VEGAN IN THE CITY

Twenty-something. F. Toronto. Vegan exploring fitness, healthy eating & raw foods, on a busy schedule in a busy city ♥

Raw Food Class!

A lot has been going on since I last posted! I made raisins with my dehydrator, as well as some raw donut holes filled with jam! Tons of pictures to share, I just haven’t had time to upload them yet. They’re coming soon, I swear!

Yesterday I took a raw food cooking class with Nathalie Lussier at her home. Her and her boyfriend Robin were gracious, kind hosts! The class was really fun, and while some of it was just a helpful refresher on some raw information (for me anyway), I did learn a lot of new stuff. The main thing I walked away with was confidence that raw food is easy and delicious, which was important for me – I’ve always been a-okay with smoothies and juices, but it’s been the dinner, savory options that were overwhelming and confusing (I loathe salad). Nathalie’s class taught me that raw savory dinners are super easy to make, and far exceeded my expectations in yum and simplicity! I am the pickiest eater ever, and I liked everything. I brought some tupperware to take some of it home to enjoy later!

Here’s what we learned to make:

1. Green smoothie

2. Almond milk

3. Sprouts

4. Marinated mushrooms/green beans

5. Nut/veg salmon patee in collard green wrap

6. Zucchini pasta with pesto/tomato sauces

7. Brownies

Everything was yum! I had some of the pasta, mushrooms, and green beans for lunch, and brownies and some of her blueberry cake for dessert.

Nathalie’s explanation of food combining also was the simplest I have heard, and is as follows:

1. Fruit alone

2. Starch alone or with veg

3. Dried fruit/nuts/seeds alone or with veg

4. Banana/avocado can be combined with dried fruit/nuts/seeds

5. Apples/pears can be juiced with veg

6. Leafy greens can be combined with anything

7. Wait 2-3 hours between categories

I liked that Nathalie totally did away with the random and ever-confusing ‘protein’ category. I was always trying to figure out if chickpeas were starches or proteins, and that seriously stressed me out. I think her way of breaking it up is really easy to understand – there’s no confusion about what is what.

I bought a spiralier, zucchini, and mushrooms to make some of the dishes we learned, as soon as I run out of leftovers (which will be SOON!). Also bought a few books – Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen by Ani Phyo, Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food by Wendell Berry, and 12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Food by Victoria Boutenko. I’m pretty excited – I love reading and I haven’t had as much time to do that lately as I would have liked; the internet is great but limited.

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Here and There

The past few days have been really rough for me. I’ve been feeling really awful, and have been getting headaches, been lightheaded and dizzy, and my digestion has been out of whack – all of which has totally KO’d my yoga routine. Today I am going to try to go back on Metamucil, and see what happens. The year that I was on Metamucil was the best year of my life digestively, so maybe going back on it (while still experimenting with raw vegan foods) will be good for me. Who knows!

I’ve been a bit dejected after making a bunch of recipes that I really did not like. I am sure there was nothing wrong with the recipe, but I’m the pickiest eater ever, so who knows. I got a dehydrator (feeling a bit depressed about this & not sure if it was a good decision, and I refuse to take pictures of it until it helps me make something nice) and made some onion carrot bread, which turned out awful and made me sick for two days. It didn’t taste too bad, just a little strong on the onion for me, but after I ate it I almost died, it was awful, I felt like a lump! Then yesterday I tried to make my first nut pate, made from hemp seeds and walnuts, and it was disgusting. I tried to eat some of it with a spinach salad, and managed to eat a bit of it, but it made me feel like gagging so I gave it a rest. And then I overate on spinach and had a stomach ache and just felt heavy overall. Bummer.

So, this week despite feeling like total shit I have learned some things about myself.

1. Do not eat too big of a salad.

2. Eat salad at the END of the day, not for lunch.

3. I need grains in my diet! They make my belly happy!

4. Raw onions do not agree with me.

5. Raw tomatoes do not agree with me.

6. There is a such thing as a too sweet smoothie

7. Smoothies are a good way to start the day, as is fruit

The smoothie pictured above is my second green smoothie – and for me I think it is a bit too sweet, which I guess is bound to happen because it’s a recipe I just made up. I’ve popped it in the fridge and am going to try watering it down to enjoy at a later date, but right now it’s just not what I want. TOO SWEET. But here’s the recipe for all you out there with a big green sweet tooth:

1. 1 banana

2. 1 1/2 cups of almond milk

3. 1 avocado

4. 3 dates (mine were soaked overnight)

5. 2 handfuls of spinach

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My First Veggie Smoothie

This is what I made for lunch today! Chickpea salad + my first veggie smoothie! I am pretty excited about the smoothie, since it was my first smoothie ever with vegetables/greens in it – and it was my first time having an avocado! It was a little thick, so I had to consume it via spoon, but it was absolutely delicious! I was afraid it would taste too much like vegetation but the apple & lemon juice gave it a subtle sweetness that I really enjoyed.

And the texture was nice and soft and velvety. Mmm. I am definitely going to make this again! Here is the recipe, it is my slight alteration on one by Gillian McKeith:

1. Juice 12 baby carrots + 1 apple

2. Add juice to blender.

3. Blend with 10 basil leaves, 1 soft  avocado, and 3 tablespoons homemade lemonade

This dish was just me getting rid of some leftovers! I had the chickpeas from another meal. They are lightly fried with olive oil, oregano, and Italian herbs. Mix with live cress (those are the greens, I think they are called cress), and I also sprinkled some raw sprouts in there too. I had difficulty with just the sprouts and cress, but the flavour of the spices and chickpeas really made everything tastier for me. It was filling & delicious, and FAST – I am pretty sure it took only 15 minutes or so to make, between cleaning the juicer/blender/etc.

Anyhow, a bit of a recap – yesterday I ate pretty normally, and my digestion has been fine since. The only things I’ve been doing differently is taking into consideration some of the things I read in Gillian McKeith’s book – in particular, she suggests taking digestive enzymes & milk thistle capsules, & acidophilus. So I’ve been doing that since I’ve started the detox, and I have to say I don’t know if it’s because of that or the food, but I’m feeling great! Way better than usual, but my last 2 months have been hell, so who knows. She also discusses the idea of food combining, so I’ve tried to take that into consideration with what I’ve been eating and when. Is the idea bullshit? I have no clue, but I can’t wait to read more books by different authors to see what their thoughts are. I guess I’ll just wait and see how I feel. The other thing she suggests is drinking only before and after meals, not during – something I’ve heard before but have been reluctant to adopt, but I’ve been trying it out & so far so good!

In other news, Averie is having a giveaway – go check it out!

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