Monday, May 20, 2013

Food Thoughts

More Planning

With the Conscious Cleanse starting in two weeks, I am trying to get more organized again when it comes to food. The premise of the cleanse is to eat unprocessed, real food. The cleanse food is simple, but I found last time that I do need to prepare or things get difficult.

Before I did the cleanse in January and confirmed (by eliminating and reintroducing) that I don’t do well with wheat, eggs, and yeast, a quick meal was often a slice of whole grain, dark bread with cheese and vegetables or seasoned rice with an over-easy egg. Obviously, these foods don’t work anymore.

These days, a quick meal is often cut up veggies with some smashed avocado (no tomatoes during the cleanse) or some nut “cheeze.”

Several years ago, I bought Ani's Raw Food Kitchen and enjoyed reading it, but I never really made anything from it (but the book inspired me to eat more raw foods, and I made quite a few zucchini noodles at the time...)


In January I started making several of the nut “cheezes” from the book and really enjoyed them. In the book, Ani has numerous suggested uses for the “cheezes,” but I just eat them with carrot sticks and cucumber and bell pepper slices. I look forward to trying more of the recipes in the book soon; they sound great and are really not difficult (just different.)

Yesterday I spent time in the kitchen and made some food for the week:
  • Carrot soup, based on the recipe from the Conscious Cleanse book
  • Mixed grains
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Sautéed bok choy
  • Cashew nut cheeze from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Carrot sticks and cucumber and bell pepper slices
  • Cucumber salad
Having the fridge filled with healthy, real food makes me feel good.

Eating Out and Parties

Eating out and going to parties has changed since I don’t eat wheat and eggs anymore. I have to say that I have had a bite of bread here and there and I have also had a sip of hubby’s beer once in a while. But the discomfort that follows these small bites and sips is really not worth it at all.

When I know that I won’t eat a meal at home, I try to plan ahead as much as I can. I always carry some nuts and/or trail mix in my purse, so if there is nothing else I can eat, there are always the nuts.

If we go to a party, I try to bring a dish that I can eat. Often that turns out to be a salad. Because I usually can’t eat quite a few of the dishes at parties, I actually am “forced” to socialize more, which is a good thing! Parties should really be about the people and not so much about the food…

We don’t eat out very often, and when we do, we usually go to a restaurant we are familiar with, and I know what I can and cannot eat there. In the rare instance that we go to a new restaurant, I try to check out the menu online before we go. I have also become much better about asking about ingredients, etc. I don’t want to be a pain to eat with, but I have found that it’s often no problem for the kitchen to slightly modify a dish. I even managed to eat out one meal while I did the Conscious Cleanse in January, and numerous of the other cleansers ate out for quite a few meals.

Questions: What’s on your menu this week? What are your eating out strategies? Have your ever experimented with raw food? If so, how did you like it? What's your favorite raw food recipe?
 
Be well,
Andrea

20 comments:

  1. I got a lot of produces from farmer's market this weekend so I'll have salad as dinner. Love love fresh lettuce and tomatoes. Oh... I got a new olive oil that's amazing too.

    When eating out if I have time I'd check the menu before hand but usually just order what sounds appetizing at the moment. I find that when going to eat at fine restaurants, most of the choices are well balanced and the portions are perfect.

    I like raw food in the form of salad and zucchini noodles, not much else. I find the nut seed "cheese" too rich.

    Have a nice week Andrea.

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    1. Our Sunday farmers' market didn't take place this weekend, and I didn't know. I was very disappointed when we got there, and there was a festival instead of the market... Good olive oil is amazing!

      Have a great week, too, Coco!

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  2. Hi Andrea! I love your analysis above. This is what you are really good at.

    I personally feel older in my joints when I eat bread, or any other refined carbs. I've come to the point where I'd rather feel younger all day long than have a few impulsive minutes of brain zings from the food.

    I ate a single almond at the party my husband and I went to on Saturday night. And, yes, I was very social because I was NOT with the gobbling group by the food tables. I was with the slim chatty ladies who stayed away from the food. :D

    :-) Marion

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    1. Thanks, Marion!

      Glad you had a great time at the party without food! :)

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  3. With the low FODMAPS diet it's really impossible to get anything when eating out, other than a salad, with dressing on the side. That being said, I typically end up caving and eating some fodmaps....I have no choice. Like you said, you don't want to be a pain at the restaurant! It's hard to eliminate garlic and onion....
    Good luck with the cleanse! I may just have to do this one time....

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    1. Yes, garlic and onions (and some of the other FODMAPS) are hard to avoid...

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  4. Kudos for you for having the patience and discipline to plan ahead - it's not easy! I'm glad you've found a system that works for you, and I have to say, your food prep for the week looks delicious! I'm curious about the cashew cheez - I made a kind of cashew mousse/whipped "cream" once that involved soaking and pureeing the cashews, and it was yummy. Is that similar to the cheez?

    Good luck, Andrea! Enjoy your week :)

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    1. Yes, the "cheeze" is like your "cream." You soak the cashews and then puree it with lemon juice, a little water and spices.

      Have a great week, too!

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  5. Sounds like you made some tasty food for the week. I have no idea what I am going to make... I usually wing it.

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    1. Your meals are always delicious!

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  6. I am not a raw person but I do like to eat the way I like to eat so I do tend to bring my own food places. All my friends & family are used to it! :)

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    1. Yes, people do get used to it... :)

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  7. It is so nice being able to plan...I am more of whatever is in the fridge, not so disciplined...you have a pretty nice menu Andrea.
    Hope you are having a lovely week :)

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    1. Hope you are having a great week, too, Juliana!

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  8. Glad to hear you are discovering which foods make you feel your best! I haven't tried cashew cheese before, but I make a cashew cream that is divine. Hope you're having a wonderful week!

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    1. I think the cashew "cheeze" is probably very similar to a cashew cream.

      Hope you are having a great week, too!

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  9. On my menu this week was a 7 course taste menu yesterday and it was so, so good.

    I never ate raw food and have no desire to try it.

    I admire you for doing the cleanse thing because it's hard to plan everything and especially stick to it at social events. Don't think I could do that.

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    1. Looks like you had a delicious birthday! I saw one of the courses you posted on FB! Looked very pretty!

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  10. Good for you for planning ahead Andrea. It makes such a difference in being a success and staying on plan.

    Since we have adopted a mostly vegan food plan it has made eating out more challenging. Like you, I check menus on line and I do ask for things to be modified to suit my needs. Luckily we have a vegan cage near us and it's a no brainer to order off their menu.

    I saw some cashew cheese at Whole Foods the other day - it was very pricey so I will be interested in your recipe!

    We do eat a lot of raw salads - every veggie you can imagine chopped up and mixed in with organic baby greens and then tossed with a nut based dressing I make in my Blendtec blender. It's fantastic! I do sometimes make those raw dessert balls that are like a Lara Bar. I have some raw desserts bookmarked to try. They use the soaked cashews, fruit, nut milk and dates. I am just waiting for a group dinner to make them so we aren't left with too many leftovers as they are rich in calories.

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. I've been meaning to try some nut based dressings. Your new food plan sounds really good! I want to experiment some more with new recipes soon!

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