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.

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Healing Springs Kombucha

A few years ago, I got sick. Real sick. I won’t go into the specifics, but pretty much, It felt like I was gonna die. After about 6 days of me on my supposed death bed, my roommate at the time took me to the hospital, and as it turns out I had Swine Flu, in conjunction with an Intestinal Virus (I would get both at once). The doctor prescribed me some medicine, instructed my roommate to keep me well hydrated and sent me on my sickly way. Slowly but surely I began to recover.

Good news, I lived.

When I was finally sort of ready to go back to work, I filled my coworkers in on the horrific details of my illness, in between the residual coughing and sneezing. That’s when one girl suggested I drink some Kombucha to help me feel 100% again.

Kombucha, for those of you who don’t know, is a fermented tea drink with live cultures in it that promote overall body wellness.

Every time she is feeling under the weather, she stocks up. Why? As she so charmingly put it “It knocks the s*** out of me.”

I was sold. On my break from work I ran up to the corner produce market and bought a bottle of GT’s Kombucha in Divine Grape. Boy! Nothing could have prepared me for the taste, the smell, or the feeling of live culture in your mouth. But I chugged it down.

And you know what, the next morning, I felt GREAT.

Since then, I have made a point to drink Kombucha when I’m feeling sicky, but also just when the mood strikes me. Because at this point, I have grown accustomed to, and actually started to enjoy the flavor of it.

There are others though, who can’t get over some aspect of GT’s intense Kombucha, and for them I recommend Healing Springs Kombucha the Raw Honey flavor is fantastic. Or for beginners, Healing Springs is a great way to ease your way into the Kombucha movement.

It has a more subdued effervescence and a milder taste with smaller cultures floating around.

I have friends who swear by it, others who drink it in place of coffee every morning swearing all the while that it invigorates them more than a cup of joe, and others who are more like me and just drink it when they feel like it.

At least in San Francisco, I haven’t seen it in as many places as I see GT’s, mostly just in specialty organic markets, but that could be because GT has been around since 1995 and Healthy since 2004.

I would recommend Healthy Springs to every one who wants to try Kombucha, and to die hard fans looking for some new flavors!

A Spot of Tea?

I don’t know about you but a hot beverage in the morning really helps to get me going. My usual drink of choice is coffee because of its ability to get me going in the morning when little else can. However, I can feel the beginnings of a cold trying to drag me down – down to the ground. So I thought tea would be a wise choice.

A few months ago, I posted a picture on my other blog (which I have sorely neglected since starting this one) of a submarine shaped tea steeper. Now I love whimsy in my food tools just as much as the next gal and absolutely fell in love with this tiny silicon thing. I showed a picture of it to my younger sister thinking she would delight in it as much as I did.

Fast forward to Christmas, and what does my lil’ sis get me? THE SUBMARINE TEA STEEPER. I could have died. It was everything I dreamed it would be and more.

We all live in a Yellow Submarine…come on, who doesn’t love a Beatles reference?

I don’t have any loose leaf tea at the moment so I simply cram a tea bag in there because practicality and simplicity are overrated right?

Now I thought to myself, what goes perfectly with this fantastic little sub?

A clear glass mug. After looking around at a few shops I found this gem from Crate and Barrel. Perfect right?

So now even though I might pounce on anyone who looks at me wrong since in my opinion I shouldn’t be up for another 2 hours, at least I will have had my cup o’ tea.