Wednesday – my new kitchen toy!!

When I first got into the raw lifestyle I was cautious and didn’t rush out and buy all the equipment that many of the books and websites recommended. Fast forward four years – wow that went quick – and my kitchen now contains many kitchen appliances that seem vital to making this lifestyle work. Blender, juicer, food processor and the biggest expense – my dehydrator. The one thing that was missing and the one thing that didn’t really bother me to be without was a ‘spiralizer’. However, last week I succumbed and ordered one. It arrived the next day which was something of a shock!! the post is never usually that good so I took it as a sign that I had made the right decision in buying it.

I unpacked it and put it to one side and didn’t actually use it until a few days later but once I did I couldn’t believe what a difference it made. I can now make proper ‘spaghetti’ out of courgettes instead of of the thin strips that I used to make using the vegetable peeler. I don’t know why but it made the meal so much nicer having the proper consistency and length. I have to use my fork and wind the spaghetti around just like you would with the real thing!! Yeah ok so maybe I do need to get out more but I am seriously in love with my new piece of ‘raw kitchen kit’.

Here is a piccie of dinner last night – brocolli and mushrooms in hoisini sauce with courgette noodles…… yummy……

So to any raw food newbie or anyone who just wants to add a bit of raw food to their diet I would highly recommend this appliance. It isn’t expensive, its manual so no motors to explode or fuses to blow but above all its simple to use and very effective.

I’m off to spiralize something for tea……..

Thursday – another juicer bites the dust….

Anyone who knows me or who reads this blog will know that I am a big juice fan and have a least one glass of green loveliness everyday. What you don’t know is that I seem to be the kiss of death for any juicer that has the misfortune to cross my path.

Yesterday the 3rd juicer in 3 and a half years blew up on me. I am gutted. The first two juicers I had were the same make and middle of the road price wise. They were absolutely fine but neither one lasted longer than a year. The 3rd juicer I brought was a cheaper model that I intended to use until I decided what I was going to do/buy next. After much deliberation I went for a more expensive model and was delighted with it as it was faster, produced more juice and was very easy to keep clean. Delighted until yesterday that was when half way through juicing a big bowlful of spinach it decided to hang up its juicy boots and retire.

What am I doing wrong?? Why do these juicers only last just over a year – just long enough for their warranties to expire – and then conk out. Is it a conspiricy?? Are all juicers programmed to die young?? Am I using it too much??

Big sigh……….. So today I am back with the cheapie juicer that fingers crossed is still working. It is much slower, can only take teeny tiny pieces of fruit at a time and produces much less juice but at least it works and at least I got my green juice this morning. I would seriously be bereft without it.

I have no idea what to do next – keep using the cheapie one until it joins its mates in juicer heaven I expect and then decide from there.

Anyone else had problems like this?????

Monday – summer solstice

It is the 21st June today and the longest day. So that means from now on the nights will be drawing back in and we are on the countdown to colder days again. So far the promise of a glorious summer has failed to materialise and today is the first day in a good week or so that the sun has actually peeped out from behind darkened clouds.

Oh well, ho hum, what can you do…..except make the most of it before it goes away again and before the shops start the rundown to christmas which I’m sure they will soon.

Thankfully the cold damp and grey weather hasn’t seen me waiver from my raw food and I am happily munching down on the peaches and nectarines that are now appearing in the shops. For the moment they have replaced my beloved pineapples in the ‘favourite fruit’ stakes but my strawberries and raspberries in our garden are fast ripening and will be biting at their heels real soon.

The other great thing about warmer weather is that I can indulge in my newest most favourite pastime – yoga afresco. I love doing my yoga practice outside in the sunshine, it is such a peaceful and calming thing to do with the warmth of the sun beating down on me. Pure bliss – as I have said previously I am very easily pleased!!

So, for now I am one very happy bunny, munching on sweet juicy fruit and practicing lots of outdoor yoga. Lets keep our fingers crossed that the good weather continues……

Wednesday – Nettles

Today I took a walk on the wild side!! Wild food that is. I have long been interested in harvesting wild plants from the garden and hedgerows around the area that we live. I have in the past picked dandelions, clover and plantain from the lawn and added them to salads and we spend many weeks in late summer picking blackberries and sloes from the bushes and trees that line the lanes around here.

I have thought about nettles in the past and drying them in the dehydrator and making tea from them but had never actually done it. Something about the ‘sting’ that always worried me a little. Anyways, after conversations on my forum about the great mineral content of nettles – they are rich in calcium, magnesium, silica, vitamin K, iron and chlorophyll – I decided to give them a go.

So this morning found me bright and early wandering around my garden in dressing gown and wellies armed with rubber gloves and scissors (it’s a good job we haven’t got any neighbour’s!!) searching for the best crop of nettles. There were many to choose from as they grow prolifically here.

Back inside I added them to my usual morning green juice and sat back to sample their delights. Actually the juice didn’t really taste any different to usual – probably due to me being over cautious and only adding a few sprigs – about a dozen leaves – to be on the safe side!. Now that I am happy that they won’t kill me or at the very least sting my throat I will add some more to the mix.

I plan on adding nettles to my juices like this for the foreseeable future to see if it has any noticeable effect and I will also dry some in the dehydrator and make tea. I may also experiment with nettle soup (hubby watch out!) and you can also make nettle wine out of them……emmmm that’s a thought, something to go along with the sloe gin that we make every year as well. Who knew nettles were so versatile……

Tuesday – eating out…..

We got away for a few days last week to Bruges in celebration of our anniversary. We had a great week and Bruges is a really lovely place to visit full of cobbled streets, canals, little bridges and chocolate shops……more about those later.

I tried as much as possible to stick to my raw food but it is difficult when you are away and not in your normal routine with access to your usual shops for produce. Add ‘eating out’ to the mix – especially in a meat eating country like Belgium where they struggle with the concept of vegetarianism – and you have a bit of a problem.

The last time we were there was about 18 years ago and I remember only too well my experiences of restaurants back then. I ordered what I thought would be a nice safe choice from the menu -’vegetable stew’ and sat back to await the feast that I was sure would be presented to me. Imagine my horror then when the said stew arrived in front of me complete with a huge slab of ham – still on the bone – taking up much of the plate. Sure that they had got the order wrong I questioned the dish with the waiter only to receive an incredulous look from him and  a rather tiresome explanation that it was indeed vegetable stew. Needless to say I just had chips that night!!!

So, this time around I was under no illusions that eating out would pose a problem for my new ‘raw vegan’ status. Even the salads all have ham in them. But I did want to eat out on our anniversary and so made the decision that I would eat cooked food that day. It wasn’t perhaps the heathiest route to take with lots of wheat and cheese being involved and my stomach did object in fairly strong terms but it would have been impossible to eat out otherwise and I didn’t want the day to be all about my food.

The following day we hit ‘Carrefour’ and stocked up on lots of salad and fruit and I was back on track again.

Oh, and the chocolate – well with 49 chocolate shops all with fantastically tempting window displays it is near on impossible to avoid it. We did share a little box of delights and very nice they were too. That and the beer made for a very enjoyable visit.

Thursday – and then there was sun…….

After possibly the coldest start to June we awoke yesterday to blue skies and sunshine and today – its still here…….yippe two days in a row, it must be summer. Needless to say I have been trying to spend as much time outside in the sun as possible. Breakfast – al fresco, lunch – al fresco, yoga practice – al fresco, tea break – al fresco….you get the picture. A quick rummage down the wardrobe and the shorts have been retreaved, aired and are firmly on.

Unfortunately, as tends to be the case when I want to be somewhere else, this period of glorious weather has coincided with a rather full on period on the PC. Drat. Although that does mean that my typing has gotten quicker and I have become surprisingly focused as I try to get everything down so I can get back outside.

At the back end of last year I set up The Fit Option forum and tinkered around with it a little but didn’t do that much with it at the time. However I have just invited another forum that I visit frequently to come and join me (it was due to close down) and so now there is a flurry of activity as I get things ready and interesting (hopefully) for the new members who are flooding in. You can go and join in with the fun and games here - just go through the sign up process, wait for me to approve you and then go and make your prescence felt……

Today’s food has been:-

Orange, grapefruit, celery and spinach juice

Romaine lettuce wraps with avocado butter (avoacdo, lime juice, ginger and garlic) tomatoes, red onion and sweetcorn – seriously yummy…..

1 pineapple

Large bowl of strawberries

Exercise today has been:-

Ashtanga yoga self practice to Marichyasana – the cats then took up residence on my mat. Two against one it wasn’t fair…….

Hope to see you across at The Forum……

Thanks for reading……………

Tuesday – recovering from bank holiday weekend……

Once again the bank holiday weather has had the last laugh. After spending the weekend prior lapping up some gorgeous sunny bliss the bank holiday arrived and did what it does best. Yep, it rained and the wind howled and it was less than excellent weather for doing anything other than staying indoors.

Unfortunately a brave contingent of friends had made plans to come up to our neck of the woods and camp/caravan for a few nights and so this weekend found us – 8 adults and 4 children huddled into a very small but very cosy little caravan that was a godscend in protecting us all from the latter stages of hyperthermia.

It was a fab weekend catching up, hatching plans and learning new skills – a particularly competitive card game played with a friends 11 year old – I won but only barely and I’m still not sure of the rules!!!!

Eating was ok – salads, fruit and juices all prepared beforehand but I will confess that the niggling voice in the back of my head saying ‘go on eat something warm’ is getting a little bit difficult to ignore as the bad weather presses on. Today, the 1st June saw me going into town in a puffa jacket and gloves – not too mention the layers I had on underneath. I mean come on, give me a break………………….. I think I may have mentioned that I love the sun so I really don’t have to say how much I HATE the cold. The heating has now been turned off to conserve money for one thing (oil fired central heating doesn’t come cheap) but also because……well its June for pity sake………..so working with gloves on is the order of the day at the moment. Its amazing how well my typing has improved since wearing them – he he……………..

Anyway, rant over and bowl of pineapples and strawberries to consume to cheer me up a bit……

Today’s food has been:-

Orange, grapefruit, celery and spinach juice

Salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado, sweetcorn, red onion, raisins, seeds and coconut oil dressing with a hot curry powder

1/2 pineapple and strawberries

Haven’t eaten that much today as I am really not that hungry and I don’t like eating just for the sake of it. Think my body is using all its energy to stay warm so no time to be hungry!!!! Will have some more fruit later if I get hungry after yoga.

Today’s exercise has been/will be:-

90 minute ashtanga yoga class

Hoping for warmer weather tomorrow…..

Thanks for reading………………