Today the adventure begins. My daughter, Alyssa, her friend Steven, and I are going on a raw food diet. In this blog, I will track our adventures. My objective is to write every day, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ll share with you what we eat and recipes we come up with. A couple days ago Alyssa and I went to Barnes and Noble to look at raw food cookbooks. The food in all we looked at was GORGEOUS! and intimidating. We purchased Ani Phyo’s Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes and Matthew Kenney, Sarma MeIngailis and Jen Karetnick’s Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow. We selected the first book because it had the word easy in the title, the second because the food was so pretty we couldn’t help ourselves. So why are we doing this.
Our motivations: Alyssa’s motivation: As Lent approached, she was impressed by her youth minister, Trevor’s discussions of sacrifice and Jesus fasting for 40 days in the desert. She came home from youth group and informed me she was going to fast for 40 days – no solid food, only protein shakes. “Not on my watch,” I informed her. Like many dancers, my daughter is lithe and muscular, AND she has very little body fat and can easily experience low blood sugar and mild anemia. No weight loss was my major stipulation and what we do (when you’re two in a household, it’s not possible to maintain two separate diets, so whatever she did, I was doing) had to be healthy. I encouraged her to do research to find something healthy she wanted to try. She considered vegetarian, vegan, and raw food diets and after several days told me she’d selected the raw food diet because it would be the hardest. My motivation: my resolution for 2010 is to try new things. So far, I’ve baked an absolutely delicious banana nut bread, crafted a scrumptious ham, bean and tomato stew, entered my photos into my first (it won’t be my last) photography competition, coordinated a large food packaging event to feed Haiti. Now I’m going on a raw food diet. Alyssa picked this cliff and I’m jumping off of it with her. Besides, I like the idea of being very mindful of what I eat for 40 days. It might just change how I think about food. Also, as I read the cookbooks, I was pleased with the claims that my eyes would be brighter, my skin clearer, my hair stronger, my body detoxified and stronger, I’d look 20 years younger and gain 4 inches in height (ok, those last two were more implied than stated). I’d get healthier and stronger. I’m willing to give it a shot! Steven’s motivation: He liked both Alyssa’s spiritual reasons and the idea of jumping off the cliff with us. All of us know this won’t be easy, but the discipline and commitment appeals to each of us, as does doing this together.
To be honest, I know very little about a raw food diet except that it’s going to be difficult and require that I think about food in a whole new way. On one level, it’s rather obvious – eat stuff raw. On the other, how we get the nutrients we need while doing so in a healthy way is not so clear to me.
As I sit writing this, we’re off to a good start. This morning I made a pretty tasty smoothie modified from a recipe in the Kenney, MeIngailis and Karetnick cookbook for my daughter and me for breakfast. In a blender, I combined:
6 chunks of fresh pineapple
3 handfuls of blueberries
½ cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
5 ice cubes
For the day, I packed for us:
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds with a sprinkle of sea salt
sliced carrots, celery, green pepper (and broccoli for Alyssa)
a trail mix of pecans, dried cherries and raw pumpkin seeds
I have no idea what we’ll have for dinner tonight, but it will be fun to figure it out! And so we begin. We’re open to any reactions, recommendations, recipes (especially tasty recipes)!