Monday, June 27, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

[Blog] Raw Corn

I would have never guessed, but raw corn on the cob is really good! I used to love it cooked and slathered in butter and salt as a child, but now, I'm enjoying it raw on the cob with nothing on it at all. I'm amazed by how much flavor it has all on its own.

I'm quite certain my tastes are drastically changed from how they were up until I was eighteen. All kinds of things I used to find tasteless, bitter, boring or nauseating now taste sweet, good, rich and enlivening.

Sprouts: I used to get sick to my stomach just from the smell. Now I feel neutral about the smell, and their taste can be easily disguised in a raw salsa, guacamole, salad, stuffed mushroom, etc.

Blackberries: I used to find them bitter, now I find them sweet.

Corn: I used to find it inedible raw, unsalted, or un-buttered. Now I love it without anything added, completely raw on the cob.

Spinach: I used to find it unbearably bitter and disgusting. Now I like it enough to eat it fresh and plain out of my garden. I feel undernourished now if I don't eat spinach every day or at least some other leafy green in quantity.

Wheatgrass Juice: I used to find it bitter and unbearable. Now I find it mildly sweet.

Kale: I used to find it too tough to it, and juice made from it too bitter to drink. I now find it acceptable prepared in a variety of ways, including in juice. I especially like kale/orange juice, and I also especially like "smooshed kale salad." I have an entry that details how to make a smooshed kale salad here.

Bananas: I used to never desire a plain banana. It used to have to always be in a smoothie, or mashed into a pudding or something. Now, I will often eat a plain banana on its own.

Cucumbers: I used to hate them and always pulled them off of burgers or salads growing up. Now, I add them to my own dishes frequently. I also enjoy their juice.

Carrots: I used to only ever eat them cooked in broth &/or with potatoes, but now I enjoy raw fresh carrot juice (which I especially like blended with bananas), and grated carrot in many of entree dishes.

Mushrooms: I used to find them intolerable, but now I enjoy making raw vegan fillings for them several times a month. I especially like to blend avocado, macadamia nuts, garlic, dates, and coconut aminos to make a savory sweet filling.

I'm sure there are other instances where my taste has changed, but these are what come to mind off the top of my head.

I'm interested in exploring new foods and recipes. Whenever I do have some spare time, one of the first activities that comes to mind is "making up a new recipe." Now that I have a juicer, dehydrator, blender, food processor and warm-plate all available at my disposal, I really want to get to making some new and different things.

One of my recent obsessions is to run macadamia nuts and partially-thawed frozen berries through the juicer together with the "mash" attachment. With the "mash" attachment, the food is mashed and all comes out as "pulp" and no juice comes out separately. This attachment essentially is just solid plastic where the usual attachment has a screen to let the juice out.

The result of running berries and nuts through the juicer using the "mash" attachment is to end up with a berry-filled-nut-butter. Very delicious and rich. Not so nice on the digestive system however to eat this too often.

Something of interest of the moment is that the lovely Raw On $10 a Day or less blog is having a giveaway for a book by Mimi called "Live Raw." To read about that (and other awesome things), visit this page.

I will be returning with lots of new recipes... Eventually. I'm not quite ready to put the time into it because I'm so incredibly busy between renovations, gardening, potlucks, other events, family gatherings, cleaning, and usual chores/errands, not to mention my actual work. For anyone who doesn't know, I'm a freelance artist and editor. You can visit my art blog here.

I also have several ideas for new books, including one all about potlucks. I've even written a draft for it on what I want it to be about, and what it will include. I want to provide recipes for people who can't afford to bring something fancy to a potluck, recipes for people who want to impress others at a potluck, recipes for people who are nervous and new and want something simple and easy, etc. The rawvegan potluck scene is so happening, fun, creative and welcoming: I want to open it up for more people.

I want a lot of things. Sometimes I wonder if I want too much, but time will tell if I can manage to accomplish everything I want or not. And hey, just because I don't get everything I want doesn't necessarily mean I wanted too much in the first place, does it?

Thanks for reading.

~ Raederle

Monday, June 6, 2011

[Blog] Potlucks, Potlucks, Potlucks!

Potlucks

I adore rawvegan potlucks. It's what got me into rawvegan food. I wasn't even a vegan the first time I attended a potluck. I was just curious and interested in improving my health.

Potlucks have changed my life dramatically. They've helped me heal, grow, make friends, explore talents, ideas, inspirations and allowed me to help heal others. It's a magical experience, and I never get tired of them.

A friend asked me what potlucks were upcoming, and what potlucks am I usually attending. I replied:

There is a weekly potluck thing that's just vegans, not raw vegans (although some raw vegans usually attend) on Sundays in North Buffalo.

I do picnics on many Saturdays (such as this Saturday), at 1:00pm at Bidwell and Delevan on the grass. This one should have a pretty high attendance, which I'm excited about.

The third Saturday of each month is a rawvegan potluck at an awesome dude's house on Livingston on the upper west side (not very far from Bidwell and Delevan honestly.) That one starts at 5:00pm and is run by Aaron Fried. Aaron tries to create a good party setting and invites people to come early, prepare their food in his kitchen (which has a juicer, etc), and invites people to stay late jamming on instruments and stuff. I really like his place and style.

Every other Wednesday is the Gathering Wellness Forum which is a general study of wellness group for gathering information to share with each other and the world, and that is also sort of a rawvegan potluck. That is at an elderly couple's house (they are both thin, fit, active and healthy with grey hair!) not far from me on 16th street. That's not far from Richmond. That starts at 7:00pm and the couple's names are Toni (the woman) and Paul. I adore them both.

When the weather changes and I can't do the picnics anymore, assuming the renovations are done on the kitchen, those potlucks will transfer to our house which is in the middle of the west side, kind of between upper and lower west side.

There is also a monthly raw vegan potluck at the Holistic Center on main street the last Sunday of each month at 4:00pm.

All of this information is here on the Buffalo Live-Food Meetup group.

I'm an organizer for the group. It happened pretty fast since I'm as active as the actual group owner in the community.

Everyone is really friendly, even to non-vegans.

My nephew was afraid of not feeling comfortable, but he really likes the potlucks I keep taking him to, and my mom too. Both my nephew and mom eat fairly typical diets, but they are both experiencing benefits from small changes I'm assisting them with.

My nephew has serious migraines, which is an issue Toni used to have but rid herself of through the rawvegan diet and a few additional restrictions because of her extreme sensitivity to glutamate -- even from entirely natural sources.


It's been such a positive influence in my life that I could write a book about it. Why it's so great, what to bring, how to impress people, how to bring something simple and affordable, how to turn it into a learning experience, and how to discern the "health gossip" from the valuable information, how to discern which dishes people brought are truly in the nature of healing and which are not-so-wholesome.

In fact, in time, I believe I will write a book about it. I would also include recipes of course.

Perhaps recipes in each of the following categories:

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to prepare / Beginners
  • Knock-their-socks-off
  • Extra wholesome & healthful

I think those are all valuable categories to know a handful of recipes in, especially for someone who wants to make rawvegan potlucks a major aspect of their life, as I have.

Wheatgrass

On an unrelated note, I'm doing wheat-grass juice for the first time and I'm loving it. I'm experiencing serious detoxification symptoms after I drink the juice, but once those symtoms pass I feel really good. The symptoms consist of nausea, dizziness and fatigue, and last between twenty minutes and an hour. After they're gone, I feel amazingly clear headed. I've found that drinking plenty of water in the two to four hours after the wheat-grass is very vital.

Chemical Garbage

A recent facebook status of mine said:

"I was so shocked to find that "mono sodium glutamate" is listed in plain English as one of the first three ingredients on many of my mother's "spices." Things labelled "Chicken Seasoning" or "Beef Marinade" or even "Italian Seasoning" contained a shocking amount of pure chemical garbage."

A friend replied:

"Mono" meaning one, "Sodium" meaning salt. It is actually a sodium salt of gludamic acid. Which means it is a naturally occuring, non-essential proteinogenic amino acid. Those are amino acids that can be found in proteins and require cellular machinery coded for in the genetic code. So our bodied are already hardwired to process this. There are 22 amino acids. Of those 22, 20 are directly encoded by the universal genetic code. Of these 20, humans can naturally synthesis 11 of them from each other or from other molecules of intermediary metabolism. The 9 that we can't are called essential amino acids and must be consumed in diet. These 9 are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. The other two, selenocysteine and pyrrolysine, are incorporated into proteins by unique synthetic mechanisms.

The word "proteinogenic" means protein building. It's not "pure chemical garbage." It's what our bodies are made to process naturally and all it is, is basic chemistry. It's what goes on in our bodies all the time. In fact, so much of what we need in our bodies, when spoken in it's chemical terms, sounds processed when it's not. How many of you actually know what ascorbic acid is?

There are some good points there, but I believe my friend missed my real point. So I replied:

When we refer to "chemicals" we mean something refined. Something that is concentrated and refined in such a way that you'd never find it like that in nature. Huge vats of msg don't occur in nature, nor does high fructose corn syrup. They come from natural sources, but they are not natural to consume. We can get plenty of natural glutamate from seaweed, tomatoes, etc. We don't need to add it to food. We can get plenty of salt from celery. We can get plenty of sugar from fruits, carrots, etc. We can get plenty, plenty, plenty of everything we need from soil, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and sprouts. There is no need to refine things to an obscene degree. It's just corporate manipulative bull designed to make them money at the expense of our wallet and our bodies.

PS: I acknowledge that your reply was educated and reasonably backed up. Most people are not as reasonable or educated when they try to talk about nutrition. I appreciate it. My response is purely explaining why your response isn't quite relevant to the core point I was trying to put across.

Moved to Buffalo in April 2011

Overall, recovery from the move is coming along well. I grew up here, so this is my home, but in many ways it is new to me again after living in California with my husband for a year. It's good to be back. I'm glad my husband likes it here, because it's entirely new for him.

I'm very grateful. I'm blessed to have found my husband (whom I found on OKCupid.com). I am blessed to have discovered a healthy way of living and eating. I'm am blessed to have parents who love me and support my decisions. I'm blessed to have in-laws who range from awesome, to dull, to okay -- none of them being particularly difficult.

I'm blessed to have this blog and my readers. I'm blessed that you're reading this, and you are blessed to. Be thankful for your eyes that can read this, and this moment of your existence.

~ Raederle

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

[Blog] 30 Bananas A Day

Someone wrote me; "I don't get the 30 bananas a day thing..."

My response:

You don't actually eat thirty bananas in a day. Between my husband and I, we eat about seven bananas a day.

The point is, you want 80% of your calories to come from raw fruits on an "ideal diet" according to the theory of 80-10-10.

10% of calories from vegetables -- which actually is a lot of raw vegetables since 4 cups of spinach is only 40 calories

10% of calories from fat -- which is actually very little fatty foods since 1 spoonful of olive oil averages 100 calories).

If you're getting 80% of your calories from fruit, you might eat the following in one day:

3 bananas
2 apples
2 oranges
1 kiwi
1 mango
a bite of pineapple
quarter of watermelon
1 fig

That's an estimate off the top of my head of course.

Today, in terms of fruit, I ate:

An apple
A banana
Two dates
Fresh coconut "meat" & coconut juice from a young thai coconut
Some orange
Half a watermelon
A little cucumber
A lychee (a small 'exotic fruit' with a pit in the center)
And a little honeyduw melon.

I didn't eat all of this plain though -- that might get boring for me.

The honeydew melon and orange was in my juice with fresh greens from the garden.

The apple was chopped up with carrot and the couple dates.

The Thai coconut juice and meat was blended into a smoothie with raw cocoa powder (pure raw chocolate) and sprouted raw pumpkin seeds.

The half of watermelon was my breakfast by itself.

But you get the idea -- I don't eat thirty bananas a day, and very few people do. It's just a way to express the volume of fruit we are designed to consume.
He asked:
In your opinion then, Raederle, what kind of effect do you think that kind of diet would have on guy who is six feet tall and five hundred pounds? And what would you say is a healthy weight for that guy?

I replied:

Well, healthy "weight" is difficult, because you can be healthy with a little fat, a fair amount of muscle. You can be healthy with a lot of muscle and practically no fat at all. You can be healthy with a little muscle and practically no fat. Each of those would create a different weight.

It's more about how you feel. How much energy you have, how great you feel about yourself, how motivated you are, and how healthy your body is functioning overall. Weight is deceptive.

I've been the same weight now since I was 18. When I was seventeen I took a bunch of things out of my diet that caused the weight loss. I took out bread, wheat, pasta, meat, dairy, all refined sugars except honey, and all lab-food (such as hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrogenated oil and monosodium glutamate). Taking out those things caused me to go from 153 pounds to 123 pounds in thirty days without adding exercise to my lifestyle.

However, I've been between 120 and 128 pounds since I was 18, but I look very different since I went raw. I now have much less fat and much more muscle, but right now I'm 123 pounds still. So I'm healthier, and look different, but I'm the same weight. So weight is deceptive. So I'm not going to try and tell you the right weight.

What I can tell you is that the diet would be excellent for your health, and it would cause you to lose weight. Eventually you'd naturally reach your ideal body weight.

However, you don't want to change everything right away. I have a detailed entry on my blog about why transitioning too fast can be harmful and how to transition slowly here.

Let me know if you still have more questions.

By the way, to answer you question directly: I think if you changed to that diet immediately and fully that you would detox really fast and lose weight insanely fast and that it would shock your system and leave you with a lot of extra skin. It's definitely something to learn about over time and transition to over time.

How much time? Probably about a year to make the full transition. Just aim to make one significant change a week. There are 52 weeks in a year, so after 52 significant changes, you'll be there, and will have been slowly changing size and shape the entire time.

~ Raederle




I posted a photo of a fit raw vegan woman to my facebook status, and someone commented:

"She needs some weight on her, especially in those legs."

I found this comment quite appalling, especially since the woman has very muscular legs clearly built for running. Much larger, stronger, more-appealing shapely legs than my own are currently.

My reply:

I disagree. I think that's just a concept that people are getting from growing up around overweight people.

I used to have thirty pounds of fat on me and I thought it was normal. I was 153 pounds at the age of 16 and 5'6. Everyone said I was a normal weight. I was very unhealthy and changed my diet for health reasons, not for weight loss.

But I lost 30 pounds by eating healthier and I like my body better. I don't think being large and "meaty" is normal. It's an American standard based on a society of lab-rat food. That may seem harsh, but that's what I feel is the truth.

They replied: "Its not harsh. I respect how you feel. I just personally like a little meat on people."

I replied:
My first love finds women most attractive about 40lbs overweight. He was a bit extreme on that aspect. My only thing is, that photo depicts a very, very healthy woman, and I've come to find that being really healthy is really hot.

No cellulite, no pimples, lots of muscle definition... Of course, personal preference is personal preference. I can't tell you what to find attractive. All I can say is that I think that woman is hot and that it's extra hot that she's a very healthy, active woman.



A friend of mine wrote: "Going to go through with releasing my own spread, "I Seriously, Totally Can't Believe It's Not Butter." Gonna be superior to that other product."

I replied: "Meh. I used to eat half a stick of butter a day. Now I eat none. Gotta say, I don't miss it."

They asked: "What do you use for a spread?"

I explained: "Well, I don't need a spread honestly. I'm a rawvegan, so I don't consume bread. I do make raw dehydrated crackers, but I eat those without any spread typically. I often eat other people's rawvegan "nut cheese" creations at raw potlucks. They're delicious spreads, but I don't feel it necessary to prepare them for myself."




Once again readers, thanks for stopping by!

~ Raederle