Happy Herbivore Blog

Closing Thoughts on Low Fat Raw

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

A huge part of my motivation for doing raw week was curiosity. Despite my struggles this week, I feel it was still a successful experiment because I learned quite a bit and have answers to all my lingering questions...

* Is a low fat raw vegan diet possible? Yes, absolutely. I'm not the first to try it. There are plenty of low fat raw foodies out there (such as Steve PavlinaFrederic Patenaude and this guy). There's also a book called the 80/10/10 diet.

* Is it expensive? I spent a comprable amount of money but came home with double the bags. This is not surprisingly, leafy greens and produce take up a lot more space than a can of beans. Had I bought raw nuts, raw seeds and some of the more specialty items, though, I would have easily overspent our typical budget.

* Does it live up to the hype? I expected my digestive system to hum along smoothly this week and it didn't. I felt burpy and gassy -- and I never feel that way normally. On the upside, green juice gave me a huge boost when I drank it!

* Was it "easier"? The foods were definitely easier to make and fairly "instant" to prepare, which I liked. What I didn't like is all that I had more dirty dishes than normal and I was constantly dirtying up things I loathed cleaning like my Vita-Mix and food processor.

* Is it practical? For me, no. But maybe for someone else. I've never been a calorie counter, so I found it annoying to have to monitor myself every day. I'm also not a planner. I buy the same staples at the store every week and make meals on the fly. It cramped my style to have to plan a week's worth of menus and also plan for meals days or hours in advanced (stuff needs to soak for hours, or dehydrate for days, etc).

* Is it greener? I think it depends on where you live. This week I had to buy produce that came not only from different states, but different climates. I live in cold New York, we just don't have much growing locally this time year. To have only bought what was local would have left me with only a few foods to eat! (If I was still in LA, where there is an abundance of produce in season year round, well, that would have made all the difference!)

* Is this for me? An obvious no. But, I knew this going in. I love cooked food and I've always been a carbohydrate addict. I do love salads, smoothies and fresh juices, and they will always be a part of my diet, but not my whole diet.

* Would I recommend this diet/lifestyle? Absolutely. If you're interested or curious, I highly recommend you give it a try. Just because it isn't right for me, doesn't mean it's not right for you. Two friends of mine, Gena and Mike, are both raw. They're thriving and they love it. Even in my little raw week circle there have been great successes. While I've had my struggles, others have been very successful and are really enjoying the high raw regimen.

* Where will I go from here? I'm still really excited about low fat/fat-free raw food; I want to continue explore it and try my hand at more recipes -- just at a sporadic and more gradual level. Maybe this summer, when it's way too hot to cook, I'll get a chance to do more un-cooking!

I'm also looking forward to sharing recipes for raw chili, raw ice cream and raw pasta bologna with you next week!

Raw Day 4

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

I woke up at 7:00 a.m. and had an apple and a banana. (Organicgoddess suggested I just eat fruit for breakfast, and not soaked grains, for optimal digestion, so I decided to give it a try). All was well, except I found myself starving by 10:30.

Lucky for me, right about then a friend tweeted this raw cinnamon roll smoothie. Since I love my ww ff cinnamon buns, and I enjoyed these live cinnamon buns (from 30-Minute Vegan) a while back -- I just had to try the smoothie.

I combined 1 banana with 1 cup raw almond milk, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp pure maple syrup (I thought that would taste more "authentic" than the agave) and a few dashes of cinnamon. I'm not sure how much it tasted like a cinnamon roll -- but it was delicious (and creamy).

For lunch I made a raw kale salad (or "kalad" as I accidentally tweeted today) with peaches. I used two entire bunches of kale, a little salt and a big fat peach. 

I had the munchies again at 3:00 and ate a handful of dehydrated apple rings I bought at Trader Joes. 

Dinner. was. cooked. To make a long story short, I had dinner plans but thanks to the weather, I never made it there. I was trapped underground on the subway for half an hour (and managed to only go 3 stops) when I gave up and rerouted myself home. Another hour later I was actually home and so hungry and weak I felt fait. I grabbed a sprouted ww tortilla from the fridge, opened a can of fat-free vegetarian refried beans and voila roll-up in the mouth. No sooner had I eaten one, I went back for another and still another. 

Then Scott asked me to tape an episode of beerfingers with him (which meant I'd have to drink two beers...) and that was that. So, I guess I flunked out, again. At least this time it was willfully. Sort-of.

Anywho, I'm going to give the raw regimen one more day, (I think) but I'm pretty certain Day 5 will be "quits." We're tentatively going snowboarding all weekend in Vermont. It's already plenty difficult to just eat vegan up there, let alone raw. Plus I'm not sure I could sustain the energy I need to vigorously snowboard for 8 hours a day on just fruits and veggies alone... (I burn, on average, 3,000 calories a day snowboarding) but we'll see!

Either way I'm working on a "closing thoughts" post that should be pretty informative -- so swing by to check it out! I can't wait to read your thoughts! 

Raw Day 3

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

I woke up at 7:00 a.m. and enjoyed a banana with 1/2 cup of the leftover whole oatmeal. I really can't get over how filling the "raw oatmeal" is!

For lunch I made raw "chili" -- a recipe I was really excited about trying! The original recipe comes from Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney, but I tinkered with it quite a bit to make it fat-free and more akin to my taste preferences. I think my recipe is just different enough that I'm comfortable sharing it, so I'll post it for you next week!

And can I just say I really, really loved the chili? It was phenom. Wow. I only wish I had a dehydrator to make "crackers" or "chips" to go with it, but it was great by the spoonful! I just can't get over how rawesome that chili was! 

Then around 3:00 I was feeling a little hungry again (I seem to have afternoon munchies!), so I ate a few more strips of dehydrated mango

For dinner I made a spicy carrot soup with my Vita-Mix. (The recipe came with the machine).

It's essentially pulverized carrots with spices. The consistency was really thick - like applesauce, and not what I would necessarily call a soup. I added a little chalula overtop because it wasn't quite hot enough for me as written (or palatable). I also ate a gorilla salad with cherry tomatoes and raisins as a "side" to the soup.

Lastly comes dessert -- squee! I can't wait to share this recipe with you next week. I made insta-raw ice cream. It's stupid easy to make and completely fat-free to boot! I actually tried to make an insta-pudding and ended up with ice cream instead... I'm really lovin' it. Yummo!

Needless to say, today went way better than yesterday. I'm feeling great and happy I decided to come back to another raw day even after yesterday's debacle. I also really, truly appreciate everyone who left comments on the post yesterday -- it means so much to me! Now onto raw day 4!