Sunday, January 20, 2013

Caulflower Apple Soup and the Three Week Wonder

The other morning, while deciding what to do with the head of cauliflower in the fridge for dinner, an email popped up from Rawmazing.  It was recipe for cauliflower apple soup!    I made it for dinner that night, and it was delicious.   There are so many raw foodies who regularly email new recipes to subscribers that we never need to run out of ideas.  Just a few of the better ones are:  Raw On $10 A Day (Or Less!), Gone Raw, Russell James, and Nouveau Raw.   And just now, Ronnie and Minh posted a new video demonstrating how to make raw "fried" rice.  Check out the cute part at the end, where Ronnie explains why he eats his raw vegan Asian "fried" rice with a touch of toasted sesame oil.

Life is good.

Some may feel these subscriptions are just more spam in the inbox, and many of these newsletters are intended to sell products.  But they can help those who are transitioning to raw food stay motivated and provide us with fresh new ideas.  I am grateful to those who provide this information, and would like to see them thrive and prosper.  My paltry budget for purchasing recipe books is not much, but purchase them when I can.  I can also spread the word.

On Wednesday, my family and I attended a raw food workshop called "Raw Foods Class with Chef Stacey Dougan and Raw Mixologist Shane Stuart."  It was organized through the local raw foods meetup group and it was fabulous.  Stacey Dougan taught us how to make "Raw Lime Infused Flax Seed Chips, Raw Pine Nut Con Queso, and Walnut Mock "Beef" Crumbles." She made samples for us, served on a lettuce leaf, while Shane Stuart taught us how to make his "Wellness Detox in a Blender."  The most rewarding part of going to the workshop for me was watching my 12 year old son take in all the information.  He watched and listened carefully as they prepared the food.  Hopefully he will take these experiences with him into adulthood and experience a lifetime of good health.  We made the recipe for the flax seed chips, and they are in the dehydrator now, smelling delicious.

Shane Stuart shared some good information about some things that are going on in our community.  He mentioned a new healing center called the LV Wellness Institute, which offers three-day healing retreats called the Las Vegas Integrative Health and Wellness Weekend.  It's nice to know that there are more opportunities available to people who want to learn how to get healthy.  He is coming out with a new recipe book, "How To Eat Your Veggies And Not Know It," and if you email him at his website, he'll send you four free sample recipes from the book.

Recently, Nomi Shannon from Raw Pleasure posted an interesting article, called  "14 Things To Be Aware Of In The Raw Food Arena."  She makes some excellent points.

The first point, "Be aware of what I call 'three week wonders'," led to some personal reflection.  Who do I think I am, blogging about raw vegan food after only six months of living the lifestyle with varying levels of success?  Obviously I can hardly call myself expert.  I can't even really call myself a success, if success is defined by being 100% raw, or losing all unwanted weight and keeping it off for a prescribed period of time.  I am still in transition, eating raw plant-based foods prepared with condiments that have been exposed to heat, occasionally eating cooked vegan or vegetarian meals, and on very rare occasions possibly a paleo or even a SAD meal, although I think eventually I'll phase that out completely.  I'm still overweight, and I need to to continue to repair my health.

At the workshop, Shane Stuart asked, "How many of you are raw?"  I tentatively raised my hand.  I was "high-raw" that day, and by that I mean that everything I ate was vegan and over 90% of it was raw.  Today, breakfast was green juice and raw blueberry oats, and lunch will be raw bread with seed cheese but recently I made cooked rice with lentils for dinner.  My current, most accurate description is, "Mostly plant based, mostly raw foodie."

It's not easy to be successful at something when you haven't yet defined personal success for yourself.  I have no idea if I will ever want to be 100% raw, 100% of the time.  It seems that my opinions on the subject change frequently.  Since each person's definition of success is personal, no one can define it for me.

For me the ultimate goal is to be healthy, whole and happy.  Food choices are absolutely critical in achieving this goal.  Raw food makes me feel happy, peaceful, serene, loving, detached, aware, balanced, and joyful.  There is even something about the raw food lifestyle that I find liberating.  I may not know what my diet will look like ten or twenty years from now, but I believe that raw vegan food will always be at least part of it.

So, since I'm not a a raw food guru, why should anyone read my blog at all?  I'd like to think that I can make a contribution just by sharing the best of the wealth of information and ideas that I come across on my quest. 

A lot of the raw food gurus write things like, "Too much conflicting or confusing information about raw food on the net?  Forget the rest, buy MY material!" Obviously the competition is strong in the raw food market.  I'm not looking for the one shining example of raw food perfection to follow on a quest for glory.  Instead, I prefer to take in all the information I can find, try techniques and strategies that seem harmonious the goals and ideals of myself and my family, surround myself and my family with good people and good things, grow as much as I can, and draw my own conclusions, and write about it.  Why not?

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