Tag Archives: Raw Food

Holy New York Raw

Just had an amazing Raw food experience! So it wound up being about 12 of us, but definitely including my new core raw group from Baltimore. We started at Organic Avenue and finished the night at Pure Food and Wine, the raw Mecca of the east coast.
Wow! Organic Avenue is a super cool place. The beautiful display of juices, shots, elixirs combined with a packaged raw food collection more extensive than any I have ever seen! Which, for me–She who equates health food stores to paradise–Was extra special! And BIG shout to Zia’s, one of only a couple raw food hotspots in Baltimore…Organic Avenue, in the NYC big city that never sleeps (affirmative, as I write this post at 1:00a amid a city still buzzing around us!) actually carries their goods! Imagine that, Zia’s from little Baltimore! Anyway, after grabbing a bunch of yummy things, we headed to Pure Food and Wine at 17th and Irving where we had the five course Chef’s Table tasting. AH-MAZING. Inventive. Creative. Intentional and obviously made with a ton of love!

So thank you NYC. A short trip and delicious indeed. Oh and of the additional new friends we ate with… David Blane and Woody Harrelson! Crazy!

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Happy “RAW” Summer Solstice!!

…It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  (Yes, to be sung in key of popular Holiday carol) It’s officially summer time!  Hot weather, long days, summer swim nostalgia, SUN, windows down, music up…not to mention all the colorful fruits!  I can hardly contain myself!  So I won’t…it’s time for raw!  And this solstice, unlike my Spring RAW solstice experiment, I am ready to charge full steam ahead.  In the Spring, my 2 week raw food experiment was filled with delicious things, success, failure, battles, wars, compromises, excitement, discovery and fun.  But I didn’t know what I was getting into, and I didn’t knwo what each day would look like or taste like for that matter!  In fact, this morning, as I was making my commitment to myself to be all raw, I giggled at all the time prepping I spent for the Spring raw.  I made day plan menus, I googled, I made inquiries, I got books and appliances…it was cute really.  But now, still far from being a pro, and much inspired by those who are, I am a little more seasoned having held on to about 80% of the raw lifestyle.  I’ve learned shortcuts, new recipes, and have great resources. 

MOST exciting…I’m not afraid.  Of the appliances I got last time, is my nemisis.  It has shamed me for months now as it has stared at me unused!  Somehow I reasoned with myself, I should keep it, even if on the high shelf, but I never could bring myself to actually use it.  THE DEHYDRATOR.  I know, I know.  What’s the big deal.  Well I can’t answer that, but I know the intimidation of actually embarking on that level of raw has been overhelming.  Until….

Yup!  Sweet potato chips!  No big deal :). 

I did it!  Well, am doing it I should say.  I thought to inaugerate my Summer solstice raw life I

would make one of my fave’s: sweet potato chips!  Well, first thing about dehydrators–it takes a

long time to dehydrate.  No problem.  I will have with dinner!  Although I peeked this morning,

and they had shrunken quite a bit from the original size.  I suspect it’s because I sliced them

really thin.  Thicker next time.  Check.  But they’ll stuill be good, even if they do wind up being

croutons instead of chips.  Whatever, I tried!!  Am trying.  I wish they had “baby monitors” for

kitchens.  I bet crock pot people would like that too.  Can things OVER dehydrate?  I mean this morning, they were still

pliable.  Not quite chips.  But did they really need another 8 hours?  Sigh.  Battle one.  Waged, afterall.

Stay tuned!  I will share the spice concoction when and if I ever get to enjoy one of these bad boys!


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…And the Rest is Pudding!

That’s a saying, right?  Well I’m back on the Raw!  But this time, instead of as an experiment, I am feeling really confident and committed to maintaining a high-raw diet.  For me, life is just tastier that way!  And, if I play my cards right, I might find life is easier this way too.  Even having been about 75% raw since completing my raw diet experiment nearly 3 months ago (WOW), I have continued to notice a quiet, very subtle escalation in benefits.  I don’t need as much sleep each night as I used to.  My skin feels lovely, and my jeans fit great!  I have bounds of energy, and I rarely get sleepy during the day.  My mood is good and steady as she goes!

Most my meals are really all raw, except fish here and there, Ezekial bread and grains.  I’ll keep doing those things.  So where does the extra 10% come in to qualify me as a “high-raw” participant in the raw foodie club?  DESSERT.  I’m super psyched about raw desserts, and I know I’ve talked about them here and there, but I’m more convinced than ever of the power of them, and the delicious-ness of them!  Not to mention that moonpie I had at One Lucky Duck that has made me a believer for life.  Not a whole lot of raw fruits in these desserts–its luscious raw cacao, coconuts, cashews, avocados (yup!), oh there are bananas, but then also raw honey, and agave nectar here and there.  The beauty for me, beyond the taste even, if that’s even possible, is that these are Superfoods we’re talking about here!  These are life sustaining, healthy foods to eat.  No guilt.  No food remorse.  All the taste, and then some.

So I am getting started with some experimenting.  Of course I can never leave well enough alone, so I anticipate some slips here and there.  Food wars from time to time.  But I also look forward to some sweeeeet victories!  Oh, by the way, about that avocado.  I’ve heard a commercial on the radio now enough times to really get on my nerves.  Avocado’s are delicious.  They are really healthy, and a fantastic way to get essential fats in the diet.  Huge fan!  And probably personally eat enough of them in a week for 2 people! 

BUT!  Excuse me, Subway.  So sorry to be the one to burst your marketing campaign (really am!  especially since I love avocado’s so much!), but avocados are not a bonafide Superfood.  Cacao, Honey, Coconut, hempseeds, gogi berries, spirulina…these are all super foods for their unique set of diverse and life sustaining properties and array of high levels in minerals and vitamins.  I’m glad you have avocado’s, Subway, really I am.  It makes me feel like on my next road trip if I run out of pre-packed snacks, I can turn to you for a thing of avocados and a packet of salt (do you have sea salt?).  Let’s just be sure not to confuse the masses!  Afterall, haven’t you already tricked us enough into thinking your menu is healthy?  I digress.  To convince you that I truly do appreciate the avocado availability (even if they aren’t Hass), I made pudding last night…and guess who was the star?

Delicious Subway Pudding

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 c. raw almond milk
  • 1/2 c. raw cacao powder
  • Raw honey…add by the T until you like it
  • 2 T unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Sea salt

Give it a good whir!  And enjoy!

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Raw: Re-Inspired!

 Wow! Spent the last couple of days in New York, and really wishing I had been able to visit while I was all-in on the raw diet.  It’s so completely normal, and dare I say, even mainstream!  Now, at about 80% raw though, i could still thoroughly enjoy my food experience there.  Raw is HUGE in New York.  Even only having been there 2 days, I got pretty good exposure.  I mean here, in Baltimore, there is raw food, yes.  Certain places with a bigger offering than others (The Black Olive, Zia’s, Great Sage)–but there!  Oh there.  In every borrough there are several.  I ate at two: Carravan of Dreams in Manhatten and One Lucky Duck by Union Square.  Each place with its own unique identity–beautiful, bountiful plates, carefully put together, and lovingly made.  Tons of diversity in the menu, and huge flavor in the food.  One Lucky Duck is actually owned by the same couple who authored Real Raw “cook”book–which has been an culinary inspiration to myself and many who I talk to.  So it was a MUST that I had to go there.  Most impressive?  Moonpie.  Raw cacao based moonpie.  UN.BE.LIEVABLE.  I also had the seaweed salad, that had an impressive mix of 4 different seaweeds and a killer dressing to go with.  Even outside of Manhatten though, regretably I didn’t get to go bu rave reviews for Rawstar in Brooklyn!  Next time.

So anyway, feeling really, really inspired with this Raw thing.  In fact, before I left for NYC, I had the pleasure of attending a special lecture by David Wolfe.  Can you say 7 courses of Raw heaven??  Not to mention his inspirational lecture about the deliciousness and power of Raw.  Amazing.  I don’t know, but I am thinking I need to get involved here….!!  More to come.

Banana Smoothie! Photo is a little dark, because I had to eat it under the light of the moon…but trust me–delicious!!


An inspired Raw Banana milkshake

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 c. raw almond milk
  • pinch of sea salt
  • drop of raw honey
  • sprinkle of unsweetened coconut
  • dusting of raw cocao
  • a few shelled hemp seeds

Give it a good whir, and ENJOY!

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I Have a New Project! …But Haven’t Forgotten the Raw…!

Mainly haven’t forgotten the raw because it won’t let me!  I keep trying to introduce foods that I previously loved, and it is NOT going well.  I’ll spare everyone the lovely details, but let’s just say my stomach knows what it wants, and if I deicde not to feed it raw foods, it makes sure to tell me.  All.  Night.  Long.  Sigh…And last night was so mild!  A Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger (yum!! the best!), which has no vegetable protein, or tofu or anything–just loaded with veggies, with a side of deliciously roasted sweet potatoes.  But nooo, my body still has expectations of big salads, fruit and sprouted grains.  Let me go!!! I want to say.  I also want to say, I promise not to take those things away, I just want a little heat in my life!! Sheesh, as if it wasn’t hard enough as it was for me to go to summer BBQ’s without making it a BYOF (bring your own food) experience.  Imagine me now–“I’ll just have the watermelon, thanks.” And what about my favorite restaurants?  Sigh.  Anyway, my new project!!

The best part about anything I do, is when i’m inspired to do something new, and when I can inspire someone else to do something new.  In the very humblest of ways, I love when people color outside the lines, and especially love when I can color with them.  It’s why I love nutrition and food so much–the energy, the creativity and community it creates is endless and always a good experience!  Such is the case with my friend, and his decision to clean up his diet, and tone up for summer.  A goal most of us share, but few of us have the commitment, will, and courage to see a plan through.  So together, John and I are going to color outside of the lines, and I will help coach him to success.  So, he has described what he wants: To tone up, but not neccessarily lose numbers off the scale, though an inch here and there would be fine.  He’ll start in a couple weeks, but here’s what he has to chew on so far–maybe someone else will find it helpful as well:

1)      Eat more.  This is where most people fail.  They think to lose fat, they must cut calories.  If you’re working out, it’s the opposite.  Lots of high quality food throughout the day will serve your body best, and get the quickest results. 

  1. Must eat a great breakfast every single day. If you do nothing else right that day, eat breakfast.  It should be within an hour of rising, and if you work out in the morning, it must be within 2 hours of working out.
  2. Test what works best for you, but you should eat at least every 3 hours through the day.

                                                               i.      i.e, what works for me is: Big breakfast around 9; Snack around 12; Medium lunch around 1:30/2; Snack around 4:30; Dinner at 7

                                                             ii.      Never, ever let yourself get hungry.  Be prepared with snacks, always.  The second you’re hungry, is when your body starts to store fat, making it much less accessible to actually burn.

  1. Every meal should have whole grains included in it—oats, quinoa, brown rice, barley, etc.  Whole grains TORCH fat.  It’s the only food that does it so effectively.  Load up on these.
  2. PROTEIN.  Every meal should have high quality protein.  Let’s talk about this if you are unsure what exactly that looks like.
  3. Plenty of fiber.  Dried and fresh fruit make great snacks, and are full of fiber.  Of course all the leafy greens your body can handle is also paramount.
  4. Avocado’s and prunes are your friends.

2)      Work out.

  1. Everytime you run, couple it with strength building.  I’m a big fan of body weight resistance—push ups, sit ups, dips, squats.  You will build the most muscle this way—better than cardio alone, and better than weights alone.
  2. When you do cardio, mix it up—slow then fast, medium then slow, fast then medium, etc.  You will burn the most calories this way.  Better than just fast, or just medium.
  3. After eating, walk around a little, do dishes, do something.  Don’t just sit there.  Help your body assimilate the good foods by moving.
  4. Don’t eat within 2 hours of working out.
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Wait…There are Politics Involved in Raw Diets? Day 4.

I thought it was going to be all kumbaya.  I thought we’d all eat of the same fruit, share the same Manna, and sprout the same seed.  Again…Imagine my surprise!  when in fact, there are categories of raw, each filled with it’s own distinctions, classifications and (GASP!) commitment levels.  As if it’s not enough to agree to oneself that this is the lifestyle he/she wants to lead…you have to be judged by your commitment level at the same time?  True. 

So, I learned that there are percentages that classify how raw a person is.  Many claim 80%.  Meaning the remaining 20 is filled with some other unholiness (I’m already dreaming of what my 40% will be–raosted sweet potatoes and cauliflower, wild mushrooms in a delicate broth). 

There are also vegan-raw foodists, vegetarian-raw foodists, and then there’s the…wait for it…raw foodists.  I sort of love being any kind of “foodists”, but really?  I feel like I need letters after my name, or like one of those bracelets diabetics wear.  I guess the classifications help on some level.  Wait! I’m a pesqu…raw-foodist (that word again).  This diet is forcing me to behave so pretentiously! 

In light of my questionable classification, I was nervous about showing myself in a public restaurant, but had plans to go out for lunch.  (Shockingly) What an amazing experience I had!  The Black Olive, in Baltimore.  I had the fortune of being able to speak with the Chef, who was totally hip to my foodist request that everything be prepared raw.  He responded with letting me know they had just received a wild salmon delivery, and would I like for him to sashimi some on top of my avocado Greek salad.  Would I??!!!

So in the midst of my newly found politically driven, foodist pretentions, I had the best lunch I’ve had in quite some time!

The Black Olive//814 South Bond Street  Baltimore, MD 21231
(410) 276-7141

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Two Confessions of a Raw Dieter…Day 3

This is a story about gum and green smoothies.  And how I’m seeing yet another side of all this Raw Diet entails.  So, confession number one:  I am a habitual and compulsive gum chewer.  One piece loses its flavor, chew it for a little longer just to be sure, then immediately replace.  Maybe we should call it “chain-chewing”.  A couple pieces every hour.  I know my dealers (or, people at work who always have gum in case I run out), I know which gas stations, 7-Eleven’s, and grocery stores have my brand in the flavors I like.  That said, imagine my horror yesterday, in the 6th hour of the day when I had a sudden revelation–gum is NOT raw!  I should call this diet the “Imagine my surprise” diet.  Because it feels like everything I experience catches me totally off guard, as if I have no rhyme or reason or direction at all!  In fact, the opposite is true.  I did do alot of planning, and alot of research to bring this diet to fruition.  In doing so, I came across the pinnacle of the Raw Diet: The Green Smoothie.  There are many variations, but the one I have chosen ends up being VERY green, very DARK green, and pretty thick.  Also delicious! 

Nonetheless, this brings me to Confession number two: Raw Diets for the two-week experimenter, like myself are lonely.  You’ll have to read about my collards incident yesterday to get the full picture, but here I am, at my desk, in my cubicle where it’s hard to see if someone is approaching.  I’m drinking my very (delicious) dark green smoothie from my (previously known as) tea cup, on my desk, and here someone comes.  The first expression is usually, “what IS that???!!”, followed by, “Are you actually drinking that??!” then comes the inevitable, “GROSS!”  Really?? I wonder to myself if defending myself and preventing the ostracization that could follow is worth it, or if I should just rock to the beat of my Raw Food drum, and drink my drink.  I decide to drink my drink, not because I don’t care what my colleagues think, but because I think the only thing that can make the situation worse is that I have kale breath that apparently, I can do nothing about:

Jinji’s Green Smoothie, adopted from 24 hour marathon world champion (raw foodist!), Tim Van Orden

  • 3 leaves of Kale
  • A bunch of spinach
  • A cup of water
  • 1/2 a banana
  • Blueberries
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 1/2 an apple

Blend and enjoy!

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