Raw Day 26: Rise of the Smoothies

Breakfast: 1 c. pineapple

Mid-morning: Tea; ¾ c. mixed nuts

Lunch: Smoothie – 1.5 c. spinach, 7 strawberries, 1 mango, 1 c. frozen fruit

Supper: Smoothie – 1 piece of salmon gravlax; 1 cucumber

Evening: 2 glasses of wine

The raw dining staples come down to two factions: Salads and Smoothies. Sure, there are some other blocs like the salmon battalion or the lone fruit or veggie renegade, but the core battle for top place in my dining line up belongs to liquefied food and the hodgepodge of mixed greens and veggies.

Early on it was fairly close, but then salads seemed to pull ahead by securing the ultimate position: The supper-time feast. However, lately those smoothies have definitively stolen the upper hand away from the salads. You see, salad takes much longer to prep than the smoothie. I’ve also gotten bored with the salad, but that is my own fault. For me, every salad uses the same ingredients whether they are part of the dressing or just chopped up and are a part of the main bowl of mixed veggies. I will give some big props to the “taco” salad. That thing is majestic. You’ll notice that when I do have salad, that’s basically the only kind I have now.

Ah, but those smoothies. They’re flavourful, they include spinach, you can put anything in there, and they’re almost too easy: peel, pulse, slurp. It’s a wonderful thing.

The lone fruit or veggie has been a little more prominent lately as well. They’re called mono-meals, which is when the entire meal is made up of 1 ingredient. I also like to think that mono-meal is a play on monolithic because I end up devouring a lot of that one ingredient. Sort of like the day where one of my meals was a pound and a half of carrots. Today I also had a piece of salmon, but it was sort of crazy feasting on an entire cucumber. It’s just something you don’t see very often, but hey, I guess I am a bit different.

Raw Day 25: Stages of Habit Making

Breakfast: ½ cantaloupe

Mid-morning: 1 apple

Lunch: Smoothie – 1 banana, 8 strawberries, 1 c. spinach, 1 c. frozen fruit, ¾ c. pineapple

Dinner: 1 piece of salmon gravlax; ½ cucumber; Smoothie – 2 frozen bananas

I have to say… it’s been incredible lately with absolutely no hunger problems. My smoothies are fit for giants so that may be a contributing factor, but I suppose I have passed through the detox stage, the unbearable stage, and have finally come out on the other side. Just in time for a final hurrah.

I have read that it takes a month to make or break a habit. Interestingly, I’ve also read that it takes 7 days, 2 weeks, and 20 days – each in various places on the big bad web. Based off of the raw food experience, I’m going to side with the 1 monthers. You need time to recalibrate your shocked body. There’s the initial What’s happening?! What is this?! This is insanity! as your body tries to comprehend the sudden lifestyle change. Then there’s the Whoa… This is cool. phase, which is followed by WHAT THE *@^& ARE YOU DOING TO ME?! THIS IS AGONYYYYYY! And then, finally, there’s Wow. I’ve done it. I feel… amazing.

Every challenge is a roller coaster, baby. You just gotta ride that sucker through the fun and fear all the way until the end.

Raw Day 24: Average Joe Superman

Breakfast: ½ cantaloupe, 4 oz snap peas

Lunch: Salad – 1 head of romaine, 10 sun-dried tomatoes, 1 avocado, 1 tomato, ½ red pepper, 1 c. walnuts, cayenne pepper

Supper: Smoothie – 2 frozen bananas

Evening: “Popcorn” – ¾ of a head of cauliflower (dehydrated), onion, nutritional yeast

For the past few days, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, my general happiness and energy have been consistently above normal and it’s mountain spring refreshing. I’ve been able to let little things slide that would normally irritate me; I’ve been more accepting and less pouty (to the point that I’ve got zero pout going on) about situations that are out of my control; and today I genuinely laughed off something that would have caused a negative down-spiral. I do suppose that could also be a sign of having been broken and going crazy….

Just kidding. It’s absolutely not. When these unfortunate things are coming at me, instead of thinking those horrible “if only…” thoughts, I’m thinking “I can do it.” It’s no ripping open my sweater to reveal the “S” beneath while the theme from Rocky plays in the background kind of feeling, it’s just the realization that I can. You know, more like The Average Joe Superman.

The greatness I’ve been feeling has been too, well, enjoyable for me to just let it come to an end in a mere 5 days. While I’m not going to fool you into thinking that I’m going to just convert to raw for the rest of my life, I have decided that the two-thirds idea I was flirting with earlier will be my new normal afterwards. No rules, though – just a general idea because I want to be able to do whatever I want, and yeah… I wanna feel this good forever.

Raw Day 23: A Dining Hobbit

Breakfast: ½ cantaloupe

Lunch: Smoothie – 2 bananas, 10 strawberries, 1 c. frozen fruit

Mid-Afternoon: 1 apple

Pre-Supper: 14 sun-dried tomatoes

Supper: ½ cucumber, 1 okra; smoothie – 3 frozen bananas

Just look at that line-up. I’m only a second breakfast away from being a hobbit.

I felt great again today. There were no hunger issues and I was in high spirits most of the day. I’m even starting to notice increased energy outside of sports and don’t feel like power-crushing series on Netflix every night (although, that will change February 27th with a full-out House of Cards marathon!)

The increased energy is great since I have to spend half my time in the kitchen now. Okay, that was an exaggeration, but still. If you’re going to give raw a shot, just know that some things are quick – like eating a banana. Just peel and go. Everything else takes time. A simple salad is washing, slicing, dicing, mixing, chopping, food processing, forking, chewing, swallowing… There is no just throw some pasta in a pot of boiling water and open a can of sauce. You have to do it all yourself. Including the dressing. Sometimes I just want food now, but there have also been just as many days where I have completely enjoyed the process of preparing my food.

In a way, that’s kind of spectacular. It takes things back to the beginning when good, healthy food and sustenance was the priority for everyone and brings you closer to your food and respecting it. Sure, it sounds weird, but I would definitely say I do respect my food more since going raw. It’s also much more amazing what I can come up with than what I did before. You spend time with your food. You appreciate the perfect mango – juicy, orange-ish, not too firm, not too soft; you cherish the ripened tomato that hasn’t crossed over to the other side; you sing sweet hallelujah when your romaine leaves don’t wilt and blacken as you take them into the frozen air to carry them home. Oh yes, food matters so much more than it did before.

This might be the first post where I sound like a real raw foodist. Except that I’m still planning on a chicken chow mein feast when the buzzer goes…

Raw Day 22: But I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed

Breakfast: ½ cantaloupe

Mid-morning: 1 c. mixed nuts, 2 apples worth of dried fruit

Supper: ½ of the leftover taco salad; 1 piece of salmon gravlax

Work meetings meant my lunch hour got eaten up… sans food. My emergency reserve of nuts and dried fruit were with me (because I learned my lesson from last time) so it wasn’t the end of the world. The taco salad was better today, but that’s only because I’m an oddball and I like it soggy. I know it’s weird; at least it’s weirdly delicious!

I played some puck tonight and I’m going to make a definitive statement about my energy level for the very first time: it was better. Maybe even a lot better. I darted and dashed, went up, down, and all over that ice and my legs didn’t feel the exhaustion they have been feeling throughout the season. Wicked!

The adrenaline I always feel with sports was surpassed by a crazy buoyant feeling of awesomeness once I got home from the rink. I could actually feel confidence surging through my body and, let’s just say, I did not want to go to bed. I felt like I could conquer the world… run a marathon… cure cancer! Okay, maybe I didn’t actually think I could cure cancer, but I did feel like I could do anything and the stress that has been building on me was completely gone. Ah, what a beautiful night it was.

So, all in all… not a bad day. Not a bad day at all.