Preparation is Key

I’ve been planning out my menus for the first week and starting to soak and sprout. Soaking and sprouting are huge necessities for success on this diet plan, which I believe is part of the reason I haven’t done this sooner.

I’m not going to lie – the start up costs of this endeavor have been more than interesting. This morning I walked out of Whole Foods with just two grocery bags and it cost me $189. What did I buy? A lot of macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, nut butters, sun dried tomatoes, organic dried mangoes, prunes, olive oil, hemp seeds, Celtic salt, dried chiles, and not a ton more. The macadamia nuts were the most expensive item in the cart. And tomorrow I believe I’ll need to do another fresh veggie shop because we go through kale, broccoli, zucchini, onions, and bell peppers like water around here.

Tomorrow morning I will make nut milk with my almonds. I may also make some with the hemp seeds and Brazil Nuts (don’t need to soak Brazil nuts by the way). For my 2 cups of soaked almonds I will yield about 6 cups of almond milk. After soaking, rinsing, and soaking again (I soak them first for 12 hours then drain, rinse, and soak one more time for at least a few hours) I will add the almonds to our Vitamix blender with about 6 cups of filtered water and blend on high until the almonds are completely broken down. Next I will strain the almond “milk” through my nut bag (which I purchased online at www.purejoyplanet.com) into a large mason jar and refrigerate it until I am ready to use. The leftover nut pulp can later be used in cracker or cake recipes – so I will either freeze that for later in the week (I’m going to try and save “desserts” for Sundays) or refrigerate it. The fresh almond milk is delicious and easy to make – I highly recommend you try it. You can do it without nut milk bags either using a fine strainer or even cheesecloth – it’s just a bit messier.

My menu plan for Thursday looks like this (I will try and get recipes (marked with *) posted by Wednesday afternoon):

AM- Kale smoothie made with homemade almond milk, about 1 1/2 cups of kale leaves, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1/2 frozen banana and a scoop of raw protein powder. There are a few raw protein powders made from sprouted brown rice. I really like the taste of the Sunwarrior (http://www.sunwarrior.com/)┬ábrand. I am currently also using Billy’s Infinity Protein (http://www.billys-superfoods.com/infinity_protein_products.php) and that tastes good as well.

Snack – Fresh/dried fruit or veggies

Lunch – Green salad with avocado, tomatoes and cilantro dressing* and I am Flourishing Falafels*

Snack – Fresh/dried fruit or veggies

Dinner – I am Elated Enchiladas* (recipe from I Am Grateful by Terces Engelhart), side salad

Getting Ready

Hello friends. It’s the end of August and I’m gearing up for a month of raw food in September. I am excited to embark on this adventure. Having dabbled in raw food over the past few years (actually my whole life when you think of just eating an apple or a salad), I’ve decided it was time to take on a new challenge. I’m used to challenging myself in the physical sense, whether it’s a running event, tennis tournament or multisport event like the half Ironman, but rarely do I push myself mentally-emotionally and that is what this challenge is about for me.

I am not one who likes the word “diet” in the sense of placing restrictions on what I eat. Most people assume or feel that my diet is pretty darn clean, and it is for the most part – but the truth is I really like baked goods, especially in the form of zucchini muffins, so going raw may actually test my cravings and that is part of what I wanted to blog about and share.

I am also interested to feel and see whatever changes may occur with my interior and exterior physical body.

I will post recipes and let you know how I am preparing for this time in the raw. My dehydrator is all set up. I have most of the ingredients I need to start soaking and sprouting. I’m having my last piece of gluten free pizza for the month and look forward to creating a “raw” pizza as a new edition to our weekend tradition.

The picture is of me sipping a raw milkshake from Cafe Gratitude made out of hemp milk. James and I attended a “raw festival” in Santa Barbara a few years back and that was about the best milkshake I’ve ever had – mint chocolate chip, made with raw cacao nibs and fresh mint. I’ll be using my cookbook from Cafe Gratitude for many of my menu editions and I highly recommend you visit one of their locations if you’re ever in the Bay Area.