Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Successes and Failures

The past week and a half has been pretty challenging in raw world for me. My birthday was Oct 18 and rather than trying to plan a raw birthday I opted to throw caution to the wind and enjoy whatever the day had in store for me, cooked food or not. Up until then, I'd been doing quite well with my raw food experiment and I was ready for a break.

As I witnessed with my husband, once you get a taste of eating cooked foods again it's hard to get back on track with raw. Especially now with the autumn weather cooling off, cold salads are no longer refreshing but rather chilling and I'm struggling to find "warm" foods that satisfy my palate and my body's desire to be warm.

That said, I've spent the past week and a half trying to find balance. What I've landed at is eating raw foods all day while I'm at work and allowing myself a cooked meal at dinner time. I also drink lots of hot tea and a daily coffee at work. This makes me feel sane.

So I'm scrambling to find raw breads and such to make my belly feel full while I'm at work. I have my trusty granola recipe which I eat almost daily but I needed some bread. I tried to make some Essene bread and despite the amazing looking photo below of what I made, it was an utter failure.
Raw Essene bread making appears to be an art of sorts. My understanding is that the outside should be crisp and crusty but the inside should be soft. The photos I saw online were of Essene loaves, so that's how I did mine. It looks amazing, but when I cracked it open the inside was an unpleasant, gooey gross inedible glop. If I ever try Essene bread again it will be flat like all of my other breads or I'll just bake it!
So now, for my success. I saw a tasty looking recipe on my fave site for Awesome Pizza Bread. The recipe called for a ridiculous amount of tomatoes - 16 lbs! So I had to make some pretty big changes and as you can see from the photo what I ended up with was so tasty I broke off a chunk to eat before I remembered to get a photo of it!

Pizza Bread

5 cups tomatoes, diced or processed in food processor
1 cup flax seeds, ground
1 cup pumpkin seeds, ground
1 cup almonds, ground
1/4 cup chia seeds, whole
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp basil
1 tsp Herbamare

Process all ingredients in food processor to mix. Spread on Paraflexx sheets and dehydrate at 110 for 3-4 hours then flip and remove sheet and dehydrate additional 6-10 hours. Shorter time will keep it pliable for bread or go longer for a crispy cracker. This recipe made 3 trays.

Friday, October 10, 2008


So I recently calculated my Body Mass Index (BMI) and "Ideal Weight" using an online calculator. I had thought that I was out of the red zone (my definition of red zone is having a BMI that indicated I am medically coined "overweight") but according to the calculator I'm not quite there. I currently have a BMI of 25.1 - 25 and over is considered overweight.

In so many ways I resist looking at this kind of thing, but ultimately when it comes right down to it, this calculator takes a lot of things into consideration. Height, weight, age, gender. And it doesn't attempt to proclaim that given these factors one must be a precise weight. There's a broad range. For me, the medically recommended weight is between 125 and 164. That is a range of almost 40 lbs!

So what am I going to do with this info? Well, I have not set a weight loss goal because I am doing this raw food challenge to improve my health - the weight loss has just been icing on the cake and I like it that way. But I like having a better idea of where my weight should be - somewhere within that broad range and it feels like once I'm in that range, I'll have a little something to celebrate!

Today is day 70. Just 30 days to go on the challenge. Then what? I'll keep eating a high raw diet, I'll just include a cooked meal here and there, as weird as that may feel, I think I'll really appreciate the cooked foods I do choose to include in my diet all the more.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Trusty Raw Granola

Wake Me Up Granola (Original Recipe on

I've been making this recipe a lot lately and modify it almost every time depending on what I have. Most recently I replaced the apples with peaches and then replaced the pineapple with apples. The result was really wonderful and super crispy. Here's the base recipe I use which is slightly modified from the original which you can see linked above.

Part 1: Soak

1 1/2 cups almonds (or nuts of choice)
1 cup buckwheat
6 pieces of dried pineapple (I used 1 cup fresh)

Part 1: Soak (optional)
Soak almonds, pineapple and buckwheat overnight. Buckwheat will have some gel like consistency in the morning, relax, it's normal. Just drain and rinse out seed, nut and pineapple the following morning.

Part 2: Granola

Soaked nuts, seed and pineapple
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, unsoaked (sunflower or combo is nice too)
4 apples
4 dates
1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 - 1/2 cup agave nectar or honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup raisins or other dried fruit

Place soaked nuts, seed and pineapple in a food processor. Pulse until desired texture or granola texture for the nuts and seed. Remove to a big bowl enough to mix. Place the pumpkin seed in the food processor and pulse where it is still chunky. Remove and add to the bowl with the seed, nuts and pineapple. Place apples in the food processor and pulse until chunky. Do not over process apples leave it in small chunks. Remove then add to bowl. Place dates and agave nectar in the food processor, process until smooth. Add to the bowl and the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.

Part 3: Dehydrate

Spread the granola mix in paraflexx sheets, score into squared pieces if desired and dehydrate at 110 degrees overnight. The next day, flip the granola around then dehydrate until dry. Enjoy with fresh home made almond milk or coconut yogurt and fresh fruits like blueberries or bananas.