Agh nuts!….Awwwww, nuts:)

Nobody said this raw food diet was going to be easy. It’s been just over a week and I have a confession to make. I slipped up a couple of times. It could have been avoided had I been a bit more prepared and organized. I only have myself to blame. Here’s the gist of my culinary confession. Non-raw foods consumed this week:

1) one Starbuck cappuccino – I did ask for soy milk and didn’t add sugar but it’s still not on.
2) Chinese food – had blizzard conditions here and hadn’t stocked up so I ordered in. Maybe I should get somebody to rub my nose in it. To be truthful, the food was too salty and the veggies were stir-fried to death and I threw half of it away. So I wasted money too.
3) Drank diet pop on two occasions – always had a weakness for the stuff. I’ve since bought another pitcher and have filtered water with lemon, or cucumber in it and this is satisfying me. I also made sun tea. You put some herbal teabags in a jar or pitcher of water and set it in direct sunlight. Our dining room window is perfect for this. In a few hours, you have tea to enjoy.

So agh nuts! (as I kick myself in frustration)

Okay, that’s over with and I did have some victories this week with raw food. I’ve been playing around with my dehydrator and made some strawberry puree tarts (you wouldn’t know they were raw!)

I’ve been prowling around the internet and in my local library for “recipes” and more information on how to make nut milks, soak nuts and obtain raw nuts at a reasonable price. I’ve ordered a couple of books and am using a book from my library to learn more. Different nuts have different soaking times, for example. Who knew?

And the reason you soak nuts is to activate an enzyme they contain that aids in digesting the nut. For anyone with gastrointestinal concerns, this would be something to look into. Also, after soaking their flavour is enhanced which can only be a good thing!

I’ve made many different types of veggie and nut dishes this past week. To keep costs down, I have been looking at flyers for produce on sale and have clipped coupons for the local bulk buying store (it was worth the time).

I’ve also got a few favorite treats (because they’re easy and fast!)

I’ve been making almond butter and spreading it on celery with raisins on top in a healthier version of “ants on a log”. I loved ants on a log as a kid and I’m just a bigger kid now. Any nut butter will do and I’m going to try dried cranberries next time – for fire ants. They are red, aren’t they?

I also find that a piece of fruit and a half dozen almonds gives me a great pick me up mid-morning or mid-afternoon when my energies flag. I throw these into a resealable snack bag and throw them in my purse. It stops me from being tempted by fast food snacks and junk food.

Another fast lunch or dinner I like is a throw together salad consisting of one avocado,  two tomatoes, a handful of olives, celery and red onion. I add a dash of homemade vinaigrette and chow down. You can vary this up as you wish and please let me know what you come up with.

Anyway, back to nuts. Awwwww, nuts:) I’ve bought cashews, hazelnuts, and almonds this week to try different things. I used the hazelnuts to make the tart shells for the strawberry puree tarts. I’ll make another batch and post some pictures of these creations for you. In my next post I’ll include the recipe so you can give it a try, Please keep in mind that you’ll need a dehydrator so the temperature stays below 110F to keep the plant enzymes active and ready to protect your health.

I will write more on the glories of nuts in raw food next week. I’m still getting my own head around their benefits and uses. There’s a lot more to this raw food living than I knew but that just makes it more interesting and challenging!

 

 

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New Year’s Resolution – Never Cook Again!

I was never the great cook in my family. My grandmother bakes the most glorious fresh fuit pies, my mother makes everything from borscht to roast beef dinners with panache and my twin sister has the home with the newly-renovated, fully equipped kitchen that she puts to good use.

I can do a mean microwave popcorn. However, I’m also a great eater (in my family who isn’t?) which led to a pudgy childhood that I survived with no ill-effects.

Getting back to the here and now. I’m making it official. I’ve decided to go against family tradition and embark on a new dietary lifestyle. The raw food diet. I respectfully apologize to my meat-eating ancestors but it’s time. 

Why? Lets start with what I call “The No Mores”:

  1. no more burning my forearm on the upper oven rack
  2. no more forgetting that pot on the stove and having to scrape the burnt offerings off with industrial strength cleaner
  3. no more scrubbing pots and pans ever – unless I want to be a good guest at someone else’s house
  4. no more dishtowel wave aerobics under the smoke alarm
  5. no more hot kitchens in the summertime

Now I know this isn’t going to be easy. After all I live in the Great White North. A beautiful, snow-covered vista when viewed from the interior of a well-insulated house but extremely chilly otherwise. How will I keep the fat on my bones to stay warm? Will I have to hibernate? Will going without a big bowl of stomach-warming beef broth be too much for me? What about hot chocolate?

But I’m doing this for my health and well-being. Here are the guidelines I’m setting for myself. The raw food diet has many variations so I have pieced together what I believe is best for my circumstances. I am not advocating this for everyone. Each person should do their own research and soul-searching to define what is best for him or her. I am here to share what I’ll be going through and hope I’ll be some help to others considering this same challenge.

Back to the guidelines which are as follows:

  1. Cut out dairy products (not difficult as I’m not a milk fan)
  2. Go mainly vegetarian (I’ll still have the occasional raw tuna and sashimi)
  3. Go gluten-free (easier all the time with specialty aisles in mainstream stores)
  4. Keep my dehydrators and food processor busy
  5. Go shopping for fresh fruit and produce more often
  6. NO processed foods of any kind

That’s it then. My situation revealed for all the world to see and hold me accountable. Please do! I know I can’t do this alone. No self-discipline when it comes to food. I once ate a half-pound fruitcake by myself in one sitting. But I’ve forgiven myself that faux pas of Christmas 2012. I’m on to a fresh beginning.

Get it?…fresh?….

Okay, I’ll apologize for that last bit.

I’ll be back in a week to let you know how things are going and to share the resources and tips I’ve collected.

Now I’m off to tape a “Do Not Enter” sign on my microwave and range…