I knew I came to California for a reason. This past week the weather has been absolutely amazing. Really hot during the day, warm at night, and occasionally a gentle breeze to take the edge off. This is how I always expected Cali. weather to be. Finally! It's back to shorts and t-shirts for moi!
On Wednesday Kev had off from work and with finals being over, he's now on Spring break. We decided to go to Newport Beach and lay out in the sun. I know this seems like a wild delusion, but it wasn't until I went raw that I was acutally able to do anything besides burn. I've been ghostly pale my entire life, almost sickly. And it's pretty hard to get anything more than an artifical spray tan when you live in NYC; nor is it really "in" to be tan -- we kind of strive for pale...it just goes better with black, what can I say?) It wasn't until Kev and I were in Nice (France) basking in the Medd. sun that we realized, holy heck, I, Lish - Pale-y McPalerson, could even muster some color other than white. It was true, I was, dare I say it dark (Well, dark for me at least. You should see my brother, Matthew, in the Summer he can easily pass for Mexican!! I'm so jealous.) Finally, The Melonin Gods had blessed this girl with some color!
I attribute this to a long-standing bout of being anti-tan to multiple vitamin deficiencies due to the Standard American Diet and an ongoing battle with anemia, aka iron deficiency thanks to troublesome female problems. Once I went raw and was able to restock those 'reserves' my body must have finally been able to produce the melonin. I used to think I was just unlucky and somehow my brother got the tan gene, but now I know I was just deficient. Yet another interesting benefit to the raw food diet, lest I ever go back, I'd loose all my color!
Anyway, I literally laid on the beach for 30 minutes and then we walked along the water and by the time we got back to the car I was so tan! Then, I had to go and ruin it on Thursday by laying out by the pool, not paying attention because I was reading, and getting a seriously awakard burn on the tops of my legs, my tum, and a square of my arm! I'll spare you the photos on this one...
I've been REALLY thirsty lately so I've been drinking a lot of smoothies and drinking cocoie water like it's going out of style. [Thank you Henry's for having a buy one get one free sale on Amy&David's Coconut Water!] It has been so hot and my sun burn + bikram has left me feeling slightly dehydrated. I haven't really wanted much else. I have been savouring at least two a day...not to brag, but my smoothies kick some serious tush! They are typically green...it's like gut reaction now...the thought of having a smoothie that is anything but green almost seems like a waste!
Here's a random exception that I had for dessert one night:
The Ba-nan Freezie
*Note: Smoothies are really great to have as a dessert at night because anything blended is really easy to digest and at night, this will likely be a lot easier on your body as it starts to prepare for sleep.
This was frozen banana, homemade Cashew Milk, mesquite powder, Vanilla VivAgave and I topped it off with one of my favs -- Bee Pollen.
Bee Pollen is considered a complete food and is actually 40% protein! I've read that it contains virtually all nutrients required for humans! Sheesh! I love it because it adds a real "crunch" to my smoothies!
Here is some interesting information about Bee Pollen that I found from this lovely website:
"Bee pollen contains all the essential components of life. The percentage of rejuvenating elements in bee pollen remarkably exceeds those present in brewer's yeast and wheat germ. Bee pollen corrects the deficient or unbalanced nutrition, common in the customs of our present-day civilization of consuming incomplete foods, often with added chemical ingredients, which expose us to physiological problems as various as they are numerous.
Pollen is considered an energy and nutritive tonic in Chinese medicine. Cultures throughout the world use it in a surprising number of applications: for improving endurance and vitality, extending longevity, aiding recovery from chronic illness, adding weight during convalescence, reducing cravings and addictions, regulating the intestines, building new blood, preventing infectious diseases such as the cold and flue (it has antibiotic type properties), and helping overcome retardation and other developmental problems in children. It is thought to protect against radiation and to have anti-cancer qualities. NOTE: Babies under 18 months should not be given raw honey or raw bee pollen.
Nutrient deficiencies and all the health problems they cause are recognized worldwide as a growing problem. Because bee pollen contains all the nutrients needed to sustain life, it is being used on an ever larger scale for human nourishment and health. Science teaches that bee pollen contains many substances that combine to make it a healthy, nutritious, complete food. There are numerous reports from medical experience that conclusively show the benefits of bee pollen exceed that of a simple food item. And the bees do most of the work.
Bee-gathered pollens are rich in proteins, free amino acids, vitamins, including B-complex, and folic acid. "
Yet another green smoothie topped off with Bee Pollen:
This was bananas, oranges, lemon, pineapple, mango, spinach, and water topped with Bee Pollen. Perfectly perfect post-Bikram smoothie that keeps me full all the way until dinner.
Now before you start throwing questions at me about not really being Vegan because bees are animals too, well, I agree. And 95% of the time I am Vegan. I don't eat any flesh products at all. However, when it comes to raw honey and bee pollen [sustainably harvested and organic, of course]--where the medicinal properties are of such extraordinary levels that to disregard them simply because it would render me no longer "vegan" -- well, as my Uncle Patrick used to quote often from his favourite show In Living Color "Homey don't play dat!" (I wanted to be a Fly Girl like Jennifer Lopez for like years growing up...that, and chief of my own Native American tribe! I was a...
This week I also made some really stellar Veggie Burgers for my clients:
Usually, I make more traditional looking buns using my Onion-Sesame Bread recipe, but one of my clients really likes my Le Pain de Crudités (which is just a French-y way of saying bread made from raw vegetables lol) and asked me to make buns with the veggie bread instead! B. agreed, these turned out really well. I topped the buns with sesame seeds when they were done dehydrating.
Veggie Sun-seed Mc-Lish Patties
Raw burgers may seem like a daunting task, but they can be as simple or as complicated you make them. My Sun-seed paties are really just that, soaked/sprouted sunflower seeds, veggies, and spices. You don't even need to dehydrate them for that long either! A good hour is enough to gently warm the burger through and get a nice crust on the top. My first summer raw, these were a staple since you can make dozens at a time and freeze them for later on!
Mac-Nut Extra Sharp White Cheddar
This 'cheeze' is seriously out of this world. I make a basic tahini with soaked sesame seeds, garlic, lemon, apple cidar vineager, sea salt, and cayenne and let it ferment overnight. (I set the dehydrator at 95 degrees and leave it with the lid on but not tightened.) Then I make a quick mac-nut sauce from just mac nuts, sea salt, and water in the blender. I combine the two sauces and let it sit overnight in the D. again repeating the fermentation process. The result is a thick, creamy, sharp cheeze sauce. I top the burgers with my Extra Sharp Cheddar, whole grain mustard, and crisp romaine lettuce. So yum!
*Top the sun-seed burger pattie with the 'cheeze' and let it sit in the dehydrator for about an hour - it will really firm up making a more authentic 'cheeze-burger'.
"What you are about to eat will kill you"
Mmm, gimme a raw vegan burger anyday over that greasy pile of factory-farmed garbage! Who needs it!