Sunday, February 21, 2010

Raw Food Lifestyle Series - Day 1

Hello all! I want to share with you my personal Raw Food Lifestyle throughout the week. I'll be doing this for a week. Here are the reason why I want to share my lifestyle:

1) so you can get an idea of what a person might go through preparing raw foods daily
2) to see what I do and perhaps take some tips and tricks to fit your lifestyle
3) so you can know me a little more on a personal level

Let me preface this by stating a few facts:

I am not 100% raw. I am a raw foodist as my diet consists of mostly raw fruits, vegetables and nuts/seeds.
I do not have any children.
I prepare raw lunches for my fiance's coworker 5 days a week.
I feed for two breakfast and dinner, feed for three for lunch.
I am very active (running 30-40 miles a week, cardio box 2-3 days a week) and consume lots of calories!
I am currently unemployed (since Thanksgiving) but do engineering consulting work 2-5 days a week.  For those of you who do work, I was still able to live this lifestyle while working 40+ hours a week.

A lot of people tell me that they would eat more raw foods if they had time. "It takes too long to prepare." etc etc. For me, being an engineering minded person, I have to do what works for me. It might not work for everyone. In fact, I know what I will present will not work for everyone, but you might be able to take tidbits here and there and try them out. You never know.

Now I will show you how I go about my days.

The weekends are what I call "prep days". What I mean by "prep days" is that I schedule out what we will eat for the entire week and buy all our food. I do three main things and if I don't do them, I've found that it turns out to be a stressful week. They are:

1) Look through my fridge and cabinets to see what we have in stock.
    a) Write down the main items that we have
    b) Write down if I am running low on my spices, oils or other things that have a long shelf life

2)  Create a menu for the week: breakfast, lunch and dinner. We flip through about 5 books to decide what we want to eat.
    a) Some of the things I think about: What did we eat last week, what can I make different? What recipes will go with what we have in stock? Which recipes use similar ingredients so we don't have to buy excess produce? Do I have nutritional variety?

3) I write down every ingredient for each recipe in a notebook

4) Make a shopping list based on the ingredient list, what long shelf life items we need and any additional snacks we want.  Check off what we have in stock.

As an example, here is what I went through yesterday (Saturday):
Stock items we need - Vanilla Extract, Sun-dried tomatoes, Walnuts, Cashews, Buckwheat groats and dark miso
Recipes for the week - Caesar Salad in a Pesto Wrap (for last night's dinner), Pad Thai Noodles, Falafel Wrap, Zoom Burger, Not Tuna Pate and Spanish Rawsagna.

Kelli and I eat salads for lunch every day so those are a given. The recipes I listed are typically for dinner and for my client's lunch.

We receive fresh produce from a CSA farm every two weeks. This week happens to be a delivery week (Wednesday) so I wrote down all of the produce that will be delivered so I do not duplicate items at the market.

This whole process took 1 hour from start to finish. Again, it might not work for you, but for us, the better we can organize the week, the easier the week will be.

So... we had our shopping list and off on our bikes we went! First stop was Whole Foods. We bought og buckwheat groats (og = organic), og red miso, og vanilla extract, sun dried tomatoes, fresno pepper, horseradish root, og mung bean sprouts, og cilantro, og garlic, og kale, og lettuce, pineapple, mangos, serrano pepper, sweet tamarind. Second stop was Trader Joes: og white corn tortilla chips (my addiction lol), roasted gargonzola crackers (Kelli's addiction lol), raw cashews, og raw walnuts, og heirloom tomatoes, og red bell peppers, og zucchini, og red onions, og basil, og bag of pink lady apples, og navel oranges, og bag of lemons.

Whole Foods is 2 miles northeast and TJ's is 0.3 miles north of us. It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes to ride on our bikes, make a quick pit stop before WF, get to WF, buy our groceries, ride to TJ's and have my backpack fall off the bike, fixed it, get to TJ's buy all of our items and finally back home.

We unpacked everything and I got started on the Caesar Salad wrapped in a Pesto Wrap. Fortunately I already made the pesto wrap so all I had to do was cut the romaine and make the dressing. See my other post for recipe. Equipment list: Chef Knife, Blender and cutting board :).

Yesterday I also made a mango salsa. Yuuuuuuum!!!!!!!! Went great with the chips we got at TJ's. We ate our chips and salsa then ate our wraps. Stuffed!

We sat around the couch and watched the Olympics :). Go Team USA!!!!!!!!!!!  We ended up trying to watch the classic black and white foreign film Rashomon. About 15 mins in we fell asleep cuddling on the couch. Two hours later we got up and ate leftover cake that I had from Valentine's Day. Yes it was still gooooooooood!

In the midst of all this, we drank looots of water. On an average day we drink about 4.5L of water a day. Sometimes more, rarely less.

After eating cake, I made garlic herbed croutons and cinnamon almond bread. I let those sit in the dehydrator overnight. That took an hour from start to cleanup.

Before we hit the sack we did a 1 minute plank to keep our cores in shape (something new I've starting doing since last week). We fell asleep to Rashomon again about 40 minutes in. By this time it was close to 1am. If you know us, you know that typically our bed time is 9:30pm. That two hour nap kept us up.

Today - Sunday
I woke up at 6am and left the house about 6:45 to go run. I drove 30 miles north to meet up with Dave, my running partner/best friend/groomsman. I arrived at the usual spot and then did the unthinkable!...locked my keys, running gloves and date water in the car. Kelli to the rescue!...but she was off on a hike before boxing so I wouldn't see her till about noon, so I thought.

We went off on our 20 mile run. We headed out 5.1 miles one way, turned and got back to the car for some fuel. Def need fuel if you plan on running over an hour, in our case nearly 3 hours. Since my fuel was locked in the car, I needed something. Dave let me drink half of his Powerade. I was ok with it since my body was about to burn all the high fructose corn syrup in the next 30 minutes anyway. We ran about 4.2 miles one way and flipped it. It's hard to judge how far you go and at what pace until you're done and you can map it all out. Our 20 miler was an 18.7 miler when all was said and done.

By the time I was done, Kelli came to the rescue! She skipped boxing and came to my rescue! *SIDE NOTE: OMG KELLI JUST CAME BACK FROM SHOPPING AND GOT ME A MANGO SPLITTER!!!!!!!! I LOVE HER!!!!!!*

Back to the story, we decided since we needed laundry detergent we would stop at Sam's Club nearby. Low and behold. more groceries! In addition to Ecos laundry detergent and toilet paper, we bought more mangos, almond/pecan/cashew clusters, og spring mix for our salads, papaya, og Granny Smith apples, og Gala apples and two pineapples.

Came home and prepared Pad Thai Noodles (Ani Phyo's book) while Kelli did laundry and went out shopping looking for a monster mixing bowl. Before she headed out we ate a ton of almond bread with almond cheese, onions and tomatoes (thanks Dara!). We also finished off the mago salsa :) and did a 1 minute plank.

Now I sit here writing this. In a few minutes we will eat the Pad Thai, hopefully finish watching Rashomon, probably eat more apples and nuts since I depleted nearly 2000 calories running this morning, prepare lunches for tomorrow *TIME SAVING TIP* and then go to bed.

Tomorrow night I will tell you what we had for breakfast, what was packed for lunch and what we ate for dinner.


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