Adventures in the Raw

I decided I would write a little bit about my recent decision to go on a 100% raw food diet. I attempted this leap about 2 years ago, it lasted about 3 months and I lost considerable weight, felt like a 20 something year old and then suddenly I fell off the farmers’ market wagon. It was WAY too hard. I was cooking meals for my carnivorous family and trying to prepare my own raw meals. I continued to make plenty of vegetable dishes for my family, but slowly added back fish, eggs and chicken back into my diet, and then came the bread (I have a gluten issue) and the pastas, the dairy (dairy problems too) and I found myself wondering who turned up the dryer and shrunk all my clothes and why do I feel 52 again?

There are many raw foodies out there with some really fantastic un-cook books. One of my personal favorites is Ani Phyo. Her mission is educating people on the benefits of incorporating as much raw food into their diet as possible and she understands that we are all unique and have different food needs. She recent wrote a new book called Ani’s 15-Day Fat Blast, which seemed like a blueprint for my success, so I bought the book and immersed myself back into the raw food culture. There is something special about this book in that everything is perfectly laid out and right to the point. I would highly recommend reading it if you have an interest in eating this way either short or long term.

Basic Raw Food Training at it’s finest, some days are not pretty, others are filled with revelations like “wow, I think if my knee wasn’t totally blown out I could probably run a marathon” and “I can’t believe how good these vegetables taste”. The Internet is brimming with information about this subject, and your CSA box is a wonderland of possibilities. I’m just starting my 3rd tour of the program and I feel great, I’m 10 pounds lighter and have a renewed sense of how I want to continue to eat my way through this world.

After you “get” it, it’s easy to come up with some of your own recipes using the weekly produce. Of course, many of the items in Ani’s recipes come in our boxes already. CSA and seasonal eating is the perfect springboard for a raw food diet. Whether you go 100% or 50%, I’m sure that if you try incorporating more raw foods into your daily menus you will feel a huge difference. My goal is to share some of my own recipes using items in our weekly box.

Orange Creamsicle Shake
1 ½ navel oranges, peeled and cut
1 cup of fresh almond milk (recipe follows)
Dash of vanilla extract
½ cup ice or frozen banana

Put everything in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.

Almond Milk
1 cup of almonds (soaked in 2 cups of water overnight)
4-5 cups of water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of sea salt
4-5 medjool dates

Blend soaked almonds with 1 cup of water, vanilla, salt and dates in a high speed blender for about 1 minute or until everything is pulverized.  Slowly add the remaining water to the blender.  Pour the mixture through a sprout or nut milk bag and strain.  Note:  The nut milk bag is sort of key to making this easy.  You can buy them online or  Whole Foods Market.  I’ve tried using cheesecloth, it just turns into an unpleasant experience.