Our idea of what constitutes "food" in American culture has become so skewed that it is almost unrecognizable. Our supermarkets are packed with products whose ingredients include unpronounceable chemicals, dyes, bacteria, and growth hormones. They are irradiated without our consent and contain GMOs.It's time to bring back FOOD. Pure unadulterated organic RAW food.This blog is a documentation of my continuing journey on a plant-based lifestyle.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tales of a Compromised Raw Food Nerd

 My lack of postage has been grating on my mind lately. My camera ran out of batteries and I have been too busy preparing for my Holidays Gone Raw classes at the ENC to worry about camera batteries. Shame on me. I found batteries so food pictures will resume shortly.

Moving along. I swear, I have the digestive system of an 80 year old woman on a steady diet of bacon and hard candy i.e. no matter what I do my digestive system hates me.  (Maybe i've just got a complex? I've always felt my D.S. was working against me.) I love raw gourmet -- I could eat wraps, pizza, and nut burgers until the end of time, but my body will simply having nothing to do with it. It says to me, "Alysha, you are past the transition stage, moooveee onnn!" I respond, "But d.s., it tastes so good! Why can everyone else eat that way without getting bloated or feeling exhausted or perhaps the worst- breaking out?! Whyyy me?!"

My whining does absolutely nothing to change my very stubborn digestive system who stands her ground and honestly, who am I to fight? I've tried my best to make it work: digestive enzymes galore, powders with pre and pro-biotics, green smoothies to build up my HCL (stomach acid that works to break down your food) all with only a slight improvement. Certainly not enough to allow me to eat raw gourmet more than once or twice a month. Such is the life of a raw foodist who transitioned to a very clean diet much too soon.

Let me explain.

So, when you begin on raw foods and move away from the processed garbage, meat, and diary - even the vegan mock processed food- your body is in a total state of bliss. You begin to clean out all the crap and a transition from junk to the nut-heavy goodiness of raw gourmet is such an improvement that your body simply feels greatful and lets you eat all the nut burgers and flax crackers you want. However, much like exercise, you can plateau on raw foods and a diet heavy in nuts WILL slow the healing process. I guess you can say a raw gourmet diet is like a buffer for detoxification because nuts contain a lot of fat and oil. Fresh fruit and veggies are what cleanses and heals our bodies. When you are in  transition (even if your transition period lasts 5 years!) raw gourmet is the perfect way to overcome cravings and the psychological effects of adapting to a way of life that is very "radical" for the world we live in. (Fast food, fast food, fast food, horomones, pesticides, chemcials blah blah blah) I do believe there is a place for nuts and seeds beyond the transition period, but for me, it is a very small part.

So, what's a serious foodie to do when her body rebels against the food she loves yet again? I mean, I love green smoothies and straight up fruits and veggies as much as the next girl (or guy) but, I like my savory foods. I need something hearty - I exericse twice a day! Givee me caloriessss! (God, this sounds like one of those chunky meat lovers soup ads with the football players. Apologies.) Straight up blended soup is not my deal. Neither is a blended salad that uses greens like romanine lettuce. Gross. And I had already exhausted the zucchini pasta option with marinara as I ate that straight for a couple of weeks. (Would you believe that even THAT bothers my tum! And forget big salads! Yup, FML.)

Also, if you can't tell already...I am so not one of those people who will eat anything no matter how bad it tastes just because it is good for me. Oh, I totally DO NOT ascribe to that way of life. I think if you approach food in that manner you are setting yourself up for disaster. Who the hell wants to eat food that tastes like crap? I certainly don't. Food is fuel, sure, but it is also so much more.

So, I started with Cauliflower Mash. So simple you could make it blind-folded...ok, maybe not blind-folded, but still really easy. Cauli-Mash gets such a bad wrap because people cauliflower has a very strong taste esp. raw and esp. blended but I love it. I topped it off with a Rosemary and Black Pepper Au Jus. Best part is -- there is no measuring involved. And with the Holidays cominng up this is a perfect recipe. If you can take the nuts, feel free to add a cup of cashews or pine nuts or for a decadent rich mash add mac nuts.

Dill & Rosemary Cauli-Mash:
Cauliflower
2 scoops tahini
Bunch of fresh dill
Green part of 1 scallion
2 heaping scoops of Nutritional Yeast
Dash of black pepper
Dash of sea salt
Couple shakes of rosemary powder

Throw it all into your food processor and blend into smithereens! You may have to stop every once in a while in order to push down whatever gets stuck on the sides. It should full blended, no little pieces of caultflower. If you are going for a more authentic looking mash then I would suggest adding the herbs at the end because they will turn your mash a lovely shade of green otherwise.

Rosemary Au Jus:
1 Cup hot water
1 T Dark miso paste
3 T Nutritional Yeast
1 T Rosemary Powder
Dash of pepper and sea salt to taste

I simply just mixed this up in a bowl until the miso had dissolved, but you can easily throw this in the blender, but I didn't feel like having another dish to wash so I just blended my self! Depending on your tastes and how much you like rosemary (I love it) you may want to add more or less. Adding some fresh chopped rosemary or other herbs would also be yum as well. Experiment! There is no right or wrong!

Pour au jus over your mashies and enjoy! 

Ah, more recipes from this compromised d.s. to follow. Along with pictures...