Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Brad's October 7 Day Raw Food Challenge!



Let's RAWk

As many of you know, I follow a predominantly raw food diet, except on the weekends when I do enjoy a cooked meal or two. However, this week, I committed to eating 100% raw as part of Brad’s 7 Day Raw Challenge. Every month, Brad’s Raw Foods (makers of the best frickin’ Nasty Hot Kale Chips on the planet!) runs a raw foods challenge in an effort to promote healthier, clean eating. I always enjoy a good challenge and it usually sparks new recipe ideas. Since this is my week off from school, I decided to document my raw food challenge to show you that not only can eating raw be easy, but it can also be fun and super duper tasty!

Day 1 (Monday October 15, 2012)

Morning Routine: 

1 cup of warm water with 1 lemon juiced and 1 tespoon of honey. Great for the body! Here are just a few of the amazing benefits!
  • Lemon is an alkaline food which balances the pH in your body
  • Water re-hydrates an already dehydrated system
  • Lemon boosts your immune system
  • Lemon Water stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and also helps loosen toxins in the digestive tract
  • It serves as a diuretic and clears the skin
  • In addition, water purifies the colon when consumed on an empty stomach
  • Chilled water can help boost your metabolism which equals weight loss!
  • Lemon water hydrates and balances the lymph system 
Click here and here to learn more!



Breakfast: 


For breakfast, I munched on ½ a cup of raw, sprouted cereal, which I had recently purchased in the bulk section at Whole Foods. The cereal is actually by a company called Living Intentions, which produces all types of raw and sprouted foods and snacks to get any rawsie through their busy day. I had a mixture of all four flavors that were available: Acai Blueberry, Cacao Crunch, Chia Ginger, and Hemp and Greens. The main ingredients include organic sprouted buckwheat, coconut palm sugar, and raw brown rice bran and germ.

While a majority of the ingredients are recognizably raw, one ingredient in question is coconut palm sugar. To be honest, no sweetener is ever in its raw form except for pure, raw honey and dried fruits. While I do eat raw honey which I purchase from a local farmer, most rawkers are also vegans and therefore do not consume honey. That is why there is usually some lenience as to what type of sweeteners you may use on a raw foods diet. Some use agave, others stevia, and some coconut palm sugar. Out of all those, I prefer coconut palm nectar or sugar over agave or stevia because coconut products claim to have greater health benefits and a lower glycemic index than the latter two. In the end, what is used is based on preference. For me honey is raw and loaded with health benefits, therefore I use it most.

To my ½ cup of cereal, I also added 1 tablespoon of raw, sprouted organic buckwheat groats (I love Go Raw’s) and 1 tablespoon of raw sunflower seeds to kind of add some extra crunch and to balance the sweetness of the cereal. I enjoyed it with 1 cup of raw hemp mylk (see recipe below).

It was ice cold (which is how I love my cereals) crunchy and delicious. A perfect, energizing (and filling!) start to my day!  With that, I also downed 1 16 oz bottle of filtered water. For some reason, milk always make me thirsty!

Hemp Mylk
Recipe by Gouter
  • 1 cup of raw, shelled hemp seeds (I prefer Manitoba or Nutiva brands)
  • 3-4 cups of filtered water
  • 2 tbsp honey or other sweetener to taste (Optional)
  • Splash of vanilla extract (optional)
  1. In a high speed blender, add hemp seeds and 3 cups of filtered water.
  2. Blend on high for 30 seconds to one minute until well blended.
  3. Add more water as desired. (I like mine thick and creamy so 3 cups usually does good for me! For a more low-fat milk consistency, add 4 cups)
  4. If you prefer, add sweeteners and/or extracts to taste.
  5. Store in a large glass jar or container in the fridge for up to 5 days. I recommend smelling it every day to make sure it hasn’t gone rancid. Raw milks can go bad fast. And trust me, you’ll know when it’s bad!
Lunch:

Now I have a weird metabolism. I actually can eat that breakfast and be good for hours on end until it’s time for my workout at 2:00pm. I also prefer to workout on an empty stomach because I do get sucky cramps and cramps just put a major damper in my workout. Now and then, throughout the day, I will munch on something or eat a banana. Today I nibbled on some raw cashews.

Workout:

Every Monday I like to just hit the treadmill for a 45 minute run. A good run jump starts my week and gets me in the best mood to workout even more! 

Dinner:

After my workout, I usually head home to make dinner and finish work. Again, the odd metabolism takes hours to digest my dinner. So in order to prevent me from falling asleep half-full and waking up feeling like dirt, I tend to eat right when I get home. Plus, I’m usually starving by then!

Dinner was a raw,  
Zucchini Noodle Salad with a Cilantro “peanut” Sauce.
  • 2 cups of zucchini noodles
  •  1 carrot, julienned
  •  ¼ small bell pepper, diced
  •  ¼ cup of mushrooms, chopped
  • 5-7 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Sliced green onions, for garnish
  • Sprouts, to top
  • 2 tablespoons of raw, sprouted sunflower seeds (I love Go Raw! They add a nice toasty flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon of raw, dried coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of almonds
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ tablespoon of nama shoyu or gluten-free tamari
  • ¼ teaspoon of grated ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon of grated garlic
  • Cilantro (I used 1 tbsp which ended up to be a bit too much)
  •  ¼ cup raw, hemp milk and/or water (I used a combo of both)
 Zucchini noodles are easy to make! One, you can purchase and use a spiralizer, which I need to get (a good one is only $35). OR two, you can improvise and use the old fashion way.
  1. Pick a large, long and almost perfectly straight zucchini. Using a vegetable peeler, peel several long thin, slabs of zucchini. Pile the zucchini slabs on top of each other, and run a sharp knife all the way down the pile to make thin noodle like slices. A julienne peeler make work as well!
  2. Add the noodles into the bowl along with the carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes.
  3. In a blender (I used a bullet do to the one serving size portions) add all ingredients listed from sunflower seeds to the cilantro. Starting with 2 tablespoons of liquid, blend on high until well blended and smooth. Add more liquid as needed until the consistency is that of a smooth, thick yet pourable sauce.
  4. Add the sauce to the noodle salad and toss to combine until everything is well coated. Plate and garnish with green onions and top with sprouts.
So good! The “peanut” sauce needs a bit of work as I try to find the perfect raw “peanut”. If anyone has any suggestions PLEASE let me know!

Dessert:

As for dessert, I skipped dessert as I was in the kitchen working to prep my meals and make a dessert I could enjoy tomorrow! So I opted for an ice cold raw Strawberry Kombucha by GT. Nom nom! It seriously is dessert in a bottle!

Day 1 was a success! What’s your thoughts? Any foods you think I should make raw?

- Beth