Tag Archives: my raw food experience

YOU NEED YOUR FATS – they just have to be good fats, and in proportion with the rest of your meal

Oh, ho! I’ve been saying all along that you need to eat your fats even when you are on a raw or high-raw vegan diet. Along comes Frederic Patenaude, who has been espousing low-fat for years, saying that he is eating raw nuts and seeds and avocados, and, what’s more, he points you to Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s video, in which the good doctor denounces a diet with only 10% fat as unhealthy (now, I have never gone so far as to say that in writing, but I have told my clients who were having trouble sticking to 80/10/10 that, if they would only add some fat to their diet, they would vanquish the cravings and be able to get on with a healthy raw food diet.

My first personal vindication came when Ani Phyo came out with her 15-Day Fat Blast, in which she suggested a diet which is pretty much 40/30/30 (carbs/protein/fats). Now, Dr. Joel Fuhrman is weighing in on my side. Of course, he Is talking about *healthy* fats, and decrying high animal/trans-fat diets. So? When I say “high fat”, and, even when Dr. Atkins said “high fat”, what is meant is a diet that contains approximately a 40/30/30 ratio (carbohydrates/protein/fat), with the fats being good fats)

Dr. Fuhrman speaks against the Atkins Diet because too many people have conveniently ignored the part in his book where he explains how much protein a person should eat (you are supposed to divide your weight by half – or, conversely, multiply it by .5, and come up with the appropriate number of grams of protein to eat in a day, which is to be divided among 3 meals – and then you figure out what is 10% more than that, and what is the same number of grams of fat, and where they are coming from, i.e., will they already be in your protein source.)  

I have never been good at math, so, since I hit on Atkins, and decided that it would help me, I’ve just made my meals be 30/30/30,and it has worked. Actually, if you are raw, it is almost impossible to eat too much. I started out at 250 lbs. (-so 75gr protein per day).

Wow! That’s a lot of protein!   I did try getting that from raw nuts and seeds, but it was work, so I switched to a dumbed-down version of Atkins called 40/30/30, put out by the Daouds. In that plan, whatever I ate, no matter when, had to be a “meal” containing a 30/30/30 (yes, I stuck with that number) protein/fat/carb mix.) I mean, I could eat just protein if that’s what I wanted to do, but, if I was eating carbs, first I had to eat an equal number of grams of protein before I could enjoy my carbs (the fats tend to come in the protein in raw vegan diet – I mean, when have you met a nut that did not have fats in it?)

Usually, if you eat your proteins first, you aren’t going to want much else, as proteins will fill you up. Fats of the type that you can get on a raw food diet (fats from raw nuts and seeds, avocados, and whatever oils (extra virgin olive oil or raw coconut oil, for example) you add to what you are preparing will help avoid cravings.

Actually, it is really hard to OD on raw carbs or raw fats unless you are preparing those time-consuming fancy designer recipes you see in many raw food recipe books. 2 C of raw spinach are only 4 gr of carbs — 2 CUPS! That is a heck of a lot! Can you eat that much in a salad for lunch or dinner? Even if you combine 1 C of raw spinach with 1 C of cashews, and then spread it on tomato slice for dinner, you are not going to be able to OD in one meal on carbs or fats, even if you add in a raw cabbage/wakame sea-vegetable salad with onions, red bell pepper, garlic, and some extra virgin sesame oil or olive oil.

What is dangerous, in any diet, is figuring that you can eat anything and everything you want.

Atkins has an “induction protocol” which allows 25 grams of carbs in a day. Easy to manage, and stay full/satisfied , if you are eating raw vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, and using extra virgin olive oil  The problem is when people think that they can eat as much protein and fats as they like. For some reason, from the beginning, I have found that eating raw nuts and seeds, and using extra virgin olive oil, tends to fill me up before I can OD. From the beginning of my odyssey (I have taken off more than 100 lbs., and, today, stay around 130 lbs., at 5’9”), I have required myself to eat my carbs (and I am a weird raw vegan, in that I do not really like eating traditional salads) because I know that they contain vitamins and minerals that are good for me. Since I have to eat my protein first, I know that I have to leave room for the stupid vegetables, if I cannot manage to combine them with the protein, so it is really really hard to OD on protein and fats.

Sticking to 40/30/30, or, as I tend to do 30/30/30, for each meal, keeps me on the straight and narrow: keeps me eating healthy (I have to eat my vegetables), and keeps me from OD-in on anything that would threaten my plan to keep my weight steady. (Okay, I will admit that I have found wondrous ways to combine my carbs with my proteins (I have a dehydrator – I can put or any other vegetable in crackers! And I can make all sorts of vegetable/nut pates/burgers) I can make zucchini (or other vegetable) pasta with my spiralizer, and then have pasta-like dishes with cashew-crème sauces or almond marinara sauce.

Yes, you can be a raw vegan even if you think you don’t love vegetables as much as they say you should. The trick to doing it is to avoid the complicated “transition-type” recipes, and stay simple.

I will admit that one of my hobbies is reading raw vegan recipe books – but I recognize that I am not going to spend hours or days preparing a dish.  Okay, I am willing to wait overnight for a batch of crackers, or kale chips, but breakfast and dinner have to be things that can happen within 20 minutes or less. Sometimes breakfast is down to a cashew shake with whatever is on hand, or just plain with some sweetener, done up in my Nutri-Bullet (the VitaMix died and I haven’t been able to afford to get it repaired yet), and lunch is always what I didn’t finish from breakfast plus what I didn’t finish from dinner the night before.

High protein does not mean that you knock yourself out eating lots of protein. It just means that you balance your protein/carb/fat intake. This makes sense if you consider that 1 slice of white bread has 25 grams of protein – so you have already reached your carb count for the day with just one slice of bread (oh, gosh! but I want some spinach! I want a salad! Think about it!). If you get into eating a lot of dried fruit, you could run into a problem (oh my gosh! I’ve eaten a lot of carbs, but I can’t figure out how to , but, if you stick to simple recipe combinations, you will find that it is easy to stay raw and maintain your health and stick to a healthy weight.

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DINNER: CASHEW KALE CHEEZE ON TOMATO SLICES, CORN SALAD, INSTANT KIRBY PICKLE

I am very pleased with myself: I can make a nice dinner tomorrow with 3 of the items from my CSA share

CASHEW/KALE CHEEZE ON TOMATO SLICES
1 C cashews, soaked and rinsed
2 C kale, chopped fine
2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 C onion, chopped
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

In the food processor, process all to a fine consistency.
Spread on 1/4 inch-thick Roma (or other) tomato slices

INSTANT KIRBY PICKLE
1 small kirby cucumber, thinly sliced
1 t minced onion
1 T raw apple cider vinegar
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

Place in a tightly covered container and shake well. (Otherwise stir thoroughly to mix well.  Let set for 1/2 hour or more.

RAW CORN SALAD
1 C raw corn kernels (this can also be done with cooked corn)
1 T onion
3 T sweet red pepper
1 t cumin powder
1/4 t minced garlic
1/2 t raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 t olive oil

Toss to mix well

7/14/14 CSA SHARE: What we got and what I’ll do with it

GOT                                                                          TRADED FOR
1 bun Cilantro, parsley or purple basil
1 hd Lettuce or radicchio…………………………..1 bun kale
1 bun Kale
5 Cucumbers (full-size or pickling)
2 ears Corn
2 Leeks or new potatoes……………………..………..2 ears corn
Zucchini or cauliflower…got 1 lg yellow squash
1 pt Cherries
1 pt blueberries

WHAT I PLAN TO  DO WITH THIS BOUNTY
CILANTRO: dehydrate (I may hold back a few sprigs for a corn salad
KALE: dehydrate for chips!!!!
CUCUMBERS:  old-fashioned cucumber salad with onions and ACV
SQUASH:  spiralize for a pasta dish
BLUEBERRIES: process in the food processor – they gel up nicely for a dessert or pie filling – you can only do this with fresh blueberries!

CSA SHARE 7/15/14: What they say we will get

What they say we will get:
Cilantro, parsley or purple basil
Lettuce or radicchio
Kale
Cucumbers (full-size or pickling)
Corn
Leeks or new potatoes
Zucchini or cauliflower
Cherries

Fruit Share:
Cherries
Blueberries

I am not going to think about what I hope to see or what I want to make until I see what the real deal is.  I’ll let you know.

6/17/14 CSA SHARE: What I got in my new Corbin Hill Food Project CSA Share

POST #1015
I honestly did not know what to expect from Corbin Hill Food Project, my new CSA. I had, correctly, guessed that the distribution would be held in the Community Food Pantry space, but, beyond that, it was anybody’s guess how it would go.

I’d say they are pretty well-organized: going into the building, you have to pass a fierce woman at the desk (she is a food pantry employee, probably used to people trying to do things the wrong way, and she was probably working extra hours that she didn’t want), and be checked off. Then you go downstairs right away (no waiting whatsoever), where you are greeted by greeters, one of whom checks off your name again – she did explain to me that the sign over the peas said 1 and that meant I could take 1 (I felt I was pretty clever to have figured that out moments before she told me — they seem to trust members, to just take their allotment).

There is  a trade box, where you can put something you don’t want in and take something you do want, if you see it there, but, the way the distribution is arranged, I would imagine that most people don’t take anything from the bin if they don’t want it, i.e., they just leave it in the bin (I did find a small bunch of oregano in the share box, to trade my lettuce for, and they let me trade it for a larger bunch from the bin).

At the end of the circuit, there was a nice lady who was preparing rhubarb chutney, and we chatted for a while, while she chopped vegetables and stirred them in the electric frying pan she had there.

So… what we got was pretty much what they had said, except that there were garlic scapes in place of the parsnips. I like parsnips, but I do like garlic scapes quite a bit, so I was not really disappointed.

Here is what we got in the VEGETABLE SHARE:
1 bun Oregano
1 big head Lettuce
2 bun Spinach
1 bun Kale
1 bag Sugar SnapPeas
1 med Kohlrabi
1 bun Garlic Scapes
1 bun Rhubarb (6 2ft long stalks!)

I also got a fruit share, which consisted of a 1 lb box of large, fragrant strawberries, and another bunch of rhubarb! ( I guess I will have to chase down some rhubarb recipes, what with all this rhubarb)

Later, I will post the recipes I plan to prepare with this bounty (actually, I mean to go to the Food Pantry tomorrow afternoon (I am curious as to whether the CHFP CSA donates shares not picked up to the Food Pantry). With luck, I may get some more vegetables to add to the proverbial pot.

FIRST SHARE AT CORBIN HILL FOOD PROJECT: What they say we will get

I’m excited. Tomorrow I will pick up my first CSA share from Corbin Hill Food Project. This CSA is completely new to me, so I don’t know exactly how they will do, so I am going to make an effort to be there when they open up at 4:30 (shares can be picked up between 4:30 and 7:00).  Will there be a mob scene at the door at 4:30?  Who knows.  I will get there about 3:30, to get in line for the Supper Club, and then, if it looks like there’s going to be a mob scene for the CSA pick-up, I’ll just put everything from the Supper Club in containers to bring home . I’ll report back with my experience tomorrow night.

HERE IS WHAT THEY SAY WE WILL GET (for a number of years, I was a member of a CSA related to Golden Earthworm Farms. Often they would say were going to get something, but we didn’t, so, out of habit, I’m saying what they said, and I’ll report back tomorrow with the true “get”)

Oregano
Lettuce
Spinach
Kale
Peas (English or sugar snap)
Radishes, Kohlrabi, or Zucchini
Parsnips
Rhubarb

FRUIT SHARE
Parsnips
Strawberries

I have signed up for a “medium” share, but I’m going to try to see what the “large” share looks like.

Tomorrow, when I get back with my booty, I’ll let you know  what this CSA is really like

MY NEW CSA – YOU CAN STILL SIGN UP HERE

The history of Pretty Smart Raw Food Ideas is directly tied to my first venture into CSAs.  Some years back, I saw an announcement for a CSA a couple of blocks from my home, and I signed up right away.  As CSAs often deliver vegetables folks have never seen before, I began to hear people asking what they should do with what they had received in the box.    Me? Being raw, I just went on-line, found out about the vegetable in question, and then started experimenting.  People started asking me for recipes.  I asked the CSA if we couldn’t have a way to publish recipes for the benefit of the members. They poo-poo’d my idea.  My blog was born the next day, with raw recipes for the vegetables I found in my box. 

Now, I have found  a CSA which allows you to casually  join whenever you find out about it, and allows you to pay by the week.  (I have had to leave that first CSA because they require an up front payment which I could not manage).  I’m telling you this because, if you have thought about a CSA, but didn’t sign up for one in the spring (most CSAs require you to sign up before May), there is a CSA that you can still join.

Corbin Hill Food Project is a CSA that works with local farmers to provide low cost organic vegetables and fruit (and other products, as add-ons), mostly in low-income neighborhoods (that doesn’t mean that you can’t join if you are not low-income – it just means that you might have to travel a bit).  The beauty of this CSA is that you can sign up at any time during CSA season (summer to fall), and, if, for any reason, you cannot receive your share the next week (for example: you will be away, or you can’t afford it), you can put your share on hold, simply by notifying them a week in advance.  If you are interested, please visit Corbin Hill Food Project to find the most convenient location for you to receive your share (I’ll be going to the Community Kitchen and Food Pantry on 116th St in Harlem – it’s familiar to me, and I want to support its programs, and, also, the commute there and back home is reasonable, even if it is not right near my home – heck! Fairway, Costco, and Trader Joe’s involve commutes so it is not really that big of a deal). 

The first deliveries are June 18th and June 19th (depending on your chosen location – I’m set to receive my share on Tuesday, the 18th), and the last day to sign up for that week is June 10th. 

Just saying.