Sunday, January 22, 2012

so many thinks to think right now!

so don't even get me started about my fears of losing access to real, whole, organic, non-GMO foods. perhaps you heard of the whole foods "not labelling GMO" drama of last year? of course i go through phases where i feel hopeful (and i remind myself about the good things happening when i see stuff like truth in labelling campaigns and i make sure i am as aware as possible and eat as much fresh, organic plant foods as possible as per this how to avoid genetically modified foods article.) but sometimes it's hard not to feel sad for our world's health! i guess i just have to keep hoping that our push for progress and our rapidly changing technology advances will somehow suddenly shift us to using absolutely no electricity or oil or plastic, etc (probably because there will be none!) and back to "the basics" of growing food for your immediate community and moving at a man and sun-powered pace!

just want to put this all out there in ye 'ol interwebs, whoa, what a ramble... as i think about the health of the world, i remember that i can at least do something about my own health!

with this new year, my naturopath had promised an elimination diet to figure out my food sensitivities and allergies.

FYI, i finally used almond flour (remnants from making milk) successfully! i made a cracker bread with soaked ground flax and processed carrot, beet, green onion and sauerkraut and a whole bunch of spices. hurrah! (smeared on top is a store-bought red pepper hummus. oh the shame! but hey, it tasted great and i was able to eat it with other people over at my place!)

so now, i am not only avoiding the regulars which i would NEVER dream of eating such as any animal products, coffee, MSG, or conventional, non-organic things, but i have to completely avoid the following for 3 months:
*baker's yeast
*green pepper
*saccharin, white sugar

so some of those things, i don't buy anyways, but i don't usually ask if they are in the ingredients of something i order at a restaurant. and now i need to. and i guess i don't usually eat ANY of them but tomatoes. even though i have always known i was sensitive to tomatoes, i thought i was ok eating them. and i definitely enjoyed not having to look out for them as an ingredient!

the following things, i need to have RARELY (so for me, i am 'indulging' once a week if necessary):
*dates (gah!)
*figs (thank GOODNESS it isn't september right now!)
*papaya (it's been awhile since i've had my tropical thunder smoothie at organic lives but still)
*brazil nut (also has been awhile since i've binged on these! hehe but gah, i love brazil nuts!!!)
*hemp seed (can't help but wonder if this is because i was drinking hemp milk and pouring seeds on my salads in the days before my sensitivity test)
*poppy seed
*wine (it's funny since i haven't really enjoyed it for the past year)
*carob, chocolate, cocoa powder (what?! i wondered if this was because i was going CRAZY for chocolate the week before my test. this past friday, i treated myself to 2 halves of zimt bars! i had asked if raw cacao counted and apparently it does. sigh.)
*sugar cane
*brewer's yeast
*brown rice
*sprouted bread
*fermented soy (i thought fermented soy was the easiest soy? soy milk was borderline for me)
*cauliflower (was it because of my horrid cauliflower mash the week before?)
*cucumber (at least it's not in season right now and expensive because i LOVE cucumbers!!!)
*sweet potato, yam
*black eyed/lima/navy beans

so it's been super interesting doing this so far. i have survived just over a week. i have to keep a food diary which is interesting as i'm thinking more about what i eat since i have to record it down. it's helping me become more conscious and eat when i'm hungry rather than eating just because it's so delicious! hehe.
ooh, speaking of delicious... a smoothie inspired by my friend menaka working in bali... frozen banana and banana with thawed coconut meat, supergreens (spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, wheatgrass, AFA, brainon), lucuma, tumeric, and ginger! YUM!
it's also been interesting because i'm realizing that just because i'm not eating something i really love (ie chocolate), it doesn't mean that i am sad or feel i'm missing out. there are so many incredible things to eat and it somehow isn't a big deal?
i'm now also eating with more awareness of proper food combining. i have considered it before, as with balancing acidic and alkaline foods. i'm aiming for 75% alkaline food in my diet. and that, with trying to eat what is local as well. so... it is really perfect for eating raw! i am really limiting my processed food intake, which admittedly isn't very high to begin with, but it's always a challenge when you decrease your options!
the only annoying thing is eating out. vancouver has so many vegan-friendly restaurants and i have LOVED being able to order anything without question. now i have so many questions again. and new questions. it's a whole new way of thinking.
like eating at sejuiced the other day - i would normally get the raw caesar but it's made with cashews! so i ordered a sandwich and i couldn't do gluten-free bread as it was made with buckwheat. so i got lettuce "bread" and skipped the tomato and instead, it was filled with a chickpea hummus (which i acknowledge is not raw!) with yummy avocado and sprouts. the bonus was i was still satisfied and it cost me only $4? yah!
i feel lucky as i can imagine this sort of elimination diet process for an "eat anything" person would be INCREDIBLY challenging, if not impossible. but last year, i wasn't eating ANYTHING off my avoid list except tomatoes and sometimes the other fruit!

the simple pleasures: finding these pears at drive organics. so nice to have a delicious snack! i haven't been able to bring my usual larabar work snack as there are cashews and/or dates in them so i have been on the lookout for easy things to pack along with me and THESE were INCREDIBLE!)
i am grateful for this chance to be more present in another area of my life. the diet actually helps me appreciate my nourishment even more! and a big bonus is it is helping me stick to more of a budget this year which was an important 2012 resolution for me!

so i know i can do this. and i'm super curious as to what i will find out!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

mary rydman recipes!

if you don't already, see what your local library has in the way of raw food books! i am constantly trying out new ones before committing to buying any. it's the best! some may have awesome recipes but if they aren't simple enough for me to be inspired to try them (as a starting off point or to follow exactly), then they are pointless to have!

anyways, my most recent book from the library was mary rydman's raw food quick and easy. i had to return it so i ended up taking photos of recipes i was most likely to try and within the last 24 hours, i've tried 2!

first one i tried was her "mashed cauliflower 'potatoes'" last night. i wish i had ingredients for her gravy also (which i conveniently did NOT take a photo of - though i suppose i could've found a recipe idea easily enough somewhere else!). me and paul were overwhelmed by the strong raw cauliflower and garlic tastes. i kinda felt like i was eating pureed horseradish! i liked the texture and the initial taste but wow, this is potent stuff!
 paul was a super good sport and added tons of nutritional yeast. 
i tried a (leftover) spoonful tonight with some corn and it was a lot easier to eat! but i know there's gotta be an even better recipe (for me) out there. (this one and this one are similar but perhaps different enough to warrant a try?)

tonight i made her tomato soup. 
this is probably the first raw soup that i have made and enjoyed. which is pretty exciting. though i couldn't finish my bowl! maybe too many raw tomatoes. (if i eat those whole, somehow, i gag uncontrollably!)
 but i have some to bring with my lunch for work tomorrow. i'm curious how it will hold up the next day. will the italian spices be too strong by then? or will everything be more subtle? i've added nutritional yeast and hemp hearts in hopes that having a bit more texture will help!