Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Linguine Marinara

My very own recipe posted on goneraw.com!
1 Serving

I created this quite by accident. It is so simple yet so increadibly yummy. I had no idea that the texture of zucchini noodles would change so much by simply making them wider using a vegetable peeler! This recipe could easily be doubled to make two servings rather than only one.

Ingredients
1 Small Zucchini
½ Large Tomato
dash Sea Salt , to taste
dash Italian Seasoning, to taste
½ tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Pine Nuts

Preparation

Linguine Noodles
Use a vegetable peeler to “peel” wide linguine noodles from zucchini

Marinara Sauce
1. Slice a large tomato in half and place one half in blender (I used my convenient little Magic Bullet) and store the other half for later use
2. Add sea salt, Italian seasoning, and olive oil and blend to desired consistency
3. Mound noodles, add sauce and top with pine nuts.
Delish!

Pecan Pie Bites



My very own post on goneraw.com :)
3-6 servings

This is so easy and tastes exactly like a bite of pecan pie. My family loves to make holiday treat plates to give as gifts to friends and neighbors each year and these are definitely going on the plates! What an easy way to show our friends and neighbors just how simple and easy delicious raw treats can be.
This recipe makes 6 but the picture only shows 5 – any guesses where the 6th one went? Sorry, I couldn’t wait ;)

Ingredients
6 Dates, Pitted
6 Pecan Halves
dash Cinnamon, Optional

Preparation
If your dates aren’t already pitted, remove the pit. Stuff a pecan half in each date and you’re done. You can add a sprikle of cinnamon to the pecans before stuffing them in the dates if you like.

Monday, November 26, 2007

21 Days Come to an End

My 21 days of faith experiment ended yesterday. I gleefully broke my fast by enjoying a beautiful meal at Oyama, a wonderful Japanese restaurant with my family last night. I always like eating Japanese food because I feel like I ate something good for me and never feel like I'm going to explode when I leave (except one time several years ago when I had sake and it gave me such bad gas I thought I was going to die - seriously. But that's a different story and believe it or not Tums came to the rescue so I survived. HA!)

Now I'm looking back and reflecting on all the things that the 21 days did in me. What I realized was that going deeper into faith can be frustrating, scary and difficult. My 21 days were a whirlwind of emotions as God called things out of me to deal with. And you know what? I had to deal with them because of my fast from cooked food. Any other time I probably would have noticed God bringing something up and then fighting Him by burying myself in some unhealthy behavior like eating a whole bag of Doritos. I would feel the pain of my weaknesses and self medicate with junk instead of and saying, "Yes, I do this or that, and it's not OK. Jesus help me change it."

So what I'm taking home with me out of this experiment is faith. Not because I asked for a miracle and saw a miracle happen on the outside but because God showed me many small miracles inside and helped me to begin to change the ugly parts of who God never intended me to be.

I started out asking Jesus to step in to my life and help me change my eating lifestyle but the very first night God told me that He wanted to work on something else. And I was pissed! And then God told me he wanted to work on that too!! HA ha. It was a crazy start to something that was supposed to be faith building - God tearing down my useless defenses first. Isn't He smart? But I felt like I was going nuts and the new thing we were working on wasn't going well.

The bedtime routine with my daughter was getting completely out of control so I knew only after God pointed it out (duh) that this was the miracle I needed to see in my life right now. I was spending hours each night trying to get Adi to sleep and much of that time was spent with me crying and cursing God for not helping me. Oh man, did I ever have to repent for that! But I felt alone, I felt abandoned and I felt like there was really no point in praying any more if God wasn't going to answer my prayers.

I had come to a point of giving up on hope and deciding that I was going to have to do it on my own, without the help of my God. It didn't take long for God to set me straight on that because now I felt dead spiritually and my only chance at life was to admit I couldn't do it on my own and I begged Jesus to forgive me and just be with me. I think that was the weekend I desperately needed to be in worship and church but I was scheduled to serve in the toddler room. Funny how that always seems to happen. Kind of like God saying, "Don't depend on worship and church - depend on Me! Turn your eyes to Me!"

My next lesson was patience. This one keeps coming up for me. I don't know if I'll ever get it right. God showed me that I needed to be patient with Adi. She's two and a half. She's just a child - what she needs most from me are love, consistency and patience. So I knew I had to slow down. I had to look at some resources and figure out a plan. And then I had to stick with the plan and finally (and most importantly) I had to be patient!

Another place where patience became vital was in waiting for my period to come. It's so hard to just wait around, not knowing when I'll be able to move on and get my test done and find out what the heck is wrong with me and why I can't seem to stay pregnant. I felt myself getting irritated because I felt very much like I was experiencing PMS (with meltdowns and extreme emotions) but I couldn't tell if it was because I actually had hormones doing crazy stuff or if it was because I didn't have cooked food to turn to. So I had to be patient and wait.

Finally another Sunday came and I was so completely on edge to begin with. I didn't know if I had any faith at all. I was so low and so desperate. And then I had to listen to a testimony about grasping for what we want vs. waiting and receiving what God has for us. Though I had heard the testimony before it threw me way off. I was feeling good about deciding to have the HSG done and then all of a sudden I was forced to consider whether doing so was just grasping and not waiting and receiving. I think I wrote a blog entry about this because it was pretty relevant. Ultimately I came to a place of knowing in my heart that I have two choices. I can continue on the way I have been and take the risk of having many more miscarriages, or I can accept the technology that could tell me what is wrong and possibly help me prevent it from ever happening again. My heart can't keep going through miscarriages. I just can't. I'm getting the test and once again, I feel good about that.

That same afternoon I went to a prophetic ministry time that was wonderful and affirming for me. God told me to keep praying. He told me other things that I desperately needed to hear and I left feeling like Jesus had restored me. I felt my faith grow, my heart heal, and the spirit of joy.

My final week was probably the easiest in terms of faith but the hardest in terms of my fast. I stayed on my fast through both Thanksgiving dinners that we attended and it was miserable. But I did it. Cam was so proud of me and I was just a grumpy old fuddy duddy! But family made it all better and I was grateful to have been able to make a choice between cooked and raw food and that there was an abundance of each. So many people in the world (including right here in our country) aren't so blessed.

This post is already so long. There's so much more I could say and other ways I can see God working in me but I think I just want to close by saying that my faith experiment was exactly what it should have been. Did I see an answer to prayer? Yes, I did. Just not in the way I expected to. I think 21 days was perfect for me and I can't wait until the next faith experiment comes up - if God did all of this in 21 days, I can only imagine what He could do in 40!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sprouted Almonds from Co-op

Ahhhh! The sprouted almonds from the New Pioneer Co-op are not raw! I got some last night to use in some recipes for Thanksgiving because I am too lazy to sprout almonds on my own. I should have read the label more carefully because they were actually roasted after being sprouted. I sampled a few last night and had my suspicions so I couldn't help but call today and learned the truth. So now my fast has been tainted but never fear. I will continue onward eating only raw through day 21. In my own defense, I didn't officially cheat - I was ignorant about the product I bought and I screwed up out of an attempt to save myself a little time. Darn - now I'm only like 99.99% raw. Oh well, life goes on!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Golden Herb Potato Chips



7 Large, well scrubbed Yukon Gold (or other golden) potatoes
Savory Sprinkles: Salt to taste Garlic powder Onion Powder Yellow Flake Yeast A little Cayenne (optional)

Slice the potatoes as thin as possible (paper thin). (I use a meat slicer or a vegetable slicer.)Dip in a bowl of fresh lemon juice to retard discoloration. Layer on mesh dehydrator sheet and spray light with a pan spray.
Sprinkle lightly with savory sprinkles.
Dehydrate for several hours at 110 degrees or until crispy and crunchy. Check frequently as the thinner potatoes will dry quicker than thicker slices.
Cool well and bag in an airtight container. Great for dipping or just eating for pleasure!A few satisy quickly, unlike commercial potato chips which can take a whole bag to satisfy. Fills a 9 tray dehydrator.
Note: Blend dehydrated potatoes into powder, and you will have a great thickener to use in soups and sauces, plus you increase the nutrition of the prepared dish. Store in air tight container. - Chef Jeff and Nancy Riedesel, from This Is Not Your Mother's Cookbook* Comments: Michelle says "pan spray" is not raw, consider using a Misto spritzer with olive oil to spritz on the chips instead.

Raw Choccie Cupcakes

Choccie Cupcakes! (from thedailyraw.com)

1 cup walnuts, unsoaked
5 Medjool dates, unsoaked, pitted
1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon coconut oil, liquid form
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Process walnut and dates in a food processor until mixture sticks together.
Add sea salt, vanilla extract and almond extract.
Roll small eight balls out of the mixture and place each one in 1 ¼-inch baking cups.
Mold the sides of the baking cups around the balls and form into a cupcake shape.

COCONUT ICING
1 cup coconut pulp
½ cup agave nectar
¼ cup coconut water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of sea salt

PINK ICING
1 tablespoon coconut icing
¼ teaspoon beet juice

LIGHT GREEN ICING
1 tablespoon coconut icing
¼ teaspoon liquid chlorophyll

CHOCOLATE ICING
1 tablespoon coconut icing
½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon maple syrup¼ tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes, for garnish

1. Puree coconut pulp, coconut butter, agave nectar and water in the blender until you achieve a smooth consistency. Add vanilla extract and sea salt.
2 . In three small bowls, place 1 tablespoon each of the coconut icing.
3. In the first bowl add the beet juice and mix until the icing turns pink. In the second bowl, add the chlorophyll to the icing and mix until the icing turn light green. In the third bowl, add the cocoa powder and maple syrup to the icing, stir until it turns a dark brown.
4. Pour the remaining coconut icing in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
5. Frost the cupcakes with the coconut icing

Essene Stuffing


Essene Stuffing (from thedailyrawcafe.com)

3 cups diced Herb Essene Bread (recipe below)
¼ cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt

1 In a large bowl, combine diced bread, onion, celery, poultry seasonings and sea salt.
2 Place mixture on Teflex sheet. Dehydrate at 100 degrees for 3 hours.





Herb Essene Bread

4 cups sprouted grains, Kamut, wheat berries, rye, etc.

1 cup almond flour
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon Herb Blend*
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 In a food processor, grind the grains well. If your processor doesn’t have a powerful motor, use ¼ cup of water to get things going. Stop every so often to scrape the sides of the food processor. Blend the mixture until it forms a sticky dough.
2 Place dough in a large bowl and add almond flour, olive oil, herb blend and sea salt. Combine well.
3 Divide the mixture in half and spread each half on a two Teflex sheets, forming 8 x 8 squares.
4 Dehydrate at 110 degrees for 6 hours, flip over and with a pizza cutter, score into nine slices. Dehydrate an additional 6-8 hours or until the bread is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.

* Herb Blend1 tablespoon thyme1 tablespoon rosemary1 tablespoon caraway seed
Combine seasonings in a coffee grinder and grind until fine.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oh Sweet Jesus

I can not believe what a roller coaster I've been on over the past several days. I've gone from angry at God and blaming Him for all my shortcomings, having complete sobbing meltdowns, doubting my ability to parent, feeling like I don't deserve another child, questioning whether I have any faith at all, being shattered into a zillion tiny pieces (most of this happened Saturday and Sunday morning!) to a place of peace and joy. Which leads me to wonder if I'm a complete psychopath!!

Well, blessed be the name of the Lord for He has spoken into my life through a wonderful ministry time at a friends house yesterday afternoon. God reminded me that when I was suffering, he was there. He encouraged me to continue praying and not to give up - which is exactly where I was... about to give up. Jesus picked up every last one of the zillion pieces scattered about and held them in His hands as He lovingly put them back together - and then He blessed them. He encouraged my marriage, gave me permission to rest and reminded me to trust. And there was so much more that I'm still processing. How miraculous and glorious is our God. I stand in awe.

This morning a bittersweet joy arrived with the start of my period. It's so odd to feel joyous when my period finally comes after each miscarriage - it's a sign that my body has healed and I get a fresh start when any other period just means that I'm not pregnant. So 7 to 10 days from now I will undergo the infamously invasive and horrifying dye test... no matter how invasive or how horrifying the test might be I'm grateful to be having it. And I'm choosing to go into it knowing that God gave me lemons and I'm going to make lemonade!!

Getting Ahead of Myself

I'm finding so many exciting recipes on goneraw.com that I went ahead and filled up spaces on my blog for all 21 days! Thanksgiving is coming up and I can't wait to try some of these :) I'm currently on a liquid fast until Thursday so it's almost painful for me to look at all of these amazing recipes. Oh my!

The fast from cooked food is going so so well. It helps to have the right equipment. I love my dehydrator. We also ordered a Blendtec blender and it should arrive today. That will make my liquid fast much happier, I think :)

I hope everyone is enjoying looking at and reading about all of these crazy raw recipes. What a journey it's been so far. I'm really loving it, and I'm almost afraid to eat cooked food again. It might hurt me - HA!

Day 21

Succulent Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake (from goneraw.com)
Makes an 8 or 9 inch pie

Basically the same recipe from you tube : sexy ( bad word)’s Love it Raw Hawaii, but with a couple of changes that make it so much better in my husband’s opinion. Also with the addition of strawberry filling swirled in and as a topping. This cheesecake is really to die for!

Ingredients
Crust
2 cups Raw Walnuts, finely ground
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
¼ cup Agave

Filling
2¼ cups Pine Nuts, ground
1 cup Organic Coconut oil
½ cup Agave
1 Organic lemon, juiced
¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
2 teaspoons Organic Vanilla Extract
Swirl Filling / Topping
1 pint Organic Strawberries, washed and chopped
2 tablespoons Agave
5 drops Organic Lemon Juice

Preparation
STRAWBERRY TOPPING: First: before making pie add all topping ingredients in a bowl and mash. Set aside so that all the juices start to flow and let it marinate.
CRUST: Butter your pie pan with coconut oil. Grind nuts in coffee grinder (that’s how I do it). Pour nuts, agave, sea salt, and cinnamon into food prcessor and process until mixture starts to come together but is still crumbly. Form crust in your dish and set in the fridge while you make the filling.
FILLING: Pour all filling ingredients into food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Make sure to taste to see if you need to add anything.
Pour half filling into pie crust, then add about 1/4 of the strawberry topping mixture in the middle of the pie. Pour the rest of the filling on top. Lastly I take some of the strawberry juice and swirl it on top gently. Chill for at least 2 hours prior to serving.
NOTE: I have soaked the pine nuts for 1-4 hours but you do not have to. My mother in law made it without soaking them at all and the cake was still fabulous! I have also made cheesecake with half cashews (soaked for 4 hours) and half pine nuts and the texture was very nice also.

Day 20

Ooooh Lasagna (from goneraw.com)
serves 1 if you're hungry

I have tried a LOT of different raw lasagnas, but none of them really did it for me…I guess because I was a real cooked lasgna fan, and the raw kind didn’t satisfy my craving. I think, with this recipe, I may have cracked the raw lasagna code, and I can honestly say I like this version better than the cooked one. Don’t be intimidated by the procedure or anything, it is REALLY easy.

Ingredients
CASHEW CHEESE
¾ cup cashews, soaked at least 2 hours
1 squeeze of lemon juice
¼ tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 pinch Celtic sea salt
½ tablespoon onion, red yellow or green, chopped
1 small handful fresh or dried parsley and/or coriander

FOR ZUCCHINI STRIPS
1 long and thick zucchini , peeled, and sliced into thin, wide strips with a peeler or mandolin
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 dash Celtic salt

FOR THE MUSHROOMS
any olive oil left from the zucchini mix, and more if needed
nama shoyu
portabello mushroom caps, sliced into thin, wide and long slices

OTHER INGREDIENTS
1 big tomato, sliced into thin, wide slices
1 small handful spinach, coated very lightly in any of the extra marinade from the mushrooms

Preparation
1. To make the cashew cheez: -Process the soaked cashews, lemon juice, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, Celtic sea salt, onion, and herbs. The measurements are just approximate, so taste as you go, it should taste yummy like ravioli cheese. It should have a ricotta-cheesey texture, so add more lemon juice or water if needed.
2. To make the zucchini layers, coat the thin and wide zucchini strips with the olive oil and salt so they are coated but NOT dripping. Set aside, and reserve any extra olive oil and salt mix you have left for the mushrooms.
3. To make the mushrooms, coat the thinly sliced portabello caps in the EVOO and nama shoyu mixture, again so they are coated but NOT dripping.
4. Coat the baby spinach VERY lightly in any of the leftover marinade from the mushrooms. 5.TIME TO ASSEMBLE!! Arrange the layers like so: zucchini (slightly overlapping), cheez, tomato slices, mushrooms, spinach, and repeat. do this so its as tall as you like, and coat the top layer of zucchini with some more cheez and tomato.
6. Dehydrate at 130 degrees for an hour (this will not destroy enzymes because of the moisture content of the food at this stage), and then at 110-115 for another half hour to an hour or so.
7. ENJOY!!!!

Day 19


Raw Chocolate Dream Cake (from goneraw.com)
Serves 10 - 12

This is a recipe that I found on the Internet. I couldn’t find a reference to the creator of this recipe but to whom ever it is, I give you total credit. This is decadent and absolutely DIVINE!!!!!
Ingredients
1 cup Raw Almonds, not soaked
2 tablespoons Agave Nectar
1 teaspoon Coconut Butter
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
0.05 ounce Bittersweet Organic Chocolate
¼ cup Cocoa/Cacao Powder
2 cups Coconut Meat, Young/soft coconut meat
½ cup Cashew Butter
½ cup Coconut Butter
½ cup Maple Syrup, Grade B/Organic
¼ cup Agave Nectar
2 tablespoons Vanilla Extract

Preparation
The ingredients repeat itself above because there is the crust and the filling. The crust ingredients are the first five ending with 1/4 tsp. sea salt and the filling begins with .05 ounce of Bittersweet Organic Chocolate (I couldn’t find this so I just used Organic Chocolate).
My notes: It was hard for me to find a nice young coconut which has jelly/soft meat so I just used the older coconut and blended it really well (as creamy as I could get it), adding some coconut water to moisten it. I added the note for the Grade B maple syrup, the young coconut meat, and the indication of Cacao vs. Cocoa (same thing really); the original recipe didn’t not specify that. As I thought later the dryer meat may work well to because it would make for a dryer cake; I’ll try it another time.

The consistency of this cake after being frozen, let to set just a little (not to be icy but firm) was firm like a cheesecake (uncooked recipe). I also found that it was too sweet for me. I would like a more robust chocolate flavor. I’m a serious chocolate lover.
Of course, try it and play with it to your special taste. When I tasted the batter, my eyes rolled in my head; I was in Heaven!!!! So delish! I used my fingers to get all the batter out and then when I did that I went back for a second scraping with my finger to lick the rest.
Here are the instructions:
For the crust:
In a food processor, grind the almonds and cocoa powder together until fine. Do not over-process. Then add in the sea salt, vanilla, coconut butter and agave and pulse a few times. Press into bottom of 7? Springform Pan. Set in the freezer.

(MY NOTE: AFTER PROCESSING THE NUTS AND THE GRINDING THE CACAO, I PUT THE DRY INGREDIENTS IN A BOWL AND MIXED EVERYTHING TOGETHER WITH A FIRM SPATULA….I SPREAD IN THE BOTTOM OF A BUNDT CAKE PAN AS I DIDN’T HAVE A SPRINGFORM PAN (PUT IN FREEZER AS INSTRUCTED)...MY BUNDT PAN HAS THE REMOVABLE INSIDE SO WHEN IT WAS STILL FIRM BUT SOFT ENOUGH, I WAS ABLE TO EASILY PULL THIS OUT TO REVEAL THE CAKE)
ALSO BECAUSE I WANTED A THICKER CRUST, I INCLUDED AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF EACH INGREDIENT EXCEPT THE AGAVE NECTAR.

For the Filling:
Melt the chocolate and add everything to a high speed blender until smooth. Pour into pan and set in the fridge or freezer until firm
MY NOTE: AS THERE WAS NOTHING FOR ME TO MELT, I JUST ADDED THE POWDER AND BLENDED REALLY WELL….THERE WAS NO GRITTINESS FROM THE POWDER. AT ANOTHER TIME IN MAKING A RAW CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE/SAUCE I MELTED THE MIXTURE BY PUTTING IT IN A SMALL CONTAINER AND PLACING THAT CONTAINER IN A BOWL/CUP OF HOT WATER (BOILED AND THEN COOLED JUST A LITTLE). THIS TAKES A LITTLE PATIENCE SINCE I DIDN’T WANT TO HAVE THE NUTRIENTS REMOVED FROM OVERHEATING (WATER TOO HOT) SO I WAS TENTATIVE AND CAUTIOUS. IT CAME OUT WELL IN THE END.

Day 18

Herb-Encrusted Mushroom Steak (from goneraw.com)
Serves 2-4

This is a wonderfully flavored, savory meal created and shared by Rhio (January 2007’s recipe of the month). The recipe also includes a quick and easy cheeze sauce that can be used on other recipes as well.

Ingredients
2 large Portabello mushrooms, sliced
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil (with 1 tbsp. flax seed oil, op.)
1½ tablespoons Nama Shoyu
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons 2 tsp. cardamom powder (or tarragon flakes)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 Ume plum, seeded and mashed

VEGGIES
1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
1 cup broccoli, chopped small (or you could substitute other vegetable such as asparagus, edible-podded peas, zucchini, etc. or use a combination of vegetables)
½ cup scallions, finely chopped
1 clove pressed garlic

CHEEZE
1 cup soaked pine nuts, macadamias or almonds (if using almonds, peel the skins)
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup filtered water

Preparation
Mushroom Steak
Mix oil, Nama Shoyu, cardamom, garlic, Ume plum in a bowl and blend well.
Slice the mushrooms into thin slices and dip each mushroom slice into the sauce, covering both sides. Let marinate 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Veggies
Mix all the vegetables in a bowl. Drain the marinade from the mushrooms and toss it with the vegetables.
Cheeze
Blend all Cheeze ingredients in a blender until creamy.
Put together your Herb-Encrusted Mushroom Steak by first placing some marinated mushrooms on a plate, top with the vegetables and then spread a few spoons of the Cheeze on top. Mmm good.
Keeps for 2 days in the refrigerator.
Variations: Layer the ingredients into a romaine lettuce leaf, Swiss chard leaf, cabbage leaf cup or bok choy leaf. Or you could serve it on Pizza Crust bread. The recipe could also be made without the Cheeze.

Day 17







WALDORF SALAD



1 C celery, chopped fine

1 C grapes, halved

1 apple, peeled

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/2 C water
• Mix lemon juice and water.

• Dice apple, soak in lemon juice/water mix for 10 mins., and drain.

• Mix celery, grapes, and apple.

• Mix in pine nut mayonnaise to taste.



PINE NUT MAYONNAISE

1 C raw pine nuts

1/2 C water
4 T olive oil

3 T lemon juicepinch sea saltagave nectar to taste (optional)
• Blend all together in a VitaMix (blender).

Day 16


Mouthwatering Pumpkin Pie
This Pumpkin Pie is amazingly scrumptious! I make it whenever I have a craving for pumpkin, but holidays are best. I try to sneak the entire pie to myself but there’s always someone who comes along who wants a piece. My pie doesn’t last one single night! It’s heavenly.

Ingredients
-FOR THE CRUST-
2 Cups Pecans (unsoaked)
1 Cup Dates (Pitted, chopped)
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Cacao or Cocoa Powder
Squirt Agave or Honey

-FOR THE FILLING-
3.5 Cups Cubed Pumpkin
1 Ripe Avocado (peeled, seedless)
1.5 Cups of Dates (pitted)
1/2 tablespoon Coconut Oil
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Touch of Agave or Honey

-FOR THE TOPPING-
1 Cup Almonds (soaked)
Water
Squirt Maple Syrup (or Agave or honey)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Preparation
CRUST: Combine the pecans, dates, cinnamon, cacao/cocoa powder and sweetener in your high tech blender (or food processor whichever you prefer). Press into a pie pan evenly and set in the fridge.
FILLING: Chop the diced pumpkin cubes in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer the pumpkin into your blender and add the avocado, coconut oil, chopped dates, pumpkin spice (about a teaspoon or less) & sweetener until thoroughly mixed. NOTE: Sorry I forgot to add the 1 tablespoon of Psyllium powder to the list. Add that as well. Pour into the pie pan over the crust. Sprinkle some cinnamon over top. Set in the fridge.
TOPPING – Optional: Blend the almonds, sweetener, vanilla and some water and control the consistency of the cream you want, more water for a thinner base or less for thicker. You can also add some cacao/cocoa powder to make a chocolate version, but you will need a little more sweetener. I made 2 kinds as pictured, vanilla and chocolate. When complete, set in the fridge.
Everything should be ready within an hour, I like to let mine sit in the fridge for around 2 hours but anything works. If the pie crust breaks as you serve it, it’s normal lol, I seem to always break mine…


Day 15

Parsnip-Pine Nut Whip (or Better than Mashed Potatoes) [from goneraw.com]
Serves 6 to 8

I’ve tried other mashed potato-ish recipes before, but this is the first that made my taste buds sing. Thanks to chef Bruce Horowitz who created this delight. Shown with the chickpea/miso gravy and pepper.

Ingredients
2 cups parsnip, washed and cubed
½ cup pine nuts
1½ cups water
⅓ cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced - or more to taste
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil

Preparation
Blend all ingredients until creamy.
Serve with a drizzle of flax oil or a simple gravy, such as: .5 cup chickpea miso and .5 cup water whisked with some seasoning, such as drop of cumin or pepper or chopped mushrooms.


Mushroom Gravy (also from goneraw.com)
This is an easy savory gravy that would go well with the
Parsnip Whip and Mashed Cauliflower, among others. The recipe was adapted by Denise Thomas from a mushroom soup recipe created by the Raw Gourmet.

Ingredients
2 portabello mushrooms (about 1.5 cups)
1 tablespoon Nama Shoyu
1 pinch salt
½ cup water
¼ cup almond butter

Preparation
Blend in a blender and serve.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Day 14

Spicy Spinach and Pepper Taquito (from goneraw.com)

Not your ordinary taquitos.

Ingredients
SPINACH/PEPPER MIXTURE
1 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
½ sweet red/orange pepper, diced
½ sweet yellow pepper, diced
¼ yellow onion, diced
juice of one lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon sea salt

NACHO CHEESE
1 cup cashews, soaked
¼ cup water
½ sweet red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon sea salt

CORN TORTILLAS
4 cups fresh sweet corn, off the cob
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 cup golden flax seeds, unsoaked, finely ground into flour
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preparation
SPINACH/PEPPER MIXTURE Place ingredients in a plastic bag Ziploc bag and marinate for 1 hour.
NACHO CHEESE Blend ingredients until thick and creamy.
CORN TORTILLAS Chop corn and bell pepper in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
Take a spoon and spread the corn mixture on the teflex-lined dehydrator trays. You should have enough mixture for two or three trays.
Dehydrate at 110 degrees for about 5 hours.
Flip the teflex sheet over onto the tray and carefully pull away from tortillas.
Using a pizza cutter, score the tortilla in 3-inch strips (approximately 3 long strips) length-wise, then score every four inches across. You should have approximately 9 strips of rectangles.
Dehydrate for another 2 hours until tortilla is completely dry on both sides but still pliable.
ASSEMBLE TAQUITO Spread cheese on the end of one tortilla strip, spoon spinach/pepper mixture on top of cheese and roll tortilla tightly to prevent it from opening.
Secure with a toothpick, if necessary.
Put taquitos in dehydrator at 110 degrees for 8-12 hours or until they are crisp on the outside.

Day 13

Deviled "Eggs" (from goneraw.com)
Serves 4

A no-cholesterol picnic treat. No salmonella to worry about either. A mellonballer helps make this one quick and easy.

Ingredients
1 or more zuccini, peeled, halved, shaped and scooped
1 batch eggcellent scramble
1 tablespoon grated horseradish
1 minced pickle
1 sprinkle paprica for tops
1 stalk celery (optional), chopped
sprinkle sea salt and pepper
2 artichoke hearts (optional)
parsely as garnish
¼ purple onion, chopped

Preparation
Cut zuccini in half, then cut lengths about an inch. Cut around corners to shape like eggs if you like. Scoop out centers with small side of melon-baller. I made this recipe with sunflower seeds for this one. Add horseradish, pickle, and artichoke hearts to the food processor with the eggcellent scramble. Add chopped purple onion and celery.
Take melon-baller and scoop out the egg mixture and place in zuccini “eggs”. Top with paprica. You may want to oil the outside of the zuccini if it’s going to be a while before you eat them. Also grind a little sea salt onto zuccini to make it a little more tasty.
I put a couple of artichoke hearts in mine because they are supposed to be good for cleansing the liver. This could also be made with cucumbers but the zuccini have a more egg-like quality to them. I haven’t left these over night so I do not know if you can make them ahead.
I threw in a few cherry tomatoes and you can’t even tell they’re in there but they are good to eat for the lycopene. I also used a batch I had made of the eggcellent scramble that had pumpkin seeds on the top and I just blended them into the mix too.

Eggless Egg Salad (from goneraw.com - in place of eggcellent scramble)

Ingredients
½ cup pure water
juice from one small lemon, (I use some zest, too)
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt, add 1/2 tsp at a time for taste
1½ cups raw cashews
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon turmeric, for color, add as needed
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preparation
1. Place the water, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt and cashews in the high speed blender or food processor, and blend until very smooth.
2. With a spatula, take the mixture from the blender and place in a medium sized mixing bowl.
3. Slowly stir in the mustard, apple cider vinegar, and turmeric until it reaches the color and flavor you desire.
4. Serve on top of flax seed crackers, celery sticks, or add a bit of water to make a creamy salad dressing.
RawVee note: Add in chopped up celery for more texture, or jicama, onions, whatever you like. I pile it on fresh arugula. YUM!!!
Time to Make: Approximately 10 minutes Shelf Life: Keeps up to 5 days in the fridge if sealed in a tight container. You can make this ahead of time!

Day 12

Caramel Coconut Cookies (from goneraw.com)

Adapted from “Living Cuisine” by Renee Underkoffler.
These are amazing, and so addictive! I usually double the recipe so they will last more than a few days.

Ingredients
3 cups dried shredded coconut
1 cup dates, soaked and pitted
3 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or half a vanilla bean)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cardamon
1 pinch sea salt

Preparation
Combine dates, almond butter, honey/maple syrup, coconut butter/olive oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon and sea salt in a food processor, until smooth. Then add the coconut and process until combined. Take approx. 1-2 Tbsp of dough and press it onto a teflex sheet with the bottom of a wet drinking glass. Dehydrate for approx. 12 hours on each side, until the outsides are crunchy, and the insides are still moist.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Days 8-11

Oh man, it's been so hard to keep up with posting lately. Bed time is not going well. I've wondered over the last several days if this faith experiment is more of a faith test! Ugh. The best part about my experiment, believe it or not, is the fast from cooked food. I'm loving it.

I'm on my lunch break right now and I'm eating a Sun Burger on Sun-Dried Tomato Bread. It's fabulous - I love having a dehydrator to be able to make all sorts of amazing alternatives to cooked food. I can't believe it. You really have to check out my raw food blog to see pictures and recipes for some of the stuff I'm eating. And I feel great. I don't really want to eat cooked food right now (that could change at any given second, I'm sure.)

The faith part of my experiment has been shaky and difficult. I realize at certain moments that I have so little faith. And in others I can see that, yes, I do believe that Jesus can be my everything if I just give him a chance!

The daily devotionals as outlined are really helpful for someone like me, someone who has read only bits and pieces of the Bible but ultimately am clueless. Certainly not a theologian and I don't really want to be either.

Somehow I keep on keepin' on even though it feels very empty some days. I'm a little discouraged but don't want to bail on my commitment so, onward!

Day 11


Hawaiian B.B.Q. Kebabs with Coconut Quinoa (from goneraw.com)
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 red onion
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup agave
½ cup cherry tomatoes
½ cup sundried tomatoes, soaked, reserve soaking water
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ounces baby portabello mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ pineapple, peeled and cored (save core), cut into bite-sized pieces
1½ cups sprouted quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
½ cup shredded coconut
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
First, take half of the red onion and slice it very thinly (save the other half for later). Place the sliced red onion on a dehydrator screen and dehydrate at 95 for about 5 hours, until dry to the touch.
In a blender, combine the dried onion, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, agave, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, soaked sundried tomatoes, 2 Tbs of the soaking water, spices, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth to make your B.B.Q. sauce.
Cut the remaining red onion half into bite-sized pieces. Skewer the cherry tomato halves, mushrooms, onion, pepper, and pineapple pieces onto wooden skewers to make your kebabs. Using your hands, generously coat each kebab with B.B.Q. sauce (reserve about 2 Tbs B.B.Q. sauce for the quinoa). Place kebabs on Teflex or parchment paper-lined dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 145 for 1 hour (or a lower temperature for longer).
While kebabs are in the dehydrator, blend together the pineapple core, olive oil, orange juice, and the 2 Tbs. reserved B.B.Q. sauce. Stir in the shredded coconut, then combine with the sprouted quinoa. Season coconut quinoa with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve B.B.Q. kebabs warm, with a side of coconut quinoa.

Day 10


Carrot Pecan Sunburger (from goneraw.com)
Makes 4 patties

Serve this as a burger on Sun-Dried Tomato Bread (shown on Onion Bread - recipe found on goneraw.com)

Ingredients
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 6 inch rib celery, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
3 to 4 slices of portabella mushroom
sage, to taste
poultry seasoning, to taste
sea salt, to taste
¼ cup pecans
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Preparation
Put the carrots in the food processor and process until pureed.
Add the sliced celery, mushrooms and onion and pulse until finely chopped.
Add the seasonings and mix lightly. Taste. It should be close to bland (dehydrating will intensify flavors).
Put in the pecans and sunflower seeds and pulse. I like to leave them in pieces to give texture.
Taste again and adjust seasonings if needed.
Form into four patties and put them in the dehydrator.
After two hours, turn carefully. Continue dehydrating for another two hours or until the desired texture has been reached.

Day 9


Sun-Dried Tomato Bread (from goneraw.com)
18 slices

Adapted from Ani Phyo’s Black Sesame Sunflower Bread. It’s great with smashed avocado and alfalfa sprouts sandwiches.

Ingredients
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked until soft; save water
1 cup walnuts, soaked
1 cup flax seeds, ground
⅓ cup flax seeds, whole, unsoaked
¼ cup black sesame seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1⅓ cups sun-dried tomato water, saved from soaked sun-dried tomatoes


Preparation
In food processor, mix flax seeds, salt, garlic and sun-dried tomato water. Add walnuts and sesame seeds. Divide the mixture into two and spread them on two dehydrator trays about 1/4-inch high. Dehydrate at 110 degrees for 4 hours. Flip and score (use a pizza cutter) the bread into 9 slices. Dehydrate another 4-6 hours.

Day 8

I hope you all get the general idea of how I eat. I just don't have the time to keep up with tracking what I eat every day. It's annoying. Sorry, I'm just being honest. So instead I think I'll post a fun new recipe I've either tried or intend to try for each day (that way I can just copy and paste and be done!) Whoo hooo :)




Tomato/Cilantro Flax Cracker (from goneraw.com)

This variation came from experimenting with different herbs and seeds and is based on a recipe found in Vegan World Fusion.

Ingredients
1 cup golden flax seeds
1 cup brown flas seeds
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in 1 C lukewarm water until soft
1¼ cups pumpkin seeds, soaked and drained
1 tablespoon Shoyu, or to taste
1 teaspoon lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper, ground to taste
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
⅛ cup parsley, chopped
⅛ cup cilantro, chopped


Preparation
Put flax seeds in a large bowl with 2 1/2 cups of filtered water and soak seeds for at least 30 minutes.

Mix all other ingredients (including sun-dried tomato soak water)in food processor and process until smooth. Mix all ingredients.

Spread evenly on 2 Paraflex dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 115°F for 6 hours. Flip and transfer to a mesh screen for 6 additional hours.
It helps to score the crackers when you first put them onto the Paraflex sheet so that they break along the lines later.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 7

I was in the toddler room this week and missed Nichole's awesome teaching. I'll have to listen to it online. It felt like a chaotic day for me. After church we needed to get Adi down for a nap but she resisted so her nap was cut short.

Then I thought the baby shower we were planning to go to was at 3:30 but at the last minute realized it was actually at 3:00 so we had to shift gears pretty quickly. The shower was wonderful and fun. I love the community and the humor and amazing people and feel so blessed to be able to spend time with them.

Cam had to go to Williamsburg/Marengo to attend a visitation for his great-aunt. I was originally planning on attending with Adi as well but the day felt like too much and Adi's sleep issues certainly wouldn't be helped by the trip. I'm glad we didn't go because Cam hit a dear with the van. Bummer. He said he didn't hurt it, it just broke the headlight on the passenger side so I'm grateful for that.

Day 6

Saturday was an interesting and exciting day for us. I started the day by giving a pregnancy massage to a co-worker's wife. It was good to get some practice since I haven't worked on anyone since before the most recent miscarriage.

In the afternoon we went to Menard's and bought an electric fireplace insert. So now, where we once stored our t.v. is a no-gas, no-wood solution to supplemental heating in the basement. It's so cozy and relaxing. And there's no t.v. in that room now (who knows how long that will actually last) so it's a peaceful space.

We also finally decided to go for it and bought some laminate flooring to replace the ancient allergy catcher carpet upstairs. We found walnut laminate that we just love - and it feels special to choose walnut since we have walnut trees in our back yard. Now we just need to find time to install the stuff!

Day 5

Not much to say. I'm thrilled that by Day 5 I truly don't feel any sense of dread in regards to my fast. Maybe my fast is taking up too much energy, though, because I feel spiritually blah. Not sure if that's just part of the process for me or what...

Day 4

I'm lagging behind a bit on my posts. So day 4 went fairly well. I felt pretty groggy but I'm holding out in hopes of some clarity and vitality. I don't have anything particular to comment on so I'll keep it short :)

Day 7

Breakfast:
fruit salad

Lunch:
salad (romaine, sprouts, avocado, olive oil, sea salt)
falafel

Snack:
fruit kabobs (apple, pineapple, cantaloupe, grape, orange)
veggies (carrots, tomatoes)

Dinner:
salad (romaine, broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, olive oil, sea salt)

Snack:
I indulged in a small glass of red wine (wine is not cooked)
and nothing goes better with wine than cheese :)

Day 6

Breakfast:
fruit salad (apple, pear, grapes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)

Lunch:
small salad (romaine, avocado, tomatoes, olive oil, salt)
slaw
falafel
cheese

Snack:
trail mix

Dinner:
salad (salad mix, tomatoes, zucchini, vinaigrette [not sure if it was raw but probably close])

Friday, November 9, 2007

Day 5

Wow, it's day 5 already?

Breakfast:
banana
pear

Snack:
2 inch piece of brownie
small orange

Lunch:
slaw
veggies (cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, celery)
dressing (olive oil, vinegar, agave)

Snack:
trail mix (goji berries, cashews, brazil nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)

Dinner:
salad (romaine, broccoli, cauliflower, olive oil, salt)
flax crackers
cheese

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Day 3

Initially the reading for day 3 didn't seem to send any particular messages home for me. I feel a little bit like I'm in a zone of some sort. Not sure what that is. It's not negative in any way at all. It's almost a sense of spaciness and clarity at the same time. I went back and read it again and saw this note:


by God’s help, Daniel was able to do the impossible. Daniel needed supernatural help, he asked for it, and he got it. If you find yourself in an impossible—or even just a difficult—situation today, ask for God’s help, and see what happens.


Well, the evening of day 3 Adi went to bed at 8:30. I was sitting on the floor of Adi's room praying that God would help her sleep and was honestly shocked when she fell asleep only 10 minutes after I laid her down, which felt miraculous to me. I was so grateful to be able to make some raw brownies - oh yes, you read that right. I have a recipe for raw brownies that I'll post on the raw blog and it's not at all what you think! I also made some slaw and a salad. I haven't been able to do those kinds of things lately because Adi has been awake so late. It was so refreshing and brought me joy to be able to create some wonderful food for us to enjoy over the next several days. It was actually the highlight of my day!

Day 4

Breakfast:
Banana
Grapes

Snack:
1 inch piece of brownie

Lunch:
slaw
cuke salad

Snack:
1/4 cup trail mix

Dinner:
slaw
flax crackers
raw organic cheese
half apple


Recipes:

Raw Brownies
1 cup date paste (I used fresh dates mashed through my Samson juicer)
1 1/4 cups nut butter (I used fresh cashews mashed through my Samson)
1/3 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup cacao powder \ (I ground raw cacao nibs with a whole vanilla bean
1 vanilla bean / in my Magic Bullet - could also use a coffee grinder)

Mix all ingredients together. Lightly grease (I used coconut oil) glass pan and press mix into bottom. Refrigerate and enjoy.

Slaw
2 cups shredded cabbage (I used red)
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup sprouts (I used a mix)
1/4 cup shredded radishes
Dressing:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cashews
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
dash celery salt
dash garlic salt
salt & pepper to taste

Shred veggies (I used a mandolin) and place in large mixing bowl. Place all dressing ingredients in a blender (I used my Magic Bullet) and blend until smooth. Add more water if desired (I prefer a thicker dressing since water usually seeps from the veggies overnight). Mix all ingredients together and enjoy or refrigerate overnight to let the flavors meld.

Cuke Salad
1 cucumber - sliced and quartered
1/2 avocado (could use a whole one but I only had half ;)
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Place in fridge over night so the tomatoes can soak up some of the water from the cukes. Mmmm good!

Day 3

Breakfast:
fruit salad (pineapple, grapes, pumpkin seeds)

Snack:
veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, carrots)

Lunch:
salad (romaine, carrots, red cabbage, avocado, tomatoes, sunflower seeds)
dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave nectar)

Snack:
banana
2 fresh dates

Dinner:
salad (early mix, radishes, tomatoes, cashews)
dressing (olive oil, sea salt)
"mashed potatoes and gravy" (Cam got creative yesterday - blended cauliflower and pureed marinated mushrooms placed together in a dehydrator at 105 degrees so it ended up a warm, uncooked version of an old fave - not bad)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Day 2

Last night I had an experience that caused me to seriously reconsider what I needed Jesus to do for me over these 21 days. We have been battling bedtime issues with Adi ever since she was born and last night it felt like it all came to a head. If I have a demon, I heard it's voice last night! It was awful. Adi should be asleep by 8:00 and didn't go to bed until 11:00.

In some ways I was wondering if God was testing me to see if I would actually go downstairs and exercise for my 30 minutes after all of that. I was pissed, though, and exercise was the last thing on my mind. So now I realize that maybe God wasn't testing me - maybe he was showing me a piece of me and my lifestyle that needs changing more urgently than what I eat and how much I exercise. Huh.

I don't know how many other people who start on 21 or 40 Days of Faith experiments learn that after only one day that they are asking for the wrong thing. That what Jesus really wants to do for them is very different than what they settled on (because we all have so many needs, don't we? Who's perfect aside from Jesus?)

So although my experience last night was stressful, traumatic in some ways, and humiliating as a parent I am grateful for it. For 2 1/2 years we have had problems with bedtime (with a few short time periods where everything seemed to go OK). My new prayer is:

God, I'm desperate to help my daughter get the sleep she needs. Please guide me toward resources that will help us. I pray that Adi will be blessed with independence to be able to fall asleep without me in the room. And I pray for sanity through the process/transition/changes that need to happen to make it all work. I need your divine intervention, Lord. I can not do it alone so I need you, Jesus.

On the fast side of things, so far so good. I think I'm going to need to ease my way to veggies only (if I still feel like I need to do that in a week or so). Eating all raw is a huge change and is certainly not easy. Especially with treat days at work, family gatherings, and every day life! Ugh, it's so hard (past experience) but I know it will be worth it if it means I get to experience God in a way I couldn't have otherwise. Through a fast - a long complicated fast.

Day 2

Breakfast:
fast - cold brew kava tea

Snack:
carrots, cucumber slices, celery

Lunch:
salad (romaine, spinach, carrots, red cabbage, avocado)
dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave necter)

Snack:
dried tomatoes

Dinner:
salad (spring mix, avocado, cashews, marinated mushrooms)
dressing (olive oil, sea salt)
veggies: cauliflower, broccoli, radishes

Monday, November 5, 2007

Day 1

I finally brought myself to begin my 21 Days of Faith Experiment. I had planned on starting a week ago but just wasn't ready. I'm a true procrastinator.The reading for today (which I truly did not read until today) was the most affirming thing I have ever read in my life. Well, maybe that is an over statement but I can't believe how relevant it is.

Daniel 1
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah,Mishael and Azariah, 12 "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing butvegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the youngmen who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see." 14 Sohe agreed to this and tested them for ten days.15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of theyoung men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the winethey were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief officialpresented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equalto Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's service. 20 In everymatter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.I put my favorite parts in bold lettering.

These are the things I'm taking home with me. I feel like my decision to ask God to help me change my lifestyle in relation to food has been not only affirmed, but He has blessed me with promises of the fruits of doing this.I feel like I'm off to a good start. I do, however question how far I want to take what I've read. I feel called and inspired to eat only vegetables and drink only water for 10 days. Normally eating raw for me includes fruits, juices, nuts and seeds. Maybe I'm crazy but I think God is asking me to eat as David ate. At least for 10 days...

I'm going to be keeping a food log on an old blog of mine: My Raw Food Experiment. It should be called My Failed Raw Food Experiment but that's not the point. I would like to separate my experience with the food from my experience with Jesus a little bit while I'm blogging. If you are curious about that part you can check out the link on the right.

Day 1

All ingredients are raw and organic

Breakfast:
1 apple
1/2 cup trail mix (cashews, pumpkin seeds, raisins, goji berries)

Snack:
1/4 cup dried tomatoes

Lunch:
salad (romaine, spinach, zuccini, red cabbage, avocado, cashews)
dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, raw agave necter)

Snack:
1/2 cup trail mix (cashews, pumpkin seeds, raisins, goji berries)

Dinner:
salad (romaine, spinach, red cabbage, carrots, avocado, cashews)

21 Days of Faith Experiment

I am on a 21 day faith experiment and want to keep a log here about one aspect of that faith experiment. For the next 21 days I will be fasting from cooked food. In other words, I will be eating only raw food. A lot of people question what the heck someone might eat other than carrots and apples during an experiment (or a lifestyle) like this. I'll try my best to keep a daily log of everything I eat.

I previously decided that at least 3 consecutive days need to be juice fasting days and just today felt a nudge from God to make 10 days vegetables and water only. I'm really excited to have scripture to back this up - Daniel 1:1-20

Friday, October 26, 2007

Prelude to 21 Days

I'm back to work today and though I thought I would be busy, I have a lot of free time today. I'm really grateful for that because I'm able to spend this free time preparing for my 21 days of faith experiment.

I've been thinking over the past several days what it is that I want to ask of Jesus to do for me over the next several weeks in this experiment. It feels like there are so many areas of brokenness and need in my life right now. I'm searching for clarity, peace, and healing but there's something more. Something deeper still that goes into the core of who I am and is emanated all the way to the surface of who I am.

I've noticed over the years that there seems to be a connection physically with each one of my miscarriages, and that connection is a 10 pound weight gain accompanying each loss. I realized that what I'm doing is "self-medicating". Instead of falling on my face before Jesus and asking Him for help and comfort I feed my face and deal alone.

Let me just say that this isn't working! Not only do I feel bad about myself physically but I physically feel bad. I'm completely out of shape and this body that God has blessed me with has been used and abused by laziness and junk food frenzies every time life gets tough. This is really interesting since I'm such an advocate of organic food, vegetarianism, and naturopathic lifestyles. I clearly do not practice what I believe in when things get rough and that in turn makes me feel bad about myself as a person! This is a vicious cycle and it has to end!!

So all the times I've tried to change this and failed - I'm putting them behind me. I'm asking Jesus over the next 21 days to help me change my diet and exercise habits permanently --- into a healthy lifestyle rich in healthy choices every day. And in the difficult moments of life I will reach for Jesus instead of eating eating eating.

Even further, I will commit at least 30 minutes every evening (no matter how late Adi goes to bed and how tired I am) to exercise in some form. I want to dedicate this 30 minutes not only to my health and physical well-being, but to make it a time of prayer and meditation. That I can spend this time with God and talk with Him, listen to Him, engage in His presence.

Part of the faith experiment is to fast from something as well. When I think of fasting, I immediately think of food. Probably because it's the thing in my life that feels most costly to give up since I lean on it so much. I know there are other types of fasts and if I were pregnant or nursing I would certainly choose an alternative. But for me, the greatest results can only come from fasting from food.

I like the idea of eating raw food exclusively. I've tried to do 30 days raw in the past for cleansing purposes but failed after only 10 days. For the sake of this experiment, I'm choosing to fast from cooked food for 21 days. Because I have a real sense of the power of a juice fast, I want to try to do at least a 3 day fresh raw juice fast in the midst of those 21 days. I trust God to tell me when the time is right for that.

Just a quick note on the difference between fresh raw juice and canned or bottled juices. I truly believe that especially when fasting it's detrimental to have the living enzymes and dense nutrients remain intact in the juice. That instant nutrition has made my past fasts feel invigorating and blissful compared to difficult and even painful when bottled juice was used. On my fresh juice fasts I actually had tons of energy and felt fresh and free, and my mind was clear. My ability to hear God in that state was phenomenal because I physically felt well and wasn't spending my time suffering through the fast. Instead it was joyful and exciting and all together wonderful. Just writing about it makes me long for that experience with God again.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In the works

I watch myself going from a place of trying to a place of throwing my hands in the air and giving up completely. I'm not too fond of the person I am when I choose to give up. Really it is a choice, right? I'm wondering what it really takes. Is it will power? Patience? Self respect? Faith? Probably a combination of all those things, but what's the formula? I'm a little bit lost right now. I guess that's OK. I usually manage to find great inspiration when lost. Funny how that works.

I'm thinking of the Sermon on the Mount now... Cam tried studying it for a little while but got frustrated by everyone telling him that what he interpreted was wrong. Is that the truth or is it just that their interpretations are different because it means something different to them in this moment? I'm going nowhere with this right now. I need a nap.

Friday, June 8, 2007

My raw food diet is D-E-A-D dead!

Oh man, I've been eating so much cooked food since my last post. I'm almost to the point that I avoid raw food. It's like I've done a 180 in instant rebellion against my raw food diet. I know how it all went wrong - it's just too extreme of a diet to go on and maintain sanity. It takes way to much time to plan and prepare meals and it's really very expensive if you live in Iowa and it's not summer.

Cam and I are hoping to devise a different type of plan to ease our way back in. Baby steps... Now that I've gotten my period back (yipeeeee) I'm considering a fast - which I love. Fasting is so much more rewarding in my opinion, surely because a fast has a beginning and an end. A lifestyle change is supposed to be indefinite and that's a hard goal to set.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Day 10 - 171

After a second trip to the ER last night Cam and I gave in and rewarded ourselves with some pizza. It was so damn good! Wow, talk about really appreciating food. So I found myself today wondering what the heck that meant for my raw food experiment. It goes on, but has a new shape. I get a strong sense that it's insane to go 100% raw without a ton of preparation.

New plan, which really isn't a plan but more of an idea. It's really important to me to eat something raw at every meal. As for my meals at work - I need to be 100% raw there or else I'm going to be eating chocolate and Cheetos several times a week. It has felt easy at work anyway.

The challenge is preparing healthy food for Adi to eat (she's not too fond of the raw recipes we've tried so far - she's only 2 so I expected that) and then having time to make something for myself before she goes on a tirade because I'm not paying enough attention to her. Poor kid, I am at work all day while she stays home with Daddy. When I'm here she needs Mama time. I'm being pulled in two directions - my baby wins!

Cam and I feel like the 1 week 100% raw was good. It's really hard to go beyond that for us. We're setting a goal to do 1 week raw food fasts each month. And in the mean time we will try new recipes until we find the ones that work for us. So many have been a disappointment. I'll continue to chronicle the goings on with our diet lifestyle, our successes, our failures, and our struggles. We're still learning!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Day 9 - 170

Day 8 was 173. I completely forgot to post yesterday - Adi was sick so we ended up taking her to the ER (she wouldn't eat or drink and we were worried about dehydration). Turned out to be tonsillitis. Poor baby, she was so miserable. But at least we didn't have to do antibiotics! I hate that crap!

So... yesterday was rough! It felt so stressful to care for our little peanut, she just wined and cried and wouldn't eat or drink and we just wanted some friggin pizza! I was within a hair of picking up the phone and ordering. We opted for a nice bottle of organic red wine. It was a well deserved raw treat. No regrets!

There seems to be a sense of comfort that comes from nice hot food that I'm not getting from the raw foods I've been eating. I like the fresh flavors and appreciate cool foods on the hot days. But on cool days all I want is a hot bowl of soup. I kind of realized last night that we weren't going to make it on a 100% raw diet and that's OK. We have a church retreat coming up this weekend which might very well be the end of the 100% raw experiment. It doesn't really have to be, maybe just and intermission.

Other than weight loss I don't seem to be feeling so much like all the cost and effort is really worth it! I think our family is going to be more like a 75 or 80% raw family, which is still better than 10% or whatever it was before. Maybe living in Iowa has something to do with success or failure on a raw food diet. It's not quite the same as Cali by any measure. Or maybe it's just me. At any rate, I'm so glad I didn't spend a butt load of money on a vitamix and an excalibur. I'm beginning to feel that if something needs to be dehydrated to be edible you may as well just cook it! And our handy little magic bullet is a wonderful tool - we use it every day and love it.

I'm sorry to say that I feel disappointed. I don't know what exactly it is that I expected but I don't think this was it. But I'm not really done yet. I'll just consider the retreat to be an intermission and I'll have to reevaluate the actual percentage beyond that.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Day 7 - 174

Rock 'n roll! One week down, 3 to go. Cam tempted me with pizza today (the cooked kind) and I was strong and said, "no way mister!" I was actually kind of appalled that he even suggested it. I know this is hard but we're both doing so well - it would suck to give up so soon.

We're still in the learning phase. We found an old dehydrator that my parents gave us a few years ago. I think we used it once to dry bell peppers that I ended up throwing away. I don't know what temperature it used to dry food (the booklet only said "warm air") but I think we'll give it a whirl and see what we've been missing. Crackers and pizza bases are calling our names!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Day 6 - 174

It's day 6 and for the past couple of days I've been stuck at 174. I'm not really sure why but I suspect it might have something to do with too much fruit and too much oil. I don't tend to use much oil but some of the recipes Cam has used call for copious amounts of oil (leaving me feeling queasy) and I've been enjoying late snacks of fruit for the last few days. Ultimately this experiment wasn't about losing weight completely but that's definitely a nice bonus. It feels frustrating that I'm at a stand still already!

The dinner with friends went really well. I can't believe how little temptation I felt. It didn't hurt that we took a dinamite cole slaw and had a couple of collard wraps to eat. I felt satisfied and didn't even really have that hard of a time saying no to the rice crispie treats (one of my favorite sweets).

So it was a good day but frustrating at the same time. I think ultimately I need to work a scheduled exercise routine into the mix and the weight loss will go much more smoothly.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Day 5 - 174

Today wasn't a particularly significant day. I went to work, filled the car up with gas, went to Nana & Papa's with Adi. They had home made pizza and I had a large salad, collard green wrap, and some fruit salad. I have to admit that the smell of freshly baking pizza was hard to resist but I did OK and came out of the experience raw.

I don't know if I'm not getting enough sleep or what but I'm feeling really tired lately. I'm waiting for the high energy feeling to kick in but it just doesn't seem to be happening. Patience.

Jesus, grant me the patience to see this experiment through to the full 30 days Cam and I have committed to. I pray for imagination and creativity to prepare meals that satisfy whatever cravings may creep their way into my daily journey. I'm so blessed to have the means to choose such a journey, Lord, please bless those who are hungry in the world today. And thank you for humility - please help me to be humble. Amen.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Day 4 - 175

Things just feel normal today. It feels like I've made the transition from junk food addict to raw food living in only a few days. I know it's not really this easy. I haven't had any real challenges yet - aside from my cheerios temptation when barfing was my only other option. Today I can say that I like eating this way.

It helps that the farmers market is up and going and we got our first share of organic produce from our CSA last night. It was a lot of fun dividing the food up together and having community time with the neighbors. Our share this week included: spinach, joi choi, two types of lettuce, broccoli rabe, spring onions, green garlic, and rhubarb. I need to figure out how to eat raw rhubarb. Cam says it's good in smoothies but I'm not much of a smoothie person. I like to chew my food.

Last night I made blackberry & young coconut Popsicles. Really, I just made a smoothie and poured it into Popsicle molds I got from K-Mart. I haven't had one yet but I'm looking forward to enjoying a healthy raw frozen treat today. Here's the recipe:

Water from 1 young coconut
Meat from 1 young coconut
10 oz bag frozen organic blackberries
1/4 cup raw organic agave nectar
2 Tbsp raw organic hemp oil

Blend using a blender 1-2 minutes and pour into Popsicle molds. You can get the molds on amazon.com. I suggest the ones with reusable sticks (they even have drip guards) for less waste and less additional future cost for wooden sticks.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Day 3 - 176

I'm quite grumpy today. Little things are really irritating. For instance - I have no work to do, yet I still have to be here and that's all fine. However, the last 90 minutes of my day are going to involve learning how to write my own scripts for paint shop pro. I should welcome the learning experience but in this moment I don't give a crap and don't want to engage in the training. I hope I'm just experiencing PMS but it's hard to tell.

Yesterday was a much better day even though I felt like I was starving most of the time. I tried a fun substitute for pasta using zuccini cut on a mandolin and a sauce made from tomatoes and avocado. It was surprisingly creamy, tasty and filling.

I'm proud to say that this morning I had no desire to make any Teeccino. I felt fine without it. My experience today has been very different than days one and two so far. Other than being a sour puss and having many wandering thoughts including "what's the big deal with raw anyway?" one good thing that I can record is the simple fact that today I am not so hungry. I actually had to convince myself to eat lunch (and I'm glad I did - it was a surprisingly enjoyable collard green wrap with a cashew & spinach filling :)

I'm realizing that eating raw doesn't really take any more time than eating a healthy cooked diet. Most of the time requirement is prep time, but the cooking time gets cut out so if you aren't relying on dehydrates the time factor isn't really so much of a factor. I don't know if I can live like this forever but if I have to be on a diet for 30 days I'm glad it's this one.

Oh yay! Farmer's market is today. I'm picking up our first share from the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) we joined with 3 other families tonight. It's still early in the season so we'll most likely have only spinach and lettuce but I can think of a hundred ways to enjoy fresh locally grown spinach and lettuce so I won't complain. I guess I should post a link to the farm.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Day 2 - ?

I didn't get a chance to weigh myself last night because I was too busy puking guts out. What a waste of rawesome nori rolls. If I've EVER spoke too soon, it was yesterday. Shortly after my post I started getting a headache which slowly escalated to some weakness and nausea in the early evening. I felt a little better after dinner, but I stupidly went on a walk with Ma and Adi. It was mostly OK but a little bit miserable as my condition worsened in the heat of the day. When we got home I felt weak, sweaty and overall pretty crappy.

Adi's bath time was a challenge, I didn't want to hurl in the toilet right next to her but I didn't know how long I was going to keep it down. By the grace of God I safely got Adi out of the tub and in her room. We had to skip story time and I put her in her crib with her milk while I gave into my overwhelming need to yack. I managed to get back to Adi's room to rock her and sing a song before putting her down for the night. She went to sleep without any trouble.

I felt so terrible and realized that I was most definitely experiencing a hard core detox. I almost gave in and ate some of Adi's cheerios but just as I grabbed the box and was telling myself "nothing is worth feeling like this" all of a sudden I had a new thought that was something like, "you are worth it and I'm here with you" so I had to put the cheerios down. If God was in this with me then I could do it. I just grabbed 2 strawberries and laid down in bed with them cool and moist in my hand but unable to eat them.

I prayed, Jesus, this strawberry is you, and I'm taking you unto me, please heal this detox I'm going through. I can't do it without you, Lord. I need you now. A little cheesy - I know but it worked. I was finally able to take a nibble of the juicy sweet fruit and though it was hard to chew and hard to swallow I finally did it but only because I was bringing Jesus into the experience with me. I sensed His presence as I ate the second strawberry, thanked God and passed out.

So my day 1 experience wasn't exactly what I expected it to be but I suppose after all of the coffee and junk food I've been consuming lately it really should be no surprise! I know now that it would have been wise to ease my way into eating raw but I guess that's not how I do things.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Day 1 - 178

Day 1 seems to be going well so far. I was fearful that my coffee addiction was going to be a huge challenge to conquer, with withdrawal symptoms and the sheer psychological dependency. However, I prayed for support this morning and have so far managed to function normally without withdrawal symptoms!

I also had help this a.m. from a product called Teeccino (not 100% raw - the darn carob is roasted) which I steeped in warm - not hot - water (as if that mattered since it's not raw anyway). It's nice to replace the coffee with a caffeine free herbal substitute. There's just something wonderful about having a warm tummy in the morning. I'm hoping that after this first week I won't even need to supplement my morning regimen with the Teeccino and I can move on to my nettle leaf tea instead. Now that I think about it I'm not even really sure how I feel about having that cup this morning. It sure hit the spot but...

Whatever. I have been invited to my first challenge - a dinner with other couples from church with little chillins. Concept: let the kids play while the parents try to engage in some sort of conversation. I'm excited to get to know some of the people better but I'm a little concerned about the temptation factor. Luckily we have the benefit of summer coming full speed ahead and with any luck someone will bring fruit salad or something. Everyone we talk to about the raw food lifestyle seems so interested and they all have a million questions. It's kind of fun to be the guinea pig for all of our friends.

Friday, May 18, 2007

In preparation

My husband Cam and I have been intrigued for at least a couple of years now by the concept of a raw food lifestyle. I even ventured to try eating raw for a full week after I weaned Adi when she was 15 months old. In one weeks time I think I lost almost 10 pounds and felt completely energized. My skin cleared up, which is huge for me - I've had adult acne ever since I've been an adult! I have to also comment that in that short amount of time I started to feel frisky again.

So why did I quit? It was hard to do! I wasn't equipped with many recipes and the ones I did have required so much time and effort to prepare. I didn't have the time or organization to soak the nuts and seeds I would need for the recipes and a lot of the recipes required dehydrating something. Though I do own a dehydrator I don't know if it gets too hot to consider the food still raw or what.

The benefits of eating raw are very clear to me. I've experienced myself being called back to it again and again. But what makes this time different? Cam is on board. He chose to spend some of his birthday money on books about raw and living foods and the inspiration he's drawing from what he's reading is contagious!

Now, after going through some rough times with 2 miscarriages in the last 6 months we are ready to embark on a journey seeking health and healing. We invite Jesus on this journey with us, to bless our desire to return to the healthy forms that God created us to be in and to enjoy more of the food we eat in the perfect package that God created it to be in.

Jesus, we want to embrace our bodies as temples, not dumping grounds. We want to transform physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We can not do this without the grace of God and we submit our stubborn arrogance to you and ask for your guidance to lead us down a path of true life, living in faith and loving God's creation! In your name, Jesus, we pray.

So onward we go. Hopefully these books will help us with fast and simple recipes to keep our palettes happy and give us motivation to persist. I know it won't be easy but that won't stop us from trying.