Day 2. I've been thinking about how you need to be quite organized with this 100% raw business. So I figured I'd also list out when I start prepping stuff for the upcoming day(s), so you'll get an idea of what comes next. Raw IS quite a bit of work (no wonder all those store-bought raw snacks are so expensive), but I think the trick is to get into a routine and set yourself up so you're always checking for what's next (I'm a Producer, so this is kinda second nature to me. Ha.)
For example: - Before leaving the house - I make sure I'm soaking something ahead for dinner for the same night. - Before going to bed, I check that I need to be soaking oats or chia for breakfast the next morning. - Before leaving work, I check that I've got a recipe for lunch or dinner the next day, so if I need to buy anything on the way home, I'm covered. Especially with recipes that call for soaking or dehydrating ahead of time.
That's it, really. Don't most moms do this, anyway? (I'm a total single brat.)
So this is my food diary for today: 7.30am: Hot water and juice from 1/2 lemon. - Check on sprouts and rinse them (I soaked sprouts from 2 days ago. More on sprouting benefits and how-to-sprout from my previous post: here.) - Check on my Scobydoobydoo.
I'm fermenting my own Kombucha, and have named the SCOBY my "Scobydoobydoo". LOL. If you were wondering, SCOBY stands for "Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast". Mmmmm. Yum yum. How appetizing! Hahaha. Silly! You don't eat the Scoby. It's merely there to activate the fermentation process. Just as how yoghurt needs "live cultures", and beer needs yeast to ferment - Kombucha requires a Scoby as its "live culture" for fermentation.
This is my culture - mother Scoby has sunk to the bottom, and the white film on top is the daughter Scoby growing. I check on Scobydoobydoo twice a day, just to see how she's doing. Yup, it's like my smelly alien pet I've grown quite attached to. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll have a proper starter batch of MY OWN KOMBUCHA! to work with.
Fermented foods basically contain probiotics, or "good bacteria" in them, giving our own intestinal flora a boost. These good guys can play a huge role in healing lots of symptoms from leaky gut to IBS. They not only play a role in maintaing good gut health, but overall immunity too. The gut is a huge part of our immune system, so keeping it healthy and happy with balanced intestinal flora, will help improve our immune defenses. This is why I've started experimenting with it and becoming a total fermentation DORK. I've done the kimchi and kombucha, next I'd like to try the water kefir… If I wasn't allergic to alcohol, I'd even attempt a cider. :)
8.30am: Green Smoothie. - Kale, celery, carrot, zucchini, basil, avocado, lemon juice, almond whey*, maca powder, acai powder, milled flax seeds (see yesterday's post on my note on milled flax), Juvo raw green protein powder. Blended with coconut water.
The carrots and zucchinis are a funny shape coz they're leftovers from spiralizing yesterday's lunch.
*The almond whey is leftover from last week's almond "cheese" I attempted to make (and failed at). It's the run-off from the almond pulp that's basically home-made almond milk mixed with probiotic powder. Side note: this almond "cheese" has become a joke. I dehydrated it too long so it became a giant biscuit. But when I opened the tupperware yesterday, there was an overwhelming smell of GARLIC that hit me. Couple of friends at work tried it and the one who's a health-conscious hardcore vegan was unsure at first, then tells me later she liked her little nibble. And the other friend tried it then said "It's horrible. Bin it". HAHAHA. I gave it a day, looked at it on my desk this morning and gagged a little in my mouth. I decided to bin it, and gagged a little bit more when I opened the tupperware again to throw it out. Hahaha. It's hard to tell with fermented foods - how far is too far fermented, and when is it REALLY off? You win some, you lose some. Experiment FAIL.
This turned out to be a pretty big batch of green smoothie, about 1 litre's worth, so I had half of it at home, and packed the other half to bring to work.
11am: Breakfast. Raw chia-oat porridge.
- 1tbsp chia + 1/3 cup oats soaked overnight in coconut milk (see yesterday's post for type of coco milk used).
- Added 1 banana and 1 apple this morning.
Super late breakfast, but my work schedule is back-to-back this week. Good thing I'd had some green smoothie first thing this morning!
- Handful of raw nuts - cashews, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts.
- Raw almond brittle (see yesterday's post for where I got this recipe).
2.30pm: Lunch. Chipotle-sunflower seed wraps leftover from dinner last night.
Again, a super late lunch than usual - but that's how slamming it is at work right now.
4.30pm: Snack. Green Smoothie. The other half of this morning's smoothie.
I meant to have this as my mid-morning snack, but it's turned out to be my mid-afternoon snack instead (since I had my breakfast when it was actually time for elevenses). I'm not sure how nutritious/ beneficial the smoothie is by now, but at least it's something to tide me over that's low-GL and a protein hit. (Click here for the difference between Glycaemic Load - GL and Glycaemic Index - GI).
Side note: When fruit and veggies are blended/ juiced/ broken down, they should be consumed quite soon after or most of their nutritional value reduces and breaks down. I need to look into this further, about whether it's just oxidation that happens, or whether any of the other nutrients also break down soon after. I'm currently just going on the assumption that because I keep it refrigerated, in an air-tight, opaque stainless steel bottle, this would help reduce any oxidative damage to it. (Very scientific. LOL. This is my disclaimer that I need to research this a bit more!)
More info on why I supplement with these in the section below.
- Shredded Kale Salad with Tamari and Sesame. Recipe found: here. - Topped with home-made kimchi (fermented last week). Recipe from Amy Levin's "Raw Fermentation" e-book. - Topped with home-made mung bean sprouts and chickpea sprouts (started sprouting 2 days ago, and ready for harvesting tonight!)
My friend, Inky, who's on her week of vegan had this for lunch yesterday and it looked GOOOOD! Super simple and fast to prep too. I didn't use the red onion, and topped it with some extras, as above. The bean sprouts and chickpea sprouts were added after taking this photo.
Before bedtime: Start soaking tomorrow's breakfast!
THOUGHTS ON DAY 2:
I've been totally scatter-brained today. It's probably coz I haven't had morning coffees, but I refuse to believe it's had such an impact on me (denial?) I'd had a green smoothie in the morning, but was still not sharp at all. Was taking notes in a meeting and halfway writing, I'd forgotten what I was supposed to be writing. That's pretty bad.
Concentration levels got pretty OK the rest of the day, but it's really quite hard to judge. I pretty much had a meltdown and had to vent at my boss about how everyone wants everything NOW! NOW! NOW! And there are 10,000 things I need to do, with 20 emails dinging through every other minute, and everything is a priority and I'm stretched in all directions. Soooooo... I'm not sure if my poor concentration is coz of this raw thing I'm doing, or if it's from work stress, but that's what today was like. MEH.
As promised yesterday, I'll explain why I take these supplements, which I'd take anyway even I wasn't on this raw week. So it's not that if you're thinking of going on raw food that you should supplement with these too. Not at all! These are specifically for what I need, namely:
- Biocare AD206 for adrenal support. I'm going through a particularly stressful time at work right now with loads to manage. I've been feeling exhausted for the past few weeks (having a school mid-term exam a week before a big shoot also didn't help!) And even though I've been tired, I've been totally wired and not getting good sleep. I know my adrenal glands are shot. Came across this supplement at school clinics recently and thought I'd give it a try. With vitamins B3, B5, B6, C and herbs like Siberian Ginseng, Licorice Root and the mineral Chromium. This isn't a long-term supplement, I'm just using it for now when I feel like I need a bit of an energy boost, with adrenal support.
- Pukka Shatavari for female hormonal support. Shatavari is an adaptogenic herb used in Ayurveda, to balance out the hormonal cycle. Sorry you have to hear this guys, but nature is nature. I tend to get bad period pains (dysmenorrhea), and regularly taking Shatavari has helped.
- Royal Green Algae Oil. Super high in Omega-3, in DHA form (the most bioavailable). I take this on occasion anyway, but especially needed on a raw diet, where there isn't much fat in the diet except for nuts and seeds. Most nuts and seeds tend to have more Omega-6 fats in them (and the ones higher in Omega-3's still need to go through lots of conversions to a usable form of Omega-3), I'd rather balance out the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats and take a supplement. Especially when I know I'm not currently running at optimum, with current work-life balance/ stress levels. Oh, and guess what? Omega-3's help with dysmennorhea too!
While we're on the subject of supplements, I typically also take Magnesium and Zinc supplements about a week before my period hits. Yup, these totally help with dysmenorrhea too (get them in their citrate forms - they're more readily absorbed and metabolized in the body.)
And here's where I raise my hand with a disclaimer: these are all supplements that I'm using based on my individual need. Please do not self-prescribe! I am not a fan of chronic, long-term supplementation - and use these only when I feel I need some additional support.
I guess that wraps up Day 2. See you tomorrow. :)