Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day 3 and Mock Coconut

The photo is of a raw carrot cake topped with mock coconut.  The recipe for mock coconut is down below.  The recipe for raw carrot cake can be found here.

Yesterday was a very busy day. It started off pretty well.  I actually got in about 45 minutes of exercise before 11:00. 

My 12 year old son was dancing in a flash mob, so we were rushing around to leave the house in time for an appointment for one son and dance rehearsal for another.  We ate our delicious raw vegan sushi lunch, and then packed our raw dinner salads to go in a cooler along with several bottles of water.

The flash mob took place at an outdoor community festival in over 110 degrees Fahrenheit.  There was entertainment, community booths, and free food.  One of our "raw food rules" is that if we are out in public and free food is offered we can choose to eat it (or not) as long as we don't bring it into our home.  It works because it doesn't happen that often.  We figure that even some occasional SAD (standard American diet) food is better than what we ate before, which was all SAD, all the time.  So we lined up in the Panda Express line, where they were giving out  boxes of food.  My intention wasn't to eat any of it myself.  The portions weren't as big as a normal sized Panda Express meal, but for someone who hasn't been eating SAD much all summer, they seemed very generous.  Both kids chose one, which I thought was really awesome because one kid has oral praxis and is learning how to eat in occupational therapy.  When you have a disabled kid, even SAD food is better than NO food.  Then he grabbed another.  It's not a discipline problem; his condition has some similarities to autism and he often has difficultly with the finer points of social behavior.  Once you touch it they won't take it back, so I gave it to my husband.  Then of course, my son who has the medical issues decided he didn't want to eat his, so guess who did?  I did!  The simple fact is that I couldn't see wasting the food. 

By the time we left, I had a blinding headache from the heat, despite drinking a lot of water.  I went to bed early by my normal standards, and woke up feeling fantastic, determined that today will be a better day.

Today we are going to a Baskin Robbins for a meet and greet with the teachers of the online school my son will be attending this year.  The ice cream will be free.  I will NOT eat any.  It won't be a problem, because if my children do accept an ice cream, there is no danger they will refuse to eat it.

Some raw foodists may wonder why I still occasionally eat SAD food or allow my children to eat it.  I do agree that in a perfect world, our food would be raw all the time.  The community festivals will serve raw food options and the ice cream parlours would serve fresh raw fruit, frozen and blended into delightful parfaits.  Even the Mexican taco trucks would offer tacos of fresh raw veggies wrapped in lettuce "taco shells."  But that isn't the world we live in.

Yesterday our family ate both raw and SAD.  This morning I served them whole raw soaked oats blended with a banana and a fresh peach.  Their mid-morning snack will be fresh grapefruit.  Later my sons will probably have ice cream, but I'm serving kale in a raw vegan smoothie for lunch.  One day my son will leave home and every day he will have to make his own food choices.  Rather than making all of his choices for him, I'd rather teach him how to think for himself.  In my case it's easier for me to make all of his choices for him, but not good for him.   

As we go on our raw journey, I realize that this summer will only be the beginning.  When we started in May, we were committed to eating one raw meal each day.  Now it's August and SAD food is the exception rather than the rule.  Perhaps one day we will completely give up SAD food for life.  Each morning I will get up and do my best to live healthfully, set a good example for my children, and teach them to think before they act.  It gets a little easier each day.

One of my kids has a mild allergy to coconut and a couple of other nut types.  He doesn't have a severe reaction - he just gets a minor scratchy throat from it.  Coconut oil and coconut water doesn't bother him - just the flesh.  So I've been trying to come up with alternatives.  Recipes calling for raw coconut flesh can be substituted with zucchini.  But the dessicated coconut shreds have been a problem until now.  Only real coconut tastes exactly like coconut, but this is an acceptable alternative.  A better quality coconut oil will give this a delicate coconut flavor.

Mock Shredded Coconut

1 jicama, peeled and shredded
1 tablespoon coconut oil, (another oil may be substituted if necessary)
1 tablespoon agave nectar

Toss the shredded jicama in the coconut oil and agave nectar and place in the dehydrator on a mesh screen.  Dry for about 24 hours at 112 degrees.

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So what do you think? Have you tried raw vegan food?