Rachel and I are committing to getting back to eating healthy. For her that means starting her first juice/raw cleanse. For me that means getting back to eating mostly raw and juicing more.
This is partially an exercise for me, but I thought you guys would like to enjoy what I’ve been eating.
A cup of peppermint tea
1/2 of a kind bar while I shopped for groceries
Green salad with carrot ginger miso dressing (the dressing wasn’t perfect but it was an excuse to use the vita-mix, when I perfect the recipe I will share it.)
Miso broth with carrots and green onions (since I had already bought miso for the dressing, I just made some quick soup from the recipe on the jar)
A cup of peppermint tea
8 oz green juice
I was craving something savory, but since I’ve been feeling sick I didn’t feel like cooking more, so I loaded up the vita-mix to make a savory tomato juice. I added cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, garlic, and purple kale to the vita-mix, then strained it through a nut milk bag to get the juice.
more miso broth (it’s my go to soup when I’m sick)
When I started eating healthier, and especially when I started exploring more raw foods, I kept hearing about this blender called a vita-mix. I wasn’t sure if I needed one, but it kept showing up in raw food recipes and books.
The other night it was featured on QVC so I decided to bite the bullet and purchase it. I bought the Vita-mix Creations GC. I’m not very familiar with the different Vita-mix models, but I think that any vita-mix would do the job just fine.
It arrived yesterday so I haven’t had much chance to play with it. If you know of any Vita-mix recipes I should try, let me know :)
On the subject of a juice fast, I’ve decided that I want to do one but I don’t think I’ll be able to start one until January. So I’m continuing with the 21-day cleanse from Crazy, Sexy, Diet and just trying to incorporate as much juice as possible into my day.
Yesterday I had only green juice and herbal tea until about 7:30 pm at which point I made myself a bowl of raw zucchini noodles with pistachio pesto. I had a small bowl of raw granola with blueberries and almond milk for dessert.
Today I am again attempting to juice until dinner and then have something raw for dinner. So far, so good. I’ll continue to update you all with what I’m eating and how I feel each day, as well as how my weight loss is going.
Last year I did a raw food cleanse in December and many people thought I was crazy for trying to cleanse during one of the biggest party months of the year. But actually, it was very good for me because I was able to really control what I ate and when, without really being tempted to eat something I know I shouldn’t.
Originally, I was going to stick to the 21-day Adventure Cleanse from Kris Carr’s book Crazy Sexy Diet. I’ve done this cleanse before and it isn’t too difficult for me since it sticks very closely to my ideal diet already. I’m on day 4 of that cleanse but I am feeling the need for a deeper cleanse.
Recently I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, which is a documentary about an obese man who goes on a 60-day juice fast. The whole thing is very inspiring, and it got me thinking about juice fasting. I would probably want to start with a 5-10 day fast, since I don’t think I could go much longer.
I’ve been struggling to lose weight for a while now, and back in March I got down to 150, only 10 lbs away from my goal weight. But after that I started to fall back into bad habits, and before you know it 8 months have gone by and I’m back up to 175. I started this weight loss journey in February of 2009 at 190 lbs. So I’ve still maintained some weight loss, but I really feel like I need to hit the reset button on my eating habits and just start clean.
What do you think? Have you ever done a juice fast? If so, any advice for someone considering starting one?
Hey guys, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends and great food! I wanted to share with you what I enjoyed as my holiday meal since I know the holidays can be scary for new vegans/vegetarians. If you would like the recipes for anything below just drop a message in my ask box.
So a lot of people have been asking for my recipe for gluten free stuffing. My recipe is vegan, but if you aren’t vegan you can easily adapt this recipe.
This is a loose recipe so you can adjust it to your tastes. You will need:
1 loaf Udi’s White Sandwich Bread
3 stalks of celery
1 white onion
2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh sage
Start with 1 loaf Udi’s White Sandwich Bread. (if frozen allow a few days to thaw on the counter) Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet in the oven at 250 degrees to dry out the bread. After about 10 minutes, turn the slices of bread to dry the other side. You want the bread to be dried out but you aren’t looking for browning here.
Then take the bread out of the oven and allow it to cool completely. After it has cooled cut the slices of dried bread into cubes (depending on how you like your stuffing will determine how small or big you make the cubes). Once all the bread is cut return the bread cubes to the baking dish and back into the oven to dry further. (about 10 minutes)
While the bread is in the over chop 2 or 3 stalks of celery and 1/2 - 1 whole onion. In a skillet put a few tablespoons of Earth Balance Buttery Sticks in the pan over medium heat. When the Earth Balance has melted add in your chopped celery and stir in the pan until it begins to soften. Once the celery is soft, add in the onions and continue cooking until the onions are translucent. Then add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme to the pan and stir just until you can smell the herbs. Once the herbs become fragrant, take the pan off the heat and set aside.
In a bowl add the dried bread cubes and pour the veggie mixture over it. Stir to combine. Then add about a 1/2 cup vegetable broth to the bowl. Stir the broth in with the bread and veggies until the bread becomes moist. (if your stuffing is looking a little dry, add more broth)
Transfer this mixture to a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Put the stuffing in a 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes. If you like a crispy stuffing you can uncover it and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the stuffing is browned on top.
Once I had the pad thai at Pure Food and Wine I was hooked! It’s so good! What I loved was that it was made with kelp noodles that aren’t cooked, but still give you that satisfaction of eating noodles. In addition to being satisfying, these noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories. So go ahead and make yourself a big bowl of this!
This recipe is from the Pure Food and Wine blog. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I wanted to share this with you guys anyway. I will update you once I’ve made it.
For the PAD THAI SAUCE:
½ cup soaked and strained tamarind pulp (see below for notes on tamarind pulp)**
1 cup heated water
1 medium tomato
½-1 thai chili (depending on spice desired)
1 medium clove garlic
1 small shallot
1/4 cup shoyu
1 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 tablespoon agave
Cut off a 2”x2” block and dissolve tamarind in 1 cup of hot water (not quite boiling) removing any seeds and with a fork, working it into a paste. Let it soak for 15 minutes.
Next, combine tomatoes, chilis, garlic, shallots, ½ cup shoyu, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, sesame oil and agave in Vitamix or high speed blender and blend well. Next add the tamarind pulp and blend until very smooth.
For the VEGETABLES:
1 head of baby bok choy, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, diced or julienned
1 medium zucchini diced or julienned
1 medium orange or red bell pepper, julienned
1 large sliced king oyster mushroom (or handful sliced shittake or other mushrooms)
1 cup snow peas, thinly sliced on a diagonal
3 green onions, white and about 3″ of green, sliced
Mix all chopped veggies in a large bowl
For the vegetable marinade:
Add ¼ cup shoyu, 1 tbsp lime, drizzle of olive oil, 2 tbsp of Pad Thai Sauce
Mix veggies and marinade until liquid is evenly dispersed. Let sit in refrigerator for an hour or more.
Add the noodles to the veggie mixture, pouring about half of the Pad Thai sauce into the bowl and mix well with tongs until sauce is evenly distributed
For the GARNISH:
½ cup chopped cashews
drizzle of sesame oil
sprinkle of sea salt
Handful of cilantro
Mix cashews with salt and sesame oil, sprinkle over finished Pad Thai. Drizzle with lime juice and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.
**Tamarind pulp can be found as cellophane-wrapped, sun-dried bricks in Asian, Latin and Indian markets. Tamarind pulp is the sticky interior of pods that grow on a variety of evergreen tree originally native to Africa. Tamarind, which is very intense in flavor, lends sweet-and-sour notes to dishes. Because the pulp usually contains seeds (even when it says “seedless”) you should always go through the paste to remove any seeds, or, strain it.
I know this blog has been on hiatus for the last 5 weeks or so, and that’s because I’ve been having a hard time of it in my raw food journey lately.
When I fall off the wagon I fall hard, and after getting back from Austin, I fell right back into my old gluten habits. At first I didn’t notice that much of a difference. I thought I could handle eating all my favorite carbs again, but clearly I was wrong.
Your body reacts to gluten like a drug. And after a while it was all I was craving. I will spare you the details of these last few weeks as my diet became something I am not proud of.
My body has become weak and I am starting to get sick. I know it’s time to kick this habit and get back to green!
In a way this feels like I’m starting all over. I’ve gained a few pounds back but losing them won’t be the difficult part. What will be difficult is getting back into the habit of eating healthy, clean, mostly raw, vegan food.
Habits can be hard to recreate. When I wake up in the morning I’m no longer used to getting out the juicer and making my morning juice (something I’ve really been missing). My laziness takes over, and I opt for convenience over health.
My tips for getting over this are preparation and planning!
Make a big batch of juice over the weekend, or the night before. It will last in a sealed glass jar in the fridge for at least 48 hours. This makes it easier when you are looking for something to grab in the morning when you are half asleep on your way to work.
Bring your lunch! Since I’ve started working in an office, I’ve fallen victim to ordering in. Sure it’s still vegan but I’m not getting the nutrients that I really need, plus the portion sizes are out of control. This week I’ll be packing a lunch (which will save money as well as my waistline).
Plan all your meals in advance. By the time I get home after work, I’m usually starving. If I don’t already know what I’m having for dinner, I am going to opt for the fastest thing. So it helps if I’ve prepped things before hand to make it easier. Pre-chop veggies for a salad, pre-make dressings, cook on the weekends so that you have week night leftovers.
This will set you up for success.
Of course it’s not easy, it’s not foolproof, and there is no guarantee I won’t fall off the wagon again. But I hope you will support me as I try to get back on track.
Hey everyone! I know I haven’t been posting in a while but things were getting crazy with work and then I spent the week in Austin, TX for SXSW Interactive.
Since I consider this my food blog I hope you will all understand when I occasionally post about food that’s not raw. I wanted to clear the air because I realized that some people thing I eat 100% raw and it’s not even close. On a good day I try to be 80% raw but even that is hard to accomplish.
I don’t beat myself up about food. I eat what I want. I do eat a vegan diet so that doesn’t change, but especially when I’m traveling I like to try new foods and most of the time they aren’t raw. So I hope you all still enjoy this post.
I am going through taco withdrawals guys! So much amazing mexican food in Austin! But my favorite tacos come from a taco truck called Chi’lantro. They are korean bbq tacos!
My mouth is watering just thinking about them!
I get the tofu tacos, they are spicy and delicious! The tofu has great flavor and all the toppings are delicious!
The guys who run this truck are so cool. They even take credit/debit card payments on an iPhone!
I really enjoyed all the amazing food I ate in Austin, but now it’s time to get back to eating super clean. I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know if you would like to continue to hear about the cooked vegan food I eat, or if you prefer I stick to the raw stuff.
How was the end of the cleanse ? I'm doing it now for 11 days and I find not drinking the biggest challenge of all. And I really dont like the all day juice cleanse which I just promptly stopped today by eating a salad. I agree I initially lost like four pounds but feel pretty steady now , but I feel amazing !
Honestly I kind of stopped counting days. :)
Being gluten free wasn’t hard for me after a while, and I think I’m going to try and stick with it as a part of my regular diet.
As far as the one day juice cleanse, I only did it once. The other days it just wasn’t fitting into my schedule.
I’ve had a few glasses of wine along the way, but never more than one.
I feel good and I think I’m going to try and stick with it.
So as promised, here is a recap of my wonderful birthday dinner last night! We went to Pure Food and Wine (a raw food restaurant here in NYC). There were four of us and we all ordered the tasting menu (it has to be ordered by the whole table). The cool thing about the tasting menu at Pure is the fact that everyone gets a different dish for each course! So instead of trying 5 courses, you actually get to try a lot more!
I was only able to take photos of some of the dishes, but I will try my best to remember everything we tried.
To start everyone got an amuse of kumquat, mushroom and onion with a BBQ sauce. It was good, the sauce was amazing, I had to refrain from licking my plate!
Then came the first course. We all decided to taste everything and pass it around. The picture above was what I had in front of me and it was so delicious! I can’t remember exactly what it was since it doesn’t seem to be on their usual menu.
This was the Salad Of Winter Greens With Medjiool Dates, Pignoli And Saffron Meyer Lemon with curry vinaigrette, shaved onion, argan oil, chestnut honey (from the menu).This salad was a little too sweet for me, it might have been the combination of the dates and the honey. It wasn’t my favorite.
The other two first courses we had were the Hazelnut Crostinis With Crimini Mushrooms And Caper Bearnaise with caraway sauerkraut, in a local apple cider reduction (from the menu). This was good, but I didn’t like it as much as I liked the first thing I had.
Lastly there was a pressed salad with avocado. I forget what else was in it, but I do remember that it has asian flavors and there was a delicious sauce on the plate.
Our second course was a soup course, so everyone got the same thing. It was a butternut squash soup. There were some very delicious flavors in it, but I can’t really remember the exact description.
For our third course I found myself in front of a lovely taco with spicy sun-dried tomato filling, corn cilantro guacamole, tomato-lime salsa, and cashew sour cream. I’ve had this before at One Lucky Duck and it was delicious as always.
There were some maki rolls which were very good.
We had the Pizzette in The Style Of Southern Italy With Almond And Rosemary Crust with spinach pesto and arugula (from the menu). This was not my favorite, it didn’t have as much flavor as everything else we ate, and it was difficult to eat because the crust fell apart.
Lastly we had the Pad Thai With Kelp Noodles And Baby Bok Choy with snow peas, king oyster mushrooms, tamarind sauce, sesame salted cashews, and cilantro oil (from the menu). This was really good! This felt more like regular vegan food to me than raw food. Needless to say, it was with me last and I finished it all!
This was my fourth course. It’s a balsamic marinated portbello. There were carrots and other veggies underneath. It was tasty.
This is the Spanakopita with Spinach, Almond Feta, Cucumber Yogurt, local cauliflower and grapes (from the menu). This wins, hands down! I absolutely loved this! Creamy spinach, light flakey crust…so yummy!
We also had the Sweet Corn And Cashew Tamales With Chili Spiced Portabella with salsa verde, cashew coconut sour cream, avocado, and raw cacao mole (from the menu). This was really good. Everyone enjoyed it because it was really hearty.
The final 4th course was the Porcini Ravioli With Truffle Cream Sauce, Baby White Asparagus with pickled ramp, parsley salad, porcini oil (from the menu). This was just ok for me. It was a very strong mushroom flavor.
Before dessert we had a simple palate cleanser of coconut ice cream with cilantro syrup. You couldn’t really taste the cilantro, all you tasted was coconut, but it was refreshing.
Then came the desserts! In front of me was a mexican chocolate cake with a pear sorbet and pear crisp. It was tasty. (I don’t have the biggest sweet tooth, so all these desserts was a little overwhelming for me.)
I’m not 100% sure, but I think this was the Mexican Cinnamon Mousse guajillo chili pepper chocolate cake, pear relish and sorbet (from the menu). The boys really liked this one, it was too sweet for me.
We also tried the Trio Of Dark Chocolate Coated Indian Spiced Ice Cream Treats - chocolate cardamom coconut ice cream cone, pistachio gelato ice cream sandwich, and chai tea creamsicle (from the menu). These were good, the chocolate was REALLY dark. It made it difficult to taste the fillings because all you tasted was chocolate.
The last dessert was a passion fruit mousse, with a chocolate sorbet and tropical fruit. I like this one because the fruit really balanced out all the chocolate.
My favorites from the meal have to be the Spanakopita, the Pad Thai With Kelp Noodles, and whatever it was I ate for my first course! Everything was delicious and now I feel like I have a much better handle on the menu at Pure Food and Wine, and I will be able to recommend dishes to all of you when you are in NYC!
Overall the meal was an amazing experience and a wonderful treat! (I would do it again anytime anyone wants to!)
A big thank you to my 3 amazing (meat eating) friends who came with me to enjoy this meal, you guys really made it one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had.
Your tumblr is really inspiring! I've been vegan for two years now and have been interested in raw food cuisine but the (self imposed) pressure to be perfect kept me from trying a raw food diet. Thanks for making a (mostly) raw food diet seem more attainable.
Also, what is your opinion of nutritional yeast? I was really looking forward to using it but I've discovered I have an allergic reaction to it, despite have absolutely no other food allergies. Some vegan forums I read shed a negative light on the actual raw-ness of the product as well. (http://www.giveittomeraw.com/forum/topics/nutritional-yeast-good-or-bad?commentId=1407416%3AComment%3A602439)
Thank you. I’m really glad you like the blog. I’m not the biggest fan of nutritional yeast. It’s certainly not a part of my everyday diet. I consider it more of a treat. :)
It is clearly not raw, but there are lots of “raw” foods that might contain it.
My advice it listen to your body. You know what is best for you. And if you’ve had a bad reaction to it, I would obviously not eat it.
This monday is my birthday! I’ve known for a while what I wanted to do on my birthday; I wanted to get the tasting menu at Pure Food and Wine. So this Sunday night, a group of my friends and I are going to Pure for their 5 course tasting menu!
I’m super excited because everyone at the table gets a different dish for each course. So you really get to taste a lot of different things on the menu.
The decision that I’m struggling with is how can I share this wonderful meal with all of you. I would want to bring my big camera and take pictures of absolutely everything, but on the other hand it’s my birthday. A part of me just wants to relax, enjoy good food with my friends, and not carry around a big camera all night.
The photos above were found on flickr, and they are much better photos than I would be able to take at Pure. The dinning room at pure is candle lit and generally pretty dark. So I might just try and remember what we ate, and write a post afterwards without original photos.
What do you think I should do? What kind of coverage of this meal would you like to see on Eat Raw?
The idea for this recipe came from my love of guacamole and my desire to eat more dark raw greens. Don’t get me wrong, I get plenty of kale in my diet. But it’s mostly in the form of green juice. I wanted to start eating kale in salads, but I wasn’t ready to jump head first into a salad made only of kale. Baby steps people.
So this is my variation on a massaged Kale and Avocado salad.
First you need to chop up your kale into very small pieces. Then, in a small mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil to the kale. Massage the kale with your hands to mix in the salt and oil, then set it aside.
Next chop us a tomato, half and onion, and some cilantro to make some pico de gallo. Mix the three ingredients together in a bowl with some lemon or lime juice and a pinch of salt.
Then take half of your pico de gallo and add it to a mashed avocado to make the guacamole. If you need a refresher on my guacamole recipe, you can read it in more detail here.
I chopped up some romaine lettuce to fill out the salad. You can use whatever type of lettuce you like best.
Next toss the lettuce with the kale and the rest of the pico de gallo. Mix this together well. Then add in the guacamole. Mix it together so that the guacamole coats the salad like a thick creamy dressing.
Now just grab a fork and enjoy! This salad is super filling.
Earlier today I posted on Twitter “Is it possible to not be eating enough when you are trying to lose weight? Some days I just feel confused about what to eat/how much.”
For the last 2 weeks I’ve been on the 21-day Adventure Cleanse from Kris Carr’s new book ‘Crazy, Sexy, Diet’. The meal plans for the cleanse include a lot of eating (juice in the morning, then lunch, snack, dinner, snack) but I can’t seem to fit that much eating into my schedule.
When I first started the cleanse and I gave up gluten, I saw some initial weight loss. (about 4 lbs) But now, every morning I see the same number on the scale. 153.8 lbs. It’s mocking me ;)
Don’t get me wrong, when I went vegan a year ago I never wanted it to feel like I was on a diet. I made these choices first and foremost for my health. It was a lifestyle change.
And I am proud of all the weight I have lost so far, but I would really like to hit my goal weight. I know losing over 35 lbs is something to be very proud of, but when I look at myself in pictures I still feel heavy.
So hopefully continuing on this path will prove successful, but only time will tell. In the mean time, I’m going to try and plan my meals a little better so that I eat a little bit more food and see how my body responds to that.
Today I needed lunch but I was getting pretty tired of just having salad. Instead of making an unhealthy choice, I decided to head over to Organic Avenue's West Village location.
I’ve been meaning to check out Organic Avenue for some time now. They started out as a juice cleanse, but have expanded into selling raw foods. They say that everything they do is embodied in the word LOVE (Live, Organic, Vegan, Experience).
I’ve been reading a lot about keeping my body alkaline, which Crazy Sexy Diet talks a lot about. So while I’m on this cleanse I’ve been trying to stay as raw, low glycemic-index, chlorophyll and alkaline-focused as possible.
The store itself is really small inside. Just enough room for some coolers full of yummy juices and raw foods to-go.
On the other wall are some supplements and raw food snacks.
The juice was delicious! What I love the most about it is that is isn’t too sweet (which I find many green juices to be). When my goal is weight loss I try and keep things very low on the glycemic index scale.
The pasta came with a raw “cheese” topping that was delicious! The noodles were fresh and crisp, and the pesto was super flavorful. Overall it was a lunch that left me feeling light and happy.
I will certainly have to go back and to check out all the other delicious food and juices they offer!
Hey! Where've you been? How's the Crazy Sexy Diet going?!
I know I haven’t been posting but things with work have been so crazy! The diet is going great! I’m on day 13 of the 21-day Adventure Cleanse and I feel really good. I’ve lost about 6 lbs so far, but I’m hoping I can keep it up and get below 150 before my birthday.
Thanks for checking up on me and reminding me to write more. I will try and do a better job.
Hey everyone, I know I haven’t been posting as regularly as I used to but I’ve been really busy. I got a new job and I’m just trying to readjust my schedule to allow for more frequent posts.
In the meantime, I thought I would share this article with you. It’s really great if you’ve struggled with your weight while being vegan or vegetarian and have fallen into the trap of vegan junk food or convenience food. I have struggled with this myself and I found this article very helpful. I hope you enjoy it.
Also, please feel free to send me messages with your questions or what you would like to see more of on this blog. That will help me in organizing future posts.
So it’s the end of my second day officially on the 21-day adventure cleanse from Kris Carr’s new book Crazy Sexy Diet and to be honest I’m feeling a little light headed. Yesterday I broke one of the rules of Kris’s cleanse (it was day one…I was trying!) but it was a friend’s birthday so I had a few glasses of wine.
Today was better, I followed all the rules but the only reason I think I’m not feeling so well is that I didn’t eat enough. (or drink enough water) I was out shopping all day with my mom and sister and I didn’t bring any snacks.
But tomorrow is another day, hopefully it will be better.
Thanks everyone for all your positive feedback and support for my last post. It has been hard getting back in the swing of things. Gluten is really the main culprit of my recent downfall, so I am doing my best to kick the gluten habit..hopefully for good this time.
Today I picked up a copy of Kris Carr’s new book Crazy, Sexy, Diet. In it she has her 21-day Adventure cleanse. Unlike other raw or vegan books that I’ve read, this one is stuffed to the brim with helpful information. Not just about the food you should eat, but how your body reacts to what we put in it.
I haven’t finished reading it yet, or processing all the info that is in here but I recommend getting a copy!
So far with only a few days under my belt, I feel great! Every time I go back to eating this way, I ask myself why I ever stopped. Usually I would want bad food for emotional reasons. Food has always been a big comfort to me and I know I need to break that cycle.
So today I made a huge batch of green juice and I’ve been drinking that.
In addition to the green juice I’ve had a few cups of herbal tea today and I’m currently snacking on some gluten free chips (not raw) and guacamole.
Those of you who are joining my in eating clean this month, how are you doing?
So I’ve had a bad couple of weeks.. We’ve had a lot of snow here in NYC and I feel like it just put me in a food rut. I started eating a lot of cooked food, and a lot of starch.
It happens to everyone, so instead of being ashamed of my behavior, I made the decision to share it with you all. Eating this way isn’t always easy. These is pressure from family, friends, and just your general surroundings.
Today is February 1st. It’s officially my birthday month, and these last few weeks have set me back (weight loss wise) from my goal. My birthday is February 28th, and I want to feel amazing and healthy on my birthday.
So I’m committing to 28 days of eating REALLY clean, mostly raw, and try to get closer to my weight loss goal. But I can’t do it alone! I am going to need the support of this community to help get me through.
So I hope you will come with me on this journey of eating healthy. 28 days, is all I’m asking for. Let’s make new habits together!
So I asked you guy what I should make this weekend and someone answered:
(un)cooking raw foods without appliances? I’m just starting and I don’t have even a blender…
This was a simple one. Eating raw can be as simple, or as complicated as you want it to be. Sometimes it may seem like you need lots of appliances (blender, juicer, dehydrator, etc) just to get started eating raw. But really all you need is a good knife and some imagination.
Salads are a great way to explore new flavors within something familiar. You might say it’s boring to eat salad all the time, but my response to that is you have never had a great salad.
I never used to like salads, but that was because my idea of a salad was some cut up lettuce with store bought dressing on it. (gross) But when I realized that I can be as creative and crazy as I want with my salads, I started to love them (and even crave them).
So here is what I made this weekend, a fennel and grapefruit salad. I had to make enough salad to bring to a big Sunday lunch, so I will try my best to adjust this recipe down to a normal size.
You will need:
1 ruby red grapefruit
1/2 bulb of fennel
a handful of kalamata olives (pitted)
good olive oil
lettuce of your choice (I used a combination of spring mix and romaine)
First thing is thinly slice the fennel. I used a mandoline but you can do this just with a knife.
Next you need to cut the grapefruit into supremes (sections). If you have never done this before, here is a quick tutorial:
First cut the top and bottom off the grapefruit so that it stands flat on your cutting board.
Then slice off the peel from top to bottom getting as close to the flesh as possible. When you are done it will look like this.
Then carefully slice in between each membrane to remove the segments. Tip: this is best done over a bowl to catch the extra juice that will fall.
Next you need to make the dressing. In a bowl combine the juice of half a lemon and a tablespoon of the grapefruit juice.
Slowly pour in olive oil and wisk together to create a dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This lemon and olive oil dressing is a basic dressing that I use in almost all my salads. So much better than store bought!
I mixed together two kinds of lettuces for this salad. A spring mix and some romaine.
Finally, just toss everything together in a big bowl. First add the fennel to the lettuce, drizzle the dressing over, and toss well. Next add the olives and grapefruit and gently toss again.
Delicious! I brought a huge bowl of this to a friends house for a Sunday lunch and everyone loved it!
Please let me know more things you would like me to post about. I love the inspiration!
have any suggestions for work snacks? i sit in a cube for 8 + hours of the day so i live off carrots and clementines at this point (which have been not so in-season this year, eurgh). i usually don't take a lunch. ideas?? thanks lady!
I guess I’m a bigger eater than you ;) I couldn’t imagine not taking a lunch. But as far as snacks go, I have a few favorites.
1. Raw nuts or trail mix. This is always a great snack because you get fat and protein from the nuts.
2. I love snacking on carrot sticks or even cucumber slices but I’d take it a step further by bringing something to dip them in to keep it interesting. Good options would be hummus or guac.
Today I went to my local health food store, which is my favorite place to buy veggies in the winter time.
When you need produce you have always have options as to where you will get it from. There is your conventional supermarket, a higher end super market (whole foods, etc), then there are health food stores, and farmers markets.
In the warmer months I get most of my veggies from my CSA. But in the winter months I need to find a great source for organic produce and I have found one in my health food store.
The produce is all organic, always fresh, and just generally a higher quality than I can find in my local supermarket.
I love guacamole! I make it at very often and it’s easier to make than you think. This is going to be a very loose interpretation of a recipe. Making guacamole is not an exact science, it’s one of those things that you have to play with to decide what you like in yours.
I start by making a basic pico de gallo. The core recipe is equal parts tomato, onion, and cilantro, lemon (or lime) and salt to taste.
Chop up all your ingredients, then in a bowl mix them together with a squeeze of lemon (or lime) juice. I usually prefer lime, but we didn’t have any in the house. Lemon works just as well. Add sea salt to taste.
The great thing about this is that you can make a large bunch of pico and keep it in the fridge for a while. Then whenever you want to make guacamole, you can open a fresh avocado.
The next step is to cut open an avocado and mash it on a plate. I’m only using half an avocado here since I was just making a small batch for my lunch.
Next, squeeze some lemon (or lime) juice over the avocado and add sea salt. Mix this together.
Then you add a spoonful of your pico de gallo to your mashed avocado. You can add as much pico as you like. Mix this together and you’re done!
Guacamole is great as a dip with carrots (or chips) or you can spoon it over some crisp romaine that has been dressed for a quick and delicious lunch.
Have you ever found keeping a food journal to be beneficial? For weightloss.
This is probably the first thing a nutritionist will tell you to do when starting a weight loss plan. I think it’s a good exercise in the beginning to see where you are at and how much you are eating normally so that you can decide how you need to change in order to lose weight.
That being said, when I did it, it only made me obsess over food and I really never enjoyed it. When I stress less about how much I eat and just enjoy eating foods that I know are good for me, I am much happier.
But everyone’s path to a healthy and balanced life is different.
So I know I’ve been quiet these last few weeks but it has been because of all the crazy traveling I was doing. The first 10 days that I spent in California were great. I ate mostly raw, had access to a juicer, and ate lots of delicious, fresh food.
Then I flew back to NYC for a day before heading up to Vermont for a 5 day ski trip. 5 days of skiing was great, but my food options weren’t the best. I was staying in a condo with a kitchen so I was able to cook my own food, I did not have access to the kind of fresh produce I am used to, and I also didn’t have access to a blender or juicer. So I ate a lot of carbs. Toast with avocado, that I had brought from home, in the morning for breakfast, then usually pasta for dinner. I was on the slopes most of the day so I didn’t really eat lunch, just an early dinner.
I was starting to really crave greens, but when I went to the grocery store that was in the resort, the only option was iceberg lettuce. So a friend and I decided to see what their “upscale” restaurant had to offer.
The only thing really vegan on the menu was their house salad, but it was delicious! Mixed greens with a fig balsamic vinaigrette topped with cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, and some croutons. It was a nice size portion, and not too expensive.
On the last day I was there we had to be out of the condo by 10am, but we still had 3 hours of ski lessons that day. So after my lesson I had time to kill and since I couldn’t go back to the condo and make something I decided to check out their casual dining lunch spot.
Here I had to ask for them to leave a lot off the salad, and what I was left with was a salad of mixed greens (mostly romaine) with grilled apples and candied walnuts. Underneath the salad was a raspberry sauce, and the dressing was a maple balsamic vinaigrette.
This salad was way too sweet for me. I mainly just ate the lettuce with a little dressing, but didn’t really touch anything else.
I came home late friday night, and by early sunday morning I was sick. I’m not sure if it was how I ate last week, or if I just caught a stomach bug, but yesterday was pretty miserable.
But now it’s back to eating clean and healthy, trying to hit my goal weight in time for my birthday in 7 weeks.
What raw/vegan blogs do you follow?
And ...Is staying raw for you as impossible as it has been for me?...I've been trying since march and I've mangaed to be mostly vegan but sometimes not even that. What keeps you motivated and on track? Besides that it's the best way to eat pretty much.
I really like you're blog! You're inspiring me to start a raw food one of my own :)
I’m glad you like the blog. I am not 100% raw. The more I read about this lifestyle and talk to people who have been raw for a long time, almost no one is 100% raw. So don’t get tripped up on that. Right now I’m about 80% raw and all vegan. So if I want a piece of bread or some rice or even some cooked veggies, I don’t beat myself up about it.
Gina from Choosing Raw really breaks in down here, and she has some great advice on choosing a plant based lifestyle.
What keeps me motivated are two things. First, that I feel so great when I eat this way. And when I do eat something crappy, my body tells me it didn’t like it. Being really in tune with your body and what it needs from food is a great feeling. Secondly, I eat this way because it’s healthy but it has also helped me loose a lot of weight. I’ve lost a total of 30 lbs since I went vegan. I have yet to post the “before” pictures of myself, but when I hit my goal weight I will.
Staying excited about this lifestyle is easy. But eating this way 100% of the time isn’t always that simple. But it gets easier as you go on. So stay motivated, and enjoy everything you eat. Food is meant to be enjoyed, never forget that.
Traditional breakfast is something that went out the window for me when I became vegan. Never again would I enjoy traditional breakfast foods (eggs, bacon, etc) and I was ok with that. My breakfasts usually consists of green juice and maybe some fruit.
But with all the traveling I did yesterday I woke up in the mood for something more substantial. Luckily I had some raw buckwheat granola from Prana in my luggage. What I love about this granola is that it gets me eating buckwheat, which is really good for you. Buckwheat contains all of the essential amino acids, B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and a fatty acid essential to good health.
This granola is great to snack on, but I really wanted cereal. So I made some raw almond milk.
The recipe for almond milk is really simple. You basically only need two things: a blender and a nut milk bag.
The basic recipe is just a ratio. It’s 1 cup nuts to 4 cups water. You just need to soak the nuts for a while (ideally overnight, but an hour or two will do). After the nuts are soaked, drain them and put them in a blender with the water. Blend the nuts together for a few minutes. Then pour the mixture through a nut milk bag. Once you have strained the almond solids out of the milk, put the milk back into the blender to add your flavorings. I usually add a little agave syrup and a pinch of salt.
I topped my cereal with fresh blueberries for a very nutritious breakfast. Good morning. Enjoy!
Greetings from 30,000 ft! In-flight wifi will make anyone productive. This is my first experience on a cross country flight trying to stay 100% raw so I thought I would share with you what I’ve been munching on throughout the ride.
For me variety is key. If I get bored with what I brought I’m much more likely to break down and buy some in flight snack. So I pack a lot of food. You might not need to bring as much. I had a very early flight so I made a batch of green juice in the morning (I added lots of cilantro and pineapple) then I filled one metal water bottle with juice and froze it overnight, the other half I put in the fridge to drink in the morning as I was getting ready.
The reason I freeze a bottle of green juice is so that I can put it in my checked luggage to drink when I land. you never know how long it will be before you can make it to a juice bar.
I packed two sandwich bags of dry things. First some raw trail mix, and the other bag filled with the sprouted buckwheat granola I picked up at Prana over the weekend. Then I packed two small plastic containers (very small, they hold about 4 oz). The first one I packed with some leftover no-bean hummus that was still in my fridge and the second one got filled with guacamole (I just made a quick batch before we left this morning). I also packed a bag of carrot sticks for dipping and some honeydew melon in case I wanted something sweet.
Based on past experiences I find that being prepared works out best for me. This is far better than any other recent flight I’ve been on and I was enjoying great fresh food the whole time.
As I mentioned before, I was in the Boston area this weekend. On my way home I made a stop in Newton, MA to visit Prana Raw Cafe. It’s always good when you are going to be visiting a new place to do a little research before hand to see if there are any raw food restaurants in the area. That’s how I found out about Prana.
When you walk in you see the juice and smoothie menu and a take-out fridge filled with raw goodies.
The restaurant is bright and cheerful. It’s exactly the kind of place you could just hang out at.
I was there around lunch time so I saw their breakfast and lunch menu. There were tons of things I wanted to try but I decided on the Prana Burger.
I came with kale chips, which I haven’t really acquired a taste for yet.
The burger was a patty, with tomato and lettuce, a nut cheese spread with onion bread as the bun. It was tasty.
Then I ordered their guacamole with flax chips. The guac was a bit spicier than I like but it had great flavor. I wanted to try the onion rings but they were all out.
I also picked up some of their granola to take home. It is really really good and it will come in handy these next two weeks of traveling.
This weekend I was in Boston visiting a friend. I did visit a raw food restaurant which I will post about later, but first we went to a great spot in Boston called The OtherSide Cafe. Its a great restaurant with a pub feel, very casual. What I really liked about it was they had lots of vegan options on the menu, even some raw vegan options, and they also served meat. Everything on the menu looked so great but I was really just in the mood for a big salad.
This tip will work in almost any bar/pub setting. Order the basic salad with lemon and olive oil as the dressing, and ask for a side of guacamole. Then dress the salad your self and pile all the guacamole on top! A delicious and filling raw vegan salad!
This is possibly one of my all time favorite raw food recipes. I love it because of the complex flavors and because it doesn’t require a dehydrator (I don’t have one). It’s great to convert friends or serve to non-raw friends when you want to show them something a little more fancy than a salad. It’s the famous raw lasagne from Pure Food and Wine. This recipe does require a bit of preparation, but it’s more than worth it!
There are a few components to this dish. First there are three sauces you make to assemble the lasagne with. First the tomato sauce, then the “ricotta” and finally the pesto. Then you assemble it together with thin slices of zucchini as the noodles, and slices of fresh tomato for more flavor.
2 cups raw pine nuts, soaked for 1 hour or more. (while the original recipe calls for pine nuts, they have become very expensive these days. I noticed that at Pure on their menu they no longer call it a pine nut ricotta, but instead a macadamia nut and pumpkin seed ricotta. So I substituted those nuts instead)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons filtered water
Place the soaked nuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times, until everything is combined. Then gradually add in the water and process until the texture becomes fluffy, like ricotta.
For the tomato sauce:
2 cups sun dried tomatoes, soaked for 2 hours or more. (try to find dried tomatoes, not the ones packed in oil)
1 small to medium tomato, diced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 small onion chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons sea salt
Pinch of hot pepper flakes
Squeeze and drain as much of the water out of the soaked sun-dried tomatoes as you can. Add all the ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
For the pesto:
2 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup pistachios
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
(I also added a clove of garlic to this)
Place the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined but still slightly chunky.
To assemble the lasagne:
3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
3 medium tomatoes, cut in half and then sliced
Cut the zucchini in half (or into 3-inch lengths). Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices. The in a medium bowl, toss the zucchini slices with the olive oil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.
I like to assemble the lasagne one portion at a time on the plate (it looks fancier this way). But if you want you could assemble it all in a baking dish like a traditional lasagne.
Place about 3 zucchini slices, slightly overlapping, on the center of the plate to make a square. Spread tomato sauce over the zucchini, top with small dollops of ricotta mixture, pesto and a few small tomato slices. Repeat twice more.
You can keep the left over sauces in the fridge for a few days, and plate up more lasagne when you want it.
This dish is great because it has an amazing depth of flavors, and it’s to rich and comforting, yet totally raw! I devoured the whole thing!
It’s always been difficult for me to eat raw while traveling. It requires planning ahead a lot of the time and I’m not always the best at that. Today I leave for a weekend trip to Boston, then it’s back in NYC on Monday, and Tuesday I fly out to LA. Then it’s 10 days in LA followed by 1 day back in NYC then a 5 day ski trip to Vermont.
I will do my best to keep you guys updated with the food I eat.
Today I’m driving up to Boston. I am bringing with me a few bottles of green juice, some raw trail mix, a few apples, and some raw crackers. Hopefully I can find some raw food restaurants while I’m there, or at least get a big salad!
This recipe is from Matt Amsden’s book RAWvolution. It was really easy to make and it was delicious!
This isn’t my first attempt at raw hummus. I tried a while back with a recipe that required soaked beans, and it wasn’t too tasty. But this tastes just like traditional hummus. I cut the recipe in half because I didn’t want to make more than I could eat in a day or two. But here is the full recipe.
Put all the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until thick and smooth.
If you find that the hummus isn’t think enough, try adding more zucchini. I was only able to find very small organic zucchini, so I found I had to add more to get the right consistency. I drizzled some olive oil on top and ate it with cucumber slices.
I want to experiment and see if I can make different hummus flavors with this as the base.
This morning, like most mornings, I made green juice. There are tons of variations of this, but this is my core recipe.
(yields approx. 32 oz. juice)
3 leaves dinosaur kale
2 leaves curly kale
3 stalks celery
1 handful of parsley
2 small apples (or one large apple)
Run all the ingredients through a juicer, pour over ice and serve.
If you are having trouble with the taste of green juice, try adding more apples for sweetness, or a few carrots. Green juice is a great way to start getting used to the flavors of raw dark leafy greens. It’s also a great way to add more vegetables into your diet.