Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More vegetables, please.

I'm having a veggie crazy day. When I don't do the heavier foods like nuts and seeds/dates and figs and just stick to the veggies, I realize how many vegetables I can eat. (It's a lot!) This was my very late dinner after a very early salad dinner, and it was delicious (and very pretty).

I got my inspiration for this wrap from Wollaston's, a convenience store on Northeastern's campus where I used to pay $5 for a box of cereal because hey, why trek out to the actual grocery store when there's a small overpriced one right outside the dorms? Anyway, despite their insane prices, they have an awesome deli counter where they make great sandwiches. One that I got every single time (pre-raw) was called the Marino Fitness, which consisted of the following: guacamole, alfalfa sprouts, sundried tomatoes, Monterey Jack cheese, and olive oil on fresh bread. (Am I leaving anything out?) Oh, sometimes they'd shove some romaine in there, too. I would always get it on a wrap, and the genius in me realized I could make a really awesome raw version.

In my collard-green wraps:
Guacamole (avocado, lemon juice, jalapeno pepper, sea salt, black pepper, tomato)
Sundried tomato
Alfalfa sprouts

Simple...yum. Like I said, I usually save these posts for the weekend, but I just created these, and they were so beautiful that I decided to take a picture.

<3 you, vegetables.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Juice can be so darn pretty.

Please feel free to skip down to the bold heading if you're not interested in hearing my ramblings...which I tend to have a lot of :)

To start, I've had some ups and downs with raw food thus far. As far as ups, there are many, and I expect a heck of a lot more to come -- I have much less anxiety overall, I have way less guilt about what I'm eating, I've lost weight, have more energy, have severely lessened (and possibly eliminated?) my allergies and asthma, et cetera, et cetera. My downs are as follows - my skin is still not clear and glowing, which is bugging me. One reason I think that maybe it's not as clear as it should be by now is that I may need to eat fewer nuts and seeds. I think I'm eating more of them than I should because for a very long time (well, my whole life) I've been allergic to peanuts and have had a slight allergic reaction every time I ate nuts that may have come in contact with peanuts in the processing or packaging facilities. My mouth and throat would get itchy and it'd be a very uncomfortable experience. Now I get none of those symptoms whatsoever. I haven't tried to actually test a peanut (and I'm not sure that I even should), but I'd expect I'd have less of or no allergic reaction to it anymore. Anyway, back to my original point. I now ADORE nuts and probably have been eating too many, and a lot of people say that this is a reason why some raw foodies' skin isn't clear. We shall see!

Also, allergy-wise, I'm completely cured of my allergy to cats, and likely other furry animals too. This is such great news being that I have two cats and can ditch the 2 allergy and 1 asthma medication I've been taking so I can live peacefully with them!

Another downside is the cost of the pricey raw foods. Many of these are completely unnecessary (raw crackers, chocolates, pricey "superfoods" and superfood powders, etc.) I am completely in love with all things raw and really need to limit how much I spend on them...especially since this physical therapy rotation I'm on is not paying me a cent! Thank god for bananas at 59 cents a pound.

I'm not sure that my last point is a downside to eating raw foods, but it definitely is something worth mentioning. Not all of life's problems can be solved by raw foods. I'm aware that this sounds idiotic. Of course you're not going to solve everything by eating a certain way; however, there's a glory that people associate with eating raw, that all will be cured and you'll be on cloud 9 as soon as you switch over. That's not the case, despite all the fairly miraculous changes that can occur. In my case, worrying about what I eat is never going to change. If I'm not eating fried food or cookies, I'm still worrying about how many higher-calorie raw foods I'm eating. I'm even stressing over the cup of coffee a day I've been allowing myself to have despite having given it up for the past couple of months. I can say, though, that I feel so much better about what I'm putting into my body on a daily basis, and that's what I need to focus on.

Ok, onto some food and drink :)

Recently, I was browsing around the internet and found something a little bit surprising. People can (and do) juice sweet potatoes. I have to say, I'm not sure I've even eaten a sweet potato, but hey, what the hell -- why not juice one? I decided on this juice, which is 1 beet, 1 sweet potato, a whole bunch of carrots, and a quarter of a lemon. Look how pretty!

I really don't taste the sweet potato, and I think this is because it's fairly similar to carrots. The juice is sweet and definitely drinkable, but to be honest, I feel like I might have had a better result if I swapped that lemon wedge for an apple. Regardless, think about all the nutrients in this juice!! I think of every juice I make as a little elixir of nutrition...they're all chock full of it. I haven't been able to juice much lately so I was pretty excited to drink this one.

Next, I did some more prep for next week and made Ani Phyo's Ginger Almond Pate. This stuff is unbelievable. I plan to eat this throughout the week (nori rolls again?) rather than today, so I didn't take a picture, but I'll leave you with the recipe. Even non-raw foodies should try this. You'd be amazed at the awesome combination of flavors.

Ginger Almond Pate
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups almonds
Juice of 2 lemons, about 4 tablespoons
1/2 cup water, as needed.
Process ginger, garlic, and salt until mixed well. Add almonds and process while adding lemon juice. Add water only as needed for a hummus-like texture.

Finally, dinner. I had one more bag of kelp noodles and despite their odd texture, I decided it'd be a better idea to use them than throw them away. Plus, it'd give me a really great opportunity to make a sundried tomato sauce that I've been wanting to try for a while. The recipe is from this really cute website -- see for yourself!

 Good Heart Recipe Book

No, I didn't take a picture of my sauce on the kelp noodles. After my last kelp noodle photo, I thought I'd spare you.

The last thing I want to share: I'm so freaking proud of myself for getting serious about exercise again. I feel so good about it, especially when I forgo the group fitness classes and actually work out on my own with no one saying "you can't leave yet." That said, I never in my life will push myself as far as those cycle instructors push me, so I've been doing both solo and group workouts. I cycled this morning, sweat my face off, and burned somewhere between 700 and 800 calories (a girl next to me had one of those fancy calories-burned watches, and she just happened to be approximately my height and weight). I'm really looking forward to being strong again. And looking good never hurt anybody.

It's looking like I can only update this on the weekends since I'm so busy the rest of the week. Until next time ;)