Happy Herbivore Blog

Raw Day 2

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

I woke up at 7:30 a.m. so ravenous it hurt. All I could think about was getting a big ol' whole wheat bagel with vegan cream cheese. Still, I dragged my rear to the kitchen where I had whole oat groats soaking overnight.

For breakfast I made whole oatmeal from Raw Foods Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet. One of my tweeps doing raw week with me had "raw oatmeal" yesterday and I just had to see what it was all about. (I also admit I was a little skeptical, I mean, how on Earth is waterlogged, uncooked oats palatable?)

To my total surprise, this dish is phenomenal. I dare say I like this "raw oatmeal" better than traditional oatmeal or even steel cut oats. It yields a total of 2 cups (1 cup is pictured) but even as hungry as I was, I was unable to finish my entire bowl. (I had about 1/3 cup leftover). It was mighty filling!

Around 12:15 I noticed I still wasn't hungry for lunch. It seemed odd to me, but I figured I'd let my body tell me when it was good and ready to eat again. 

I finally felt a little hungry at 1:15, but still no true hunger. I noticed I was having difficulty concentrating at work, however, so I decided to eat a gorilla salad (that bowl is huge, don't let the picture deceive you!).

I chopped up 2 romaine hearts, 1 giant cucumber, 1 tomato and added 1/4 cup raisins. For the dressing I mixed freshly squeezed lime juice with a dash of chili powder and a few drops of raw agave nectar. I normally like to use balsamic vinegar, chalula (hot sauce) or vegan bbq sauce for my dressing, but none of them are raw.

By 2:00 I was still having a hard time concentrating, so I ate a very small potato I'd gently steamed a few days ago with a splash of nama shoyu and a bit of black pepper. Not raw, obviously, but I knew, intuitively, I needed slow-digesting carbohydrates to regain my mental alertness. (Plus I figured 90% raw is still doin' pretty good!)

Around 3:00 I had a few slices of dehydrated mango that I picked up from Trader Joes. I wasn't particularly hungry, but I was in the mood for something sweet and worried about my overall caloric intake.

For dinner I planned to make spicy carrot soup in my Vita-Mix, but around 4:30 I learned my favorite brewery, MagicHat, was having an event at a bar Scott & my friend Genevieve like. Genevieve was also on the Rachel Ray Show yesterday and that warranted a small celebration, no? I figured the bar would at least have a salad on the menu, right?

The whole subway ride there I debated with myself on whether I would or would not have a beer. Beer isn't raw, obviously, and I'd already had one "cooked" food today. Sure I suppose I could go a week without one beer (but did I really want to?). The answer was "no" and I stopped trying to justify it with myself.

About an hour later I felt woozey, if not shit-faced drunk. I hadn't even finished the beer I ordered, so how was this possible!? I told Scott what was going on and he suggested "I needed to eat something." I concurred and grabbed a menu. The only "vegan" options were hummus, chips and salsa or french fries (I was at a bar, I didn't expect much... but I'd hoped for a salad). I figured the chips and salsa was about as raw as I was going to get and something was better than nothing. I didn't feel better. Then Scott ordered some of the fries, and I snatched a few, but still I was feeling flat-out intoxicated and wanted to go home.

I had two giant glasses of water and went to bed. I was unable to sleep all night. I tossed and turned for hours. I "woke up" feeling lousy, too. Maybe it was the beer. Maybe it was the raw regimen. Maybe I just had too few calories yesterday. I'm assuming its a combination of all of the above. 

I suppose I could have stayed home and kept to my plan, and avoided the downward spiral that was last night, but part of this week's experience is to answer the question "can this diet fit my lifestyle?" and holing up in my apartment for a week wouldn't really give me a true perspective. 

Still, I'm not defeated, even if I flunked out yesterday. I'm eating a banana and hoping for a raw day 3!

Raw Day 1

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

I woke up at 6:00 am, ate half of a medium grapefruit, slammed a little Vega Sport (love that stuff) and headed to my 6:30 am spin class. (Where I proceeded to drink TWO bottles of water. Man! It was HOT in there!) Afterward I came straight home to have my first raw meal: basic Green Juice from Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet.

It's a combination of celery, greens and cucumber with a touch of ginger and lemon. I took a sip immediately and decided it wasn't going to happen at room temperature. So I threw in some ice cubes. Ahh.. much better.

It actually took me a while to drink the whole juice -- about an hour and a half. I took my time, though, taking little sips as I went about my work. To be honest, I was surprised at how well it filled me up. I certainly had my doubts... "How on earth was a glass of juice going to hold me until lunch time?" I thought. Especially since I'd just had a particularly hard spinning class! But it did!

Around 11:30 or 11:45 I felt the first twinge of hunger, so I grabbed a big glass of sparkling water and prepared my lunch: California Rolls from Raw Food Made Easy.

These rolls are made with nori, chopped vegetables and little tamari for dipping (I suppose you could also use nama shoyu). I actually found them plenty salty on their own and didn't use the tamari. It was also my first time using my new v-blade mandoline slicer and rolling nori/sushi rolls, but I think they came out lookin' pretty good anyway!

I really, really liked these rolls. They reminded me of veggie sushi, only better. I packed in more vegetables than the recipe called for and omitted the tiny bit of required avocado since I wanted to see how they tasted without it. Not only were they delicious without the extra fat, I think the avocado would have drowned out the sweet taste of the carrot and bell pepper which a perfect contrast to the salty nori! I also had enough leftover chopped vegetables to make a third roll, so I did. (FYI The recipe yields double what is pictured). 

Around 2:15 I felt a wee bit peckish so I ate the rest of my grapefruit and then a banana. At 4:30 I felt hungry again but since it was too early to eat dinner, I settled on a large orange and a small (very small!) piece of dark chocolate. 

For dinner, I decided to try my hand at making my own raw pasta. (Really I just wanted an excuse to play with my new spirooli). I used zucchini for my noodles and made a sauce using vine ripe tomatos, herbs and spices. A few bites in I decided to add a little vegan parm on top, which isn't raw, but I really liked the added flavor and cheesiness. (I'll share the pasta recipe with you next week!). 

Lastly, I'd planned on a frozen banana for dessert, but having had a banana after lunch, I decided to save it for another day and make a strawberry shake instead. It was simple as sending frozen strawberries with a cup raw almond milk through my Vita-Mix. Yum!

At no point in my day did I crave or want cooked foods. However, when I was making rice for the pugs, I was momentarily tempted to have some myself (I do love brown rice). Instead I resisted, knowing I wanted it just because it was there and not because I was hungry or craving it. I'm really excited for day two!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on day 1!

Raw Week

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

As some of you may have heard on twitter, I'm going 100% raw this week and a few of my tweeps have joined me! You can call it a cleanse or detox if you'd like but those are not necessarily my motivations for doing this.

Around December I started feeling like I wanted to do a raw cleanse or a raw week. I'd been under so much stress and pressure with the cookbook that I was eating more cooked foods than normal -- my diet consisted mainly of whole wheat bread with jam, bean burritos, bagels -- they were all so much easier and quicker during my busy days. I missed my daily smoothies, juices and gorilla salads and my body did too. I started having digestive issues that were previously just a bad memory and I didn't feel as energetic as I once did.

So, I thought about doing a raw cleanse for the New Year -- that I'd "start the year off right," but of course it wasn't practical. I was going to be on a snowboarding trip in Vermont and still smack in the middle of my cookbook. So, I forgot about it... until now.

What changed? Lately I haven't wanted to eat anything. Have you ever been hungry -- really really hungry -- and NOTHING sounded good to you? That's all I've been feeling.

I've also found myself craving salads in a way I can't describe. For example, Scott made me one of my favorite meals last week and I didn't want it -- I was more interested in the wilting salad in my fridge. Such severe cravings are not normal for me so I knew if there was ever a good time to try this 100% raw thing for a week, it was now. I also have five raw cookbooks that need review, so it just seemed to all come together for me.

Then, of course, I hit a road block. As I sat down to pick out a few raw recipes for this week, I circled back to the problem I've always had with raw food: it's like Atkins for vegans. Everything is so fat-heavy. Tons of nuts, seeds and oil. And while I do enjoy nuts, seeds and avocado from time to time, I have always stayed true to my no oil rule... and I'm not willing to bend on that. What was I going to do? How was I going to be raw like I want and still stay true to my no added fat, low fat diet?

I decided instead of giving up, to look at this as an opportunity to grown and explore raw foods. I decided I would eat a raw diet that is still very low in fat. I'd create my own low fat raw recipes if I needed to. I'd eat more fruit to get the daily calories I needed (instead of eating fat) and I'd just eat more greens and veggies. Of course I'm still working with the cookbooks I need to review, but I'm selecting recipes that are low in fat: green juices, smoothies, vegetable rolls. I'm really excited -- and I hope you enjoy my progress each day.

SO, to make a very long story end... I'm raw this week... and every day I'll be posting what I've eaten -- so I hope you come back and check it out... and weigh in -- I'd love to hear your thoughts~!