RAW Food Challenge Day 6

Today is the eve of my last day! Yay!

I woke up this morning to TONS of sunlight flooding through my blinds, so I said “what the heck, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” and I opened my blinds to warm up my room and hopped back in bed to snuggle my little kitten for just a few more minutes before getting up.

Lucy, my roomie, and I caught up over coffee in the kitchen while I made my breakfast and lunch to take to work. I am SO pleased to announce that she is going to be starting a blog of her very own! Title and specific theme yet to be determined, but she’s toying with the idea of starting one on her travels through San Francisco until a specific idea strikes her the most. To be honest, I would like to just read a blog about her day to day life, ’cause it’s pretty darn interesting. For instance, this past weekend she went to a dinosaurs v. cave men themed dress up party, I saw her costume, it was pretty epic. I will be sure to post the link when it’s finally up and running!

Anyway, back to my morning. I didn’t do any prep work for my food today last night, so I was in a bit of a dither over what to make. I was thinking of doing another pie in a jar, but didn’t want to copy something I’d already done. I did want overnight oats and the rest of my almond milk and some fruit and of course protein. But I didn’t want an apple, or just regular nuts.

What to do?

I was looking at what I had and thinking back to what I’ve already made for breakfast…overnight oats with chia and apple, the 3 smoothies, chard and banana roll up.

Chard and Banana Roll Up…my play on a PB&J Roll Up…that’s it!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats!

Or more so,

Breakfast: Peanut Butter and Berry Overnight Oats

(No jelly for me)

The recipe:

1 cup raw oats

1 cup raw almond milk

2 Tbs Raw Peanut Butter

Handful of berries, I went with raspberries

Toss it all in a bowl and eat!

I should have soaked the oats, but it actually turned out all right in the end because I wasn’t too hungry when I woke up so I popped my oats in a jar and let them sit until I got to work, by that time they had softened up a bit and were VERY yummy.

I really really really like this recipe. Its so simple and quick and oh so very tasty!

Lunch: Chopped Veggies and Avocado Orange Dip

Because work in the restaurant is usually so fast paced I knew I needed a lunch that wouldn’t tie me down with utensils or huge bites of food. I needed something that I could take quick bites of in between taking orders and tending to my tables.

The perfect lunch seemed to be veggies and dip, since I have such an abundance of veggies at the moment!

I rummaged through my fridge and pulled out some broccoli, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, and red bell pepper. Literally took 5 minutes to chop, since I only had to cut off the broccoli florets and slice the bell pepper!

I swear it, I think I love broccoli raw better than I like it cooked!

I was feeling ambitious this morning, so I saved the base of the broccoli to turn into a broccoli slaw!

Now about that dip…

You take one of these

And one of these

And put them together

No, not like that! Gosh, I can be a little ridiculous sometimes.

Put them together like this

Then put it in a pretty glass to take a picture! After sprinkling some sesame seeds on top, put it in the center of your veggie platter.

I put the avocado dip in a jar to go and put the pit back in to keep it nice and green

Yum Yum, it was so good today!

I also would like to tell you all that although there are days I HATE working as a waitress, there are days, like today, when my customers just make me so happy. Most of the time these customers only come up to my waist and have tiny hands that love to hold crayons.

Yes, often times my favorite customers are children. I really do love kids, not that I’m looking to have any in the near future, I’m only 21! But getting to interact with them at work is just enough interaction for now.

There is one girl in particular named Andee, a 5 year old, who is just the cutest thing ever. She is a stunning little thing with light brown hair and usually dressed from head to toe in varying shades of pink. Today, she came in with fake tattoos all down both arms, the result of a play date with her friend. Her whole family in general is so sweet, we always chit chat when it’s not too busy and they are so kind in remembering the little things that go on in my life. The first thing they said to me today was “we made sure to come in today so we could hear all about how your raw food challenge is going!”

Today was made extra special because Andee gave me a very special note and left an adorable coloring of her and I on the table that I would like to share with you.

Andee is the short one with pigtails (which she had her hair in today) and I’m the tall one with the ponytail (which is how I wore my hair today) and the green and orange dress (which she knows are my favorite colors). Oh and we are both princesses, which is obviously accurate.

This almost brought me to tears, it was so unexpected and unbelievably sweet. I love this child. So very much.

There is another little boy who comes in every weekend and he periodically gives me sweet photos, but I especially liked this one

This was the first time I’d see him since before Valentines, so he said this was his Valentines card for me!

As rewarding as work was thanks to my kiddie love, the physical labor was a tad draining. So I came home and have been relaxing by re-watching episodes of Downton Abbey. I can’t get enough of this show!

Dinner: Homemade Trail Mix and Fresh Raspberries

Strangely, I wasn’t too hungry for dinner so I kept it pretty light

Just a little homemade trail mix filled with:

Raw Pecans

Raw Walnuts

Sun dried Raisins

Sun dried Cherries

Easy peezy, lemon squeezy

Maybe this is a sad excuse for a dinner, but it was all I was in the mood for, and it was wonderful.

I’m having a nice lazy Saturday night, which may make me sound like a loser, but I don’t care. I like sitting in bed wearing my biggest sweatshirt and a pair of my man’s tube socks slowly munching on trail mix while I watch the latest scandal at the Downton house unfold!

What is your favorite way to spend a lazy Saturday? Do any of you watch Downtown Abbey? Have any other shows you love watching over and over again?

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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!

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 Tahini Sauce

As I mentioned in my RAW Food Challenge post one of the things I knew I was gonna miss when I started eating raw foods was sauce. Therefore, I have made a point to start preparing the ingredients I’ll need for raw sauces.

Today’s sauce of choice: Tahini

Last night I soaked

1 cup of sesame seeds in

2 cups of water

for 4 hours

Then, I drained out that water, rinsed the seeds and put them in the fridge to sprout overnight.

This morning I simply put the sprouted seeds and 1/2 a cup of cold-pressed Olive Oil in my trusty food processor and let it grind for about 4 minutes.

I also added the juice of 1/2 a lemon

And a pinch of salt

Because I don’t have the coveted Vitamix that all rawists talk about, my Tahini didn’t blend to a silky smooth paste.

So what, who cares?

Not me. That’s who.

I tested it, adjusted the lemon flavor (by adding a little more juice) and then deemed it good enough to top my Fruit and Veggie Salad, my lunch on Day 1 of the Raw Food Challenge, as dressing.

Want a closer look at this delicious stuff up close?

Yea, you do.

YUM

RAW Food Day 1

Today is my first day of my RAW food challenge!

I woke up this morning freezing cold, which made getting out of bed a rather harsh experience. Especially since I was getting up 30 minutes earlier than I usually do to make my breakfast.

That has been the first adjustment on this challenge. Normally, I just drink coffee in the morning and then go about my merry way until lunch at about noon. So the act of eating at 7:30 in the morning was a little tough. But I’m really excited about what I made!

Breakfast: Overnights Oats, Fruit and Seeds

1 cup raw overnight oats

1 apple of your choosing, I went with Fuji

3 Tbs. Chia Seeds

1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 tsp. All-Spice

1 Tbs. Agave Nectar

Best part? This is super easy to make

1. Soak your raw oats in water the night before, just enough to cover the amount you will be eating

2. Chop up an apple

3. Measure out your Chia seeds, agave nectar, cinnamon, and all-spice

4. Mix together

5. Devour

Snack: Raw nut mix and Kombucha

I have school on Monday’s from 9-11 but today I am going to be out and about working on a few articles for the magazine, so I thought it would be good to pack something to munch on. I erred on the lighter side and went with a mixture of raw:

Sunflower Seeds

Walnuts

Pecans

How to make it?

1. Put nuts in a Tupperware

2. Close with lid

TA-DA!

Then, I pulled a Kombucha out of my fridge, I went with GT’s Passionberry Bliss for today.

I packed these in my bag and left for school. Easy. Healthy. Tasty.

Lunch: Fruit and Veggie Salad with a Homemade Tahini Dressing

On the bus ride home from school I started thinking about what I was in the mood to eat for lunch. I knew I wanted some sort of a refreshing salad, and something with the Tahini sauce I made this morning. Then I thought, well, cucumber, tahini and dill taste good together. Cucumber and watermelon taste nice when paired together. Watermelon and Asian pear are a wonderful combination. And then I decided that some jicama would round the dish out quite nicely! Thus, my lunch was born!

This is extremely simple to make, start with:

1 Cucumber

1/2 Jicama Root

1/2 of a small Watermelon

2 Asian Pears

A hearty handful of fresh Dill

Homemade Tahini dressing to taste

Dice all the produce into bite sized pieces and put in a plate

Use a heavy hand to sprinkle Dill on top of it all

Top with a few Tbs of Tahini

I ate quite a bit of this because it was so yummy!

Dinner:

I wanted my first dinner to be something unique and a a bit of twist on an old classic. What’s more of an old classic than pasta?!

Raw pasta? Yup. Raw fettucini in fact. Vegetable fettucini.

How did I do it?

I used my handy dandy vegetable peeler…and after I got past the peel, I just kept going!

I wanted lots of color so I used:

1 Zucchini

1 Yellow Squash

1 large Carrot

and about 4 stalks of Asparagus

The asparagus proved to be a little hard to peel because of those most wonderful tips, so I just chopped them off and saved them to top my pasta with!

Now let’s get a little saucy with it.

What kind? Marinara, obviously.

I really enjoy roasted red bell peppers added to my marinara, so I decided to spice up my marinara with some raw bell peppers.

I kept the sauce simple by using:

10oz of grape tomatoes

6 cloves of garlic

1 whole red bell pepper

and a pinch of salt

I threw them in my little purple food processor and chopped it for a few seconds, tasted it and whew! That garlic sure did make the sauce spicy!

I finished the meal by putting my fettucini in a bowl, topping with my sauce and then garnishing with some roughly chopped basil.

Super good and incredibly fresh tasting and only took about 20 minutes to make.

My one qualm, it was cold. (Duh, its raw). But it’s cold out right now, and cold vegetable pasta just doesn’t warm you up the way normal pasta does. But hey, I guess that’s what blankets are for!

As the end of Day 1 fast approaches, I gotta tell ya, I’m feeling pretty nice. I’m a little tired (but then again, I only slept 6 hours last night), otherwise, I feel decently energized. Tomorrow, I’m gonna try to eat a little more of each meal, because I definitely didn’t eat 6 pounds today and I got super hungry a few times throughout the day.