I haven’t been blogging for several days since I was attacked by the lasagna.  Yes, at first I thought it was an oil problem. My mom had made a suggestion that I cook it to get the oil to loosen up so I could soak it up in a paper towel.  I wasn’t feeling very good that day, so I ate something very plain and waited until the next day.

I’d had this metal taste in my mouth every time I ate something and I had been asking my mom what to do.  The only thing she could think of was pneumonia.  While it’s true, my sister and I had pneumonia when we were little, I wouldn’t have expected it to be detoxing now.  I did an Arise & Shine cleanse in the late ’90s that pulled a WHOLE lot of toxins out of my body. I felt 10 years younger when I was done.  This was no detox.

Without a solid answer to my metal mouth problem, I went on the web.  I was shocked by what I found.  One of the very first web sites I found was talking about this metallic taste.  When I read through the comments in this guy’s blog it became apparent that rancid pine nuts are not only a frequent problem, but the people selling them (Trader Joe’s and other grocery chains around the world) have known about China’s rancid pine nut problem since 2008!

Not only did I have massive stomach upset after ingesting them, I haven’t been able to really taste anything since the day I ate that lasagna.  After doing so well with cardio, I didn’t have enough energy to walk down the street (which is sad – the temperature here has been wonderful these last two days).  I am absolutely amazed that Trader Joe’s has known about this problem for so long and yet it continues to sell these cheap, contaminated pine nuts from China.

On the one hand, I’m glad I’ve been documenting my expenses as normally I wouldn’t still have the receipt.  On the other, I’m upset my first real raw food recipe poisoned me.  My meat-eating little heart just wants to go drown it’s sorrows in an Outback steak. Unfortunately, I’ve spent all my money on raw foods ingredients.  To be truthful, I love the way I feel after eating a raw food dish.

This setback has really scrambled me.  I had a couple of days where I know for sure I ate no protein (just eating salads and smoothies).  I found a cabbage web site with lots of good info and helpful tips from other people in the comments section. Unfortunately, I can’t find the site anymore as my Google Chrome browser crashed and lost all the bookmarks and history I made during that session.

I’m sitting here waiting for my Raw Coconut from Awesome Foods to arrive*, if for nothing other than comfort.    I feel miserable, need a shower and more smoothie ingredients as I’ve run out of frozen organic ingredients and organic bananas.  I know I can change my outlook easily, and as soon as I finish this blog I will go tap along with my favorite Brad Yates videos.

These, however, are the things you run up against when you take on an endeavor as drastic as changing over to a raw food diet without any help or support.  I still haven’t put a menu together that I can shop for at one time and that is a bit disturbing as I’m concerned about lack of protein.

I have to give thanks to the ancestors on my mother’s side of the family who set out across a new America back in the 1800s.  Any time I feel like I just want to give it all up and get a rotisserie chicken from Sam’s Club, I remember how they rode in covered wagons across the wilderness, lost children on the Oregon trail that may have lived had they stayed in their town where a doctor was available and finally claimed free land where they built their farms and started new lives.  My frustrations seem petty compared to the struggles they endured.  Everything in perspective.

Today’s Statistics:

Weight: 281.4
Fat %: 60.3
BMI: 49.8
Water %: 28.9

* While I was doing a final edit of this post, my order from Awesome Foods arrived with my Raw Coconut Spread in it. What an amazing uplifting experience!  Every container (I bought five to meet their $20 minimum order limit) has twice as much product in it as I’ve ever seen the ones in the store have. I’m in heaven. 😀

I'm in heaven.

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Posted by: Shavai | March 7, 2010

Recovery and Proof

Well, I thought it was the recipe from hell and today it proved itself.

Due to the physical abuse I forced on my heels, I actually slept 9 hours today (because I didn’t get to sleep until 10:00 a.m. this morning).  I figured the first thing I would do is weigh myself and see what my body had done with all that olive oil in it.  I can only say that I was shocked by what the scale had to say.  Not only did I have a huge drop in weight (for a daily marker), my fat content actually went down.  I’m completely confused.

To make matters worse, I ate a piece of the lasagna for lunch.  I will never, ever, fix another thing with that much olive oil in it again. While I can attest to the fact that the lasagna tasted better today, what it did to my stomach was unforgivable.  I went for a walk sometime after eating, which I do when I eat something a little heavier,  but all that olive oil it wasn’t sitting as lightly in my stomach as I had hoped.  Upon returning I felt violently ill.  Not the type where you actually lose your stomach, but when every waking minute you feel like you’re going to.  I suppose if I was more amenable to shoving my finger down my throat, it would have been easier going.

My mother says that olive oil is very good for weight loss due to it’s properties.  I’m going to have to find a halfway point in which to meet it. It seems like quite a lot of recipes on this raw food diet use it.

Today’s Statistics:

Weight: 283.8
Fat %: 50.2
BMI: 61.0
Water %: 28.4

Posted by: Shavai | March 6, 2010

The Raw Food Recipe From Hell

Yuck

You read it almost everywhere – raw food cohorts that advise you not to get too chummy with intricate recipes.  Being somewhat logical and having no domestic skills, I liken a recipe to a list of steps.  You keep doing one after another until it is complete.  So I figured I would find a good lasagna recipe that would provide meals for the entire week.  I found one with a picture of it, which I thought looked good. Was I ever wrong!

The reason I call this the raw food recipe from hell is it was posted in a blog with the comment that it could be done with an every day food processor.  WRONG!!!! This recipe requires seven items to be soaked for two hours before you can begin preparing it. Not a problem, I can go through 2 hours faster than anyone I know; my To Do list is extensive.  It was the shocking realization that my food processor was so out of it’s league it wasn’t funny.

Picture this…a person with no food preparation skill pouring soaked nuts into a food processor and watching them come almost to the top of it.  I had a major amount of other things that needed to go in there, not to mention being full to the top was not the optimum chopping arrangement.  I tried to process the nuts so other things could go into the processor, but even after being chopped up by the food processor, the paste was too thick to allow it to be mixed properly.  I know people commonly add water, but the other ingredients provided the liquid portion of the mix. I put in extra water out of frustration, but still ended up taking half of the mixture out of the food processor and putting in the other ingredients just to get them mixed. What I ended up with was a cashew cheese mix that was too thin.

I figured I’d do better with the next set of ingredients that needed to be prepared, but I had the same problem.  Too much ingredients, everything winding up not being mixed properly.  I had to get a huge bowl out so that after processing the halves I could put them together and mix them together by hand.  By the third set of ingredients I was on the road to livid.  Everything needed a new, bigger bowl to sit in after processing.

The other problem with this recipe was it had a TON of olive oil in it.  2 tablespoons, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons.  By the time I got to the final part which says to marinate the zucchini in 3 tablespoons of oil I had had enough.  I refused.  The zucchini went into the recipe as God intended it – raw.

By the time I had finished this concoction the heels on my feet were in so much pain I wanted to cry.  To be fair, I have no middle pain place.  Because of my neurological problems which supposedly stem from horrible carpal tunnel syndrome, I go from no pain to “where are the prescription drugs?”  Granted, I’m lucky that my pain threshold is so high. The bad thing is when it’s REALLY bad, there is no precursory warning.  It just is.  In that it was only my heels, I was able to put my legs up on the bed and use a back massager on them to calm the pain after I had the lasagna secured in the fridge.

The reason they hurt so bad was due to all the time I spent having to throw things in and out of the food processor.  This guy must have had a food processor the size of a Boeing 747.  When I finally DID get to eat a piece of this lasagna (it has to sit in the fridge for 2 hours), it just tasted mediocre.  I didn’t like the taste of the pesto.  I ate it not too soon before I went to bed as well.  I was starving and in too much pain to stand anymore so I ate it and tried to stay up as long as I could so it would digest.  Don’t know how it’s going to affect the weight, but I’m getting a bad feeling about this recipe.

All I had to eat today was my morning smoothie, a few carrots and celery sticks and the square of lasagna I had.  A very bad day for diet, but at least I was able to get in a 20 minute brisk walk around the neighborhood before I destroyed my heels.

Today’s stats:

Weight: 286.4
Fat %: 63.3
BMI: 50.7
Water %: 26.7

Posted by: Shavai | March 5, 2010

More Foundational Shopping

The good thing about payday is you have more money to buy good food with.  The bad thing about payday is, if you don’t sit down and figure out all your finances first, you could wind up in a bit of a pickle.

The best time to shop for produce around Virginia Beach is Friday night before the store closes.  This is especially true for our local health food store.  While my sleep cycle is still out of whack from the full moon (going to bed at 5:00 a.m., waking up sometime late afternoon), I was able to get it together (minus the eating breakfast part) long enough to rush to the store and get all my shopping done before the mad Saturday rush.  I live in a military town and while most military people shop at the commissary, a lot of them shop at regular grocery stores.  Let’s face it, Saturday is just a bad time to go shopping.

So, I ran around like a chicken with it’s head cut off.  Before I knew it, I had spent over $250.  Any other day I’d make cuts elsewhere, but this is the month personal tax bills come out, certain registrations, etc.  I am now charged with trying to figure out how to come up with hundreds of dollars before the end of the month.  I hate selling, I refuse to pay anyone any money (especially since I have none left) for some scheme that only works if other people are willing to fall for it.  I need something I can do at home and someplace I can advertise for it.

This is what happens when you don’t plan adequately for such a radical diet change. Most raw foodists would tell you to survive on heads of romaine lettuce and apples to stay in your budget.  That would not work for me.  There are times when I expend too much energy (such as cardio days) where if I don’t have something that will really fill my stomach up I’ll get so hungry I’ll just stop at the closest “prepared foods” place and start chowing down.  I really had to control myself last night as I went out without any breakfast (again, the store was going to close in 15 minutes).  I just kept remembering that when I got home I had that great dressing I made and I could pull celery and carrots out of the fridge and eat it. Since the dressing is made of cashew nuts, it’s full of protein.  It kept me reigned in, even with all the smells of Kentucky fried chicken, my favorite Chinese food and Outback steaks wafting in the air.

Here is the list of things I purchased for my new raw food diet over the weekend – going nuclear to the tune of $285.63. There are a couple of duplications as I had a shopping list when I went into the local health food store and it disappeared before I went into the next store.  I’m not really sure where it wound up, but it made shopping after that a little dicey.

THE HERITAGE STORE

1 Bag Organic Golden Delicious Apples (10 in the bag) – $4.99
1 Bunch of Organic Carrots – $2.29
1 Large Box of Sprouts/Beans – Salad Supreme – $2.49
2 Heads of Organic Romaine Lettuce – $6.94
Ultimate Superfoods Shredded Coconut – Extra Fine Cut – $6.99
Ultimate Superfoods Maca Powder – 2 oz. – $2.99
Ultimate Superfoods Lucuma Powder – 2 oz. – $3.99
Tree of Life Sesame Tahini – 16 oz. – $9.99
Golden Honeybear Unfiltered Clover Honey – 12 oz. – $4.19
Bulk Organic Golden Flax Seeds ($1.89/lb.) – $1.08
Bulk Raw Organic Sunflower Seeds ($3.19/lb.) – $2.33
Bulk Organic Medjool Dates ($7.39/lb.) – $1.92
Bulk Organic Brazil Nuts ($6.99/lb.) – $2.59
Raw Organic Macadamia Nuts ($19.99/lb.) – $13.19
Tax: $1.65
TOTAL: $67.62

KROGER

1 Head Organic Cabbage – $1.99
1 Head Red Organic Cabbage – $3.26
1 Bag Organic Limes – 7 in bag – $3.99
Fresh Organic Celery Hearts – $2.49
Fresh Organic Basil (4 oz.) – $3.99
Fresh Organic Spinach (4 oz.) – $3.34 – SALE
Large Organic Portabello Mushroom Caps – 2 in Pack – $2.19 – SALE
Organic Tomatoes – Package of 4 – $4.79
Organic Roma Tomatoes – 4 Count – $3.06
Organic Yellow Bell Pepper – 2 Count – $5.98
Fresh Organic Oregano – Small Package – $.79 – SALE
Fresh Organic Tarragon – Small Package – $.79 – SALE
Fresh Parsley – Small Package – $1.99
Fresh Organic Thyme – Small Package – $1.59 – SALE
Fresh Organic
Organic Zucchini – 5 Count – $5.59
Organic Kiwi – 6 Count – $3.00
McCormick Organic Some Spice I Used The Whole Jar Of – 1 Jar – $2.67 – SALE
McCormick Organic Rubbed Sage – 1 Jar – $3.95 – SALE
McCormick Organic Coarse Black Pepper – 1 Jar – $2.14 – SALE
Premium Select (Store Brand) Organic Sesame Seed – 1 Jar – $3.99
Premium Select Organic Oregano – 1 Jar – $3.99
Premium Select Organic Cumin – 1 Jar – $3.99
Simply Organic Vanilla Extract – 4 oz. – $7.99
Premium Select Organic Nutmeg – 1 Jar – $3.99
Simply Organic Cinnamon – 2.45 oz. – $3.99
McCormick Onion Powder (Couldn’t Find Organic) – 1 Jar – $3.75 – SALE
Bragg Organic Sprinkle – 1.5 oz. – $3.39 – SALE
Bragg Aminos – 16 oz. – $3.39 – SALE
Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil – 14 oz. – $6.39 – SALE
Spectrum Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 25.4 oz. – $13.99
Stevia Liquid – 2 oz. – $5.84
(2) ONE Coconut Water – 1 Liter – $9.58
Organic Quinoa Grain – 12 oz. – $4.29
(4) Sundried Tomatoes – 3 oz. Each – $10.00 – SALE
Onion Saver – $2.99
Small Ounce/Teaspoon Measuring Cup – $4.99
Spatula Set – $3.49
Tax: $3.23
TOTAL: $160.76

TRADER JOE’S

Organic Bananas – 6 Count – $1.74
Bag of Organic Lemons – 6 Count – $1.99
Raw Organic Pine Nuts – 16 oz. – $7.99
Organic Cinnamon Apple Sauce – 4 Pack – $1.99
Organic Berry Apple Sauce – 4 Pack – $1.99
Trader Joe’s Organic Flax Oil – 16 oz. – $7.99
Organic Grade A Maple Syrup – 12 oz. – $7.99
Raw Organic Almonds – 16 oz. – $4.49
Trader Joe’s Ground Cinnamon – 1 Jar – $1.99
Raw Organic Sunflower Seeds – 16 oz. – $1.49
Organic Thompson Raisins – 16 oz. – $2.69
Raw Organic Brazil Nuts – 16 oz. – $4.99
Tax: $1.18
TOTAL: $48.51

I recently found out that while Trader Joe’s claims their nuts are raw and organic, they are in fact steam pasteurized and heated to 115° per Trader Joe’s. (See this link for entire discussion.) Since I’m way over my head financially with this diet, I can’t be choosy.  At least it’s better than what I WAS eating.

FARM FRESH

Imported Gayelord Hauser Brewers Yeast – 7 oz. – $5.19
The Spice Hunter Chili Powder – 1 Jar – $3.34
Tax: $.21
TOTAL: $8.74

I looked ALL OVER the place trying to find organic Chili Powder.  Every jar I looked at had some strange additive I couldn’t pronounce in it.  While The Spice Hunter makes no claim its product is organic, it’s the only bottle I could find that had nothing but plain ingredients on it (Chile Pepper, Onion, Garlic, Cocoa Powder, Oregano, Red Pepper, Cumin, Cinnamon and Cloves).  Farm Fresh is also the only grocery store open until midnight where I could find Brewers (Nutritional) Yeast.  I thought for sure I’d find it at the Kroger, but didn’t see a place for it on the shelves.

As far as the weight, I only lost a little, but my fat % went way down.  Not sure why.

Today’s stats:

Weight: 287.8
Fat %: 59.9
BMI: 50.9
Water %: 29.2

Posted by: Shavai | March 5, 2010

The Oil Factor

I felt so good last night/this morning, I didn’t feel hungry at all after I ate my Lemon Cream Mousse.  I was feeling good about everything, and then when I weighed myself this morning the scale was staring at me in the face.  Yes, my weight went down, but if you believe the scale it was dehydration, not weight loss.  I went from being 61.3% fat to 62.2% fat.  Not exactly what I was aiming for after having done cardio yesterday.

I have to wonder if there isn’t some kind of truth coming from the mechanical wonder. There was a tablespoon of oil in my diet yesterday.  I know a raw food diet is supposed to be fun, but I’m beginning to wonder if all these great recipes for things that simulate the fattening, full of bad ingredients desserts are just as bad?  Clearly, they are healthier just from the standpoint that they don’t contain a lot of hydrogenated oils, but how far does a tablespoon of extra virgin olive or canola oil go?

One tablespoon of canola oil is approximately 13.62 grams of fat.  According to both the Harris-Benedict and Mifflin-St Jeor formulas for weight loss, I shouldn’t be getting less that 2,000 calories per day.  To be more precise, I should be getting 2,300.  This probably has something to do with my age or how many calories are needed to keep adequate nutrition/fuel for this mass.  A carb, protein and fat calculator says I should be getting a total of 51 grams of fat per day.  I don’t know how much fat is in the dehydrated coconut I use in my smoothies, but I could simply leave it out.  I know Kevin Gianni says I shouldn’t be concerned with calorie counting on a raw diet, but I’m somewhat annoyed that my fat content went up.

I’ve been trying to drink more water today.  I’m not sure I’m ok with having to run to the ladies room every 30 minutes, but I’m hoping my water percentage will go up.  If it doesn’t, I probably need to find a way to get enough money to order my supplements. They have one that lessens the tension of water so it can be more easily absorbed into the body.  Of course, it needs to be used with clean water (I drink reverse osmosis).  I wish I could figure out a way to get it just to see how the scale reacts to the way my body would be hydrated using it.  Perhaps it would give me a better indicator of my true weight loss instead of all these fluctuations in body fat and water.

I was proud of myself today.  This is the first payday on my raw food diet.  Usually, I’m so ravenous by the time I get paid (once a month), the first thing I do is go get some chinese food or whatever steak is on sale at Outback.  I’m trying to fight that starving feeling of not getting to go do those things (if I ate an Outback steak right now, I’d die and go directly to heaven). The stress of having to come face-to-face with the fact that my rent is almost half my monthly income is a trigger for bad eating habits.  I WAS able to make it through the day though with only raw foods though!

I ate the last entree from Awesome Foods I had tonight – the Unmeatball Sub.  I’m starting to find I no longer appreciate the meat substitute items like I did before. They seem so heavy.  The raw lasagna is good because it only mimics fake ricotta cheese, which is light.  I looked through a bunch of recipes for raw lasagna, but none of them worked well with what I have to use.  I’m going to try and make a cashew nut substitute for the ricotta tonight (which is actually early AM) and perhaps do something with the tomato I have left to simulate the sauce, but most of the recipes I saw called for sun-dried tomatoes.  I also need to do something yummy with my avocados before they go bad, but I haven’t found a decent recipe yet for them.

While I was able to get a cardio workout this morning, I haven’t tapped in two days. That’s an important part of my regime, not for cravings, but for the change affirmations I use.  I believe my obesity to be part stress, part body malfunction, part nutritional ignorance.  It’s important to ensure the gate for change is wide open.

I’ve been on this diet for two weeks.  According to the scales, I’ve lost 14 pounds. Not shabby, but almost expected, I believe, for a person as morbidly obese as I am. I love the Latin Cardio DVD.  I found myself able to follow along with the steps much better this time.  The only ones I’m having problems with are the ones that turn in a circle real fast or have a bunch of really tiny fast steps (thighs too big).  I apparently injured my left shoulder yesterday as it was really sore from a certain angle today.  I have to be careful as I’ve had a problem before with that shoulder that sent me to the emergency room in extreme pain (opiate level drugs needed).  Don’t want to repeat that.  I do believe the latin dancing IS helping rehabilitate my pulled calf muscle.

Today’s stats:

Weight: 288.2
Fat %: 62.2 (.9% Increase)
BMI: 51.0
Water %: 27.5

Posted by: Shavai | March 4, 2010

Lemon Cream Mousse

OMG!!!  I just adapted this recipe off the “Raw Sacramento” raw food web site and almost died and went to heaven.  I can’t believe this is raw food!

Lemon Cream Mousse

1 Medium to Large-Sized Peeled Banana
3 Tbsp. Awesome Foods Raw Coconut Spread
1 Tbsp. Organic Canola Oil
1 Tbsp. Honey (Or whatever you prefer to sweeten with.)
Juice and Pulp from 1/2 an Organic Lemon

Optional: Your favorite nut ground up in a coffee grinder and sprinkled on top.

Put all ingredients in a food processor.  Add the lemon juice last and put any pulp remaining on the hand juicer in along with it.  Mix until all items are blended well. Serve and eat immediately.  I only say this because I noticed when you first eat it the flavor of the tart lemon is highlighted, but after it sits awhile (as I was writing in my blog) the banana becomes the more prominent flavor.  I don’t know if more lemon juice would help counteract that, but this group of measurements made the fluffiest pudding I’ve ever eaten.  It was like eating a mousse.

Due to it’s rich flavor, I believe it makes enough for two people (you can probably get away with half the amount of honey if you don’t like sweet flavors).  The results fit in a dessert bowl nicely, so if you have some smaller dessert bowls you could split it up into two servings.

If you are a newbie to cooking like I am, I placed the coconut on the bottom of the right side of the food processor and broken up banana on the left side.  I put all the liquids on top and then mixed.  Since my blender is a tragedy, I don’t know if it would turn out with the same fluffiness in a blender, which is why I used my food processor. It was easier to scoop out of the food processor with a spatula than it would have been my blender.  Food processor or blender is a personal decision.

The ingredients on the Raw Coconut Spread say it’s just Raw Organic Dehydrated Coconut.  It’s hard like a brick, unless you keep it at room temperature (which it recommends on the package), so I don’t know if regular organic dried coconut would be just as good (I’m still a newbie at this).  The original recipe called for flax seed oil and the juice from only 1/4 of an organic lemon, but I felt I should put what I used just in case that made a difference in the taste.  My whole body feels alive now.

All Recipes – Copyright © 2010 All Rights Reserved – “Your Momma Said So” Productions
Posted by: Shavai | March 3, 2010

Raw Begins To Set In

Today is March 3rd and I started this raw food diet five days ago.  The Raw Revolution bars I loved the most, Hazelnut and Chocolate, already feel too heavy for me.  The difference between eating them and eating live food that’s just been prepared seems so noticeable now.  Along with that, I’m becoming more aware of what my body is doing after I eat.

I ate breakfast (smoothie) and a couple hours later I was hungry again.  So I ate dinner (since it was dinner time for the rest of the world), which for me was the other half of my Awesome Foods Soft Taco.  This week’s taco was a little strong in flavor, so I felt like dressing up it some.  I took a big romaine leaf and laid it down on my plate. I opened the taco wrap and spread the middle mixture out across all of it (there was a LOT of it to spread).  Then I cut up half a tomato and placed a layer of slices on the top.  I wrapped the leaf around it and ate it like that.  It was WONDERFUL! Unfortunately, an hour later I was falling asleep.

This might be due to being awake for so many hours the day before, or it could be I’m allergic to something in the taco.  I hope it’s not tomatoes as I love them dearly.  The only thing I can do is figure out how to find another taco mixture recipe, see if the same ingredients are in the one I ate tonight and make the taco without each ingredient until I find the one that makes me sleepy.  To be fair, once I was sleepy I went into the kitchen, peeled a kiwi and ate it and felt GREAT again!  I don’t know if this is some type of detox thing, lack of enzymes or allergy.  I guess I’ll find out later.

I started reading High Raw today by Kevin Gianni.  He offers a free e-copy (PDF) when you sign up for his daily newsletter (which also contains the links to his daily Renegade Health Show videos).  I’m on page 84 and I have to tell you it’s a VERY well written book (even though there are some typos here and there).  The information is intelligent and there are notes from lots of different sources (lots of footnotes).  I haven’t gotten to the food part yet, but I’m looking forward to it.  I’ve got to start making some recipes before my avocados get too soft.

I finally got to do some cardio!  Today I chose to work out with the Dancing with the Stars: Latin Cardio Dance DVD.  It was AWESOME! Sure, I can’t do half of the things they are doing because of my legs still healing and my obvious girth, but I can do a lot of it and it was slow enough for me to not get discouraged.  I love latin dance!  Too bad I can’t be lead on the dance floor.  I think I’d like to learn how to do it for real and go dancing some time if I could.

After two days, here’s the weigh loss stats:

Weight: 289.4
Fat %: 61.3
BMI: 51.2
Water %: 28.2

Posted by: Shavai | March 2, 2010

Noreaster Shopping

I thought we were done with Noreasters this winter, but I guess I was wrong.  A Noreaster in my apartment complex comes with flooding; sometimes it’s minimal, sometimes you are jumping out of bed and racing to the car before the water starts seeping in through the driver’s door.  One thing that usually happens is my adrenals go off the hook and I’m awake for 48-72 hours in a row.  I’m on day two without sleep now.  I should have known something like this was under foot as the cat has been excessively needy over the last few days.

The first thing we do when a Noreaster is heading our way, at least for me, is make sure all the trash is taken out.  It’s too hard to wade through the water with a heavy trash bag all the way to the dumpster.  The second thing necessary is make sure we have enough food to last a couple of days.  This can be a Catch-22 in some situations. If the Noreaster is bad and the water too high, the electricity goes out and we lose all the food in the refrigerator.  You have to make a decision to park the car on the higher ground closest to the apartment and chance not being able to get out later or park it so far away you’re exhausted by the time you wade through all the water to get to it if you need to go out. The wade back to the house with grocery bags? Torture.  I chose to keep the car closer, especially with my leg still healing.

I shopped tonight for more foundational ingredients for my raw food lifestyle.  Many of the things I purchased were listed in recipes I found on the internet and wanted to try. I still need to look up the names of some of the ingredients as I don’t know what they are made of and I don’t want to waste any more money on soy products.  Wouldn’t you know, when I got home I found myself still missing major ingredients.  It never ends, does it? 😀

TRADER JOE’S

(2) Whole Raw Cashews – 16 oz. – $5.49
Raw Pecan Halves – 16 oz. – $5.99
Raw Walnuts – 16 oz. – $5.69
Organic Garlic – 2 Cloves – $1.79
Fresh Ginger – 6 oz. – $2.49
Oraganic Lemons – 1 lb. (Four) – $1.99
Organic Cucumbers – Two – $3.29
Cilantro – 1 oz. – $1.69
Mint – 1 oz. – $1.69
Organic Oregano – Standard Spice Jar Size – $1.99
Dried Basil – Standard Spice Jar Size – $1.99
Dill – Standard Spice Jar Size – $1.99
Yellow Organic Mustard – 9 oz. – $1.99
Organic Raw Blue Agave – 11.75 oz. – $2.99
Organic Lentil Soup – One – $1.99
Organic Black Bean Soup – One – $1.99
Tax: $1.27
TOTAL: $51.80

I contemplated adding raw maple syrup to the cart while I was in the store, but I just didn’t have enough to cover it.  Apparently I also need things like chili powder, cayenne powder, raisins, dates, carob or cocao powder, nutmeg, coconut meat (don’t know how I’m going to pull that off with my bad hands), flax seeds, hemp seeds, almond powder, flax oil, psyllium husk powder (thought that was for internal cleanses), nutmeg, cumin, cinnamon (running out), vanilla, pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes.  Oh and apparently I need to buy a dehydrator.  I’m not sure where the funding for all this is going to come as I’m trying to ensure there is money for my son’s graduation in May.

If I could just find a set of weekly raw food menus that were well balanced, I would be in the clear.  I never realized how hard that one thing is to find on the internet.  If I get through all this, clearly I’m going to make a raw food menu for beginners.  I can follow directions.  They just have to be clear enough.  Reading through a bunch of posts that say “I’m down to eating no more than 3 ingredients for a meal” isn’t going to cut it.  I want to know which thing is my protein and which provides calcium.

I didn’t weigh myself today because I never went to sleep.  As OCD as I am about weighing, I think I missed a couple of meals today and I know THAT, in addition to not getting ANY sleep, is the best way to put weight back on.  I missed breakfast and lunch and ate my breakfast smoothie for dinner.  I’m not really hungry now.  My whole body feels overly warm.  I’ve been having isolated pain in spots on both shins. I think there is some detoxing going on.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get some sleep while the Noreaster winds are blowing.

Posted by: Shavai | March 1, 2010

Playing Around With Food

I took my first real step into the online world of raw yesterday. I was looking for a recipe for salad dressing with the ingredients I had purchased at the store.  What I found was I still had quite the inept kitchen. Every recipe I found called for something I didn’t have. At the top of the list – fresh organic lemons.  It seems almost everything is made with fresh organic lemons.  Next on the missing list – garlic.  Then there was the never-ending list of herbs I’ve never had in my kitchen before.  Things like dill and almost everything else.

I was surprised that even after all my looking and searching, I couldn’t find a salad dressing recipe that had cashew nut butter/spread or avocado in it’s base. After visiting a non-raw site (just vegan), I was able to come upon something that at the very least had cashew nut butter in it.  It also specified miso and soy, but since my butter already had that in it, I ignored adding it.  I added the 2 teaspoons of oil it called for, but since I had no herbs I just used the Ms. Dash table blend.  It had a bunch of herbs in it and no salt, so I figured it would be ok.  It wasn’t organic, but anything in a pinch.

I didn’t have any agave as the recipe called for.  I used honey instead, again not organic.  Since there were so many things I didn’t have, I just shredded 3 or 4 frozen strawberries into it and added as much of my Awesome Foods Raw Coconut Spread as seemed appropriate (a couple of tablespoons that I could hack off the bar and crush up).  Since the recipe called for water as well, I used filtered water to thin the mixture enough to be used as a dressing.  I was surprised it turned out ok.  I’m sure I could have made it taste good with something less sugary, but I’m too new to the diet and have never seen or heard of half the ingredients people are talking about in their recipes (which is why I’m using brand names – I’m not sure if someone else makes the same type of thing).

I will say, after I ate the salad (nothing but fresh romaine and tomato with the dressing), I had the worst dehydration ever!  I’m not sure if this is a result of eating something with both miso and soy in it or what.  My feet and ankles started swelling badly, I couldn’t keep my mouth hydrated – it was like I had taken 20 Claritin-D’s (the over-the-counter  type).  The fact that I was able to wake up (after not going to bed until 10:00AM this morning) with any type of weight loss amazes me.  Hopefully, we’ll find out what triggered it as I plan to go out tonight and buy a normal bottle of organic salad dressing that I’ve used before with no swelling.  If there is no swelling, the cashew butter with it’s miso and soy will go in the trash.

Here is what I concocted this morning.  It tasted pretty good – I liked the little crunchy/chewy bits from the raw coconut spread.  I used celery and cinnamon specifically for my hypoglycemia.

MORNING SMOOTHIE – 001

1 Banana
8 Organic Frozen Strawberries (Medium to Small Sized)
4 Big Leaves Romaine Lettuce
2 Celery Stalks
1/2 cup Organic Frozen Blueberries
Couple of small chunks of Awesome Foods Raw Coconut Spread
8 oz. Coconut Water
1.5 oz (Shotglass) of Liquid Aloe Supplement
Ground Cinnamon

Blend banana, strawberries, lettuce, celery, blueberries and coconut water until well mixed.  If blender is getting stuck, pour more coconut water in until it will mix without harming the motor on your blender.  Add two or three chunks of Awesome Foods Raw Coconut Spread (or something similar).  Blend until the chunks are gone.  Pour half the mix into a 32oz cup.  Add one shot glass of Aloe liquid supplement.  Mix well with non-metallic spoon.  Pour rest of smoothie into cup.  Sprinkle the top with cinnamon. Mix well with non-metallic spoon. Enjoy!

Recipe Copyright © 2010 All Rights Reserved – “Your Momma Said So” Productions

Weight: 291.4
Fat %: 60.9
BMI: 51.6
Water %: 28.5

I’m starting to think the other statistics on the scale mean nothing.  I’ve gone up in fat content, down in body mass and down in water. If there was ever a good reason not to weigh yourself every day, this is surely one good one.

Posted by: Shavai | February 28, 2010

Sunday Shopping

One of my biggest roadblocks to eating raw or even organic has always been the cost of the food.  Back in the ’90s, organic food was extremely hard to come by in my area.  The one store that did sell it did not have the most discounted of prices.  Now you can find organic food in our regular grocery stores.  Both the Kroger and Harris Teeter have a pretty good selection of raw fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as canned and frozen products.

For those who want to know whether they can afford to make the switch to organic or raw foods, here are lists of what I spent.  Some of the things were on sale, others were not.

KROGER:

Braggs Vinegar – 32 oz. – $3.99
O.N.E. Coconut Water – 33.8 oz – $3.59 – SALE
Bag of Organic Yellow Onions – 6 Onions In Bag – $2.99
Bag of Organic Celery Hearts – 2 Stalk Sets – $2.49
Dole Organic Bananas – 2.42 lbs. – $1.43
Organic Red Apples – 2 Apples – $1.06 – SALE
Organic Avocados – 2 Avocados – $1.76 – SALE
Organic Tomatoes – 4 Per Pack – $4.79
Organic Zucchini – 1 Zucchini – $1.35
Organic Kiwi – 4 Kiwis – $2.00
Frozen Organic Strawberries – 10 oz. – $3.69
(2) Frozen Organic Blueberries – 10 oz. – $3.69 each
Dr. Kracker Seeded Spelt Snackers – 8 oz. – $3.99
Tax: $1.04
TOTAL: $42.75

I bought the coconut water on sale because I wanted to try coconut water, but my hands are far too bad off right now to be handling heavy knives.  I was surprised that it tasted exactly like Vitamin D milk.  It was in a cup straight from the container, so there weren’t any other items to influence the flavor.  Braggs vinegar…I figured I should look into making some type of salad dressing and I remembered Braggs from way back in the ’90s.  The spelt crackers were getting low and since I hadn’t found a raw replacement yet, I got another package of them.  I just can’t see spending money on raw food chips without knowing what they taste like.

THE HERITAGE STORE:

Carrots – One Bunch – $2.29
(2) Heads of Romaine Lettuce – $3.99 Each
Awesome Foods Raw Blueberry Cheeseless Cake – $5.99
Awesome Foods Raw Unmeatball Sandwich – $6.99
Awesome Foods Raw Coconut Spread – $5.99
Awesome Foods Soft Shell Taco – $5.99
(2) Awesome Foods Raw Lasagna – $6.99
Healing Pantry Organic Raw Cashew Cream Spread – $3.99
(3) Raw Revolution Hazelnut and Chocolate Bar – $2.29
Raw Revolution Chocolate and Coconut Bar – $2.29
Raw Revolution Spirulina and Cashew Bar – $2.29
Penta Purified Water – 1 Liter – $3.79
Tax: $1.68
TOTAL: $68.80

The carrots had the leaves on them.  I’m hoping to find out whether the green part can be used in something.  Most carrots already have it cut off.  I bought a lot of expensive raw food, but I feel this is necessary for the transitional period.  Yes, there is a bit of adjustment in the palate going from meat to raw food substitutes, but once you get the meat out of your system the raw version tastes that much better.

I’m still in the process of trying to get rid of any meat cravings.  When I came back from the store, someone had fried up some chicken and the heavenly scent was wafting through the whole apartment building.  While it smelled amazing, my brain was also alerted to the smell of the oil used to cook it.  It gave me a bit of a sick feeling thinking about ingesting all that cooked oil, even though it smelled tremendous.

After eating the Raw Lasagna a second time, I feel a little more confident about making a raw lasagna of my own.  I just have to find a good recipe.  I’m going to take a taste of the cashew cream later and see if it matches the flavors they used for the ricotta cheese part of the Lasagna.*  I’m pretty sure I can cut up the zuchini, tomatoes and onions, but I’ll need to find out what type of recipe was used for the tomato salsa part of it.  I didn’t see any raw organic spinach that wasn’t in bags and I have a thing about organic bagged foods. I’ll have to check Harris Teeter and see what I can find tomorrow for organic spinach.

The Raw Cheeseless Cake was both amazing and wonderful.  Apparently the only thing in it that wasn’t raw was apple pectin, whatever that is.  I bought this more as a comfort food than anything else.  Certainly my life wouldn’t be over without dessert. The filling looks like the bulk of it is probably made with cashews and coconut butter. It’s something wonderful to think about making myself.

I’m a little concerned that I still haven’t figured out what to do for protein.  Time doesn’t seem to be on my side.  I had to give up taking the most magnificent picture of tonight’s moon hanging big and heavy in the sky to rush into the Heritage before it closed.  My body wanted a nice, full raw entree.  I feel amazing having eaten it.

The Penta water was purchased because I heard everyone raving about it at the store the last time I was there and I wanted to see if it was “all that.”  The label says it is, “Trace Pharmaceuticals Free – Bisphenol A Free – Chlorine Free – Arsenic Free – MTBE Free – Chromium 6 Free – Fluoride Free.”  Wait…they put arsenic in our water? I like the taste of the Penta water, but it doesn’t taste as good as the water I get from my local water store that I’ve been going to for 12+ years.  The reverse osmosis machine in that store is humongous.

I’m not sure what I’m going to be doing come March.  If I’m going to keep this raw, organic lifestyle up I’m either going to have to find some really cheap recipes or find something I can do as a job online at home that doesn’t require a lot of typing (or selling – I’m horrible at sales).  I have to believe the universe is going to support me in this and provide a way for money to come to me.  I just have to think of a really creative idea.

*I just looked at the label when I added the links to my blog and found out it’s loaded with soy.  I’ve had a couple holistic health practitioners tell me soy isn’t good for the body so I’m a quite disappointed.  Not sure what I’m going to do with it as I’ve never liked the taste of anything with soy in it.  Guess that’s what I get for trying to rush my shopping before they closed.

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