Sunday, April 30, 2006

Down 57 lbs now!

These past couple of weeks I've been concentrating on eating less fat. This means I'm eating even more fruits and vegetables, which is good. I've been starting my days with either a green or fruit smoothie, and have used smaller amounts of cheese, avocado and nuts. I also have cut back on the nutburgers, eating them every other day or every two days. I found that I weigh 284 today- that's 57 lbs. down!

We started eating watermelons a few days ago. They are very filling and low in fat, and make wonderful smoothies. I think I ate about 3 lbs of watermelon today! That's over 400 calories, but with only 2 grams of fat. The high liquid content in is great for me because it ensures I get enough liquid- I'm still not great at drinking all my water. I can see a lot of watermelon in my raw future.

Today I started some new vitamins. They are heavy on the antioxidants, and also contain omega 3 oils. I've read that omega 3s are another element in hair growth, so maybe these supplements are a good addition to my hair-growth arsenal. So now I'm eating good fats and taking good fats in supplement form! Strange, but that's all right with me. These are the third brand of vitamins I've taken since starting my raw odyssey. Obviously I'm not stuck on any particular brand! Felicia is taking the same vitamins but takes more of them because her gastric bypass causes her body to absorb fewer nutrients from her foods or vitamins. These pills come in gel capsules and dissolve easily in water, which she needs.

This week I'll continue with the lower fat and the new pills. I hope to see the results on the scale and on my head! :-D

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Felicia's Story: A Gastric Bypass Patient Goes Raw- PART II of II

Photos: Felicia, Winter 2005 before going raw / Today, after going raw

In Part I, Felicia discussed her experience after gastric bypass surgery. In Part II, Felicia talks about having to deal with her food addictions after losing over 150 lbs, and how she decided to try a raw lifestyle.

For me it started with admitting that I could visibly see without a shadow of a doubt that I had a problem. It sounds so cliché but I can honestly say that I know where it comes from. I sat in my house running from room to room (I hid the cookies in the guest room) munching on cookies until the bag was gone. When I weighed myself at the end of the week I had gained about eight pounds. I was sick! I don’t mean physically (though I should have been) but sick with remorse, guilt, frustration and whatever other emotion you want to attach to this. I HAD to do something because I had read stories of OTHER bypass patients gaining all their weight back, but that would NEVER be me. PSYCH! It was becoming me; with a vengeance!

Enter Allison; gently coaxing me to join her in the raw food revolution. She had been there all along, whispering sweet benefits of being raw. Her depression had lifted; she was losing weight at the rate of a gastric bypass patient. She wasn’t craving anymore and she seemed to genuinely be satisfied with the lifestyle and willing to stick to it. I couldn’t do a thing to make her “cheat”. I wasn’t interested though, I had all kinds of reasons why I wouldn’t be able to do this. I wasn’t strong enough to adhere to all the rules of being raw. I felt like if I couldn’t eat my favorites then I couldn’t eat anything… and I surely couldn’t survive on a raw diet. After my “Costco” episode I started to “hear” her calling me to her side. I guess I was ready to listen, because I knew my life depended on it.

I said I would do it, but only for one week because I could not possibly survive anything more! That week was hard. I craved and I compensated by overeating all the fruits and veggies that I wanted. The sky was the limit, and I said to myself if I can’t have cake, damn it I am going to have 4 bananas! They are sweet delicious goodness! I was making fruit pies, and drinking fruit smoothies. I made my version of raw cookies and tried my hand at other raw deserts. The only problem with that was that my GAS(troentestinal) problems became even worse with all the fruit I was eating. Sugar is sugar folks!

At first I didn’t care. My week came and went, I decided by the end of the week NOT that it wasn’t so bad, NOT that I wasn’t having cravings because I thought that I still experienced craving, NOT that I was ok with doing this for the rest of my life but I had lost my eight pounds and that was good enough to keep at it for at least another week. By the end of the second week my problems with gas continued to bother me and those around me. I told Allison that I thought maybe my body was trying to tell me something… maybe this diet isn’t so healthy for me and that I should cease immediately and go back to the old way of eating. After all I was having problems. But the problem was that I was still eating too much fruit and through education and common sense I had to stop drinking smoothies and eating more fruit than actual food. By the time I looked up I was three weeks into the program, jamming in the kitchen; trying my hand at new creations by Felicia… yada yada yada and that brings me up to the present.

I can’t say that this was an easy journey as much as it was necessary. I don’t feel like it’s over but I certainly feel like my eating is more manageable since I went raw. I say on my obesityhelp profile that things are clearer for me since I started this program. Before with all the sugar, the little voices in my head were always turned on and revved up; telling me to eat this and eat that. Now, they are still there but they are muted by the other little revved up voices that say “good job”, “you’re finally in control”, “keep up the good work”, “how about a nice tasty salad?”, “it looks like we are going to achieve our goal this time”. It would be awfully hard to ignore the newer, friendlier voices these days. It would be a deliberate and extremely conscious move on my part that I am not willing to make. I feel like I could do this raw thing forever because I like being rid of my bigger problem which is my food addiction.

Although I still think I can eat more than a gastric bypass patient should be able to eat, I feel blessed that I can eat a normal amount of food. Now that I am paving a path to good nutrition and health I feel that eating a regular amount should not be a problem. I feel confident that what I am putting in my body is helping me and I feel really proud to be able to say that day by day I am further and further away from my old, bad habits and on my way to a healthy lifetime of good, new RAW habits!

Thank you Allison… MWAH!
NOTE: Felicia started eating raw March 26th, at 215 lbs. Today, almost 5 weeks later, she is at 197 and counting. If you'd like to visit Felicia's gastric bypass journal, you can click this link.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Felicia's Story: A Gastric Bypass Patient Goes Raw- PART I of II

Hey everyone! Today I am sharing Felicia's story about losing over 150 lbs following gastric bypass surgery and then finding out that surgery is not enough. As regular readers know, Felicia has now been eating raw for about a month and has lost additional weight. The pictures above are her in 2004 before gastric bypass, and then 2005. In Part I she talks about her life before her decision to go raw.


Hello raw world, to those of you who know of me through honorable mentions on the raw odyssey website and for those of you who are new visitors I am the much spoken of “chef” and girlfriend of Allison, I am also known as Felicia. I was asked by Allison to be a guest speaker on her page and though I feel I am no expert I am more than happy to share my experiences with all of you.

I am a gastric bypass patient. I had the RNY also known as the roux-en-y procedure on Oct. 14th, 2004. To date I have lost around 167 pounds, I started this journey at 365 pounds. To anyone contemplating having surgery I would say it was the best decision I ever made for myself but I would also warn that it isn’t the easiest lifestyle to maintain. I came into this world with a lot of baggage. First of all I don’t follow rules well, I love to eat, and I am a procrastinator. I hate to be in control and I don’t like to not have control. If you look closely you can see that I am a pretty messed up individual. In order to succeed at this new life, rules have to be adhered to. Don’t eat and drink at the same time, stay away from sugar, stop eating when you feel full, exercise often and consistently, take daily vitamins, and the list goes on. The problem is that I was never good at lists; making them or following them. Thus I have not followed a single rule consistently from day one. This is my confession to you, all of you.

I will give myself some credit for losing 167 pounds. I exercised some; I even forced myself to take a physical education class at the local college just to ensure I had a “reason” to work out daily. As if my declining health or surgical commitment was not a good enough reason. (Self esteem issue). When the class was over I had to find other ways to make myself go to the gym though it was usually sporadically.

I take my vitamins- when I remember. As a result I have low iron and low B12. I have killer night muscle spasms and I get dizzy a lot. I say this to say that maintenance is key, and whether you are maintaining the effects from surgery or maintaining a healthy weight or simply trying to maintain all the weight you have lost the skills required are EXACTLY THE SAME. If you don’t have the skill you won’t magically grow it once you have had the surgery. I can’t say it plainly enough that when I had surgery on my stomach it did not change the way that I think.

I know that most overweight people are experts on the subject of nutrition. We could write our own book. We know every diet, we know what to do and the problem is never losing the weight is it? It’s keeping it off. Maintenance! Ok, I’m getting a little preachy here so let me continue with my story. So I lost the weight and actually would like to lose another fifty pounds. I had been keeping old bad habits up to this point along my journey like eating junk, chips, cake, cookies. At one point I would eat more junk than actual food on any given day. I found myself snacking all day and at any time… way into the wee hours at night. I was absolutely disgusted with myself. I hated to wake up to my bloated stomach, I hated to go to sleep with my GAS(troentestinal) problems from all the foods/sugar I was eating. I was a mess. I had to deal with the reality that my life was never about losing this weight it was about taking control where I didn’t want to have it.

This is pivotal to my story because it wasn’t as if I didn’t already know this about myself. It wasn’t as if I didn’t already know that I had a food addiction or carb. Addiction or whatever you would like to call it. I knew it, I just didn’t care. Take that back; I cared but I just felt powerless. I really did, and I knew I was powerless about a week after I had gone to Costco and purchased a huge bag of famous amos cookies and a gigantic bag of Doritos then proceeded to finish them both off in less than two weeks. Now granted, before I had this surgery I would have finished those bags in two days, but look at me. I had a life altering surgery, risked both death and a life for my son with no mother… risked my mother a life with no child, risked my girlfriend a life with no partner and continued to risk my life with no life… no quality life, that is.

Maintenance; would this idea of maintenance follow me for the rest of my life? What does it mean, why do I HAVE to do it? If I wanted to lose the rest of the weight - or at the very least stay where I was- I would have to learn this idea of maintenance.
Tomorrow we'll have Part II, where Felicia talks about her decision to go raw and the progress she's made. In the meantime, feel free to visit her journal at, where she hooks up with other gastric bypass patients for mutual support.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I'm Renewing My Search for Raw Protein Sources

(Photo: Salad)

I'm really concerned about my hair loss! This has been my theme for the past month or so. I'm still focusing on protein as the problem, and I am finding that it really isn't as easy to add protein to my diet as I thought it would be. Here are my challenges so far:
  • I don't like the taste of the KAL brewer's yeast, so I find it hard to eat
  • Nuts and seeds are high in fat
  • Tofu and soybeans are "bad for you"
  • Cheese (raw or otherwise) is high in fat
  • Romaine is a great source of whole protein, but with 6 oz of romaine in a green smoothie, I'd have to drink 5 smoothies just to get 11 grams of protein.
  • Hemp and Ezekiel are expensive loaves of bread!
So while there is no doubt I can get protein on a raw diet, it's surprisingly hard for me to consistently get ENOUGH in a way that is both practical and enjoyable. If it weren't for the hair thing, I'd say I was doing perfectly well on raw, because I feel fine, sleep very well, have enough energy to get me through the day, don't have cravings, etc. I really feel healthy, and of course I've lost almost 60 lbs now. But hair loss means something is going on. Guess I'll have to find time for that blood test ASAP.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Contemplating Edamame

(Photo: jalapenos)

I am down to 285 this morning- yaay! I tried to keep down the fat content again today by having a salad for breakfast, fruit for lunch and a hummus wrap for dinner. I had a little feta cheese -not raw!- because it was cheaper than raw cheese and I wanted some easy protein. We've been actually thinking of buying tofu so I can get my protein, although I've heard such bad stuff about it. Then we found a recipe for making our own tofu in the Raw Truth cookbook by Jeremy Safron. It calls for soaking soybeans and rinsing them several times, etc. etc. From what I read in, 1/2 of a cup of sprouted, raw soybeans has 5 grams of protein. 1/2 of a cup of green raw soybeans (must be edamame) has 17 grams of protein- WOW! I'll have to check to see which soybeans can be used to make tofu. I know some people eat edamame like candy so I guess I could put them in salads, too. Of course, now I wonder if edamame is safe.

This is a short post but I've got to go to bed!


Monday, April 24, 2006

Monday, April 24, 2006

Today I thought I'd eat less fat than I have been. I've been at around 287 for awhile, and since I'm not tracking everything I eat, it could be that I'm consuming too many calories or too much fat. Since I was having a nut burger for lunch (high in fat), I had a fruit smoothie for breakfast and another for dinner. I ran out of greens to use for a green smoothie so I tried putting a cucumber in one of them. It wasn't bad because cucumbers are mild, but I definitely detected a "green" taste in the smoothie. My second smoothie had coconut water in it. I love coconut water so much I wish I could drink it everyday. The only reason I don't is because I don't know what to do with the meat! I hate to waste it. Does anyone have any coconut meat recipes? I don't just want to eat dehydrated slices all the time (although those are yummy).

On my blog's mirror site I got a couple of responses to the nut burger post. One person asked why we soaked the nuts and seeds. Well, Juliano says in his Uncook Book that he soaks nuts simply to achieve a creamy texture when blending. He doesn't mention nutrients or digestion. And about the black beans: we bought them already sprouted from Whole Foods, so they were soft enough to use without soaking them.

And hey- thanks for the kind comments! I'm happy to know my raw food adventures are motivating and helpful to other people.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Yeah- nut burgers again!

we started with soaked nuts and seeds and ended with a deliciously healthy dinner!

Chef Felicia made those "burgers" again! This time she made adjustments to the recipe and the dehydration time based on our experiences from the first time she made them. While those first burgers were good, I think the minor changes she made this time around has improved them. And she didn't even crack open the recipe book.

First, she soaked the sunflower seeds, pecans and almonds overnight, and then today added soaked black beans, herbs and spices. She used berbere- an African spice blend I made with our collection of whole spices. (I was so glad she left out the Bragg's this time- it's strong flavoring simply isn't necessary). She shaped the patties differently- more like traditional burgers. She also adjusted the dehydration time so that they were just the right "doneness" on the inside and out- hard enough on the outside to hold the patty shape, but soft enough to make them very palatable, not dry or chewy.

The burgers looked awesome because she didn't try to completely pulverize the nuts and seeds this time. The burger picture on the left shows the patty before dehydration. The one on the right shows it afterwards.

We had the burgers on hemp bread with lettuce, tomato and avocado slices, and had a little salad on the side. I think that as far as nut burgers go, these were rather attractive! Naturally, they had a bit of texture upon biting into them because of the larger-sized nut and seed pieces, and I must say I prefer this over the smoother mixture she made last week. Texture makes a meal much more interesting. The addition of the black beans made the burgers more attractive-looking as well.

I plan to have one burger every day at school this week- something nice to look forward to that will keep me satisfied all day!

Is there a Food Pyramid for Raw Foodists?

I've been looking for a food pyramid for raw foodists. As some of you know, David Wolfe, of "Nature's First Law," has developed such a pyramid; he calls it the sunfood triangle, and it consists of three food groups: leafy greens, plant fats and fruit sugars. Wolfe's book, "The Sunfood Diet Success System: 36 Lessons in Health Transformation" details his system, which he said will lead every raw foodist to optimum health. I do not own this book, so if anyone does and would like to comment on it, I would be interested in your thoughts. According to some of the reviews on, readers like that the book focuses on natural foods and puts less emphasis on equipment such as dehydrators, or on long preparation times. The major non-positive comments center mostly around the author's ego (which isn't surprising as he calls himself the world's foremost authority on raw foods), his poetry, and his selective use of the Bible to support his claims.

Although I'm not ready to shell out $40 for his book (expensive!!), I'd probably take it out of the library to have a look at it.


If you haven't listened to Raw Vegan Radio's two-part interview with Wolfe, you might want to take a look at the sidebar to the right and click on the Raw Vegan Radio link. The interview is pretty interesting and helps you get to know how Wolfe thinks.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Oh, I ate too much tonight! I don't feel ill, I just feel like I could have stopped eating before I actually did. I had a great salad and then an endless snack of guacamole and flaxseed chips (all homemade, of course). A delicious meal and a movie on a Friday night. The scale may complain about it later, but I enjoyed it without guilt!

Today we gave away our big bottle of Bragg's to a vegan friend of ours who loves the stuff and isn't worried about what the naysayers have to say about it. She loves the taste and has been using it for awhile (in fact, we bought ours after seeing a well-used bottle at her house). She's never had any ill effects. We were happy to it to a good home. :-)

The photo above is of a raw bar I bought at Whole Foods one day. I was hungry and wanted to ensure that whatever I ate had protein, so I tried this. It wasn't bad, but I'm not a sweet-treats girl anymore (still can't get over that change). It's also hard to justify paying exhorbitant prices for these types of foods when we can make them at home in the dehydrator. We are going to try making something like this soon.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thursday, April 20, 2006

(Photo: Bragg's Liquid Aminos seasoning)

Today I ate pretty much the same small meal repeatedly- salad in various forms. I also had a fruit smoothie into which I added about 3 oz. of lettuce (rather than having a green smoothie into which I add some fruit).

The photo above is the Bragg Liquid Aminos. It appears in so many raw recipes that we bought some a couple of weeks ago. It's very salty and reminds me of strong soy sauce. Felicia used it in the nut burgers she made last week. To be honest, I can't say I like it- it's way too strong and salty for me.

I have no idea why so many recipes call for this seasoning- can it really be totally because of the taste? I did a little reading on it and I guess people consider it to be a raw product that provides the protein raw food eaters want in their diet. However, there apparently is some controversy over the "raw" claim and the safety of the product. I know there are people who swear by this stuff (like Juliano, apparently, since so many of his recipes call for it).

I found a post on We Like It Raw where people talk about some negative aspects of the product. To be fair, here's a link to Bragg's site so you can read what they say about their product. As usual, we need to do our homework. Caveat emptor.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

(Photo: Buckwheat groats)

I am so sleepy I'm going to keep things brief. I went to the doctor today- my insurance provides a walk-in type of visit. My intention was to address the hair loss problem, possibly get my blood drawn, a referral to the nutritionist, etc. Unfortunately, after being called into the doctor's office I ended up waiting for over 30 minutes for the doctor to show up. No doctor ever arrived. I left in absolute annoyance. They probably still don't know I'm gone. It's hard for me to find time to see the doctor, so I don't know when I'll go back. Anyway, I did manage to have my blood pressure tested and was unhappy to see it at 114 over 90. The 114 is all right, but the 90 is higher than I expected, and higher than the last time I checked my blood pressure. I will have to keep monitoring it to make sure the diastolic measurement (the lower number, 90) improves. I haven't been able to find information specifically on diastolic hypertension- just a blurb on, but I'd be interested in knowing more about it. Nurse Pam- are you out there?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Today I visited a job fair right before classes. Although I had a green smoothie and trail mix before leaving, I had nothing to eat and little to drink for several hours thereafter. Bad Idea. I knew I wasn't going to make it through class because I was already getting a headache. I've discovered that often when I get my headaches it's because I haven't had water in a few hours. These headaches can also come when I'm hungry, but if I remember to try water first, sometimes they'll go away without my eating anything.

Speaking of water, it's still amazing to me that I drink mostly water these days. I used to HATE water -it was like punishment! Of course, I lived on Pepsi in those days, and everything paled in comparison to that. I'm thrilled that I haven't touched Pepsi since December, 2005- especially since there is Pepsi in the house right this minute! It's been in our pantry ever since that barbecue we had, and I haven't craved it or really even thought about it. As regular readers of this blog know, the most significant benefit I have experienced by turning to raw foods is the cessation of cravings and bingeing. Pepsi does not "call" to me anymore. No longer do I need willpower to keep myself from drinking Pepsi or eating junk. I am simply disinterested.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Monday, April 17, 2006.

Monday consisted of a green smoothie before class (kiwi, banana, and 6 oz of romaine) and a morning snack of trail mix made of dried coconut, almonds, pecans and cashews with a little sea salt- a bit over an ounce. For lunch I packed one of the nut burgers and had that as a sandwich with guacamole, lettuce and tomato. The sandwich fills me up for hours, which is awesome since sometimes I study pretty late. All I have to do is remember to drink my water throughout the day. I don't do a good job of that, but I try.

The photo above is salsa. We've use it on salads, sandwiches, and have mixed into guacamole. It's a pretty all-purpose mixture that is good to make ahead of time and just dip into over the course of a week. We usually use coriander, garlic, cilantro, scallions, and tomatoes. I'll vary the recipe by mixing in yellow tomatoes to make it prettier sometimes. I pretty much use this the same way I use taboule.

On my way into class I listed to Raw Vegan Radio's podcast interview with David Wolfe. I found it to be interesting. I may have time to listen to part two today. There is a link in the sidebar to the right which will lead you to Raw Vegan Radio if you want to take a listen. Wolfe is a very enthusiastic promoter of the raw lifestyle- when I hear him I picture him as an animated man with a constant grin. I like some of his views about the quality of life one creates for oneself. I try to remain upbeat and positive even when day to day things seem difficult, tiring or bleak. Sticking with raw foods has been challenging, but as a pathway to overall holistic health, it is worth it for me to look at the challenges in a positive, character-building way. check out Raw Vegan Radio!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sunday, April 16, 2006.

(Photo: The surprisingly scrumptious "nut burger" sandwich)

My nut "burger" made a delicious lunch today. I had that along with a salad around 3 pm. I wish I could convey through photos how good that burger tastes, but they aren't the prettiest things you ever saw! Felicia made enough for us to have a burger every day for days. We're joking that by then we'll be sick of them, but I hope not. It's so nice to have a variety of foods to choose from right now: green smoothie for breakfast, and then several things to choose from for lunch and dinner: flaxseed nacho chips (yep, another Chef Felicia production) with guacamole, sushi, hummus sandwiches, salads, trail mix of seeds, nuts and dried coconut, nut burgers, and Carob devastation pie as a treat! Eating raw hasn't been this fun since I discovered the Go Raw Cafe!

My girlfriend has lost almost 15 lbs in the three weeks since she joined me on my raw odyssey. She originally was going to do this for a week but she did so well that she's continued with it and has even written about it on her own website, which she started in 2004 back when she first had her gastric bypass surgery. You can see her before and after pictures and read about her foray into raw foods by clicking this link, which takes you to her page on the website. She is really excited about the idea of using raw foods to reach her goal weight.

Gastric bypass is not the quick fix people think it is; it still takes effort not to put that food in your mouth. You can stretch your stomach back over time and regain all of your weight back, plus some. Many people who have had gastric bypass surgery don't get the support they need to eat properly after the operation. This means they have not dealt with the reasons they became severely overweight in the first place.

Felicia says that she feels, as do I, that the addiction she has for certain foods are inherent in the food itself; she doesn't crave the foods she was eating before now that she eats raw because those foods are out of her system. Both of us feel that the addiction is physical. Luckily Felicia has caught herself in time.

We hope that other gastric bypass patients who are struggling with food addiction will read Felicia's story and give raw foods some consideration. We can only speak for ourselves, of course, but if any gastric bypass patients - pre OR post op- are reading this and are dealing with food addiction, we suggest you talk to you doctor about trying a diet that includes as much whole, unprocessed, uncooked food as possible. Gastric bypass patients (especially ones just out of surgery) have special dietary needs, so its really important to learn about nutrition- something Felicia can attest to and hopefully will write about on her site.

Raw Odyssey: I'm declaring my plateau officially over!


I had my third green smoothie in a row. Today's smoothie had 2 kiwi fruit, one banana, and 6 oz. of romaine. I actually enjoyed this one without adding avocado, because using less lettuce made it smoother automatically. I left out the avocado so I could save my fat grams for another "burger"!

As you can see from the nutrition label, this smoothie was very healthy. It is even considered a complete protein, with a score of 122 from Nutrition, meaning it contains the quantity of essential amino acids considered healthy for the body. ]

This is what I like about my raw odyssey. It's easy to read a lot of controversial opinions about what raw foodists can eat, but you really have to experiment and read from many sources before you join any particular crowd. One side says you can get all you need from plants, another group says no, a third group says yes but you have to combine. My romaine itself, according to my research, is a complete protein. I acknowledge that it's hard to eat 6 oz or more of lettuce by itself, but in a smoothie it's easy to consume. So I've debunked for myself the myth that you cannot get complete proteins from plant food. (Now my mom will feel even better about my raw diet!)

Oh, and might I add I am now down to 287.5? 53.5 lbs gone since January 1st!

What a Great Meal for Day 105 Eating Raw!

(Photo: raw nut burgers)

I admit that the "burgers" pictured on the dehydrator tray might look a little- um- nasty? But if you think that looks bad, you oughtta look at the mixture while it was still in the bowl- I thought I'd spare you by putting that photo further down on the page. (Someone told me that a picture I posted from another recipe looked like the results of a liver flush! Well, this must surely look worse than that). I was really hesitant about tasting this latest creation of Felicia's, but the girl is on a roll. What she did was make "burgers" from three kinds of nuts/seeds that she blended together: pecans, cashews and sesame seeds. She basically did a take-off on a nut loaf recipe, but personalized it by grinding her own fresh spice mixture, and adding bell pepper, onion, jalapeno and fresh corn.

(Speaking of corn- those of you who now eat raw, did you ever notice when you ate SAD, that whenever you ate corn you could see the evidence of it later on when you "took care of business"? Not all of the corn kernal is digested, so whatever isn't used comes out whole at the other end! Felicia and I both noticed, though, that since we began eating raw, we never see any corn coming out! It's like we are making use of the whole kernal now. Just an interesting aside. Now back to our main story).

So, Felicia made square patties slightly thinner than the thickness of a slice of bread and dehydrated them at about 105 F for 3 to 4 hours- those are the patties you see at the top of the page. We dressed them up like real burgers: ezekiel bread, lettuce, tomato and avocado.

I was SHOCKED at how great they tasted! It's really hard for me to eat the stuff she makes sometimes because I know they are imitations of past foods, and I prefer to let go of my past habits completely. But these burgers were awesome! You would think you were eating a real burger patty - ok- maybe a turkey burger. It's more the texture that reminds you of the burger, not the taste so much, and the burger illusion is also helped by the bread, lettuce and tomato. liked these burgers, which surprised me because of the high fat content (about 35 grams per serving). They say: "This food is low in Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Magnesium and Copper, and a very good source of Manganese". A burger also has 12 grams of protein and 21% of your daily iron needs.

To work off some of those calories I actually worked out today. I did an Xbox version of a dance game that is much like Dance Dance Revolution- that arcade game where you dance to steps shown to you on a screen. Man, what a workout that was. I did this for an hour and I am in PAIN even sitting here typing this. I am so out of shape it's ridiculous. I'm sure I burned off much of that burger. The only reason I worked out for an hour is because I got "F's" on just about every dance and I was determined to pass a song, even with a C. Finally I did make it past one song, but I didn't last much longer than that.

Despite my current aches, I had a good day. I started with a green smoothie, ended with a healthy, tasty "burger," and had a fun workout. I'm reeeeally sleepy now, so I'm off to bed!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

(Photo: Chef Felicia's rendition of the Carob Devastation pie!)

Early this morning I made myself another green smoothie, this time using banana and berries along with yesterday's ingredients. It was definitely more palatable, but I'm still working on the taste.

Yesterday my girlfriend and I were talking about adding exercise to our routines. She has been to the gym, but I really haven't done much more than swap my wheelie bag for a heavy backpack for my campus walks. I may start taking walks around the neighborhood or making the effort to walk around the campus just to start building muscle and burning calories.

Last night my girlfriend put on her Chef Felicia hat again and made a Carob Devastation pie. The picture is above. It tastes great, and she made up the crust recipe herself. She's really becoming quite the raw chef. The pie is pictured above.

That's all for now!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Raw Odyssey: My First Green Smoothie!

I made my first green smoothie today. I just "winged" it. My girlfriend brought me some romaine lettuce and a slew of cucumbers. I peeled the cucumber and dropped a few chunks into the blender and processed those first, then started adding torn up romaine leaves. It was much easier than I thought it would be- I expected the leaves to just sit there with the blades spinning uselessly underneath, but the cucumber helped get things started. I alternated romaine with cucumbers, getting a beautiful green color.

I liked its wonderfully fresh and healthy flavor- but it was still bland. I added some sea salt and half a tomato, which helped. As I added the remaining cucumber and lettuce I decided to turn the smoothie into a soup. I then added 1/4 avocado for smoothness and body, a little more salt, some parsley and my homemade garam masala (from my fresh spices). Yum!

After pouring this blend in to a bowl, I dressed it up with a little parsley and sat down to eat. Let's start with the texture: it was a little like tomato juice- you know how you can see the texture in some brands of tomato juice? If I use more avocado in the future I can make this very smooth, which I may try. Now for the taste: it actually wasn't terrible, but is an acquired taste, so I drank a lot of water with it to "water down" the flavor. Next time I would add more garam masala or another spice mixture, and maybe use a whole tomato rather than half. I definitely could not eat the whole thing, though I gave it my all. I had to put 1/3 in the fridge for later tonight.

In all honesty, I don't love it. I need to experiment with the ingredients. But I felt so healthy drinking it because I know only nutritional, fresh foods are in it. I'm going to try to have one of these once a day until I run out of romaine and cucumbers. I will even try some brewer's yeast in it (heaven help me!).

Here's what said about my Green Smoothie

The Good
This food is low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.

The Bad
A large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars.
The sugar comment I've seen before- I can't win with the sugar thing! But a total of 11 grams in and of itself is not bad. It's the proportion of sugar in one meal they are noting. I'm surprised they didn't quibble about the sodium content, though.
Now, look at all the vitamin A and Vitamin C!

Ok, ok, I'm almost done. I just wanted to show the other minerals I got from this smoothie and address the protein question. I got 25% of my calcium and 40% of my iron from that one meal. Zinc, manganese, potassium... I mean, if I could drink two of these a day I could probably stop taking those Centrum pills! I even got 9 grams of protein, and according to NutritionData, this is pretty darned close to being a complete protein - a score of 95 out of 100. Remember the whole "raw foodists can't get enough protein" debate? According to NutritionData I could get the remaining 5 points from adding a few nuts or seeds to my smoothie (or eating them on the side).

Hopefully as I get used to green smoothies I'll enjoy them without drinking water on the side. To that end I'll be working on the taste and texture to create different kinds of green smoothies. I want to try kale, spinach and other greens. There are books and websites with recipes to check out, too.

My Raw Odyssey: Attacking the Hair Loss Problem

Based on the raw food message boards I peruse, so many people lose hair on raw that it seems to me it really should be made a prominent issue on raw food forums as obvious sign of the change in one's nutritrients. Hoping for a renewal in my battle to get my hair to stop thinning I went back to Raw Food Talk, one of my favorite forums, looking specifically for causes of hair falling out (not breaking off or failure to grow).

Some of the ideas they listed included "your hair follicles are repairing themselves," nutritional deficiency, "too much sebum in the scalp which 'starves' hair follicles," and detox. The detox answer is too vague for me (and seems to be the universal answer to health problems related to raw diets). However, I found all of the responses interesting and really appreciated the opportunity to read about others' real-life experiences.

The forum search reminded me to incorporate more greens in to my diet. I eat salads, but I really don't eat enough lettuce itself. I saw the greens idea several times on the RFT forum alone, and I've read about greens before. I posted a question at Roger Haeske's website, wondering what he might think. His immediate response was:

Hi Allison,
Can never be sure of the exact reasons for this happening. But this has happened to several people when switching to a raw diet.
It's possible that your body is not absorbing amino acids well enough. It takes a little while for the body to get used eating new sources of food. Over time this usually just corrects itself. But make sure to eat lots of leafy greens. Try getting the equivalent of at least a head of romaine lettuce per day. Also make sure to eat enough calories. Some people do better with green smoothies in order to help them increase their consumption of greens. Check out this site:
There are several theories as to why some raw foodists initially lose hair. But it could simply be that the body is rebuilding with better building materials and discarding the old cells. So of course the old will fall away gradually and be replaced by the new.
You just need to have some faith and make sure to eat as well balanced a raw diet as possible. Get plenty of exercise, rest and sunshine. This hair problem even happened with my ex girlfriend. But after a few months it started correcting itself. But we also found out that her mother is losing hair like crazy and she doesn't eat a raw diet. I think with women who have long hair it's more of a problem. It tends to crack and break easier. That hair is much older. If you cut your hair often and it's shorter it can renew faster. Roger

I found hope in the fact that people talk about the problem reversing itself after a few weeks or months, sometimes after they refined their diets to address the problem, and for others simply after they kept on with the raw foods.

Today I'm going to start by making green smoothies in my blender. I'll try various ingredients to make it taste good- tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and spices, whatever it takes. I don't have a juicer for those kinds of foods so I might be chewing my smoothies down- but it's for a good cause! In the meantime, I cut my hair short so that I will avoid hairstyles that will pull my hair out, and I continue to wear it natural- I was never a big fan of perms and lye anyway.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Thursday, April 13, 2006

(Photo: my wonderful, dehydrated coconut strips. I'm in love!)

The macaroons I started making yesterday didn't look much different today than they did when they went in to the dehydrator. However, they were a bit more stiff and had a harder "shell" on the outside, and are soft on the inside, like the macaroons we're used to. They dehydrated for about 17 hours. They are very coconutty, which makes me happy. Felicia likes the sweeter macaroons (from the half I made with more dates) and says they remind her of the baked ones she's had in the past. I still say that I would better appreciate them as macaroons if I had rolled them in coconut. Other than that, they're all right. I don't see myself snacking on them, but not because they taste bad; mainly because I just don't have a taste for sweet snacks that imitate junk food. I seem to gravitate more towards sweets that come from fruit, especially if it's a "mild" sweetness like with coconuts. (I have another fresh young coconut just begging to be used in a smoothie tomorrow morning).

I'm going through that period where I'm again tired of the food I eat. Same 'ol easy-to-make salads and variations of the salad, sometimes on ezekiel bread, sometimes in a bowl. Being a student I just don't put any time into coming up with new foods to try. It's not like when you're bored with the standard American diet and can remedy things by tossing into your grocery cart a few Lean Cuisines you never tried before.

I regret not having a lot of experience with fresh vegetables and fruits in my life. Eating fruits and vegetables really shouldn't be a struggle. The only reason it is, is because society has geared us towards industrially-processed meals. We've become used to having foods boxed/bagged/canned/jarred up and shipped to us from all over. I'm used to grabbing an American or Thai or Indian or Mexican or Chinese or Italian or Greek meal and popping it into the microwave. Voila- a new meal every day of the week. No preparation and little cleanup.

With raw, I've had to learn a whole new lifestyle of slow-living. I plan ahead, and I set aside preparation time for chopping things up. I've been known to spend over an hour preparing a meal these days. Not often, but it has happened. Chopping up herbs, fruits and vegetables, grating garlic, etc. takes time. Now, it may sound like I'm complaining but I really cannot complain. I feel healthier just from the act of putting all these fresh flavors together each day! I also love knowing what is going in my mouth. Since January I've ingested much less sodium, no transfatty acids, and little in the way of unpronounceable flavoring/coloring chemicals (Ironically, I get those in my Centrum!). I don't crave or binge any longer. How could I complain? I just need time and money to experiment with new foods. As a student I don't have the money to waste on a vegetable I've never eaten before- if I hate it, I'm out some money I could have used towards gasoline. This summer, however, I will work more hours and will also have extra time to experiment with my menu. I'm looking forward to June!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I made the macaroons today. They will be done dehydrating by tomorrow. The ingredients I used were:

  • 1 cup almonds, soaked for 8 hours
  • 4 medjool dates, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1/2 cup the water from the dates
  • 1/2 tablespoon almond extract (probably isn't a raw ingredient!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
The coconut was difficult to shred using a hand grater, which is what I thought I could get away doing, so I had to switch to a food processor. An entire coconut provided a bit more than 1/2 cup of shredded meat.

I combined all of the ingredients at once to the blender. After attempting to blend it I wish I had put the almonds in first and blended those before adding the other ingredients, because the mixture just wouldn't blend after a few minutes. No amount of stirring could get it moving, so I switched everything to a food processor. I was hoping that would do a better job of pulverizing the almonds and actively mixing everything. It did a much better job, but Chef Felicia still found a big almond piece in one of the macaroons!

After blending all the ingredients I was supposed to be able to shape the macaroons and drop them onto the dehydrator tray. Unfortunately, the dough was too moist, like soft cream cheese. I couldn't thicken it up because there were no more soaked almonds. Oh, well. I dropped about 25 of them on the tray and had a little dough left, which I put in the fridge. Now, I must say that 1/2 of these cookies have 2 dates and the other half have 3. I wanted to make one side less sweet because our experience has been that dehydrating enhances the flavors- salty food is saltier, spicy food is spicier.
Below is the tray of macaroons. Felicia says they look good. They dehydrate at 105 degree F for 12 - 24 hours. I set the dehydrator to close to 110 at first, then turned it down to 105 since the outsides were getting hard by the time 3 hours had gone by.

Now, I must admit that I tasted one and didn't think it was sweet enough, but like I said, they might get sweeter when more moisture has left them. If I make them again, I think I will roll them in the coconut shreds rather than blending the coconut into them.

Hope that was informative! We'll let you know how they turn out. If anyone has variations on this recipe, feel free to share them!

Testing a Message Board

I've gotten some very helpful comments on this blog and on its mirror site, but I haven't found a way to make those comments visible all the time for everyone. I'm trying out Tagboard as a way for people to leave comments for me or for each other. I don't know if I'll like it or not, so it may be here today and gone tomorrow! If too many spammers use it (which they probably will) it'll have to go. The test starts today; the board can be seen below this post (I hope!) :-D

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

(Photo: lemonade made with fresh squeezed lemons and agave nectar)

I weighed myself! This time I have good news to report. However, heaven only knows how long this will last, since I seem to be on a plateau. My weight this morning was 289. I started at 341 on January 1st, 2006, so that's 52 lbs gone FOREVER.

I did a little measuring yesterday and found I've lost inches just about everywhere, including my neck. Funny- why don't people measure their faces? Is it just because it's weird? Well, I can tell from my old photographs that even at a lighter weight than I am today, my face was rounder. Maybe that's just sign of getting older- less fat in one's face. My thighs have lost 2 inches apiece and clothes are fitting better all the time. Maybe I can start feeling positive about the scale again!

Oh- the coconut strips came out fine! They are pliable and chewy and a wonderful treat. I will eat them sparingly, however, due to their fat content. I love coconut. It's great to be able to love food and have absolutely no desire to overeat it. I still can't get over that. That is what eating raw has done for me.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Monday, April 10, 2006.

(Photo: Himalania Sea salt)

I sprinkled a little of the brewer's yeast onto my salad this evening and I survived. However, I must confess that I didn't sprinkle that much, and I had a lot of flavor in the salad already which covered up much of the yeast flavor! I'm a wimp, but it was a good start. Next time I'll sprinkle a little more, I promise!

Right now I am dehydrating the meat from the coconut I hacked this week. I had a tough time getting the shell apart- all the hacking away in the world didn't do me much good, so I ended up scooping the meat out of an almost intact coconut using a big knife. I sliced the meat into strips rather than shredding it, and arranged them on two of the Harvester trays. The temperature is set to about 110 degrees F, because based on the dehydrator's past performances, the temperature is really probably under 100 degrees. They have been dehydrating for almost 3 hours now, and boy does the house smell good! I wish I could have this aroma every day. I will probably use the coconut in a raw trail mix, but I also want to try making a recipe I found for raw macaroons for my girlfriend. (Well, I might eat a couple myself!)

That's all for today. I look forward to looking at the coconut pieces tomorrow!

Nutritional Yeast (Blech!)

I got a couple of helpful responses to my Yeast post. Ren says to try it in orange juice. Thanks, as always, Ren!

Krystal sent a message that not only was helpful, but made me chuckle:
"Oh, Honey. Nutritional yeast is not meant to mix with sweet foods. I can't *believe* the can said you could drink it straight, and personally I wouldn't recommend contaminating your smoothies with it either. It makes a decent "cheese" substitue, though. I use it on salads or as a "parmesean" flavoring. It isn't quite the same as real parmesean, but that's probably the closest comparison I can come up with. Just sprinkle small amounts on your salads, pizza, chips, etc. I think you'll find it pretty tasty if you spread it thin. Good luck!"

Thanks for the sympathy, Krystal, and the suggestions.

I will try the ideas both of you sent. Maybe these suggestions will help other people, too.
Thanks for the help!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sunday, April 9, 2006.

I hopped on the scale and it finally looks as if I've dropped about three pounds. I've been going up a pound or two and then going back down, maintaining a steady averweight over the past few weeks, so I'm not going to get excited about possibly breaking my plateau. Still, it was nice to see a bigger change than usual. I didn't really change my diet over the past few weeks- I'm still eating raw cheese, drinking smoothies and eating avocados. I even put olive oil and pecans on a recent salad. I resolve not to be afraid of fatty plant foods! I know that I may need to try reducing my fat intake if I remain on this plateau, but it would be pretty cool to start losing weight again without any changes. We shall see. I've tried to be very patient these past few weeks!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

How a layperson opens a young coconut

Today I thought I'd show you a humorous clip of how I open up a young coconut. Notice I said how I open a coconut! My way is the unskilled version of an actual, legitimate method. A skilled person wouldn't need a million hacks to get through the shell and then top off the experience by pouring half the water down the drain. Hey- I learn as I go!

Oh - here's another not-so-smooth experience I had today. I decided to try the nutritional yeast flakes we just bought, since I want to increase my protein intake. According to the container, the brand we bought has a "superior flavor" to that other brands and is great simply mixed with water. One scoop has 8 grams of protein. I was going to have two scoops until I saw how big a "scoop" actually is, so I settled for one, mixing it with the coconut water you saw above (gotta be better than plain water, right?). These were supposed to be flakes, but they seemed to be more powder than flake. The little granules dissolved very quickly into a thick, smooth shake-like consistency, and I took a swig.



People DRINK this stuff?? Oh. My. GAWD- it was the worst stuff I've ever tasted! I mean, it is worse than the worst stuff I tasted a few weeks ago, whatever THAT was. It even has the worst SMELL I've ever smelled! I spit out the first mouthful- and then was reminded of how expensive the can was. I therefore steeled myself for another mouthful, because I cannot afford to waste good money.This time I choked it down with a huge gulp of water. Hm -with enough water to almost drown you, it's harder to taste! I figured I could do another. I barely got that one down. There were about two mouthfuls left, but I couldn't do it. I spit it into the sink and tossed the remaining amount down the drain after it. The memory of it is as horrifying as drinking it. (Ugh, I think I can still SMELL it!)

I am going to have to find a way to peacefully coexist with the rest of that huge, expensive can of yeast, so it looks like it will have to go into my smoothies. I can hear the fruit in the refrigerator cringing and gasping. My apologies, dear fruit.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Testing Video Blogging for Raw Odyssey

(Video: Felicia's Raw Pizza)

I am testing the possibilities of video blogging at Raw Odyssey. What I have here is a rather clunky video of Felicia's raw pizza. It makes a convenient test video for this little project. If anyone is interested in the technical aspect (especially if it doesn't work for you), it is a .mov file, which I converted from an .avi file that wouldn't work. I used Power Point to create the .mov on my Mac. If I have time to get this to work properly, I'll add video of other Raw Odyssey-related adventures in future blogs. And without the extraneous noise! I may go back to some previous posts and upload videos as well, since some of my photos are from videos I'm making of my odyssey to health. I love technology, especially those related to communication.


Friday, April 7, 2006

(photo: young Thai coconut before it is shaved and shaped into that odd appearance)

Ahhhhh... more Thai coconuts! Now that we're "experts," we weren't scared to buy three of them this time (a dollar apiece). These things are my new obsession- just cracking one open and smelling it is relaxing. I used the coconut water (minus what I spilled all over the table) for another smoothie this morning, replacing the usual orange juice. Here's what NutritionData says about today's concoction: coconut water, papaya, mango and banana:

The Good This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C.

The Bad
A large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars.

This smoothie has 64 grams of sugar- I guess that's "bad." But if I had used 8 oz of orange juice instead of the 1 & 1/3 cups of coconut water, the smoothie would have had 9 points and 87 grams of sugar.

Hey- I added a new food to my menu: Ezekiel sprouted tortillas. Yaay- I'm all about trying new things. The tortilla gave me a little break from the bread. Time for some enchiladas!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Thursday, April 6, 2006

I had a really tasty smoothie for breakfast and couldn't help but look up the nutritional content. I was surprised at how much this smoothie packed! It's got 9 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat, and 25 grams of fiber. It gave me 356% of my vitamin C, 15% of my calcium, and 21% of my iron. It was 14 points (almost half my day's allotment). Here's what said about it:

The Good
This food is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin K and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C.

The Bad
A large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars.

My smoothie had:
3 dates
1/2 honeydew
1.35 oz coconut meat
1 kiwi
1/2 banana
1 cup raspberries

Besides the smoothie I had my favorite hummus sandwich on hemp bread -the photo shows my girlfriend's version, which uses guacamole instead of the avocado slices I usually put in it. For dinner I made sushi.

I must admit that I weighed myself today- so much for trying to avoid the scale. I haven't lost a THING. But I've definitely been losing inches! Today I was able to zip up all of the pants I couldn't even pull up over my hips in January. I wouldn't wear any of those clothes out, though- too tight for comfort. But it's nice to know that I have a brand new pair of cargo pants, and two pairs of capris pants coming up. I also have a couple of sweat pants I should be able to wear in a month or so. I can fit into my button-down blouses more comfortably and don't have to wear them all as jackets due to their not truly fitting me. :-D It's always nice to have new clothes waiting for you.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Today I had two hummus sandwiches using hemp bread, which I'd bought for its protein content (7 grams per slice). Unfortunately, I found out that it is not flourless. I'm not too upset about it since it isn't causing me to have any cravings or desires to binge. However, I won't buy any more since I prefer Ezekiel bread. In the evening I had a smoothie into which I blended some coconut meat from the Thai coconut I bought on Sunday. I didn't put enough in to actually taste it, so that's an experiment I'll have to try again.

That's all to report- another short and sweet entry!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

(Photo: guacamole with Chef Felicia's dehydrated jalapeno corn chips.)

These grad student hours are killing me! I ate my breakfast (a salad) in the car again on the way to classes. At the university I had about 2 oz. of pumpkin seeds and a banana. At home I had a nice treat- guacamole with the corn chips my girlfriend made in the dehydrator. The chips were good, but there were two things we want to adjust for next time: they cracked easily when we used them with the guacamole, and they were too sweet for our taste. Next time she'll probably adjust them by using corn that isn't the sweet variety, and will make the layer -or the puree itself- thicker. I'd like to add a little raw cheese to them, too!

Felicia's flax seed crackers came out GREAT. They are crunchy and full of flavor from the garlic and whatever else she threw in. According to, flaxseed is a relatively good source of protein for me, having 5 grams per oz. By weight, pumpkin, hemp and sunflower seeds have more protein, but flax is a great way to add variety, and those crackers taste way better than a handful of sunflower and pumpkin seeds. We could make crackers out of all those seeds together - I've seen bars like that at Whole Foods.

That's all for now! Time for bed.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Monday, April 3, 2006.

(Photos: corn mixture for chips, flax seed mixture for crackers, dough for living bread)

he's at it again. She's dehydrating three different kinds of bread/crackers/chips at the SAME TIME. (Note to Chubbiegirl- she's doing your corn chip suggestion). She put jalapenos in it, too. I can't wait to taste them because,as they say in the black vernacular, "she stuck her foot in it!" I'm in for some tasty treats tomorrow.

Today I had a salad for breakfast (with 10 grams of protein from hemp seeds), a hummus and taboule sandwich for lunch, and sushi for dinner. For the sushi I made the carrot croquette recipe I learned at Go Raw, but added garlic. I know I had LOTS of calories today because of the ground sunflower seeds in the recipe, but I also got a good amount of protein with them.

One thing I now know is that my food processor is a little...shall we say, cheap? I couldn't grind everything down to a fine enough texture to make the croquette recipe as smooth as the Go Raw people do. Luckily(sort of), somebody-whose-name-shall-not-be-mentioned broke the top part of the food processor -like I said, it was cheap. So now, dangnabbit, we have to get a new one! The next one will be bigger and badder.

I've posted the "before" pictures of the foods my girlfriend is fixing. Tomorrow (or the next day) I'll post the afters. I'm especially looking forward to the corn chips. Mmmmmmmm.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sunday, April 2, 2006

(Photos from Go Raw "uncooking" class: soup, croquette, salad)

I took pictures of myself for the beginning of month #4. I can tell I've lost some weight, but there's not a whole lot of change as far as I'm concerned. A friend who hasn't seen me since before the holidays noticed a little bit of a difference, but nothing dramatic. :-( I hope the next time she sees me I'll look dramatically different.

Today I attended a raw food class at the Go Raw Café It was a lot of fun. There were about 15 "students" present, a nice mixture of ages and genders. Upon arrival, we all got a young Thai coconut and a shot of wheatgrasss, a combo termed a "blood transfusion." Supposedly the nutritional makeup of wheatgrass and coconut together are comparable to the makeup of our blood. I haven't done any reading on that but found it an interesting idea. This was the first time I'd had a decent coconut. The first one I tried was kinda nasty, but back then I had no idea how to choose a coconut. This one was filled to the brim with clear "water" that had a light, pleasant, faintly sweet taste. I drank all of the water straight from the coconut using a straw, and tasted some of the meat, which was had a "gel"-like texture. Luckily I'd read about this texture before, so I knew I had a good coconut. The flesh was faintly sweet. I never realized how refreshing a young coconut really is.

We learned to make a carrot and avocado soup, carrot croquettes, and a salad dressing that used soaked cashews as a base. Everything was very tasty and made both easily and quickly with a food processor, blender and juicer. If I had a juicer, I'd be making that soup tomorrow. I took home three croquettes and made sushi with them this evening- very enjoyable! At home I also made a smoothie using coconut water, since I couldn't help but buy a young coconut before leaving the class. It was great! It gave the smoothie a slight "vanilla" background (I can't think of a better comparison at the moment). Too bad coconuts are so expensive; I would prefer coconut water over orange juice or water in my smoothies.

So today I had two smoothies, some coconut water, and the meal you see pictured above and below from the Go Raw class. Go Raw may have these classes monthly. I don't know if I can afford them all, but if I could go, I would! There's something to be said about being around flesh-and-blood people who are eating raw food just like you. Internet support is awesome, but to meet and talk to people in your own physical community provides emotional support in a different way. Some of the people in the class were so vibrant and healthy looking! I can't wait to have that glow and energy myself. It's so hard to have 150 lbs to lose. Being around people who have what I am striving for is very motiving, though. I look forward to going back to the café. We need a support group!

(Photo: dessert at Go Raw "uncooking" class: mango with raw cacao nibs)



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