Cleaning Up My Act

Hi all!  I’ve been very hesitant about simply reporting what I eat because it just seems so dull.  But, the truth is, I have really been ‘cleaning up my act’ lately and my body feels amazing and I’d love to share with you what I eat on a day to day basis, how it makes me feel, what challenges I face, and of course the results I get.  I used to drink soy lattes on a daily basis, then I cut down to just coffee with soy milk and right now Im down to only drinking coffee with a bit of soy or black with agave nectar about every other day!  That’s my big change that I’ve made but a lot of other ones have been developing too!  I’d be happy to hear any feedback, inspiration, or personal experience that you’d like to share as well!  Let’s get super, duper healthy together.

I’ll be back later to let you know what I’ve eaten today!

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Dear Fruit, I’ve missed you! Love, The Raw Food PunK

Seriously. I have been seriously, seriously lacking on my fruit consumption. (Fruit makes me very serious.) I’ve been eating one apple, pear, or a bunch of grapes before work and then….thats it!! Oh no! Seriously, my morning long fruit consumption has been cut down far too much. I have been trying to get back to where I was because it makes me feel so damn good. Sometimes at work, I jump out from behind the counter to down an apple in two minutes.

I just gave in and bought some bananas. Not local, but feeling necessary. Im going to start eating at least 2-3 servings of fruit in the morning and push my lunch back later.

I do think Im lacking in some of that energy that I had when I was eating fruit all morning. Well, at least I haven’t started eating muffins instead of apples!

Get your fruit on punks!

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It’s all Salt and Oil

Mornin’ punks. I have a slight problem. My eating habits have been pretty great. Fruit in the morning, lunch of salad and cooked veggies, dinner of a salad or cabbage, or avocado sandwich or even just some tahini with chocolate powder and agave. BUT Ive been feeling a little less light than I would expect and haven’t lost any weight.
I started thinking about it yesterday while I was eating lunch and I realized that the daily salad bar lunch that I adore so much at work is playing tricks on me. This is a prime example of only letting the food shine so much before its masked with too much salt and oil. I wonder what was wrong with roasted flat beans to begin with that we had to add so much oil and salt. Are us Americans incapable of enjoying food without those flavors adulterating the natural goodness of our vegetables?

So I’m making a major effort to act with some discretion at the prepared foods/salad bar and advise you all to do the same out there. Pay attention to how the food looks and tastes, you’ll know if its laden with salt and oil or not. Stick to raw as much as possible, the less cooked it is, the less they’ve probably added to it. I’ve been sticking with greens, squash, and cauliflower and I already feel better. I think making your plate at least 75% raw greens with a touch of dressing makes a huge difference in keeping your body feeling clean and light.

To all you chefs out there: chill out on the salt and oil you don’t need to use illusions to get people to eat their veggies, thank you.

Until next time, eat happy punks!

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My Life as a Locavore

I am currently reading the book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and it has really inspired me to shop and eat on a very small scale. I want to support small, local farms as much as I possibly can. This means some sacrifices for sure, but I am going to challenge myself to eat as much food from the farmer’s market as I can. This means eating completely seasonally and taking a cue from what’s available for recipes and meal ideas. This also means fresher food, more flavor, and, in most cases, lower costs!

Today I bought heirloom tomatoes as snacks, apples for breakfast. I also have garlic, peaches, pears, and grapes from the market. I haven’t bought bananas or any out of season vegetables in over a week!

I have decided to take this challenge because I believe its as close to eating as nature intended as I can do living in New York City in 2009. I think it will be fun to try to negotiate the ideals I have been reading and agreeing with and the temptation of having avocados, bananas, and mango available in January. And what about lettuce!? I can’t go completely saladless in the winter! This will be an adventure to say the least!

I’ll keep you updated on what I get my hands on at the market. And what I end up giving in on at the grocery store too. I don’t know if I can live without lemons.

Be a punk, support small farms!

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Be Prepared!

Today was a good example of what can go wrong when you don’t keep healthy food on hand! As I mentioned previously, I work at a bakery. A really amazing bakery. Today, I went into work at 5:30 am expecting to leave before noon. We have an incredible salad bar for lunch and fruit in the morning, so I figured I would just eat some additional fruit before I left and be good until later. My great intentions were thrown off though when I had to stay at work past noon. I was really much hungrier than I had expected to be, far earlier than I wanted to be. And there was a broken, beautiful mixed berry scone literally at my fingertips. I should mention that this is the best scone I’ve ever tasted in my life, and therefore I have no regrets. The berries were still a little warm and plump and the scone was sugary in just the right way, and had the perfect texture. I ate half of the scone and then had some salad and squash for lunch. No big deal. Then I ended up staying at work even longer, another few hours, and was hungry again! Being completely empty handed, no fruit, no nuts, no veggies, I grabbed half of a small cookie that was broken. Now, half of a small cookie really is not a big deal. But the point is, I didn’t eat as wholesomely as I would have liked today because I dropped the ball on being prepared for a long day.

Bring snacks! All the time!

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Yummy Veggies and Rice…Even on my “Cheat Day”

I am sort of against cheat days. But I’m not sort of against eating a brownie every once in a while…Having a specified day for such “allowances” helps you from making the “allowances” every other day. So I’ve been really good! Not even talking bites of cookies at work, avoiding the vegetable lo mein, not over eating, etc. Saturday, however, had its good moments and its, well, less good moments. I tried bites of stuff at work. I didnt have any full baked goods though. Then after work my roommate and I went to dinner. Even though it was my relaxed, be free to eat anything day, I stuck with a lovely asian chopped salad and some curried rice (white rice, oh no!) We also had black rice that was incredible. Then we went to a movie, sans chemically altered popcorn, thank you. 🙂

Here comes the good part…or bad part…depends on how youre looking at things…We got ice cream from a place called Sundaes and Cones. INCREDIBLE. They have tons of different flavors, clearly made from scratch. I had a sundae with mocha chip and cookies and cream ice cream and hot fudge and brownies. It was incredible, and flavorful, and perfect. That is unhealthy food worth eating. It didnt feel like dead, processed, junk. It wasn’t wholesome, but it was good food. And it wasn’t outrageous either. The sundae was big, but not ginormous. The brownie pieces were probably two tiny bites worth and you gout about four pieces. I was very, very full and I probably didn’t really need to finish it. But I did. And it was worth it.

As I write this, though, Im enjoying a bowl of alafalfa sprouts with cucumbers and some whole grain mustard. Totally different realms of flavor. Still just as enjoyable. 🙂 I love being a raw food punk!

Big Shout out to Lina (with a heavy accent, of course). Thank you for your encouragement and kind words! New York City is absolutely amazing. I’ll keep writing, you keep reading…and commenting! 🙂

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Cupcakes on the Counter…

Hey punks! The past two days have been pretty good, not flawless, but pretty good!

Yesterday I worked for 12 hours at the bakery. Yup, 12 hours. I had a banana before work, a plate of salad and sauteed veggies for lunch with a couple bites of jasmine rice and then I worked and worked and worked. I had a bowl of raddichio and chickpea salad towards the end of the night. When I was on my way home all I wanted was take-out. Something easy and delicious, and mildly unhealthy. I refrained but I had some major cravings on the bus, I thought maybe eating my apple would do the trick, but I was not satisfied. I figured I could eat some dark chocolate when I got home and be good to go, since Id be going to bed within a couple of hours and wasn’t feeling incredibly hungry to begin with. But then I got home to a very pleasant and torturous surprise. A pretty little white box sitting on the counter with a label that says This Chick Bakes and a post-it that says Hayley, Feel free to eat! Love, K and E (my roommate and her sister) I opened the box. It was a foodie’s dream. 4 cupcakes, and five different cookies, all handmade, all beautiful, all sampled and just asking for another bite to be taken.

I tried a bite of one of the cupcakes and 3 of the cookies. Just bites, literally a taste. It was worth it, and Im glad I let myself sample but didn’t go nuts. Once I sat down, I realized I really was hungry so I had some shredded cabbage with a make-shift raw teriyaki sauce (this meal is my new addiction, I actually want it today but Im out of cabbage!) I may have had one more bite of a cookie after that, but I didn’t eat enough to feel anything other than satisfied. No incredible full or heavy feeling, perfect!

Today has been about the same. An apple for breakfast, salad and sweet potato for lunch. I had a slice of sprouted grain bread with whole grain mustard and a huge pile of alfalfa sprouts when I got home, plus a couple bites from the mini-bakery left on my counter. I’m going to make corn gazpacho for dinner so keep your eye out for a new recipe on rawfoodpunk.com!

I have to tell you, while eating those baked goods just to taste them, I felt like I was missing something. There just isn’t as much pure unadulterated flavor as there is in fresh, whole, raw foods. Products made with processed flour like baked goods and pasta (I had a disappointing moment with a bite of Israeli couscous today) just get in the way of the real flavors that come from vegetables and spices. The best part of the couscous I tried today was the fresh herbs. If you’re looking for bold flavors and incredible taste, try reaching for something in its raw form, you’ll be pleasantly surprised…and maybe disappointingly surprised next time you reach for a suddenly bland sugar cookie.

Later punks!

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