Day 6. Nearly there! I went to bed super late last night as was up writing Day 5's post till 2am (!) Woke up naturally at 7am and figured since I was up, I might as well pop something in the dehydrator, so it could be ready for lunch later. Yup, my life currently revolves around "what to eat next?"
This morning was a little cold and rainy, and the thought of yet another day of cold, salad-y type food was starting to sound not so nourishing. Felt like I needed just a tad of warm boosting, so wanted have a play with the dehydrator.
7.30am: Make lunch and pop the savoury sage croquettes in the dehydrator. Didn't want to eat or drink anything at this time as I wanted to go back to bed after this. :)
Those croquettes are on the top tray of the dehydrator (recipe further down at lunchtime), along with some sprouted almonds in bottom tray (I'd taken their skins off and rinsed before dehydrating).
8.30am: Went back to bed. It's SUNDAY, people. I've been exhausted, so taking today to do sweet nothing. ;)
11am: Breakfast. Oat-Chia porridge. Soaked the night before with coconut milk, raisins, goji berries, chopped apricots. Sprinkled with cinnamon and vanilla bean powder before serving.
This is my "go crazy" Sunday version of my regular raw porridge coz it's got more dried fruit in it that makes it sweeter. Ha. For my regular raw porridge breakfasts, see Days 1 - 5 for all the other variations I've done so far. Measurements are included in those days' recipes.
Since I felt like something warm and more soothing/ nourishing this morning, I put this on the stove on the lowest flame setting, with some coconut oil. I didn't want to eat it stone-cold right out of the fridge, and got the temperature to just slightly above/ around room temperature. It wasn't even lukewarm, but this can make all the difference to how soothing and nourishing a meal can feel between "cold" and "room temperature".
As long as you keep the temperature between 42 - 46 degrees Celsius or lower, it's still considered raw.
I also had some Pukka Revitalise herbal tea - with some warming herbs like cinnamon, cardamom and ginger.
After this, my guy and I went to the Sunday arts + craft market at Westerpark. There were lots of nice hand-made designs to see... But there was also a lot of food. Food trucks selling coffee, kimchi burgers, wood-fired chickens, wood-fired pizzas, pies, baked coconut balls (that looked soooooo delicious)... Even if I turned away from looking at the food, you couldn't escape all the smells that came along with the grilling and barbequeing. Oh man.
Guess what? There is pretty much NOTHING for a raw foodie to eat at a food market. Except for juices or smoothies (most of the smoothies had yoghurt too... which unless is unpasteurized or from unpasteurized milk, isn't technically raw).
1pm: Carrot-Apple-Ginger juice at the market. It was a tiny party plastic cup's worth, like about 125ml? Sooooo unsatisfying. Meanwhile, my meat-eating guy had a posh Kimchi burger with Sriracha, on a brioche bun. I don't even eat meat on a regular day and haven't touched that stuff in 7 or 8 years, but that burger looked GOOD.
Also, by this time, I was starting to freak out a little bit as unlike at the shipyard yesterday where I was Girl Scout Extraordinaire with snacks galore which I hardly even touched, I didn't come to this market prepared at all. I had no snacks on me. Not even some nuts, which I usually carry with me. And it's a funny psychological trick this becomes, coz the more I realised there would be nothing I could eat at this market, the more I started to feel like I had to eat. And the more I started to silently freak out.
1.20pm: Rooibos tea. To warm me up. But this ain't proper food is it?
We decided to head home, as I was properly getting HANGRY (hungry-angry) by this time. On the bike ride home, I was starting to feel kind of faint. I think I was partially winding myself up too, but I really should've known better and brought some snacks along with me.
- Savoury Sage Croquettes. Recipe from Gabriel Cousens' "Rainbow Live-Food Cuisine". Instead of brazil nuts, I used walnuts. Instead of leeks, I used onion powder. I used half his measurements of everything to make a smaller batch as I didn't want to be left with all these leftovers. - With leftover sides from yesterday's raw lasagna lunch layers as my dipping sauces - cashew cheese, spinach sundried-tomato pesto, and red pepper marinara sauce.
2.30pm: Massage at the Aveda Day Spa. I SO NEEDED THIS!
This was a lovely birthday gift from my super thoughtful guy, and even though it's been a month since my birthday, I've only had time to go now. Aveda very loosely follows Ayurvedic principles in all their treatments and oil preparations, and OMG... I was blissfully swimming on the massage table by the end of my 1.5hr treatment.
On my way home, I biked through the Vondelpark (Amsterdam's version of Central Park), and decided to do a slow loop around and biked for about half an hour. I'd initially wanted to go for a run, but after being blissed out by the massage, I thought I'd take it easy and this slow bike ride would be my "exercise" for the day.
Even though it was a grey day out, it was nice just being able to ride through trees and ponds and see the duckies and swans splashing around. The Dutchies call this "nature", even though it's kinda manicured. It's still pretty and at least it's some kind of connection to something of the earth. One of my favourite things to do is jump on my bike, get my earphones on with some good tunes, and just go cycling to nowhere. I was grateful for today's experience.
When I got home, I was sooooooo super relaxed, I took a 1-hour nap. :)
- Savoury Sage Croquettes. Leftover from lunch today. - With home-made kimchi made a couple weeks ago, and a raw miso-aubergine babaghanoush-type of pate. I made up this miso-aubergine pate... It was kind of so-so, so I'm not posting any measurements to any kind of recipe here. It needs more work! But here's what was in it: miso paste, brown rice vinegar, grated ginger, sesame oil, dash of maple syrup.
9.30pm: Snack. Felt like something sweet. I had no more chocolate at home. TMI, but can you tell it's about a week till my period? :p So I made up a raw chocolate mousse. Based it off a previous recipe I made up with soaked cashews, but since I didn't have pre-soaked cashews, I used 1/2 an avocado I had sitting in the fridge.
Raw Chocolate Mousse:
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/3 cup coconut milk (the drinking kind, not the cooking kind. Or any other non-dairy milk)
- 1.5 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 medjool date
- Chuck everything in the blender and blend.
- Top with fresh raspberries.
Since the avocado and coconut milk I have were already from the fridge, this dessert was nice and chilled. If yours didn't come out of the fridge, chill it for about an hour, and it'll be even more tasty.
What I did with the remaining scraps in the blender that can't be totally scraped out: I added more coconut milk and cacao powder in the blender, whizzed it around, and got a tasty coconut-chocolate milk. The healthy version. Plus! It's easier to clean the blender later from all that moussey stuff. WIN. And WIN.
- Pukka Relax tea with Viridian Magnesium with vitamin B6. As mentioned in Day 2's post on supplements, about a week before my period, I take a Magnesium supplement. Once I start craving chocolate, I take that as my cue to boost my Magnesium levels through both food and supplements.
- Soak tomorrow's breakfast.
- Pranayama meditation.
THOUGHTS ON DAY 6:
1. Thought I'd get more use out of my dehydrator this past week, but guess I haven't been uber-organized enough to plan in advance. Even with making lunch in the dehydrator for this morning, I had to crawl out of bed early in the morning to get it done in time. This probably would've been less of a mission if I'd made the croquettes yesterday... But I was out all afternoon and also out for dinner. This raw foodism takes a motherload of planning!
2. Even for someone like me who's pretty well-organized by nature, the meal-planning part of it is starting to drive me up the wall. It's fine if all I'd be content with was having salads all day, coz that's the easy stuff. But if you want to enhance the nutrient-intake to include more protein and enzyme-rich foods like sprouts and sprouted nuts and seeds, you really need to take into account the sprouting/ soaking time, which could be a day or two of prep ahead of when you actually get to make the meal itself. Or even if you want to ferment foods to increase the probiotics through food intake - that stuff can take up to a few days, or even weeks! (eg. my Kombucha is on day 11 now and still not quite there yet).
As I'm more of a "freestyle cook" and tend to just make it up as I go along - I'm finding it hard to freestyle if I hadn't already pre-sprouted some nuts or seeds in advance (and then you're bound to making something with that particular thing you've sprouted, and can't change your mind halfway).
3. Weekends are probably the hardest to plan for, as you're not in your regular routine. This is when it'll be the easiest for any kind of change in diet to fall to pieces. My struggle at lunchtime with the blood-sugar crash was coz I was kinda stupid and hadn't planned ahead by bringing a snack with me. I haven't had a major crash like this in the past week coz up until today I'd been pretty organized.
4. Again, maybe TMI, but nature is nature. Usually by this time in my cycle, I'd start to break out a bit on my face. One or two larger spots. But so far, so good. I'm not going to jinx it yet, as it may still happen, but it's an interesting observation so far. Also, any hormonal shifts especially to do with the female cycle usually take at least 2-3 months before any effect can be seen. So I'm not sure if this could REALLY be because of the raw food, or if it's the cutting out of coffee entirely, or the reduction of sugar (I haven't quit sugar totally, but it's reduced quite a bit from where I used to be).
5. And on the positive side (as I realize so far I've been whining about the prep time required the whole time)... I think I've been pretty careful in getting well balanced meals with the proteins, fats and carbohydrates intake, that apart from today's crash (due to my own lack of planning more than the diet itself), I haven't felt a particular dip in energy nor hunger.
I do feel like my digestive system is feeling a lot "lighter and cleaner", and that I don't feel like I'm bloated at all. Part of me is wondering if it's because for the most part, practically everything I've been eating has been gluten-free. I haven't had any grains apart from oats and buckwheat in the mornings, and these are naturally gluten-free grains anyway. I feel like I may continue to go grain-free for a while after this raw week, just to see how I feel again once I start adding grains back in my diet.
I think I've found out how vegans can do the Paleo diet: they just go raw. Hahaha. (See what I did there. I made a dorky nutrition joke).
Onwards to Day 7!