Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweet Chocolate Goodness

So today I had a sweet tooth and I was desperately wanting something familiar. After a while I decided that I NEEDED CHOCOLATE.  Sweet cravings don't hit me to often, I much prefer savory foods.   Not having a good raw cookbook I decided to just throw some ingredients together and see what I could come up with!  I wasn't disappointed!  I made a chocolate dip that I had with some pineapple and kiwi!

I first took about 3 tablespoons of cacao nibs and put them in the food processor and processed until they were about the size of coffee grinds.  I removed them from the food processor and put them in a zip-lock bag.  I then pitted four dried dated and put them along with 1/4 cup water and one teaspoon fresh lemon juice into the food processor and blended until I had a nice date syrup (great on fruit salad and raw banana ice cream also).  Then I added about 3-4 teaspoons of my ground cacao nibs and processed until everything was evenly distributed. 
After that was done it tasted great, but was a little heavy so I added 1/4 avocado and processed until it looked a little lighter. 


I am sure that there are plenty of similar recipes out there, but as I said I don't have a good raw cookbook and I don't really like looking up recipes online as I often alter them so much that I mind as well just start from scratch!

Other than the recipe the past few days have been hard for me.  I struggle with food texture and I crave dry crunchy foods like chips and crackers constantly.  I have ordered a cheap dehydrator that will be here within the week so I look forward to making some things!  I already have kale in the fridge ready to be dehydrated and some fresh corn off the cob in the freezer waiting to be made into raw corn tortillas and corn chips!

I can't wait!  I think that it will really open up a lot of doors for me to have a dehydrator and will help make my journey easier.  Maybe if things could get a little easier I wouldn't feel like such a failure all the time.  I really struggle with my self esteem.  Being on raw has helped that, but the fact still remains that I hate my body and I don't feel like I look the way that I feel (like my personality doesn't match my body).  Oh well.  In time maybe I can learn to except myself for who I am regardless of how I look.

Maybe I need to remind myself of this more often .. but for now I will just remind all of you to remember that you are RAWsome!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Fast Ended :(

Okay, so last night I caved (kinda) and started eating solids again.  I did not have enough juice to last and I currently have no way to get to the store and bring back all of the produce required for juice.  I wish I hadn't caved and eaten cooked food (I hate myself for it), but honestly I have no raw food in the house ... and I mean NONE.  The funny thing is that yes, I felt guilty for eating cooked food, but I felt guilty for eating period.  I felt like I was doing something wrong by eating solids.  I can't tell whether I felt that way because my body wanted to keep fasting or because I was just enjoying the fast and being released from the temptation that food binds me with.

So anyway, I am pretty dissapointed with myself and kinda irritated that I didn't make it the whole 7-10 days that I wanted to so today's post will be short.

I am starting to make a grocery and meal list and I plan on adding pictures of many things that I will make.  Ugh, I am gonna go kick myself some more.

Anyway, remember, you are RAWsome!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I wanted to explain the "Remember, you are RAWsome!" thing that I say.

Being a person who is unhappy with their body is hard.  I avoid mirrors and family photos because I hate how I look.  I struggle with it every day.  I have a wonderfull wife who reminds me each and every day that she loves me for who I am, it doesn't matter how I look (but she swears up and down that she likes how I look).

Saying, "Remember, you are RAWsome!" is my way of showing that I think that everyone who is on a path to accepting themselves and being healthy is awesome (but I say RAWsome because I'm a raw foodist and I think it sounds fun).

So please remember that I am here to support you in your struggles.  Be happy. Be healthy. Like yourself for who you are, not what you have been or who you will become.  Just love you for you.  God does and so do I!

So ... Remember, you are RAWsome!

Day 5 of Fasting

So far today I am feeling great!  I am writing this while I am on bus to school and am trying desperately to not feel carsick!  Last night I made some orange/peach juice and some concord grape juice that tastes great!  The only problem is that since I don't have a juicer and I blend the fruit and then squeeze the juice out with a cheesecloth the grape juice makes my hands itch like crazy!  I thought for a while about getting a juicer, but I also want a dehydrator.  On a married full time college student budget I can't afford both so I think that I am going to get the dehydrator within the next couple of weeks because I think that for my purposes right now I will get more use out of it.

I haven't weighed myself in a while, but I plan to do so after this fast and then every 7 days thereafter.  I will also post before/after pics of me for every 25 lbs I loose. 

My wife asked me a good question yesterday that made me think.  She said that she had read that people who drink one glass of apple juice a day are more likely to develop diabetes.  She asked why I feel that juices are good for my body for more extended fasts (I told her that I would like to do a 30 day juice fast some time latter this year).  She said (and I already knew this) that when you juice a fruit you remove all of the fiber that helps slow the digestion of the fructose in the fruit and without it our bodies absorb the sugar much faster.  Why do I feel this is still healthy? (Please know that my wife and I ask each other questions like this all the time.  We both have similar but different philosophies about eating and will often debate our differences in a healthy way.)

I figured that I would post my response to her here!

When you juice a fruit you do remove the fiber and your body does absorb the sugar faster.  However, drinking store bought apple juice and fresh made apple juice is completely different.  Store bought apple juice has been heated at high temperatures to pasteurize it, when juice is heated the nutrients die and the sugar is condensed, try fresh orange juice and then try 100% store bought orange juice ... you will taste a massive difference) and the oxygen is removed to increase shelf life.  The oxygen being removed also depletes flavor so flavor packets are added to restore it.  This is true for even 100% juice.  That is why all juice you buy from the store tastes the same (if it is the same brand) and tastes differ between brands.  Each company has a different flavor packet formula.  Why isn't it listed on the label you ask?  It's because the flavor packet is DERIVED from the fruit that the juice is made from so it doesn't need to be listed as anything other than the fruit itself.

Anyway :) drinking heated juice has less nutrients and more sugar (through the juice condensing during the heating process).  When you make your own home made juice it does not condense (as long as you leave it raw) and it maintains much of it's nutrients except for fiber. 

Our brains need carbohydrates to function and the sugar in fruit (or any sugar) is a carbohydrate thus it supplies power to our brains.  The nutrients and antioxidants in the juice fuel our bodies in their daily activities and in the restoration process.

So, in short, I feel that homemade juice is okay to drink if it is left raw.  I do have to say though that I am not a medical professional so if you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic you should consult your doctor or do your own research before consuming anything with sugar in it.

Try your own raw juice!  I promise you won't be disappointed!

Remember, you are RAWsome!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Okay.  So I have been on a juice fast for the past four days and I plan on continuing it for at least 7 days.  I have been blogging about this on a forum that I am a member of, but I want to share it here also!  Here are the juices that I have been drinking (all made at home of course) ...

Concord Grape/Beets/Plum/Cucumber/Lemon (This one was delicious until I added cucumber ... won't do that again.)

I know ... a lot of lemon right?!  Well I don't have a juicer so I have been making all of this in my blender and then straining it in a cheesecloth (being very careful to remove all the pulp I can as pulp can decrease the intensity of a fast).  When a juice becomes exposed to oxygen (especially like how it does in a blender) the shelf life of the juice can be decreased so I added lemon in hopes of increasing the shelf life.  Of course the best way to consume juices on a fast (or at all) is raw and immediately after juicing them.  The juice looses some nutrients over time in the fridge, but I have a 9 month old and both my wife and I are full time college students so I don't have time to juice fresh every time I want juice so I make it up to two days in advance and store it in the fridge in mason jars that have been filled to the brim with a juice/water mix.

So anyway ... here are my posts for the past four days that I posted on that other site!

Day One
So today I started my first fast ever. I don't know what to expect. I have read a lot on this board and have done some research, but from what I found everyone experiences fasts and the resulting detoxes differently depending of previous diet and toxin buildup in the body. So far I feel okay.

For breakfast I had juice made from ...

Concord Grapes

It made about 2.5 quarts and I am pored about 1.5 cups into a mason jar and filled it the rest of the way with filtered water. I didn't really like the cucumber taste, but I know that it is good for my body and I was able to drink it (I'm not sure I am to excited about drinking all the rest of that juice combination).

For lunch I am drinking fresh squeezed orange juice from three oranges watered down with some filtered water.

For dinner I am expecting to have more of my juice that I had this morning.

Between these meal times I am just drinking lots of filtered water.

My hopes for this fast is to just last as long as I can while maintaining my concentration for school. I don't know how long I can do this, but I will take it one day at a time and listen to my body! I hope that I can detox a little bit and get rid of some of the aches and pains in my neck. I also want to have a better sense of control over my diet. I suffer from a binge eating disorder and OCD that I link to past trauma and watching my parents do crash diet after crash diet.

I want to be clear that I am not using the binge eating disorder as an excuse for poor past eating habits!

I partially want to do this just to feel like I own my body and that I am not a slave to food.

I hope it goes well!

Day Two
So far today has not been so much fun. I can't stand the idea of drinking that juice with the cucumber in it so I think that I am going to hike to the store later on and buy some apples, pineapple, cranberries, etc so I can make a new batch of juice.

I woke up this morning feeling like I did when I had a heavily processed lacto-vegetarian diet. I felt like my stomach was churning and like I had just eaten a ton of milk (I'm lactose intolerant and yes, I still ate milk products and was addicted to cheese when I was a lacto-vegetarian). My legs feel kind of tired and although normally walking up a couple flights of stairs does not usually get me out of breath it did today. I imagine that this is all related to detox and my body switching gears.

So far the hunger hasn't been to bad. I am a little hungry and I do have the urge to eat EVERYTHING I SEE, but I am resisting by staying out of the kitchen unless necessary.

I KNOW that I can do this today ... we will se what tomorrow brings!

Day Three
 I am not hungry at all today, which is good because I have a 1.75 hour class later and a test tomorrow that I need to study for. I am also not having any problems with concentration.

I am however exhausted. I am still getting our of breath when I walk upstairs and my legs are very tired. It probably doesn't help that I did mostly water yesterday and then walked 3 miles to the store to get some fruit for juicing. I now have plenty of juice to get me to at least day 5. I have only lost like 3 lbs, but that is okay. As long as I feel healthy after this I will be happy.

Short post today, but I am off to study. Gotta keep up the grades!

Day Four (Today)
HUNGER STRIKES BACK! I think that I drank a juice with to much fiber in it this morning because I am STARVING! Oh well. My leg strength is back and I feel great! I think that I might be able to push this fast to 7 days!

After my fast is over I think that I might try to eat raw on $5 a day. The only problem is that I have picky taste buds. I am trying to train them, but they don't always listen. Good thing lots of my favorite fruits are cheap in the fall.

Oh and I am so giddy (giddy? I can't believe that I used that word). I just feel like my body is radiating happiness today! I absolutely love this feeling! I just feel like I could laugh and like the world is the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen (except for the power plant that you can see form almost anywhere in town). I want to just run through town screaming WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed today's posts.  Remember, you are RAWsome!

What is raw and why do you do it?

So today's post is going to be pretty simple.  I am just going to talk about my definition of raw food and why I do it.

Everyone in the raw community seems to have their own idea about what is raw and what isn't.  I feel that anything that has ever been heated to more than 105 degrees Fahrenheit is not raw.  I eat only fruits, vegetables, some cold pressed oils, seeds, and very few nuts.  Many nuts, even those listed as raw, have still been blanched and do dot have any raw options (some nuts are illegal to sell in the US as raw).

I eat raw because I feel that raw food is powerful.  It is full of enzymes that are good for my body and supplies me with unadulterated power.  My goal is to be and feel healthy and I am looking at loosing weight as a side effect of that process.  So far I have lost 25 lbs on raw food and I feel fantastic.  I no longer get out of breath when I walk up and down stairs and I sleep better at night.  My skin is looking great (despite some acne scars) and my depression and anxiety have decreased greatly.

I originally thought that being raw was for extremists and weirdos :) but now I know better!  I do not advocate a raw lifestyle for everyone, some people would be unhappy and being happy with yourself and what you put in your body is important.  What I do advocate is to eat with your eyes wide open (I think that Michael Pollen said that in the Omnivores Dilemma) and for me that means eating raw food and eating organic whenever possible.

Make sure that what you are eating makes you feel healthy and clean no matter what kind of eating style that is. If your body is screaming at you (migraines, tiredness, aches, etc) then maybe it is time for a change.

I hope that you will join me on this journey to health and I look forward to hearing any questions or comments that any of you may have!  Remember, you are RAWsome!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

So I just created this tonight and I will get started on it tomorrow, but first just a little about myself!  I am 22 and overweight at 295 lbs.  I am a Christian.  I have been a veg*n for three years (first lacto-ovo, then lacto, then vegan) and now I am a raw vegan and have been for about six weeks.  I want to be healthy and overcome my eating addiction and I feel that raw is the lifestyle for me!

I am also the proud parent of a 9 month old girl named Maggie and I am married to a wonderful woman!

Through this blog I plan to share my journey to health and hope to inspire and support others to do the same!

Well.  That's all for now!  See you guys in the morning!