Well, I say I did it because I'm nearly there! Today's my last day and I'm off to a great start: A delicious bowl of oat groats muesli with cherries, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, sun-dried mulberries, and a sprinkling of chia seeds. Yum yum!!
And pictured at left is part of last night's dinner: Raw flax-sunflower seed bread generously filled with chatni geshneez (spicy homemade cilantro chutney), artisanal butter lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sunflower sprouts, lime-spiked sweet onion slices, avocado slices, and a dash of Himalayan salt. Although J conked out on Raw Day 1, he did volunteer to become my personal cup-bearer.
The muesli got the taste-test. "Mmm, make me some for breakfast tomorrow, would you? And let's mix in blueberries and strawberries."
The salads got the taste-test. "Wow, these sprouted beans and dried tomatoes really make this thing, don't they? Hey, pass me some more basil."
The raw goodies, like the carrot cake with cashew cream frosting and the date balls, all got the taste test. "These are raw?? What's this frosting stuff? I could eat this by itself."
And my dinner sandwich last night got a huge chunk taken out of it -- "Well, for testing purposes only," of course -- immediately after I snapped the photo. Sorry it's so bright, but it got pretty mangled with the taste-test.
Everything was tested and pronounced "fit" for me to eat. The dehydrated bananas, raw crackers, all of it.
Seriously, it was not as hard as I thought it would be. Having a dehydrator really helped, though, because I could make bread for a sandwich or snacking. I love salads and fresh fruits and veggies, but sometimes it's nice to really be able to sink your teeth into something.
I didn't get around to making "cheeses" or really fancy dishes and desserts, but I will definitely be trying some of them. And I won't be doing raw for weeks at a time -- I just love hot foods, even in summer -- but it will be a big part of my life. Especially the bread. Being gluten-free, it's hard to find really great bread that travels well. Last year's climbing trip to Colorado, I took brown rice flour tortillas along and rolled them around all sorts of filling combinations: cheese slices, tomatoes, cucumbers, hummus, herbs, you name it. But before I could get two or three bites down, the tortilla was dried, cracking, and peeling -- like bad paint. All I did was complain that I'm about to call it quits with road trips because I can't ever find good road trip food. I didn't like myself on this trip -- all because of the bread ;)
Along comes this raw bread (I used Ani Phyo's black sesame sunflower bread) which is fantastically supple. I know it will be what I'll be taking with me on ALL future camping and road trips. It's delicious, adapts well to flavor variations, and holds up to all kinds of fillings. Thank you, Ani, for saving me!! Can't wait to get on the road now :)
Besides all the great tastes, I've felt really good and "light," with an amazing amount of energy. You know, whenever you tell your physician, or anybody else for that matter, that you're vegetarian, or that you're doing a raw diet, the first thing they challenge is that you won't get enough protein. Oddly enough, these are usually also the same people who drink diet sodas and eat fat-free, low-carb, preservative-rich and chemically-fortified food. There are so many sources of protein, other than animal, that if you're halfway educated about food and do minimal research, you'll get plenty of protein....complete proteins, and vitamins, and enzymes, and fiber, and the list of pronounceable ingredients goes on.
For the first time since my last surgery (nearly four weeks ago), we took the dogs out for a walk. J was desperate for a breakfast burrito with sauteed onions, jalapenos, bell peppers, tomatoes, and veggie brekkie sausage. Of course, we had no bells, so at 9pm, we geared up Leia and Nomi and headed out to the supermarket. After meandering through the neighborhood, we ran across the main road, and just kept running. I was running. I, the non-runner, was running and it actually felt like I could've run a long time. I wasn't panting; I wasn't saying, "Stop! Stop! That's all I can do." Well, to be honest, I was saying, "Stop! Stop! That's all I can do" -- because I'm not supposed to be bouncing "the girls" around yet.
My point, though, is that I had a lot more energy than I expected. No headaches. No body aches. Sure, the prep time is consuming, but so is prep time for any "regular" fresh food. The cost is probably the same; haven't calculated.
The cost to my body? Priceless!
Raw -- it does my body good :)
Ok, gotta go. I'm off to make a batch of Sun-dried Tomato Cheeze for my dinner salad & sandwich tonight.
Oh, last but not least, I must apologize for not having a give-away this month. Just way too much going on, including work, work, and more work, and therapy for my injured rotator cuff, and my niece is graduating next week from University of Texas (hook 'em horns!!), and my firefighter son bought a new house and "mom, please" got volunteered to wait as all the appliances were delivered one by one, and....oh, what they hey!!! Next month's giveaway is:
THE MILLENNIUM COOKBOOK: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine by Eric Tucker & John Westerdahl, with dessert recipes by Sascha Weiss. The back cover reads, in part:
"This is vegan eating at its lush, sensual best, a gourmet feast for the eyes and senses. The recipes draw on a world of culinary influences, bringing together glorious flavors from Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and beyond, in intriguing appetizers, wholesome soups and salads, creative pizzas and pastas, satisfying entrees, and truly decadent desserts."
You WILL want this book!!