Monday, August 9, 2010

day 1 raw: The Feeling of "Full" & A New Curiosity

So, yesterday I wasn't sure when I'd start, but then I thought, why not now? I ended last night with Yogi brand "detox" tea (which technically isn't "raw" because obviously I had to brew it) and a snack of 100% raw, store-bought granola mix, and began today with a mostly-raw smoothie (images and ingredients below).

Notably, I've already had a dream about (vegan) deep-dish pizza, which is totally bizarre because a) I haven't actually tried the deep-dish variety of vegan pizza yet, and b) I'm not completely disallowing myself from having non-raw foods during this five-day jaunt!

Speaking of non-raw foods and such, does anyone know the impact of boiling water on the phytochemicals in tea leaves? I'm not "giving up" tea during this experiment, but I would be interested to know if there are better ways of extracting the benefits from the leaves. I've thought about cold-pressing my coffee beans and tea leaves. I'd be interested to hear of others' experiences with that method.

Onto my morning smoothie ingredients:

-fresh, organic strawberries (I've read that strawberries are one of the worst when it comes to pesticide residue, so I always buy them organic)
-frozen, chopped banana
-frozen mango pieces, thawed in a bowl of warm water for easier blending
-1 TB flaxseed
-blue agave nectar
-vanilla soy milk <--not raw

(Mostly) Raw Smoothie Ingredients (Blue agave nectar not pictured.)

Viola. Delicious smoothie.


For lunch, I stuck with a tried-and-true salad. Ingredients were:
-baby greens
-chopped red bell pepper (organic, as I've also read that pesticides cling well to red pepper)
-onion sprouts
-chopped fennel
-shaved carrot
-1/2 sliced avocado
-dressed with: flaxseed oil, balsalmic vinegar, fresh ground black pepper, & himalayan sea salt

Always loved flaxseed oil, by the way. It's like the butter of oils, but waaaay healthier. 

This afternoon, I began the process of making raw hummus and raw cashew cheese by stopping by my local bulk bin store and buying raw, dry garbanzo beans and raw cashews. To prep the raw cashews, I followed a recipe in a cookbook: blend 2 cups of cashews and 1 cup water in a food processor until very creamy. Cover tightly and store for 6 hours in a warm, dry spot. The cashews are currently ready to be made into nut cheese, which I will do tomorrow. The garbanzo beans must soak in a jar of water in the fridge for 48 hours before I can do anything further with them. 

While I'm waiting to use my raw, high-protein sources, I am opting to use non-raw, high-protein sources. So, for dinner tonight, I put canned (non-raw) black beans in an Ezekiel tortilla, spread with (non-raw) tahini and stuffed with fresh veggies. Another salad, this time a side.

In between meals, I snacked on organic lemon-ginger-echinacea juice (not sure if it's raw, to tell the truth), store-bought raw granola, fresh fruit, and broccoli dipped in (non-raw) tahini. 

Okay, so three things I learned today:

1. I get full on raw food, but it's a different kind of full. It's a less dense, less long-lasting full. My blogger friend at Simply Vegan told me that she experienced this sensation, too. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. My first impulse was disappointment because I thought that my short-lived satiety meant that I was hungry again and would therefore have to go through the hassle of preparing more food. However, now that I look back on my day, I think that perhaps this is actually a good thing - it means I won't be bothered by that fuzzy, sleepy feeling I sometimes get after a good, big meal, and it probably means that my metabolism is healthy. I don't know. I'm not a medical doctor or nutritionist, so take my words with a grain of...salt.

2. Okay, so I guess this isn't something "new," but as with any lifestyle change, one must plan ahead in order to thrive. Hence, I began the process of soaking beans and nuts. This is something that most veteran raw foodies do on a regular basis, but something I didn't realize until I was in the thick of this raw food experiment, despite my preparatory research.

3. I've been a vegan for five years now, which has forced me to learn a LOT about where my food comes from, what's in it, etc. However, there is still SO MUCH to learn! That was one of my motivators to challenging myself to do this, to learn even more about cooking, food, and health. I have so many questions about how some of my favorite foods are prepared, whether or not they are raw, how to make them myself... One such example is balsalmic vinegar, which is a condimental (yes, not a word) staple of my diet. It's not something I've ever really stopped to think about before, and I could make some educated guesses, but I don't know exactly how balsalmic vinegar is formed. More research to do. 

Salad from lunch
Tortilla and salad from dinner

Other than the short-lived fullness, I haven't noticed any physical or mental changes. I'm feeling a little impatient about it - I want to experience the raw food magic I've heard so much about! My rational side knows, of course, that it's only Day 1 of my self-inflicted challenge, and so any changes are probably a ways off. One thing's for sure: I'm still glad I'm doing this!


  1. i loved reading your day 1 experience! raw food definitely makes me examine food more than veganism . . . or at least from a different perspective. instead of making sure i'm not supporting the animal industry now i'm also thinking about what it actually takes to process and produce food. all the steps involved and how its original state is manipulated and transformed into an unrecognizable component. weird to think about. i hate the visuals because i think that's what makes me stay away from certain things. just imagining all the cellular manipulation. OCD for me! no, but seriously . . . the food industry is a scary place.

    i can't wait to read more!

  2. thanks for your support Ms!!!