My Week of Raw. . . and Sick
Well, this has been something of a mess lately. As you recall, I went raw for a week, and then proceeded to not discuss anything for 2 weeks.
See, I went full raw on Monday, and by noon that day, I was sick. Not the bloated, gassy, stomach-ache sick that so many people equate with eating raw, but a fully developed head-and-chest -cold sick.
In fact, 14 days later I still have a cough, and hack myself to sleep every night after a dose of NyQuil Cough.
It still sucks.
However, I persevered, and stuck with my week of raw eating, and am here to report on it!
First, lets discuss breakfast. We tried overnight soaking some buckwheat groats. “What are buckwheat groats?” you ask? Well, you see before oats, or buckwheat, are rolled or steel-cut or processed in any way, they are groats, which is the purest form of them as a grain.
“Why not just soak oatmeal?” Well, and I had no idea this was the case before doing some research, apparently in the processing, oats are often heated up over 118*, making them not technically raw. The Blonde and I figured if we were going to do it, then we might as well do it right, so groats it was.
Unfortunately, the groats were not great. They weren’t bad, just unimpressive. I think if they had been cooked, I might have enjoyed them more, but overnigh tsoaking didn’t really do it for me.
The other breakfast, and I had this six times, as opposed to the groats just once, was a green smoothie.
I didn’t have just any green smoothie, however, I had a superfood green smoothie. Almond milk (I know, also not raw, but for our week we accepted it), a banana, 3 Tbsp of raw, organic hemp protein powder, 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder, a heap of kale, and a bunch of frozen blueberries.
It wasn’t very green, for being a green smoothie, but it was tasty, and it filled me up for the rest of the morning. In fact, it looked a whole lot like chocolate milk, as opposed to anything green, but I could have that for breakfast pretty often.
And then, lunch. I ate salads most days because, well, they’re easy to make and bring with me to school. Salads require little time to finish, and I can gobble one down pretty quickly if I need to. I added sprouted lentils or quinoa to the slad each day to make sure I was full, and I was pretty happy. So, salads with various types of dressings to make each day a little different, because salad with the same dressing every day can get old eventually. My favorite one was the semi-Southwest salad I made, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The first dinner I made was. . . a miss. Let’s out it that way, because it’s gentler that the word that I should probably use for it. <
I had the idea of making a raw gazpacho as a dinner one night, and then I stumbled across this recipe for white gazpacho and thought “Wow, what a great idea. I can make that raw, and I bet it’ll be great!”
Then I thought, “Hmmm, this calls for a shallot, but all I have is a leek. I’ll just use less leek, an it should be fine.”
Finally, I looked at the recipe, and said to myself, “Self, the recipe calls for 2 garlic cloves, but where 2 are good, 4 are better.”
Well, you can imagine just how good the raw garlic and leek gazpacho I made was. Needless to say, don’t make my version. It was like eating raw garlic. Period.
But whatever, we ate it, and I might make it again, not raw, just to change the recipe some, like maybe with roasted cauliflower and garlic, and without the leek or shallot. If I make it work, I’ll let you know.
Our second night’s dinner was worth it though. We had raw lettuce “tacos,” with soaked walnuts as the “meat” with a soaked, blended cashew cheese and fresh guacamole.
That was a hit.
We used Boston bibb lettuce, which is delicate, but stil has a good solid crunch at the rib, and then soaked the walnuts for about 90 minutes before draining and rinsing them, and pulsing them in the blender a few times with taco spices mixed in. I used ground cayenne, cumin, a little salt, and chili powder, but if you have taco seasoning, that would work as well.
To make the cashew cheese sauce, which was way more like sour ream than cheese, we just soaked the cashews for about 9 min, then put them into the food processor with a lemon’s worth of lemon juice, and blended until they were creamy. It probably look 7-10 minutes of almost constant running to get them creamy, but they were really quite good. Good enough that we had them for dinner another night, just using sprouted lentils instead of the walnuts.
The other dinner that worked out really well was one we had twice. We took zucchini and grated it into long, thin strips, like fettuccine, and then made pesto. Pesto sauce is naturally raw, and so we made basil pesto, and a sun-dried tomato pesto for it.
The basil pesto was a standard pesto, using basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and nutritional yeast, but the sun-dried tomato pesto was a little different than usual.
For one, I didn’t use any basil. Instead I used some dried oregano and a bunch of dried rosemary. I also used dry tomatoes as opposed to those packed in oil, and soaked them for about 15 minutes in very warm water, about 100* (I used a thermometer to be sure). Then as I was blending the tomatoes and herbs, I added the water to thin it, instead of using any oil.I used one garlic clove ( we were still a little gun-shy from the gazpacho) and it was really very good.
So, dinners were 4 hits, to one miss, with a dinner out (I’ll discuss that later) and one night of left overs (I don’t know what the Blonde had, but I had the soup again. It didn’t get better. . .) and that was my week of raw.
Now, I have some opinions about the week. For one, I think that if I had not been sick the whole week, I would have really, really enjoyed it. As it was I enjoyed it, but not as much as I should have. See, part of me wanted this week of raw to be like a cleanse, to get all of the months and years of eating crap out of my body, and stick with whole foods, clean, unprocessed natural food. Well, being sick somewhat precluded me from really being able to cleanse myself. Not to say that I didn’t, and don’t still, feel a difference in how my body is functioning, I do, but I think that had I been healthy that I would have felt a much greater difference.
I think a cleanse like this, maybe not exactly like this, but something, every 3 or 6 months might make a world of difference in my body. Maybe a different cleanse each season, like a juice fast one week, Somer Vedge’s Green Smoothie Challenge another week, and a week of raw, maybe every three months, or one per season, every three months. I haven’t decided, and I really don’t know how to go about doing it, but something, you know?
Suggestions on possible cleanses? I haven’t done much research, but anything you have, I’d love to hear. . .