I thought I should use this space on this final day of this epic journey to share some things. Answers to the dumb questions you won’t want to ask. Tips for survival on a Raw Diet. And one final recipe entry–the absolute best yet, using my pride and joy: Bloomed Wild Rice.
I’ve said it before: A big reason for my doing this whole thing, aside from the adventure part, is to start a discussion. We have to ground this talk of obesity, food addiction and general unwellness. Take it back from the silver screen for a minute and really talk about realistic, and sustainable ways to get a hold of ourselves. Debunk myths, reconnect with the essence of food, and let our bodies do the talking. Am I suggesting everyone go out and become a Raw foodist? No. I am suggesting that collectively, we can change eating habits for the better and incorporate some color every now and then. More on that to come. For now, in case you are one of the brave and few, here are some tips I’ve learned in the past 14 days that may just mean the difference between making it, and not making it:
- Forgive yourself. You’ll mess up. Sometimes accidentally (see hot water incident), and sometimes because you just can’t help it (see coffee incident)–either way, it’s ok. Keep going.
- Don’t give up. And don’t throw it away. You can fix it! It’s food in its simplest form and you’ll be surprised what a date, a pinch of salt or a handful of nuts can do for a meal.
- Cheat. Find your closest juice bar, and become friends with people that work there. Look around in your health food stores–you’ll be surprised at what kind of packaged delights you can find.
- Secret heat. My favorite. I found some on top of my fridge, and would let my cold Manna bread rest there for a while before eating it. I would put my cold, soaked oatmeal on the floor of my car on the way to work with the feet heater on. In the center of my stove there’s also a warm place. And never forget the sun. Sit things out for a while–it’s allowed!
- Don’t forget the salad. Don’t get so caught up in creativity that you forget the simplest thing of all–salads! All restaurants have them, and you probably have enough stuff in your refrigerator to whip one up deliciously and quickly!
- Don’t be afraid. Sprout. Dehydrate. Soak. And enjoy the process. Don’t be afraid to fail. And don’t be surprised when things start growing! It’s supposed to do that.
- Use your hands. And get your kids involved. What I would have given for an extra pair of hands sometimes (most times)!
- Finish your plate & the cob. It’s all edible! No bones to worry about here. No fatty parts, no weird skin. It gets sweeter and sweeter as you go.
- Leave time. For more dishes than you’ve ever had at once. To sweep up random peels, seeds and shells. To rinse your soaking things….hey. No one ever said raw food doesn’t take work, and I especially never said it!
- Get some sleep. It matters, and you’ll thank yourself when you aren’t spending time googling raw ways to get as much caffeine as coffee. A) you’ll feel like some kind of fiend, and B) it does not exist. Trust me!
- Remember what you know. Don’t be intimidated by long recipes, and don’t get pissed when you don’t have an ingredient. You know how to cook, and you know what tastes good together. Go with your instincts first.
- Frozen fruit fixes smoothies. You’ll see what I mean.
- Look for friends in unlikely places. There could be someone at work that is doing raw right now. Your favorite restaurant might have a raw bartender. Ask around, you’ll be surprised.
Finally…BE BRAVE. Drink your delicious dark green kale smoothie at work without shame. Dip your finger in at the end to get the last delicious drop. Tell people what you’re doing in spite of what you know their response will be. As a matter of fact, tell everyone. Even if they don’t get it, they’ll remember it, and who knows what that could mean. And if nothing else, even if they don’t say it out loud, they will respect you for what you’re doing. Don’t let the “gross” comments knock you off your journey. They don’t mean it. And if they could taste the bloomed wild rice I made tonight, they just might join you:
Jinji’s Laughing Wild Rice (because you can’t eat it without laughing):
- 2 cups of bloomed wild rice (put about a cup in a jar with lots of water, let it soak and watch as it opens, curls up and drinks every sip)
- An avocado
- A zucchini
- A huge carrot, or a couple smaller ones–diced
- 1/2 a red pepper, diced
- Lots of cilantro
- Peas (corn would work too, probably even better)
Mix all that together, and then top with:
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 T lemon juice
- about a 1/4 c of soaked sundried tomatoes
- alot of cilantro
Blend together, adding in the soaking water from the sundried tomatoes as needed. Toss with the pilaf and laugh!