Sunday, July 29, 2012

Raw Vacation update

Temptations are everywhere. Saturday night it was vegan pizza at a farewell party for a friend. I indulged. Still, I feel like I'm doing alright on my raw vacation, having stocked up on supplies for raw tacos (ala Matt Amsden's book Rawvolution), smoothies, and assorted snacks. Today Jezebel and I made raw raisin bread, raw buckwheat cereal, and Annie Phyo's Acai Cheezecake. If I make a few raw staples each day of my vacation, I will hopefully have enough on hand to endure how busy I am when I return to work. It will entail spending a good part of each weekend preparing foods for the week. It's discipline, but all the same the house smells great with the dehydrator going and already I feel a clarity in my head I don't normally have on just a vegetarian diet.

The location of the dehydrator in this new house is an issue. It's an enormous one from 20 years ago and the only place in my little kitchen that it will fit is right on top of the stovetop, which effectively puts the stovetop out of use for anything else. I don't cook much normally anyway, so for now it will have to do.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Return to Raw...

I'm taking a week off for vacation next week and decided I would do my own "spa-cation" with it, returning at least for a week to a raw diet of pure vegan foods. Today, Monday of the week before, is my baby steps day: For lunch I packed cherries, a green smoothie, and a bottle of fresh hemp milk. So far so good, though I'm craving raw *solids* -- all those wonderful crackers, cheeses, and main dishes I used to make with such dedication way back when I was on my sabbatical. It's a good thing that *that's* what I'm craving, but in lieu of all the stocking up and prep I need to do in order to make this raw lifestyle work again, tonight will probably be some vegetarian cooked fare. Not horrible, as far as dietary regimens go, but not crazy health-licious either. I'll be at home the whole week, dedicating myself to pure-liciousness. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hopping on the Wagon Again

Slowly but surely bad things crept into my diet: first the raw foods diminished, replaced by relatively healthy vegan food. Then there was the discovery of City O'City vegan desserts here in Denver -- vegan Ho Ho cupcakes, scout cookies, carrot cake, scones. And, what was to become my comfort food, City O' City's BBQ tofu sandwich ("The Sherman"), with the tofu, I think, fried, and sometimes ordered with a side of fries. So fried foods came back into my diet, along with processed sugars and grains. Coffee became an indulgence and an addiction, driving through Starbuck's each morning before work, intoxicated by the wafting scent coming out of the window as I drove up.

At first the changes in my health and well-being were negligible, but gradually as I got further and further away from that wagon, the health effects became more noticeable. Gradual weight gain, so gradual I didn't really noticed it until I crept up near 140 lbs. My skin had almost constant breakouts, usually timed with my menstrual cycle, but something I had not experienced while raw. Mood swings became more severe. Of course there were other factors: the stress of a new job, a divorce, moving to a new state, my mother's death. Enough to throw anyone's equilibrium off, certainly. Still, I couldn't help but feel like my body was craving clean foods again and clean energy.

So, this weekend I hopped back on the wagon. I'll stick to the following rules (very similar to the ones I stuck to during my most dedicated time period) for at least a month to see how I fare:
  • Raw foods at home, lots of green smoothies
  • If I go out to eat, I can eat cooked food, but must avoid processed sugars, processed grains, and fried foods
  • I will try to minimize coffee without sacrificing work productivity. Ie, I'll drink it if I feel I really need the energy boost and will try to switch to green tea over time, perhaps eliminating caffeine altogether if I don't need it
Today is day three of the regimen. Yesterday I had a caffeine withdrawal headache and slept quite a bit. Today I feel alert without having yet had any caffeine. Let's see how productive I can be...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

On Falling Off the Wagon...

I've fallen seriously off the raw wagon. I couldn't very well call myself "high raw" anymore. I'm more "low raw." I can't even say I'm eating all that well. I feel best when I'm mostly raw and hopefully when my life sorts itself out again I can get back to it.

It's been a period of high stress in my life: major life changes are afoot. I've managed to drink at least one green smoothie on most days and I eat a lot of Pure Cherry Cashew bars (which are raw, but I'm not sure they should be such a staple of my diet -- I literally go through boxes a week). Beyond that, I drink coffee everyday (Triple Venti Soy Latte please) and often oatmeal in the morning. When I make it myself, it's with steel cut or stone ground oats and full of good (if cooked) stuff like raisins, date sugar or bananas, unsweetened soy milk and cinnamon. If I get it when I get my Triple Venti Soy Latte, it's Starbuck's instant oatmeal ripoff that they charge 2.50 for. Still, I buy it because I'm in a hurry, it's the only thing I'm sure is vegan, and probably lower on the processed sugar than other potential options(though I'm sure I'm getting too much in their soy milk, which is sweetened, and in the dried fruits they give me for the oatmeal). For dinner, I often either eat handfuls of nuts (roasted! gasp!) or Trader Joe's Dal Makhni with Garlic Naan (bleached flour! double gasp!).

I've managed to stay vegan though...well, except for the cookie that was presented to me during a job interview that clearly had been purchased specifically for my visit. I ate the cookie. I have to admit, I'm still wrestling with that. My vegan morals clearly need some work.

Monday, February 8, 2010

More Video

I know, I know, this has nothing to do with the purported purpose of this blog. So sue me :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Raw Truth...

I haven't posted here in months -- I'm still mostly raw and entirely vegan, but I've slipped on and off the wagon. Coffee is my main naughty vice. It's been a stressful period -- thus the dietary wavering and lack of posts. I did, however, make a little video. And, while the video below isn't about raw veganism, it is, as the title above suggests, the raw truth. Enjoy :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

118 Degrees Restaurant, Costa Mesa

It's been ages since I've updated this blog, and speaking of ages, midlife keeps rolling steadily along. Today we celebrated my 43rd birthday two days early with a visit to my current favorite restaurant, 118 Degrees.

Here's Jezebel, Christina and I in the backseat on the way to the restaurant:

The tone for 118 Degrees is set right from the moment you enter the parking lot, where each space is adorned with phrases like "Remain Calm" and "Simplify."
The first time I went there, I didn't look closely and thought they were reserved parking spots. Clearly, I need to learn to "pay attention" and "be present."

Here's a photo of the family outside the restaurant (that really didn't need a caption, but there you go).

Although it is a raw restaurant, they do serve coffee. One intriguing concoction combined coffee with cacao, cayenne and lime. Christina and Di opted for plain coffee with hemp milk. As you can see, the hemp milk captivated Di first with its swirling patterns and then with its taste. She ended up swigging it straight from the pitcher.

Jezebel ordered this cacao drizzled buckwheat cereal in nut milk. As she put it, "If you see chocolate, eat it." Well said.

I ordered the same appetizer and entree I'd had on my previous visit, the "Fried" Avocado Mini Tostada (Crispy Buckwheat Shell, Spicy Peppita Sauce, Chopped Spinach, Cilantro, Corn and Fried Avocado) and the Living Lasagna (Layers of Marinated Italian Vegetables, Creamy Ricotta and Sweet Basil Marinara. Topped with Crispy Tomato). Unfortunately I kept forgetting to take a photo before I dug into them.

Di had fondue for dessert and I ordered the Pecan Chai Truffles. To apply Jezebel's profound depth and wisdom: "If you see truffles, eat them."

On our way out, we snapped this photo of Di and Christina. Di indulged so thoroughly that Christina was heard to comment during the meal, "I don't think it's your birthday Sandra, it's Di's."