Today I embarked on the ultimate Radventure: eating nothing but 100% raw food for a whole day.
Going into it, I was excited to eat abundant amounts of all my favorite produce, but I was also nervous that it would come as a great shock to my system.
Not so. If anything, I feel better than I normally do, aside from a wee headache that has been fading in and out since lunch. I'm going to go ahead and attribute that to caffeine withdrawal, though. You don't go from a daily consumption of a large coffee + two green teas to nothin' overnight and get away with it.
Energy-wise, however, the green juice I made this morning (kale, lettuce, carrot, apple + ginger) did me right fine. No caffeine necessary. I powered through a 45-minute Jillian Michaels video and chugged through the rest of the day with similar energy. I forgot to photograph the juice, but you wouldn't have seen much anyway--it was hiding in an aluminum water bottle.
Raw breakfast went well again today...
I started off with a banana for the "meat" of my AM meal. Having learned my lesson from yesterday, I decided just to eat fruit as I became hungry, as opposed to washing it all at once and piling it on my desk for insurance purposes.
The banana held me for about an hour, at which point I moved on to a couple of plums (Question: what do you call the yellow kind? Shiro?). I don't recommend eating plums at your desk, unless you'd like to cover every surface with sticky plum juice, but thankfully they're small and don't last much more than two or three bites when faced with my big pie-hole.
By this time, I thought I might make it to lunch without getting hungry again, but it turns out my tummy did ask for just a wee bit more to last me until a "proper" lunch time.
Some blueberries did the trick. They are also much more of an appropriate finger food when trying to work simultaneously while eating. Duly noted.
The salad I'd prepared for lunch was very similar to the one I ate each day last week (you have to do a lot of repeats when un-cooking for one!), but with a certain notable tweak. Can you see it?
Well, maybe you would if I wasn't trying to make you go blind staring at cell phone photos. The salad was made of lettuce, corn, carrots, cherry tomatoes, dulse and the not-so-secret ingredient: juice pulp! It certainly does nothing for the aesthetics of the meal, so I was worried I might have a gag reflex, but when shaken up with everything else, along with the homemade dijon-cider dressing from last week, it was really good! Kind of like concentrated veggie flavor sprinkled throughout. I liked it.
Despite my eats being so different from my norm, my tummy asked for a snack right on time as per my former routine. Out came the 4 o'clock Lara Bar.
I do believe I've tried all of the new flavors now! The Tropical Fruit Tart was good, but I doubt I'd buy it again, based on my personal taste preferences. I could definitely taste the dominant flavors in the bar (pineapple, coconut and orange), but I kept wishing the pineapple and orange would leave me alone so I could be alone with the coconut! Sounds like I should stick to Coconut Cream Pie flavor from now on, eh?
But don't think I didn't go shopping today just because there was no Union Square Greenmarket on. Why, Whole Foods is but a hopskipandjump from my office! So it was there that I did my damage for the day.
Organic limes and lemons, raw cashews, organic carrots, organic avocados, natural floss and enough ginger to make Fred jealous.
Incidentally, I used none of that to make dinner. I was just hoarding, as one does when one in fact has no reason to believe she'll go hungry...I come by that trait naturally. Thanks, Mom.
Indeed, I'd purchased all the fixins for dinner yesterday at the farmer's market. More importantly, I got to try out my new spiralizer!
If you spied the blender full of sauce in the background, you might have guessed that Gena's Zucchini Marinara was on the menu. I think this remains my most favorite homemade raw recipe to date.
And yes, that is a sprig of fresh basil from my basil plant. Thank you for asking! ;)
If I was ever to equate raw food with comfort food, this is surely what would come to mind. If you're on the fence about trying raw food for yourself, start with this and you'll be converted.
As "different" as it is to eat nothing but raw food all day, I kind of expected to be hyper-aware of the fact that I was operating well outside the Standard American Diet, especially at breakfast time, since I'm so accustomed to having one of various typical cereal/grain + milk/yogurt permutations every day.
But to be honest, having something like this stare me in the face at mealtime...
...I don't see "deviant raw food." I see delicious. Lots and lots of delicious. My point is that the whole thing comes far more naturally to me than I'd ever have thought it would. Any conflict is completely in my head, not my belly.
Especially when it comes to dessert. There is no debate about the fact that dessert must be had, and daily. Both the head and belly accept nothing less. But what to do when aiming for 100% raw?
Kristen Suzanne's Holiday Chia Pudding. I've made this several times before and it rocks my face off every time. If you want to make something quick and easy with a rich taste on par with the likes of Pure Food & Wine, this is a good place to start. It doesn't even require fancy equipment! Just a blender, and even a hand blender will do the job. Works for me!
So now it's nearly bedtime and I have successfully consumed my body weight in raw food for an entire day. How does it feel? Great. I'm full and satisfied, minus the food coma. The most obvious contrast against a typical day on SAD food, however, is digestive (predictably). For me, raw food works really well. In fact, my belly is never quieter than the hours following a raw or high-raw meal (perhaps unpredictably). Not to toot my own horn, but...I'm not tooting my own horn, if you know what I mean!
Trying not to get into TMI territory here, but such is the nature of the raw discussion.
If you're wondering whether or not I intend to continue eating this way indefinitely, the answer is no. In keeping with the spirit of Radventures, I don't intend to eat any certain way, except for as healthy as is humanly possible (meaning there is a built-in margin for error). For me, that means experimenting with different food combinations and cooking/un-cooking styles. I'm really enjoying raw food at the moment, so it will join the ranks of things in my rotation of favorites, but I'm holding myself to nothing other than the fact that it's best to follow my own body's cues.
Current cue: Exit stage right, do the dishes and prepare to repeat today tomorrow.