2.25.2013

almost RAW

my journey with raw foods started back in early 2009. i had been reading Dr. Mercola's newsletters for a year or two and had noticed how he frequently spoke about how important it was to incorporate raw foods into your diet. at the time i understood that as eating more fruit and salads and that's about it. one day while browsing through the local health food store's book section i came across a small book called The Raw Family by Victoria, Igor, Sergei and Valya Boutanko. i'm not sure what made me pick it up but i did and i started reading the introduction and was intrigued enough to buy it. i read it that day and got super excited about it all. i honestly was ready to go 100% raw right then and there! a few days later i was back at the market and picked up another book by Victoria titled Green For Life. again, i read it in a day and immediately started making daily green smoothies the next day. at time i was eating all raw except for dinner. i felt SO good and lost 15lbs. that i had been trying to loose for almost 10 years. 
IMG_0216months later i started to relax and in crept more cooked food, fast food and increased portions. we were also in the process of moving and finding a new place to live which caused a lot of stress and therefore more eating. i gained back about 10 lbs. and then got pregnant with marianne. i tried to eat really good while i was pregnant but it was still a very hard and stressful time for us. i was making smoothies and started juicing but i still gained more weight than i wanted to. after i had her i gave myself a year to loose the weight. i figured that was very realistic and more than enough time. a year came and went and my weight wasn't budging (and i'm talking about ounces! at one point i thought something was wrong with the scale. i'm serious!). i also can't fail to mention that i had been suffering from bouts of depression for about the last 6 months of 2012. during december i had had enough! i knew the reasons for some of it but that lingering sadness that hung around me like fog was unexplainable. intuitively i knew that a change in my diet would alleviate it, plus i had read so many testimonials where people had switched to a raw diet and their depression was gone. i wanted that! i knew getting the mental and physical results i was looking for was going to take a more drastic step as my body had gotten use to any of the positive changes i had made in my diet. going all raw was the solution and one that i had been wanting try for a long time. i decided to wait for the holidays to be over and begin on january 1st. 

thankfully over the years i had tried a lot of recipes so it wasn't completely new to me. the first week was REALLY HARD! especially dinner! i felt like i was starving and was in a pretty negative mood. i made several new recipes and ate a lot of salads, nori rolls and a variety of nut/date balls but had a hard timing feeling full like i was use to. once my stomach shrunk it took less and less to fill me up. i started to feel lighter, not my weight but more an internal feeling. 


i have noticed many changes within myself. i think the thing that struck me the quickest was just how much i was eating before, way more than necessary. i was also indulging in junk food and fast food a lot more than i realized. i have also noticed how much of an emotional eater i am. when i'm bored, frustrated or angry i go for a handful of chips (my absolute favorite snack). it's hard to be conscience of these habits until you can't have your "fix" to temporarily alleviate them. and since i can't have my beloved chips i am left to face my feelings and try to either deal with them or do something else with my time until they pass.

some other changes i have noticed are a huge increase in vivid dreams, my face has cleared up, i have a much easier time getting up in the morning (no more groggy, half dead mornings), i feel more positive about things in general and i have lost about 15 lbs.


the next step for me might be giving up coffee. i have done it several times and know i feel better without it but boy do i love it! coffee and beer are not raw therefore i can't say i've gone 100% raw. and we all know the bad side effects of caffeine and alcohol but the thought of never drinking either of these was too much for me at this time. after the last two months i've decided to try and cut back big time on both. i know my results would have been even more dramatic if i had cut those out completely but i am only human and figured the food part was a good enough and hard enough place to start. we'll see how i do...
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here are a few of my favorite recipes i have found online-

Chrissy's Goddess Chips- i've talked about these before, all i can say is that they are incredible! it's hard to not eat all of them the day they are done. also, the left over dressing tastes so much like blue cheese dressing when you put it on a salad. i made one with romaine, onion, yellow bell pepper, red cabbage and pine nuts with the dressing...it ruled!

Collard Green Wrap- yum! 

The Raw Brownie- SO good! just trust me and make them right now! 

Raw "Tapioca" Pudding- this recipe uses chia seeds and is delicious! i use raw honey instead of agave nectar.

Raw Energy Balls- boy do i love hemp seeds! too bad they are super expensive otherwise these would be in my freezer at all times ready for me to eat up

and here is a recipe for the best dessert i have made so far-
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Raw Blueberry Cobbler 

for crust-
3 cups dry pecans 
3/4 t sea salt
1 T vanilla
1 t cinnamon
3/4 cup pitted dates

for syrup-
3/4 cups pitted dates
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 T  vanilla
1/3 cup water (or less)

filling-
1 1/2 cups blueberries

process nuts into a fine powder with food processor. add the other ingredients and pulse until mixed.  empty at least half the crust into a brownie/cake pan and press flat to form crust. save the remainder to use as topping.

using the food processor, toss in ingredients for syrup and pulse until combined. in a separate bowl add 1 1/2 cup blueberries and syrup and gently mix to coat blueberries. pour mixture onto the crust and top with reserved crust and gently press down. refrigerate and enjoy! 

**i have substituted half the pecans for almonds and it was delicious. i also used a frozen berry blend last time i made it and that was good as well. not as fantastic as it is with fresh fruit but if frozen is all that's available it's still worth making.

this next recipe was sent to me by the lovely julie (cinnamon girl) and it is SO DARN GOOD!!!
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Raw Kale Salad

4 inches of fresh ginger (about 1/4 cup firmly packed), peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, paper removed
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey + 2 teaspoons
2 1/2 cups cashews
1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
1 bunch curly kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 heaping cup green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 heaping cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and grated

Puree ginger in a food processor or blender. Add garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, and all of the honey. Process until thoroughly combined. Add 2 cups of cashews. Process until a thick dressing is formed but small chunks of cashew remain.

In a large bowl combine remaining cashews, kale, cabbage, and carrots. Mix thoroughly. Add dressing and toss. Enjoy!

This recipe results in a heavily dressed salad, which I quite enjoy. If you prefer your salads lightly dressed, add half of the dressing and adjust as your preference dictates.
 


i also have a couple books that have some great tips and recipes in them- Ani's Raw Food Kitchen by Ani Phyo and Living On Live Food by Alissa Cohen. 

well, there you have it! overall the pluses outweigh any negatives and i am quite happy with the way things are going thus far. if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment :D 

♥anne

19 comments :

  1. good for you Anne! I too bought a raw book (Ani's Raw Food Kitchen) impulsively at the grocery store and have been intrigued ever since. I have made the raw brownie bars once, a different version from a friend...and they were so good! The raw blueberry cobbler sounds and looks good too, going to give that a try soon :)

    Do you use a dehydrator? If so, which kind?

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    1. yes, i have an excalibur. it was a lot less because i bought one that was flawed on the outside but i have no idea where, it looks perfect and works like a champ.

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  2. That's wonderful to hear and amazing! And I definitely would like to eat healthier but I am a sucker for junk food and having many Asian foods like rice and noodles doesn't help. Hopefully when I move out and because I'll be a poor College student, I'll try to stick with healthier foods, even if it isn't necessary 100% raw.

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    1. any small step in the right direction is good as far as i'm concerned. keep taking baby steps and soon enough you will be where you want to be :D

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  3. wow anne, such an inspiring journey! i am so excited for you and proud of you that you've stuck to this. i have never once tried a real "raw food" recipe although, like your earlier self, i try to eat a lot of fresh fruits and salads :) i had the most delicious raw tacos (walnut) my friend made us after i had lucy, and have been wanting to make those again ever since. i am now dying to try this blueberry cobbler too, and those brownies! thank you for sharing your incredible experience here, it is truly a beuatiful story and most of all i am glad to hear that you are feeling so good these days!

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    1. thank you heather! i have a recipe for the walnut taco meat, it is so good! really quick and easy to make as well. i'll send you an email with the recipe :D

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  4. Oooooooo!
    thanks for sharing, i'm a real believer in nutritional healing too.

    I know the feeling of needing to return to more whole and raw foods....craving sugar like, right now.

    It's easy to start relaxing with the type of foods that start sneaking into our diets. thanks for the inspiration to eat the way our bodies prefer :)

    Intention for health!

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  5. wow, that sounds like a real success. And you look great, so the evidence is there :)

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  6. i had to come back because i've been thinking about this some more!

    i'm wondering, are you still nursing?
    i'm just always in a weird place of wanting to detox, needing to keep calories high, etcetc.

    in the past i've eaten raw/green and loved it.

    even now as a family we don't really eat bread/cereal/dairy/meat but we do eat a lot of grains still.

    i will definitely check out those books you recommend. i agree, i think being conscious of how much we crave eating just to eat is enlightening, it's so amazing to become conscious of how we fuel and care for our bodies!

    and i had a few ideas about the coffee/beer:

    herbal coffee is amazing. it comes in a tea bag and you can throw in a bag of strong chai along with it if you're trying to ween yourself off of caffeine. totally delicious with a little stevia. something you can really feel good about drinking.


    i know a lot of people who buy hard cider instead of beer because technically it's gluten free. it might be better for your cleansed gut??? ;)

    as someone who is traveling back to raw eating i love the way it balances the mood.
    health is truly in our hands.

    xo
    thanks for provoking all of my thoughts!

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    1. hi dolly, i'm so glad you enjoyed this post! yes i am still nursing and she didn't seem to be bothered at all by the change. i'm definitely interested in the herbal coffee! what kind do you buy and what kind of stevia do you get? the liquid? i've still never bought any because i don't know which one to buy.

      btw- i got your cd and i LOVE it! the songs and cover collage are awesome, thank you so much for participating :D

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  7. nooooo! Long comment went bye bye!

    I basically said that I was in awe over your will power with scrumtrulescent aromas wafting through the air and your determination to not eat it up! These recipes are awesome- can't wait to make the kale salad- it was so stinkin good, and am super excited to try the brownies and cobbler.

    I'm on the fasting program now just cause I'm not really that hungry and have a crazy schedule right now, so can't really tell when I should be eating! I've bumped up my coffee intake due to graveyard shifts and try to eat healthy when I do eat...but still slip up!
    Congrats- raw's lookin good on ya!

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    1. thanks dude :D

      well, i always eat when i'm hungry, i graze all day. is that not an option with work? i don't think you should feel like you have to eat at certain times. i'm sure after a few weeks you will slip into a routine and figure it out.

      hope to see you soon!

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  8. You do look amazing, and I'm a big advocate for eating your way to better moods, health, weight, energy, etc. But I just have so much trouble with sweets and coffee. I have a coffee every morning with sugar and some sort of small bread product, then eat super healthy for the rest of the day. I have been eating Julie's raw kale salad a few times a week for lunch and it is so amazing! I think I would have a really hard time giving up things like grilled wild-caught salmon- one of my favorites!

    Thank you for doing this post and for including links to recipes-- you are a true inspiration. One of these days I am going to kick that coffee and sugar habit! Probably when my kids start sleeping through the night. That is key!

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  9. You look great!! I also have been drinking green smoothies (Kale, oranges, apples, bananas, & yogurt) with light snacks and dinner. I have had a hard time losing the weight. I am thirty-seven and had my third child a year ago.. They say the older you get the harder it is to lose..:( I was wondering do you exercise along with eating healthy?

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  10. i have been meaning to comment on this post and finally had to today...i made the salad and have been grazing on it all afternoon. SOOOOOO good!

    you look radiant. and i'm sad to hear you were depressed the last half of '012. sad because you were here, and i didn't know. it might not have changed anything, but i would have liked to offer you support.

    huge kudos to you for being able to go entirely raw and go through the withdrawals and hunger...while parenting three kids! holy. i did a cleanse last spring that wasn't even raw, and it was way too derailing for me. the low blood sugar crazies are too much. and how the heck are you able to drink coffee and be raw???? man, coffee makes me burn through food like i haven't even eaten.

    with living in sf, i can't go totally raw (too cold and too chaotic) but i did do it a few summers ago. i nannied for a family who took me to a david wolfe retreat. he was enough of an egomaniac to make me steer clear of raw food culture forever...but when i am able to incorporate at least one raw meal into my life daily, that feels really optimal. and i hear you on the 'stomach shrinking/woah how much i was eating'. it's amazing to realize that you are filling yourself up with bulk, but not fuel!

    thank you for sharing this journey. big respect to you!

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  11. Its my first visit to your blog, and love it! Totally admire the effort it takes to go raw, sadly I don't even entertain the option because both my husband and I work full time, which makes the planning/execution tough. But I can say that in an effort to drop the 15 extra pounds I've been carrying around for a year or two, I've gone back to vegan...which means cutting out the junk and fast food.

    On the bright side, much of my diet is raw veggies and smoothies at the moment.

    I've been counting calories, and man-oh-man did I eat alot!! I agree with you, its such a surprise how much we consume! I'm just heading into week two of my diet, and still whittling away at my cravings. Funny how the only time I crave a big dish cheesy lasagna and garlic bread is when I'm on a diet! Ha!

    Oh, and also here in Southern CA with you!

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thank you so much for stopping by. please feel free to leave a comment! i love reading them :)


anne