One week down. 7 consecutive days of raw.
Many years ago I learned the power of living in 24 hours increments. It can sometimes seem easier to postpone making resolutions to change bad habits because it can feel as if the rest of our lives are looming in front of us like an endless procession of deprivation from that thing we gave up. “How will I find pleasure without X (insert relevant vice here).” A perpetual awareness of lack and self-denial. Yes, I know I have a somewhat melodramatic mind!
Yet who can’t give something up if it’s only for one day? Humans only need oxygen, water and a little food, maybe shelter and rest, to get through 24 hours, the rest is gravy. So why do we attach ourselves so much to the gravy? As if we couldn’t possibly survive without it. Sometimes it’s pleasure, but often we cling to so-called pleasures that are really causing us harm (cigarettes were a great example of that for me) and where’s the joy in that?
It feels like my adult life has been an experiment in the pursuit of balance. If you can call wildly swinging from nothing to too much of a good thing, back to nothing again, balance.
I have definitely inherited my Dad’s love of the Bacchanalian pleasures – food, wine, sex and song – but life experience has forced me to address this tendency to over-indulgence. In my twenties I had to address the wine, in my thirties and forties it’s the food. (We’ll leave sex and song alone for now, shall we?)
My food journey began not with me but with my son. He was diagnosed with autism 9 years ago. In my quest to find healing for his little mind, body, and spirit, I investigated kinesiology, homeopathy, naturopathy and diet. (To great success I might add).
In the process of changing his diet, I discovered my body was much also happier without wheat and dairy. When I told my mum, she said, “Oh, yes you were lactose intolerant as a baby!”
It’s possible, it seems, to eat foods that harm our bodies, but for the symptoms to be mild enough (or to accumulate so gradually we just ‘get used’ to them) to not realize there’s a problem. Ironically wheat and dairy were the two mainstays of my diet and the foods I least wanted to give up. Craving food we are intolerant to is apparently a strange but common phenomena.
Then on the advice of a naturopath, I also took sugar and caffeine out of my diet. I know, right? Me! A sweet-toothed latte chugger – at the time it seemed so cruel and unnatural. Do I miss it now? Not at all!
I’m here to tell you folks I wouldn’t do this stuff by choice. But when you are faced with a lifetime of stomach issues, bad skin, hormonal imbalance, anxiety, depression, mood swings, lethargy, and possible escalation into even more serious health issues, well drinking decaf without the donut doesn’t seem so dramatic.
So over the last 15 years I have been getting progressively healthier and healthier. But like I said, I’m a perfectionist. I saw glimpses of myself with more vitality than I could imagine, but they were fleeting. How did I go about making that my natural state? Then I found out about raw.
I think that adjusting to a raw diet will be much like all the other adjustments I’ve made. At first it seems like a deprivation, everywhere I go is evidence of what I can’t have. Then over time it becomes habitual and the occasional forays into my ‘old ways’ usually make me feel rotten enough to find new appreciation for how good the new ways are actually making me feel.
And the way to get there, is just doing it for today.
This is my hope, that after 3 weeks I’ll be feeling so fabulous that you couldn’t pay me enough money to change my eating habits back. One of my colleagues at work yesterday said “You look great. Whatever you are doing sure is working!” And that, my friends, is called incentive. I mean, it’s only a week. How good will I look in another two? Move over Elle! Not that it’s about the superficial (not that I’m adverse to that). But it’s the glow from inner health that people notice.
Now about my day of food. I had plenty of left over rawsagna from yesterday and it tasted even better today. But then I had a hankering for pudding…
I love pudding. One of the best pudding experiences I ever had was years ago at a little pub in Cornwall. We stopped for lunch and I had their sticky date pudding for dessert. It was moist and full of real ginger. God, it was good! This is my raw hommage to that memory.
Sticky date flan with ginger cashew cream
Coconut flour raw pastry
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup almonds
1/2 vanilla pod
1/3 cup coconut oil
Sticky date topping
1 1/2 cups dates
1 cup mixed nuts
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 vanilla pod
1/2 cup water
Ginger cashew cream
1/2 cup cashews
Dessert spoon coconut nectar
1/2 cup dates
Tsp grated ginger
Blend until creamy
Blend almonds until ground. Add coconut flour to mix. Add rest of the pastry ingredients and blend until forms a dough. Press dough into lined spring form tin.
Blend sticky date mix until gooey paste add on top of pastry and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Slice and serve with Ginger Cashew Cream.