Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Road to Raw Food

Yes folks.  I've entered the twilight zone of raw food.  I never thought my healthy eating would go this far but when you spend most of every day in fear of eating something that will make you sick, you are willing to give anything a try.

I've tried the raw food thing once before but I jumped in without a life vest so to speak and nearly drowned in  dehydrating techniques, juicing without a juicer (do not try this at home-you will never eat celery again) and spending too much time soaking and rinsing things that I had never even heard of before.

Perhaps I should explain what the raw food lifestyle is for those of you who are fortunate enough to have never been lured into this cult like way of preparing and eating food.  Raw foodists believe that in order to receive all the nutrients and enzymes that the body needs food must not be heated over a certain temperature (no more than 120 degrees F although there is not an across the board agreement on this). There are other things involved as well, such as how food is prepared, what food to eat, etc.  For most of us who have a hard enough time trying to cook a tv dinner in the microwave without burning it, living a raw food lifestyle would be a real pain in the ass. And that's an understatement.

But when my health started to get bad again I thought I would take another stab at eating raw. This time though I decided to stick my toes in first before immersing myself.  And boy am I glad I did.  Yesterday was my first day and I couldn't believe how easy it was.  First of all, I simply added some raw foods to my meals.  Last night for dinner we had cooked (yeah, that's right-cooked, at a steamy 375 degrees no less) salmon with cooked rice and my now favorite salad of all time..... zucchini salad with sun dried tomatoes!  It was freaking delicious and ridiculously easy to make.  It took me all of ten minutes.  

I used two small zucchinis, a small handful of baby carrots, same for the sun dried tomatoes (Trader Joe's has them now not soaked in oil-fantastic!), 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and of apple cider vinegar, a dab of crushed garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.  

I used a vegetable peeler to slice up the zucchinis lengthwise into strips and placed them in a small bowl.  I shredded the carrots with a cheese grater and cut up the sun dried tomatoes into little bits.  I mixed it all together with the oil, vinegar, garlic and herbs and voila!  It was that easy!  Then I let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. It was so good I would've just had that as my dinner and been satisfied.

Not only did I have this wonderful dish but I made a cucumber "soup" too.  I took one large cucumber, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cup water, a dab or two of minced red onion (this was very strong tasting initially but subsided after sitting in the fridge for a couple hours) salt and pepper to taste and blended it all together in the blender.  Just like that I had soup.  It was very refreshing.  

I should suggest using only organic produce when making these dishes not just for health factors but taste too. I used cucumber and avocado from our local corner store--not organic.  The cucumber tasted like sweaty socks and most of the avocado was rotting inside. It did taste better once blended and since I was just testing things out (and maybe would've been throwing it out too if it didn't come out well) I figured no harm done.  Next time will for sure be organic.

So raw food can be done my friends even for those of us who get turned off at the thought of having to  wield a vegetable peeler. The plus side is I don't feel full and tired.  I feel satiated and less tired.  Maybe going forward I will feel energized.  Only time will tell.

I'm looking forward to lunch! The menu calls for spinach salad with homemade curry dressing.  Mmmm.....

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