Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Stumble into the Raw Food World

A Raw Foodist's Journal - How I Stumbled into the Raw Food World
"May We All Be Bored In Life!"

By late spring this year, I was bored, awfully bored! The careerist in me wasn't excited about her profession anymore, the artist painted masterpieces only in her imagination, the chef had run out of all ideas for new concoctions, the blogger had been meaning to start her blog for the last five years (!), and the woman in me had lost her glamor.

But it didn't stop there - food, too, became boring for me!! This might sound very alien to some of my readers. Day after day, I found visiting the same lunch places around work with colleagues boring. Week after week, I went to the groceries and brought almost nothing home because the taste of everything in my mouth felt, well, all too familiar. Stepping out with friends for dinner, all cuisines were the same old Mexican, Thai, Indian, Chinese, American... Clearly, my boredom wasn't sustainable for long.

So I knew I had to change things; getting interested in food again was critical if I had to continue to exist =). I decided to sign up for a cooking class to get my inner chef's creative juices flowing and add some new flavors to my life. Little did I know, I would move away from cooking. Among many classes, I came across Heather Haxo Phillips' "Forget Cooking! Introduction to RAW Food Cuisine" that sounded intriguing and was logistically feasible. Without knowing most of what I wrote about the benefits of a raw food diet in my last post, I signed up for Heather's class.

Fast forward to the day of the class, Heather had recipe handouts for all menu items. I flipped through them and thought:

Almond Milk - is it same as what we get at the supermarket?
Cream of Zucchini Soup - I had never bought another zucchini in my life after a friend served me an unappetizing curry made of zucchini =/
Mediterranean Kale Salad - Oh "kale," that ugly, very dark green colored leaf resembling the skin of a frog! Yikes!
Not Tuna Pate - no more pates for me. I had been to lunch with a few colleagues and had carrot pate and didn't like it. Apparently my taste hadn't quite evolved. (I like it now.)
Zucchini Noodles with Marinara - ugh, zucchini again!
Chocolate Mousse - yum, at last. But wait, with avocado?? I had quit buying avocados as I never managed to eat them in time and they rotted rather quickly.

Besides the menu items, the recipes called for uncommon (for me) ingredients that had never been a part of my rather well-stocked pantry. Doesn't sound like raw food and I were meant to be together, does it? Being a skeptic, one of my questions to Heather was, "Shouldn't we be always cooking our food to get rid of the germs and bacteria?"

It was sampling time at the end of the class. To my surprise, the whole plate, except for the kale salad (in my opinion), was actually DELICIOUS and tasted very different and exciting to my bored taste buds. Voila!! Heather also did a great job talking about many of the benefits of including more greens in our diet, shopping at the farmers' market instead of the supermarkets, the "correct" way of consuming nuts and seeds, etc. etc.

Later that day when I got home, I read a lot more about the raw food regimen and everything I had heard in the class seemed to get confirmed and re-confirmed. I decided to take my very first raw food step - just a green smoothie in the morning. In the first few days, I even cheated - I added ~80% fruit and only ~20% greens (60-40 is the suggested proportion). But it made a difference within a matter of days.

To begin with, somehow, I had more energy. I felt lighter. I felt like doing what the careerist, artist, chef, and woman in me had wanted to do. There was a gradual influx of Qi in me. I was beginning to creep out of the ditch of boredom. In a couple of weeks, I noticed my food choices for the rest of the day had begun changing - I did not long for the same flavors and food items anymore. More startling was the realization that on the days I did not start with a green smoothie, my eating patterns were different - they were the old patterns!

Over next couple of months, I started shopping at the local farmers' market (and eventually fell in love with it), stocked up my pantry with many new ingredients that had never been a part of my food repertoire (for which the chef in me couldn't be more thankful), switched to 40-50% greens in my smoothies =), and began buying bunches of kale and making variations of kale salads =) =). There is a lot more to be told about how far I have come in the last several months. That will be another journal entry...

To conclude this introduction to my rendezvous with raw food, the fact that I'm authoring this journal speaks volumes about what my philosophy around food has evolved into. We shall uncover these volumes in the upcoming days. For now, it's time for me to wrap up this long and writing-intensive but extremely rewarding Thanksgiving weekend of 2012.

1 comment:

  1. people around me swear by the raw food diet and suggesting the same to me.i have been toying with the idea, when suddenly wham! i get to know that you too are a convert. i will take that as a sign and promise to do my own experimentation.
    meanwhile i enjoyed reading your first entry in this journal,so continue writing.hope to catch up soon.