Saturday – preparing to go cold turkey

I am a self confessed chocoholic. There I said it. Of course I console myself with the fact that it runs in the family – mum and two sisters are also terminal cases,  sorry girls but the truth hurts –  I am sure mum weaned us on the stuff, or is that just wishful thinking????? Anyways, I digress. Since being on the raw food diet I have substituted my usual chocolate fix with raw cacao products and continued to enjoy my daily treat. Lately though I have been thinking that my choccy habit is getting out of control and running into the territory of an addiction….. More often than not my chocolate fix is turning into a full blown meal and usually the last of the day, which is not a good time to be eating raw cacao. It is stronger than its milder more heavily processed cousin – cocoa – and as such can be very stimulating. There have been times when I have been unable to sleep because of the pounding in my chest brought on by eating too much of the stuff. The other thing you need to know about me is that I like my sleep and anything that interrupts me falling into a coma as soon as my head touches the pillow is a definate no no in my book – even chocolate.

So, I am taking the slightly drastic decision to ditch the cacao for the foreseeable future. I have a small amount left that will be finished today – can’t bring myself to throw it away and for this to work there needs to be no trace of it in the house. It will be tough I have no doubt as I have probably eaten chocolate everyday for most of my adult life – a scary thought. My hubby may well want to divorce me as I go cold turkey – or at the very least spent a lot of time away from me!!!! but think of the money I will save. Enough to buy some new clothes – ohhhhh theres a thought – or is that another addiction I need to deal with……….

Todays food has been:-

Orange, grapefruit, celery, spinach and banana smoothie – am really going to have to think of a name for this as I drink so much of it.

Salad – lettuce, sprouts, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, beetroot, pepper and olives

Tomato bruschetta on raw tomato bread

Raw chocolate cheesecake.

Exercise today has been:-

60 min self practice ashtanga yoga

lots of housework – arrrrrgggghhhhh

Thanks for reading…….

Friday – Time to chill out……..

Friday seems to have rolled around again pretty quickly as another week bites the dust. Whilst getting ready to go out this morning I pulled my hot water bottle out of the bed (it gets cold here and I’m a whimp) and threw it on top of the bed without giving any notice to where it fell. When I looked I realised that I had thrown it on top of my cat Oscar who didn’t seem to mind one bit as it was still warm. In fact as the warmness seeped into his fur he became more and more relaxed and stretched himself out even more. I thought it made for a cute picture.

Oscar is 17 years old this year and as we have had him from a very fluffy and pretty kitten he has certainly provided us with many cute pictures over the years. He holds the auspicious position of ‘top cat’ within our little furry group and takes his duties very seriously as you can see. His hobbies include sleeping on the bed, sleeping on the sofa, sleeping on his chair (yes he has his own) and sleeping anywhere that there is sun. He is a Maine Coon and has an abundance of fur but he is the biggest lover of sunshine – even more than me and that is saying something. Our time spent living in France surely warrants as some of the best years of his life as he had almost constant sunshine and spent the majority of his time there laying spreadeagled (the boy has no pride) topping up his tan. When it got too hot he would retire to the chicken coup – where he would siesta with our three hens in perfect harmony. He has not appreciated the recent cold weather but gamely tries every morning to venture outdoors. Sometimes he gets no further than the doorstep and a quick sniff of the air is enough to see him hurry back inside to the safety of the aga.

Having such a chilled out cat is a great reminder to chill out myself. Just one look at him stretched out on the bed without a care in the world brings a smile to my face and a sense of calmness from the rush of morning activities.  I think everyone should have themselves an Oscar but my Oscar is very definately not for sale…….

Today’s Food/juice has been:-

2 bananas

Orange, grapefruit, celery, spinach and banana smoothie.

2 clementines

4 kiwis

Pineapple, coconut water and banana smoothie.

Apple and kale juice

Exercise Today has been:-

90 min ashtanaga yoga session.

60 min ashtanga yoga session with client.

Thanks for reading……….

Thursday – Juice glorious juice……..

I start everyday with a green juice – oranges, grapefruit, celery and spinach. Sometimes I make a smoothie out of it and add a banana but it is always these ingredients. I never change it. Somewhere along the line I figured I would get bored of it but I never have. Even when making it I sometimes think ‘I don’t really fancy it this morning’ but then I take the first sip and ‘wham’ it does something to my taste buds – wakes them up no doubt and I can’t wait to sit and savour the whole glass – which is very large. This is one of those jokey wine glasses that can take the whole bottle and as you can see it is filled to the brim with delicious, frothy green juice. It sees me through to lunchtime and gets me through my morning yoga session. I love them.

Today I am doing a combination of all juices and smoothies. Sometimes it is nice to keep it simple and juicing is great way of doing just that. I get all the nutrients and calories I need and there is minimal washing up involved – even better!!!….

So today’s food/juices have been:-

Orange, grapefruit, celery, spinach and banana – about 1 litre

Orange, grapefruit and banana – about 3/4 litre

Apple and kale – about 1 litre

Pineapple and coconut water – about 1 litre

Exercise today has been :-

90 min ashtanga yoga class

Monday – What raw foodies dream of…….

Living in the UK and being a raw foodie are two things that sometimes feel poles apart. During the summer months it is relatively easy as I can grow lots of lovely fresh produce in my garden and meals take nanoseconds to prepare – I just pick and eat. Simple and perfect, just how it should be. During the winter – which unfortunately seems to last a disproportionate amount of time – nothing will grow and so I have to rely on what I can get from the supermarket or my veggie man. It is these months that are the toughest and that have me dreaming of living in a environment where the sun always shines and where I have an abundance of fruit trees in my back garden to provide me with year round scrummy food. I dream of living in a place where I can walk barefoot each and everyday, practice yoga in the sun and grow all my own food, all year long. I dream of living somewhere that doesn’t require me to wear layer upon layer of clothes to keep warm or sleep with two duvets, a blanket and a hot water bottle on my bed each night. I dream of returning to the lands where my ancestors left many, many years ago (seriously what were they thinking??) Most of all as I sit here watching the snow fall outside my window I dream of being warm……..

Today’s food has/will be:-

Orange, grapefruit, spinach, celery and banana smoothie.

2 large bananas and 1 clementine.

Salad left over from last night dehydrated for about 1 hour to warm – lettuce, avocado, beetroot, carrot, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, black olives, seeds with coconut oil and sea salt.

2 kiwis, 1/2 large pineapple, handful strawberries.

2 more clementines.

Drinks – hot lemon with msm powder and honey

chancra piedra tea x 3 cups

mint tea x 2 cups

lots of warm water.

Exercise today has been:-

Ashtanga yoga self practice to end of standing sequence.

Sunday – 99 things

Just for a bit of fun, I copied this list over from a friends blog and highlighted all the ones I have done – so far!!

Started your own blog

Slept under the stars

Played In a Band

Visited Hawaii

Watched a meteor shower

Given more than you could afford to charity

Been to disneyland

Climbed a mountain

Held a praying mantis

Sang a solo

Bungee jumped

Visited Paris

Watched a lightening storm

Taught yourself an art from scratch

Adopted a child

Had food poisoning

Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

Grown your own vegetables

Seen the Mona Lisa in France

Slept on an overnight train

Had a pillow fight

Hitch hiked

Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

Built a snow fort

Held a lamb

Gone skinny dipping

Run a Marathon

Ridden in a gondola in Venice – does a water taxi count??

Seen a total eclipse

Watched a sunrise or sunset

Hit a home run

Been on a cruise

Seen Niagara Falls in person

Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

Seen an Amish community

Taught yourself a new language

Had enough money to be truly satisfied

Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

Gone rock climbing

Seen Michelangelo’s David

Sung karaoke

Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

Visited Africa

Walked on a beach by moonlight

Been transported in an ambulance

Had your portrait painted

Gone deep sea fishing

Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

Kissed in the rain

Played in the mud

Gone to a drive-in theater

Been in a movie

Visited the Great Wall of China

Started a business

Taken a martial arts class

Visited Russia

Served at a soup kitchen

Sold Girl Scout Cookies

Gone whale watching

Got flowers for no reason

Donated blood, platelets or plasma

Gone sky diving

Visited a Nazi concentration camp

Bounced a check

Flown in a helicopter

Saved a favorite childhood toy

Visited the Lincoln Memorial

Eaten Caviar

Pieced a quilt

Stood in Times Square

Toured the Everglades

Been fired from a job

Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

Broken a bone

Been a passenger on a motorcycle

Seen the Grand Canyon in person

Published a book

Visited the Vatican

Bought a brand new car

Walked in Jerusalem

Had your picture in the newspaper

Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve

Visited the White House

Killed and prepared an animal for eating

Had chickenpox

Saved someones life

Sat on a jury

Met someone famous

Joined a book club

Got a tatoo

Had a Baby

Seen the Alamo in person

Swam in the Great Salt Lake

Been involved in a law suit

Owned a cell phone

Been stung by a bee

Wednesday – kale chips and ginger biscuits…..

We have visitors coming up today to spend the week with us and so I have been busy in the kitchen making some yummies for me to eat whilst they are here. Raw ginger biscuits – with a hint of chocolate!! are a big favourite both with me and hubby so there is a tray of them in the dehydrator. Would have been two trays but I ate a lot whilst preparing them – whoops!!

My other big favourite are kale chips and I have a tray full of garlic chips and a tray of spicy chips on the go. Trouble is kale is really smelly and the whole house now stinks of it – actually it smells more like rotten cabbages – not good when you have visitors about to arrive!!

Today’s food has been/will be:-

Orange, grapefruit, celery, spinach and banana smoothie

Large salad – lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, beetroot, carrot, olives and red onion.

Pineapple, kiwi and strawberry fruit salad

Ginger biscuit mix

Kale chips

Exercise today has been:-

Ashtanga self practice up to end of standing sequence.

Weekend – Valentine’s – pizza, rom com’s and raw choccy hearts….

Any day is a good excuse in my book to rustle up something chocolatey in the kitchen. As a self confessed chocoholic my only concern when first learning about the raw food diet was that I would have to give up my daily fix. My worries were unfounded and I am now hooked on raw cacao.

So, there was no way I was going to let Valentine’s Day pass by without making one of my favourite chocolate deserts especially as it is so easy and simple to create.

The base is made with pecans and dates and the topping is avocado, coconut butter, raw cacao butter, raw cacao powder and some agave to sweeten. I used little individual heart shaped ramekins and once the desert had set turned them out onto plates to decorate. (I lined the ramekins with cling film first to help get the desert out in one piece!) I decorated with blueberries, grated dark and white cacao and spinkled with cacao powder. They looked really good and tasted even better!!

Our main meal consisted of pizza, cooked for hubby and raw for me. Hubby had veggies on his and I had caramelised onions – made from coating onions in a raw date paste and then deydrating for an hour or two.  We both had raw macadamia nut cheese on top. Both of us shared a salad and we washed it down with a bottle of beer!!

So there you have it, no fancy restaurants for us, just a simple home cooked/uncooked meal and a cheesy rom com in front of a log fire made for a perfect Valentine’s Day – oh, and some red roses also helped!!!…………………….

Friday – Night’s out, Boots and Moral Dilemma’s

Such is the life of a raw vegan……… I have a dilemma. It has always been there in the back of my head but when I was a vegetarian it was easier to not ignore it exactly but just easier to not think about it I guess. My dilemma is the wearing of animal products. Now most people would just assume that this was confined to the wearing of leather shoes and clothes but it reaches further than that. The glues that are used in the making of shoes/boots/trainers are made from animal products and so even when you think you are doing well by purchasing synthetic footware – chances are you aren’t. Like I said back in the day when I was just a plain old vegetarian I could almost justify not thinking too hard about it but now I am a raw vegan – well its that word vegan isn’t it. It somehow makes you feel like you should step it all up a level. Add to that the fact that there are now companies out there that actually make vegan shoes that you would want to wear and wont make you look like you just stepped off the arc – if you get my drift – then it makes it very difficult to ignore the fact that you have to choose between strapping a dead animal to your foot – or not.

My solution around said footware problem is that I now only buy new shoes from fashionable vegan footware companies – Bourgouis Boheme being one of my favourites. I figure that to throw all my shoes and boots – of which there seems to be a frightening amount away and replace them all at once would be not only very expensive but would also be a waste and I’m all for getting the most out of things that I buy.

So, my conscience appeased – somewhat – I went and had a rummage through my wardrobe to find a pair of boots suitable for a night out with the girls. The one’s I came out with were actually given to me by my sister in law who couldn’t walk in them! so in effect I am recyling them on someone else’s behalf which seems quite ethical to me – an otherwise brand new pair of boots saved from a premature end on the rubbish heap……emmmm that’s something I can raise a drink to tonight – but only if the wine is vegan………or no another dilemma……….

Today’s food will be:-

Green smoothie – oranges, grapefruit, spinach, celery and banana.

Orange, banana and grapefruit smoothie.

Lettuce wraps with grated sweet potatoes, carrots, avocado and raisins.

Tomato salad with red onions and olives

1/2 pineapple with choccy sauce – raw cacao butter, powder and agave.

Lots of warm water, teas and hot lemon and possibly wine.

Exercise today will be:-

Ab workout

30 minute ashtanga yoga practice – depending on how my hamstring feels.

Thanks for reading………..

Thursday – snow and warm hats.

For the second time this year we are having cold and snowy weather and it seems especially tough to be eating a raw food diet when it is so cold outside. I have no doubt that this sort of diet is much easier to achieve in warmer climates and so I have stopped beating myself up for wanting a hot meal of some kind when the mercury on the thermometer dips. That said, today hasn’t been one of those days. I was really feeling the cold at lunch time and was even shivering in the kitchen when I went to prepare our food (we do have heating!) So I put a hat on and within a few minutes was feeling warmer again. Hmmm….so maybe I don’t need hot food in cold weather – just lots of hats!!

Food today has been:-

Green smoothie – oranges, grapefruit, celery, spinach and banana.

Large salad with lettuce, red onion, tomato, cucumber, olives, avocado, olive oil and sea salt.

Orange, grapefruit and banana smoothie.

1/2 pineapple with choccy sauce (coconut butter, cacao powder and agave)

Lots warm water, blackcurrant tea, detox tea and hot lemon (first thing)

Exercise today has been:-

Ab workout

Have had to take a break from yoga this week as I pulled a hamstring muscle on monday. It feels a lot better today though so plan is to have a gentle practice tomorrow……

Thanks for reading.