Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Morning Smoothie

As I mentioned earlier, when I first learned about the raw food philosophy I felt overwhelmed by imagining how difficult the transition would be from delicious (and readily available) conventional food to a mostly raw vegan diet.  Then I realized something - I ALREADY EAT RAW FOOD - MY MORNING SMOOTHIE!!!!  Well, it was mostly raw.

What started as a Jamba Juice addiction became a morning ritual where I made a fruit smoothie for myself and my partner every morning.  True, it usually had a scoop of frozen yogurt....oh, who am I kidding?....Vanilla Ice Cream in it, but it was a step in the right direction.

After reading Raw Food, Real World, I realized that a few small changes could turn my morning smoothie into a delicious and raw way to start the day.  Instead of high fructose fruit juice (apple or orange were my favorites), I could substitute electrolyte building coconut water.  Since water isn't sweet, I could add Agave syrup.  To make it creamy I could add coconut butter or almond butter.  YUM!

This morning I made a quick and easy Cherry-Banana smoothie:
-1 bag frozen organic cherries
-2 bananas
-roughly 1.5 cups coconut water
-2 heaping teaspoons of coconut butter
-1/2 a vanilla bean
-2 tbsp raw agave syrup (I use 365 brand from Whole Foods)
-a pinch of sea salt

I took a picture for the blog, looked at the clock and realized that I was running late.  So, I poured mine out of the glass you see in the picture and into a mason jar for my commute to Brooklyn.  My partner got to enjoy his at home because he didn't have to be at work until 9:30 - the lucky duck!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Creamy Mushroom Heaven

Today I went to Organic Avenue (101 Stanton St) with the intention to buy body lotion.  More details will follow on the subject of body lotion another time.

Organic Avenue has a wonderful prepared foods section and the friendly sales associate recommended their Portobello Reuben Wrap.  I am a huge fan of mushrooms and was concerned initially that they HAD to bee cooked.  Luckily, they don't and the flavors of some of the different varieties of mushrooms (it's not just all white button mushrooms anymore) actually stand out more when prepared through uncookery.

It turns out that this Portobello Reuben Wrap is no exception.  It has flavorful portobellos, raw cream cheese (pine nuts and cashews), and sauerkraut encased in a scrumptious flax seed wrap.  I would kill to live right next door to this store.  Definitely try them if you're in the New York City area.

Intrepidly I begin...

I am a 30 something year old living in New York City and I have always held a passion for cooking. Flavor has always been the utmost priority to my cooking. Just as I had perfected my Salmon-en-Papillote and become a whiz at preparing homemade chicken stock, I dined at Pure Food and Wine where I experienced some of the most mezmerizing flavor combinations in my life. My dinner companion that night educated me on some of the principles behind raw food philosophy and suggested that I read Raw Food, Real World, by raw living goddess Sarma Melngailis and her former partner. I devoured this book, reading it cover to cover that same night. Now, I have never been one for a particular way of eating, but the raw food philosophy just made so much sense. Learning this new information was a personal renaissance and I felt more awakened having learned about it. But, at the same time I also felt strangely vulnerable armed with this newfound information. Strange, right? Shouldn't knowledge feel powerful? The truth is that I knew it would be HARD to eat raw foods in a world where it's easier and cheaper to buy a french fries than an apple. How will I cook raw? What if I don't have a dehydrator? What's lucuma and where the hell do I buy it? What if I can't maintain this lifestyle long-term? What will my friends think? All of these questions became so overwhelming the night of my renaissance that I fell asleep instantaneously and woke up the next day with the intention to repress all of the information I had learned the night before. A complete lifestyle change was just too daunting. Little by little it crept back up on me. I found that I felt better after my morning smoothie than I did after a bagel. I had more afternoon energy after a salad for lunch than a pizza. But, for some reason I still felt like a zombie after dinner - so much so, that I have never in my life had enough energy to wash all the dishes after cooking dinner (I generally washed them the next morning). What was the common denominator? Oh yeah, COOKED non-vegan food. I realized that my body was functioning optimally while eating raw and I wondered why should I deprive myself of that?

The truth is that fear held me back from adopting a raw lifestyle much sooner. I am somewhat of a perfectionist and it is difficult to embrace a lifestyle that most of society doesn't even know about. Convenience is HUGE in this day and age. I had already become such an adept home cook, I knew that I was going to have to embrace a sense of humility and accept the fact that I was going to start low on the learning curve.

That is what my blog is about. I know that I am not the only person in this predicament - an intellectual conviction that a raw lifestyle is essential, but weariness regarding the best way to actualize it. Please feel free to follow my journey...