Tag Archives: raw food

READ THE LABELS, READ THE INGREDIENTS!

READ THE LABELS, READ THE INGREDIENTS!
They got me! I confess, I let myself be had!

A thoughtful friend gave me a package of Rhythm SuperFoods Kale Chips. Although the package did not say *raw* on the front, the first line on the back said “These Kale Chips are a raw, delicious and nutrient rich alternative”. I trusted the hype, and ate some of them. Right away, I knew something was wrong (I am a sugar-sensitive, and, since I control, it takes me mere seconds to realize that I have been poisoned). I went to read the ingredients and found that, although this item claims to be raw, it lists “organic cane sugar” as the fifth ingredient (by amount). No kind of sugar is raw (unless you get a piece of raw sugar cane and suck on it). No kind of sugar is healthy http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/09/is-raw-sugar-healthier-than-refined , unless it derives straight from raw fruit or vegetables.

Please, if you are buying packaged products, read the ingredients listings before you choose something. Companies like Rhythm SuperFoods try to hoodwink folks, and there is apparently no control over companies claiming that their products are raw when, in fact, they contain non-raw ingredients.

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9/19/13 : WHAT WAS IN THE BOX , WHAT I WENT HOME WITH, and what I will do with it

This is what we got and what I ended up taking home:

Celery root – 2 pcs
Baby bok choi – 1 bun
Scallions – 1 bun……………traded for bok choi
Arugula – ½ lb bag…………traded for 3 red peppers
Zucchini – 1 pc………………got 2 med.small eggplants
Long Red Peppers – 3 pcs
Sweet Potatoes – 1.75 lbs

It was hard for me to decide to take home the eggplant but there was really nothing else to choose except 3 small sweet potatoes, so I bit the bullet.  Now, after researching for only a short time, I wish I had traded something for the eggplants there for trade, as I have found several tasty-looking recipes for fermented eggplant. I am looking forward to making some hot ajvar with the eggplant and red peppers, and some fermented eggplant with garlic.

FOOD BANK NYC: here you can get food, even raw food, even if you are dirt broke

POST #968
I had an interesting experience last week.  As I mentioned, earlier, I am in a kind of bad place. I looked on-line to find a food bank with fresh produce – most of them require you to have no money at all and live with 12 people (i.e. you have to be illegal and working here, but not reporting the money you are getting from the work you are actually doing). I know that my CSA donates fresh produce somewhere but I could not find it. 

If you live in New York City, and you honestly feel you need help with getting food, there is a very open place in Harlem where you can get food. I went there to see how it worked, and, boy!, was I surprised. (I expected they might exclude me because I am trying to work, but they didn’t) They have a subterranean “store”, where you can get food. Most of the food is canned or boxed or frozen, but there is also some fresh/raw food. Interestingly, the fresh/raw vegetables are the only things you can take in unlimited quantities (everything else – packaged, canned, frozen, dry food is available on a point basis). After you register with them, you can go there once a month to get food, on a first come-first served basis, i.e., you have to stand in line and wait your turn. (When I was shopping the food bank, a kind lady from the Bronx took me under her wing, as we were battling over decent- looking carrots and talking about juicing and fermenting – the vegetables are donated, so they are not necessarily beautiful or usable– and showed me how things worked – God bless her).

Since this program has been so kind to me, I am going to figure out a way that I can give back – maybe offer free classes on what to do with fresh vegetables, or how to ferment or how to juice or make smoothies, or even how to use the canned things to make healthy meals– I’m new there, and I haven’t finished all of my required  interviews, but I want to do this.

HOW RAW ARE YOU, AND HOW MUCH DOES IT MATTER?

POST #928
If you have read the previous post, which I caught on google+ from a website I like, you might wonder where I stand.

I *am* 100% raw and have been for a  long time. Still, I like to say that I am 95% raw, because I am a human, and I don’t ever know if or when I might slip, or choose to eat something that is not raw, or eat something that isn’t raw by accident (I was at a raw meet-up the other night, and I happily ate something that was put out, but a friend suggested to me that it might not actually be raw since there were beans in it — okay, so I cannot claim to be 100% raw, at least not for that night. I like to say 95% raw because, then, if I do slip, nobody will be pointing fingers at me.

Most of the self-proclaimed “raw gurus” have been outed, at one time or another, as enjoying non-raw foods, while they continue to solicit your massive payments for their raw programs.

Folks who become enamored of a “raw food guru”, often find that they cannot follow the program easily, simply because it doesn’t really work as it has been put forth. Then, if they find that their “guru” of choice has begun advocating eating some cooked food, they become confused.

Recently, I have seen that many of the folks who have been loudly advocating raw vegan diets are “softening up”, or saying that it isn’t necessary to follow a 100% raw diet. Of course, it has never been necessary to follow a 100% raw diet – you only do that if you want the maximum benefit in the least amount of time.  Otherwise, you just simply incorporate more raw food in your diet. The AMA has urged us to incorporate more raw fruit and vegetables in our diet.  More is better than none.

Since I don’t follow any raw gurus (some of them may not have even been born when I first went raw), I really don’t care what they do, unless it hurts me, but, fortunately, I don’t care what they say, for the most part, either.

I have my own take on a raw vegan diet, which has worked for me for a long time,and keeps me healthy, happy, and craving free. People who come to me are usually worried about slipping, about cravings, which are things my approach addresses.I also work with people want to simply incorporate more raw foods into their diet. I also work with people who are interested in including more raw foods in their diet, or who are interested in going totally raw.

As a nutritionist, I would rather help someone find a healthier way to eat for where they are at, than to blow them off because they do not want to go 100% raw this very evening.

FERMENTED TURNIPS – SUCCESS

POST #778
I opened the fermented turnip jar last night.  What a pleasant surprise.  The taste of the turnips was very interesting (and pleasant!)  I will make this recipe up again, as soon as I finish this jar-full (I think I might add some things, perhaps dill, or garlic — or both- -I actually have an idea of doing 2 or 3 different combinations that would pique my personal taste buds. At the same time, I will make a plain version.)

Personally, I don’t think that this is a “side dish” (I do like sauerkraut as a side dish).  I like the taste, but, as a side dish, I would do a “dab”.  I do think it would be a good addition into any vegetable dish.

A TOTAL EXPERIENCE: RAW NUTS CLASS with Raw Chef Dan

A TOTAL EXPERIENCE: MY RAW NUTS CLASS with Raw Chef Dan

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in a“No Nuts” food preparation class presented by Raw Chef Dan, of Quintessence restaurant and traveling presentation fame.  The experience was very interesting on several  levels.  (Oh, I should mention that Quintessence is my favorite restaurant)

My first surprise was Raw Chef Dan’s Center for Conscious Living space.  Understand, please, that I live in New York City, and you can see all sorts of places when you go to presentations, lectures, classes, and other people’s homes.  Presentation, lecture, and class spaces can range from elegant to utilitarian to plain, and, in size, from tiny to quite spacious.  People’s apartments can be quite spacious, light, and airy, or, as most seem to be in Manhattan (where I had three different apartments before I opted for a place in Queens), some combination of tiny, airless, dark, and cramped.  As I live and work in New York City, and have clients who live in all five boroughs in all ranges of spaces, it is always interesting to see how a raw food kitchen can be fitted into the space available.

Raw Chef Dan’s space was probably a studio apartment when he took it.  It has high ceilings and one window, off the kitchen, which is at one end of the room, with the bathroom opening off it.

The kitchen is a standard one for a Manhattan apartment (I liked the arrangement of the refrigerator against the far wall next to the window, a small counter space, the sink, and the stove, which was covered over to create more counter space.)  Chef Dan has extended the counter space, which provides a nice oven height space for his 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator, and storage under it, and then he has added a counter out across  3/4 of the width of the apartment, which serves as a workspace, and presentation space, and could double as a dining space, when Raw Chef Dan is not working.  He has also built in wood shelves to provide more storage space.

The remaining half of the room had a couch at the far end, and was filled with 4 tightly packed rows of three folding seats each (I was in the front row – I have no idea how cramped those folks in the back were! I think there were about 16 of us, ultimately.)

Working with the high ceilings, Raw Chef Dan has built, over the rear third of the space, a “sitting height” loft, where we could see a desk with a computer, and, at one point, Raw Chef Dan sitting at the computer. (Being as our class was graced by the presence of three very relaxed and beautiful cats, I imagine that the loft is also a living space.)

This  description is given for those of you who fret that you cannot accommodate the equipment many people want to have in order to create delicious raw meals.

FYI: Raw Chef Dan only used the dehydrator, a food processor, a blender (okay, it was a VitaMix), a small “personal blender”, and a knife to create all of the dishes he showed us.  He actually had the dehydrator, food processor, VitaMix, and personal blender sitting in a total space of approximately 18 cubic inches.  (Think you cannot accommodate the equipment now?)

Okay, enough of interior design (I’m so fascinated,  because I love to see how people accommodate full lives in tiny spaces which still look comfortable – not cramped – and I’m also fascinated with boats and boat-living.)

We watched Raw Chef Dan create a soup, some crackers, pizza, marinated vegetables, a salad dressing, bread, and an apple pie.  All of these dishes were created without nuts, although they did use flax seed.   It was very interesting to learn how a lovely pizza or pie crust can made with butternut squash (or, as we were told, yams).

Many times, food preparation demos can be a little tedious.  Not this one, though.  Dan (I feel friendly toward him) spiced up the presentation with interesting anecdotes, and answered all questions with alacrity, and humor  (allowing those of us who were paying attention at all times to even enjoy the questions from people who, from time to time, seemed to have their attention directed elsewhere)

At the end of the presentation, we all got to eat the dishes Dan had prepared before us (of course,  just as they do in TV food prep presentations, Dan had previously dehydrated  the bread, crackers, a pizza crust, and a pie crust).  The pizza was fabulous (I’ve eaten the pizza at Quintessence, but this was better – probably because I had watched it being made), and the apple pie was amazing (I want to make one this week).  The best thing about all this food was that it did comply, for the most part, with food-combining rules, for the most part, and so, even after I had eaten some of everything, I did not get that discomforting feeling that you can get when you go to a raw restaurant and want to eat some of everything and casually disregard everything you know about what goes with what.

If you ever have a chance to take one of Raw Chef Dan’s classes, do so.  Just do it. Find the way.  (I took off a day from work to take this class, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!)  Dan is very personable, and fun.  He is also very knowledgeable about the current trends and recent discoveries in raw food nutrition, and, although he does not claim to be a nutritionist, was willing to answer all sorts of questions about diet approaches, either by demurring (where it seemed that people were looking for a specific nutrition stance from him), or by sharing what he has learned.

To tell you the unvarnished truth, this has been one of the two most dynamic raw food classes I have ever experienced.  (yes, of course,  have been to at least three)

NEW RAW FOOD BOOKS AT MY HOUSE!!!

Kudos to amazon.com! I ordered on the 20th, and I have my two new books now! I’ve looked over both of them, and I can safely give a preliminary take on one — the other needs more in-depth reading.

The easy-to-browse book I’ve just received isThe Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw, by Mark Reinfeld.

I’ve just leafed through this book quickly — had to stop and prepare dinner with those new kelp noodles, which also arrived today!  I expect I will read this book for breakfast tomorrow morning, and, perhaps, take it with me to read on the subway  (still waiting for those review copies of raw magazines).  Anyway, a cursory look-over tells me that there is a lot of basic information, as well as a number of easy to make recipes (I haven’t yet seen one with young Thai coconut — doesn’t mean that they are not there, just that they are not prevalent, which is a good thing)  This book is, most likely, a rework of sixteen other books — more power to the author — I have been wondering where it was, and thinking that I might write it—It covers a lot of basics that are strewn across the web and sprinkled throughout various books.  I am going to guardedly recommend it now (I’m pretty sure I will sing about it soon), and let you know my final opinion shortly — right now, I’d say you can’t go wrong with this book, particularly if you are a beginner)