The Glow

froginthebog.jpgStill have a glow from a lovely weekend in Princeton... or maybe it's the cold-mulled wine I've been drinking for the past couple hours. Hard to tell. It could also be the cheery feeling that reading A Frog in the Bog to the Beaner gives me, and the happy memory of buying that book in Pittsburgh this time two years ago.

I had such a nice New Year's weekend that I'm not looking forward to returning to work tomorrow, even though I like my job and feel like I'm in the right role for me, finally. (Although I have to say, re-watching the first couple seasons of The Wire over the holiday break has reminded me it's not just about the work and taking care of your people, it's about reporting up and not ruffling feathers—two things I rather suck at. <sigh> So much for the joy of a good engineering process, low bug counts, a solid product, and happy, effective engineers.)

Anyway, back to the glow. Some of it just might be from the crudité salad I made for dinner tonight. I tell you, I feel so fantastic when I eat mostly raw, no matter how much I might think I want Chick-Fil-A waffle fries for lunch or Ritter Sport Marzipan bars for breakfast.

Wait, mostly what?

Uh, yeah. Since April of 2009, I've been eating what I now refer to as the Lori Diet: lots of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, plus some cheese and a lot of chocolate. I don't shun cooked food entirely; I just eat it sparingly, choosing raw options whenever possible. Don't try to understand it; there aren't any rules you'll be able to follow to feed me, I can almost guarantee. If there's a salad on the menu, I'm good. If you have some apples or cauliflower or Korean pears in the house, I'm all set. And if you don't, not to worry; I've learned to travel with a few Lara or Organic Food bars, some raw sunflower seeds, or some raw cashews and dried cranberries in my purse. (Or, as I did this Christmas, a bag of carrots, a lemon, a fennel bulb, some cranberries, two apples, and a Japanese mandoline in a reusable shopping bag. I supplemented with the grapes, broccoli, cauliflower, and olive oil that my mom had on hand.)

I don't own a dehydrator (yet), but thanks to some birthday money from my in-laws and some saving on my part, I'm now the proud owner of a high-speed blender, with which I make a daily breakfast smoothie—usually some combination of banana, pineapple, and whatever fruit is in season, though cilantro and spinach-mint are also favorite bases, and I loooove key lime pie smoothies made from apple, banana, avocado, and of course limes. (Before I got the Blend-Tec, I used a regular Waring bar blender, which didn't get smoothies and juices as smooth, but was perfectly functional.)

I make my own raw nut milk, which I use to make chia pudding (yes, made from ch-ch-ch-chia seeds). I occasionally eat sea vegetables in salads. And my olive intake, already high, has gone up.

I don't claim that this is the "right" diet for anyone else but me. And since there are no rules to it, there's nothing I can't eat; only things that I prefer not to eat. What I do try to avoid consistently are wheat and meat... but then, I've been avoiding meat for over 20 years, and I've been avoiding wheat for more than one. (I actually think that giving up wheat a little over a year ago made the transition to a high-raw diet easier, if you're interested and want to start slowly.)

I still eat sushi once in a while. Ditto cooked vegetables. And a really excellent piece of cooked fish makes me happy, too. I don't care that maple syrup isn't raw, or that "raw" almonds grown in California have been pasteurized. (Well, yes, I care, but I'm not going to go to great expense to buy really raw almonds from Spain.) I care that eating a bowl of raw vegetables makes me feel alive like no other food can. That I can fill up at a meal and not feel weighed down. That I'm eating rainbow-colored dishes without an FD&C numbered dye in sight.

And now, two recipes, in case you're curious about the aforementioned wine and crudité salad:

Crudité Salad

A few broccoli florets, roughly chopped
A few cauliflower florets, roughly chopped
1 or 2 carrots, grated
A handful or two of grated red cabbage
5-10 pitted kalamata or oil-cured olives, chopped
One small handful dried dulse, rinsed, squeezed, and chopped (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)
Lemon juice & olive oil

Toss vegetables and sesame seeds in a bowl with lemon juice and olive oil to taste (I use about 1/2 lemon and maybe 2-3 T. olive oil). You can substitute crumbled feta cheese for the lemon-olive oil dressing, or use both. In the summer, I'll add chopped cucumber and grape tomatoes as well. Tonight I used all the listed ingredients for myself, and gave Al a serving with feta instead of dulse.

Halloween salad
A version of the Crudité Salad I made on Halloween, using orange cauliflower instead of the usual white

Cold-Mulled Wine

1 glass nice red wine (I used a 2006 or 2007 Mas Carlot Les Enfants Terribles, which is some kind of Syrah blend that Al got as a gift)
1 small squirt (1 t.?) raw agave nectar
1 whole clove
dash vanilla extract (1/8 t.? 1/4 t.?)
dash cinnamon (optional)

Combine ingredients in a juice glass and stir. Taste, and add more agave if desired. The vanilla and clove will mellow, and the taste will improve, with time. Sip slowly!

Posted by Lori in food at 8:44 PM on January 3, 2010

Comments (1)

I'm so trying that wine recipe.


I'm so trying that wine recipe.

Posted by: Laurie at January 6, 2010 2:35 AM

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