Tag Archives: raw

Traveling with my husband, 2 dogs sans fast food

29 Jul

Please forgive me for the long absence from posting! Hot Lips and I were traveling with our 2 pups from July 12 to August 11th and then had to prepare for an overseas move upon our return. It’s been crazy! On a side note, if you ever are planning an overseas move and want to take a month to travel to see friends before leaving, do not return home with only 4 weeks to get everything done. That was not our best move. Additional craziness will be reported in the next post.

While traveling, we did 3 concerts, stayed with friends or family in 4 different states and hotels in another 4. Thankfully, our pups are true road warriors and make themselves at home whether at a hotel:

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Or at someone’s house

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I am excited to report that while traveling, we have been very successful at eating well. The day before we left, I spent 9 hours in the kitchen prepping food, sauces and dressings to pack in our coolers. I packed my Vitamix and Spiralizer, intended to pack a nut milk bag but somehow forgot so I bought one on the road.

I made pint sized jars of the Thai satay sauce and the creamy curry dressing which came in handy more then once. I believe I just doubled each recipe. At one point we stopped at a friends’s to spend the night. She had made a dinner that smelled wonderful but unfortunately I couldn’t eat it because it had gluten. However, she had a garden fresh zucchini which I was able to run through the spiralizer and I had “noodles” in Thai sauce. Even her kiddos tried it and liked it πŸ™‚ Preparation is key.

When we stayed in hotels, it was easy to start our days with fresh smoothies with frozen fruit, greens and hemp seeds. When I wanted juice, I just put all of the ingredients in the vitamix and strained everything through the nut milk bag. I was also able to teach some friends how to make almond milk and one even bought a juicer to start incorporating juice into her diet-I love helping people make healthier food choices! I also brought some raw dessert on the road which was also a big hit with friends. It was the same recipe I used for my birthday cake but put in 4oz Mason jars.

We had a couple of coolers with us and it was worth all the time and effort it took to prepare ingredients and pack those coolers. We didn’t have the need to stop for fast food once….although we did…at a Culvers. I used to LOVE their fried cheese curds and frozen custard. But I had a juice with me so I sipped on that while Hot Lips and our friends indulged in the menu. Of course he just had to order the fried cheese curds :/ Soooo I just haaaad to pop one in my mouth. As soon as I bit into it, I was completely grossed out! I spit it right out. I was glad to know my body was no longer interested in such foods! It’s amazing to me how my tastes have been changed by the juice fast.

So for anyone wondering, it is possible to do a road trip without depending on fast food and greasy spoon truck stops but it does take preparation. Access to organic groceries in some of the places we stopped for a few days at a time was helpful too. If you are committed to keep those toxins out of your body, I encourage you to do so. And if I can be of any assistance or if you have any questions, I am happy to help!

4th of July weekend Part 2

9 Jul

I apologize for taking so long to post this-it’s been non stop with family in town over the 4th and then non stop prep for a month long road trip, complete with my car breaking down in the middle of the insanity. Back to info on the food from the busy holiday weekend.

Saturday was crazy and we were going all day…synagogue in the morning plus food shopping for the BBQ we were hosting the next day plus a BBQ that night. I’m glad that our guests who are in their 60’s, were able to keep up-and be the life of the party πŸ™‚ We brought the coleslaw and a pesto dip with gluten free crackers and there were also sliced cucumbers there. The pesto dip ended up being a bit thick but still tasted great. ( I mixed this pesto with some of the cashew cheese from this recipe ) Two days later I thinned it out a bit with a touch of water and put it on yellow zucchini noodles and the moisture from the noodles helped thin it out to the perfect consistency.

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Up until this point it was crazy busy but I found as long as I made sure to bring something I could eat, I did fine. I also relied heavily on left overs. I added some leftover cole slaw to a salad made of dinosaur kale and fresh from the garden cherry tomatoes and diced cucumber and that was a quick and easy meal when a smoothie or juice just wouldn’t do. I tossed the kale in a quick dressing of A couple of tablespoons of ACV, some stone ground mustard & some honey…I didn’t really measure but it hot the spot.

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After the 2 BBQ’s that we went to, we prepared to host one at our house on Sunday, July 7th. We had dear friends in town, it was a holiday weekend plus it was my birthday-what a great excuse to have a BBQ πŸ™‚ plus we’re leaving in Sept for 2 years so we had to do this while we could. I was super surprised that we had over 50 people come! What a blessing! We got to celebrate with people from all of the different communities of our life. And Hot Lips was a fabulous Grill Master! He took care of the drum sticks, chicken tenders & all beef, nitrate free hot dogs. I made a BBQ shredded beef roast in the crock pot that also went over well. I didn’t get to make everything I wanted to because I just ran out of time. However, I did make my raw, vegan, deviled egg salad But called it a “garden dip” and Baba Ghanoush and served them in a 2 dip serving tray with sliced cucumbers and gluten free crackers. I also made the kale salad with the creamy curry dressing but my only salad ingredients were kale (massaged in lemon juice) and tomatoes from my garden. We cut up a cantaloupe and put that out along with Deborah’s cole slaw. Thankfully, our guests all brought sides so there was plenty of food. Also I couldn’t have gotten the food done that I did if it wasn’t for Deborah’s help plus some of my guests who stepped in and helped to take care if things in the kitchen. I’m so thankful door the dear friends & Mishpocha (family) I have been blessed with!

I also made my own birthday cake and Holy Freaking Moly was it AMAZING! (If I don’t say so myself;) I made a raw, vegan Chocolate Hazelnut “cheese” cake.Totally out of this world! It calls for hazelnut butter but instead of regular, I used a healthier version of Nutella which is a chocolate hazelnut butter. It was a hit with all who stayed late enough to try it. I liked it so well, I made some in little 4oz jelly jars to satisfy my chocolate cravings while on our road trip (which has worked quite well, I should add) And so has everyone else who has tried it;) Here is a picture of me with my super delicious birthday cake:

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I’m so glad I got to have cake on my birthday πŸ™‚ I keep thinking I miss certain foods but then I find recipes for things I can eat that satisfy those cravings plus don’t poison my body. Also when I try some of those foods I think I miss, I don’t enjoy them. To me, this has been an interesting learning experience. As a matter of fact, we are traveling and I have brought a whole host of foods with me which has been a really good thing. We found ourselves at a Culvers last night and Hot Lips ordered their fried cheese curds which used to be a favorite of mine….I was having a difficult time with self control and popped one into my mouth…and proceeded to spit it out into a napkin. It did not taste good to me at all! As a matter of fact, it tasted pretty gross! I’m actually thankful for that. I’m still amazed at how drastically my taste buds have changed.

One of the benefits of my 60 day juice fast that I didn’t even realize has been a complete change in my food cravings…even when I want something salty and crunchy or chocolatey and sweet, I’m not turning to Ben & Jerry’s fish food ice cream or Trader Joe’s white cheddar popcorn. My frozen banana chocolate “ice cream” (or chocolate hazelnut “cheese” cake) and dehydrator crackers satisfy me-although I have found a new crunchy & salty snack that I am absolutely enjoying while on the road. They are called Plentils by the Enjoy Life food company and they are corn free, soy free and gluten free and they are super delicious…I may be a bit addicted πŸ˜‰ It could be way worse!

Preparing to host a BBQ

3 Jul

While I know my body is healthy, I am definitely frustrated about the weight gain…I am still doing a plant based diet which really has me feeling great so I know I’m on the right track. I still have way more energy then I did before my cleanse. However, I seriously need to stop talking about exercising and I need to at least take a walk…tonight Hot Lips got home and took the pups out and I wanted to go with but was busy preparing dinner…which I totally did not take pictures of…sorry about that. I made a pesto sauce using broth instead of oil and nutritional yeast instead of cheese and put it over kelp noodles and topped it off with roasted veggies; squash, jalapeΓ±os & onions (from the farmers market) and zucchini & yellow pepper from my back yard (& organic garlic & asparagus from Whole Foods) topped with coconut oil and balsamic vinegar infused with basil, winter savory, rosemary & thyme from my garden. The veggies had enough of a sauce that I didn’t really need the pesto but it was too late by the time I figured that out. The kelp were raw so I I had both raw and cooked components in tonight’s dinner.

While on the subject of food, this weekend is my birthday and we are hosting a BBQ. I’m really looking forward to getting together with friends from the different communities of my life (i.e. neighbors, friends from synagogue, my army wife community, etc). Hot Lips and I love to entertain and it’s been 2 years since we’ve done a big event like this. Last summer I was grieving the loss of my dad so I wasn’t up to entertaining. This year I’ve got all kinds of vegan dishes I want to make plus some fun, patriotic dishes and a cake. I’m thinking this chocolate hazelnut deliciousness. I’ve got ideas for red, white and blue fruit and nut milk ice pops for the kids, some sort of gluten free & dairy free parfait to go in my trifle bowl that I have yet to use, a watermelon ball salad and probably some roasted veggies. Plus whatever my guests bring…..plus some meat.

Regarding the meat issue, I have changed my diet because my body has responded well to my eliminating animal products, not because I am ethically against eating meat. However, even before my cleanse when I ate meat, it was usually from a local, grass fed source. I happen to still have a roast in the deep freeze that I will be cooking to make shredded BBQ beef. I expect I will indulge in eating some meat this weekend. We’ll see how my body responds.

However, I still need to get hot dogs and chicken tenders for the grill (Hot Lips has grill duty). This task may seem easy but trying to remain budget conscious and in line with my integrity has proved to be a challenge. While I have had coupons for Hebrew National family packs of beef hot dogs (we don’t do pork or shellfish at my house), I can’t bring myself to serve my guests food loaded with MSG and nitrites & nitrates….even though I realize that many of my guests might not pay attention to those details, I do…and I don’t want to knowingly serve neurotoxins and poisons to people I care about. I’ve been going back and forth with my friend Jessica about this. Her argument, which is totally valid and makes sense, is get the more budget friendly option since that’s very likely what others are serving in their own homes. Getting all beef hot dogs is a step up from the “mixed meat” ones that include pork which plenty of people will be serving this weekend. Makes sense…and I even had the Hebrew National family pack in my cart with my coupon in my hand…and I couldn’t make the purchase. It means I will spend a bit more but I do know that I serve a gracious G-d who is the ultimate provider and has put these issues of health on my heart. Same thing with the huge bags of Tyson chicken tenders…those didn’t even make it into the cart…The movie Food Inc. was way too informative about how those chickens are raised and I not only don’t want that junk in my body (or the bodies of those i care about) but I also don’t want to give that company my $$. There was a “natural” brand at the wholesale store that claims to be raised on organic feed without hormones but I don’t know anything about what company those chickens come from…and at that point it wasn’t cheaper then Trader Joe’s frozen chicken tenders…so I’m going with those. Not perfect, but certainly a better option. I feel like when it comes to eliminating toxic foods, a Harm Reduction approach is helpful. While this tactic is generally associated with helping people doing illegal drug use, the reality is that wearing a seatbelt in a car is an act of harm reduction…that is to say that you take steps to reduce the amount of harm you are exposed to…if you get in an accident, if wearing a seatbelt, you are more likely to recover then if you are not wearing one and go head first into the windshield….because not getting in a car at all (which would eliminate the risk entirely) is not an option for most people. If we make small, healthier choices with some of our food choices, even if not all of them, we are reducing the harm done to our bodies. I hope this makes sense. I was an outreach worker for several years in Chinatown in Honolulu and that is the main method I used with my clients. I have definitely applied it to my own life in the area of health throughout the various stages of my journey. Feedback about this subject is welcome and encouraged!

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Day 27-a new decision

12 May

I love when I go shopping and either someone looks in my basket or the cashier makes a remark about how healthy everything in my basket is. It kind of gives me a boost:) Plus the cashier at Trader Joes gave me an idea for a new juice recipe-watermelon, cucumber & mint. I’m gonna have to try it.

Another interesting thing that seems to be happening more and more is that I end up in really interesting conversations while in the grocery store. Today at Trader Joes I had a wonderful conversation with a lady who is considering changing her diet to a raw diet to address some health concerns. She has been watching different YouTube videos on the subject and collecting recipes but doesn’t feel like she really knows where to start. I gave her the info for young and raw‘s website and told her about the 21 day raw reset cleanse It’s a great place to start for people (like myself) who need structure and support to make such a big change.

Then at Whole Foods I met a really neat woman named Jenny who was standing behind a table of beautiful looking raw treats! she had samples of Kale chips and raw dehydrator crackers & chips from a company called Brads Raw Foods . I was sooo sad that i couldn’t try them:( Jenny has been a Vegan for several years. We had an awesome conversation but since she was working it got cut short. She was also very encouraging about my juice fast.

Speaking of my juice fast, I have officially decided to go for 60 days! I feel like 60 days will really give my body an opportunity to heal in a way it couldn’t otherwise. Then when I transition back to food it will be a high percentage of raw, plant based foods…I’m going to wait a while before reintroducing animal products…I think….I REALLY MISS EGGS! (Rant over…for now)

In the meantime, here is another interesting juice I tried recently-Grapefruit Watermelon Detox Juice

20130512-001853.jpg It tasted mostly like grapefruit juice…it was an interesting change from my typical green juices. Today’s juice included Joe’s Mean Green