Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Over Indulgence, Addiction, and Forgiveness

I went out last night with friends for dinner and I had the whole enchilada – meaning that I did the whole drink (1), appetizer, entree, and dessert! I can’t even tell you the last time that has happened.

It was delicious.

It was indulgent.

It was fun.

It was high vibrational – as most of the food was organic and locally produced.

It was rich.

It was also very, very expensive.

Although my soul was filled, my body was overfull. (I also can’t tell you the last time that’s happened).

I didn’t feel good physically and when I got home, and believe it or not, I found myself noshing on leftover delicata squash (see earlier post). The full sensation – the overfull sensation actually made me want to eat more! Not to mention the sugar in the wine and the (shudder) ice cream sundae with dark chocolate sauce and brandied cherries!

I made the decision to have that meal consciously, knowing that for the next three days I am going to have to monitor my food intake closely. I won’t be counting calories, but I will be extra diligent for sugar. Because now that it’s in my system – just like crack! – the craving is there…. Just an idea. Just a whisper. Just an ever present suggestion: Are you sure you wouldn’t like a little bit more?

I would, actually. But I’m going to pass.

Last night, as I crawled in bed, I murmured the following as I rubbed my tummy, anointing it with lavender:

I apologize
I love you
Please forgive me
Thank you

No self-recriminations, just love. I am the caretaker of my body and I – and I alone – am responsible for it’s condition.

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New Green Smoothie Recipe (Low in Sugar)

I picked this one up from my friend, Kelly Cornell.

It’s sort of different, but it’s rapidly becoming a favorite! Check it out and let me know what you think!

A Dinner That Hit All My Buttons

Every once and a while, I surprise even myself. This was so good that I am immortalizing it here…as I will most certainly want to make this again.

Rainbow Salad with Spinach, Kale and Chard (I made a big salad for 1 as my main course):
Baby spinach (2 cups)
Red chard (2 small leaves, finely chopped)
Lacinta Kale (2 small leaves, finely chopped)
Green cabbage (about a 1/2 cup, finely chopped) – adds crunchiness without the carbs!
1 small carrot, finely shredded
1 small beet, finely shredded
1 Tbs shelled hemp seeds
2 Tbs of sunflower seeds
2 Tbs dulse

Dressing:
1 Tb olive oil
1 Tb Braggs amino acid

That was the first course and would have been fine, but I was feeling particularly decadent.

So, onto dessert!

Roasted Delicata Squash and Tahini
2 Delicata Squash (this way there’s plenty left over), seeded and cubed, unpeeled.
1 Tb Coconut Oil
Cumin to taste

Mix all three ingredients in a roasting pan and roast at 375 degrees. I took it out after 30 minutes or so, but it probably depends on the size of the cubes.

Optional: Serve with 1 Tb tahini to slow the absorption of the sugar in the squash and to add protein.

This was stellar. And gorgeous. Next time I’ll be sure to take a picture.

P.S. When I’m just having the salad, I’ll sometimes add in 1/2 cup of canned organic garbanzo beans.

Perfection in a Glass

No, I haven’t started drinking again! But I have created (for now at least) my all-time favorite raw food recipe: Almond Maca Chia Cacao Shake with Goji Berries and Cacoa Nibs. Though considering that I spend most of my spare time in the kitchen, that – I am sure – is subject to change! 🙂

This all started earlier this summer, when I had a Chocolate Maca shake at Planet Raw, this phenomenal raw food restaurant in Santa Monica, California. It came out in a 16 ounce tumbler, lightly dressed with nuts, goji berries, and cacao nibs – and it was heavenly. Not only was it delicious and ridiculously good for you, it also had the additional benefit of the maca/cacao buzz.

(If you’re familiar with maca – which is a peruvian superfood with slight psychedelic properties – you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not, it’s sort of hard to explain, but I’d recommend that you try it. Without putting too fine a point on it, it’s sort of like malt, with benefits. Mix that with a little raw cacao and you’re in for a supersonic treat!)

Anyway, I digress.

Since then, as you might imagine, I have been trying to replicate it with more or less success.

But the big breakthrough came with the Almond Maca Chia Cacao Shake I came up with a couple weeks ago. It was pretty close. The chia gel gives the shake a nice consistency – whereas the one at Planet Raw relied on coconut meat.

(Though I might use coconut meat too if I could figure out how to open one!)

But since I love nothing more than playing in the kitchen, the recipe continues to evolve – so maybe I should have called this post – Nearing Perfection in a Glass.

Almond Maca Chia Cacao Shake with Goji Berries and Cacoa Nibs (1 serving)

1 cups almond milk (I used Almond Breeze, Unsweetened Chocolate – though I’m sure it would be better if I made my own)
3 Tbs chia gel
1 Tb maca
1 Tb chocolate rice protein powder
1 Tb raw cacao powder
1 Tb dried goji berries
1 Tb psyllium husk (or Yerba Prima Colon Care, which is much finer)
cinnamon, to taste
vanilla, to taste
5 drops chocolate stevia
8 ice cubes

Blend together in a high speed blender! Garnish with raw cacao nibs and goji berries and enjoy!

Note: although this may look/sound like dessert, it can definitely be used for a meal replacement. It’s chock full of protein (close to 15 grams), fiber (close to ten grams), and essential fats – not to mention all of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the cacao, the goji berries, and the maca.

Peanut Butter Cups – Raw, Easy and Delicious

I love chocolate and I love peanut butter.

When you think about it, what’s NOT to love?

But I don’t like the sugar hit that traditional chocolate peanut butter cups give me. They taste great, but sometimes you have to think about how the food that you eat is going to make you feel two hours later, not to mention two days later when you’re still fighting sugar crazing – you know, that was actually a typo, but it’s so apropos, I think I’ll leave it!

So here’s what I came up with.

I originally saw a similar recipe on Alissa Cohen’s blog, but I ended up experimenting – big surprise.

KJ’s Version of the Old You’ve Got Peanut Butter in My Chocolate Classic – Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients:

1 cup raw organic cacao
1 cup of cold pressed virgin coconut oil (melted; it becomes liquid at 79 degrees [or something like that] so you don’t have to heat it much, if any!)
1/4 cup of agave nectar
6-10 drops of chocolate stevia (or to taste; don’t do too much or you’ll get a strange after taste)
cinnamon, 1 – 2 tsp (or more; I like lot, so chances are I put in more)
organic vanilla, 1 tsp (or more, to taste)

raw organic peanut butter (or almond butter, or cashew butter….)

Whisk all of the ingredients – except the nut butter – until smooth.

Spray an ice tray or two with non-stick cooking spray (I know, I can hear Susan Powter as I type talking about the propellent in cooking spray, but what can you do?).

Spoon in about a T of chocolate into each ice cube space (the batch I made yesterday made about 20 pieces, but you might want to do one tray first and then start a second tray if you have any left over).

Let the chocolate set up for a few minutes; it shouldn’t take long.

Spoon in a rounded 1/8 teaspoon (or a 1/4 teaspoon depending on your chocolate:peanut butter taste ratio preference) into each cube space, then cover with remaining chocolate sauce.

If you have left over chocolate, start a second tray.

Put in the freezer overnight and you’re done!

Pop those puppies out in the morning and store them in an airtight container.

Now, the only caveat is you have to leave these in the fridge or freezer, because the coconut oil isn’t particularly stable – remember that 79 degree melting point? However, that said, they’ll stay good for a month or more (if they last that long) and if you keep them in the freezer, no one will know they’re there but you!

Reboot Camp Snack: KJ’s Kickin’ Kale Chips

Since part of my reboot involves in drastically limiting the almond and nut butters that cross these lips, I decided that I really had to do something with all of that kale I had in the fridge that didn’t require slathering in it tahini and nutritional yeast before putting it in the dehydrator – no matter how tasty it is that way!

I had tried a couple of other kale chip recipes and wasn’t a fan.

So, last night, I decided to make my own:

KJ’s Kickin’ Kale Chips

1 massive bunch of organic Kale (the big curly kind)
5 Tbs of olive oil (I am actually trying to increase my intake here, so it’s okay)
1 Tb agave nectar
1 tsp of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
ground cumin, to taste
cayenne, a pinch or less, to taste
Braggs Amino Acids, a couple of shakes, to taste

Cut the stems out of your kale, then tear into bite sized pieces. Place in a large stainless steel mixing bowl.

Then add all of the other ingredients, massaging them into the kale. The more massage, the better your flavor will eventually be!

Toss into the dehydrator, directly onto the screens and dehydrate for 8 hours at 105 degrees (or until nice and crispy). I put mine in and left them overnight so I’m assuming it was about 8 hours!

Enjoy!

Recipe: Almond Maca Chia Cacao Shake

More fun with chia seeds! It’s amazing how creative you can get when that’s one of your only three acceptable snack options!

Almond Maca Chia Cacao Shake (2 servings)

2 cups almond milk (I used Almond Breeze, Unsweetened Chocolate)
1 Tbs soaked chia seeds
1 Tbs maca
1 Tbs ground flax seeds
cinnamon, to taste
2 teaspoons of agave nectar (or 5 drops chocolate stevia and 1 tsp of agave nectar).
8 ice cubes

Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend!

I drank one for my morning snack and will have the other as my afternoon snack. Yum-my!

Recipe: Black Bean and Corn Salad (Gluten-Free)

The other day I realized that I still had 36 cans of organic black beans left over from the case-lot sale last October – that is, before I decided to go mostly raw.

I also realized I had a ton of fresh corn in the fridge, thanks to the local CSA.

Given that black beans are really good for you and I hate to waste food, I found myself dusting off my cookbooks – you know, the ones where you actually cook – and pouring over the pages until I found something that I thought might do the trick.

The winner: Anne Lindsay’s Black Bean and Corn Salad (slightly modified, of course)!

1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 sweet red bell pepper
2 cups raw corn kernels
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green onions
4 tbs chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

Dressing:

3 Tbs rice or cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp organic brown mustard (or Dijon)
1/4 tsp each of agave nectar, sea salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tsp each of water and vegetable oil (I actually forgot this part and didn’t notice until I was typing it up, so that leads me to believe that it’s optional!)

1. In a bowl, combine beans, red pepper, corn, celery, onions, and coriander.
2. Dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, agave, sea salt, and pepper; whisk in water and oil. Pour over salad and stir to mix.

Makes 8 servings

calories: 117
protein: 6 grams
total fat: 2 grams (unless, of course, you forget the oil, like I did!)
saturated fat: trace
carbohydrates: 21 grams
fiber: 4 grams
sodium: 204 milligrams

This was quite tasty and I’m sure that I’ll make it again. I mean, after all, I still have 34 cans of beans in the basement!

Regardless, I served it with fresh tomato and cucumber slices. Water-based. Easy. Beautiful. and Tasty! An all around win.

Enjoy!

Packing up the kitchen, uhm, I mean, the suitcase

I am traveling again. This time to Atlanta – downtown Atlanta, not one of the cute little neighborhoods with fun shops, boutiques, and grocery stores. But to the empty, deserted, hotel and restaurant infested part of the city.

So, as always – and even a little more so than always – I am packing my own food. And, as per usual, it looks like I’m going to be bringing more food than clothes!

The list, so far:

Susan’s Kale Chips 2.0

1 bag of Organic Baby Spinach
1 box of cherry tomatoes
1 gallon sized bag of chopped veggies: broccoli, carrots, turnips, and zucchini
Enough Chocolate Rice and Protein Powder for at least 4 shakes
3-4 avocados
Energy bars
Psyllium Husk
Spirulina
Almond butter

Kitchen utensils:
1 spoon
1 travel sponge
1 large cup
1 travel-sized Magic Bullet Blender

I’m sure I’m forgetting something; as I almost always do!

So, why am I bringing all of this food – particularly since I have lunch and dinner dates planned every day that I am there?

The powders, the spinach, and the avocados (or maybe the almond butter, depending on my mood) are all for breakfast. If I don’t have MY breakfast, the day is pretty much shot for food for me. If I don’t start off with my regular 60+ gram protein BOMB, I can pretty much count on a bad eating day. When I do start the day off with a shake, no matter where I am, I am more sated, I am more grounded, and I am much more likely to be in control of my eating (as opposed to the other way around).

And as someone who is 85% (more or less) raw vegan, it’s hard to get a satisfying meal out. Most restaurants’ idea of a big salad (see earlier post on this topic) wouldn’t feed a rabbit! So instead of being all weird about it, I’ve decided to just go and order a salad (where possible) and eat it. Even if it’s not particularly satisfying, I know that I have PLENTY of nutrition in my room to fall back on. Using this approach, “eating out” with friends will really be more like “hanging out.” Eat a little salad, drink a little water – then go back to my room for my real lunch or, as the case may be, dinner.

Now, even though Atlanta – at least the part I am going to me in – is not that diet friendly, there is a Legal Sea Food, which does have a pretty generous Gluten-Free Menu. Given that gluten-free is the mandatory condition and the raw/vegan is just the preference, I should be in pretty good shape on Saturday night – as that’s where my very understanding friend made reservations. And, believe it or not, Atlanta also has a Raw Restaurant! It’s not downtown, but it’s only a MARTA ride away. As it turns out, I have a chunk of time available on Saturday, so I’ll definitely be checking that out for lunch! And as a service to raw aficionados everywhere, I’ll be sure to let you know!

Late to the Party As Always: “Cheezy” Kale Chips

I spend a lot of time on websites dedicated to the joys of raw food and I have seen dozens, if not hundreds, of references to Kale Chips.

Though I love kale and I love chips, I really hadn’t put the two together – until about a week ago.

Mama, I think I’m in love!

Kale chips! Who knew? Other than the thousands of raw foodists and other health enthusiasts out there who haven been blogging about these culinary delights for months, if not years!

My current favorite recipe for Kale Chips comes from the book, Raw Food Cleanse, by Penni Shelton, who just happens to be from my hometown and the founder of Raw Food Rehab. Without any copy right infringement meant, here it goes:

Susan’s Kale Chips 2.0

2 heads of curly kale, de-stemmed and cut into large chunks
3/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
1/4 cup Bragg apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic

Place all ingredients except kale in a food processor (or high speed blender) and run until well blended. Massage this mixture into the kale. Dry in dehydrator at 105 degrees until very crunchy!

EnjoY!

The Flavor of the Week: Avocado, Cacao, and Spinach…

…what’s not to like?

I have loved ice cream my entire life. It’s ironic that I lost 90 pounds while working at a Baskin Robbins. It wasn’t due to lack of desire, trust me. I just had stronger will power back then!

Since I’ve gone vegan (and soy free to just to make things really hard) I’ve been playing with the blender with as much enthusiasm as any mad scientist in her lab.

If given a choice, I would live on smoothies – or protein shakes. Or Ginger Lime Blasts. You name it, if it’s wet and cold, I’m all over it.

Especially in the summer.

This week’s concoction – or, as they used to say at Baskin Robbins, this “Flavor of the Week” – is totally decadent.

It’s super filling. It’s unbelievably healthy. It makes at least 16 ounces (did I mention that I still struggle with portion control?) and it’s chocolate. If I was going to describe it, I would say it’s half milkshake, half mousse.

KJ’s Flavor of the Week

1 scoop of Chocolate Rice Powder
1 scoop psyllium husk
lots of cinnamon (at least two teaspoons)
1/2 of an avocado
1 red chard leaf or a handful of spinach (or both)
1 cup of cold water
10-12 drops of Dark Chocolate Liquid Stevia
6-7 ice cubes

Process all of the ingredients in a high speed blender. Enjoy!

This is so filling and so, so yummy!

Tons of protein, tons of fiber, tons of essential fats, tons of yum! If you haven’t tried the avocado, cacao, dark leafy green combo, trust me, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Refurbishing Old Favorites: KJ’s Raw “Rice” Salad

One of the things that transitioning to a majority raw diet has taught me is that you need to be able to eat at least some of the things that you used to love when you were eating cooked food.

Sometimes that means just going ahead and eating it, as I did the other night when I had a delicious part-cooked part-raw meal at my friend Meg Maker’s house or as I did last night, when I met some former students for dinner at the Elephant Walk.

Other times, however, it means learning to refashion (or even refurbish) old cooked favorites.

A couple of weeks ago, I started thinking about a salad that a friend of mine used to make in graduate school. It wasn’t a traditional salad, as its base ingredient was cooked sushi rice. I believe the ingredients were rice, vinegar, avocado, crumbled nori sheets, and cucumber. I’m pretty sure that it came from one of the Moosewood Cookbooks and may have been called Sushi Salad or something like that.

Well, I’ve been thinking about that salad a lot, and this is what I came up with:

KJ’s “Rice Salad”

Ingredients:

2 cups cauliflower, “riced” in the high speed blender or food processor
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 – 1 small avocados, diced
1 medium carrot, finely grated
6 – 8 stalks of baby asparagus, snapped into pieces (optional)
1 tomato, diced (optional)
2 Tablespoons of raw organic dulse flakes (or crumbled nori sheets)
Sesame oil, to taste
Braggs amino acid, to taste

Directions:

Rice the cauliflower by cutting it small bite size pieces, then hitting the pulse button until you have reached desired consistency.

Add all of your other ingredients in layers, then drizzle on the sesame oil and the Braggs amino acids, to taste.

Gently toss to mix the flavors.

It’s fast, easy, delicious, healthy, and absolutely gorgeous. What more could you want?

Enjoy!

Eat more fat and eat less, period?

For the last couple of years, I’ve been told about the importance of eating high quality fats for weight loss (not to mention overall health more generally). And though it made sense, intellectually, I just couldn’t get myself to do it. I mean, I’ve had a bottle of Udo’s 3-6-9 tablets in the fridge for well over two years and I may have – maybe – taken about a third of them.

A few weeks ago, I went to a nutritionist, who wanted to see a list of everything that had gone into my mouth for a week. SInce I was still counting calories then (more on my experiences not counting calories to come) I had a very detailed account of what I had been eating, not just for a week, but for months (if not years).

After about ten minutes of flipping through print outs she asked, “Where are you getting your fat from?”

I looked at her sort of funny and said, “Well, as you can see, I eat a lot of tahini. It used to be peanut butter, but I can’t control myself around that. I had switched to almond butter, because I didn’t like it as much and then eventually got to be just as much as a trigger food as peanut butter. Now it’s tahini.”

She flipped through another few pages. “Do you eat olive oil? Fish? Flax?”

Uhm, not really. Mainly I had stopped eating all of that stuff because my nut butter compulsions were so out of control.

Her suggestion: Maybe the reason I can’t control myself around peanut butter, almond butter, and (while not quite as bad as the other two) tahini is that I’m fat deficient.

To be honest, I almost laughed.

Until she started giving me the symptoms associated with fat deficiency: constipation, dry hair, brittle nails, dry skin, fatigue, depression, anxiety – you name it, I have been experiencing it.

Prescription: eat more fat.

More to the point: eat a wider spectrum of fats.

Since I met with her I have really upped my fat intake and, importantly, reduced my nut and seed butter intake dramatically. So instead of eating nut butters and or tahini straight out of the jar and feeling like an out of control pig in the process, I am consciously adding fat to every meal.

To my morning smoothie, which is heavy on the rice protein, raw cacao, and dark leafy greens, I am adding 1 tablespoon of Barlean’s Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Essential Oils for Women. (If you haven’t tried this stuff, it is so good that you could eat it – literally – off the spoon or as a topping for ice cream. Seriously, it’s that good!)

To my lunch, I have added an avocado.

For my snack, I am having 1, if not 2, tablespoons of coconut butter. (If you haven’t tried this either, get some, as it is truly divine. I am not kidding, it is absolutely heavenly!) This particular brand comes in regular, which is just straight coconut and in chocolate – aptly named Raw Organic Cacao Bliss, which is coconut and raw cacao. Either way, it’s delicious. It’s a bit hard to deal with in the summer months because it goes liquid at 72 degrees, but where there’s a will, there’s a way! And trust me, its inconsistent consistency hasn’t stopped me yet. Again, delicious straight off the spoon, off my finger, or as a spread.

For dinner? Well, it depends. Sometimes it’s more avocado. Sometimes it’s sesame oil. Sometimes it’s flax seed. Sometimes it’s olive oil.

Bottom line: I am now eating essential fats at every meal.

And guess what? I’m no longer binging on peanut butter, almond butter, or tahini. In fact, it’s been days since I’ve had any of those things and I haven’t even missed them!

As someone who has counted calories (and fat) for years and who has tendencies to binge on high fat foods, the notion of adding fat purposefully and consciously into my diet not only seemed counter-intuitive, but also scary. However, it’s eliminated the binging and, more importantly, all of the subsequent guilt, self-abuse, and self-ridicule.

And how has this affected the scale, you might be wondering?

Well, I couldn’t tell you, because in addition to ditching the calorie counting, I also have stopped weighing myself. But it appears – by sight, by the fit of my clothes, and by the number on the measuring tape – that Barlean’s claim to be an “approved belly fat cure” may not be as overstated as I originally thought.

Got fat?

Eat Dessert First

Not a first, tonight I opted to have dinner in the form of dessert! Yum!

I swear, about half of my recipes these days comes straight from Gena Hamshaw’s amazing blog, Choosing Raw! Without a doubt, hers are some of the easiest, most beautiful, and most delicious recipes on the web!

Seems hard to believe

Men get peanut butter and pizza sauce while women get flaxseed and tofu?

What’s wrong with this picture?

Though, to tell you the truth, I’d take flaxseed over pizza sauce almost any day of the week!

More to the point, if I were eating meat, I’d certainly take buffalo over oysters!

Getting back on the horse

Two days ago, I was in the middle of a binge. It was the first one I’d had in months – a quick look at my electronic food diary revealed that the last one happened earlier this year on Monday, March 29.

For that one, I had an excuse, sort of.

If you recall, I was trapped in an airplane and hadn’t had any vegetables to speak of for several days. I went nuts – figuratively and literally on raw flax bread and almond butter.

It wasn’t pretty. And I felt like crap for at least two days after the fact.

This last Thursday, I had no such excuse. Other than I was completely stressed out and instead of choosing to manage my state, I surrendered to (well, in fact, I pretty much invited them in) all of my old standbys. In other words, I stuffed my face and didn’t think to clearly or consciously about what was really going on.

In the space of two hours, I had my lunch, my snack, and four high energy protein bars. Yes, you read that correctly: four. Not one. Not two. Not three. But FOUR! It was really over the top.

What was even more over the top is that I had another one in my hand. And I was actually thinking, “Well, if I eat these other SIX, this will never happen again.”

Thank goodness something – still not sure what it was (unless maybe it was a gag reflex) – snapped me out of it.

My normal routine following such a feeding frenzy would have been to beat myself both mentally and at the gym and probably skip dinner to boot.

This time, I decided to take a different tack. This time, I decided to forgive myself.

In fact, I ate dinner (albeit a very clean dinner of cauliflower rice [dressed with a touch of sesame seed oil and Braggs amino acid] and raw asparagus) and I went to bed, without exercise. It was a conscious choice not to exercise, because I wasn’t sure that I would be able to do it in a way where I wouldn’t be punishing my body for my mind’s bad behavior.

The only thing that I regret about that decision is that I didn’t do yoga – not because of anything to do my body (though one could argue that yoga always does a body good), but because of the potential it would have had for quieting the mind.

The day had been so bad – and there had been so much negative energy thrown at me from so many quarters – when I finally managed to go to sleep, I had nightmares. In fact, they so were bad that I woke Michael J up screaming! (As he pointed out to me the next morning, the reason you do yoga before bed is to calm the negative energy so that you can sleep more restfully.)

Even though I had nightmares – which could have very easily resulted in one or both of us getting a black eye – I did sleep over 10 hours, a sure sign that I needed it.

Yesterday, I decided that I had to get back on the horse.

In other words, no matter how bad the day before had been, there was no excuse for 1) engaging in negative self talk that might lead me back down the previous black hole or 2) continuing to overeat.

In the spirit of nurturing myself (because obviously the binge was my body – if not my mind – crying out for attention), I began to let go of things that were no longer serving me. I canceled all of my appointments that could be canceled without harming someone else, I discharged one of my pressing work obligations, I moved deadlines, I changed the things that I found myself consistently complaining about, and I made sure that I had plenty of fun, healthy food. In fact, in addition to my old favorites, which I may getting a bit bored with actually, I also tried @choosingraw’s Broccoli Hummus recipe, which, I must say, is absolutely divine. (Note: If you’re raw and you’re looking for a hummus recipe that doesn’t have tahini and a ton of olive oil, look no further!)

I also went for a walk and soaked up the sun, choosing to focus on my mental health (I took time out of my walk to watch the neighbors’ horses frolicking in the field) and increasing my Vitamin D than on burning off the calories that I had consumed the day before.

It was a nice gentle day and even though my tummy may be a little bigger than it was three days ago, I (the physical, the mental, and the emotional parts of me) felt loved and nourished.

This morning, I exercised normally and for the first time in a long time it just felt like good, honest exercise. It didn’t feel like I was punishing myself or, worse, like I was mad at my body. It felt good. It felt a lot like what I imagined it must have felt like for those horses who were playing joyously in the sun warmed grass.

Today I feel back to normal.

It took two days to feel physically better after consuming nearly the double of my typical intake of sugar.

It took two days to feel mentally better about the decisions I made (on Thursday) and all of the the ones prior that led up to it.

It took two days to feel emotionally better after coming to terms with the stressors in my life that I had pushed aside up until the point where my body forced me to listen.

Am I glad that I consumed 1,000 calories in less than 20 minutes? Not really.

But I am glad that I realized that the binge was a reflection on the state of my life – as opposed to the state of my body.

And I am glad I realized that there are things that I can do (and, as noted, have already begun to do) to make sure that days like Thursday become fewer and further between.

Wow – binge alert

I am in a full fledged binge. Talk about being far from one’s highest self.

I hope that just putting it out there will break the cycle.

I am going to take a deep breath, jettison some stress, and forgive myself as quickly and with as much heart felt sincerity as I can possibly muster.

Wish me luck.

Finally, a woman who knows how to make a salad!

One of the things I really dislike about trying to eat raw out is the sad definitions that non-raw people have of salads.

Even if you say – without any equivocation whatsoever – that you want a big salad, you’re still likely to get something that looks like something that wouldn’t satiate a six year old.

Indeed, my best results have come when I’ve actually brought my own food (that is, avocados and sunflower seeds) to dress up whatever meager offerings they’ve brought.

My favorite story about trying to order a raw dinner salad is thus:

KJ: I would like a large salad – -I mean huge – with all raw vegetables – anything you have is great. Any and all veggies – as long as it’s raw. Charge me whatever you will. I don’t care if it’s $25.00.

Server: Would you like grilled asparagus?

KJ: No, nothing grilled. Raw asparagus is fine. In fact, it would be great.

Server: You want raw asparagus? As in uncooked? You can’t possibly want that.

KJ: Actually, I do. Raw asparagus would be awesome, in fact.

She looked at me like I had just sprouted raw asparagus from my head!

Salad comes out: no asparagus.

Instead, I am offered a veritable feast of two scant cups of spinach, about a 1/2 cup of broccoli, 4 mushrooms, 4 tomato wedges (not even full quarters), 1/8 cup of grated carrots, and two decorative radishes.

Yum (as an appetizer…maybe).

I whip out my avocado and nuts and the waitress looks downright offended: “We have avocados in the kitchen. Would you like one?”

KJ: “No, I’ll use mine.” What part of any and all fresh vegetables did you not understand?!

Next time, I think I’ll just take a copy of this blog post to show the restaurant industry the difference between a side salad and a dinner salad! It might save everyone a lot of hassle, not to mention a couple of servings of raw indignation.

As if I needed more reasons to eat avocados!

You gotta love the internet!

Avocados, a staple in Mexico and Central and South America, were considered an aphrodisiac by the Aztecs, who called the pear-shaped fruit ahuacate. Avocados were first grown in the U.S. early in 20th century.

In the 1920s, farmers changed the name to avocado because ahuacate was difficult for Americans to pronounce. Worse yet, it is the Aztec word for testicle. As it turns out, the ancient Aztecs may have been onto something!

Just in case you ever need a little extra incentive to dive head first into a bucket of guacamole – I know I certainly don’t – keep reading….

A little less airy fairy and a little more substance

For the last month or so I have not felt much like myself.

It’s been hard to concentrate – to the point that expressing a single, coherent thought sometimes seemed like a challenge. Needless to say, teaching has been quite the experience this term 😉

I began looking into what’s changed for me recently.

Additional stress? Check.

Getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep? Not at all.

Competing demands in my most salient and committed social roles? You bet.

Changed absolutely everything about my diet (that is going from maybe 30 to 95% raw) in the the last six months? Yep.

Changed my body at a biophysical level? That too.

The weird thing is that I actually feel great. Post the 10 Week Transformation Program with Rose Cole, which included a 31 day cleanse, I have a lot more energy, fewer blood sugar spikes, fewer cravings (except for that week where Michael J and I went on a slight raw honey binge), and when I do sleep, it’s always deep and restful.

So, what could be the problem?

Yesterday, Michael J forwarded me a link to Laura Bruno’s blog. Laura Bruno is a professional intuitive who has helped people deal with cancer, addictions, endocrine imbalances, grief, infections, fibromyalgia, stroke, and weight loss. Her specialties include diet and herbal remedies, menopause, communication, soul readings, illnesses that baffle doctors, dream interpretation, and finding blessings in times of crisis.

I must admit, my initial reaction was you’re a what?! But as I tamped down my skepticism of anything that smacks even remotely of “woo-woo,” the following paragraph practically jumped off the page:

Sometimes raw foodists have a difficult time staying “grounded.” They enjoy the clarity and high of 100% raw food but after awhile start feeling spacey, out of body or generally disconnected from “the real world.” If this describes you, then eating locally can help in two ways. First, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you will drastically reduce the amount of airy fairy yin foods in your diet because bananas, coconuts and cacao don’t grow in Pennsylvania or New Hampshire. Or England. Second, eating food grown within 1-50 miles of where you live anchors you to that locale. Raw foodies like to say, “You are what you eat.” Indeed, you are also “Where you eat.” If you have trouble with “Be here now,” try working in some local goodies. It really does help!

Hmph. A professional intuitive? Who knew? I certainly didn’t.

But what I do know now is she’s got one more dedicated reader!

Luckily for me, we’re finally heading into spring in my little corner of the world, so a lot of the foods that I naturally like to eat – kale, chard, etc. – are coming in locally. Hopefully this means that things will start looking up.

However, until spring has fully sprung, I will do my best to start incorporating more macrobiotic principles into the diet – even if it’s something as simple as remembering to better chew my food.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted either way and do my best to keep my head out of the clouds and my feet firmly planted on the ground.