Saturday, March 12, 2011

Baby, I Like It Raw (Or Do I?)

Apologies in advance if the title makes that god-awful song stick in your head all day. This may also be an appropriate time to mention that consistency and dedication are not my two strongest suites, at least when it comes to writing (as evidenced by the massive gaps in posts). If I could ever improve these skills, perhaps my book would get written!

But any way, let's talk about going raw. And despite all of the double entendres this phrase might ensue, I'm still talking about food. One of my best friends and I are going on a yoga retreat next weekend...a yoga DETOX retreat. Sounds exciting, right? I'm actually thrilled, and I love the Prama Institute and all of the workshops it hosts, so if you ever get a chance to go to one, you should! In preparation for this weekend of juice fasting and 4-a-day yoga practices, the institute recommended trying a vegetarian (check) and/or raw diet for the week leading up to the retreat.
My initial thought is "ok, awesome!" and I naturally suggest it to my friend in my enthusiastically spontaneous manner, to which she obviously has no choice but to respond "do I have to?" Yes. We will suffer in companionable rawness! But now that I'm actually supposed to be doing it, I'm realizing that this is no cake walk. Literally, because you can't have cake.
Here are some problems I foresee:
  • No bread. UM...WHAT?? I already gave up meat and cheese, damn it, do you have to take my carbs too?? And for my faithful readers (bless you), have I posted a recipe or picture that does not involve some form of blissfully delicious starch?
  • Salad gets old...fast. Maybe it's my lack of creativity when it comes to vegetables, but seriously, 6 days of salad? And you can't really make it exciting with roasted veggies or grilled tempeh, or even beans. So..um...what am I supposed to do with all of this baby spinach? Don't get me wrong, I adore spinach, but eating anything repetitiously not only destroys any affection you had for it in the first place, but it also kind of sucks. B-O-R-I-N-G.
  • I'm going to get fat. Ok, probably not, but the fact that all my protein seems to be coming from nuts worries me, as they have a very high fat content. It also worries me because a little bag of raw cashews is $3.99, and that is so not ok (considering I need a ton of it).
  • I have no idea what a pomelo is, or how to eat it. My knowledge of fruits and vegetables is shamefully lacking, and while it has improved drastically since becoming vegan, I am clearly falling short of raw standards. I'm typically and apple and bananas kind of girl when it comes to fruit, and since there seems to be a wider range of flavors in fruits, I decided I'd try some of the more exotic ones. Therefore, I have a pomelo,  four minneolas, and something else that resembles a grape fruit, if that grape fruit were Morgan Freeman (it has freckles), and I have no idea what to with them. Eat them, yes, but how? And did I even get ripe ones? No clue.
  • No caffeine. Ugh.
So, why the heck would I even do this?? Excellent question. But, despite the negative tone to which I am approaching this challenge, I do think it has health benefits, and it's something different. While I have been doing remarkably well on my vegan journey, french fries are still unfortunately vegan, so my dining choices are not always the most health conscious. In addition, I recently began a new job that requires a lot more responsibility and effort, so I have not been cooking, and have been surviving on vegan junk food (nacho night EVERY night!). I feel kind of gross, and I want to remind myself why I started this whole thing to begin with. And honestly, without a little challenge now and then, what kind of life would we have? One lazy, happy, and filled with bread.

If you have any raw delights you would like to share, for the love of god, PLEASE send them my way! If not, I will be crying into my massive bowl of spinach every day. Look for the "post-raw" post next week (or in another month...whichever comes first). Thanks for reading!

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