Posted by: Shavai | February 26, 2010

The Road To Raw

You might think it would be hard to give up the prepared foods lifestyle for raw.  It is in ways you can’t even imagine.  I still love steak so that’s always rolling around in the back of my mind.  I am lucky enough, however, to have a local store which receives “Awesome Foods” products (prepared raw food dishes).  I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know if I could do this without them.  I don’t have very good domestic genes. The art of preparing foods (or a menu) was never passed down to me.  I remember going to a few 4-H meetings, but that is no substitute for being taught a childhood of skill.

I’ve been watching “The Renegade Health Show” for a while now, so I feel a little bit better about trying to prepare something.  The only problem is I don’t have that foundational layer down yet. Anyone who’s lost all their food in a weather event due to utility outages knows what I’m talking about.  Until you’ve had to throw out EVERY item in your refrigerator, you don’t realize how many things are foundational, such as ketchup, mustard, mayo, salad dressing, Worcestershire Sauce, etc.  I haven’t got a clue what goes in the foundational raw food kitchen.

The first few things I purchased in that vein were Himalayan Pink Sea Salt by The Real Food Trading Company and George’s 100% Aloe Vera Fractionally Distilled Liquid from Aloe Vera Leaves.  It says “Always Active Aloe” on the jug.  I was going to buy some Acai juice to put in my smoothies, but what I had purchased previously from our local health food store seemed to be loaded down with Agave and too sweet to the taste. Of all the supplements on that isle, I remembered how my favorite supplement line felt Aloe was an important healing tool and this half gallon jug looked affordable.

I also bought some Whey Factors 100% Natural Whey Protein (Strawberry) because it was on sale and I was starting to feel the effects of lack of protein in my diet in the morning.  No added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, GMO Free…and kinda nasty tasting. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized it was a milk product and I’m somewhat lactose intolerant.  At least I learned how important reading ALL the ingredients was.

For the last week, a lot of my foods have been raw.  I’m still relying on the pound of spaghetti I use to get me through to the end of the month as a filler every day.  It was a staple of disability eating – cooking a pound of spaghetti and getting 7 dinners out of it.  Of course, there are probably horrible things in the Prego spaghetti sauce, but until I figure out how to make something myself that will fill my stomach the same way (or my stomach gets used to lighter fare) I’m going to stick with it as a base. The Barilla PLUS package says it’s a good source of protein and since I haven’t figured out how to get protein into my diet sufficiently, I’m going with it.  (I don’t like the taste of soy products and someone told me it’s bad for you.)

My diet this week has consisted of a morning smoothie with an organic banana, frozen non-organic blueberries and strawberries, almond milk, Stone Farm Organic Vanilla Yogurt, some Green Phyto-powder, a shot glass of the Aloe stuff and for the last two days the protein powder.  I found that waiting until the bananas are ripe (spots starting to form on their skin) tastes a lot better.

I haven’t been waking up until noon or 1:00PM so the next meal usually includes an “Awesome Foods” raw meal.  I’ve had the soft shell taco (my favorite – yum!), the lasagna and the raw better than turkey salad.  I enjoyed all of these items, mostly because the tastes are so flavorful you can only eat half the product.  (I wind up eating the other half three hours later, but I think that’s just because I’m used to having a different type of food in my stomach and raw food digests more quickly.)  I tried the Burritos today and have come to the conclusion if you didn’t like the way something tasted as regular food, you’re probably not going to like the raw food version of it.

I have also been eating half of a Raw Revolution Organic Live Food Bar for desert (filling and it cleanses the intense taste from the other food off the palate).  I know I probably shouldn’t mix real raw food with a raw food bar (something about how items should be eaten together), but I’m trying to change an entire eating style.  Desert has always been on the menu and until I can alter how I eat things together, I’m going to do whatever will help me stay on the diet.  Not all the Raw Revolution bars are 100% organic.  My favorite, Hazelnut and Chocolate is only 90.6% raw (the Cocoa Powder is processed with Alkali?).  I also liked their Raspberry and Chocolate, but wasn’t as fond of the Chocolate and Cashew.  The Cashew and Agave Nectar bar is 100% raw and another good flavor, mostly because it doesn’t have that underlying fermented cocoa essence. Their web site says they have a Tropical Mango bar as well, but I haven’t seen it in the store yet.

I get my Silk Almond Milk from the plain old Kroger Grocery Store.  It’s cheaper there.  I also found some Organic and Artisan-Baked Seeded Spelt snack crackers in their organic department.  I remember back when I first tried to find a cure for my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, an Iridologist told me I should use spelt products instead of wheat.  They have sunflower, sesame and flax seeds on them. I eat two or three of them when my blood sugar starts falling (hypoglycemic) and I get hungry too quick. They seem to calm my nerves.  Thank you Doctor Kracker for making it just a little bit easier to stay on my diet.  When my blood sugar starts falling and I’m not hungry, I’ll get an organic carrot or a couple of organic romaine leaves out and eat them.

A week ago I weighed 302 pounds.   This morning I weigh 294.6, had 63.4% fat, a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 52.2 and was 26.7% water.  I’m happy about this because I didn’t go upwards in weight after doing my first “cardio exercise” (which means something completely different when you are morbidly obese).  Usually when I start exercising, I gain weight the first few days.

I had fun doing my latest exercise – even being so heavy that bending my leg at a 90° angle was getting to be an issue.  I love “Dancing With The Stars” and happened to see their “Cardio Dance” video with Ashly, Kym and Maksim at an affordable price when shopping one day. They start the video out with stretching exercises, then go into simple Paso Doble steps.  From there, they do a Cha Cha section, which was a little too fast for my recuperating calf muscle.  The next section, Samba, was a lot of fun.  I skipped the Jive section due to my leg and went straight to the cool down.  I got a great workout (warm through and through) in spite of my weight and current mobility challenges.  The DVD gives you a chance to design your own workout as well – I’m not really sure how to use that feature yet, but I’ll let you know as I become more familiar with the dances.

I hope the links and information contained in this blog will help others who don’t have raw food available to them in their areas. Surprisingly, you can buy a lot of these items (even the Awesome Foods meals) directly from the manufacturer and have them sent to your home.  Some shipping charges may be more than others, but if you buy in bulk there’s a GOOD chance you’ll be saving quite a bit over the cost you would have paid by going to the store and purchasing it.

Until we meet again, may your days be as magnificent as every day is supposed to be. 😀

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