Thursday, November 30, 2006

Giving thanks and dropping bombs

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It wasn't 100% raw, but progress was made in that direction. And my secret plot worked!

What was my secret plot, you ask?

I made a raw pumpkin pie, a raw pecan pie, and raw macadamia cream topping.

I served up slices of each, along with dollops of the topping, to my very-traditional-meat-and-potatoes-man father.

After receiving sufficient "mmm"s and other such responses from him affirming the deliciousness thereof, I informed him that they were raw - and dropped the bomb that I've been eating a high raw diet for nearly six months now!

And he was actually impressed and intrigued!! WOW!!! Who knew that "coming out of the raw food closet" to such a skeptic would be so effortless??

If you have your own stories about "coming out," please share - I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The best part: a true story

Oh what a weekend it was.

In short: we basically took a raw food tour of NY. Details to follow.

The best part?

Well, meeting Jenny Cornbleet was very cool.

And the raw nachos we ate were delicious.

Don't get me started on the raw ice cream, or I might hop in my car this minute and go get more.

But none of those were the best part.

The best part was going to the Trader Joe's wine store on 14th Street and getting proofed by the cashier (but wait, it gets better) who looks at my driver's license - then looks at me - then looks at my license again - then asks, "is this your real age?" and I go "yeah" and she's like "really? you're thirty-four?" (seriously, it gets even better) and with no shortage of delight in my voice, I'm all "yeah! I graduated from high school in 1990! I graduated from college in 1994!!" (and afterward I think to myself geez, I actually remember when Gerald Ford was president) and Rob interjects with "she's even older than ME!" and I exclaim "only by NINE MONTHS!!" and the cashier shakes her head and smiles and says (get ready - this is the BEST part - are you ready??) "I never would have guessed that you're thirty-four. I thought you were, like, twenty-two!!!!!!!!"

Mind you, I'm often told that I look younger than my biological age; my baby face gives many people that impression. But I never, NEVER have been told that I look twelve years younger than I am - that now, in my mid-thirties, I appear to be in my early twenties!

To what do I owe this?

I don't owe it to plastic surgery, or to pricey anti-aging creams and potions, or to selling my soul Dorian Gray-style.

I simply owe it to RAW FOOD, of course!!

And that, my friends, is truly the best part of all. :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Eatin' Greens

It's not that easy eatin' greens
Having to spend each meal
Consuming lots of leaves
When I think it could be nicer
Eatin' pizza or hoagies or Doritos
Or something much less good for you like that

It's not that easy eatin' greens
It seems your plate stands out
From so many other ordinary eats
And people tend to look you over
'Cause you're not blending in
Inhaling buffalo wings at happy hour
Or at the diner sharing pie

But green's the color of spring mix
And greens can be smooth and delicious-like
And greens can be big like collards
Or important like dinosaur kale
Or tall like celery

When greens are all there is to eat
It could make you wonder why
But why wonder, why wonder?
I eat greens and it'll do fine
It's beautiful raw food
And I think it's what I want to eat

With apologies to Joe Raposo, Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Raw food field trip: Essene Market & Cafe

On Sunday morning we checked out a store that I've read about and have wanted to go to for a while: the Essene Market & Cafe.

Lo and behold, we discovered that this place is AWESOME!!!!

They carry all manner of fresh, organic and natural foods, as well as natural household and beauty products; vitamins and supplements; clothing; books and magazines; food prep appliances; and much more. They also host lectures, cooking classes and massage therapy.

Here is a picture (taken with my cell phone, so please forgive the poor quality) of some of their raw cacao, flaxseed and other superfoods:

More raw food appeared at every turn! For example, raw trail mix:

And check it out - a large selection of raw food books:

In the rear of the store is the cafe. The menu items mostly fall into the cooked vegetarian category, but I did notice an ample supply of fresh greens:

Rob had broccoli frittata, brown rice, mushrooms (not sure whether they were marinated or sauteed . . . hmm), coffee and wheatgrass juice from the cafe, and enjoyed them all immensely - well, except for the wheatgrass juice, which he downed like a trooper. Meanwhile, I investigated the prepared raw foods case around the corner from the cafe:

PREPARED RAW FOODS!!!!! This is the first time I have encountered anything of this nature in Philadelphia, where there are cheesesteaks on every block but a distinct dearth of healthy food in general, never mind raw food in particular. Here is a scrumptious-looking slice of raw pizza from Rawlifeline:

And here is an intriguing raw spinach quiche from Awesome Foods:

Another display featured flaxseed crackers, "cheeze" sticks and other raw snacky foods, also from Awesome Foods:

So what did I have to eat, given all of these appealing raw choices?

Believe it or not, I passed it all up. I have made a pledge to myself to conduct a green smoothie cleanse this week (more details to come), and I stuck with it even in the face of such raw temptation. Yeah baby! But rest assured, I'll return to partake in those raw goodies.

Rob was so delirious with ecstasy at finding this wonderful store that he commenced a raw-incarnate striptease in one of the aisles:

Well, ok, not quite. But he did exclaim "I have died and gone to heaven!!" and then suggested that we book the cafe for our wedding reception - which is *almost* as enthusiastic a reaction as a striptease, right? :)

To conclude: should you ever find yourself in the South Street area of Philly, don't miss this place. You'll be as glad that you went as we are.

Essene Market & Cafe
719 South 4th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 922-1146 phone
(215) 922-5150 fax
Open 7 days, 9am-8pm; Wed & Fri until 9pm

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Today is the only day

We took this picture yesterday in Rittenhouse Square, a beautiful park in center city Philly. What a cute couple, eh? :)

Thanks very much for so warmly welcoming this blog - I'm glad to be here, and I look forward to sharing our raw food experiences together!

I have a list of raw food topics that I want to write about, but I'll keep it simple for tonight.

Here is a thought for you - well-worn but true:

Today is the only day.

Yesterday is long gone already. Nothing can be done to change it.

Tomorrow can be planned to an extent, but is otherwise out of our control.

Today is the only day.

I had thoughts of junk food running through my head this afternoon. Instead of acting on them, I remembered some smart advice - "one thing you can do whenever you're craving unhealthy foods is to eat more raw foods"(1) - and so I chose raw food instead. And I thanked myself for choosing well by being good to myself, spending the evening relaxing on the sofa with my laptop and my sweet cat and a silly movie on TV.

Nothing feels better than knowing that today is the only day, and that today I chose wisely, giving myself what I really needed.

In keeping with this theme, here is my raw food plan for tomorrow - I may not abide by it to the letter, and the rest is out of my control, but at least the plan is in place:
  • Breakfast smoothie (water, blueberries, flaxseed oil, cinnamon, whey powder)
  • Raw "meatloaf" (dehydrated walnut pate) and cole slaw (with avocado for creaminess and stevia for sweetness)
  • Green smoothie (water, copious amounts of kale, 2 bananas, 2 apples, lemon juice and mint)(2)
  • Sliced green pepper and cucumber; grape tomatoes; "popcorn" celery(3)
  • Fruit as needed
  • Lots of water; coffee/tea as needed
  • If I really need a treat: a Lara (raw) bar or Clif (not raw) bar
  • Exercise bike and walking
  • Have an all-around fabulous day!!

So that's today and tomorrow . . . now here is one more from yesterday, a photo that Rob took of me to keep on his desk at work.

I'm generally not fond of pictures of myself. All I tend to see is a chubby face and body, the product of decades of the wrong kind of eating and thinking.

But that itself is wrong thinking. There's nothing that I can do about what I ate and how I treated my body in the past. Today is the only day. Today I can choose progress - I can choose raw!

Furthermore, look at that happy smile, that shiny hair and clear skin! Is that not the image of a woman who is loved - who takes good care of herself - who is full of joy in her progress - who, dare I say,
got the glow?

Yesterday also just happened to be the only day. And it was a wonderful day! There's nothing that I would do to change it. How thankful I am to have photos by which to remember it. :)

(1) Frederic Patenaude, What To Do When You're Craving Unhealthy Foods
(2) Victoria Boutenko, Green Smoothies: An Easy Way to Love Greens
(3) Jinjee Talifero, "7 Days Raw - Raw Vegan Shopping and Diet Plans" eBook

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Off and running - er, blogging....

Here it is: my raw foods blog.

My name is Kristi. I'm new to Blogger, but not new to blogging, though it's been a while since I did so regularly. (Strange that this introduction sounds like a cross between what one would hear at a 12-step meeting and a confessional booth - hmm....)

At the beginning of June of this year, in the interests of achieving optimal health, losing weight and fighting depression, I decided to adopt a raw food diet. To the extent that he is also very health-conscious - and even more so that he will eat virtually anything that I feed him - my loving boyfriend Rob has joined and supported me in this endeavor.

It's been an adventure, to say the least! Lord knows I am NOT a vegan at heart; I loves me a cheeseburger every so often. I have not given up coffee or tea, or the weekly gelato, or our traditional weekend omelet at the diner. I love to cook for others, and when I am a guest at someone's house, I will graciously eat what they serve me and not make dietary demands. But in my own everyday life, I have tried to eat as much raw food as possible.

The results?
  • I have succeeded in eating a "high raw" diet. I can only guess at the percentage - probably between 75% and 95% on a typical day, with some 100% days and one or two 0% days.
  • I have lost 22 pounds to date! (Plus another 8 pounds in the months prior to going raw, for a total of 30 pounds lost since this time last year.)
  • I have clearly seen the benefits in terms of increased energy, greater mental clarity, better mood and overall improved health.
  • I have learned to "cook" some truly delicious stuff.
  • The more I eat raw, the more I CRAVE raw.
  • I have learned not to sweat it if I unexpectedly end up eating cooked food. However, there have been a few occasions in which I have indulged in cooked food and ended up feeling sick afterward. So I think there's definitely something to the notion that cooked foods have addictive properties and contribute to toxicity in the body.
  • I feel like this is something that I can comfortably continue with for the long term.

The raw food way of life has been an exercise in patience with myself. As a raging perfectionist, this is something to which I am not naturally inclined. The key has been to remember that this is all about progress, not perfection.

Lately I have found myself struggling on the raw food road - I have hit a weight loss plateau; the cold weather is stirring up desires for rich, hot meals; I lack a raw food community to draw upon for support. However, I want my raw food life to continue to progress. I want to challenge myself to a greater level of commitment to and a higher percentage of raw food in my diet. I want to reach new heights in good health and new lows on the scale. I want to bond with other raw food adventurers. Thus, this blog.

Upcoming posts shall include, but not be limited to:

  • Food plans and eating strategies
  • Recipes
  • Raw food porn
  • "In progress" photos of myself
  • Experiences, stories, resources and (hopefully) inspiration
  • Sharing love, laughter and joy in the journey!

Thanks for reading. I look forward to all that is to come!

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