Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wakame salad

In my last post I wrote about my diet dilemma. It seemed like I was gaining weight on a raw food diet (probably due to a combination of high sugar from fruit and high fat from nuts). Following this I've brought some healthy wholegrains back into my diet: quinoa, millet (my fave), amaranth and oats. The improvement is incredible,  I feel so much more energetic and I quickly got back to my ideal weight! What Okriina from Keitti√∂kameleontti (an inspiring blog filled with excellent raw recipes in finnish) said when she commented on my last post really hit home. I believe I was not absorbing protein well from raw nuts. 


Anyway, I digress. Just wanted to post a recipe that gives you guys some idea of what I eat these days. This is a simple raw asian-inspired wakame salad, boosted with toasted sesame seeds (you could use soaked and dehydrated too, if you are on a raw food diet). As lunch, it would work wonderfully on its own. For dinner, I served it along with vinegared millet.

WAKAME SALAD

Salad:
1 small zucchini and/or cucumber
4 medium carrots
1 small apple
1C or more of green peas, preferably snap peas
5 stalks of wakame seaweed
couple tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Dressing:
1,5 tbsp brown rice vinegar
Sweetener of choice, I used a bit of xylitol here
4 tbsp cold pressed sesame oil
Mineral-rich salt (Himalayan, gray sea salt)

Soak wakame for 5 minutes in cold water. Julienne the zucchini, carrots and apple. Chop up the wakame. Mix together the veg. Blend the dressing ingredients, taste and adjust it according to your liking. I use toasted sesame seeds here for flavor, I just love them combined with the sesame oil in the dressing. This would be even better with snap peas, but as you can see from the pic this time I only had regular ones.

VINEGARED MILLET
3/4 C millet + 3C water (or thereabouts)
2 tbsp brown rice vinegar + salt + a little bit of sweetener of choice
2 strips of Kombu seaweed

Cook the millet in water with salt and kombu. Remove from heat, chop up the kombu and mix it in along with vinegar, salt and something sweet to round off the taste.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Crossroads - What to do?

As you have probably noticed, I have not posted anything for a while now. This is because I've been busy, for one. The main reason however is I don't really know what to do about my diet - and hence what to do with this blog? I decided I'd write my thoughts down in hopes that you might be able to help.

In May my husband and I started really craving raw foods and the thought of slaving over the stove just didn't sound appealing. So we ate what we felt like eating, I would say 90% or more of our daily food was raw. This felt good at the time. Soon after, I noticed I was having a hard time maintaining my body weight (116lbs seems ideal for me). I also felt like was not getting enough protein and contrary to what people usually associate with raw diets, I also felt less energetic. End of July we started craving cooked food, like sushi (I replace white rice with millet, in the pic). So we went with that. I lost a couple lbs and got back to my ideal weight quickly after and also noticed a huge increase in my energy levels. It's not like we missed bread or any kind of junk (I'm still allergic to gluten and dairy), just some lightly steamed vegetables and cooked grains now and then. I also replaced my raw pizza crusts with a crust made of water and millet+quinoa flour. I think the reason that I gained weight on high raw was the large quantity of nuts we were consuming. Now that we've replaced most of the nuts with healthy grains, we both feel a lot better. And look better!

I would still like to eat as much raw as possible. I'm finding it hard to replace nuts in raw recipes - it would be a lot easier if I could eat gluten and just replace with spelt or wheat berries. We do still use a lot of sprouted buckwheat. I've tried using sprouted oats, but my body won't tolerate that too much/too often. Lightly toasted or cooked g-free oats I can handle, it's the raw variety that is pretty hard to digest. Lately I've also found that consuming a lot of legumes isn't too good for me either. So my question is, if I can't eat raw nuts or raw/cooked legumes, how do I get enough protein? I do eat raw chia, hemp and sesame seeds. But it doesn't seem feasible to get 50-60g protein (1g/weight kg) from those alone.

Is it so bad to eat cooked millet, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and oats? At this point I think not, because I feel significantly better eating the grains.  But what do you think? Are there others out there who can't handle a lot of nuts? Any gluten-free ideas how to replace them in raw recipes? Or any gluten-free, nut free recipe ideas altogether? Savory dishes are what I'm struggling with.

This blog never really was a raw food blog. It will still continue as it was when I started it, as a documentary of my "adventures" into the realms of healthy eating. I'm just still looking to find the kind of diet that works best for me. Hope you'll continue to follow me on my journey. :)