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, February 9, 2010

Me vs. The Battle of the Bloat!

While I may have Abs of STEEL, I definately do NOT have the stomach to match! (Anyone remember those videos? Ah, those were the days!)

Unlike Anthony Bourdain at a BBQ in the Hudson Valley (which is my program of choice at the moment), everything is not going 'swimmingly' for moi. My tum has really been acting up lately and I can't seem to keep anything down. I eat and then I feel bloated. And depending on what I eat sometimes it comes right back up. Lovely, I know. I have been falling asleep around 11 p.m. and then waking up around 1:00 a.m with horrible stomach cramps; then I wake up about every two hours after that. Thursday night was perhaps the worst my stomach has felt since I gave up dairy four plus years ago. I was laying on the floor in the fetal position groaning. I have no idea what could bring on such gastrointestinal distress, but I can definately say that I felt like death warmed over the next morning; totally drained from the whole ordeal.

 After much research, I think my problems with low stomach acid have returned...for whatever reason. In New York, I had basically resolved this issue so to have it come back is very annoying. (And then it all snowballs as I start to stress over it and think about it all the time which just makes it worse.) Despite the fact that I have been drinking, or well, sometimes eating, Green Smoothie and Green Smoothies in a Bowl since I began this whole raw food thing two years ago. For those who don't know, Green Smoothies are supposed to fix all that jazz. I have been really bad about rotating greens and have been pretty much using only spinach for quite some time now.  The only exception would be when I make soups and I blend in herbs like parsley, dill, cilantro, basil, etc. When I eat salad I mix it up with spring mix, butter lettuce, sprouts, and romaine, but even that is hard on my tum. I love kale, but since I have a hard time digesting it I tend to stay away. I suppose I should be trying other greens in my smoothies, but I like the fact that spinach has a mild flavor and you can't taste the green part at all.

I have been incorporating some healing tea into my diet to see if it works. I have been reading a lot about the powerful healing benefits of ginger so I have been making a detox tea that has burdock, dandelion, fo ti wu, etc. adding a yerba mate tea bag and then steeping fresh ginger in it. I think it is helping to at least soothe my tum, especially at night when it seems to be the worst. I read online that bitter herbs also help stimulate stomach acids so I think I am going to start jucing dandelion - a very powerful, bitter, healing herb for digestion. P-p-p-p-p pucker face! haha!

Also, recently I discovered this awesome blog called Ginger is the New Pink. She has Crohn's Disease and is healing herself naturally with a high raw/ whole food vegan diet. She has some awesome looking soups that make me long for all the comforts of home (ya know -- snow, the smell of fire, and the East Coast in general). Check out her blog, she has the cutest pug! Anyway, in one of her posts she references the fact that nightshades, like tomatoes, are known to cause inflammation....and then the lightbulb turned on!! ::hmm, i've been eating a LOT of tomatoes lately...hmmm, previous to this week and a half my tum was doing just fine...ah ha!:: Yeah, so goodbye toms until summer when I can get heirlooms from the farmers market.

That being said, this week has been a tomato fest. I have been marinating them in olive oil, lemon juice, and some garlic powder and popping them in the D. so they are soft, warm, and taste just like they have been roasting in the oven. When they are done, I add them to various dishes. I must say, I am not a huge fan of raw marinara. I've resolved myself to the fact that my Mim makes the best gravy there is and trying to replicate it is impossible. However, these plump little babies really make for a super delicious gravy or soup.


Before:
Toms & Mushrooms w/ Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, Garlic Powder
I put it in the D. for 2 hours on 115 degrees.

After:

Warm 'Roasted' Tomato Salad w/ Cucumbers tossed with Pesto Vingarette:
I ate this like everyday last week...really simple and good.

'Roasted' Tomatoes & Marinated Mushrooms w/ grated Zucchini:

Then I topped it with that marinara gravy I was talking about
and make a really tasty and hearty soup...


I added in some roasted garlic hummus (not pictured because I already mixed it in) that I picked up from Mother's Market deli counter. I don't normally eat that kind of stuff, but, I have been really craving garbanzo beans lately. And, hummus was one of my favourite foods pre-raw. I am not a fan of sprouted garbanzo beans as they taste really funny to me and nothing like regular chickpeas. I think the sprouted variety makes hummus taste chalky and you really don't get the same consistancy. I like to listen to my body rather than being hyper-crazy about being 100% raw. The hummus was simply roasted garlic, tahini, chickpeas, lemon juice and sea salt. All organic, and I know it wasn't sitting in a plastic container absorbing possible PBAs so I am pretty content with my decision. It added a nice little touch to the dish. Yum yum yum!

I have been eating a lot of mangos and these mini-papayas after dinner. The mini-papayas are expensive! Yikes! Papaya is supposed to be good for digestion which is why I wanted to try it. I tried a sample at Mother's and it tasted like strawberries! The ones I have bought do not taste that good and actually have no flavor. I have been cutting them up and combining them with mangos and lime juice. The mangos I have been getting have are really sweet, soft, and juicy lately. Sometimes you get them and they are more yellow vs. orange and they taste like pesticide even though they are organic. France still has the best mangos I have ever had, ironically.



Mini-Papaya & Mango w/ Lime Juice:

Perfect after dinner snack...I would be lying if I said I stopped there. I also had about four or twenty fresh dates after this. They are just SO good! Nice and sweet and soft, just the way they are supposed to be.

Hope everyone had a great Monday! I'm getting into a bad habit of staying up way to late again. I really need to go to bed earlier...