RAW Food Challenge Day 5

Today, it’s Friday.

Friday is glorious for me because it’s the start of my weekend.

Friday is also tragic for me because it’s the end of my weekend.

I’m in school Mon-Thurs and then I work Sat, Sun, Wed

I usually try to make Friday count by doing fun stuff around the city, but every once in a while, I have to spend my Fridays doing domestic stuff. Like laundry, cleaning the house, scrubbing the stove, ect.

Today is that Friday.

Since pretty much every other day I’m up between 7:00-8:00am, I slept in today.

Until 11:00!

I probably could’ve gone longer, but that’s when Matt, my main (and only) squeeze, text me asking how I slept. I told him I was still sleeping and rolled over for another 30 minutes, just ’cause I could.

When I finally deemed it an appropriate time to get up I made myself a cup of coffee, played with Fletcher, and lounged in my silky robe (scandalous).

Fletcher has lazy mornings every morning. Lucky boy.

After a long hot shower where I sang Lana del Rey at the top of my lungs, or I rather, in my best chilling soulful voice, I got dressed and discovered that I can put my belt one notch tighter! This raw challenge is doing some unexpected good!

I think its time to invest in a new belt, since this one is hanging a little too much now. Such a shame since this has been my go to leather belt since the day I found it for $7 at a thrift store!

Breakfast: Berry Banana Smoothie

When I started thinking about breakfast, I looked through my fridge and saw that all my raw food has really been dominating every square inch of it (sorry roomies)! Part of the problem is the half full containers of fruit and tomatoes. I wanted to clear up some space so I pulled out the blueberry and strawberry containers and dumped them in my blender to make a nice berry smoothie.

I pulled out my almost empty jar of almond milk and a frozen banana, for good measure.

In my opinion, there is nothing better than fresh semi-tart blueberries. I may or may not be know for going through entire containers of them in one sitting. (Better blueberries than chocolate though).

I blended everything together for a minute, by everything I mean:

2/3 cup of Blueberries

10 medium sized Strawberries

1 Frozen Banana

1 1/2 cups Raw Almond Milk

4 ice cubes, optional

Gosh, I really do love smoothies in the morning.

Perhaps another reason I love this smoothie so much is because it matches the color of my walls.

A short story: When my mom was pregnant with me, her and my dad decided they wanted my gender to be a surprise so as a result, they chose to paint my room yellow (because a boy would love to grow up in a bright yellow room, obviously). Then, when I moved into my first apartment, I shared a room with another girl and the color that coordinated with both of our bed spreads was yellow, who woulda known? Now that I am in an apartment that allows me to paint, in a room to myself, I decided to fulfill what my childhood deprived me of, a pink room!

Speaking of which, let me give you a short tour of my humble abode, or at least just a tour of my room.

Anyway, back to my smoothie!

Oops, I guess there’s nothing to get back to!

Lunch: Ants on a Log

This meal was inspired by my sweet baby-angel younger sister, Julia. When she was in kindergarten she participated in an after school program, Cubbyville, where once a week they would have little cooking lessons (mostly done by the teacher), nevertheless, I thought it was such a cool idea to expose kids to how easy it is to make healthy food. It was adorable because every day after that class, Julia would come home with her “recipe book” of what they made that day so she could excitedly show me her latest food project.

Ants on a Log was the cutest, so thank you Jules for the great idea!

You start with some freshly rinsed celery that has been patted dry

Fill in the celery with your favorite nut butter, I couldn’t choose between almond and peanut, so I did a few of each!

 

Top with some delicious and raw sun dried raisins

 

Oh gosh, munching on these made me feel like I was a little kid again!

Dinner: Thai Inspired Salad with a Peanut Butter Vinaigrette

My mother is the Salad Queen. Hands down, nobody can put together a salad like her. Whether the main vessel is lettuce (or greens), or pasta, or potato, or egg, or fruit, or meat Momma Kerley can make one composed dish. God bless her.

This is the raw interpretation of one such salad, minus the shredded chicken.

I’m sorry for the wacky lighting in some of the pictures, it was getting dark so I had to use flash in some of them!

The ingredients are simple, and not exact:

Romaine Lettuce

Grated Carrot

Bean Sprouts

Snow Peas

Green Onion

For the dressing:

2 Tbs. Raw Peanut Butter

2 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tbs. Agave Nectar

2 Tbs. Sesame Seeds

2 Tbs. Water

Normally, I make this with Balsamic Vinegar and sugar in which case the sugar content would be lower, but I upped it in this recipe since Apple Cider Vinegar is so pungent! This is all to your taste, of course!

Before mixing ^

Top with a big handful of cilantro and its ready to eat!

I had a very nice and relaxing day by myself, I’ll tell ya, sometimes I really enjoy having time alone. Even if that means I just putter around the house bleaching my sink, vacuuming the rugs and cleaning out my desk drawers. I felt very productive and accomplished.

Lucy and her friend came home a bit ago and are making molten lava chocolate cookies, so I have barricaded myself in my room to avoid the temptation!

Wish me luck for the next 2 days where I will be surrounded by non-raw food at work! Lordy!

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RAW Food Challenge Day 3

Hello hello!

I woke up feeling very energized this morning, I was a good girl and went to bed at 10pm (instead of my usual 2am). It’s amazing what a little extra sleep will do for ya, isn’t it? Oh and I wasn’t even that cold this morning, ’cause I’m a smarty pants and slept with 2 pairs of socks on, a sweatshirt, and 4 blankets! Gosh, it was great!

I got up and noticed it was a little dark in my room. A little background, I have a large 5 sided bay window in my room, and I shut the blinds every night so that the sun doesn’t wake me up, so my room usually is a little dark. I guess what I meant to say was, I noticed my room was a little darker than usual.

I took this photo on a sunnier day

(My comment about my 5 windows and all that sunshine was NOT me complaining! I am blessed, beyond blessed to live where I do. I love my bright windowed room!)

I pull up the blinds and surprise surprise, it had rained last night. Not a big deal, but it gave everything that rainy greyish tint to it, which is not motivating in the morning. I needed to counteract that lazy grey feeling, immediately.

What better way to fight the grey rain than with a tropical breakfast?!

(There is no better way)

Breakfast: Mango Smoothie and Banana Nut Bites

I really liked my smoothie from yesterday, like a lot, a lot a lot. But I’m trying to not repeat recipes until this challenge is over, so I can really highlight just how much can be done if you choose to try or adopt the raw food diet.

I kept the almond milk and the frozen banana and upgraded that peanut butter from yesterday to the very tropical mango!

Sometimes I can really make a mess

If you’re like me, clean up your counter and then start blending your smoothie!

Recipe goes:

2 fresh Mangos

1 frozen Banana

1 1/2 cups of Raw Almond Milk

4 ice cubes, optional (I did this ’cause I only used 1 frozen banana and I like my smoothies cold)

Blend it together for a minute

So bright and sunny! Exactly what I needed!

But, it was lacking protein…so I whipped up some little Banana Nut Bites

Its as easy as 1, 2, 3

1. Slice 1 Banana into bite sized pieces, on the diagonal

2. Spoon a tiny amount of raw Almond Butter onto each slice

3. Pick up each slice and lay it almond butter side down onto raw hulled Hemp Seeds for a second

Flip them back over, put ’em on a plate and you’re ready to go!

All together now!

I know its only Day 3 and I have quite a few more breakfasts ahead of me, but oh my gosh, this might be my favorite! Like most of the stuff I’ve been eating, this really filled me up without giving me a food coma, but the creaminess and richness of the mango, banana and almond butter really left me feeling SO satisfied!

Snack: Kombucha

Breakfast was so filling I never even needed my snack today, so I just drank my Kombucha, today’s flavor was Botanic No 7. I’ve never had it before, it was a little “spicy,” nevertheless tasty.

Lunch: Fruit Salad with a Coconut Lime Puree

The grey weather today was touch and go, so I wanted to continue to ward it off with my tropical theme, I have all this fresh fruit laying around so I started chopping it up to make a fruit salad.

Then I sliced the cantaloupe in half and cleaned out the guts and it hit me

THIS CANTALOUPE WOULD MAKE THE PERFECT FRUIT BOWL!

To fill with all of this good stuff

By the way, look at how closely these grapes grew together!

I don’t know about you guys, but every time I see a coconut I start singing “you put the lime in the coconut and drink a bowl up, you put the lime in the coconut…” (you get it) in my head and sometimes out loud.

There I was hacking at my coconut with the biggest knife I had singing when all of a sudden, another brilliant idea hit me! I should put the lime in the coconut!

Wait, what?

What is this crazy girl talking about?

Well my friends, I was just gonna use the coconut water and meat to make a nice puree to use as dressing, but my subconscious was attempting to and succeeded in steering me in a different direction.

I grabbed a lime out of my fruit bowl, zested that thing SO good and then juiced it!

I also gotta ask, does anyone know an easy and good way to remove coconut meat? My arm was exhausted after scraping just part of one half

I am pretty pumped because when I do finally scrap all the coconut meat out, I will be halfway done constructing a coconut bra. So, someone, please throw a luau.

Back to my lunch

Isn’t it gorgeous?

I used my trusty food processor to blend the coconut water, meat, and lime

This may be the most beautiful shade of green

I scooped some of the puree on top of my fruit, and wouldn’t you know it, I had enough of the water left over to drink!

This was a GREAT lunch! I didn’t take a photo of it, but I sprinkled some sunflower seeds on top for some extra crunch!

Dinner: Vegetable Sushi Two Ways

I had work tonight, so right after I finished lunch I set to work on making my dinner so I could take it with me. I really like the idea of something easy and utensil free to eat at work, since tonight I was working up front, I wanted something I could sneak bites of from under the counter without the hassle of a fork and knife.

What’s easy, utensil free, and raw?

Sushi!

Almost

If you make it without rice

And cooked fish

So, that’s what I did.

I started by making another batch of Pico de Gallo (tomato, red onion, cilantro, lime, salt)

Then I took a piece of Nori and put it on my sushi roller, like I really knew what I was doing

Then I laid a gorgeous piece of red chard on top of that

Scooped a few big spoonfuls of pico de gallo on top of that and smeared it into all the cracks

The rest is history

Then I rolled it and sliced it in half, like so

This roll was bright and complex with all the flavors going on, for real, this thing is packed with flavor, but it lacked a certain richness. Sushi, in general, is only momentarily gratifying since its such a light dish. I decided to make another type of roll to really fill me up.

Avocado seemed like the best way to add some substance to the sushi, since I didn’t have any sashimi lying around!

I didn’t want to just do the typical slices of avocado, I wanted to leave out the pico de gallo on this roll and make the avocado a spread. I must admit, my food processor has never had this much action before, it’s great! I scooped 1 avocado into it and then squeezed the juice of 1 orange in too, because I wanted this roll to still have a citrus brightness that would be absent otherwise since the pico de gallo was the vessel that brought citrus in the last time.

Boy, this was AMAZING! You all will be seeing this pop up in other recipes the rest of this week, as dip, as dressing, you name it.

I repeated the Nori on the sushi roller, laid down a chard leaf and then smeared this ‘cado spread all over it

Red bell pepper, carrot and sesame seeds completed this medley. At the last minute I popped a couple slices of avocado in there, cause I love it so much.

Mmmmmmmm

(Well, I knew this would come out sooner or later…I am not the most expert sushi roller/sushi slicer. Please don’t hate me)

I think I much preferred this wrap since it was smothered and covered in avocado.

Overall, today was good. I got lots of work done and I never felt lethargic or real icky. I will admit, work was a struggle. For those who don’t know, I work in a Brazilian-Italian restaurant as a waitress mostly, but sometimes I work up in the front on the phones and doing take out orders. Hearing all the customers tell me all the things they were gonna eat was hard. Smelling all the wonderful scents wafting out of the kitchen was worse. Much worse. I still have 2 more days of work while I am on this challenge, its gonna be a rough. Wish me luck!

I finally just got home and am drinking my daily allotted cup of tea to warm my soul, and fingers, and toes, and body in general. Goodnight my food lovers, I shall write more to you tomorrow.

RAW Food Challenge Day 2

Hello all!

Today is Day 2 on my raw food journey, I’m jazzed!

I woke up at 7 this morning feeling great, just a little tired since it was 7 and I went to bed late (pretty much the story of my life).

I made a tasty batch of Almond Milk with the almonds I’ve been soaking and was so captivated by the taste I decided to build my breakfast around that!

This is what my almond milk looked like before I strained it

Since I’m not a breakfast person, I wanted something that wouldn’t feel too breakfast like, something that I like eating any time of the day. Then it hit me, a smoothie!

Breakfast: Banana and Two Nut Smoothie

This recipe is great cause it takes literally 5 minutes and is so simple!

This smoothie consists of

2 Frozen Bananas (or fresh bananas, and then include ice. I used frozen to kill 2 birds with 1 stone)

1/2 cup Raw Peanut Butter

2 cups Raw Almond Milk

1/4 cup of Raw Almond Meal, optional (I did this to get a little more texture and protein)

I love the color banana skins turn when they’ve been frozen, its the perfect mustard yellow!

The one thing I hate about frozen bananas with the skin still on is what a pain in the butt it is to take frozen skin off!

Toss those 3 (or 4, if you include the Almond Meal) ingredients into the blender and let it run for a minute or so

Then pour it into a glass and enjoy!

Lunch: Kale and Good Stuff Salad with Sweet and Seedy Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing

Tuesdays are my long day at school, so I decided to buy lunch on campus. We have a salad bar that I frequent about 2 times a week, so I know they have a nice selection of produce to eat. The one thing I was worried about was the dressing situation.

Def haven’t seen anything raw in that department. So I made my own and packed it in a tiny 1 oz glass jar this morning.

My recipe is not exact but roughly it goes like this:

2 parts raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

2 parts Cold Pressed Olive Oil

1 part Agave Nectar

1 part Chia Seeds

Mix together in a bowl, adjust quantities if needed, and put in glass jar for transportation

As I was packing up my dressing, I started thinking about all the things I could have on my salad today; corn, green beans, carrots, peas, edamame, chickpeas, raisins, sunflower seeds…and then I realized NONE OF THAT IS RAW! The place on campus blanches all the veggies, the raisins are probably not sun dried, and the sunflower seeds are toasted.

SHOOT.

So I hurried my butt up and threw together a salad. Here’s how it went:

Started with some Kale then added:

Diced Cucumber I had leftover from yesterday’s lunch

Clover Sprouts

Blueberries

Halved Grape Tomatoes

Broccoli Florets

Mushrooms

Avocado, lots and lots of avocado

And a big handful of Raw Hulled Hemp Seeds

I inhaled this, that’s how good it was. I eat every single one of these things raw all the time so it just made sense to make them into an awesome salad!

Snack: Sliced Watermelon and Kombucha

Breakfast this morning seriously filled me up, so I didn’t even need to eat my snack until the interim between lunch and dinner, and even then I wouldn’t have classified myself as starving. Protein early in the morning is the way to go.

Sidenote: I will be drinking a Kombucha everyday with my snack, because I like them, they are raw, they are good for you, but mostly ’cause they were on sale at the market, $5 for 2, when normally they are $4 each.

Today I went with GT’s Trilogy, which has a nice pungent gingery taste

I had half of that baby watermelon left over from yesterday as well, so I sliced it up to go along with my drink.

Dinner: Fiesta Stuffed Bell Peppers

Growing up, my mom used to make these amazing stuffed peppers that I crave to this day. She would take a bell pepper; red, orange, yellow, or green and fill them with a mixture of beans, rice, onions, corn, and ground beef or turkey, all of which was cooked in a slightly spicy sauce. She would top with a generous amount of shredded cheese and then put them in a deep skillet with a couple inches of water and let the steam slightly cook the bell pepper which simultaneously melted the cheese.

That was my inspiration for dinner tonight.

I found these adorable tiny orange bell peppers at my corner market for only 59 cents!

I cut the tops off of them and cleaned out their guts

Then I stuffed it in layers, starting with some raw garlic hummus I made

After the hummus went:

Green Onions

Sprouts

then some homemade Pico de Gallo

I made my Pico de Gallo with:

Grape Tomatoes

Cilantro

Red Onion

Lime Juice

The best part about the stuffed peppers my mom makes is the melted cheese on top. One of the hardest parts about going raw is not eating cheese, since I love it so much.

I was sorely craving some cheese on top when I remembered…Nutritional Yeast! It’s known for its cheesy flavor! A few of my friends reminded me that it’s raw so I bought some a few days ago. A healthy sprinkling of that on top, and my fiesta peppers were finished!

Today’s meals were great and minus the prep work of the almond milk and hummus, the construction of my each one took less than 20 minutes. Having the extra protein this morning certainly made me feel more alert, however, my lack of sleep caused my body to ache all over. I’m gonna head to bed soon and get a proper nights rest to circumvent feeling like this tomorrow!

My goodnight questions to you are, what are some of your favorite hummus flavors? And how do you use nutritional yeast?